40 and Fiction

I turned 40 yesterday – and it turns out, 40 is a ridiculously good thing to be.

It started with an email the day before my birthday. The subject said ‘Fiction Commission’ and was from an editor in New Zealand who’d read my fiction online, and wanted to commission a story for her journal. I sent her a story called ‘Dugdugee’ which I’d whittled and tweaked for over a year, and within hours it was signed off, sold, and slotted for publication in September. 

THEN, I get another email from the lovely editor of Berfrois, a magazine I absolutely love, saying that they’d be publishing my story ‘Driving North’. The story was published yesterday. On my birthday! (I told you it was ridiculous.

AND finally, I got to wake up in Copenhagen with D and Chotto-Ma and a hundred sweet messages and phonecalls from all over.

And I thought, damn. I should’ve turned forty years ago.

PS. Here’s my desk today. A strip of green called Sonder Boulevard in the Vestebro area of Copenhagen. This city is so my kind of place! Next to me, D and Raya are on their fourth game of chess. 

And here’s ‘Driving North’ on Berfrois. This story surprised me with it’s journey – it was longlisted for the Bath Short Story Award and shortlisted for the Brighton Prize last year. It was subsequently published in Rattle Tales 4, a print anthology. And now, in this great new home.

Of course, you have to be nice and read it because it’s my birthday. Let me know what you think!


Dancing in the Drawing Room / Fiction

Hi, everyone!

Remember Structo – the lovely journal where my short story was published a few months ago? Well, the issue is now online and free to read, so here’s me giving you a shout as promised!

It’s a story about a single evening, a fraction of a moment, about secrets. (Don’t keep your thoughts on it a secret, though! Drop me a note, tell me know what you think.)

Here’s the link to the story:

Dancing in the Drawing Room

I hope you enjoy reading it!
Much love,

PS: In case you missed the earlier post on the Structo publication and my reading, and are wondering what I’m talking about, here’s a rewind.


On Saturday, I got this beautiful issue of Structo, with my fiction on its pages. I read an excerpt of the story at The Society Club in London where the issue was launched, and met some of the other wonderful writers. There were softly lit lamps, good people and Hemingway Daiquiri. All things right.

To everyone who’s asked, the issue is for sale from August 1, and you can pre-order your copy here (they ship worldwide, and you’ll be supporting a wonderful, not-for-profit effort to produce good literature): http://structomagazine.co.uk/store/

You can also pick up, or order, a copy from select shops in the UK. Or from shops in New York, Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam. The list of shops/stockists are here: http://structomagazine.co.uk/store/stockists/

If you’d rather not make a purchase now, please wait a while – the online version will be available after three months, and is then free to read. I will post a link to my story here when that happens.

Thank you, always, for supporting, and reading, and following my work! I really appreciate it, you know.

Love, P xx


I don’t quite know how to begin this post, so I write a line, delete and wait. And then I decide to tell you: I don’t quite know how to begin this post.

When I’m excited about something, I can never lead up to it with any amount of graceful restraint. I just have to put it out there – plop. And since ‘out there’ means out here, to you who know me, I can lose the grace and do a dance and tell you that my second fiction is out.

It’s a story called ‘Bilet’ and it’s now on the wonderful Tupelo Quarterly; it’s also my first publication in the US.

You can read ‘Bilet’ here:

[PS: Many of you emailed me saying that a comment you posted hasn’t been published. Please know that if you don’t see your comment here, it means it hasn’t reached me. Apparently, you need to be connected to your Google Plus account, or a Blogger account (even if temporary) to be able to comment. Or just choose ‘Name/URL’ from the drop-down menu at the comment box.
Thank you – for persevering and writing in; I appreciate it more than you know.]

Uncharted territory

We’re back from Sicily: goodness, an island of such utter beauty; it leaves you weak-kneed, and as surprised as a child. England, on the other hand, was as stolid as a black umbrella on a soggy day. The plane landed through dark grey clouds, on a wet tarmac, into a damp chill – the usual suspects really, but home still. Never a bad thing.

I’m going to put together a post on our lazy-hazy-crazy days in the Sicilian sun, but before that I thought I’d share something else.

Some months ago, I terrified myself by writing my first short story. And then I wrote another. One of those stories was shortlisted for the Words And Women Competition, 2014. It’s a story called Mrs. Sen. I’ll be reading from it at the launch of the Words And Women Anthology next week.

You can read about it, and about the wonderfully gifted authors I’ll be reading with, here:

If you have nothing better to do, and are anywhere near the event, do pop in and watch me walk into uncharted territory. In a different kind of weak-kneed.