Things that didn’t kill us

July 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm (Uncategorized)

You buy your first stilettos, four inches high and fire engine red. You can’t quite strut in them yet, but you will. You’re down to three pills a day.

”The December of Red and Honey’

The first time I read a story of mine at a book launch, I was told my voice barely quavered. I’m still not quite sure about that.

I walked into Collective Works bookstore in 2008 supported by five friends, and a liberal dash of whiskey in my long black. I’m essentially a quiet person but it seems I have an unerring ability, when it counts, to summon my inner swagger. Thank god for that, hey? I remember striding up to the editors and introducing myself, curling up cross-legged to read and getting through the whole story without stumbling.

Afterward, I chatted to members of the audience and blushed thirteen shades of red when someone asked where they could read more of my work. Then I went to Hell’s Kitchen with the editors and drank whiskey and tried to keep my eyes from widening when they asked about my novel. And I went home and placed the spine in my bookshelf, so carefully, and wondered whether others would take their place next to it.

I have a special place in my heart for Paroxysm Press, and all their inky wonder.

So I’m very happy to announce that the anthology my story was in, Ten Years of Things That Didn’t Kill Us, is now available as an e-book. You should definitely take a look at their website and spend some time checking out their offerings; it’s hard to find people more dedicated to the art of spilling ink.

Two more spines to mention: a short story of mine, Counting Red, has just won the open division of NMIT’s short story competition, and has been published in their Time To Write anthology. You can download it as a free e-book, or get your hands on the old school paper version.

Also, another story, How Beautiful It Is, When Everyone Sings,  is about to be published in Deakin Uni’s literary journal, Verandah. Much as I’d love to test out my reading voice at the launch next month, I’ll be in New Orleans, dipping into crawfish gumbo just around the corner from where Tennessee Williams wrote A Streetcar Named Desire.

Pretty sure I’m going to get a story out of that.


  1. Matthew Dalton said,

    Your determination is an inspiration, Bell.

    I’ve no doubt that your success so far is but a foretaste of things to come.

    America! America!, that great teller of stories; she is not one to whisper.

    • inkymouth said,

      Ah, but I don’t mention the rejections I get, Matthew…though they do seem to sting less and less, thankfully. I’m going to submit another five before I head off to Louisiana…send my stories off travelling too 🙂

      Thank you for your lovely words; you know how I appreciate them.

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