Don’t forget to promote these authors if you know them or are admirers of their previous work. And if their stories stand out for you after reading P17 #11, let us (and everyone else) know about it loud and clear! P17 would be the shortest anthology in existence without its contributors, so please join us in celebrating their efforts.
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Geraldine Borella on ‘Achilles and the maple leaf’
‘Achilles and the maple leaf’ started from the trigger word, leaf. The word was suggested by one of my fellow writing group members, and the general brief was to come up with 350–500 words. Of course, ‘Achilles’ grew from the 500 word start into a much longer story, but it was the trigger that provided the spark in the first place. My writing group buddies gave me the confidence to continue on as they unanimously loved the characters and enjoyed the tone. So I took my 500 words and expanded on them, exploring Christa and Achilles in much more depth.
I’m not Achilles and I’m not Christa, but I’ve resembled both at different times in my life. There have been times where I’ve taken left-hand turns that have appeared nonsensical to others, just like Achilles; and times where, like Christa, I’ve dwelled upon tragedy and wallowed in self-pity, thinking I was of little use to anybody. So I guess in writing this story I was trying to make sense of life while discussing ordinariness, extraordinariness, chance meetings, and the importance of friendship. And I also wanted to remind myself of the importance of taking a lighter view and choosing to live in the moment. Despite the ending, this story makes me feel good – is that an exceedingly immodest thing to say? Perhaps so, but I’m sure Achilles would have gotten away with it.
Geraldine Borella is a 42 year old married mother of two living in tropical Far North Queensland. She writes, sings, and has a professional career in healthcare. She is currently writing a young adult novel.
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Kristin Martin on ‘Mixed feelings’
While sitting comfortably with friends and a glass of wine on a cold Tuesday evening at the ultimate Spineless Wonders Presents at the Wheaty in suburban Adelaide I heard the brilliant Craig Behenna read the equally brilliant John Steiner’s short story, ‘Poioumenon’ − an inspiring, rambling, run-on-sentence style piece that is inspired by David Foster Wallace (whose stories I have never read but who I may also have found inspiring) and after obtaining a copy of ‘Poioumenon’ and returning home and reading it and feeling even more inspired I went to check on my sleeping children and their pet huntsman spider. As I looked at the spider I thought about how I had mixed feelings about it living in my house, even though it was safely contained in a cheap plastic terrarium with a red plastic mesh lid, and still feeling inspired I jotted down some notes for a rambling story based on my feelings towards this spider and on the following evening I made time to write the story, throwing in a touch of a friend’s spider phobia to make it more interesting, who incidentally is one of the friends I was sitting with at the Wheaty on that cold Tuesday evening. When my friend bravely read the story, which is called ‘Mixed feelings’, she claimed it was a horror story while I don’t think there is any horror about it whatsoever, so you can read it in page seventeen Issue 11 and see what you think.
Kristin Martin lives near the sea with her family, five spiny leaf insects, one canary, two turtles, five fish and numerous baby huntsman spiders. Her poems and short stories can be found in various magazines and anthologies, including Tadpoles in the Torrens (Wakefield Press, 2013), and on her website: kristinmartin.net.