On second thoughts…

I wrote something a wee while ago about full time writers vs. writers who have other jobs. There was, however, one aspect of it that I didn’t really give much thought. Now, whenever you read a blog or a book or whatever on this subject, the vast majority of the advice will be about finding … [Read more…]

Stories of Home.

Had a great time at the launch of “Stories of Home” last week, the Scottish Book Trust’s anthology for Book Week Scotland. As well as my story “All Addresses Are Approximate”, there’s some really superb pieces by the likes of Des Dillon and Alan Warner. Definitely worth looking out for! The Hawick News and the … [Read more…]

Zen in the Art of Writing.

So, things have been quiet recently. Quieter, anyway. I have a couple of stories coming up in the next issue of The Eildon Tree, but that’s it. Mainly I’ve been working on redrafts for the plethora of deadlines coming up at the end of the month. It’s reminded me of Ray Bradbury in ‘Zen in … [Read more…]


Well, as Ring Lardner once said, if I guessed for a living, I’d starve. Obviously, I didn’t have the swell time last Friday that I’d previously prophesied. I was about to say that none of the 45% of us did, but that’s not the whole story, is it. The 55% of folk who voted No … [Read more…]

A Busy Week

Well, there’s a lot going on across the country this week, and here’s what I’m up to: On Wednesday 10th, I was part of a group of Hawick playwrights, performers, poets and musicians who performed at Teri Yes, a local celebration of independence. I performed my one man play “Oor Ain Two Feet”, which you … [Read more…]

Knowing When To Quit

So. You’ve written that first draft and decided that there’s something to it. How long do you have to keep at it before you can decide that it’s either a) finished, or b) unfinishable? On first starting out as a writer, the temptation is to decide that a text is final and irrevocable the moment … [Read more…]

The Old Toad Work

I was reading an interview with George Orwell the other day in which he was asked whether it was desirable that a writer should have a second job, and if so, what sort of job should he have. Orwell (surprisingly to me) was hugely pessimistic about the prospects of any writer trying to earn an … [Read more…]

Scatter My Ashes At Claggan Park.

Much cheer. My story “Scatter My Ashes At Claggan Park” finished second in the Derby QUAD’s Offside Stories competition. There were some very good writers on the shortlist, too. Here’s the link: http://www.derbyquad.co.uk/news/offside-stories-results Claggan Park, by the way, is where Fort William F.C. play. The team themselves have finished bottom of the Highland League virtually … [Read more…]

Home again, home again.

It’s been about ten years since last time I had my own website. It was a lot easier back then, since it was actually a cadged corner of someone else’s and I didn’t have to do anything. Nowadays it’s amazing the amount of stuff you have to know just to be able to ASK for … [Read more…]