Island Writers is a group formed in December 2019 to connect writers on the Isles of Scilly and provide support and friendship. Our aim is to produce flash fiction, poetry and non-fiction pieces for islanders and visitors to read whilst enjoying the islands and at the same time give the writers opportunities to build a support network, progress with their writing and gain confidence in making their work public.
So, an update on Island Writers. Of course life has changed quite considerably since I created this page. Our plan for producing a leaflet that folks could pick up and read whilst enjoying a coffee or a mooch on the beach have been put on hold, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, we didn't want this to put a stop to our group, our aims and our writing so we have come up with another plan. Like most of the world, it seems, we have turned to Zoom and catch up with each others writing lives every couple of weeks. Each of us has a love for a different genre, flash fiction, novel, fantasy and not-fiction. Some of us are determined to be published whilst others enjoy the cathartic role writing plays in our lives. Covid and lockdown have affected us in different ways, some writing more, some less, but we are all determined to keep this group and friendship though words going.
Connection Through Isolation
Scilly, especially the “Off Islands” by their remote nature can appear a socially isolated place. This has had its advantages during the Covid-19 pandemic. As Islanders we are most likely to be comfortable with keeping our own company, enjoy silence and solitude and can be resilient and adaptable folk.
I have to say, however, that one of the silver linings to the situation has been for me to become far more connected to people and activities that I normally wouldn’t be able to access. Through the power of Zoom I have connected to the outside world of authors, festivals and workshops.
I have joined workshops and readings by flash fiction authors, which has confirmed my love for this genre. Poetic prose that lights the fire of the imagination, sweeps you up into moments of intense emotion and then drops you like a stone into an unknown ending. Stories, that like my attention span are short.
I will post short pieces of flash fiction when I can, and hopefully in the future our plans to share our writing with folks visiting Scilly will happen.
If you read any pieces on here and enjoy them it would be great to hear your feedback. Thank you.
Below are two pieces I've scribbled about with.
Black bird. Jet bird. Fire-flame beaked bird.
Nature’s watchkeeper, waiting.
Guardian of the door.
Silently the door opens, allowing a slither of soft dawn light to slice the inner dark.
Ghost lady leaves. Pale nightdress floating, flowing, caught quick in cold winter air.
Black bird views the open door, head cocked wisely to the side. Views the space left gaping open, dark and hollow and wide.
Hops down, tiny-talon claws clasp the edge of the unknown.
Ghost lady out. Out and gone. Soft, bare feet on cutting ground, she leaves no trace.
Ghost lady out. Black bird in. Guardian of long-lost times.
Spies with beady fire-halo eye, a shoe. A nest? A home?
Neglected shoe. Abandoned shoe.
Reclaimed shoe. Rewilded shoe.
Ghost lady lost and gone.
Black bird in and home.
Chairs Sitting Empty
I cross my legs, shift the weight, turn away.
The chairs feel too close. Regretting now I had not pulled them further apart when we had arrived.
They are placed as if we should be friends, enjoying strong rich coffee and gentle conversation.
Instead we sit, uncomfortably perched. Unable to look at each other. Wishing to pull away. Each one unwilling to be the first to give in and scrape through the prickly silence.
The hairs at the nape of my neck stand tense and defensive, like the sharp spines of the surrounding cacti. This is a strange, foreign place. Why had I come? So foolish to have believed we could recover all which had long been lost.
The sky darkens, deepening the hollow depths which grow within me.
Then the rain comes. Hard and drenching. We run for safety, leaving empty chairs and filling puddles.