I’m notoriously bad at keeping time. Partly because I like to play with my watch strap, and so keep taking the watch off, and leaving it all over the house, and forgetting where I put it. I am a watch-owning individual, but for days on end I walk about London with my wrist completely watchless, because I left the watch somewhere underneath a pile of papers or in the cupboard with the breakfast cereals.
However, even I can tell that it’s now 2013. Happy New Year, all! I hope you’re enjoying it so far, and it’s shaping up to be a good one. And that you’re prepared to continue this mad little journey I’m making through this short story project – I’m grateful you’re out there, reading them. A story is nothing without an audience – it’s just a bunch of words until someone engages with them.
I love writing these stories. But they require a degree of self-absorption that is almost supernatural. I was walking around the city with my notebook during the London riots and didn’t notice anything untoward was going on at all. I’ll come in from a good afternoon’s bash with my notebook (I do love writing outside), and only when my wife points out to me that I’m soaking wet, or shivering cold, or bleeding profusely, does it occur to me that it’s been raining / snowing / hailing jagged pieces of meteorite.
It’s a happy place, writing. It’s also a naturally selfish one.
Three months ago I was blindsided somewhat by family illness. I kept on expecting I would be able to write, and carried around my notebooks with me most dutifully – but the truth of the matter was, the illness was serious enough that it required all my attention, and I was needing to act as carer. I don’t want you to feel alarmed, or send words of awful concern – things are going to be fine. Recovery is taking place – it’s slow work, but it’s happening. But up until now I’ve not been able to get back to writing. Even email has been tricky (so apologies to those subscriber friends who have been wondering why I’ve not been in contact – I will soon, I promise).
All of this is not in any way asking for sympathy, or trying to make elaborate excuses. It’s simply an explanation of why this project has taken a little longer to resume this New Year than I’d anticipated. I’m back writing now, and I’m enjoying it, and I think the stories coming out are good ‘uns. And this blog will resume some time in the spring, and I hope you stick around to read it.
I can promise you, I think, lots of merriment in these remaining 40 stories! Or, if not, merriment, at least great swathes of oddness.
In the mean time, and because it’s still so cold outside…! I was rather honoured over the Christmas period to discover that one of my short stories has been adapted into a prog-rock song! My stuff has never inspired anything musical before. It’s taken from a rather strange little tale of mine called ‘Cold Snap’, which you can find in Everyone’s Just So So Special published by Big Finish in the UK, or in my new best-of horror anthology, Remember Why You Fear Me, published by ChiZine in Canada. So, to tide you over for the little while longer before I give you new stories, is Alex Newsome’s wonderful song of snow and ice and evil Santa Clauses.
Enjoy! Thanks – and apologies – and thanks again. See you soon.
Hello Rob – great to have you back to the blog! Sorry to hear you’ve been side-swiped by stuff – life does have a habit of bashing us about now and then… I do hope things are OK for you now. Writing is always there to come back to though isn’t it? And here of course. And we’re all here ready to read! Looking forward to your merry oddments! Can’t wait actually!
Amber H said:
Yay! Looking forward to more short, strange stories in spring! I have to say that I’m thoroughly impressed with your pace as it is. It can be hard for me just to keep up with reading sometimes, what with life being so rife with words and other squirrely things, such as prog-rock!
Rosa Macpherson said:
Good to hear you’re back Rob. Hope you managed to find some time to recharge your own batteries before plunging headlong back into the weird head of Rob Shearman. I await with patience. Look after yourself first.
I missed this entirely until now, but thanks muchly for the kind words! Delighted that you enjoyed it. I still hope to get around to doing some more songs in the future. I’m just waiting for inspiration to hit and time to free up.
Steven Pattern said:
Take your time and we can savour each story with the relish that it deserves as we saucily realise that we are running out of savoury adjectives to add to this post
Just finished reading love songs for the shy and cynacle. The story about the pig was the one that really broke my heart (in a constructive way). I was very concerned to hear you had been ill but overjoyed to hear you are bouncing back. I had a great uncle who always said staying power is even more important than talent and it appears you have a lot of the former as well. Your stories are weirdly wonderful and also essential. Keep up the good work and I think your best work is still within you. Richard Rickford
have this been given up on now ,
as I’m number 98?
Pleased to know the health of your loved one has improved and you are writing again. I’ve just re-read a couple of your short stories. They’re as fresh as when I first read them. Looking forward to reading more. Good health to you and your family. Love the song. Hope this Christmas is your *•♫♪♬´ “best one yet!” `♬♪♫.*•
Adam J Purcell said:
I don’t wish to add any pressure, I gather from earlier comments that you’ve had some personal problems but nonetheless every now and then I come back here and wonder if this brave (and probably foolhardy!) project will ever see completion?
I’ve no idea what number I am but it’s clearly in the final few, of course!
I and my colleagues watch the football game clips at YouTube all since they have surrounded fastidious quality.
James Ronan said:
hi all who are reading this waiting for the rest of the stories , I had a conversation with rob today at big finish day 7, about the last stories as I’m number 98, and he said there almost finished and will come out,as a full book in 2017 , as you have noticed that most have been longer than he hope but they took on a life of there own, so wait don’t give up as we will get what we’re expecting and more as we all now will become a book ( after he get are permission to use are names I think that’s what he said) but they are on there way so thanks rob I can’t wait . number 98 X X
Richard Marklew said:
No further word on the future of this ?
Richard Marklew said:
On the unlikely chance that anyone is still looking at this site or who happen to just find it by accident. I happened to find the Robert Shearman book ‘They Do The Same Things Different There’ which is a book or short stories. One of the stories titled ‘Brand New Shiny Shiny’ has the main character called Richard Marklew. The surname is far from common so maybe this was what the story I was expecting to see here turned into. Would have liked to have known
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