Partnership (for Creative Writing competition November 2011)

“Embezzlement, Max?” I heard, and my interest, having wandered, was immediately refocused. “A financial fraud accusation is very serious,” said John, speaking in his measured way. By now I had all my attention on Max. What was all this about?

“I don’t use the term lightly,” I heard my husband say, “and it pains me as Andrew is my oldest friend.”  I glanced at Andrew, who looked so shocked and uncomfortable. “But the figures just don’t stand up,” said Max. “There is a very big anomaly. And I’m surprised,” he said turning to Jackson, the accountant, “that you hadn’t identified a problem yourself, Ian.”

“I’m sure it’s a mistake,” Andrew said, looking around the room. He wouldn’t look at me. He wouldn’t now,in public. Then turning to Max he said, “You know me, Max, I’d never put the partnership in danger. This can all be sorted out with another look at the figures, I’m sure.”

“Just what I arranged,” said Max, “I have hired an independent firm of auditors. In fact they are looking at the books as we speak.”  There was uproar at this. How could he go behind everyone’s back and arrange an independent enquiry? When I looked around the room Andrew and Ian were silent. Ian’s face was like a storm cloud. Continue reading “Partnership (for Creative Writing competition November 2011)”

Alternative Nursery Rhymes

A few alternative nursery rhymes for Janus… but written a while back , so probably don’t count for the competition!


There was a crooked man,
who walked a crooked mile,
he found a crooked pound coin,
upon a crooked stile,

he bought a crooked lotto ticket,
and won a crooked prize,
and went abroad to sunny Spain,
which was very, very wise. Continue reading “Alternative Nursery Rhymes”

WiKiLeaks Roman Style -December CW Competition


The foundations of Rome continue to be rocked by the latest revelations from the renegade author of ViCiEffluvia, Julianus Celerimus Assanginus. He has  managed to get his barbarian hands on copies of thousands of government scrolls sent to Eternal Rome by her legates, prefects and envoys from   throughout the whole Empire and beyond. As citizens will know, Assanginus has been appearing in the Forum and other public places, gabbling out extracts from these confidential documents at the top of his voice and then taking off like lightning before the authorities could apprehend him. Continue reading “WiKiLeaks Roman Style -December CW Competition”

Nov Short Story – the Mystery of the Unknown Soldier

If he could tell that the young girl with the fat baby in the blue snowsuit wasn’t interested, it didn’t matter. Not that day, not any day really.

Bert was an effusive sort of chap; never used three words where thirty would do. And they all came rushing out which tended to exhaust his listeners to the point where they would look at their watches and remember a pie overcooking in the oven or an appointment at the dentist.

Tracy was taking her children to her mums on the other side of town so she could go to a sunbed appointment and have a bit of peace. She deserved it, she thought – and so did her mum, knowing how hard life was as a single mum, especially since her Tracy was only 17. Continue reading “Nov Short Story – the Mystery of the Unknown Soldier”

’Things are seldom what they seem…’, Writing Competition November 2010

The major turning point in Dennis’s life started with an innocuous enough comment.
“We should get a dog,” said his wife Madeleine one Wednesday morning over breakfast. Continue reading “’Things are seldom what they seem…’, Writing Competition November 2010”

October Short Story Competition: Pandemic

Science News: Pandemic, exclusive interview.

Unlike the 2009/2010 ‘Swine Flu’ epidemic which was long predicted, over-hyped and claimed many months of media attention, the virus that mutated abruptly into a potential worldwide killer in December 2010 was almost completely unpredicted and until now not reported. Experts we consulted with these newly disclosed facts about the ‘Measles Mutation’ estimate that this virus had the potential to wipe out 75 -80% of the population worldwide. Continue reading “October Short Story Competition: Pandemic”

Skydiving (Mark II)

“If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving is not for you”.  Brian grinned inwardly as he read the flyer advertising a parachuting course at a local airfield.  He liked the droll humour of the advert and this was just the kind of challenge a young,gun in his position ought to be pursuing to maintain the interest of the stockbroker’s daughter to whom he was engaged.

Continue reading “Skydiving (Mark II)”

Secret Diary of a Grand National Geek

‘You’re doing Ladies’ Day,’ snapped my news editor. ‘At the Grand National.’

It was 2003; I was a cub reporter with no more interest in sport or horses than in, well, origami, or Chinese medicine. But what the hell – it would make a change from chasing fire engines in Warrington

‘Do colour, hats, fashion,’ he said, wearily. ‘But for God’s sake, don’t do the bloody horses’

So, with his words ringing in my ears – and a dire warning not to emulate last year’s reporter by getting drunk and falling asleep on the job, I set off.

It was absolutely pissing down at Aintree. There was mud everywhere. But the place looked very grand, with an impressive array of white, Camelot style marquees.

So I resorted to my first shameless trick – nicking stuff. ‘You got anything interesting?’ I ventured to the other reporters. But I was met with stiff, icy glares; we were all jostling glumly for laptop space amid the chaos and the coffee cups. It was like a workaday version of Glastonbury.

Continue reading “Secret Diary of a Grand National Geek”

An Immodest Announcement

Anime, Animus, Anima
Cover of my new book

Well, it’s happened. My new book is out, published by the UK-based poetry publisher Shearsman Books. I’m quite excited about it. Being an artist and book artist, I usually produce my own books in different sizes and shapes. This time someone else is doing it, which helps enormously. I’ll be giving a reading in London on April 20, which is also a thrill. You’re all so far flung that I doubt that I’ll see any bloggers there, but it would be a delight. Some day I’d like to put real faces to the many words that have been tumbling out in cyberspace, here and at the Site that Must Remain Nameless. Info at the reading can be found at

The poetry is not at all like what I usually post at the Site that Will Remain Unnamed. I think that’s supposed to be a warning. There’s a description (sort of) on the site at Shearsman and there’s another on Amazon.

Enough of this brazen self promotion!