Recently I’ve had a bit more work-related travel than usual, and you know what that means – extra reading time! In the last few weeks I’ve read a whole bunch, including The Crimson Petal and the White – Michel Faber, Not so Perfect – Nik Perring and The Stars in the Bright Sky, which were a pretty ideal mix to be honest. All very different (and not just in length!) and great in their own ways. But it’s not all been about reading quietly on the train, I also read a flash story out loud at the FlashMob event in Manchester. As always, a bit scary, but that’s the third time I’ve done it and I still haven’t burst into hysterical laughter or starting trying to scramble over the audience to escape, so I’ve chalking it up as a success. All the folks were lovely, especially Nik Perring (the guest reader who read from the collection mentioned above) and the judges, especially Roland and Sarah-Clare and Tom, who made sure I ended my journey a bit tipsy and safe in the knowledge that girls who say ‘judge a man by his shoes and I don’t like politics’ are a little scary. All of the shortlisted stories are available to read online now, including my storyand the worthy winners. Another story of mine popped up on the web this week (always a flood or a drought eh?), and you get a squiz of Chewed Blankets in Spilling Ink Review number 5. In there you’ll also find Benjamin Judge, who happened to be one of the organizers of the FlashMob event. Almost like it was meant to happen… There’s also a nonfiction piece by the super Chelsea Cargill, who just happens to be in my writers group, hurrah. It’s so nice to feel as though you are in good company, and that there are so many awesome and friendly writers out there – my faith in the community spirit of writing has been restored.