Short Stories

The urge to plan is strong in this one.

Sometimes I become overwhelmed with ideas, and I’m left confused and confuddled as to which are the best ones to go for. So I need to ensure I keep track of everything, in case a spark of inspiration is forgotten. The usual flux of ideas has been made even more complicated by the fact that I’ve recently been working on some short stories, as well as the usual poetry.

I love the short story form. A short story or flash fiction can be a whole world in a chapter, or it can be a full expression of a moment, or even half a moment. They’re accessible, you don’t have to commit to reading a whole novel, you can dip in and out of a book of short stories, reading it back to front if you wanted to.

I’m a huge fan of illustrated novels, which are frequently short stories expanded to the length of a beautiful graphic book. I’m a keen sculptor, but I don’t think my illustrative skills would be up to plushing out a whole book. It’s a shame though – and it frustrates me, because I have so many ideas. When I write I visualise the story first, and try to describe what’s happening from that. I’ve doodled my thoughts lots of times, but they’re no where near publishing quality, and there’s a rare skill in being able to illustrate a complete story.

I’m working on a small book at the moment which would be illustrated, and would contain three of my short stories to a theme. It’s all a bit of an experiment really. I’ve recently discovered an artist I’m friends with on Facebook whose style is particularly inspiring and would be perfect for such a project, but who knows what will happen. I’m currently shaping the third story – which would sit between the other two tales, and concerns the skills of a man named Angus McGarry (at the moment). His story is trickier than the others, as I’m writing it from the perspective of a deteriorating self, which is complex but particularly fascinating – to me anyway. This is quite the test!

Hopefully soon, I’ll have some news to share on that. 🙂

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The Stinging Fly – Fear & Fantasy Issue

It’s been out a few weeks, but I’m still on cloud 9 about this one…

One of the top literary magazines in Ireland, The Stinging Fly, has included some of my poetry in their Fear & Fantasy issue. Mia Gallagher acted as the guest editor for the issue. And you can read her thoughts on the process in her interview with The Irish Times.

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You can buy the issue online via The Stinging Fly website, or in some good bookshops. It’s also such an added bonus that I’m in something that can be bought in some accessible ways. I recently had some exciting news in that two of my poems have been reserved for an anthology that will be stocked in Waterstones. When I discovered this, the sound I made can only be described as a squeal. I’m not proud of it, but I may have lost my composure.

But isn’t that what life’s about, sometimes?

‘Nan Hardwicke Turns into a Hare’ Review

Many moons ago (it seems) I reviewed this pamphlet, written by Wendy Pratt. I’ve reviewed two of Wendy’s mini-collections now, and next to come will be a review of her full length collection, Museum Pieces.

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You can read my review of the pamphlet over at the Three Drops from a Cauldron website.