What do you get when you cross an engineer and a design graduate?

What do you get when you cross an engineer and a design graduate?

A book cover artist of course.

Another Word Con and more engaging presentations from a variety of professionals in the publishing industry. Though I was saddened not to listen to Justin Heazlewood’s session (and more importantly get him to sign my copy of his book ‘Funemployed’), day one was full of fun and facts.

Rob introduced us to Marisa and Puja from Hardie Grant Egmont, specifically from their YA and middle-grade fiction. Though not a field of interest to me, I enjoyed the dissection of the publishing process.

Andrew presented a session exploring the space between flow state and focus in our contemporary, increasingly distracting, society. Robyn Doreian’s guest Cate Blake from the Penguin Random House imprint Viking proved a popular guest. With a focus on middle market and literary fiction, Cate pulled back the curtain on the submission process and emphasised the importance of being involved in literary competitions. Venetia bravely pitched her completed novel, putting into practice exercises from the previous semester. If I had a completed manuscript or even a firmer grasp on my project’s thesis, then I am sure that I would have also pitched.

Emma Noble was the final guest for the day. With a background in the publishing industry in various roles, she currently runs her own business as a literary publicist. Overall, Word Con 4 is a ripper of a mini literary conference. I enjoy the variety of presenters and the range of positions they can talk to within the publishing industry.

I found Puja’s contribution to the first session the most engaging. Puja’s varied background, including an engineering degree, reinforced for me the obscure nature of many career paths, my own included. Through the publishing subjects, I have managed to combine my innate visually creative inclinations and the book embryo I am birthing. As with Puja, every step that I’ve taken professionally has led me to this point though not necessarily via any predetermined plan. As a side note, she was completely charming to speak with after the session.

vibrant

 

discover who you are through writing

 

Science fiction, speculative fiction – yep, you can keep them. Adam Browne’s lecture on his process of translating his narratives to short film seemed like a diversion of interest only to others. I was wrong. Slightly nervous with reflux tablets to hand, Adam cut a ‘handsome genius’ figure, to paraphrase his blog site. Checked chef pants, fire-engine red runners and tropical bird print Hawaiian shirt only added to the quirky image of him as author, illustrator, and filmmaker.

Between attempts to play his short films and responding to Andrew McRae’s prompts, Adam also fielded a mess of questions from the audience. During ‘The Adjustable Cosmos’ I noticed he sat, arms resting on his head and eyes closed. I couldn’t not ask him about this.

‘You sat through that with your eyes closed. I wondered if it may have anything to do with the fact that as a writer you were concentrating on the words unlike the visuals over which you didn’t have any control,’ I asked.

‘No, just nerves,’ he replied.

I pursued him further. ‘You write, illustrate and make films. What comes first in your head? Is it a linear or circular process? Or more like a pizza dough?’

‘That’s a good question that I don’t have an answer to. I don’t know.’

In a way, I had hoped that he was going to answer that he sees his stories as a movie first of all. This is how I experience my stories. Even when writing from my own real-life experience, I see the movie unfold in my head. I then try to describe the scene, picking out key details that will express the most in as few words as possible.

I’m curious about the interplay between the part of my life as a visual artist and that of a writer. As Adam said – a good question that I don’t have an answer to. I will, however, take solace in another piece of wisdom he shared – that you can discover who you are through writing.

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Light

 

That liminal moment when it is no longer night time but daytime.
The quiet outside pierced by bird sounds before the gentle hum of traffic builds.
When do I no longer try and get more sleep but roll over and cuddle the cat, stroking her fluffy tummy until she bites me?
This is a time that holds infinite promise of what might become of the day, any dream residue fades as I forcibly blink my eyes open.

I refuse to turn on a lamp or overhead bulb. What’s the point? Nature provides a more gentle approach if only I can swing my legs out of bed and stumble to open the heavy curtains. My organized sister bought herself a smart lamp that she controls via an app on her phone. Programmed to gradually increase the illumination to allow the body to wake gently, it does the reverse in the evening. A return to pre-electricity peasant days perhaps.

My mother will tell you that I’ve never been a morning person like she is. She likes to divide our family into morning and non-morning people. Her category is naturally superior. Morning people get more achieved, are better organized and nicer to be around apparently. I will argue that society is set up for morning people, whilst my B-section of society is actively discriminated against. How is possible that students and employees are expected to be useful contributors at the ungodly hour of 9am every day? There is no consideration for individual bio-rhythms.

My brain doesn’t kick in until after I’ve had breakfast at the decent hour of 10am, and that is only for errands and procedural activities. The creativity quadrant doesn’t switch on until afternoon at best. My eyes need these light-filled hours to soak in stimuli before it can process the information and regurgitate something useful. I call this time pre-thought. It’s a passive time of reading, watching, walking and not actively thinking. The morning is the time to do this. The particular quality of a.m. sunlight is vastly different to the afternoon. Time has a different scale. It is neither always quicker nor always slower. It ebbs and flows as it pleases.

Cats have the ideal approach to daylight. They seek out slim patches of sunlight and stretch out, recharging their batteries. Naturally solar-powered they expend this energy overnight as they chase each other around the house. I’m sure the grey one sits on my bed, staring at me in disbelief as to why I would want to waste the darkness sleeping.

On hungover mornings though, the sun has a new vicious character altogether. Day always comes too soon. It harsh, too-bright rays refused to be contained behind the drapes. My eyes pierced by the light as I fall out of bed, trip over the grumpy cat and search for the bathroom which seems to have somehow moved overnight. I don’t want to look in the mirror but I know I must confess my sins. Black rimmed panda eyes, mouth that feels like I’ve been licking a wild dog, hair that I don’t even recognize. I blame the artificial bathroom lights above the mirror. These globes are produced to offend surely. Nobody wants that much detail in a reflection.

As I get older, I’ve learnt how to avoid these type of mornings more. Two nurofen and a large glass of water before bed OR not drinking as much – who knew. The daylight is inevitable so I am the variable in this equation. I’m the one that can change and much to my mother’s surprise I have.

Somewhere along the line I became a morning person. Not my mum’s sort of morning person, radio on singing to oneself as eggs are cooking. I became my sort of morning person. I had moved out and was living by myself for the first time. No partner to consider, I could arrange furniture as I wished. And so I did. I faced the bed towards the window and left the curtains open. In the morning the chilled air stirred me before dawn and that’s when I discovered it – that liminal time between night darkness and day light.

Why study and making sourdough bread go hand in hand?


Why study and making sourdough bread go hand in hand?

The physical nature of writing should never be under-rated. We may no longer be scribes sitting in cold medieval rooms lit only by candles but hunched over a computer reading sources, or drafting and re-drafting a piece till it shines. Writing is a physical activity. Beware carpal tunnel syndrome, pinched neck muscles and red, dry eyes. Myotherapists are my new friends.

Fear not! I have the solution for you – home made sourdough bread. What’s this? you ask. Well, I can spruik its features and benefits because I am a recent convert. After having made a few batches of sourdough bread over the last few weeks whilst concurrently studying a couple of summer school intensive subjects, I can positively say that these two are symbiotic.

I’m not used to sitting down for extended periods of time. My work life in the past has been on my feet. Now I do place the laptop on the kitchen bench and type standing up but I’ve got an even better modus operandi. Making sourdough bread. 

My recipe requires than I give it a light knead every half hour. That is the perfect interval to break up my study. My hands and my brain need rest in order to fully realise the ideas contained within. Sourdough bread needs rest and stretching to fully realise its texture and flavour.

If you are interested in the recipe follow the link. I can give you some starter or you can make your own if you’ve got another 5 days, which I did. That’s fun to do anyway. My advice is to start with a basic white loaf before attempting anything tricky like spelt or rye. I think I should have taken that advice and started with only one intensive subject – oh well. Too late now.

Can the book – as we know it – survive the next 30 years?

Can the book – as we know it – survive the next 30 years?
It’s probably to early to sound the death knell for the resilient physical book, which will survive the next thirty years in a guise very close to what we currently know.
Although self-publishing in the digital realm is a more financially viable route for authors, leading to a cheaper, and sometimes free, product for the consumer, the move towards digital printing means the printed physical book remains a possibility for many authors.
A development from this large amount of free content devalues the digital information/product. Drawing on our previous sense experiences, we deem a physical item to be of a higher value. Not only is the end-user more engaged with a physical item, a book can provide a welcome respite from our screen-saturated world.
Places where people can congregate around books such as libraries, bookstores and community book clubs, foster connections and real life physical interaction. In a time of disenfranchisement with the ubiquitous social media via devices people constantly carry around in their pockets, books can become a totem. Word of mouth recommendations are more likely to occur standing around with books in hand.
While online technologies combine previously multiple type books into one accessible, easily updated device, it’s difficult to get an author to sign your e-reader with a sharpie when you rock up to the reader event at your local bookstore.
Survivors of the digital explosion are adapting as they use new media alongside the physical printed book. Niche markets will always exist and the printed book can address these with small digitally printed runs.
Whether the printed book looks the same in thirty depends on many factors, many unanticipated at this point in time. How technology sits alongside the printed book in a seamless user-friendly way is the challenge.

Feminism and publishing


I’m currently studying a writing degree and have decided to share some pieces I’ve been writing in class. I hope you find these as interesting as I do.


Which part of the publishing has had the most influence on the modern era? Or vice versa?

Publishing and feminism have developed hand in hand as women sought a greater role in society. Louisa Lawson produced the journal The Dawn, which grew over its 17 years to employ ten female staff. During the late 19thcentury, she offered articles addressing household advice, fiction, poetry as well as local and global reportage from a strongly feminist perspective.

As the suffragette movement grew across the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, activists looked to writers, and subsequently publishers, to tell their stories and educate people with their books, journals, newspapers and more. Writers were concurrently looking for the opportunity to communicate with their audience and publishers provided the mechanism to connect these two whilst making money. A combination of the 1870 Education Act and growth of public libraries, led to a growing literacy among the lower classes. Suffragettes, though originally mostly from the upper classes, would end up advocating for the rights of all women.

Printed in 1949, Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, is a ground-breaking feminist work, which is often regarded as the jumping off point for the second wave of feminism. This movement gained real traction throughout the late 1960’s and 70’s with female led and feminist publishers growing throughout this time. Virago was born of this era to explore women’s stories and histories. Printed on the second page of every book they released, their purpose was clear – ‘Virago is a feminist publishing company.’

In this current digitally infused era, platforms such as Patreon provide modern feminists a ready-made outlet and simple way to convert social media attention to earnings. Podcasters to erotica writers use this platform to publish their own content for subscribers, garnering income along the way.

Until now feminism and publishing have developed symbiotically. Into the future, how feminism and publishing intersect remains to be seen as both struggle to stay relevant with new technologies.  

The Red Shoes

The Red Shoes
They had only made it half way to the front door. I’d remembered to bring them down from my bedroom but left them on the half-height wall in the lounge. It was a habit we had gotten into – leaving things by the stairs to be taken up or down.  Our cats had other plans for things left on the walls. Like brave hunters protecting their masters, they would bat items off the wall and onto the floor, forcing the object to submit to their feline dominance.
So, I had moved the shoes in case they should suffer the same fate, the heavy wood heels marking the wood floor. Our landlords were cautious and had forced us to sign extra documents in our rental contract. We would not allow anyone to wear stiletto heels on the timber floor. Do I even know anyone who wears stilettos? We would not have any dogs or cats. Whoops.
The red leather shoes got put on top of a crate in my painting area. I don’t have a studio but a small area lined with a tarp then drop-sheet to protect the beloved floorboards. Plastic crates held my paints, rags and jars with brushes in varying stages of utility. Balanced upon a bar stool, an old tile served as my palette.
One evening alone and half a bottle of pink wine later, the urge struck. I didn’t have an image in mind like I often do. I looked around saw the shoes and thought why not. Loosely sketching the image onto the canvas, I got to thinking about such an everyday object in my life. I’d never been one of those women who own loads of shoes. I only wear shoes that are absolutely comfortable. I prefer flats over heels. Barefoot most of the time, any heels I do own must be able to be run in if the need arose.
There was a well dressed man who I briefly dated. He was a gentleman, sending a car to pick me up for our second date, where upon I met his best friend and wife. It was a well-reviewed bayside restaurant with an indulgent wine list and meal usually beyond my modest budget. I talked comfortably with the driver on the way to dinner. Working in a service industry myself, I’ve always chatted easily with waiters, bar staff and customer service assistants. They often know the best places for a drink or meal.
Over a few weeks, he wined and dined me. One afternoon, he turned up at my work to surprise me with a fancy dinner after work. We walked along the street after I finished up, me giving him the tour of the small country town in which I worked. Holding hands, we looked in the shop windows finally stopping at a popular bar for a glass of cold, white wine – a welcome perk of working in a fabulous wine region.
In the window of one store that I rarely entered due to my tight budget, we stopped and admired a pair of red heels. He asked if I liked them; I responded that I did. The store was closed so I knew he wasn’t going to buy them for me. I assumed he was just trying to learn more about what I liked and didn’t like. The seed had been sown though. I liked the shoes but I knew I didn’t need the shoes. I did, however, envision myself wearing them with jeans, with dresses, floral skirts – anything.
After we broke up, I decided to buy them. It wasn’t retail therapy to cheer myself up as I wasn’t really upset that we’d broken up. There had been something about the relationship that had felt a bit off. Maybe it was that he owned more beauty products and shoes than I did.
It was around this time that I began to reflect on what I had learned from the men that I had dated since my marriage dissolved. From one, I learned that I didn’t like being organized by others. From another, I learned that it is important to me to hear the words ‘I love you’. From the aforementioned gentleman, I learned that I could treat myself to some of the finer things in life.
So I went and spent more money on a pair of shoes than I had ever in my life. I slipped my feet inside and they were perfect – no pinching, no rubbing. And I did wear them with dresses, floral skirts and jeans. I loved wearing them. I felt special. Occasionally people noticed them and I would bend my knee, raise my hem and look down to admire them also. I smiled and said – thank you, I love them too.
I remember one night at a gypsy music bar in the inner north – you probably know it, it only serves crepes, two savory and two sweet options. Red-checked table cloths, velvet-clad chairs, and only one wine glass. If you are early enough you’ll get the wine glass, otherwise it’s a tumbler for you. I’m one of those early type people and while that doesn’t help with my social anxiety that the event won’t even happen, it did mean that the wine glass was generally mine.
 I found the bar via a piano-accordion player I briefly tried dating though things never seemed to quite work out there. We seemed to continually miss each other somehow.  I did, however, fall in love with the whole bohemian music scene. The swirling cacophony of notes, plaintive vocals and impassioned dancing hypnotized me. I was hooked and kept schlepping from middle suburbia into this exotic other world. My shoes brought me here. They belonged here.
One sultry summer evening, I didn’t feel like going out but had read in a well-meaning friend’s book on dating rules that the first step is just showing up. So I climbed into the low cut black dress that celebrated my curves and my comfortable, reliable red shoes. I did get compliments on my shoes. Small positive words buoyed me. The glass full of wine didn’t hurt either.
Then there was the Italian chef I had previously dated. I was now single. Again, it had been a relationship that didn’t pan out for any apparent reason. I wasn’t hung up on it. We’d both been invited to a party up country by the chef who had originally set us up on our first date. Not exactly a blind date, we had known each other through mutual friends.
Now country parties don’t normally seem like a heels kind of occasion but they had hired a function space and bungalows for the event. And I wanted to impress. I wanted to be the one who was in control. I wanted to be the one to choose to sleep with him or not.
It was going to be a great weekend. I’d taken the time off work, which was rare for me. Parties thrown by chefs are always good. Hospitality people like to drink and I’m not talking casks of Jacobs Creek. Platters groaned with piles of antipasto, cheese, seafood and more. Each surface offered up something delightful to eat or drink.
 It was late summer and the drive north was through some dry land indeed. Different shades of brown stretched from one side of the horizon to the other. Bushfires had raged across the hills only a year or two prior and many of the guests were somewhat twitchy. The firestorm was still a very real memory for most.
 I’m not a country girl though I worked out that way for many years and had grown to have an understanding of why people chose to live in such an area even though it was remote from the city with the very real threat of bushfire each summer. For me, I was always happy to return to my middle suburban life.
So I brought my shoes along with me. My red wrap dress and the heels worked their magic. I loved that evening. An entertaining group of people – I was with my tribe. I belonged even though I’d only met a handful of them before. I ate and drank with vigor, even danced to delightfully daggy 1980’s music. We did spend the night together. Though nothing further eventuated between us, I was fine with that.
Ten years on the shoes have seen better days – chunks out of the wooden heel, paint rubbed off the rear piece of leather, straps loose and soles very thin. Can they be rehabilitated? Should they be rehabilitated? Are they still relevant in my life? Am I painting a souvenir of times gone by or immortalizing a beloved item in my life?
A few days later, I find myself at the cobbler.  She is a short, spunky woman about my age who I slightly want to be. She seems to have found a trade she believes in and loves, that tires her but makes her feel useful. Her calloused, stained hands turn the shoes over and over, evaluating them while I try and explain what I hope for them. I’m not sure if what I’m asking is possible. How can I explain to her in just a few minutes what these mean to me, why I can’t seem to accept that they may have reached the end of their life? She finally looks up and smiles. I think things are going to be okay.

Word Con 2, novel writing and me

I really enjoyed the presentation by Dr Luke Horton regarding Auto Fiction. I think this is partly how I write. I never thought of it having a particular named style but I know that I certainly draw in many real events and fictionalize them to suit the narrative. Events that happen to me sometimes feel like a ready-made story waiting for dictation.

Looking into this a bit further, it seems many of the books I’ve enjoyed reading stretch into this field – The Sexual Life of Catherine M – Catherine Millet, In Cold Blood – Truman Capote. I would even suggest some of Lilly Brett’s work skirts this line. I’m very much looking forward to Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts.

Though a rushed presentation due to time, the deadline of the timed exercises allowed for no procrastination which is something I often suffer from. The exercise I enjoyed most was inserting me as a character in my novel. It was fun presenting a recognizable version of myself as the annoying, enthusiastic new neighbor.

Overall, I very much enjoy the variety of presentations at Word Con and felt the workshops to be particularly useful. I look forward to the continuation of this event in the future.

Word Con 2, graphic novels and me


First up at Word Con 2 last week, was Robyn Doreian in conversation with Simon McKeown. Writing for illustrative text has been a subject of ups and downs for me. I don’t read graphic novels or comics so I really had to work hard at finding aspects that I could relate to and work with.

Simon’s comics have a strong Victorian thread as they centre on the grand old hotels of Bendigo. The second in his projected series of ten, ‘The True History of the Whipstick Sound’, obviously features many musical references. One double page spread shows album covers of fictional bands. It is this sort of extra layer of information that I really enjoy and thanks to Simon’s prompting I went back to scour a reference book I own – “1000 Record Covers” by Michael Ochs (see links hereand here).

It made me consider my own relationship with music, which I will admit is not overly deep. I do remember a second hand record store that was on Burke Road in Camberwell. Records were displayed in liberated milk crates alphabetically but not by style. Personally I thought this was a genius approach as I became exposed to things I made never have previously come across. There was a turntable with a pair of headphones controlled by the grumpy staff – just like in the movies. For a middle suburban teenage girl, it was all very exotic. I uncovered The Damned there.

And for those who are curious, below is a mock up of the front cover and one internal page of the comic I’ve been working on. 
The story centres on a woman with taste synaethesia and her journey in life. You can read the prologue here

Her Landscape – short fiction

Her Landscape – short fiction by Amanda Kennedy
Okay, I’m in bed.
It’s dark. It’s night.
I’m naked.

She curls her legs up instinctively and rolls to her right side.

Owww – that hurts. What the hell?

Her right hand finds her neck and firmly rubs the muscle as she turns her head first to the right and then to the left. Running her hands up through her hair she finds a large bruise on the crown of her head.  Cupping this egg, she realises that she has no idea how it got there.
Quickly she shoots a glance to her bedside table and is relieved to see her phone there plugged in.

That’s right, my phone battery died during the afternoon.

She checks the time. It’s 11.30. She can see a couple of missed calls and messages. She’ll check them later when she feels up to it.
Draining the last of the water in her glass, she feels the first bit of relief since she woke.

This is my bed. This is my room.

With the help of the street lights shining in through the open curtains she can see her shoes, her coat and her scarf on the floor next to her handbag. The clothes she had been wearing were draped across the chair as they were every evening. Swinging her feet onto the floor with some effort, she levers her body into a standing position.  Her full bladder starts to cause her discomfort.
At first she can’t stand to turn on the bathroom light so in the dark she slumps onto the toilet seat and lets her head hang into her hands.

Okay, right. What do I know? I went out in the afternoon. I met up with Rachel. We had a few wines. I had pink. She had white. Then I hopped on the train to come home around peak hour. That’s right the train was crowded – standing room only.

Flicking the fluorescent light on, she pays witness to what she sees reflected in the large wall mirror. Her eye make is smudged giving her panda eyes and her hair is certainly in need of at least a brush if not a wash. She turns to view her back in the mirror to take stock of her entire body, checking for any new marks or bruises.

Okay, that’s good. Nothing scary.

Opening the cabinet door, she fumbles for painkillers as she starts to fully accept the pounding present inside her head. The bright yellow cardboard box yields up its last two tablets from the foil sleeve. More water guzzled down. One. Two full glasses plus a refill for the bedside table.
She climbs back into the inviting warmth of her bed.

How much did I really drink that much? Two wines as we sat in the sun overlooking the river.  No, three wines. We had that other one after we moved inside away from the rain. Oh, yeah and the pork belly sliders. She then left to go that conference and I walked across the river to catch the train home like the sensible woman I was going to be. Oh yeah, I did stop at the new bar on the corner after I got off the train.

Of course, she was there too early and there was only one other person in the bar. An old guy in a dark blue leather jacket was propped up at one end of the bar, nursing his pint. Bowls of peanuts sat on the tables ready for the shelling. A thin white ponytail hanging down the middle of his back. She managed to cajole him to play a game of darts with her, not that she was any good but she liked the idea of being a darts fiend. He wanted to play billiards but she knew that would take too long and she was on her way home – just stopping in for a quick one to check this warehouse bar she had walked past often but never inside.
It was only happy hour for another 20 minutes so she finished up her pot of lacklustre tasting beer and offered to buy her new friend Nick another one. An hour later, the bar had filled up and she rugged up with her coat, scarf and gloves to brave the icy wind and drizzle outside.

It was dark and cold and I remember it had been raining. Was it actually raining when I walked home? I’m not sure. I don’t think so.

Reluctantly getting out of her nest again she checks through her clothes for clues. On her trousers she finds green marks at her knees.

Grass stains?

Her jacket has dust marks all over it. Her pale leather shoes are mostly clean though. Her handbag sits on the chair untouched and unmarked. She opens it up in a moment of panic but finds her purse, cash and credit cards intact.

 Jumper, singlet, bra – check.  Socks? Over there.

Picking up her scarf, a lone earring and a handful of empty peanut shells fall out onto the carpet. She surrenders, having accounted for her things, climbs back into bed and switches off the light wishing for the sweet nothingness of sleep.

Okay. I left the bar alone. I was tipsy sure but I wasn’t pissed. Yeah, I was definitely alone. It was dark. Not much street lighting so I crossed the road to make sure that I walked under the lights. I was being safe. So up to the end of the road, across the grass – was that where I fell? But my trousers would be wet and my shoes would be muddy. Maybe I tripped over one of those rocks by the start of the ramp?

She again rubs her legs and arms, this time finding a tender spot by her wrist. Holding the bruised top of her head, she fantasises about the oblivion state of sleep. No pain, no blank spots, no questioning monkey mind.
Slowly, gradually the colour of the sky changes as dawn takes over and she stops fighting for slumber. A large cup of tea helps lull her pounding head while she gathers the laundry and trudges down the stairs to the machine. Pausing to spray the grass stains on her trousers, her confusion doubles.

They’re not at all wet. Maybe it wasn’t grass?

Imagining talking to Rachel later that day she ran over the evening or what she could recount of it for sure.

I know I drank but really I only had what, five drinks over four or five hours. I wasn’t that drunk that I blacked out. Was I? We had food. Thank god, I’m mostly okay. Just my head really. My phone, my purse, my credit cards are all here.  I’ve gotta go walk my steps and see if I recall anything else.

Pulling on a different warm coat and long leather boots, she grabs her keys and heads out.

Wow at least I didn’t leave my keys in the door like I did that time we went to that gallery opening in Brunswick.

Locking the door behind her, she drags down her sunglasses as a barrier against unwanted conversation. Head down and off into the cold winter day she strides.

I remember how cold it was crossing the freeway last night. It’s always freezing up there on the overpass. Do I really remember or do I just want to remember?

After having crossed a few driveways, her eye catches something glinting in the small sliver of morning sun. Her earring. It’s broken. They were only a couple of dollars from the cheap Asian store but she liked them. People complimented her in them. She squats to pick it up and it is then that she notices the moss growing along the footpath. She touches it and it is cold and damp. She looks along the pavement and it’s then that she sees scuff marks in the slippery lichen covered concrete.