The Footie Bet


Josh and Darren grew up in Manchester, the city which is home to a rather big football (soccer) rivalry between Manchester City & Manchester United.  The two shifters root for rival teams.  They enjoy betting against each other, and not always with monetary winnings.  There was a Manchester derby recently and this was the result. 

“A kilt with nothing underneath?” Darren repeated for the third time the words his good friend and packmate, Josh, had just uttered. “A kilt?”

“Your team loses, as they do, you wear a kilt with sod all on underneath.”  Josh hadn’t been interested in the normal hundred quid bet on the upcoming derby. “For the rest of the week.”

“Why the bloody hell would you torture me with that mental image?” Elaine shuddered dramatically then started down the hall toward the tech den she called a home.  She paused outside of Steve’s office. “Oi, bossman, I’m taking next week off if the barmy fox is flashing his legs.”

“If that’s all it takes, I’ll come in starkers tomorrow.”  Darren joked before darting out of the way as a pissed off cougar tore after him. “Watch the manly bits, bloody hell, you…”

Enough!” Steve’s frustrated snarl caused everyone to freeze in place.  Elaine, in cougar form, paused with her sharp teeth at Darren’s throat. “Change back, Elaine, please?”

She shifted back and hopped off Darren to her feet. “Sorry, boss.”



“Can I go one bloody day without feeling like I’m taking care of a bunch of ten year old kids?” Steve shot a quelling look at Darren when he started to comment. “If you bloody wear a kilt to work, there better be something on underneath it, I don’t care if it’s pink knickers.”

“Kinky, boss, very kinky.” Josh dodged the smack to the head Steve sent his way.

“Get to work.”

An Ode to The Voices in My Head


Dear Voices,

I adore you.

But please bugger off.

There are things which I need, like an insignificant thing called a good night’s sleep.

You lot keep yammering away in my brain as if I’ve got nothing better to do than write constantly all the time.  If you could simmer down just very briefly I would be eternally grateful and less likely to light you all on fire.


An Exhausted Writer


Blackbird Advice: Tea


I thought I’d ask a very important and critical question to the pack this morning.

What’s makes the perfect cuppa tea?

Elaine: Not having the bloody wankers here make it.

Josh: Oi!  I make good tea.

Elaine: You make a bloody mess.

Josh: It’s part of the process.

Elaine: For what? A ten year old?

Josh: Can I smother her with a pillow?

Steve: No.

Josh: Poncy bastard.

Steve: What was that? Were you volunteering for the night shift for the next six months?

Lorcan: He was.

Can we get to the question? What makes a perfect cup of tea?

Elaine: Chocolate digestives.

Darren: What the bloody hell does that have to do with tea?

Elaine: Everything.

Gareth: The perfect cup of tea requires someone else making it.

Steve: Lazy wolf.

Gareth: And who made the last six cups of tea you drank?

Steve: I have better things to do than answer silly questions.

Gareth: That’s what I thought.

This still hasn’t answered my question.

Lorcan:  The perfect cup of tea requires  quality tea, water boiled in a kettle, and a decent amount of time for the tea to stew.

Darren: Ponce.

Lorcan: And how do you make your tea?

Darren: I retract my statement.

Elaine:  Idiotic wankers.

I believe that’s all we’re going to get out of them today without breaking chairs.

If you have  question for the pack, be sure to shoot me an email.


Blackbird Advice: Favourite Words


I thought it would be fun to ask the pack some of the questions that James Lipton uses on Inside the Actor’s Studio.  So here we go.

What’s your favourite word?

Josh: Rabbit Stew

Elaine: Prat.

Josh: Answer the bloody question.

Elaine: That is my bloody answer, you prat.

Steve: Patience.

Gareth: Slick.

Natasha: Yes.

Darren: Footie.

Lorcan: Mo shíorghrá

Darren: I’ve got a quid that say that’s some romantic shit.

Elaine: Is nothing sacred with you?

Darren: Footie.

Moving on.  What’s your least favourite word?

Lorcan: Rabbit Stew.

Elaine: Normal.

Josh: Manchester City.

Darren: Manchester United.

Elaine: Can I point out those are two words?

Darren: No.

Steve: My least favourite word is hospital, particularly if Ivy or any of my pack are in the damn thing.

Gareth: Beta.

What’s your favourite curse word?

Elaine: Wanker.

Lorcan: Pillock.

Josh: Shit.

Steve: Damn.

Gareth:  Which he never uses, he says fuck in the morning if he nicks himself shaving.

Steve: Gareth.

Gareth: That’s almost a curse.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Josh: Football player.

Gareth: Same.

Elaine: Except the two wankers have about as much footie talent as a tortoise.

Lorcan: Bartender.

Steve: Professor.

Josh: With Ivy as the naughty school girl?

Gareth: That is…

Steve:  All the time we have for today.
Insightful as always.

Don’t forget, if you have any questions for the pack, just shoot them over to me. Email

An Ode to the Comma


Dear Comma,

See, see what I did there?

I realize how necessary you are to making sense of the lengthy sentences and paragraphs we authors are prone to using.  I understand the impact you can make on a simple statement, shifting the meaning from one thing to another.

I acknowledge the necessity of your existence.

But could you, for the love of all things holy, stop being such a bloody bastard while I’m editing?

Have mercy on me and my obvious lack of ability to use you correctly.


An author clearly driven to utter distraction.

Blackbird Advice: Saying No


Another question posed by a reader: “How do you teach yourself to say no?”

Josh: No.

Elaine: Pillock.

Josh:  No. See? It’s easy.  I’ve said it twice already.

Elaine: It’s not so bloody easy for everyone, you smug arse.  Some people make an attempt at politeness.

Darren: Says the narkiest feline in the pack.

Elaine: I said some people.

Gareth: Name one person in this pack that’s polite.

Natasha: Lorcan?

Josh: The boss?

Gareth:  Steve? Steve is polite? On what bloody planet is my mate polite?

Steve:  I’m right here.

Gareth: And you’re not bloody polite.

Steve: I’m the epitome of a gentleman.

Darren:  Can we natter about the actually bloody question before I vomit on you?

Steve: Uncouth cretin.

Lorcan:  The best way to teach yourself how to say no is to practice it.  People have a hard time saying no because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  There are times you have to put yourself first.  It doesn’t make you selfish.

Natasha:  Polite, yes?

Josh:  When can I turn him into stew?

Lorcan:  When you can out-shoot me at the range, so never.

Josh:  You….

*Sounds of chairs falling over and scuffling*
Steve: And we’re done.

Don’t forget, if you have any questions for the pack, just shoot them over to me. Email

Blackbird Advice: Heartbreak

Two wolves playing near forest

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to question the pack about love and loss.

I’m confident the Blackbird Security Firm will be as helpful as always.

/end sarcasm

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Darren: Of course.

Gareth: Wait for it.

Darren: Fell in love the first time I saw myself in the mirror.

Elaine: Smug prat.

Steve: Elaine, stop swatting Darren on the head.


Steve:  Stop hitting the poor bastard on the back as well.

Moving along, have you ever had your heart broken?

Darren: Yes.

Natasha: I am sorry, Lysytsya.*

Lorcan: Not so bleedin’ smug now, eh?

Josh: Ask the next bloody question before I decide I’m hungry for stew. Rabbit stew.

Have you ever broken someone’s heart?

Josh: Bloody hell.  Ask a different type of damned question.

Lorcan: Testy kitty.

*pause for scuffling*

Steve: Sit your asses down and answer the damn questions before I force the two of you to work together for an extended period.

Josh: Cruel boss, very cruel

How do you demonstrate love?

Josh: Getting stark naked tends to help.

Elaine:  Perverse wanker.

Josh: Hey, I’m not the damn fox.

Darren: Oi, you’re supposed to be on my side.

Lorcan: The best way to demonstrate love is to offer the one precious commodity we never get enough of–time.


Gareth: Well, shit.

Josh: If the bunny’s wise, does that mean I can use him for stew this time?

And I think I’ll wisely decide to leave this week’s post here and let Steve settle his pack down before they break something–or each other.

*Lysytsya – Fox


Don’t forget, if you have any questions for the pack, just shoot them over to me. Email