Tuesday 30 December 2008

Things I learned this holiday

1. Rococo's Sea Salt Chocolate wafers are the best. I intend to eschew all other chocolates from now on.

2. You haven't heard poetry until you've heard a seven year old reading The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. To a seven year old this is a story and so she reads it as a story, with the paranthesised sections in a whispered aside and the exclamation marks emphasised! It shakes the whole thing up and you hear the heart of it in a way you never did before.

3. Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa is very funny. Better than the first film.

4. I can no longer eat bread sauce without getting heartburn. I'll be sticking to the Rococo chocolate from now on.

5. Grace Paley is a writer I want to read. Her short story, The Loudest Voice, is the best thing in the Everyman Book of Christmas Stories.

6. I go mad if I'm not allowed to write at least a few words every other day. Less than that and I become a misanthropic misery.

7. World Monopoly is a piece of cake to play but how did they settle on which cities to group together? In the old London Monopoly you knew the rough parts of town were cheap to buy (pre-Islington revival, obviously). And £15million seems an awful lot of money to start out with.

8. I have some really good friends. People who stay calm and compassionate under fire, who give of their time generously, whose stamina and whose talent is humbling and a joy.

So... what did you learn?

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Seasons Greetings

I've been busy behind the scenes, writing and editing the column about the family history photograph which has been approved by the editor of the magazine who will publish it in the New Year. I'm very excited about this. On Christmas Day, my story Kanti chooses Santa is up at Every Day Fiction. I hope you enjoy it. Merry Christmas and a peaceful and productive New Year, everyone.

Monday 15 December 2008

Literary Mama

Literary Mama have published a second of my short stories, this one called The Swimming Pool and the Sea. I wrote it, oh, ages ago. When Milly wasn't quite three. I'm so glad I did write it because it's a story I can give to her when she's older and say, 'This is when I started writing again, because I wanted to write about you.'

Dogzplot and Neon

A couple of my flashes went live today. The first is Crawl Space at Dogzplot, a new venue for me. The second is The Derelict, which is up at Neon. Thank you for reading!

Friday 5 December 2008

The Best of Every Day Fiction

It's out, it looks beautiful and it contains stories from writers I know and love but won't list as I'm bound to forget someone. A big shout out to the editors who made this happen, and in time for Christmas. Thanks Camille, Jordan, Steve and the whole of the EDF team. Oh and there are four stories from me in here. I'm proud to be a part of this.

Thursday 4 December 2008

Coming down

I am slowly, slowly coming back to earth. Today I finished working on a short story I started in the Summer. It was one of those stories that wormed its way under my skin, had to be written but had to be right. Between when I started it (a furious scrawl in long-hand which I hardly ever use these days) and now, I have been close to abandoning it many times. I have felt in turns defeated and overhwelmed but today, thanks in no small part to the enthusiasm and support of a writing buddy, I can look at it and feel elated. It may just be one of the best things I've written. It's certainly the one of which I am most proud. Now I must put it in a warm coat and send it out into the world. And I must find my footing in a new story.

Wednesday 3 December 2008

Good news from home

My mother met with the oncologist yesterday and it's been confirmed that the surgery got the whole tumour and that it hadn't spread to her lymph-nodes. She needs six monthly scans for two years but it's the best possible news for the time being. We can look forward to a family Christmas! Thanks again to everyone for your support and kind wishes.

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Smokelong Quarterly

I wish I knew who was reading this! I've retained my Number 1 slot for a second month running, another month during which they had over 101,000 readers. I'm still stunned.

Monday 1 December 2008

Ranfurly Review

The stupendous (and tireless) Colin Galbraith, editor and publisher, has released the new issue of Ranfurly Review, a wonderful celebration of writing, prose and poems. I'm lucky enough to have a story in this issue, The Tooth Fairy, alongside work by Kerry Hudon, Douglas Bruton, Sara Crowley and Avis Hickman-Gibbs. Happy reading!