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
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 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.'
Friday, 5 December 2008
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
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
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
Monday, 1 December 2008
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!