March 14, 2018

Hello My Victim

Today I had another email from Haggerty James which began, ‘Hello my victim’ and ended ‘Think twice.’

Apparently I have been filmed masturbating to porn. My blackmailer will send the video to everyone on my hacked contact list tomorrow unless I pay $290 US using bitcoins. There are detailed instructions about how to mine bitcoins.

As scams go, I think this might be quite a good one. I like the idea of pornography being made using the customers of pornography as its subjects. And I like the idea that there might be a few people around ashamed enough to pay up.

Porn isn’t a victimless crime.

March 5, 2018

Recent Movies

All the movies I’ve seen in the past few months have been women led: Hidden Numbers, The Florida Project, Molly’s Game, Three Billboards in Ebbing Missouri, Lady Bird, and I, Tonya. These are not all art house movies. They may not be big budget La-La-Land fare, but they’re American and Hollywood-ish. There’s a lot to applaud. And a lot more to hope for. Although I have to say I felt that I, Tonya was a true American tragedy, played for laughs.

I’m so impressed with two older actors: Frances McDormand and Laurie Metcalf – absolutely riveting, bad hair and all.

February 25, 2018

Good News, Delta

I did not know that, among other airlines, Delta had been offering group travel discounts to NRA members. Insanity. Isn't it illegal to take guns onto planes anyway?

Their children are being killed by children with guns.

Yet there's such a ridiculous, cruel fuss about abortion in the USA. It's easier to get a gun than a termination. Again, insane – when it’s been proved that there's such a dreadful knock-on effect on health, mental health, crime, and gun crime when women aren't allowed to decide for themselves how many children they can manage.

Our own dear NHS – yes, the one that wants to cut back on vasectomies etc – should listen and learn.

February 21, 2018

Stuck in the Middle with You

There’s a magpie on the roof opposite. It’s wagging its tail at me – which I will take as a sign of encouragement and approval. Starting a blog? Really?

When I begin a new piece of work I always start in pencil, on paper (as I’m doing now.) When I have about seven pages I copy it into the computer. Seven handwritten pages are roughly 2,000 words – which seems to be a critical mass.

That was what I was doing yesterday. And while doing that I found I needed to check out which of the Romantic Poets probably took opium and whether or not Keats’ Endymion begins with a dream that fit the notion. It does. And then I found a rather entertaining chat-room by googling the question ‘What does opium smoke smell like?’

Apparently the sweet flowery smell is a myth. If that’s what you smell while smoking you’re certainly smoking incense. And the only way to be absolutely sure your opium is the real deal is to grow your own. Fact-checking can be fun.

I am a tech twit. But my old phone kicked the bucket, and on Saturday I bought a new one. I’m pretty sure that as soon as I get halfway comfortable with it, the warranty will have run out and it will be unsupported by Sony. This is a scam and a rip-off which does not just apply to Sony.

So another chunk of Sunday was spent learning the new configuration. I also learned how to take and attach pictures to texts.

My daughter is absolutely convinced that I’m turning into Lily Tomlin – in her role as Frankie in Grace & Frankie. By coincidence the first photo I took on the new phone was a selfie which, yeah, looked, well, less than the totally rational being I think I am. So I sent it to her, texting, ‘Hugs & kisses, Frankie.’

In the old days people told me I looked like Cher.

Oh, and it being Sunday I also did some ironing. I bet Cher and Lily Tomlin don’t do their own ironing. Sue Grafton and Ursula Le Guin probably did. I miss them.

Selected Works

Previous Previous Latest Novel
All Birdie Walker wants is some justice for her husband, Jack. But since Jack was a rock star and the justice has to come from the music business, Birdie absolutely has to take some extreme measures.Click on the title for more information.
Short stories
All my short stories up to 2003 are in this collection. It includes two written specially. Click on the title for a bit about how I came to write short stories and more information.
The Anna Lee series
I wrote six novels about Anna Lee. Click on the titles for more information.
The Eva Wylie series
Professional wrestler Eva Wylie appeared in three novels in the '90s. Click on the titles for more information.
The other stand-alone novel...
This novel is set in the Ethiopia of the 1970s. Click on the title for more information.
The story collections I co-edited for Britain's Crime Writers' Association.
In the early '90s I helped edit these three books - aiming them to be more annuals than anthologies. They include many things we're proud to have published. Click on the titles for more information.