Il Uomo Morto on Jellyfish Review

I’ve a new story up on Jellyfish Review today:

The direct view of the valley from where we stay used to be of the knuckles of the foothills and the higher, snow-draggled peaks behind them. Once there were villages in those foothills, terracotta-roofed, strung out like spiderwebs and glittering in the sun. And closer: rows of vines and pale cocoa-coloured fields freshly turned, and ivy-wrapped trees, the delicate, reaching blue limbs of pines, olive trees showing their silver leaves, the ample woodpile stacked on the other side of the road.

Read more here

sdr

The story was written while on a residency in a beautiful house in the hills of Tuscany, and this September between the 14th-21st, I’ll be teaching a low-stress writing retreat called Write Toscana in the same place – hopefully with stunning view still very much attached. It’s mostly going to be about the enjoyment of place and the freedom to experiment in your writing (and to eat delicious local food) If you are interested in coming along – more details in the link above, and here. I’d love to see you.

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After All Disintegrating as an Active Mode on Hobart

Here’s a story of mine, in the fantastic Hobart:

 

It is very much par the normal course of events to find yourself lying sheathed in an almost translucent blue-and-silver shawl on a patch of ochre dirt land, stroking the ground a little, early of a June morning. So it was with Simão. You may guess he had been drinking; sure he had. There were pinkish orchids in the trees above and glossy bromeliads bending wet and clutching each branch a bird or two with an intellectual and mocking eye.

In the history of human adventure this was all quite meek. Battles have been fought on frozen rivers in which everyone was naked and the squelched and various wounds steamed mightily and the blood froze like a red carpet under the players. At other times let’s be clear whole families were lost as city streets were renamed by a single pen stroke, or under a cracked glass were rerouted into a subterranean channel. Even once it is rumoured that an astronaut vanished from the international space station, though its doors are kept firmly snibbed even in the finest weather.

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As you can probably tell, the piece is inspired by Calvino. I’ve been reading his work lately, and keep thinking how I need to swoop up everything he ever did.

Currently: I am heading to London soon for a showcase of Scottish writing, then to Italy for a retreat, where I hope to get a slew of work done. It’s been slow here, on that front. But Spring is coming, and writing always gets into gear then.

 

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Interview on Splice

Over the course of a few months, I was interviewed for Splice. You can now read the whole thing, if you’d like here.

 

Helen McClory is a prolific writer of flash fiction and short stories, as well as a novelist and an advocate for overlooked works of literature. In reviewing her two story collections for Splice, Daniel Davis Wood called McClory a “distinctive” writer who “survey[s] the stuff of folklore and mythology and weav[es] it into serious fiction with vivid imagery and poetic flair”. Throughout the summer of 2018, following the publication of her most recent collection, Mayhem & Death, Helen McClory generously set aside time to talk to Splice about her work, her interest in different literary forms, and her plans for the future

 

Wood also reviewed both On the Edges of Vision and Mayhem & Death here.

 

One of my pieces, “It Seemed Impossible it Could Ever Begin” was one Fictive Dream’s September Slam flashes.

 

Another apocalyptic story of mine, “A Quiet, Important Thing”, is up on Minor Literatures.

 

 

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You’ll Meet Me There on Spelk

The muscles of the poplar trees beat about, and the warm night is full of calls, or there is worn-hour haze, but invisible so in a darkness like this, a rain green darkness, and feet follow unseen feet across uncertain ways, between high and waving grass, spatters of mud on legs, boards, slipped shoes and sighs, until at last a light…

 

read the full flash/prose poem here.

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The Inciting Incident

chris close photo

(my portrait by Chris Close at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, taken by D.)

 

Thank you to everyone who came along to events I was speaking at and to the organisers – Blackwell’s Edinburgh, the wonderful (as always) EIBF, and Amnesty International. Back to quietly writing things.

Here’s a story from Mayhem & Death in Books From Scotland’s Festival edition:

 

‘A room can have disorder or stains in it. But this room does not, will not. All is in order, now. Let’s take one last look, one long breath in and out. A room in a story cannot be a haunted room, unless the writer puts the ghosts in there, or the suggestion of ghosts into it.’

read the full thing here.

 

Small sidenote: If you’ve read Mayhem & Death and have opinions on it, please consider leaving a review somewhere to help others make up their mind on whether or not to take a chance on it. If you have a Goodreads account the book can be found here.

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See Me Here

(my books for sale at the EIBF bookshop)

A few places to see me reading this week:

 

Tomorrow, at Blackwell’s Writers at the Fringe (Blackwell’s Edinburgh), from 6pm, with Jonathan Whitelaw, Sam McColl, Noelle Harrison and Robert J Harris (free!). Tickets here.

Friday, at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (Writer’s Retreat), 6.30pm, with the excellent Camilla Grudova (£8/£6). Tickets here.

Saturday, at the Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers Series at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre), with Roxanne Bouchard, Gina Miller, and Gunnar Staalesen (free) tickets available in box office on the day.

 

At the first two I’ll be reading from recently published Mayhem & Death– at the Blackwell’s I’ll be reading a story in that collection dedicated to my father. In the third, I’m reading the words of an activist silenced in Edrogan’s Turkey.

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Story Roundup + Interview

dig

(a picture of Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil)

 

Here are some pieces recently published in the following places:

 

Vol 1. Brooklyn

Occulum

Queen Mob’s Teahouse

 

There’s an interview with me in Westender

 

And tickets are on sale for my appearance with the excellent Camilla Grudova at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, on Friday the 24th of August at 6.30pm.

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Filed under book festival, Brazil, EIBF, experimental fiction, flash fiction, Poetry, Scotland, short stories