Welcome to my blog!

He you will find all my random ramblings on all sorts of subjects ...

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Thanks Lori

More good news ... Flashes in the Dark are featuring another of my stories. This time on the 23rd of December. A Rag and a Bone, inspired by a Kipling poem, highlights relationship problems when one partner has – shall we say unnatural – needs!
Great thanks to Lori Titus ... editor of 'Flashes' and the person who has encouraged my currant wave of successes.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Get yer whatsits out!

Just sent two more short story submissions out ... including for my experimental short story ‘Face Scream.’ I decided to push the boundaries of good taste, horror, humour and erotic content to the maximum with that one. My theory is that if you are laughing and aroused at the same time, being offended is more difficult! Sort of a stalking horse so that I can sneak up on the reader and make quite a serious series of points – while catching them reading something a bit wickedly shameful.

I have read various so called erotic horror pieces recently – in the line of research obviously – and was truly dismayed by the poor quality of the writing ... no excuses accepted ... even porn should be well written. The stories were almost all badly paced, containing dreadful, bodice-ripping, euphemism laden language. All in all as literary as a toilet brush and about as likely to ‘turn you on’ as Ann Widdecombe on ‘Strictly.’

If Face Scream makes it into webzine or print ... it will shock. But I guarantee it will entertain ... without a euphemism in sight.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Paste please!

Aggghhhh: why is it that practically every publication you submit to as a short story writer wants slightly different formatting? They all say use ‘standard manuscript’ format and get your hopes up ... then hit you with a list of their ‘special’ requirements. Means you wind up with umpteen versions of the same story, send the wrong one to the wrong damn editor then get a sarcastic ‘didn’t follow our guidelines’ rejection. Microsoft don’t help either ... I need a ‘fussy editor’ template.

It’s a breath of fresh air to get simply ‘paste story into body of e mail’ rather than ‘save in Ancient Insane Penguin (.AIP) format – while standing on one leg and singing Oh For The Wings of a Dove in Swahili!

Monday, 15 November 2010

More short stuff!

Those nice people at State of Imagination the new literary e-zene, will be publishing one of my horror short stories in their first January issue.

The tale is called Interface and gives more than a nod to some of my favourite fifties sci-fi horror B movies.

There was a wonderful era of hope and imagination in fifties horror and sci-fi film making. The Beast Without a Face, Them, The Creature From the Black Lagoon ... the list goes on and on. Then there are those brilliant early Hammer films based on Nigel Kneale’s Quatermass screenplays ... pure gold. These films are a perfect illustration that you don’t need CGI, massive Hollywood stars, or mega budgets to entertain. Atmosphere is everything.

Friday, 5 November 2010

I've got a little one ... and I love it!

I’ve gotten quite addicted to the short story format of late ... having another tale accepted for Flashes in the Dark (out on the 11th of November) has helped I admit. There’s something about distilling plot and characterisation into perfect miniature I love (well my perfect is far from perfection ... but I’m getting there).
It’s funny, but I never realised how many of my favourite tales were actually short stories – or that so many of my favourite films too started as short stories.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Real English spoken here please ...

I despair: I had to go into a government office the other day and talk to a civil servant – well we all have to slum it sometimes – anyway, in conversation with this somewhat officious chappy, I had to ask him to repeat himself over and over again. Now, I don’t think my ear-holes are particularly showing my superannuation, or my neural synapses overly nibbled away by my indulgence in good ale over the years.

The problem is political correctness: employers are able to inflict psychometric tests on potential employees, ask them for proof of their blue-sky, out-of-the-box, run-it-up-the flagpole, team playing credentials. Make them tick all the diverse, mobility challenged, one legged single mother boxes ...yet they forget the main thing:

I love all ethnicities, really I do. But come on lads and lasses, if you want to work for the British government, lording it over ordinary folks like me, speak the mother tongue okay geezas?

Friday, 22 October 2010

High ho, high ho, to Warterstones we go ...

Well, my story made it onto Flashes in the Dark ... okay a day later than advertised, but it’s there for you all to read
Went to a book signing at Waterstones in Holborn for our friend M.M. Benetts’ new book ‘Of Honest Fame’ It’s brilliant, check it out. We all pubbed it after leaving the store, and I had a literary thick head this morning. Not only do I suffer for my own art ... now I’m doing it for others too!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Flashes in the Dark

Decidedly cool beans! Daughter of Illusion, one of my dark fiction short stories has been selected to be a daily tale for Flashes in the Dark website. It will appear on the 21st of October for one day - and after, will be archived there for your future reading delectation.

Dead Poets in the soup of life ...

I can’t believe quite how long it’s been since my last post ... jeez, half a year or more has passed. My priorities have gone through the blender of life, coming out the other end as a soupy new agenda with chewy bits! Redundancy and a massive disappointment over a failed house move have all conspired to change my focus. Some work has been relegated to the back burner, while other bits have come screaming to the fore - screaming possibly giving the clue here. In response to teaching a creative writing class I started to turn out works of flash fiction in the horror genre (I really dislike the term horror by the way).
The creative writing class lasted a few sessions only ... my employers were chiselling, nit-picking, exploitative basteroids (EFC you know who you are) – while my students were a mix of ‘professional class goers’ (you know the type: did woodwork last year, flower arranging the year before) and the terminally illiterate. Let’s face it writers get better by writing, most classes are a waste of time. I wanted to do ‘Dead Poets Society’ and got ‘Sesame Street’ ... oh well.
What I did get, was bitten by the short story bug, and I am cranking them out at a rate of two or three a week at the moment. Some are dreadful and some are worse ... still others seem to be hitting the spot with readers so I am carrying on ... screaming (Carry on Screaming ... get it ...oh please yourselves).

Monday, 11 January 2010

'Futtage': being in a mess or tangle.

Lately I’ve been getting in a complete ‘futtage’ (a word of my own invention) with all my project files: Foalsong is a complex and wide spanning narrative, and keeping track of character biogs, scene summaries …let alone the actual chapters has become a nightmare. Enter Y Writer…I’ve been toying for some time with using some kind of writing software to organise things and this program has been developed by an author for other authors so it should be practical…It’s also free so big plus point! I will let you all know how I get on.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Web site work

I’ve just finished a major re-vamp of my web site…hours of tedious code bashing and design work. I’m a one man band creatively: I write the books, layout the interiors, design the covers, do the artwork, code the website…and ultimately carry the can if I foul up! That’s the lot of a self published author. I’m trying to find time to fit in promotional work, earning a living and writing my next novel Foalsong all in my allotted 24hrs per day. I have bags of new ideas for my work that’s on the back burner, like my horror novel The Pier and my Sci fi romp Monk - The Spaces Between. The problem is I have absolutely no time to write them down…I need a holiday so I can do some work!