Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon
Ceinwen retired in August 2015 after a career as a Probation Officer, a mental health social worker and latterly a practice educator. Writing has always been important to her as a private pursuit. Over the last few years she has started to write to communicate with others. Her work is mainly short fiction and free verse poetry, although she experiments with different forms. She has completed a manuscript for a novel, as yet unpublished. She has been published on the curated short story websites, Fiction on the Web and Literally Stories; and also in Alliterati, Newcastle University’s literature and arts magazine. Eventually, she hopes to facilitate creating writing projects with hard to reach groups e.g. people living with dementia, prisoners, mental health service users. She hopes to support people to find their own voices. She is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University and expects to graduate in 2017.
Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon in 60 seconds
When did you start writing?1962 As a child in Leicester
What do you love about Short Stories?This condensed form disciplines the writer to strive for economy of language, clarity of focus and distillation of the narrative.
Do you write in other forms?Longer prose and poetry
What distracts you from writing?Anything going on around me - I need to seclude myself to write
Outside of writing, what are your other passions?Walking in the Northumberland hills and in Scotland, drinking wine with good friends, going to the Tyneside Arthouse Cinema to see films, retreating to our static caravan set on a small rural site and spending time with my adult children and their families.
What is your favourite book?'Olive Kitteridge: A Novel in Stories' by Elizabeth Strout
Who are your favourite writers?Lydia Davis, Daphne Glazer and David Almond
Where is your dream location?Scottish Highlands and Islands
What one item would you put into Room 101?Right wing politicians and media moguls
Do you have any advice for new writers?Write every day whether you have a specific project on the go or not, (aim for at least 500 words), and read, read, read.
Work by Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon:
Beware Green Eyes
Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon
A young girl's ghost friend turns out to be a liar. A story for readers of 9 years of age or older. "It all started on a Friday in February when I stayed home from school with a bad cold. I’d had my twelfth birthday the week before and I’d got a chill at my ice skating party. The rink was a temporary one put up in the town centre each year from November through to February half term. My birthday had been the last day. At least it hadn’t snowed, I could remember at least three birthdays when my celebrations had been cancelled because of the weather. So, I was off school and for the first time I was alone in my house for a whole day. Mum and Dad had gone to work and my younger brothers were at school, even though they’d made a drama of coughing and spluttering their way through breakfast as they made a play to stay off too. I think that buildings sound different when people go out and they’re empty, or almost empty. I was still there of course, but I was tucked up on the living room sofa and lying quite still. I heard the central heating pipes knock and moan gently as the hot water passed through them. The clock on the mantelpiece quartered the hours into minutes and seconds with brisk, quiet ticks. The eaves dripped and splashed as ice melted in the reluctant, shy sunshine of the early spring day. I watched a spider as she spun her web in the corner of the window that looked out onto our garden and I swear I could hear the silken skein being stretched into a silvery geometry all of its own. The fridge buzzed and slept and buzzed and slept as the thermostat regulated the temperature. I was mesmerised by the insistent hum of home and the liquid gurgling of my gut. I’d slept the night before with my nose blocked and my mouth open and swallowed a lot of air that was now singing its own tune. I must have drifted off but then my doze was interrupted and I sat up with a start..."
Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon
A story about friendship, loss and seemingly supernatural forces that may or may not be the product of a disturbed mind. "I came to in my own bed, as the August dawn was breaking. I sat up slowly, and next to me on the camping mat on the floor, was my best mate, Shell. The pain behind my eyes made me shrink from the light as I tried to remember the night before. We’d been on the beach, just the two of us. No wait, her brother, Ben, had been there as well. He’d been in a bad way. He’d lost his place on the ‘Back to Work’ scheme for turning up late three days in a row. That meant his benefits would stop. We’d gone out to the local dunes at Druridge Bay, with cans of Magners to try to cheer him up. And, if I’m honest, to keep an eye on him. I stumbled out to the bathroom and heard my mum call, ‘Jo, I’m off to get the bus to Newcastle. Could you give Shell’s mum a call, she wants to know where Ben is. ‘Bye, love.’ The front door slammed shut. Ben. Where was he? I remembered his face twisted with gloom and booze as he’d told me and Shell to get lost and go home. He wanted to be on his own. At the time I’d thought, ‘Sod you.’ Me and Shell’d been rock solid with him and he’d brushed us away like we were nothing. Just flies on his face. Shell must’ve thought the same. ‘Come on, he’s one stupid shithead,’ she’d slurred. Then she linked her arm into mine and yanked me away towards our estate. ‘We’re not the problem here, he is.’ ‘Too bloody right,’ Ben yelled after us. ‘Too bloody right, you’ve caught on at last.’ The wind picked up as we walked away and drowned out the sound of his voice. I don’t know if he said anything else. We swigged the dregs of our cider as we swayed back home, tearful but sure we were right to leave him to stew in his own bad temper. After a quick pee, I guzzled tap water from my cupped hands and splashed some on my face. Then I zombied back to my bedroom and lay back down on the bed. A crow squawked outside my window and the screech split my head in two. I buried my face under a pillow but it made no difference, the pounding didn’t stop. I must have dozed off again because the next thing I knew it was midday. The hangover was still alive and vicious in my skull and part of me wondered if I was dying. Then the recollection of my mum’s words brought me out of myself. ‘Could you give Shell’s mum a call? She wants to know where Ben is...”
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