Friday, 31 August 2007

And as you read the sea is turning its dark pages, turning its dark pages

I am SO excited. I just mailed out a draft of our first review, a collection of seven pieces on the subject of paint and painting. The work we picked is evocative and thoughtful. The words came from Northampton, Kettering, Rugby and Scotland and they were beautiful, and passionate.

So this is something we want to do every month, on a different theme, with the same writers or different writers, or different and the same writers. This month will be The Sea. We would like your short stories and prose - no more than 1,000 words again, please - on the subject of the sea. Just because, really. Because, we're too far away from it. Please send your submissions, via our website submissions slot, or to by September 30th.

"And as you read the sea is turning its dark pages, turning its dark pages."
Denise Levertov

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Where, indeed?

I'm reading a collection of short stories by Gina Ochsner called People I Wanted to Be. One character asks: "Where do our words go once they've been spoken?"

Where indeed do they go? Answers on a...


Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Using and abusing the great and good

I've just dropped the now redundant sunflowers in a vase, from which they'll duly topple, poured a cup of tea, placated the howling cat and got the wax off the office saucers which I always borrow for Ripping Pages events. I can say always now, after two events, can't I? (That just reminded me of the temporary / permanent discussion we had, Jayne!)

It was another sweet candlelit night full of words, which I think is what we always wanted it to be, how we pictured it might be, could be, would be, should be. There were new faces, new eyes, new ears, new words. Words, yes.

I struggle with adjectives. I find it hard to say how much I like something. I use and abuse the great and good. The adjectives, that is, not the people. I know that this is not something terribly - here I go again - great to confess to, but I do. I struggle. I want to say that tonight was wonderful, brilliant and fantastic - but I'll just play it down and say it was good.

They all say show not tell anyway. What good would it be for me to tell you it was wonderful when we could show you? Literally, thanks to photographer Johanna, who spent a good part of the evening behind a tripod. Thank you.

So, what next, then? Other than September 4th at The Romany in Northampton. Well, hopefully, you'll guide us. Do we want a book club type thing? Do we want to go down the workshop route? Do we want neither of these but something else?

I think, for our part, we're happy to have more vitriol, more laughter and more tearjerkers, for a start, whether they are read out to us at events, or submitted to us online.


Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Paint, or our first submission theme

So, the conversation went something like this. Let's get some writing in now, let's do a submissions thingy, let's just make up a theme. What could the theme be? Silence as we look around respective rooms and views from upstairs windows. Er Chimneys. Erm. Not chimneys, no. Can anybody even spell chimneys? I think not. More silence. Er. Erm. Paint. The idea is inspired by a greeting card, a design by Chris Chun - 36 different colours, laid out like a paint palette but actually representing foods. Paint, yes. Paint. Let's say paint. What? Just paint? Well, we'll word it a bit better than that. OK, yes, paint. And that was that.


What beautiful plans

Oh, what beautiful plans we have for these pages...