Notes from a small brain

Writing Tip no 39

Some people ask me, ‘Where do stories come from?’

A Christmas Message

I was at friend’s house the other day and he informed me that some of his friends had recently purchased themselves an oil-less deep fat fryer for Christmas.

A New Year Message

For the past three days I have been editing the final chapter of ‘The Penguin Variations’. So I am finishing it as the year ends. It’s been a good year.

Advocat for breakfast

I need to go shopping.

Anal Sex

In an interview I read this week with AL Kennedy she said her w

As If!

There was a quote at the end of the Start the Week podcast. Q. “Why are you not unhappy?" A.

b On Trains

Some thoughts about trains including Buffalo Bill, E E Cummings, the Shinkansen, and a moony out of a window of a train.


I finally got the proof copy of ‘Me and Mickie James’ this week.

Cover Story

One of my favourite books, ‘Death and The Penguin’ I bought because I liked the cover.

Me and Mickie Proofs

I had an email from the publisher telling me the proofs for ‘Me and Mickie James’ are bac


So the proofs for Me and Mickie James have arrived.

Papa Smurf Pays A Visit

Yesterday I was sitting at my desk writing when I turned around and noticed Papa Smurf standing in the centre of the floor behind me.

My life as a frog

I was a precocious child. I went straight from Peter and Jane to Lady Windermere’s Fan. Of course I returned later to Enid Blyton but it was with a certain aesthetic detachment.

The Only Way to Rob a Bank is Naked

I’m a big fan of public transport. It’s the people they let on it that bothers me. In the same way I’m a big fan of democracy. It just depends whose hands it’s in.

Shock! Horror! Plot in Crisis!

John Richardson was interviewed on Front Row this week. For the past 30 years he has been writing the biography of Picasso.

Seasons End

My top 10 books of the year.

National Year of Reading 2008

This year is the National Year of Reading . (That’s reading as in reading books, not Reading as in the town outside London.

Me and Mickie James Cover

This week I received the cover for ‘Me and Mickie James’. I was surprised. I was expecting a picture. Instead it is covered in writing, front and back. Also it’s black.

Don Quixote

It would be difficult to write an amusing blog about mass suicide so I won’t even try.

Writing Industries Conference

Last Saturday, 9th February 2008, I attended the Writing Industries Conference at Loughborough University. I wrote about my part in it in my blog last week but not about the whole shebang.

Favourite Book

This week / Last week... (depending on when you read this, because weeks have a funny way of running on, like cabbages down a gangplank)

Yes I am now .

Me and Mickie James: Review Copies

I got a call from my agent two days ago. She was excited. “Have you seen them?"

Unhappy Funny People

I’ll be quick today. I’ve got to be off soon to the daily grind and I’ve got to feed my ex-cat on the way.

I'm a book designer! I'm famous!

This week I got my contract from the BBC for ‘Teeth’ .

Me and Mickie James Launch

I don’t know what’s happened to this week. It’s like a salt and vinegar crisp someone holds under your nose. You turn your head away, you turn back, and it’s gone. Just gone.

Photo Shoot

Tomorrow I am going to London to have my photo taken for Dazed and Confused magazine.


This morning I grew concerned that I was suffering from ADHD. Unfortunately I was not able to sit down at the computer long enough to fully research the matter.

Where I'm Calling From

(All writers steal. Thanks to Aliya Whiteley and Neil Ayres who wrote similar pieces to the one below. They also stole it from someone else.)


I was thinking about how much I like sci-fi earlier this afternoon when a spaceman came up to my door and put a letter through my letterbox. Actually on second thoughts it may have been a postman.


Just back from the gym. Didn’t do much today, only some rowing. Just enough to keep my oar in.

It's out...!!!!

My book, Me and Mickie James released.

It's Launched

So, last night was the launch party for Me and Mickie James .

I'm on the radio! I'm in the Guardian!

It’s been a good week all round, which is strange as weeks aren’t normally round (I’ve said this before).

I'm on Radio 4

Today at 3:30pm I’m going to be on Radio 4. Well, not me, but my story Teeth.

I'm the head of a matchstick, I'm a number seven, I'm a...

This week I’m just making shapes. I’m the head of a matchstick, I’m a number seven, I’m a box of Cuban cigars on an ageing dictator’s desk.

On Being Disembodied

On Saturday night I’m going to be disembodied. Come along if you want to listen.

How I Write

I try and write every day although this is not always possible.

Sitges, Sitges, Sitges

So said the barwoman of the hotel terrace bar. We we looking down on the church, at a green laser light playing on the ground. It was nothing really, like something a kid would have.

Zola Budd and Big Books

I am Zola Budd or an aspiring bum. Remember her, when they did get her in spikes you didn’t know if you were watching track and field or a remixed edition of Death Race 2000.
Gold cherry

On the Spectrum

On the Spectrum. It is 1986. Margaret Thatcher is sat firmly on her throne. The Chernobyl Nuclear disaster is just on the horizon. People are...
Gold cherry

Flamingo Dreams

And in other news. My book, Seven Nights at the Flamingo Hotel , which appeared here on AbcTales between October and December 2019 is to be published...

Flamingo Hotel. Bookings Now Open.

My novel, Seven Nights at the Flamingo Hotel is now available to pre-order. You can do it here . It will be Bearded Badger Press’s launch title and...

Flamingo Hotel. The interview.

Seven Nights. The Interview. First off, isn’t it a bit unusual to interview yourself? Well, I saw the Chris McCabe do it in his book Dedalus and that...