Tales From The Town: Pocket Editions

These are little Tales From The Town booklets that you can keep in your pocket, all made from a single sheet of paper folded up inexpertly into a little book, with a cover and three tales on the first three pages, and then four more inside when you unfold it. (There’s nothing on the reverse of the sheet because the ink from the pens bled through the paper)

They are entirely pointless really but then entirely pointless things are the best sorts of things.

Pocket Tales #1

It didn’t last long. But it would be rebuilt forever. Permanence through transience. Memories made flesh.

The cages had been empty for quite some time. As fast as anyone could fill them, others emptied them. You can’t imagine what now lives in the woods.

It was a jungle in there.

It was always the hair it got wrong. .gnorw tog ti riah eht syawla saw tI

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Pocket Tales #2

You could walk up its tail and slide down its neck. But no one ever did.

The longer you look the larger it looms.

It wasn’t very deep. But it was somehow irresistible.

They were having a party. They could eat anything they wanted. And they want to eat just about everything. (As long as it was triangular).

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Pocket Tales #3

Its sadness persisted for as long as it lived.

It was impossible to see against the sea and the sky. It liked to believe it no longer existed.

You went inside so you could come back out. No one knew why it was there.

Nothing it showed mattered any more. The less useful it was, the more beautiful it became.

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Pocket Tales #4

It was neither fun nor fair. We would never learn.

An abundance of life in little more than a puddle. Each day new marvels could be found.

Rusted Metal and barnacles. A strange romance, but an evocative one.

Unidentified Skeleton

Is there anything in this world better than half buried old bones?

The Top Of The Cliff

Look out to sea. Let the wind blow through your hair. Brood to your heart’s content.

The Hole

Things emerged from here more often than we liked. But to fill it in seemed unimaginable.

The Bottom Of The Cliff

The ruins of old civilisations.

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Notes:

1. Pocket Tales #1 was written on June 2nd, 2021
2. Pocket Tales #2 and #3 were written on June 3rd, 2021
3. Pocket Tales #4 was written on June 5th, 2021
4. I made these because it’s been sunny here, and I had some nieces and nephews staying, and so we made some things in the garden
5. I drew the pictures and wrote the words, but they suggested the topics for me to draw sometimes, especially in Pocket Tales #1 and #2
6. Pocket Tales #3 was an experiment with paint (which didn’t quite work, due to printer paper going all crinkly when wet)
7. Pocket Tales #4 was written all on my own because they had left by then and I missed them already
8. If you want to print some of these out yourself, you can use the images below if you want (click on them to get the full size versions)

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Book Wormery

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Notes:

1. Made on February 20th, 2021
2. Also available on youtube
3. In a 2-minute loop version
4. Instead of this infinite loop version
5. You might even be able to read the book titles there
6. If you’re so inclined

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Support An Accumulation Of Things

If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.

A Book Of Beasts

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Notes:

1. Written and drawn between the 22nd and the 25th of July, 2020
2. Using some new pens my sister had bought me for my birthday
3. And an old square notebook that I had had for some time
4. So long in fact the pages had begun to yellow
5. And the cover been enthused with a glow of dust shall never leave it soul.
6. A list of inspirations, homages, plagiarisms, thefts, explanations, apologies etc follows.
7. It is probably not exhaustive.
8. The Mobius Snake shows why I did not colour the rest of the book in, for though my black pens were conatined by the page, the colours were not
9. Thus ruining poor old Violent Penguin’s return to the page.
10. (I didn’t start colouring them in until I’d got to the eyeball one, but soon realised the error of my ways. Please forgive me. It is done now. It cannot be undone.)
11. I also messed up Violent Penguin by using a too thick marker pen to write the descriptive text. I did not do that again.
12. If you would like to know more about Violent Penguin, please follow this link, so as to peruse his complete adventures.
13. One of my nephews draws people like Simon, their shoulders becoming their mouths. I like his style.
14. My nephew is not called Simon.
15. I know no Simons at all.
16. People. I remember people. But only in the most abstract sense.
17. I wrote the thorns after reading The Snow Child by Angela Carter (which is in The Bloody Chamber)
18. And also after getting caught on a thorn.
19. An exciting occurrence, I’m sure you’ll agree.
20. The Ohm is just an Ohmu from Nausicaa
21. I quite like drawing them.
22. Flaffs are also basically stolen straight from Ghibli (the soot things from My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away)
23. Though I was thinking more of a Jib-Jib
24. Largely because I’m always thinking of Jib-Jibs
25. The Fury: whenever I see a dog, it barks at me. I imagine them all eating me away to nothing.
26. Spiders. I like spiders. If you would like to learn more about spiders, please read Spiders Are Wonderful, an educational book for all ages.
27. In fact, the poem one is basically a re-use of the proposed illustrations in an unmade sequel to Spiders Are Wonderful
28. Called Books Are Wonderful.
29. Because books are wonderful.
30. Especially self referentially infinite books all about themselves.
31. The bees one is a reference to one of my favourite things in the whole world, and definitely the most beautiful, which is this entry about bees from a medieval bestiary. “Bees are the smallest of birds.”
32. (Another unmade Toby Vok educational tome insisted that Bees Are Horrible, but in this Toby was wrong).
33. Also this is called A Book Of Beasts because the medieval bestiary book I have is called The Book Of Beasts.
33. The hat one is a Miller’s Crossing reference I suppose
34. Although was not necessarily so at the time
35. (It was windy)
36. Dragonaire might be another Ghibli one.
37. Or maybe it’s the Rainicorn from Adventure Time
38. Or maybe it really was just a cloud.
39. I spend a lot of my time these days staring up at clouds.
40. There’s very little else to do.
41. Loom is basically the Groke
42. Who is the figure in all of literature I most wish to be.
43. Edith is about Edith Swan Neck
44. Who seems finally to no longer be reduced simply to her neck
45. By the curses of history.
46. Bright Horses are from the song Bright Horses, by Nick Cave
47. Which might be the beautiful song I’ve ever heard.
48. And makes me often wish to cry.
49. Which is a nice way to end this book
50. Of beasts

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If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.

An Outbreak Of Peace

I have a story, The Man Who Left, in An Outbreak Of Peace: Stories and poems in response to the end of WWI, a new anthology of short stories commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war.

“November 2018 marks the centenary of the end of World War I. After all the commemorative works of art over the past four years, we felt it was important to reflect on what comes after – an outbreak of peace, and what that meant to the combatants and those left at home. This wide-ranging collection brings together stories and poems from many countries, on both sides of the 1914-18 conflict, finding their inspiration in many wars and their endings; together with stories and poems which are not about war at all, which is as it should be.”

There are two launch events for the book, one in London on November 14th (Housmans Bookshop, King’s Cross, 7pm), and one in Manchester on November 30th (Blackwells bookshop, near the Arthur Lewis Building at The University of Manchester, 6:30pm).

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Notes:

1. An Outbreak Of Peace is published by Arachne Press, and is released on the 8th November, 2018.
2. And is available in paperback and ebook formats.
3. I also had a story, The King And The Light, in Liberty Tales, another anthology from the same publisher, which was published in 2016.

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Support An Accumulation Of Things

If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.