I often think giving random people a report of what you've been up to for the last couple of months and expecting them to be in anyway interested is the sort of mind-bogglingly self-centred thing only a writer would think to do... so here's mine.
In May I was lucky enough to (finally) have something chosen by Rattle Tales, the Brighton writing/performing collective, for their Brighton Fringe Festival evening gig. This was a public paying event, the first time I've read a piece at such, and I took the opportunity for a day out in this fab city by the sea to have a wander around the Marina, the Lanes, and anywhere else I could dredge up from my ancient memory of having lived there for a short while after art school. The main reason though was to calm my nerves; it almost worked and when I met the friendly crowd who ran RT and the night's other readers, all of whom seemed frighteningly talented writers but also very nice people, the whole thing became as enjoyable as I'd hoped it would. I read a 500 word flash fiction piece about a cocky bomb disposal expert who has to (literally) think fast. The crowd seemed to like it okay. Here's a link to RT's own review: http://www.rattletales.org/rattle-tales-shines-brighton-fringe-festival-2/
One of the other readers at Rattle Tales was Melanie Whipman who gives creative writing lessons at Farnham and is an Associate Lecturer at the University of Chichester. She's also very friendly and approachable so when I saw on her blog that she was holding her own (second) Lit-Live event in June, at a beautiful old pub in the quaint village of Frensham, I asked if I might be a part of it (having enjoyed the adrenalin rush of RT). She had a full programme already but managed to fit me in last place on the bill, which was very kind. The long drive after work, deep into the Surrey heartland on a warm balmy evening, was well worth it for an interesting and varied evening of poetry (some of it startlingly good from three young local students who took their craft extremely seriously) and prose. I read my short story 'Girl in a Shoebox' which seemed to survive a quick Q&A session from Melanie and the audience. There will be another Frensham Lit-Live sometime in late September and I'm hoping go down again. Here's a link to Melanie's previous scene-setting article from her blog: http://www.melaniewhipman.com/news.html
A few weeks ago I dodged my Chairman duties at VWC for the evening to pay my second visit to Hertford Writers' Circle's Wednesday monthly meeting at the very (very) old White Horse pub in the town. For a tall person this was like taking a continual assault course inside a Wendy house but we all crammed into their club room upstairs to listen to me blather on about my last two novels and later their own Xavier Leret preview his excellent debut novel 'The Romeo and Juliet Killers'. We both did some reading and managed to sell some books; the main point being we all enjoyed the evening; Hertford are a very nice bunch who mob-handedly supported Openmicnight2 both attending and reading, and I'm grateful to them for that and the opportunity to share my Japanese Daisy Chain and Black Hole Bar novels with them, same as I did with my first one a couple of years ago.
Lastly, I'm meeting with the St. Albans Book Club next Tuesday (14th July) at the Goat pub in town to discuss that first novel, Jacey's Kingdom, which they've kindly picked as their book of the month for July. I've never done this before with a group of readers and am slightly apprehensive of their questions (and my memory of the text) but also greatly anticipating the experience; almost like being a real writer in fact...
See you soon, have a great summer.