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, 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.