Thursday, 30 September 2010

Short short stories.

This week I've been reading Dave Eggers' short stories, published in the Guardian during 2004 and 2005. The stories are compact and dense with detail and gorgeous language. What The Water Feels Like to The Fishes is a favourite with reviewers, but my favourite is Rodney Is Looking For His Daughter - it packs an incredible punch in just 497 words.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Book Club and other stuff.

Marshside book club's new read is 'The Island' by Victoria Hislop. The next book club meeting isn't until 24th November, so there's loads of time to buy the book and read it.
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This week I've been reading 'The Gathering' by Anne Enright and 'The Children's Book' by A.S Byatt.
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I've had another kindly worded rejection letter expressing enjoyment and (very helpfully) suggesting other publications that may take the story. I can't decide which is worse - a form rejection, or a we-almost-liked-this-enough-to-publish-it-please-submit-to-us-again rejection.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


I've been following the buggedblog and reading the creations of writers and poets who eavesdropped on July 1st 2010 and used what they heard as inspiration.

Here and here are some of the excellent stories and poems that will appear in the Bugged book.

Outside Asda last week I heard the following: 'My boyfriend's fiance's children go to that school too' and I wished I'd heard it before 15th August when the bugged project closed.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Real life.

Ever since she came to Edge Hill to do a reading I have been following writer Jenn Ashworth's blog. I particularly enjoyed her recent entry Girls. Fun., an account of an exercise class for new mothers.  Jenn's is the kind of writing about motherhood (and life in general) that I love to read - it's funny, self-deprecating, sharp and often touching because it's familiar - what new mother hasn't been terrorized, or at least judged (in a way that leaves her in little doubt that she has been found wanting) by a health visitor?

Having kids can bring so much fun to life: son number 2 told me recently that he would like to play badminton, if he could only find a cockle-shit. But it's also horrible too: after I received an offer from an agent, one of the children said, 'It's probably cos she felt sorry for you and she actually thinks your stories are rubbish.' I like writing that shows both sides of the motherhood/life coin. Here are some more of Jenn's musings on life, I particularly like this one and, after the kind of summer holiday I've just had, this one too.


The good....and the not so good.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

A close shave

My children went back to school on the 1st of September. After many admonishments about 'getting off to a good start', son number 3 came home with lines on his first day back. Two hours after bedtime the same son decided that it would be a good idea to practice shaving. He coated his chin in toothpaste (smells nicer than shaving foam apparently) and set to it with his Dad's razor. Good job he has a steady hand.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

MA finished!

Woo-hoo! MA manuscript dispatched this morning. 
I'm not a student for the first time in four years.