24 February 2012

A moment of fiction #17

Oh dear, I was snooping around here yesterday, doing a bit of weeding and wotnot, and I noticed how terribly I've neglected you on the old A Moment Of Fiction front. Oopsie. So here's a round-up of upcoming literary goings-on in the vicinity. Let me know of any I've missed.

Tuesday 28 February - Say Something, 7.30pm at Sandbar, Grosvenor Street, Manchester. Poetry and prose from various folk (including me) and comedy from Red Redmond at this final (for now, at least) outing of Zach Roddis' night. Check out the Facebook event page here.
Wednesday 29 February - Bad Language, 7.30pm at The Castle, Oldham Street, Manchester. The acetastic Peter Wild launches his novel The Passenger; other writers (including me again!) read their lovely words at this veteran on the lit scene, organised by Dan Carpenter, Nici West and Joe Daly. See here for more.
Also Wednesday 29 February - The Other Room, 7pm at the Old Abbey Inn, Manchester Business Park. Absolutely brilliant experimental poetry night organised by Tom Jenks, James Davies and Scott Thurston. FB event page here.
Thursday 1 March - Live Literature, 7.30pm at Bolton Octagon. Novelists Gwendoline Riley and Jane Rogers are the readers in the latest of these monthly events organised by Bolton University. More here.
Monday 5 March - The Story Forum, 7.30pm at the Gregson Centre, 33 Moorgate, Moor Lane, Lancaster. Mollie Baxter's night has a Facebook group. I'll be at the next one on Monday 2 April.
Also Monday 5 March - Stirred, 7.30pm at Sandbar. Popular performance poetry night by and for women, run by Anna Percy. See Facebook.
Monday 12 March - Magical Animals, 8pm at Sandbar. I'm told this poetry night, run by Jackie Hagan (@JackieHagan on Twitter), is very good, though I've not managed to make it down yet.
Wednesday 14 March - Tales of Whatever, 7.45pm at The Castle. Great live storytelling night, organised by Mark Powell. Website, complete with recordings of previous performances, here.
Thursday 29 March - Word Soup, 8pm at The Continental, South Meadow Lane, Preston. Me and the FlashTag boys - Fat Roland, Benjamin Judge, Dave Hartley and Tom Mason - are on the bill. See the Lancashire Writing Hub website for more.
Also Thursday 29 March - Word Up, 8pm at Platt Chapel, Wilmslow Road, Manchester. Contact Steph Pike for an open mic slot: spikewords@hotmail.co.uk. Website here.

21 February 2012

Featured presentation

If you happen to follow me on Twitter or I've deigned to be your friend on Facebook, you'll be sick to the back teeth of me harping on about this, so apologies. Still, I'm not going to let it lie; not just yet as we have pictures and reviews now in.

You may remember that back in November I took to the Bad Language stage to glamorously assist flash fiction writer David Gaffney by reading his stories to his music, to rather rapturous applause (if I do say so myself). Well, word got out, and we were asked to provide a support act at the launch of the new Monkeys In Love album, which took place Friday just gone.

This time round, we performed more pieces and combined the cheesy organ music and deadpan delivery with PowerPoint presentations for a bit of extra, y'know, depth. There was some slight controversy over the first number, satirical social observation Eat Less Pastry, but all in all the set was really well received, and was even described as "brilliant" (not once but twice!) by Manchester Music.

15 February 2012

You have been blocked

I'm such a terrible terrible cliche. I've been suffering writers' block. I might as well just live the dream and spend my days stooped over a blank piece of paper in a draughty garret while wearing a beret and drinking myself stupid on cheap plonk. Er...

In order to lure myself back onto the straight and narrow, this morning I've been trying to ease back in to putting sentences in some kind of coherent order by pinging off a load of emails, sending one of my famous 69 worders out into the ether, submitting a photo and 92 words of scurrilous anti-Swissness to the wonderful World Bench Project and slinging together this blog post. That'll do for now, right?

01 February 2012

Performance vehicle

So last week was a bit nuts in terms of spoken word. On Monday, I delivered a set of smut at the for-one-night-only-in-Manchester New Libertines shindig organised by the absolutely bloody wonderful Dan Holloway of Eight Cuts. The picture shows me laughing in embarrassment. You can find out why via The Workshy Fop, aka Thom Cuell, here. There are more reviews and photos on Dan's Eight Cuts site here and his Last Man Out Of Eden blog here, here, here and here; and on Elizabeth Baines' blog here. Thanks to all of them for their really ace comments!

On Wednesday, I performed a couple of my newly published stories, Dirty Books (appearing on Games Perverts Play soon) and The Moths (in the current issue of Duality) at Bad Language, headlined this month by Socrates Adams, whose debut novel was launched on Friday, and also featuring Rodge Glass, whose second novel is launching in April, I think.

On Thursday, I got a train up to Preston with my good friend Fat Roland (and some gin in a can*) to read flash at my first-ever Word Soup, organised by Lancashire Writing Hub; headlined last week by fab poet Jo Bell and also featuring the marvellously varied Blackpool collective Dead Good Poets and some really good open mic.

All three events were great and I met some amazingly lovely new people and caught up with a ton of folk I already know.

I'll be back at two out of three nights (plus, hopefully, the third if I manage to get on the open mic list): 28 March for the Not The Oxford Literary Festival and 29 March for Word Soup.

*Talking of which, check out the newly released video here for Gin In A Can by Monkeys In Love, who I'm "supporting" on 17 February. More here.