Wednesday, 21 May 2008

More Sh-ing

There is another submission up at Sh. It is by Duncan Cheshire, the man behind Untitled Supermarket Nightmare 2, which was part of the inspiration for Sh. It's all a bit good.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Good Thing Frenzy

Gosh! Today has been a day of good things.

First this, which further elaborates on the Great Bourbon Cream Disaster of last week.

Then this...

2) Librarians are an odd bunch (I believe we’ve established that time and again in this blog!) They like to write about themselves as a profession. They’re often quite glib, or very very depressed about it. And they’re often quite isolated and alone about it, which is what makes Sh…, an interactive blog novel about a bunch of fictitious library workers, so interesting. If you liked “The Librarians”, or even “The Office” (probably more the UK version, not that awful Yankee ripoff) you might very well enjoy a peek…

...Our very first Sh 'review', from LiberryDwarf, which made me a bit giddy when I read it.

And then this, a very lovely and kind review of our first TTO chapbook, Coffee.

I am grinning.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

The Wit Of The Staircase

When I’m nervous, and I’m asked an in-depth question, my mind goes instantly blank and I start just talking, and I can’t really hear my thoughts properly as they come out of my mouth. I ramble on, hoping I have at least covered part of the question, whilst trying to remember what the question was. I have a tendency to only think of my answers clearly after the fact. I’ve heard this referred to as “the wit of the staircase”, which is a phrase I really like. It’s a literal translation of the French saying “esprit d’escalier”. I’m glad it’s an universal thing. Did I mention I love Wikipedia?

I think that’s why I like to write. Or, at least, it’s one of the reasons I like to write. In person, I am timid in a crowd, I don’t like to speak out. I tend to sit quietly, taking in everything, forming my opinions and brimming with ideas. Until I feel completely comfortable either in the situation, or with the people I’m with, I keep most of my thoughts and feelings to myself. But ask me to write and it’s a totally different scenario.

On paper, or in type, I have no problem speaking out and sharing whatever’s going on inside my head. I am (fairly) eloquent on paper, whereas I can be a bumbling mess in person. Written down, my thoughts make sense, I can see where they’re coming from and where they want to go next. If I have a big decision to make, I have to write about it in my journal until the answer shows itself. I like how writing something down makes it clearer, easier to understand.

The superpower I’ve always dreamed of having is the ability to stop Time. I’ve wanted to be able to do this for as long as I can remember. I still find myself saying it now: If only I could stop Time, I’d be able to x or y or z.... I think the Time-stopping ability would be so brilliant for me, because, if I was called on to say something, or to figure something out on the spot, I could simply click my fingers, stop Time, get my pen and paper out and scribble away until I had it all worked out perfectly.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

The Great Bourbon Cream Disaster of 2008

Paul came over. He brought a packet of Bourbon Creams. As a household, we are a little obsessed by Bourbon Creams. He was acting only in our best interests. It was a really nice thing to do. People so rarely bring gifts when visiting nowadays. Whether he brought the Bourbons as a means of being more quickly accepted as “one of us”, or whether he brought them purely out of a selfless urge to please is not up for debate. The reason behind the Bourbon gift is not important. Only the fact of the gift matters. He brought the Bourbons into our home for us to enjoy. What a lovely man.

But when it comes to Bourbon Creams, there is a definite hierarchy, with Asda’s basic Bourbons vying for first place with Morrisons own yellow-and-white packaged offerings, and all others falling elsewhere on the ladder of Bourbon Greatness. Right at the bottom, under tumble-dryer lint and dry cream crackers, come Londis Bourbons. They are not even proper Bourbons. They are from the school of “Custard Cream-shaped Bourbons”, which some biscuit-makers believe is acceptable. These biscuit-makers are wrong. The true Bourbon is a rectangular affair, not a squat, pudgy “pretend” rectangle. It was Bourbons of the Londis variety that Paul innocently brought into our house.

Even from a glimpse of the packaging, we could all tell what he had done. None of us wanted to make eye contact, all of us hoping he had just got a bit hungry on the journey over here, and had absent-mindedly picked up the closest packet of biscuits to hand and bought them to eat on his way home. Glances shot around the room, willing him not to say the words he said anyway: I know you all like Bourbons, so I brought you a packet!

At this, we had to smile and say Thank You. We forced ourselves to focus on the gesture, not the faux pas. You could hear a pin drop. As a vegan, I was excused from the obligatory eat-a-Bourbon-gratefully scenario that followed. They are one of only two brands of Bourbons I’ve found that manage to be not vegan. I was thankful of my vegan-ness. Everybody else had to chomp away “happily” on the gift Bourbons.

It was after a small bout of this chomping that Paul realised the Bourbons he had brought were, in fact, quite horrible. He was the first to say it, which was a great relief to everyone else. They pulled hankies from pockets and spat Bourbon mush into them almost immediately. And then we laughed. And Paul apologised. And we forgave him. And we all laughed some more.

And then we sang this song:

Paul came over.
Paul is a nice guy.
But he brought the wrong Bourbons.
And it made us cry.

Paul came over.
He was wearing a vest.
He didn’t mean to bring bad Bourbons.
He was trying his best.

(Nobody actually cried, and Paul wasn’t wearing a vest.)

Monday, 5 May 2008


I like staying up late to do writing. I love it when everyone else is fast asleep, and the house is mine to spill myself into. It’s almost four a.m. The birds have started to sing. I guess that means the sun is coming up soon. I think I’ll be in bed before it actually gets light, because my eyes are not working very well now. Tiredness is creeping in like a hungry monster.

I’ve just written a story, or what I think is a story. I can’t tell if it’s finished, but it feels finished. I’ll have a look at it in a few days and see if it makes any sense. Tomorrow is a Bank Holiday, which means I get an extra day off this week. I like days off. I always think I’ll be able to get lots of writing done, when in all actuality, I get most of my writing done on the nights before days off. Days off are generally spent doing busy things, or sleeping in late, or pottering. There is perhaps a bit too much pottering methinks. Tomorrow will most probably be a mix of bed and pottering. And I have to help make an origami frog into a dog that will pop out of a matchbox. That will be fun, I think. And then I’m sure there will be things happening at the interactive library, perhaps things that need documenting. Better get some kip now, tomorrow’s looking like a busy day.

Saturday, 3 May 2008


This is the thing I was excited about...


and then there is also this...

Sh Fanclub

and then this...

sh submissions: sh.librarynovel [at]

Friday, 2 May 2008


Something I've been really excited about is going to happen tomorrow. I am giddy just thinking about it. I had dreams about the thing last night, which was a bit strange, but also good, from an "ideas" point of view.

It is a secret right now, but by the time anyone reads this, it will no longer be one, and the thing will be out in the world. I can't wait.