Thirteenth Time

May 16, 2009 at 7:10 am (Uncategorized)

For the first time in a long while, I’ve done very little writing this week. Partly that’s because I haven’t had a huge amount of time, but it’s also partly because I wanted to give myself a week off – writing (even if it starts to earn me some money) should only ever be a fun thing, I and I don’t want it to feel like a pressure, or a commitment that I have to fulfil.

So, I lazed about? Well, no. Not quite. I had two longer train journeys again this week, and I did do some writing on the first one of these. The story for Charles Prepolec and Jeff Campbell’s Gaslight Grotesque is now half finished, and I’ll crack on with it this week. It’s proving to be a bit of a bugger to pin down, but I’ll have it strapped and constrained soon… I also wrote the first draft of the afterword and story notes for Black Dogs and Lost Places which was an interesting experience. It’s been fun revisiting the stories and trying to think about what people might want to know about them (and about me). I’ll mess about with what I’ve written a bit more over the next few weeks and get it finished at some point – you’ll have to wait to September to read it, though. You’ll also have to buy the collection!

I might not have been writing much, but I have been messing about in the field of writing, however. On Wednesday, I met the excellent Neil J and Sarah Whyberd, who run Ghostwriter Publications, and had a good couple of hours with them. I took possession of my author’s copies of the two chapbooks I’ve written for them (which look, even if I so say so myself, excellent) and a draft audio of one of the stories. Neil and Sarah were both great, and I think we’re going to have a long, positive and productive relationship. You only have to look at the advert Neil J made as a teaser for Black Dogs to see that he’s serious about selling his authors’ stuff, and presenting them in the best light possible, which I’m extremely happy about. Just a note on the video, incidentally: all of the quotes in it are real! People really have said things that nice about my writing! And, for one brief moment, my video had the most hits of all the Ghostwriter videos on Youtube. Then they put up the two Guy N Smith Crabs videos and blew me out of the ballpark. Oh well…

The other thing I did this weekend was a reading. My friend Mollie decided that, for her birthday, she wanted all her friends to perform, so on Sunday night a motley collection of poets, musicians, performance artists and me gathered to do slots in the Gregson pub to help Mollie celebrate turning 32. I did a short version of the story An Afternoon With Danny, and it seemed to go down well. After I’d finished, one of the Monkeyrack mob (the writers’ group I’m involved in) told me that, as I read the sentence that the story turned on, he looked at the audience and they all looked ‘worried’. Got ’em! I hadn’t even realised that the story hada sentence it turned on, but apparently it does! It was a great night, with everyone getting into the spirit of having a laugh whilst doing their funky thing – i wish more people had birthday parties like this one. Another aside: performances by most of the Monkeyrack mob can be found on Youtube (Mollie’e ‘Virgin Mary Blues’ song is particularly fine!), and we have a good MySpace page. Check us out, dudes…

Oh well. Life calls…

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