Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Book Review: Happiness is Possible

My review of Oleg Zaionchkovsky's Happiness is Possible is now up at The View From Here Magazine

'Happiness is Possible' may sound like a self-help book but it is Zaionchkovsky’s love letter to the biggest love of his life - Moscow. 

You can read the review here > Happiness is Possible

Friday, 21 September 2012

Best of the Net 2012

The lovely editors over at Referential Magazine have nominated my story, The Department of Extinct Objects: Case 1985, for the Best of the Net 2012 anthology. Every year the best fiction, non fiction and poetry are collated and published on the interest are put together in one lovely anthology. 

You can read Referential's announcement here > Best of the Net.

I feel very honoured and grateful for the nomination. Thank you! Good luck to all of the other nominees. 

The Department of Extinct Objects: Case 1985 was published on the Referential Magazine last November. Since writing the story, I have been considering writing other 'cases' or even trying to make it into a longer piece. This could be the motivation I need to get me writing a sequel....

You can read my story over here > The Department of Extinct Objects: Case 1985

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Kerouac's Dog: Doggy Paddle

Publication News!

My copy of Kerouac's Dog has finally arrived!

I'll be honest, I had given up on seeing a physical copy because it has been a while since acceptance and the original publication date but it's here now and looking very good. Issue 3: Truth is packed full of stories, poetry and photography. My story Doggy Paddle starts on page 71. I am also on their contributor page.

Here's a taster of Doggy Paddle:

"It was the summer when the Spice Girls were top of their game, Power Rangers was essential watching in the morning and top of the reading pile were Goosebumps and Saddle Back Club books."

I don't know if there are physical copies still available but if you do fancy a read then let me know and I can send you a PDF copy.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Guess Who's Back!

Our wedding and honeymoon were incredible!

photo taken by Garry Malyon

A lot of people said the wedding day would be a blur but I did remember a few details...

All the ribbons and bows blew off the car while driving to the venue, Mum zipping me into my dress, stuttering over my vows, beautiful guests, twirling with my niece, both our rings sparkling in the sun, standing on a bridge smiling for pictures, seeing Kieran Berkery dancing for one-night only.
photo taken by Garry Malyon

Our honeymoon was action packed from the start. I flew on a plane for the first time ever. I made sure I had a first aid kit in my suitcase and I clung to my British-Airways blanket just in case there was a Lost-style landing on an island. At least I would have had out of date plasters and insect-bite cream.

We spent 14 days on a coach and several hotels, exploring the East coast of the US and also Canada. We started off in New York and did a quick tour of the Manhattan island plus our first taste of a food court, then we headed to Boston for a couple of days.

I tried looking out for any Fringe characters but there were none and there were no Fringe events happening either. Which was a shame as I wanted to see a vortex open or see someone get stuck in some amber. We climbed the tallest building, Kieran ate a lobster (the lobster's creepy eyes stared at me through out dinner) and we went on a cruise around the harbour too.

We crossed over into Canada and our first stop was Quebec. My GCSE French did not help but at least every one spoke English. We bought Kieran a T-shirt with 'BatMoose' written across it. I expect him to wear it EVERY day! There is a beautiful chateau, which we went inside and had a drink in the bar.

Montreal was great too - we saw a ground hog and a raccoon - don't worry I didn't touch it! Plus we explored their underground city and we had a cheeky McDonalds.

Ottawa was probably the prettiest city we went to on the whole of the trip. I can't believe the canal freezes over in the winter and they can skate on it! We watched a light show being performed on the face of the Parliament building in the evening. Very magical and romantic!

Toronto was another amazing city - we had dinner at the top of the CN tower, we celebrated Kieran's birthday and we did a tour of the islands around Toronto. I went into a swimming pool (a rooftop one so it was really posh!) for the first time in at least 15 years and I remembered that no, I can't swim. So that's me done for another 15 years.

Niagara Falls was amazing. We went on the Maid of the Mist boat, which goes right up against the falls. Our camera broke on that day too! Plus our trainers were wet for days as the tail end of Hurricane Isaac finally reached us - so much rain! I tried using the hotel blow-dryer to dry my shoes but it blew a fuse.... The streets are really tacky around Niagara Falls - it's like being at the seaside - lots of amusement arcades, fast food and casinos. We ate at the top of the Skylon tower.

Photos taken by me. Several locations.
We visited an Amish-style home and farm and then we met an Amish family. Their crafts are amazing. Shame the quilts were alot of money and there wasn't enough space in my suitcase.

Washington DC was incredible - my feet hurt after the two days we spent exploring the city. We went to alot of monuments - we even found someone with the same surname as Kieran (and me!), which was incredible because it is quite a rare surname. We visited the White House (well, we looked through the gates) and we didn't see anyone from the West Wing - really, really upset! Apparently President Bartlet isn't real and the President is Obama. I thought TV was always right!

We did a lunchtime stop at Philly - we saw the Liberty Bell and the Independence Hall too. We ate in a food court for the last time on our trip too.

Our final stop was New York, again! This time we went to the top of the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock, a walk around Central Park and we went to the Museum of Modern Art. All were amazing!

The flight back was more bumpy but I made it through. I could hardly keep my eyes open on Wednesday, when I went back to work. I now need another holiday to recover from the honeymoon.

My blogging mojo is back too - watch out for posts on acceptances, books for reviewing here and also at The View From Here, and general writing posts.

UPDATE: Unfortunately things don't last forever, especially when you find out the person you married is not the person who you thought they were.