Friday, May 10, 2013

Still here?

For some reason or other, I am still seeing several more visitors here than I would expect. If you are wondering why there have been no posts here for a while, there is a very simple answer: the blog has moved! My latest news (stories, music, reviews, etc.) can all be found at

I also co-produce and write for the Every Photo Tells... podcast, which is at

The Lunacy Board music can be downloaded at


Some Other Scotland is my podcast novel, still running over at

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Doug Boucher - Buy the ticket, take the ride

Doug Boucher

I went to investigate the reason for one of my favourite bloggers' recent quiet spells today (he has changed blog host before and I suspected that was the reason) to be met with some tragic news. Doug died following an incident where he was tasered by police at a store for a minor misdemeanour. Anyone familiar with his writings (and they are usually not for the faint-hearted) would recognise the events leading up to his run-in with the law, as he had described numerous similar encounters, all good-natured and almost always resulting in someone (okay, usually a teenage redhead) being left feeling good about themselves.

The fact is that Doug lived the rock 'n' lifestyle to the best of his ability; not the drug-addled, constant partying mythology, but the real, gritty, struggling musician fighting for good, live music in the face of audiences who want to hear the same crap as they are spoon-fed on x-pop-idle-factor. It took him a while, but he did find a venue for his own blend of cover versions and original compositions that took a Zappa-esque delight in mixing the serious with the absurd.

As well as music, he loved writing, most often in a style influenced by Hunter S Thompson or H P Lovecraft. His occasionally posted recipes were always entertaining to read (and yes, his Gumbo recipe is pretty damn awesome), as were his tales of how he discovered certain bands and his explanations of his own bass and guitar-playing influences.

I can say with confidence, that it was Doug's blog and his dedication to music that helped get me back playing music regularly after a break of many years. It gave me great delight to hear his enthusiasm for the piece of music I constructed around his original solo bass tune, "Requiem", which then featured on our first album, Eponymous Debut.

<a href="">Xenochronous Requiem For A Head Laying In A Field In Butler by The Lunacy Board</a>

I had hoped that I'd get to work with Doug again in the future on another project, but that was not to be. He leaves behind him two great achievements. Firstly a small, but thought-provoking and entertaining body of written and musical work and secondly his daughter Katie, his pride and joy, whom he taught to question everything and enjoy a good fart joke.

So long, Doug, keep on rocking!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Should Be Writing

I Should Be Writing

Mur Lafferty, author of "Playing for Keeps" and the "Heaven" podcast series amongst other things, has recently posted an article written by me on her "I Should Be Writing" blog.

The blog is the companion to her regular podcast aimed at new and aspiring writers, one that has provided a great deal of help and inspiration to guide me on my way. The article deals with the particular challenges of writing an ongoing piece of interactive fiction like "Some Other Scotland" and how I keep track of where it is going and ensuring it stays on course.

It is aimed at fellow writers, but if you are interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the SOS podcast, you might well find it interesting even if you're not a writer. Do take the time to check out Mur's own podcasts at the site; they are quite different to SOS, but you're sure to find something of interest.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great Hites Catch-up

Somehow I have managed not to mention a whole truckload of things in the last month. Rather than off-load them all at once, I'll stick up a series of short posts to get back on course.

First of all, since I last posted, there have been another two stories posted to Great Hites, both 'Some Other Scotland' spin-off tales.

GH Week 66 "Wearing sunglasses in the early morning."
Breakfast Hat [sos]
Sometimes people just don't want to be found. This is a short tale about what happens to Razer between wiping out the Empire State Building and finding himself in deep water.
GH Week 67 "A man with a duck-headed cane is at the door."
Hide and Seek [sos]
A detective is sent on a chase that can't end well. It is a longer tale set during the Second World War, giving the full story of the detective mentioned by Erica in Episode 16 of SOS and the previous attack on the 'Merk'.

Since these are spin-off, they will both appear in the main SOS podcast feed in the future.

In addition to those, I recently included a 100-word story in the SOS feed that was to have been submitted to the 100 Word Stories podcast. It also gives more information about the first attack on the 'Merk' in a highly-condensed form.

There was also a bonus prompt for Great Hites recently for a 100-word story, written with a tight deadline, on the subject of "Spicy Mustard". Like "Kelvin's Last Message", this is set in the future of SOS and may never come to pass. I will post the link to this when it becomes available.

Finally, just a reminder that there is a link on the right of this page that will take you to all my short stories, headed "Mick's Short Stories".

Monday, August 31, 2009

Let's make a PodioRacket!

I'm doing a live chat and interview with PodioRacket's Rhonda Carpenter on Monday 31st August at 2:30 pm PST / 5:30pm EST / 10:30pm UK (BST) and there will be prizes:

  1. Name a character - we'll be taking suggestions for names of some of the new characters introduced in the last week or so of the podcast.
  2. Call with a question or ask in the chatroom - the best one will receive a signed copy of the SOS short stories.
  3. Twitter about the show to receive a free copy of the music from SOS.

Full details of the competitions can be found at the BlogTalkRadio PodioRacket website.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waltzing With Werewolves


This week's Great Hites episode includes the biggest number of stories to date, with a number of new authors joining in and existing authors pulling out all the stops to make this a really good stepping-on point if you've never visited the site before.

The prompt for the stories was "Silver Bullets; the real reason that some cowboys carried them" and as you can imagine this has resulted in a number of werewolf-westerns as well as a few more unusual approaches. There are 12 stories in total, so Jeff has split it into 4 chunks, but it is all well worth a listen or two.

Two of the stories are mine: "Waltzing with Werewolves" is a 100 word love story set to music in a sort of spoken-song format, whilst "Silver Solves The Dilemma" is a fairly traditional western tale, but with werewolves and a somewhat skewed moral code.

Incidentally, the introduction music for each part that Jeff talks over is the theremin solo from The Ballad of Rufus Amos Adams - the country song I wrote some time ago for the Masters of Song Fu. Follow the link for the whole song.

Over on 'Some Other Scotland' this week, the action heads over the Atlantic to New York where the final scene shows how the influence of the story is reaching far beyond the shores of Scotland, with some devastating consequences. I was delighted to have Philip 'NorvalJoe' Carroll join me as the guest voice for Razer's American friend Kyle, who provides him with a place to lay low for a while. The two of us also concocted the creepy promo for Great Hites that you'll hear in the same episode, which was fun to put together.

Live Interview and Chat

Finally, I have been invited to do a live interview and call-in chat with on BlogTalkRadio on the 10th of August. I will have more information about this shortly, but in the meantime, visit this link to set an email reminder of when the show will be broadcast.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Take It Away!

Piano Keys

Over at Great Hites, my story "Take It Away" has proved reasonably popular amongst the people who take the time to vote. It tells of a great pianist who returns to his old school, whereupon he sits down at the old wreck of a piano he last played in his youth. The music teacher who stands watching him is surprised by the result.

This coming week is going to see a bumper Great Hites episode, with 12 stories being included, no doubt due to the prompt being related to cowboys and werewolves. More details when the episode is posted online, but I wrote two stories for the prompt, one of which just so happened to also fit the prompt for 100 Word Stories this week, which was "The games we play". That means you'll be able to read and/or listen to one of my stories from next week's Great Hites in advance. It is called "Waltzing with Werewolves" and is in a spoken-song format with musical accompaniment.

Some major changes are afoot in the world of 'Some Other Scotland' later this week, with something that will force the plot out into the public view in a rather impressive fashion. I'm keen to get another interlude episode out this week as well, so keep an eye on the website.

Finally, I have had some great support from Seth Harwood, author of "Jack Wakes Up", following his appearance on the live Podioracket talk show. He has very kindly played the promo for SOS on the latest episode of his "Hot Tub" podcast, side-by-side with one for Arlene Radasky's book "The Fox". Arlene has been a strong supporter of SOS from early in the life of the podcast and I'll be talking a little about her book in the next Interlude episode.