Friday Flash Fiction: Silverlight

31 10 2008

This post has moved. You can read the full post here:

Well, I promised you flash this week and flash you shall have. I think I mangled this one by drafting too much of it in my head but as ever feedback is welcome.

By Neil Beynon

Awake. Something’s wrong: my tongue feels like worn carpet, head feels like it was used to wear the carpet down. The floor is too close. The bed the wrong shape: too small, contorted and whose voice is that.

I’m in the living room, not a good sign.

I unfold from the couch, the television prattles on at me incoherently, the presenter’s monotone merging with the noise of my headache. What was I drinking last night? Where’s the bloody remote?

Something bites my foot.

I hop clutching my wounded limb, there is a piece of sharp plastic that looks like the corner of my television remote sticking our of it. As I sit down again to remove the splinter I notice the chunk of plaster missing from the wall, I should fix that…later. God damned it hurts pulling out the plastic.

This post has moved. You can read the full post here:


30 10 2008

OK, this is doing the rounds but I thought some readers may not have seen it yet. Comedy gold.

The original advert:

The eight years on US Election reunion:

This one comes via Joe, if you haven’t checked out his fiction you really should. One of the finest short story writers working today and his first novel is pretty good as well.

Jedi, Toast & Evian

30 10 2008

Yes, there is a link:

Clip found thanks to Zoe, via twitter.

On this day…

29 10 2008

– An earthquake in Pakistan kills at least 170 people
– Suicide bombers attack Northern Somalia killing 31 (and targeting amongst others the UN)
– Congo rebels close in on Goma and the UN Secretary General warns of a humanitarian crisis of “Catastrophic dimensions”
– Following an alleged US helicopter attack in Syria there are reports the US embassy in Damascus may close
– David Banchflower (member of the UK MPC) has a pop at his colleagues for not reducing interest rates sooner
– UK Chancellor Alistair Darling relaxes “fiscal rules” paving the way for the British Government to attempt to “spend” its way out of trouble it caused by encouraging easy credit and poor regulation

And what does our great British media lead with:

Russell Brand & Jonathan Ross behaving badly (BUT ‘FESS UP AND APOLOGISE)

Front page or lead story on: BBC, The Guardian, Evening Standard, London Metro, Daily Telegraph, The Sun, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Reuters UK, ITV news, Sky News and even newsnight.

AND guess which of the above stories our Prime Minister chooses to comment on?

Yes that’s right. In a time of unprecedented (if you had your head up your arse for the last twelve months) financial turmoil, and arguably a crushing indictment of his ten years as chancellor, Gordon Brown decides to weigh in on the issue that really matters:

Russell Brand & Jonathan Ross behaving badly (BUT ‘FESS UP AND APOLOGISE)

One can only imagine he’s watching their apologies carefully in order to match his own apology to all the people nearing retirement whom will now have to work until their seventies to heat their homes and service their negative equity. Good to see you have your finger on the pulse there Gordon.

Makes yer proud to be British don’t it?

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Trying not to get it on my chin

26 10 2008

Where do the weekends go?

S has been here most of the weekend and we spent yesterday in Camden looking at cool things that were too expensive for either of us to buy. Yet more bookshops were perused, proving that bibliophilia is genetic in addition to being a condition I think I may have made up. Largely due to being poorer than a church mouse at present, I managed to resist buying anything but only because I intend to go back again…

I also had my second wipe out from a writing perspective, that’s two sessions in a row where the output was significantly below my normal standard. That was a bit disheartening but I think it’s at least in part due to being rather too tightly wound up at the moment and so I’m trying to build in some quiet time over the next few weeks. Having done that today I managed to produce a very passable 2k rewrite on a chapter of Forever, and I do seem to be finding the rhythm of the story now – touch wood.

And our passing lesson for the weekend is that one should not give me fajitas to eat in public. Rather like watching McCain and Palin on stage together, it’s not pretty and many people require therapy afterwards.


25 10 2008

There’s a good video post over at Chocolate and Vodka on the importance of daydreaming to creative writing.

Daydreaming is one of the few good things about my lengthy commute and I try really hard to remind myself that it’s time I can and do use for me. Some days it’s easier than others.

Oh and I actually fell asleep doodling last night and so I really didn’t manage to write any Flash yesterday, but if you’re only an occasional visitor check out the archive here. There will be new Flash next week, promise.


24 10 2008

So tonight was the Neil Gaiman talk at the Open Rights Group event in Clerkenwell.

I spent this morning writing but to be honest it wasn’t happening. I produced a short story of around fourteen hundred words but it wasn’t very good and I had been aiming to produce a piece of flash. I guess that’s just the way it goes sometimes. Hence no flash today, apologies.*

I spent the afternoon generally hanging around central London with my sister, S, before heading over to Clerkenwell where G joined us for drinks. From there it was a short stumble to the Crypt where the talk took place.

We were fortunate to be near the front of the queue and so got good seats with a direct view of the stage, good for S as she hadn’t seen Neil speak live before. The talk set out the argument that in the current media landscape the greatest threat new, and indeed existing, writers face is obscurity rather than the risk of their material being distributed for free. Neil argued, with nods to Cory Doctorow where appropriate, that pass-along-readers are how the majority of people discover their favourite authors. Although those people may not pay for the initial read they’re quite likely to then go out and buy most of said writer’s back catalogue.

As a case in point Neil talked about the effect his American Gods and Neverwhere experiments had on his sales at independent bookstores around America (it increased them). He also pointed out that releasing The Graveyard Book for free in the form of video files of his reading tour did not seem to have hurt his sales in the US. It was a remarkably cogent talk for a man who only got off a plane a few hours before and had spent the afternoon in a cemetery.

The floor was thrown open to questions. I was particularly interested in Neil’s view of what new writers needed to do versus what he’d had to do in order to try and get his material read. Aside from a totally inappropriate urge to wave the Friday Flash banner, Neil’s answer did make me realise that I should probably capitalise on my digital marketing skills rather more than I do at the moment. Neil did a particularly good job of handling an awkward question around his past views on copyright and trademark.

And then it was done.

*Although I am riffing around with stuff now and so who knows?


23 10 2008

Don’t you just hate it when your characters walk off the page and start moonlighting as a millionaire financiers determined to take down the shadow chancellor. I know I do.

Yes, one of the main protagonists in Forever is called Nathaniel Rothschild. Or he was.


21 10 2008

Ok Gordon, let’s get this straight:

We’re in the shit due – at least in part – to record levels of inappropriate borrowing and poor risk management within the banking sector. So what are you going to do about it?

Borrow more money?

Of course, silly me. I’ll just use my credit card to pay my mortgage. Now you say it: it’s obvious really.

And as for these pair of plums:

Well, right now I think we’d get further with this fellow:

Told you he’d be back.

Mitch Benn

20 10 2008

Yes, I’m trying to cheer myself up, this helped: