Wednesday 27 August 2014

Story-telling Charades

Asking me for a book recommendation is a commitment to a game of story-telling charades. I can give you un-abridged plot, swear my undying love for the characters and unbridled respect for the author but rarely can I give you their name or the title of the novel, without a little mental gymnastics first.

You just have to read, I say. Ok, it's a summer theme, same author as the one everyone's read with the blue cover, a desolate beach scene, silhouette of lovers holding hands. Don't recognise it? Oh, then put that on your list too. You'll cry, I warn, but it's uplifting as well.

The author? You'll know her, she's written loads! She must have been there, I add, sagely, must have had a close encounter with death because it was the little things she mentioned; the not washing the pillow cases. Edinburgh, you know?

After You'd Gone! You call. Yes! You've read it, I say, brilliant isn't it? I'll never forget it. So, what's the author's name? I can picture it on the cover in block white print. Same surname as a funny male writer. No, they're not married, not even related, shame. But she is married to a writer, another funny bloke, he's not O'Farrell though. He's William Sut…

O'Farrell! We scream in unison. Maggie O'Farrell. Phew! Instructions For A Heatwave, I say. Read that on the beach.

So, even though I'm never knowingly without a novel by my bed and another in my bag, putting together my list of recommended reading can be quite an undertaking. After much jumping up and down to my book shelves, family tree-esque diagrams and a convoluted path around Google, I've come up with my list of ten recommended stories old and new for the summer edition of Chase Magazine* – see page 54/55 - to spare you the charades. 

A new edition to Chase Magazine is Kids Corner on page 56 where a young writer has the chance to see their piece of short fiction in print. This issue's contributor is Georgia Buxton, age 13, (and no relation to me :D) with her quirky insight into Planet Zarg. If you know any keen writers under the age of 16, living in Sheffield, Rotherham or elsewhere in South Yorkshire, who'd like to see their writing in print, please encourage them to give it a go. 

All submissions should be emailed directly to the editor: 
as a Word attachment. Short stories, poetry and flash fiction up to 500 words in length all welcome and successful entrants will receive up to five free copies of the edition of Chase in which their article is printed. Good luck!

So, what have you been reading lately? Please share. Charades-type descriptions always acceptable...

*You may have to register with Chase the first time you click on the online edition but it's plain sailing after that.

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