HELLO, MY NAME IS REBECCA.
I'm a London-based writer. Welcome to my online portfolio. Here you can view a selection of my writing, both fiction and editorial.
Feel free to contact me to talk ideas.
Declaration: All work on this website is copyright © 2014 I Find You Curious. All rights reserved.
Editorial, Sit tight for a little while longer, published in the winter 2013 issue of Betty Magazine. I am currently at work on a piece for the summer 2014 issue. Here is the opening to my winter feature.
Compiled from behind an office desk, the following survival guide is for the creative lady who earns her pennies through ordinary means but dreams of more heartfelt endeavours.
...LIKE A QUEEN. Rise for breakfast half an hour early. Dress in woollen socks and cotton smock. Splash your face with cold water. Prepare a plate of delicious goodness: bleeding berry pancakes, runny poached eggs on watercress island or a woodpile of buttered toast soldiers. Listen to the birds or distant traffic. Devour every mouthful whilst being at one with yourself: the barefaced and sleepy you at the start of a new day.
Short story, Beyond Woman, forthcoming in Nutshell magazine.
My poem, Blue Blood Reins, published in Page 4 of Belleville Park Pages.
Let’s upstage the peacocks
Such privileged creatures
Bound by grace and
Like bored azures
Let’s strike the trees
Choke the thicket
Give us a reason to breathe
We’re titled to it.
Let’s dress in rayon
Tuck into waistband and flee
With fire in our drift
Escape the crush of earthly brown.
I Find You Quarterly is my first printed publication, distributed to nice places in London and Brighton. The Quarterly is designed by Simon of Two Design Studio. I am currently at work on the second issue, which will feature a snippet of my novel-in-progress.
My short story, Stargazing, published in .Cent Magazine.
Organza was no ordinary girl. But none of us are ordinary, or so we are told by adoring mothers and grandmothers. They shine our noses and tell us we are special. And then we remove that shine with an angry sleeve.
But Organza’s freckles were not like the freckles of other little girls, but like dancing dots of violet, blue and green. And wherever Organza stood she appeared in spotlight, like the beautiful actresses of the world.
Organza believed that she must have been very special in her mother’s eyes to be named after the dreamiest of fabrics.
Joy, Organza’s mother, was adamant that the world had changed colour the day her darling daughter came into existence with a sneeze. Yes, a sneeze, as simple as that. Childbirth was just a spore of pollen in a nostril.
“What colour was the world before I was born, Mother?” Organza asked.
“Black,” her mother replied, before downing a tumbler of foul-smelling liquor. “As black as a night without stars,” she slurred.
“What colour was the world after I was born, Mother?”
“Off-white,” smiled Joy. “Like a wedding gown.” Organza watched as her mother’s cheeks turned from grey to pink, as if kissed by bitten berry lips.
As the daughter of the Queen of Stars, Ulyana had known only vapid home scholars and dim nursemaids. So when a white dwarf star named Patrick extended an honest and gentle hand, Ulyana was oscillating above his blazing body before she could say contraception.
On her 1000th birthday Ulyana gave birth to a dinky bundle of pink nebula. The Queen of Stars was outraged by her daughter’s dalliance with a man more than a billion years her senior and declared the newborn a “dormant, incapable of an incandescence befitting royal service”. The tiny star was banished to Earth where upon descent she would dissolve to twinkle dust and be ingested by a reproductively challenged female.
The estimated journey time from night sky to semi-detached was eighty years. During that time, the Queen of Stars suffered a fatal supernova. She would not be missed.
On a Tuesday evening in December, seven years ago, a young woman in her twenties prepared a slap-up meal of shepherd’s pie and buttered baguette, before announcing to her beloved the miraculous conception. That young woman was Joy.
Nine months later, and with Joy in the climax of labour, Organza travelled the length of the birthing canal.
The wedding celebrations were commenced, with Ulyana, the celestial bride, resplendent in a trompe l’oeil tunic of off-white. Like many a forward-thinking star, she considered pure white an untrue reflection of her virginal state – and indeed of life itself. Patrick, never one to make a fuss, kept it classic in a haze of knitted maroon. Miles and miles of grosgrain ribbon snaked like runways between neighbouring galaxies, with an invitation to all. Guests vibrated to 80s power ballads. Meteors filled the sky with a shower of violet, blue and green. And with a final eruption of nuclear fusion, Ulyana and Patrick locked lips and vowed to watch over Organza for as long as they both shall live. And that was a very long time indeed.
With a final sneeze from a hospital bed, a star was born.
I am currently at work on a mildly sinister illustrated story. It's sufficiently oddball and will be illustrated by a very talented graphic designer, my partner Simon.
Extract coming soon.
I was delighted to be asked by the talented photographer Fiona Essex to be part of her project Favourite Places. Fiona approached me in October 2013, having discovered my first printed publication I Find You Quarterly in an independent record shop in Brighton. Favourite Places profiles creative women and the personal space in which they work. More details to follow.
I am collaborating with my friend and photographer Fiona Essex on a project called Die Kinderbrucke (The Bridge Across) inspired by a childhood book of the same name. I have written a poem called 'How to defy the rain' which will accompany Fiona's photos. More details to follow.
Art Series is a project I started in April 2013. Each month I visit Brighton Art Gallery to select a painting from the permanent collection for personal appraisal. My 200 (or thereabouts) words are published monthly in Viva Brighton magazine. My mini column is happily ongoing. Click the above link to learn more about the project.
As monthly art columnist for Viva Brighton magazine, I write about the permanent art collections at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery. I also write local interest and interview features with a focus on creative news. Topics I have covered so far include sock darning and dancing the lindy hop.
My flash fiction, Horizontal Transmission, published in 3:AM magazine.
Like lavender she is suited to extreme conditions, expert drainage and the appreciation of a romantic’s nose. She considers a rose to be a tentative gesture: petticoats of veiled ham to crispy blisters in approximately seven days. Sorry I can’t be more specific. She struggles to see the worth in a week of unrivaled beauty when sustained elegance is an option. Lavender is robust, imbued with centuries of sentiment and, most reassuringly, is not to everyone’s liking. Her mother, for example, thinks it so terribly old-fashioned.
He suggests a lamb dhansak, one eye surfing the crest of a goal-bound strike. She claps a hand to her mouth, repulsed by the image of the threads of her vascular system coated in lanolin. She acknowledges the coupling of lanolin and lavender oil in soap making – the compact block on the corner of an elegant basin, but the word emollient pervades, thick and white and unscented. (With a damp cloth, she removes the bird shit and generic grime from the plastic washing line; this is her equivalent of pinging an elastic band against a wrist as an aid to curbing destructive thoughts).
He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, interpreting her gesture as an indication of his need to cleanse his palette, and withdraws from the host (primary or intermediate – he remains undecided). She reaches for a stray vest and spreads her naked self with its insufficient spill. She deliberates the word parasite, but opts for pathogen, not wishing to appear unnecessarily hostile.
My short story, Gracious Heights, performed at New Venture Theatre as part of Brighton Fringe Festival 2012. Here is an extract:
In 1961, robots invaded Brighton.
The exact date and time remains unknown, for there is no evidence of their arrival, only of their existence. Concrete evidence.
The robots did not crash the city upon a regular Tuesday morning in a reported “terror attack”. They did not morph from monster trucks or supercars or great vessels from the shipping docks. There was no tumbling display along the Kingsway with humans flipped like pancakes off the foot of a storming leader. No dreadful screaming ladies clutching a prized pooch. No modern young men leapfrogging railings in over-shined shoes. A Hollywood blockbuster it was not.
It was more considered. Sophisticated, even.
The robots came in silence by night. Component parts were housed throughout the city exempt from waiting list officialdom; infant robots planted like seeds in an adequate space fit for purpose. No random distribution like wind pollination; the robots were not akin to dandelion parachutes reliant on a breeze to bring them to their knees. They did not operate like a bunch of marbles dropped from an open palm and sent rolling in faint lines of noise until snatched by a crevice, gutter, pock or ravine. Nor did they resemble a procession of glowing tea lights on tiptoes.
The robots settled like darkness itself, with a subtlety that slips the human eye at each close of day. At around the same time but at no time specific, you drop the blind or pull the curtains on the surprising lack of light.
The next morning, as alarm clocks dragged sleeping bodies from crumpled sheets, and the seagulls snapped open their origami wings, the residents of Brighton were none the wiser as to the silent invasion. For the infant robots were no more conspicuous than a discarded wheel trim or traffic cone.
My short prose, The Art of Push and Pull, published on Ink Sweat & Tears magazine.
“Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” Joseph despairs. “Do you ever just, shut up?”
Clomp. Clomp. Clomp. SLAM. His wife pulls away in the silver Audi.
From the basement flat below, Jenny perfects her wine-stained smile in a hand mirror. “Clever kitty,” she says, recalling the tabby cat’s purring consent.
Joseph wonders if the young woman downstairs has overheard their disagreement.
Only once or twice has coincidence brought them together, in passing to their respective front doors, with awkward pleasantries about the relentless drizzle or the charismatic feline skilled in the art of acquiring cold meat scraps. Her recent compliment on his Breton stripe jersey had left him bumbling; she actually touched his arm, as if they were on familiar terms.
Joseph switches on the radio and selects a lively classical number. Remembering that his eldest daughter and her new boyfriend are joining them that evening for his legendary wild mushroom and taleggio pizza, he begins to whistle. A crisp apple tart will bring the affair to a fine conclusion.
Jenny drapes a sliver of cheese across a cracker. Then a single bite that occupies her cheeks for what seems longer than necessary.
“How small I will appear, under the sheets of his bed,” she confides, softly.
Tonight, dressed in floral crepe de chine, Jenny will knock. Wrapped in a tea towel at her breast will be an ailing sourdough.
Joseph pulls on his gardening shoes and heads outside to sow cornflowers in time for his wife’s return. He scatters the seeds with uncharacteristic abandon, rakes the earth in a private display of tenderness. Still, the arrival of seedlings never fails to raise a smile, a hand slipped in hand.
Jenny reaches for the flour and sets to work on her ill-fated creation.
My poem, Root Ball Terror, published on Dog-Ear magazine.
Puddles of earth? More curious than an empty packet of crinkle cut or stray Tesco carrier bloated on sea breeze.
A trail of ericaceous led me to a boisterous four by four. Our infant tree tossed like a badger in accidental murder.
Displaced below street level, his outlook is uncertain.
Angry person, avert your gaze. You are not a postman so don’t open gates, grab plants like turkey necks and hurl them at private number plates.