A Year of Writing: Days 251-260

Day 251 and I wonder when Ms Hayashida will reveal the truth and how she will reveal that she is a kodama, a spirit of the trees (we are not in Tolkien land here), a kodama is something that can bring terrible curses on the world but when the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,…

It’s The End of the World As We Know It

Day 279 of #ayearofwriting and I am fascinated with images of the Fukushima incident. For those of you have lived under a rock for the last few years this was the wholesale failure of a nuclear power station after an earthquake and tsunami. Like Chernobyl it has created a no go zone in our world,…

Give Us Your Gum, Mr Fisher

Looking back at how writers become, how they are created has fascinated me recently, I often question how I got here, how I became this thing that writes, that will sit happily in front of a screen tapping away, filling the space with language. My science was filled with Greek myth but at the end…

Ms Burns and The Greeks

School in the days before GCSE and after O Level was a no man’s land of learning. Back then teachers had been thrown from the streaming nature of O Level and CSE into the what was referred to in whispers in the staff room as the General Collapse of Secondary Education (GCSE). As bad science…

A Year of Writing: Days 241-250

Day 241 of #ayearofwriting and I have been running on adrenaline since my Dad was taken into hospital and his death five days later. Now I have crashed and my back is racing towards a bloody spasm which I am fighting off with drugs, exercise and a mix of hot and cold baths (the latter reminding me…

Where To Go From Here?

Day 255 of #ayearofwriting and I am ten days away from having written every day for a year. Back in 2017, I committed to #100daysofwriting. That means when I hit Day 265 I have been writing non-stop for 365 days. It’s been a hard month, in terms of personal loss; my Dad died with no warning,…

A Year of Writing: Days 231-240

Day 231 of #ayearofwriting and this is for you, Dad Day 232 of #ayearofwriting and today I am finding words to get my Dad’s death certificate and plan what should be said at his funeral. I talk with Carol about a recent story, how one of the characters echo my Dad’s world view. Day 233 of #ayearofwriting add your own caption…

Eulogy for Dad

A week ago we bid goodbye to Dad. My sister and Mum asked me to write something to say about Dad to be spoken by the celebrant. What got me though in the end was not the words, they had got me the day before when I was writing them, it was the song we…

Writing Is Not Easy: Part 2

Earlier in the month I spoke about Writing Is Not Easy, which descended quickly into the problems around arts funding and not the nuts and bolts of why writing is not easy. Or, to use the new improved acronym, WINE. The great thing about WINE is the sound of the acronym which bookends both ends…

A Year of Writing: Days 221-230

Day 221 of #ayearofwriting and I am keeping my promise to submit work rather than let it sit there. Two weeks in and I have submitted three stories, all different ones, to three different magazines. The question today is how do you deal with your submissions? Day 222 of #ayearofwriting and a question for those who use laptops or…

A Year of Writing: Days 211-220

Day 211 of #ayearofwriting and I have decided from now on that I have enough stories to submit one story a week to a publisher. That is to say, I am not writing a story a week, I have written around 14 stories this year and they are in danger of just sitting there. That’s 14 weeks…

This Is The Story I Have To Tell

This is the story I have to tell. On Monday evening last, the phone rang and my sister said, ‘Dad’s collapsed, he’s had three heart attacks in a row. Come quick’. He collapsed bowling, they had a defibrillator, and for one brief moment as a complete stranger worked on him following the instructions of paramedics…