Tuesday, 5 February 2013

STUMBLING ON . . . Feb. 5th 2013 - Good intentions and porridge - plus Paul Brazill reviewed . . .

So, I had plans. At the start of the year. Resolutions, if you will. The coffee, the chocolate, the crisps, and sort of the biscuits - they all had to go. And they have. But there were other resolutions. Writing ones. Important ones. If I was to make a real go of this writing lark, they needed sticking to. Up at half-five every morning, write for an hour and a bit before getting the kids up for school. Handwriting, of course - what with the computer being buggered up at the time.

But then half- five became quarter to six, and writing became 'I'll have me breakfast first . . . then I'll have a shower . . . then - blimey, look at the time.' I'm now rolling out of bed at about seven.

What happened?

Life, that's what.

Kids being ill - all set for a cracking writing week this week when Summer goes down with an ear infection - my English degree course to do, household stuff to sort out, shopping to get . . . In short, the glamourous life of a house-husband.

 An eerily accurate representation of the inside of my head

All excuses, I know. Rubbish excuses, at that. A thousand words a day became four hundred became none.

But behind all those chores, John, the narrator of LOOK AWAY - was still talking to me. And every day I hear him clearer.

I made time last night to look at the last few thousand words of what I'd written, and though I liked it, something wasn't quite right. Funnily enough, the part disturbing me was how John finds his way home after ending up many miles away. He thought things were fine, life a doddle, home and work all dandy and stuff, but then realises it's not as straightforward as he thinks. You never know when life might lead you astray. John needs to get home. Quick. Before everything falls apart.

And so did I. I'd fallen off the writing wagon, so to speak, strayed from the path, found myself wading through a porridge of procrastination.

 What procrastination looks like . . .

In counselling terms, it's called 'parallel process'.

It's like the inside being played out on the outside.  And in writing, if you look carefully enough, it's happening all the time. But once you realise it, once you realise what's going on, it just goes away.

Mad, it is.

And now, before I go and find my pen and notebook - no idea where I've put it -  a review  . . . .

 In snow smothered Warsaw, English hack Luke Case encounters Jolanta, a beautiful young woman with a gangster husband.

From the pen of  International Thriller Writers member Paul D. Brazill, Red Esperanto is a new Warsaw set short story that is as noir as the night and as sharp as a razor. 

First Paragraph
The winter night had draped itself over Warsaws Aleja Jana Pawla like a shroud, and a sharp sliver of moon garrotted the death black sky. I was in the depths of a crawling hangover and feeling more than a little claustrophobic in Tatiana's cramped, deodorant-soaked apartment. 

Paul Brazill is a name known and respected in Brit Grit circles - one of the very best. And in Red Esperanto his laconic, atmospheric, style is used to great effect. Brazill's ability to delve into the dark corners of this world and pull out characters breathing dirt and coughing up their livers has unearthed Luke Case.

A true anti-hero.
Red Esperanto is a short story -  the tale of Luke Case - as seedy a journalist as you could wish, or wish not, to imagine. Set in Warsaw, the story opens with Case in an illicit tryst - perhaps the politest way I can put it - with Tatiana, the wife of a rich businessman, a big player in the city.

But it's a dangerous game he is playing, as Case is not the only fly caught in the net of Tatiana's lustful machinations . . . as he is soon to find out.

Red Esperanto is available to download in the US here and in the UK here 

Highly recommended for those of us who love to walk in the shadows and drink with the lost and dispossessed.

 Great stuff.


  1. Grazie mille!
    Dziękuję bardzo!
    Ta much!

  2. Pleasure, sir. Death on a Hot Afternoon coming up in a couple of days . . .