Up North: a general lack of grimness

Two entries in week? Yeah, why not. Thanks for the lovely, off-wordpress comments from various folks about the previous entry. I wrote it dry-eyed and then got terribly emotional after the fact, though as my dad said (about me taking so long to realise what they offered): Taking ages is good; it’s forgetting that’s the sin.

This is a quick one. I’m writing it on the train back to London having spent the past 24-hours or so in Newcastle.

Newcastle’s a bit lovely. Somebody told me I was seeing it at its best, on a crisp and frosty day. I probably saw it at its best at night as well, with a clear sky and a full moon hanging over the river. Also, it’s friendly. I went wandering around on Sunday night looking for food and followed my dad’s advice (given many years ago) that if you’re looking for somewhere to eat in a strange town, pick the place that’s packed. So I did and wound up in a gin-specialist bar call Dacantus (though I did not partake of any gin), where I sat at the bar to eat my very tasty meal and chatted to the bar man about more gin and Newcastle and the origins of the bar and such. Then I went for a wander along the Quay.

Follow the light...

Follow the light…

I woke up this morning to seagulls yelling outside my window and for a second I thought I was back in Wales. Also I had breakfast with an ex-bit part actor (Eastenders, The Bill, Holby City – shootings, car chases, thuggery), now Old Folks’ Home appliance salesman, because we were the only two people in the room, so why not.

It’s been fun, all of it. It didn’t occur to me until I was back in the hotel, working on some, er, work, that at some point this year I became someone entirely happy with being dropped in an unfamiliar city alone and just figuring it out. Younger me would have bought a sandwich and stayed in the hotel, not gone for a walk in the dark (safely, mum, with all my alertness in place and obviously on well-lit streets with other people on them). She certainly wouldn’t have gone into a bar alone – hell, even with friends she didn’t like ordering the drinks, even if she was happy to pay for them. And she hated that about herself.  She’d quite like the person she’s grown (growing) into.

ANYWAY!

Anyway, the point of this entry is some blatant promotion. This week, my final two accepted writings of the year both came out.

First, let me whet your appetite with the beautiful and entirely free-to-read Synaesthesia Magazine – there’s some absolutely cracking stories, interviews, pictures and sound in there, including, I’m proud to say, my story Sea Monster on page 18 ( it may bring back memories for a couple of people who know me). Click HERE or go to the stories and pomes page for links to it and other things).

Second, this one’s not so free, but have a look! Pankhearst’s first in what they intend to be a series of Slim Volumes, edited by Kate Garrett, is No Love Lost. It’s an anti-romance anthology of poetry and flash fiction, and I have a gloriously bitter poem in it, which I took great pleasure in writing. If you think it’s about you, it probably is (ooh, you’re so vain!) Less than six squid, go on go on go on CLICK.

And finally: welcome new followers – there have been a number of you in the last month or so and I appreciate you clicking the button. I hope I keep things interesting for you. Tell me if I’m being boring. Or, you know, just start a conversation with me in the comments.

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