14 November 2014

A Creative Interlude: A Conference and A Story

Tying in well with my previous post, today is a day away from Management PhD matters and back into the arts world I come from. It’s the annual OU in Scotland Arts Faculty Residential Conference at New Lanark. I have presented papers here before, and expect to again, drawing from arts-relevant research that emerges from my PhD. However this time around, alongside papers on colleagues’ research in the arts I’ll be presenting a slightly different form of research output: reading a selection of short prose on the theme of the craft of writing.

These stories emerged from my MFA in Creative Writing and after editing have joined a wider collection. Some have already found homes in various journals, short story magazines and one even won a competition. I’m hoping they go down well today, as they cross the boundaries between story for story’s sake, and pedagogy. They are of stories of varying length, so here is one of the shorter, suitable-for-a-blog-post-size flash fiction pieces, which hopefully provides a little light relief on a Friday. 

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Consistent Characters

After fourteen years of service, Mike had been summoned to the city office, along with other members of his team, to be told exactly what the new system was.
             One of his colleagues asked for clarification.
            ‘Your new job title will be Parking Awarder,’ responded the Parking Manager. ‘It’s simple: if you see someone parking well, say reverse parallel on a hill, or pulling to the side of a busy road with an adverse camber without breaking the flow of traffic, then you ticket them. Any questions?’
            ‘And they come here to redeem the ticket. Or can they do it by post?’
            ‘We hope to have a postal redemption scheme in place before Christmas.’
            The Manager looked out at his assembled staff. He had never seen such a miserable response to a popular idea before.
            ‘We can always go up to people and tell them they didn’t quite make the cut,’ whispered Mike to the person sitting next to him.
            ‘Yes,’ replied his colleague, ‘or that they parked just outside of our hours of operation.’
            ‘It sounds like a great idea,’ said Mike. ‘Right up our street.’

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