Good news! After a number of recent rejections I received, this morning, an acceptance from Flash: The International Short-Story Magazine for my story “A Trolley Full of Marx.” Flash has an illustrious list of previous contributors including James Kelman, Margaret Atwood, Rodge Glass, David Eggers, Bernard MacLaverty and Ian Rankin. I am utterly delighted to be a part of issue 6.2 (out October 2013).
After a brief hiatus my head is back into the writing. The first draft of my Scottish Gothic novella, Silma Hill, has been read by a couple of friends and, armed with their comments, I have embarked on a new draft, expanding the story, rewriting the ending and polishing. I really enjoy this phase of writing: I know where I’m going but I’m not 100% sure of how to get there and get to make interesting and exciting discoveries along the way. I wrote two new chapters (about 3500 words total) yesterday and today and have the next two or three sketched out. These slot nicely into the middle of the draft, slow the pace down and allow sub-plots more space to breathe. All in all, I’m feeling pretty pleased.
The editing process has been helped by my new toy, a Kindle Paperwhite. I’ve avoided buying an e-reader for years not through any particular attachment to paper (although I can’t imagine ever doing away with my solid books in much the same way that I still buy most of my new music on CD) but more because I couldn’t really justify the expense. Then prices dropped and there was less to justify. The best thing about it is I can send it my drafts and read them like any other book. This makes it infinitely easier to find all those little typos and errors that can escape my notice on the laptop screen. I hate printing out and reading, such a waste of paper and ink when I’m likely to do it 20+ times for each book (and don’t get me started on magazines who, in this day and age of easy technology and planetary destruction, still demand paper submissions).
The other thing I love about my Kindle is the cool cover I bought from the lovely people at Klevercase. They hand make covers for a number of handheld devices that disguise them as leather-bound books, some with tempting titles like Pride and Prejudice, The Great Gatsby and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, the one I bought. They look awesome and also solve the problem of where to put the Kindle on the bookshelf.
Now my work for the day is done I’m off to listen to David Peace’s new novel Red or Dead which is Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime, and enjoy the Edinburgh International Book Festival vicariously through the Guardian Books podcasts. Yet another year wishing someone would invent teleportation so I could be in Edinburgh in August.