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As far as I'm aware, we have none.

Actually that was a massive lie, because now that I'm telling everybody the whole office is chirping up:

- Sam vaguely thinks she'll do more writing this year. And will possibly buy a camel.

- Gav has decided to lose weight and do things with his chest hair, involving the colour pink. Which frankly disturbs me, because Gav is not only hairier than me by far, but also a real man with a beard and things like that.

- Ceci is frightened by the organisation of her handbag. This is to be remedied. Her head-hair is to be dyed, because presumably she doesn't have chest-hair, and is mostly remembering to write 2007 on things.

- Me, which is Matt, had you not already guessed... well. Did you know that it took me twenty minutes of concentrating very tersely to work out why everybody was having a Bond-themed party this new year? Yes. Well. This year I will become a steel magnate, own six airlines, forcibly eject several governments and stop eating Bounties at lunch time, for they are ill-meaning.

Also Leaf Books have slashed the price of all of our titles by half, meaning that - save for the Big Books - all of our titles are now £1.

£1!

That even justifies an exclamation mark.

Happy New Year to all then. I hope your resolutions are both brilliant and workable, and that during the festive period did not forget that we've OPENED SUBMISSIONS TO NOVELLAS and have LAUNCHED A SF & FANTASY COMPETITION.

The latter is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me.

 

Hear this, or alternatively read it. The much-awaited results of the Summer Short Story Competition 2006.

Winner:

'The Better Craftsman' by Martin Tyrell.

Runners up:

'Crater Beelines' by Robert Ewing.

'The Space Between' by Jo Cannon.

Commended:

'Viento' by Angela Dodson.

'Everything She Touches' by Chris Williams.

'The Gordon Highlanders' Farewell to Helpmakaar' by Steve Connolly.

'White and Red' by Graham Dickson.

'Ghost Fishing' by Simon Lake.

'Maiden Voyage' by Lynne Voyce.

'Jam' by Jo Cannon.

***

Congratulations to all who entered and most especially to the good people above. All of these names are quite new to us here at Leaf. And lots of them are men, we notice, which is faintly notable. Well done to them. All of the above stories will be published in a Short Story Anthology to be produced at the start of the new year: do keep checking for further announcements about that, because there will very much be some.

That aside, the next point of major interest should be the results of the Coffee and Chocolate competitions, to be announced jointly, hopefully some time in January. That's the plan. Hurrah.

Sam.

 

Matt tells me I haven't made a blog post in some moons and have so to do, therefore I am. But I embarked on the whole process without anything in the way of a subject in mind, so you're going to have to sit quietly through the vocal exercises and tuning up before the essential meat cometh along.

Memememememememememememememeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Things are relatively quiet on the entering competitions front at present, its being close to Christmas and all. They are less quiet on the ordering books front, very likely for the same festive reason. Probably we shall have to get more copies of The Final Theory printed, which we find a hugely exciting prospect. Hugely. No, really. The trouble with hating exclaimation marks, which I pretty much do, is that genuine sentiment ends up looking awfully sarcastic. What I need to do, or you can do it if you've seriously nothing better to be getting on with, is invent a punctuation mark that conveys the same WOOHOOishness at which the exclaimation mark is so adept, but is simultaneously kind of tasteful. I'm just checking the keyboard for a spare one. ~ <-- Does that have any specific purpose? Can we use that? Probably I should bagsy it swiftly.

We're thinking of putting info about us on the website, and photographs. Note DO NOTE that I do not say true info, nor do I say photographs of us, but the issue is being borne seriously in mind. Thank you.

(And we didn't drown that time we went home in the rain. We were smacked fairly offensively in the collective face with handfuls of surprisingly sharp water, but we didn't drown. Go us.)

Sam.

 

I don't much mind Christmas, you know. It's a bit like Easter only much better, I suppose, but not half as good as Summer, which is like Christmas and Easter but infinitely longer, warmer, and more illuminative.

I'm not a religious sort of fellow but I'm all for the socialist element. Not that I'm much for socialism either, but if we're apportioning political standpoints on to what is essentially a pleasant few days in which to give the people you like a present or twelve, then we might as well say that Christmas is the most kindly.

Not that I give twelve presents to people I like, mind, but there we are. I also feel for those less fortunate, and this Christmas is no exception -- on a personal level at least -- since my entirely beloved is abandoning me for three weeks to fart about in the Australian sunshine.

I am most displeased.

In terms of Leaf Books, which is possibly what this was meant to be about, we're going on our Christmas holidays between the 21st of December and the 3rd of January.

If you place an order or enter a competition or send us a novella extract in this time then we're sorry, but it won't much be processed until we get back. However, emails are probably going to remain accessible, so we'll do our best.

Did you like how I turned into We just there? A subtle narrative development.

We're turning back into Me now. I don't deserve the responsibility.

In more significant news I have bought myself a new pair of jeans, which means I'll no longer require the safety pins I'd emplaced in my last pair. Should I happen to walk past any errant magnets they will not pose me any danger. Furthermore, my new jeans make me look more convincingly like a real human adult male, as opposed to a scruffy street urchin, and I will no longer sponge up the puddles I walk through. Nor will I so readily reveal my underpants when bending over to fulfil your orders.

Sam claims to have bought me some kind of gift that involves me 'needing to wear the provided safety equipment.' Personally I am hoping for a crossbow, because combining a crossbow with these jeans would help me look very adult and flash indeed.

Sorry that this update contained nothing of importance, save those two dates.

Matt.

 

Yes, hello, and a very fond December from me.

Our newest book -- The Final Theory & Other Stories: The Leaf Books Short Short Story Anthology 2006 (breathe...) -- is very beautiful and quite available to everybody. But then you already knew that, didn't you?

What's more exciting, though, as I'd like to tell you, is a box I made today.

Leaf is so transparent that we're stupidly amused to tell you that we re-use envelopes when we can. Particularly we recycle the ones with bubble-wrapping in them. However, so moral are we that we also consider bubble-wrapping a double-edged... protective device... because as sure as it protects our beautiful wares it also takes about seventy million years to biograde. Precisely like a banana doesn't.

So. Today we had an order that was larger than most, and so needed some custom box-building to sort it out. Taking an old box to task -- which mostly involved me setting about it with a pair of scissors and a craft-knife -- I became very much the Dr. Frankenstein and ultimately engineered such a staggering piece of art that I just had to write here about it.

The merits of my home-made (work-made?) box are thus:

1) It's flush to the books it contains, meaning rattling won't occur.
2) It's got bubblewrap sellotaped neatly to its interior, meaning the books won't get bashed by reckless postal service machinery and/or vans.
3) Its corners are reinforced, much like an armoured vehicle.
4) Its postal label is set in 28 point Sylfaen, which I promise is a nice font for a postal label.
5) It contains beautiful books.
6) It is recycled.
7) It is not from Amazon but could well be, given the utter professionalism involved in its creation.
8) It is neat.
9) It is not naff.

That's all. If you'd like a box made by me, or any of the others, then do please order a large amount of books.

I hope you have considered your christmas presents wisely.

Love,

Matt.

 
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