Absence much lamented (by me!)

I’ve just got back from having a hot stone massage – it was truly relaxing (apart from the corrugated mark on my forehead where it was resting on a towel and which looks absurdly like somebody tried to strangle the top of my head with a very thick rope) and as the hotel was stuffed with short, square-suited Russian men accompanied by tall and sculpted, blonde Russian women … an interesting mix that has definitely led to the glimmerings of an erotic short story. Carmel often finds situations, characters or plots in hotels – it’s a natural concomitant of so many bedrooms: fertile territory for an erotic writer!

And yes, I am sorry I haven’t been here much – I have been writing but not blogging, and that’s just a fact. There are interesting things afoot, but I can’t say anything about them as yet.

In the wider literary sense, Writers At Large, as organised by New Writing South, was a fascinating event for me at least; I hope the writers who had advice sessions with me enjoyed themselves as much as I did. One of the more interesting points about such sessions is that many writers already know the answer to the ‘problem’ they pitch up with. What they lack is confidence in their own intuition or good sense or even in the good news they are being given about their own writing … it’s a situation that seems to plague many of us. Maybe we should have some kind of support group like those lovely feminist networks that no longer seem to exist but did when I was a teenager.

Did I say that the excellent Ether Books took some more stories for their incredible iPhone app? Well they did. Five, in fact.

And I’ve been spending much time in cafes with some extremely lovely writers: Lou, James, Laura, Jo and Kate. That’s a terrible thing to say when I’ve been neglecting my blog, I know, but I cannot tell a lie – I have been en-cafed and enjoying it.


  1. Jim Murdoch
    8th July 2010

    Intuition and good sense are all good and well but the writing world is one where protocol looms above everything else. There have been many occasions where I’ve not submitted to a magazine because they include so many tiresome rules. And the same goes for books. Honestly it’s why I made so little effort back in the day when I had the energy to get my first novel published. I read books on submitting and everyone had their own ideas. So many ideas and opinions. And don’t get me started on how to actually write. Don’t do this, don’t do that, don’t do the other. It can wear a body down. So I can fully understand people asking you questions they know the answers to because they probably don’t know if they’re coming or going any more.

    It’s like the Ether Books site – congratulations there by the way – I mean, how unhelpful is it? No submission guidelines at all! Are they even accepting submissions or were all their authors invited? Yes, I know you could answer that question (which is why it’s nice I know you) but what about everyone else? Or is it a test on their part? Are they only looking for new authors who are brave enough to send an e-mail asking for their submission policy?

  2. Kay Sexton
    23rd July 2010

    Jim, I went and asked and the answer is that they are taking work by invitation only, so I assume that means they are talking to agents rather than taking open submsisions.

  3. Jim Murdoch
    23rd July 2010

    Thanks, Kay. The question was only half-serious. I pretty much imagined what the answer was going to be but a few lines on the site would’ve been nice. It’s amazing how unhelpful a lot of sites can be. I’m looking for places to send my book of poetry to and I’m finding sites that have reviews up but not a word about whether they accept unsolicited ARCs or what. (And no I’m not hinting. Two books was beyond the call. It would be nice to return the favour one of these days though.)


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