On this absolutely frigging awful pig of a week, here’s another episode of my ridiculous creative writing advice podcast. I hope you’re all right and I hope you enjoy the show. It has me doing possibly the worst dialogue read ever recorded. Audible, you have my email address. Start bidding for my services whenever you feel ready.

If you’d like to submit something for a future podcast please read the submission guidelines, which I realise refer to the blog version and I need to update. But the meat of it is basically correct.

Here’s the extract I look at in this episode:

Phillies (by D)

“Get you another?”

I lift my glass. Light. Nearly empty. Ice-cubes swirl, but no longer clink.


“Same again?”


She’s not wearing heels. Comfortable flats. I can barely hear her footfalls as she walks away down the bar.

The door clatters as someone leaves. There’s frost in the draft that swirls past my stool. One more clatter as the door swings shut, and everything is still again. By my count, I’m the last customer.

“There y’are, hon. Six fifty.”

I hand her three notes. One from the left pocket, two from the right.


“Thanks for the drink. You busy?”

“Not so busy tonight, hon.”

“Quiet night, huh?”

A finger taps my hand. I open it. Two coins. I pocket them.

“Uh-huh. It’s pretty cold out.” Southern accent. Tennessee, maybe. A long way from home.

“You mind talking a while? You got things you need to take care of, you let me know.”

The smallest of pauses.

“No, hon. I can talk.”

I sip my drink. Bonfire smoke and Christmas.

“D’you know the worst thing about being blind?”

“No hon.” She’s wary. “What’s that?”

“The worst thing about being blind – ” I take another sip. ” – is not being able to see anything anymore.”

She laughs, relieved if not actually amused, and after a moment I join in.

One more sip, the glass cool and clean in my hand. Run my finger round the rim. A patch of rough. Old lipstick, probably. Not so clean.