Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Upcoming publication: Old Oak & The Maiden

Wow, two acceptances this month! I'm thrilled that Old Oak & The Maiden has been accepted for publication in Scheherezade's Bequest! This really is so exciting for me: when I began writing and attempting to get my stories published two years ago, one of the first submissions I made was to SB. It was, unsurprisingly, rejected. And now, to have a story accepted by them...it's something I can clearly measure my success against, you know?

I'm always disappointed that as someone who wants to use words to make a living, I never find the right ones to express myself properly when I'm overexcited!

Anyway...it will be published (in print!) in Spring 2013.

I posted an excerpt on a previous blog post, which you can read here if you're interested...

Thursday, 22 November 2012

When real life has a well balanced plot

Everyone always says books and films are nothing like real life, because for one reason or another, they're not believable. Somehow my life has been the opposite: several situations I've experienced have been so unique, so random, so hilarious or so well-ordered that it just wouldn't seem credible, even in a book or a film! 

Today I had one of those moments. I went into university for the last time (in theory) to finalise details regarding my transfer, and the girl who helped me out was very familiar...she helped me with everything I needed, then said goodbye and wished me luck with the Open University. As I began cycling home, it dawned on me why I recognised her...

When I first came to visit the university 3 years ago, she was the student giving my group the tour.
When I joined the university last year, she registered me.
When I went to visit my academic advisor, she was in the queue to see him as well.
And now, I guess she graduated and stayed to work there.

She was the person to welcome me, and the person to say goodbye to me.

How strange, that the story of my time with Sussex has been balanced like a good plot by the presence of one person. If I ever doubt that I'm doing good in the world, making a difference or simply making the most of my time, it'll be worth remembering that making a mark can be a very subtle thing, something we might not even be aware of ourselves...

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Upcoming publication: Goodnight, sweet lady

Remember the story I wrote that messed with my head, because I couldn't stop thinking in blank verse? Well I just found out that Goodnight, sweet lady has been accepted for publication in the upcoming issue of Mirror Dance, which is showcasing blends of poetry and prose! I'm so excited! 

And it couldn't have come at a better time - the motivational kick this kind of news provides is exactly what I need as I get to grips with all these changes in my life. I'm always amazed at how little set backs can knock you down gradually, almost without noticing, and then one piece of good news can shoot you straight back up. I wasn't even aware of how doubtful I was feeling about my writing, but now that I think about it, I was beginning to feel afraid precisely because I was committing to spend more time on it...and I was afraid of failing. 

I'm going to write as much as I can while I'm riding this wave - a surprise bout of confidence isn't something to waste!

'Nixie' by littletreesprout @ dA
(the picture is a clue to the other characters in the story...!)

Friday, 2 November 2012

Feature: My Brain Orgasm

Today I'd like to feature Jess Squires, a very good friend of mine, whose short book, My Brain Orgasm, has just been released in paperback after a successful stint as an e-book from Amazon.

This is my Amazon comment on the book:
This book is an honest and thought provoking read. I've never come across anything like 'real time psychosis' before, but it was gripping - it's not very long but it flows so naturally that I couldn't put it down.Unusually for a book it contains short hand elements (e.g. 'u' for 'you') and this adds to the real-time feeling and gives a sense that the author had so much to say, it just had to come out as quickly as possible.
What I did not expect was for it to be so beautiful. There is a feeling of euphoria and just pure happiness when the author arrives at her own conclusions and understandings about god and religion.
I think there's generally a lack of public awareness about mental health issues, its a bit of a hush-hush issue (in this country at least) and although there are people and organisations working to change perceptions, there is still a lot of stigma attached. That being said, it is works like this from brave people who are willing to share such a personal experience that will help.
She received her copy of the paperback today and it was so exhilarating to hold it and flick through - I felt so honoured to share that feeling of excitement with her.

If you're at all interested in mental health and want to read something truly unique, then please have a look at this book! For more books about mental health, Jess' publisher deals specifically with books about mental health, and by people who live with mental illness.