It’s been two years since I launched Leighton Literature one smoggy Beijing morning. Back then I was blessed with an abundance of free time, access to an amazing American-style diner and that incomparable enthusiasm one has towards a new and exciting project. My goals were simple; to share my experiences of a life predominantly spent on the road and to trumpet the music and films that have most influenced me along the way.
Twenty four months later and my little blog is still chugging along, with thirty two short stories, fifty three photo posts and twenty album reviews. I’ve been pleased with the moderate if not spectacular traffic from my photo articles; especially considering I am NOT a photographer, but a point and shoot kinda guy who knows how to apply a filter. In any case there are thousands of talented photographers out there jostling for position in a bloated social media scene; folk with sparkling shots that to me often feel like interpretive art rather than an accurate depiction of the place in question. When it comes to my own shots, I aim to at least give a sense of place and time. For better or for worse, these are the key events of my life, transformed into little bottles of nostalgia.
Progress on new material has been painfully slow these past six months. I’m still no closer to getting my movie reviews off the ground, despite sporadic scribblings in between teaching, keeping fit and the seemingly endless carnage created by my two kittens Scarlett and Bill. But then, on the flip side… finally… after “mucho trabajo” as they say here in Spain, I am jubilant to finally unveil the first chapter of my new short story collection Challenged In China. Challenging experiences… challenging to write about… but hopefully not challenging to read.