End of series update, Challenged in China.

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Dear readers,

It feels very fitting that my fifth short story collection, Challenged in China, has been the biggest test to date of my so-called writing skills. My first year in in The Big Filthy was a culture shock like no other, an experience that made all my previous travels seem like a piece of cake in comparison. I kept an informal blog that year for family and friends, so I had a wealth of notes, thoughts, photos and emails to draw on. At a whopping eighteen chapters, this has also been my longest set of tales by quite some distance. 

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Bad Moon Rising – a short story from China.

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After a happy, prolonged period of stabilization and life-altering romance, I finally bid farewell to Belgium in the summer of 2009. Uninspired by life in grey, uneventful Brussels, my girl and I headed off to China for an unforgettable year of teaching and travelling.

I can pinpoint the exact moment our seemingly idyllic teaching jobs began to unravel. It wasn’t an earth-shattering incident, but it did represent the tumbling of the first domino, setting in motion a string of bizarre events that would ultimately sour our Beijing dream. “I need to speak to you guys,” said Lily one afternoon. We were gathered round the kitchen counter at school in the prep hour before lessons. “Today is my last day, I’m leaving!”

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LL Turns Two!

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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.

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End of series update, Based in Belgium.

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Dear readers,

Sometimes things just don’t turn out as you’d planned. Err… scratch that, in my experience I’d have to say stuff often doesn’t pan out the way you thought it would. I spent a good three months or so putting together my Belgian short stories. When I was done, I had twelve chapters covering one of the most exciting periods of my life. Some of these tales were by far my most personal to date. As a result, I had to take more care than usual with the content and how they were written, while one or two people had to be consulted along the way to make sure I wasn’t burning any bridges! I thought I’d pulled it off, but then, at the last minute, I had to hit the eject button on half of the installments, leaving the series in a bit of a mess.

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LL Turns One!

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It’s Leighton Literature’s 1st birthday!

Does it feel more than a little egomaniacal to wish my own website a happy birthday? Sure, but **** it you only live once.

I can’t quite believe it was a year ago today that I published my first post. Since then I’ve released thirty-two short stories, twenty album reviews and eight installments of my photo series. When I launched the site I was living in Beijing, where a cushy teaching schedule left me with bags of free hours. It was an incredibly productive and fruitful time, some mornings I would set up camp in a local café and slip into a literary coma that would consume me for hours.

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End of series update, Incidents In India.

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Dear readers,

I don’t know about you but I’m so relieved to have finally finished my India series! Of my three short story collections to date, this was by far the toughest to put together!

Some of the installments had been written years ago but felt so underwhelming I was forced into complete re-writes. A lack of decent photographs meanwhile had me scrambling around the web seeking out suitable shots I could use without getting into copyright trouble.

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Ten Thousand!

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Dear Readers, 

Leighton Literature has received its ten thousandth hit (!) on what is a gorgeous Beijing afternoon, with blue skies, a fresh breeze and sans pollution. 

So this is just the briefest of brief posts to thank everyone for their continued support of the site. Whether you’re a regular reader or just popped in for a specific review, I appreciate everyone who has contributed to LL’s growth. Have a great weekend and see you tomorrow for the closing instalment of The Slovak Files.

Leighton

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