I sit before a screen devoid of words
and wait for something smart to come along.
Ideas, skittish as a flock of birds,
are steadfastly withholding their sweet song.
This moment – now – the doubt begins to speak
Of how the things you write are value-free
Of plots that fail, of characters too weak
To make a mark that anyone can see.
And yet I type and worlds begin to come
From out of nowhere down on to the screen;
Their parts, sometimes, far greater than their sum
Their movements leaving nothing where they’ve been
If writings all that matters here tonight
What matters is the simple fact you write.
“Death of a Nobody,” The 2nd Danny Bird Mystery is available now.
In the UK, you can buy it here. Everywhere else, you can buy it here.
“Death of a Diva” – The 1st Danny Bird Mystery – can be purchased here
Having spent the weekend at CrimeFest, I’ve become familiar with the dangers…
So, in tribute, I wrote a Sonnet…
<Insert Obligatory Somewhat Buzzed Publication day Gin & Beer Pic>
On The Dangers of Believing What Authors Tell You Their Books Are About
“This book you wrote,” somebody said to me
“Is it all Fifty Shades of Filth and Phwoar?”
I guess I should have really let it be,
But “Yes,” I joked, “It’s all of that and more.”
Then didn’t think, again, of what I’d said,
Until my friend’s review popped up online.
“This book is one I wish I hadn’t read,”
They wrote, though you could almost hear the whine.
“I saw that it was ‘Crime’ and thought ‘Oh Good’
There’s bound to be some torture; nice and vile
I like a bit of buggery and blood
But this filth forced a thought and – worse – a smile
I wanted anal sex and acid baths.
But all I got was mystery and laughs”
My books are Death of a Diva, available Here
And – as of yesterday – Death of a Nobody, available here.
If you like the above, you might enjoy them. If you want, y’know disembowellings and blowfly infestations, you might not. <But you won’t know til you try>
“You can’t do Jeffrey Dahmer” says the voice
Inside my head that censors what I say
“A gag about a cannibal?” “My choice”
I counter then begin to tap away.
Til inspiration blinds me as It glints
Into a scene in Woody Allen’s head
That features several Mini-Pops With squints
Immobilised while gaffer-taped to bed
And still the voices say to even speak
Of what your psyche kicks out is a crime
That Princess Margaret face down in the beak
Is – poss – a tale to tell some other time…
You throw away the words you’ve written: Waste!
A shame that we’re all slaves, these days, to “taste”.
Yes, it’s that time of year.
Tomorrow, the Eurovision Song Contest Starts. Or, as I like to think of it. The Gay Hajj.
Like the Hajj, it involves going to countries you’ve never ordinarily been anywhere near, enduring hours of tedium in the hope of a religious ecstacy / handjob from a Moldovan backing dancer and potentially lethal crowd control issues.
Unlike the Hajj, this one comes with it’s own Drinking Game.
I’ve practiced this one for several years, and hospitalised several of my friends – who would have voted for Bosnia, so fuck ‘em – in the process, so here you go:
Derek’s Eurovision Drinking Game
Line em up, folks….
Continue reading The Eurovision Drinking Game. Wasted by Albania; Hospitalised by the Final Douze Points…
My mother loved Fashion.
More than fashion – which was prone to lapses of taste unacceptable to her – she loved STYLE.
She grew up in Dublin at a time when most people were intensely proud and incredibly poor. Money, when it was there, was for essentials.
Essentials included clothes, but style– the wearing of things that were beyond essential, but necessary simply because they were beautiful – was frowned on, as was aspiration or rebellion.
But my mother wore beehives, heels with stiletto toes, coats that were there to be shapely and luxurious rather than just to keep the cold out, in colours of chocolate brown and raspberry red, in hues of ochre, with explosions of turquoise blue and jade green.
And she passed her love of style, her quietly rebellious nature, and her aspiration – less quiet, but necessarily so – on to my brother and I, though I suspect she sometimes wished she hadn’t.
I went through a period, in the 80s, of sporting a vintage* tuxedo, lined with orange and blue candy striped silk for everyday wear. The sleeves were rolled up to display the lining, and the whole thing screamed Dandy, Daring, or Sissy, depending on where you stood in 80s Dublin…
Continue reading Style For Living
In hindsight, some despair is evident,
But, hey, what else are you supposed to do
when pheromones, it seems, are heaven sent,
and order you, put bluntly, to go screw?
Whilst every single Gay in London town
Comes freshly from the Spa or from the Gym,
you squeeze into your jeans, perfect your frown,
and go into the night in search of him.
Then end amidst the throng on Compton Street
At sometime near approaching kicking out
To find a man with size eleven feet
And money left to stand for his own shout.
Though his Trainers are hotter than his form
you bed him; any old port in a storm.
So last weekend, before I went to visit the Haslemere Charter Fayre my friend Viv of the fannyandjohnnymummyandme blog, who is one of the nicest people you can know – and the best cook I have ever met – gifted me two jars of marmalade: A Black Cherry one, which I’ve swirled through some Lebanese Yoghurt, and served with smooshed* figs and slivered almonds, but which was consumed so quickly that I forgot to take a picture of it, and a Blood Orange and Campari Marmalade that is one of the best I have ever tasted.
Here it is last night, served on a nutty, rich, almost musty rye bread from Bread of Heaven in Haslemere, and with a sliver of the most intense, salty creamy rich Stilton from the Haslemere Cellar.
I’m not even attempting to calculate the points in this. Sometimes, a little of what you fancy does you good.
(*What? ‘Smoosh’ is a word. ‘Cos I say so. I – after all – am an author, and words is what I know. Innit) and
All-Male H.M.S. Pinafore
Saturday 30th April 2016
There’s a tradition, particularly in British schools, of same-sex productions of the works of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.
Generations of boys and girls have blasted out “Three little maids,” “A policeman’s lot,” and “I’m called little buttercup” in school gymnasia, village halls and scout huts over the years.
But Sasha Reagan and the team at the Union Theatre in London’s Southwark have taken this concept and, over the past decade or so, refined it into a unique art form.
To date, they’ve produced all-male versions of The Mikado, Iolanthe The Pirates of Penzance and – now- of HMS Pinafore.
The production, this time, takes place in the bowels of a warship in World War II, meaning that, for the first time this viewer recalls, the all-male aspect is not simply accepted, but justified as the piece is turned, effectively, into a play-within-a-play. A step which, whilst it adds a touch of nostalgic melancholy – the sailors, awaiting battles that they may not survive, removed from their loved ones, and reliant on each other to a level that breaks down the traditional British reserve – isn’t entirely necessary.
Continue reading All-Male H.M.S. Pinafore – Reviewed