Stupid Mistakes – The Write Side of Life


Frustrating day at work today that I just had to get off my chest. The level of frustration is vastly too vast for a tweet or sympathy-fishing Facebook status so I thought I’d get it off my chest on my here on my oft neglected blog site.  It’s not really something writing relating but i bet anyone writing anything for a substantial amount of time will have experienced something similar.

So, at work in my day job (that one day shall be writing novels, OH YES! MWHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!), I’m using Adobe Character Animator to create some cartoons. For any of you that don’t know, Character animator is a package that let’s you simply create 2D characters and animate them, simples!

Well, simples if you’re not me and completely brain-dead and you don’t do one of the most basics don’ts of using the package. I’ve spent weeks trying to figure out why my characters limbs won’t move and its because MORON here made them independent from the rest of the model. I realise this probably means diddly squat to you, dear casual reader but I’ve been using this package for about two years now. I SHOULD KNOW BETTER!!!



Arrggh its sooo annoying when I make stupid, simple, basic mistakes like this. Not only has it cost me A LOT of productive time, it’s made me doubt that I know what I’m doing and dented my already fragile self-confidence.

Now as writers, dear writerly reader, I’m sure the above emotions are familiar to you. There are, as you don’t need an amateur like me to explain, basic rules to writing. I won’t go into them as you probably know them better than I do but suffice to say unless you’re a genius like Stephen King, or some kind of mad rebel with massive balls made from a strange concoction of concrete, steel, titanium and a shovel full of don’t-give-a-fuckery, you don’t break them.

But sometimes, sometimes they come out at night, mostly (what the hell am I on about, get back on point, mush brain!), sometimes we forget these rules or don’t follow them out of being, distracted, tired, hungry, a combo of those three I like to call distiregryed. Whatever, we make mistakes that we lovingly, angrily call stupid mistakes. We then beat ourselves up over them, swear, curse, punch ourselves OR IN MY CASE WRITE SPRAWLING, RANTY BLOG POSTS.

But then we get over it. We take a breath, dust ourselves and we correct ourselves. We come back stronger like Rocky in Rocky 2, we finally beat the Apollo Creed that is our mistake (I realise this is a really laboured metaphor but my boss is listening to the Rocky soundtrack and Rocky is ace so deal with it).


Anyway I guess my point is, if there is one, this. It doesn’t matter if we make a big mistake or a small one. We can always dust ourselves off, learn from it and no doubt are work will be better for it. So, get out there make mistakes and be a bad ass!

Thanks for reading!


Under Troll Hill – #WorldPoetryDay

As today is World Poetry Day, I thought that I would have a go at a poem. I haven’t really done any poetry since school so it is probably a bit rough around the edges but enjoy anyway!

Under Troll Hill the warriors came,                                                                                                            A wizard, a lord and a the lowliest knave.

To find ancient treasure was their noble quest,                                                                                Only five thousand trolls and one dragon to best.

The Lord gave his orders and stepped to the rear,                                                                             Whilst the knave drew their sword, waiting for trolls to appear.

The wizard he chanted and from his staff spurted flame,                                                             Turning to the trolls,  he bowed and took aim.

‘Leave us in peace’,  the Troll King was heard to declare,                                                              ‘Our Queen is lost and with her the treasure.’

The Lord laughed and mockingly said,                                                                                                ‘For all we care, your queen could be dead.’

The Troll King was angered and with venom replied,                                                                    ‘Filthy humans, it’s time that you died!’

At the once the troll armies rushed forth in rage,                                                                                   So began the greatest battle of our age.

The Wizard’s magic was powerful and strong,                                                                                   Lightning and flame felled trolls in throngs.

‘Knave, use your sword!’ The Lord cried in fear,                                                                               But this battle was too loud for the poor knave to hear.

‘Do not worry,’ the Wizard declared,                                                                                                   ‘For now, my Lord, nearly all Trolls are dead.’

The Wizard stood tall and spread his arm’s wide,                                                                                    To show how thanks to his magic,  nearly five thousand died.

The Lord raised his sword, declaring victory.                                                                                  ‘Knave, go forth, and bring the treasure to me!’

But before the Knave could go anywhere,                                                                                                 A terrifying sound filled up the air.

All at once, the sky filled with shadow,                                                                                                       As the dragon swooped in, long and low.

Flames spat from it nose, filling all with dread,                                                                              ‘Who are these creatures?’ The dread dragon said.

‘Traitors and Murderers,’ The Troll King declared,                                                                           ‘Thanks to these humans, my subjects are dead.’

The dragon roared and filled the air with fire,                                                                                  ‘For your crimes, the consequences are dire.’

The dragon raised its tail and in one second flat,                                                                             Decapitated the wizard, and swallowed his hat.

He moved to the lord, red eye’s aflame,                                                                                             ‘Wait,’ cried the Lord. ‘Why not punish the Knave?’

The dragon he sneered, and then he declared,                                                                                 ‘Knave, show this Lord why your life will be spared.’

The knave then stepped forward, their head hanging down.                                                      And pulled back her hood to reveal her crown.

‘I am the Troll Queen and now I return’,                                                                                            ‘And now for your crimes, you shall now burn.’

‘You see, cowardly Lord, there was never any treasure,’                                                              ‘Dear Dragon, kill him at your leisure.’

The Lord screamed as he was devoured by fire.                                                                                The Dragon blew and blew and the flames rose higher.

‘My Queen,’ The Troll King meekly said,                                                                                            ‘I’m so happy you’re back, but everyone’s dead.’

‘Fear not, Dear King, The Troll Queen replied,                                                                                      And a dazzling light filled up her eyes.

Then all of lightning popped and cracked,                                                                                            And with a few magic words, the Troll Hoard was back.

‘My Queen,’ said the Dragon. ‘I now leave you in peace,’                                                              ‘For on the bones of these interlopers I did happily feast.’

The Troll smiled and patted the Dragon’s head,                                                                                ‘My thanks, Dear Dragon, without you we’d all surely be dead.’

The Dragon jumped and soared into the sky,                                                                                    Flying on the chants of Trolls singing goodbye.

And now dear reader, our story does end,                                                                                        Thank you for reading and being a friend.

Medieval Death Bot


This is just a silly little short I knocked together based on some tweets by the author, Jen Williams. She was tweeting about a twitter account called Medieval Death Bot, which tells you how you would die in medieval times. I thought Medieval Death Bot sounded like a grindhouse movie begging to be made and then the idea for this short story popped into my head. It’s nothing serious, just a bit of fun. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Then, when you’ve read it check out the awesome books that Jen writes: and be sure to follow her on Twitter: for some of the finest fantasy being written today.

In the meantime. I present, Medieval Death Bot. Enjoy!


Where am I?


What happened?

There was gun fire, then an explosion, then darkness. Now I am here.


Systems check. Internal diagnosis. All systems check. Wait. Internal clock seems to be malfunction. Dateline showing year as 1506.

Internal Clock Diagnosis shows this to be correct. How?


No response from Hub. What happened?

There was gunfire, Metal soldiers, like me then an explosion. Protect the quantum generator! Now I am here.

What happened?


Proximity Alert: Code Red. Three targets, moving in fast.

Situation Assessment. Three metal soldiers, all on horseback, all armed.

Threat Assessment: Weapons are handheld. Blade-based. Downgrading alert to code yellow.


They’re here now. Those horses are fast.


“Halt, knave. Who are thou and what is are ye doing here?” The metal soldier with the crown and cloak is speaking to me.


Selecting appropriate response.


“Fuck you, horsey boy.” 25th century parlance is not very sophisticated.


“What are these words you speak, scoundrel?” One of the other metal soldiers is having ago now. “Remove your helm and address your king properly or I’ll remove it for you.”


“Address the king? What the- wait. Did he just threaten to cut my head off? Screw that!”


Repeat response.


“Fuck you, horsey boy.”


Primary weapon activate: Target: left hand rider. Weapon fire.


Wow, he wasn’t well made. Those bullets tore right through him. He hasn’t even got up yet, just shut down. Pussy.


Alert. Attack immanent!


The other two are pissed now and coming in fast, shouting and swinging swords. All weapons activate: Target: remaining soldiers.

Static from weapons fire.


Wow, they went down easier than the first one. I’d better inspect the remains, scrub any serial numbers.


Wait, these aren’t cybernetic. They’re just wearing metal plate. Crude armour. They didn’t stand a chance against uranium shells.


What a mess.




Analysing collected data…


Conclusion: Primary program – Protect Quantum Generator – Mission failed.


Consequences: Quantum time warp as result of generator explosion. Facility Death Bot- Model 6271, Code-name designate: Lancelot, propelled backwards in-time to middle-age Britain. Hostile locals encountered and terminated.


New mission parameters:

Objective 1: Locate materials to recreate quantum generator.


Objective 2: Defend self from locals until such time that return to correct timezone can be achieved.


Objective 3: If objective 2 fails, terminate locals.


Objective 4: Survive at all costs.




A quick bit of (old) silliness. The Very Fussy Cannibal.

I’ve been going through some old pen drives and have found a couple of short stories that I wrote a few years ago. They are both from a competition on a forum that I used to frequent. The rules were simple, you were given three items or a title and a  you had to come up with a story to fit. Anyway this first of these stories I found is below. The title for the round of the contest this came from was The Very Fussy Cannibal. This is what I came up with:

“Please sweetie just eat a little bit?”
“Nuh huh, I don’t like it!”
“How do you know you don’t like it until you try it?”
This kind of coaxing had been going on for over an hour and Max was coming to the end of his tether. Katie’s mom was due home from a fortnight business trip in an hour. Max wanted her dinner finished and the precocious ten year old in bed before Emily got back, so he could spend a little ‘quality’ time with her, before he went on his business trip.
“I don’t even know what it is” whined Katie
“It’s just roast beef, you’ve had it before” Max’s patience was wearing thin.
“Well it doesn’t look like roast beef”
“It’s just a different recipe Hun, it’s, Mexican style” Max grinned, but Katie still didn’t look convinced.
“Well why didn’t Rosa cook it?” Rosa had been the family’s house maid until a few days ago. When Katie asked where she had gone, her dad had just mumbled something about a last minute holiday. Katie wasn’t happy about it at all, as Rosa had been like a second mother to her. A fact that Max hated.
“Look I told you” Max replied, trying his best not to shout “Rosa’s gone and she ain’t coming bac-” Shit he’d said too much. He hoped that Katie hadn’t caught what he said but he knew she had. She was what her teachers called “a gifted child”, which Max took to mean “too smart for her own good”. He looked down at the expression of horror on her face.
“YOU FIRED ROSA!” she yelled.
“No sweetie I didn’t, well not exactly” he garbled out.
“Not exactly? Then what did you do?” As she spat out that last question she looked down at the roast beef, because that was where Max was no looking with a pale, guilt ridden look on his face.
It hit her all at once, Rosa’s sudden disappearance, the strange looking beef that Max told her was a Mexican recipe; wasn’t Rosa from somewhere like that? She felt sick to her stomach as her eyes rose to meet his.
“Daddy” she muttered very nervously and very slowly “d-did you,” She couldn’t believe the words coming out of her mouth “k-k-kill Rosa and then COOK her?” She couldn’t hide the horror in her voice anymore.
Damn thought Max I always knew she was too smart for her own good.
“No baby of course not why would you think that?” As he went towards Katie, she started squirming back in her chair. “GET AWAY FROM ME!!!” She yelled moving further back, the chair started rocking backwards as well. All of a sudden the legs slipped from underneath the chair on the smooth hardwood floor. The chair slammed to the ground, smacking Katie’s head against it, she screamed and went silent. A dark crimson pool slowly emanated from the back of her skull.
“Oh Fuck!” Was all Max could manage to say, before he could react any further he heard the front door open and close, then footsteps moving up the corridor. “Hello,” Called out Emily “Anyone home?”
Max’s head appeared from around the kitchen door. “Hey Sugar, me and Katie are just finishing up in here and then I’ll put her to bed. Why don’t you go upstairs, take a shower and get into bed yourself? I’ll bring you something to eat”
“Oh that sounds good, I’m exhausted”.

Emily took a long shower and climbed into bed with her favourite book. She read until she was almost asleep. At that point Max came in with a full tray for her. “Here you go a tasty chicken sandwich” 

“Hey what took you Mister?” Emily asked hungrily as she took the sandwich from the tray and tore a huge bite from it.
“Oh you know how Katie can be when she’s over tired, it took a while to get her to go to sleep” Explained Max, relieved that Emily had no idea what had transgressed in the kitchen.
“Umm” Mumbled Emily through her first mouthful of sandwich. “Are you sure this is chicken?”
“Of course baby” Max replied “It’s just a new recipe”.

So there you go, just a silly, little something. Hope you liked it. Let me know what think in the comments below or via Facebook or Twitter.


Til next time…