"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris ... then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." Ernest Hemingway

Friday, 6 January 2012

Published already in 2012! The Vine Leaves Literary Journal is hot off the press and I'm in it, as are many blogger friends.

STOP PRESS! Vine Leaves Issue #01 is now out and it looks awesome!

One of my goals for 2012 is a challenge I've set for myself - Write It. Submit It. Once a week. Don't go looking to sign up as there's no link - there's a membership of 1, Yours Truly. If you want to join me, fabulous. Let me know in comments! We could get a little group thingy happening!

The first week of January is rushing towards me like a runaway train and I've yet to submit anything this week. But all is not lost. Thanks to the new Vine Leaves Literary Journal I have 2 days to write a submission for their Issue #2. Of course I have lots of other projects on the boil but they demand many, many more words!

Thanks to the amazing efforts of Jessica Bell and Dawn Ius, the Vine Leaves Literary Journal Inaugural Issue is out today! And my little vignette is in it!

What's different about Vine Leaves? Well, it pubishes the 'vignette.' Let Jessica and Dawn speak for themselves:

The vignette.

It’s rare for a literary magazine to accept the "vignette" as a publishable piece of literature. Why? Because it is not a “proper story.” We beg to differ.

So, what is a vignette?

"Vignette" is a word that originally meant "something that may be written on a vine-leaf." It’s a snapshot in words. It differs from flash fiction or a short story in that its aim doesn’t lie within the traditional realms of structure or plot. Instead, the vignette focuses on one element, mood, character, setting or object. It's descriptive, excellent for character or theme exploration and wordplay. Through a vignette, you create an atmosphere.

Vine Leaves, will entwine you in atmosphere; wrap you in a world where literature ferments and then matures … 

I've just got to share my favourite definition:

A vignette stands on its own like an individual piece of chocolate in a box of chocolates, each looking pretty and irresistible in its own tiny compartment. 
(This quote found in the second link at the end of this post.)

Here is my story for the journal:

Emerald Fields and Black Rain
by Denise Covey

Ciara sat on the verandah fanning herself with Pregnancy Today, wilting, weary in the Australian heatwave. She’d just read how being pregnant had raised her body temperature by less than one degree. Pfutt! She’d like that doctor to see her now, every pore oozing!
            She leaned back in the squatter’s chair, feeling snoozy. She guzzled her iced water, dripping cubes over her face.
            No more Doctor Know-It-All!
            She tossed the magazine onto the floor, picked up her latest fantasy novel and scanned a random page. Princess Edane was swooping her away to a cooler, misty clime, when she heard a sharp snap. She sat up, alert. Her book fell from her fingers and clumped beside the chair.
            She heard David’s voice booming all around her with his cautionary tales: You can’t be too careful Ciara. Always be on the lookout Ciara. The Australian bush can be treacherous Ciara.
            Well, the sky had been a washed-out blue all morning, now it was a hazy grey, but otherwise nothing had changed. A koala in the giant eucalyptus perhaps, jumping from branch to branch? On the tree David had wanted to cut down because he thought it was too close to the house. No way. She loved how it shielded the hot corrugated iron roof from the blazing midday sun. He’ll cut it down over my dead body!
            She settled back in her chair, grabbed a cushion and placed it behind her head. Ah, what else can I do but sleep? Too hot to do housework, too hot to bake, too hot to garden. Her eyelids felt heavy, County Armagh’s emerald fields were beckoning … then the rustling began.
            Was it a faery creature come to whisk her home? She stirred and smiled, keeping her eyes shut lest the faery disappear from her dreams. Maybe a breeze was coming up? She lived in hope. God, why did I move here from the mists of Ireland? Hmm. David, that’s why—my darlin’ Aussie bloke…


            Ciara woke to the noise. She gasped for breath, but the air had gone away. Her face was wet, her body slick and oily. Pain burned her mouth and chest. Her hair sizzled around her face, an electrified heated cap.
            She pushed herself to her feet and staggered to the verandah rail, one hand clutching her heaving chest and the other holding her swollen stomach.
            God oh God oh God! Dante’s Inferno! A living painting of grey mist, orange dancing fingers and black swirling shapes. She heard the screeching wail of a runaway train coming closer, closer, then the collision.
            A monstrous wall of flame threw her against the wall like she was faery dust.         Her back scorched, cinders scattered the blackened sky and fell onto her body like black rain.


Vine Leaves will be downloadable in PDF format, for free, at the following link on Friday January 6th:

"We are also looking into making the journal available through Smashwords, so that those who wish to use an e-reader will be able to do so. Stay tuned!"

There is a list of contributors for Issue #1 here.

Vine Leaves Blog is here. Check out Guidelines/Submissions.

Twitter: @VineLeavesLJ

If you'd like to submit to Vine Leaves, here are the submission periods:

Submission Periods ...

January Issue: October 1st – December 1st 

April Issue: January 1st – March 1st

July Issue: April 1st – June 1st

October Issue: July 1st – September 1st

Any submissions received outside of these dates will be deleted, unread.

Issues go live on the first Friday of every publishing month.

Now if you've never written a vignette before (you probably have, but didn't know it), here are a couple of great links I found:

Let's go meet our writing goals.


  1. Thank you for the links and information, Denise.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Hello Denise
    Have we seen this before? This story seems to ring a bell with me. Anyway, it's FANTASTIC! Spine-chilling intrigue. Love it!
    Wishing you all the best with your projects too.
    Thanks for sharing.


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