Monthly Archives: February 2017

Lady Philomena offers advice down under – it’s accepted in 79 minutes!

Sometimes you have to be very patient after you have submitted a story for consideration by a press. Not so with Australia-based Pure Slush, a no-nonsense and very fast-response online publication.

Here’s what their founder said about Pure Slush’s aims:

Founding editor Matt Potter, when asked what Pure Slush is ‘about’ in an interview with Fictionaut in December 2010, said, with reference to flash fiction:  “Fun, humour, attention, absurdity, humanity, love, sex, more fun and more humour and more absurd humanity. (Wank, wank!) Stories big and small, but not too big, hence the 500 word limit. Maybe some posturing, but definitely not macho posturing!”


So at the beginning of December I submitted my quirky little piece in response to a call for SIX TIPS ON ANYTHING and waited – for  a mere 79 minutes.

All the way to Australia and back. Matt accepted my story in less than an hour and a half. Seriously impressive.

Thanks Matt, and here is my piece of silliness he published –


The Honourable Lady Philomena Partington-Smythe’s Six Steps On How To Deal With A Crisis While Baking A Lemon Drizzle Cake

by Shirley Muir

 1. If your cake is still baking when disaster strikes, seek out your oven manual and read the ‘setting the timer’ instructions.  Set the timer so your cake will be finished even if you have to abandon your place in the kitchen before that time.

2. Leave a fire extinguisher by the oven if you are unable to set the timer properly. Do not switch off the oven if your cake is still cooking. See 1.

3. If you are obliged to vacate the premises, brush any stray flour off your open recipe book and close it, marking the page with a tasteful bookmark. (Mine is a portrait of Her Majesty The Queen). Keep the recipe book safe as you want to avoid someone stealing it in order to copy your recipe.

4. Close the kitchen doors and windows so there is no unwanted draught to fan any flames in the event of a fire.  If the house is on fire call the fire service.

5. If catastrophe befalls during inclement weather collect your Wellington boots, a waterproof coat and an umbrella on the way out. Do take your house key. Make sure the servants are aware that they must not desert their posts.

6. If you have to leave the house, seek out a large shopping bag (your maid will direct you) and carefully select from the larder all the ingredients listed in your recipe. You will need these if your kitchen is destroyed and you are forced to bake a second lemon drizzle cake to replace the lost one.

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