FOCUS ON FICTION
I’m going to be doing one of these a day (hopefully) to give people a bit more background & insight about the stories I’ve got out/available, to help anyone make a decision about what they want to read next, or just to give background if you’re already familiar with the story.
Short story today!
Short story: Hannah Matchmaker is struggling to make progress as fast as she’d like at Rollerderby, until she gets her hands on some new skates…
A story for fans of Rollerderby who are already pretty au fait with the jargon.
This sweet little fable was intended to be encouraging about learning things the hard way and not taking enticing short-cuts that ultimately don’t improve your skills at all. And it’s about rollerderby, because that’s been adjacent to my life, via friends and partners, for well over a decade now. It’s been tremendous to see derby gain more respect and traction as a legitimate sport and, in the same time period, a lot of other sports previously heavily-associated with male-only participation have become more publicly-acknowledged as women’s sports too, which is also very cool.
There’s not much to be said about the construction of this story: demotivation at skills acquired without struggle is something I have personal experience with, so that was my window into it. It’s hard to value something if you feel you haven’t made an effort with it, and the progress you make can feel fake, and not worth celebrating. The idea of cursed objects that both giveth and taketh away is pretty much as old as culture itself, and has been present in stories along these lines going back as far as they’ve been recorded.
As a result I feel confident in describing this as a classic folk/fairytale, with a sports framing. Hannah Matchmaker goes on a quintessential hero’s journey, she learns an important lesson, and she develops as a person as a result. If you’re looking for a story that has a moral and a female protagonist, this is where you come to, of my work.