orange juice sharks and cucumber shotguns

As ever inspired by Chuck’s prompt here – using these photos from here.

Obviously I got #16

Not totally happy with this one which took about an hour, spread over two days…

Orange Juice Sharks and Cucumber Shotguns

Daniel was shouting from the kitchen again. “Daddy my orange juice tried to bite me.” His shrill high voice could grate when it was early morning and Sam hadn’t had much sleep the night before.

He returned to the kitchen, shaving foam still covering his throat and spilling down the front of his t-shirt. Continue reading

emails not dead

I love email newsletters…

Not including work related ones, I get Warren Ellis’s Orbital Operations which is still going strong… And a few others such as from, AngryRobot and similar from various businesses.

Quite a few i signed up to a while back have long since fallen by the wayside.

But really, hands up if you regularly check your wordpress update emails if not actively participating in a conversation? Yep thought so, hardly anyone.

An email newsletter on the other hand, feels quite cosy and comforting. I may not always read every single issue of Dan Hon’s email, but I do read at least half of them. Nearly all newsletters I read on my phone, whereas blogs, especially fiction or creative ones feel better on a bigger screen.

With all this in mind I’ve decided to have a got at an irregular email newsletter for people interested in my fiction writing and half formed thoughts. It will have some content from here, but also stories unique to the email.

Let’s see how long it lasts…

If you’re odd you can sign up here – tinyletter

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