After reading this post at the Digital Fiction Show, I was afraid that there wouldn’t be any copies of Litro 84 left by the time I got into London today. But I guess it takes a little while to shift 100000 copies, and there were indeed a few left in Foyles in Tottenham Court Road. I had it all planned in my head what I was going to say at the counter:

Me: How many of these can I take?

Glamorous assistant: Sorry, you’re restricted to only one copy.

Me: Even if I’ve written one of the stories in it?

Glamorous assistant (fluttering eyelashes): Really? How exciting!

But in the end, she was busy with another customer, so I grabbed two of the three on the counter and shuffled out. I still haven’t really got the hang of self-promotion.

Still, “The Birdman of Farringdon Road” is now in the hands of up to 100000 readers, which is rather cool – especially as it’s one of my favourite stories. I said a little about where it came from in my recent interview at the Digital Fiction Show, so the only thing remaining is to answer the question: why Farringdon Road? Easy. It’s got a nice rhythm to it. These things matter.

So, right now I should be polishing my entries for the competitions that are closing at the end of the month (yeah, I know I’m late – tell me something new), and I should also be writing my entries for Round Two of the Whittaker Prize (especially after my rather surprising showing in both categories in Round One). But instead, I’m going to be writing zombie poetry. I mean, c’mon, how often do you see a call for that?

It’s the little details that make this a work of genius. Thanks to Ian Cundell of the VWC for pointing it out.

Another milestone here: my first ever interview as a writer. So many thanks to Adrian Graham of the very wonderful Digital Fiction Show (always worth a read, BTW) for giving me the opportunity to spout on about my craft. Quite a strange exercise – I ‘m sure I found out a few things that I hadn’t really considered before. But, like I say, I hope I don’t sound like too much of a git.

Great advice in this blog post from recent Fish runner-up Vanessa Gebbie, who (I need hardly point out) has a trophy cabinet of similar proportions to Manchester United.

Well, that was a lot of fun. Last night, I went to my first-ever open mic evening at Leighton Buzzard Writers. The house was packed, and a great time was had by all. We were limited to three-minute slots, so I went for “Canine Mathematics”, which is probably the nearest thing I have to a crowd-pleaser. Anyway, it seemed to go down reasonably well, in that everyone seemed to laugh in most of the right places. In fact, I have to say that there wasn’t a single duff reading all night – everyone rose to the occasion, with an extraordinary variety of work displayed, both fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose, and humorous, serious and occasionally downright angry. In the intervals, I met John Hockey of LB Writers and Martin Brocklebank of Milton Keynes Speakeasy and we chatted about how to free the power of the right brain. There’s a science to all this, y’know.

Anyway, well done to Kate Allen for organising it and for inviting us outsiders along. I believe that we in the VWC are doing something similar in the summer, and I for one can’t wait.

Two more e-mails from EDF: the first to tell me that they have accepted “Ignorance of Chemistry” and the second to tell me that I have now acquired “Preferred Author Status”. Gosh. No-one’s ever preferred my writing before, so I feel deeply honoured. Did I say that I really like EDF? I think I did a while back. And I like them even more now.

Just realised that I haven’t posted the dates of all the performances of “What Stirs the Spring” (featuring “After Michelangelo”). They are as follows:

March 30th – 31st, 7.30 PM, at The Calder Bookshop Theatre in the Cut, SE1
April 1st – 3rd, 8 PM, at The Drill Hall
April 13th, 7.30 PM, at The Old Red Lion Theatre Pub, EC1

Don’t be square, be there!

So that makes it four hits out of four submissions to EDF, this time for “Opening the Box”. This is the only story I’ve ever written (and, to be honest, probably the only story that I’m ever going to write, either) from the viewpoint of a cat. Although it is a very special – if somewhat hypothetical – cat.

… have accepted my rather odd homage to the work of Nigel Barley, “A Plague of Yellow Plastic Ducks”. More about this when it appears next month.

Next Page →