I’ve been making a few updates to the layout of the site, as should hopefully be apparent. All the links to my writing, whether reviews or short stories, have now been collected into a ‘Writing’ page (see the tab above). I have also changed the image on the header, which I can guarantee nobody will notice. I might change this on a more regular basis, just for the fun of it …

In the last month I have written (the first draft of) four short stories, and today I began a fifth. One of these incipient masterpieces is destined to be submitted for the annual Bridport Prize, but I’ve been writing them more with the idea of adding them to a possible collection. I’ve been writing short stories for as long as I can remember, with varying degrees of success (it’s not a form that comes naturally to me), but this is the first time I’ve been working along the lines of a particular theme – in this case, the way objects relate to each other in space, and the difficulty of writing about same. I’ve also been trying to write about what it is in the short story form that I find most difficult, whether that’s how fraudulent I feel when thinking up character names, or how constricting I sometimes find a short 3000 – 5000 word narrative. One of the stories I’ve been working on over the last month is basically a 15-page essay about the frustrations of writing short narratives. It’s a different approach for me anyway, and has kept my mind focused on other tasks while I try not to think about the soul-curdling task of redrafting my novel, which has been sitting in a box file for the last fortnight, quietly fermenting. I’m going to wait until after my first meeting at the Scottish Book Trust before I start tackling it – updates to follow at suitably prevaricating moments …

Jonathan Cape were also kind enough to send me (on request – you don’t ask, you don’t get) a proof copy of the great Gwendoline Riley’s new novel, ‘Opposed Positions’, which will be published in May. I haven’t started reading it yet, but Riley is one of my favourite contemporary writers and I can’t imagine it will disappoint. A review will follow on this site, nearer to the publication date.



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