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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 Peerless

The prompt this week at Writer's Island is PEERLESS.


Right from the very first moment we were formally introduced, thirty years ago, I’d been dissatisfied… I wanted to know more about you, your life, your circle of friends. So I fed my mind with every book I could find that mentioned your name, Mr Wilde… not only biographies, but also fiction, stage plays, novels. I have even found you creeping into my own work over the years, like a sort of persistent fungus… though definitely not a malignant growth. More a disease of Decadence that just won’t go away. Even though I can’t imagine you alone – just as you said during your life that you couldn’t write except in company – still, you’ve become something of a legend, completely peerless and unrivalled in animated wit and brilliance. Because our friendship blossomed, my obsession remained… and so I chose to resurrect you from the dusty ashes, time and time again… you’ve never been dead, Mr Wilde. You’ve always been fairly bursting with life, colours showering down in a most beautiful incandescent array of not only shades but also textures that live and breathe as they turn, sometimes catching the light. I was immediately inspired when I heard about a competition to write a children’s story based on your life… your life seemed to be such a charmed one, a great, sweeping ark of rise and fall littered with wonderful characters. The whole thing was made for a fairy tale, and this tale would be embroidered with facets of your own character, Mr Wilde, that you may recognise from your own story… I’m confident that you’re pleased with the result. A most charming little story Catching the Light should be available soon, so please don’t hesitate to sample it for yourself.


Writer's Island Adventure

My piece for Writer’s Island - this weeks prompt being Adventure.


“What a way to go,” remarked one of the cameramen standing round and staring helplessly as Tim Burton collapsed into pieces before their eyes. Portions of his flesh were gently carried away by the gently moving waters… remnants of the pool of salt tears that collected there from Alice’s eyes, maybe.

From where they stood just beside the door Elvira and Bartholomew exchanged anxious glances, for they could feel that it was definitely time for them to leave. Elvira took hold of Alice’s flimsy paper hand as she pushed open the door behind her back, hoping that the rapid movement of air wouldn’t blow Alice away.

“Come on then… time for another adventure, I feel,” she said in a low voice as she took a step backwards over the threshold. “and who knows what we’ll find out here?”

Bartholomew pulled his wizards robes further over his shoulders as though he was hoping to make a better impression on whoever… an audience, maybe? For a moment they seemed ready for anything, for were they fact, history or fiction… characters from another book? As the wizard looked around him, he pulled the door closed decisively behind him, the end of Tim Burton.

The three of them found themselves standing in a long corridor which was lit very dimly by occasional gas lamps on the wall - there were doors on either side but every one of them was closed, while at the end of the corridor they could just make out the sweeping banister going down… leading down to the depths. Elvira shifted nervously from one foot to the other, feeling the thick pad of carpet beneath her shoes.

“I tell you what, Bart,” she said, as she took hold of the edge of his robe tentatively, “I think we’re back in Victorian times… do you recognise this place Alice? Is it part of Looking Glass House may be?”

Alice cleared her throat carefully for it had been quite some time since she’d last spoken and had almost forgotten how to.

“It’s not anywhere that I recognise, I don’t think,” she said thinly, as thin as her paper edges would allow, “wait a minute… who’s this coming up the stairs?”

Before the magic couple could even see the dog they could smell it, as it had just come back from a walk and the blast of woodland scent almost took their breath away. The big dog came bounding towards them, and tried to put his paws up on Elvira’s ample breasts and lick her face in friendly greeting. But Elvira pushed her away - she didn’t like dogs at all.

“Yuk, get down you stupid brute!” she snapped irritably, turning away.

“Don’t speak to Timmy like that… he’s only being friendly,” said a petulant voice, one which seemed to hover somewhere between the sexes. As the wizard and witch stared at the curly haired figure that came running up to them from the staircase, it was impossible to tell whether the figure was a boy or a girl - for by the arrogance of the tone it seemed that the voice could only belong to a boy. The teenager stroked the shaggy mongrel’s head affectionately, continuing in the same arrogant tone, “I don’t know who you are anyway - what are you doing here on my grounds? Let me just remind you that this is my adventure, my story, my island. Everything round here belongs to me… here’s someone else who belongs to me - my uncle Quentin.” The boy gestured behind him as a tall man wearing small round spectacles appeared behind him, walking with such a stately stride that the wizards wondered if he was king.

“Good morning,” said the man in a clear, sharp voice, “I see my daughter has introduced us formally… which I’m very glad to see. She hasn’t forgotten her manners after all - but who are you? I don’t think you are meant to be here on Kirren Island.”

For a moment both Elvira and Bartholomew could think of nothing to say; they simply shook hands with uncle Quentin, Elvira eyeing the teenagers legs and noticing how smooth they were - for the girl wearing shorts, ready for adventure.

“Do you mind?” the girl gave Elvira a hearty shove backwards, which Elvira didn’t think was totally affectionate. “I don’t know who you think you are, but just stop staring at my legs.”

“Sorry,” apologised Elvira quickly, “just trying to tell what sex you are.” The girl glared at her with flashing eyes, and tossed her head contemptuously.

“The name’s Gorge… that’s all, just Gorge,” she said. “Now then… who are you and what are you doing on my island?”