This week, we bring you news from newest member, Ian Riddle, who has recently published his third collection of short stories.
“I’m not saying that I was forced into writing this blog, but there is someone, whose name I won’t mention, who very sneakily left me with little option. Suffice it to say, they know who they are.
In all innocence, like the proverbial lamb, I posted the following on Facebook…
I’ve just published, Collected Writings – Vol 3. It always feels strange, a little sad even, I find, letting them go. It’s rather like watching a child leave home and go out into the world. It has to make its own way. Good thing I’ve started Vol 4; stop me getting too melancholic.
…and that was it. I was pencilled in, in indelible ink.
I don’t know about the rest of the group but for me, once I’ve published a work, that’s it. I rarely, if ever, re-visit it. I know, if I do, I’ll only be critical of myself, wishing I’d have said this, this way, rather than the way I have said it, regretting having phrased that, that way. It’s for the best, I feel, that any mistakes remain unknown; at least to me. I’d only worry about something that it’s too late to correct. A bit ostrich syndrome, I know.
I’m afflicted, in this respect, more so by my volumes of shorts than by my longer works. My longer works take me a greater length of time to write and, as such, allow more time to craft before eventually being pushed out too onto an unsuspecting world.
In contrast, each of the three volumes of shorts takes just twelve months from start to finish and that’s it, for good or for ill. There’s no particular reason as to why I’ve chosen that exact length of time. It doesn’t have to be. It could be changed. It’s merely the result of an initial self-imposed deadline and having once started I feel unable to stop or, certainly, disinclined to break the chain. It’s rather like I wrote my first dedication in just four words. I’ve felt illogically compelled to remain with that length ever since!
Having been pressed into service I feel that I might as well, quite shamelessly, take the opportunity to promote the work.
This third collection of shorts opens with A Tar-Dark Night, a story written in homage to Dylan Thomas…
It’s night-time in Laugharne but unlike most other nights, tonight’s all dark; total dark. Tonight’s tar dark, in fact, or bible black as it might once have been described.
There’s not even the slightest punctuation to all this dim from the streetlights perched high on their pencil-thin poles, positioned at strategic intervals around the place either. For whatever reason, the streetlights are switched off tonight though no-one in the little Township knows why. For the most part, they can only guess although there are a few who say they have the knowing of it for tonight is October the twenty-seventh.
Maybe it’s nothing more than the fact that a fuse has blown, or, perhaps, someone has forgotten to pay the electricity bill. If that’s the case, then there’ll be some red faces amongst The Corporation come the morning, as well as red reminders on the doormat.
The volume finishes with Our Rose, my first foray into monologues and another humorous piece.
In between, as previously, there’s a melange of stories, happy, sad, humorous, others more serious; plus a further two monologues, That’s Technology a satirical piece on one man’s reluctance to embrace technology more than needs be, and Coffee Break, the capture of a hitman on the run.
To Elysian Fields is a sobering piece, a reflection on the state of homelessness in Britain today.
Two Total Strangers and Unforgiven are stories on human relationships. Any judgements made are the reader’s prerogative. Many thanks to those colleagues who gave input into the former when I was under something of a fog with it.
Where Dreams Go to Die is a short piece reflecting on the danger of allowing a dream to become an all-consuming passion. The outcomes may not always live up to the expectations.
The Devil is in the Detail is the tale of a blighted spirit.
The Traveller is a rewrite, in prose, of Walter de la Mare’s famous poem, The Listeners. In this version, The Traveller has traded his horse for a motorbike.
A Fracas at The Pig and Whistle is a light-hearted summer story of strawberries and cricket.”
Collected Writings: Volume 3 is available as a paperback or ebook from Amazon. It is free to download for members of Kindle Unlimited.