Sunday, 2 May 2010

Glamorgan MPhil & Free Story

Not one of the chosen 8 for the writing MPhil at Glamorgan, but asked if I want to be on the shortlist if someone drops out. Certainly!

A short environmental Flash I wrote some time ago:


Evans is dead. The heat, lack of air, maybe the bugs, brought him down. I won't have to listen anymore to him whinging on about the perils of time-travel.

He was never a real eco-warrior, just a Swansea scientist playing at it. His idea was good though, repopulate the rainforests with stock from the Carboniferous period, trees and shrubs that could handle the 22nd Century climate. Enough planted across the world and we could throw away our breathing masks, could leave the burrows.

Evans's machine worked, but then we found you can only travel backwards, not forwards, in time. Even if we could operate the controls without the inventor, what would be the point in voyaging to an earlier period?

I think I'll sit with my back to my favourite giant fern and wait to be petrified, to become coal.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Escaping Stasis

Well 2009 went by in a blur with very little achieved and 2010 is almost 1/3 complete with no publication or competition placing to show for it. On the bright side, there's still 2/3 of the year left and I have been writing a lot, just not successfully. One 5,000 word story has been returned so many times that I've edited it to such sharpness a Health & Safety warning will be needed for readers. A good learning experience.

Work has taken up a lot of energy but having a week off has rebooted my system. I've gone back to Incomers - basically a novel of witchcraft, gangsters and nimbyism - with a determination to conclude the first draft before I go on vacation to Cyprus.

I've also decided to occassionally post some of my recent unpublished work to hopefully entertain - feel fere to comment. The rather morbid piece below is a reworked version of an unsuccessful entry in the Ambit 200 competition.


James looks down on the market square from his hotel; sipping Earl Grey brewed in water stale from a night in the kettle. He is coming to a decision and the taste matches his mood.
The bed has not been slept in but the coverlet and pillows are creased where he has rested, washed in colour and sound from the cable TV. On the dressing table, the blade of a Stanley knife glows in the early morning light.
Because of foolishness, because he is a risk taker, he has lost everything: house, wife, and children. He could fight to get them back or let himself fall into the despair that has kept him from sleep for the past three days.
The knife calls, offering a swift exit if used properly, the veins shredded lengthwise like runner beans so the blood flows easily.
James flicks on his mobile and checks the signal strength before selecting the video function. It will be a message to his family. He will finish the tea before deciding its content.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

EDF Anthology

Just learned that 'Bag Lady Blues' will be included in this year's Every day Fiction anthology.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Rejected but NOT Dejected

Didn't get into Glamorgan but some strong encouragement to apply next year.

On holiday at friend Colin Harbour's place in Cyprus I managed to get my horror novel, 'Incomers' off to a good start. Subsequently Colin saved the day by getting my laptop to reboot after I gave it a glass of water to drink!

'Jam Sponge and Pudding' has drained me a little so it's on the back burner for a while.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Time's Winged Chariot

Over half way through the year and very few publications, what have I been doing? Well, the OU Creative Writing course has taken up a lot of my time, as has the health of my mother which continues to deteriorate. Still, I've managed to put some work together for competitions, one of my three targets, and currently have fiction entered for the Commonwealt Broadcasting Prize, the Yeovil Prize, the Bridport Prize and the Guardian Short Story competition. I also have also entered poetry for the Bridport and the Essex Poetry Festival.

Fingers crossed!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

New Work/OU/Glamorgan

Haven't posted for some time. One new thing published 'Home Leave'. This has taken me a long time to place despite my personal feeling it is one of the best things I have written. Thanks to Pygmy Giant for taking it: If it has moved from the link, just look to the older posts.

Have just finished the OU Creative Writing course (A215). I'd recommend it to anyone, budding and more established writers alike. What you get out of it really depends on what you put in. Some 50% of the mark (it counts toward an OU degree, if you're so inclined) is tutor marked assignments i.e. continuous assesment, and I've done quite well there. The other 50% is an end of course assessment being the examinable part. I was daring here and entered the first chapter of my novel 'Incomers'. I hope Iwasn't too daring.

Waiting now to see if I've been accepted on the Glamorgan MPhil in writing. My fingers are crossed but I made a late application and they only take eight people per year.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Bag Lady

Bag Lady Blues is published: