Jennifer K. Oliver

Speculative Fiction Writer

Category: Social Media

Becoming a Student Again (Studying an MA)

I’m so thrilled to accept a place on the MA in Graphic Design at the University of Hertfordshire! It’s an online part-time distance learning program, so I will remain at home and in my full-time job. The course spec is here. Crikey, I couldn’t be happier about this! It’ll provide me with invaluable new skills and knowledge, and help with my career goals and my freelance business. 

Term starts in September and I plan to update my blog here at my website and my Linkedin page frequently with my findings and developments, and also talk about life as a part-time, online mature student. It has been a long time since I’ve been in education but I thrive when learning so this will be a fantastic opportunity for my personal development, too.

The application process was intense, but I had oodles of help from friends Yvonne AnisimowiczDavid Cooke and Charlotte Jeffery! Their support and encouragement (and faith in me) was incredible.

My Micro-Fiction and Twitter Stories

I’m sharing the handful of micro-fiction I’ve had published across Twitter story venues. These are old now, but I’m still fond of them.

The Clockmaker’s Heart, at Nanoism, December 2012. Bittersweet and steampunky.

The Thinning, at 50-Word Stories, December 2012. Contemporary supernatural.

Robogrrrl@onefortyfiction, March 2012. Light-hearted sci-fi.

Morning Jaunt, at 5×5 Fiction Issue 4, January 2012. Stories in 25 words. Apocalypse fiction.

Patio@trapezemag, October 2011. Twitter fic. Tongue-in-cheek horror. Can also be found here.

Grey Matter@onefortyfiction, August 2011. Twitter fic. Contains zombies.

It sounds easy enough to write something interesting in 140 characters or less (these were all pre- the 280 character expansion), but it takes care and thought to pull it off and make a micro-story worth reading. Hopefully my little offerings aren’t too dire! This is an art form I would like to get back into some day, although it seems that many of the micro-fiction venues have closed to business now.

As a side note, I can’t believe it’s been six years since I’ve written any short-shorts. These days I’m far more focused on graphic design and longer fiction, though submissions have dwindled in the last few years due to increased day job hours and, as I said, lots of graphic design.

Things I Liked in 2010 – Nano-Fiction

If you’re ever stuck for story prompts, inspiration, titles and summaries, or you’re simply looking for a bit of a giggle, head over to the Urban Dictionary and lose a few hours of your life. I’m surprised how many times I see something there and think “That’s so ridiculous, it could make a good story / title.” If nothing else, the ideas can make for fun and random flash pieces for practise, if you have a spare ten minutes on your lunch break or before bed.

Of course, there’s a downside to everything. A couple of times me and my co-workers have invented some weird word or meaning. “Mornoon” was the latest, for that indistinct period of time between 11:50am and 12:10pm. Sadly we found it already exists on Urban Dictionary. Alas.

I’ve updated my Fiction page with the nano-fiction / twitter-length stories I wrote years ago. A lot of the good Twitter-length fiction accounts like One Forty Fiction and  Trapeze Magazine are dead now, but a couple of them are still going, and most of them still archive the old stuff.

Nanoism – This has been around for a long time. The quality is high and the author voices are fresh and varied. I’m happy to see this is still active.

Very Short Stories – Also still active. Written by the same person and, as far as I know, he does not accept submissions (correct me if I’m wrong).

7×20 – This is on WordPress and Twitter. They only accept 140 characters, despite the recent increase in length. But that’s part of the challenge.

New Blog, Much Tidier

I’m moving my Dreamwidth blog to WordPress for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Photobucket recently switched to a paid image hosting platform and almost all of my old images display as a ghastly Photobucket placeholder. Secondly, WordPress is just a cleaner, fresher place to be. The fact that so many of my posts are broken on Dreamwidth bothers me too much, so I’m bringing content that I think is still relevant or interesting here.

I have written a lot about writing and reading, shared a lot of graphic design and artwork, and talked a great deal about life in general over the years. It would be a shame for it all to get lost under placeholder pics. This is a laborious task, however, and it will take some time weeding out the good stuff and discarding the irrelevant. Please bear with.

Find me on Twitter, Instagram (predominantly graphic design), Goodreads and various other places. I will blog here from now on, though I still might mirror relevant posts to my Dreamwidth journal from time to time.

I still run my graphic design business at J. Oliver Designs, where I create promotional posters, book and story covers, business card designs, website banners and graphics, as well as corporate material. I love designing for fellow authors so if you’re a writer looking for a cover or promo graphic, drop me a line.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén