Monday, 29 October 2012

BOFF2: Australian Blog Hop

To celebrate the launch of Best of Friday Flash Volume 2 (#BOFF2), the tiny Aussie contingent is doing a Blog Hop. I'm hosting Adam Byatt and his touching story Scar Tissue. If you hop over to S.G. Larner's site you can read my story The Iris Garden. You can order BOFF2 here.

Come along to the Facebook launch party!

Adam Byatt - Sydney, Australia

Scar Tissue 
Sitting at the dining room table she pushed back the long sleeves of her t-shirt, hoping to push back the voices. She heard the social ghosts whispering their gossip and mock concern behind cups of tea.
She’s a cutter.
A what?
She cuts herself. That’s why she wears long sleeves all the time.

Behind the Story
“Scar Tissue” is a biographical amalgam of the lives of a few people I know who suffer from mental illness in one form or another. In recent times I know of two families who have suffered the tragedy of losing their sons to mental illness.

In particular, a friend who went through a period of self-harm during a turbulent time in their life was the inspiration for this story. It is not based loosely on an actual event in this person's life but is also a work of fiction, a compilation of events and emotions I know people close to me have experienced in their battles with mental illness.

In the time of writing “Scar Tissue,” I wanted there to be a note of personal determination, a resurrection or rebirth, a sense of hope.

It remains one of my favourite pieces of writing because of who it was written for, what it is about, and the hope I see in each and every person. It's a testament to my belief in the dignity of the individual.

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

“Scar Tissue” was the first piece I wrote for #fridayflash. Prior to this I was using prompts from the old Write Anything [fiction]Friday site. It was a small, encouraging group of people and I was using it as a place for training and development.

The premise behind [fiction]Friday was to take the prompt and simply write, without editing, and post it to your blog and link it back to the [fiction]Friday page.

I was aware of the #fridayflash community and began to read and comment on the work of others. There are some fantastic writers out there and it felt a little daunting to consider putting my work out there.

“Scar Tissue” was the first piece I wrote with the focused precision to write, draft, edit and polish before submitting. It was a step out of where I felt safe, into a wider community of writers whose work I looked up to.

I kept contributing consistently for about 8 or 9 months as a means of developing and improving my writing. At the moment I am focusing on other longer projects, but I drop back in from time to time to post a new story and to read and comment.

There are some awesome writers out there producing great pieces of flash fiction. Go and check it out. Better still, buy the anthology and see for yourself.

Adam Byatt
Adam sifts through the ennui, minutiae and detritus of life and catalogues them as potential story ideas.  They are pretty much a pad of sticky notes on the fridge door. Occasionally he finds loose change.
He is an English teacher and occasional drummer with an interest in literary pursuits, rhythmic permutations, theological amplifications and comedic outbursts.

His work has appeared in Literary Mix Tapes’ anthologies, Nothing But Flowers and 89. He is currently working on his first novel, Post Marked: Pipers Reach, an epistolary serial with Jodi Cleghorn and a long list of ideas. He exists on twitter as @revhappiness and writes flash fiction and blogs at A Fullness In Brevity.

Australian Blog Hop participants:
Adam Byatt
Jodi Cleghorn
Jason Coggins
Timothy Collard


  1. I cried the first time I read this story (your fiction seems to be like onions to my eye ducts!) It's the meld of darkness and light, of awful depths and hope that stir such intense emotions. When I got the ToC from Jon I was ecstatic to see you had a piece included (and not just any piece!)

    I watched you (from afar) during your time at [fiction] Friday and said to friends you were the next "up and coming" from the tribe there. And I had my eye fixed firmly on you. So I remember when you took the big brave step of moving from [ficton]Friday and out into #fridaflash. To me it's the mark of someone who is ready to take their work seriously.

    And at the time I understood perhaps the method in the madness of not joining with #fridayflash when there was the opportunity. The divide between them gave a stepping up platform - a development arc for writers to pursue, rather than just merely moving between one and the other for a bigger audience.

    If the darkness beckons again (I hope it doesn't, but I'm not being unrealistic) the image of the unnamed woman in "Scar Tissue" rising from the bath, is what will keep me anchored on this side of the light. You're already building your legacy among those of us who know and appreciate your words and the wisdom inherent in them.

  2. Thanks for the good rap, Jodi.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  3. And thanks for hosting, Tim. Pleasure to meet you and read your work.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  4. You're welcome, Adam. Pleasure to read your work, too. :-)

  5. Jodi says it so well, but this story packs an emotional wallop. So well written, Adam. Brilliant and tender and lovely and dark, all at the same time. Kudos to you for writing such a fine piece and congratulations on its inclusion in BOFF2! Wooting for you here!