For David, the world is largely a place of sunny uplands.
For Polly, there is always the risk of storm clouds on the horizon.
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The prize is open to anyone, and the shortlist is a mix of both well-known short story writers and newcomers.
Alongside Polly, whose 'Perfect Lives' was recently published in paperback to positive reviews, are Graham Mort (Touch), Michele Roberts (Mud: Stories of Sex and Love), Helen Simpson (In-flight Entertainment), and Tom Vowler (The Method and Other Stories).
Polly has been shortlisted for the Edge Hill University Short Story Prize 2011 for 'Perfect Lives'.
Now in its fifth year, it is the UK's only literary award that recognises a published collection of short stories.
A solitary child, Polly began writing and illustrating stories and poems from an early age.
and her mother was a writer of Chinese descent, Esther Cheo Ying, who wrote a memoir, Black Country to Red China, about her time serving as a Major in Mao Zedong's Red Army.
Following a troubled childhood, Polly joined the publishing industry, through which she met the writer Heathcote Williams, and with whom she had her first son, Charlie.
To almost any outsider, they are a couple imbued with unimaginable good fortune.
As guitarist and co-lead vocalist of Pink Floyd, he is one of the most successful musicians of all time (his career spans six decades and has earned him an estimated £85 million).