Frivolous Monsters

Archive for the tag “Manchester”

Becoming A Professional Writer

To gain writing experience this time around I tried to avoid this sort of long-distance nonsense and enrolled on a history of short film course at the Cornerhouse; travelled to a workshop for writing radio drama in London; paid fifty pounds to get the inside track on an upcoming BBC sitcom from its producer; travelled to hear professional playwrights and TV writers; enrolled on writing, scriptwriting, and acting courses at the Oldham Coliseum; and on the back of a local Council-run course I got my first short theatre piece performed at the Bury Met.7 The greatest thing you can say about that was how the Mayor of Bury walked out on it: and he was there officially, chain and all.

Texas

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Horror Film Writer

It took me a long time to realise that I write because it is within me. That it needs to out. And looking back throughout my life it’s emerged from me in some form or another from unfinished childish jotting to a couple of short stories sent to magazines; and from a student website built from scratch to programmes for parties after I’d told people that parties required such a thing; and all of this despite being a slow reader where English was my weakest subject.

hammer-title-card

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Good Fortune

I used to work for a living. That, I can say. And it was after commuting for an hour into the centre of Manchester every morning on public transport, then hightailing it another thirty minutes out the other side, that I eventually got into the routine of stopping off at the university canteen just before journey’s end, full of eager students and hard-hatted building site workmen, for a hot cup of coffee and a couple of toasted teacakes.

cards

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The Reading Room 08 – The Final End

I do not cope well with change. Of that I am sure. For my kamikaze writing career I’d come to rely upon my small table outside the toilet in Costa Coffee and the reading room in the library, as they were the only places in town where you could sit quietly and do some work1, and so I was therefore distraught when I was cast out of the reading room, beyond the reach of spiritually bereft librarians for ever, and it had nothing to do with hanging about with strange men in there like you might imagine. Library

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The Reading Room 01

The Central Library, right by the bus station, is a large Edwardian building built after the Victorian paper manufacturer Thomas Wrigley bequeathed his sizable art collection to the people of Bury thus requiring somewhere to house it.1 It became an ever-modernising cultural centre containing, alongside the art, a museum, an expansive library, reading rooms, computer rooms, and the town’s historical archives. A treasure which undoubtedly still goes unappreciated by many.

Library

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126 Local Sheep

In the run up to Christmas there was a spate of crimes worthy of the local gangsters of old – The Quality Street Gang1 – and perhaps the most audacious act was when someone just down the road from me, under the cover of darkness, stole a whole field full of livestock which the local newspaper totted up as 126 sheep and two rams.

sheep

A Close Shave (1995) / Aardman Animations

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Like A Spearhead from Space?

I only decided late on Saturday night to go into Manchester the following day when I purchased the last on-line ticket for an event which I had known about for months. Talk about last minute decisions, but what can I say? It’s the skin of the teeth, seat of the pants, way I seem to roll.

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Toilet Tales 05

As a local writer of no celebrity and even less fortune I naturally dine at the finest tables and hang out at the trendiest scenes. And by that I, of course, mean the library reading room and the lowliest possible table in Costa Coffee outside the toilet door where no-one ever wants to sit. But by frequenting these locations it does put me in the sphere of influence of certain local characters.

Costa Coffee

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Toilet Tales 04

When I was at Bangor University there was an edict passed down by the head of department that no visiting prospective student should be taken above the sixth floor, because they didn’t need to see what went on up there; for a clean-living physical chemist like himself he considered the organic research groups to be dirty, seeing as they actually did proper chemical experiments, and for him, safely ensconced in his first floor office, they were the departmental shame.Bangor View

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Toilet Tales 02

Having given up a so-called proper job to become a writer I reviewed my end-of-year accounts where in the In column I had fifty pounds which I’d won on the premium bonds, the two tickets I’d won to an American podcast recording in a science-fiction bar, and the two I’d also won to a National Theatre play. And that was all. I’d once been disillusioned about the paltry sums earned by writers, but even so this was going some.Space Monkeys Manchester Bryan Johnson Brian Q Quinn

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