Tuesday, September 30, 2014

HE66 6LL

Glad THAT's Over

It's been a horrible, horrible, nightmare four months. I divorced in August 2013, then the new house fell through (I went to Spain briefly, then ended up at the ex's!)   Eventually I found a place but the Landlady's new PostCode was HE66 6LL and it didn't work out.

Took forever to find my fourth place to live (well, one I could afford) and though I found one, I couldn't really afford the move. Then my daughter went back to UNI and my son moved out. OMO for the first time in 40 years!

So I've been traumatised, frightened, broke, physically ripped up, mentally a joke, and as for writing, what's that?

So now I have to re-start, kickstart, get going. I feel empty, lacking affect, but it's October, so I've decided, not to smoke (I never have) and not to drink (argh!), and of course, to begin writing and kicking some Boot Camp arse.

I'll probably be OK for 30 Days or so.

Thatcham Era October Blast Prompts 02 (01-10)

 Thatcham Era October Blast Prompts 02 (01-10)

25 Guesthouse for the hard of hearing
26 A kind of mean joy
27 How shame impregnates
28 Let's pretend that we are talking
29 I will come back as a lawn-mower
30 No, this is my satisfied face
31 The hills swell
32 You tasted of salt
33 My legs are happy, my arms happy
34 A Daily Mirror came swirling
35 The soot that falls in the fire
36 There is plenty of time to make mistakes
37 Those women? I have known them all.
38 He has slept in the bed of a pederast
39 Life is short. Awake!
40 The blood in your eyes
41 Flat 3A, Ivory Tower
42 I repeat myself. I repeat myself.
43 A clock with flesh, pulsing hands
44 Picnic on Iceberg 779
45 She will probably remarry
46 The pathetic echoes of the half-filled bed
47 It's broken, isn't it?
48 Best not interfere

Thatcham Era October Blast Prompts 01 (01-10)

Thatcham Era October Blast Prompts 01 (01-10)

Posted by 19:30 Tuesday, September 30th

01 Why we stumble and sometimes fall
02 Be brave when it is cold and dark
03 Inside the light
04 Sometimes there is nothing to do but sweep the yard and wait for chickens
05 At least two strokes
06 We could try dancing?
07 This is a good sound, listen
08 The phone isn't ringing
09 Tell me something I don't know
10 A rocking-chair on a porch
11 I need to shave
12 That's the thing with mortality
13 It's warm, close, heavy, and something is dying
14 Remember, Winter is coming
15 45's, LPs, Covers, Dansettes
16 The sweet accident that is us
17 The girl I loved when I was twelve
18 Chasing the Vixen
19 Never letting his dogs off the lead
20 How the boys want to be close, imagining love.
21 It all holds together, even when nothing is true
22 When the mountain turns to ash
23 There are more eloquent ways to say this
24 I could be a woman, I guess.

Don't Watch! JOIN US!

October Blast

We start today, but officially tomorrow, our October Blast.

Prompts posted every day, at least one set, often two, sometimes three.

Participants aim to write a MINIMUM of 31 pieces (Flashes, Stories, Poems) but with at least four stories (over 1,200 words) in the set.

Why not join us in Boot Camp Keegan for (another) great experience?

Thatcham Era Prompts 06 (30-09)

Thatcham Era Prompts 06 (30-09)

She fears him, but it's more than that
Some shit about a wheelbarrow

Google "FHG5" and follow links until you're inspired

To love one is to be filled with emptiness
You want me now, but there's more than this
Living on fish
My father shaving in the kitchen, porridge flupping.

A story beginning, "I lie a lot, but"
And now I am too scared to live
Then there was Grandma Elkes
A soft light, a line from an old. old story

A story ending "He closed his eyes and waited."
The last man failed, now you.
A crow above a snowdrift

At midnight, somewhere, sweeping as a century moves
I would say "awkward but sincere"
I have had a letter from Idaho

Monday, September 29, 2014

Thatcham Era Prompts 05 (29-09)

 Thatcham Era Prompts 05 (29-09)

Walking forever through mud
Up early but never early enough
I think where we live is getting smaller
How the sky comes ever closer
A few smooth white stones
I need to go home now
All the stolen children
Pinocchio, rotting
Could you repeat that?
The sweet promise of a new book
I'd like to go down to the harbour and wait until it rains
The sound of night horses
He was probably an actor
So Mrs Jesus, right?
Dark chocolate with raspberry infusion

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Thatcham Era October Blast Warm-Up 04

Thatcham Era October Blast Warm-Up 04


The slowly developing art of living alone
Download and Update
I can't remember your smile
Speaking French is rarely a good idea
The Smell of Dog
Must we like our own poetry?
There are good and bad murders
Yes, but what the fuck IS art?
The cities crumble but wild horses still race against the moon
Wednesday Night is Tesco's Zombie Night
To Kiss a Soldier
My wife naked
Raven v Dove, Home and Away
The splendour of perfectly bald heads
Let us burn villages, the forests, then mountains, then the rivers
I am on my knees
The twentieth
I am having a small, outrageous thought
Remember the last kiss that actually mattered?
Fog doesn't leave a mark

Friday, September 26, 2014

More Prompts

Turn left at the bench
Gravestones, chapels, old lanes
Candy Floss
The sad farms, the shotgun in the corner
Blodwen is pregnant
You've confused the issue
Too many episodes of Friends
If there was no water between Wales and Ireland
There can be fire without smoke
Ninety-nine bicycles
Cabbage Consciousness
But first, as the man said, name each part
Golf and other jokes
You will know me better when I'm gone
My father had a brother who knew my uncle
A pistol to the face
There are honest and dishonest rivers
Stand here, the wind will come
Stone, wind, dying
The day starts, stops, hiccups, then begins again
Versions of Alone

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Thatcham Era?


I am now based in Thatcham, three miles from Newbury, on the A4 towards Reading.

So why "Era"?

I've been writing now, almost full-time, since 1992. I say "almost" because I was a house-husband, too, and did a bit of computer consultancy here and there.

I have been trying to write for more than 45 years. 1992 was year 23. I began hopelessly, unsure of myself, a terrible over-writer, trying my hand at SF, while at the same time vaguely wanting to be a British Updike, but when I finally broke out it was with five "Caz Flood" crime novels, even though writing crime wasn't what I instinctively wanted to write.

In November 1990 I go together with D, we had two kids, but in August 2013, D and I divorced. This last year-and-a-bit has been difficult, including living at four different addresses and struggling to (a) maintain my own writing, and (b) keep Boot Camp ticking over.

In this difficult time, the publications dried up somewhat but I managed one first, a second and two third prizes. I'm not dead yet.

Four moves in 13 months is not there best base for writing, but I think, finally, I have found a secure base and yesterday I got my dogs back!

I suspect it will take a month or two before my writing self will re-achieve consistency, but this is a new time for me (and for Boot Camp), ad "era" feels like the right word.

Watch this Space!

The Thatcham Era Prompts 002 22-September 2014


You're wondering if I'm looney
Three times round the lake
Christmas edition
I summon up remembrances
As a plane goes silver, slashed across Heaven
The small towns we could have stopped in
There are no red lights in the desert
Time is at its loudest when unheard
Uphill there and most of the way back, and the wind is always in your face
Two Dogs
The political possibilities of the metaphor
He Hair was Yellow, Her Eyes Were Blue
Oh rose, you're not that well
Why you roll away
A tornado in Erinsboro

Hah, line one was supposed to be:

You're wondering if I'm lonely

The Thatcham Era. Prompts 001 20-Sep-2014


All That Is
From the archives of The Illustrated London News
Ways of Hanging Pictures
Why I sleep late
Negotiations on the matter of your move
The New iPhone 28
When an Easy Depth Comes Closer
Far From the Madding Crowd
Learning to play the triangle 
The States, in Disorder
Poppity Ping
Not Giving a Fuck About Scotland
Cute Pictures of Cats
Rise up, take up your things, and begin walking
A Way of Not Dying
The Eternal Quadilateral
The Noise from the Kebab Van, Pigeons
When Some Disappear
Picnic in Burnley
This Equipment May Require Adaptors