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One thing that all my friends have in common is that none of us are football fans. We were all academic failures at school too, but that’s a different story.

all in, forever

One of the most important elements of success in any endeavour is flight time. Wherever you begin on the spectrum of competence, you only improve with practice: the hours you put in are rewarded with improvement.

Another hugely important key to success is commitment. If you commit, doors open.


So, be all in.

Keep on being all in.

distant huntsman

England in the summer is a place of bliss. Even sitting in MDs editing on a Sunday evening.

I’ve completed 50 pages of my redraft of Dealer No. 1, using my agent/editor’s notes, so I’m very happy about the pace: 50 pages per week = about 7-8 weeks.¬†Editing is one of my favourite things, and when it’s guided by an editor who is very competent at his job it’s a joy to do.

I still work part-time as an English teacher, but this week’s two days’ work will be mostly officiating students’ seating at the summer Sports Day. On that topic, just spotted one of my year 8s sitting with his family, so I might scarper before he sees me.

Dealer No. 1

My agent sent me back the edited MS of Dealer No. 1. Just got to redraft it and it should be ready to sell to a publisher.

That’s the summer planned, then.


Durham sky.

rebel alliance

In their never-ending war on satire, our masters in the Death Star EU have declared war on unsanctioned online use of artwork or images so I’ve had to pull all my blog entries to ensure that I’m not inadvertently breaking the law and in doing so making myself subject to a European Arrest Warrant.

It’s not that Mutti and the Stasi are out to get me in particular, hardly, they’re after bigger fish – democracy, freedom of speech, and the nation state for starters – but if they did decide to focus on me I couldn’t afford a fine and don’t fancy three years on remand in an east European jail while the village magistrate/hotelier/electrician holds out for a larger bribe, or whatever the fourth reich punish people with when they do things they’re not supposed to do.

I need to go through all two and a half thousand blog entries to ensure that no copyrighted material is on display – in the meantime they’re all pulled. All the images you see now are either mine or were designed for me by artists.

But don’t worry, the meme will always get through.


Note: the genius website designer and IT support, Lucas, reckons she can pull all the images without taking the blog entries offline.



It’s midsummer tomorrow – the sun is at its highest point around 11am, maybe a few minutes later – and up here in the north of England the sun rises above the horizon at about 4.20am.

I really do prefer the darkest of midwinter, but when the dark only lasts five hours and the sky is beginning to get light at half past three in the morning, it’s pretty magical.

sky at night


Sometimes the sky fills me with awe.

This is the view from my back garden as I sit here and write (picture taken on my venerable 5s).



I like to have two things on the go at once, between them it cancels out the interference I’d normally feel if I was only working on one project. Keeps me busy, with no time to be overly self-critical.

More than two things though, it can get interesting.

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