Archive of entries posted on

Tim Clare’s Cone O’ Tragedy: The 100 Little Kindnesses

The 100 Little Kindnesses I sometimes catch myself thinking – even preparing to say – I worked damn hard to get where I am today. Always with that tone of shirty defensiveness. Worse, I sometimes – increasingly less often, but sometimes – look at the successes of others and think: but I work so hard! […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts: In The Barber’s Chair – The Joined Ones

Welcome to Death Of 1000 Cuts – making you an awesome writer, one cut at a time. Today it’s time for another installment of In The Barber’s Chair, where we look at someone’s first page then go at it with the scissors. A while back I asked you to send me the first page of […]

Poem O’ The Week: Five Pigs

Every Wednesday I post a new poem – a first draft, a response to something in the news, or a commission. If you’d like to request a poem on any subject, pop a message in the comments box below or email me via the ‘Contact Me’ link on the right, giving me a title, or […]

Welcome To The Fantasy Zone Presents: Vigilante

Release date: 1988 Systems: Arcade, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Sega Master System, Commodore 64, Sega Game Gear, MSX, TurboGrafx-16, ZX Spectrum New York spent the 80s gripped by violent crime, fuelled by unemployment and the crack epidemic. By the middle of the decade, its reported crime rate was over 70% higher than the rest […]

News Monday

Hello dear friend – isn’t it a nice day? I went swimming in the sea at Eastbourne today. Which is to say, I tiptoed towards freezing, mazy tendrils of spume, terrified of receiving a toxic weever fish dorsal spine to the heel, dived into the waves, screamed, and ran back out again. But it was […]

Tim Clare’s Cone O’ Tragedy: On Poetry And Pickles

Last Saturday I took part in an all-night poetry workshop at Writers’ Centre Norwich that ran from midnight til 6am. I didn’t know what to expect, aside from tiredness. Titled ’16 Ways of Writing a Poem’, it was run by Mario Petrucci. I won’t go through his 16 ways – I’d like to preserve the […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts: Cut 3 – Tell, Don’t Show

Thursday is fiction day – my posts are for those of us working on the noble art of lying to strangers for money. Death Of 1000 Cuts is my chance to expound honestly about ways to make us all awesome writers – one cut at a time. I’m a published author, I teach creative writing […]

Poem O’ The Week: Three Old Men Playing Cards

Three Old Men Playing Cards DuBois dealt cards with the slow, pyroclastic menace of a burning pirate: ‘the knave of spades – a forthcoming chateaubriand will prove substandard; the knave of diamonds – dumb crambo culminates in a switchblade grapple; the two of clubs – you win a set of tuning forks in a raffle; […]

Welcome To The Fantasy Zone Presents: KUNG FU MASTER

Release date: 1984 Systems: Arcade, NES, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Commodore 64, DOS, ZX Spectrum Last week we dealt with player vs player beat em ups’ inauspicious beginnings in the form of the dire Karate Champ. Today, we look at the considerably less turdy first flourish of the side-scrolling beat em […]

News Monday

This week I’ve got gigs in Norwich and Glynde. On Wednesday 22nd I’m doing a set at the Birdcage in Norwich. There’s a slam on which you can sign up to. Starts at 8:30pm. On Sunday 26th I’m doing Meadowlands festival in Glynde. I’ll be on some time between 4pm and 6pm. See you there […]

Tim Clare’s Cone O’ Tragedy: How To Deal With A Heckler

How To Deal With A Heckler Occasionally, in your stand-up or spoken word career, you may have to contend with a difficult audience member. This need not spoil your set. Indeed, it may offer you an opportunity to develop as a performer. Just follow these simple rules*. 1. Remain Calm It’s easy to become flustered […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts: Cut 2 – Stop Handling Causality Badly, Causing Me To Hurl Your Novel At The Wall

Stop Handling Causality Badly, Causing Me To Hurl Your Novel At The Wall He sat in a large stone room, baked by enormous firepits that cast a garish light upon the revelers, causing beads of sweat to form on their skin as they danced, and drank, and yelled, and sang, and clapped. – The Way […]

Poem O’ The Week: Sunrise In The Corpse Garden

Sunrise In The Corpse Garden We have named them after fungi: the blusher, destroying angel, the sickener, penny bun. I take a swatch of glottal tissue from penny bun’s throat and suspend it in alcohol; sun strikes the bottle; flakes of skin turn black as gold. Stinking irises unjaw at the first fingers of dawn. […]

Welcome To The Fantasy Zone Presents: Renegade

Release date: 1986 Systems: Arcade, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, NES, Sega Master System, Virtual Console, ZX Spectrum Renegade is not a classic. Let me level with you right from the off. Sometimes a game gets rendered obsolete by successive iterations (I’m looking at you, Streetfighter II), sometimes everyone was […]

News Monday

Oh my gosh – the last of the blossom is fluttering from the trees and festival season is nearly upon us. This is what it means to get older – the weeks whooshing by in a flurry of seasonal descriptors, faces and locations riffling past like a card deck. I hope you’ve been able to […]

Tim Clare’s Cone O’ Tragedy: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Performance Poetry

On Tuesday night, coming home from my gig in Hackney, I had an idea. Well, ‘idea’ is too grandiose – more accurately, I felt irritated about something. On Wednesday morning, I splurged the idea in a poem. By the afternoon, I was getting feedback online. I tried the poem out in my set in Cambridge […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts: In The Barber’s Chair – Drug War by Peter

This week, I’m starting a semi-regular feature called ‘In The Barber’s Chair’, where we look at someone’s first page then go at it with the scissors. Last time, I asked you to send me the first page of your novel or short story. Reader ‘Peter’ kindly obliged. The idea is to show good compositional principles […]

Poem O The Week: Dear American Slammer

So every Wednesday I post a new poem. It might be something I’m working on, it might be a warm-up piece, or it might be a commission based on something you’ve requested. If you’d like to suggest a title or you’ve got a subject you’d like me to have a crack at, chuck your suggestions […]

Welcome To The Fantasy Zone Presents: Karate Champ

Release date: 1984 Systems: Arcade, Nintendo, C64, Apple II You know those movies that are ‘important’, because they gave birth to a new genre? You know how they usually suck? Yeah. Karate Champ is one of the earliest beat em ups, the foundations upon which such vertiginous edifices as the Streetfighter and Tekken franchises were […]

News Monday

This week I’ve got three gigs: Hammer & Tongue @ The Victoria, Hackney on Tuesday 7th May (7:30 doors) Hammer & Tongue @ The Fountain, Cambridge on Wednesday 8th May (7:30 doors) UEA Creative Writing Society Showcase @ Olives, Norwich on Thursday 9th May (7:30 doors) Be lovely to see you at any of them. […]

Tim Clare’s Cone O’ Tragedy: On Optimism

Friday is grab-bag day – opinion pieces, reviews, shout-outs for cool stuff I think you’ll like, etc. I’m calling it ‘Tim Clare’s Cone O’ Tragedy’ after my dear departed blogspot blog. If you have any requests for stuff you’d like me to cover, let me know. If you have any books, albums or video games […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts: Cut 1 – Be Blunt

I’ve been working as a manuscript assessor for nearly a decade. Jesus. It involves reading aspiring authors’ novels and explaining why I think they haven’t been published yet. I teach creative writing for the Open University. I did the MA in Prose Fiction at UEA. I presented the C4 series How To Get A Book […]

Poem O’ The Week: I’ve Got A Vintage Pop-Up Shop

I write poems. For the past four years I’ve done a project called 100 Poems In A Day, where I write 100 poems in a single day, taking title suggestions from people and posting the poems online as I write them. I also created a thing called the Poetry Takeaway (with a lot of help […]