Any Gender Is a Drag

Amazon have decided I am not an agent of the patriarchy.


Filed under Author-Publishing, Humour, User Experience, Writing

Three Things Anent Which I Do Not Write, and the Converse Thereof

Neil Murton, long-time friend, author, and cultist of Magpie, tagged me in the Three Things I Don’t Write About and Three Things I Do Blog Hop. Which I thought rather convenient, because after a week’s holiday I hadn’t done anything to post about today. Unfortunately, the question turned out to be a real head-scratcher.

Leave a comment

Filed under Humour, Musings, Writing

The Killing Wage by Nicholas Gagnier

Filled neither with rage nor idealism, Gagnier provides an insight into the bitter ennui the socio-economic imbalances in Western society can raise in the enlightened underdog. Refusing to force an alternative on the reader, the collection nevertheless incites the reader to act by warning the current system moves almost inevitably towards a violent shift in one direction or another.


Filed under Poetry, Reviews

The Author Hot Seat with David Higgins: We didn’t have genre when I was young

Originally posted on Jane Dougherty Writes:

David Higgins is my guest today, a short story writer who has found that the problem of fitting into the category straight-jacket is amplified when your short stories aren’t all in the same style. Here’s how Dave copes with the conundrum and gives us his take on the genre monster.

Dave - Mugshot

Genre didn’t exist when I was young.

While I became aware of genre later (and that other people might be more guided by it) I never let it constrain my reading choices. So it came as a surprise to me when I planned my first release, quite how obsessed the publishing and distribution industry was with genre. And that, for every issue novels faced due to genre, there were twice as many for short story collections.

When I say genre didn’t exist when I was young, I mean of course that I had no reason to care about it when…

View original 1,240 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Musings

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)


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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews