Lynne E Blackwood

Lynne E Blackwood is a mixed Indian-Scottish disabled author previously supported by the Arts Council. She is currently beneficiary of a The Literary Consultancy Chapter & Verse bursary for their mentoring scheme to complete a short story collection based on fictionalising her Anglo-Indian family history. Her poetry chapbook is ready for publication consideration. She is currently working on her second poetry and short story collections. Many of her stories and poems have been shortlisted, longlisted and highly commended. Publications include the following:

- "A Scattering of Blue Moons" [Anglo-Indian Short Story collection] Longlisted SI Leeds Prize

- “When She Breathes”, Highly Commended, Brighton Prize 2017 anthology

- “The Lesson in Dhansak”, Sable LitMag (2018)

- “Yekaterinaberg”, “Under a Cerulean Sky” in Filigree Poetry anthology, Peepal Tree Press, (2018)

- “Five”, Highly Commended, Leicester Writes Short Story Prize anthology, Dahlia Books

- “Cows and Lambs”, Shortlisted, Dividing Lines anthology, The Asian Writer Prize, Dahlia Books

-  “Clickety Click”, Closure, Contemporary Black British Short Stories, Peepal Tree Press, alongside well-established authors such as Fred d’Aguiar and Michelle Innis

- “Ghost Ship”, “Zell and the Golden Thread”, Portsmouth Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups

She has written a character-driven thriller set in the Republic of Georgia where she worked at the fall of the Soviet Union and her new, incomplete novel, “When Goats Come Home”, reached the finals of WriteNow Penguin Random House competition and is now nearing completion of the first draft. Her writing has been called, “brave”, “unique voice”, “incredibly talented” and “brilliant dialogues”.

Despite her “wheels”, Lynne loves using her reading talents to perform and engage with audiences and wishes she was offered more opportunities. Her flamenco on wheels exploits in Andalucia can be seen on the Youtube link below.

PS She apologises for lack of social media updates but less energy means prioritising her writing over all else – until she can afford tekkie support...

www.lynne-e-blackwood.com

@leblackwood

07769 720 736


South West (Wessex)



None as yet. Still hoping to find someone who likes my "Marmite" writing!

- “When She Breathes”, Highly Commended, Brighton Prize 2017 anthology

- “Yekaterinaberg”, “Under a Cerulean Sky” in Filigree Poetry anthology, Peepal Tree Press, (2018)

- “Five”, Highly Commended, Leicester Writes Short Story Prize anthology, Dahlia Books

- “Cows and Lambs”, Shortlisted, Dividing Lines anthology, The Asian Writer Prize, Dahlia Books

-  “Clickety Click”, Closure, Contemporary Black British Short Stories, Peepal Tree Press, alongside well-established authors such as Fred d’Aguiar and Michelle Innis

- “Ghost Ship”, “Zell and the Golden Thread”, Portsmouth Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups

 

Books, Poetry, Radio, Short story, Theatre

The low clickety-click of the faulty carriage clock continues its muffled sound as it has done for generations. It was The Mother’s pride and joy. The brass mechanism’s carcass, an ugly beast of veined marble and gilt towering on the mantelpiece for as long as Marge can remember. An inheritance from two Greater-than-Great maternal figures shrouded in a time when genteel families found gold and heavy drapes fashionable. No one ever knew why it made that noise. It just did, the anomaly accepted for decades even though carriage clocks were supposed to be silent. Not this one. It had arrived complete with a murmur as if it contained the sick heart of a ghost. Not one starched member of the upright family had sought an explanation. That would have entailed extracting miniature nuts and bolts, revealing delicate cogs not designed for disturbance. Generations had lacked courage to seek out the truth. That same fear as when confronted with the choice of having a tooth pulled at the dentist or to run. Family generations chose to retreat and accepted the annoying sound into their front room. Clickety-click it went, the brass balls turning in uneven rhythm to a silent saraband.

Uttering the word ‘balls’ always sent The Mother into an indignant rage. “You are a dreadful child,” she would scream. “I forbid you to say that. It is vulgar. Spheres, brass spheres, that’s what they are.”

A child now grown into woman remembers spheres synonymous with fears as The Mother harped constantly. “Discipline, discipline, that’s what you need in life.”

So discipline had fallen in that room as regularly as the clickety-click and circling brass, in the form of a heavily-perfumed hand on a child’s cheek, raising crimson blood and dusky bruises that filled the mouth with copper-tasting blood as teeth gouged the soft flesh inside. The overbearing clock on the mantelpiece was a fixture, a constant, a reminder, the clicks in time with The Mother’s moods. It had gleamed from industrious housewifely attention, along with the other souvenirs, knick-knacks and inherited objects cluttering space and bridging time.

Clickety-click and Marge turns slightly in her armchair to the empty one opposite, allowing an apprehensive gaze to at last confront the vision. Stained and faded chintz hold nothing tangible, no breath disturbs the air, no pulse of flaccid flesh, but she continues to see and feel its presence. The Mother had disciplined, controlled and bullied her daughter into non-existence, rare tentative bids for freedom violently thwarted on each occasion. The Mother, her mother. Her nemesis, now an unseen shadow against a grubby armchair. Marge shrinks farther back into her seat, fingers twitching like dancing black-fly on the armchair chintz. The dense smell of rotting foliage comes from a neglected houseplant hidden somewhere in the darkened room.

“A penny for them, Marge,” Violet says from the sofa where she perches uncomfortably, a tiny unbalanced bird on a wire. A battered black hat sits askew on her silvered hair, strands of spun gossamer escape in misty wisps. Violet, Marge’s aunt, younger sister to The Mother. Auntie Violet, always dishevelled as if time had run out during her clothing preparations. Violet the runt of the family, the one that neither grew as tall nor as plump as her siblings but remained small and submissive towards Marge’s domineering mother. Perhaps that was the reason why Marge had never called Violet aunt, because as a child, she had sensed a shared suffering, a complicity in their weakness.

“You’d have to give me ten pounds for my thoughts,” Violet, quips Marge. Lightness, they need lightness in this lightless room where they sit.

“Oh, I can’t afford that on my pension,” the aunt laughs before asking nervously,” she is still here, isn’t she?”

Abrupt quiet hangs like a thread between them, broken only by the incessant clickety-clicks coming from the mantelpiece, then a disruptive chink from Violet’s direction as she moves the silver spoon around the porcelain cup to dissolve a sugar lump in her tea. Marge smells the tangy aroma combined with a faint drift of camphor wafting from the shapeless black outfit draped on Violet’s bony frame. Memory of a dead blackbird lying shrivelled and raggedy with falling feathers, she had found as a child comes to mind. How ironic that the younger sister looks so frail when The Mother had remained obscenely overweight and red-cheeked from table excesses right to the moment of her death. Irony. Always embedded in the twists and turns of life. Clickety-click as the brass spheres swing in their continuous circle of movement.