Wednesday, 29 December 2010


Oh 'eck, I've been neglecting this blog. It was terrifically exciting at first, but now the novelty has worn off I'm starting to lose interest. A bit like parenting, then. Is there an internet social services?

The real reason is that this was something I did when I was going to work every day, as a way to make myself write things more often. Now that writing is my main pursuit, I find it harder to write as a hobby. There's still lots I want to scribble about, and lots I will eventually, gradually, put up here, but for now it's on a go-slow, possibly as some kind of industrial action against my novel. Which is doing very nicely, thanks for asking. It still has jokes and burglaries and Cyprus and Yorkshire and twisty bits of plot and it's still driving me entirely insane.

So no posts about Martin Amis (his reading list of rubbish first novels by great authors; his father's impressions; Saul Bellow's jacket; shorter than you'd expect), attempting to write proper literature essays again (Flaubert, Borges, long words made up by mad Frenchmen), hearing proper poets (why Seamus Heaney makes hippies faint) or fiction workshops (adverbs are evil, America rocks, and self-confidence is dead). 

Not yet, anyway.

Saturday, 11 December 2010


Things said to me by ex-girlfriends and in rejection letters from literary journals

Dear Alec,

I’m sorry.

You're not quite what I'm looking for right now, but please continue trying.

You’re slightly too sentimental for my tastes, and less engaging than I had anticipated, though quite charming.

Unfortunately you lack pace in the middle, and you’re longer than I usually like.

I receive several hundred submissions a month so unfortunately cannot provide individual feedback.

I don't think you're taking this thing seriously.

Yours sincerely.

Things said to me by ex-girlfriends and in rejection letters from literary journals which, for legal reasons, were left out of my previous poem

Dear Alec,

Please stop hanging around outside my office.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

House of Hair

First published in issue 379 of Cat World (October 2009). In case you're wondering, yes, it is possible for shamelessly rude, incompetent people to make a cuddly magazine for people who want pictures of cats being loveable but don't have an internet connection. They still owe me either full payment (I have part of it now) or an explanation of what the devil they think they're playing at.

But here's the article, anyway.