Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Discommoded by a Komodo
One doesn't expect to be discommoded by a Komodo Dragon in one's own home, especially when dressed in a Cappadocian hat, so I am fortunate indeed that nothing of the kind occured and that this photo is a cunning fake! No vast lizard has attempted to lick me in the recent past. But it does feel as if I have been licked by a different sort of giant tongue: the forked tongue of multiple attainment.
That's meant to sound grateful rather than smug, so if it comes across as smug then I apologise, but many good things have lately happened in my writing career. I have just proofread the second edition of my first book, Worming the Harpy, for paperback release early next year; and I am currently proofreading the second edition of Mister Gum. Both new editions will contain extra material, a bonus story in each case. I am very proud of both books!
Two days ago I was asked to put together a new collection for a French publisher: I intend to create something unique in response to that request, rather than simply sending a collection that already exists in English for translation. Foreign readers have always treated me well and they deserve to have a customised edition in return. To be published in French has long been one of my major ambitions.
Also, I have just placed my romanti-cynical showcase Link Arms With Toads! with a publisher. I'm very proud of this one; with luck it should be out next year. To illustrate my joy at this news, here's a painting with a theme not utterly unconnected to the work: René Magritte's 'The Sea of Flames'. Magritte, together with Roerich, Escher, Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington, is one of my favourite artists (Carrington also happens to be an excellent fiction writer; I have just bought her surreal novel, The Hearing Trumpet).
My Corto Maltese novella, The Coandă Effect, has just been published. I'm very proud of this one too. The photograph of the book you see here wasn't taken by me: I stole it from a fellow by the name of Tom Alaerts, who happens to be a pirate in the story itself. Tom, like Magritte, is a Belgian.
2010 has been a gloriously productive year for me. In 2009 I broke the 200,000 word barrier for the first time. I didn't think I would ever repeat the feat, but in fact I've already broken that record and my current total for 2010 stands at almost 230,000 words of fiction. As for the number of individual stories written, that total is now 52, one for every week of the entire year and I still have the best part of a month left. I never imagined I would achieve these totals! I have more than doubled my average yearly output.
The ultra-belated launch of The Postmodern Mariner now has a definite date and venue: The Discovery Room, Swansea Central Library, on December 11th. This booklaunch is two years late and in fact is so belated that only a dozen copies of the first edition remain to be sold on the day! The launch is only one segment of an event that will feature talks on Arthur Machen, sea monsters, ghosts and similar things. More details next week!
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