Short Story ‘Just A Little Slip’ Published in Invisible: the mystery of hidden illness

Hey all! This is something I’ve been meaning to scream about for a bit now but have been caught in a very bad brain state which has been exacerbated by burnout. Back in January, I found a posting on a Facebook writing group I’m part of for an invisible illness anthology. I decided I wanted to submit. I wrote most of the story in 24 hours, which was rather stressful. I don’t recommend writing a story, short or otherwise, in that amount of time.

But I was accepted.

And as of a couple weeks ago, Invisible: the mystery of hidden illness is out and my short story ‘Just A Little Slip’ is one of the stories it features.

The description (of the anthology):

Imagine this: your life is a battle with an unseen enemy. The invader strikes from the shadows, causing injury and chaos. It saps your strength and undermines everything meaningful. You fight alone, as no-one else can see or understand the beast – and they might even believe it’s all invention.

An invisible illness is a disability the world doesn’t notice, the lab test can’t find, or both. They can be temporary or permanent. We often find our stories are told on our behalf, and overlaid with the messages and meanings of others. This book is a space where writers with experience of invisible illness (mainly their own) have chosen to speak in their own words and reclaim the narrative. Some have spoken directly, others in metaphor or poetry.

Invisible is in several parts. “Betrayals of the Body” focuses on physical symptoms such as chronic pain, “Serpents of the Mind” explores cognitive and mental issues, and a brief “Interlude” offers advice. Some recurring patterns and themes can be found: pain is often a monster or demon, and several of us are inspired by the metaphorical territory of music or water. These are explored in monochrome artwork and carefully-chosen vintage pieces.

This unique collection shows people dealing with adversity in their own ways. Multiple allergies, hypermobility, trigeminal neuralgia, brain injury, complex PTSD: these are some of our adversaries’ names. There are moments of hope and strength, flashes of sarcasm, and at times human weakness and despair. We cannot be reduced to a single voice or explained away with a single story.

Invisible is an independent project raising money for ME Action in support of their advocacy work.

The authors featured are: Andrea Hintz, Caitlin McGee, Carina Barnett, Debra L Scott, Jeff Russell, Lia Rees, LL Lemke, MG MacDougal, Margarita Meklina, Odessa Silver, Penny Blake, Rachel Spina, Rosa Sophia, Ryn Richmond, Sammie Trinidad, Saoirse O’Mara, Shayla Maxwell, and Virginia Carraway Stark.

This was a delight to work on and I’m honored to be a part of it. Be sure to check it out!

~LL

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