A gentle blast on my own trumpet

I’m just boasting a little. After writing for more than half a century I have at last got a story published. A very short story. Just 343 words. But published all the same. Here’s the link to A Line of Destroyers 1917

In September 2014 I attended a Workshop at RAMM (Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter), run by Sally Flint, an editor of Riptide Magazine.

152 RAMMWe explored the collections to be inspired by something on display in the museum. I found this lithograph in a special exhibition. It was originally published in 1917 in Country Life Magazine.

A Line of Destroyers, 1917 by Muirhead Bone (1876 – 1953) Lithograph, published by Country Life Ltd, 1917

A Line of Destroyers, 1917 by Muirhead Bone (1876 – 1953)
Lithograph, published by Country Life Ltd, 1917

I loved the picture for the innocence and calm radiance of its appearance and for the contrast with the menace of the title. The story emerged as I studied it in the gallery, probably influenced by all the pictures and talk of the Great War. Back in the workshop I roughed out a draft and read it aloud and later I edited and polished it.

This is an activity I love. I already described it in the post called Write one picture. But not all exercises turn into publishable ideas.

152 RAMM stairs

Kate Osborne, the learning and skills officer at RAMM had already set up a connection with the website Poor Yorick, so I sent on my short fiction as a possible submission for their spotlight feature on RAMM.

I spend happy hours in museums and can be heard saying that some of my best friends are museums and art galleries. It is with great pleasure then to be part of linking creative writing with my local museum. (I am a friend).


Nice comments are welcome.

You can subscribe and receive email notifications of future blogposts by entering your email address in the box at the top of the column on the right.


Filed under Learning, Writing

16 Responses to A gentle blast on my own trumpet

  1. Congratulations! It is especially wonderful to know the story behind your story. How wonderful that your love of museums found expression through your love of writing.

  2. Eileen

    Congratulations Caroline – this blog a joy to read. While knowing you are a great writer it is so wonderful to get public recognition. A very fine story with a powerful ending.

  3. Thanks for sharing your story. Really powerful – especially so short and keeping the etching in my minds eye while reading, I became that woman… Thanks again

  4. Nicki

    Congratulations! Worth a fanfare rather than a gentle blast, and what a lovely story. I particularly liked the last sentence. It’s inspiring to know that you have a short story published after years of writing and shows that it is worth persevering.

    • Caroline

      Thanks Nicki. I hope most writers dont have to wait as long as I did! But, as we agreed on an Arvon writing course I did, you must HOLD YOUR NERVE. Actually it was a phrase given to us by an agent who was guest speaker on the course. It’s worth repeating at despairing moments.
      Sometimes it works.

  5. Lynda Haddock

    Many congratulations Caroline – and a much deserved success. I love the story, especially the emotional range you’ve suggested in so few words

  6. Well done! Example to all of us that we have to stick with it, grow thick skins and carry on…

  7. Helen Ashley

    Belated congratulations, Caroline. I agree with all the comments about the powerful ending, and the range of emotions. The perfect phrase for me is: “The wind carries a dark companion…” Makes me shiver even typing it here! Blow your trumpet loud and long!!

  8. Helen Ashley

    Maybe so. Not bad to have a poetic influence on your fiction. Unfortunately, however much fiction I read, it doesn’t work the other way. Don’t think I’ll ever be writing anything other than average length poems!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *