gig tomorrow night (I'm so cool)

I've been very distracted with campaign-related stuff lately (check Save Levy Baths for full details about our next events - a beach party this Friday, a fundraiser this Saturday, and a flash-mob next Thursday), and so I've neglected to advertise my latest writing event/commisssion thingy. For the second time, I've been asked by the rather amazing band, Monkeys In Love, to write fiction based on their music, and I'm going to perform the result at their second album launch tomorrow, at the Bay Horse pub in Manchester's Northern Quarter. Event details here. Do come! Supporting the band will be Les Malheureux (aka, David Gaffney and Sarah-Clare Conlon) with special drawings they're commissioned from another Levenshulme (via Preston) supremo, Vivmondo. It should be excellent. See you there!

what I've been doing (hint: contains rage)

Well, y'all, I've been very busy, and only some of it writing-related, though all of it reading-related. I'm heavily involved in a campaign to save my local library and swimming-pool, in Levenshulme, Manchester, from being shut down because of city council cuts. It's a very depressing situation, particularly since Manchester is a Labour-led Council that's systematically implementing Tory-led cuts. They're proposing to build a new leisure-centre-slash-library for 2015, but with no site or planning permission yet acquired, and the consultation period (don't get me started on that farce) still ongoing, not to mention the projected future budget cuts we're all predicting in the next few years, it all seems wildly optimistic. Even if it gets built, we'll be without these facilities for at least two years, and that's unacceptable. To give context, in 2011, the Council promised to keep Levenshulme Baths open until a new facility was up and running, and this January (2013), we discovered that the Baths' closure has in fact been in the works for at least twelve months despite those reassurances. Likewise, they shut down the local community centre, promised to develop the site, and then sold it for a pound (!) and the site now lies derelict. So, we don't believe a word they say. I could rant for a long time about this, and if you're connected to me on FB, you'll probably be weary of it already. The campaign site is here if you're interested. I've already been interviewed about it by Sky News, BBC North West Tonight, BBC Radio Manchester, Key 103 FM, and the M.E.N.. We occupied the library last weekend, were threatened with aggravated trespass (of course nothing came of that), and held a large demo on the streets the following day, which was the headline item on ITV news for two days. We've got loads of public support and positive press, but we've got a long way to go if we're to make the Council change their proposals.

So, that's kind of what's been eating up my life the past few weeks.

In other news, though, here's a really ace review of Enough! Hurray! Thank you, Jodie Daber!