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Monthly Archives: January 2013


I met Jane Austen at the local library when I was about seventeen. She had the sweetest gift and I loved the stories she told me.

There are girls from back then that I remember with fondness, and one or two that I still love.

Jane is one of them.

So happy anniversary, Miss Austen. I am forever grateful.

no trunk shot

We were talking about how Tarantino quotes a lot of movies, including his own, and Jackson said he thought he was going to get one when in a scene from Django Unchained, where a slave is released from a hatch beneath the floorboards…

…but no.

Ghost Dog

Watching Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai again.

Just realised that when Ghost Dog takes his Ruger Mini-14 from beneath the floorboards, the case he keeps it in is a modified tenor sax case.

Love it.

northern star

Went for a walk this afternoon. It began to snow and, though light, it just kept falling – the snowflakes glittering like tiny stars in the freezing air.

It’s minus 6 at the moment and my house is 500 yards from the North Sea, so the wind-chill makes it feel a little lower than that.

Got home and downloaded some Mathias Eick, and some Arve Henrikson. Music for snowstorms and blizzards, and for staying home on a Winter evening.

The Shakers

The Shakers, is probably the nearest to what I want to achieve creatively; that combination of warmth and glee and bone-shredding emptiness. It’s very short, just a handful of short stories, there’s no fat on it at all. I may add more in the future, but at the moment I think it’s perfect as it is.

If I could sum up what I want to say in my writing it’d be that moment. Like when you look into someone’s eyes and you know you’re going to become lovers, or you know that you are going to split up and your heart will be broken.

That moment. That pause.

A millisecond before the train hits the car trapped on the crossing.



Haven’t watched TV for weeks, probably since Christmas Eve, give or take, but I found myself eating quorn Vindaloo tonight, while watching NCIS.

What is it about that show that is so watchable? I find myself shedding all and any critical faculties and just enjoying the spectacle of Gibbs and company sorting out the bad guys. I love all the characters, which is the sign of a good show I guess, but David McCallum, who plays forensic expert ‘Ducky’ Mallard, is an absolute solid-gold star.

He’s been acting since the 1940s, and in the 1960’s, after starring in The Great Escape alongside Steve McQueen, James Garner and Richard Attenborough, he played Ilya Kuryakin in classic series The Man From UNCLE (here’s a scene, an in-joke, from NCIS where they reference Ilya).

The son of a music conductor, in the 60’s he also composed and released some absolutely seminal music.

(thanks to NBC for the image)


Grendel is going to be removed from the FrontLip site over the next few days because of concerns over some of the content.

In the meantime I’m posting it on my short story website here:

Caul Shivers

I’m a huge fan of Joe Abercombie’s work. Shades of good and evil ripple and dapple across the page. No character is all good, or all bad, and I find myself rooting for most of them at some point or other, no matter how heinous their previous behaviour.Red Country, his latest novel, saw the sort-of redemption of my favourite character Caul Shivers. In a scene that almost came straight from end of the movie The Outlaw Joey Wales, Caul decides to walk away from revenge, leaving the feared warrior Logan to live in peace with his adopted family.

But throughout the course of the books, all of the characters seem to have gotten darker. Few of them make the right decisions. Logan Ninefingers, given this final chance by Shivers, turns back to darkness instead – over the course of four novels he’s gone from being a sort of likeable berserker into someone with a very dark destiny.

Caul Shivers on the other hand, went from being someone trying to be good to someone content with being bad. Then he almost did something good.

I need more.
Really can’t wait two years.


A kid from Ontario called TheWafer created a piece of art based on a line from a story of mine.

See below:


As Pistol Pete would say, niiice.


Still haven’t finished it.

But the current snowstorm and a heavy cold mean I won’t be leaving the house for a couple of days, so I’ve got a good excuse to plough through a few more chapters of Lebanese wisdom, courtesy of Mr. Taleb.

He’s very persuasive.