Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Note to self: when the lovely Robert Shearman posts a special warning on his 100 Stories site to say that people who don't like spiders should consider not reading his new story, DON'T take it as a challenge to read the new story to see just *how* scary it could be.

And moreover, don't do this when you are supposed to be writing, and when you are pretty much alone in the house, and when it is after midnight and you know that at some point you are going to have to turn the lights off and get into bed.

Here is a link to the story. You have been warned.

Friday, 27 January 2012

There's an App for that?

Two of my stories have been accepted by Ether Books and will soon be available via the Ether Books App.

Ether publish short fiction, poetry, articles and serials. My stories 'Just in Case' and 'The Countdown' will be available in approximately two weeks which should give me enough time to learn all things App-y. 

Monday, 16 January 2012

I write the most depressing stories in the world.

My story 'Bed Rest' is in the new issue of PoemMemoirStory. There is a Publication Party tonight, but as it is in Birmingham Alabama, I've had to give it a miss.

At bedtime this evening, I told my children that I'd just had another story published. My oldest son asked me what the story is about. Before I could answer, he asked me if someone dies in it. I gave him a cagey 'probably' (which doesn't spoil the story). He started to laugh. 'What else happens?' he asked. I revealed some more details of the story and he laughed again. 'You write the most depressing stories in the world, Mum,' he said. What a great tagline that would be for my blog and website, I thought: Carys Bray: I write the most depressing stories in the world, or maybe not.

My oldest son is too young to realise that sad stories do not have to be depressing. I'd like to do a longer post about this some time soon; perhaps its title will be 'In Defense of Sad Stories' or something similar. In the meantime, I've got approximately 60,000 words of fiction assignments to grade, the first of this year's Edge Hill Prize collections to read, and then there's the small matter of my novel to consider. Before I get stuck in to all that lovely work, I'd like to recommend a very sad (and not at all depressing) piece by Sue Stout which won the GQ Norman Mailer Prize and can be read here.

Monday, 9 January 2012

So far this year...

Ten things I've learned so far this year:

Some days it takes me hours to write about 300 words. On those days it is not helpful to log on to facebook and read about people who have just spent the morning dashing off a quick short story or writing the next 5,000 word chapter of their novel.

I like running. I like running to The Killers - Jenny Was Friend Of Mine, Mr Brightside, Smile Like You Mean It, Midnight... I like the words, and listening to The Killers makes me feel about 10 years younger.

I don't dislike using a Kindle as much as I thought I would, although definitely I still prefer real books.

You can get Grimm's Fairy Tales, The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde, The Witch and Other Stories by Chekhov, English Fairy Tales, Welsh Fairy Tales and Indian Fairy Tales free on Kindle.

When it comes to my children's education I need to be a lot more vocal and assertive than I have been.

I dislike the blunt instrument of the 5 star GoodReads rating system so much that I've decided to stop rating books.

Douglas Thayer is an interesting writer and I need to read some more of his work.

The big, lakey bit of marsh not far from my house (that features in the opening chapter of my novel) actually has a name: Junction Pool.

Short-eared owls hunt voles during the day.

If you want to change the name of a passenger on a Jet2 flight *before* you have checked in online, it will cost you £94.50, even if there are still tickets available on the same flight for £78.98 each.