Fish supper at Liars’ League


On 12th February, my story Fish-fish will be read by the lovely Math Jones at Liars’ League London at their Love & Lust evening.

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.

Catch my writing LIVE


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…

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The Dowry Blade, live and in the flesh


Dowry blade arrives

There is nothing to beat a pile of new books, except a pile of new books that you wrote yourself. And this is a big pile, of big books! The Dowry Blade is big! It weighs 620 grams. I hadn’t really thought through the amount of space a 400 page book printed in Royal format takes in bulk. This is just the 100 copies to supply events in places that aren’t bookshops, copies for reviewers and the copyright libraries. Buy one before I have to build an extension!

Julian is delighted at the number of new boxes to play in, and also thinks you should buy a copy so that they empty quickly.

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Support Julian’s plans for a small city of boxes to disport himself within by buying a copy direct from Arachne Press, or at one of the launch events (that’s the ‘live and in the flesh’ thing) – Lewisham Library on 24th February at 6:30, or Clapham Books on 25th February at 7.30.

More events to follow in March, in discussions with three more venues.

Solstice Shorts: Longest Night, the Midwinter Wife


The  Midwinter Wife got another outing at Longest Night. Here is the peerless Annalie Wilson reading the shorter performance version

You can buy the full length print version in Latchkey Tales Clockwise – Midnight Blues

LGBT History month – LoSoCo


LoSoCo is what I’ve always known as Lewisham College.

I did a reading there on Thursday for LGBT History Month. Here are a couple of snippets. (Apologies for the background noise – it’s the air-conditioning.)

Holiday Romance, in which Melanie goes on holiday with her mother and allows her imagination to run riot.

Baby Pink/ Electric Blue, in which Marlene can’t cope with a wedding.

both from Mosaic of Air.

Thanks to Mary Fudge for organising, and to the students and staff for coming along and asking interesting questions.

LGBTHM – Cafe of Good Hope


This event was very cosy – last public reading for LGBT History Month, and local, and with friends. I think we pulled out all the stops.

Sadly Rebecca Idris had been sent to the Ukraine by her employers (what had she done to deserve that?) so was not able to join us, so we each read more than we would otherwise have done.

Here are the results.

Cath Blackfeather CoGHCatherine Blackfeather reading from her novel Mitchie, about a young woman cross-dressing to survive the western frontier of nineteenth century Canada.

Me reading from Leaving (London Lies) a story set in a pub just down the road from where we were reading.

V A Fearon C0GHV A Fearon reading two sections from her novel The Girl with the Treasure Chest about gang negotiator, Dani.

Back to Cath for a section of her latest (still looking for a publisher). I don’t think she gave us a title, so I’ve called it For the Boys for now: Gareth has an assignment…

And finally me again, with a section of A Second-hand Emotion – in which preparations for a big date are in full swing.

We all really enjoyed the event, thanks to Richard Shaw (Hither Green Hall) for organising and Bobby Mizen (Cafe of Good Hope) for hosting, and thanks for the audience for coming along, laughing in the right places, and contributing to the collection for Gay Switchboard.

By the way, at other events this month we’ve been collecting for Stonewall, and raised £35.22

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.