Wednesday, 29 September 2010

50 Stories For Pakistan

You may remember me talking about Greg McQueen's book 100 Stories For Haiti in previous posts,the proceeds of which went to the Red Cross Haiti Appeal to help victims of the Haiti Earthquake which struck in January 2010.

The tireless man has been at it again.
In his words:
“Once again I have found myself in the position where I cannot ignore the need to do something. This time it is Pakistan … The United Nations estimates that twenty million people have lost their homes as a result of the flooding that started last July. Add to this the thousands who have already lost their lives, and the thousands who will lose their lives because of famine and disease … And well, it is once again time to do something!”
– Greg McQueen

He appealed for writers to donate stories to 50 Stories For Pakistan and I am delighted that one of my stories, Lines, is included in the anthology! The book is being put together in record time and will be hitting bookshops soon... I will let you know the release date once it is announced and will put up links to Amazon etc. All proceeds will go towards the Red Cross Pakistan Floods Appeal you can click on this link to donate now or see the work that the Red Cross have been doing.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Eclectic Flash, Jane Austen Action Figures and More

No, I haven't moved to the moon. I have been working in DC, beating the traffic by leaving at 6am and returning twelve hours later, or more if armed gunmen strapped with bombs have been taking hostages in the Discovery Building. (America!) Anyway, several dollars later my temporary contract has come to an end and I have been reunited with my keyboard, my teacups and my lie-ins, even as late as 7.30, hungry cats allowing.

Here's me in the rather gorgeous Issue 3 of Eclectic Flash, available in Real Paper Format or on the Online. It is a story called 'Sweet Pastry', which is tiny at only 150 words, but I quite like it. It was a challenge for me to write something so short.

The novel plods ever onwards. I recently printed the whole thing out to see what it is I have actually written. It's a pleasingly thick wodge of paper that at the very least would make a good doorstop. Now here's a thing, American paper sizes are different. I trotted off to the shop to buy some more A4 and they don't have such a concept. They have a paper size, 'letter', that is slightly wider and a different length, so I had to work out how to change the page setup on the computer and then the printer workings. I'm not one of those people who have to write on grey lined, red margined paper with 4 not 2 holes punched or anything, but still it all looks just a little wrong to me.

A friend and I recently visited the Library of Congress in DC. Once we had got a quiet boo and fist-shake out of our systems for grey-squirrelling the Dewey Decimal System into near extinction, we allowed ourselves to be impressed as all heck at the astoundingly beautiful neo-classical building and the general temple-to-books decor inside. It also has a fantastic gift shop, where I bought a Jane Austen Action Figure with Detachable Quill and Writing Desk for my study.