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Monthly Archives: November 2020


it’s 3.38 in the afternoon and already so dark outside that I need a light to read. It’s raining heavy, the wind  is up and the temperature is dropping.

Gotta love the north.

single sensations

Had a few glasses of wine last night, the first in months. My body had forgot what to do and I quickly became drunk.

Then I watched Boss Level, a quite insane action movie, which revved up my adrenaline to an uncomfortable level.

Then I took my daily tablet for chronic migraines. And used powerful painkillers for my knee.

Which, altogether, left me with an interesting and not particularly pleasant buzz that I won’t be repeating any time soon. I don’t know if there is a term for multiple, incongruent physical sensations but, as far as I’m able, I’m going to commit to the opposite of that from now on.

Jago – free download

Celebrate Black Friday by reading about the end of the world. Mad Max meets One Tree Hill by way of San Diego, a heroine called Dakota Scout, and a murderous boy known as Jester.


Free download – Friday 27 November til Tuesday 1st December. Click image for link or search on Amazon for Jago by James Ross



Jago is the first novel in a YA fantasy trilogy: at times bleak and dark, it is not for the faint-hearted, yet it is filled with honesty and love, and it introduces an exceptional new character in Dakota Scout.

Buy it here or click on the image for link:

fairy tales

While researching for a book cover, I was looking at a series of castles, beautiful-strange creations from middle-Europe, and it struck me, there are no fairy-tale castles in Britain.

The real castles, and a lot still exist*, are brutal things built for purpose. The Victorian recreations are quaint, charming, but not ‘fairytale’.


*though a lot of the original castles stand as ruined testaments to the kind of warfare the English occasionally indulge in.


I’m always excited by the idea of a fresh start. A new beginning.  It’s about 5 weeks until the New Year which, by definition, is the beginning of a new chapter. It’s ironic that this fresh start is in the depths of winter when it would be more appropriate at the beginning of Spring (as it traditionally was) but, still, it’s a chance to begin all over.

This year has been strange, so far, and I suspect it won’t get less strange any time soon. But, I love the chance to think and plan anew.

It’s a gift.


I think I can finally end my ongoing diatribe against YT advertising. For some reason they keep sending me adverts for Korea, I think it must be part of a wider campaign, not just the algorithms targeting me based on my previous interests.

I ended up watching a full advert, then clicking on the site, which is kind of brilliant and is, temporarily at least, added to my favourites. I have no intention of visiting Korea but I do enjoy the music. And the dancing.


I finally completed* the first draft of Spenderella. I’d intended it to be a bittersweet, fool-me-twice love story in which the protagonist is abandoned by the girl he tries to help, the girl who broke his heart many years earlier.

That’s not how it turned out.

Which is fine. I like the new ending. It doesn’t have the emotional hammer-blow of the original idea but it has happy ending, of sorts.

I’ve been writing a lot of happy endings lately.


*Having said that – I know already that it needs a redraft.

Fat Man

I watched the Fat Man, the Mel Gibson/Father Christmas movie, in which Mel plays Santa, on whom a hit has been placed by an evil little boy who’s name is on the naughty list.

Loved it.

Late-period Mel, all barely-repressed anger, wrinkles, and heavily-greying beard, is a curmudgeonly joy to watch. There are few other ‘movie stars’ who I think earn the title. Tom Cruise. Brad Pitt. A couple of others.

But Mel…

I don’t care that he seems to hate the English, I don’t care he’s been previously disgraced. He’s great.

Because, ultimately, it’s the work that counts.



As I lay in bed last night, sliding towards sleep, in my head I was on Saddler Street playing saxophone, people were leaving the cathedral in pairs and groups, the air was chilled, with lights coming from shop windows in a street straight out of Diagon Alley, my fingers exploring the range of notes available to me, patterns within patterns within patterns, out of my head, following the music to somewhere else.