Ridiculous last minute entry to Bridport, spurred on by mad people. People, this just cost me seven quid! SEVEN QUID! I could have had a really posh lunch with that. I think I have the buyer's remorse. And nowt but a Worldpay receipt to show for it. Not-in-can't-win-mumble-mumble - insanity.



I got a really great acceptance this morning from Roxane Gay of PANK. She said some lovely things about my story, and I'm really chuffed. It'll be up online in a few months. Thanks Roxanne!

I do need to come up with a new title for the piece in the meantime - the current one doesn't work very well. I have some ideas, so we'll see what happens. I find title-writing very difficult. I always seem to go for something too bland or too revealing. It's a tricky business - especially with flash, since you don't want to lose any of the punch of the story by giving too much away, and in a piece less than 1000 words long, every word should work in the story's favour - and that includes the title. It's a horrible decision every time. But - lest I seem to speak for the world at large - I should point out that some people totally have this thing nailed. Ladies and gentlemen - Ms Tori Spelling. I'm green with envy.

get your leather on

There's something odd about the wall-to-wall Glastonbury coverage on TV - I think it devalues the live experience. But then, I'm too lazy/broke/old to actually go, so I'm watching it on the Red Button. Oooh, technology. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are on now. I love these guys. If I could carry a tune, I'd kidnap KarenO and keep her in my apartment and impersonate her on stage and generally do a SWF on her. My boyfriend would think all his Christmasses had come at once. But I can't do the singing thing, so I'll keep watching the gig from the sofa and plotting other ways to secure infamy fame and glory.

PS: The Beeb have just gotten one of the track names wrong on their strap. GOD. Here, watch this.

one more thing....

...before I hit the sack in prep for London and TOTD tomorrow: this, from Kottke, is total genius! I love these nutcases. I should so invent my own crazy diet cult and ensnare daft billionaires.


Poor Michael Jackson had just died... RIP.

That was the weirdest hour, just there - Facebook status updates announcing a death that the BBC was denying, and all the news sites reporting on comas and ambulances while the punters on twitter were writing mini-obits. A crazy conglomeration of media. How horrific that would be if you were on the other end of it - countless people hovering over the potential carnage of your death, trying to get the scoop... Morbid. Not that I'm immune - here I am writing about it. Twisted. It's a messed-up non-linear world.

We should all have a big disco party right now.


This month's Tales of the Decongested is taking place on Friday in Foyles on the Charing Cross Road, London Town. (The website's slightly out of date, but soon to be sorted.) There's a great selection of readers, but never mind that - you should make sure you head on down there to pick up the leaflet, which will feature this story of mine. Fame! Glory! Two glasses of wine if Foyles sort out their license!

Tales of the Decongested
19:00 - 20:45, Friday 26th June
3rd Floor Gallery Space, Foyles Bookshop
113-119 Charing Cross Road, London


Anyone feel inspired?


I'm a little worried about how fast this summer's going. It was supposed to be months and months of sporadic working and muchos writing and general lazing about. The work is less sporadic than I had expected, the writing's good flash-wise, less good longer-things-wise, and the lazing? Never enough of it. I went to two jumble sales yesterday and bought a bunch of books, and today I didn't get up til 13:00 (so far so good) but I have to go to work for the next four days which massively cuts into the lazing time, pretty much eradicates the writing and reading time, but will probably result in the acquisition of gossip and rumours of all sorts, so you know, glass half something or other. There's lots of good writing comps coming up, but I don't have many stories to send out, and want to put my head down and get on with a longer project before my timetable fills up again in the autumn. I want some sort of time-stretching device - I'm sure some of you want one too, so we should really put our heads together and brainstorm on this one. I'll have my people call your people. Laters.


Look at all the boooooooks! (via via - yeah, I have much time to spend clicking all over the place.)

The last room, in Trinity, was where we used to go as students if we were really hungover and needed to hide somewhere cool and quiet. We'd sit there with out heads in our hands on the benches in the centre of the room and the tourists would shy away in confusion. There's never anywhere in workplaces to do that. Work sucks.


Whenever I get a rejection I get a panicky urge to rewrite the story, rather than assuming that the work's okay, it just wasn't to the taste of that particular editor. I'm pretty sure that other people do that too, and it's not that I'm especially paranoid or insecure. I don't always give in to it, although I will reread and reproof the piece, just in case. It's a solid way to procrastinate, though, and it vies with the Gilmore Girls as one of my Ways To Avoid Doing Hard Stuff. Without a deadline, I'm more inclined to edit the hell out of things than to start on something new. Do you guys (all three of you) do this too, or are you able to freely spew out the new words without somebody kicking you up the ass? Damn you all to hell.

Plus, check out Ad Lad's Pad. Saying it like it is, since, um, a few weeks ago. Go, Ad Lad!


I checked my blog stats last night, and I just want to say a quick hello to the person who found me through an aol search for something that rhymes with 'milthy pay gorn' - see previous posts. Dude, you've gotta be ultra-disappointed. Bummer. (Ha!)

I've spent the past two days (while in work; darn work) devouring A.L. Kennedy's Day - I was blown away by it. It's astounding. Everyone, go and read it now! She captures the character's voice in the most powerful way, and I love the way she uses language - so fluid and vivid and hard at the same time. I've got a collection of stories by her in my to-read pile, so I'll get onto that soon.

I've been reading a lot of short fiction lately but I love a good novel, so I'm going to alternate story collections and longer works until I make some headway on the backlog. I think blasting through a bunch of short stories doesn't do them any favours - they get lost in the deluge of plots and words and the rest. Still, must clear tottering pile or will get crushed.


That episode of Dollhouse was free of the (whisper) gay porn. We can all relax.

I had my laptop hooked up to the telly to watch the show, and an email came through before I disconnected, so I checked my email on the telly. Way to feel very futuristic. Everything looks shinier and somehow more professional. I thought about editing an old story right now, while still plugged up to the big screen, in the hope that size would somehow confer authority upon the prose, but it's uncomfortable sitting here on the floor, and I'm not feeling energetic enough to move the coffee table in order to balance the computer on top of it, so that plan is scrapped.


back to work tomorrow...

...but only for three days. I can handle three days, and my bank balance will be my best friend for a couple of weeks afterwards.

This will be the start of my freelance career, and a temporary blip in my otherwise idle life. But I'm very much enjoying my idle life. I don't get a hell of a lot done on a daily basis, but I'm certainly waaay less stressed. Work seems more manageable on a project-by-project basis, even if I'll have to sort out my own taxes. I'm getting much more reading done, and if I'm not getting quite as much writing done as I'd have hoped, I'm definitely increasing my output, and that's a good thing.

That said, tonight, rather than writing, I'm settling down to watch Dollhouse, and totally looking forward to it. I tried to watch the first episode last week only to discover I'd accidentally downloaded a video of naked men doing 'stuff' to one another instead. I'd spell it out more concisely but then the search engines might pick it up and I'd get unwanted traffic to the site. But hey, all publicity is good publicity, right? Gay porn - it was two hours of filthy gay porn. Hey, visitors! Welcome! Explore the links!

I'm going away now.

vote, bleurgh

It took me an hour to find my polling station today. Obviously unemployment has messed up my common sense. It was about a hundred yards from my house. Maybe the internet could spot me a sat-nav, though it would probably just laugh electronically at me and call me names. I've heard they can do that.

I found out today that I didn't get some funding I'd hoped I might get, so I retaliated against the world by mumbling incoherently to myself and emailing people who I thought would be likely to rant and rail on my behalf. They obliged, so that was nice. We all went 'grrrr, argghhh' together.

However, my free copy of the 2010 Writer's Handbook turned up yesterday (thanks again Nicola), which made me feel dead professional. Then Ryan Manning emailed, wanting to interview me. It was like I was 'official'. Score! Goal! I felt very writerly.

I've spent today reworking old rejected stuff, in an attempt to clear the backlog of awful crap that clogs up the computer. So hopefully some progress will be made.

To the kettle with me now; as you were.

Ink Sweat & Tears

I've got a piece of flash fiction up at Ink Sweat & Tears today. Thanks Charles!