Thursday, 7 February 2013

Playing Catch Up

I promised myself I wouldn't write another blog post until I had finished the first draft of my novel. As usual, this took much longer than expected (and the final scene still needs a lot more work) but I have finally written something that pretty much resembles a novel - hooray!

Now for some catching up:

Hitting Trees With SticksSpellbound: Stories of women's magic over men

I recently reviewed Jane Rogers' wonderful collection Hitting Trees With Sticks for The Short Review. Here's an excerpt from the review:
My favourite story was the funny and sad Sports Leader, the tale of a dull, slow, boy who cleans windows. The boy enjoys collecting money in the evenings because he likes standing in the warm light of other people’s doorways. I felt like the boy as I read this collection; I liked the glimpses of other lives, the music of people’s words, the smells and sounds of places I’ve never visited, but most of all, I enjoyed basking in the warm light of these beautiful stories.
And I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of Joel Willans' collection Spellbound: Stories of Women's Magic Over Men. Here's an excerpt from the review:
Many of these stories are sad, but they aren't sentimental or maudlin. `Buy Ma Biscuits Or Kiss Ma Fish' is a narrative spiked by doubt and self-loathing, but the ending is ultimately optimistic, and in the whimsical `The Grounding of Tiffany Hope,' a woman's ability to float tugs at her `like a kite on a string.' Vanessa Gebbie describes Willans' stories as `sharp, original and observant, with a generous helping of humour.' I have to agree. I really enjoyed this collection. 

The Friday Gospels by Jenn AshworthI went to the launch of Jenn Ashworth's new novel The Friday Gospels on a snowy night in January. I think The Friday Gospels is the first ever novel about British Mormons (I certainly don't know of any others) and it's technically brilliant, dark and funny - everything you'd expect from Ashworth. 

I was interviewed by writer Paul McVeigh and I also had a story published in Litro, 'My Brother is Missing'. The piece started life as an essay, but it felt flat, so I worked it into a story instead.

I think that's everything. Right, off to mark 45 pieces of coursework, write a review, put together a guest blog post and work on the 2nd draft of the novel.

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