What is Restless Voices?

Basically it's short stories. 140 characters or less.

I'm Nick Warren and I try to waste five minutes each day on pointless creativity. Restless Voices was the result.

The naked stories we're published on Twitter, with commentaries and self-congratulation here. The project ended in mid-2012 after the Restless Voices eBook was published.

About Nick
I'm a husband & father, and in my spare time I run Semantic, the UK's most relaxed web studio.

I try not to overthink things.


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The end... for now

I love endings.

As a kid I had a book of Robin Hood stories. I loved them all, but 35 years later it is the ending that has stayed with me. Robin, old and dying, shoots one final arrow.

"Bury me where this arrow falls" he says. And dies.

How awesome is that?

Alas I am not Robin, or Arthur sleeping beneath Avalon, but the love of a good ending has stayed with me. Nothing is permanent, nothing lasts forever. Everything ends.

And so it is with Restless Voices. I'm done.

I wanted to say 'thanks' to all of you who have read, enjoyed, spread and replyed to 'Restless Voices' over the past few years.

Over the last few months, between family and my day job at Semantic, I've been editing the 'Restless Voices" ebook. It's 130 of my favourite stories, along with commentaries and some things I learned on the way. 

It went live on Amazon yesterday for $0.99 (or local equivalent).

But of course money isn't the point. I'm proud of the book, and the work that went into it.

Those of you who've followed for a while will remember that I was inspired by reading Hugh McLeod's 'How To Be Creative". This project was always about fun, creativity and art. Of doing something for it's own sake, for myself. It has been one of the great pleasures of life that other people have enjoyed it.

I still hear voices, of course, they are just telling me to try something new for a while. The @NickWarren Twitter account is staying, although I expect posting to be light for a while.

cheers for reading, enjoy the book.


12th July 2012 


First poem for years

Dark night. Got in a fight. I'm alright - but the other guy's dead - hit in the head. He shouldn't have said it, shouldn't have spread it.

I tried to resist, but he made me so pissed. He said it out LOUD, and though I'm not proud... of what I did then, I'd do it again.

You canna back down, not in this town. It's kill or be killed, strike or be filled with the shame of your name in the gutter, they mutter...

... your crime, careless of time - their eyes on your back, ready to hack at your weakness, your meekness, your very uniqueness. 

So I killed him. I filled him with all of my rage, and while on the stage poured scorn on his word, I called it absurd as I smashed him...

... and crashed him into the floor. He spoke never more. I stumbled and fumbled my way to the door, aware of their eyes, of how they despise

... a man like me. Perhaps they can see, the shame I feel, having ended this youth, not for the lies that he told - but the truth.


As it turned out the road to hell wasn't paved with good intentions, it was broken glass and fishhooks.

I think "good intentions" are used to pave roads elsewhere, mostly outside churches, charity shops and gynasiums I expect. That phrase never really made sense to me. 


He killed her with his words not his hands. It took longer, a lot longer, but he was a patient man with no desire to go to jail.

You can do anything if you pick the right words.


"That's the curse of curiosity," he said, "I'm interested enough in everything to be genuinley good at nothing."

Autobiographical. I'm a butterfly brain... as if that wasn't obvious enough from the work.


"You don't have flu," she said. "If you had flu you'd be too ill to spend all this time bellyaching about how ill you are."

I try hard not to do this... but the sympathy of a good woman is a heady thing.


"Fat people losing weight are statistically way happier than slim people gaining it," he said. "Life is all about direction of travel."

True for me... its much more about where I am going than where I am. Understanding this was a huge moment for me.


"There are two types of people," Dad said, "those who make things happen and those who watch things happen. One's hard, the other's boring."

I want desperately to be the first... as long as it takes absolutley no effort on my part. 


They came for my father late at night. There were four of them. "Old friends" he said, but I heard the lie. I never saw him again.


"I used to be a writer," he said, "but then the web happened and totally fucked my ability to concentr…"

HA ha Ha ha ha ha ha h... oh, look at this video of a cat in an amusing situation...


John's last act of faith, age 87, was to write a list of "Questions for God". It broke him. He finally understood that nothing made sense.

I went to visit a very old and very much loved aunt. She is very old, and I came away wanting very badly to believe in God.

That or an early death.



"I don't hate thin people," she said. "I hate fat people who got thin, and won't stop bloody talking about it."


"I hate him," she said. "A conversation with him is like a chess game. You don't realise until later he was 3 moves ahead."


God's Mum...

God's Mum from Nick Warren on Vimeo.


I haven't done a story to camera before, but I had a few minutes to spare today so thought I've give it a crack. Might be fun to do from time to time.

I like the idea that God had a mum who was as exasperated as any parent. The thought stemmed from the fact that we all behave like kids most of the time... especially the adultss up" from time to time.

Not sure how God's mum affects the ontological argument for his existence... probably best not to think about it...


"God is a dirty cheat," said the old man. "As my age moves me closer to heaven, my envy of youth makes it less likely I'll get inside."

I think this all the time, bit I'm not envious of younger people I meet. I'm envious of my younger self. 


"It's easy for you to be generous," she said, "You have so much." He said nothing.

When was the last time you did something that was really generous, not just token generous?

No, I don't know either.


The ghosts tore at her, whispering their fears, but she faced them down and left the house.


We chatted about his family for a few minutes before I shot him. I like to be 100% sure I have the right target. It's a professional thing.

I like to think that everyone has standards. I generally try to think the best of people.


She didn't just keep grudges, she fed and nurtured them.

I once went out with a girl like this - not a relationship destined to last.