New Writers Awards 2012/13: Lynsey May

Lynsey May

Fiction

Lynsey lives, loves and writes in Edinburgh, where she's very happily surrounded by cafes, bookshops and the mix of Scottish sweetness and inherent bleakness she's always trying to capture on paper.

Her fiction has found its way into a variety of anthologies and magazines, including New Writing Scotland, The Stinging Fly, The Fiction Desk and Gutter. Her chapbook, It Starts So Sweetly, is available from Forest Publications and she recently found out she loves reading to a captive audience.

Highlights include an appearance at the Edinburgh International Book Festival as part of Story Shop - run by Edinburgh City of Literature Trust, and Illicit Ink's Magic Words, also at the book festival's Unbound series.

She's at her happiest when the To Read pile beside her bed has started to sway under its own weight.

 

Extract from Draigton's Summer of Miracles

The girl, Clara, was crouched at the end of the path with her long hair all falling in her face, making Miss Bryce think she was talking to the mangy dead animal. Maybe even saying a prayer for the soul it most certainly didn’t have.

Miss Bryce could no longer see Clara’s hands, but it was clear they were moving down there by the cat as she rocked back and forth on her heels. Miss Bryce hoisted her stick, ready to bring it down sharply and make the stones beneath it speak for her. The girl leant back to reveal the body of the cat and Miss Bryce’s gaze was inexorably drawn to the orange shape before her as it seemed to twitch and shudder.

She blinked, but the scene remained before her, framed by the rustling bushes. Breath whistled in her chest as she watched orange ears flick. The cat, who she remembered as so silent, so still, stretched and flexed under the girl’s hands. Miss Bryce unsteadily lowered the walking stick, her knuckles bone white around the handle and growing whiter still as she watched the cat roll to its feet and walk stiffly away without a backward glance.

The cat disappeared into the long, patchy grass, its sinuousness returning a little more with each step, and Miss Bryce felt the beginnings of something beautiful thrumming in her chest. The girl stood and stretched before turning towards the path, never looking to the side, where Miss Bryce stood. The old woman was stuck, voiceless and shivering, yet filled with something she’d always wanted to experience. She knew a miracle when she saw one.

 

Comment

'So much time is spent alone when you're trying to write, wondering if you're on the right track or even in the right neck of the woods. Winning a New Writers Award is an amazing affirmation that, yes, it's time to keep going and you can make a path if you work hard enough.'