3 December 2010
I currently have two stories shortlisted in very exciting places.
Now if only I had enough time at the moment to keep writing more like those…
2 July 2010
Even for someone with more spatial awareness than I have, my workplace’s location would be best described as ‘the back of bloody beyond’ (with, of course, all due respect). If you miss the bus – no thanks to the print shop man who’s commandeered the street outside his shop front for huge posterboards that obscure the single-deckers coming – there’s no margin for error. Run out of sticky tape before an authorised person can procure you some more through the approved channel, and it’s going to be the best part of an hour’s round trip.
Somebody has wheeled a supermarket trolley on to a grass verge by the road. This isn’t (you would think) a favourite area for drunken louts. I can’t imagine anyone was wheeling their shopping home with it until an acquaintance drove past and offered them a lift. That supermarket doesn’t even have a branch anywhere near here.
So what did they think that they were doing with it?
29 June 2010
Instead of a proper post today, some advice on opening paragraphs from Catherynne M Valente, who recently became the fiction and poetry editor of Apex Magazine:
Dudes, a short story is not that long. You do not have 50 pages to hook a reader (you don’t, really, in a novel either, but that’s another post), you cannot lazily dick around for a page and a half before being all CHECK IT OUT GHOSTPIGS. Because no one ever made it to the GHOSTPIGS, who were buried under: “Robert walked down the street. The sky was cloudy. All the houses were brown. He thought about work.”
OH MY GOD.
27 June 2010
It may be another quiet two weeks, I’m afraid. Sorry.
17 June 2010
I’m going to have to give up on another house plant. Maybe I should have done it weeks ago and taken it outside in the dark without my neighbours saying: ‘What do you do to those?’
When they head off for beach holidays somewhere sunnier on the South Coast or family reunions in Poland, I don’t anticipate being asked to come in and water theirs. I even own a sickly cactus. Yes, a cactus.
I keep being promised ferns and spider plants from other people’s houses, but keep forgetting to go round with a bag large enough to take them home. It’s probably for the ferns’ own good.
The only plant I can’t harm is called a dracaena. That really does mean ‘dragon plant’, as consolation. It’s third in a list of ‘Houseplants You Can’t Kill‘, along with the Christmas cactus and the spider plant. Some other plants in the genus Dracaena produce a red resin that really is called dragon’s blood. I’ve ended up with three of different kinds. One is the only survivor of a house plant generation when I went on holiday for Easter and forgot about them.
Once, I helped raise a cat from kittenhood. When did I stop being able to care for something that doesn’t even move?
At least it’s an excuse for me to decorate the house with dragon plants.
13 June 2010
All right, that’s one piece of work revitalised (I hope) and sent on its way, so that I now have five short stories on the market again for the first time in a couple of months. Even though my real in-tray at the office is going to be just as full when I go back tomorrow, I still have half a dozen un-replied-to emails and the corrections I owe somebody in another country are shaping up to be non-fashionably late, I somehow feel as if I have a lot less to do.
Now I can relax, maybe, and watch some football.
Now I can watch some football, anyway.
Except that I’m still thinking about what I made the mother in one of the short stories do, even now that I’ve submitted it…
11 June 2010