I was delighted when my short story This Too was selected for publication by The Great Margin, a project set up by Paper Nations. The selection included a chance to have my story edited by the splendid Michael Loveday, who pointed out a mixed metaphor, which led to me amending a single sentence. Other than that, the story went live exactly as it had been submitted.
The story began to bubble up in summer 2019, when our garden was parched and everything felt poised by the heat for something big to happen. In my story, the ‘something’ becomes a wait for a phone call following medical tests.
Roll forward to summer 2020, and we were all on tenterhooks thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. I found myself thinking about everyone who’d had to put immune suppressing treatment on hold, and about the strain that was causing them and their loved ones. The story gained a new dimension.
I brought in the ladybird plague of 1976 because it’s something so strange and dramatic, and yet as someone who wasn’t yet born it seems to be like the stuff of folklore. I wanted to imagine that one day the Covid-19 pandemic will seem that remote and strange thanks to the passage of time. This too will pass.
This week, I have cause to celebrate the story once more as the amazing folks at Paper Nations got in touch to let me know This Too has been chosen as story of the month. I won a book voucher for the marvellous Mr B’s Emporium. Even better, they published a piece explaining all the reason’s they love my story. Aww. *blushes*.