Thursday, January 31, 2013


I was on holiday last week in Fueteventura. It was lovely to get some sunshine in the middle of winter. I took a little laptop with me, not really expecting to get a lot done - but I had a sudden and unexpected surge of creativity (maybe it was the sunshine charging up my winter-depleted batteries).

Anyway, I got about 10,000 words done on the U&F sequel. It's called Underwood and Flinch: Blood and Smoke. The title comes from a comment made by one of the new characters to Underwood. He knows something of vampires (unlike our hero) and he tells him: "You are man and beast; blood and smoke."

So far, all the action is in the Caribbean in the early 18th Century, the story picks up from where Underwood's origin tale left off in U&F 1. Here's a picture of me in our hotel room, hard at work (sort of).

Anyway, back home now, back to teaching English, and back also to chipping away at the U&F 1 edit. I've finished the audio-text matching and editing, and my wife is now proof-reading the text for gaffes (of which I'm sure there will be more than a few). I'll keep you posted on how it's going.

In other news, One Among the Sleepless, the original podcast, is now back online after a month of silence. You can now find it From here you can download it in individual episodes, or get the lot in one big zip bundle and drop them straight into your MP3 player.
Here's the link:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Diet Update

... or should I say, "constipation update"? The problem with not eating enough carbs is that you're not eating enough dietary fibre. I thought I was eating enough, and I was drinking ample water, and taking the psyllium husks as ordered. Alas, however, my weight-loss has slowed down and I've started gaining, or rather, retaining, weight. Ahem.

Needless to say, I'm stopping the low-carb / high protein diet now (I've lost as much weight as I need in order to get back into my trousers ;-) And first thing tomorrow morning, I'll be tucking in to a large bowl of All-Bran. Huzzah!!

Help me, Bill!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Trolls and Other Stories - Free on Amazon for 3 days

Huzzah! I've enrolled Trolls and Other Stories (Hall of Mirrors Volume 3) as an Amazon freebie! Great news if you got a Kindle or Kindle Fire or even a computer tablet or smartphone for Christmas, because now you stick one of my books on it for free!!

I was looking at my sales stats, and there's a definite buying trend for Hair and Skin and Other Stories (Hall of Mirrors Volume 1). The only difference between that book and the other story volumes is the many, many wonderful reviews that you good people have left on that book's page. It got a lot of those reviews by being a freebie a month ago, and so I had an impulse to do the same again - and before I knew it, I'd done it! I'd made Trolls and Other Stories a freebie too! Why? Well besides wanting to get my work onto your Kindles and tablet reader devices, I'd also be very grateful if you could leave 5 stars and a few words of recommendation for the book on its page. Reviews don't have to be long and wordy, just a paragraph saying it's a good read and that you enjoyed it (which you can say with integrity - I hope - because you've enjoyed the podcast ... I hope)

Now, obviously the leaving of reviews and stars are actions totally at your discretion, I can only ask, and you can, of course, completely ignore me. Free is free, no strings attached. But, as I say, I'd be grateful if you could, because hey, it's good Karma, man ;-)

Now go and grab your free book from one of these Amazon stores!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Diet Shocker

More on the Atkins Diet post I made the other day. I've been on it for about three days now, and I'm damned if I'm not losing weight! I can't believe it. My football has gone, and I can tie my shoelaces with ease! Remarkable.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Went for a walk in the (very muddy) country the other day. My wife took a picture of me. All I could see in it was a conspicuous roundness under my sweater. Since I'm not pregnant and I wasn't trying to conceal a football, I have to conclude that I'm overweight.

I've tried numerous faddy diets over the (new) years, but I've never tried the Atkins. So from yesterday, I began the Atkins diet. No carbs. No sugar. No alcohol. Easy, I thought, I can do that. So I was quite surprised to find myself watching TV last night and CRAVING fried potatoes. I resisted.

This morning I woke up with a very fuzzy head and the slenderest grip on my own train of thought. I CRAVED Marmite on toast. I resisted. Most of the day has been fuzzy; I've been vaguely present in the here and now. I looked up the problem online, and apparently it's carb withdrawal. Who would have thought such a thing existed? It usually passes in a day or so, so I'm hoping I'll be fine tomorrow.

I'll do it for a fortnight. By then, hopefully the football would have dropped from beneath my sweater ... and I go back to having multiple servings of toast, slowly building up a new football in time for January 2014. Maybe I'll try the South Beach Diet next time.

For anyone who wants to join me in my fuzzy-headed haze, here's a list of diets with their pros and cons according to the National Health Service (UK).