Short Story: Boxing

Sunday, 12th November 2017

(Written for Oxford University's online "Advanced Creative Writing" course, inspired by the turn-of-the-century photograph shown below... and, it's fair to say, by the fact that I was reading about the Belgian Congo at the time.)

The heat of this country got everywhere. It got under his borrowed hat, pooling at the brim before running down his face in stinging rivulets. It changed things.

The deserters were shot at eleven. The loss of any man was one too many, with the rebels so close that they heard feet outside the wall after nightfall. But examples must be made.
Beatrice insisted on going: ‘My god, Henry, do you think I’ve come all this way to play croquet?’
She applauded the shots like a Handel finale, lace fan swinging.
‘We’re on the edge of Civilisation,’ he murmured, and she turned to him, eyes too bright.

Short Story: Sci-Fi Jabberwocky

Wednesday, 9th August 2017

A scene written for the Oxford University 'Writing Fiction' course. The brief was to rework Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky into a science fiction setting.


In the service ducts running over their heads, the skeleton crew of the Brillig could hear another of the TOVE units slam against the insulating wall and fall back in a buzzing, twitching lump of fried metal as the ship’s ancient wiring claimed another victim.

Short Story: The Festival

Wednesday, 9th August 2017

Yet another (very!) short piece for Oxford University's 'Writing Fiction' course. In this exercise I had to write a descriptive passage about a place that had left an indelible impression on me. I chose FolkEast, the greatest and best folk festival in the world.

Short Story: Elizabeth Devereux

Wednesday, 9th August 2017

A snippet that I wrote as part of Oxford University's online course 'Writing Fiction'. Based on the courtroom accounts of the murder of Elizabeth Devereux in 1877.

Warning: Contains graphic references to domestic violence throughout.

Short Story: Robot

Wednesday, 9th August 2017

Another short piece written for Oxford University's 'Writing Online' course. This one is based on a quote from Overheard Everywhere.

Short Story: Nighthawks

Wednesday, 9th August 2017

A very short piece written for the Oxford University's 'Writing Fiction' course, based on the painting Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

Music for International Women’s Day

Wednesday, 4th March 2015

For once, I have heard of International Women's Day before it happened (one would have thought that being a woman would get one on the mailing list, but so far, no dice). Clearly, this calls for some kind of celebration!

In honour of the occasion, I have put together a playlist of (mostly) lesser-known artists who are well worth a listen, spanning several decades and more genres than I stand a hope of listing.


Music: Down In Yon Forest (English Traditional)

Friday, 5th December 2014

A folk carol dating back to the English Renaissance

Music: Brookmill Park

Monday, 14th July 2014

Inspired by a walk through Brookmill Park, Lewisham, where I saw a man bathing in the fountain.

The image always stuck with me, and the chorus came to me quite randomly while listening to Caerdas perform in a pub in Scotland in 2012.
Finally finished the rest of the words in April 2013, as part of the Coursera Songwriting course.

The backing loop is Piano Daylight - Lovers 1, by MINOR2GO.

Selfies, charities, and the importance of critical analysis

Saturday, 26th April 2014

I must begin by stating that I am in no way knocking the money-raising aspect of #nomakeupselfies, nor seeking to discourage anyone who took part. Raising money for one day is fantastic, and that money will go towards good things. Nonetheless, I think that it is unhelpful to argue - as many seem to be - that the final donation figure negates all criticism of the campaign.

Short Story: Meta menardi

Saturday, 26th April 2014

It's a disused railway tunnel, not a real cave, and after a lifetime of minding the gap Laurence can't shake the feeling that he definitely shouldn't be down here between the tracks. [Fiction, 2,465 words. Warnings: Spiders, present tense]

So, you’ve written 2,000 words in three weeks… (a pep talk for NaNo London 2011)

Saturday, 26th April 2014

Hi, I'm Lily, and you may remember me from previous NaNos as 'the one who managed to crash and burn somewhere around Day 2, then pull 40k out of the bag in the last week'.
Or, if you go back all the way to 2004, as 'the girl who wrote eight words in November. Not eight thousand. Not eight hundred. Eight.'

Do not be fooled by this year's steady progression. In every previous year, my stats chart has resembled either a death-defying ski-slope (in winning years) or an altitude survey of the Norfolk Broads (the rest of the time).

However, along the way I've learned a few things that have helped make this year (and hopefully many years to come!) a much better experience...

The Industry and the Ubooly

Monday, 2nd December 2013

Tradition dictates that I update the blog whenever I am job-hunting. And one question that invariably comes up when interviewing for developer roles is: 'what blogs do you follow?' (sometimes disguised as the more weaselly 'how do you keep up-to-date with the industry?').

I have always struggled with this question, as the answer could be anything between 'all of them', 'none of them', and 'mostly just Offbeat Bride'...

Music: Song of the Sarf

Saturday, 5th October 2013

A tribute to South London, encompassing such themes as the WWII bombing of Croydon (verse 1), the redevelopment of Deptford (verse 2), and the immediate aftermath of the 2011 riots in Crystal Palace and Peckham (verse 3).

Arrangement, MIDI programming and piano by Yasmine Latkowski.

Music: Black Country (Death Is Not The End)

Sunday, 1st September 2013

A murder ballad/tale of supernatural revenge with impressive 100% murder rate (discounting implied bystanders).

The backing track is (appropriately enough) 'Dark Country' from Writertracks.

Praised with faint damnation

Wednesday, 10th October 2012

Of all the comments that I thought might induce a little private dance of triumph around my bedroom, unfavourable comparisons with one of my heroes ranked pretty low until this morning.

The Olympic Torch comes to Crystal Palace!

Monday, 23rd July 2012

By a curious stroke of fate, my first day in my shiny and exceedingly local job coincided with the Olympic torch being carried through Crystal Palace.

I can therefore present that ever-sought-after short-person-with-an-iPhone perspective. You won't get this sort of coverage in the Metro...