Sunday, 31 August 2014

In the Fox Spirit!

Imagine my joy on learning that Fox Spirit Books chose my suggested slogan 'Top notch and bushy tales!' along with that by Vick Linde 'Ad captandum vulpes'.  Thank you!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

(De)composing - A Composting/Writing Synergy!

I am a keen gardener (not necessarily a great one though!) and today I completed one of the most satisfying tasks in the garden; mulching with homemade compost. This freed up the sacks for the leaves that are already beginning to fall from the cherry and greengage trees. (I put to good use those horrid non-biodegradable ones that toy stores always have. The one in the picture is on its 6th year!)  I find sacks are better for leaves and bins for household trimmings. If you are lucky enough to have a garden make your own compost, it's easy!
First, fill the bag with leaves.

Then roll the top down and put a brick on the top to keep it closed. Leave it for two or three months.

What you'll find when you open the sack is gorgeous black soil rich in nutrients!

Put it in your planters or on the garden.
(This is my Japanese Maple Acer just beginning to put on its autumn cloak.)

What does this have to do with writing you might be wondering and rightly so. Well it's simple; sometimes writing doesn't flow or you get little ideas and you don't know where to take them or even worse you have bits you like the sound of but you've had to prune them from a story even though you don't want to throw them away. All these things are kept in a deep, dark corner. Then a couple of months or even years later you take a peek and low and behold there is a story there, rich in twists and turns, dialogues flourish and perhaps that missing 'je ne sais quoi' has materialised at last!

This happened with Earthbound Angels Return I had 3/4 written in 1997 but didn't finish it till fifteen years later! I couldn't find an ending that I liked and that would tie all the characters together but I knew that somehow they were all working towards the same goal!

My work this morning also inspired my shortest story yet, only six words in length!

Compost heap. Dead matter. Living entity.

So there you have it composting and writing produce great results!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


Imagine my joy when I finally got into my email (new phone - epic story) and discovered that my flash fiction piece 'Hot Air Ballooning' has won the July competition! Not bad for an evenings work! It's only the third time I've entered too! Hot Air Ballooning


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Vanquish: to conquer or subdue; to be victorious over

The title sums the story up and says so many things about how it came into being. I work a lot from mental images and this was one of a great wall of fire, probably sparked by the numerous wild fires that occur in Greece during the summer months. I drew on teenage angst I had over a variety environmental issues that were and still are relevant (the issues not the angst!) and my eternal disgust at how senseless some things humans do are. (I do not claim to be a great activist by the way - I do what everyone can easily do!)
This was a tough story to write, I wanted to get just the right doses of rage and despair and hopelessness into the mix to make it potent. It has taken little over a year from its conception to coming to print and although it's the third story to see print it was the first accepted for publication, so it is rather special.
Want to read it?  Click here! for
Just as a post script; Fox Spirit has accepted another short story of mine, 'Tickets to Ride', for its Fox Pockets anthology 'Reflections'. Look out for this in the near future!