Something to Say? (No).

What is blogging for? Is it for anything? I don’t know. I guess if I felt with some real certainty that this blog mattered, then I would update it more frequently. As it is, I tend to de-prioritise my blogging. This makes me feel guilty, because it kind of implies that I don’t value anybody reading it (which is not the case), but then as soon as I feel guilty I feel conceited for having thought – even just momentarily – that anybody out there really cares about reading this. Then I feel bad about being conceited. Then I wonder, well, why do I do it?

(Some people say that they blog for themselves, but I’m not one of those people. Other people use it to showcase their work; I am paranoid about copyright issues, and so I’m not really one of those people either. Some people use blogs to disseminate their opinions on particular subjects, which I do do sometimes, but try not to).

The answer, as you may have spotted, is that I DON’T do it. I blog so infrequently that I don’t think I really have the right to call it ‘blogging’ at all.

Recently I have been pretty busy. And on those occasional evenings where I’ve been sat at my laptop and thought about blogging, I’ve stopped myself, because I haven’t really had anything worthwhile to say. So that’s why this place has started to feel a little empty lately. A little shellish. A little cold and dull. And, if you’re reading, and if you care, I apologise.

(FYI – That’s as about insightful as this post gets. And I know it’s not that insightful).

So yes! We went to Iceland. We had an amazing time. I’ve written on this blog in the past about coincidences. Some (well, two) pretty startling coincidences reared their strange little heads on the last night of our visit.

I will elaborate.

Beth (Beth is my wife) completed a Fine Art MA in October 2008. Shortly before we went to Iceland – so, sometime in October 2009 – she was talking to one of her ex-tutors who gave her the contact details of another graduate (of the same course) who actually lives in Reykjavik. We met her – Anna-Julia – and her partner, Paul, on the Thursday of our week in Iceland, and then went round to theirs for tea on the Friday.

As I say – two coincidences.

1) Beth and I both really set our hearts on going to Iceland a few years ago, after falling in love with the music of the Icelandic band Múm. We are both still huge fans. Our first ‘holiday’ together was to London, to see them play. Anna-Julia is the cousin of the-then Múm lead singer, Kristin. This in itself would have been a lovely way to close the circle.

2) Anna-Julia and Paul used to live on Clyde Road, in Manchester, which is the first road Beth and I lived on after moving to Manchester. We have all seen the same fox on Clyde Road, distinguishable by its bald back end.

All in all, it felt like there was a pleasing kind of symmetry to that last night in Reykjavik.

Another point I should make about Iceland; apparently not all Icelanders believe in elves, so my last post is a little misleading. Only about twenty percent believe in actual elves or, as they call them, the ‘hidden people’. These are Tolkien-esque elves, by the way; not pixies or fairies. Tolkien’s elves appear to be inspired by Icelandic folkore, as does an awful lot of The Lord of the Rings.

In other news…

I experienced my first Word Soup a couple of weeks ago. It was Word Soup #7, and I read, and I had a really good nighbt and got very drunk and, consequently, Beth and I missed our train back to Manchester. Find out more about Word Soup here, and have a look at the writer Jenn Ashworth’s blog here. (Jenn organises the Word Soup events, and does a very good job of it too.)

The Safe Children, a chapbook written by myself and published by Nightjar Press (alongside the fantastic What Happens When You Wake Up in the Night, by none other than Michael Marshall Smith) , is selling well. There were only two-hundred signed and numbered copies printed. We’ve had confirmation that the books are available on Amazon, although it’s (about two and a half weeks) quicker to get them direct from the source, here. We’ve also had some very nice reviews:

Bookmunch – http://bookmunch.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/nightjar-is-going-to-become-an-essential-imprint-what-happens-when-you-wake-up-at-night-by-michael-marshall-smith-the-safe-children-by-tom-fletcher/

Paraphilia Magazine – http://antiquechildren.com/ 

David Hebblethwaite – http://davidhblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/23/two-stories-nightjar-press/

And Nightjar Press also got a mention on the Manchizzle blog, which is great.

The Leaping – that is, my first novel – is actually now completely finished. One of the things I’ve been busy with is the proofreading. I am both surprised and touched at how much work the editors and proofreaders and typesetters have put into checking everything and then double-checking everything, and I’m gladdened too, because it is astounding how you can miss errors on the first ten read-throughs. (Quercus have been great in every respect, really). So yes – The Leaping, as far as I know, is all ready to go to print. Naturally, I am very very excited about this. And, for those of you that don’t know, we’re launching it at the World Horror Convention at Brighton in March. Can’t wait.

Thrillingly, The Leaping has made Bookmunch’s list of ‘Fifty Books You’ll Want to Read Next Year’. See the others on the list, and read the angry comments, here. I’ve linked to the list, but dig around on the site a little to get the reasons for why those particular books were chosen.

I’ve just re-read the beginning of this post and I’m disappointed with myself. I’ve always insisted (in my own head, primarily) that we place too much importance on the function of things. That is, if something doesn’t have an apparent function, it’s generally scorned as ‘pointless’ or ‘modern art’. So when I ask the question ‘What’s blogging for?’, I don’t mean to insinuate that blogging has no value. I’m just curious.

I’ve also joined Twitter. I think you can see my latest tweet up in the top-right corner of this blog. I like it a lot actually. If you’ve joined Twitter too, please go ahead and follow me @fellhouse.

Now, I probably won’t update again for a while because I need to get on with my second novel – The Thing on the Shore. I hope that’s OK.

Well.

That took longer than expected.

Leave a comment, why don’t you? Maybe even start a debate. Go on. Get angry.

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6 Responses to “Something to Say? (No).”

  1. Jenn Ashworth Says:

    Hello!

    Can’t believe you missed your train… what a shame. Did you get home okay?

    Checking proofs is an exciting time… do you know anything about the cover yet?

    • fellhouse Says:

      Hello! We did get home OK thanks, yes. And it was my own fault we missed the train; we got to the station on time, but then – as our train waited patiently at the adjacent platform – spent about five minutes trying to get onto the wrong train. I was being STUPID. (There was another later train, thankfully; it was just much later).

      Checking the proofs has been exciting. And yes – I got some copies of the cover through the post, and that was even more exciting. I’ll put a picture on here actually, if I haven’t already.

      How are you?

  2. Re: hidden people. I know a filmmaker called Ric Jones who’s trying to secure funding to make a documentary about both the people that live at “hell’s mouth” (is that the name? I forget now) and the folklore. He wants to travel from Rekjavik (spelling…meh) to the volcano interviewing people along the way to see how the folklore changes as you near the site. Sounds really interesting.

    Sounds like you had a nice time anyway, those are some very warming coincidences.

    Good luck with the book(s)!

    • fellhouse Says:

      Thank you Sarah!

      There is a volcano called ‘Hel’ I think, which does translate as ‘Hell’, and in Icelandic mythology it is the entrance/exit. (To Hell). Sounds like the place. And his project does sound really interesting – hope he gets his funding!

  3. Thomas! Blogging is good for hearing what you’re up to. I was just wondering this weekend what lauch festivities you’d be having. Maybe I will try and saunter down to Brighton in March… I would love to celebrate with you!

    Coincedences are incredible. This week, I travelled to Peterborough and bumped into a friend from Newcastle. Then a few days later, I was on a train calling at Huddersfield and bumped into another friend from Leeds who was getting on the same train. She was in the next carriage so I walked up to talk to her, to find that she’d just bumped into someone else that she knew who she was just having the ‘oh my goodness, what are YOU doing here’ conversation, when I said ‘surprise’ and she did a triple take.

    Ahem. This was my incredibly long winded way of saying: i always love what you say and knowing what you’re up to, even if it’s only small snippets. And the world, being scarily big, is incredibly small sometimes.

    • Trains, eh? I once got on a train at Leeds, I think it was, and bumped into a friend from Cumbria (you know who you are) who was on his way up from London. That’s not as lovely or impressive as your story, but, um… I can’t remember now. Oh! Coincidences. Yes. On trains. A small coincidence on a train there.

      Thank you for reading, though, and commenting. Always appreciated!

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