About Alex

I was born, at which point I began writing. Some day I will probably die, at which point I will likely stop writing. Until then, I'll litter the word with my drivel. And dribble (I don't really dribble). I'm hungover.

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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