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One more for the road, ey, why not? What you drinking? A pint of Joint-Runner-Up Best Writing on a Blog Ale? or just a Half?

You join me at a happy moment in my life, and I’m not afraid to say it. The trees are getting fat, the birds are sprouting and I’ve got The Graduate and Chinatown rented on DVD to watch at my leisure. If you’ve never been here before, then sit back, relax, start at story number one and have a good read. There’s an unrelated, seemingly random story for every week of last year, so set aside some time and let the words eat your brains like zombies probably would.

Also, I was at this blog awards thing the other night. Yes that’s a picture of me doing my reading. Don’t know who those other halfwits are. It was a good night full of fabulous literary delights from various talented bloggers. The big winner was Lost in Manchester which claimed the prize for Blog of the Year 2009. I have since had a look at the site and by gum its a worthy winner. Its an anonymous blog about the quirks and foibles of a quirky and foibly city that we all love, with pictures and info of things we might otherwise have missed.  I like it because it avoids the obvious and then points out that which should be blindingly obvious but isn’t. Well done, whoever you are.

Another winner of two awards (incl. the one i was up for, grrr) was the remarkable single-mother blog lovingly entitled My Shitty Twenties. Now if your skeptical about heading over there, don’t be. It’s ridiculously hard not to get drawn in to the simple tales of baby/toddler Tom and all the various situations he gets his mother into. It soon becomes a very pleasant way to spend your internet reading time and its plain to see why it did the double at the blog awards. Well done My Shitty Twenties, you’re not shitty at all.

And one more mention should go to Richard Vivmeister, whom I share the honour of the runner-up spot with. Go there. Read his stuff. It will make you chuckle, giggle, even possibly chortle. He got the reading night off to a delightful start the other day, even when it descended to a man pushing poo back up his own… well I’ll stop there and let you find out for yourself. Ho, Vivmondo!

Well the only left for you to do dear reader is find my other blog. That’s right I have a new blog. This time I will not be writing a short story a week for a year. I’ll be doing other things. I think.

Bookmark it, pop it in your favourites, tweeter it, googlofy it and if you don’t want to then you can just go facebook yourself.

That’s all. Really that’s it. Go away now.






Good news!, ths site you now cast your lovely sparkling (probably) eyes upon has been nominated for an award! The Manchester Blog Award people have kindly shortlisted me for the ‘Best Writing on A Blog’ category. Go here for more info on the Blog Awards.

I’m up against stiff competition with all these quite remarkable scribes shortlisted for the same award: Santiago’s Dead Wasp, My Shitty Twenties, I Thought I Told You To Wait in the Car and Big City, Little Girl

Gosh. I think Manchester deserves a good old hearty slap on the back for being a wonderful hub for these talented scribblers and typers. I’m just happy to be standing alongside them!

Well, if you are free on the night of the 21st October 2009 (a Wednesday, it be) then come along to the awards to see me read one of mi stories. Haven’t decided which one yet – perhaps it should be potluck? The Blog Award event is on at the Band on the Wall, Swan Street Manchester at 7pm. Come one come alllllll!!!!

And keep reading! I know there are some of the 52 that you haven’t read yet so pick em out, sit your arses down and let the words do their work. Remember to warm up and warm down your eyes appropriatly.

See you at Band on the Wall



So this is the end, my only friend, the end.

I won’t lie to you, its been arduous! writing 52 stories is no mean feat! I’ve enjoyed it though and I’m happy now to have a back-catalogue of sorts.

Please keep reading. I’ll keep them up for a while longer. I’m going to start afresh elsewhere soon, once I’ve settled into the groove of my MA. I want a blog where I can better reflect on this task and other thoughts on other things. Also, the writing doesn’t stop here. Although I won’t have as much time henceforth I still want to tinkle the plastic keys to spew forth more mysteries and curios.

But for now its cheerio.

So thanks for stopping by, thanks for taking the time out to read these things that I spill out. I hope they struck a chord somewhere deep down. I like to think that they are uprooted from somewhere quite genuine, so hopefully they will speak to you on some sort of level.

And check back for news on my new blog (which will be bigger, better and easier to edit, hopefully!)














Its nearly done, only one piece remaining. I took a week off last week, partly to prepare for this final push, partly because i was in Wales away from the computer. But after all that I do have my final idea for story 52.

Story 51 is about a murder in a bowling alley, but not quite that simple. I enjoyed coming up with song names and band names for use in the piece. Some that didn’t make it in: Better do it Softly by Cat Cabaret, TerrioTechnoClapTwoThree by Darkly Darkly and Voiceover by Mute. That’s a lto of fun you should try it yourself.

In other news, some git has stolen my facebook! changed my name to Carol Philps and started playing endless poker. If you have come from Facebook then please ignore my profile for the time being, I am attempting to seize back control.

In the meantime enjoy story 51 and see you on the other side.




Well its nearly done. I’ve nearly reached 52 and one year of telling tales tall and dog stories shaggy. Just two more left and I’m really starting to think about how to end the damn thing – with an ironic whimper? epically? realted to the first story to make a sort of loop? I have nae decided yet.

In the mean time here’s Peripeteia, as story about things happening while nothing happens, which happens all the time.

Oh and also, its come to my attention that there is a thing happening. A thing called the Manchester Blog Awards. Its on the 21st of October at Band on the Wall in the northern quarter and you can nominate blogs here. I’ve nominated a few of my faves, why don’t you nominate yours (hint hint…) 

speak soon




Story 48: ‘A Visitor’

Homage to a faithful friend. Favourite of the nine for many years, now shunned by flippant scientific technicalities. Its still there, oh boffins, you haven’t blown it out of the sky yet.

In other news, getting excited about the Manchester Literature Festival yet? i am, got to get myself booked onto some of the choiceist picks. Got my eye on Angels of Anarchy at the Manchester Art Gallery. Bit tentative about it though: what if I pay £29 pounds to do it and then get total brain-freeze and not write anything halfway decent? I”ll be the laughing stock whatever that means (giggling gravy?)

ooh and its seems no point in not being friends is back for a one-off at matt and phreds. I read for them a couple of times at Deaf Institute, damn fine reading night.

things to do, things to do




Ar, you’ve come aboard then lad? I always knew you would. Hope you got your sealegs screwed on there, I know I’ve got mine.

There’s only 6 story islands left to navigate before we reach the buried treasure, and we’ve got you for the full voyage my lad, ha ha haaaarrr. But don’t you get shirty, and don’t you be thinkin this is goin’ to be an easy ride.

What you got there then? Moby Dick? Treasure Island? Where’s Wally Now? All classics my lad but try ‘Got Some News’ and ‘Story Mode’ instead, they’ll get ya thru the storms.

Lets get off, then, fella. Get down below and find my scally man Lee Johnson. He’ll tell you a tale or two.




The number 100 on a door in Lancaster. Would I have taken the picture if had been the number 56? or 109? or 33? probably not. But then again I wasn’t thinking straight because I was barely hours away from asking Hannah to marry me.

New story, ‘Unacceptable Praise Mechanism.’ There’s only 7 to write now. Blimey! I wonder what literary treats lie in store?

That will take me into mid September and roughly a year since I began this endeavour. When I reach that it will signal a change in lifestyle I reckon. I will back to university with fresh energy and renewed fascination in learning things new. And its about time too.


She said yes by the way. Good times.




Piggyshop Quartet

Piggyshop Quartet

hello everyone.

please follow the example of Pandora, Attica, Hera and Hebe (aka the Piggyshop Quartet) in the reading of the following bloggggggg. They’re interested, are you?

oooh it feels like its been a while. what have i been up to? Camping on the welsh coast in blazing sunshine and selling pet accessories to people for the RSPCA. what larks.

Here’s the new story, later than planned, inspired by a title of a fictional set of poems by a fictional character in a work of fiction The World According to Garp that I have been reading the past couple of weeks. Its a good read, recommended, espcially for writers as it is about a writer – his whole life in fact.

Thanks to Hannah for using her touch-typing skills to get it written up and for improving the title. Its probably the softest and nicey-est story yet, which I don’t mind at all because it still has an element of the strange.

I will hopefully have another one coming tomorrow, shorter, funnier, zanier and a tad nonsensical.

Pop along over to Kim Mcgowan to see inside the mind of another writer, one who is actually doing it for an MA. She is like a telescope into the murky world of Writersville and she makes the murkiness so, so clear. So click the link and find out why blogwriting is like syphillis.




skullTwo snappy little one-pagers to read: ‘The Skull’ and ‘The Golden Silence’.

Went camping last weekend in Wales and got terribly burnt. Had a rather poetic moment staring at the newly risen moon across the Irish Sea while urinating. it felt like just me the wee the sea and the moon. very elemental. i shall have to squeeze it into a story one day.

C’mon The Murray


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