Tuesday, 20 June 2017


Liking these guys' style:

For Tunglið, how you publish is as important as what you publish. Named after the Icelandic word for the moon, the tiny publisher prints its books in batches of 69 on the night of a full moon. So far, so weird. But keen readers must also buy their books that same night, as the publisher burns all unsold copies.

Monday, 19 June 2017


Aw, that's nice. Wolfish was longlisted for the Leapfrog Press award 2017. Always nice to get a mention. The longlist consisted of 31 works chosen from 410.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Character Perspective

Teaching again tonight, so thought I'd share another little introductory unit on the importance of character perspective when starting your story. I've covered a bit about 1st person v. 3rd person before, but this gives you a bit more info, and there's a quick test at the end.

As with The History of Creative Writing, it's a narrated PowerPoint, so if you're using Mac, you may need Flip4Mac for the audio to play.

Thursday, 15 June 2017


And for my next trick...

Just finished my 5,000 for the day. Submitted Red & White (Snow White & Rose Red) to Ghostwoods last night, now cracking on with (Donkey)Skin / Peau d'Âne. Sort of a forerunner of Cinderella, but with more incest and dead animals. Urm... it's not as bad as that sounds.

Feeling cheerful. My writing's been a bit hit and miss this year due to other projects, so it's nice to know I'll have achieved something solid. The three stories together should make a decent-sized collection, and three stand alone stories with interweaving themes for those reading closely.

Unfortunately, it has given me pause for thought over the other novel I was writing, Still Life. I still think it's a good idea, and it's half written already, but I've stumbled upon something else which looks like an even better idea.

Keeping it under my hat for now. I'll see how I feel once Skin is submitted.

It's been interesting writing multiple stories these past few months, but I think one book at a time might be the way to go. It's nice to have another story to write when you're getting annoyed with the one you're looking at, but if you get annoyed with both, that's twice as much reason to goof off.

On with the donkey story!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Tartaria Tablets

Huh. Just after we crack the meaning of the Voynich Manuscript, a new mystery. Writing may be a few thousand years older than first thought: 

Scientists argue that the Tartaria tablets are evidence of a writing system that predates the one in Ancient Sumer by at least some 2,000 years. They have dubbed it as the Old European Scrip or the Danube Script.

The so-called Tartaria Tablets are three artifacts recovered in 1961 from a Neolithic site in Tartaria, Romania. Since their discovery, the three enigmatic tablets have created confusion and excitement among archaeologists.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

I Dream of Kitty

Traumatic couple of days. One of my three kittens (technically now cats), failed to turn up for breakfast. Occasionally one is a few minutes late, but nothing keeps these guys away from food. More unusual, it was Sophie, who is a complete cuddle lump of a house bunny.

Naturally, I feared the worst. I printed missing posters and canvased the neighbours. I scoured the ditches and bushes along the road. I put up a flyer in the local café.

Before bed last night, I poured myself the ultimate comfort drink. African Tea is basically hot milk with spices. Sometimes people show it a teabag, but so swiftly it's hard to tell. Before bed, I make it like so:

  • Cup of milk
  • Dash of cardamom
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Heaped teaspoon of honey

Stir over heat until warm.

You can add ginger, but I don't before bedtime.

Anyway, I've noticed over the years that this drink is guaranteed to get me a good night's sleep, but also bestows crazy dreams. I used to dream a lot. Multi-colour surround sound. Now, not so much. But add a dash of nutmeg and I'm trippy till the sun comes up.

I had this really powerful dream that all three kittens were with me and I was giving Sophie an extra big cuddle.

When I woke, I assumed it was 'goodbye.'

Opened the back door and all three kittens tumbled in!

I'm currently typing this in my room, where Sophie has been allowed special bedroom privileges (usually reserved for rainy days). She's crawled under my quilt and is fast asleep. The other two are out, but she's staying home tonight with plenty of food and a comfortable couch. The poor love turned up with her eye swollen half shut, her head shaking, a squeak of pain and a flat nose. I'm completely mystified what happened to her. Will get the vet to come check her over. Just extremely glad to have her home.