Story Calendar

A story for October: Small birds, like painted chickens

Small birds, like painted chickens first appeared in the Good Housekeeping magazine. From the very beginning it had been an ideal arrangement. After Anne had the baby—eight months afterwards—she had been able to go back to work again with complete confidence that everything would run smoothly. She was a doctor and did not want to stop […]

A Story for September: A Wartime Romance

An extract from The Good Pilot, Peter Woodhouse.

A Story for August: A Most Satisfactory Weekend

Most satisfactory… George Leary waved good-bye to his wife at St Pancras Station. There’s the train to Paris, he thought, and there’s my wife boarding it. Good riddance … No, no, no! He stopped himself. It was a terrible thing to think even if she would never know that the thought had crossed his mind. Bon […]

A Story for July: The Sound of… Austria

This ‘tongue in cheek’ story set in Austria first appeared in The Lady magazine. The Sound of … Mary had been christened Maria, but had changed her name when she was eighteen. “It’s not that I’ve got anything against the name Maria,” she said to friends. “It’s just that I don’t see myself as a Maria. I just […]

A story for June: Rain

Rain   1. If there is one rule that authors should observe above all others it is this: keep out of the story. Of course everybody now understands that is impossible—indeed naïve—and so the rule has been recast. Pretend to keep of the story is the modern version of the injunction. It is, in general, […]

A Story for May: A Fine Performance

‘A Fine Performance’ originally appeared in the Good Housekeeping magazine   “Freedom,” said Anna, looking out of the window. From behind her, half buried behind a newspaper, her husband, Tom, made a non-committal sound. It was difficult to know what to say when, quite out of the blue, your wife says Freedom. “Two weeks of freedom,” […]

A Story for April: The Director

The Director first appeared in the New Statesman magazine 1 This is the story of a friendship. It takes place over a number of years, starting when the two people involved were eight and ending when they were twenty-nine. It starts in Scotland and ends there, although part of it takes place in Australia. It […]

A Story for March: Scandinavian Noir in Twelve Chapters

As Scotland, indeed the entire UK, lies deep under snow (just as February ends and Spring is meant to be on the way), Alexander turns to an area of the world where the winters are even colder and the area of writing now referred to as Scandinavian Noir… Scandinavian Noir is now established as one of the […]

A Short Story for February: Australia

Australia. This story by Alexander McCall Smith first appeared in the Melbourne Age newspaper. An odd thing has been happening to me. If I consulted a therapist about it, I can imagine the exchange might go as follows: Therapist: So, what’s the trouble? (Now, I’m not sure that therapists actually say anything quite as direct as that. […]

A Story for December: Bertie’s Christmas

Bertie’s Christmas was first published in The Scotsman newspaper in 2010. Bertie’s Christmas: Several factors had combined to improve summer for Bertie Pollock (6), son of Stuart Pollock (39) and Irene Pollock (38), of Scotland Street (44). The most important of these was the cessation, at least for the months of July and August, of […]

AN EXTRA STORY – ON THE DAY OF A SCOTLAND v ALL BLACKS RUGBY MATCH

A story of Bertie at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh for a Scotland v the All Blacks rugby match. This is an extract from from A Time of Love and Tartan—a Scotland Street novel. The existential happiness of 13-0.  Ranald Braveheart Macpherson was delivered to the Pollock flat in Scotland Street wearing his Macpherson tartan kilt with […]

A Story for November: My Italian Bulldozer

This is an extract from the stand alone novel. My Italian Bulldozer. Scotland fell away beneath him, a stretch of green pasture, of hills, of swirling mist. Suddenly they were bathed in sunlight; fields of cloud, topped with crenellations of white, now lay beneath them as their plane pointed south. In his window seat he […]