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Underneath the spreading chestnut tree…

Underneath the spreading chestnut tree…

No, this isn't going to be a post about old nursery-rhyme songs, Winston Smith, Mr Charrington and 1984, apposite as that might be when it comes to current times and trends in UK and US politics. Instead, it's a reference to a poem by Longfellow, entitled "The Village...

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Always read the small print…

Always read the small print…

It's a good rule of thumb, reading the small print. Taking out a mortgage? Signing the employment contract for your new, executive suite, highly-paid job? Signing your multi-million pound major label record deal or assigning the Hollywood film rights to your best...

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(Anti-)Social Media…

(Anti-)Social Media…

Ah, Facebook. That dodgy doyen of data miners. The pernicious paragon of privacy invaders. The appalling accomplice of advert slingers. We all know what Facebook is like but, at some point, we've decided "Oh well, it's useful for keeping in touch with folks, so..." I...

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Really, Really Heavy Horses

Really, Really Heavy Horses

Anyone who has visited Falkirk has probably seen these guys – the Kelpies. For anyone who isn’t already familiar with them, they are two massive metal statues (the largest equine statues in the world) in the form of the necks and heads of two heavy horses,...

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Finding a voice…

Finding a voice…

If I were to dig out all of the old posts that used to be on this blog, you would find a distinct pattern emerging. It's probably best described as extended periods of silence, punctuated by occasional short bursts of activity.  In fact, it got so bad at one point...

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The Clachanpluck Poems

The Clachanpluck Poems

I still seem to be stuck in poetry mode at the moment, although these little verses came about in a slightly different fashion.  It's all Facebook's fault. Well, actually, that's not quite true, it's all a guy called Phil McMenemy's fault. No, that's not entirely true...

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The Hills

The Hills

When you're on a roll, you're on a roll.  Yet another poem.  This one isn't dark, it isn't angsty and it isn't an airy-fairy exercise in writing some particular form or other, it's just a poem.  I suppose it might be in ballad form.  Or possibly something else...

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If I had known…

If I had known…

More poetry today - and this one is deliberately a little bit of an arty-farty exercise.  It's also another slightly dark one.  Well, maybe not dark, but a bit angsty and the kind of thing that a simpering 18th or 19th century poet-wannabe might have come up with...

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At the End

At the End

When not trying to dream up characters or plots or similar fictional devices (and when not being silly on Facebook or elsewhere) I sometimes try my hand at a bit of poetry.  Although it is often maligned for being "up its own bottom" or "arty-farty" (particularly when...

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Dinner Date

Dinner Date

Authors, critics and experts on writing have identified various models for the creation of characters. One particular model offers four ways to create a character: purely from the imagination (the "ideal" character); by the author basing the character on themselves;...

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Night Cafe

Night Cafe

This very short piece was an exercise in starting a new story completely from scratch.  The idea for this one came from a dream I had. I had never been in the café before. I'd noticed it often enough when visiting the city in the past and I had liked its old-fashioned...

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We need to talk about Kevin

We need to talk about Kevin

Please be aware that this short excerpt contains swearing and violence from the outset. This short scene is intended to introduce a stereotypical character who turns out to be more complex than you might first think. "For fuck's sake ref! Are you fucking blind? It was...

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