Category Archives: One Million Project

Supporting Cancer Research UK and EMMAUS through the One Million Project

Timepiece~~by Mark Huntley-James


I hate being late, loathe the last-minute rush, dread the prospect of uttering that well-worn phrase sorry I wasn’t here earlier. In fact, I suffer from that common complaint, a chronic punctuality infection. This particular train of thought came about as I stepped off the ladder (roofing job before the weather turns on Wednesday) and remembered that this article is due today. In fact, it ought to have been done already.

That’s one of the challenges of chronic punctuality – it doesn’t stop me being late, just makes being late very uncomfortable.

Oddly enough, many years ago, I knew a chap with punctuality issues known as The Late Mister Dale.

Since moving to Cornwall over fifteen years ago, I have tried to chill and adopt the Cornish principal of dreckly. When will this article get written? I’ll do it dreckly. It’s akin to mañana, but without the urgency. Perhaps…

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Caught With My Pantser Down – The Search For Paladin Po~~by Mark Huntley-James


Note to self – write about the perils of being a pantser.

Fortunately, I only wrote that a few weeks back, so I remember what it means. It further sticks in my mind because I was complaining to my partner about my troubles with the noteless Paladin Po, one of those cases where I’m trying to pick up the pieces of a part-finished book months, or even years later, and the note makes no sense, or there is no note at all.

(The original title for this was Take Note, but that lacked something in the click-bait stakes**.)

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Plotters walk away now because otherwise you will be trying to read this whilst shaking your head in disbelief, but for the pantsers out there, take note, take lots of notes, and make them sensible notes that will still mean something in twelve…

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“Grammar, What Big Teeth You Have” ~~ by Mark Huntley-James

Some thoughts on writing I did for the One Million Project.


Grammar rules, OK.

Breakages will be reported, criticised and condemned.

I never learned much in the way of English grammar.  Plenty of French, Latin and Greek, but very little English.  I’ve largely forgotten the former three, and now I just struggle with my native tongue and frankly the natives can get pretty damned restless if not outright hostile.  For some reason, there are two things which bring out the tyrants, the complainers, the rabid proselytisers – grammar and spelling.

When I was a kid I was frequently told that there was no such word as ‘can’t’.  Not even finding a suitably recent and liberal dictionary containing the fabulous ‘can’t’ could put an end to the assertion.  There simply was no such word, no matter how many people used it, in speech and print.  Now roll on a few years, to my teens, and those immortal words: to boldly go where…

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A Good Idea ~~ by Mark Huntley-James

The most recent piece I wrote for the One Million Project


I have a head full of good ideas, or at least they look superb provided they stay in my head.  It’s like when we have to take our huge fluffy cat to the vet for his recurring eye problem – in the controlled environment there, he stays still, perhaps purrs, and eye-drops go in.  Away from the vet, in the wilds of our kitchen, he wriggles, wails and scratches, defying the firm embrace of a towel and ensures that most of the eye-drops land on the floor, in his ear, in my eye… anywhere except where they are supposed to go.

Good ideas are just like that from the moment I let them out of my head.  In fact, even the rubbish ideas do the same.  The moment I want to wrap words around them, the ideas wriggle, bite and scratch so that what comes out is nothing like that…

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