A Year of Writing: Days 201-210

  Day 201 of #ayearofwriting and from notebooks to desks, or offices. Ray Bradbury wrote his stories in the basement of a library, Fahrenheit 451 was written there. Harry Potter was originally written in a coffee shop. The list of writers admitting they wrote classics anywhere but in the stereotypical image of a writer at their desk is…

Writing is Not Easy

Let’s get something straight about writing, writing is a job, a vocation, a way to pay the bills; just like an entertainment’s manager, a roadie, a bar supervisor, a bar server, a till jockey, a shelf stacker and a labourer (all of which I have done in my life). Why am I bringing this up…

A Year of Writing: Days 191-200

Day 191 of #ayearofwriting and I can hear the football commentary on my son’s radio next door, he whoops, someone scores, I carry on writing. Day 192 of #ayearofwriting and let’s talk about the minefield that is editing or drafting a story. A good story or bad story all unravel in the drafting process, from one draft to another…

A Year of Writing: Days 181-190

Day 181 of #ayearofwriting and I spend twenty minutes submitting individual stories to magazines and zines. Then I return to my story, how they drag their cubicle partitions out onto the car park for Ahsan and build him a mosque. It’s a lovely image, a sign of love at the end of the world but as one…

Killing the Writing Fraud

There are times when we all think that we will be discovered. That the game will be up. Surely anyone can write? Yes, the old adage that everyone has a novel in them dilutes a vocation that takes years to perfect and a lifetime to develop. No one ever says, ‘You know, everyone has a…

Let’s Talk About Submitting Fiction

You may have reached the stage where you have written your stories, shown your friends, family and strangers at parties; you have gone to a writers’ group and may have thought one of the following: (A) what a lovely, supportive bunch, (B) what a lovely bunch of back stabbing bastards, and; (C) c**nts. Either way,…

A Year of Writing: Days 171-180

Day 171 of #ayearofwriting and ideas come like buses, I note them down and marvel at the fact that when you are about to go to sleep something sparks in your mind. I have learnt over the years that it will not wait until tomorrow, a note book, a pen, a note on your phone will stop…

Living With Spinal Problems

The other night I watched Salma Hayek in Frida, a biopic of the life and death of Frida Kahlo, and though the film did not cover everything about Frida’s life and infidelities; I also found it disturbing that some of the facts were altered to make Frida seem more of a nice person but that is…

A Year of Writing: Days 161-170

Day 161 of #ayearofwriting and I come across the killings after Katrina and one gentleman called Roland J. Bourgeois Jr. and the murders he committed, the bodies left on the streets which had bullet holes in them and did not die from the floods. The people sent in to help them, killing them because they were desperate….

A Year of Writing: Days 151-160

Day 151 of #ayearofwriting and the great thing about later drafts in writing is that you are really hammering the word count down. Everything that is superfluous to the story is cut, every little aside, every little image, every little thing that brings nothing to pushing the story forward is cut. It is like sewing two pieces…

Alteration Over Adaptation

I lie in the bath, the water laps each curve, each roll of fat; I am considering my shape and I think about what is real, what is not. The fat is a product of generations of bad diet, from aristocracy to penury in my family. Even my heart is a cocktail of drugs, without…

Living With Saul for Nearly 100 days

The good thing about keeping a record of what I have done at each writing session is to realise how some stories come easier than others. Where Late the Cicada Sings, which to some extent I wrote in memory of the late Kate Wilhelm, has taken a long time. Katie corresponded with me on and off for…