Hooray, the rain slowed today sufficient for me to leap on my bicycle for a between the showers ride to fetch a morning paper. Because of a dislocated finger last month and the rain, gales and busybusy life, I’ve not had a chance to do any long hilly rides, so I rode slowly. I’d forgotten how exhilirating it is to cycle through the countryside, challenge and beat the hills and freewheel down them. I think it was President Clinton who once remarked that cycling was one of the few simple pleasures everyone should experience regularly.
I’ve also been busy writing and editing. Also I’ve had the pleasure of critiquing several short stories at Cafe Doom a great crit site mainly for horror writers. Many of us there write in other genre too but generally in a noir fashion. One aspect of the stories I critiqued intrigued me as it is true of many of the submissions I’d read for the Escape Velocity magazine. Many writers are great at describing what they see, and often have good characterization and dialogue but forget to engage all the readers’ senses. I recently read two 10,000 word stories neither of which had any smells or tactile experiences to offer. Along with taste, odours and feel are part of the way we use SHOW instead of TELL. Allan Guthrie of Hardluck Stories, once showed me that where I’d written about a man sat next to a rancid tramp on a train, I could convert it to real show by adding – as if a pint of sour milk had been poured over him. Excellent. Doesn’t your nose wrinkle now? Hah.
I’ve been having fun revisiting an old favourite article of mine lately. I’ve been asked by Marilyn Peake to contribute a couple of articles for a print version of a newsletter she is publishing in 2008 on writing issues. In 2004 I was commissioned to research and write an article on why dogs bark at and chase bicycles. I used Yahoo and other forum groups to ask basic and then more specific questions to groups of dog owners, cyclists and sound engineers. I’d received over 2000 responses along with long correspondance with ethologists. I’ve always intended to write an article on how I did that research including some amusing aspects and so the draft is done. I’ll read it again in the next few days and send it off. Peter N. Davidson took some great photographs for me and I’m hoping one or two will be used again. Here is his gallery.
Good news from our forum members of survivors from Christopher Hill’s crashed Literary Agency. As time heals our wounds, more of us are writing again and gaining recognition. Gladys Hobson wrote a romance novel, Awakening Love, which has won a highly commended award at the London Book Festival this week. Well done that lady! A link to her books is here. Others in the group have made progress too, including Lanaia Lee where her ‘Of Atlantis’ has released a YouTube video here. Another member, Brian Withecombe has his The Seagull & Le Corsair book published here
Other members are singing like Elvis! Well done, Bob Taylor >>> http://www.myspace.com/tuesdaynightatthebootandshoe
It really is worth listening to. Congratulations Bob.
My contract for my sf novel Exit, Pursued by a Bee is with Double Dragon Publishing in Canada now, so I look forward to working with J. Richard Jacobs my editor.