Short Scenes

I love delving into new authors without really having much or any knowledge of their work or style.  Recently, on a trip to Newcastle, I had a bit of time to kill so I popped into a bookstore and browsed the shelves.  On one of the shelves I found When I Was Mortal, a recently published short story collection by Javier Marías.  I had heard of his name, indeed had looked at his novels before, but I had never read any of his work.  The front cover grabbed my attention with the beautiful photograph of the crow, elegant yet not too understated.


I am fast becoming a fan of short story collections and folk tales.  Vonnegut showed me the way and Márquez taught me the value of them, Marías is now enticing me to know more.  The short story is a wonderful form, one that is much maligned in the modern printing world.  Of course how could it not be?  Where once it was a mainstay in helping the author to produce work and maintain an income whilst working on novels, it is now rare for authors to be able to earn a living from short stories as a sole main income.  Only stable authors have collections of short stories out in the shops.

Of course this is largely due to the internet and the relatively dying off of short story magazines in recent decades.  But where there is a will there is a way.  New independent magazines are appearing all the time online and in hard copy, and you can contribute to them, as I have done.  The Paperbook Collective is one such example: full of photography, poetry, reviews, short stories and short scenes.  I also got wind that another friend is looking to set up an interactive online magazine full of music, photography, poems, short pieces and essays.  It is something I look forward to contributing to.  Even now as I type ideas fizz and pop into my head, short scenes stolen from real life or dreamt up in fantasy.

In the meantime I heading back to the world of Mariás.  Keep on writing, keep on dreaming.  (But, perhaps most importantly for me, I must keep on editing!).

Against The Nature, Against The Grain

I have not really wrote about my passion and love for the band Gogol Bordello here but I will in time.  I am currently listening to Against the nature by them and it is such a wonderfully dark song by them, but in truth I think I love everything they have ever produced.  In the last post I mentioned that a short piece of mine has been published in the latest issue of The Paperbook Collective, a fantastic free magazine based in Australia.  The piece is a fairly dark reflective piece on consumer society and also, in part, of the human condition.  For everyone that loves literature, that loves writing and the written word I cannot recommend getting in touch with Jayde Ashe enough with your work for the next edition.  Have a go, write something for fun and submit it.  It is really rare to come across someone who is willing to help edit and publish your work for free and without hesitation, but that is the kind and great work that Jayde does!

Here is an extract from my short piece, which can be found on page 30 of Issue 7:


Click to enlarge the image, or head over to here to read the whole of issue 7 for free!

I’ve ordered this issue and the previous two and I am looking forward to actually holding the ‘zines in my own hands, and to read what others have wrote.  The ‘zine attracts readers and writers from all over the globe so you truly feel part of something that is international in scope.  This is something I value as the internet has helped to break down a fair few walls in its short history (though plenty more remain).

Head over to The Paperbook Collective today and show your support for such a fantastic magazine.  Don’t forget you can also submit anything that you want!