The Darkness and the Light

Fevers of the Mind Volume 3 is now out, including a piece of flash fiction of mine called The Ride.

They look like my sons, but they’re not. I pretend they’re driving me to town as usual, but the radio news verifies my suspicion: there’s no way Carl would listen to that man and not shout obscenities.  At eighty-two, I’m old enough to know leukaemia ain’t gonna kill me, despite it running wild through my withered body.

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#vss365 Anthology

The prompt tag #vss365 has become a near obsession for many of us on Twitter. Every day, hundreds of writers contribute flash fiction, poetry and other writings based on a prompt word, chosen by guest moderators. They make fascinating reading and are a daily inspiration for me – both in terms of the work others produce and through the challenge of inventing something daily. Of course, the Twitter character limit adds another element. Brevity is key!

Recently, the author who designed the concept of #vss365, Mark King, initiated the idea for an anthology. This is now available – he writes:

“We tasked a talented global writing community to produce their best work. We provided them with 37 challenging prompts. We gave them a strict 280 character limit. 

From thousands of entries, we selected just 365.

What can be achieved with just 280 characters? On these pages you will feel the fabric of love and depths of loss, you will explore mortality and ponder what it truly means to be alive, you will find poetry, prose, wonder, despair, humour and courage. 

Most of all you will find exceptional thought-provoking authors who are pushing their form to the very limits and beyond. 

All royalties of this anthology go directly to a children’s literacy charity.”

I am absolutely thrilled that three of my flash fiction pieces were chosen to form part of this anthology. You can find out more here:

Applicious: Conversation Stories

“Applicious” is the first publication to be born from flash fiction created through #converstory. 

Twitter is a forum for many ideas – good, bad and ugly – but over the last year, I’ve been exploring it as a platform for publishing flash fiction and poetry. I have particularly enjoyed the challenge of writing tweet length pieces based on a number of different writing prompts. These have become popular in the online #writingcommunity – essentially prompters publish a word or a theme and then writers from across the world respond through a tweet. It’s fun, but there is also a very supportive writing community out there ready to give you immediate feedback on your work. The quality of some of the writing, considering the constraints, is inspiring.

#converstory is a writing prompt which demands a story within the limits of a tweet, and in the words of its creator, Scott Christopher Beebe: “…no other action – not even dialogue tagging, etc. to add any detail to the stories, which are ONLY told through speech from characters created.”

Scott has compiled an anthology of stories which is now available on Amazon. “Applicious” is the first publication to be born from flash fiction created through #converstory. 

I am thrilled and honoured to have had a piece selected for this publication. You can find out more here…


The mongrel has one ear. The other is missing, a jagged flap of skin covering the skin-puckered hole. From the set of his jaw, he’s part staffie, with a lurcher’s long tail and part something else. He walks jauntily through the road dust and litter and the new black ash, his tongue lolling like a freshly sliced piece of ham. That’s how I first see him, owning the lonely street and leaving pawprints. He’s the first living thing I’ve seen here.

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