Lottery – A short Story

lottery-balls

Branwen’s mobile phone shivered in her hand. It was Harry, her hyperactive younger brother. He was always a distraction. He could be a bit too much sometimes, but she was in a generous, and bored, mood.

“Are you in?” Harry said excitedly. “I’m outside – buzz me up.”

Branwen obliged. One minute later Harry stumbled into the flat clutching his new laptop. Branwen was surprised. Harry’s computer set-up in his own flat was usually untouchable, immovable, sacrosanct, with leads and dongles stuffed into every orifice. She only had to sit down heavily and he was on the ceiling.

“What’s up bro?” Branwen asked.

Harry sat on the settee and put the laptop carefully on the coffee table. He flipped the lid open.

“Look,” he said. “Come and see.”

Branwen sat beside her brother and stared at the screen. There was a display of six coloured balls bouncing slowly at random. On each ball was a number.

“What is it?” she asked.

“Can’t you see?” he said.

“It looks like a load of balls to me.”

“Ha ha. Very funny – but honestly, can’t you see what they are?”

Branwen shook her head. “Nope.”

“It’s tomorrow night’s winning lottery numbers.” Continue reading “Lottery – A short Story”

A lazy writer?

What it is see, is that I’m a lazy writer. No, it’s true, I know that I could work much harder and craft every sentence, every paragraph, every chapter, every verse, every simile or metaphor into something that is entirely professional and rock solid. No, I could, I really could do it – every time.

Thing is, I don’t.

Why is that?

More importantly, does it matter?

And, in any case, lazy people deserve to have their voices heard too. After all, there are a lot of them about. Yeah, I know, there are a lot more people who don’t have the skills or experience to write well, whose voices are never heard, and it’s not their fault, so you could say, so what if your voice is unheard, for every one of you, lazy writers, there are a million others who will never have their voices heard and it’s not even their fault, it’s not their choice, they just don’t have the option. They may even be illiterate through no fault of their own.

But you do, you do have the choice, and the opportunities and still you produce sub-standard work simply because you’re lazy.. And don’t try and say that you have produced millions of words, published novels, short stories, poetry, articles, opinion pieces, musings and whatever else. They are lazy words. A million lazy words are less than equivalent to a thousand well-crafted.

You could say all that couldn’t you? But, what the hell, I still say that even lazy writers deserve their voices heard or at least out there in the ethers of life in the twenty-first century.

You don’t have to listen you know.

Illustration from The Dreamer – a short story – Click to read

Skin and Bones – New Novel available now

Skin is a taxi driver, Bones is a Detective Inspector. They hate each other but both operate on the same patch, the large ex-industrial town of Elchurch on the South Coast of Wales. A young woman is found dead and they are both drawn into the investigation. But all is not what it seems as the brothers separately and together deal with the consequences of the murder.

Available now:

Kindle Version: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08QJ8MSCB

Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1904958737

Skin and Bones – new novel coming soon

My new novel Skin and Bones will be published soon. It is in the final stages of proofreading.

Skin is a taxi driver and his brother Bones is a police detective. They do not get on but since they both operate in the large post-industrial town of Elchurch on the South Wales coast they often come across each other in the course of their work.

They both become embroiled in the apparent disappearance of an enigmatic young woman who is driven home by Skin late one night from the town centre. As the story unfolds it becomes apparent that all is not what it seems.

Here’s a draft cover idea.

Croeso – Welcome

What’s it all about then?

No one’s got a clue really, but we try to do our best.

This website exists to display a bit of one person’s attempts to do their best. When I say ‘best’ I’m not sure if that’s true in the sense that everything here is perfectly crafted, because it’s not. Some of it is roughly hewn or not hewn at all, simply pointed at, but then again, maybe that’s the best I can do.

I dunno.

I reckon that less than 1 in 100 visitors to this website are actual human beings so if you’re one of them and not a bot, and have managed to read this far down the page, I hope you can find something of interest here.

Just scroll and click and search. Turn over some metaphorical stones – there’s quite a lot to uncover even if I do say so myself.

blah blah – you know the score – here’s a poem from 1999 about knowing the score

ninetyfivefive
 
 you know the score
 in a movie 
 or a tv show
 the flaws
 small flaws
 idiosyncratic flaws
 twelve flaws
 or just one 
 we’re allowed to be flawed 
 it’s ok as long as in the end 
 we’re fucking good at our job
 in my real life i’m an artex ceiling of cracks and fissures
 with some small redemption
 
 it’s kind of arse-backwards ain’t it?

It’s a collage

It’s a collage, that’s what it is, it’s a coll-fucking-age

about Busted and Crime and Coffee etc.mp3

just another rambling podcast partly about the book launch of Busted the other day

Crime and Coffee Festival 2019 – Cardiff Central Library

Monday June 3rd 2019 – as part of the opening event at the Crime and Coffee Festival I will be launching an unexpected brand new book,.

There will also be a rare appearance by the 2 Old Heads 🙂

More on that soon

the event starts at 12.30 pm
and the book launch is at 1.30pm : Opening Event + Busted Book Launch

more about the rest of the festival : Full Festival Details

here’s the book cover

Busted – New Novel almost here

EDIT: It’s here and will be launched Mon June 3rd – Details here

I’m very happy to say that my next novel will be published by the end of May.

The manuscript is in the final stages of proofreading. Here’s the completed front cover

Busted Bumf

It’s the early 1990’s in the large town of Elchurch on the South Wales coast. Family man Dylan D’arcy, a struggling businessman, is on the verge of going bust – again. Out of the blue, successful local entrepreneur Kevin Brown walks into his office and offers him a lifeline in the form of a lucrative contract to develop a computer system for his new venture, an ambitious mail-order operation.

Everything falls into place and within weeks Dylan and his family are reaping the rewards and looking forward to a prosperous future. At the same time there is an upsurge in drugs-related crime in the town and the antics of local underworld figure Arthur Roberts cast a dark shadow over Dylan and his family business.

Busted is the latest in a series of Elchurch Tales by Derec Jones.

Check out the author’s website for more information: www.derecjones.com

Busted – new novel coming soon

‘Busted’ is a story about a struggling businessman and his family who get involved with some serious criminals. Set in the large coastal town of Elchurch in the 1990’s Busted is a straightforward story and a satisfying read.

I actually wrote this story in the 1990’s but basically shoved it in a drawer (well on various data backup devices). Then, recently, because I’m late finishing ‘Beats’, the second in the Bums, Beats and Bones trilogy of stories featuring Detective Inspector Frank Lee, I dug ‘Busted’ out and decided to publish it, come what may.

To be honest I’m still not sure it’s wise to publish it, but what the hell that’s what’s happening at the end of May / beginning of June 2019. That gives me a couple of weeks to do some serious proofreading and copy-editing.

Anyway, more info soon. In the meantime here’s an idea for the cover.

2 Old Heads at The Apothecary Cardiff

I don’t really know how it got to this but in eleven days time on April 3rd I am doing a sort of gig. Poster below.

It’s a very small venue but an interesting one.

here’s the event link on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/317730898881281/

Some of my paintings will be on display and for sale in the week leading up to the event.

Here they are:

Mozaic-B – Acrylic on canvas. 16″ x 12″ Framed and ready to hang £160
Mozaic-A – Acrylic on canvas. 16″ x 12″ Framed and ready to hang £160
Oranges and Lemons – Acrylic on canvas. 16″ x 12″ Framed and ready to hang £150
Earth and Sky – Acrylic on canvas. 16″ x 12″  Framed and ready to hang £120

Also on show but not for sale (high offers may be considered)

Cefncaeau View – Oils on canvas. 30″ x 24″

Interjection

(Interjection on Wednesday November 18th 2015 – as I’m typing this into a Word document ready to be copied into the book that this will end up in. The interjection is this – is it possible that an intelligent person could practise a skill – say, like writing, for decades, and write countless words until they have accumulated at least 6 medium cardboard boxes full of their scribbles plus gigabytes of hard drive space, is it possible for that person to be a crap writer – I mean if you practised all the those years and still didn’t get even the tiniest bit of appreciation and recognition for your work – is that the time to just say “Fuck it – I’m a crap writer – give it up, find something you’re good at.” And what if I won’t accept that, because I have to write – I have to write – there is no choice for me – appreciated or not – so then my voice, however much it doesn’t fit with what is regarded as a good voice is, as good as, as important as, as interesting as, as honest as any other voice of any other human being, whether expressed in words or visual art or, god forbid – dance. End of interjection.)

NOTE: From the novel “To Me”

Marking an event

Last Saturday, December 8th 2018, along with Dafydd Wyn Roberts, I held an event at the Apothecary in Cardiff. They have a lovely little caff at the back of their shop.

Dafydd played 4 songs accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar, and I read three excerpts from my novels.

It went like this – Song-Reading-Song-Reading-Song-Reading-Song or something like that.

Before, during, and at the end of the song-reading cycle we chatted to each other and to the audience.

It was a great night and everyone who was there loved it. Dafydd’s act was excellent, good songs well sung and played. We may do it again – watch this space (well not this space, but some other space)

here’s the poster for the event again

Extract from Chapter twenty of “The Three Bears”

Let’s get the fucking paper the right way round. Let’s get the correct pen. Let’s get the fag rolled, the ashtray emptied, the fag lit and then let us begin. This is an exercise in creative writing, no, that’s Creative Writing, with two great big fucking capital letters, one at the beginning of each word to signify they represent more than the expression they convey. This is an exercise in Creative Writing.

The first rule of Creative Writing, they say, is to write about what you know, your own reality (ies?). So then it’s not exactly Fiction (another word with a capital first letter, watch out for these, and italics, and underlined, and bold – they mean that you’re not being creative enough), but it’s not exactly fact either (should Fact be capitalised?). You’ve heard of poetic (or artistic) license? Well that’s the third rule, (I forgot the second rule is not to use words with Initial Capital Letters unless they’re proper ones and not to use things like italics, underlining, bold etc. (or things like etc. come to that) Are there any more rules? Not really. In fact, the first three rules aren’t that important, in fact, fuck the rules, all of them.

There are no rules in this game boy.

That’s when I usually wake up, but get this, sometimes when I wake up it’s only into another dream, but it takes a few seconds to realise that, sometimes longer, and then, after squeezing my eyes tight shut before opening them again and finding myself in another place that could be a dream, and it is, and I’m getting suspicious by now and wondering if I’ll ever get back to fully conscious reality, so I settle for this.

But it’s been a long time now, in this reality, so I guess it must be the real one, at least it will have to do for the time being because I’m too tired to fight it any more and here I am, here is where I’ve made my home.

So, in this reality, there are things I have to deal with, things besides the essentials, like sleeping and eating and earning a living. Things like Ken and Lucy and Her (capital allowed), because that’s all that’s left now. These are the only things I have to deal with now, so what’s stopping me? Maybe I’ve just run out of steam, maybe there’s no oomph left in me, I’ll just have to accept all these unresolved things that are bugging me.

But then again, maybe not.

OK, Ken. Here I come.

I’m going to sort you out at last.

Ken will be in the club, he’s bound to be, it’s like his domain, his kingdom, and he likes to sit on his throne in the bar, his fat gut pressed against the dark wood table, the cheeks of his fat arse hanging out the sides of the chair. He’ll be drinking as usual, smoking dope, nipping off to the toilet or his office now and again to stick some cocaine up his ugly nose (although he pretends to have a weak bladder), that’s the one thing he seems to be ashamed of – his weakness.

Problem is, I can’t be seen in the club, can’t be seen by anyone tonight, got to avoid the CCTV cameras and the nosy cops – got to get through the network of Ken spies like Gollum – got to kill the bastard. That’s the only way it will end unless I just disappear, vanish into that land of bumness where nobody knows and nobody cares. But I’m not going to do that, because I’ve got pride, and besides I wouldn’t leave the rest of them in the shit like that, because there’s bound to be some repercussions (not all of them bad I’m sure but I can’t take the risk).

So it’s got to be Ken.

He’s got to have it.

He’s got to go.

A random bit of live writing (Feb 2016)

How do you choose which bits of your life to focus on when you write or attempt to write some kind of autobiography like this? What are the criteria? Hmm. I suppose it depends on who you are writing to – yes – because when you write, or at least when I write, I have a ‘reader’ in mind, even if that reader is just an abstract notion of myself – my future self. Like a diary I suppose.

But so much happens in just one day, one hour, one second even, if you drill down into the depths of your psyche and think out to the expanse of the universe(s). Continue reading “A random bit of live writing (Feb 2016)”

This is it

This, of course, is to no one. This is just me babbling in the dark, somewhere in the depths of the universe. This is no where. I am no one.

But – things go on, around me, inside me, in other places I can’t imagine right now but may become known, in a small way, by reports in the media tomorrow.

It emanates out and becomes weaker for every centimetre; it sends back small titbits for consumption to make stories.

We all live in the howling wilderness at the edge of the universe. Where else could we live? That is what life is.

***

Whodunnit?

Whodunnit? You just might find out over the next two days.

Tomorrow and Saturday, June 1st & 2nd, Cardiff Central Library is the location for the Crime and Coffee festival, a very special gathering to celebrate Crime Writing.

Meet some award winning crime writers and find out what makes them tick, how they approach their work and where they get their inspiration from.

Full details here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/cdfcrimefest

I am very pleased that I will be appearing at 1pm on Friday as part of a panel discussion with two other local authors Phil Rowlands and Evonne Wareham.

Details of the panel discussion here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/FHFHEJ

Come along and discover the gems that this unique collection of talent has to offer

Crime and Coffee – Panel Discussion with local Cardiff authors

UPDATE: For 2019’s event click here:

This should be interesting . . .

As part of the 2 day Crime and Coffee festival hosted by Cardiff Libraries I, along with two other local authors will be discussing our very differing approaches to Crime Writing.

My focus will be on my trilogy of stories featuring Detective Inspector Frank Lee, an ex punk New Age Traveller, who, to the dismay of his family and fellow travellers, became a copper to catch the ‘real bad guys’.

Bums, the first novel in the trilogy is already available. the second book, Beats, is due at the end of this year and the final in the trilogy, Bones, will be published in 2019.

Come along on Friday June 1st at 1pm to find out more about our unlikely police detective.

The other two authors on the panel are Evonne Wareham and Phil Rowlands, both are great writers with their own unique take on Crime Fiction

Here’s a link to more info about the panel discussion and the rest of the festival: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/FHFHEJ

Click here for more about Bums, Beats, Bones and DI Frank

Crime and Coffee at Cardiff Central Library

UPDATE: For 2019’s event click here:

Coming up:

Friday June 1st and Saturday June 2nd 2018, Cardiff Central Library has organised this unique and very special event.

I’m very pleased that I was invited to take part and will be appearing as a panellist for the Friday lunchtime event at 1pm.

The Festival itself is spread over two very full days and features many amazing crime writers including two great local authors Evonne Wareham and Phil Rowlands who will be on the panel with me. We will be discussing our motivations and differing approaches to crime writing.

More about Evonne at: http://evonneonwednesday.blogspot.co.uk/

More about Phil at: http://www.philrowlandswriter.com/

More about the festival at: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/cdfcrimefest

 

wednesday, march 4, 1998

radical writers gather
at the dylan thomas centre
on wednesday night
in early march
during st david’s week
also known as ty llen
in the maritime sector
of swansea.
with nigel jenkins,
who says ‘i’m just a gower farm boy’
and ‘i make bugger all from my writing’,
others discuss cabbage soup,
and mike jenkins talks of majis,
and  spliffs,
we drink pints of cwrw,
and don’t live in red wine republics,
with sculptors’ sons,
near seven sisters rugby club,
published by seren,
or gomer,
or parthian,
or even honno,
and the university press
come barefoot
to see mike jenkins
and 2 women
one a filmmaker
the other an historian
look at the 1930s
and wives of miners
sheep roll over cattle grids
red-necks complain
while welsh nats
and painters
listen to stories of shop boys
who steal your breath
the writer sought three wild bards up a mountain
to make his name – alun richards
back to a muddy car park
past the books on sale
in daps
looking chic
down the m4
past the traffic lights
with our own agendas
to beat own drum
words like dirty snowdrops
at home a welcoming spliff
away the celtic warrior
and weasels of valleys
present voices of wales
bits of llais cymru
chasing arts council
vocational grants
why not try self-publishing
like roddy doyle
where’s irvine welch
on the internet
in a web
handing out pamphlets
to a welsh mam
she’s barefoot & still nuts
but, harry, he’s a poet