National Short Story Week


National Short Story Week this year is 13-20th November.

Now that I’m so busy doing publishing and stuff, celebrating the short story is all the more important to me, so I’ve done a guest blog over of the NSSW website, all about performing at Towersey.

Also, continuing the live literature theme, I will be reading my story Mirror at the Arachne Press hosted Armistice Tales, which is on 13th November, in National Short Story Week; at the lovely Ivy House in Nunhead.

Come along and listen, and join in the ‘flash from the floor’ 100 word challenge.

Singing in the Rain


rehearsing, chilly but not yet wet
rehearsing, chilly but not yet wet

So we completed our mission, and sou’westers and slickers and oilskins were necessary, but fortunately we only got the edge of the promised storm, Sing for Water has been accomplished! Apparently its the first time it has rained for this event in 13 years. We only got slightly damp, and though I say it myself we sounded awsome – all 700+ of us.

I discovered it is not possible to sing and boxstep with a hood pulled up. There will no doubt be video on youtube in a few days, should you wish to explore.

the restof the choir
the rest of the choir

Thanks to  the audience (especially the familiar faces) for braving the wet to listen. Thanks too to the many people, friends and strangers, who have sponsored Vocal Chords to the tune of  £1000 (plus gift aid) on our virgin money giving page – this will remain available for another month, so if you haven’t donated anything to stop waterborne diseases in Africa yet, you still can.

We shouldn’t complain about the rain really, given we sang to Yemaya, goddess of the waters and since we are raising money to get water to people.  It seemed quite appropriate that we were singing next to the Thames, in my lifetime that river has been cleaned from a dead, chemical soup to somewhere fish can safely swim, yet the water we are talking about kills children daily, because there is no other water to drink.

Water Aid put in a clean safe water supply somewhere ever 20 minutes, your Sing for Water money goes exclusively to the projects on the ground – you really are saving lives, please give us your dosh!

bright shiny new book


Mosaic of Air by Cherry Potts (cover Melina Traub)
Mosaic of Air by Cherry Potts (cover Melina Traub)

So I’ve been working through the first box of books sending them out to reviewers. And I’ve been so busy organising things I didn’t get round to posting on the website, so (Trumpet fanfare!!) Mosaic of Air is here, and will be in the shops on 26th September.

There will be a launch party at The Planetarium, Royal Observatory Greenwich SE10 8XJ on 1st October 2013 at 6pm  (Combined with Weird Lies, the latest Arachne Press/Liars’ League collaboration).  Readings will focus on Science Fiction stories. If you would like to come along, it’s free, but we have to have a guest list for H&S and so on, so please contact me and reserve your place by the 26th September absolute latest.

On 5th September at 7:30 there is another joint Weird Lies/ Mosaic of Air event, (also free) focussing on fantasy stories, at Misty Moon Gallery, Ladywell Tavern 80 Ladywell Road, SE13 7HS.

You can still buy copies at pre-publication price of £11 up until 26th September, post free within UK.

Singing for water


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are only ten days to go before Sing for Water, at the Mayor’s Thames Festival. Preparation chez nous has been a bit sporadic, as we’ve only been able to get to two of Vocal Chords rehearsals. However, we had an impromptu practice with a couple of friends on Tuesday, and might gatecrash a Nunhead Community Choir rehearsal tonight if there is one (lost the list of dates) and there’s one more VC evening we can make. Preparation apart from that has gone hand in hand with decorating the hall, bellowing along to Let Love Rain Down (my favourite) or Yemaya on the MP3 while sanding skirting boards, and more mellow carolling has happened to Moon River and Gmerto while painting the bannisters. What must the neighbours think!

If you would like to sponsor Vocal Chords for our contribution to Sing for Water, which raises money for WaterAid, to bring safe clean water to those who need it, you can donate via our virgin money giving page

We have raised £690 (£853.75 with gift aid) on the page so far, and it would be great to get that to £1000.

It would also be great if you can come and swell the audience on the day. 15th September 2.30ish. get there for 2 to be on the safe side, and get a seat, there will several hundred of us singing, so space for the audience gets quite tight!

Towersey Tales – and video


We had such a lot of fun at Towersey, courtesy of Spread the Word, and a wide variety of venues were performed at. Audience for readings between 30 and 100, participants for workshops around 30, and some of them came back and did the workshop again!

Here are some snippets of video of me performing on the Friday in the Ceilidh tent (reading, before you imagine me prancing about the dance floor) though I was tempted – excellent bands.

And here are some photos of us all doing our thing. All copyright me, apart from the one of me, which is copyright Debs Newbold.

debs sunday
Debs story telling – the disappearing pub
debs saturday
Debs Newbold outwitting death
debs sat am
Debs Newbold all around the Wrekin
debs being taught to tweet
debs being taught to tweet
david friday
David McGrath reading various tales of Rickshaw driving

david saturday 2

david sunday

esther sunday
Esther Poyer reading poems about fruit cake and homesickness, and growing up in South London

esther saturday

esther friday

paul saturday
Paul Sherreard reading poems about pencils and romans…

paul sunday

Me reading about 17th century folk songs made flesh, with all the incest and murder definitely left in. I think the audience were a bit shocked…

so something for everyone really.

Tom Banks
and finally Tom Banks reading from the Great Galloon, in which a balloon/galleon plies the open sky…