interview with Les Femmes Folles

Photobooth two.5

Earlier this month Samantha and I were interviewed about our first collaborative digital book, Dirty Laundry, by Les Femmes Folles,an organisation and online journal supporting and celebrating all forms, styles and levels of art.

Posting up the initial drafts made me think more deeply about my personal writing processes and how those were adapting to the constraints of the collaboration in some ways and being opened up in others.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Dirty Laundry is published as an iPad-only web app containing and interlacing of 12 sets of short stories and photographs.  Open this link on your iPad to download the Dirty Laundry web app or visit the two.5 website to read more about the background/process of the project.

Digital book launch in New York with @twopoint_5 this Sunday

Lijiang, China

Woo hoo! This Sunday two.5 (myself and American photographer Samantha Silver) are launching our latest digital book, Recollections:12 vignettes from Lashihai

Together with Flavorpill, our launch event will be held between 3pm & 6pm at 594 Broadway, 12th floor, suite 1212. Full details are on our Facebook event (feel free to RSVP)

If you have an iPad, you’re encouraged to bring it to the launch. For those of you not fortunately enough to be in NY this weekend, Recollections will be available internationally to download for iPad as a free webapp from Sunday.

postcard invite recollections

New tube-flash website: submissions open in September

Kings-Cross-St-Pancras

My Monday morning brightened up when the TubeFlash e-newsletter popped up in my inbox, informing me that there was a sleek and joyful new website for TubeFlash as well as plans to re-open for submissions in September.

For those of you who haven’t encountered it yet, TubeFlash pairs London underground stations with brooches, and invites people to write a piece of flash fiction inspired by the combination. The stories are available to read online, and there are also audio versions.

You can browse by mood, genre, brooch, station or listen to an audio version of your commute. My piece, ‘Storms Ahead‘, was selected for King’s Cross, which I was particularly pleased by as an East coast commuter that’s the station that has taken me home to family, back to Uni, and welcomed me into London for many years.

Intermission #shortstory

image © OliBac via Flickr
image © OliBac via Flickr

Lying in a tangle of sheets, I watch a spider cross the ceiling while Jacob struggles unsuccessfully to open the window.  ‘I’m afraid I’ve broken off some of the paintwork,’ He holds up the thin white slivers, and lets them fall from his hands onto the wide windowsill of the triangular alcove. Continue reading

My Quota of Joy (short story)

image © youleah via Flickr
image © youleah via Flickr

The highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness

–  John Locke

One morning at the end of February I look up at the colossal wooden frame mounted above the fireplace and I can see I’ve already used up my Quota Of Joy for the rest of the year.

‘You’re so greedy.’ My mother twists my hair between her fingers. ‘Always wanting more. No sense of self-control.’ She ties the end of the braid with a red ribbon. ‘You get what you deserve; we all do.’

Sulking makes no difference. Under her name, flashing red in the half-gloom, are a couple of spare weeks. She says she’s saving it for August, in case of fine weather. Continue reading

Come and talk to me and Samantha on our mini tour

Samantha and I hanging out in a Naxi courtyard, halfway up a mountain in Southern China
Samantha and I hanging out in a Naxi courtyard, halfway up a mountain in Southern China

In a couple of weeks my creative partner Samantha Silver is coming across from the USA to work with me on our ongoing piece from our two.5 residency in China at the end of 2014.

While she’s across, we’ll be running free workshops for creative arts professionals in Newcastle (Tuesday 28 April) and London (Friday 1 May) to get some feedback on the very early stages of our digital commonplace book and to engage with some peer-learning on ways of approaching these kind of residencies and work produced from them.

If you’d like to join us, full details are up on the two.5 blog. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Blank Pages: how notebooks support us as we write

Writing in Practice Cover issue 1

What do you write in when you’re making notes of ideas compared to when you’re writing out a whole story/poem/scene? Do you use a pen or a pencil? Does typing make you productive or disconnected? I’m exceptionally curious about the material culture of creative writing processes and I recently had the opportunity to channel some of that curiosity into an academic research paper.

My paper ‘Blank Pages: The role(s) of the notebook in creating wellbeing during a series of creative writing workshops‘ is now available to read online in the first issue of Writing in Practice: The Journal of Creative Writing Research, a peer-reviewed open-access academic research journal from the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE).

The paper is a case-study of the ways in which a group of writers used the notebooks supplied to them as part of the Ageing Creatively pilot research project at Newcastle University. The main point are illustrated with verbatim-style poems, created from participant interviews as part of the project.