How a Story Starts?


Last week, whilst at work and trying to avoid, you know, work, I opened a fresh, white, unsullied Word doc and tip-tapped away for twenty minutes. I’ve not written prose in first person before, so thought I’d give it a go and see what came out.

Here’s what came out.

The start of a story? A quick exercise that I’ll leave unfinished? WHO KNOWS?!

(I haven’t polished this up. If the grammar is wonky, or it reads like crap, SO BE IT.)

(You look lovely today, by the way.)

The Last Woman

I may be the last woman alive, and I’m dancing around in just my undies singing the oldie classic ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ at the top of my voice. Never took a single dance class. I guess I’ve either gone full fruit-loop (technical term) or I’m trying to distract myself from getting all the way over there. Either way, it’s a bad-ass tune and I do a killer version. TRUTH.




So let’s do a recap for all the listeners at home. It is now day forty-two of my stay here on the Moon. Full bed and board courtesy of NASA. The accommodation is adequate, hell of a view, but geez, the atmosphere here is seriously lacking. (har-dee-har, me so funny!)

Actually, maybe it’s day forty-three. Or fifty. It’s all a bit hazy. I seem to have a chunk of time missing (which yes, is SCARY AS A MOTHER FUCKER), and the computer won’t give me a straight answer. (SCARY AS A MOTHER FUCKER x 1000)

I came here with five other hardy souls. Now there’s just me and I have no idea why.

Kinda sucks. Yeah.


So why on God’s grey moon (ROFL, LOL, PMSL, ETC) am I carrying on filing these mission reports? Maybe they’re just bouncing around, going nowhere. No one to hear them. Just space, space and more fucking space.

I suppose I keep hitting ‘send’ on these things, hoping someone is still receiving them down there. Donne,  or Simon, or whoever. Pete. It was usually you replying to these things before. So I’m gonna go ahead and pretend it’s still you I’m talking to. So how’s it going, Petey? What did you do last weekend? Get lucky? Yeah, I bet you did, you sly dog.

I hope you are getting these reports. And will excuse the bad language. But fuck it, I think the situation gives me a pass, yes NASA?

God I hope someone is hearing me.

But that’s not the whole reason. When I file these reports, for a moment or two, I don’t feel quite so alone. Quite so very obviously far away from anyone else. Quite so obviously fucked. Filing these reports is normal. It’s part of my daily routine. To just let that go… to accept that no one is getting these. No one is going to respond. No one is coming…


No, no, no.


At some point, I’m going to open the door again. I know that.


Okay. Wow. Sorry. Got a bit blue there. Bit down in the dumps. Hey! I am alone on the Moon in the middle of my own personal episode of The Twilight Zone, cut me a little slack, alright Petey? So what was this chicks name? The girl you hooked up with at the weekend? Was she hot? You deserve someone hot, Petey. Someone with a bit of junk in the trunk. Yeah, I know what you like, Petey boy.

Me? Oh, I guess I woke up pressed against the ceiling in an empty base with a killer headache wondering what the fuck was going on, where my crew were, and why no one on Earth wanted to talk to me anymore. So I guess you win that one Petey. I hope you treated her right.


Okay so I kinda have a lot of time alone with my thoughts these days, and I’ve come up with a few possibilities.

NUMBER ONE: I’m dead. Let’s start with the obvious. I’ve seen enough movie and TV shows with this hacky premise. Enough books, too. So I died doing… something. Don’t know what. Maybe the moon habitat was compromised and we all bit the big one. Frank cut his toenails and one of those hoof-chips whizzed right through the wall. Or I went outside and something nasty happened. I got run over by Killen or Talia joy riding in one of the buggy’s, or went out for a wicked hop around the Moon’s surface and didn’t spot a mile deep crevice. That would be typical of me, so lets say that. Death by my own stupidity.

So that’s where I am. Dead as a dead Dodo which is dead. And I guess this is purgatory, otherwise they really oversold this whole Heaven thing. Unless this is Hell, I guess. The knocks on the door. I… no, no, no: OKAY! Let’s get back on track, let’s not think about that right now.

So- Number One: I’m dead. If that’s it, then okay. It sucks, but at least I’m still me and aware. Things could be worse.

NUMBER TWO: ALIENS! Don’t laugh at me Petey.

I’m in some sort of Human Zoo being watched through a two-way mirror by bug-eyed monsters from the planet Zigilig 3. (Nice place to visit, wouldn’t wanna live there.)

NUMBER 3: I’m in the Matrix. Self explanatory.

NUMBER FOUR: Fuck knows. Something freaky and scary that ain’t gonna end well for your plucky heroine.

Sure be nice to hear your thoughts on my ideas, Petey. Maybe you’ve got some ideas of your own. I’ll be here waiting if you wanna run any past me.




And that’s the end of that. I wonder what’s going on? Will I carry this story on? Only future me, and possibly Space Jesus, know for sure.

That’s it.




10 Sensible Ways to Avoid Distractions


It’s very easy to get distracted. For example, I was going to write this piece earlier, got distracted by a reflective surface, and spent the next 37 minutes contemplating the majesty of my facial bush.

As a writer, distraction is the enemy. An enemy with an alluring caboose that you can’t help but follow as it wiggles across the room. So what can you do to make sure that you don’t succumb and actually GET SOME WRITING DONE?

Here’s ten top tips from me. If these don’t work, you may as well feed yourself through a mangle, cos’ there ain’t no hope for you.

1) Punch to the nuts every time you take your fingers off the keyboard. If you’re  a woman (some people are) do what you feel best approximates a nut-punch. Tit punch? Run ovary first into the corner of a table? Up to you, have fun with it.

2) Didn’t make your word count for the day? Stare at the sun, without blinking, until your eyes no longer work or your head explodes.

3) Spent the last twenty minutes staring into space? Lick a just boiled kettle.

4) Enjoy drinking a strangers urine? If the answer is ‘no’, go to your nearest public toilets with the container of your choice. Scoop it across a urinal trough, or wipe an absorbent cloth across the floor and squeeze the collected yellow dampness into the container. Take a sip each time you get distracted. (If you answered ‘yes’, do the same, but as a treat for each hour of uninterrupted writing. You’re a winner!)

5) Train a tiger to maul you to death each time you try to move away from your laptop. (What about pee breaks?! Pee breaks are for people who finish drafts. NO PEE BREAKS FOR YOU!)

6) Somehow (I don’t know how, I’m just the ideas man) have your laptop set up so the browsing history will be emailed to everyone you’ve ever met if you don’t write a minimum of 2000 words per hour.

7) *gets distracted looking at pugs dressed like superheroes*

8) Every third time you step away from your laptop, eat an apple fashioned from horse poop. (Make sure you have a minimum of six fresh, steaming horse poop apples ready to go each morning)

9) That deadline you set yourself now so far in the past it’s  hanging out with *insert well-known 80s pop culture icon here* ? Go on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and so forth and declare that perhaps Hitler was right about all these Jews after all. Post same message 93 times. Do not respond to any replies. Bury laptop and mobile phone at sea. Simple ceremony, nothing too grand. Start new life as a bare knuckle boxer known only as ‘Fat Fists O’Malley’.

10) Avoid the temptation to write blog posts. No one cares about what you think, ya’ dummy!

I hope you have learned something in this blog post, I know I haven’t, and I look forward to hearing which of the above fool-proof methods worked best for you.

That’s it.


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New Newy Newness



So what the heck have I been up to, aside from making the guys & gals swoon as I strut by in my tight-tight jeans? Well, I’ve been writing a butt-load (technical writing term). I’ve completed the first novel in a post apocalyptic-ish, alien invasion-ish (though not)(wait, what?) series, started the next book in that same series (I mean, there aren’t aliens in it. As such. Sort of? Kind of zombies too. Though they’re not zombies), written a horror/time travel novelette, and another spooky novelette on top of that.


So as things stand, I have five books with at least first drafts finished, and a couple more started. By the time I publish I’ll have at least seven complete stories.


I really wanted to get way ahead before I put anything out, because I believe it’s important to be able to increase your back catalogue fast in the indie world when you start out. You want a wide digital footprint, and to have lots more stories available for any readers who take a chance on you, otherwise they’ll move on and forget.

Plus more books just means more chance of finding something that breaks out, and more revenue streams.

I’m all about the dollar, dollar bills, y’all.

My plan is to finish that second non-invasion, alien invasion, non-zombie, sort of zombie (WTF is it?!), end of the world series novel, plus chuck the last 20,000 words on to the end of something else. This will all occur over this month and next, and then….


“B-b-b-b-ut, when is it Matthew, you great hunk of spunk?! Don’t leave us hanging like this!!”

It’s soon. So, so soon. October soon. What’s more, I’ll be releasing ‘A Monstrous Place’ and one of the novelette’s at the same time.  YUP: two prime slabs of Stott available for you, my loyal fans, right out of the gate. SWISH! And guess what? If you sign up to my list, you’ll get Monstrous before it’s even published.


Okay. Cool. Go away.

Love you.