Thursday, July 31, 2008

Extract from "Tabitha"

Can't really think of anything to say, so thought I would post on here an extract from the opening of my Tabitha Grubb short story, which I also submitted to the Waterstone's What's Your Story competition. Here it is:

She ran through the grimy streets, not looking back. They were after her. Someone was always after her, she thought, grudgingly. Curse of the Gift. Though now was not the time to contemplate. Now was the time to run. Down the alley, over puddles of sewage, & back to the door before They caught her. Who knew that Edwardians, with their stiff upper lips & even stiffer clothing, could run so fast? Blonde hair trailing behind her, she reached the entrance to Milly’s Pie Shop & leapt through, finding herself not amongst the savoury goods, but back in the 21st century. Safe. Lucky she was fast.

Tabitha is a sequel to a novel I've not written yet, in which Tabitha appears as the eighteen month old baby sister to the protagonist Dorcas. In the sequel, Tabitha is now fifteen and takes centre stage. I've been writing it into notebooks when I've been on the move, so when I have a minute, I need to actually put all my scribblings together and see if any of it makes sense.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I am currently stressed about moving house. I have to arrange for the power supply to be switched to the new house, and to inform the council and the water board that I am moving. Plus I have to clean my flat to professional standards so that I can regain my deposit. How does one clean professionally? I mean, is there a course that you have to take? I guess it's all about the tools. Well, I don't have any carpets, so no special equipment needed there. I'm hoping a duster and some Cillit Bang will be enough to keep the landlord happy.
The other thing about the move is that I have to do the majority of my moving on the day when the Caribbean Carnival parades past my house, which means that getting my double bed out and down the road past the revellers is going to be a nightmare. Also it means I may not get to watch and partake in Jerk-everything this year.
I just hope the new house is a) as nice as I remember, b) doesn't fall down as soon as we've moved in, and c) is big enough for all our stuff. I haven't even started packing yet.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Just a quick post today to let you know that my short story Lupus has been cherry-picked over at

I decided to upload it there to see if I received any feedback, and received the email letting me know that I'd been cherry-picked early today.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lands End Cover

Am I just the biggest geek because I find it exciting that the anthology my short story "Calypso" is a part of has its own Amazon page? How sad am I?
Anyway, here is the cover of the book, Lands End. I find it a bit weird that the person on the cover appears to either be completely bald or is wearing a stocking over his head. Maybe the caption should be "Mugger Walks on Water" (I'm sure you guys can come up with something better!).

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hoodies Redraft

In the shower last night, I thought of what to do with Hoodies in the new draft. I'm doing the Radio Edit, as well as rewriting it for the stage - the Naomi/Jase bit before was terrible, so I'm cutting Jase altogether. And I'm going to set it so it can be staged in the round, which means I can send it to the Bruntwood competition next year. Doing a radio edit of a play where one character doesn't speak though is very interesting to say the least!
After reading Alex's new play Son on Saturday, I'm really inspired to go to go back to theatre. Just the immediacy of it is appealing. Am still reading Inter Vivos. Chapter three is actually not bad. It's just taking a while to go through.

Friday, July 18, 2008


I'm just reading over Inter Vivos now, and it's not that bad. It's not brilliant, but it's not as terrible as I first thought.
Yesterday, quite spontaneously, I started writing a screenplay based on the Lara story. Already I have lots of thoughts about where to send it, followed by daydreams of big advances and the makings of a career. This means the screenplay is surely doomed, as the one thing that kills writing is unrealistic expectations.
It was nice though, just coming in and sitting at my computer and just writing, no pressure or anything. Think that is why I enjoy NaNoWriMo. It doesn't matter if the finished product is good or not, just that you finish.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Some Ideas

OK, so whilst I'm working on Inter Vivos (which isn't particularly interesting to blog about, I'm just reading it right now), I thought I'd share a vaguely new idea for a short story with you.

It's about a company who start to sell a new soft drink that is highly addictive (a bit like Pringles laced with something!), marketed at kids. Once a person has drank enough of it, their tongues fall off and get stuck to the cans. I'm not going to tell you why, or what happens to the tongues once they have been removed, or what happens to the people without tongues, but the story is a bit of a satire. I think I might have it ready by Hallowe'en.

I really want to go on holiday, but I'm completely broke. If money were no object, I'd go to Hawaii, or Rome, or Budapest, or Kenya, or Peru. Suppose I should at least renew my passport before I start day-dreaming of running away.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I am so tired right now, and I'm not really sure why, but I feel properly weary. Maybe because I've not had a holiday all year and have been working long hours, on top of rehearsing, driving and trying to write. I just feel right now like I always need an extra hour of sleep, no matter how much sleep I actually get. Strange, no?

My corrected proofs have been sent back to the Inkermen, so hopefully all that is in order. It was good to read over the story again, as I had forgotten it in the six weeks since I submitted it, so could look at it with fresh eyes. This is obviously the key to editing and rewriting. Wish it was always this successful - have just re-read my new draft of Inter Vivos, and think it's rubbish. Sigh.

Was going to post an extract from my latest short story here, but then realised that it contains the text I submitted for the Waterstone's What's Your Story competition, which I'm not quite sure has ended. Best to be safe than sorry, so I will instead post it here in a couple of weeks time, when I'm sure the competition has finally finished.

Monday, July 07, 2008

It's Raining, it's Pouring

...and I haven't bought my coat to the office today, so I'm going to get drenched on the way home, if this continues. The rain actually looks like smoke as it's hitting the pavement. Nice to look at, but please don't make me go out there.

I have finished my travelling for work for this academic year, I think, which I'm actually a little disappointed about. I don't like it when I have to do it every day, but sometimes it's nice to not be stuck in the office all the time. Plus I get to buy nice food and work pays for it! The other thing I've liked is that I've had a bit more time for myself, as I've not been working my second job whilst I've been travelling, so I've been able to have evenings and weekends to myself. True, I haven't done anything with this new free time, beside watch TV I wouldn't normally watch (this is what comes from being in a hotel with only 5 TV channels!), but it has felt a little bit like a holiday. But it's back to work in the office, and back to work for my second job, from now on in.

I haven't written anything in about a week now, simply because I've been too tired to write on the trains (well what do you expect from a 6:45am start?!!), and then I've been revising for my driving theory test. Now that the test is done (and I passed - yay!), I can get back to work. I want to finish my Tabitha Grubb short story and get that ready to send out to places, and also finally finish this second draft of Inter Vivos. I haven't got very far. Just need TIME. Sigh. Am longing for those school summer holidays that I used to have in days of yore.

In other writing related news, my short story Calypso is due to appear in an anthology by The Inkermen, entitled Land's End, which is due to be published in August 2008. I'm just checking the proofs now. I quite like Inkermen's manifesto, and so I'm pleased to be a part of this anthology. You can order the book from amazon, or alternatively, let me know if you want a copy by 14th August, and I can get you one at a reduced rate.

Oh look, the sun has come out now. Crazy English weather!

Goodnight, Tom

I found out a few days ago that a teacher at my former high school has died. He never taught me, but I auditioned for him, for the school play, when I was twelve, thick-fringed and uncomfortable in my own skin. I turned to a blob of nervous mulch as soon as I opened my gob to sing. Needless to say, I didn't get the part, or any part for that matter. But I knew deep down that I could do better, and so I went home, dejected, and practiced and practiced, everyday - usually in my back garden so my mum wouldn't hear me - until I was note perfect. I can still recite the one bloody verse that was the audition song. I never got to hear it in full, as I never went to see the show itself (having no friends to go with who weren't already in it). Instead, I made up scenarios where I went back in time and did the audition all over again, and the teacher would say "marvellous, we've found our lead!" I don't think it made me feel any better, but it gave me something to strive towards, and eventually, albeit five years later, I did get a leading part in a musical.
I wish I could write about the man himself, his achievements and ambitions, but I never knew him. He taught my parents; he once caught my dad underage drinking in a pub, and bought him a pint; he was the man I wanted to please most for a few months back in 1993. It's strange to think how a person you never acutally spoke to, you never knew, can influence your life. Goodbye, Mr G.