Friday, October 18, 2013

Where to find my writing...

ACCORDING to the excellent Freedom From Writing web resource one should regularly update people as to where they can find your writing, so I had a wee scan through where my writing has been hanging out of late.

Despite a few typos -I have had a gig review on the global (page views in excess of 1.2m) Metal Rules website for the Steve Vai gig in Belfast, and my review of Nine Inch Nails at Belsonic appeared on the Independent Voice webzine 31.

A few words about Bullet for My Valentine at Belsonic are on IV32 too.

As usual most of my music writing appears on my blog, which is also syndicated on Rockradioni and appears on my Wikinut page. Some artists actually believe what I write and have used material and quotations on their Facebook and Reverbnation pages...

My creative writing - that is my short stories appear on my Smashwords page for purchase (film options still available for some of these stories!).

The benefit of Smashwords is that if you meet the standards your stories then appear on other online e-story outlets such as iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Sony readers amongst others. (Kindle users at this time have to purchase/read sample from my Smashwords page to get it on your Kindle.)

After this time looking through where I have been published I took a little time flicking back through old clippings from my first jobs in journalism through to being the American Football correspondent for the now defunct Ireland's Saturday Night.

Doing so I came across my first published piece of creative writing, a short story that was carried by the BBC, a morality tale all about traffic...written before I was even 40 you can  read it here.

All in all not a bad output for a part-time hobby; maybe one day my freelance output will get bought and my creative stories will find a home (as said film options and TV options all still available)

If you want to share your freelance output, or hints and tips for aspiring writers (start writing is the main tip!) just drop your comment below and keep writing.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, April 09, 2012

double spaces and Smashwords

WORKING through another story, musing on the problems of the world I came across a useful wee that can shave some time over your approval on Smashwords Premium List by a simple check: search your document for double spaces...

Smashwords 'epub' checker reads double spaces as if you have put a false indent into paragraph beginnings, something that can cause problems with certain e-readers.

Simply search through your document (ctrl+f) for double spaces and replace them with single spaces.

I'm currently about to do that with my story Justice Follows the Grave but even if you haven't got this done the story can still be viewed (and bought!) on Smashwords!

I found this out through a problem with my story Defender, which is now awaiting review for submission to the Premium List.

If any of you are novices to ebook publishing, please feel free to drop me a note if you want some basic hints, but Smashwords has lots of free advice, though it takes a small amount of time.

Now if anyone can help on using Photoshop Elements for cover design, or some advice on affliate process with Smashwords....

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, March 12, 2012

Seven short stories published as ebooks

GETTING through a backlog of writing I've managed now to have six short stories and one (slightly) longer story published on Smashwords. Horror stories, supernatural stories, science fiction, a Belfast romance and a sword and sorcery way I want to get "typecast"

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Where you can find missing stories

I've recently received a few emails about taking stories down from this site. If you've already read them, thanks!

In the meantime I've taken the plunge and published them as an independent ebook publisher.

Stories like In Media Res and Beginnings and three others are now available at Smashwords where you can read them on your Kindle, PC, iPad, iPhone, Sony Reader and even the humble old PC. You can view the first 20% of each story free, and if you like them read the remainder for the reduced price of $0.99!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Just published my second short story on Smashwords

Writing update time. I just published my second short story on It's called Justice Follows the Grave and you can read it here on most e-reader platforms like Kindle and e-readers for iPad and iPhone

Labels: , ,

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Short story now available to too

JUST took my first venture into proper ebooks with the publication of my short story Watching the Watched on the wonderful Smashwords website: there you can buy a copy at a very reasonable price for your own delection and delight to read on Kindle, iPad or whatever takes your fancy.

You can read a sample here, and buy from the same page! Hope you like it!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Have-a-pop 'hero' hacks

I HAVE to say, right off, that I enjoy my work. Yes, for some managing a communications team, and contributing writing and strategy, isn't exactly up there with brain surgeons and NASA scientists but sometimes I know that what I do makes a (tiny) difference.

And, yes it is true that I do sometimes ruminate that I should get off my lazy arse and publish my creating writing, spend time critiquing pseudo-science, stand up for my atheism, or set my stall out in the music trade.

Of late I have been rather irritated by the attitude of the self-declared experts and the have-a-pop 'hero' hacks populating some of the lower selling Northern Ireland newspapers.

I'll give you two cases in point by way of example.

The first concerns a media enquiry a colleague received about a report issued this week. The report was the result of almost a year's hard work by other colleagues. Their work has already produced numerous positive comments, and may result in some real change. But this hack with an agenda was already halfway through penning his article. When asked whether he wanted a copy of said report he commented that he wouldn't have enough time to read it...though he did ask for the executive summary if one was available.

This says more about the hack's agenda than it does about the report itself. And, one of the people he offered up in the article, surely had not read the report, even if they had a copy sent to them in advance.

The other example is the goading on talk shows on topics that the average caller will not have taken the time to delve into. Cue up a self-appointed controversial commentator to vent his spleen then open the phone lines. Said commentator is one whose views I listen to, and on a rare occassion even agree with; but that he too had clearly not bothered to read the report in anything resembling detail speaks more about his agenda than anything else.

Once, many moons ago I was a full-time hack too; even a moderately successful one in a very limited sense. I know that I, at times, took short cuts when deadlines were tight. But I never jumped to too many conclusions. The hack and the commentator above seem to have leaped unthinking towards self-thought-fulfilling conclusions.

Or, could it be they prefer their own agendas over objective journalism.

Such objective journalism is a rare commodity in a celebrity obsessed media landscape, where the latest manufactured act and psychic occurence are preferred over evidence and real talent.

Witness the channels dedicated to psychic shit and 'alternative' medicine [for alternative medicine read: not tested by any reliable scientific method].

Yesterday I reported on the sad passing of Trevor Fleming. Trevor was the guitarist in Belfast band Sweet Savage. Few of the X-Factor generation will ever have heard of Trevor or Sweet Savage. Yet Trevor appeared on a song that may have contributed qute a few shillings to the Northern Ireland economy. He was in the Sweet Savage line-up that recorded a song called Killing Time. Metallica covered that song. Such is the popularity of Metallica across the globe that royalties came back to 'Norn Iron', where Sweet Savage were able to spend a few quid...

Sadly Trevor's passing will go unnoticed in a city where pubs imitate X-Factor and be-jewelled barely clad girls strive to aspire to lesser spotted WAG status.

Which leads back to the point of this post. The media used to be a reflection of society: reporting on foibles and critiquing the actions of the great and the [not so] good.

Now, it believes it can set the agenda.

It believes it can pout and preen, setting out a stall with an agenda and a plan to demean those that work hard and actually take an active part in this less than civil society

It believes that pseudo-celebrities are more important than real stories.

And with falling sales its disinterested readership is turning to the web...

BTW- which UK recording act topped the charts in 21 countries worldwide?

Clue - It wasn't a Simon Cowell act, and it wasn't some reality TV wannabe.

Don't know yet?

It was Iron Maiden, with their 15th studio album.

Next question: Are The Beatles the biggest selling act of all-time?

Answer: No, and not by a long shot. That would be AC/DC.

There are the smarmy gets who prefer shoe gazing nobodies to the hard, cold facts that they may damn the Iron Maiden's and AC/DC's of the world, when such acts actually earned their stripes gigging without Louis Walsh and co offering pithy comments. They call Maiden, DC and Metallica derivative and 'adolescent' but fail to note that Morrisey is an undergraduate lyricist at best and Duke Special ain't that special [Tim Minchin has better dreads, better and funnier songs and he can really play!]

Tortuously this brings me back to the original point. Too often the hacks who sit behind the desk, fingers poised over a keyboard think little of their personal agenda. Too often the self-congratulatory columnist never asks about the reality rather than the cheap quips...

This rant is now over.... :)