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…

The Heartache & The Keyboard

One of my student’s last week watched me typing and sighed, he said, ‘I wish I could type that fast. How did you learn it?’ I have never really taken much note of how fast I type, I am not a traditionally taught typist. Typing was not offered to boys when I went to school…

The Beast in the Machine

With the revelations that Cambridge Analytica have been harvesting our souls in the name of Brexit, Trump and all things social media the inevitable backlash waddles in the back door with cries of, ‘I never thought Facebook would do that to me!’. Across the land middle-class sensibilities and addresses have been given over to marketing,…

The Art of Drafting

I have a dirty secret to tell, I very rarely keep my drafts as physical copies after I have finished them. This is not because I think at any moment some literary thief will break in as I sleep and pocket them all. Later, selling them on a black market where desperate readers, critics and…

Office Space as the Enormous Space

Yes, that is a reference to Ballard but after going from a shoebox to a nightmare of compacted layers of the past I can last reveal a ‘finished space’. My wife merely said that she didn’t remember it being so large – I refrained from any innuendo but did snigger – I then talked with her about…

Office Space is Living Stratum

Most writers have a tendency to keep things. I don’t want to call myself a hoarder that would be admitting the truth. Well, some truth as I am selective hoarder. I keep stuff as a living memory, objects that trigger something deep in my memory. Like jump starting an old car, and after tidying up…

Office Space

It has been a dumping ground for too long. Though I largely write in bed nowadays, doing a Simenon (but without the brothel creeping), I still need an office to print stuff out in and store things. Yes, writer things, the kind of things that my wife looks at me and says such things as,…

Social Media Listings

Be wary! Be very wary! All hail the New Year list! Yes, those lists that are prevalent after the fat food and drink that faded our memories. Tell us ten books you read! Tell us all about ten albums that defined your teenage years! List ten people who broke your fucking heart! We have all…

The Lost Student

She strutted into my classroom nestled among students you knew were going to quit. It’s an awful thing to say but after awhile teaching can make you judgemental, you categorise, you’re taught to do that, to see the activists, the theorists, the troublemakers. And boy was she a troublemaker but there was something there devoid…

Problems With Speech

Yesterday I gave a presentation, it was a mock one for one that I am doing tomorrow and though I knew the people I was doing it to, fear overtook me. I can talk quite easily to crowds of people, I can have family, friends in the audience but when I am told I have…

In Defence of Idealism

Today I have been called an idealist. You’d think this is something to applaud but not when it is married with, ‘you don’t live in the real world’. I have a real problem with people who think idealism is something bad when it comes to society and politics. A bedrock of democracy, liberty and freedom…

Telling Stories

There is a misrepresentation of writers and poets, that we sit down at our laptops, crack them open, click on a blank document and the stories just pour onto the page. Anyone who approaches the blank page with a blank mind will end up with a blank page. Sure, it will have some weird little…