Monday 25 April 2022


Spurred by having 4 acceptances so far this year I've sent another batch off. In the post I have 10 stories (4 in competitions), 8 Flash pieces and 11 poems. A few of these pieces are so old that their style is back in fashion. My lifetime success rates are about 30% for poems and 15% for stories, but of course some pieces need to sent out several times so I'm not expecting many of these to be accepted. 3 would be about par.

I think 2 of the poems (they're newish ones) are amongst my better work. I think several of the stories should have been published by now. Few are new, but I like them. I've read many story collections recently, and I think my best pieces are better than the collections' worst. I don't do simul submissions, nor have I saturated the US market. I'll try those options if all this batch fail.

Why do I put myself through this ordeal? Because I'd like to have a pamphlet of poems and a book of stories/Flash published, and I think I need more acknowledgements. I have too few good Flashes for a book, so I'm tempted by the idea of mixing Flash and short stories in a single collection. I'm seeing this mix more often nowadays - readers seem ready for it.

Monday 4 April 2022


When I arrived it was snowing, but I continued my plan to explore the city on foot. Over the 3 days I saw the Old Town (with lots of small shops that weren't all touristy - an SF shop for example), the Vasa Museum (better than I expected), Stockholm public library, Swedish History Museum, Museum of Medieval Stockholm, Millesgarden Museum. Moderna Museet (Modern Art), National museum, City Hall (but not inside), and the City Museum. I had a meal at the traditional Pelican Restaurant, saw a deer in full daylight cross the road where I was staying to graze in a front garden, and I saw a big, gloomy computer gaming hall. I went to Södertälje and Nynäshamn. It was a cashless and almost litterless holiday. Note -

  • The pronunciation takes some getting use to. For example I was staying in Älvsjö which is pronounced something like Elefey
  • You won't be able to exit a big supermarket unless you use the QRcode on the receipt.

At the Swedish History Museum I wrote "love" in runes.

I found only a couple of second-hand shops. This one on Södermalm island has a branch near Cambridge.

Millesgarden was a house and sculpture park (like Henry Moore's in England). The couple who owned the place were both artists. The view from their terraces has changed since their time.

Because of the language I couldn't deduce much about the literature scene - a shame because I once appeared in The Stockholm Review of Literature. But I did notice this author - Fredrika Bremer - depicted on a Norway plane.