Thursday, 30 September 2010


At some point I'll do a proper 'what actually happens in a fiction workshop' post, but basically it went well. I went in with a short story, and came out with a shorter one and a list of ways to hack it up and reassemble it more pleasingly. It's a bit like stealing bodies to build a monster - some bits are going to get chucked into the gut bucket, and other parts will need to be expanded or refined to make sure you end up with something you can be proud of, rather than something that will go on a rampage and have to be dumped somewhere in the arctic*.

People were kind. This is good. I thank them for helpful comments and sparing of my self-respect. I think my monster is now looking reasonably attractive. It might not be a thing of holiness, but it shouldn't scare the villagers.

Also, here is another strange thing that my cameraphone spotted, this time in the library. It hasn't come out beautifully, despite my edgy Photoshop skills, but yes, that is a drinks machine. No, there doesn't seem to be an exception for bottled water.

Recently read
  • The Female Eunch. Brilliant when it's angry (which is most of the time), dull and outdated when it tries to be statistical. 
  • Short stories by Chekhov, Oates and Nabokov
Recently written
  • 'Mysteries' - why you shouldn't go on holiday with someone who's read The Da Vinci Code
  • An opening for something with the working title of Greeks Bearing Gifts. It's like Howard Jacobson for gingers. Only rubbish. 
  • A story about why you shouldn't take fencing too seriously. 

* This metaphor should not be taken as a suggestion that short stories can kill your friends, fiancés and family.

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