Things I'm doing (1)

I can be a bit rubbish at self-promotion/promoting things I'm involved in but I've been busy the last few weeks and I have lots more things coming up, so rather than bore you with a string of posts one after another I thought I'd gather them together here. And I'll put up a post like this every once in a while from now on.

So, things I've just done:
I went to London at the beginning of May to read at the launch of The Best British Short Stories 2011. The book is getting very good reviews (including one in the Times, which is behind a paywall so I can't link to it, you'll just have to trust me) and there is an interesting post by editor Nicholas Royle on the origins of the series here.

Last weekend I went to Edinburgh to read at the launch of Anti-Tales: The Uses of Disenchantment, edited by Catriona McAra and David Calvin. It's an academic book but there is lots to appeal to non-academic readers and lovers of fairy tales in it, too. I was at the launch to read my newly written anti-tale 'The Museum of Shadows and Reflections'. Whilst I was up there, I also got chance to see the wonderful Narcissus Reflected exhibition at the Fruitmarket Gallery. And I spent a bit of time in the grounds of Dean Gallery playing with reflections with my sister...

Things I'm going to be doing:
Tomorrow (Saturday 11th June) I will be reading at two of the three Flax launches at Litfest in Lancaster. I have a very short story in Flax 026, and Flax 027 is an ebook of my contemporary fairy tale 'A Book Tale'. There will be lots of good readings and it's free with free nibbles and I get to wear the unbelievably amazing Word Dress, made by Jennifer Pritchard Couchman, again.

Next Friday (18th June) I get to read at the Manchester Book Market. This is a fantastic market that runs over Friday and Saturday. There will be lots of brilliant independent publishers there including Nightjar Press, Comma Press, Hidden Gem Press and TTA Press (publishers of Interzone and Black Static).

On Friday 15th July I'll be reading at the Nexus Arts Cafe, Manchester, at the For Books' Sake Mad Hatter's Tea Party with Emma Jane Unsworth and Sarah Thomasin. It's part of the Not Part Of Festival and it sounds like it's going to be good fun.

On Sunday 17th July I'll be at the Untitled Gallery, Manchester, participating in The Reading Writers' Residency. This live writing project is linked to a brilliant sounding exhibition of redesigned covers for influential books called Re-Covering and is also part of Not Part Of.

Things I'm reading:
Just finished: The Thing on the Shore, by Tom Fletcher (which is fantastically disturbing and has added tiny black worms and call centres to my list of phobias) and Nightshade by Derek Marlowe (the Marlowe, which was a wonderful read, on the recommendation of Nicholas Royle in this blog post).

Now reading: Hungry, The Stars, and Everything, by Emma Jane Unsworth (a very enjoyable tale of a Manchester girl with the devil in her life) and The Library at Night, by Alberto Manguel (in preparation for Paraxis 02 on the theme of libraries, more on that soon).

About to read: Vault, by David Rose, Ice, by Anna Kavan and The Journal of Albion Moonlight, by Kenneth Patchen (the last two on the recommendation of M. John Harrison in this blog post).

Things I'm wondering:
Why Doctor Who had to finish mid-series. Why I felt a bit strange about turning 30 earlier this week. How (or if I need) to convince my four-year-old that Pluto hasn't been a planet since just before he was born, when he has a picture of the solar system from nursery school that tells him it is (Mummy, planets live forever, they can't just disappear). Whether all of our pet caterpillars will grow into butterflies...