Sunday, 15 December 2013

Writer, who me?

Am I a writer?
A question I am certain everybody bold enough to put pen to paper since the pens were quills and the paper, papyrus, has asked themselves at one point or another.
My answer.
I don’t know. Don’t ask me.
If I’m lucky I can get a couple of thousand words out of an illegible soup and call it a story. If I am really lucky the story has a beginning, a middle and an end, and maybe a character or two with a tale to tell.
Does that make me a writer?
I have had a few scribblings published by kindly editors. I have even been paid for a few of them. I’m not going to get rich, don’t get me wrong, but someone, somewhere wrote a cheque with my name on it, for something I wrote.
Does that make me a writer?
I sometimes wake up at night with a story whole in my head. The dialogue playing out in my mind like a fast forward tape recording. The story spinning like a top, throwing off sparks in my mind. On those occasions I could no more stop myself writing than I could will my heart to stop.
Does that make me a writer?
I don’t know. Don’t ask me.
Maybe I just tell stories, and sometimes those stories are bigger than the sum of the parts, sometimes they are bigger than the slightly bemused guy writing them.

I tell you what, you sit down and I’ll tell you a story and we’ll see what happens.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Rainy Days and the Moral Complexities of Jack and the Beanstalk.

My almost three year old seems to have an immunity to the mood sapping effects of horizontal rain and skies the colour of battleships. I however do not. And am grumping around this morning as if someone had stolen the last donut. Not even coffee is helping.
We sat down to eat breakfast, almost three year old and I, mother of the child having a well earned sleep in, and we talked about the moral dilemma’s dealt with by Jack while climbing giant beanstalks and knicking golden geese from under the considerable noses of their rightful owners. We came to the conclusion that the decision making represented a great case study in situational ethics. Should Jack have allowed himself and his mother to starve in order to protect the proprietary rights of the wealthy? Or is theft justified in the situation of preservation of life?
Almost three year old’s conclusion was that despite the complexities of the situation, he wanted more egg on toast, and that was the end of it.

Fair enough.

Monday, 12 August 2013


There apparently comes a time in a writer's life when opening your thoughts to the world becomes obligatory. Hence the plethora of blogs and websites, mostly written by midlisters or bottom feeders, such as myself.
This apparently is the time.
Let me put you all straight, right from the beginning, I am not sure what to call myself… writer, author, who knows? since I have not yet found a definition of the above that satisfactorily includes me in the category.
I have written crime, horror and fantasy short fiction. I have even had some of it published and presumably read. I have even thrown myself at various novel ideas for periods of time till I realised I have the attention span of a mayfly and the organisational skills of a gerbil.
I did once read an interesting definition from Jason Sanford on his blog:

In a nutshell, everyone is a writer, but authors have an audience.

Which I guess makes me an author, since somewhere, someone has read stuff I have written. (Thank you… Criminal Class press, Plan-B magazine etc) How pretentious of me!