Something a little different from the formula so far – the staff of the excellent Edinburgh bookshop Golden Hare Books give their recommendations in this week’s tinyletter!
Anything I can say about these poems feels inadequate. They brim quietly with the joy of life, reminding us that “the business of our days” is to “hold strong, hold strong and hold to praise” (‘Enough deathbed talk:’). Yet at the same time they are clear-sighted, never falling into pathos or cliché.
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If you’re in Edinburgh, go and check Golden Hare out. They’re a wonderful bookshop tucked down in Stockbridge.
I’m going to be one a panel (my first!) which, as the title indicates, is on how to get published, and is hosted by the Society of Young Publishers Scotland. As some of you may know, the story of how I came to be published a bit of an unusual one, involving lots of near misses. I’ll be there with Agent Jenny Brown and editor James Crawford. If you’re interested, and able to make it to Edinburgh on Wednesday the 27th at 6pm, get your tickets here!
Last night I read in a charming bookshop called Golden Hare Books, down in cobbly, curving Stockbridge. You can see a little picture of me there over here! Thanks to everyone who came and to bookseller Ian in particular for making the event happen. There are still copies for sale on the website and in the shop – do go down and check them out if you live in Edinburgh.
On Thursday I head to Bristol for Novel Night’s special Short Story edition, featuring the excellent Tania Hershman. This will be the first time I meet her in person, having known her a while on Twitter. Really looking forward to hearing her in action. Are you near Bristol? Come on out! Details through that link, but it’s 8-10pm on the 17th.
Also today – I wrote a short piece for If My Book, a series on the legendary Monkeybicycle wherein writers pick a metaphor for describing their book:
So what is a flash fiction but a liquid sort of prose that induces, at its best, bright shudders of infinite variety. The shudder of a tree as the lightning strikes it. The shudder of a small, hidden animal running through long grass. The bodily tremor when skin brushes against skin—contact perhaps wanted, perhaps unexpected, but a disruption, not destruction.
Have you picked up a copy yet? It would mean a lot to me if you did.
Things are brewing here, but nothing I want to lay out yet. If we are friends on Twitter or Facebook, or in real life you probably know the plans. But it’s early summer, and the process of fermentation is a slow one that cannot be rushed.
Summer barbecue smoke drifting across The Meadows. Little day trips when the weather holds. And very soon, at the end of the week, a trip back to America for a family wedding. It’s been four years since D and I left. All these things to be done, and quietly, this great exciting thing that will follow, at the thick end of the season.
Forgive me for taking up this space with dreaminess and vague words. But I hope these images will be enough to charm a little.
For now, this waiting, exploring, hoping with purpose and work that’s too young to share. See you again with photos and snippets of America, sometime in the next few weeks.
D and I are leaving Edinburgh, for Glasgow.
That means new neighbourhoods to explore. But for now – the old city, on a soft summer night:
(flowers with and without the low-light setting)
Train tracks leading outwards. Tomorrow is flathunting. For now, there’s sleep.
This was a few days ago, but it is also May
A smudge in a grey dressing gown. I’ve been writing, too much. If that is possible. Fourteen flash in the last two weeks. More in a collection I’m building. But I’m beginning to feel the cracks. In among the cracks, the heads of cherry blossoms, folded neat as sentences.
I’ve finished the book that took a month and a bit to read, and expect to review it shortly. When I am not a smudge sick with creativity. When I’m not pink candyfloss puffball seen torn through mist, adding up to – something. I pick up a book – Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy, and hope I can devote to it what it deserves, and that it will repay me with severe and stinging balm.
More news here when it is to be shared.