January 2013

Well, they said it couldn’t be done. Actually, that’s not true. In reality, they were all very supportive. Anyway. Three days. Three new publications. Whichever way you look at it, it’s uncommonly decadent and reason, were it ever needed, to break out the Ferrero Rocher and Um Bongo.

My short story — The Proper Name for Killing Birds — went live on Everyday Fiction this morning. The more observant among you, my reading several, will notice some similarities between this publication and the one mentioned yesterday. Good for you.

It’s a story about that moment when you realize that time has moved on, that life has taken a bit of a growth spurt without telling you. It was written in April of 2012 during a time when I was in immigration limbo, waiting for a visa that would kick-start a new life. I had plenty of time on my hands — too much time, really — to reflect on my thirtysomething years in Scotland so perhaps that’s how this story came about.

It’s also an example of something I do quite often, which is come up with a title first and then wait to apply a fitting story or poem later. This one had been hanging around for a couple of months on my Titles I Should Really Use At Some Point list. There are some that have been there for years. When, oh when, will I ever find a story to fit Jobby Jenkins and the Miracle at the Four Sisters?

Unless there’s a remarkable development today, there’ll be a few weeks before my next publication is out, so why don’t you go have a read of this one, leave a comment and rank the story out of five? I’m all about validation. Here’s the link:


Hang on to your hats, my reading several, for I have more news of published work. It’s like buses, isn’t it? Except it’s cheaper. And less smelly. And is unlikely to take you where you want to go.

My short poem — Everything I Touch — went live over on Everyday Poets in the wee hours of this morning. EDP is one of my favourite sites simply because of the variety on offer. You really don’t know what you’re going to get from one day to the next, whether that be something in rhyming couplets, a sonnet, a sestina or something in between.

Which is probably why Everything I Touch found its home there. If you read the poem, you should know that I’m aware of all the repetition. It’s the repetition — or refrains if we want to get all French about it — that marks this out as being a triolet, a form I wasn’t familiar with until about half an hour before I wrote it, during the summer of 2010.

Fact fans may be interested, or at least not entirely disinterested to know that it was penned the day after my “homage” to Edgar Allan Poe — a little something called Nevermore — which was also picked up by EDP. If I’m honest, while I’m pretty proud of it, Nevermore was an absolute nightmare to write. I went into it with grand plans to tell my story over the same eighteen stanzas that Poe took to tell The Raven, but chickened out after eight. There really are only so many words that rhyme with door.

After the complexities of Nevermore, I remember being relieved that Everything I Touch was so straightforward in comparison; it’s a mere eight lines, tells a very simple story, and the refrains almost felt like cheating. But for whatever reason it was one of those pieces that got forgotten almost as soon as it was written. If I remember correctly, I was in the midst of a seven week, 60,000 word novella binge at that time, which may go someway to explaining how it slipped through the cracks. I rediscovered it last November, thought it was okay, and a few weeks later, EDP agreed.

So there you go. Two publications in two days. It would be unthinkable to get a hat-trick, wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t it?

You can read and comment and vote, would you believe, on Everything I Touch here:


It’s been a while since I’ve updated my reading several with details of newly published work.¬†As most people still end up here after searching for the Paranormal Activity poster, I’m guessing this has gone largely unnoticed.
Well, let me start to right that wrong by advising you all that my short story — Super Antihero — went live today over at Bong Is Bard, which must be the quirkiest titled publication I’ve ever been in.
Written at the start of 2011, it’s a story about consequentialism and how a seemingly positive act can have all manner of negative consequences. It’s an idea I’ve been thinking about expanding into at least novella territory for some time. The outlining continues.
You can read the story and leave comments on it here: