haters gonna hate – even the shit i be proud of, yeah?


at home at work at play

coogit bairns – sandie craigie

It’s amazing how birthdays bring out the bitter ‘n’ twisted in us all. I didn’t even realise how pissed off I still am about this.

Today would have been Sandie’s fiftieth birthday, had she lived.
When you don’t see someone for a while before they die (and the funeral’s an invite-only affair exes aren’t invited to) closure’s like hen’s teeth scattered over rocking-horse shit. Eight years since she died and I’ve never stopped thinking I see her, only to realise it’s a stranger.
Her poem, ‘mother’ dealt with the same thing:

‘My own reflection,
blind and frightened.
And so I look for her,
In other women.

Eight-and-a-bit years on and she’s still the only poet whose work has made me cry.
In 2006, eighteen months after her death, I met steve (networm) jones, the bloke she dumped me for. Things were terse at first, but soon degenerated into weeping and hugging, both of us surprised to learn that the other hadn’t been permitted to attend the funeral we’d been kept from.
I was there when they cremated her shell, at mortonhall. A few dozen of us, defying the orders to stay away, the crematorium staff, (who’d been told no-one would attend) embarrassed by the crowd.
We filed into the wee chapel, no god-botherer there to mouth platitudes. The box carried in. We stood. Silence. The box went down into the flames. We left.
Outside, floods of tears and a trip to the cauldron, a boozer she’d frequented in life. Me telling the bar staff that if they turned the jukebox up, we’d cry more and buy further drink to replenish the liquid we were weeping out of our bodies. Nick Cave, the Cramps, loads of Bowie – (and yeah, the bar staff did as they were instructed.)
When I wrote ‘at home at work at play’ a few years ago, the funeral-party scene was based on that afternoon. Yep, even the bared breasts and the drug-fucked pensioners.


throne of agony – scraping foetus off the wheel

I’m finished. Well, apart from one more dossier (for someone who’s only in two scenes) and the last two scene-by-scene breakdowns.
There’s one more day left before I commit NaNoCamp.
The other day, I ran up a template for breaking each scene down into each of the five senses (and ‘other’) – hopefully, when it comes time to rip into this beast, this’ll speed things up. I can just surf on the creativity and the sensory stuff’s there like a skeleton for me to do my pornographic acrobatics on!
It’s a far cry from my first NaNo in July of 2011, when all I had was the main character’s job and his marriage/power dynamic (of course he was in a FemDomme relationship; what am I? Some sort of fuckin’ weirdo?)
There’s no kinky sex whatsoever in this outline. In fact, ‘at home at work at play’ was the last time I wrote about what I regard as sex. Which is almost two years ago. Which is almost as long as I haven’t been sexually active – on my own terms.
Funny, I hadn’t considered that til now. Maybe I should do something about it, but not before May first, for sure!
After all, I’m going to spend the next month typesurfing, with all the symptoms of childbirth AND constipation.
And that’s true scientific fact, that!

now, why not read the novel that started it all? 1919 (inside)

Guaranteed – absolutely NO traces of horse DNA anywhere in this novel. And that’s the truth – or my name’s not David Cameron.

108 – head of david

National Novel Writing Month ( takes place every November and I really can’t recommend it highly enough.

NaNoWriMo (as well as camp NaNoWriMo, now held in June and August) give one the opportunity – and encouragement – to attack a novel, to squeeze out a first draft in a month.

After a life spent waiting for something like this, I’ve hurled myself into it and, using the programme (and, in March this year, pretending to) I have written five first drafts in the last thirteen months.

And yes, it is down to perspiration, not (so much) inspiration. Doing this once will teach you how easy writing a novel actually is, doing it several times in a year rams home how much better you’re getting over that year.

An artist friend once told me that if you draw something every day, it doesn’t matter if it’s a skinhead or a kettle, after six months, you’ll be amazed at the difference between your early attempts and today’s. Plus, after six months, even the casual observer should be able to tell which are the skinheads and which are the kettles.

I read a really good quote from Ernest Hemmingway earlier – “there is nothing to writing – all you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Oh, and those five first drafts? ‘At home, at work, at play’ (July 2011), ‘The last film’ (November 2011), ‘Light entertainment’ (March 2012), ‘No feeelings’ (June 2012) and ‘Dystopian’ (August 2012).

at home, at work, at play – sparks

I discovered national novel writing month early last year and it blew me away. I joined at once and started making plans to write the great Gowkhall novel in November.

I just happened to look in at their site in late June last year, where I learned that camp NaNoWriMo started on July first – three days later. I immediately cleared the decks and wrote the first draft of ‘at home, at work, at play’ with little or no preparation, in around twenty-five days.

This, from what I gather, is known as ‘pantsing’ – writing a novel, by the seat of one’s pants. Making it up as one goes along. I have no intention of doing it again (probably!) but it was in interesting – and fulfilling – experience.

I knew the job I wanted my mmc to do, I knew the nature of his relationship with my mfc, but everything else; the barbecues, the goth culture, the munches and clubs, I made up as I went along. And, for a second novel – and the first I’d written in under a month, I think it was pretty good.

I decided on what I still regard as a fairly novel characterisation to make a point about the mmc/mfs’s relationship. Fifty thousand words in under thirty days and another novel about a Female-dominant relationship.

With 1919 about to come out, I have no plans to be ‘the guy who writes all the pervy sex books’, so I have no plans to release ‘at home, at work, at play’ in the foreseeable future. maybe one day.

the outsider – ian hunter

A Domme friend of mine commented recently, having read ‘dreich noir’, that she was amazed by all the vanilla sex therein.

My second novel, ‘at home, at work, at play’, like ‘1919’, was about a fem-dom relationship.

They always say you should write what you know, however I didn’t want to be ‘the guy who writes all the male sub books’ – and I’d decided that before all this fifty shades furore!

On top of that, the last few months haven’t been a particularly sexual time for me.

When Irish punk band the stiff little fingers moved from Belfast to London after completing their ‘inflammable material’ lp, they took a band decision to quit writing songs about life in Belfast and I’ve always thought that was a decent thing to do.

It’s the same for me. if I’m not having any chains ‘n’ canes action, I don’t feel I should be presenting myself as someone who is.

The novel I’m about to embark on looks as if it’s going to be about lack of communication – and outside pressures – within relationships. Which brings us neatly back to writing what I know best!

Certainly, I’ve had a few relationships that buckled under these influences.

‘1919’ was very much about how lonely one can feel while (theoretically) still in a relationship. which is very much where my head was while I was writing it.

‘At home, at work, at play’, conversely, showed a couple struggling while managing to maintain their relationship. so fuck delving into that while I’m this single!

Up this morning at eight and back into ‘dreich noir’. I brought back one of his old flames he hasn’t seen in a while, which was nice.

Enough time for the sense of newness to reappear, but enough sexual history for the lovemaking not to be as clumsy as it was to begin with.

I’d also done my #followfriday on twitter before lunchtime – and I’ve only managed to offend and/or upset one person this week!

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