A Useful Little Meme.

Lifted from a few people:

Everyone has things they blog about. Everyone has things they don’t blog about. Challenge me out of my comfort zone by telling me something I don’t blog about, but you’d like to hear about, and I’ll write a post about it.

All answers will go to fuel my “one long post of some kind a week” attempt.

Project: Electric Internet Writing

I need help. On any number of levels.

I haven’t written anything longer than a few sentences, 2 or three paragraphs at most, for fun in ages. The occasional bit of workbloggery, but that’s about it. This is, well, not right.

And my beloved black-ink.org domain languishes dusty and unloved. I mean, dead-air.org has see more posting in the last 12 months, and it’s barely a thing at all.

So, new project. Between now and February 1st next year, I aim to produce 52 pieces of writing of a minimum of 800 words length each. I may keep going after that, but let’s start small, eh? Yeah, I know some of you do more than that in a month. I am lazy, and easily distracted by shiny things.

Where you lot come in to this is simple: tell me what to write. Left to my own devices, I don’t seem to do anything, so I’m opening this to you lot. You can suggest titles for short fiction, or request essays and opinion pieces on a given subject. Ask for diary entries for a certain day. Ask me to review something (you can be specific, as long as I can reasonably get hold of thing you’re asking for, and it isn’t going to eat entire days of my life) or leave me to pick freely, or within some set of parameters. Get me to do a bit of research, and provide a synopsis of what I find. Anything, as long as I can reasonably produce a minimum of 800 words worth of writing on it, and it isn’t going to cost me the earth.

Obviously, I need at least 52 suggestions for this to work, so I’ll probably repost this a few times over the next year or so. I do reserve the right to say “sorry, come up with something else” but only if the very idea of whatever you suggest makes my eyeballs bleed.

In the meantime, though, your suggestions, please…


“The guitars pick up, the drums kick in, and I’m away. I can’t help grinning like a madman as the dancefloor goes wild – the good feeling is catching, and it spreads fast. She grabs me by the hand, dragging me toward the floor. I protest that I don’t dance, shaking my head and smiling, but we both know my heart’s not in it. She wins. She always wins.

We throw ourselves around in the heart of it for a while, loose track of time. When we stumble away, we’re both soaked with sweat, but her eyes are still bright.

Then I wake up, and I remember that she didn’t always win. That there are some things that can’t be overcome with enthusiasm and an infectious grin. Things like bullets and knives and explosions. And I remember that she might never have found that out if it weren’t for me. And for a moment, for just a moment, I think about calling her and telling her that I’m sorry all over again.

But what would be the point?”

Early Draft

“The heat is oppressive, lying over everything like a blanket. The air crawls up your skin, a strange crackle in it, a muted energy. You can see it reflected in the faces of people are they hurry by – anticipation, concern, maybe even a little fear. The skies darken. Your jacket snaps against you and your hair ruffles in the breeze as the wind rises.

The first patter on the leaves of a tree as you pass under it. You quicken your pace. Then you hear it. That first rumble before it all starts, and you know you’re not going to reach shelter in time.

Stormbreak. The second before the knife slips in.”


Nick Cave is shrieking out of my CD player, a heavy bass hammering behind him. Seems like a fitting soundtrack to what I want to talk about. I promised myself I’d only post here when I had something actually worth the effort to set down. Somehow it fails to surprise me that what I want to talk about is loathing. I’m good at loathing. Pick your poison, I can do it. Loathing for my fellow man, loathing for the world around me, loathing for myself, I’ve got plenty to spare.

There’s a bit of all of it in this. Here it is, and you won’t here me say it often:

I fucking loathe London. I hate how it crawls inside your head and leaves its filth behind. A nasty little streak of shit across my brain.

Here’s what I said about London 18 months ago, edited a bit:

“Back in London, and a surliness is back in my head, almost a side effect of the London air.

There was a woman on the train was clearly either unnaturally friendly, slightly retarded, or just plain hatstand. She sat down and tried to strike up a conversation with the folk nearby. Me, I scowled and sent out “hungover, tired, filthy, and pissed off” vibes, hunching myself in and looking away. Being large, black clad and unfriendly looking has advantages.

Still, why do people (including me, obviously) react like this? She may have been over-enthusiastic but a conversation might have brightened my journey, and made her feel better. By the look of her National Express tickets, she wasn’t a native Londoner.

A thought: Would I have reacted to her like that if I’d been in Edinburgh? Or anywhere but London? I’d like to think not, because then I can blame “the city” for my character defect. But I’m probably just your typical breed of living shit.”

So, today’s anecdote:

Pleasant afternoon in Hyde Park with friends. Drumming. Swords. Slow-motion archery. Splendid stuff.

Tube home, less pleasant. Collapsed in seat, exhausted after all that unhealthy fresh air. People get on train. Drunk northern bloke. Moderately attractive woman with bags from shopping in trendy shops. Woman with pushchair and small child.

Small child starts running all over train, especially near northern bloke and shopping woman, who are sitting in seats opposite one another.

Gradually, I become aware that drunk bloke and woman (who may or may not know one another, it’s not entirely clear) are arguing. The subject of their argument is whether or not it’s reprehensible that a small child is being sent out to do the begging.

The argument gets increasinly heated. Eventually, drunk bloke gives the kid 20 quid and tells the child to piss off back to its mother.

The child is not begging, and the poor woman is mortified and humiliated. It’s at this point I leave the train.

Where’s the loathing in this, then?

All over the fucking place. For the behaviour of the drunk northern bloke. For the woman who was mortified that he would give 20 quid to a begging child. For the mother who let her child run all over the train when it was clearly annoying the other passengers.

But most of all, for me.

Because I’d made the same assumption that the drunk bloke had. I had assumed that yes, that child was begging.

What the fuck is wrong with me? Why is it that my reflex assumption about small children bothering adults on trains are begging for their parents? And, most especially, why is it that I ignore them?

Good god. Not only do I not credit people with enough dignity, but because I assume they’re poor and begging, I blot them out. Sure, today, I was right to. Just for all the wrong reasons.

I like to pretend I’m a nice person. Direct debits come out of my bank several times a month to various charities. It allows me to feel good about myself. Well, fucking bully for me. Apparently, I’m good at being nice so long as I’m not forced to actually look the needy in the eye. So long as I don’t actually have to talk to them.

That’s the sort of reaction my mother has. My terribly middle class mother. The one who I used to argue with about exactly this sort of thing when I was younger and more stupid. I used to say some fucking rotten things to her over this sort of thing. Now fucking look at me.

What fucking excuse is there for this sort of behaviour?

I Still Remember

Yeah, disgraceful length of time since last update. Been busy. Leave me alone. In penance, some notes from my palmtop, made over Christmas. Not that there’s anything interesting in them, but it’s content…

“The flight’s been cancelled. Everyone’s tired and sweaty and disappointed. Dad and I are trying not to pick fights with one another, but everything either one of says just gets on the other’s wick. We’re not normally like this. It’s the environment – harshly lit plastic and constant beeping. Bollocks.”

“These are the moments that make it all worthwhile. It’s about 4 on Christmas day, and I’m out for a walk. The air is cold and clear, here in Hillsborough. I can smell woodsmoke. The rest of the family went out for a walk en masse earlier, and I’ve just bumped into my cousin Richard on his way back. Standing at the top of a hill looking out across the fields and hills at the sunset. A huge flock of birds are dancing in front of it, swirling and circling as they begin to roost for the night.

There are other families out now, Christmas dinner over and done with, children riding new bikes and scooters. I’m down in the village proper, look across from the war memorial at the church, its spire eerily greenlit against the dusk-blue sky. Magic. On the way back, I stop at the top of the same hill, and look out toward Belfast’s lights, ten thousand amber jewels against the black land.”

It was a good christmas, and I’ve been meaning to mention it here for a while now.


Four times in two days. It’ll be months before I update this thing again, y’know. Anyway, after some friends of mine took me to task in a worryingly serious and earnest manner a few weeks back, concerned at how they don’t see any evidence of certain sides of my personality in anything I do these days, I thought I’d better flag this up. The current entry at forgotten.org was written by me. I do have romance in my soul. It’s just well hidden. Now stop bothering me about it.

Artist Hunt

Oh, and I’m seeking artists for a couple of comics projects. No publisher lined up yet, but I want to get some concept art and the first couple of pages of each into the promo packets I’m going to send out. If you’ve got actual artistic talent, and think that either urban horror or mad Cthuloid pulp sounds like your sort of thing, mail me. Urgently.

Never Saw The Light

Can’t even manage to stick to a proper weekly schedule. This is because I am very busy leading a fabulous jet set lifestyle of glamour and excess. Actually, it isn’t but it’s a better excuse than “I’ve got a lot of work on”, so if you’d please believe that, it’d make me feel a bit better. The pitch for Unbound Comics is taking shape. Expect to see “BLACK PLANET: Sex and Lies” available in their forthcoming antho, assuming the editor doesn’t shitcan me.