Dog-ear — or Donkey-ear if you’re German — or Pig-ear if you’re South African — is a bookmark that thinks like a magazine, or a magazine that can used as a bookmark. Either way, like the equally wonderful Matchbook Stories, it’s a object that proves the maxims “more than a mouthful goes to waste” and my favourite “a simple idea done well”.
Nine panels, each with a cherry picked short story, poem or illustration to stop you folding the page down. I eat with my elbows on the table. I drink cappuccinos after eleven. I have even poured white wine into a glass that previously held red. But the line is very firmly drawn at creasing the page corner over. Thank you Pete and Joe.
It’s free from stockists listed on the site, or being egalitarian a printable pdf is provided to make your own. The Tattered Page Liberation Front starts here.
For those wondering, Matchbook Stories is the creation of Kyle Petersen who publishes a super short story of not more than 300 characters inside a matchbook cover. I would be a very happy literary arsonist but it’s impossible to get a book unless you live Stateside. No mailbag fires and Fedex wont ship matches.
My story “Foundation” was short listed for Issue one, read it on the site.
If we’re being inclusive I ought to give a shout-out to Stack, a service that posts you a fresh independent magazine once a month. The wonderfulness doesn’t stop there, like a tangerine in a Christmas stocking they are prone to popping a present into the bottom of the envelope. Which is where Dog-ear raised its head. Stack will be solving my present list come December.
I sense a new game… Bookmark, Matchbook, Rack.
I tried to take Will Ashon’s portrait. Somehow things got mixed up and it ended as an iPhone thing. Here’s what we have to say about it…
Shorter is an app for iPhone and iPad featuring a collection of eighty nine very short stories by Will Ashon for very short trips. A random story is chosen for you to read each time the app is opened. Making it an ideal companion for travel (a story between stops) or toilet breaks.
New stories will be automatically added at unexpected moments, magically sent over the airwaves without having to download the app again, with a little red dot marking their arrival.
Will Ashon is the author of two novels “Clear Water” and “Heritage” both published by Faber and Faber. The app comes decorated with a lovely illustration by Timothy Hunt. It costs 69p, less than a penny a tale and will last longer than a Mars Bar, unless you are an exceptional slow eater.
Here’s what other people have said about it…
“…excellent value for money; the stories never disappoint with their surreal take on early 21st-century life” – Nicola Presley, The Literary Platform.
Read the full review
“A dead-on depiction of early 21st Century life that soon gives way to something much wilder and stranger. The best collection of short stories I’ve read in years.” – Matt Thorne (Cherry, 8 Minutes Idle, Prince)
“Funny, smart, playful, twisted and devastatingly precise” – Peter Hobbs (The Short Day Dying, I Could Ride All Day In My Cool Blue Train)
I once did some work for the man who designed Bluewater, which led me to read Clearwater, a book by Will Ashon. I liked it. So I wanted to take his portrait. By some curious twist of fate this translated into “shall we make an iPhone app”.
So we did.
It will be available soon from all good iTunes stores for iPad, iPhones and iThings. It features 89 very short stories by Mr Ashon and because every book needs a cover and because fate has already played a hand, why not, I thought, ask Timothy Hunt better known as Fickle Fate to draw some nice pictures for it. Which he did. Which was nice.
So there you go. My first iPhone app featuring stories from Will Ashon and a drawing by Timothy Hunt. I’ll let you know when you can buy a copy.
Perhaps a celebratory portrait is in order?
Slightly tenuous reason to post I know: the portrait I took of Nicolas Royle as been used on the jacket of “Murmurations – Uncanny stories about bird”, an anthology of short stories about… well kind of self explanatory.
That said, it’s worth publicising, as an editor he has an excellent eye, or is it ear, for short stories. Along with Daphne du Maurier’s almost compulsory “The Birds” there’s “The Beautiful Room” by RB Russell, originally only available in a short run chapbook and a new story by Tom Fletcher. The last being reason enough for me, his “The Safe Children” being a modern horror classic.
Add to that all proceeds going to the RSPB. With the nights drawing in grab a copy to read a story on those dark train journeys home from work.