October 5th : several short story submissions later, I’m working on a novel called The Good Grief Club. It’s a much simpler format than earlier attempts, with only three parts: Ray of Little Sunshine, Agapi-Jacqueline’s Respite, and Erene’s Tortoise. The current blurb:
Ray McBeth has sold his greengrocer shop and settled his affairs. At the age of 72 he is determined to master driving his wife Erene’s temperamental camper van and smuggle both her ashes and evil tortoise across Europe to Kefalonia to set both free. He will build a little cairn on a quiet hill in memory of their daughter, Agapi-Jacqueline. He then intends to eat moussaka, having resisted doing so for the fifty-one years of his marriage. Finally, his tidying-up complete, and requiring no beach towel, having never learned to swim, he will walk into the Ionian Sea.
August 16th : As If He Still Drives A Capri, a poignant and amusing short story will be published in November by those very wonderful people at Literally Stories. Link will be put up when available.
July 25th : ‘My Son is Sometimes Wise,’ a fable/short story, is free in the Templeman Review, Issue 3. It involves Americans, llamas, the toupee of a German journalist, and a life of crime across Europe
June : A short story come prose-poem called ‘Christmas Lights Icicle Frost’ has been published by Literally Stories. Here it is, hiding away. This is both a stand-alone vignette and a treatment for the Effervescent Hope novel. It’s a magical realist piece featuring a baker with handlebar moustaches and flour in his hair, a heroine who has Down Syndrome (it does not have her) as well as assorted sea creatures
June : ‘Sunset on Kefalonia’, a lament, has been published on Mediterranean Poetry, which is a beautiful site. You can take a peek here. ‘Ships Are Not the Only Wrecks on Zante’ a poem about belonging and refugees, is also there
June : ‘All My Darlings Waiting’ is a short story reminiscent of Lucy Ellmann’s 2019 1000 page novel Ducks, Newburyport, (but much shorter, a brisk 2,000 words) was published May 17th at Literally Stories. You can visit the site here. It is a ghost prose piece.
A short story, ‘Haus des Meeres’, was published in the print edition of the Blue Nib magazine in September 2020. You can read it on their website here
During first lockdown, you know, the proper lockdown, I wrote a poem for a mental health project, and I’m pleased to say ‘Barrier Nursing’ will be published in an anthology by Rare Swan, part of Literati Magazine
Novels and other Stuff
My first novel Effervescent Hope is done and will be with agents in August ’21, while my second novel, While there is Still Time: The Twenty-One Love Songs of Augustus Rook, is also cooked for now, and will likewise be sent out. (An earlier novel The Diary of Guy Shambles, A Man Who is Utterly Beside Himself is treading water in a bottom drawer.) On Being in Love with Hilda Wulz, a shorter novel, was completed enough in July 2021 to head out to readers
A short-story collection is finished in fifth draft form. (These things take time, and good writing is mainly rewriting.) Its current title is The Whole of Life Dependent on Four Letters, borrowed from a Lorca poem
A radio interview about writing, and challenging behaviour is on Soundcloud