Friday, 31 July 2015

All the things she read - July

For a while now, I've not been reading as much as I should and my to read pile is seriously dusty (or would be if I didn't dust the shelves). My attempt with posts like this is to encourage me to stop faffing about on Facebook and get back to reading all of the things...

New entries to my 'to read pile' for this month':
Albion Fay by Mark Morris
Leytonstone by Stephen Volk
The Last Bus by Paul M Feeney
Probably Monsters by Ray Cluley (which came with a mini story on a postcard)
Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter
No One Gets Out Alive by Adam Nevill
Shimmer - issue 26
Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma

What I have read this month:
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
Leytonstone by Stephen Volk

Short Stories:
Wolves and Witches and Bears by Alison Littlewood (Nightmare)*
The Ghost of you Lingers by Kevin McNeil (The Dark)*
An Ocean of Eyes by Cassandra Khaw (The Dark)
End Game by Barry Charman (Daily SF)
The Cork won't Stay by Nate Southard (Nightmare)*
Things to do after they're gone by Mimi Mondal (Daily SF)


*Favourite short stories this month

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Fearful Fathoms



Found this interesting submission call while trawling the internet.

Fearful Fathoms: Collected Tales of Aquatic Terror
Looking for stories set in or around water that are dark, atmospheric and chilling.
Submission Period: August 1st to August 31st
Word Count: 2000 to 5000 words
Payment: 1 cent per word with a maximum payment of $50

Full details (including some very specific formatting) can be found at Scarlet Galleon Publications.


And if you're stuck for watery inspiration, you could read this British Fantasy Award nominated novella, Water for Drowning by the awesome Ray Cluley. See how I slid that in there. I am so tricky.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Mental Health Day

Over the past ten days, I have written three stories and sent them out into the world, completed the first drafts of a further two, and am in the process of writing the first draft of a further story. Getting back to what I love doing after a very dry period has meant that his week I have felt happier and more confident (an acceptance from Black Static may also have helped) than I have in some time. I really thought I couldn't do this any more.

In the good old days, when I wrote all of the things, I rarely gave myself any time off and if I did slack, I admonished myself. In theory, I could have closeted myself away today and written until I felt so tired that I couldn't think, and at one point I was very tempted to do that. Instead, this is how today went, and it was excellent therapy for my poor, often broken, head. 

First, I slipped off the rocky route of my diet when we went to lunch at the frankly amazing Sawasdee Thai Restaurant in Birkenhead - if you're in the area and I know you, we have to eat there. I allowed myself this slip as it was a healthy lets have a lovely lunch together rather than my usual, lets hide under my desk and consume all of the chocolate. 

Then we went to Bidston Hill, which is a five minute and then a ten minute bus ride from our new home on the Wirral. My Bestwick had told me of the windmill on top of a hill, and I, despite living in the Merseyside area for my entire life didn't know of it. He is a get on a bus and see what you can find person. He's turning me into one of those people too. We climbed over rocks and up the not-very-steep hill and sat on a bench that overlooked my magnificent city...



... having temporarily run out of books to read for the British Fantasy Awards (I'm one of the Horror Novel judges) and waiting for more to be delivered, I picked up Stephen Volk's Leytonstone on the way out and the magnificent prose drew me from this awesome view. I've been very lax with reading lately and my to read pile is overflowing and my to buy pile is dragging at my heart. I'm going to break soon and buy all of the things.

We got lost on the way back because this is us and ended up walking through a very nice housing estate that we will never move to because it is very much in the middle of nowhere. Eventually we found our way to a main road and a bus route, which was five minutes walk from the exit, but we managed to turn it into a half-hour walk - we  need the exercise. 

We're having a barbecue tonight because obviously when you slip from a diet you have to do it in style. It's the first barbecue either of us have done so if you're in the area expect fire engines, scorched plants and soot-faced writers.