I decided to treat myself last night, so I curled up in a shawl in my big old armchair, laptop on knee, whisky in hand, and window open just enough so I could breathe the crisp autumn night air and I read the latest online issue of Goblin Fruit.
I am intrigued by the differences between reading from paper and from a screen, not least because I edit an online magazine myself - from a desk surrounded by a wall of books. I bought Goblin Fruit's recent paper offering, 'Demon Lovers and other Difficulties', which features wonderful work by Nicole Korner-Stace, and lingered over it in the bath, but last night I made what was for me a breakthrough in screen reading - I simply sat and savoured the new online issue. I turned off my email and banished my habitual flicking between tabs - looking up writers or references - which can be useful but distracting and I think can transform you into a bit of a lazy reader (you don't have to re-read and interpret anything yourself when the answer is only a few clicks away). And I found that I could become just as absorbed in the words on the screen and the illusions they were creating as I would have if reading from printed paper.
The wonderful content helped of course, it was a pleasure to read (and listen to - many of the poems are also available as MP3s, read by the writers).
I'll just mention a couple of the fairy tale related poems here: My Bed, Made Up with Down Pillows, by Virginia M. Mohlere is a deliciously dark take on The Six Swans story. At the Woodcutter's, by Rosalind Casey is a disturbing rumination on missing children in fairy tales and our own world. And Mari Ness's visceral Hunger is an appropriately chilling look at Little Red Riding Hood for this time of year.
I was also happy to see a poem by Tori Truslow, the lyrical, image rich, Elsa in the Tontlawald. (Tori's beautiful story 'The Siren's Child' appeared in Issue 2 of New Fairy Tales - there's a lovely atmospheric audio version available, read by Avril Brady, which you can listen to on your default media player by clicking here or you can download it by visiting the New Fairy Tales audio collection here).
I've enjoyed many issues of Goblin Fruit before but never in such a fully absorbed way, so I'm not going to give away any more about this issue - you need to find a quiet space and time, switch off your email, retrain those click happy fingers and relish it yourself.
4 hours ago