Sunday, 4 March 2018

Writing Confidence

Something that helps is if you can write one sentence.

Write a sentence of something you want to breathe life to, it can be as much as a paragraph if you like. Then take that and look at it again. Pay attention to whether it says what you want it to, whether it flows like you like it, whether it feels right. It won't, so keep tackling it until it does. Keep tweaking and editing it. Get a feel for when you've gone too far and lost what you wanted to say. Understand the origin of the sentence often has a grain of truth that can be obscured with over-editing. Reel it back in, go back to the original, and get it right. It might take you half an hour, it might take you three hours.

But you'll get there.

And when you get there, you'll know that you can do it.

From there on out it's just a case of realising that you can't write out a story with that level in mind, but you can make it like that after it's done. And that's the point. It takes a rare genius to get things right the first time, but it takes only dedication to get it right in the end. And you can do that, you already proved it with the sentence.

Good luck, writer.

Thursday, 7 December 2017


There's an incredibly luscious woman
running through my head
who I wanted to write
who I wanted to bed

But I can't stand the feeling
of giving her away
when all that I want
is for her to play

So I sit here and shiver
as she paces through my mind
as my hands tangle with hers
and she caresses in kind

The light from her eyes
that does nothing but glow
as she teases my heart
dreaming of her flow

But the thought lingers with me
like a hand on a thigh
does she really exist
or must I say goodbye

I want to wake up
with you by my side

And that's all.

Sunday, 24 September 2017


On this night of all nights...

The piano struck a chord, the notes floating in ethereal bliss above the sound of the waterfall just past his door. The pianist. Her breath caught in her throat as she gazed upon his dishevelled state, the ragged state of his nails seeming to complement his attire. She wasn't sure what part of her could notice such a small detail, but as the mournful notes rang through the bare halls, they seemed to tease her forward, elude and entangle her senses, until her steps formed glimmering puddles across the dark floors.

His gaze never faltered from the keys his fingers barely seemed to touch, but his eyes closed at each strike, the shivers running through his very bones and seeming to tangle and entice his body to elicit breath.

This was all he was, she knew, all he had been...for memory fading. And memory did fade as she neared him. Every step a fractured cascade into another world, another life, where all she had been and was rippled away on the breeze, unbinding from her form in ribboned wonder. She turned her head to watch a flow, and some part deep within her felt surprised as she saw it simply halt, ruffling in the air as if time had no sway over it. She found herself nodding, it was simply as it should have been.

He was watching her. How she knew she could not tell, for his motion had not changed, his eyes blinking at each languid strike...but somehow he was. The third eye of the world had glanced at her and she had never noticed, even as she shivered. But the siren's call was a man in a tattered shirt playing a piano in the shadow of a waterfall. The madness of reality had tilted to sane and she had stepped beyond its pale echo, with the aid of a bridge she had never seen.

The Oracle (Dark Blue pt 2)

Lucial threw down her keys and took off her jacket, ending the day with a long sigh and a blank stare across the room. The lounge was in order, as ever, the fluffy pillows enticing with their imitation goose down on the long, soft sofa. But with a shake of her head she got herself moving and trudged over to the kettle, kicking her boots off as she went.

The cool tiling was refreshing under her socked feet and she felt life returning to her limbs as her toes softly pattered on the floor. The fridge didn't have much going for it at this hour, but she hummed softly as the kettle boiled, perusing the shelves for hidden scraps and parcelled packets. Eventually she spied a half-empty pot of humous and the hank of leftover uncut white loaf. "That'll do," she murmured, retrieving the items and setting them on a plate.

The tea took forever, as usual. Or perhaps it only felt like forever as the couch was calling. Still the bread was tasty, though it missed something with the humous, and she would have killed for some tomato soup. Or at least poked someone, she amended in her mind.

The clock ticked back and forth, pendulum in name and nature and an odd thing for a modern apartment, but oh so relevant. He would be coming soon, she knew, and he would want answers.

The television flicked on with a cascade of light and sound, and she let it suspend her as she settled onto the couch. She knew what she would be watching, and indeed had looked forward to it for the entire day. The comforting mellow tones of the love interest as he walked around the city, running errands on his way home for the night, washed over her with the title music.

Lucial supposed he was actually the hero of the story, the protagonist, but somehow she had never seen it that way. He was the love interest, she...or well the heroine at least, was the protagonist. She smiled as she felt herself nod at the thought, at least in the movies Lucial thought of herself that way. Real life always ended up shockingly disparate.

She rolled her shoulders and slipped into null mode, the second stretching out interminably. The movie paused itself in an odd muting of light and sound as she made her way back over to the fridge and fished out some more food. The lazy use of her power made her chuckle, but she wanted to get as much of the film seen as possible before he arrived. That was a good reason to stop time, right?

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Dark Blue

Callum dipped a finger in his drink and stirred it, his digits finding the little pieces of coconut and slowly crystallising them to ice as his other hand played idly with the fire. Curious news in the paper again today, he mused as he sucked his finger clean, his moustache flaking with frost at the contact.

His eyes narrowed suddenly and he flicked the cooker off and scanned the page, picking out the odd configuration of adverts amongst the articles. That made three. Three times in the five days he had bought the paper, one every other day. And how many before that? How many times before had it been repeated? There was no way of telling without a lot of digging, and Callum had no time for that now.

Quickly he crossed to the study, a small room made tiny by the sheer amount of clutter stacked and strewn around the large chestnut desk in the centre. Callum swept aside the remnants of his last project, the brass metal tubes clanking as they rolled about, and pulled out a local map, laying it across the table. With infinite care, he laid the newspaper page over it and with a pin, marked out each of the adverts. Then he pulled out Monday and Wednesday’s editions from a nearby stack, spilling it across the floor in the process, and did the same.

When he pulled the papers away he had his answer, clear as day. It was almost an afterthought to pull on his long blue trench coat, and his hands found the latch on the furnace far too easily. His fist gripped a hot coal, feeling the heat sink into the pit of his stomach, the roiling nauseated feel of its need to escape, before the euphoria of release as his other hand slowly passed over his face, the mask freezing his visage.

He stepped towards the door and lifted his hat from the peg; as it settled on his head he felt himself settle into his skin. Somewhere, a child needed saving.

Somewhere, someone needed Dark Blue.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

In His Eyes

"How is Hrasta?" Foxfire asked after a moment.

"Fine, she's giving the ship a once over and making sure everything is working as intended." Caid's face turned sombre. "I think this is a little calming for her, since when she woke her memories...were not good ones."

Foxfire nodded, falling into pensive silence for a moment. Then she smiled and reached out to caress Caid's face. "Mine could not have been better," she said. Caid blushed, and Foxfire realised that was part of what drew her to him. He looked at her in a way that no one else had before, as though there could never be anyone better, anything else. With wonder and complete contentment in his eyes. "What would we ever do if I had no mission, hmm? Would you stare at me all day like that?" she asked him gently.

"Never," Caid said with a smile. "And we'd never go for walks together, we'd never travel or explore, we'd never eat wonderful food and laugh with friends. We'd never run down streets and poke in corners looking for the secrets. We'd never curl up together and just watch the world go by. We'd never go to new places, new worlds, we'd never run into danger or be bored. We'd never bicker or fight or be scared." Caid chuckled. "You'd certainly never threaten to throw me out of an airlock." His expression softened. "We'd never be sad. We would never cry. We would never try to have children, or watch each other die."

Caid took Foxfire's hand in his own. "And I'd never stare at you like the world is in your eyes."

Foxfire clasped his hand tightly. "Do you promise?"

"I promise," Caid whispered, leaning in and kissing her tenderly.

Something about how I feel always informs these kinds of scenes. I know I can never have something as wonderful or idealised as this, but I can't helped being moved to writing it. I know it's schmaltzy, but...a part of me wants to see it more than anything.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Don't Talk About...

It's been a strange time for me recently. Feeling high, feeling low, chasing after people, trying to let them go. But somehow it feels like a point at my life where things are really moving forward. I'm writing better than I have done for a long time, and actually getting through one of my novels, I hope. This will a huge milestone for me, because that's what's really been holding me back all these years - not finishing.

They say the world is full of people with great talent who never finish what they started, who never go all the way, whose wings are clipped before they get there. That's not going to be me. I'll take what I have and leave greatness to the others, because I've never felt do this than now.

And that's a strange feeling for me, because I've had a fear of failure for probably my entire adult life, and to step forward and not simply be thinking that I'm going to do this at some point, but instead it's going to be now, today, banking into something my head struggles to come to terms with. I can bank into a dream, but banking into that's a whirlwind.

Today I woke up with the strange feeling that I wanted to reach out a hand to someone and say: "You met me at a really strange time in my life, Marla," as the entire landscape of the world changed around us.

And I realised again, that I always wanted to see what happened afterwards.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Snippet: Lover's Quarrel

Foxfire ground her teeth. "I'd prefer not to have someone on my ship that has a problem with me."

"I don't have a problem with you," Caid growled. "I am trying to work through something right now."

"I don't want someone who needs to deal with the way I look," Foxfire told him bluntly. "I am what I am, and make no excuses for that."

"You think I'm angry because you look different?" Caid rounded on her, suddenly furious. "Your soul crackles with energy that blazes brighter than the sun, a magnetic maelstrom that pulls me unceasingly towards you. When I look at you I can barely see past that magnificence; oh is your nose pert? I didn’t notice. What colour are your eyes? I can’t tell because I’m already lost in them. How full are your lips? The only thing I see is that sly smirk I’m already in love with.” Caid’s chest heaved as he rattled off the list and he sucked in a deep breath, trying to control his emotions. “I'm angry,” he said quietly, “because I was close enough to you to hear your heartbeat, to feel your breath in my body, and you didn't feel close enough to me to share such a basic part of yourself with me.” He took another breath and realised he was shaking. “I gave you all of me why didn’t-”

Foxfire hushed him with a finger over his lips. “These are only words, Caid,” she told him quietly, though her eyes burned with fire. “If you want to share my life you have to show me more, be there when I need you, be there when I want you, be there when I wake in an unfamiliar place from a serious injury.” She smiled wryly. “And not make me have to chase you down to see you.”

Caid’s eyes were serious. “You almost died,” he said, the emotion in his voice as deep as the sea.

"I told you it was dangerous,” Foxfire reminded him. “And that was the easy part.”

Caid wrapped his arms around her fiercely and Foxfire felt herself melt into his embrace. “Silly human, was that really so difficult?” Foxfire whispered.

“Sorry,” Caid murmured thickly.