I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

Au revoir

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I'm terrible at making goodbye speeches, and I usually avoid them, so forgive me if this one is a bit all over the place. (Is there a hanky in the house?) Yes, the above photo represents new pastures - as if I would go for the cliché of a field full of green grass!

Seriously, though. I realised recently that I really had to make a decision about this blog, which I set up as an outlet for my interest in writing and books, and which has given me enormous pleasure over the past two years. But, for many different reasons, the time has come to acknowledge that this wonderful experience has come to its natural end.

I thought I could just leave things unattended, like many people do, and dip back in every now and then. But I'm just not like that. I don't like to leave things hanging in space, in a state of hiatus, and that's why I've decided to be brave and close things down. It goes without saying that this has been a very difficult decision to make. That old issue of time has been a big factor - juggling between work, travel, relationships, projects - but, of course, it's not the only reason.

I'd just like to say that I've really enjoyed your visits and truly appreciated your interest and support. I've also thoroughly enjoyed the blogs I discovered along the way. I will still be lurking behind the scenes (even if I don't leave comments) to check up on how everyone is getting on. And, of course, I will still be plugging away with my own creative writing. There will always be time and energy for that.

I've been wondering whether I should leave all the archives up or not. What do you think? It would be so hard to push the delete button on all those words. But it would also seem strange to leave the blog just sitting there on its own, staring out into the big wide world, without someone there to stop the dust from settling.

Anyway, from Muffin and me, from our little corner of the planet, I wish you all great success and happiness and the best of luck with your personal projects.

* Oh, I almost forgot. Before I go, I thought I would leave you with the photos I had lined up to complete the Shameless Graffito series. Enjoy!

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Novels, Nomads and Shadows

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I have my diary out, making sure there are sufficient gaps for the above literary festival, The International Forum on the Novel, which kicks off here in Lyon at the end of the month. Wow, what a great list of writers attending (the full list is below). This year's theme is: The Novel, What An Invention! I hope it will inspire me to bulldoze ahead with my own novel - if bulldoze is the right word to use!

Really, my feet aren't touching the ground at the moment, amid lots of travelling, work, visitors, sunshine. I just haven't had the time for the internet of late, which explains why it's been quiet here and why I've not been visiting my favourite sites as often as I'd like. There is so much going on, and it's all good, but I wish there were more hours in the day. I'm not home often, and that looks likely to be the case until after the summer. Just call me Mr Nomad.

I'm probably going to be a shadow member of this on-line writing community for a while, I'm afraid. I hope to be able to post the odd thing, so please do check in on me, but my non-cyber life has elbowed its way in and is refusing to budge. Something has to give. On top of everything else, like many of you, I am trying to put aside more time for my creative writing. The year is slipping by fast and I really want to make more progress!

I suppose you could say that I will be here, but won't be here ... if you know what I mean.

Here's the list of the writers attending the literary festival:

Nelly Arcan (Canada)
Geneviève Brisac (France)
James Cañón (Colombia)
Jean-Yves Cendrey (France)
Upamanyu Chatterjee (India)
Rafael Chirbes (Spain)
Hélène Cixous (France)
Karen Connelly (Canada)
Dennis Cooper (USA)
Rachel Cusk (UK)
Duong Thu Huong (Vietnam)
Rachid El-Daïf (Lebanon)
Péter Esterházy (Hungary)
Monika Fagerholm (Finland)
Nuruddin Farah (Somalia)
Nicolas Fargues (France)
Alain Fleischer (France)
Rodrigo Fresan (Argentina)
Alberto Garlini (Italy)
Xiaolu Guo (China)
Yannick Haenel (France)
Aleksandar Hemon (Bosnia/USA)
Jacques Henric (France)
Christophe Honoré (France)
Arthur Japin (The Netherlands)
Thomas Jonigk (Germany)
Etgar Keret (Israel)
Jonas Hassen Khemiri (Sweden)
Fatos Kongoli (Albania)
Dany Laferrière (Haiti/Québec)
Jonathan Lethem (USA)
José Carlos Llop (Spain)
Nicole Malinconi (Belgium)
Daniel Mendelsohn (USA)
Joseph O’Connor (Ireland)
Ludmila Oulitskaïa (Russia)
David Peace (UK)
Annie Proulx (USA)
Éric Reinhardt (France)
Pedro Rosa-Mendes (Portugal)
Olivia Rosenthal (France)
Suhayl Saadi (UK)
Elif Shafak (Turkey)
Tarun J. Tejpal (India)
Adam Thirlwell (UK)
Dimitri Verhulst (Belgium)
Anne Weber (Germany-France)
Alissa York (Canada)