October Reading & Writing Check-in

I did intend to take a picture of last month’s reads, but the idea to do so came to me after I had already returned The Red Tree to the library. Instead, here is a picture of my other read next to a shawl I’m knitting.


There are a lot of colours in it, but none of them are actually red. I know, I’m an eternal disappointment. Anyway.

The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan – I loved this. I was recommended it ages ago and decided to finally go for it when I found it in the library. It has several of my favourite things in it – it’s a New England horror story told in the style of a diary left by a deeply self-loathing writer who moves into a farm cottage to attempt to finish her manuscript after the death of her girlfriend. Very creepy, blackly hilarious and the kind of book I enjoy even more as a writer who can, perhaps unfortunately, empathise.

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett – I’ve read this before, but I’m starting a Discworld book group with my friends, so I’ve reread it. I never got terribly far with Discworld, so this doesn’t have the wow-so-different feel I know some fans of the series find on a reread, but – I enjoyed it. Even thirty years after publication it’s still hilarious. I’d forgotten it was written as interlinked short chunks rather than a cohesive whole – but it somehow adds to the feel of it, the unusual structure reflecting the older fantasy novel it parodies.

In writing news, I bit the bullet, and finally sent a lit.fiction story I’d been working on to a magazine. One of the recently successful graduates from my Creative Writing alma mater is Kirsty Logan, whose early blog is a tally of how many short stories she’d written, sent off and received acceptances & rejections for. This… will not be that kind of blog. I write short stories far too sporadically for that to happen. I have a science fiction short story that I feel needs just-one-more-draft, so if all goes well I’ll be telling you about sending that off too in a few check-ins time.

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