I’m thrilled to welcome long time friend of the blog, writer, blogger, and all round top bloke, Andy Harrod, to the blog today, to talk about a really, really cool project. Definitely my kind of thing. So, over to you Andy…

“Thank you Nik for inviting me over to talk about Living Room Stories, it is a pleasure to be here. Hello Nik’s readers, I am Andy Harrod and I’ll be talking about my hand made collection of seven short stories.

Living Room Stories are inspired by Ólafur Arnalds’ Living Room Songs. Ólafur recorded and released them one a day for seven days in early October. For me Ólafur’s music is very emotive; there is a beautiful simplicity to it. His songs connect to my heart and on this occasion I decided to dive in, listening to each song for a few hours. As Fyrsta repeated, I pictured a couple. On watching the video Ólafur released alongside the song, I found my beginning, it was dark out, a yellow lamp reflected in the window, a window which dripped with rain and there she was, standing alone. I plugged into the sparse piano and sketched a moment of waiting. I re-read beginnings and felt my common themes of loneliness, troubled pasts and hurtful behaviour, but I also saw hope, for I saw her as part of that couple. Love is key to these stories. As such I wanted my next story (light) to be happy, however it depended on Ólafur’s music and luckily for me it worked out that way. On his next song (Near Light) his sister and mother played some synths, which I heard as applause; I proceeded to pour my hopes onto the paper and from then on I danced with the music and a life in seven moments was formed.

The preceding summer had been a limbo for me, I had great plans for my writing, but found no flow, I just staggered and stalled. Living Room Stories is the essence of that limbo. I offer a lot of myself in these seven short stories; bows across violin and cello strings or soft piano provided a way into my memories and emotions, at the heart of both of these is love. Without love I fear we are nothing. It is the love the couple share that makes yesterday’s call a fond remembrance rather than the despair of loss.

I’ve published Living Room Stories as a set of single cards. Each story is accompanied by photography or art, which I see as an extension of the words. Each story is a memory, the individual sleeves encourage interaction with these memories, there is no set order, there was the blog order, and the handmade edition order, and there is the choice for the reader to develop their own order. The stories come with a transparent print of the cover art and are housed in a 7inch record sleeve. An ep in words.

Living Room Stories is available to buy for £5.00 (includes worldwide postage) from Living Room Stories, Handmade Edition.

I am also currently holding a competition to win the original cover art, signed and framed. It’s easy to enter, just leave a comment! Enter at Living Room Stories, Competition.

Next will be tearing at thoughts, a collection of my writing, art and photography from the last nine years. The work will be grouped into themes, e.g., a numb nothingness surrounds, lost thoughts, black blues ep, complete with introductory essays. After this I plan to finish my start, stop novel, Deception. Deception is about the struggle for the survival of the self. It centres around two main characters, 7892 and C6401, their respective endings reveal much of what I value and believe in and the importance of love to me.

You can read more of my writing on my blog, Decoding Static and chat to me over on twitter at @decodingstatic. Thanks Nik again for the space to talk about my writing.”

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