Over the past sixteen years, I have been instrumental in publishing 139 short stories by 113 writers, not counting myself, from Bosnia, Canada, China, England, India, Ireland, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, USA and Wales.
The last few were online and the rest were in 11 anthologies. I also co-edited two anthologies of poetry. Sales have been very poor but the writers I picked have gone on to win all the major prizes for short stories [and, more importantly, continue to be lovely people. Ed.]
* With a nod to The Onion Eaters by J.P. Donleavy
I am not a novelist. I’ve wasted good ideas for short stories by trying to think of them as novels. However, if I revisit them, and I have about four I think I started on, maybe I can rewrite them as long short stories. I’m very down and depressed. Hardly an hour goes by that I don’t spend partially in contemplation of throwing my hat at it all. I wish this coronavirus would go away, it’s so worrying and depressing. So much anxiety, fear… We’re shielding each other here. A ticklish throat, random cough at night: is this it? Are we goners?
Then sometimes interludes of welcome respite in the garden. I wish goldfinches would slow down so I could have time to get my binoculars and have a good look at them. They flit to the bird bath and are gone in an instant. I’m going to go for a long walk today, my 3 mile walk. I’ve been taking the 1 mile route most days or staying in all day. Meanwhile here’s Donny…
Giving Up by Donny Hathaway (Spotify)
Weeds are good. I like them. We have to stick together. The camera can’t quite capture the delicate primrose colour exactly.
|Primroses growing wild in the back garden|
In other news, our lemon tree has been freed from its greenhouse prison to romp about in the sunny outdoors. It is bedecked with flowers like jasmine only more grown-up and sensual. The one lemon is still a work-in-progress, hidden by two sentry leaves and lots of tiny lemons have got started and are hoping to hang around a bit longer.
|Freed lemon tree gambolling and frolicking in the open air|
Night of Good Friday/Saturday morning. An object, rectangular and about the size of a large ashtray, black, with structure. I hold it in my hand but I can’t quite make it out. A louder and louder wind blows through the sections of the object, as they sort of begin to blow away. The noise is deafening. I am not afraid of it, determined to observe it, with a bit of a smile. I tell …. in the next room, that I know what this is, it’s evil, and I’m going to tell it, against the ever more deafening noise, “You can go right back to Hell.” My voice comes through with difficulty.
I copied the songs presented to me by Spotify as “Your Top Songs [year]” for the past number of years. They started with 2016 and I created this in 2020 with the songs from 2016 to 2019. The same songs recur from year to year but only one copy goes into this playlist. If they do another one for 2020 I’ll add the tracks from that too. Here is a link to the complete playlist.