Blog of Oonah V Joslin -- please visit my Parallel Oonahverse at WordPress

where I post stories and poems that have not been seen elsewhere - also recipes and various other stuff.

and see me At the Cumberland Arms 2011

Monday, 29 December 2008

My Micro Horror winner at Hermitosis

Tom is running all the winners and he just let me know this is up. I reread it and do you know, I thought to myself - did I really write that? It's good! :)

Thursday, 25 December 2008

October oversight

October 2008 Links

It would appear that I was so busy trying to win the Micro Horror prize that I omitted to put my October links onto the site! I did win! So not time wasted but EDP launched November too so I was fairly distracted what with one thing and another. Anyway, here they are and I hope you will enjoy a retrospective read :)
A Horror of Horrors (short story)
You Must Remember This - a worm's eye view of life and love.
The Book for my nephew, Robert McCosh.
Untitled Poem
A Brief Encounter
The Magic Hour

My Micro Horror Marathon
Having won the Micro Horror Trophy last year, I decided to set myself the challenge of entering 6 stories for the competition this year ranging in length thus: 666, 555, 444, 333, 222, 111 words. I did it! Quite a marathon! Links to follow but some are up already - go and see them.

End Game was my non competition piece for October.

Sole Survivor
Sleep Tight
Oh, for a friendly face
Name of the Beast
Duplicitous Creatures
And watch that space – who knows…
and if you would like to read an interview with Micro Horror’s Editor, Nathan Rosen go to:

Monday, 22 December 2008

BwS Quarterly Review

I'm extremely proud to be included yet again by the editors in their Quarterly showcase. It's a great honour. Iam glad to see my friend Mark Dalligan there too. But really we are in such great company, I suggest you read the entire issue.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Every Day Poets & Every Day Fiction

Here is a link to the Editorial and Contents page of EDP

Please pay us a visit or sign up to get a poem delivered daily to your e-mail.

And a message from EDF
We’ve finally done it! The anthology is in print and ready for ordering! Click here to order:

We have prepared two versions of the anthology, a hardcover gift edition and a trade paperback edition, to offer readers a choice of price point and format:
· ISBN 978-0-9810584-0-5 The Best of Every Day Fiction 2008 – 292 pages, clothbound gift edition w/ dustjacket – retail price: $28.95 USD • $34.95 CDN • £18.95 GBP • €26.95 EUR
· ISBN 978-0-9810584-1-2 The Best of Every Day Fiction 2008 – 292 pages, trade paperback – retail price: $15.95 USD • $18.95 CDN • £10.95 GBP • €26.95 EUR

Since I have 4 stories in that anthology, I would be delighted if you all clicked that order button. It's full of great writing you'll want to read again and again. It would also make a wonderful Christmas present!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

The White Road

A good Christmas book gift idea from me: The White Road by Tania Hershman You can get details about Tania and her book from her site:

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

December Links

I am in this anthology with friends Avis Hickman-Gibb, Bill West and Sarah Hilary.

The Canary Murder Case was written for the guidelines and it was an interesting challenge.
Suspicion was adapted to this challenge but written some time ago.
Pit Stop is a nice little humourous Sci Fi Christmas treat.
Chaos and Light - family - it's what Christmas is about ;)
The Santa Suit is up at Micro Horror. What's it got in its pocketses?
A Matter of Taste is at Big Toe Review. Christmas is a time of traditions.
Magical Thinking examines thought itself and even scepticism, in a rather sceptical way.
Song of the Winter Earth it's short.

Leonard Cohen at last

I've been a fan for nearly 40 years and at last got to see Leonard Cohen at the MEN Arena in Manchester on Sunday evening. The standing ovations that we gave him were nothing. He gave himself totally to every moment of performance and every nuance of every song and he gave generous mention to every one of his team of musicians, technicians and roadies. Did I say performance? I don't think it was a performance as such - it was Leonard Cohen as honest and human as he has always been which is why he has drawn so many to him, young and old over these many years.

Hello to Sharon and Yiar (hope I spelt that correctly) who'd come all the way from Israel and with whom we shared a taxi and now our memories too.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Micro Horror Winner again

The Final Chapter by Oonah V Joslin is a superb little flash of one of millions of possible far-distant futures, and we were captivated by the lush descriptions of the bio-technological creatures crawling up from the depths. It tasted very much of classic sci-fi novels with their technological marvels rising up over the sunken, destroyed wreckage of human civilisation in a desolate, lonely and dystopian future of the kind that normal people dread to think about as a possible reality.

Sarah Clarke

Check out the story and what the prize will be - links to Sarah Clarke's art work etc here

I could not be more delighted.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

November News

4 of my Stories are to appear in the Every Day Fiction Anthology:
The Heron, Synergy, Conscious Decision and Resolution.

A Wild Night is to appear in the Print Issue of Short Story Library.

Congratulations to John Ritchie, Avis Hickman-Gibb, Sarah Hilary, Tania Hersheman, Nick Ozment and Jennifer Whalmsley, who also got in to one or the other and to the many I have no room to mention here.

Monday, 3 November 2008

November Links

First of all, don't forget to visit which is now offering a poem a day. A great variety of poems to move and entertain you. Leave our authors a comment and vote for your favourite poems.

And here are some offerings from me.

Time Travelling is a fictional memoir - a kind of pastiche of jouneys undertaken throughout England and Wales over the past 30 years, the amusing, the frustrating, the disappointing. The passage of time and change in attitudes as seen through the lens of that interfcae with reality we euphemistically call leisure. The only true way to relax, I have always found, is to stay at home.
My great friend, Jennifer Whalmsley has her Flash Death by Numbers in the same issue - so check it out. And Pamela from Shine is in there too. Very good Pam.
Dance is based on the ballet Dracula as created by Denis Malenkine for The NBT. The poster is therefore real and resides in my bedroom. This ballet will never be forgotten by anyone who was lucky enough to see it.
Sleight of Hand at EDF htis month is a spooky tlae with Edwardian charm which I really enjoyed writing :)
My response to the economic MESS is Going with the Flow at The Pygmy Giant
People sometimes say they don't understand those poems that don't rhyme and have no rhythm and how can they be poems? Here is an ex-planation - of sorts. You Asked Me - right, Jennifer? :)
A final Creature Feature in Micro Horror
Two stories in Static Movement with similar theme.
A funny story with a serious point in BwS.
3 poems in Shine.
And I took the Halloween slot in Pygmy Giant! ;)

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Every Day Poets

Will launch on Nov 1st at

Submit A Poem!
"A new poem every day"

We need Xmas Poems too :)

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

October Links

Having won the Micro Horror Trophy last year, I decided to set myself the challenge of entering 6 stories for the competition this year ranging in length thus: 666, 555, 444, 333, 222, 111 words. I did it! Quite a marathon! Links to follow but some are up already - go and see them.
The Titles are:
End Game (not for the contest but very halloween)
Sole Survivor
Sleep Tight
(My personal favourite)
Oh for a friendly Face
Duplicitous Creatures
Name of the Beast
GENESTARE (anagram title)
Titration of the Spirit ( a drabble of metaphisical proportions)

You might like to know more about Micro Horror's editor, Nathan Rosen, who is not horrible at all but somewhat human...sorry Black Dog Nate - it had to be said :) Here's the link to an interview with him:

A Horror of Horrors is one of my longer stories and it is now up at Demon Minds my first time in that publication.

You Must Remember This is at Every Day Fiction this month and it's one of my favourites. It made me laugh writing it and it makes me laugh reading it. Unapologetically very silly indeed :)

The Book is at
My nephew Robert will perhaps recognise that this story is for him.

The Poem in Shine is untitled but you'll not need a title for this one.

Halloween is a tongue in cheek ghost story.
Look out for Avis, Fionnula, Mark Dalligan and Sarah Ann Watts too - Well done, Writewords buddies.

A Brief Encounter is up for your entertainment. I hope it amuses you.

End Game see if you can guess what John is up to.

Here's one I forgot to post: The Magic Hour

Monday, 29 September 2008

Bewildering Stories' Quarterly Review

4th in a row! I am stunned. Thank you to the editors for choosing What Boundaries. I hope anyone who missed it first time round, will read it now. It is a prose poem - a response to the rise in knife crimes in the UK.

Look for Sarah Ann Watts too. She's a Writewords pal and a very good writer. Congrats Sarah.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Oonahversal View

For many years now capitalism has run wild. Back in the fifties we used to save up for the things we wanted. People have been encouraged into debt to make big bonusses for those at the top. If the company fails - the bosses still get the big bonusses. The incentives to greed are everywhere and they lead to cheating and lies. We're all living on wealth nobody is creating in any manufacturing base. It is therefore illusory. Shifting funds around electronically has merely enhanced the number of ways problems could be swept under the carpet.

The real tragedy is, Mr Average and his wife believed the dream and bought the HumVe - believed they were in safe hands. And what is truly disturbing is, that the melt down of this capitalist tissue of lies should be dramatised by a president in such apocalyptic terms, because that is just a way of shifting the stink to God or Fate.

As in the old Eden story, nobody wants to take responsiblity - admit the lie. I very much fear that instead of finding a solution, the powers that be will cover up the tracks with a greater lie: "It's okay now folks...back to business as usual."

Communism doesn't work either of course. What we need is a new vision where resources are more equitably distributed throughout the world and we all work as humanity to solve the problems that face us in global terms.

Now do I have your vote? Or is my Star Trek showing?

Oonah's 11

11 pieces in e-zines in one month - that is! A new record. Please scroll down to September's Links, visit the links and leave comments/vote where possible.
You'll also find information about my motivation in writing these pieces.

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Every Day Poets

One of our contributors said:

"The personal comments from you C & N are like bits of poetic gold a writer can hoard away for a rainy day. They are valuable!"

It is our hope at EDP that even if your work is not accepted, we may provide constructive ideas wherever possible from the feedback we provide. That has been a mark of Every Day Fiction and we follow in the family tradition.

Thank you R for your generous comment.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Bewildering Stories 307 Response for The Last Laugh

“The Skeleton told all the flesh off its bones.” In challenge 307, Don Webb asks for an explication of 'told' in that line.

One has first to go back to the original artwork, displayed alongside the poem. It was entitled, “Have you heard the one about…” That in itself is enough to suggest a reason for using the word ‘told’. From that title one can deduce that the book may be a joke book and that would explain the skeleton’s grin and that rat’s wrapped attention.

But if we go beyond that, don’t all skeletons grin? How long had this one been reading the book and is it really a book of jokes or is it the book of Life. Death has the last laugh because the book is empty. The skeleton has no story left to tell. The corpse has decayed to the point where there are only bones and eyeballs. The eyeballs can still read but the book appears to have no words in it.

The skeleton finished the book long ago and has had to make up his own stories for a long time to keep that rat entertained. The word ‘told’ is in the active voice. This is a deliberate activity. Perhaps he thinks he has fooled the rat or that the rat is actually his friend. At any rate the rat is his sole companion, and he the rat’s. To be sitting there locked in this battle against time, with a companion who would gnaw on your bones is a cruel joke.

Tolled can also be implied in reading aloud, as the skeleton does. The slow relentless passage of time marked out at a steady pace. He tolled the skin off his bones, in minutes, hours, days…

In this scenario, death has not quite had the last laugh. The last laugh is still to come. There are two other players here, the rat who will stay alive if he can still find food and the skeleton whose eyeballs have saved him thus far. Of course if he stops telling, the rat will eat his eyeballs and then the rat too will starve.

There is irony in the word told. It is right at the beginning of the poem but is already past tense. There is no hope for either of them. Death will at last have the last laugh - for every tale like every tail must come to an end.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

OONAHVERSE celebration

On Big Bang day I have notched up my 100th acceptance! I have to say I'm just a wee tiny bit over the moon about that. Of course like all writers, I hope tomorrow it will be 101 and I'm still working on the book. But I'm thrilled.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

September's Links with Comments

Micro Horror took my September piece Worker. An aptly titled story whose protagonist is named after myself which tips a hat to what happens in the story too. The horror of the everyday is within and if we carry our prejudices with us to the grave, woe betide us.

From Crazy Diamond to Borrowed Light was written about a friend. He called me a crazy diamond and the thought was born that without the light shed into my life by such friends as John, I would never have shone at anything. Thank you to all those family members, teachers, preachers, friends and editors for illuminating my path.

Lesson in Wood is one of those pieces written as a flash challenge. But the little tree is real enough. I can see it from where I sit writing.

I came 4th in the Doorknobs and Body Paint Dorsal Contest and so got published. This si a stream of consciousness piece of which I am rather proud. The theme was Heat.
My friends Avis Hickman-Gibb and John Ritchie were also placed in the top ten in that contest so please read their entires too.

Closer to the Truth is a favourite of mine. I like the moral and the way it links human kind and the stories we tell to make sense of everything, to the universe but ina very personal way. And Mary was based on a real patient whom I caught just standing behind me in the garden of our home in the grounds of a Psychiatric Hospital one day. She looked so forlorn. I longed to know her story but of course she couldn't tell me and they came and took her back to the ward. This one was for Mary - who is important too.
Jason Stout said: Hi Oonah - My comments always end up in EDF's spam filter - so wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your story. It was one of the best on EDF in a good long time. Sweet and endearing and touching.Good luck with EDP Jason

Thank you Jason. I'm delighted you liked it so very much.

Short Story has a challenge piece of mine. Headline is just for fun.

Celestial Sunflower is a response to the NASA photo Don has attached as a link. Quite an astounding image. Of course the ressemblance to a sunflower is purely within the mind - that is how we make sense of our universe. It was fun to play with that thought in words and of course the final lines expose the fact that I knew I was doing that by being deliberately humourous, a bit glib. If anything out there ressembles me, it is only because I can think it - like the bend of the thames by the Isle of Dogs looks like madonna and child. Perception is what our universe is made of.
My friend Nik Perring has a story in too and John Stocks poetry is impressive as always.

Universal Language is a drabble at Boston Literary Magazine. This one was a forum challenge too - on the subject of mathematics.

Freeze is an unusual piece. I was looking at the clock and I imagined that if that red hand froze, I would be able to step out of time and that people would be in frozen for me in the monent. That some would be talking, or on the toilet or otherwise caught in the act of...dying...last breath...infinite probabilities as to what happened next - like Schrodinger's cat.

The Last Laugh How could I resist writing about such an intriguing image? It has a cruel finality to it. I have no idea whether the artist likes the words I put to her pictures. It is difficult to add to such superb artwork but I hope at least I don't detract from it. The only thing I can say is that each poem I write about her work is sincerely meant as a compliment.

The Rain The Editor said:"Hi Oonah
The Rain is now up on IS&T - and the first 3 stanzas seem to reflect the current state of the global economy."
This was written from a nightmare I had years ago but it never left me. Mother Shipton eat your heart out, I'd say, eh? If the rest comes true we can expect the horsemen at The Angel of the North any time now. When I had the dream it was definitely about that hill but I don't think the Angel was there at the time - just the sweeping view away to the west.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Every Day Poets

About Every Day Poets
Every Day Poets is a magazine that specializes in bringing you fine, short poetry.
Starting on 1st November 2008, Every day at 12:01am Pacific Time (8am GMT), we will be publishing a new poem of up to 60 lines/500 words or fewer that can be read during your lunch hour, on transit, or even over breakfast.
Feel free to browse around the site, check out our archives as they grow, or even sign up to receive a poem in your inbox... every day!
And if you are a poet, why not send us your best work? We are open for submissions now.
Oonah V Joslin (Managing Editor)

Monday, 25 August 2008

I came 3rd runner up

in the Doorknobs and BodyPaint's Dorsal competition and that means I get published there. I'll put the link up in a few days.

Happily two of my friends, John Ritchie and Avis Hickman-Gibb, also got into the top ten in that competition and I offer them my congratulations too.

Monday, 18 August 2008

August Links

Here they all are.

Faith Charity and Hope - Humour

Best Laid Plans – Horror (is also at Micro Horror)

The Shark’s Tooth – spoof sci-fi

Vanishing Point – Creative non-fiction at The Linnet’s Wings

Confession – Humour at EDF

What Boundaries - This one I deliberately smudged into a prose poem. It started as a flash but there was no plot… so like The Rain (which will be up at Ink Sweat and Tears soon) I took it that step in style further.

Also my story Trap has been selected for the Short Humour Anthology, A Man of a Few More Words. So if you didn’t read it online – buy the Issue at when it comes out.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Short Humour

Faith Charity and Hope has just gone up at Short Humour. Brian said:
Hi Oonah,

Many thanks for 'Faith Charity and Hope'. I particularly liked that one.

I have to say - so do I. I hope you will too.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Double Exposure

My story Trap has been chosen to appear in A Man of a Few more Words - the Short Humour print anthology. I am of course delighted.
Also Bill West and Avis Hickman-Gibb are also to appear there. Well done you both!

To be chosen as a favourite of someone's is always flattering. And Best Laid Plans has been put onto this site:
as well as Micro Horror.
I'm kicking off this feature with Oonah V. Joslin's excellent story, equal parts impact and economy:
"Best Laid Plans"
Thank you Tom.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

August Links Continued

This link takes you to Static Movement's Index page where you will find a link to my story The Shark's Tooth
I was delighted to see this illustrated by Lee Kuruganti, who does such amazing artwork for Static's cover each month. That shark is perfection!
But you will also see stories by Avis Hickman-Gibb, Mark Dalligan and Pamela Tyree Griffin, editor of The Shine Journal. Check out the whole Issue. It's invariably worth it.

My Micro Horror story this month has just gone live - or maybe not... Nip over and leave a comment.

August is a popular month for weddings. We just celebrated our 28th anniversary.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

The Newton House Hotel and La Bella Sicilia

If you are thinking of passing through Knaresborough in Yorkshire, DON'T. Go and stay there instead!

The Newton House (tele: 01423 863599) is run by friendly people and is a lovely place to stay with great facilities and an amazing breakfast menu. I'm not easily amazed at breakfast, believe me.

La Bella Sicilia is a Restaurant in the market Square - Castlegate. tele:01423 869918 to book. What's not to like? But their lemon icecream flute with Italian Lemon Liquer is for the tart at heart like me.

The town itself offers splendid walks and spectacular views and is close to so many other places of interest. Go there!

Saturday, 2 August 2008

August Links and comments

Vanishing Point was written as a flash challenge but it is creative non-fiction really and so it is categorised in The Linnet's Wings. I have a real horror of spiral staircases.

Don Webb of BwS passed on a message from a reader which I very much appreciate - especially since the person who made the comment knew Ludek. I'm thrilled! Thank you Jindra.

Date: July 28, 2008 7:22:33 PM EDT (CA)
Cc: "Wojciech Jacobson" <>
Subject: Ludek
from Jindra:
Ta báseň me úplně dostala, už si ji čtu půl hodiny. Jako bych doopravdy viděl Ludka

That poem has knocked me down, I am reading it already for half an hour. Indeed, as I would catch sight of Ludek.

Jindra Kuchejda is a Czech yachtsman who skippered the yacht "Victoria" during her circumnavigation in years 1999-2004. The Victoria was a sort of replica of Magellans vessel. Jndra knew Ludek. Last Sunday he read the poem on the site of Bewilderingstories.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Bewildering Stories

This week Ludek's Dawn is up in Bewildering Stories. It was inspired by Wojtek Jacobson's photo Sunrise beyond Belot Strait, also appearing alongside. Do go and read it.

Don Webb, the editor of BwS said: You have the right idea about poetry, but other contributors -- with the notable exception of those from Britain and Ireland -- seem to think that poetry should be either prose with line breaks or else some incomprehensible balderdash. Thank heaven for you and John Stocks and Doug Pugh.

I love the work of both these writers and I am so happy to have been compared favourably with them.

The photograph is from, My name is Ludomir/ mam na imie Ludomir by Maciej Krzeptowski and Wojciech Jacobson and is in Polish and English.

Ludomir Maczka was a geologist and master yachtsman and explorer who led an exceptional life which I have been privileged to touch, through his friends.

I'm off on holiday now... Lucky me!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

July Links

Every Day Fiction has published Division this month. It's another of my very short flashes. Virginia Diaz said: See now, that is a superb juxtaposition- the dead flowers falling from the Bible and the picture of the lost twin in the same book. Who knew you could put foreshadowing into a piece that compact? Very nice.

Thank you Virginia! Flash is like poetry. You have to choose each word and image carefully. There's no room for exploring feelings so you have to take short cuts that the reader will easily follow. This one is full of those. Bible, wreathed, cut photograph, death...even the title is a clue.

I have just been notified by Don Webb of Bewildering Stories that two of my pieces, Blast and Exposure are in the 2nd quarterly Review. This means I have made it into 3 Quarterlies in a row! I am delighted.

My friends, Avis, Sarah Hilary and Bill West are also there. Well done to all three of you.

Spike is a poem I wrote in a flash forum. Pike? I thunk...What can I possibly have to say about pike? Well, there you go!

Wild Night is based on an actual incident when our cat was a kitten. No I don't know how the rabbit got up the stairs and into the bedroom. But there you go!

July is the Time for Jelly - well this might not be the jelly you had in mind...Micro Horror Jelly...

A Tribute to her Beauty was written in the week Benazir Bhutto died. To that extent it is a flash poem - quickly written and relatively unrevised. I like to do that sometimes. It's more honest.
A friend of mine in writewords commented:
And thank you for writing that poem about Benazier Bhutto. It is very moving, and I think it was something important that needed to be said. Robin

Thursday, 26 June 2008

John Ritchie

My friend and mentor,
John Ritchie
is having his playlet,
A tense situation
performed at a
Theatre Festival in Cambridge
on the evening of
July 10th.
This being John's first venture into the theatrical world,
break a leg, mate!

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Summery or Links

It's a PUN! summery - get it? Too much Data - Mr Data that is... his type of joke :)

Here are all the June links together. Added here are Missy's Summer in EDF which even brings a tear to my eye... and 5 poems in The Ranfurly Review. I was very proud to get all 5 in. I don't have a favourite.

Room for the Living is a memory from when I was 7/8 (1962 my sister tells me).
In Yellow Brick Road to Ruin, Agnes was taken from a sermon preached by Pastor George Blaney who was a very good and humourous man and an inspiration in his life and work.
Grandma's Glove is taken from a real photograph.
Tryst was a windy day on the beach at Cresswell in Northumberland.
The Last Book came from a Summer job in the library when we had to burn books - literally - and I didn't want to.

I do hope you enjoy reading them.

Oh, here's my favourite comment on this story :
Comment by M.Sherlock
2008-06-22 14:14:54
You know i read the whole thing not realising this was a piece by oonah. So when i say that this story is brilliant…im reading the story, not the name. I was quite surprised to see oonahs biography at the bottom.
Reply to this comment

-->Comment by Oonah V Joslin
2008-06-22 16:06:08
I’m not quite sure how to take that… Thank you… I think… It says me name at the top…
Nice to know I can write a good story without actually being me… or something…
Maybe I’ll go and have a wee lie down!
…I keep telling people I’m eclectic but they’re not familiar with that part of the Oonahverse

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Boston Literary Magazine

I am very proud to be in Boston Literary Mag twice this month. I like both pieces. If you look at my post about Shine poetry competition earlier this month, you'll find ny first ever poem. I wonder whether you can spot certain... connections with this drabble? ;)

Avis Hickman Gibb's work is also in this month's. She has three. Do read them. Avis is a great friend of mine and I like to promote the work of good friends... who are also good writers...

Monday, 9 June 2008

Casino at Bewildering Stories and Binnacle News

Price /Cost /Value

What would you gamble with?

Casino -

I got a story shortlisted in the Binnacle Contest. It's listed in the top 100.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Micro Horror

Well I said I'd try and here it is - Above Nature. It's a drabble; only 100 words to tell the story and in this case make a point which my friend Mark Dalligan appreciated. He left a comment. You can read one of Mark's stories too right along side mine. Good one Mark :)

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Links to my work

Static Movement is a great magazine, as I've said before and this month it is carrying a little story called The Centoccules. Never heard of Centoccules? Well get over there and read about them.

Actually I like this one because it has a humourous ending but it is making a couple of serious points and I like to make people laugh and then think - hey, hang on a minute - that means that... Also to do that in so few words takes effort - don't believe me? Try it!

I hope I succeed in doing that here.

To follow this month:
The Ranfurly Review - 5 poems
Bewildering Stories - Flash Fiction
The Boston Literary Review - Flash Fiction
The Shine Journal - a poem
Micro Horror - if I can get one in... :)
and who knows what else I may come up with. Watch this surface!

You can also read stories by my friends Mark Dalligan and Avis Hickman Gibb at Static Movement this month.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Flaming June?

Flaming typical! Rain, rain, rain... Great Uriah Heap song that!

It was nice of Irene and Nik to pop in and say hello. Much appreciated you two, thanks X

So, The Shine Journal has posted the winners of its Poetry Contest here:
and an interview with the judges here:

One of the Questions asked me was about: The first thing I wrote.
I was in year seven and we were asked to write a poem or a story about autumn. I wrote a poem called “The Scarecrow” (embarrassingly simplistic) and did a drawing. Mr. Linton put it on the wall. I was so proud. You can see it below - unembellished - just remember I was 11!

As a judge, I was delighted to be able to put a name to the people who wrote those poems. I am prepared to reveal that I was even more delighted when I found the winner was male.

Mark Wacome Stevick, you are one hell of a poet and my hat is off to you, Sir. I wish I had written 'After Shunning'.

That said, the others were worthy winners too and I was also especially fond of the runner up, 'Red Hot Magma Falling Up'. I will put a link to that one as well and I look forward to seeing who wrote it. I have a few notes on that one that I will put up too. It was not an easy poem, but worth proper examination and very exciting.

The Scarecrow

Silently he stands and watches
o're the corn 'til it is ripe.
Every day he stands there
with his turnip head and corn cob pipe,

his shabby trousers torn and patched,
and then the patches torn and patched,
and not even a bit of them matched.

A masterpiece, eh? Thanks Mr. Linton :)

I'll be back with links to that and my own work online later in the week, hopefully. ttfn

Friday, 30 May 2008

In Smokelong Quarterly

I sent a 50 word definition and guess what?

Dear Oonah V Joslin:Thank you for your submission of "Definition - Flash" to SmokeLong Quarterly. We have added it to "The Definitive Flash" article. We so appreciate your input and insight, Oonah.Best,Randall BrownSmokeLong Quarterly

Let me just read that again :)
and again :)
and again :)

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

A Fashion Statement

"Trap" has been looking for a home for some time. I wrote it in response to a challenge in my writer's forum and everybody thought it was funny but it wasn't getting any response from editors. I find 'funny' difficult to place but never mind...Brian Huggett thought it was 'great fun!' and gave it a home in Short Humour. So thank you Brian :)

I would like to point out that no snails were harmed in the writing of this piece.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Late in May

Marrying Maud was sewn together from my sister's nightmares. She insisted the woman was called Maud. I like it. It's gothically gruesome and those ducks!! Makes you glad of your own nightmares. I just hope I did her's justice.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

EDF and Bewlidering Stories 2nd & 3rd May 08

The Heron is on EDF today. This was a flash challenge piece for August '07. Jordan and Camille said "This author has really found her voice." - lovely compliment. Reading it again now that was probably true to some extent. A lot of my work does sound like this piece but I seem to be fairly eclectic and sometimes I even surprise myself. I like this one.

I was delighted to find that other people did too and I have put one of the very special comments I received below.

But I love the next one! Exposure started off with the title Stealer of Souls and Xselian, the name means exhalation, is a nasty piece of work although I do not think of him as Satan...just as one of Satan's co-workers. Anyone in fact, be they boss, politician...who follows that Game Theory ethos where people are expendable and everything is quantifiable.

Have you ever been called a 'sticking plaster'? I have. By a boss. I told 'em where to stick it.

This one is for all you human beings out there. The people who aren't for sale.
Comment from EDF: When I read words that make poetic imagery become music, I know there is a God. Thank you, Ms. Joslin, for a moment of transcendence. Lynn Hesse

Thursday, 1 May 2008

May in Static Movement

Rex is up in Static Movement today.

This one should please all doggy lovers. The dedication is to my sister's dog - a faithful and sweet natured friend, who left us last month. But in writng Rex, I was thinking of all the many canine friends that have enriched my life since childhood and still do today. Chris Batholomew, the editor, kindly asked John Stanton to contribute a piece of artwork to go along with the story and I was delighted with it - thank you John.

If this brings a tear to your eye, I make no apology, it brought a tear to mine too...

My good friend Avis also has a flash in the May edition and Colin Galbraith, editor of the Ranfurly Review, wrote a fascinating graveyard tale - well worth reading.

As ever Static Movement has a great mix of reading for you to enjoy.

Monday, 21 April 2008

About my work this April

Online this month was a mixture of poetry, flash and memoir. It represents a fair cross section of what I write and I hope you will enjoy reading them.

Lit Bits – Playa Paradiso - a poignant look at the costa geriatrica

The Linnet’s Wings – The Stuff of Life and Champ - creation to comfort food.

The Pygmy Giant – Devil Island Discs - the devil gets all the best tunes

Back Hand Stories - Retreat - a Zen look at life and death

Micro Horror - www - nuff said!

Bewildering Stories – The Mission and Blast - Dona Nobis Pacem

Static Movement - Links - just for laughs

Every Day Fiction – The Wisdom of Alcuin - a little alchemy of my own :)

Friday, 18 April 2008

Twisted Tongue - tarnished surface

I have two pithy poems here - not Shine material, definitely, and both have gone through years of editing because they were hard to write.

Matricide (issue 8)
Image In (9) and my name is on the cover! :) That was great.

Available on line in pdf format.

Static Movement

These are some of my favourites. Static Movement is a consistently good read every month. Chris Bartholomew is another very encouraging editor and I like to send stuff there.

'Beyond Belief' is a poem I wrote maybe twenty years ago but it had been lying around in a notebook. At last it found a home. These others are all flashes and most were written for the challenges in my writewords forum.

The Dispensary
On Angel’s Wings
The Warmth at the Heart of Winter
Faery Gold (written especially for the March edition so I'm glad it got in)
Rex (is up in May - for all dog lovers)

One of my sisters phoned to say that On Angel's Wings was beautiful and that all the family loved it. Do you know, that pleased me as much as winning another trophy! I think Rex might just rival it...we'll see.

I hope you like it too.

The Shine Journal - Polishing the surface

All my work in Shine is poetry. I started writing poetry at school. My first poem went on the classroom wall and I had poems published in The Braid, the magazine of Ballymena Academy from 1968 - 1973. I owe everything to the teachers who encourged me at that school, particularly Trevor Halliday and Anne Simpson who taught me to appreciate everything from Rabelais and Chaucer to Jacques Brel and T.S.Eliot and who put up with me. Bless them!

Writing a poem can take me minutes or years. My favourite one here, Take Time, took a few months before all the revisions were done.

I was delighted when Pamela, the editor invited me to be one of the judges in the first Shine Poetry Competition taking place this month. It is a real privilege to read what other people have written. And now I know some of what editors do - an insight into the other side of things. Thank you Pamela :)
Room for God
The Photograph
The Crab
Hats Off
Death of a Modem Driver
Take Time
Leaving Home

Micro Horror - Horrors Surface :)

The strangest thing about writing is that I am often surprised by what I write. They asked me on my interview in EDF what people should expect of a story carrying my by-line. I like to make people think. I love it if I can make them laugh. If I can send a chill up their spine I like that too.

I never had any intention of writing horror. I scare easily. Then a few of my writewords Flash Fiction pals entered the Halloween Drabble contest in Micro Horror and for the sake of competition I wrote 5 drabbles and submitted them. Imagine their Horror when I won! No, actually Flash Master extraordinaire, Bill West e-mailed me with the news and I was completely taken by surprise - had to check - went to Micro Horror and there it was.

The prize is a gravestone shaped black trophy with my story Autumn Fruits, lasered on and it came with a personal letter from Nathan Rosen, editor of the e-zine written in silver on black paper - a nice touch - a nice man. I framed that too.

You can see it on Nik Perring's blog. He's another nice man and check out his writing too.
Autumn Fruits * (Winner of the 2007 trophy)
The Escape
Name of the Ride
Ghost Writer
Sown on the Wind
Forty years on
The Doll’s House
Bitter Buds
The Way Home

Nathan wrote: Oonah. It's always a pleasure to get a submission from you.

Thanks, Nathan :) It's always a pleasure to have a story in Micro Horror.

Bewildering Stories

I was and always am very proud to have any poem or story accepted by Don Webb and Bill Bowler at BwS. My writewords friends told me they ran a tight ship and it's true. They expect the best and then they improve on it with their excellent editing and previewing procedures.

But more than that Bewildering Stories is a fabulous mixture of Literature and art and photography and science - yes science! NASA 's picture of the day can take you on a journey to the nebulae and on a spacewalk with the astronauts building the I.S.S. (see The Mission below) And if that doesn't tranport you try some Crystalwizardry! (see Ships below) and if that doesn't take you to another place, read some of the stories and memoirs. (See Trip to Tangier below)

You'll be back for more I promise.

To have had work chosen for the Quarterly Reviews (which showcases the best of BwS) was astounding - such an honour. And yes, of course that is part of why I write. Who doesn't want a prize?
Clear and Cold the Rising Moon
Trip to Tangier * (Made 1st Quarterly Review 2008)
The Milgram Hypothesis * (Made 1st Quarterly Review 2008)
Ships * (Made 4th Quarterly Review 2007)
Snoll and Books
The Mission

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Every Day Fiction - A place in time and space

I found a home in Every Day Fiction. They went on line in Sept 2007 and one of my favourite flashes is in that first edition. The Higg's Boson, unlike so many of my other flashes it was not written as a challenge.

Star Trek has a lot to answer for, you know - a lot of good things! I had been reading about particle physics. as we trekkies tend to do, and the work of CERN, when I came upon this fascinating particle hidden away in the field 'not zero' (which is a mathematical field) and I was hooked. It took months of reading and thinking and quite a few parcetamols to come up with that 100 words - showing what I at last understood the Higg's Boson to be. And they are looking for it right now!

Is it a flash? Or is it a prose poem? I treated the Higg's as a character so I'd call it a flash but it is deliberately poetic. Some people said it was way over their heads. Well the physics was way over mine too but I think we have to strive to understand these things. I think the effort yields its own rewards - always. My reward is to have written a piece I am proud of.

The Higgs Boson I hope you'll read it, like it, leave a comment.

Every Day Fiction has now accepted 12 flashes from me. They only print one story a day so that's one a month for a whole year. Jordan and Camille have been most encouraging. They give great feed-back and in their first year EDF came 9th in Preditors and Editors!

Other work in EDF:
Conscious Decision (Oct 07)
The Brave (Nov)
Resolution * (Dec) (most read)
Synergy (Jan 08)
Ruby with Sapphire eyes (Feb)
A wee drap o’ hospitality (Mar)
The Wisdom of Alcuin (Apr 08)
The Heron
Missy’s Summer
Closer to the Truth

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

About this site

Welcome to my site. I hope it will tell you a little about me and my writing. You can find links to all my work available on line at and go to links. What that will not tell you is why I write, how I write or which are my favourite pieces.

I hope I can also tell you about some the things that have happened along the way and post up some of the very nice things people have said about my work. And I hope that you will tell me if you liked something, or just say 'hello'.

I hope to promote the work of some good friends too so that you can link to their blogs too from here.