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A Good Drying Day bought by Every Day Fiction

Monday, 1 August 2011

Flash story A Good Drying Day has been bought by Every Day Fiction and should be appearing some time in August or September.

Sometimes writing is easy. I was hanging out the washing the other week - as you do - and it was sunny and windy at the same time and thought to myself, well, this is a good drying day. And then this story popped into my head. So I wrote it down and sent it off.

The lesson : even mundane domestic chores can be a source of inspiration! "Writing" is something that goes on all the time, not just when you're sitting down at the keyboard.

As I've said before EDF are an impressive market. They provide a whole bunch of editorial feedback in response to submissions. I reproduce mine here as it's very illuminating, although, beware, it also CONTAINS SPOILERS. But it's fascinating to see how different people react differently to stories, and also to see how little things can make the difference between acceptance and rejection :

By the time the woman is pulling clean clothes out of drawers, I could feel something was going on. The build-up is sublime, the simple sounds of an industrious house belying the loss this woman feels. While stories like this (doing things like serving food and doing laundry for a lost family) can often seem creepy when we find out the truth, I didn't get that feeling here. That's because the woman knows what she is doing. She is dealing. She isn't completely in la-la land nor is she letting this shut her down. She is existing in that hard-to-describe limbo of trying to get on with her life amidst horrible, unimaginable tragedy. My main issue here is that the story only has the one turn, the one main reveal. The prose is understatedly masterful, the theme is strong, and the mother's loss is well portrayed. But some readers may see it as a bit of a one-note song, that's why I am somewhat on the fence about this piece.

Wow. This brought tears to my eyes. My favourite line was the ticking iron tutting at her inactivity- a perfect symbol for the silent admonishment to herself because she knew it was actually the pointless activity of doing the laundering which was worthy of her matronly self-scolding. I clearly visualised her need and felt her pain as she tried to hang on and let go at the same time.

I think this will be a real winner for readers who have suffered a deep loss. Perfect title too. Excellent.

I lean toward "yes" on this one. My reservations stem from our having seen--and published--similar stories of coping, including a plot that leaves the reader in the dark about what is going on until the situation is revealed at the end.

The concept of denying death by continuing to act as though the loved one(s) still lived is not a new one, but the prose is well enough crafted here that I'm willing to give this a chance.


  1. Aha!! I know to read your posts when I leave a comment cos your red background drowns out your words! LOL! Or is it just my pc! Oh well!

    OH what great feedback!! Thanks for sharing it here. I'm really impressed with this critique. Well done you too for selling your story!!! I must go and check their site now! Thanks! Take care

  2. Old Kitty,


    It should be a white background with red borders though. How odd. Do you mind me asking what web browser you're using?

  3. Old Kitty,

    Oh, wait! I think you're using Internet Explorer 8. Just tested my blog and it does, indeed, appear all red in IE8. Eek. Will fix. Works fine in Firefox ...

    Thanks for mentioning it. Wonder how long it's been like that?!

  4. Blog update : red background in Internet Explorer now fixed!

  5. I love the title of the story, too! EDF is a great site and I especially like how you not only get the comments from the editors but also from the readers. It's always fascinating to me to see how people not only respond to the work but also how they interpret it.

  6. Thanks Madeline,

    Yes, the reader-feedback is great, although somewhat scary!

  7. Can't wait to read this one; and EDF is consistently superb w/ their editorial feedback. Sometimes I think I should send them my flash pieces just for the critiques!

  8. Milo,

    Yes, it's amazing how much work they must put into it.

  9. Congratulations on the acceptance and the amazing feedback!

  10. Ooh, I saw your name on the list for this month. I made it in too (my first EDF story in forever). Looking forward to reading yours.

  11. Thanks, Cate, and many congratulations on yours.


I'd love to know what you think.