Tag Archives: my fanfiction

Old Fiction: Under The Downs

A friend wanted to read one of my works.

She lives in Sussex, so I recommended ‘Under The Downs’, a Sherlock fanfic set in and around Arundel, which I wrote partly as a result of many happy trips to see her.

But it is published on fanfiction.net, which means the interface is crap, and for reasons to do with her eyesight and peculiarly stubborn nature, she wanted to print it out.  And I just couldn’t help her there.

So I decided to migrate ‘Under the Downs’ to AO3, where it now resides,  and where you can enjoy it in thankfully legible format, and with a user interface that is not the bastard love child of the devil copulating with Unix.

I offer it to you now with renewed joy.  Especially The Otter Part.  Here’s a little taster:

“I paddle towards him with all the elegance of a hedgehog on a cork.  My teeth are chattering, so I clench them.  Just to make matters worse, he frolics about me, sleek and easy, undulating through the water like an otter.  His body is a blade, perfectly shaped for ease of movement.  He ducks and dives, twisting corkscrews around me in circles while I frantically struggle to stay afloat.

            Suddenly he bobs up right in front of me, his belly brushing against mine, his cheeks beaded, his eyelashes spiked.  Water streams from his pointed chin.

            ‘Why didn’t you just tell me you can’t swim?’

            ‘Of course I can bloody swim,’ I snap at him.  ‘What does it bloody look like I’m doing, carpentry?’”

Click here for ‘Under the Downs’ at AO3.

Happy reading,

EF

 

The Perils of Getting Lost

There is no SatNav system for the artistic life.

Most of the time, we creative people complain about the problems of not being able to get into the Zone.  Not being able to find the door into the imagination.  Not being able to make our art.

Or we complain about not being able to get out of our own way.  We get hung up on the avoidance tactics and displacement activities we use so we don’t have to think about the empty page, the blank canvas.

Be honest, how many loads of washing have you done to avoid that novel you’ve been meaning to write?  How many drawers and cupboards have you cleaned out as an excuse to get away from your easel or your desk?

Seriously, its amazing how interesting cleaning can become when you need to be doing something else.

However, one of the perils of the artistic life that we rarely talk about, let alone complain about, is that of getting lost.

Lost in your imagination.

Lost in that place where the stories never end.

Lost where the romance and the passion and the adventure and the danger go on and on, and there is never, never washing to be done, unless it is in a picturesque stream with the sun sparkling on its surface, and requires both hero and heroine to divest themselves of their clothes in as romantic/modest/passionate (delete as appropriate) way as possible.

Suddenly you will wake up one morning and realise that you have been trapped on the island of the Lotus Eaters, so lost in the pleasures of your mind that you have forgotten to live.

Marriages founder this way.  Bankruptcies are forged, friendships lost, loved-ones go unmourned.  It happens all the time.

We lose ourselves constantly.  Often it is complusive shopping, gambling, drinking, eating or other drugs that claim us.  Addictions can be apparently harmless.  Surfing the internet seems harmless enough, until you realise you have lost days and weeks of your life doing it.  We lose ourselves in meaningless busyness, in rushing round fulfilling empty tasks, in competing with friends and neighbours, in acquiring the latest TV, sofa, car, clothes.  Modern life encourages us to find an addiction to dull the ennui.

Being present is hard.  Its even harder if you have an over-active imagination.  It is so much nicer to be lost in a story than facing the reality of life.  Doing the work of living.  Being real.  It is so easy to slip away and not come back.

Lately I have been away.  In the last couple of days, I’ve realised that life is tugging at the hem of my skirts, wanting me back, needing my attention.  I’m fighting it.  I don’t want to come back.  I want to stay in my fantasy world.

But life needs living.  We only get one go.  The art needs making, yes.  But our lives are our art too.

Don’t forget to live as well.

Happy Creative Living,

EF

PS – You might like to know that I have a new story out, The Retirement Party, a ‘Lewis’ romance, which you can read here at AO3 and here at FF.net.

Friday Quick Fic

51989793_SHark_224346cBecause I’m still feeling unable to do much, I came up with a new feature, the Friday Quick Fic.  The idea is to share a short fanfic with you which has not been through my usual polishing process.  Just something off the top of my head which I think you might like.

Today’s Quick Fic is a ‘BBC Sherlock’ fanfic, something I knocked off this morning, between naps, and is inspired by my husband, who has a ‘shark bite’ of his own.

Shark

John first noticed it when Spring came, and Sherlock started swanning around the house in his sheet.  A ragged scallop of raised keloid tissue that scooped around Sherlock’s right elbow.

‘Shark bite,’ Sherlock said, with surprising nonchalance.

John examined it.  The scarring was deep, and he could even see the indentations of those cruel razor teeth.

‘Holiday in South Africa when I was in my teens.  I was swimming, and the next thing I knew this shark had my arm in its mouth.  I punched it on the nose, and it let go.’  He shrugged, as if it were an everyday occurrence, and then regaled John with details of the beast’s species, hunting habits and vulnerabilities – namely the aforesaid sensitive nose.

John found out the truth a few months later, during one of Mycroft’s little episodes of abduction.  The subject of Sherlock’s sojourn in South Africa came up, and Mycroft laughed.

‘Oh, God, he’s been telling that stupid shark story again!  Sherlock’s never been to South Africa!’

John scowled, but put his head on one side, curious about the truth.

‘It was one summer when he was about twelve.  He was told not to go playing in one of the woods on the estate because of the forestry going on there.  Felling trees and so on – it was dangerous.  But being Sherlock, he went anyway.  Typically, he didn’t get crushed by a falling tree.  He fell off his bike, and got his arm tangled up in some barbed wire in a hedge instead.  Cut it to ribbons, terrible mess.

‘Father was absolutely furious, wouldn’t even look at him because he had disobeyed, insisted it was just a graze and Sherlock was making a ridiculous fuss over nothing.  Wouldn’t take him to have it stitched either, and Mummy couldn’t drive, so she just had to bandage it up as best she could.  Of course, it healed badly, and left that dreadful scar.

‘When he went back to school after the vac, the other boys saw it and wanted to know how he got it.  So he made up that silly story about the shark.  It got him quite a lot of attention to begin with, but of course, being Sherlock, he overplayed his hand, and got too full of himself, and that was the end of his brief acclaim.’

Afterwards, John thought for a long time.  He thought about the barbed wire.  He thought about the spotted marks around the fat ribbon of raised, whitened flesh that looked like the marks from sharks teeth.  He was a doctor, and he knew about scarring and healing, and what kind of depth of wound would leave a mess like that.  He thought about the boys at the school.  And then he thought about the kind of father who, out of pique, would neglect the proper attention that a wound like that would require.

John never mentioned Sherlock’s fantasy visit to South Africa again to anyone.  But he always referred to Sherlock’s scar as a shark bite.  Because in his opinion, that was exactly what it was.

Happy weekend to you all,

EF