2014 has not been an easy year, and I am thankful that soon I will be done with it, and can begin again. Time to make something better out of what has been broken.


Having said that, a few rather lovely things did happen this year; most notably my youngest brother getting married in Portugal, and having three stories accepted and published. Yay!

Yes, three. The third went up on Boxing Day, at Zouch Magazine. It’s a sort of fairy tale, about what happens after the fairy tale ending fails to live up to expectation. Which, really, is rather apposite. Life imitates Art? Art mirrors Life… Anyway, click on this link, and you can read it, if you want to. I do hope that you enjoy it, and that Christmas has been kind to you.






Freakishly good.

In my continuing odyssey through all things short fic, I’m thrilled to be able to host a rather splendid example from Freaks (also available from any good independent bookseller; keep books on the High Street!), the cool collaborative venture from Caroline Smailes and Nik Perring, illustrated by Darren Craske. Fifty short stories about people who don’t quite fit, either cursed, blessed, or just getting on with that something that makes them different. Stories that will make you smile, make you laugh, make you think, and make you cry. I defy anyone to read Fifty Per Cent, for example, and not be moved.

So. Here for your delectation, I’m pleased to present,


[Super Power: The ability to make oneself unseen to the naked eye]

If I stay totally still,

if I stand right tall,

with me back against the school wall,

close to the science room’s window,

with me feet together,

pointing straight,

aiming forward,

if I make me hands into tight fists,

make me arms dead straight,

 if I push me arms into me sides,

if I squeeze me thighs,

stop me wee,

if me belly doesn’t shake,

if me boobs don’t wobble,

if I close me eyes tight,

so tight that it makes me whole face scrunch,

if I push me lips into me mouth,

if I make me teeth bite me lips together,

if I hardly breathe,

if I don’t say a word.


I’ll magic meself invisible,

and them lasses will leave me alone.

Buy it, read it, love it. This is what is looks like:

(Oh yes, and it also available as an e-book.)

Short Fiction

March has been an unsettling month. It began with the incredible high of having my first short story published. It ends in confusion, and uncertainty, and doubt. But not, strangely enough, concerning my writing. This is not to say that I have become recklessly overconfident (or even confident), but I am beginning to have better faith in my ability to string sentences together in a meaningful way. Which is quite a leap when you consider that not so long ago I was seriously considering giving up writing short fiction altogether.

Consequently, in light of having been published (published!) and the supposed renaissance that the form is currently enjoying, I have become obsessed with all things short fiction, to the detriment of both my reading pile and the WIP. The reading pile has doubled in height with a selection of short story collections, and the WIP has ground to a halt somewhere in the middle of chapter six. On the other hand I am currently working on two (TWO!) new short stories, which may, possibly, have some potential. Or not. We shall see…

One of the collections I finished reading recently (devoured, in fact), is Etgar Keret’s Suddenly, A Knock At The DoorApart from wondering how it is that I’d not come across him before, his stories have made me think, and think hard, about writing. I won’t bore you with my inchoate philosophical ramblings on the matter; they’re too tangled up with everything else in my head. But, his stories make you think, and make you think about how you feel. And he is not afraid to break your heart a little. Or a lot. One story in particular has stayed with me; What Do We Have In Our Pockets? is a little heartbreak of hopefulness that packs an emotional punch disproportionate to its size. And that is a part of the beauty of good short fiction.