Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Ideas that get away

"Where do you get your ideas?" This must be the single most asked question that any writer has to answer. It's also one of the hardest.
For me I have a ready answer. Ideas are supplied by United Utilities, my local water authority, and a constantly flowing supply is plumbed straight into the house. Access is via the shower-head, and paid for as part of my water rate bill.

How is this?

Well, it took a little while to figure out but when you analyse it, it's obvious. I carry a notebook everywhere. I take it on the bus; I take it if I go out for a meal; I take it to work; I even take it to the toilet. I get ideas for stories in odd places, but it is a slow trickle. But the one place I cannot take a notebook is in the shower. It gets kind of soggy and the pencil cuts up the pages. And this the place where the ideas really flow. I mean, in the show there is a positive tsunami of brilliance. All my plot problems are solved in simple and intelligent ways.
And then they trickle down the plug hole.
I have a white board in my study and often in the morning I can been found there, naked and dripping on the carpet (not an image I would advise anyone to spend too long over) jotting down the few gems that survive the trip from the bathroom. On a good day I catch about 10% of them.
So imagine my delight, this evening, when my wife presented me with a surprise gift - a waterproof notebook. It can be written in using pen or pencil and it will survive any soaking. Brilliant!
So from now on, any time I'm short of ideas I can fling off all my clothes, dive into the shower, and plug in to the ideas reservoir. Woo hoo!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

A Doll's House

Brilliant performances all round at Theatre Clwyd last night. Went to see A Doll's House (Ibsen). I haven't seen this play before even though it's something of a classic. Sometimes it's good to see these things with untinted vision. What a fabulous play. It must have sent massive shock waves through the theatre world of the 1870's when it was first staged. It's pretty powerful stuff even now.
Not much writing this week, I've been helping my wife set up a web site for her art. It's amazing how this cyber stuff can suck you in and hit you with time dilation effects. You start on a bit of html and before you know it you've skipped meals and you're late for bed. All done now, though, at least until we start changing things. I'll almost be glad to get back to the day-job for a rest. If there are any art fans interested, the web site can be found at

Here's a sample of what can be found there.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Dead Man's Shoes

My short story, Dead Man’s Shoes, is now up on There are no robots in this one. No spaceships, no aliens. But hey, there are saxophones. Saxophones and cool cool jazz... Oh, and did I mention the shoes? No, not ordinary shoes. Not your every day common suede Hush Puppies. These shoes are, well... not very nice.
So why not pop over to and see how it might be to step into the shoes of one of the giants of jazz.
But be sure they’re the right shoes.