Burning woman

Posted: December 7, 2013 in Short stories
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Afrikaburn, or Burning Man as it’s known in the US, must rate as one of the most amazing experiences ever. I have attended four times and it has never ceased to astound and inspire me. It is truly an ‘Alice down the rabbit-hole’ experience and I cannot imagine what it must be like to find oneself there inadvertently. In fact, we met a few people who did just that during our last trip.

So, when the Short Story Day Africa 2013 competition theme was announced as the fairly bizarre, Feast, Famine and Potluck, what better setting for a story than Afrikaburn. My story, Burning Woman, was shortlisted as one of the top 6 entries and appears in the SSDA 2013 anthology, described as a dazzling collection from across the African continent and diaspora.

Food is at the centre of stories from authors emerging and established, blending the secular, the supernatural, the old and the new in a spectacular celebration of short fiction. Civil wars, evictions, vacations, feasts and romances – the stories we bring to our tables that bring us together and tear us apart.

You can buy a hard copy or an e-book. All of the info can be found here.

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Whispers from the wild

Posted: December 3, 2013 in Short stories
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One of my passions is visiting game reserves. Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to spend about 12 days camping in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, a massive park straddling South Africa and Botswana.

My story, Whispers from the Wild, was inspired by, amongst other memories, another such trip – this time to Addo Elephant Park a few years back.

Here is a short excerpt from my story:

How I had hoped and prayed that the stimulation of this new environment and the sight of these strange creatures would trigger a vocal response from Katy. But so far, it was not the case. She was clearly excited and amazed by the experience, but not enough to actually say anything. Katy had not spoken since the incident. And maybe she never would again.

It’s published in an anthology called The Short Story is Dead, Long Live the Short Story!, a collection of short stories and poems celebrating Short Story Day Africa 2012. This collection, published by Black Letter Media, features voices from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Nigeria.

Humble beginnings…

Posted: September 13, 2013 in General
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My husband inhabits the world of websites and website marketing, and he strongly recommended I name this site my name. I wanted to come up with something quirky and clever, but I bowed to his superior web wisdom, and so I introduce my blog, ‘michellepreen.com’. I did, however, sneak in the byline, the write(r) side.

Currently when you search for ‘Michelle Preen’, virtually every reference is to ‘Michelle Obama dressed by Preen’, so let’s hope that I now climb the Google ranking ladder and outdo the first lady and her fashion designer. One day, I hope to see ‘Michelle Preen read by Michelle Obabma.’

I have subtitled this blog the write(r) side because besides being convinced that this is the right path which I have chosen, it is only a small part of what I do. I wish for it to be a much bigger part, but right now I will have to make do with writing fiction in my spare time.

I currently work full time in the field of environmental communications and media, which means I get to write, just not fiction. You can read a bit more about me and my writing in the ‘About’ section of this blog.

I imagine this blog will be a base for my writing – a place to hone it and to home it. It will provide an address to which I can send people if they express an interest in reading what I write. I know, for one, my mom will love to send people here!