Hello Dear Readers,
First of all, welcome to my new subscribers! I do hope that you’ll enjoy my stories – and the ramblings that sometimes go with them...
Some micro flash fiction
Today I have a micro flash fiction story to share that first appeared on the site Paragraph Planet (where the story has to be exactly 75 words long and stays live for 1 day).
They took away the library today. Books were shoved haphazardly into boxes and taken away to the waiting truck. Well-trodden carpets ripped up. Shelves disappeared into the back of the truck. Workmen removed gloves and masks, laughing and making jokes as they walked away after just another day on the job. Managers applauded the cost saving initiative. Inside the empty room the ghosts of characters stood among the books’ remaining dust. And mourned with us.
A look behind the scenes – and some of my favourite authors that I discovered in the local library
This story was actually written in about May or June already, when our local library (a tiny thing) was suddenly packed up a hauled away with just a “maintenance” placard on the door as explanation. Almost everyone on the community message group were crushed at the idea of us losing our library. Not just because, you know, free books to read, but also because so many school kids used it as a place to study every day.
Good news! It was just all taken away for maintenance and the shelves have returned! Well, there were as yet no books when I last passed there, so there may be now.
Now, I know I don’t use the library as often as I did, but I did discover the books of Sharon Kay Penman, Robert Jordan, and Umberto Eco there, to name but a few. These three became firm favourites to read, though. (If you’re going “You didn’t know Robert Jordan?!” in absolute horror, the answer is, no, mostly because I only really started reading fantasy beyond Roald Dahl and Michael Ende’s Neverending Story in grade 10 with Terry Pratchett and JRR Tolkien books.
Then I saw The Fires of Heaven by Jordan, and it sounded cool and it was hundreds of pages long so I thought why not. Of course, then I started again with book 1!
Sharon Kay Penman had “dragons” in the title and sounded even more interesting when I read the back cover (plus, again – it’s a long book) so she also went home with me. Umberto Eco’s book was an essay collection – this was about 2 years before I read The Name of the Rose for varsity and realised what a great writer he really is. By the way, if you haven’t, do yourself a favour and read The Name of the Rose. (And Penman and Jordan’s books.)
I think the main thing with me and long books started when you could still get a Wordsworth Classic at the local stationer’s for really cheap (I’m talking more than 20 years ago), which meant that I could get Charles Dickens and other classic writers’ enormous tomes on my limited budget.
Longer book = more reading.
And that, dear reader, is why I’ve read so many classics, hahaha!
In other news
I am going to try and move Sunday’s newsletter to Fridays rather, so that you have a Friday story to get you ready for the weekend instead of one to end off the weekend. If I do send a second one during the same week, it will be on a Monday or a Tuesday.
Also... it’s almost time for the release of Where the Stars Used to Sing! Yay!
It will be released on 15 December on Noisetrade Books. Readers of my newsletter can decide whether they want to download a PDF copy that I’ll have on Substack, or an EPUB, MOBI or PDF from Noisetrade.
That’s all from me for now. I’d better get back to finalising the stories and editing for Stars!
Have a great weekend and stay safe!