Have decided I should have a blog, partly because it’s supposed to be a good thing for a writer to have a blog, and partly because I do like the idea of telling the world the brilliant things I’ve seen and heard and thought. I’d love to have one of those newspaper columns where you ramble amusingly about what’s happened during the week, but I don’t think they invite unknown poets and secondhand booksellers to do those…

So. Several people asked me today how I am, and apart from the trifle of having no income because business is terrible, everything’s fine. One good thing is I’ve recently sold two short stories: one to The Mammoth Book of the Vatican Vaults, edited by David V Barrett and due out from Constable and Robinson next spring; the other to The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic 2, edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber, due to be launched at Fantasycon in September. (Plug duly entered.)

The first story, Encounter on the Rhine, is inspired by the life and work of Hildegard of Bingen, a twelfth century abbess, and the second, Cupboard of the Winds, by a piece by the late great Paul Jennings, a man of unparalleled brilliance who wrote a column of the kind alluded to above, in the Observer, for many years. He seems sadly underappreciated. Among many other things, he wrote a wonderful piece entitled 1066 and All Saxon, on the premise that William lost at Hastings, and the language developed from the Anglo-Saxon roots without admixture of Latin. I am particularly fond of the old learning-house neckband, myself.

Jennings also chronicled the philosophy of Resistentialism, based on the premise that Things are Against Us. Which I should probably talk about at a later date.