Friday, May 28, 2010

Call for submissions - Every Night Erotica

This morning I found an email in my inbox from the editor of this brand new e-zine, inviting me to submit stories. These days I'm concentrating more on my dark, gritty urban contemporaries and flash fiction than I am on romance or erotica, so I thought I'd pass on the call in case anyone else would like to have a go.

The zine pays $3 per story (with a further $3 if you sign away anthology rights) and the only slight worry I have is that they ask writers to electronically 'sign' a contract during the submission process. In the wrong hands, this could lead to (any) publisher taking rights without officially accepting a story, but if you're happy to take that particular hurdle in your stride this could be an interesting new market.

They publish one new story (of up to 2,000 words) every night, US time.

Here's the blurb from the editor.


Every Night Erotica intends to publish a new sexy story each evening 365 days a year! To that end, we are looking for submissions from everyone - multiple times! Please pass the word along! We published our first story on May 1st 2010 and we have been very well recieved thus far. Visit us at to read the latest publication.

We'll satisfy two markets:


Experienced or virgin writers are welcome to submit their own original erotic works using our online form. We are happy to include a short bio of the writer, as long as one is provided.


The reader will visit each evening to enjoy the pro-offered erotic tale. They may choose to sign up with us and we'll send each new sexy story discreetly to their inbox. We're even going to archive past stories so they don't have to, that way they can come back multiple times to renew their favorites or rediscover something sexy from the past.

Please visit us at I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincere Thanks,

Jennifer Case

ENE Editor

Thursday, May 27, 2010

CiB shuts up shop

The free lease on the Created in Birmingham shop has expired and for now the shop has closed. I picked up my remaining Radgepacket volumes this morning which means that temporarily they're unavailable in physical print format from anyone other than the publisher, Byker Books. However, the organisers of CiB say the whole experiment has been a resounding success and they're looking for new premises as we speak.

I'll be saving my books to sell with them again, and as soon as I know where they'll be popping up next I'll post full details here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Woo - a whole paragraph!

I'm not sure I can really call this a 'story' because it's only 75 words long and contained in a single paragraph. They all count, though, and that's exactly what Paragraph Planet, an online flash writing magazine, wants.

I came across the site months ago and have been meaning to send them something ever since. Fellow writer Sharon Maria Bidwell had some success with them in April and that spurred me on. I scribbled two or three different 'paragraphs' (they all have to be exactly 75 words long), chose the best, and submitted it.

Yesterday I had the terrific news that Rollercoaster Ride has been accepted, to appear on 7th July. As usual I'll post a reminder nearer the time so you can read this tiny snippet about a child at a fairground.

Writing to such a tight target is surprisingly difficult, even with previous experience of flash fiction. I don't have too many problems getting a story down to less than a hundred words, say, or even less than fifty. But hitting a specific number of words (which has to include the title) is bloomin' hard work. I found I'd written a very nice story in 74 words, for instance, so I fiddled around and then found it was 76. ::headdesk:: Still, I got there in the end and enjoyed the challenge so much I've now written several more. Watch this space to see if Paragraph Planet take any more in the months to come.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Good grief - is it summer?

It's suddenly turned warm here in Brum. The sun is out, flowers are popping out in their own mini baby-boom and the swifts are swooping and screaming across the skies. I do believe it might be summer.

After such a long cold winter (and an unimpressive spring) I'd almost forgotten what warm weather feels like. It's lovely to be able to stroll outside without wrapping myself in umpteen layers of jackets, scarves, gloves and boots. Goodness knows how long it will last, so I'm off to spend the afternoon in the garden. Normal service will be resumed shortly. ;)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Best guitarist in the world... ever

Last night we had our second Big Night Out in a couple of weeks; this time to the NEC Arena to see Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood. The tickets cost an arm and several legs, but we figured it was a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing since he's not getting any younger and seats at his concerts tend to be like hen's teeth.

The last time we were at the Arena it was some years ago, to see Rush live. To be honest, it was a memorable night for all the wrong reasons. The venue looked scruffy and unfinished, everyone in front of us stood up the minute the music started so I got no view at all, the air was blue with cigarette and pot smoke (both of which I'm violently allergic to), and the accoustics were absolutely, shockingly awful. The Arena is basically a corrugated tin shed and if you turn up the amps high enough the whole building vibrates in time to the bass and you can't hear a ruddy thing!

Thankfully, this time the experience was much, much better. The Arena was refurbished a couple of years or so ago so it's now vibrant and stylish. The smoking ban has come into force. The stands are no longer so temporary that there's a huge gap at the back of the highest row, leading to a sudden sharp drop back to floor level. And somebody, somewhere seems to have done something about the accoustics because they were fine.

And the concert? Well, it was fantastic. You can't get much better in terms of sheer musical expertise than these two. Clapton played on not one but four different guitars (not all at the same time, I hasten to add) including electric and accoustic, and his economic style made it all look far too easy. And Winwood was a revelation, playing guitar, organ and grand piano and singing beautifully. They played a great selection of tracks including blues, blues-rock, jazz, and one or two poppier hits and they played non-stop for over two hours, with no interval, and came back for a longish encore. And their sheer professionalism meant they were note perfect all evening and improvised and 'jammed' together on pretty much every track.

The Arena holds just shy of 15,000 people now and by the end of the evening every last one of them was on their feet, stomping and cheering two brilliant musicians. We felt a little sorry for Winwood; his lengthy solos brought decent applause but Clapton only had to play two chords and the place erupted. But then he is a legend in his own time and I'm very, very glad we finally got to see him, in the flesh, live.

There's a review of the concert by the Birmingham Mail here which says pretty much the same things I just have, only better. And I promise I won't say a word about the twenty-five minutes it took us to get out of the NEC car park afterwards...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Radgepacket 4 review

Just a line to say there's a new review of Radgepacket Vol 4 at The Crack magazine.

"These short stories aren’t for the timid or fainthearted. They are gritty and wicked and brilliantly written."

You can read the whole review here, and thanks once again to fellow Radger Paul Brazill for bringing this to my attention.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Deafened again...

And it has nothing to do with music this time.

The local council have been digging up the road outside our house. Not just a small patch of tarmac, mind you, but the whole road, from one end to the other. Yesterday they scraped all the top surface off and today they've been putting new tarmac on. It's going to look fantastic when it's done but my goodness, the noise.

Yesterday we had an enormous tarmac-grinding machine tacking back and forth, as well as vans, lorries, a roadsweeper and two pneumatic drills going full-tilt from 8 am to 5 pm. Today we've lost the tarmac-chomper, but kept everything else and gained a huge tarmac-laying machine and two steamrollers.

The house has been quivering for hours and my head is starting to vibrate!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dazzled and deaf

On Sunday night we had one of our annual treats - a trip out to an Aussie Pink Floyd concert at the NIA. This was the third one we'd been to and they're so amazing we decided to invite our friends - and they loved it too. The evening kicked off with a great meal at Around the World in 80 Dishes (good food, worryingly quiet) then a stroll past the canals to the NIA.

Our seats were brilliant - on the raised level but not too high up, and right in the centre so we could see everything. And well worth seeing it was too. Our friend Nicky commented that she'd never seen a concert where there was so much going on - the musicians on stage, vast graphics on a large screen, lasers and lights... and inflatables. ;) It's become something of a tradition that they have an inflatable pig with flashing red eyes, and because the band are Australian, an inflatable kangaroo. :D

The music, as ever, was gobsmackingly good. I swear these guys get better ever time we hear them. They may 'only' be a tribute band but they have a name for being the best tribute band of any band anywhere in the world and boy, are they good. Close your eyes and you'd be forgiven for thinking the clock had reset itself to the late 1980s, a parallel universe had kicked in, and the real Floyd were up there on the stage. The only real difference is that where Gilmour et al managed with a four-piece band, it takes APF two drummers, three guitarists and two lead singers to create the same effect. But when the results as fantastic as this, and when they perform a three-hour set with only a brief interval for drinks, who's complaining. Certainly not us. We came out dazzled by the light show and deafened by the music, but very very happy, and we'll be on the look-out for next year's tickets the minute they go on sale!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Wimping out of a walk

Yesterday I discovered details of this rather fascinating art/sculpture walk around Birmingham, which is being publicised as part of the BBC's new 'Modern Masters' series about modern art.

This morning we were all set with walking shoes, cameras and a map to set off and explore. Then we saw the weather. For the first time in weeks it was raining - not heavily but with a persistant spatter that was too little for umbrellas but too much for comfortable walking. Added to that it was bloomin' cold, and very grey and unprepossessing. It would have been far too dark to take good photos of the sculptures, which is half the fun. So we took a 'rain check' (sorry), left the walk for a better day and went shopping instead.

Shame, as Birmingham has a surprising amount of sculpture hidden away amongst the streets and office blocks and although we know some of it very well (Anthony Gormley's Iron:Man, above), some would have been completely new to us. Hopefully we'll find time to do the walk soon and I'll post any photos I take here.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

All thanks to a savage Alsatian

My oldest cousin died late last week. As with many families left over from Victorian times, our ages were wildly different - she was well over ninety and I'm, well, not.

She'd had a wonderful, full life teaching languages in a local school and making hundreds of friends via the church and her various interests. I'm still sad, though, because she'd been a fixture in my life ever since I first moved to Birmingham to work as a scared twenty-one-year old.

I'd never so much as visited the city before and didn't have a clue. The B&B where I was staying was a mean little place whose owners seemed to live more for their own convenience than their guests' comfort. After a few days they suddenly announced that oh, hadn't they told me? they didn't do food at the weekends. And I was left to feed myself, on a Sunday when pretty much everywhere was closed. There's a Greek restaurant on the main road, they rather unhelpfully said. You can eat there.

I didn't eat there, I phoned my parents. They were too far away to come and bail me out, but they did tell me about Joan. "She lives fairly close, why don't you give her a call?" So plucking up my courage, I did, and she was wonderful. Within half an hour she'd marched straight round and was bobbing nervously up and down on the doormat while the owners' large and savage Alsatian dog hurled itself at the inside of the front door. Once the dog had been dealt with she took me under her wing, took me home, and fed me. It turned out we had all sorts of interests in common and we became firm friends; I joined her church and visited regularly for Sunday lunch, and when I finally got a place of my own I invited her back there too.

I'll really miss Joan. She might have been from an earlier generation but she never lost her fascination with and sheer love of people. She was interested in everything she heard, and a slightly 'Miss Marple' manner hid a keen mind and a wonderful grasp of human nature. You could tell her anything and she wouldn't be shocked, just full of curiosity.

It seems odd to think that if it hadn't been for that B&B I might never have met her. I hated that bloody Alsatian at the time, but looking back I have a lot to thank it for.