Free speech, Twitter and 'So You've Been Publicly Shamed'

20 Jul 2016 Category: book review

Free speech is hard, especially on the internet. You should have the ability to say almost anything without fear of legal repercussion. Other than words that actively harm people, like shouting fire in a crowded room, or death threats, you should be able to say any stupid stuff you like. The beauty of free speech is that if you say something objectionable or offensive, people can argue with you and say you were out of line.


Ponyo and Adaptation

12 Jul 2016 Category: films

Ponyo is a joyous film, a celebration of childhood and youth with beautiful visuals. It’s pure joy from start to finish, with inventive twists and a unique style. Generally, Studio Ghibli films are among some of my favourites because of the rambling yet emotional stories that feel very different to any other film. This film is no exception, with a wide ranging plot involving prehistoric fish and mysterious spirits of the sea.

Ponyo is the story of a fish who is swept ashore and rescued by a human boy, Sōsuke. She refuses to return to the sea and wants to...


June Links - No Politics, I Promise

06 Jul 2016 Category: link round up

Given everything that is going on at the moment, I’m amazed we made it to the end of July. However, there’s enough good stuff out there to take your mind off the malestrom. Here’s a few things I’ve enjoyed:


Always more to learn: Thoughts on 'Wonderbook'

04 Jul 2016 Category: book review

I’ve finished reading Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff Vandermeer. It’s a great read, full of useful information and exercises. Mostly, it is a nuts and bolts guide to stories and their various elements, characters, plotting, but the way it presented and the advice it gives about the imagination make it truly unique.


A short play not at all inspired by recent events

30 Jun 2016 Category: politics

I wrote this for More in Common from the Royal Court, which is well worth checking out. It was written fairly quickly so it’s not perfect.


(A high street, just after all the shops have closed.
TOMO is sat on a bench. JAY is pacing up and down)

TOMO: Sit down mate.
JAY: Mate I’m so-
TOMO: Hungry?
JAY: Bored.
TOMO: Right.
JAY: Nothing to do here.
TOMO: Never is.


Brexit and the story we have been told

25 Jun 2016 Category: politics

Given the clusterfuck that is happening in the UK at the moment, I’m probably going to be doing a few more political posts in the future. Just a heads up as I try work out what the hell is going on through words. I understand it is much, much more complex than I can do justice to, but this is just one take on it

So on Friday, I woke up to the news that Britain has utterly fucked itself over. The omnishambles of a political situation has boiled over and a majority of people voted to leave the European...


Love, not hate

17 Jun 2016 Category: politics

On Saturday, some wanker walked into a nightclub in Orlando and killed 50 people with a rifle, injuring many others. It was an act of hate against the LGBTQ community and a disgusting act of violence and terror. People were understandably shocked and deeply affected by the news.

I was planning on leaving that paragraph there. But on Thursday, another dickhead shot and killed Jo Cox, a MP and a mum in Yorkshire. It was a sickening, shocking attack on democracy that is all the worse for being completely unexpected. She was a mother with two young children and the...


A Knock on the door

15 Jun 2016 Category: stories

I wrote this in response to a prompt over at It’s a bit rough, but I hope you enjoy


Feeding my writing through a digital shredder

07 Jun 2016 Category: poetry

About a year ago, I got frustrated with my writing and decided to mess around with my first drafts and discarded attempts at stories. They had been languishing on my hard drive for years. I wasn’t publishing them and they weren’t being seen by anyone. To be honest, most of the stories just weren’t very good.


May Link Round-up

02 Jun 2016 Category: link round up

Another month gone already. It feels like no time at all since I wrote my last link roundup, but here we are again. This month I’ve mostly been reading The Bone Clocks & Wonderbook, but in between there’s been a number of good articles.


The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

24 May 2016 Category: book review

I’ve been a fan of David Mitchell since reading Cloud Atlas in my early twenties. Since then, I have enjoyed almost everything he has written, so I was excited to finally get round to The Bone Clocks. I’ve somehow never tackled it, possibly because at 500 pages it’s quite a time investment.


'Show Your Work!' Six weeks in

17 May 2016 Category: creativity

I mentioned in a previous post how I was inspired to share more of my writing byShow Your Work! by Austin Kleon. This little book has been surprisingly helpful in sharing work, but also producing it. Six weeks into following some of the principles, I thought I would expand on how it has helped me.


Radiohead and the importance of letting ideas gestate

11 May 2016 Category: music

I’ve been hugely excited to listen to the new Radiohead album A Moon Shaped Pool. It’s really good, thankfully. There’s lush, layered sounds and a strange type of orchestration, with genuine emotion in a number of the songs.

One of the absolute highlights of the album comes at the end, with True Love Waits. It was included on a live album, I Might Be Wrong, but has never had a proper release. On the new album it is starkly different, stripped down with the main instrumentation on piano not guitar. The singing is more vulnerable and painful. It’s...


Links and Things I liked in April

06 May 2016 Category: link round up

Here, in no particular order, are some things I enjoyed over the last month:

  • First, some music. I had the immense pleasure of seeing Los Campesinos! at Live in Leeds. At Glastonbury 2007 , I saw them twice in the same day and hadn't really kept up since then. This time round the band were superb. This was a highlight of their set and the video is quite something as well.


'Birdman', Superhero Films and Spectacle

27 Apr 2016 Category: films

Riggan: How about Jeremy Renner?
Jake: Who?
Riggan: Jeremy Renner. He was nominated. He was the Hurt Locker guy.
Jake: Oh, okay. He's an Avenger.
Riggan: Fuck, they put him in a cape too?

One of the best and most inspired films I’ve seen recently is Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), a fantastic multi-layered meta commentary on hollywood and the creation of art. It features Michael Keaton as an middle-aged actor struggling to make what he sees as ‘real art’, after playing a superhero called ‘Birdman’ twenty years ago. This superhero, or...