Out of the woods?

  As those who have read my previous posts will know, since suffering a devastating personal loss last year, I have not been able to write - having neither the motivation nor the concentration required to create a story, much less to hone and edit until it is fit for human consumption. But I have been recording snippets of how I have been feeling on my phone, and once Christmas was over I listened to them back.  They are, as you might imagine, quite soul-wrenching and I wept many new tears as I listened, but it also occurred to me that perhaps they should be transcribed into a form which might pass for a book. I have read several books on grief over this last year, but because grief is such a personal thing, and everyone reacts to it differently and in their own way, in any one book there tends to be only a few passages that chime with you. So while you can appreciate and empathise with the writer's own experience of loss, it does not necessarily mirror what you are personally goi

The Turning of the Year

 The year is turning... 2023 becomes 2024 in a single tick of the clock... yet nothing changes, for all our drunken resolutions and best intentions. Everything that occupies our hearts and minds on December 31st will still be foremost in our thoughts on January 1st. The same wars will rage, the same injustices perpetrated. Joy and sorrow, violence and frustration, love and loss, depression and anguish... they will all run on from one day into the next, across the dateline that separates the old year from the new.  Jolly little soul aren't I? January is, of course, named for the two-faced god Janus - not two-faced in our modern sense, but able to see simultaneously forward and backward, and so it is natural that New Year's Eve should be a time of both reflection and anticipation. For those that know me, or follow this intermittent blog, you will understand that 2023 has been a year that I am all too happy to put behind me, and any reflection that I may be engaged in as the world

And Darkness Covered the Face of the Earth...

  My last post on this blog was in March, and was pretty optimistic and upbeat in tone. Well, what a difference a month makes... for in April my world crashed and burned. Before I continue, I want to say that I have not written what follows out of any sense of self-pity, neither do I seek to elicit pity from others, nor to justify these words by hoping that others in a similar position may find comfort in them (though should that prove to be the case, I wish you well, fellow traveller along this darkest of roads - you are not alone). Rather I am writing as nothing more than a form of therapy for myself, to try to express a little of what I have been holding inside over these last few months. Nothing more, nothing less. So what's it all about?  For those that don't know, April was when I lost my best friend, my soulmate, and the love of my life... and the darkness closed in. Since then, I have been struggling to make sense of a life which seems directionless and empty. One of th

Tempus Fugit

  "We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. But habit is a great deadener." Samuel Beckett. Waiting for Godot. The last time I visited this blog, I was dwelling  (perhaps a little overmuch?) on the speed with which life was hurtling by. Well, it will come as no surprise that it hasn't slowed down any. If anything, it seems to be accelerating, like my foot is to the floor and there's no way of lifting it off.  I can't believe that it has been ten years since I made the decision to 'take my writing more seriously'... ten years since I won a writing competition which led to the publication of my first short story, and which gave me the confidence to try to establish myself as an author. Over that time I have, like most writers, been trying to fit my writing around work and family commitments, meaning that there have been whole swathes of time when I haven't managed to put any words down on paper at all. I have also, over this period, got ma

A Traveller through Time

 A Traveller through Time ... sounds like a great title for a piece from a Specfic writer, doesn't it? Conjuring a mental image of some deliciously Whovian flight of fancy; an exploration of strange worlds with even stranger inhabitants, or a dip into the far reaches of our own history, and the extraordinary voyage of discovery that may be found there. So I'm sorry to have to tell you that today's little mental ramble is going to be far more prosaic than the title might lead you to expect. For we are all, of course, travellers through time - all on a shared journey to one inescapable destination - and what we do with that journey depends on an extraordinarily complex set of factors: ambition, opportunity, character, family background, desire, environment, mental and physical wellbeing, education, luck... the list goes on and on, yet in the words of the old adage, what it really comes down to is how well (or otherwise) we play the cards we are dealt. Sometimes the choices we


It states on my website ( ) that I write an occasional blog. Well, the last time I wrote anything on my blog was over a year ago, so unless I want 'occasional' to become 'annual', I guess it's time I rectified that! As I type I am, like most of the rest of the world, in lockdown, though there are signs that governments are beginning to ease the strictures that we live under, and I just hope this is the right thing to do. Our Prime Minister advises caution while apparently rocketing headlong toward a return to normal which risks undoing all that has been achieved thus far. But hey, what do I know? I'm just a performer who writes. Speaking of which, I can't say that I've found lockdown particularly difficult, aside from the total lack of work (and therefore income). Under normal circumstances, my work tends to be at weekends with the occasional evening, so I am used to spending most days at home, the only real change being the inability t

The Butterfly Mind

Sound the trumpets! Hoist the flags! Pop the champagne! My second novel is finished! (Or as finished as it can be, given that the lot of the writer is constantly to edit, tweak, substitute words, rearrange sentences, cut bits and add bits... for goodness sake, why can't we just let it go?) I am well aware, of course, that my first novel is still doing the rounds, trying to find a publisher, but we can't let a little thing like that stop us from forging ahead with other projects, now can we? To give it its due, this current manuscript should rightly be referred to as the first, as the early part of it was written a good many years before its younger sibling, but way back then it was, at 45,000 words, novella length. I sent it to an agent who liked it, but asked for substantial rewrites which I felt I simply did not have the time to do, what with trying to forge a career in the theatre and everything. So it got shelved, something that now, of course, I bitterly regret, as had