Tuesday, 19 September 2017



CELESTE: I love Mummy. She's my best friend.

ME: That's nice. What about Aurora?

CELESTE: She's my best friend too. I love her.

There is a LONG PAUSE.

ME: Is there anyone else you love?

There is another LONG PAUSE.

CELESTE: No. I don't love you because you make jokes all the time.

ME: Ah. Can I love you anyway?

CELESTE: Daddy, I've got thousands of friends. I don't need you.

I start eyeing up the LAYBY as a potential DUMPING GROUND.

They grow up so fast...

Monday, 18 September 2017

SCENE: Very AM, Kitchen, Breakfast

SCENE - Breakfast, very AM:

DADDY is cooking breakfast. AURORA is eating finger foods from her high chair's tray.

AURORA: Uh-oh!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

60 Degrees North

There was a time, a decade ago, when I couldn't locate Shetland on a map. I knew it was to the north of East Anglia somewhere but, for me, that broad geographic category also encompassed Manchester, Edinburgh and Cardiff. After marrying a girl from the Islands and visiting many times, I can honestly say that it's one of my favourite places to holiday.

Not that I've quite forgotten the twelve hours of cars, buses and flights that got us here. I still have a burning feeling in my wallet from the £9 FlyBe charged us for a few tiny bottles of apple juice, but that's by the by. The important thing is that we're all togther and, for the first time in a good long while, we're on holiday!

So, we've played on the beach, seen some cows and done very little else. It's wonderful.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Birthday Stories

For my birthday, Lyn got Celeste to dictate a few stories for me because she'd been endlessly fascinated by all of my typing when I was writing "Aurora" - the collection of short stories I wrote when her little sister was born.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

The White Crown and the Red Crown

Lessons for Celeste while Lyn is feeding Aurora:

Dead Kings in Ancient Egypt got buried under big stone pyramids.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Ink and Paper

Double done! So after a few more late nights of swearing, unexpected formatting errors, laptop failure and waiting nervously for Amazon to approve the manuscript, the paperback version of the "Aurora" short story anthology is all done and ready to buy!
Some people have been in touch and asked for an actual paper book, presumably because they prefer physical books or don't own a Kindle, so now all of the short stories that I wrote for the New Baby Challenge are available to buy for £4.99 (which covers all of the printing costs).
Thanks very much as well to the people who bought the ebook - it's very much appreciated!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Episode VIII: The Baby Awakens

Good grief - has it really been a month since I last posted here? Since Aurora's sleeping patterns have shifted, it feels like longer. It used to be that I'd get up at 6 am and get some writing done while the house was asleep. Now that she wakes up at 6.15 and Celeste wakes up before Aurora's morning nap, I'm down to an hour in the evenings.

However, I haven't been idle in all this time...

Big news...

Monday, 6 March 2017

The Mr Banks RPG

Now that I'm older and I've been forced to watch Mary Poppins more times than I'd like to count, I found I've developed a certain sympathy with Mr Banks, the stern and autocratic father of the story.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Sunless Skies Shanty

I really, really like the Fallen London universe. For those people who don't know, Failbetter Games - one of my favourite developers - wrote this amazingly intricate series of stories for their games Fallen London (a free online RPG) and Sunless Seas (an eldritch horror 'em up in a gigantic underground sea).

London gets stolen by space bats and stowed in a gigantic underground cave. If that doesn't pique your interest, you've probably not got a pulse.  Which can actually be a problem in this universe.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Guest Contributor: Celeste Chapman (aged 3 years and 2 weeks)

I have a magic cape that stops me from flying up into space. If I did, I'd miss my little sister. I have magic powers in my hands - SHAZAAM! This hand has run out of magic, so I need to use the other one for a while.

"Shazaam!" summons bottles of Fruit Shoot. It may take more than one incantation before Daddy gets off his bum and fetches one.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Toddler Swearing

Because Celeste is a toddler and has no swear words for when she gets annoyed, this week she's been creating her own. Imagine these shouted by a pig-tail framed cross face and you get the idea. Translations required, please.

  • Fatcha-batcha!
  • Fireworks!
  • Fireworks on you! (accompanied by a throwing hand movement)
  • Vasha-wazza-vazza!
  • Scap! (also accompanied by a throwing hand gesture)
It's extremely cute, but laughing at her about it rarely makes the situation any better. I said "No...fireworks on you!" one time as a joke and she started crying. I am not a good parent. I'm not even sure what I was apologising for.

I assumed that it's explicit. I have no idea what any of them mean.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Guest Contributor: Celeste Chapman (aged 2 and 358 days)

Mummy yummed up Aurora. Then a crocodile yummed up Mummy. Then a penguin ate some lights and got parps in his tummy. Then a hat yummed up Aurora. That's the brilliant crunching story!

A vampire hat?

Saturday, 7 January 2017

New Baby Writing Challenge SUPER//OVERTIME//MODE Story Nineteen: "Festival Night"

Well, here were are ladies and gentlemen. The final story. The first one "A Flash of Pink" dropped 135 days ago, back in August, and before the delightful wiggle machine that is Aurora arrived. It's been immensely fun to write these stories for everyone who wanted to play. I'm a bit sad that it's over, but secretly a bit glad that I'm going to get my lie-ins back for a while.

Definitely until I find the next damn fool thing to do!

Oh yeah - that's the next damn fool thing. Now that all of the stories are done - 56k words...novel length! - I'm going to give everything a thorough edit and format and release it for free download on Smashwords (and the Kindle, if I can work out how that works!).

This story was written for two good friends of mine who are getting married this year. Their wedding is actually going to be a festival in itself, which should make for spectacular fun this summer! Their chosen word was "festival" and the random genre picker gave me "time travel". I've tried to go out with a bang this time!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you "Festival Night".

Sunday, 1 January 2017