Pocketfuls of Lies

Pocketfuls of Lies are mentioned in a few places on the site, but it might not be altogether clear what they are. Here we explain the history behind these now yearly forays into samizdat print publishing.

A pocketful starts off as a substantial chunk of Quiet little Lies, becomes a handcrafted A5 booklet distributed on request, and ends up as a PDF posted to Quiet little Lies and available for free download.

Quiet Little Lies has been around for nearly ten years, but by mid-2006 had been languishing with few updates to the content for perhaps a year or two. We decided to overhaul the site, and also put into print some of the best—or at any rate most representative—articles up to that point. The booklet that resulted from this was called A Pocketful of Lies.

This was given away for free to friends and readers at Christmas time, and we were surprised at how popular it became: the print run had to be extended and there were orders from around the world! Once the printed versions were released into the wild, the master PDF was uploaded to the Quiet little Lies site for people to download for free.

A year later, towards the end of 2007, we had a number of stories lying in wait for what would become a second Pocketful of Lies. A gradual theme, or a set of underlying themes, took shape in the work as a whole, and it was eventually released as Stones and Bones. This was once again available both as a print version and, ultimately, a free download.

This year, we're producing another Pocketful of Lies, with a much stronger online element. We introduce Exercises in Song 2008, a combination of English folk songs and Oulipian experimentation. We'll be following up this "advent calendar" with a printed booklet available for free (and a PDF online in the new year).

Almost six months of work has gone into the full Exercises in Song cycle, and the resulting printed work for 2008 is guaranteed to make you grin, and possibly shake your head in bemusement.

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