A Story of Hope – Joan Aiken’s Ghost Mouse – coming to a live reading…

 fieldmouse

 Watkyn, Comma – A story of hope

 

   What if you bought the house of your dreams – a ruin of course – but discovered, as Joan Aiken did with her own home, that you were sharing it with a ghost? And what better metaphor is there for a ghost than a comma, a moment in time, a pause to allow space for a new idea…maybe in an unexpected form?

   Joan Aiken’s heroine, Miss Sibley, finds the perfect companion in this surprising story – if you were planning to run a bakery, and looking for a companion, who would be most appreciative of your efforts?

One night she finds herself accidentally locked into a secret chamber under the eaves,  a tiny room that has been hidden away for hundreds of years… But someone still lives there, perhaps the person mentioned in the diary she had discovered, written by a fugitive priest called Gabriel, many years ago…

Watkyn2

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Originally from  A Fit of Shivers

And now in a newly published collection of Joan Aiken’s strange stories

The People in the Castle

The People in The Castle small png

From Small Beer Press

This story is to be read in May 2018  in the series Selected Shorts at New York’s  Symphony Space

– a program for live readings of short stories that are then later broadcast on National Public Radio –

 

Read more about Watkyn and the collection in Lizza Aiken’s Introduction

dear Julius…Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Jules bouquet

Julius Goldstein, who married Joan Aiken in 1976, was born on 17th March

and was a lifelong New Yorker, who lived out his days in a fifth floor walk-up in Greenwich Village, where he was able to indulge a love of movies and galleries and for many years taught art at Hunter College, CUNY.  Julius had also fallen in love with England and loved to paint its landscapes. Living half the year in his favourite city, and half with Joan in Petworth, Sussex, at the foot of the South Downs, he was able to paint to his heart’s content in a garden studio looking out over hills and valleys.

Jules studio

A master of the colour green, he had the most perfect birth-date, and was charmingly flattered that his birth city put on a spectacular parade for him every year…

Here is a typical Goldstein Sussex study in his favourite colour

Jules Green pic

Happy Birthday, dear Julius

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Find him on Joan’s picture timeline

on the Joan Aiken website