Did someone say it’s International Short Story Month…?

Do you know what shit’s going down this month? Dudes? Do ya? In a month that apparently includes “STAY UP ALL NIGHT” day, “ROOT CANAL APPRECIATION” day and the most fantastic “CHICKEN DANCE” day, it’s only bloody well International Short Story Month as well. And do you know what this means? Dudes? Do ya? It means that I want to hear your best short story recommendations. They can be stories you’ve written, stories by other people you love, stories that just don’t have a home to go to so you felt sorry for them and took them in. I’ll start…

Grind Spark Earworm #11 – The Prodigy

This week I am finally able to share the news that Grind Spark hit the longlist for the Bath Novel Award – one of only 32 novels out of 649. This is all pretty darn cool and since I heard the news I have celebrated appropriately with wine, beer, chair dancing and shouting HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS? NO, WAIT, I CAN’T SAY YET BUT IT’S AS EXCITING AS A KANGAROO FIRING PARTYPOPPERS FROM ITS POUCH. Ok, well, maybe not that exciting. But I’m not sure anything is ever more exciting than kangaroos. But enough shouting and partying, time to…

Grind Spark Earworm #10 – Two Fingers

It’s time for the next instalment of the Grind Spark playlist. Last week we took in the jittering pulses of Radiohead’s Feral. If you were busy drowning in hot cross buns and chocolate, then listen to it now. This week I’ve been suffering from toothache. An insistent, persistent fire in the side of my face that sprouts periodically from a bored wisdom tooth. The sort of toothache that leaves you constantly checking your chin for dribble while clutching at your cheek as if your head might completely fall off. Or explode. It’s not that I ate lots of chocolate over…

Where is all the writerly wisdom?

Well, Easter’s been a darn fine time. There’s been chocolate, there’s been tea cakes, and the cat has been in a spectacularly epic bad mood which culminated in savaging the mother in law (but at least it didn’t require a trip to the Emergency Room… let’s not talk about the last time that happened…) And, what’s more, there’s been extra days off from the daily grind, like the weekend just decided that enough was finally enough and went on a bender with Friday and Monday, only to be discovered a few days later handcuffed to a lamppost and talking to…

Grind Spark Earworm #9 – Radiohead

Last week the Grind Spark playlist took us somewhere dark and unsettling from the ’70s – the years when Ball Buster seemed like a good idea at the time. And the music was from the genius mind of UNKLE – go and disturb yourself now. So right now I imagine you’re soaking up the daytime beer with a steaming hot roast, and the kids are eyeing the Easter egg boxes on the shelf but they don’t know that you ate three of them last night so they’re just going to have to share what’s left… they won’t notice that the…

Grind Spark Earworm #8 – UNKLE

Last week the Grind Spark earworm took us to the epic soundscapes of Sigur Ros – listen to it and get lost in mountains here. This week, well, this week it’s time for something completely different. It’s time for something that I didn’t even realise came from an advert before I searched YouTube for a clip of the song. It’s time for something that probably seemed like a good idea at the time (well, it was the 1970s). This week, we’re listening to UNKLE‘s Getting ahead in the lucrative field of artist management. Which also happens to belong to the…

Grind Spark Earworm #7 – Sigur Ros

Last week we took a break from the Grind Spark playlist to hear the sounds that whip your creative muse into action. Thought of some more? Then get yerself over there and add em in. But now we’re back, spiralling down into the dirty ribcage of the Grind Spark earworm. And this week it’s gone a bit epic. This week we’re taking in vast sounds and sucking up the power of nature. And it’s piping direct into our brain tubes, and there’s no escape. And it’s so much bigger than us. And the mountain doesn’t care if you’re beneath it…

Interval time at the Dust Lounge – what’s your earworm?

It’s interval time for the Grind Spark playlist this week. We’ve had six fine noise noodlers to tickle your phono-holes, and there will be more to come. But this week, the earworm tables are turning. This week the dog with the gramophone is handing over the crank stick. This week, I’m asking you – what’s on your playlist? What tunes get your creative head buzzing and your inspiration screaming at you that you should be making something, be creating something. AND IT SHOULD BE THIS, OR THIS, OR THIS. But whatever it is, put this song on and just bloody…

Grind Spark Earworm #6 – Boards of Canada

How’s the Sunday roast going today? Chicken? Pork? Bean-based baked snack? Well there’s more Grind Spark earworm to help you through the over-cooked broccoli and the burnt potatoes. Last week we were up in the fields with Aphex Twin’s Avril 14th. Listen to it now or forever lose the secret ballerina within your soul. And you shouldn’t lose the ballerina. Too many are lost to the wind already. This week we’re meeting up with the masters of the underhand marketing tactics. They released their album in the middle of the Nevada desert. They left clues as to the location on…