First 1000 words of “The End of the Garden”

Since I was last posting I went through a series of Depressive Episodes before I found a regimen of therapy, meditation and supplements that helped. I’ve managed to go a couple of months without SERIOUS suicidal thoughts – actually considering the means etc. I have the odd few death wish thoughts but the’re relatively mild.

In other news I attended a discovery day for new authors held at Foyles, Charing Cross Road where Literary Agents Curtis Brown did a meet, greet and read for authors. The line was through the door and there were timed slots all through the day. I gave them the first three pages of my novel and they loved it. I need to try and get it finished this year and then submit it. They’ve given me a name to submit to so I’m now very motivated to think, act and plan as a writer rather than as a wannabe.

So pleased to present the beginning  of “The End of the Garden” by Yusuf (Smiley) Yearwood. (1st novel on backburner, 2nd novel cooking nicely) Continue reading

Why do so many multi-writer films stink out loud?

Why do so many multi-writer films stink out loud?

Because writing is solitary. It’s a vision thing. You can’t listen to other people while you’re talking. You can’t explore your vision while others are trying to make you see their vision.

Putting a group of writers in a room is like putting a half dozen cats in a box. Someones going to get f*cked, someones going to get scratched and someones going to wind up curled up in a ball in the corner.

Writing 101 Day 5: Think on your sins (My best of April 15)

Today’s Prompt: You stumble upon a random letter on the path.You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

None of us will ever know the whole story in other words. We can only collect a bag full of shards that each seem perfect.

— From 100 Word Story‘s About page

Brevity is the goal of this task, although “brief” can mean five words or five-hundred words. You might write a fifty-word story, as writer Vincent Mars publishes on his blog, Boy in the Hat. Or you might tell your tale in precisely one-hundred words, like the folks at 100 Word Story — an approach that forces you to question every word. Continue reading

Bad writing…



Writing 101 Day 4: I deleted my best friend and I’m sorry

During a particularly bad patch some time ago I was chatting to my oldest friend Arliss Porter. I had known him since taking my A-levels and we were as matched as any man I’ve ever called brother. We thought the same movies were good and hated the same music. Neither of us fitted into the mainstream portrayal of Black Manhood. We liked guitar music, didn’t drink, looked terrible in baggy trousers and made lewd jokes about Nietzche and Descartes.

Continue reading

Writing 101 Day 3: caveat lector means “let the reader beware”

Today’s Prompt: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

Nailing Brahms’ Hungarian Dance Number 5 on your alto sax. Making perfect pulled pork tacos. Drawing what you see. Or, writing a novel. Each requires that you make practice a habit.

Today, try free writing. To begin, empty your mind onto the page. Don’t censor yourself; don’t think. Just let go. Let the emotions or memories connected to your three songs carry you.

Today’s twist: You’ll commit to a writing practice. The frequency and the amount of time you choose to spend today — and moving forward — are up to you, but we recommend a minimum of fifteen uninterrupted minutes per day.

  • Keep your hand moving. (Don’t pause to reread the line you’ve just written. That’s stalling and trying to get control of what you’re saying.)
  • Don’t cross out. (That is editing as you write. Even if you write something you didn’t mean to write, leave it.)
  • Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar. (Don’t even care about staying within the margins and lines on the page.)
  • Lose control.
  • Don’t think. Don’t get logical.
  • Go for the jugular. (If something comes up in your writing that is scary or naked, dive right into it. It probably has lots of energy.)


My three songs are Prince Charming by Adam and the Ants, I against I by Mos def and The Prayer Bloc Party. These are the songs I play when  I am trying to play the beast inside, Thats what I put on my headphones when I want to feel stronger, more confident. More me.

Prince Charming is silly, whimsical to the ear. A product of the eighties, sugar puff pop. But the beat is hypnotic, unforgettable and the words are nuirsery rhyme simple and direct and far more positive than most people understand.

“Prince Charming, Prince Charming. Pretty Cool the’re nothing to be scared of”

I dare you all look it up on YouTube, sing along and doi the dance before a date or a presentation and tell me you dopn’t feel better, giddy even. And then we have my next song The Prayer

“God give me strength and dancing wings and the power to impress”

“Tonight make me unstoppable, and I will dance, I will turmn I will dazzle them with my wit.”

#OnRepeat is one of my tags I use on my posts. I will literally listen to the same song for hours on end so I can hold onto the feelings I feel when I hear them. feel power, confidence, flow well up inside me. Control my soul with music. Hypmnotise myself with music. Like Joe 90 preparing for his next mission (10 points Gryffindor if you get that reference)

*i AGAINST I” is my war song. When I ride out, OK step out that the song i can hear over the blood thundering in my hears. Thats my thunder of a cavalry charge. Thats my statement of intent, Not gangster, not hardcore, but still masculine, majestic, agrressive, like a boxer padding to the ring like a predator cat  about to charge and strike


Writing 101 Day 2: Slipping

Often it happens just like this. I envy the “Jumpers” who can control when they go as well as where they can go. I’m not a “Jumper”. I guess I’m more of a “Slipper”


I’ve never had that their ability. I get a window of opportunity and I can take it or forget about it. I think it’s a thinning in the fabric of space / time I can sense and traverse. All I know is I’m here and then I’m there. Not knowing when I’m going means I always keep a bag handy just in case. Passport, pills, packed clothes in a carry-on bag. One at home, one at work.


And so it happened today. I felt it before anything else. All of a sudden a massive change of pressure in my sinuses, my skin feels tight, actual f*cking sparks on the hairs on my arms.


I stand up and I look around like a meerkat peering over the walls of my cubicle, no-ones looking. Some are at lunch, some are skiving, most are in meetings. I log off my computer hurriedly change from my shoes into the sandals I keep in my desk draw. In go the shoes, in goes the shirt. Jeans, sandals and t-shirt. Perfect.


The air leaves my lungs and I have just enough time to grab a hold of my travelling bag.

When I ”Slip” it feels like falling off the back of a bench or chair. That giddy feeling, that sense of “uh –oh” Continue reading

Writing 101 Day 1: Dear Older Smiley – a reminder from your younger self

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Dear Older Smiley,

Hiya – its your younger self I don’t know if you remember me? I was you just after your Winter of Discontent. You came to the end of your tether, teetering on the edge. Hang-gliding over hell.

It was a bad time and you learnt the hard way the answer to a lot of questions about who you were and what you  wanted out of life. By the way how did that work? Life, I mean. Continue reading

What Does a 40 Year-Old Man Wish He’d Known at 25? –

“Try and get used to rejection and failure as soon as you can and up until you don’t care any more, so you become a person that isn’t afraid of it. And of course, try and learn from your mistakes or (even better) other people’s. Be observant.

The sooner you do that, the better life will be for you. You’ll be able to get to old age with little regrets.” Continue reading

Black, British & Muslim; We’re not just a “Complication”

Amen! My name is Smiley Yearwood and I approve this message!

Media Diversified

by Momtaza Mehri

The last UK census undertaken in 2011 showed that Black Muslims made up 10.1% of the British Muslim population, not counting Muslims of mixed Black heritage. The British Black Muslim reality is whispered in hushed tones, it is the Jamaican converts frequenting inner-city mosques, the Nigerian doctors administering your prescriptions, Somali working mothers who nurse the aged in recession-hit care homes. We navigate a precipice few would want to tiptoe in 21st century Britain; the two-pronged realities of unbridled Islamophobia and established racism.

Black British Muslims possess our own distinctive heritage spanning centuries of blood, nobility and disenfranchisement. When Elizabeth I wrote of the need to control the number of ‘blackmoores’ brought into her realm, she was speaking of the many Black interpreters, musicians, servants and sailors who inhabited major English cities in the 1600s. This was a multi-ethnic and certainly multi-faith populace, hailing from what…

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