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Text Transformations

Well-known stories and myths retold. If you have a kindle, this is available on free download from Monday 9th to Friday 13th.

Click on the image for the link.

what you allow will continue

Geoff Thompson once noted that, left unattended, dark thoughts will overtake us, but that positive thoughts require constant, deliberate attention. I think that’s true.

As St. Claire said in Shoreline Gold, the road to hell is wide and smooth. It’s an easy route to take. The default. You have to make a choice to be positive. You have to make it a habit.

To quote another great thinker, life is as good as you let it be.



remember, remember

The government banned November 5th Bonfire Night celebrations, as part of the lockdown. And yet last night I heard more fireworks going off than I’ve ever heard on any previous Bonfire Night. There seemed to be many thousands of explosions going off in the night sky.

Which was splendid.

We English are fairly easy going, but we have a tendency to mock would-be dictators.

naughty list

It’s November 5th – Bonfire Night – but that’s pretty much cancelled due to the virus-panic. The talking book I was listening to has been deleted from YT. My current book of choice is a bit boring.

So I’m watching my first Christmas movie of the year.

blue note

A lot of my posts seem to refer to saxophone, which is the lesser of my two creative endeavours. I play it badly/well. That is, I can make it sound like, well, a  saxophone, I can be that person, and I can make sounds that might move you if you’re walking down Saddler Street on a wintry evening. But I’m not a great player. Self-taught, I’m a technical mess, and I don’t get enough flight time to make it really work.

But I do enjoy playing it – what I do play, I play well, and people seem to enjoy listening.

But the lockdown means that I can no longer practice in the church hall. Nor can I play at home, as my wee Border Terrier, Angus, begins to howl at the moon in distress as soon as I play two or three notes. Everyone’s a critic, it seems, including my little pal.

And I can’t gig. Or busk.

All I can do is silently play scales. Which is to music what touch-typing is to writing. Better that nothing, I guess.

Roll on December 2nd.

stone fish

I practice my saxophone in a local church hall and last night I helped them out recording some carols. I’d helped them out a couple of weeks ago recording a tune too. I’m not religious, however. I don’t think you should commit to something knowing you can’t do it right.

And doing it right is hardcore stuff: pacifism, poverty, forgiveness, kindness, love, blind faith.

I’ll stick to what I have and the world I know. I’ll try to be good but I’m not promising anything. The people at the church are really nice people. They gave me a bottle of wine and a painted stone.

I suspect that this is a fish.



Being a fan of genre fiction I got a copy of the new Jack Reacher book. Not actually written by Lee Child, his brother Andrew has taken responsibility for the series. And I could tell in the first paragraph of the first page that this was a different writer.

Lee Child’s writing is clipped, staccato, to the point. He doesn’t so much write a novel as list a series of very interesting bullet-points. Andrew Child’s writing is more like, well, writing.

An interesting development.


It’s rare that I read stuff I’ve written, I’ve got copies of most of my stuff on a shelf but I don’t look at them, they’re more like marks on a wall, measuring my growth over time.

This morning I was tidying up my office and thought about chucking away some of the books, I’ve already read them to be honest, many times, while I drafted and redrafted, though not after publication. But I had a glance through some of the collections and was surprised by how good they were. Not perfect, but nothing I’ve ever read is.

Good though. Reassuringly good.

And more importantly, they spoke the way I wanted them to speak.


Enjoy yourself as, tonight, the walls between this world and the other come tumbling down.


Don’t usually listen to audiobooks but I was decorating a few days ago and found a good copy of The Blade Itself to listen to. I’m a big fan of Joe Abercrombie, and it’s been long enough that I don’t remember a lot of the story so… 25 hours later I completed it.

It wasn’t a full binge, I spread it over five or six days, but I haven’t read all week and barely watched any YT as a result.

Actually, that might not be such a bad idea…