This was going to be a going cheep but it got away from me a bit. So, you get to read it here.

I was talking recently to a friend about how much I’d enjoyed WALL•E, and how I forget each time I watch it just how damned funny it is. I’m not sure why, but WALL•E himself (itself?) reminds me of V.I.N.CENT from Disney’s The Black Hole. Except that I realised that I’sd been spelling it wrong when I tried to remember for what V.I.N.C.E.N.T. was an acronym. I looked it up and discovered both the correct acronym, and also that it was a pretty crap acronym at that: Vital Information Necessary Centralized? Please…

Of course, it’s far from the only crap acronym; sometimes you absolutely know that the acronym came first and the explanation followed when whoever thought of it was asked what it stood for. Something similar happened when I was at Manchester Poly – the student union’s newspaper was called PULP, which was so named because the then editor (years before I was around) loved the name and only reluctantly some time later had to come up with something entitled Polytechnic Union Literary Publication.

And that reminded me of my favourite ever episode involving acronyms, the inspection of the firm for which I was working by the dreaded JMU. No, that’s not the acronym. That’s not even an acronym, really. It’s just an abbreviation. Anyway, the JMU, or Joint Monitoring Unit to give it is proper name, used to be the guys that came in to check you’re following the rules of auditing, and to confirm that all the bits of paper that should be there… are there. (It’s been replaced since 2005, but this predates that…)

The JMU were not checking whether you were right or wrong in the opinion you form as part of the audit, you understand, merely that you can back up with paperwork and tests any opinion that you have formed. And if you’re not 100% perfect, they can shut you down as an auditor. Just. Like. That.

We’d been expecting an inspection for a year or so – it was our ‘turn’ to get one – so for some time, me and my then boss commenced, once every couple of weeks, a final review on all audit files we’d completed in the past year, and all current ones we were now completing. In order to ensure we didn’t miss anything, I developed a one sheet summary that was entitled something like “Final Review Sheet”.

You know me, Mr Original.

Of course, it wasn’t known as that inside the firm.

No, inside the firm, the final review during which we made sure all the boxes on the Final Review Sheet were ticked was known as the F.O.A.D. review. Yes, quite obviously, since this was the last time we’d see the files for a year while they were in archive: the Fuck Off And Die review. But it was always called simply the F.O.A.D. review. Or, sometimes as a verb. As in: “Lee, don’t forget we’ve got to F.O.A.D that client’s files before the weekend…”

Of course, the acronym was never actually written down anywhere. I mean, that would just be asking for trouble.

(That’s called blatant foreshadowing, by the way.)

Comes the day of the JMU visit; everything’s going fine and dandy, and the sample files they’ve chosen at random are all passing muster. We’re about 20 minutes through the review meeting at the end of the day and one of them asks me and my boss, “Just one more thing. What’s an F.O.A.D review? Only on the notes and queries for [name of client]’s last year’s audit, there’s a note in your handwriting, Mr Dales [my boss], noting to ensure you completed it before Mr Barnett went on holiday.”

My boss looks at me, and only someone who knew him very well would have detected the look of panic in his eyes. Barely a second later, I say “Oh, that’s the Financial Operating and Asset Development review. We do them every three years or so with clients to check they’re neither over- nor-under capitalised and also to compare their return on capital employed against the market sector in which they operate.”

The two blokes from the JMU look at each other and for a moment I think they’re going to say “Oh, come on!” but they just nod, write it down and then ten minutes later, they thank us for our time, apologise if their inspection has disrupted our work… and they’re off.

As they leave, my boss just looks at me in sheer, unfettered admiration. “Where the fuck did that come from?”

I just smile and silently thank the gods of inspiration…

Online idiocy

Posted: 14 January 2015 in going cheep, internet, writing
Tags: ,

Not often I cross-post to here from going cheep, but this one’s worth it, I think…



Online idiocy

Every so often, an event occurs that brings the idiots out from cover and they spread their idiocy over social media with all the subtlety and tact of a bull elephant on heat. One of the stranger things about such idiots is that whereas an expert in one field may not be an expert in another, idiots tend to be multi-subject idiots.

So, as happened to me last night, you get an idiot complaining that David Cameron doesn’t know anything about Magna Carta by saying that habeous corpus came from Magna Carta. It didn’t; it came from the Assize of Clarendon, roughly fifty years before the first Magna Carta. What’s that? You didn’t know that there was more than one? Yeah, the first one, the one that everyone knows about was in 1215. Then it was repealed and then decades later, there was another one in 1297. Yeah, the first one was repealed. And, as David Allen Green has shown, there’s not a single part of current English/British Law that comes from Magna Carta; there’s not a single recorded case decided on the provisions of Magna Carta.

So, yeah, ok, I came across an idiot pontificating upon the merits of Magna Carta without knowing anything about it.

But wait, her idiocy and ignorance wasn’t limited to historical documents that have no effect upon today’s legal systems. It went further, into jewish conspiracies and how the Jews were [in part] to blame for people hating Jews because the Jews own all the banks and operate usury. And her victim blaming didn’t stop there: she blamed women for getting raped, and called for laws to abolish no-fault divorce, allow infanticide, and oh, the idiocy continued and continued. She wants to reintroduce public executions and public floggings.

Ah, social media. More proof, were it ever to be needed, that no matter how many endangered species there are on this wonderful planet of ours, we’ll never run short of idiots.

Seventeen years. Over decade and a half. Or to be more precise, seventeen years and three and and a half or so hours since my brother died.

And yes, I rewrite this every year. I stick up something about Mike annually on this day with not a smidgen of guilt nor concern; Michael deserves a public remembrance from me every year.

9th January 1998. I’d gotten into work early and, having dropped my bag at the office, was having a coffee across the road at my then favoured café. Thirty minutes or so after sitting down, around five-past eight, someone else who’d been in early came to get me; a call from Laura. I know, this was long enough ago that I didn’t possess a mobile phone. I went back to the office with a growing sense of dread; a call from my wife, mentioning my brother didn’t sound like good news. It wasn’t; a call to the hospital led to a growing suspicion from the immediately understandable reticence of the doctor to tell me anything over the phone… and then the knowledge – the horrible, horrible knowledge – that my brother had died.

Not a good morning.

Mike was 38 years old, over a decade younger than I am now. And that’s a thing you never get used to – that you’re now older than someone who was older than you. It’s a genuinely strange feeling, realising that; knowing that you’re seeing birthdays that he never reached, experiencing birthdays, anniversaries, life, that he never got to have.

And that’s leaving to one side the fact that he lost those years – he lost seeing his children grow up, he lost the chance to see Phil grow up, and that Phil never got the chance to know Mike. Not properly, not as a growing child should get to know someone.

I’ve got friends who I’ve met over the past few years who I absolutely know Michael would have liked to have met, and they’d have liked to have known him. I can easily see Mitch and Clara sharing a laugh with Mike; very easily indeed as a matter of fact, probably at my expense, the way you allow friends and close ones to do that. I can also smile, reluctantly at times, at the life experiences and choices I’ve made that would have at various times, cheered him, made him laugh, made him angry, and left him speechless in exasperation. He was my brother and I loved him – what else would you expect?

Where the hell have those seventeen years gone? Seventeen years… Of course, I know the answer to that: I look at my son, and know the final family photo taken of Mike was with Philip, when the latter was a little over two years old. And Phil’s now nineteen, an adult, and he prefers to spend his time with friends, and college mates, and with his fiancée, far than with his old man. And I can’t – and won’t – blame him for that.

Still and all, where have the years gone?

Seventeen Years.

I’ve said before – and I maintain – that it’s utter nonsense to say that ‘time heals every wound’. It doesn’t. It doesn’t even come close. What it does do, I’ve discovered – and I rediscover with every passing year – is lessen the temptation to pick at the scab.

So with every year that passes, it hurts a little less… most of the time.

Every so often, of course, it bites; it hurts terribly, and I miss him so fucking much; his wry humour, the love of comedy we shared, the cool way he’d examine a problem from every side, then laugh and say “fuck it, go for it…”

Michael Russell Barnett wasn’t perfect, far from it. He loved puns, just didn’t ‘get’ comics at all, had problems carrying a tune in a bucket, and his enthusiasm for playing the guitar wasn’t in any way matched by ability.

Still, as a brother, Mike was as good as they get and if I’d have gone to Brothers ‘R’ Us, I couldn’t have picked better. He taught me so much, and I hope he knew how much I respected him as a person, not just as a brother. I was best man at his wedding to Lynne, and that he trusted me (at the age of 21) with that responsibility honoured me then, and it still does. I’ve still many wonderful memories of Michael, but those few hours on the morning of his wedding when it was just me and him… ah, they’re memories I wouldn’t trade for anything.

He died seventeen years ago today and I miss him dreadfully, especially today. I miss him always, but today, it’s a bugger.

Rest easy, brother.


A few years ago, after I posted something similar to the above, I got several emails and messages from people who either didn’t know I’d had a brother, or didn’t know what had happened. Both asked what had happened. Here’s what I put up in response..

Soon after Mike’s death, I was asked to write something about him; I’ve linked to it before, but figured it was about time I put it on this blog as well. So, here it is:

Michael Russell Barnett
20th November 1959 to 9th January 1998

 

“On Thursday, Mum took me shopping. It sounds
harmless if you say it fast enough, doesn’t it?”

- o -

When I was at Manchester Polytechnic, ostensibly studying for a degree, one of the highlights of my time there was getting a letter from Michael. Full of gentle humour, the letters showed a literary side to Michael that can still reduce me to laughter 15 years later. The above line was written as he was recovering from his first heart operation.

Reading through the letters recently, what surprised me wasn’t so much the realisation that Michael was only 23 or 24 when the letters were written, but how much of my own writings have been influenced by Michael’s style.

Michael taught me so much, from how to play backgammon to the skills necessary to cheat at cards better than our younger brother; from how to scan a line when writing a lyric or poem to the proper glass out of which to drink scotch – “one with a hole at one end and no hole at the other.”

I’ve often said that Mike was my hero. And he was. The courage he showed throughout his illnesses and operations, the way he dealt with people and the way he supported me in all I did was everything I could have wished from a brother. We shared a particularly dry sense of humour and it was rare that a few days went by without one of us calling the other to share a joke or to tell the other a particularly funny story or a funny event that had happened to us.

Yet of all the memories that spring to mind about Michael in the 33 years I was privileged to have him as my ‘big bruvver’, four stand out as clear as day…

- o -

“Dear Lee, How are you? I hope you’re getting down
to it. And getting some studying in as well.”

- o -

August 1983
I’d driven up to Harefield to visit Michael before his first op. He was in the ward and when he saw me, he grabbed his dressing gown and we headed for the café. As we were leaving the ward, a nurse rushed past us and went to the bed next to Michael’s. We didn’t think anything of it until another nurse, then a doctor, then another nurse, pushing a trolley pushed past us. Naturally concerned, we headed back into the ward to see them crowding around the bed next to Mike’s. The curtains were quickly drawn and Michael suggested we leave. At that moment, we realised we’d left Michael’s cassette recorder playing.

In the sort of accident of timing that only happens in real life, Michael reached out to turn the cassette recorder off just as the next track started. The song was by a band called Dollar.

The title of the song? “Give Me Back My Heart”

We barely made it out of the ward before doubling up…

- o -

“I’m looking forward to our engagement party. My only problem
is how to ask Jeff for a day off on a Saturday. I suppose on
my knees with my hands clasped together as if in prayer…”

- o -

Wednesday 9th October 1985
Lynne and Michael’s Wedding Day. As their Best Man, I’m theoretically responsible for getting Michael to the shul shaved, showered and sober. Failing that, it’s my job to just get him there. Anyway, Mike has a few things to sort out at their new home, so I tag along and we spend a few hours together. Precious hours that I wouldn’t swap for anything. We tell jokes and pass the time, two brothers out together letting the rest of the world go by.

We get to the shul and get changed into the penguin suits. Flip forward a couple of hours and Lynne and Michael are now married. Mazeltovs still ringing in everyone’s ears, the line-up has ended and we poor fools still in morning suits go to the changing room to, well, to get changed – into evening suit. For whatever reason, Mike and I take the longest to get changed and we’re left alone for five minutes together after everyone else has left.

As a throwaway line, just to ease our nervousness for the forthcoming speeches, I make a comment that I’m sure glad I’ve got everything with me: “Suit, shirt, shoes, speech…” Mike grins and repeats the mantra. “Suit, shirt, shoes…” There’s a horrible pause followed by a word beginning with ‘s’. But it’s not “speech”, it’s a shorter word.

Mike looks at me in horror, and I’m beginning to realise what’s going through his mind. “Don’t tell me you’ve lost your speech,” I tell him.

“I know exactly where it is,” he says, making me very relieved for a moment, before continuing, “it’s in my wardrobe at home.”

After another split-second when we struggled not to crease up at the ridiculousness of the situation, Mike took control in that calm way that he had. He borrowed a pen off of me – the pen that he and Lynne had given me as a thank you for being Best Man – instructed me to get a menu and then stand outside the door and leave him for twenty minutes…

An hour or so later, after I had given my speech, Michael stood up to make his. He started off with a line that fans of Rowan Atkinson would recognise in a moment : “When I left home this morning, I said to myself ‘you know, the very last thing you must do is leave my speech at home’. So sure enough, when I left home this morning, the very last thing I did was… to leave my speech at home.”

As I say, it was a familiar opening to fans of Rowan Atkinson. To everyone else, it was merely a clever start to a speech. To everyone else that is, except our mother. Mum, you see, knew exactly how the speech should have started and there was a classic moment – thankfully caught by the photographer – when she realised that he wasn’t joking – he really had forgotten the speech…

- o -

“Last week I graduated to hair-CUTTING. Next week, if
I’m lucky it’ll be cutting the hair on someone’s head…”

- o -

July 1997
After Mike’s second heart operation, Laura and I took our then 20 month old son to see him. Michael had often told me that being a parent was a mixture of joy and heartache but that he was absolutely revelling in being an uncle. When we got there, he insisted on going outside with us, for Philip’s sake, he said, but I suspect that he wanted to go outside as well, ‘breaking parole’ if you will. He took Philip by the hand and went for a small walk with him.

Looking back, watching Mike and Philip walking together, and a little later, Michael holding Philip on his lap, I remain convinced that it was at that moment that Philip started his adoration of Michael, a feeling that lasted after Michael’s death.

- o -

“Did you go to shul in Manchester. Hmm – is a shul in
Manchester called Manchester United?”

- o -

December 1997
The last big family occasion was on Boxing Day 1997. It had long been a family tradition that the family got together at Lynne and Michael’s on Boxing Day and this year was no different. The last photo I have of my brother is of Michael lifting Philip to the sky, the pair of them laughing out loud.

He looked so well, having regained all the weight that he’d lost through his illness, still with a very slight tan from the holiday he, Lynne and the boys had taken in late 1997.

That’s how I’ll remember my brother, full of life, laughing and surrounded by his family.

At year-end…

Posted: 31 December 2014 in going cheep
Tags: , ,

Not often that I cross post from going cheep, but for once, why not…?

As I write this, we’re about fourteen and a half hours away from the new year. 2015. A hell of a lot has happened in 2014, some good, some bad. Pretty much the same as most years, and I’d lay money that 2015 will be the same. Only the ratio ever changes.

It’s been a long time since I’ve ended a year saying “no matter what happens next year, it’s got to be better than this year.” That year was 1997, and nine days into the new year, my big brother died. Now, I’m not a superstitious person by nature (or even supernature) but since then, I’ve never thought that what’s to come can’t be worse than what’s been. Of course, it can be better – in fact often it is. But sometimes it is worse.

I got a lot of writing started in 2014, and even finished some of it. I expect – and hope – than in 2015 I’ll finish even more of what I start, and since I’ve already got eight – eight! – projects part written, I’m expecting some new things to happen on the writing front.

And those unfinished projects don’t include two that I’d lots of notes written about before two notebooks containing those notes were stolen. So, if I want to write those projects, there’s a lot of research to redo, and a lot of writing to make up.

Some months ago, when I started Going Cheep, at the start of August, it was intended to be something to kickstart the writing part of my brain. Sometimes it’s been exactly that, but more often than not, it’s been a prose equivalent of This Is My Jam, allowing me to put down in words an earworm of something that’s been occupying my mind.

So, the end of 2104. And the start of 2015. I’m not arrogant enough to think that I could give any words of advice for 2015 that will matter more than the new year messages from people liked and respected far more widely than me, but what the hell, why not?

Be nice to people, when you can. Attack arguments rather than people. Never confuse agreement for friendship, or vice versa; you’re allowed to disagree with friends about anything, and still remain friends. Learn to read fluent tyop, and know that even before you learn to read it, you’re fluent in writing it.

Know that you are liked, and stop worrying about why people like you; it’s enough that they do.

I hope you have a peaceful, good 2015, with happiness and wonders thus far unimagined.

Happy New Year.

Mitch Benn is an incredibly talented author, comedian and comedy-songwriter, and one of my closest friends, for which I never cease to be grateful. I’ve been a fan of his comedy for almost fifteen years, and it’s always a surprise to me that we’ve only been friends for four years or so. He’s also one of the smartest people I know, and it’s incredibly rare that we chat when I don’t come away having learned something important about comedy, politics or any one of the fairly large number of interests we share.

Few people know that Mitch plays a guitar made of wood from Yggdrasil.

Title: Their Eyes All Aglow
Word: haven
Challenger: Mitch Benn
Length: 200 words exactly

The room was elegant, containing an eclectic mix of styles. Past arrived first, as was his preference. He sat in the smallest chair, one neat and manicured hand upon the table, one supporting his slender, pointed chin.

Present arrived next, looking older than his years, his responsibilities weighing heavily; he spoke briefly to Past, asking after his brothers and seemed vaguely content with the answer. Then Future walked into the room, and nodded slowly to his fellows, saying nothing, then sat with his head bowed.

The three of them waited, content with this haven from their duties until eventually What Might Have Been arrived, and once again made her annual pitch for inclusion.

Future looked at her, and from beneath his cowl, angry burning eyes condemned her audacity. Past was merely amused, as he had been so often before, his eyes shining with laughter, but his voice from long ago was deliberate, and low. Present’s siblings had always been contemptuous towards the proposal, and he followed the tradition, his eyes frozen azure.

The verdict delivered, What Might Have Been was no longer present. Then the clock struck twelve, then one, then two and the room was empty for another year.

© Lee Barnett, 2014

This story is part of The Twelve Days of Fast Fiction (More information on the Twelve Days here)
Day 01: This Lion Of Winter – challenger: Antony Johnston
Day 02: An Immense Pecuniary Mangle – challenger: Steven Shaviro
Day 03: Is The Pope Pregnant? – challenger: Matt Brooker
Day 04: Father Christmas Got Stuck – challenger: Bevis Musson
Day 05: Early Sunday Chop Suey – challenger: Michael Moran
Day 06: Of Tinsel And Fire – challenger: David Baddiel
Day 07: The Man Who Could – challenger: Joanne Harris
Day 08: The Judge Disagreed – challenger: Rufus Hound
Day 09: Sweeping Up Shattered Chandeliers – challenger: Kirsty Newton
Day 10: Glorious Concatenation – challenger: Neil Gaiman
Day 11: Weaving With Angels’ Hair – challenger: Nick Doody


“There are two hundred stories collected in this volume. They are funny, they are thoughtful, they are romantic, they are frightening. To me, though, they are more than entertaining. They are inspiring.” – Wil Wheaton, from his introduction to volume 2 of The Fast Fiction Challenge

Two volumes of The Fast Fiction Challenge, containing 180 stories in Volume 1 and a further 200 stories in Volume 2, for £3.00 each, are available in ebook format from the author; email for details.

Nick Doody is one of my favourite writers and stand-up comedians. He’s also – no coincidence – one of the smartest comedians on the circuit. His very intelligent, very funny material makes you think long after you’ve left his shows and he never plays to the lowest common denominator. Nick seems to suggest ‘you’re not as stupid as the politicians try to pretend, so let’s not pretend it either, eh?’. His recent Edinburgh show dealt in part with the difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us. It was brilliantly incisive and superbly funny, and was one of my highlights of the festival. Go see him – if you want clever stand-up, you won’t be disappointed.

Few people know that Nick Doody hunts the Snark on alternate Fridays, but the Boojum only once a quarter.

Title: Weaving With Angels’ Hair
Word: frenulum
Challenger: Nick Doody
Length: 200 words exactly

Once, the sight of the three heavenly beings would have caused tears of joy. Were anyone human to see what was left of them, however, weeping of a different sort would commence from hearts broken in sorrow and condolence. The remains of the angels were not pretty to look at, their once proud wings shredded and torn away, heads that had once been covered in glister now ravaged and torn, with dried puddles of ichor in place of coruscation.

Lucifer looked upon the works of his lesser demons and winced; there was no care taken here, no professionalism, just savage butchery.

“Have you anything to say in your wretched defence?” he asked in a deceptively silken tone.

The demons shuffled upon immortal coils, and one held forth a soggy mess of what had once been golden locks, the hair now dull and lifeless. Its fellow incubi and succubi looked on as it presented Lucifer with what appeared to to be a woven basket of some sort, angel feathers protruding at obscene angles, and a dripping frenulum or six.

“Happy Christmas…?” it managed.

Lucifer sighed loudly and with great care; it was going to be a long holiday season this year…

© Lee Barnett, 2014

This story is part of The Twelve Days of Fast Fiction (More information on the Twelve Days here)
Day 01: This Lion Of Winter – challenger: Antony Johnston
Day 02: An Immense Pecuniary Mangle – challenger: Steven Shaviro
Day 03: Is The Pope Pregnant? – challenger: Matt Brooker
Day 04: Father Christmas Got Stuck – challenger: Bevis Musson
Day 05: Early Sunday Chop Suey – challenger: Michael Moran
Day 06: Of Tinsel And Fire – challenger: David Baddiel
Day 07: The Man Who Could – challenger: Joanne Harris
Day 08: The Judge Disagreed – challenger: Rufus Hound
Day 09: Sweeping Up Shattered Chandeliers – challenger: Kirsty Newton
Day 10: Glorious Concatenation – challenger: Neil Gaiman
Day 12: Their Eyes All Aglow – challenger: Mitch Benn


“There are two hundred stories collected in this volume. They are funny, they are thoughtful, they are romantic, they are frightening. To me, though, they are more than entertaining. They are inspiring.” – Wil Wheaton, from his introduction to volume 2 of The Fast Fiction Challenge

Two volumes of The Fast Fiction Challenge, containing 180 stories in Volume 1 and a further 200 stories in Volume 2, for £3.00 each, are available in ebook format from the author; email for details.

Neil Gaiman is… well, he’s Neil Gaiman. And I’m very grateful for that, as well as his for friendship for coming up to twenty years now. Everything you hear about Neil being incredibly supportive and being there when you need someone to be there… it’s all true enough, but throughout our friendship, he’s always offered advice when I wanted it, help when I needed it, and when necessary, a kick up the backside when I’ve not wanted it, but have so very desperately needed it. I’m incredibly grateful for every moment of it.

It’s a little known fact that “Neil Gaiman” means “storyteller” in seventeen archaic languages.

Title: Glorious Concatenation
Word: holly
Challenger: Neil Gaiman
Length: 200 words exactly

Behind the factory, far from the sleeping quarters of the elves, was a small wooden hut, wherein a light shone. None of Santa’s little helpers went to the small wooden hut voluntarily, for the detective was working; the detective was investigating her first murder, and all feared her scrutiny.

The body had been discovered at dusk, and she had been called forth, from her comfy office with her fire and her books. She spent many hours interviewing witnesses and suspects, learning motive from one, opportunity from another, and means from yet another. Still more hours were spent buried deep in her case files, reviewing past ‘accidents’, linking nine ice cold cases, each to the others. She started her incident chart at midnight, and spent a full day linking red threads and white threads, using holly leaves in place of pins, before, in a moment of utter clarity, she put it all together.

When she told Santa, she feared his reaction, but he just sadly nodded. That night the elves ate well, and afterwards, five new reindeer were named. Rudolph, of course, was spared, and only Santa knew why, but the detective suspected… The detective always suspected Santa’s motives regarding Rudolph.

© Lee Barnett, 2014

This story is part of The Twelve Days of Fast Fiction (More information on the Twelve Days here)
Day 01: This Lion Of Winter – challenger: Antony Johnston
Day 02: An Immense Pecuniary Mangle – challenger: Steven Shaviro
Day 03: Is The Pope Pregnant? – challenger: Matt Brooker
Day 04: Father Christmas Got Stuck – challenger: Bevis Musson
Day 05: Early Sunday Chop Suey – challenger: Michael Moran
Day 06: Of Tinsel And Fire – challenger: David Baddiel
Day 07: The Man Who Could – challenger: Joanne Harris
Day 08: The Judge Disagreed – challenger: Rufus Hound
Day 09: Sweeping Up Shattered Chandeliers – challenger: Kirsty Newton
Day 11: Weaving With Angels’ Hair – challenger: Nick Doody
Day 12: Their Eyes All Aglow – challenger: Mitch Benn


“There are two hundred stories collected in this volume. They are funny, they are thoughtful, they are romantic, they are frightening. To me, though, they are more than entertaining. They are inspiring.” – Wil Wheaton, from his introduction to volume 2 of The Fast Fiction Challenge

Two volumes of The Fast Fiction Challenge, containing 180 stories in Volume 1 and a further 200 stories in Volume 2, for £3.00 each, are available in ebook format from the author; email for details.