Word Power.

On my first day of Creative writing lectures it quickly became clear that apart from the bloke at the front doing the talking there was only one person in the room who truly knew what he was talking about. And it definitely wasn’t me.

After talking with this man over a period of a couple of years I came to know that he was the real deal. Most of us had read vigorously from an early age, but then most of us read what we liked. We weren’t really looking for a challenge. This man read his way through quite a few modern classics and had been an accomplished poet for some time. He was and is roughly the same age as me.

We became friends, collaborated on a couple of projects together and drank far too much. We eventually fell out.

The part of him that remained with me, though, was his commitment to understanding his craft. He didn’t just read some books, have some ideas and think that was enough. He practised daily and mined the culture for the deep structures that he was building his art around.

His word power, grammar knowledge and sheer passion for the language fauna that we don’t always notice was and probably still is, literally staggering. Think about that. I mean it. His knowledge would leave you punch drunk and staggering for words, maybe staggering for balance.

So you’ve not been dyed in the wool in quite the same way, but you want get into things, ease yourself in, build yourself up. Where’s a good place to start?

Well, give me ten minutes of your time and I’ll explain in the video linked below. I promise, it won’t be boring.



Publishing on Amazon is a tyranny.

You sign up, prepare your final draft, and translate it into a format an e-reader can, erm, read. Continue reading “Patronised.”

Driving Time

In the UK, depending on who you talk to, views of the Soviet Union range from ‘that wasn’t proper Communism’ to ‘it was worse than Nazi Germany’ to ‘everybody was fed, everybody was housed, yes there were problems but…’. I’ve made these ‘quotes’ up, but over my time of swinging around the political spectrum, of talking to people from all sides of the left/right debate the USSR is hard to avoid. Continue reading “Driving Time”

Sir Real

Edouard Roditi was born in Paris in 1910. He wrote poetry, prose, and the short collection I’m reviewing here. He died in 1992 having been present and working as a translator at The Nurembuerg Trials, the drafting of the UN’s charter and at what was then known as the European Common Market. Continue reading “Sir Real”

The End Of The Beginning

2017 has been year zero for the rest of my writing life. It has been the year that I got an editor, the year that I got a manager (and then lost her), the year that I started this blog, and it has been the year that I first started vlogging. Continue reading “The End Of The Beginning”

Stand Up Guy


I’m not a fan of autobiography. As a genre I suspect it has fallen the way of reality television. We, as a culture, read these books not for insight into this person’s or that person’s craft. We do it so that we can spy on their possessions, be titillated by their encounters with other famous people.

Continue reading “Stand Up Guy”