A great day spent with friends on Sunday 8th March, reading from and discussing fiction that comments directly or indirectly on the lives of women. Violet read from Jessie Kesson’s ‘Where the Apple Ripens’; Steve from Vera Britten’s ‘Testament of Youth’, while I read from one of my own short stories, ‘Small Beginnings’ which explains how things really got started in the Garden of Eden. Emily read a poem by Ursula Fanthorpe, while Charl read one poem by herself and another by her daughter that celebrated the quality of their relationship. Christine tantalised us with an article about Diana Dors from a magazine of the Sixties and with snippets from various other publications of the era. There was much wide-ranging and animated discussion about issues such as violence against women, the roles women have been expected to fulfil at various points in history and how far (or not) things have changed.
Even though Naresh, the billed chef, had gone AWOL, we still managed a comprehensive lunch, courtesy Camilla and me. The event raised £300 for Tribal women in Maharashtra, supported by the work of the Impact India Foundation.
Due for publication in the finalists’ anthology over the next few months, ‘The Queen of Campbeltown’ is about a little lad marooned in the Highlands who is desperately trying to get home to his mother.
‘The Work of Lesser-known Artists’ judged joint runner-up in the London Short Story Competition 2014.
These are the quotes from the judges:
‘This story packs a punch and puts a smile on the face – quite an achievement. An energetic and ambitious take evoking the humour and vitality of one woman’s life as she breaks free of the imprisonment of the everyday.’ – Cathy Galvin, co-founder Sunday Times/EFG short story competition.
‘An uplifting and irreverent story – bold and engaging, it asks important questions about reality and perception and art.’ – Jackie Kay, poet and novelist.
Reading from my short story, ‘The Work of Lesser-known Artists’ at an event to mark this year’s London Short Story competition, at Waterstones, Piccadilly, London on Monday, 24th November, from 7pm.
Fantastic night last night at our local community cafe, the Hill Station. Another opportunity for local writers to have their work read by professional actors from the area. Owen Teale’s account of an aged Sir John Geilgud in an extract from Rupert Frazer’s memoire, ‘Relative Times’, was something not to be forgotten, while Rupert’s own delivery of work by Guy Ware was breath-taking.
Singer and actor, Helen Moore, read an extract from one of my recent stories ‘Washing Machine Wars’, a sorry tale of snobbery, bigotry and racial tension in South London.
Friends and community provided terrific support as usual, some coming from quite far afield.
A great night with a book group in Wilmington, Kent, the other night. This small, but perfectly formed, group were extremely attentive and very responsive. I really enjoyed reading and discussing extracts from my work with them. Not to mention the fact that books were sold. Many thanks are due to my mate, Christine, for organising this and providing the refreshments.
A Belgian racing pigeon sold for £260,000 this week. There’s a lot more to pigeons than meets the eye. If you would like to read about pigeons in fiction, try my story ‘Internet Explorer’, where they play a significant role.
‘Internet Explorer’ appears in the anthology ‘Ways of Falling’, available from Earlyworks Press
So said Benjamin Britten. Yeah, me too. No by, with or from the piano. Or the laptop, for that matter.
I’ve come back from India with two stories well-fermented: one has been brewing a long time, the other is a direct outcome of this break. Yep, that’s me walking – er – working there on the beach at Varca and again, behind the camera, pondering the palms in Patnem. Ye cannae whack it!