Her father’s calls always came at awkward times. It was almost as if this was his superpower: the ability to sense when she was busy right before he felt the urge to pick up the phone.

Today, jet lagged, Alison was woken from a deep, dream-tormented sleep by the insistent…


Author’s own photograph

For the fifth morning in a row, Kate woke at 3am. She tossed and turned for an hour. Feet under the covers, feet stuck out in the dark over the side of the bed, too hot, too cold, and what if there were monsters out there, or someone hiding beneath…


The classroom was almost empty when I showed up that first day in April. A scattering of adults had spread themselves around the room. …


I have a confession to make. My route into writing was through fan fiction. There, I’ve said it. My name is Gillian and I was a fan fiction author for five long years.

The less glib background to finding and beginning to write was the sudden death of my mother…


When you tell people that you are a writer how does that usually go? Do you notice any difference between the reactions of the women and the men?

I was at a party last night. This anniversary party for a couple who are more acquaintances than friends was held in…


Spark of Madness: Creative Challenge

The Scratchpad №42.5

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”

— Robin Williams

The forest floor

Alive, and you

before my eyes

Flashing, flying

So many dying

You lure your prey

And life itself

Extinguished.

A sadness

Speaks to that little spark of madness

Deep within

Us all

Powerless to resist

Your drugging pull

We fall

There is no saving us now


Falling: Creative Challenge

The Scratchpad №41.5

“That wasn’t flying. That was falling with style!”
— Woody, Toy Story

We poke our heads around the wall, fast, one at a time. We’re like meerkats, or maybe cops tracking perps, cops who have no desire to get their heads blown off. So we peep and then withdraw before…


We write not for glory or acclaim,

But because not to pen those words that roll around our shrieking brains,

would be hell.

So that blank space calls to me.

It lures me with its perfect unsullied,

Satisfying whiteness.

A witness.

Please impress, it says,

With your muddy thoughts and your overflowing emotions.

Lay them on me so that you can sleep at night,

And I will hold them tight.

Then, together, let us share,

With the world,

If you dare.


A Flash Fiction by Gillian Webster

Like a Coney Island Circus sideshow, you stare at me. Trapped inside this glass box for hours at a time, I become an object to you. Of ridicule, of your pathetic pickup lines, of your sexual overtures: the flashed genitals I never wished to see. …

Gillian Webster

Playing with words and taking pictures.

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