FICTION

A short story on love, colour, and regret…

A black and white image of a sad Asian woman on a park bench. Her lips are red.
A black and white image of a sad Asian woman on a park bench. Her lips are red.
Image: Runshi Zeng. Edited by Author

It was the flash of vibrant red against the dead grey of concrete that caught his eye. But it was more than that which held his interest. More than that which made his heart lurch violently upwards in his chest. And even more which forced a rush of oxygen unbidden into his lungs.

Here was hope. Hope that he could once more escape his miserable existence in a cold lifeless city shrouded in varying shades of black and grey. …


How Medium’s link format might be impacting your stats and crushing your ego

A montage of social media like, love and clap emojis and icons
A montage of social media like, love and clap emojis and icons
Image by author

Since Medium began releasing its latest raft of changes glitches have popped up everywhere. Some have been obvious and have given rise to collective expressions of frustration. However, there’s one that has gone largely unnoticed but is worth paying attention to, particularly if you have claimed your own subdomain as many of us did when the opportunity was presented to us.

Now, each of us has our own preferred way of using the Medium platform…

As a writer, nothing beats getting on our lap or desktops and writing from the comfort of a proper keyboard. Our computers offer the full editorial capacity available to us such as submitting our work to publications or properly embedding links — which the mobile device apps do not. …


How my great-grandfather’s shenanigans inspired the London Traffic Act

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Vintage Double Decker (Image/Delpixel)

“Below the smooth surface of official accounts of history, lie those stories that have been silenced and erased, leaving only their ghostly traces, and therefore bound to return and haunt the present.” — José Colmeiro, “A Nation of Ghosts”

There comes a time in a person’s life, usually around 38 I think, that all the old photos on the wall of straight-faced ancestors whose names you’ve been told a million times but have somehow forgotten, suddenly seem quite relevant and even rather interesting. …


POETRY

Poetry Sunday

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Image Credit: Enrique Meseguer

The bagpipes play their sad, sad song
of passion felt, then lost, or gone.
They ache, they moan, they cry, they beg.
They call my soul, they hurt my head.

They tell me of a love thought true.
They force my heart to still beat for you.
And as they play, my eyes now closed,
I see your face, its calm repose.

The pipes that played to comfort me,
Now burn and twist inside of me.
They tear my soul and steal my breath.
Their song of love, their ache of death.

Yet still, I long to stand with you
on windswept moors, with morning dew.
To hold your hand, our love assured.
My passion felt while feeling…


FEMINISM

The secret desire men have to shove a sock down a woman’s throat

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Australian Shadow Minister, Tanya Plibersek speaking in parliament. Image credit: Alex Ellinghausen

From time to time I like to write what I call my ‘wanky literary posturing’ pieces, shoving a plum in my mouth and indulging in my ostentatious toffee-nosed vocabulary to expound on philosophical literary concepts. …


FICTION

A fiction writing prompt

Author holds vintage Royal Albert Masquerade Tea Cup in hand.
Author holds vintage Royal Albert Masquerade Tea Cup in hand.
Royal Albert Masquerade Tea Cup. Photo by Author

This story is dedicated to my friend and fellow writer Jolyon Folkett who put this writing prompt out there. And the prompt? … The [your current mood] + [object to your right] of [grandmothers first name] + [last thing you ate]

Tea had always played a vital role in the life of Pamela Porridge. As a child, she had drunk the invisible sort; with her cat. And now, as an old woman, she drank the sort you could stand a spoon in; also with her cat. …


MEMOIR

Excerpt from a memoir on gender bias and misdiagnosis in autism spectrum disorder

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Image Credit — Vika Hova. Edited by Author

I recently wrote a third person piece on the day I was told it was likely that my daughter had schizophrenia and that in several years, when she experienced her first full-blown psychotic episode, an official diagnosis could be made. This was usually around 17 or 18 years of age. It was published in The Virago and ended like this….

“That day in the autism doctor’s office was one such day — when words sound hollow and muffled, the experience surreal yet palpable. But now was not the time to indulge in metaphysical sensations. And so, having seen enough I somewhat reluctantly slipped back into the woman’s body and braced myself, waiting for whatever lay ahead, and hoping like hell it wasn’t schizophrenia.” …


OPINION

An open letter from a mere mortal to the enigmatic Medium gods

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Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio

Dear Medium Gods,

You’re really pushing my buttons right now and I think it’s time that we writers told you a thing or two about what’s involved with taking care of us — your valued (or perhaps not) revenue raisers.

We’ve borne your changes to curation that makes it harder for us to analyse our own work. We’ve shrugged at the generic responses to emails sent to “our friends” @ Medium. We’ve even tolerated, albeit begrudgingly, your determination, in the face of thousands of complaints, to hold on to what is singularly THE WORST comments section known to mankind. …


CREATIVE NON-FICTION

A surreal account of gender bias in the diagnosis of autism

A young woman pictured with overlapping frames, her hands over her face in different positions
A young woman pictured with overlapping frames, her hands over her face in different positions
Image Credit — Vika Hova

Autism, they say, is a boys disorder. In reality, far too many girls and women are simply being misdiagnosed.

Schizophrenia

— No five-syllable word should ever be uttered with such ease, and yet the word slid casually from the doctor’s mouth and landed on the woman’s lap with such force she nearly fell from her chair. …


FAIRY TALE | MEMOIR

A fairy tale, more fact than fiction

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Image by Andrey Kiselev — Sparrow Edit by Alieta

This piece was in response to a writing prompt in which Kelly Eden asked us to write a true story as fiction and reflect on what we took from the experience.

Once upon another time… in a land not so very far away… there was a mighty king. He was a good king, a strong king, and loved by all the people.

But he was also a lonely king, for he had spent his life protecting and caring for his beloved people. …

About

Sarah J. Baker

Navel Gazer | Feminist | Urban Agriculturalist | Hard-Won Atheist | Sweating the little things. Follow me at https://www.facebook.com/thiswomxn/

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