Today there was a partial solar eclipse over Edinburgh. I captured it here – it actually looked better through thickish cloud, dimming the blinding brightness.
When I saw this rainbow haze, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me (or on my camera, since I was looking mostly at the screen) but there it is, the light dispersed and beautiful.
It’s been quiet here. Things are happening behind the scenes. Talks of cover, plans for a reading tour – this latter ephemeral. But so is an eclipse. A passing (and in this case, partial) moment. When people say that reality is dull, I wonder if they’ve ever given themselves time to look up. Or had time to go looking. There’s a total eclipse every few years in different parts of the world. There’s Spring, or if there are no seasons, then other things – coincidences, faded memorials, poems, stories. A poem is real, a story is real. A man folding up a piece of paper and putting it in his pocket, a dog running through a park so fast its legs blur. All that chaos, stillness and wonder, and not infrequently.
On the Edges of Vision has been mentioned in this gloriously long list of the year’s anticipated titles on Electric Literature. I’ve been through the list and already seen some things I definitely have to check out (that I might otherwise not have heard of). It’s a great resource for those of you looking to support small presses and find something you’d like. Or something that will melt your brain or heart, if a stronger metaphor is needed.
If you want to get more of an idea of the collection (beyond the essay on monsters that Tobias Carroll kindly links to), you can read some published pieces here on my fiction page.
What on the list catches your eye?
It’s been quiet here for the last week or so – partly because I’ve been tensely following CCM Press’s triannual Mainline contest, which you may remember I entered back in October with Villain Miriam (which received an honourable mention). This time, I put forward Flesh of the Peach and it has been chosen as one of three winners – meaning it’s going to be published in 2016!
Here’s the announcement, where you can read excerpt of the winning manuscripts.
If you’d like to read a little more, small excerpts from Flesh of the Peach were also published in Sundog Lit, Necessary Fiction and 3:AM Magazine.
I’m so incredibly grateful to the folk at CCM, who read all subs for an entire week. Congratulations to the winners and finalists, and I’m so glad I could be a part of this again with so many other hopefuls. As the press motto goes ‘We’re coping’.
Time to update my ‘about’ page, and try to wrap my head around all of this.
sunset, woodlands road
the River Kelvin
Facing south on the bridge over the Kelvin
Kelvingrove park, towards the spire of Glasgow University
City of Ghosts
Lowland fields from the Edinburgh bound train
You can read another monstrous piece from On the Edges of Vision here:
The first arch leads into a second, then a third, vault-roofed, with small slit windows and those massive flagstone floors smoothed by centuries of shuffling boots.
Outside, palms of snowflakes are dissolving into the pond and feasting on the statuary. The boy himself walks smoothly down the corridor. He holds a mouthful of blood behind his teeth and white
I hope to have more news shortly about the collection – I’ll keep you updated. Meanwhile, a reminder you can add it as ‘to-read’ on Goodreads if you like. If you use another social bookshelf programme, let me know if you can find it there.
A taster –
Before I started writing this essay, I asked myself what exactly it is I love about Asylum, the second season of AHS. The plot is like a bag of thorn cuttings; it just confounds me the more I dig through. There’s the mental institution, Briarcliff (hence the thorn metaphor). Here it is at the opening of the season as a ruin haunted by a murderous psychopath. Here it is in 1964, bustling with nuns and the sick, and, as is swiftly revealed, seamy with the twisted motivations of those who run it. I’m on board, I follow.
Go on, click – it’s worth it for the gifs alone, marvellously chosen by The Female Gaze‘s editor extraordinaire Dawn West.