Top 5 Loathsome Words

“The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.” T. Pratchett Continue reading Top 5 Loathsome Words

Rules for Writers? Think Again.

Anyone who writes and is on Twitter will have probably seen the writing-rule storm that Jonathan Franzen unwittingly unleashed last week with his 10 rules for writers. Reactions ranged from genuine outrage and swearing to mock advice that was in many cases brilliant, so I’ll be sharing this here. Continue reading Rules for Writers? Think Again.

Something Different

One night I dreamt I was in the building where I grew up, visiting a family of neighbours. There was something not right about the feel of the place. It felt larger than it should be and not completely real. This story followed. Continue reading Something Different

When Tea Just Won’t Do

I won’t beat around the bush and say it straight away: I’m not a coffee person. I’m a tea person but not in the modern experimenting, exotic teas of various type and origin person. Continue reading When Tea Just Won’t Do

Writer’s Blues

I’ve been having trouble writing recently. I don’t know why, perhaps I’d overwritten myself in the last few months or perhaps five rejections of “The Lamiastriga” got to me (yes, I know, only five!) but I got the blues and I’d even go as far as to say the blacks because for days I was incapable of reading let alone writing. Continue reading Writer’s Blues

Lift Your Eyebrows, Glance Here Briefly

Did this title cause you pain? I sincerely apologize but I had to make a point. It’s a very important point in a world where we’re all writers and it comes down to this: respect language. It is your weapon of choice, so wield it wisely lest you cut yourself or kill a story. Continue reading Lift Your Eyebrows, Glance Here Briefly

A Big Fat Rib-Crushingly Huggy Thank You

Let’s see now, I started this blog about two or three years ago. I wasn’t very serious about it, I admit, not at first. And then last year I started submitting short stories to magazines and anthology publishers. Continue reading A Big Fat Rib-Crushingly Huggy Thank You

A Time to Write

I’m sitting at my desk, “Don’t Play with Guns” is playing, and I’m typing word after word on my desktop, waiting for the tea to get ready to be drunk. It’s dark outside, not a single light is on in any of the apartment blocks around. As far as I’m concerned, the rest of the world is dead and I’m alone and free to do whatever I please. It’s 4 am. Continue reading A Time to Write

The Road So Far

One day, about ten years ago, someone called me a lamiastriga. He was a news writer at the company I was working for at the time and I was an editor. He was an excellent writer and he was also a really funny and smart guy. We chatted about all sorts of supernatural stuff (we were both fans) and it was during one of these chats that he invented the word. Later he left the job and moved to Germany. We lost contact but the word stuck in my memory. Continue reading The Road So Far

Writing: Lessons Learned

I had a client once who, poor guy, had to rework a whole bunch of MOOC scripts because some writers had really screwed them up well and good. “Lessons learned”, he said, as he had said on other occasions when somebody had dropped the ball with easy to guess consequences. Continue reading Writing: Lessons Learned