Strumpshaw Tree Fair 2017

Staff spinning as standard.
My Own Self (at Strumpshaw 2017)

So, despite threats from the weather and a bee sting that had me limping all weekend, this year’s Strumpshaw Tree Fair was a wonderful event – and surprisingly dry.

As well as a the incredible stalls, the amazing Foolhardy Circus and some brilliant music, I also got to draw and loose longbow for the first time in quite a while and was able to buy these INCREDIBLE shoes.

Magic sandals

Oh, and do some storytelling. Four sets over two days to some brilliant kids who wanted me to ramp up the fear factor every time. I also had the immense privilege to be performing alongside the legend who is John Row – something that ramped up my stage fright no end.

However, it all came off in the end. I did a lot of old favourites that the crew from The Workshop/The Black Horse days might remember, although I reluctantly left The Furburger off the set list due to the tender age of my audience. But here are some pics that were taken during “My Own Self” and “Long Bony Fingers”.

Channelling the monster vibe

Hopefully I’ll be invited back again next year, and will see you all there!

The lack of updates here is something I’m hoping to rectify soon – crowdfunding has robbed me of a lot of my blogging time. However, there is generally some action over on my writer’s shed on the Unbound website, including a FREE SHORT STORY Some Chequered Affection – a pre-ghost story intended for adult readers.

Book Updates, delays, etc.

It is with great regret that I am forced to delay the publication of Scars on Sound.

This is in part because so much of my time has been taken up with Time’s Fool – both the crowd-funding aspect and giving the manuscript some finishing touches before submitting it to Unbound. The book is more or less ready to go, but working the publicity for it and organising the launch is currently beyond me.

It will now has the provisional release date of early 2017, and I hope to see you all in Norwich for the launch party. It will happen and I’m still very excited about it. Watch this space for details!

Meanwhile, Time’s Fool  is still crowd-funding, so do support that if you can. If you’ve already pledged, remember that the sooner the book is funded, the sooner it is on your shelves – so, please share links and tweets about it and just help get the conversation so all the bookworms, horror-geeks and Goths can find their way to it.A hardback release like this is a massive goal for a new author to take on, and it really does need all the help you can give it.

Did you know that in May next year, Dracula and I will be a combined total of 150 years old? Don’t you think Time’s Fool being well in to production by then would be the best present?

Anyway, take care, lovely people. Enjoy October – it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Sunday after Brexit

I can’t speak
to anyone today
because behind kind eyes behind
“Turned out nice” and weekend plans
there could lie
a cruel cross
dropped in ballot box with huff
of self applause, with muttered
“Enough’s enough.”
tremble like a moth
at the way a word, a thought mis-phrased
could pull it from you now and mark
in stead of neighbourhood, a line
of conflict, of your victory.

would not see it, not
have it made plain, would not
have you say you’re
not being funny, but
not a racist, but
We’re full, We’re done, We
want it back, We
want out country back.

From who?
Words hover as I pause
unspeaking and unable
to give customary greeting as
you cheer, applaud and push from you
thoughts of thugs in Union Jacks
of jack boots at the door at dawn.

But no, clear eyes, you reassure,
You don’t mean it like that as
my kin are jostled in the street,
My friends told “pack and go home” and
across the world
fifty dead on a nightclub floor.

Where are your words, then
for these things? Where
your anger
at those you march beside, the ones who
do not flinch
from words like gyppo, paki, kike?
Because I flinch. I fear and weep
race-haunted by cattle cars and rails
to towns where birds don’t sing
by family names we
hid and changed, by
brown skin, brown eyes, black hair

You have no words for that,
just nodding certainty that you –
Yes, you and yours
would not do that
to mine and me, that
you do not mean this track to end
in ash, gunfire and walls, that
you just heard the words of demagogues
talking up an imagined cross until
you carried it to
the ballot box while you swore that,
no, you don’t mean it like that,
it’s never going to end like
that and I
I cannot speak today for
I have not words to say
yes, yes I know.
And that’s how it begins.