What I’ve Been Up To

Some of you (if anyone is still checking this page) will notice I haven’t been updating this page for a while. This has been due to other projects and the “day job” getting in the way. However, don’t worry this blog will be back up and running soon with lots of Halloween themed posts and stories, Doctor Who stuff for the anniversary in November but first let’s with a quick break down of what I’ve been up to!

What I've Been Up ToTV Reviews

Outside of work this is what I’ve been working on most. I now have two TV series blogs on Culture Jam for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Homeland. It is safe to say I’m enjoying one of them more than the other – I’ll let you read the reviews to guess which one! To help you here are my reviews so far (with more due to be posted soon)

You can also check out my thoughts on Homeland Series Two here as well!

Movie Reviews

I also reviewed a couple of movies as well. Monsters University, the unneeded prequel to Monsters Inc, is available now while my thoughts on Sunshine on Leith will be up soon. Even if you don’t care about the movie check out my attempts to crowbar in the name of every song from the musical into my review and the damage I did to the English language in the process!

Short Stories

What I've Been Up ToFinally, I’ve got three short stories due to be printed soon. Each story will get their own full Author’s Notes post when they are published.

The first is called Drawn Memories and will be printed in the magazine Far Off Places and should be due out by the end of October. You can read the parent story of Drawn Memories, Pens, on the website right now.

The second is called Black and White Night and will be published soon in the magazine [Untitled]. This tale is a bit of an experiment as the whole story is told in black and white with minimum dialogue. As the magazine has a very small circulation, the story will probably appear on the website around the turn of the year.

The third story Circus of the Wave will be published by Anti-Zine towards the end of November. Written for their circus themed issue, this story is exciting with a fantasy twisted. If you would like to come to the launch party for Anti-Zine you can find the details on either the Facebook event or on the Summerhall website.

Finally, my book of 50 Word Stories is almost finished its first draft and should be available to buy for Christmas. Hopefully a nice wee stoking filler!

Most importantly, there will be more posts soon…I promise!

Ironstone Livi 50 – Author’s Note

The other night, when I should have been going to bed, I noticed that my piece of writing Ironstone Livi 50 didn’t have an author’s note and thought I should correct this. Well here is me correcting that right now. Also what better topic for my fiftieth post!

To celebrate Livingston‘s 50th Birthday in 2012 Ironstone, West Lothian’s creative writing magazine, decided to commemorate by inviting people to submit up to 50 words set in or inspired by Livingston, one of Scotland’s New Towns. My entry was selected and posted on the Ironstone Livi 50 Website and can be read below the jump.

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A Writing Update

It has been a few weeks since I posted anything about my own personal writing. However, this doesn’t mean nothing has been happening.

Two New Culture Jam Reviews

Writing UpdateYes, two new reviews have been posted, including my first movie review. I really enjoyed The World’s End, the new movie from Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost however, like their previous movies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, I think The World’s End will get better with every watch. When I do see the movie again I will post a follow-up review here on the Another Serving of Culture Jam thread of this website.. Please don’t hold your breath as it’ll have to be when the movie comes out on DVD now and that is a while away.

My second review was of The Culture Show at Edinburgh – Funny Women programme. Sadly the show was a disappointment as it wasn’t funny enough and offered no new answers to the old question of why aren’t there more women in stand up. On top of this the review was quite difficult to write as I was all too aware of the irony of a male review criticising a show about women in an overall male profession. I could be over thinking this however.

Due to a problem with the Culture Jam website you can’t comment on either review. However, if you want to discuss my review please comment below or tweet me.

No More 5o Word Short Stories For A While

At least published on here. In fact I’m surround by 50 word short stories at the moment as by Christmas I’m planning on publishing a 50 Word Short Story collection. At the moment it is called 50 and will include fifty stories including Fogged and Departures that I have already published on this site. As I want most of the stories to be new, there will be no more published on here till at least after Christmas. This will change if I win The Scottish Book Trust’s 50 Word Short Story Competition but I don’t think that’ll happen in a while.

Three Readings

Writing UpdateFinally I will be appearing at three readings over the next few months. The most exciting of these is the Linlithgow Book Festival Open Mic Night as it is both a book Festival and my home town. Not sure what story I’ll read yet but as soon as I know I’ll tweet about it.

The other two readings will be at West Lothian Write on the 30th of August and the 29th of November, both happening at the Howden Park Centre in Livingston. Again I’m not sure what I’ll be reading in November but on Friday I’m reading Drawn Memories. I’ll be posting about this story a lot more quite soon. I’ll say no more!

50 Word Fiction Competition: Airport

Last time out I talked about my entry into July’s 50 Word Fiction Competition. As I said in that post, I didn’t win. What was worse however, that the winning entry not only did everything I was trying to do but was bloody brilliant at the same time as you can see below:

Review of July's 50 Word Fiction Competition Winner

July’s Winning Entry of the Scottish Book Trust’s 50 Word Fiction Competition by Nadia Naeem

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Departures – Author’s Notes

50 Word Story Airport

July’s 50 Word Fiction Prompt

The late, great Iain (M) Banks once said

only a short story can be truly perfect

Sadly my entry into July’s Scottish Book Trust’s 50 Word Fiction Competition was not and so didn’t really have a chance of winning. However, I’m getting ahead of myself here. The Scottish Book Trust’s prompt last month was “stories set in an airport” along with the picture on the right. The yellow sign suggested an obvious theme to follow when writing my story Departures which can be seen below the cut.

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Fogged – Author’s Notes

After the response I got to my story A Mother’s Love? I thought I would share another one of my pieces. Fogged is a different kind of short story because it is only 49 words long:


The two women sat opposite each other, hidden from the street by a fogged window. One does all the talking, husband, children. She says nothing important, nothing that will help the other form the words she has been trying to say since they met. “I think I love you.”

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