Friday, October 30, 2009

The Reign in Spain ...

Cast your mind back ... back ...
No, further than that. All the way to here.

My man in Spain, Steve Redwood, has been in touch and he has something to celebrate.
His book of short stories, Broken Symmetries, has just been published.

And he even has a blog. Wonders will never cease ...
It's called A Seriously Disturbed Mind.
So you can't say he didn't warn you ...

Here's what Steve has to say about this latest venture:

Actually, I’m rather pleased this collection has been published, as many of the stories reflect a less... shall we say, merry … side of my character, and taken as a whole are more representative of my damned soul than the novels. Also, the book is attractive as a physical object, large clear print, plenty of white space (there's an excerpt on

What was that? "Just in time for Christmas?" Funny you should say that…

Kisses, manly hand shakes, grovelling apologies, punches on the nose – you all know which applies to you!!


PS I might see my way to forgiving you for not buying a copy yourself if:

1. you can prove penury or blindness or illiteracy, or

2. you forward this email to friends (and enemies!). As I'm out of the country, I have no other way of spreading the Good News.

Pleasure's all mine, Senor Redwood.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mega lit post

There's so much going on lit-wise that any of the following would be justified in having its own post, but I'm grouping them together here.

First off, I know many of you are as yet unpublished.
Just as I know that many of you are talented writers who deserve to be published.

One way to get recognition for your words is to enter competitions.
In which case, you might be interested in the Brit Writers' Awards Unpublished 2010.

There are adult and child categories for novels, short stories, poems and songs with a whopping £10,000 prize.
There is a one-off admin fee of £10.95 and you can make as many submissions as you like once you've paid that. Entry rules and conditions are here.
I've been asked to be on the panel of judges for the adult novel category.
Judging criteria here.

Ding ding. Next please.

How do you fancy a whole weekend devoted to writing?
Would it help to know there is an amazing line up of authors, editors and agents?
That it will be held on the campus of the fabulous York University with en suite accommodation and all meals provided?
That the price for the full weekend also includes all events on the programme, your choice of workshops and 3 one-to-one slots where you can directly pitch your writing to a top agent?
That there is also a one day option or a mini course on the Friday?
If so, welcome to the Festival of Writing 2010 which will take place next April.

I've been asked to lead a workshop and, together with Emma Darwin, run the mini-course.
Tickets on sale from 1st November.

And the next one please ...

Remember Hoovering the Roof, the anthology by members of the East Dulwich Writers' Group?
It's all systems go. The book is in the final stages before going off to print.

We have a launch event planned for Thursday 26th November at the Bookseller Crow on the Hill, my fave indie bookshop.
Details nearer the time.

Last orders please ...

And last but by no means least, Richard Woodhouse, long-standing and multi-talented member of the writers' group, will be reading from his novel, Deathless, at a Halloween event on Wednesday 28th October at Brockwell Lido.

The event, Dark Waters, is organised by One Eye Grey.
See here for details.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Road Rage - a brief update

In case you were wondering, this situation is ongoing.

I still don't want to say more right now in case it's perceived as prejudicing the investigation.

Many thanks to those of you who have commented and others who have emailed me.
Your support is greatly appreciated.

If a point comes when we decide to go public, I promise to post the details here first.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

BAD post

Our language is evolving all the time. First 'bad' stopped meaning ... er ... bad and started meaning 'good'.

Now it means something else entirely. And it's very, very good indeed.
I'm talking about BAD, as in Blog Action Day.
And it's today!

Can you think of a single area of life that climate change won't impact on?
The food you eat, the place you live, the clothes you wear, your mode of transport, your health, the air you breathe, your community ...
And in the poorest countries, your life itself.

Though some may still disagree about the causes of climate change, the one thing all intelligent people agree on is that it's happening - and at a far faster rate than previously thought.

So what can we do?

Well, for starters, we can think carefully about our own impact on the planet. Choosing locally sourced food, growing our own, re-using and recycling, refusing goods that are heavily packaged, lowering thermostats, using cars less, switching off appliances, reducing our waste ... the list goes on.

But it's big business and industries that really need to make the changes. And they're generally only interested in their short term profit margins and sod the future.

Who can make them change their practices?
And who can influence governments?
Well, you can of course!

And the good news is you don't even have to leave your computer screen to make a difference.
Click here to find out how you can add your voice to the millions demanding action.

Go on. What are you waiting for? For Hell to freeze over? It could happen, y'know ...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Your chance to save the world

Blog Action Day is this Thursday, October 15, and this year the focus is on Climate Change.

At this point, 6,057 bloggers have already registered from 126 countries, with a total readership of 10,787,561. More are registering even as I compose this post. See here for the full list.

If you haven't registered yet, it is not too late. Sign up here

Once you've signed up all you need to do is write a post about climate change this Thursday. There will be a live feed of all your posts on the Blog Action Day homepage so you can track the conversation.

Meanwhile, you can find ideas about what to post and how to get involved on the BAD Blog.

Climate change affects us all and threatens to cause famine, flooding, war and displace millions of people. Given the urgency of the issue and the upcoming international climate negotiations in Copenhagen this December, the blogosphere has a unique opportunity to mobilise millions of people around the world to try to find a sustainable solution to the climate crisis.

Be part of the conversation. Register now.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Road Rage

Apologies for the paucity of posts. I'm snowed under with work, which is great but leaves little time for blogging.

I also have a very unwelcome distraction that is taking up time and energy.

For legal reasons, I can't go into details at this point, but I will just say this:

I will NOT allow my children to be verbally abused (First Born) or physically assaulted (Little Guy)
in the street ...
by a teacher ...
at a neighbouring school ...
who appears to assume that, as they are state school children, they deserve no better.

It just ain't gonna happen.