Friday, 11 April 2014

Interview - Lacy Lalonde

Lacy Lalonde interviewed by Frank Burton. 

Lacy's short story collection can be downloaded for free from http://philistinepress.com



What attracted you to using spiders as a subject for fiction? (Are you afraid of them?) 

I have always had a general interest in anything that I could catch and keep in a jar. When I was a kid I often housed frogs and snakes and salamanders in buckets under my bed for as long as it took my mother to discover them and send me off to return them from wherever they were found. A few years ago I saw a video online of someone holding a tarantula. I remember being completely enamoured with its look and movements, I knew right then that I wanted to own one. I spent the next few years subjecting everyone to online videos and what I liked to call ‘fun facts’ about tarantulas. I ended up purchasing a Chilean Rose, grammastolarosea, which I held once and then never again after I saw how fast she could move. I am not afraid of spiders, aside from water spiders as they are terrifying. This general interest led me to writing about spiders. I wanted to know everything I could about them, and through that I wrote these stories.


Did you write the stories independently or with a collection in mind? 

I wrote the first one, Spider Inside, as a single story with no thought of turning it into a collection. At the same time as I was working on that I was slowly adding toHome Sweet Home, a story that I had been trying to finish for a couple of years, the original spider story and also my first completed attempt at something darker. After I had those two stories I thought that maybe I could write some more and see if anyone would be interested in publishing them as a collection.


Who are your influences? 

I read a lot from different genres and different writers and I am sure I am influenced by them all in some way. I love Stephen King - he is amazing to me and his short stories are mind blowing. But I also read Raymond Carver and Lynn Coady and Hunter S. Thompson, to name a few. I will say that it was reading a collection by Jonathan Ames, The Double Life is Twice as Good: Essays and Fiction, that really started me writing. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to try it out for myself.


What attracts you to short stories as a form of writing? 

I think short stories are powerful. I love being able to start and finish reading something in one sitting, although writing them can take a while longer. I like to read and create stories that are like pieces or snippets of something, whether a situation or a thought or a feeling. I don’t know that I always consciously set out to write a short story, I think it’s more that I start to write something and go until I feel it is finished, or until I can’t stand to work on it anymore. Maybe I am just not driven enough or developed enough to create longer works. I would like to write a full length novel one day, but I think short stories will always be a preference for me.


Do you have a 'writing process'? 

I write when I can and when I feel like doing it. I try and write every day, even if it’s something I won’t ever look at again. I would like to adopt a strict routine where I write so many words a day, whether I want to or not, but that hasn’t happened yet. I usually know when a day will have writing in it, it’s sort of like an itch - I feel that I have to do it and I want to do it. I do have a notebook and pen on hand in case inspiration finds me, although that always seems to be at the most inconvenient time and I don’t always write the idea down.


How do you feel about online publishing?

I think online publishing is a win for everyone, the writers and readers, it allows for greater exposure and accessibility. Still, there is always the question of quality. It is easier to be published nowadays. I am thankful for that in a way, but it’s a double edged sword for those works that I wrote way back when and am now a bit ashamed of. In the end I think making something, like getting published, available to a wider range of people is a positive.


Are you working on anything new at the moment? 

I have a ton of unfinished works in a folder in an online account that I am always chipping away at. I would like to do a chapbook with a few of the pieces, and I have a longer horror story I would like to see turned into a novella. I feel like I am perpetually starting and abandoning stories only to rediscover them later.






Thursday, 27 March 2014

Stephen Campbell

A slideshow of Stephen Campbell's work is featured on the BBC's Your Paintings pages, which includes this picture, The Emotional Detectives:




Monday, 24 March 2014

Little Kid - River of Blood

Another great album by Little Kid...



Bandcamp link 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Dream Song 14 by John Berryman (1969)

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.’ I conclude now I have no  
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,  
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes  
as bad as achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.  
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag  
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into mountains or sea or sky, leaving          
behind: me, wag.

Monday, 17 March 2014

#overheard

I'm not much of a Tweeter, but it's difficult to resist the#overheard hashtag. 

Highlights from the Philistine Press Twitter feed over the last couple of years include: 

'...I even had to take my trousers off. I mean, what did they expect me to be hiding in my trousers?'


 'I saw that bloke who dresses as a woman - Dame Enda Everage - but he was dressed as a man. Small world, eh?'


'Is it The SUREshank Redemption?' / 'No, it's SHAWshank.' / 'SHOREshank?' / 'No.'


 Man offering advice to American tourist about where to eat in London: 'Oxford Street has everything you want - KFC, McDonalds...'


Tourist replies: 'We're only in London for a short amount of time so we have a narrow fish and chip window...'


'The guy had a ladyboy tattoo and an Elvis quiff but he was normal apart from that...'


'...You couldn't see the girl because she had a completely white face.'


'White shirt, black tie. You can wear either black or very dark grey. I ain't wearing a bow tie - that's fucked up shit.'


 'I went through it with an absolute tooth comb...'


'I'm pretty sure the only thing I've seen in his rucksack are diarrhoea tablets.'


'You found me. You chose me. There's only one me. What can I do?'


'Don't get me wrong, I've got no problem with women vicars. Anyone can do the job regardless of age, sex, colour or creed.’


‘I never liked his solo stuff. I went off him after he left The Jackson Five.’


‘We're not like normal students. We eat salmon!’


‘Hey! Fizzy tea!’


'He had a cleft palate because of a stab wound when he was 17. He said 'I'm a really good kisser.''


'It tasted fucking horrible at first so I drank four or five cups in a row. You get used to it after a while.'


'Do you know there's a certain time at night where it's illegal to stop at red lights? You get fined and everything.'


'I'm just on my way to meet one and a half Germans.'


Girl reading newspaper: 'Why am I looking at the suduko? I don't even know what that is!'


Child on the bus singing Fireman Sam theme: 'Walking down the boozy street, greeting people that he meets...'


Young girl to father: 'Do you know, dad, whenever you smoke, someone in the world dies?'


'How can the minimum be higher than the maximum?'


Tourist on Waterloo Bridge: 'Too many fucking landmarks...'


‘What’s a rectum?’
  

Monday, 10 March 2014

Don't Panic - The Truth About Population



It's rare to see something on the TV that genuinely changes the way you see the world, but this documentary did it for me. Sadly the whole thing isn't available online, but it's summarised neatly in this article. A more in depth view is provided by the Open University.  

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Evie and Guy by Dan Holloway - a review in binary





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More about the novel here

Monday, 24 February 2014

Torley - Glitch Piano

Congratulations to anyone who's managed to listen to this 3-hour masterpiece in one sitting. I recommend playing this in short, sharp bursts.



Bandcamp link 


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Robo - FundaciĆ³n Robo

Best album I've heard in a long time...




Here's the Bandcamp page


Monday, 17 February 2014

Thursday, 13 February 2014

CarMen . . . The Opera

Broadcast on KPFK, Close Radio, November 22, 1976, 13 min. 22 sec.
An opera in three acts featuring an orchestra of automobiles.

Listen to it here.

Monday, 10 February 2014

MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey)

I never thought I'd find myself recommending a documentary series presented by an economist about the positive benefits of capitalism, but this is fascinating stuff... 



Monday, 3 February 2014

Neon's Battery Pack

Neon Magazine's call for submissions of 75-word stories is nothing new in itself but I very much like the idea of the stories being published together on a single sheet of paper. Nice work. 

I expect Neon's usual high standards when this appears: 

http://tinyurl.com/pcpo7uh 


Welcome to Night Vale

It's already a "cultural phenomenon" so this recommendation is a little late, but if you're yet to discover Welcome to Night Vale, check it out.  

You could possibly describe Welcome to Night Vale as a comedy show, but I'd prefer to see it as an ongoing work of carefully-crafted weird fiction. 

It's brilliant.