Writing for me is like breathing. Though I'd also say I have a strong sense of the visual, my mind always reaches first for words. I'm not comfortable unless I have the means to write close at hand.
I started writing stories regularly before I left primary school. I studied other people’s poetry and prose at university, coming to understand better what I might like to do with words. I’m interested in meaning, in the ways we can create meaning, and in understanding how the apprehension of meaning colours our experience.
I work mostly in prose, and it’s true enough that in one way or another most of what I write is telling a story. Not everything I do looks like a novel or even a short story: I would write poetry because I certainly want to be able to write lyrically (and I do write song lyrics), but I feel more comfortable formally in prose, where the basic unit is the sentence rather than the line.
I’ve included some occasional short pieces here. Click on the links below and you’ll be prompted to open or save an A5 PDF of the full text.
Despair: a meditation on faith and lost opportunities.
Conversations with the Killer of San Marco: a story about a pest controller in a Tuscan hill town, a reflection on our relationship with the natural world, and what might pass for a sense of purpose in that world. (available soon)
The Voyage: a reimagining of the (true) journey of an Irish monk to Iceland, a further meditation on what it is to believe in something.
I have also completed a number of novel-length pieces, and I'm looking at bringing them to a wider audience. I'm dubious about traditional publishing, but equally not interested in vanity publishing. As this site develops I would like to explore the ways the internet-led upheaval in distribution channels offer a means of placing good writing in front of the people who would appreciate it, at the same time giving the writer due reward.
This image on this page is a painting by my brother Mark, created in response to “Waiting”, the first part of one of those longer pieces, Marking Time. The piece is carefully autobiographical, considering how we make sense of our lives by making stories of them, the past contained in chapters or anecdotes.