Monday, October 27, 2014

TIW Autumn Final + other things...

Well, I lost the TIW Autumn Final...:-( Yes, it's true, even with all that support...127 votes to 144...Mathew had a friend...
Anyway, the judges didn't like my story. Again. They just don't. Let's break it down...
I scraped through to the Final without receiving a 1st from any of the 4 judges. So I thought I'd change my tactic. When I saw the 4 elements for the Final, I went 'dark, creepy, black humour' and not the usual sarcastic/funny angle. I also used the styles of Roald Dahl and Alan Bennett PLUS added the basic 'Oppression of women in humanity' card. It was filled with depth. Which the judges didn't see, not even the biased Police was like a test for them, and they FAILED. Well, so did I...
Come and read "Motion in the Potion", I need some votes, too:-) (see picture below)

What's this?
Scallywag is at it again? (Yes, this is the latest in a few) Come and read this, it's about members of TIW but it's funny...hehehehehe....

Ironology (TIW Anthology 1) + Grudge 12 - updated

Yes, the official anthology of TIW challenges is out!

Here is the Kindle version on Amazon...
..and on Smashwords for a dollar cheaper...

Hey! I have a new interview here! Come and read :-)

Plus just got trounced in Grudge 12 with my 'tribute' to Huxley's Brave New World, co-written by Mathew W Weaver. My part of the story examines my state at this time, in a box, waiting in the dark...unfortunately, not many of the judges could relate to that. Here it is...

UPDATE: a piece of on, I think...
"I must add that "As Stated" was a very well stated position on meaninglessness, and the futility of existence within mans ineffectiveness to find meaning through "the law"; his own attempt to establish a utopia .... as stated. It reminded me of Plato's, "The Cave.""

“As stated under Regulation 16″ (Grudge 12)

“As stated under Regulation 16 By-law 22 Section 2 Point 4.1 Appendix 3 Paragraph 42 of the Manifesto Issued by Those Within The Box, as of now, it is my turn with the red Lionel toy train.”

Watson grabbed the treasured object and tugged. John held it closer to his chest. The damp, mouldy cardboard box shook with their wrestling and wrangling, straining the rips in the corners.

“It’s mine!” John snarled.

“Guys, please, mind The Box!” warned Bernard, fed up with their confined, disease-ridden dystopian world.

“Quack,” Howard agreed.

“Oh, shut up.” John let go, and Watson retreated in triumph to his corner.


“Why bother learning, Howard? When was the last time we had a duck in here?” John sighed.

“You never know…QUACK.”

The misery, the oppression, the overcrowding…Bernard couldn’t take it anymore, the insanity was torturing.

“Don’t you wish you were free?” he asked, struggling to his feet, his head jammed against the top of The Box.

“No,” a voice from another corner muttered.

“Squalor is next to ugliness,” Watson commented, train in hand. He giggled, “My precioussssssssssssss……”

“Oh, miserable old box…I so love having rags for clothes,” grumbled John.

“Is it just me, then?” Bernard demanded as ants nested under his moist patch of fear. “The dirt, the smell, the insecurity of it all? Doesn’t it bother you?”

“Go if you want. We can do without you,” Watson snapped, annoyed at the interruption to his play. John tried to swipe the toy train back and missed.


“Look at you! You don’t even know what’s out there!” Bernard jabbed a finger in the air. “Don’t you care? We’re Schrodinger’s cats as far as anyone or anything out there is concerned!”

“I hate cats,” murmered John.

“I like quacks,” Howard interjected, “How about we all be Schrodinger’s ducks instead?”

“My preciousssssss,” Watson hissed.

“Are we…are we alive or dead?” whined Bernard.

“Dunno. If we’re Schrodinger’s ducks, then we’ll only know if someone opens The Box.”


Bernard looked around at his companions and saw the miserable, pathetic life they had, never once wondering what it was like outside. Surely there was more than this…

“I’m leaving,” he said.

“Good riddance, you and your ‘oppression’,” mumbled Watson.

Bernard shook his head, and looked up at the sagging roof inches from his nose. He sucked in, and punched upwards into the unknown. Whether or not the others were watching he did not know or care; his fist sank through the rotting cardboard like a clenched hand through thick, wet paper. Light shined through, and madness seized him. He reached, grabbed, and pulled himself out.

A flap closed on the hole in the top of The Box, and the light dimmed once more.

Watson sniffed.


John leaped forward, “My turn! MY TURN WITH THE TRAIN!”

“Quack,” Howard said, shifting aside as they rolled past him.

Soft tapping on the side of The Box cut through their yells and made them pause.

“Can I come back in, please? It’s cold out here.”

Friday, October 24, 2014

Funny C86!! Really...

Unfortunately I lost the TIW Autumn Final :-(

BUT....this story is very funny, especially if you remember the Batman TV series from 1966-69...
Please read, enjoy and vote :-)
"Motion in the Potion" 

Quick one, I know....later...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Big Publishers DON'T CARE about YOU

I read 'The Fault in our Stars' by John Green last week (I made the joke 'fault in our stairs'? I have one of them...then I was shown a picture from the internet :-)). It took a few days to read. An entertaining book. I thought I'd finally found a new writer who could write. I was wrong. I had found a 'writer's support group' who could make a good book. What, I hear you say? How dare you! Read the acknowledgements at the back of the book, the list is endless...a 6 year old could have written that book with that team behind them. Really...maybe even a monkey. There's a picture of him at the back...reminded me of a student running through the streets like a king, molesting the girls, laughing at the locals, pissing up his parents support and drifting through college. Don't get me wrong, I love his books!!...ya don't need to tell me he's doing a good job.
Then I spotted a John Green quote about 'Public Education' on first funny but then superficial. If you're listening, John Green, Public Education is good in theory but is unfortunately a political tool. When a headmaster retires in this country, they are replaced by a supporter of this leading power, and the administrative infrastructure and school subjects and all the teachers use have been changed to match the views of said power. That's Public Education. Educate yourself...(but keep away from religion)... Plus John Green used the 'Cancer Perk', as do many writers. Many writers follow a trend (vampires, werewolves, etc) and some even grab a transparent issue of the day and write, knowing that people will buy the book just to say 'I have that'...the book "Vernon God Little" by DBC Pierre, Booker Prize for Literature and catching on the theme of American school shootings...20% of people who bought that book, finished it. The rest put it on their shelf...'I have that'...
So what do we?
...Publishers want to make money.
They don't care about you.
They know you'll buy a book if...
1. someone says it's good (marketing);
2. it's easily available to buy (distribution).
That's it. They don't care if the book is 'art', if it's a 'classic', if it 'educates you', if it 'entertains' you, if it attacks your views (that one's for 'Salmon' Rushie...see how I spelt that? See?). They want money.
I'd like some money, too. But I'd write to spiral us 'up' and not keep us in the shit we call a 'civilisation'...
...rant over...breath...and continue :-)

Friday, October 17, 2014

A FINAL! Need your vote...!

Yes, thanks to you I got into the TIW Autumn Open Final! :-)
It's a semi-serious piece, seeing as I was reading 'The Fault in Our Stars' when I wrote it.
Please come and read and vote for it here!

AND, as a SPECIAL BONUS, my collaboration (the FIRST EVER on TIW) with Jordan Bell, Grudge 11, is up on the site! Come and read it and applaud!

Next week is TIW Challenge 86..I'm in that, with a FANTASTICALLY FUNNY story...wait and see :-)

Had 10 free downloads of DS3 in one day...something is happening...maybe...:-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

'Circuits & Steam' available for 1 week!

Yes, finally, but for only 1 week, 'Circuits & Steam' is available to buy....(so, Mom, quick! Get the card out!)
This anthology has a super cool Steampunk short story of mine. If you really really wanna have a read of mine and the other cool stories, it's here...

FREE ebook 'Tales from Darker Places'

'Tales from Darker Places' is now FREE on

Let's see if that helps with the 'exposure'. Read a few of the other stories 2 stories are at the back, go read them :-)
Yes, voting time is coming...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pitman and the 'Books by the Banks' workshop

 Busy week. 'Tales from Darker Places' came out, and I have 2 short stories in the back :-)
On Thursday starts the TIW Autumn Open Final and I'll need some votes.
Next week both TIW Challenge 86 and Grudge 12 start and I'm in both of them. Challenge 86 needs votes, so I guess it's 2 weeks of toting for votes :-)
To pass the time 'til Thursday, here's a little 200 word 'Quickie'...
A wonderful TIW member, Michael D. Pitman, did a TIW workshop at 'Books By The Banks'...please, don't ask me where it the USA, somewhere. He organised and ran 2 'Quickies' for the writers there, and this is my take for the first one.

Elements: jealousy, a chair and baseball game.

Obscenities, fruit and even a foldaway chair were thrown onto the playing field from the grandstand. This was not Dooger’s greatest performance.
"Come on, man! Wake up! That’s three in a row ya let walk, not to mention the other eight in the last innings!” shouted Wade, the catcher. The Rascals were 10 down with only 2 more innings to play.
"Sorry, Wade, but it’s Cheryl!”
"Oh Christ, man! Forget her! Move on! We’ve got a game to play here!”
The umpire beckoned them both over.
"You tell this guy to start playing better or I’ll eject him from the field! It’s getting dangerous out here!”
The crowd continued to whistle and shout.
"What? You can’t do that!”
"Watch me!”
"But ump, it’s his girl!”
"Oh hell, girl trouble? Get over it!” The umpire shook his head. „What happened?”
"She caught me with Flossy.”
"She caught you with another girl? Then what do you expect? Play the game!”
"No, no, Flossy is a goat from next door.”
"A goat!? What? Beastiality ain’t popular in these parts!”
"What? Who’s talking about beastiality? I was painting her hooves! Cheryl got jealous, said I never did anything like that for her!”
"You’re gone!”

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Tales from Darker Places

I finally got a few short stories in another anthology, this time with The Indie Collaboration :-)
This group of writers get together and create stories every 3 months to show the world that there is some great writing outside the main publishing houses! Well, yes, of course! :-)
My two stories, seated at the end of the book, are...
A Day in the life of a Zombie...rather like Walking Dead but told from the zombie's point of view. 'almost' true story
Find it here on Amazon...
or here on
or here as a Paperback :-)

Nice to see my name there on the cover...I'll be doing more of these, hopefully :-)

Monday, October 6, 2014

When TIWs get together...revisited

Yep. I won Grudge #11 by default and decided to take it out on Mathew W Weaver, seeing as he was the one who challenged me.
Here is a little 'one guy' relay I wrote on one of his Facebook posts. Hope you like it.

The Duel of Procrastination

Mathew shuffled to the sound of leaves falling from the resting trees as he hid behind a particularly thorny bramble bush, away from the searching eyes of those present. His seemingly constant flow of procrastination had finally placed him in a particularly prickly situation and his suit of slightly rusting armour was no match for the persistant spikey bush which had the ability to seek out the joining hinges.
"Where is that Weaver?!" shouted an irate Dani. "He was meant to be here three days ago! We're running out of peanut butter and jello sandwiches!"
Jordan stood firm, clenching the case which held the two dueling pistols.
"He's not coming, can't you see that?" Jordan dropped the pistols' case and opened one of the six pack he'd brought along. "Fancy a beer?"
"Nah, you never know, he might appear. I've gotta keep my wits about me," said Dani, waving off the can once, twice, three times. Jordan swung it his way once more and he took it and had a swig.
Mathew spotted his chance and ran out of the hedge, away from the two drinking their beers. For armour, it was surprisingly light and flexible and he sprinted across to the playground, towards safety and a chance for a chip butty.
"Look! There he goes!" screamed Jordan, losing half his beer as he pointed. Dani dropped his and grabbed the pistols' case.
"Give me that! Ahh!" The harder he tried to open the case, the less chance it would.
"You've bent the hinges now! It'll never open!" Jordan caught the case as Dani threw it away in disgust.
"No matter. I have one of these!" Dani took out a large can opener and chased after Mathew. "I'll get that bugger if it's the last thing...!" He tripped over a mole hill.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Need your vote! (Plus a Grudge win! Yeah!)

Hey! Manna-X Kindle reached #239,210 Paid in Kindle Store...then dropped like a stone! OK, not so good but better than usual...a few have left for devices across the USA...somewhere...someone is reading it!

This week 2 wonderful things areup.
The first is TIW Grudge 11, a collaboration work between myself and Jordan Bell against Mathew W Weaver and Mamie Pound. The other team was late, 2 days were added to the deadline and the story didn't appear, so Brian announced that WE WON! Yeah! Still not up on the site, though

BUT...more importantly, the TIW Autumn Open Prelims are on! I'll need your vote here! And anyone else who has an IP address!
"Inside the Womb"...
The biggest of the 4 elements for myself was the last, the interview, and so my story is a futuristic TV programme which goes into a famous person's mother's womb and interviews them just before's the mother of...can ya guess?....Agatha Christie!!! :-)