"The rumble of noise dissipates. Bright lights, the seduction of all you are told you want or need spinning around; finally trails away. For a moment – in that moment – I had become briefly blinded as to how life can be but now, now the window is rolled down and the night air is warm. I tip my face to the stars as our little rental car climbs and climbs and I realise that I am free again; that I can breathe again. I am aware that my lungs, recently so constricted with anxiousness, are instead open and infused with the scent of pine and eucalyptus. My ears, dulled by the din of expectation, are now alive with the sound of cicadas. We arrive in the dark, following our host down a long and dusty track flanked by shadowy hills and grapevines and there is something unbelievably sweet about not knowing exactly what is out there, trusting only in our non-seeing senses. Outside this simple home on a ranch in Catalonia we play cards and lounge on the swing chair until the early morning hours and those senses tell me to remember that this is how life can be and deep in my heart, I know that I have been away too long.”
Recently I've been sharing regular notes from my journal, poems, short stories and little passages from the book I am working on - as well as other writings - over on my Facebook Page: Alice Writes.
Do stop by and say hello - I would love to connect with you!
As a family we are about to close down for the festive season and are looking forward to a time of reflection and hibernation as our campervan wheels turn in the direction of Spain (East of Granada).
I imagine some time in the mountains will bring plentiful opportunity for creativity… writing projects are brewing and we're hoping to do lots of making for the Little Loquat shop.
Thanking you for your warmth and connection this year and Warmest Wishes to all friends and followers out there!
Voices from the Grid is an anthology of short stories all set in Milton Keynes and all written by local writers. I'm thrilled and very proud to finally see my story 'Barefoot in the City' in print as part of this collection and to be part of a little bit of history from my hometown.
A wonderful memento of Milton Keynes life, if you would like a copy for yourself or to give as a gift they can be purchased for £5 from:
Community Learning MK
And if you telephone them, they will post a copy out to you :-)
I recently submitted a short story ‘Barefoot in the City’ to the MK50 Short Story Competition. Celebrating 50 years of Milton Keynes (my hometown) there were lots of things going on - my daughter even won a drawing competition for her ‘concrete cow’ design!!
Well, my story didn’t win… but I was so pleased to hear this morning that it has been selected as one of 50 to be featured in a published anthology: Voices from the Grid.
I am constantly surprised that wherever I go I meet people who know of Milton Keynes, but it’s not always for the right reasons… ‘so busy’, ‘no soul‘, ‘all roundabouts and shopping’ and yet for me, this city where I grew up, is so much more than that. There is a thriving arts scene and many wonderful projects and businesses that have a true passion for creating a better world and of course, there are way more green spaces than most people realise...
For me being close to nature is at my core and I was lucky enough to have spent my childhood climbing trees, enjoying picnics and swimming in rivers… yes, in a city! As an adult I have lived on narrowboats and enjoyed Milton Keynes from a completely different angle and my short story reflects this love of the green spaces, taking readers to those that I hold dear through the memories of a fictional character.
Copies will be available to buy at the MK Literary Festival and after that from Community Learning MK, Rivers Centre, Trent Road, West Bletchley, MK3 7BB
Or you can read it right here...
My short story 'Quiet Space' appears in Canal Boating Times this month and you can read it right here:
First Draught ~ Quiet Space ~ by Alice Griffin
I noted down the first sentence of this story after a blustery walk in the town where I did indeed go to school and spend many of my younger years... and of course, my love of canals and all things narrowboats, is heartfelt.
I hope you will grab a cuppa, take five minutes out and enjoy this short story!
Here is where I explore and muse about life... share news of writing projects & wanderings and weave the words that crowd my mind, into little stories. Occasionally I also share some of the nature-inspired jewellery & gifts I make and sell at craft fairs or on the road.