I had a wonderful few days this week, talking to another library book group who were so thoughtful and asked really interesting, considered questions. Then I went to London where I caused an incident due to Jerusalem-ingrained paranoia when I thought that someone at a bus stop had abandoned two bags of shopping - and the other guy at the bus stop also thought so! I called the police, gave them a full description, which did include me peering carefully into said bags to describe the lettuce within. Then, just as I hung up, my bus came - and an elderly man who may not have spoken English and must have been lurking in the shadows, picked up the carrier bags and got on the bus!
I was a little embarassed but then as the bus pulled away, I heard sirens, and two police cars sped past, then a third one pulled in front of our bus and two young police officers in bullet-proof-vests got on. I of course immediately admitted it was me, and they inspected this poor man's shopping and then headed off, murmuring into their radios - probably "Mad paranoid woman's wasting police time". Anyway, they haven't contacted me to tell me off, and I'd rather be paranoid and mortified than the alternative. Even if it was just lettuce.
So, the London trip was for me to be the speaker at a charity lunch for the League of Jewish Women. I've never done after-meal speaking, was rather nervous and thought I might manage 15 minutes including reading my stories. Turns out, I read and chatted about short stories and writing for about 40 mins without having really prepared much! Then there were questions and just as someone was asking the final questions, there was a kerfuffle in the corner and it turned out someone had fainted. Warm room, lots of people - not anything connected to my speech, they assured me! It was dealt with swiftly, she was fine... and everyone carried on as normal. My fiction packs a punch, clearly. Anyway, a lovely day, despite the conditions in London turning thundery and it taking 2 hours to get across town.
Today has been odd, and it's only 2pm, but the highlight so far has been the publication of my weird flash story, The Family, up on the excellent Metazen. Thank goodness for lit zines like Metazen who like the stuff I like and don't read my weirdnesses and shake their heads in dismay and incomprehension. Love 'em! To whet your appetite:
Although the family is not always available, the family is on hand when it comes to death....
Read the rest here.