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I am a writer of novels, plays and film scripts. I live in Manchester England with my partner Andy and our teenage son Jack. Andy and I started my Newsletter Raw Meat and began publishing with Rawprintz in 1999 to showcase my work. Some of you may be confused by my continual references to Ziggy, that’s my wheelchair! Both Andy and I are writers. I’ve recently lost my sight – hence the continual reference to my being confused! Thanks for visiting.

My Comrades...


Writer's Island Time Travel

Here’s my bit for the Writer’s Island, this week prompted by time travel.


Just as everything around them appeared to fade away completely, somehow the definitions of the fireplace, the chess pieces on the floor and the back of the huge looking glass over the fireplace became sharp… so that suddenly they would change, the whole place was changed even though it remained the same. It was all bright, everything was lit by artificial spotlights which only added to the unsettling quality of the change that had taken place. The witch and wizard looked around nervously, exchanging glances.

“What’s going on, do you think?” Bartholomew said in a low voice, catching hold of the edge of Elvira’s robe as the two of them stepped instinctively closer together. “Have we travelled again? They never had lights like this in the Victorian era.”

“No… we’re back in our own time, maybe,” whispered Elvira.

“Well, then you can’t blame the floo powder this time,” muttered Bartholomew, staring around him at all the cameras. “who are all these people? And… wait a minute” he pointed over the still spellbound Alice’s shoulder to another Alice being made up to look the part. “don’t tell me were on a film set.”

Suddenly a serious faced man dressed entirely in black came striding towards them.

“Who the hell are you, and what are you doing on my set?” he demanded.

Elvira gave him a cool smile, shrugging apologetically.

“Sorry… I think we lost our way somewhere along the line,” she said with a nervous little laugh. She stared at the unshaven man curiously before asking, “you’re the director, I presume?”

The monochrome figure glanced at the witch quickly, drawing himself up to his full height - which was not much, but even so he had a certain air of authority.

“Of course I am. This is my film, my set… and that’s my Alice… I think.” He stopped suddenly staring at the strangely sketchy outline of Alice, who was just beginning to wake from her trance. The director glanced quickly over at the other Alice, still being made up amongst the cameras. “What’s going on? I thought you were Tabatha.”

The little girl who was being made up came running across to the director eagerly. She eyed the real Alice curiously.

“Here I am, Mr Burton… all ready for Scene One again.”

Elvira gave a little cry of astonishment, clapping her scarlet tipped hand to her mouth.

“You're not really… I’ve always wanted to meet you, I loved Edward Sissorhands. You look just like I always imagined you would… don’t you think so, Bart?”

Beside her, the young wizard nodded, speechless. Elvira continued, taking a bold step toward the famous director.

“I took my class to see your Alice in Wonderland last year… but I didn’t know you’d made Through the Looking Glass as well, what year is this, anyway?” The black clad director shook his head silently, struck dumb it seemed. But the little actress beside him spoke up.

“It’s 2014, didn’t you know?” she said with a high pitched laugh afterwards.

“This is strange indeed!” cried Elvira, “What magic is this Bart?” Bartholomew made no reply, taking a hold of the real Alice as she came hurrying towards him, her sketchy outline bending beneath the weight of reality. Her papery face was dissolving into tears as she cried out, “Take me home, please! I want to get back to my book!”


Writer's Island Inception

Here follows my bit for Writer's Island, this weeks theme being Inception.


Bartholomew gripped hold of Alice’s papery hand, searching her frozen expression for any sign of life. Frantically he turned back to Elvira who was staring distantly around the black and white outline of the room.

“Bring her back, Elvira and do your bloody stupid spell at once.”

Elvira shook her head slightly, giving him an impatient tut.

“Really, my dear… you forget yourself. There is absolutely no need to panic, I have everything under control.”

The young wizard switched his gaze slightly to the pen and ink definitions of the fireplace just behind Alice’s left shoulder which were becoming gradually fainter as every moment passed. As Alice herself was becoming merely an illustration from the book the definitions of Looking Glass House was also fading.

“But look, you’ve got to wake her up right now!” he cried, “otherwise everything is going to be lost - don’t you see, everything is fading and changing. If all this was just an idea in Alice’s head, then if she’s fading away then all this will too. And maybe us - will we also fade away?”

Elvira folded her arms across the front of her robe so that the silver borders almost touched each other. Her face was set into a stony expression, almost regal.

“Don’t be silly, Bart - don’t you remember from your old school days? Looking Glass House isn’t Alice’s idea at al l- she’s just a fictional character in Through the Looking Glass, isn’t she? The idea belongs to the writer… who was… come on Bart - who was it??”

The young wizard looked at the witch blankly, watching the background all around him slowly but surly becoming dimmer. He swallowed down a desperate lump in his throat.

“Lewis Carroll, wasn’t it? It was his idea then, Looking Glass House?”

Once again, Elvira gave a distant tut of irritation.

“ Really, Bart - do you remember nothing? Surly you must have been taught that Lewis Carroll’s real name was Charles Dodgson?”

The room began to waver and shake as borders began to dissolve.

“For gods sake Elvira - that doesn’t matter!! We need to get inside his head right now and get this idea back into reality!!”

“Well dear, you’ll have quite a job - Mr Dodgson’s been dead for a hundred years or more. All this “- she gestured around the room, which was becoming grey and misty as if shrouded by twilight “is someone else’s idea, someone else is in control of things. We’re the intruders into Looking Glass house, remember? Someone else is punishing us, creating our destiny.” She paused flicking back her long dark hair from her face. “And I don’t know about you … but I certainly don’t like the feeling at all. I don’t like it at all.”


Writer's Island Spellbound

A piece for Writer’s Island, inspired by the prompt SPELLBOUND.


“Well, whatever you choose to call it… if it worked once then surely it’ll work again?” Elvira drew her wand from her pocket slowly and tapped it against her thigh as she gazed at Alice thoughtfully, who watched her movements nervously. The little girl took Bartholomew’s hand, drawing closer to the young wizard for protection who swathed her in his robes like a baby’s blanket.

Bartholomew clasped at the little black and white figure, suddenly feeling a great sympathy for her.

“Don’t, Elvira. She’s not used to magic remember… and anyway, we’ve already discovered that the floo powder doesn’t work in Victorian times. See if your wand will work?”

She stared at him icily for a long moment, and then a slow smile spread across her face, but it didn’t seem to hold any mirth in it.

“You will remember, Mr Dross, that I am a witch of great learning and power. Never mind the naff floo powder, that was just a mistake on the part of Merlin’s Magic Store.” She continued to beat time steadily on the palm of her hand, the red and white striped wand rising and falling. “But magic must still be able to reach here, to summon it to obedience.” She glanced at Bartholomew, her expression softening slightly. “What do you think, Bartholomew? Shall I try a little spell on Alice?”

The black and white paper girl tried to pull Bartholomew’s robes even further around her, appearing even whiter than ever.

“Please, I don’t want to become anything other than what I am – a little Victorian girl.” Alice pleaded in a tiny voice. “I’ve had quite enough of changes lately, coming through the looking glass was quite enough magic for me.”

Reaching out in front of her, Elvira pulled the Teniel illustration back out into the open.

“Be brave, my dear. Think of this as a pioneering experience for others to follow.”

As Alice stumbled over the fender and stood before the witch awkwardly, Bartholomew could only stand and watch Elvira wave her wand back and forth over Alice’s head. Alice seemed to become even more static and sketchy… her expression absolutely rigid and blank, completely devoid of life, she appeared to be after all, just an illustration from an old book. Elvira waved her wand a couple more times in flourish.

“There we are… I think that’ll do for now. We have her completely spellbound, wouldn’t you say, Bartholomew?”