Friday, 20 September 2013

Witch Doctors and Rarebits and Not Going Gentle.


It's been a while, hasn't it?

This is what happens when you get a proper job, see. So... I've been up to some things.

Things like editing beautiful books for Parthian Books.  Craig Hawes brilliant collection of short stories The Witch Doctor Of Umm Suqeim has been printed. I think I am beaming like a proud Mum out of shot. On general release from October 1st! We had a little launch party with family and friends at Monkey in Swansea on Sunday evening. Craig said some nice things, I blushed. His book is on general release from 1st October.

Craig and I were also joined by Sian Preece to talk about how to win short story competitions in our session at the Rhys Davies Short Story Conference the day before. There were lots of fab people on the bill including Will Self, Clare Keegan, Cynan Jones, Alex Clark and the brilliant Edna O'Brien -- If I am that awesome at 82 I'll be happy, and it is good to remember that if I my long life line tells the truth, I've still 50+ years of writing life left.

Moody morning

Team Parthian also managed to get away together after summer breaks to play killer pool (badly), watch Hungarian music, dance on new carpets and spot dolphins (Number spotted = 0, there are around 3 - 400 in the bay but they must have been sleeping or hiding. The next boat trip saw a few.) and porpoise who breached three times, then vanished (Number spotted: 3 - 10, depending on how observant we were / which side of the boat we sat on) off the coast of Cardigan. Here's a picture of Mwnt from the water.

Next up I'm looking forward to a bunch of events for Rarebit, the anthology of 20 illustrated short stories I've been collating and editing ready for launch / Parthian Xmas Party in Cardiff on National Short Story Day on the shortest day of the year December 21st (on general release from January 2014). We'll be doing preview events at Made in Roath Festival (Crwys Pub, 7pm, Thurs 24th October) and Do Not Go Gentle Festival (6pm, Fri 1st November, Swansea). 

I am also working on great 2014 titles by Dan Tyte, Michael Oliver-Semenov, Kit Habianic, Carly Holmes, Georgia Carys Williams, Susmita Bhattacharya and Tom Anderson.

I've a couple of gigs coming up myself too:

National Poetry Day at Dylan Thomas' Birthplace, Swansea, Thursday October 3rd, 7pm - I'll be reading poems along with Clare Ferguson Walker and Tony Webb. Music from Sarah Passmore and Rag Foundation.

Made in Roath Festival, Sat 19th October, 2pm at Wellfield Bookshop - I'll be reading from a new short story, or the novel, or both. Something you've not heard before, at any rate.

Various events at Do Not Go Gentle Festival (1-3 November, Swansea), where I'm literary programmer, including the Rarebit event already mentioned, and chats with Rachel Trezise, Tyler Keevil, Robert Lewis, Niall Griffiths (his film Kelly + Victor is out at cinemas today, we'll be talking about that and his new novel), Katherine Stansfield, Jemma L. King and Francesca Rhydderch.

Finally, I'll be talking about Jampot Smith by Jeremy Brooks and the Library of Wales Series at St Fagan's Book Group on Sat 23rd November (11am - 1pm)

More on the book group here:

Looking ahead to spring 2014, I'll be talking publishing and then later performing at Cardiff Met and co-organising the second outing of xx women's writing festival, back to Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff in March 2014 (Fri 7th & Sat 8th).

Oh, yeah, and the novel has been let out of the drawer. Don't say I didn't warn you. Expect periods of antisocial behaviour and a distracted appearance.

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