Category Archives: A Writer’s Life for Me

During the Brief Commercial Break

This is all meant to be excerpts: bits and bobs from my writing.  Things which may (or may not) appear on the pages of my published work in future.

But last weekend I had to do the accounts, and this weekend I’m outlining and plotting.  I didn’t think it was a good idea to miss another weekly post, so I thought I’d take a moment to post a share.

I write every day.  I write about something I love and I get paid for it.  That’s a wonderful thing.  I enjoy it very much.  I thrive on it.  It’s still not enough.

I long to let my creative brain flow into worlds I can’t really write about in my non-fiction career.  I’ve decided that I don’t want to compromise.  I don’t want to say that I’m satisfied as a non-fiction writer alone, and ignore my passion for alternate realities, the dark nooks of surreal landscapes, taking time and twisting it into knots, taking words and bending them into colours, sounds, smells, and images.

I get to stretch my humour a bit when I wear my other writing hat, but it’s not really getting its full daily exercise.  Not how I want it to.

That’s what the #WeekendAuthor goal is all about.  I set myself a mandate a few weeks back to write fiction on the weekends.  This is my time.  It’s a chance to be creative.  That’s also why I don’t want to do many of these “story-behind-the-story” or “get-to-know-the-writer” posts.  I don’t want it to be about me.  I want it to be about my characters and their world.  I want to just be their typist–let them be the speakers and the actors and the plotters of this field.

Because of the nature of my other hat, I can’t really say: “That’s it I don’t work on Saturday and Sunday.”  It’s a 24/7 world, and important stuff doesn’t fit a 9-5 schedule.  Add to that the requirements of just running a business as a writer: the dreaded admin stuff–like billing clients for stories published.  More time is sectioned off for things which don’t happen in 2094 or 4098.

Then there is the bane of all writers: the needs of the body, the idea of not living in a pig stye, of having to prepare food and then do the washing up.

Time used up again and lost to life, not to be recovered by fiction.

Sleep.  I try not to do it too often, but it happens to the best of us.

So this little goal of mine is more challenging than I might have thought.  I press on regardless.

The biggest challenge for me now is trying to rein-in my growing little world.  I want to understand Maybe better, and find out what Finnegan is really all about.  I want to know Jones’ dark secret.  (Can you imagine I first called him Smith and then I thought–wait Smith, like agent Smith in the Matrix?  No.  I don’t think so.  So Jones it is now.  Yes.  Smith to Jones.  Fitting.)  I want to meet the Fixer, and the Time Keeper and the Record…all the others.  I want to see their faces, hear their voices, burrow into their minds: like a tiny worm that nibbles on the synapses and gets high off the charge.

I can’t pants it.  I want to, but I can’t.  That’s the last bit of time away from the creative.  I’m stuck in outline now.  When I was just playing around with How Not To Do Time Travel, letting it all flow freely and sketching was OK.  Now that I’ve committed to it, everything has changed.  It’s time to code properly.  That leaves less time for poetry and prose.

We really ought to be able to bend time, stretch it, mould it.  It shouldn’t flow in one direction, but I can only make that happen on the page.  Here in the not-so-quiet living room of my cabin in the Danish countryside, within sight of the waters of Vejlefjord, time runs at a constant pace.  More’s the pity.

There you are.  A glimpse of my writer’s life.  How does it compare to yours?

No Apologias

From How Not To Do Time Travel:

You could fault me my lack of curiosity; not listening to what else Finnegan might have said, if I’d played along better, pretended I believed him, let him drive the conversation. Or you might judge my lack of sympathy for a man who was so obviously in distress. You haven’t done the job I did for six years.  You can fault anything you like. I’d dealt with more madness than any reasonable person should, in those years. I had little patience for it; especially when it came so very close to me. I was defensive. My defensiveness blinded me to matters of greater importance than I gave them at the time.

I really don’t have to explain myself. Though,  you clever folks might point out that, by writing this, I obviously feel I have to explain myself. That’s true. I can’t deny it. But it’s not all about explaining my actions, or my motivations, or trying to convince you that I did the best I could. It’s about leaving a record for everyone to read along the way which might reverse this mess. Or you could think this is just a nice story, entertain yourself for a while, and disregard it. I suppose that’s allright too.

AIM: The Alliance of Incidental Magi


People like to keep things simple, so they can go ahead and complicate them for themselves. Most have a special talent for the complications, managing to spread them beyond the borders of their own existence until they engulf the reality of all those around them. This can spread, as an airborne disease spreads, until everyone catches it and the complication spreads to encompass whole communities. That’s what we call society. This is why people are unhappy. They want the simple things, but they’ve contracted society. They can’t possibly feel well.

That’s why I try to live alone. Far from the nearest infected person, avoiding communities. You never know what you’re going to catch.

I catch fish.

Mel Continue reading AIM: The Alliance of Incidental Magi


The thousand years war was a very bad idea which stuck—until everyone was so used to it they might have missed the chaos if peace ever broke out.

In Medias Res

..and then we wove the knots into the fabric of her fate so that she stumbled on the bumps.   It was damned funny.