It has been quiet on the blog for a very long time now…
Back at the beginning of the year I made the decision to take an extended break from reviewing. The reason for this was because I wanted to concentrate on my own writing.
I had committed to completing a first draft of my novel and I had a completed flash collection that I really wanted to tidy up and find a home for. Working full time meant that writing time was scarce and the blog was taking up a chunk of that. So a pause was necessary.
And I am delighted to announce that it seems to have paid off!
My flash fiction collection ‘Oh I Do Like To Be’ has been accepted for publication by Alien Buddha Press and is now available to order on Amazon. You can find the link here
Oh I Do Like To Be… is collection that first came about by accident. It was born as I felt my way back to writing after a break of many years. It was the product of the fact that I finally stopped worrying what to write about and just started to listen to the words.
Allowing myself to start with the phrases, with the words and ideas that popped into and the floated through my mind. I learnt how to catch them, hold them without judgement; let them settle and let them grow.
I started to trust in the things that found, the ideas my brain churned out when I was falling asleep. I started to trust once again in me.
After a while I had a bank of writing and when I looked closely there were two dominant threads running through its core.
The lives of women and the touch of the sea.
Over the past year these stories and their characters have formed a village in my mind. Some of the stories are linked, some stand completely alone; but whatever their form is time to let them go and let them have maybe just a short while to breathe.
Thank you for listening and thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy Oh I Do Like To Be.
Early reviews for Oh I Do Like To Be
Like the sea these stories are set beside, Rachel Canwell’s writing sparkles like sunshine on waves. The flash and micro pieces that make up her debut collection, Oh, I Do Like to Be, are sometimes full of hope, like that first breath of sea air; other times they are dark or laced with despair, but they are all powerful – the strong undercurrent pulling you into their depths. This is a fabulous collection from a new voice in short fiction writing.
Laura Besley, author of (Un)Natural Elements
Rachel Canwell’s “Oh, I Do Like to Be” is a stand-out debut flash fiction collection from an accomplished and masterful writer. Unfolding against the evocatively rendered backdrop of a seaside town, these stories are daring, often magical, at times humorous, and utterly compelling. Canwell grapples with themes of motherhood, disability, and women coming into their own, among others, with skill and precision. “Oh, I Do Like to Be” showcases the very best of what flash can be – exquisite, powerful, rule-breaking, breath-taking – and I absolutely loved it.
Kristen Loesch, author of The Porcelain Doll (Allison & Busby, 2022)
A wonderful set of flash fiction where the author skilfully carries the reader from shock to laughter to empathy for her cast of characters by the seaside. From the fantastic originality of Cold Hard Cash to the humour of Stone Tales 2, I really enjoyed this collection.
Orla Owen, author of ‘Pah’ and ‘The Lost Thumb.
Clever, insightful and laugh out loud funny. Rachel Canwell will have you flipping through the pages of her flash fiction faster than a seagull can crap on the promenade. If you’re like me, you will revel in the compelling and poignant tales of the seaside dwellers and visitors, sipping your tea and feeling grateful the worries and torments of these folk are not the same as yours. Then you’ll find yourself grinning at their antics. By the end, Rachel will have you zipping back to the beginning to enjoy it once again, maybe this time at a more leisurely pace.
Sidra Ansari, author of Finding Peace Through Prayer and Love
In this fantastic collection, Canwell captures the tiny details and inner workings of a range of women living by the sea with succinctness, tenderness and intrigue. She takes us through many emotions and situations in few words, with skilful story telling that keeps you turning the pages. While, sometimes she also throws in a twist that takes you in a completely different direction.
Nikki Dudley, Strreetcake editor, author and poet.