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I realise I haven't updated this LJ in a long time, but I figured those of you who still have me on your friends list might be interested to know that my flash fiction piece The Captain's Chair is up at Postcard Shorts. 

http://www.postcardshorts.com/read-702.html

Prizes in the post

I love getting things in the post, especially when those things are shaped like books. Luckily I buy a lot of books online, so it’s like every day is Christmas for me.

Today I received an issue of Shock Totem – who I intend to try and sell to in the near future – a signed limited edition (my favourite kind of edition) of Bryan’s Gold by Peter V. Brett (released by Subterranean Press, and I’ll blog about them later because they produce amazing books), and the first chapbook from Spectral Press.

Spectral Press are a new publisher who produce extremely limited edition chapbooks (this first one is limited to 100 signed copies). They’re focussing on stories with a ghostly/supernatural theme, which is right up my alley. The first book looks like this;

wthitd

I love chapbooks, and this is a cracking one. It’s a great story, the kind that makes me go I wish I’d written this. The Quiet Room is a really cool idea, although I think I would have done something very different with it. But anyway… It’s a great read, and this is a really high-quality product. I would have liked to see some illustrations alongside the text as well, but that would have made this much more expensive. As it is a Spectral Press subscription will only set you back a tenner, and that gets you a year’s worth of chapbooks (they’re going to be released quarterly). On it’s own this is £3.50, and that includes postage. Bargain. You should invest.

The imprint is invitation only. I’m going to add them to my list of people I’d one day like to be asked to write for, which includes Subterranean Press and PS Publishing. I’d best get cracking on becoming a successful writer, really.

Brian Davis

Something a lot of people don’t know about me is that I’m fascinated by 17th-19th Century natural history. I’ve got a small – but growing – collection of natural history books that were published in the 1800s, things like Ray Lankester’s Diversions of a Naturalist and Frank Buckland’s Curiosities of Natural History; books that try to explain things that science at the time didn’t have an explanation for.

The whole ‘Age of Enlightenment’ in general is enormously interesting. This was a time when science as we know it was in its infancy, and people still had a residual belief in magic. This was the time that gave birth to the Wunderkammer, and mediums and freak shows and all sorts of things could be found everywhere you looked.

The story I’ve been writing this past couple of weeks has drawn quite a bit on my love of all of this stuff, especially on the history of the Feejee Mermaid. If you don’t know what that is you should read about it, because it’s fascinating.

Anyway. It’s a goal of mine to build up a collection of curiosities to go with my natural history books, and I think I know where I’m going to start. There’s a guy on eBay called Brian Davis who makes all sorts of weird things, including feejee mermaids and – believe it or not – a Cthulu foetus. They’re amazing, and hideous, and I really want on. Have a look;

mermaid1Feejee mermaid in a box

sasquatch

Sasquatch foetus 

cthulu

Cthulu foetus!

Aren’t they amazing? If anybody wants to buy me one, feel free.

Windows Live Writer Test

I’ve just downloaded Windows Live Writer and I’m hoping it’s going to solve my cross-posting problems. This is just a test post, so ignore it.

IMAG0100 Image test

And I should try a link as well.

Blogger

After some umming and ahh-ing, I've decided to mirgrate my blog over to Blogger. I'm trying to set up a way to have my posts automatically copy over here; I've just managed to get it working, but it seems to be stripping the pictures that I post at some point in the process, which doesn't help matters.

As always, I'll still be reading everybody's posts and commenting over here. I just prefer the blogger interface for the actual construction of posts to the one at lj, and I like being able to add more pages to the page so it feels more like a real webpage and not just a blog. This is just a heads-up for if any odd looking posts appear on your f-list over the next couple of days while I iron out the kinks with the mirror.

[Chris Bissette] It Happened To Me!

While I was killing time after work I spotted this;
Terrible blurry photo.
It's full of supposedly true stories of people's encounters with the
paranormal, and it's an absolute treasure trove of story ideas. I've
already found something that's going to help kickstart my fairy story
back into action, and found a few things I want to research.
I sense a subscription to the Fortean Times in my future...
In other news, I've got one - possibly two - more scenes to write on
the mermaid story before it's done and I send it out to beta readers.
And, even more exciting, I tweeted Kyle Cassidy about my last entry -
to check he didn't mind me putting his photos up - and he tweeted a
link about the blog*. I'm going to take that as permission to use the
photos...
*This made me grin for roughly 82gajillion hours.

Jingle Bells and Clockwork Elves

I am, of course, procrastinating. I figured instead of writing anything new I'd share something I've already written. So here you go...this is the Christmas card I sent out to a few people. I think everybody who was sent one has received it by now, and those of you who didn't want one might be interested to see what a mess I made of it. So here you go...

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Post-It Monsters

I was pointed in the direction of this guy's blog today courtesy of my good friend whiteh . This guy draws illustrations of monsrers of Post-It notes, and they're incredible.

 

This one in particular reminds me of the scene in The Amber Spyglass when Lyra is crossing the lake to the land of the dead, which is one of my favourite scenes in any of those books. You should look through the rest of his blog, because these drawings are incredible. Maybe when I'm a mega-successful writer I'll ask him to illustrate some of my work. </ego>

 

In other news, tonight I'm going to try and get the first draft of the mermaid story finished so I can type it up at the beginning of next week and start on one of the other stories burning a hole in my skull.

Coincidence

I just tried a little google-fu to try and fix some of the details in the novella, and the first result that came up from my search was the headline "Body found on Blackpool beach." Guess what I'm writing about?

Just thought I'd share.

Shakespearean erotica, anybody?

I've just seen a call for submissions for an anthology of Shakespearean-themed erotic stories. I don't write erotica really, as I'd imagine you all know, but still... I'm tempted. Prospero's Dungeon, anyone? Or The Chains of Caliban? (And yes, I realise both of those are riffs on The Tempest. It's my favourite play, that's where my head goes.)