Monthly Archives: March 2009


I’ve uploaded a short story called ‘The One True Religion’ to The site has an interesting concept in that you join a league table controlled by online readers.

I would encourage you to check it out – not necessary to view my work – more to marvel at how corrupt the voting system is. One writer has published a story called ‘this website sucks’ in which they slag off the blatant nepotism. Though finding the whole thing fairly amusing / innocuous, I tend to agree with their sentiment…

…having said that, if you do read my story, make sure you vote at least 30 times.

Joke…I’m gonna see how it does without cheating!!!

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…Quick rant about flash fiction:

For those of you not up with the kids flash fiction is the term used for very short-short stories – usually less than 100 words. Several websites extol their virtues and claim them to be the perfect medium for today’s high-pressure, constantly on the go, credit crunch world.

I disagree, believing instead that there has never been more need to stop, take a deep breath, sit down and get lost within the pages of a good book.  To put it in context ‘now’ is the 100th word in this blog – barely enough to establish my annoyance, let alone character and plot. has further exacerbated me by encouraging people to submit their prose in text-speak!

 The reason for all of the above is that, having lovingly honed 8 short stories of 2-5000 words, I now find that half of submissions are for flash-fiction writers.

Now, I’m not one to stand in the way of innovation. Indeed, I love seeing old ideas using new formats. For example – a few years back someone published a Cockney version of the Bible which I particularly enjoyed (‘Jesus got into a right ole bother wiv the Romans’ and ‘some numpty’s only gone and got himself possessed by the devil’ etc), but flash-fiction strikes me as marketing without the product – ‘Couldn’t be bothered to write a book – here’s a pamphlet.’

As I typed this blog I had in mind the image of a retired sergeant major with oiled hair and a monstrous moustache, sitting by a roaring hearth, nursing a sherry against his portly stomach and bellowing his disgust at the decline of the empire whilst reading a broadsheet. Perhaps my rant will meet with equal obscurity given enough time (Note: In a flash fiction story that last paragraph would’ve read ‘old bloke complains by fire.’

That’s better…

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Last night a speed date saved my life…

My self-imposed exile and creative drought has finally been broken by the strangest of stimuli…Internet dating.

Recently a number of close friends have been thoughtlessly getting married and leaving me in an ever diminishing singles pool. Up until 32 everything was lovely and laid back, but now there seems to be a mad dash to pair me off with my soul mate before I die (no doubt gloriously happy in a bachelor pad surrounded by scaletrix and empty champagne bottles).

So many people (mainly unscrupulous females) are trying to ‘save me from myself’ that I now regular hear the phrase ‘what do you think of this one?’ and look down to see a polaroid placed under my nose. In a way it’s flattering, but in another it’s plain ridiculous…

…Anyway, partly through curiosity and partly to quell the harassment I joined a website.

Just like all the other tens of thousands of people who partake I never thought that I would, wasn’t sure what I hoped to get out of it and am even less sure now, but an old friend met his wife online a few years back and it seemed like an interesting thing to try…

…Not that I’ve had any success you understand – Quite the opposite in fact. I was initially contacted by several interested parties (which was gratifying to the ego), before finding out that they were somewhat unhinged (should’ve smelled a rat when they were mailing me at 4 in the morning). To quantify the word ‘unhinged’

  • ‘You sound nice. My biological clock is ticking. Only reply to this correspondence if you would seriously consider getting married within the next three months.’ My non-reply was met at first with ‘Why haven’t you replied?’ before finally ‘ANSWER ME!’
  • Another woman (genuinely) described herself as ‘not as fat as I used to be’ and ‘almost over my ex-boyfriend,’ to which I replied ‘Own teeth, though sadly no longer in my mouth.’

Aware that I wasn’t taking the pursuit of a partner very seriously I drifted into lazy people watching (not to be confused with stalking) and this is what I learned…

…It is truly staggering what people will send out into the ether for complete strangers to read – From soul-baring statements such ‘my life is empty – where are you, my prince’ to ‘bald and / or Chinese men need not apply’  (being a balding man I considered responded with ‘I’m looking for a shallow racist. You sound amazing.’) 

…Bringing this back to vaguely writing based…there are times when creating a story where I’ll think this character is too far-fetched or that scenario would never happen in reality. Recent experience seems to fly in the face of that. As a result I’ve come up with a large number of fantastical plots that I’m going to flesh out over the next few weeks… 

…None of which has anything to do with dating!

Back on the dating thread – If anyone is seriously considering it – my advice would be not to put ‘great sense of humour,’ but instead write something stupid. I considered starting with either ‘Follicly-challenged waffler seeks tangential temptress’ or ‘Recently released sex-pest seeks similar,’ before settling on ‘Unfeasibly short man seek giant woman.’

You’d be surprised how many gargantuan ladies are looking for dwarfs…


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