AJ Reid

Notes from the Paradise Peninsula

Category: Uncategorised (page 1 of 2)

“Feuilles Mortes” Shortlisted in Writing Magazine’s Poetry Competition

Delighted to have made the shortlist for this one, being the first poetry competition I’ve entered in a few years. Thanks to Writing Magazine. It will be available to read in a collection called The Crystal Barrel, due for release later this year.

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Autumn Morning on the Dee Estuary

Moonset 7amMoonset 2Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

My New Novelette “Grey Noise” is FREE Today on Amazon

What happens when a disturbed sound engineer snaps?

Patrick McDonagh is a Liverpool sound tech who truly understands the old saying that “silence is golden”. Highly-skilled behind a mixing desk, but undervalued due to his lack of charisma and social graces, he remains forever on the fringes of the music industry, picking up whatever crumbs he can to look after his mother in their terraced house by the docks. What most people don’t know about Patrick is that alongside the guitars, drums, bass and vocals, there has always been the mysterious grey noise and fortunately for everyone in his little black book, he’s always been able to ignore it … Until now.

As he decides whether to exact his vengeance upon the lead singer of Summer Seems So Far, the grey noise builds to a crescendo, inciting deadly violence and macabre scenes at their wildest gig yet. Find out whether Patrick survives his jaunt through the Glaswegian underworld to fulfil his dark agenda in this rock and roll crime novelette, written by the author of A Smaller Hell.

Reviews:

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional. 21 May 2015

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent short story, delves in to the sometimes murky dangerous world of Rock music, drugs and unpredictable self important so called rock stars clutching at their miserable ego boosted existence, AJ writes with believability, a very enjoyable story, hope there’s much more to come.

 

4.0 out of 5 stars A quick read 1 Jun. 2015
By jane
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Short and sweet but kept my attention till the end wish it had been a little longer. Great character and event description and darkly funny at times.

 

Get your copy FREE today:

US readers: CLICK HERE

UK readers: CLICK HERE

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The Parable of the Poisoned King

There was once a wise king who ruled over a vast kingdom. He was feared for his might and loved for his wisdom. In the heart of the city, there was a well with pure and crystalline waters from which the king and all the inhabitants drank. When all were asleep, three witches entered the city and poured seven drops of a strange liquid into the well. They said that henceforth all who drink this water shall become mad.

The next day, all the people drank of the water, but not the king. And the people began to say, “The king is mad and has lost his reason. Look how strangely he behaves. We cannot be ruled by a madman, so he must be dethroned.”

The king grew very fearful, for his subjects were preparing to rise against him. He had a difficult choice: risk being destroyed by his beloved subjects or drink from the poisoned well and become mad like them. So that evening, he ordered a golden goblet to be filled from the well, and he drank deeply. The next day, there was great rejoicing among the people, for their beloved king had finally regained his reason.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Birkenhead Police

Welcome to the Paradise Peninsula, ye scurvy dogs.  Break the law and feel the cold steel o’ me cutlass.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Strange Waves

Last night aboard the Sarinda, I heard a sound from the cockpit.  The wind was easily blowing a force five, so I assumed something had come unstuck and fallen to the deck – no big deal.  Usually when that happens, I can feel the vibrations in the wood.

This time I felt nothing.

The sound just happened.

A black cumulonimbus drifted over the sunset and took what remaining light there was, while the wind grew to a force six and began lashing me with rain.  I unlocked the cockpit to take shelter in there while the storm passed.

The first thing I came face to face with was the old radio, disconnected and a long time dead.

Or so I thought.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Grey Noise: Rock and Roll can be Murder

Now available on Amazon:

What happens when a disturbed sound engineer snaps?

Patrick McDonagh is a Liverpool sound tech who truly understands the old saying that “silence is golden”. Highly-skilled behind a mixing desk, but undervalued due to his lack of charisma and social graces, he remains forever on the fringes of the music industry, picking up whatever crumbs he can to look after his mother in their terraced house by the docks. What most people don’t know about Patrick is that alongside the guitars, drums, bass and vocals, there has always been the mysterious grey noise and fortunately for everyone in his little black book, he’s always been able to ignore it … Until now.

As he decides whether to exact his well-deserved vengeance upon the lead singer of Summer Seems So Far, the grey noise builds to a crescendo, inciting deadly violence and macabre scenes at their wildest gig yet. Find out whether Patrick survives his jaunt through the Glasgow underworld to fulfil his dark agenda in this rock and roll horror story, written by the author of A Smaller Hell.

Only $0.99.

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Tuning Up

Photographed in Crash Studios, Liverpool during rehearsals with psychedelic rock trio Limehawk.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Happiest Moments of my Birthday

1. Opening my cards, especially my nephew Baxter’s, which he had picked himself. It had three Bengal tigers on it, just like Richard Parker from Life of Pi.
2. Listening to Rory Gallagher with my dad, like we used to on our way to work in the van.
3. Nando’s for lunch with the family, despite Bax’s little accident (“Me threw up on my chips”).
4. Reading all my lovely birthday wishes online.
5. Answering Baxter’s very insightful questions about Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade while we watched it on TV (we skimmed over National Socialism somewhat).
6. Pillow-fighting with Baxter on “The Mountain”.
7. Drinking fine whisky with one of my oldest friends, talking blues and guitars and laughing like drains.
8. Blade Runner Blues and deserted, sparkly streets on the walk home.
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The Horseman’s Dream Map

A rough map of the British Isles as they will be in the future, having been decimated by rising sea levels.  It’s based on elevation, but also evacuation points for major cities in the event of such a disaster.  Edinburgh and Glasgow sadly did not survive, but two old Navy warships are anchored where they used to be, and they are named after the now-Atlantean cities.  They also guard the Caledonian Straits and prevent citizens escaping from the mainland to the dangerous climes and harsh wildernesses of The Highlands, where they cannot be controlled or surveilled.  Sheffield is now the British capital, and Leeds is a major port.  The most climatically dangerous areas are marked in red, and are generally abandoned.  Dartmoor and Exmoor are exceptions to that rule as these islands house institutions.  In the case of Dartmoor, the prison – and indeed the whole island – is designated for the criminally-insane: those deemed too dangerous or too expensive to rehabilitate roam here.  Exmoor is home to the largest prison complex in Europe.  The structure is built to withstand the drastic changes in climate, whereas many of Dartmoor’s original buildings have been damaged and left to rot, like the inmates.

 

Having lived near the sea all my life, it has permeated every nook and cranny of my consciousness like saltwater and sand.   My childhood playground was a marsh next to an estuary, and is still my playground now.  It’s something that will never leave me.  It might seem odd to mark the time spent away from the sea, but I feel as if I’ve been locked in a box when I spend too long inland.  There are possibilities when you’re next to the sea, even a large river: it’s a gateway to the world, if you have enough imagination.  The professor’s boat is actually based on a friend’s, moored in North Wales.  I visited him recently, and over a bottle of rum and a hurricane lantern, he imparted that he was leaving for Iceland to clear his head.  I clanged some dreadful quip about Peter Andre and/or Kerry Katona, but he was completely serious, and asked if I wanted to crew.  I asked how long we’d be out there and he replied, ‘a couple of months, probably’.  I turned him down, but the combination of rum and imagination seems to have cemented the idea in my head like a mooring bollard.

I suppose we all have our reasons for going to Iceland.

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