Tuesday, 13 January 2009


i went to London yesterday, to read at the pulp net event. i arrived at 17:42. i left at 21:40. i was in London for 3 hours and 58 minutes. on the tube i listened to Handsome Furs. i sat opposite a man reading Razzle. i could see the inside of the magazine reflected in the window behind him. he had a large open rucksack on the seat next to him. after a few minutes he put Razzle back in the rucksack and took out another pornographic magazine. he leafed through it like it was a 'fashion magazine' or something, and he was looking for 'something to catch his eye'. the event was good. i met my friend Alice there. i tried to say something 'humorous' before my short story, to counteract its depressingness. i think my 'humorous' introduction was maybe 76% successful. it was strange reading a story that is now about 2 years old. a man shook my hand after i finished reading. i tried to promote The Bird Room. i think i sold 1-2 prospective copies, maybe. there were lots of people there. i listened to Handsome Furs on the tube back to Euston station. i stood near a green olive on the tube. the olive was dusty, like it had been there all day. i wanted to take a photo of it. i wished i had a camera phone, sort of. i listened to Jens Lekman at Euston station. i needed the toilet. i walked across Euston station, and looked at the pigeons, and thought something like, 'almost all things in the world are small and sad and kind of heart-breaking' whilst simultaneously being aware of how mawkish and sentimental and over-the-top i was being. there is a Filipino word/phrase (?), 'muni-muni'. someone taught me that. i paid 30p to use the toilet. i had an idea for a Paul Simon story as i was washing my hands. i think i am going to write a Paul Simon novel soon. 'unpublishable.' i dried my hands in a Dyson 'airblade' (?) handdryer. you just put your hands in a slot. it dries your hands really quickly, like someone is wiping them with a frantic sheet of air. i thought about a handdryer in Chortlon, in the Iguana Bar, which is the most 'insane' and 'over the top' handdryer i have ever used. it has a blue neon light and it makes a terrifying noise, like a cross between a vaccum cleaner and a tube train approaching. i felt that using the Dyson 'airblade' (?) handdryer was worth 30p. i asked Helen Simpson a question in the Q&A, after her reading at the Pulp Net event. she said that she liked the short story writers Lorrie Moore, Tobias Woolf, Alice Munro, and some other people who i've forgotten. i went back to Manchester on a Virgin Pendolino train called 'The City of Chester'. i wonder if this man went to the Pulp Net event in the end.


publishingcareer said...

Hi Chris
This is this man. I did go the other night and I enjoyed your story... Nailed to the bridge (? sorry if I got the title wrong) I think I was the only person to laugh at the part about posting the items through the letterbox (if you heard a muffled laugh that was me).
I was going to buy your book when it comes out but now I might try and write a line of poetry.
Are they any other short stories of yours around?



publishingcareer said...

I just checked the link. Nailed to the Bridge.

chris killen said...

hi Rob, yes i think heard the muffled laugh. thank you for laughing. there are more stories linked on the right of the blog.

Jenn said...


They have those hand-driers in the girls' toilets too. Air blade. I was there to meet my editor and publicist for the first time and I needed to wee more than usual because of that. The air blades kind of made up for having to go on the train to London. Are you aware of any Northern Air Blades? Please Advise.


P.S Well done on the promotional tour for your new book. I am not entering the competition because I have already bought four copies. Three for library use and one for personal use. Enough is enough.

brandon said...

i like jens lekman