Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Our Beautiful Child

Congratulations to Annalisa Crawford on the publication, today, of...

         Publisher: Battered Suitcase Press
Available from Amazon

I'm always terrified about reviewing because I can never put into words why  I've enjoyed something. I feel what I'm reading, live between the pages, float off into another world... and that's definitely what happened while I was reading My Beautiful Child.

I LOVED these stories and have already read them twice. They positively delighted me! The three in this collection are linked by a pub, The Boathouse, although each is a perfectly formed tale on its own and each managed to surprise me with its twists and turns. The stories are moving and the characters fully formed, quirky and interesting; not a caricature  in sight. Annalisa’s style is easy to read – spare yet expressive and descriptive; the words flow easily from the page. Nothing is contrived. She delves into the dark recesses of human nature and writes a satisfyingly complete short story without any hint of ‘twee'. If you are not a fan of short stories, these will change your mind. If you love short stories, you won’t be disappointed!  

“The Boathouse collects misfits. Strange solitary creatures that yearn for contact with the outside world, but not too much. They sit, glass in hand, either staring at the table in front of them, or at some distant point on the horizon.”

… so says the narrator of Our Beautiful Child. And he’s been around long enough to know.

People end up in this town almost by accident. Ella is running away from her nightmares, Sally is running away from the memories of previous boyfriends and Rona is running away from university. Each of them seek sanctuary in the 18th century pub, The Boathouse; but in fact, that’s where their troubles begin.

I live in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of beaches and moorland right on my doorstep to keep me inspired. I live with my husband, two sons, a dog and a cat.
Despite my location, I neither surf nor sail, and have never had any inclination to try. I much prefer walking along a deserted beach and listening to the waves crashing over rocks. For this reason, I really love the beach in the winter!

Annalisa's Links:

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


I missed a couple of these while I was bogged down with life-stuff (see my previous post) and I'm afraid I didn't get time to hop around and read many blogs, either :-(

Thanks, as always, to Alex J Cavanaugh and those who assist him each month so that the rest of us can have a moan or offer words of comfort and encouragement.

I don't know whether I can be bothered to feel insecure this month. I haven't written anything since the end of January, although I did tweak and re-submit a short story this week. I think it will probably ping back to me, but as the editor said, it's always worth another try!

A break from writing has been very refreshing. I feel detached rather than agonisingly stressed about it and have realised that it isn't the be-all-and-end-all it had become. I really hope this feeling stays with me and I don't become consumed by the need to write and frustrated by the lack of time.

To anyone who is reading this and feeling that writing is no longer exactly a pleasure, I would like to say I know exactly how you feel. I was forced into not being able to write by circumstances, but am feeling that it was basically A GOOD THING and that a break doesn't mean you will lose your ability to write or never write again.

Happy first Wednesday of the month to you!