Math Jones embodying Joel’s confusion, excitement, fear and …
Math Jones embodying Joel’s confusion, excitement, fear and …
Set in the 1920’s in a fish restaurant and the beach of a small coastal town, it was inspired by this picture
Mr. and Mrs. Chester Dale Dining Out. Guy Pene du Bois. 1924. Thanks to @78Derngate for tweeting it. I’d never have found it otherwise.
Mr and Mrs Chester Dale are not who they seem, and waiter, Joel, is on to them.
Great fun at Bath’s Burdall’s Yard reading for Solstice at Story Fridays. You can listen to my story, Midsummer Morris Marathon and the other stories here.
And here’s the video of Tim reading Greenlanders at Liars’ League. It’s been a busy week!
I had a spurt of doing submissions recently, and happily can now announce that my story Greenlanders is being read at Liars’ League on Tuesday 14th June – a transport themed evening in which I take up the baton for whaling ships and emigrant steamers. I can’t be there as I’m teaching in another part of town, and even the fastest bus on earth isn’t going to get me there in time, so if any friends, relations or enthusiasts want to go along and cheer vigorously, that would be gratifying!
I wrote the story as part of a workshop I was running at the Metropolitan Archive, writing to live music from Sarah Lloyd & Ian Kennedy, and having just looked at an exhibition of Victorian photographs of everyone from celebrities to ne’er-do-wells.
Another chance to catch a live story, this time in Bath, at Story Friday on 17th June – a busy week! The story is Midsummer Morris Marathon, fo their Solstice theme. This time I’m reading it myself, so the encouragement to friends in the area is even more forceful – you will be hearing from me!
This story is based on elements of fact – I have met those inexhaustible dancers, though not in Somerset, I have stood on that hill and seen that view – after that it’s entirely hokum, unless it isn’t of course…
It’s one of very few independent awards, voted for by the book-reading public, and it was thrilling to win. They don’t tell you beforehand and being a bit superstitious I refused to believe there was a chance, so it was only when they were reading out comments from voters I was thinking, ooh, that sounds like our book, that really sounds like… oh crikey, it is! In fact we netted about 35% of the over 1000 votes – you can read more of all the lovely things people said here, though I will quote just one particularly juicy one:
one of the most original writers herself Cherry Potts provides opportunities for unusual and thought-provoking writing.
Then, Liars’ League London chose my story The Real McCoy, (featuring a naive but indignant mermaid) to read at next Tuesday’s Weird & Wonderful event, and will be read at The Literary Kitchen Festival in Peckham on Tuesday 17th June 7pm
AND THEN Liars’ League Hong Kong chose Portrait of the Artist’s Model as A Young Woman for their Truth & Lies event on 30th June.
So that makes me not just “award-winning”, but “internationally renowned”, right? (She says with unrepentant cheek).
If you can make any of those events it would be brilliant – I won’t be at the Hong Kong one, but I will be at the other two, so you could come and say hello.
Finally, a heads-up: The title of this blog is a nod to Mary Hamer, author of Rudyard & Trix, a novel about Rudyard Kipling and his sister. (Awards and Mermaids, Rewards and Fairies, yes?) I’ve read this novel, after inviting Mary to The Story Sessions, and it is brilliant – upsetting in many ways, but very perceptive, and manages without doing that annoying thing some people do of making it SO clear that they did lots and lots of research and you aren’t going to escape an iota of it. Mary has belatedly joined the blog hop and will be blogging about her writing process just as soon as she finishes unpacking from the trip which meant she didn’t see the email I sent her about this sooner.
So, as some of you know I’ve had several stories read at Liars’ League, and this happened again recently, for their Slings & Arrows event. Hurrah for Liars’ League!
A version of The King’s Champion, minus the subplot and now entitled Kassell for the place the story is set, (Kassel, Germany – birthplace of the Brothers’ Grimm), read by the wonderful Greg Page. You can watch the video here
And here’s the actual snowy landscape that inspired it – not quite as dramatic as I tell it!
So: Saturday was a singing day, 3 hours or so, rehearsing, performing, singing with the audience, interspersed with beer at the lovely Ivy House.
We like to have a theme or a project for Vocal Chords, in the summer it was love songs for the planet, this autumn it has been folk carols, learnt from Lester Simpson and dragged out of our collective record collections and memories, and performed with gusto!
The arrangements sound quite complex and the parts can get a little competitive as to who can sing loudest, but they are actually quite simple so long as you can keep in time.
Here is a sample, my absolute favourite of the songs we sang, although it is a hard, hard choice, as I loved all of them!
This is the definition of Joyous, for me, cynical old atheist though I am.
And then Sunday we were selling Arachne Press books at a christmas market at the delightful Alexandra Nurseries (still singing under our breaths, both ‘Curly Hark’ and snatches of Britten’s St Nicholas, mostly ‘landlord take this piece of gold, bring us meat before the cold’…although we weren’t cold, thanks to our lined walking trousers, winter coats, hats mittens, long-johns…) It was a very jolly day, good weather and plenty of punters.
SO apart from all the events we are going to and taking part in over the next week – Liars’ League Snow & Stars tomorrow, Story Sessions Wednesday, (where I am reading as well as compereing)The ‘work’ xmas party with my fellow WooA writers, and christmas shopping at Brockley Xmas market & the £3 christmas bazaar and enjoying V G Lee and Rose Collis’ drollery at Bah Humbuggers (Dyke the Halls) on Saturday – all spare time is going on rehearsing for St Nicholas, which we are singing at Blackheath Halls in the Christmas Concert on Friday 20th
and for our Carol Singing in aid of Shelter with Summer All Year Long around Brockley, Honor Oak and Forest Hill on Saturday 21st.
Opportunities to hear my work live!
I’ll be reading from The Bone Box from Mosaic of Air at the Arachne Press Weird Lies Preview this Sunday 9th June 6-9 at Misty Moon Gallery,
and then next Tuesday, 11th June 7pm, my story The Queen’s Safety is being read at Liars’ League as part of their Kings & Queens theme night.
And then I’m reading at Brixton Book Jam This is now Monday 8th July due to a double booking at the venue (so ignore the date on the poster) some time after 7.30 not sure what yet, possibly Leaving.
We know it isn’t really spring, right? A day lent, as A.’s Ma would have said; but it is doing a fair impression: washing drying on the line, bees in the Pulmonaria, first lunch in the garden (in jumper, but still!), but we are promised the bitter east wind back again, and rain too, so i ought to be out there really, making the most of it – I am being drawn away from the computer to inventory all the plants that have died in the snow and wet. It looks like we’ve lost a particularly lovely Cranesbill.
So multi-tasking as ever, I’m listening to a book on the Black Death by John Hatcher, thinking about the garden, updating Arachne’s website fixing links that have changed, and planning out a story that might make it to Liars’ League for their Kings & Queens theme.
The problem with running a publishing enterprise is that I have no more time for writing than I ever did when I was employed. My brain is at least in the right groove, so there are plans afoot for when I do have enough time: turning Mirror into a play, putting together the next collection, fine tuning The Dowry Blade in the light of feedback from fellow author Jack Murphy, and I’ve found my material for the opera I’ve been promising myself for two years. Oh and keeping this blog up to date!