• Conventions,  Ireland,  Screenwriting

    finding direction

    I’m off to Dublin today for the Give Me Direction screenwriting conference. On Saturday the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild is having its AGM, and I’ll be attending that as well. It’s Thursday, so here is my weekly pico-prose: In the Tube, crushed, Lin watches the Bronté Waterfall on the vid-strip, hears splash and spray via her earbuds, and inside, space clears. Brevity is the soul of those pressed for time.

  • Fiction,  News,  publications

    the garden of death

    This month Fantasy Magazine ran a competition for writers to come up with a story in ten lines based on a piece of artwork. I found the challenge interesting, and picked “The Garden of Death” (1896) by Finnish artist Hugo Simberg (1873 – 1917). Fantasy Magazine decided to shortlist ten stories. A readers’ poll will decide the three winners, which will be podcast. My piece, also called “The Garden of Death”, is among the top ten. All the stories are strong, but if you think mine is among the best, I’d appreciate it if you would vote for me. The poll will remain open until June 12th.

  • Fiction,  Thoughts

    words on foot

    I’ve been reading Nietzsche today. As thinkers go he’s clear and reasoned. In fact, he’s a little too perceptive for those who like their self-delusions, so sometimes his surgical excision of unpleasant human motivations can make for glum reading. He’s a bit of a grump at times too, especially when it comes to young people. In Human, All too Human he has an entire section called “From the Soul of Artists and Authors”, which had me laughing, nodding, and sometimes grimacing. He has high standards: Speak not of gifts, or innate talents! One can name all kinds of great men who were not very gifted. But they acquired greatness, became…

  • Fiction,  Galway,  Poetry,  Thoughts

    hearing the resonance bell

    Today I wrote a poem, went to a poetry reading, and read out a different poem at the open mic section. I know no one at these events, and it’s nerve-wracking for me to read poetry in front of strangers. Still, it’s a good exercise, and I haven’t had the opportunity to attend of late. Generally, I find listening to other people read their work inspiring. I enjoy the diversity: the rapid shifts of pace and subject matter. Even when some of it is not to my taste. Often, there is a combination of words, a phrase, a verse, or an entire poem that hits the resonance bell. Then those…

  • Fiction,  Reviews,  Thoughts

    look around you

    I haven’t forgotten it’s Thurday. Here’s today’s micro missive: Houdini’s first afterlife message, delivered by email: Lack of limbs renders escape awkward but not impossible. Flexibility of will, vital. Sometimes I like to have fun with these little splashes of words. After signs of an incipient summer we’re back to monsoon rains. I was thinking of hitting the cinema this afternoon for the latest Star Trek movie but I was in a midst of a strong writing session–I was having fun–so I decided that Kirk et al. could wreck CGI havoc without me for another few days. I did brave the floods and rain for a poetry reading, only to…

  • Conventions,  Ireland,  News,  Screenwriting

    get some direction, quick

    Before I inflict my weekly tiny piece of prose upon the web I’ll mention a couple of items that might be of interest to some of my readers. First off while perusing the films appearing in the forthcoming Spanish and Latin American Film Season at the IFI in Dublin I noticed that on Monday May 11th it’s showing a Mexican science fiction film called Sleep Dealer. We don’t often get opportunities to see sf films from other countries in Ireland, and it looks like it will be at least entertaining. Also, I’ve posted an entry over on the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild’s Blog about a new screenwriting conference, called…

  • Fiction,  publications,  Reviews


    Another one of my twitter stories has been published on Thaumatrope: if you’re hungry for a fictional nibble.Reviews of Black Static, issue 10, have been appearing online. I realised before reading the first one that I had been bracing myself: like how you involuntarily clench your muscles when you expect a terrible blow. My story, “Vic”, is intimate, small, and poignant, and I suspected some people might want a story that’s more action-packed and brutal. Although, that’s the beauty of a diverse collection of stories in a magazine–you should find one to your tastes. However, Colin Harvey over on Suite 101 enjoyed “Vic” very much, and rated it “Outstanding”. He…

  • Fiction,  Galway,  Thoughts

    back on track

    I’m returning to schedule for my weekly Twitterfic Thursday. Here is today’s offering: Your pain blurs your eyes with chiaroscuro patterns, and I watch, entranced at the truth it reveals. Your mouth becomes an O of revelation. Not much else to add: it’s a beautiful day in the West of Ireland, which is a lovely change from yesterday’s magnificent downpour. I thought I’d been phase-shifted to India during the Monsoon season, but without the heat and insects. This is far more like the beginning of an Irish summer. Tomorrow is May 1st, after all.

  • Conventions,  Fiction,  Film,  News,  Poetry,  publications,  Thoughts

    catching up

    The past three weeks have been hectic, and my weekly Thursday Twitterfic lapsed during this period, but as it happens a bunch of my twitter stories hit the web so here are links to them: There are two stories, here and here, on Thaumatrope, and a pico story on Outshine. During Easter my poem “Exchange” went live on the fabulous Goblin Fruit. Finally, issue 10 of British horror magazine Black Static is now on sale, and it contains my short story “Vic”. I had a brilliant time at Eastercon in Bradford. I thoroughly enjoyed all the panels I was on, and moderated tightly for the two I shepherded. Generally, I…

  • Conventions,  Fiction,  Ireland,  News,  Screenwriting,  Thoughts

    something for the weekend

    Another Thursday, another piece of micro-fiction in under 140 characters: The rooms of this great house are as familiar as the chambers of my dead heart. I walk in echoes, stir dust, and pine for the key’s rattle. Last week was busy, but very enjoyable. The question and answer session on “Writing Horror” last Thursday with Kim Newman, for the benefit of IPSG members, went well. I provided Kim with enough prompts to keep the discussion of the history and development of horror cinema going for well over an hour (not that Kim needed much encouragement), and the members’ queries kept us there for another hour. The audience was fuelled…