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The nights are getting longer, the days shorter, I’m waking before six and the sky is still dark, the wind is picking up and the temperature is veering up and down.

Autumn in the north.



I checked my 3310 yesterday afternoon to see if there were any messages. There was one, from myself, and it said “How does right feel?”

I vaguely remember texting myself on Thursday, I do it to remind myself of tasks or appointments, but I don’t remember asking that question.

I might try and answer it.




I first came across the concept of ‘de-structuring’ from Ernie, who wore a destructured suit for his wedding. He also chose excellent, heavy gold wedding bands for him and his wife, of a fundamental design I’d never seen before: I don’t know where he sourced them.

Ernie’s vinyl collection was impressive – oblique, thoughtful, listenable. He dressed in a way that bridged the words cultured and fastidious. He really thought about how he presented himself to the world. He was a beautiful man. But when the fragrant Angelique left him and took their children too, he lost his path, and he ended his life in the worst way.



Sometimes I try to destructure my stories, as a nod to Ernie, but it usually ends up more that I de-seam them. He wouldn’t have minded; he’d have just chuckled at my rubbish attempts to be creative.



I’m in the process of checking through a series of 3 novellas I wrote early on. They’re dark, scrubby, short, violent, consciously destructured, but sort of good too.

These are the titles:

Urban Pastoral



I’m still pleased with them. The writing is clear, which is, for me, the first rule of writing – make it clear- and though they could all do with an edit, I haven’t got the original manuscripts. I’m hoping that Lucas will find them for me and I’ll do a very light edit and then post them on Kindle again and forget about them forever.

I’m also going to print a paper copy of each, store each MS in a box file and keep them in a cupboard until such time as I grow old and die, at which point my kids will no doubt toss them into a skip.

edit – delete

Sometimes you have edit out things in stories that are wonderful in themselves but interfere with the narrative flow. Chaplin talked of the interior balance in a scene, and you have to ensure that delicate balance isn’t thrown off by some gorgeous interloper with its own gravitational pull.

It’s always a tough decision.

on writing #41


I used to think that writing a story was like producing a golden egg in my mind and then laying it onto the page in as flawless and shiny a condition as possible. Editing was simply a way of scraping off the dirt, stuck feathers, ego and assorted grime until the story was as perfect on the page as it was in its initial conception.

But no. It’s not like that.

Writing a story is more of a themed, real-time conversation in which we, the story and me, construct the reality as we go. I don’t sit down at the laptop and give birth to a story, I pull up a chair and engage with the story; we throw things back and forward to see what works, and between us we work it out.





Sometimes I have to remind myself of things I’ve already done.  No need to carry the weight of them when they’re completed.


troughers’ delight

Those dictators in Luxembourg or Brussels or wherever they’re based have stopped eating cake for long enough to decree that every website puts in some sort of widget saying that their readers’ details won’t be used for nefarious purposes.

I write short stories.

It’s not quite an online criminal empire.