Category Archives: Good Reads

Tobias Wolff

A literary interlude: Tobias Wolff

This week’s literary interlude comes from the one and only Tobias Wolff.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama on 19th June 1945, this prolific writer of classic American prose is best known for his distinctive short stories and memoirs, most notably This Boy’s Life – an autobiographical tale of a gifted young man and his extraordinary existence. Continue reading

George Orwell

A literary interlude: Down and Out in Paris and London

Famous for literary classics including Animal Farm and the dystopian thriller 1984, George Orwell is arguably one the world’s finest ever word smiths.

The first ever novel Orwell wrote was called Down and Out in Paris in London, for which he exchanged his upper-class roots and tweed jacket for the impoverished life of a bottom feeder in two of Europe’s most cut-throat cities. Continue reading

Flash Fiction D I Hughes

No New Tricks in This Dog

Jim was lost in an eyeball circus of beams, bells and Lucky Sevens. Today was going to be the day.

Having grown up in Reno, Jim knew all about the majesty of the slots; how they made men and broke them in two; how they sucked you in and then spat you out without warning. But, of course, that was the appeal. Continue reading

literary interlude

Another literary interlude

You’re heading towards the latter part of the week and you’ve been churning out more words than you care to count. If your brain is scrambled and you’re in need of a literary break to refresh the creative palette, here is a little distraction for your viewing pleasure – this time courtesy of a Mr Charles Bukowski… Continue reading

Father's Day

Father’s Day quotes from famous writers

As many of you may already know, this Sunday is Father’s Day

You could argue that Father’s Day is just another one of those annual money making scams created by the sweaty palmed, suit wearing big wigs at Hallmark Towers, but that would be a bit cynical… Continue reading

tales of metamorphosis

Must read tales of metamorphosis

The word metamorphosis derives from the Greek (or Latin) word metamorphoun, which essentially means to transform.

In nature, many creatures transform from one entity to another in their lifetime. Caterpillars turn to butterflies; tadpoles morph into frogs; locusts can turn from solitary to gregarious (changing colour in the process) and sea urchins shift from larvae to spiky crawlers by essentially devouring themselves.

Continue reading

1984 facts

4 things you didn’t know about Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell needs no introduction.

Undoubtedly, one of his most prolific pieces of literary work has to be dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

For those who haven’t read it, I recommend getting yourself a copy; for those who have read it, here are four things you may not already know about George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Continue reading

Introducing…Flash in the Pan: Sticks Like Glue

An announcement:

Flash Fiction is a big passion of mine and as a result, I’ve made a small audio anthology of some of my work…

Flash in the Pan: Sticks Like Glue is the first of three volumes in this audio book mini-series – and if you’ve got 20 minutes or so to spare in the shower, car, tube, subway or while walking to the shops – it’s most definitely worth a try! Continue reading

Flash Fiction

Flash Corner: Hit the Road

In this second instalment of Flash Corner, I’d like to present my Hit the Road mini series.

This consists of two pieces of Flash Fiction loosely based around one of my own travelling experiences. Essentially, both tell the same tale but from two different perspectives:

Hitching South

It was rocky on the road to Dunedin.

I sat cramped in the rear corner of the campervan amongst two American tourists, two travel companions, six bags, three guitars and one overzealous German Shepherd; it was getting warm.

The day was bright and prosperous, as were the blue and emerald blurs of the South Island buzzing by the window. We had been chatting and singing, but as the temperature grew and our thoughts became our own, an exhausted, almost paranoid atmosphere began to linger in the air – we were no longer a bunch of happy campers.

Before long, the Americans were dropped off on their merry way, leaving myself and my two friends at the mercy of the German Shepherd’s sloppy embrace. Twilight set in above us and we were heading for the sticks. The friendly man with the bushy beard driving us became less jovial and more subdued as we trawled along barren land which showed no sign of the city lights.

Nerves grew; sweat steamed the passenger windows and our fists began to tighten as we looked at each other in disbelief.

Someone had to do something. We had to find out where this hill dweller was taking us.

“Excuse me friend, how far are we from Dunedin?”

“Far enough not to see it” replied our bearded driver as he grinned and showed tombstone teeth.

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Driving Back

I like company on the way back from the North Island, even with the dog it gets lonely.

It’s not even so much being able to prod and probe someone for information, it’s just the ambient sound of crowd noise and sing songs in the background that keeps me entertained; you know like when you leave the telly on to do the dishes.

That’s why I pick ‘em up and cram ‘em in. There are lots of backpackers hustling for a free ride on the road from Christchurch to Dunedin so I’m rarely ride on my own these days – the wife tells me not to trust people and their unpredictable ways, but she’s one to talk.

Occasionally they’re chatty, sometimes they’re silent and other times they just talk and joke amongst themselves as if I’m not even there; they’re the best ones.

Last week I picked up a bunch like that. When the two American guys went on their merry way it went a bit quiet, so I cranked up the radio and ploughed on into evening. After some rustling and bustling in the back one of them asked me how far we were from their destination, to which I replied “far enough not to see it”.

They didn’t like that too much and firmly requested that I pull them over on the most desolate country road they’d probably ever seen. They even tried to take Shep hostage: I couldn’t help but chuckle.

Just as things started to get real heated, we pulled into my driveway where my full beams glistened on the faces of my wife and children and things were instantly diffused.

Hours prior to our little funny little face-off, I overheard them saying that they’d blown most of their dosh in Wellington and hadn’t eaten properly for a while, which was plainly obvious due to their pale complexions and the tent-like sweaters that swayed from their coat hanger shoulders.

That’s why I took a detour: to invite them in to for a feed and allow them to book accommodation with my internet facilities. Yes, even a hill-billy like me surfs the web sometimes!

After a hearty meal, a few smiles and some friendly banter I dropped them at the pub up the road so they could grab a pint and pick up a local connection into the city.

They returned to my doorstep beaten, bloody and potless less than an hour later. The three of them had been turned over by the locals, so I let them to stay the night and then drove them to the British Embassy in Dunedin the following morning.

I went down that pub today and collected one third of their bags, coats, passports and wallets. Well, there’s no such thing as a free ride, is there?

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Next year I’ll be relocating the blog, and launching my literary publication. In the meantime, if you’re a keen writer of fiction and would like to be published as part of Flash Corner, please drop me a line.