Sunday, August 31, 2008


Tell us the story about the little boots


When Saturdays were only for football

Torn Envelope

And the pit-heads baths is a supermarket now

Death by Sunbed

There was a picture made of flowers


He worked in the steelworks

How you can push, push with your anger

Tonight, January fog

How much that dies with them

A mother moves away to birth her lamb

Let the number be learned

In a few month's time I will stop and linger

Old men like monkeys

February Streets

In clear snow like laughter

I have known too many of the murdered


Mrs Blenkinsop keeps a tiger in her cellar


You wouldn't know the place now


Old, so old, and short of wind

We went on holiday to London with Mam

We who wait

The old sad things have been forgotten

When old age came he stood up and kicked it

On the wrist, a watch

Saturday, August 30, 2008


It was love at first sight


All day it has rained

I am amused

Love drips and gathers


Dominoes, Woodbines, Senior Service

A most curious device

Raking through the ashes

I have learned to dream with the sound off

Sailors Killed it

I think we need to say goodbye

It takes sixpences

With my pockets full of money



You roll away and show me your sullen back

The Loch Ness Mobster

I was young and easy then

The window is filthy

Shall I get drunk or eat a piece of cake?


Time ate my love and farted, then you departed


Recognizing a red kite

Put a shilling in the gas, your head in the oven

Last night I met my father

I am preoccupied

Words are my instruments but not my servants

The Lover & Her Killer

A house with bleached-white walls

How to Kill 101

Saturday Prompts

Barely a twelve month after
Three old shops, all in the name Jones
Do not ask, "What is it?"
Violence upon the roads
Two dark tractors, pausing
A pale light
sawdust bars, the sounds of angry men
A lovely piece of slate
There is a girl standing there
Our life is changed: their coming our beginning
It was a soft October night, summer at last
His quick body
You can cast out past the fish
The sun used to shine, remember?
Leave, then
We heard a distant tapping on the road
A sunrise like military best
She slipped away to die quietly
I love this, as some day a child will love it
I have mislaid the key
For I have known them all already
Only an avenue, dark and nameless
I see the image of a naked man
We did not dare go near them
The entrance is blocked by brambles
Late in the summer the strange horses came

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tuesday Prompts

I told my son about my father
There's water still in the bath
The pub quiz: it's all about winning
Why not be a Brain-Surgeon?
Kite Surfing 101
There's a problem at the bridge
Trying to fix a light
Big Boy
Sudoku for the damned
The boys done well
A handy electrical gadget
A quarter ton of lego
The sound of cars passing in the wet
Why she doesn't phone
Whisky without the e
In the not too distant future, if all my dreams come true
This is a stupid way to die
With sawdust, string and patches
From the hill I saw a line of snaking tenements
Bush Meat
Under an awning, talking about nothing; rain
Is surviving suicide a success or failure?
Two rooms done and the doors closed
A three-legged hippo
It may be pretty, but is it appropriate?
Arctic elephants are the same as African ones. But colder.
Treasure Island

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bank Holiday Prompts

Pictures of old London
Discovered by a monk
It torments me, this injustice
She is big and plump and happy
If you can keep your head
Refreshed every two minutes
Shifting the furniture
Glasses, but naff
Tea, biscuits, a rest
The sound of bickering
I need to be very drunk
Oh for a muse of fire
What bells are these that toll?
Do NOT close the cupboard
Anyone can use them
I wondered lonely, under a cloud
City of Angels
The thing I like is overcoming
Another Monday!
Muscle for the wing
Just at that moment, Carol came in the back door
He lifted a bowl of nuts and offered them
Deep Blue Goodbye
The Edge of Reason
I’ve come for a payment on the bed
Why the vacuum cleaner makes me angry
Out of the Sun
What I’m saying is I’m a drunk, not an alcoholic
Electric Polisher
An amazing ending
Mother, mother, where did you go?
I try not to see my sister too often
He was a sort of commando
A thousand blessings, Effendi
I claim death
The difference between clams and mussels
The café is shut.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

More Prompts

I've been away a few days, but here:

When all this is over, I shall give them the finger
The weakening eye of day
I saw an x-ray of a baby
Unwearied still, lover after lover
Not even in my thoughts
I did not think death could undo so much
She is beautiful. I dream about her.
The rain flies down the street, flaps outside our door
All the sun long it was running
Appointment in Basingstoke
The stove’s heat mottling her legs
Moving the books
Her dead body wears the smile of accomplishment
I know where you are
Thinking of an old lover makes it hard
We renounce everything except the self
Uzi Wedding
Her floured hands at the baking board
Show me the kitchen, the knives
Three thousand years ago they didn’t give a fuck
I would like to be terminally ill
Red and yellow, silver-back, half-imagined things
16 GIG
I kept my wife’s heart in a canary’s cage
I’m going to sail round the world
I cannot speak to you
Horses passed from dawn into the night, horses, horses, horses.
We come to terms with shade, the principle of grey
One or two blackmailers, a poisoner
Unnatural Acts
Every fear is a form of desire
Use the back entrance

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday Prompts

A sound of banging from upstairs
Keeping them apart
Although a true love never dies, it can become unreal
An empty can of Pepsi
Sailing in the dark towards Oslo
Perfect apart from the missing door
A slip on the stairs
I have come often to these open halls
Drained, empty
Where the streets have no name
Mark is at the door
The dark is rising
It’s a perfect size for DVDs
There’s published and published
The end one is split
In the not-too-distant future, if all my dreams come true
Majesty, Majesty
The legend of Luke McCauley
A swollen floor
Northern Lights
I’m gonna tear your playhouse down
Who Wants to Live Forever?
Air on a G-String
An angel of the great white way

Monday, August 18, 2008


December. Another Monday.
If we mattered they’d have to feel guilty
Bright-faced, her eyes darting.
A brush with drowning
He could see her in his rear-view mirror, long and slim
Her thoughts were filling the silence
There was darkness and a silence she could feel
It was “Teach Yourself Flying”
She was shoeless and massaging one of her black-stockinged feet
They went down to the canteen via the back stairs
You measured harassment by the square yard
They heard a quick rush of men’s laughter
My Billy is an angel
The rounded-down sterility that came from a ball-point pen
They were brewing up behind the bar
She was a tallish size twelve with shining black hair
A thin air job
She wished that she was running, right now
Remember, God sent me.
They can do it to us because we’re nothing.
This is the one. She likes me.
She lived alone on a quiet estate of Barratt houses
Perhaps she had smelt something burning
Thank-you for your co-operation
We’re looking for a man in a dirty raincoat
They were bound to talk about men
Her hands at ten-to-two on the wheel
They parked in a side-street
A massive oak tree
Sunlight flashed off bone
He’s magnificent!” she said.
Four or five hundred yards away to their left
The temperature had finally crept above zero
A dark green sheen on the grass
She twitched her nose, sniffing at the air.
I feel shitty if you must know
From the bushes he saw the two of them
He was in a Nike shell-suit and a pair of New Balance trainers
Then the women turned and walked away
He felt something cold snap around his wrists
We don’t fancy the paperwork
The parking’s crap in central Richmond
Man-hating would do for now.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Prompts

A misunderstanding wings in
The spaces between people
Girls in the river, the water up to their waist.
Banana Salad
In the dark houseboats families were stirring
All our lives we must forget
Red Bus
The bride, holding her flowers too tightly
I predict my predictions are always wrong
Grief by instalments
On the muddy bank, boys are fishing
And still they die
I sit drinking, thinking. The coffee is bitter
Prince Thingumebob, from what’stheplace
Wooden Crosses
What I am is not important
Fear swells the heart
Brute force will do
He trod cautiously over the dead
Dogs slavering behind barbed wire
Syllable has too many syllables
A girl in exile
Fool’s Gold still looks nice
Your daughter is accomplished, Madam
What EXACTLY is in that sandwich?
Mistakes in Nightclothes
Things bin-men collect
A little bit to prove
The morning hits me like a fuck-off phone-call
What was left was fine
Some bastard stole my life and left my wife

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Prompts For Sunday

My father, crying in St Mary’s
I am worn out with dreams
My love, I never spoke to her, but she heard every word
Smoke in the Valley
I am a man now
Al night in submarine light
My hands are red with the blood of the dead
I think about the FBI
We drove fast, singing, playing the Stones
I know that I shall meet my fate
He was a schoolmaster
Agnes fiddling with her rosary
Tread softly
A boy like a ballet dancer, poised
Oh love and you so far away
I draw your attention to the window
A sadness of penguins
Hair pale as a breath
If I should love a fat lady
Somewhere, on the other side of this wasted night
I took my son’s girlfriend home
How delightful it may be
Losing is fairly easy
I lost my father in Waitrose
My friends rise up and chant
Yellow pissholes in the snow
I can name them all
Television and other necessities
Passing bells
My daughter is drawing a picture
We can get so far in this world
I once bathed in a bath full of eels
Time is a bastard
Shall I compare thee to a Lamborgini?
Isobel from the estate kissed me
When all this is over, I’ll retire
It’s a shame about the shadow
At night I do not know who I am
I walk through your rooms, wondering
I am acquainted with the dark

Saturday Prompts

In the depths of the Greyhound terminal
The soldier takes pride in saluting his captain
A white mare
My days wind out, aimless, hopeless
Old men and women, rich and poor
Gold, Gold, Gold, Gold, Gold
A cricket bat, a box
Nothing to do with Hamlet
Two men in blazers
The boys are not well
It’s about the end of the world
Clear plastic
An aged man is a paltry thing
This is fresh
I shall hide behind being old
The fun starts here
We pace along the battlements, hoping
Two men have been found
Edgar wins!
A winding staircase, candles flickering
A Mexican green pepper
Without love, the world is too heavy
Rage-driven, rage-tormented
When we were young we had pretty toys
They are holding a public meeting
I started running weeks ago. I will not stop
I’m trying to come to the point
On the cover of TIME
Through icy streets
There are places where I have not been
They reject spirit
This man can sing!
I imagine a land, rain-soaked

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday prompts

There’s a problem with Mrs Evans
White on White
When you are old, if you should think of me
Yes, but apart from the race massacres?
And they killed the cat
The edges of doors
Full English Breakfast
Katie is back soon
Rocked the cradle etc
Two single duvets
How do I love Theo? Let me count the ways
Twenty-eight hours
A lot of rough edges
No, THIS is a knife
Boil, carbuncle
It is cooler than we expected
I know she died, but how?
I keep my son awake
Go gently, go otherwise, but go.
We are arguing. Twenty? Thirty?
I don’t like how the wind comes through
My gnome has run off again
I heard he was Welsh, but OK
Blessings, Effendi
I may go, I may come back. But I will only come back if I went.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Prompts for Thursday Morning

(unless you are staying up all night)

Wednesday Night Prompts

Forgive me for naming you
Your dark geometry
Not British
A clean, white apron
The wars come and the wars come
Two Jokers
I have not sent you a letter and I doubt it will arrive
Howl, Howl.
When all is said and done, at the end of the day
A tall bird in a small tree
On a motorway bridge
You never asked what he was like.
There are men seeking my father
If October comes
A dull light shines behind a muslin curtain
I think we should finish now
Consider death
This is not a test I wish to take
In a bluebell wood, bluebells
We could meet at the station
Virgin Mary
I'm beginning to dislike mornings
A small bird, impaled on a thorn
We know love, little by little
A shadow whispering
He was part of the place

Wednesday Morning Prompts

This is the wind, the wind down a long valley
Sunlight is a thing that needs a window to be called light.
Have you heard something?
Battered by time and weather
Doors open and close with tinkling bells
I saw a thousand years pass
Two old men exchanging prose
Table, Glass
The gate is held together by wire
It will be always at a distance
I will do murder and then drink tea
Think of the spaces
Daughter, do not go where it is dark
I cannot sit in that chair
Cigarette Burns
I do not trust this light
Maybe we could get together on day, and talk about
There is a dance at Billy’s tonight
These are indifferent streets
I think of my father emptying the grate
We danced on broken glass and sang
Dragged through streets at dawn
He is chained in an old subway tunnel
I need a sordid movie
Dreams cluster there and turn cold
There are light months and dark months
You are far away, dark in your small fields
Leave it to nature and it will sprawl

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Struggling a Bit, and Prompts

A bereavement, three on holiday, one doesn't have time to do critiques, one off on business and suddenly the group shrinks. Damn! (This is why you always need twice as many as you think you need)


You plan for it, have all the equipment
Photographs do not burn like paper
The smell of breakfasts over the dunes
I was too young, and old enough
On the hottest, stillest day of summer
The Collected Perms of Mariella Wilkins
When I was not a young child
This is too long, too dry, I think we need to worry
Couples, Cardigans
Is that not how good stories go?
The evening is swelling
If love goes, was it ever there?
Victoria and Albert
All things can tempt me from my craft
Thomas was a fat drunken fuck
You could have gone back
Summer is late and autumn squeezed out
Shall I part my hair, or eat a peach?
I am looking for a river
We both lost, falling
Under my window, water runs
The first word after a long silence
Here is a recipe
He calls to those who called him father
Three Hail Marys
I know seven ways there
And loitering within
Getting up early on a Sunday morning
Various Museums
Four dripping candles and a room full of sadness

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday Afternoon Prompts

The courtyard is filthy
Blue Light
The tree frog croaks its far-off song
I love you Lady Singleton
Anon wrote it
There’s a fish that talks in the kitchen
I dare not remove my cap and let my birds escape
I am having a breakdown in Marks & Spencers
I have a jolly, jolly gun
Am I the only person who finds snow desolate?
They are closing all the stations
Sergeant Brown’s Parrot
Though the night was made for loving
Dixon of Dock Green
The yellow half-moon large and low
Everything changes
Stop all the clocks. Cut off the telephone.
I see a man digging, moving holes
Books on shelves, threatening to move
I wanna be your lover, baby
Last night I dreamt in Japanese
I lied to please the mob
Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing
Hit Man is two words?
Aunt Jennifer made love to a tiger, and all was well at first

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday Night Prompts

I want to have another living summer
Cluster One
In February, digging his garden, planting potatoes
What do you want from me?
A ghostly batsman plays forward on a ghostly ball
It’s not romance, simply how things are
Poles apart
Yellow-Brown woman smelling of onions
Clearing a path through snow
The same news in different houses
A great day for freedom
Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing
Wearing the inside out
Come live with me and be my love
A thing of beauty is a joy until it’s obsolete
Take it back
Sometimes things don’t get better, ever
Coming back to life
The sun can melt a field of sorrow
Keep talking
I was born twice and died three times
Lost for words
The room, all of us, suddenly rich
High Hopes
It is too calm, something is wrong
Signs of Life
In Spanish he whispered, there is no time left
I am very, VERY fond of bananas
With smells of steak in passageways
Learning to Fly
Would you like to borrow my space-suit?
The dogs of war
Once in a finesse of fiddles, I found ecstacy
One slip
Bournvita, Bournvita, Bournvita
On the turning away
He breathed in air and breathed out light.

14 Signed, 37 Flashes, 5 Stories, 4 Poems 105 Crits

Rock On!


Two More Signed Up over the weekend, but then two away on holiday!! Crits past 100.


A Maltese Falcon
Be copy now to men of grosser blood and teach them how to war
The Lady Eve
And it was at that age that I awoke
Never give a sucker an even break
Every old man I see reminds me of my father
Wolf Man
The harbour lights glaze over restless docks
How Green Was My Valley
My credit cards are incandescent
Sullivan's Travels
Know then thyself
Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke-stack
The Outlaw
From time to time our love is like a snail
She is a sound in the air, whispered, soaring
No, I ain't got nothing but my horse
Citizen Kane
I have so much nothing. I have cornered the market
Woman of the Year
The trick is sleep till 12 then watch TV
Hanging breathless over the teletype
The sea is calm tonight
To Be or Not to Be
Don't be rude to alligators until you've crossed the river
I place my hope on the water
The best are those who die quite young and stay pristine
Mrs Miniver
The peaceful waters of your mouth
The Magnificent Ambersons
Kids walking in the dark road
The Black Swan
I wish I could believe in something beyond
You, hope, my football team
Cat People
This is the dawn I was waiting for
An Old Serbian Legend
The crossed-out bits of Keats, the edits
Shadow of a Doubt
Cut me to pieces, birds will still sing and worms crawl
For Whom the Bell Tolls
The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen
The Ox-Bow Incident
I Walked With a Zombie
Heaven Can Wait
The Raven
Double Indemnity
Bathing Beauty
The Woman in the Window
Arsenic and Old Lace
Ladies of the Park
Great Freedom Number Seven
To Have and Have Not
Cover Girl
Henry V

Saturday, August 09, 2008

96 Critiques so Far

It's hard to comment/crit when you are working flat out producing but we approach our hundredth crit now

13 Signed, 37 Flashes, 3 Stories, 4 Poems

Going OK.

Here are some more prompts. I seem to have mislaid some!

Blind eyes like unshelled hard boiled eggs
There was a river
An old man sits next to his beer
I have had lovers, all sub-prime
Thinking of fish we have caught, almost caught
A Red Wheelbarrow
We took turns, and she said yes, then why did it feel wrong?
Once, after a long day of unremitting rain, the sun
What if the road you often took, was moved at night?
Scooping Cream
What if there was never surprise?
The nearest shop is miles away
The life of a leaf
Suddenly there are cattle, rumbling towards McDonalds
Shopping Carts and Rain, and amber light
Now something is in the air
I have heard, the children are returning
DIE, Bond!
If you could unwind history, where to stop…
Of course the world is not enough
Late September
Once I asked my grocer for a perfect potato
Nobody there, just fruit on bramble
Stainless Steel
You said it wasn’t worth the trouble
Day Rises, and quiet
I caught a tremendous fish
I have loved three women, married others

Friday, August 08, 2008

12 Signed, 3 Stories, 33 Flashes, 3 Poems

The thing grows!

Here are some more prompts

Blind eyes like unshelled hard boiled eggs
There was a river
An old man sits next to his beer
I have had lovers, all sub-prime
Thinking of fish we have caught, almost caught
A Red Wheelbarrow
We took turns, and she said yes, then why did it feel wrong?
Once, after a long day of unremitting rain, the sun
What if the road you often took, was moved at night?
Scooping Cream
What if there was never surprise?
The nearest shop is miles away
The life of a leaf
Suddenly there are cattle, rumbling towards McDonalds
Shopping Carts and Rain, and amber light
Now something is in the air
I have heard, the children are returning
DIE, Bond!
If you could unwind history, where to stop…
Of course the world is not enough
Late September
Once I asked my grocer for a perfect potato
Nobody there, just fruit on bramble
Stainless Steel
You said it wasn’t worth the trouble
Day Rises, and quiet
I caught a tremendous fish
I have loved three women, married others

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Loads More Prompts

These are singled, the alpha-listed, then in reverse.
try reading it all, singing them, chanting

Wait for a voice to call you


They have promised to send a train, and we will leave
Father Maloney’s stare
Imagine a tender gravity, falling
And if I am writing, I am not holding my wife
I would like to sit close to the doors
How Morning is, and quiet
I have told you all this to give you pain
Bamboo Squares
They bubble-wrap hearts now and sell them three for two
The cook’s boy, the cleaning girl
Stone to stone, heart to stone
The rustle of history
NAIL, Hammer
Time clears its throat
Days of great love; of destiny
Do mad people love? What are there letters like?
Birds Eye Frozen False Tears are on Offer
Jack of Hearts
We will talk about great things, and football
I am silly, filled up with sleep and want
One Potato, Two Potato
Hardly a Joker
Should you not have time to memorise these instructions
Flat-Pack Marriages
The Chemistry of Distaste
And then cracking twigs
And we all stared at the box, and it inside

And if I am writing, I am not holding my wife
And then cracking twigs
And we all stared at the box, and it inside
Bamboo Squares
Birds Eye Frozen False Tears are on Offer
Days of great love; of destiny
Do mad people love? What are there letters like?
Father Maloney’s stare
Flat-Pack Marriages
Hardly a Joker
How Morning is, and quiet
I am silly, filled up with sleep and want
I have told you all this to give you pain
I would like to sit close to the doors
Imagine a tender gravity, falling
Jack of Hearts
NAIL, Hammer
One Potato, Two Potato
Should you not have time to memorise these instructions
Stone to stone, heart to stone
The Chemistry of Distaste
The cook’s boy, the cleaning girl
The rustle of history
They bubble-wrap hearts now and sell them three for two
They have promised to send a train, and we will leave
Time clears its throat
We will talk about great things, and football

We will talk about great things, and football, VENOM, Tick-Tock, Time clears its throat, They have promised to send a train, and we will leave, They bubble-wrap hearts now and sell them three for two, The rustle of history, The cook’s boy, the cleaning girl, The Chemistry of Distaste, TAXI, Stone to stone, heart to stone, Should you not have time to memorise these instructions, One Potato, Two Potato, NAIL, Hammer, Jack of Hearts, Imagine a tender gravity, falling, I would like to sit close to the doors, I have told you all this to give you pain, I am silly, filled up with sleep and want, How Morning is, and quiet, Hardly a Joker, GRATE, Flat-Pack Marriages, Father Maloney’s stare, Do mad people love? What are there letters like? Decision, Days of great love; of destiny, CHIME, Birds Eye Frozen False Tears are on Offer, Bamboo Squares, BALL, And we all stared at the box, and it inside, And then cracking twigs, And if I am writing, I am not holding my wife

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

27 Flashes, Two Stories, More prompts

The tree-stump, devoured
Sometimes everything I write seems a snapshot, with a thumb over the lens
Consider the grass growing
Being a man and not a god, he leaves
Once upon a time, there wasn’t
Much of my thinking is about loss
Postcards from Fiji
Blackberry, blackberry, blackberry
Shut up. Shut up. There’s nobody here.
Running from Spiders
Peach or Mango
Two white, ripe girls on the tube
Last Supper II
Two a.m. bright moonlight, a train in moonlight, hissing
He sits with his absent wife
The sky ripped open
I stretch my arms
Fish know where to move and when
One minute and forty-two seconds
Only the virus
Goodnight, and goodnight

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

More Members, More Prompts

We now have eleven signed up, twenty flashes and one story posted and approaching 100 crits.

Here are some prompts to cover the week. Loads more at BC.

Monday Prompts

The Gods That Failed
Goldilocks is Asleep
When lovely woman stoops to folly
She turns and looks a moment in the glass
On the cheap
And children suffocate
No one scrambles over the sliding chalk
Bacon, bacon
On the divan piled, stocking, camisoles, stays
Unreal Cities
Hardly aware of her departed lover
A Silen Fan
A sea-fog like gunsmoke
So now the Victorians are all in Hell
Your favourite word is wee, and you eat Eccles Cakes


An so de rain a-fall and a-fall
Black Ball
There I places I will never go
Married and not pregnant: there’s posh for you
Where can I go then, from the smell
Bless you Alpha-Doggie
Good Boys
Into the grave that we have dug
Dai K lives at the end of the valley
Sin-Cake, Sin-Eater
Books, books, books
Of the forests and smashed faces
A crowd flowing over a bridge
A drowning child
Blodwen is leaving
He ravishes the fiddle, screams when drunk


What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?
GOOGLE as a number
The night we were struck, the night
Icing, meteors
Trains will run later, and fuck it
Cheesy Bond
September was when it began
Magic ingredient
A swarm of frogs, swollen, hideous
I can remember, see, my father walking home. I was never there
Miss Marples, were they ever young and fucked?


You could try cheese
Mirror, mirror, on the fucking wall
The eighth dwarf
Crowds round the ticket barrier, a white face waiting
Death by Meteor
It has been said, that sometimes I lie, or bend the truth
Blind Faith
The very young T.E.
Was there a poster of me, with a moustache?
Blowing up the train
Poets only play with words, they always lie
We fight for something
There was an airfield here, the grass grows and leaves a pattern
What is the opposite of E’s?
My father ran round the garden in the dark


At least it’s something
September 1, 1939
There is no greater crime than leaving, except to stay
I may have been a Zulu, or wore petticoats
Mis-spelling, Miss Spelling
You can count on friends, but only to twenty or so
All I have is a voice
Accurate Scholarship is not of the soul
But the corpse, alas, goes on dying
You do not love the dead, the word is LOVED
After all you lasted longer
Practice hate, hate the village


I sit in a dive on fifty-second street
Truth-loving Persians
And where, exactly did the peach come from?
Why declare war?
Listen, there is a hum, and ticking
Through half-deserted streets
Tennis for the dead
Dogs skittering on polished floors
And I have known the eyes already
How the door clicks open
Let us go and make our visit
Do I dare?
The soot that falls back down the chimney

Friday, August 01, 2008


Eight now on board after 24 Hours.

Join Us.

Post at BC or email AK

Email to Snowball136 (at sign)

Here are tonight's prompts

Ten songs, one solid block of agony

Tourists, not Terrorists

Your father, in his terrible pose

Jill Dando

and inside the house, the bewildered child


It began to snow at midnight


Where and when, exactly, did we first have sex?


Whose woods these are, I think I know


the ragged road, the wood, the yearning

Kids on Stage

Breathing at my side, that heavy animal


Back out slowly, step off your life


It's only a week, but you're slipping


They have captured the moon, it's in a box

Getting There!

I will go back to that silent evening


When you have a plan, your life

You've been knocking a door, but it is just a door, nothing else is there

Acker Bilk, or the Other one

You could have just been another maggot

Rock's the cradle


Finney, I will never forget


Various Boot Campers have still to respond, but already we have four guests signed up for the month, a total of six writers.

Flashes posted to date (well it IS early!) SIX

JOIN US! Here are prompts and some advice

Please note that there is no "rule" which says you must read "this" set of prompts "NOW" and immediately write a flash.

The purpose of flashing is to UNLEASH, to break your own pre-set rules

but all we want is for you to write fast, unthinking, instinctively, with the gut.

If that means reading lines of poetry or looking at pictures, or listening to music on repeat, that's fine.

If it means reading 1-2-3-4-5 sets of flash prompts, that's fine, too.

What is important is letting rip, writing free of constraints and without planning.


Burning burning burning burning


Children's voices in the orchard

The Pub Quiz

Where the grey light meets the green air

Lost Voices

I have been here before


I remember now. I did not know if it was grief or love

Restless nights

It was now a soft October


I have gone at dusk through narrow streets

A wallet filled with fat


I will always miss her, miss her


The winter evening settles down

Gently, gently

I will row into the current, towards the falls

Tomorrow, then

A South Wales Argus came swirling about my feet

The boys in new kit

Wipe your hand across your mouth, laugh

This hour or so, drinking

Among the Dead Cities

I remember the nights, and the sound of nights

I would like to gently

Your Chance to Blast!

Boot Camp is running an August Blast. (FREE)

This involves "EXTREME" activity to get us through the hardest month for writers.

It involves members (and guests) committing/attempting to write EVERY day (at least SOMETHING)
and attempting to complete a flash or story or poem EVERY day for the whole of August.

A set of prompts will be posted every morning and twice every evening (see explanations elsewhere)
and Members/Guests should try and produce a flash or story a MINIMUM of once a day.<

The trick is to try to write THREE!

For the five Sundays there is also a STORY deadline 8PM Sunday.

The ideal participant would write a flash every day, some days more than one, AND manage a story each week

PLEASE don't bleat and say it cannot be done. We KNOW it can be done. We know that the quality of work
IMPROVES due to the pressure, the hectic nature, the "buzz".

Boot Campers and guests (Children in Need, Previous Blasts, East of the Web) have been responsible for hundreds
of publications and more than twenty first prizes in competitions, all from "impossible" blasts.

There is something in the very nature of suspending all and crashing forward, a sense of fear moves to one of liberation


CURRENT BOOT CAMPERS, FORMER BOOT CAMPERS AND STRANGERS/GUESTS ARE ALL WELCOME. There are a number of "AUGUST BLAST" forums. Apply here (no charge) and Alex will arrange access to the other forums.

We ask a few things

1. Commitment. If you aren't prepared to "give it a go" don't bother applying.

2. A sense of constructivity, in work, commitment, mutual motivation.

3. A willingness to (briefly) critique flashes and critique stories (authors are anonymous) and NOT to respond when your own story is critiqued 4. NO Flames. I do not warn people. I simply delete them, IMMEDIATELY.