Carter’s Blue

This was a quick one hour flash as usual inspired by Chuck Wendig’s great prompts here based on the names of some apple varieties. I cheated and chose names that I liked the look of, as opposed to random ones…

Black Amish at first suggested to me maybe an Amish community descended from runnaway slaves, or maybe Black radicals who had taken shelter in the Sixties. But I just couldn’t think how to fit them in to the story in a short period of time.

Luckily just yesterday I watched ‘A Most Wanted Man’ a brilliant Anton Corbijn film starring Philip Seymour Hoffman in a fantastic performance as head of a secret security team working outside the law in Germany. That also tied in with ideas I’ve had recently about how all states, even quasi or illegal ones (maybe more so) need security and intelligence agencies…

Carter’s Blue

“You know J.Edgar himself was convinced our people were dirty commies. At one time COINTELPRO had up to ten agents working full time in Lancaster County alone.” Continue reading

ten days in france

ten days in France

unfortunately did not lead to me writing anything – despite several mornings when I could have. I did however read several novels and a collection of short stories. Including the latest from Haruki Murakami and Dag Solstad of which and whom more later.

On my first morning back in the UK though I’ve managed to write 1200 words in about 45 minutes of what will probably be a 2,500 or so word short which I can already see the ending of. In fact if it wasn’t for the need to clean and tidy the house today I’d probably bang out the whole first draft in an hour or two. As it is though, I will have to finish it off tomorrow before work…

the rover returns (part two)

Not happy with this at all really, but I banged it out in about 40 minutes this morning, and it’s the first creative writing I’ve done for a week – so I’m just chucking it up there anyway.

Several hours before Alistair’s summoning by Fudd; Marguerite, was meeting a contact in an expensive pavement cafe outside the Theatre Royal in Newcastle. She watched the cafe first from the window of another cafe upstairs and across Grey Street from the theatre. About ten minutes before the scheduled time a woman in a maroon headscarf and classy tawny rain coat and dark glasses took a seat at the pavement cafe. She had moved quickly, jerkily to get to her seat looking around and making little darts to her target. It reminded Marguerite of a small bird avoiding hawks. Continue reading

the rover returns

A very quick one, but my first creative writing in a few days

“You bastard.” She set her mouth in a straight line, almost parallel to the frown that hooded her eyes.

Alistair shifted, try as he might he couldn’t give the response she wanted, no. Needed.

“You look amazing.” He knew even before he finished saying it, that it was the wrong thing to say. Of course it was. Idiot.

“Not one word, not one email, or text, or even a fucking poke on fucking Facebook. Did you think I was going to welcome you back with open arms?” As if to underline her point she crossed her arms. Continue reading

quantum physics and coffee

This was written this evening after a couple of prompts/challenges from a friend. It had to feature physics (a weak subject for me), a Big Bang Theory reference, and budding romance… About 920 words in around an hour. I’m not unhappy with the outcome.

Kevin grabbed the coffees after Dolores paid for them and steered past sitting mothers, bulging strollers, and sharp elbowed, shaven headed twenty something’s with laptops and massive black americanos. Dolores signaled him from the furthest reaches of the shop, she’d bagged a tiny round table between the toilet and a dark green pot plant.

“It’s free because there’s no phone signal back here and the Wi-Fi is down.” She took the coffees from him so he could sit down.

“You’d struggle to get a baby buggy in here as well.” Kevin raised his cup to his mouth and cautiously stuck his tongue out just above the scalding brown liquid. Damn he always did that, weird habit. Of course it was too hot to drink yet. Continue reading


I doubt there is anyone reading this who hasn’t heard of Nanowrimo, if there is click the link. In brief every November those who choose get to write 50,000 words in one month. Quality, subject matter, daily rate, etc don’t matter what matters is that you write the first draft of a “50,000 word novel” in one month.

It’s an intriguing approach and I can totally understand how it appeals to people – it forces you to write a substantial amount of words to a deadline. Great. More power to the founders and any participants sore elbows. 

Seriously though – do I want to do it? No thanks.

I write because I enjoy it, as soon as it becomes a chore, a millstone around my neck – I don’t want to do it any more.

So please don’t ask me if I’m joining in because no.

I’m tempted to start a rival called ‘NaJoywri’ National Joy of Writing Month. 30 days, you have to write as much or as little as you like that inspires you to love writing again, write nonsense, write poetry, write surrealism, write limericks, write comedy sketches, write a story about jam and sunflowers… ahem, where was I? Ah yes, my point is write for the hell of it. Don’t be a slave to word count.

And if you want to get published (and who doesn’t secretly if not openly?) Then practice on quality not quantity.