Awkward Conversations: Posh Party

A couple of weeks ago an old friend invited me to his housewarming party. He was renting, but the place was impressive: eight bedrooms and a pool, a new red sports car parked on the neat, sloping drive. He’d always been a bit of a show-off, but Phil’s also one of those decent guys who…

Tony & Tarantula

Tony is sat working at his grey desk in the grey office he shares with thirty other accountants. At exactly four thirty, he will turn fifty. Tony’s wife, Joyce, is standing on the parquet floor of the kitchen in their semi-detached bungalow that very moment baking his favourite cake – the one topped with butterscotch…

That Moment

That moment – when I’m sitting reading, writing or researching something in a library or eating, texting or reading in a public space and I sense someone I don’t know is about to speak to me – a moment I know most people dread. Admit it! Most of you want to run away, pretend you…

I Gave Up The Day Job Five Times (For Fiction)

I’ve been a dancer, an art dealer, a till worker, a physicist, a mortuary volunteer and a career consultant (and I’m still the latter), but the question is, how do those jobs help me write? To set one record straight immediately, physics impacts my writing minimally. I discovered early on that mentioning it led people…

When Marcus Got Lost On Mars, I Analysed His Footprints

A boss bad-mouthing his employees went viral today. “We bring together skilled professionals to help businesses and careers succeed. It’s more than a job, it’s our craft.” – Mars Recruitment website First basic mistake: careers can’t succeed. They’re concepts; they can’t even breathe. Second big mistake: these skilled professionals are ‘directed’ by a Marcus Wood,…