Turbulence – Day 124 – Gemma Seltzer

It’s the last day of Mentor March and I am incredibly excited to write about my last mentor… Gemma Seltzer.

I was told about London based author, Gemma Seltzer, last year when the idea of this project was just a vague dream. She had started out writing a story every day for 100 days based on interactions with strangers and posted it to a blog (speaktostrangers.co.uk/). It was so successful she has often asked to re-create it in different cities and even written for the TATE Modern. She was young and she had started out with just a self run blog… something clicked in my brain and I decided then and there that my vague dream would become a concrete reality. The idea that had always seemed overwhelming and distant suddenly seemed like a real option. 

So last week I decided to email her and ask her for advice and a prompt. And on the weekend I got a beautiful reply…

“I’m so pleased you found something in my work that inspired you too – that’s made my day,” it began. “From a browse of your site, I can see you have loads of energy and a great range in your writing. What a lovely project, because it’s about real life and people as much as it’s about good writing.” 

I was so chuffed! She also told me to write in different places around Brisbane- explore every aspect of it. I think this is a really great idea and I will be using it as my theme for next month (April).

Lastly she gave me a challenge “Write your story on a piece of paper, fold it into an plane and let it go in a crowd.”

So I wrote a story and folded it up…

Then threw it off a balcony into the Myer Centre food court in the city. I watched as it sailed down narrowly missing a young man’s head. Unfortunately he was listening to headphones and completely missed it. It landed somewhere at his feet and I now I have no idea where it is. Hopefully someone will pick it up…
Born from a few rash folds it knew only one purpose, to fly. But as its flimsy body quivered in the breeze, terror began to weigh it down. If it failed, its inky cargo would be lost.

It mustered its courage and leapt into a gust of wind, hoping to ride it smoothly to its destination. Alas it was only a few turbulent seconds before its bleached pulpy wings gave out and it took a nose dive toward the pavement below.

With only discarded chewing gum for company, it lay crumpled on the ground. But then a hand smoothed its wings and launched it into the air once more. This time it flew for a good while, and when it faltered another hand caught it. Its journey continued on like this until it wasn’t sure which way it was going, or if it was even facing the right direction.  

When it finally came to rest, it looked around, disorientated. Then, a face slid into focus, and it realised it had found its destination. The inky cargo was delivered in perfect reading condition.


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