To the keyboard!

Hi everyone,

Well, after that horrible down period comes the upswing. This is the part that I wish I could ride forever. My fingers can hardly keep up with my brain. I’m still leaving Alan Shaw 3 to stew for a while. The ideas are coming thick and fast with one in particular that has tickled me into thinking that it’s brilliant (I’ll probably change my mind later), but I think I need a break from the Steampunk world. So, I’ve tinkered with my Cyberpunk novel a little, adding another 1k words. That seems to be going very slowly but I think I need to get into a flow with it, is all. The one I’ve picked up this morning, on a complete whim, is Emi. Remember that one? It was a while ago since I last talked about it:

Two dead humans, a man and a girl, wander through a post-apocalyptic landscape where the creatures of folklore and myth have returned. With their humanity forgotten and no purpose or destination, what could possibly happen?

I still love the idea of this story and I can’t wait to finish it. I think it has real potential to be brilliant…if I don;t mess it up. Right now, it feels a little disjointed and choppy, but it also fits with the style of the book. The character have no human drives or needs, only distantly remembered values that have no bearing or place in their new world.

I love books like this and I’ll admit that it’s a little experimental. I’m not entirely sure where it’s going, or if it has a story at all, but these characters keep going from encounter to encounter and I’m totally hooked on what weirdness will come out next.

It’s also going to be quite short, as I find most experimentally odd novels are, but that’s no bad thing. I think it might actually work in the story’s favour. I guess well have to see.

Anyway, I’m off to write more. Hope you all have an excellent writing day!


Thanks for reading.

Tools for writers: Do we need them?

So I’ve just got back from meeting with a couple of fellow writers. We descend on The Showroom in Sheffield now and again (we try to be more frequent but it never seems to work out that way) to talk about what we’re up to.

How’s that sequel coming along? How many days in a row have you procrastinated over shiny things on the internet? That kind of thing.

Today’s discussion mostly revolved around writing tools and technology. Pete and Christie are hardcore into their technology. They both use Scrivener, which is a writing tool that let’s you organise your manuscript with all manner of virtual post-its and bookmarks to make moving around your work easier. It sounds great. Anything that makes editing your own work easier is a surefire hit.

But, I don’t use it. For anyone who can remember my previous “planner or pantser” post, I don’t even plan that much.

I get an idea for a story, cook it in my head until it’s nice and brown, then hit the keyboard with nothing but the images in my head and a notebook, just in case.

It’s strange to think that we’re all striving toward the same thing. We all want to write stories. But we come at it from such diverse directions. And I don’t think any of them are wrong. My friends love their gadgets. I’m probably considered a minimalist. We all get the job done in our own way. So why am I so jealous of their ability to be organised? 😁

What’s your method? Let me know if I’m a complete literary mutant or not 😊
Thanks for reading

My terrible poems…

Someone once said to me “is there anything you don’t do” when I said I’d have a go at pretty much anything when it comes to my writing. Screenplays, comic scripts, prose, haiku, I’ve had a bash at it all. With varying degrees of success (mostly varying into the “that was abysmal” area of the gauge). But one thing I’m really quite terrible at is poetry. I don’t think I’ve read enough of it, or know enough about it, to have a decent idea of what makes a poem good or how one works and another doesn’t.

But… (you were waiting for the “but” weren’t you?)

Despite all that, I kind of enjoy writing poetry. Especially when i’m having a blank spot with my prose. It’s a great way of making your brain take a step back and do something different. And I find that even thought my poems are pretty damn terrible, the occasional line comes out of them that I can then use in my prose later.

And so, because I love you all (or hate you, depending on your perspective) I’m going to subject you to….I mean…let you read some of my poems! These should come with a government health warning, so remember to ward yourself against the dark arts before you read on.

A Tree

In coldness I’m naked,
In heat I’m stifled with clothing.
My feet are bare in the rain,
My skin splits int he sun.
I eat nothing,
Say nothing,
And watch politely as you
roll and screech and chew
at my feet.

The Fence

They said the grass is greener.
So here I am, to find out;
To frolic on your rockery;
To peep inside your potting shed.
I hopped the fence,
landing bare foot on your lawn,
And marveled at the greener than green,
the new scented breeze.
But now I’m ready to go back home
to familiar soil,
I see that on this side
the fence
is higher from the ground.

Short sighted

I don’t want to know
every hammer that forged you,
only to study you as you are.
Let me admire the scar
as part of you.
the strike of an expert chisel
Rather than some half-remembered story.
I’ll trace the coloured lines
across your skin
Not questioning what whim of
inspiration decorated you.
You were born with them,
Only moments ago
when we met and nothing
you have done matters now.
With no past to spit at each other,
no future to plan,
or weighted expectation,
we’ll exist only in this moment
and those like it.

Well, I hope you enjoyed them, or at least didn’t pluck your eyes from your head in disgust. Any comments, as always, are most welcome.

Thanks for reading.



As I mentioned in my last post, I might be taking a hiatus from prose for a month or two but I’m still keeping the creative muscles flexed. I’ve mostly been doing this by writing haiku, which is my equivalent of a crossword puzzle or playing sudoku. I love these little fellas and I thought that I’d share some with you. Some are just random thoughts and images, others are around something I overheard on tv and decided to use it as a writing prompt “Looking for love in all the wrong places”.

That prompt has been good to me of late. While writing The Adventures of Alan Shaw, I’ve taken my first forrays into romance and it’s been quite a learning curve. The prompt has made me really think about romance from a realistic point of view; how imperfect it can be, how we can make mistakes so easily, how we can pick the wrong person or the wrong person can pick us.  And so that’s a bit of explanation for when you get to those haiku (and the poems I might post later from the same prompt).

Anyway, without much further ado, here’s a few haiku!


Purple shards scratch
pale scars in heaven’s belly.
Winter’s grim revenge.


This is how it ends.
With a clash and a whimper.
Unjust Finale.


Briefest emotion;
A crushing spasm of the
heart. I wanted you.


There is a glow about
you. Infectious to me.
An autumn log fire.


Supple willow fronds;
The knots made by our fingers.
Tenderness and strength

Well, that’s a few for you. Hope you enjoyed them! I’ll be at Leeds Central Library tomorrow at a Steampunk event (See the Tour Deets page) so I hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Thanks for reading!


That’s right, kids, I don’t just write short stories. And, to be honest, I avoid poetry like the plague. But Haiku are nice little snippets that I can get really engrossed in. Sorting them into syllables is like a little creative writing brain-teaser. A  crossword for authors, if you like. And so I can’t get enough of them! Now, I know that traditionally, haiku are supposed to reference a season at some point, and theyre supposed to follow the 5/7/5 syllable rule, but some of these don’t. What can I say, I’m a callous, literary rebel. But anyway, have a look. I hope you enjoy them.

Meteor Shower 
Sparks shed a trail.
Atmospheric Grinder.
Wormwood coming home.
The Beautician
Above a crest of
plastic breasts and Matalan tan,
not much goes on.
Poor dusty Fender,
Missing a string, out of tune.
I’ll pick you up soon.
Made-up words
If there is one thing
I absitivley hate,
it’s comboined words.
Woman on the train
New haircut, old face.
New bagm new shoes, new coat.
Same old face.
View from a frosted window
Trees expose themselves,
despite Winter’s bitter bite.
Rough, naked skins.

That’s enough for now, I reckon. Hope you enjoyed them.

Thanks for reading.