What Garlic is to Salad, Insanity is to Art.

The very talented Neil Murton’s Magpie Tales come out in paperback next week; to celebrate (and because I am on holiday, so didn’t want to think too hard), today’s post is about his latest 100-word story, ‘Salad Days’. Which was inspired by this advertisement:

Beer advert alleging no story ever started with 'I was eating salad'

I would have taken it as a challenge too.
(©Neil Murton)

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Filed under Musings, Poetry

That’s Magic!

This week, my wife and I are taking a stay-cation. Today we went to the Jeremy Deller: English Magic exhibition at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.


Filed under Personal

Smart Girl, Dumb Love by Kelsye Nelson

Smart Girl, Dumb Love by Kelsye NelsonDisdaining both the exceptional circumstances and people of traditional romance, and their mostly happy endings, Nelson draws interest from tales of average people facing entirely mundane issues.

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An Honest Portrait

Today’s Daily Post was “A mad scientist friend offers you a chip that would allow you to know what the people you’re talking to are thinking. The catch: you can’t turn it off. Do you accept the chip?” Coincidentally, I was watching a TED talk this morning on how close to mind reading chips we are. The synchronicity was too strong not to share it.


Filed under Musings

One Improvement Does Not Progress Make

One of the default questions in the Goodreads’ ‘Ask the Author’ scheme is “What is the best thing about being a writer?”

Best is a very big word, so I have been giving it due consideration. I am still considering a number of possibilities, but one of the strongest candidates was flexibility; as an author-publisher I am able to create my own process out of the techniques and technologies that suit me best. I was even considering a paragraph about this being an especial benefit that also creates the burden of having to optimise myself. However, flexibility is fast losing its place.


Filed under Personal, User Experience, Writing

Ralph and the Purple Fly by Christopher Brunt

Ralph and the Purple Fly by Christopher BruntBrunt’s novella is a satire of both bureaucracy and scientific excess reminiscent of Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Fatal Eggs. Mixing absurdities with looming threat, it leaves the reader uncertain whether the narrator is falling into madness or standing alone against terrible danger.

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Tidings Told in Their Midst

As a gesture of respect to Odin the great communicator, whose day Wednesday is, today’s post will cover two new ways of communicating with your humble author (i.e. me.): Goodreads’ Ask the Author and a mailing list.

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Filed under Personal, Writing

Speaking Beauty From Power

North Korea’s response to The Interview, and the discussion of whether artists are responsible for other people’s reactions to their work it provoked, reminded me of this TED video:


Filed under Musings, Seeking a Better World, Writing

Magpie Tales: The Tale Of Magpie And Mr. Snow by Neil Murton

Magpie Tales: The Tale Of Magpie And Mr. Snow by Neil MurtonLike a literary sushi restaurant or speculative tapas bar, this collection offers the reader a story to fit any mood.

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Million Words Challenge – June

Half of the Million Words Challenge is over, and I am still behind. June was not as productive a month for writing so I have not really caught up; but more importantly, I have not dropped any further behind. Which might not be true of July.

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Filed under Personal, Writing, Writing Techniques