Remember me?

Possibly not. I’ve been busy busy busy. It’s not easy to change countries and lives, especially at my age. But this is not to say that I haven’t missed your madcap blogs, recipes, stories and bad poetry. Occasionally I step on the chariot only to leap off again back to the torture that is uni life. I’ve been watching your competitions multiply and morph though. Who’d a thunk it.

So what I’m worried about is: Where is Janus?

I’m living currently in the lovely and very green southwest. Freezing my Californian toes off and trying to invoke the sun. Watching the river Exe meander past my window.

Janus’s Bookie

Well, I’m not onsite a lot these days, but I could hardly miss Janus’s win or the opportunity to turn his poem into a booklet. I’ve added a few more pieces of art (interfering book designer types!), and am still debating whether or not I like the second to the last image. I may change it if urged to do so. But here you go, it’s at


Anguished August Competition Results

Well, OK, this one was harder than the last; I had to think about it for several days and let the stories roll around in my head a bit. As before, selecting one depends on which set of criteria you use, and that can be pretty arbitrary. So besides a description, I’m going to point out my favorite parts of each entry, the parts that kept me dithering for a few days. Continue reading “Anguished August Competition Results”

“A few more hours, that’s all the time you’ve got …”

OK. These are the ones I have as of 8.40. Let me know if I’ve missed anyone :

Groucho (aka O Zangado):


Megadeth Royalist:


Mr. Mackie:


Janus: Comment #9 on

Message to Ferret, Bilby, Araminta, and You Know Who You Are …

The Boa’s Chariot competition staggers on …

1,000 words, more (but no more than 2,000) or less, in a story that contains a compromising situation. The following words should be included: “bats” and “pungent”.

Words or pictures in whatever form suits you.

Deadline midnight GMT (01.00 am BST) on 10 August 2010.

August Writing Competition

So, before Janus wakes up, a new competition is online, waiting to greet him with its smile of razor-sharp fangs poised to sink into his subconscious and drive him on to new and shimmering efforts.

1,000 words, more (but no more than 2,000 (Jan, that’s for you)) or less, in a story that contains a compromising situation. The following words should be included: “bats” and “pungent”.

Words or pictures in whatever form suits you.

And to quote Mr. Mackie (because how could this language be matched?): “Deadline midnight GMT (01.00 am BST on the day immediately following the specified day and all and/or any other time zones pari passu)” on 10 August 2010.

VR, a writing competition entry


The practice of disguise is not an art; to believe otherwise is to fall into an error of logical thinking, to fall prey to the kind of sentimentalising followed by my good friend, Dr. John Watson, a man of otherwise robust virtues and stoutheartedness. Disguise is a tool of detection, as necessary as a magnifying glass; it is the means by which the investigator can pass unnoticed into worlds unreachable by a gentleman, the sordid worlds of poverty and crime. Continue reading “VR, a writing competition entry”

Midsummer Night’s Dream

“Fifteen minutes to curtain!”

Anne looked at herself in the mirror. What she saw was a thin, white (ghoulish is the word for it, she thought) face decorated with silvery lines and wisps that looked like leftover Halloween decorations (which is what they are, she observed). Her hair stood out in blue spikes around her (terminally ill looking, she added) face. A long-legged spider was poised on the tuft overhanging her black-rimmed left eye, spots of red and white in the corner nearest her nose.

Her dresser was draping long swathes of spider-filled webs over her wings.

She would never do this again. Continue reading “Midsummer Night’s Dream”