MØ39: Old & Grumpy

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Morning Øutput #39


Now that I'm a month shy of turning 30, I think I'm allowed to get a little grumpy. My skin is souring so why not my attitude? 

So... can I just have a quick whinge about a certain sort of type of person... the sort of person who just so happens to be in the fucking way?

I consider myself a pretty positive guy but man oh man this one truly grates on me. So I mean physically. I mean you're walking somewhere and some jerk is mindlessly tickling their nipples as they gormlessly watch the skies, taking up all available space and won't let you pass.

"Ain't it pretty," they say as they snail-slide across the high street, right in front of where you've got to get to.

I don't care, you think to yourself. Get the fuck out of the way. 

Worse are the groups of people who do this side-by-side, taking up any and all space on the pavement and the only way to pass is either stepping onto the road or to scream "red rover, red rover," and King-Leonidas your way through.

I'm not one for lingering. I don't like hanging about. There's far too much to do and if I'm on my way somewhere, I want to get there and I want to get there soon. Call me impatient. Tell me I need to chill. Say it's the Londoner in me. Fine. But there is a certain amount of ego involved with people who think they're entitled to stand at the entrance to a café or a shop and hang about as if they own the door. 

"You shall not pass," they say. "Whilst I choose a podcast to listen to."

Worse, still, are the people who know they're in the way, but still won't let you pass, as if seeing you trying to overtake them gives them Mario Kart flashbacks and their competitive edge floods back to them in waves of stars and turtle shells.

"You weren't there, man. You weren't there!"

I pride myself on being someone who gets out of the way. It's the polite thing to do. Be polite. Get the fuck outta the way.

Take The Corvus

One of my big aims for this year is to allow myself to follow the muse a little more, experiment with different mediums, do more audio, video work. So far I’ve doodled with some songs, got my sights set on making a Twine game, an audio VR story, and recently made a book trailer for my upcoming book of short stories. 

I went in with a simple idea and got so into the audio design, the glitch work, narration, etc, that it came out with something quite absurd, almost a short film in itself. It was a right good time and exactly the breath of fresh air I needed.

So come on down... enter the world of the Corvus:

And just as a quick reminder, this new book is a greatest hits sorta deal. My best short stories from my first five years of publishing. It will be out very, very soon.


The Other Stories is open for submissions

We’ve been writing nearly all of the TOS stories for the past 2 years and we want to start opening it up. If you think you’ve got a short horror story in you and are looking for a good platform then this is it. We can’t offer much in the way of remuneration but we do get a good chunk of downloads and you’ll be free to promote anything you want on there.

My tips on a good TOS story?

Start at the end. Make it so that the big thing is happening right now, or is about to. Your character is on the edge of the cliff, looking down. Start at ten, then jump back, work your way through. Then end on the reveal, the big scary, the rug pull, the twist, sting, etc. 

It’s a good format for keeping the tension nice and taut and if you work it right, it should end with a satisfying final snap.


Also, try to enjoy the writing. Feel it. Be in the story. Be scared for your character. Or, as I tend to do, laugh maniacally at the torture you’re about to put them through.

Check out the submissions page for the details.

The Work I Done This Week

I’ve been focusing on my first draft of They Ruin. I’m 50,000-words deep and I can feel it coming towards its final climax. Dan once said something along the lines of "writing novels feels like your carefully nudging a boulder to a cliff-edge, waiting for it to roll, slowly at first, building with its own momentum until it comes crashing down on your characters, smushing them.”

Well, the boulder is definitely starting to roll now. 

I also finished an essay on a writer’s morning routine (one for the Patrons) and I’ve just about finished my final proof for Take The Corvus.

I tell you what, though, my head is swimming with ideas for Keith. I’m chomping at the bit to get cracking with it. I got the New Year shakes, riddled with inspiration. I want to, need to, work work work work. I better see a doctor.

The Blackest Mirror

Season 4 is another triumph. I think this season doesn’t quite aim to blast you into despair like the previous seasons. They're just interesting stories told well. 

And can we take a moment to appreciate the talent we have in Charlie Brooker? I think we take for granted that he wrote nearly every episode of the series (I think one or two of the ideas were donated from other people). This guy, this absolute legend, wrote six of the best episodes of TV this year and hit an incredibly high standard with each one.

Did I tell you I met him once? At the London Screenwriters Festival. I asked if he was going for a beer afterwards. He said no. 

Nice guy.

Fantastic writer.

So if you’re curious. Here’s how I rank the episodes:

  1. USS Callister (how could it not be?)
  2. Metalhead (B&W AI Slasher directed by David Slade — i.e. Hard Candy.)
  3. Hang the DJ (Lead performances made it for me.)
  4. Black Museum (Very very good.)
  5. Crocodile (Very good)
  6. Arkangel (Good)



John Wick: Chapter 2: Doesn't have the same emotional pull as the first but is super stylish.

68 Kill: A bloody irreverent comedy about a guy who can't say no to attractive women.

Mayhem: Joe Lynch's low-budget horror is a lot of fun, even though the logic of the disease doesn't quite hold up.

Cube:  We revisited this classic from my childhood. Still great.


The Good Place: We're finally getting the other half of Season 2. Still great. Still very, very clever.


Doki Doki Literature Club: Free-to-play. Someone told me it's a horror game. It is. I won't tell you how. I just promise you that it is.


Crazy Clown Time by David Lynch: I didn't like this when I first listened to it a couple years back but it's definitely working for me now.

And done. This MØ came out a little long. Sorry to waste your time. I feel like I'm standing in your way. I apologise. I will move outta the way.

Until next time,

Luke & Family.