Archive for the ‘Actual Writing!!!’ Category

There are drawers I don’t open

Stuffed with ancient bills and

Outdated bank statements.

But to throw them away

I risk finding

That photo of us

lying on the grass

in a park

in Paris.

So there are drawers I don’t open.

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A friend of mine sent me a text today which read as follows:

“So your theme for the week is ‘_____’. I would like two brothers and a sister called J___, J____ and J____, everything happens in one afternoon and it cannot be more than two pages. How is that?”

And that, to me, sounds like quite a nice way to get back into the swing of writing. So I wrote a story based on those parameters, then I’ll send it back to him and he’ll respond to it in some way: maybe a song, or a poem, or a photograph. And perhaps we’ll carry on. It sounds like fun.

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You  may have noticed it’s been pretty quiet around here. This isn’t because I’ve been out partying every night (honest, Dad! Well, maybe a bit…), but because this semester seems like a very busy time. Alongside our normal course workload, we’ve been working on a collaboration with the illustration students at the Edinburgh College of Art.

We paired up with an illustrator, and then we exchanged work: the writers respond to an image and the illustrators respond to a short piece of text. We now have two paired text-and-image pieces, one of which we get to choose for a book and an exhibition.

I’m really lucky, my collaboration partner is a fantastic artist, and she’s lovely too!

Events so far include an exhibition launch at the Forest Cafe on March 1st, and a book launch at the same venue on March 25th. There will be readings at both events. I’ll add more information as and when I know about it, but for now here’s the blog for the project: http://blog.eca.ac.uk/twointhebush/, which we have entitled Two in the Bush. (I know).

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My lovely writer-friend Louise’s Dad made a video of me reading a story at our Student Reading Party at the end of last term:

It was a great night, and there are bound to be more readings in the next couple of months. I will be more proactive in posting about them in advance next time, so those of you lucky enough to live in or near Edinburgh can come along and hear some of our MSc class read their (excellent) stories.

In other news, you can usually hear at least one or two of my classmates (and frequently me, too!) reading short five-minute pieces of prose at the monthly Inky Fingers Open Mic at the Forest Cafe. It’s always a fantastic evening, with very talented poets, prosers, and musicians.

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Wee Red Gig

I’ll be reading a little story at the Wee Red Gig on Wednesday this week (Nov 24th). Come along if you’re near Edinburgh; it looks like it’s going to be a fantastic night.

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’m quite careful about not posting my writing on the blog, as I don’t want to scupper my chances if I want to get a short story published in the future. However, I can probably unequivocally say that I am NOT a poet. I love poetry, but I’m unable to write it well.

Thanks to the Open University poetry assignments, I have a homeless poem which I don’t think will be accepted anywhere for publishing unless the literary world develops a sudden penchant for slightly childish poetry. My other two efforts have been (very generously) accepted over at The Fiction Shelf, which is launching soon (go and submit your stories and poems to them, I think it’s going to be a great site).

So now, without further ado, here is a poem by my own non-poetic hands.

The Explorer

I dug a hole so I could see

a piece of earth unviewed.

I climbed up high and breathed in deep

and hoped that air was new.

I wrote a song so wild and free

which none had heard before.

And when I swim, my eyes are wide,

they sting to see new shores.

In the snow, my feet are first

to step out through the door.

And sometimes I can dream a world

where none have been before.

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