Stone Crowns Magazine # 2

Happy Monday, all.

Happy to share that a short story I wrote, Billy McGuire's Faerie, was published this week in Issue 2 of Stone Crowns Magazine. You can download it by clicking that link or by going to www.stonecrowns.com.

Stone Crowns Magazine is a free literary magazine specifically for Young Adult readers. You can download is for mobile or laptop (free, remember?) and check out some of the great stories and artwork from up-and-coming writers. It's great to see a magazine aimed solely at children's fiction, and I'm looking forward to seeing future editions take off.

'Billy McGuire's Faerie' is also the first story of mine to have original artwork published alongside it, and I'm thrilled by the whole thing. It's odd to see something I made up, something that's only been in my head, suddenly there on the page, but it's also pretty magical.

Want to know what it's all about? Issues 1 and 2 of Stone Crowns Magazine are available now from http://www.stonecrowns.com/


Why I Write in Train Stations

Where we write matters. I've written before about how travelling makes you a better writer, about seeing new worlds and places and letting that change how you tell stories. It's something I believe in, and feel lucky to have done.

A question in the Writers' & Artists' message boards recently asked whether writers prefer to edit at home or out in a coffee shop (a cliche, maybe, but hot drinks you don't have to make yourself are awesome).

All that got me thinking. Where do I like to write most of all? At home? In a bar?

Actually, I prefer Option C. One of the best places to write, I think, is a train station.

Train stations are a very different place if you're not actually catching a train. The stress of travel, of being on time and having your tickets, is gone. You don't have luggage to contend with. Instead, you have the chance to sit, write, and be inspired. They're a brilliant place to write.

Here's why:

1. Train stations are often beautiful.

You might not believe me if your only experience is Birmingham's New Street (concrete chic with grey accents), but train stations - especially older ones - are often architectural marvels. Think Grand Central Station (actually, Terminal, but who's checking?). Bristol's Temple Meads was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. London's St Pancras is awe-inspiring - a secular cathedral as much as a transport hub. So many stations were built with care and artistry. The right station is a good place to be, let alone write in.

The Grand Terrace at St Pancras International

2. They have the best people watching

People watching without being creepy is a writer's right. Train stations give you crowds without any bias: all walks of life and all stages of life get mixed together. Young, old, different languages, different clothing - and all of it walking right past you.

File:Bristol Temple Meads 4 Station 1909821.jpg
Bristol Temple Meads by Ben Brooksbank

3. They are inspiring.

Train stations represent travel at its most basic - moving from one place to another. Journeys coming to an end, journeys about to start, reunions, goodbyes - they're all there, and every one of them a story. Stations also give you plenty of good names, for places and for people, if you just pay attention to the announcements for a bit.

File:Flickr - Shinrya - Grand Central Station HDR.jpg
Grand Central by Pete Stewart

Writing in train stations is something I've done for a long time. Shinjuku Station, Tokyo was one of the best date spots my fiancee and I found when we were in Japan. It will always mean a lot to me.

Train stations have their own magic. As long as you can find a seat and not be in people's way, you can stay as long as you want - or, let's be honest, take a spur-of-the-moment trip of your very own.