Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It has been four years since my last confession. That is to say, since I last wrote a word of creative fiction. It was four years ago that I submitted my novel, Killing Beauties, a work of historical fiction based largely on the real lives of two seventeenth century women, to my publisher. It failed to set the world alight. I think it sold four copies in 2022. And yet I call myself a writer.
They say that the unexamined life is not worth living. So here’s my life in publishing. Albeit a rather truncated version.
Twenty-five years ago I was a rock guitar player of no little repute (but far less cash), but I was struggling. Continue reading
Twelve year ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I was forty years old. It was something of a shock to the system. Over the years I have become increasingly aware of what such a diagnosis does to you. Not what the disease itself does (though I have also become increasingly, and uncomfortably, aware of this. That’s what the words progressive, degenerative and incurable mean), but what the act of diagnosis actually means to the diagnosed. I don’t for a minute think that what I am about to describe is unique to Parkinson’s, though I suspect it may, in many ways, be something that is largely confined to chronic ailments such as Parkinson’s. Continue reading
This morning I responded to a twweet from a fellow paarky about aainnvolutary amovemnet. I wrote ‘it’s a buggea. Goodaaa job I’m naoat a writaer.oah.’ asa a response. He tweeted eme bacaaaak saaying it’as like ahhaaving aa suattera in tetx. I repalied thata i sometims want to publish aaa fiaart darafat atao gie pewople ann iadaea of whata it’s like.
Soa I have,. 63 words nd a4aaminutea.
Parakinson’a i aaahaarad.
This is the prose version of a monologue based on a short I wrote a while back. It’s the only thing I’ve written that has ever won anything. Continue reading
This is an edited extract from the prose work that will accompany the release of Dancing with Architects … It concerns ambition, intention and luck. Hopefully it will make some sense as it stands.
The opening to I, Sybarite is how every musician and artist wants their career to begin: to simply explode in the consciousness of the audience. No warning given, no real preparation possible. To just suddenly be. It’s a great contrast from the album’s opening track, Praxis. I’m guessing my rationale for putting Sybarite as track two was to confuse those who knew me and expected me to hit the ground at a full gallop and surprise those who didn’t know me from Adam. Continue reading
This is piece I wrote just before my (ouch) 50th birthday. I just bumped into it again and thought it was worth a read.
‘When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child. But when I became a man, I put aside childish things,’ so wrote St Paul in an email to the Corinthians. In a little-known coda, he carried on: ‘and when I reached middle age, I said to myself, what the hell were you thinking? And that’s when I reformed The Apostles.’ Continue reading
There is a school of thought that suggests that, when in a crowd, we make better decisions than if we think as individuals. It’s an extension of Rousseau’s general will. It received its most recent iteration in 2004, with the publication of James Surowiecki’s book The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations, and is generally considered to derive from Galton’s observation that a crowd at a country fair guessed (on average) the weight of a bullock more accurately than most of the individual members. It’s an interesting concept, and naturally, it’s flawed. Its flaw is simple: no crowd ever makes a truly collective decision. Crowds are always susceptible to the loudest voice. And those with the loudest voices are often those with the least to say. Crowds simply want to be led. Continue reading