An Iain Banks Short Story

The prompt for this one was to choose an author, take one aspect of their work and steal it. If you haven’t read The Wasp Fact­ory but feel like you’re going to, maybe don’t read Tales for the Nurs­ery or the rest of this post.

Actu­ally, that’s good advice for any­one who prefers their stor­ies well-written or enjoyable.

ANYWAY, I chose Iain Banks and went with the ‘Dark Fam­ily Secret’ ele­ment that hap­pens in almost all his non-sci-fi nov­els. Even more spe­cific­ally, I dir­ectly ripped the penis thing from The Wasp Fact­ory but left some dif­fer­ences in there.

The second part of the prompt was that after steal­ing that one thing, you can’t use any other aspect of their writ­ing (within reason. I think I was allowed to sub­mit the story in Eng­lish.) That meant no grey Scot­tish land­scapes and no post-industrial towns in fur­ther decline. No alco­holic char­ac­ters or even char­ac­ters that struggle to cope without a few drinks. Very lim­it­ing because I can’t think of a single thing I’ve writ­ten where those haven’t fea­tured heavily.

That’s why there’s a dark fam­ily secret set in the heart of col­our­ful Toytown, where every­body leaves happy, ful­filling lives and the worst indul­gence they’ll par­take in is an extra slice of pie at dessert. What a swell place.



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Love/Hate with Poetry

I wrote a post on how I worry about writ­ing poetry but I canned it. Let the work speak, or at least death rattle, for itself: Lies our body tells us.

The gist of the post was that I worry about put­ting too much of myself in my writ­ing or giv­ing too much away about my thoughts and feel­ings. I’m much more com­fort­able with light-hearted tales of frivolity.

That’s all.

No wait it totally isn’t! I’ve been going through the site adding header images cus­tom­ised for indi­vidual pages. The image at the top here should now be a charm­ing, hand-drawn title. So far, everything under the ‘Humour’ drop­down has its own header image. More to come!

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Blood on the Linoleum, Rats in the Kitchen

I sub­mit­ted this (this being A Dirty Job) to an online com­pet­i­tion thing and it got good feed­back so I’m put­ting it here too. And it’s def­in­itely not just because I’ve included a link to this web­site in an author bio attached to a story set to be pub­lished this year and I need to have an update more recent than April 2013. No, sir!

The prompt was for a max. 1000 words mys­tery story, no sci-fi, no fantasy. A sur­pris­ing num­ber of the sub­mis­sions fea­tured poo and mine is no bet­ter (but does have the sav­ing grace of it not being a major part of the case).

There was another one I wrote about a guy in a glass box but it wasn’t great so it can go fuck itself. YES I AM BLAMING THE STORY FOR ITS FAILURES NOT MYSELF leave me alone.

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The Muse that Inspired This Should be Disappointed

Of Drunken Baby’s Con­flict, and the fight

to which Fat Baby came, when reckoning

was poured out into the mall, and Chicago,

as their heroic infant fought against

the men­ace, did fear for their future path,

sing, O Doc Mar­tin wear­ing Muse.


By which I mean to say that the third part of Drunken Baby (When an Unstop­pable Force Meets a Fat Baby), a story which nobody even wanted begun, has finally been concluded.


Part One: Birth of a Hero

Part Two: A Villain’s Beginning

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A Poor Bird and a Dickish Man

Or a man­nish dick. I wrote one of these last year and the other in Janu­ary. The Cir­cu­lar Thoughts of a Dying Her­ring Gull was the Janu­ary one and is my favour­ite one of the two.

I wouldn’t read Weather­man unless you have noth­ing bet­ter to do though. I only typed it up so it was some­where other than my note­pad and it seemed appro­pri­ate to get both weather-based short stor­ies out of the way at once. Sam is a pre­ten­tious dick “ooh my art!” ser­i­ously what a knob.

Gulls, on the other hand, I think are awe­some. CAWWW! CAWWW!

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This is how I envision my potential children

In The First Scep­tic, an age old argu­ment is re-enacted by a piece of fluff and some chub who sits at home knit­ting. Never have two finer minds met.

Really though, this is exactly what I’d be scared any future chil­dren of mine were like (don’t worry, I’m not preg­nant). The birth cer­ti­fic­ate would never be enough for them in case I’d forged it, and the DNA test would have been taken by a dis­hon­est doc­tor that I’d paid off. He might not even be a doc­tor; he could just be a dent­ist. Then they’d kill me in my sleep and steal my iden­tity because they never truly believed they had one of their own. Kids, eh?

But The First Scep­tic. It’s short and I think it rushes past like a strong wind, but that’s what you’re get­ting. An eas­ily digest­ible nug­get of words. It’s a shame I’m pub­lish­ing this at almost 10pm because really it’s break­fast read­ing. It’s what should be prin­ted across from the cross­word in a news­pa­per. I don’t have a cross­word or news­pa­per though, but I can get you some cer­eal if it helps.

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Answering the Unanswerable

Which is just as empty a phrase as doing the impossible. In this, the unanswer­able that turns out to be answer­able, thus neg­at­ing itself and thus mak­ing it noth­ing (much like the story itself!) is How Do We Get Across the Sea?

I’m not actu­ally ask­ing you because there’s already a solu­tion in there and I don’t value your input anyway.

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See how the metaphor continues in the title?

The descrip­tion for the page was bet­ter, so I’ll copy it for the post because that’s what shows up in Face­book. Don’t know what that means? Edu­cate yourself!

This poem has the word blood in and talks about life in a shal­low way thus it should be sung over bad gui­tar music and pos­sibly screamed into a micro­phone, but I don’t have those things so here it is as black text on a white back­ground. That’s almost as good, right?

Wait, I haven’t linked the poem yet. What should I title the poem, please?

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Thousand for Thirty is Done (Ten Months Later)!

Ten months later, Thou­sand for Thirty is fin­ished, just as we all knew it would be. The doubters have been cast into the ocean and a bru­tal peace has been forced upon the realm.

I, as one of the doubters, am writ­ing this from the sea floor. It is cold and wet and the fish will not leave me alone.

The first of the final two pieces is I met him in the car park, which I star­ted months ago and finally fin­ished today. Des­pite what the title makes even me think, it’s not a story about cottaging.

The final one, num­ber thirty, the big three-oh, is The Mar­ket­ing Cam­paign. I don’t care if you don’t like it because it’s about quant­ity not qual­ity and as far as I am con­cerned the two are mutu­ally exclus­ive so leave me alone.

Any­way, it was all point­less because the thing that still gets most praise is The Moun­tain­eer­ing Journal of a Dick, which was one of the first things I wrote on here.

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