shockwork – test dept

I realise I haven’t written anything about writing for a while. Last November, my health collapsed – right in the middle of NaNoWriMo – and I ended up taking five weeks off work, as well as really struggling to finish the book I was working on. Since then, my health has been intermittent, to say […]

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people are strange – the doors

Walking around Edinburgh, experiencing what Robert Sheckley called ‘metaphoric deformation’. Basically, when we go somewhere unfamilliar, we see people we think we recognise. Then we do a double-take and realise it’s a complete stranger. The first time I remember experiencing this was in Leeds, September of 1979. I was seventeen as I drifted around the […]

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coogit bairns – sandie craigie

It’s amazing how birthdays bring out the bitter ‘n’ twisted in us all. I didn’t even realise how pissed off I still am about this. Today would have been Sandie’s fiftieth birthday, had she lived. When you don’t see someone for a while before they die (and the funeral’s an invite-only affair exes aren’t invited […]

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stop or I’ll scream – mute drivers

Wow, that’s another one done. ‘Person-hair’ is finished (well, the first draft is!) and I’m having a well-deserved breather. And, by ‘well-deserved breather’, I mean heading into work for what’ll no doubt be a really heavy week. It’s always a bit of an anti-climax, finishing a novel. I’ve been living and breathing the alternate edinburgh, […]

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violence – mott the hoople

I have an ambivalent, ‘to me – to you’ relationship with violence. Like the chuckle brothers, smoking crack and trying to gnaw each other’s faces off. Those of you who regularly touch yourselves in an inappropriate manner while reading this after lights out will recall that I’m pretty much the product of violence. To recap: […]

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sunshine on leith – the proclaimers

Well, last night’s reading went surprisingly well. So many bits came together – other performers turned out to be either really good – and/or people I’d known thirty-plus years. The music was (as an afterthought) all the tracks culled from the ‘shorties’ folder on my bleakberry: loads of hawkwind, tricky, john cale, hunter/ronson, and so […]

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