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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…


Shoreline Gold – free download

Shoreline Gold: a story of redemption, fate and escape plans. Free kindle download 1-5 November.

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Hedgehog Day

As the lockdown grinds on I find myself in a Groundhog Day of wake, do stuff, repeat, with no change of scenery, no meeting anyone new, no new horizons… I’m going ever so slightly stir-crazy.

But being English, Groundhog Day doesn’t really compute. So, Squirrel Day? Hedgehog Day?

Whatever it’s called, that’s me snuffling about in the garden, head down, searching for grubs and nuts. Every day the same.


Finding myself unemployed for the moment, I completed the edit of London Rain, then I decided to re-decorate.  Add that to an audiobook of The Blade Itself and I’m quite content with the week.

Books are the punctuation marks of my world.


I was planning on finishing Spenderella last year, as a Christmas short-story-cum-novella featuring my action here Mark Barrett. A present to the lads in the breakfast club, if nothing else. I didn’t finish it in time so I put it away.

This year I didn’t think I’d have time to complete it, but I do.


when does the heart rest?

A series of short stories, folded into the pages of a short story. Free kindle download 28th October – 1st November.

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