Happy New Year!

Sort of. We are talking the Celtic New Year, which, as far as my limited understanding of paganism goes, is, um, some time in September, maybe October. So, you know. Close. And in its honour, here is a disturbing picture that Google proffers in response to searching the term ‘Celtic New Year’.

odd celtic image

I mention the New Year because it seems a good time for new beginnings, which this is. I have not been in touch for a long time, both because I have been finishing a book, and because this entire website disappeared for a month or so due to the vagaries of the internet. However: the book is done (more news of it anon) and the angry little gods who specialise in the kind of electronic caprice that mars our modern lives have relented, and we are back online: so here we are. Let’s call it a relaunch.

The first piece of business: the very splendid news that Central Reservation was reviewed in the Guardian, which called it ‘gloriously unsentimental’, ‘passionate, bleak and funny’ and suggested it had its own ‘strange poetry’, all of which was pretty delightful. This review appeared a little while ago (on the same day the website disappeared, curiously enough) so apologies to those  for whom this is old news. However, so seldom in my life have I been described as brilliant at rendering, I could not help the self-indulgence of mentioning it here one more time.

The second piece of business: this blog will now return to random utterances and thoughts, with perhaps the odd bit of new writing thrown in, rather than being purely a vehicle for Isabel Instance (though she may return now and then). Topics will vary, but one theme will run through all else, and that will be, as your email may have told you, cosmic ineffability. Naturally. What else would you expect? Anyone wishing to complain about the paradox of utterances on the ineffable: wait! Remember, when asked what you did that day, you will be obliged, if honesty means anything to you, to answer: I complained about a paradoxical claim concerning ineffable utterances. Think hard about what this would say about you.

The third piece of business: this book that I’ve written. It is early stages, not even a readable draft, let alone a publishable one, and the book itself is a funny old bird; I don’t yet know what I think of it. However, I could hardly start this blog again without a bit of writing, so here, without any explanation whatsoever, is a very short extract. The vague idea is that you might find it intriguing, and want to know more. If that actually works, then how splendid: in due season you shall. If not, then, well, I don’t know. Rats. I’ll have to make it even weirder.


The little garden was dim but not fully dark: light spilled out from behind the blinds in the house, and the fence, covered with solanum, stood out black against the orange city sky. Rachel stepped towards the darkest corner, her hand sweating around the knife. Then she turned and waited quietly. The old woman came close to her, touched her face gently like a mother. Rachel wanted to say something, but there was nothing to say. She took a clumsy step forward with the knife raised, so that as she jerked it into the woman’s belly they were almost kissing. Come on, she thought, please, that should be enough: the blade had sunk in deep. She shoved her arm forward and the knife went in another inch. Still the old woman remained. She looked down at Rachel’s fist between their two bodies. Her mouth opened and she made a soft, quizzical choking sound. Then she stepped back, the knife still in her, the handle wrenched out of Rachel’s grasp.

Rachel followed and reached for it but now the woman was fighting. She wheeled her arms, knocking Rachel’s hands away, striking out at her face, still seeming so strong. Eventually Rachel hurled herself blindly forwards and grabbed the woman’s shoulders. She pushed her to the ground, falling on top of her, grunting as the handle of the knife jabbed her painfully in the ribs. The woman cried out as the blade cut still deeper, then Rachel took the handle and tugged till it came out and swung the knife again and again, weeping, and the woman raised her hands and moved her head from side to side as the blows fell. It seemed to last for hours, long enough for the invisible stars to wheel across the sky behind their mask of cloud, but at last it was done. Rachel stopped swinging her arm, which stung fiercely with the effort, and the old woman was gone, and the knife’s blade was covered with dirt not blood, and she was alone on the cold grass.

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Will le Fleming is a novelist. His debut, Central Reservation, is published by Xelsion and available now. Read more...

On a grey Thursday morning Holly lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, and wished her sister would die. Five hours later her wish came true. Read more...

About this blog
The first post explains all - find it here.