A quiet, contemplative week.
As I currently have no deadlines to aim for and not commitments to fill, my writing recently has been entirely for pleasure. Sort of. This week, I took Traffic Stream to my writer’s group and their feedback, along with the feedback from others in my critical circle, helped me to sort out the 3rd and final edit of it (bar tweaks or sudden flashes of inspiration!). I have absolutely no idea what to do with it, where to send it or even whether to bother sending it out at all, but it’s been fun writing it. I hope it’ll find a home one day…
I also took the plunge and risked reading The Thirteen again, which I’d been avoiding doing. It’s odd, but every time I thought about this particularly story (short novella, really) it popped up in my head as needing lots and lots and lots of work, so every time I thought about opening the file, I’d find an excuse not to…. I couldn’t put it off any longer, however, so this week I risked having a look, fully expecting to have to spend ages reworking, adding, deleting and generally buggering about with stuff, but you know what? It wasn’t that bad! I don’t know why it had taken on such a flawed view in my mind – I think it’s something to do with just how long the story’s been hanging around waiting to be finished, and it’s length (there’s more room for error in 14000 words than there is in 3000!). It’s by no means perfect, but most of my fears were, I’m glad to say, not proved real – The Thirteen is not too bad. I pulled together a second draft (third, really, after the initial ‘finished it, oh no just had another idea for it’ moment a couple of weeks ago) which I’m surprisingly happy with. It’s being sent out to those people who have the time/inclination to read something that long and comment, and then I’ll see what I can do with it.
So, what’s next? Well, I need to try to get some feedback about the novel chapters I sent in, to see if it’s worth carrying on with, so I’m going to chase that soon. In the meantime, however, it’s another story: something about a house that appears and disappears in the rain, I think…
News and Reviews:
Lovecraft Unbound is picking up lots of positive reviews! In fact, I haven’t read a negative comment about it yet, so I’d suggest that those of you who are Lovecraft fans might want to consider picking it up… Of course, the fact that none of the reviews have picked out my story for comment is a bit disappointing, but at least they’ve not been saying things like “…only let down by Simon Kurt Unsworth…” or “…the weakest tale in the collection is by Simon Kurt Unsworth…” so thank heavens for small mercies! The november issue of Dead Reckoning magazine calls it “…a sterling Lovecraftian anthology that surely ranks with the best in the field” and Kelly Shaw, in her blog review, calls it “…very well rounded collection [that] offers a wide range of stories”
Other stuff: my friend, the excellent poet Norman Hadley (www.normanhadley.com) launches his new collection, Stinging the Sepia on Saturday, 07 November 2009 15:00 at Corner Bookshop, St Thomas’ Weind, Garstang. I can highly recommend Norman’s work, so I urge you (as well as picking up Lovecraft Unbound to get this or any of Norman’s other work. Trust me on this.
Okay, that’s pretty much it. I do have novel and movie reviews to write up, so when they’re done, I’ll post them here. Coming soon, I’ll pass comment on an Ellen Datlow anthology about cats, a Skipp and Spector novel from about 1989, the enormous crocodile movie Rogue and (possibly) the aforementioned Lovecraft Unbound. Until then, Lords and Ladies, so long!