MØ6: THE FIRST Week With Alaska


I've grown up with dogs. Lots of dogs. I think there was even one point where we had 12 dogs and 2 litters of puppies (so... maybe 20 altogether). 

And look, Alaska is sweet, funny, playful, loves a good kiss as and a cuddle.

But she is a serious amount of work. The potty training... oh man, the potty training. I feel like many years from now I'll have flashbacks to this -- the pooing, the peeing -- and I'll wake up screaming in the middle of the night, drenched in my own sweat, and I'll cry.

"Are you okay?" my wife will ask from behind me.

But I won't hear, I'll be lost in my personal 'Nam, shaking as I relive the memories, the smells.


But yeah, she's sweet.

READING - The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

WRITING - Lazarus Edits


MØ5: Monday Battleplans



It’s Monday!

And in today’s day and age that means planning for the week, pretending that maybe, just maybe, this is the week you’re going to finally figure out how to balance all those projects with life, food, sleep, and other general life tasks.



As if such a concept were real.

Here’s what I’m up to this week -

MISSION ALASKA: A weekend long sojourn to Kent to pick up the latest member of the Kondor tribe.

10K TRAINING: Not long now. My first 10k awaits. The weird thing is… I’ve really been fucking enjoying my running recently. Sure it’s hard. Sure it’s killing my legs and I’ve picked up a couple of blisters along the way, but this whole exercise thing… it ain’t too bad.

PROJECT LAZARUS: Some finishing touches for another of mine and Dan’s novels. Not too long now before this little baby is all grown up and ready to fend for its self in the pits of hell (publishing).

These are the three big ones for the week but there’s also the usual short story writing, podcast recording, Kickstarter fulfilment, fiancée smooching, etc.

Oh... and a new secret project. 

READING - The Ones That Got Away by Stephen Graham Jones

LISTENING - Joe Rogan Podcast

WATCHING - True Detective Se1 (REWATCH)


MØ4: HP Lovecraft was a failure/success



Reading and researching a lot of Lovecraft at the minute and stumbled across this excerpt from “H.P. Lovecraft and the Horror of the Unseen” by Jess Nevins.

"H.P. Lovecraft died when he was 47. He only had one year of primary school and never graduated from high school. He lived in poverty all of his adult life. Of the 48 stories and three novel-length works written when he was an adult, only 26 appeared in professional (rather than amateur) magazines during his lifetime. The most attention he ever received from the literary establishment during his lifetime was when the critic Edward J. O'Brien included “The Colour Out of Space” in O'Brien’s influential Best Short Stories anthology."

Nothing to write home about... but wait... 

"And yet Lovecraft is, by critical consensus, the most influential horror writer of the 20th Century."

Maybe not a failure then. Maybe a badass after all. 





We're a month away from my first 10k race. It's getting to me. Turning my stomach like bad milk. But I know I'm getting better. I went for a 4k run last night and felt pretty great all the way through. 

I flew past this guy who was obviously out for one of his first introductory half-run/half-walk jaunts. He reminded me of myself a year ago. Running a single mile and feeling like my insides were about to explode. It's nice to know that I've improved and built up a tolerance for cardio.

I just hope that by the time the 10k comes around, I would've done enough. 

I have to say, I've developed a mad respect for anyone who's willing to put on those trainers and head out the door. More so for people just starting because that's when it's hardest.

WORKING - Short Stories

READING - The Waste Lands


WATCHING - The Strain



BOOK NOTES: Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod


I've read this book about 6 times through. It's lovely, funny, refreshing, honest, and I've never made it all the way through without having at least two of those I have to stop and think about what I just read moments.

A full 5-stars from me.

If you write books, draw art, sing songs, grow businesses, whatever, then this book is for you. It's a solid reminder that what you do is precious and you should think twice about selling your soul.



MØ2: What makes a home?



So home is a weird one for me. I've always felt displaced. Like I'm only ever visiting. Like staying in one place would be settling and the most incredible experiences are forever just over the horizon.

I think it's got something to do with moving as a kid during my formative years. Writer-man, Robert Kelsey told me that this is probably where my feelings of outsiderness come from.

But London was different. It's a city full of unexplored horizons. I don't think it's possible to see the entire city because there are things hidden beneath the very bricks. You could live there for twenty years and still feel like you're missing out.

So for a while I thought London was my home and when we left I felt all sorts of sick. I pined for the city like some unrequited teenage love. 

But I knew it was the right decision. Money, room, space, something. Moving to Manchester was the smart decision.

But I pined, for sure, and when we decided to take a day-trip back down to London Town yesterday I couldn't wipe the smile from my face.

Picture courtesy of HackneyPost.co.uk

Picture courtesy of HackneyPost.co.uk

So we went, we walked familiar streets, visited favourite café's, and even picked up some of the most amazing fried dumplings from Jen Café in Chinatown, and we even went and looked over one of those unexplored horizons and checked out The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities. Definitely one of the stranger experiences of my life. I think I might've lost some of my soul in that museum. Check the pictures up top.

But the most curious thing that I got from the day-trip?

As we left those ancient city streets and made the long trek back to the north and I saw the sun rising over the Peak District and the extended middle finger of Beetham's Tower, I felt something quite peculiar indeed.

I felt like I was coming home.

Maybe Manchester is the place I'm supposed to be. Maybe it's the place I can settle. Or maybe it's not that at all. Maybe my definition is changing. Maybe I'm seeing myself and my life on different terms. With everything so accessible by train and bus and Skype.

Maybe it's just that a city is too small a scope for what I can call home. England is my home now. England. En-gur-land. En-gur-laand.





I'm not terribly sure what the hell I'll use this blog for. Maybe post some writing advice. Maybe talk about new books, podcasts, films I'm working on. Maybe talk about exploration and dogs and cats.

Or even my looming wedding because yes... it looms

But whatever it will be. It's going to be a little corner for me. It's not going to be a place for SEO listicles. I won't spill my ink for that. Not here anyway. 

So if you're reading this. Know that you're one of few. You're summat special.

WORKING - Lazarus

READING - Horns by Joe Hill

LISTENING - Music from Neptune Flux by Chris Zabriskie


Co-Write much? Here's how we do it.

We were doing this Q&A video the other day for the H&C Youtube channel and we got this question.

How do you go about co-authoring?

And it got me to thinking about the best way to describe what it is I do with Dan (for novels) and Ben (for comics). 

Let's picture a football pitch (hey, I'm English) and let's start with ... a plan.

There's a whole team of opposition players with stupid names like Johnny Self-doubt, Roberto Critical-voice, Gary Fatigue, and even a guy called Ronaldinho. 

These idiots are trying to stop us from putting our book through their net (mix metaphors much?).

So we start with the plan.

PLAN: Here's how we're going to get to that net. This roughly translates to something like 'we're going to write a zombie drag queen book and we'd like to include these sort of scenes and this type of character.' 

That's the plan. 

Now one of us will then take the ball and dribble it up as far as we can go, trying to keep the ball out of the hands of the opposition until we're at a point where we're trapped and can't feel we can go on or that we've done our job and it's time to pass the ball. This normally means we've either finished the plotting, finished a draft, etc.

Now it's the other players turn to take the ball as far as they can go, keeping in mind that we're running towards the same goal (zombie drag queen book).

And then by the time they get surrounded by fatigue and self-doubt, they'll pass the ball again.

Then it's really just a case of passing and punting the ball up the field until we're at a point where we're both ready to tap that thing over the line.

I mean I'm over-simplifying it but that's about as much as I can say on it.

The key points are to make sure you both have a clear goal of what you want to end with and to be willing to pass the ball and have confidence in the other player's skills.