Archive | Writing

Thoughts about the writing life, professional issues, the state of the industry and philosophical concerns for writers.

Marvellous Hairy – Episode One

The Marvellous Hairy Podcasts“… methinks I am marvellous hairy about the face; and I am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me, I must scratch.”

–A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare

Okay, so here are the first two chapters of Marvellous Hairy, read by the author. (That would be me.) In chapter one, we learn about the Cult of the Claw, and why you never let psychotic psychiatrists perform your marriage ceremony. In chapter two, we discover why going to work on a Sunday can be a dangerous thing, especially if it involves either an inter-office romance or pig organs.

Not tempting enough yet? Here are the first few lines of chapter one:

Nick’s life as a monkey began with a wedding.

He wasn’t getting hitched; that would be too predictable. Man gets married. Becomes lower primate. No, the wedding was just the beginning of this story, so you know it’s not going to be a classy one.

Except for a slightly strange smell — incense mixed with some nameless funk — it started off like a pleasant dream. Sunlight streamed through the stain-glass windows, and flecks of dust floated in the beams, tiny specs of brilliance that slow danced like faeries reeling with whiskey and magic mushrooms. The wedding march played, women shed happy tears, and a bride festooned in about ten pounds of baby’s breath walked up the aisle towards the groom and Dr. Maximilian Tundra, who was officiating. He looked about as priestly as you’d expect a drug-addled psychiatrist with fire-red hair, a yellowish green cassock and boundary issues possibly could. Actually, without the chartreuse cassock, I think somebody might have asked him to leave.

[podcast]http://markarayner.com/mp3s/PB-marvelloushairy-01.mp3[/podcast]

Fun Times in Strange Lands

The prolific Ahmed Khan has just released the list of stories appearing in one of his upcoming anthologies, Fun Times in Strange Lands.

I was pleased to see that “Hounding Manny” made the grade for this anthology, which is aimed at “precocious” 10-12 year olds who enjoy speculative fiction. Fully illustrated too, which is cool.

“Hounding Manny” is a reprint of a story originally published in Oceans of the Mind. You can find “Hounding Manny” here. Bonus points if you spot the inspiration for the title character. Come on it’s easy!

Apocalypse Cow

Name Your Tale Nick over at Name Your Tale asked me to guest pen one of their stories. In case you haven’t ever been to the site, it’s kind of a neat idea. Anyone can submit a title idea, and then the busy scribblers at NYT pen a 100-word masterpiece to fit it.

Every tale has to be exactly 100 words, including Apocalypse Cow.