Hand Me That Heart, Son

Two stories which I had sent out only a week before came back with the speed of a ricocheting bullet yesterday: I was slightly downcast by the sheer speed of the thing, though it’s fair to say the submission was highly speculative as I have not much idea of what Unthank Press will publish:


‘Study the magazine!’ they say – and, whilst that’s good advice, I don’t have the money to go buying copies of everything I submit to, nor the time to read and evaluate them when I have.  Unthology doesn’t even have snippets of free content available just to give you a taste, so I’m forced to send everything blind.  I have better hopes of a book review I’m finishing for Thresholds:


although I don’t think I’ll be paid even if they do publish it: I also have slightly higher hopes for a chapbook I sent off yesterday for Gertrude Press:


I had only the vaguest idea of what a chapbook is: still, I’ve sent them a mix of short stories and short-short fiction, so I hope they’ll like it.  But I can’t escape a continual sense of whistling in the dark here.  Or pissing in the wind, perhaps.

I’ve finished the Kathy Reichs novel I was reading (‘Death du Jour’) and I’ve started on The Hollow Crown:


This is not, apparently, connected to the recent TV Shakespeare (wish I’d seen that as I really like Jeremy Irons) but is a history of the Middle Ages from the 14th century onwards.  It’s really interesting so far and I’m struck by how many powerful and articulate women there were in those days: women had access to church courts, as well as owning land and running businesses.  I’m in a historical frame of mind lately: last night as I walked down Westcotes Drive I tried to imagine how it might have looked in 1890 when the Church of the Martyrs was built.  The street would probably have been cobbled; our house would have been there, and so would many of the other houses, though not all:


There would probably have been fields not too far away – and of course the sound of the Great Central Railway running beyond Narborough Rd:


I try to imagine, not only how it would look, but how it would feel – what would it feel like to walk down such a street, or be driven down it in a carriage?  What would I have been wearing in 1890?  Who would I have been with?  I know one thing for sure – church services would not have involved pizza or pineapples, and the sermon would not have been preached by Mr Scrappy.

So there you have it.  Today I shall be mostly… giving lunch to Mark’s mum and trying to decide what to send off next.

Kirk out

PS  And damn me if I didn’t go and leave out the whole point of the title, which was a graphic image Daniel did for a Friendship Group called You and Me.  His first try showed hands around a heart which, while good, might imply that the point of the group was romance.  So he had another go and replaced the heart with a sun:

You & Me logo (Sun)