Thursday, 14 January 2016

Keeping Busy Doing New Things

Starting Thursday with 'John, I'm only dancing, (again!)' and a mug of sweet tea. I'm throwing myself into new stuff, new work, keeping busy making new things. It's the only way. Today I'm rereading and editing the middle third of 'The Martian Girl' and making notes on a new, secret, ridiculous, glorious, impossible project, maybe writing about my love of David for a charity festshrift - and hopefully reading some more Laurie Lee. Good morning, everyone - hope you're all well, and doing something you really want to be doing today.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

A Treasury of Brenda and Effie

Here's something that it's a real pleasure to announce. I'm going to be the editor of a whole new book of Brenda and Effie short stories, to be published by Obverse for Christmas this year.
Submissions are open...
Obverse Books
55 mins
We're delighted to announce that Obverse have agreed with Paul Magrs to publish the first ever Brenda and Effie short story collection.
Edited by Paul and due for publication at Christmas 2016, this is an open call for pitches !
Pitches should be no more than 500 words long, should contain a complete breakdown of your story and be mailed to treasury - at - by Valentine's Day 2016.
Good luck!

Tuesday, 12 January 2016


Cut Up.

You ought to Single out the people you’ll share vinyl with
The ones you’ll dance around your kitchen when you can

Listening to albums in a house with no grown-ups
Dyeing your hair to stand in the drizzle down town
our clothes are feeling elegant when we come home from school
looking for bootleg tapes,
from your glamorous older sister
now they are finite as you get older
It's the only thing he never was before

There’s gnomic laughter at the changes we never managed,
the people we haven't been yet
and there’s no telling who you'll be friends with
but keep on making good work
be massively symbolic with your homemade covers,
your lousy sound, your giddy crowd noise
but the weirdest thing will be
feeling like an outtake

Friday, 8 January 2016

The Beach House Books Project... Week One!

My 2016 New Year resolution and project is quite a simple one. I've been wanting to have a proper go at this for a number of years, now.

I've got a lot of books to read. All my life I've ended up collecting all kinds of books, in every kind of genre. I tend to read a lot, but my To Be Read Pile (or mountain!) keeps getting ever-larger. Many are crated and boxed up, many are in the attic and cellar, and a bunch are in the Beach House. I intend to make 2016 the year in which I start to tackle my backlog of books.

There's a facebook group already, 'Beach House Books' in which you can follow my progress - and where others are already digging out the books they've neglected, put by, or forgotten about.

The first week of January has been a bonanza of reading for me. I doubt I'll get to read as much in one week again, but it's been a great start for the project. From Star Wars to Calvino's war-time fables... and all kinds of places inbetween.

My favourite book of the week i've just written about elsewhere:

"I just finished 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn' by Betty Smith - a huge, autobiographical novel about the earliest years of the Twentieth Century in the poorest part of Brooklyn. I've meant to read it for years. One of those books in which one of the children in the family at the heart of the book is a voracious reader who you know will wind up becoming a writer, and will tell all the family stories and try to capture their childhood in a big, generous book like this. I've been locked inside this world for four or five days and it's extremely vivid."

Monday, 4 January 2016

My Favourite Pictures of 2015

Of all the drawings I did during 2015 I think these ten are among my personal favourites.