Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Flash

Morning and for a long time I try to pretend it isn't happening, but it is. Why is it so difficult to sleep at three in the morning and so hard to wake now?

The radio goes on at Hodmandod Senior's side of the bed and I can't be bothered to reach over and switch it off. Hodmandod Senior himself is presently holed up in a hotel somewhere near Venice...but only near Venice, unfortunately.
'The Italian version of Runcorn,' he told me last night.
'That good, huh?'
I'll have to do a post on Runcorn sometime. It is...interesting.

Eventually forced out of bed by John Humphrey's incredulous tone (apparently 20 000 people have queued outside a supermarket yesterday morning to buy a £5 cotton bag (yes, I agree, Mr Humphreys, people on the whole tend to be pretty stupid - I guess we should know since we are two of them)) I amble into the study and switch on the Mac.

In amongst the junk there is an email I actually want to read; it is from Pete Wild telling me that an anthology is out tomorrow with one of my very short stories in them.

The anthology is called THE FLASH because it is composed of pieces of flash fiction (there was a word limit but I'm afraid I can't remember what it was) and since Pete was kind enough to send me a galley to check I have been able to read several of the other contributions and I thoroughly recommend the ones by Patricia Duncker and Sara Gran. These are just the ones that happened to catch my eye, I am sure there are many other wonderful ones too. My little offering, unfortunately, is can I put this...ah yes, recyclable, I think is an appropriate and highly topical term. Still, you can always skip over a couple of pages and since the rest are excellent please buy one. Proceeds go to Amnesty International.

There is to be a launch tomorrow night (Friday 27th April) in the Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road in London with readings by Nick Royle, Shiromi Pinto, Andrew Holmes, Conrad Williams, Rhonda Carrier, Nick Johnstone and Pete Wild. Unfortunately I can't be there but I wish I could. There are people in that list I would love to meet.


Blogger Tania Hershman said...

I am a big flash fiction fan so will definitely go out and buy this. I have a few American flash fiction anthologies but have never come across a British one - about time! And please explain re: cotton bags for those of us who no longer live over there.

Runcorn, eh? Ah the wonderful months I spent there in my gap year before university, on the YMCA on the housing estate so horrendous that Prince Charles declared should be razed to the ground. Packs of wild dogs roamed the alleys between concrete blocks, and one night someone "fell" out of a window to his death.

When my father dropped his 18-year-old daughter and her belongings off there before my 3-month stint, he went very pale. Luckily, my time there was far less eventful! What's your connection?

Thu Apr 26, 04:39:00 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

Please let me have a copy, Clare.
I certainly like the look of the cover.
Hmm. I nearly said something very naffff after that, but you will note that I didn't..
I looked at Pete Wild's stories a while ago on your recomendation if you recall and liked his style.

Thu Apr 26, 06:09:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Malcolm used to go to Runcorn quite a bit. Well, not actually "to" Runcorn but to Daresbury laboratory, when the synchrotron beam there was suitable for muscle fibres. Daresbury has been closed for a while, though, so he's been going to Grenoble and Chicago while waiting for Diamond (Rutherford-Appleton lab at Didcot near Oxford) to come online.

Thu Apr 26, 09:58:00 pm  
Blogger Kay Cooke said...

I've had short short stories on my mind lately too ... Congratulations.
(Hope you don't miss HS too badly.) I love the description of a reluctant waking up - something I can identify with only too well.

Fri Apr 27, 05:11:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Titiana: thanks for your enthusiasm for the Flash Anthology. I am sure that will warm the cockles of Pete Wild's heart.

Now Runcorn - yup, your description pretty well matches my husband's assessment of the place. However he assures me there are two Runcorns - the one you describe which is Runcorn New Town and the old bit of Runcorn which used to be a pretty little Cheshire village until ICI built an enormous chemical plant there. I can imagine your father's heart sinking when he left you there. I think you were pretty brave at eighteen actually. What were you doing there?

Jan: Sure thing, as soon as I get one myself. Well done on the restraint - I too found it difficult.

Maxine: I reckon Daresbury is to Runcorn as Dulwich Village is to Peckham - certainly in terms of wealth. I've not been there but I have the impression that Daresbury is a quiet little village; whereas Runcorn is more developed and urban.

It must be very exciting being involved in that new Diamond project! I only have a pretty hazy idea of what goes on there but it does sound amazing.

Thanks, CB.

Fri Apr 27, 08:55:00 am  
Blogger Jan said...

Just testing !
Hope you dont mind!

Fri Apr 27, 09:37:00 am  

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