How and Where I Write

How and where I write Jane Austen wrote by hand on small sheets of paper hiding them if anyone came into the room. Anthony Trollope paid his manservant to call him at 5.30am so he could get in three hours writing before he left home for his day job. Proust wrote in a cork lined room and J G Ballard in a nondescript suburban house. I have a friend who composes her best work in coffee shops, because she doesn’t like the silence at home. I am lucky in having a study. I type at an old table with a Formica top. On it sits my principal tool, an iMac with a 27” screen. Why so big? Because I can have three A4 equivalent pages displayed at a time, making moving between documents, or parts of the same document easy. I can have my browser open on one side of…

On memories and doors

Last Friday, I printed my almost finished story and put it on the table for my parents to read. It caused my dad to stay up later than he’d planned to, which I’m taking as a good sign. The next morning at breakfast he told me that the story reminded him of something I used to say as a kid. Whenever I was unsuccessfully trying to remember something, I’d say that it was somewhere behind a little door in my head, but I couldn’t find the right door. Now I’m not going to tell you what exactly the similarity to my story is; for that you’ll have to buy the book when it comes out. But it’s definitely there, which is funny because I’d forgotten about that particular anecdote. Who knows? Maybe I did unconsciously base the story on that idea. Memories are strange things. For example: the only thing…

School to desired temperature: Mr Lanaway

Welcome ye to my third and final post about the three teachers who have most influenced/damaged me. I’ve sort of made it a series of episodic posts so that a) after the first one you know that they’re related, and kind of what to expect; and b) after the first one, you can just look at the title and know to avoid the other two without the hassle of clicking through to read the whole thing. I’ve just realised that I have, unintentionally, written about these three in ascending order of age. Mr Moody was in his mid to late twenties; Mrs Bradley was in her late thirties; and Mr Lanaway was in his sixties. I know this for certain because he retired months before we were finished with him, and we all missed him dearly. Dear Mr Lanaway. He wasn’t young by anybody’s standards, and so to a bunch…

The Who and Why

Hi! My name is Michael, nice to meet you. You have found this blog, so you must love stories – I know we’ll get along just fine. As this is my first post in the blog, I think it makes sense to write about why I’m contributing to this anthology. Writing this post is a bit daunting considering the brilliant ones that have already been posted, but I’ll do my best. Feel free to stop reading it if you get bored. Do something fun instead. I heard that there are lots of interesting things out there on the internet, maybe you could go exploring. Or you could pick up your favourite book and reread (rereread, rerereread, …) it. I promise I don’t mind. You are still reading? Are you sure? Ok, so here goes nothing. I found out about the anthology in the May edition of Discworld Monthly, which is…

My first post

My name is Charlotte.  It’s probably too early in my life to ask me who and what I expect to be in 10 years time because I honestly don’t know. But for now I’m going to tell you about what I love. Writing. It’s that simple. I love writing and how it makes me feel like I understand the world a little bit better if I can describe something as simple as a flower. What I also love about writing is that so many people have done it before me. For as long as people have had the words to articulate it we have had stories and I think they show something fundamentally beautiful in the human race. We all want our lives known, our stories told. Who can talk about storytelling in the modern day without mentioning films? I think they are a fantastic new medium in which we…

School to desired temperature: Mrs Bradley

Last time, after the obligatory waffle, I told you about the most significant memories I have of my English teacher Mr Moody. Now, let me do the same for the memories I have of Mrs Bradley. Nothing about buttocks this time, sorry. Mrs Bradley was what any good teacher – in fact, what any good person– should be; identifiably human. Mr Moody’s One Of The Lads approach worked perfectly for him, never to the detriment of his job, and is largely why I shall remember him forever. Mrs Bradley on the other hand struck a miraculously perfect tone between friend and mentor. She must have been more than twice the age of the oldest of us, but could talk and listen like your best friend. Nonetheless, if anybody tried to take advantage of this, it was always immediately clear that she put our education above her desire for us to…

School to desired temperature: Mr Moody

Generally speaking, it is the memories you don’t remember that define you. I’m not talking about traumatic experiences that are suppressed in the mind and then go on to shunt a personality one of several ways, although that can sometimes happen (and I’m not just saying that because I’ve been watching a lot of Dexter lately). Besides, you may well ask, is it even a memory if you don’t remember it? Well – yes. In a healthy brain, a memory never truly goes away. There are things that you can forget for days, weeks, years, even decadesat a time, and then one day – sometimes for no apparent reason – remember quite vividly. It was always there. Memories are funny things though, aren’t they? Little nuggets of your life that have somehow settled into your brain forever over other events of that hour, or day, or week, or month, or…

Terry Pratchett: Neither gone nor forgotten

Hello. My name’s Luke Kemp, or at least that’s what my parents tell me. Through what I can only presume is a series of mistakes similar to those leading to Mr Bean vandalising Whistler’s Mother, I have been allowed to contribute a story to this upcoming anthology. Remember, 100% of profits go to Alzheimer’s Research UK – so if you buy less than three copies, you are a bad person. I’m extremely fortunate, in that I have thus far not had somebody I love suffer Alzheimer’s Disease (at least, not officially diagnosed). Statistically however I almost certainly will in the future. Perhaps that somebody will even be me. It already feels wonderful to know that I will, in however large or small a way, be a part of something that contributes funding towards understanding this condition which steals so much of what makes us visibly human. I immediately confess that…

Introducing your authors – round A!

The other day Sorin asked me why on earth we have author announcements ’round one’ and ’round a’.  I explained it’s because both groups are equally awesome! With no further ado, here are the other authors participating in the ‘In Memory’ anthology: Anna Mattaar, Netherlands, www.annamattaar.nl.  Writer for computer games and soon-to-be novelist. Charlotte Slocombe, UK, student and future writing superhero Steven McKinnon, UK, independent author R McK, UK, freelance writer P E, UK, pioneer of the dramatic arts Plus three more who are remaining a mystery for the time being.

Recipe no. 231

OK, let me bite the bullet here. What kind of story can you write for an anthology dedicated to the memory of Terry Pratchett? How do you honour a person that meant so much to you, a person that educated you, soothed you, made you laugh out loud and made you hide a little inner smile when there was nothing else to smile about in your life? Should you write a sad story, given the fact that he’s barely gone for several weeks now? Something about death and mourning, maybe? Should you, instead, given his positive take on life and death and, literally, everything, write some humorous, lighthearted piece? I was torn for a bit. Then I thought it doesn’t have to be one or the other – it just has to point to something meaningful in Sir Terry’s life and career. So I thought of his role as an…

In Memory: A Tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett