A survey of the various notebooks lying around the place suggests that I have quite a stash of new short stories to play with. Twenty eight to be exact. I've also pulled together all of those that need finishing, which amounts to something like another twenty making a decent number to start working on putting another collection together. No doubt some of those that are unfinished don't have the goods to make it all the way to the end but enough of them will.

This makes me happy. I didn't realise I'd done this much in the cracks of all the other things I had on the table, so we shall put that in the win column.

Meanwhile, in notebooks of a different colour, a larger work is beginning to pull itself together - swiftly, very slowly, then swiftly again - which is also good. I may have mentioned it a few weeks back, but it wants to be called Misty Mountain Hop and that's fine by me. I almost know what it's about too but while it's busy writing itself (those are the good days), I won't try and head it off at the pass. I'll simply let it grow while it wants to.

So far, so good.


There's some bear news kicking around as well. My proposed trip to Romania is going to have to wait until next year - good old fashioned bad timing is responsible for that pothole, but that doesn't mean I'm backing off on it. I'll update on that tomorrow when I know some more about what I'm dealing with. 

This shit breaks my heart sometimes.


On a similar note, this is great: 

It's taken from the 2014 Travel Photographer of the Year and shot by Joshua Holko. There's some great images been pulled together over at the BBC and if I recall correctly (which I do because I just checked), this years competition is still open until the end of September - and you can enter here. I'm no photographer (I might even suggest I am less than a photographer) but a great image from the wild is a lovely thing to see... and yet, the one thing I can't find that's constructed in a way that appeals (to me at least) is anything similar for travel writing. 

It's a strange thing. There is not one newspaper that carries any great travel writing in their travel supplements and even the dedicated travel magazines are geared up for either trying to sell you something at the back end or at the very least, take all of the fun out of it by handing over a list of websites that will make copying what you just read about easy for you. 

Not that you'd catch me entering such a competition. I'm just pointing the finger because I think it needs pointing. Somewhere along the way, travel writing became as sedentary as everything else out there and I miss it. Where did all the adventurers go? 

(NOTE: I can hear what you're saying: 'why not do it properly yourself then?' To which the answer is 'I am'. It's just slow progress with only a few trips a year but it will come. Stick around.)


...and now, back to work.

Sion Smith