Brief Biography : Vivien Jones Her first poetry collection - About Time, Too - was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing in September 2010. In that year she also won the Poetry London Prize. She has twice performed as a Poetry Double with Jacob Polley and Jen Hadfield and devises collaborative readings with music in performance at Book and Arts Festivals in Scotland and the north of England. She has completed a second short fiction collection on a theme of women amongst warriors - White Poppies (2012) - with the aid of a Creative Scotland Writer’s Bursary and has adapted two of the stories for theatre performance in 2013. In February 2014 her first e-book - 'Malta Child' - was published - memoirs of four childhood years in Malta in the late 1950s. Her second poetry collection - 'Short of Breath' - was published in November 2014 by Cultured Llama Publishing www.vivienjones.info www.southlight.ukwriters.net
Vivien Jones in 60 seconds
When did you start writing?1960 Plymstock, Devon
What do you love about Short Stories?Good ones are gems and require very exact writing disciplines.
Do you write in other forms?poetry and drama
What distracts you from writing?Family - especially husband - my kids are grown.
Outside of writing, what are your other passions?Early music performance (viols and recorders) & whole food cooking.
What is your favourite book?Beloved - Toni Morrison
Who are your favourite writers?Philip Pullman, Alice Walker and iain Banks
Where is your dream location?Right here
What one item would you put into Room 101?Intolerance, wherever it occurs
Do you have any advice for new writers?Learn to love the act of re-drafting - be rigorous, especially with short stories, in cutting right down to essentials.
Work by Vivien Jones:
We lived in Sliema at 197 Prince of Wales Road in a two storey apartment reached from a ground floor staircase that curved high and tight upwards. There was a graceful banister that ended in a tight curl at the bottom and it was my ambition to slide down its entire length, but it was forbidden. What if I fell off ? What if my little brother copied me ?
Spit and Promise
It was sweltering in the NAFFI hut. Father Christmas sat sweating, legs akimbo, showing his navy drill shorts and bare legs under the long red robe. He wore huge white plimsolls. His legs were damp and covered with ginger swirls of hair and his white beard had slipped sideways so you could see his stubbled chin and the spray of freckles beneath. I noticed that his hands were huge, not, I was sure, the size of hands the real Father Christmas would have.....
Grandma and Polly
My mother always said I didn’t notice much but in those last week in Malta even I felt urgency like a held breath over everything. My sister and I were despatched to our room to clear out just about everything because of the weight restriction on the plane and we fell to quarrelling about whether her ballet books were more important than my drawing books....
‘ I don’t want to go.’ I was adamant, inclined to render myself boneless, sink to the floor and become lead. My mother glared at me. ‘You’ll get your socks dirty if you lie on the floor. And we are all going.’ She would have sounded cold to a stranger, but this was an old tactic of mine that was exhausting its credibility. Perhaps I had been overusing it. I was nine after all. My Father looked in....
I tipped forward, one leg curled round the metal bar and the sky spun under me, rocking into place at my feet. I hooked my free leg onto the bar, trailed my arms close to the ground, blew my hair out of my face and examined the world upside down. I had finished my story and been allowed out of class early so I was temporarily queen of the climbing bars and all I surveyed.....
The Feast of Saint Agatha
Theresa says the Virgin in the Church of Saint Agatha has been seen weeping. Theresa is very excited. She calls her ‘ Santa Agatha.’ It is Saint Agatha’s Feast Day on Friday and the procession will pass up Prince of Wales Road, where I live. This is destiny because Friday is my birthday so I must have an affinity with Saint Agatha....
' A bowl of freshly picked tomatoes. That’s all it took. Just carrying them from the larder to the kitchen filled her head with sensual images, square white buildings, bright paper kites in the deepest blue sky, tanned faces, ramshackle single decker buses, a different colour for each destination. Blue for Rabat, green for Sliema, mustard yellow for Bershibuga. She didn’t know the spellings, just the Moorish sounds.'
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