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

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dreich NOiR

shockwork – test dept

I realise I haven’t written anything about writing for a while. Last November, my health collapsed – right in the middle of NaNoWriMo – and I ended up taking five weeks off work, as well as really struggling to finish the book I was working on.

Since then, my health has been intermittent, to say the least. Any exertion and I’m flat on my back for anything from a couple of hours to a couple of days.

Still, I finished the bastard. And in April, I managed to drag myself though another (my take on the steampunk novel) and in July, I completed the first draft of a fairly ambitious project – in Scots.

Steampunk seemed like an interesting genre to subvert, given my hatred of what that nice Mr Major used to call ‘Victorian values’ and recent events coming to light through Exaro News and other public services. Anyway, it’s lying fallow just now, until I find the time to sit down with it and give it a good polish.

I haven’t written anything in the Scots tongue since I left Edinburgh for Liverpool, almost ten years ago. Surrounded by Merseyside – and Manchester – accents, there seemed little point in trying to recapture the speech patterns I only ever heard on my holidays.

I returned to Scotland, settling in Fife in 2010 and the following year, I discovered NaNoWriMo.

At present, I’m revising July’s novel, which *should* see the light of day sometime next year. And, writing the skeleton of November’s NaNoWriMo novel. And, when I can, polishing an earlier work, the follow-up to ‘Ladies and Gentleman’.

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holidays in the sun – sex pistols

Ah well, that’s another NaNo ‘finished’ (if any book can ever be considered to be finished!) More correctly, that’s another first draft squeezed and grunted and screamed out, bloody and violent and shit-smeared but, by God, beautiful. It’s not perfect, but it’ll lie fallow for a few months or years, before I get down to the filthy business of gutting it, polishing it and making it fit to be shown to real live people.

This is the first time I’ve taken a week off work to write like this and I have to say, it went well. Two thousand words a day for the first week, then nine days of about four thousand a day, so when I went back to work, I had 47k under my belt and around a fortnight left to coast, easing out the last 8k of afterbirth, slowly and languidly, at two thousand per day.

While I was off, I hit five thousand once or twice, another day it took all day to force out a mere two thousand.

And I didn’t use Scrivener this time, which is the first time in maybe a year. This was all done in Evernote and Libre Office (at home) and MS Word at anywhere else I stayed. There were no religious reasons for this, just that I was still finding my feet with my new Linux box, so I didn’t have access to all the Windows products I’ve come to rely on. Which helps keep it fresh, so win-win.

This is also the first book in many moons that hasn’t been soundtracked (at least at first) by Miles Davis. I almost always start a new project with ‘The complete ‘In a silent way’ sessions, or once in a while, ‘Get up with it’. This time, I used Simply Rain, Simply Noise and (more usually) Coffitivity. Ambiances, that purport to enhance creativity (and most definitely, blot out this accursed tinnitus).

In my down moments, I began outlining July’s NaNo, which occurs in the same universe as this recently completed work. I’ve got a few plot ideas, which I’m knitting together and a list of character dossiers I’ll need to fill in, which is my next job.

Due to it being set in the same universe as the just finished one, the process of cobbling together a ‘sequel’, should no doubt pull together some of the strands of the first one when the time comes to revise that.

a little rain – tom waits

After last month’s read through of ‘Person Hair’ on my tablet (thank you Calibre!) I’ve been able to get started on editing it. Again, I’m using Aldiko on my tablet and forcing in notes where I need to make changes, anything from a wrNog word to an entire section that needs gutted and rewritten from scratch. I reckon I can complete the revision in about four weeks, give or take.
I was between units at work the other day. I had a three hour break and went to a cafe I know to eat solids and work on this. It was crowded and I found myself under the television, vomiting quiz shows over me. If anything, I was distracted and probably missed a few bits of the scenes I was reading through.
So I moved to a nearby boozer and was able to concentrate a bit better there.
This morning, I read that there’s a perfect level of ambiance that fosters creativity. Seventy decibels is the perfect level.
Too loud and it’s distracting, too quiet and it allows the mind to wander.
I’m writing this to the sound of an app that simulates rainfall – at user-defined intensity and with an ebb and flow of volume and a setting for how often the listener wants thunder to rumble.there’s also one that simulates the sounds of a cafe.
Traditionally, I write to music. Old school industrial, power romance, orchestral, anything without audible vocals. I find voices spewing words distracts from the words I’m wringing out of my own head. Distorted beyond all recognition’s fine, though. Which brings us back to that fucking quiz show the other afternoon – try as I might, I just couldn’t stop myself answering their damned questions!
I haven’t bothered naming this product. I’m probably going to write the whole of April’s NaNo to it – or something very like it – and after they’ve had that particular road test, I’ll let you know how they bear up. Certainly, I’ve written the first – and second – drafts of this entry to the rainfall and it’s coming pretty quickly.

hello there – foetus

I’m feeling a bit stronger although I still can’t push myself too hard without crashing all over again. I get good days and bad days. I’m trying to force myself to sleep eight, nine hours a night, which I’m finding difficult. The main problem is, as soon as my eyes open, my brain kicks in and BANG! I’m wide awake and looking for mischief to get up to. Not great when a small percentage of said brain is clamouring for me to shut down all that in-skull Czech animation at fast forward speed!

So I’m doing as much as I can in between work, personal hygiene and attempting to interact with my fellow man.

I discovered this morning that there’s a Bollywood film called ‘Ladies and gentleman’, released in 2013. For a horrible moment, I thought I was going to have to rename the book I’m about to publish – after all, the first on-screen Bollywood kiss had to be filmed in Switzerland to avoid outrage. I hardly think the people whose labour of love I’ve coincided with will be delighted to be associated with some weirdo’s bizarro-ass novel that consists mainly of pie-eating, fucking and all the pursuit that that entails!

Anyhoo, I’ve created a faceboak page for the book:

https://www.facebook.com/DreichNoir

Hopefully, it can harvest ‘likes’ and the book’ll make a bigger splash when it comes out. Then I can get my nose to the grindstone and finish polishing August’s novel while planning and executing April’s NaNoWriMo, which I’m still researching for at present. It’s coming together, though. I’ve got my setting and half a dozen characters. I just wish I had time to drop some acid and come up with a suitably ridiculous plot! As Hemmingway said, “write drunk, edit sober”…

aztec calendar – mick farren

And it came to pass that I got my goddamn mojo back and there was great jubilation and wild rejoicing – on the inside of my head if nowhere else. Last Monday, I finally had the stamina to sit down and nuke ‘Ladies and gentleman’. It took me two full days, but that’s it finished now. And, I actually managed to post something in here, which hasn’t been physically – or mentally – possible since December.

Then, I read through the next novel that’ll be coming out. It needs work, sure (and lots of it!) but I was amazed how many great wee bits there were in it. I’m looking forward to living and breathing the damn thing – maybe in March – and having it out in August. That’s the plan, anyhoo.

I feel like I’m coming out of a long, enforced low-budget suspended animation. Why is it, that it takes bouts of sickness to remind me that my health is so important? Having spent a couple of months, flat on my back, unable to function, every day feels like an Aladdin’s cave of possibilities.

And it’s not just me – I saw on twitter last night that Greece has voted in an anti-austerity party – by a landslide. David Cameron’s unimpressed – tweeting about how austerity’s actually a damn good thing – which it probably is when you’re married to some sort of millionaire.

I feel great – and it feels like the whole world’s waking up with me!

It’s only about three months until our own general election. I’m hoping the Greek result is a shot in the arm for, not just the anti-austerity movement globally, but whatever section of the UK’s populace are wondering whether being piss-poor and blaming immigrants will somehow stop bankers throwing their cocaine-fueled orgies at our expense.

And of course, I was cheered to hear I’d outlived the ugliest bastard in the history of British home secretaries, Leon Brittan. Interviewed last summer over a 1967 date rape and furiously trying to cover up his part in the ‘loss’ of MP Geoffrey Dickens’ 1983 dossier on the British establishment’s abuse elite.

It’s got to be a bit rough, waiting to die, knowing that if the disease doesn’t get a move on, justice will finally catch up with you. But then, this guy was home secretary under Thatcher right through the miners’ strike.

From my perspective, it feels like we’ve been living through Sade’s ‘One hundred-and-twenty days of Sodom’ since 2010. A world where the wealthy, powerful and/or prominent have had a get-out-of-jail-free card, a tacit understanding that the lives of children in care weigh less than an MP or light entertainer emptying their bag.

So I’m feeling hopeful. Hopeful that we’ve got the bottle to gnaw through these straps and take back what’s rightfully ours. And the world’s looking like a much better place already.

Soon come.

false grit- half man half biscuit

This blog was originally going to be a warts ‘n’ all writing procedural. Over the last year or so, the process of continuing to exist has meant a lot more focus on politics and the criminal behaviour of our betters,

I’ve been looking into the Victorian era of late, an idea I’ve had for April’s NaNoWriMo. I’ve never written a steampunk novel before so I’m looking forward to subverting – if not outright mutilating – the genre. So that’s the backdrop anyhoo. Gas lighting, corsetry and industrial injuries

I’d set today aside to nuke the final draft of ‘Ladies and gentleman’, but I just went back to the coalface on Monday and after five weeks of living the horizontal dream and marathon binges of ‘Buffy the vampire slayer’, I’m exhausted. Two days at work and it feels like I’ve run a marathon. In ill-fitting armour and clown shoes.

In any case, there’s little point in bunging a new book out at this time of year when it’s only going to be lost in the ex-mess rush. So it’ll be February now. Which gives me time to get back on my feet, gather my strength and come out fighting, ready for April’s ridiculous fanatical marathon sprint.

On the downside, I’m still not fully over this string of diseases that crushed me last month, so after a few hours at work, all I’m fit for is reading fiction. I hate being ill – I’m a rubbish invalid – so I’m finding this intensely frustrating. Patience is, I think, something that only happens to rich people and Americans.

Hopefully a week from now, I’ll have grown some more teeth and can get back to continuing my sarcasm-blitzkrieg.

someone like you – adele

I don’t know about you, but with the government’s new anti porn law, I’ve completely forgotten that the economy’s arsed and sexual abuse of children has been endemic throughout our entire system for decades.

So now, in a dazzling and inspired celebration of world AIDS day, our beloved coalition government have decided to put a whole bunch of activities that don’t lead to the transmission of disease on the naughty step.

Bondage. Spanking. Hitting or whipping. Strangulation. Face-sitting. Well, I think that’s the whole of my sex life covered. So, obviously, I’ll just not have any sexual feelings from now on. Which may or may not cheer up my long-suffering Domme. And she’d better not get attitudey about it either, as abusive language during sex is also now verboten.

In my first two novels, I covered impact play, waste play and bondage. With my non-contentious and totally vanilla novel, ‘Ladies and gentleman’ about to be published, I thought I’d avoided getting on the wrong side of anyone this time, but no. Female ejaculation’s now up there with the Yorkshire ripper and defrauding an innkeeper. The next one’s all just racism and violence – I promise – surely that can’t offend anyone? Maybe I should do it as a pop-up book.

The UK economy’s in shreds. Borrowing’s through the roof and with the price of oil bobbing around $70 a barrel (and Osborne’s promise to oil companies that he’ll intervene with a tax cut for them) there’s no end in sight. New legislation that’ll drive more UK businesses to the wall – or abroad – makes superb economic sense. After all, anyone who loses their job’s a diabolical scrounger – and foodbanks are the new ‘spirit of the blitz’, innit?

With the UN looking hard at the UK’s human rights record with regard to women, children, the poor and the disabled, what better time to be seen to be doing something about those dreadful perverts? And, best of all, most if not all of the blacklisted activities seem to be things that women enjoy. Win-win. Certainly, I’m looking forward stiffer penalties for the possession, distribution or consumption of the work of Adele early in the next parliament.

When John Major’s government were on the ropes, rocked with sex scandals, the tories had the brilliant idea of targeting the BDSM community. Operation Spanner cost a paltry three million britquids and secured convictions against sixteen men for taking part in consensual sexual activities. Now contrast and compare with the present.

The spanner ruling of March 10th 1993 made real life BDSM illegal. And now that representations of it are tantamount to blasphemy too, I look forward to the special UK cut of ‘Fifty shades of shite’ when it’s released. After all, if that book sold thirty two million copies in English alone, it’s not like there’ll be any market for it.

And we can all take comfort from the fact that fucking kids and then strangling them afterwards will still be mandatory for Westminster MPs and light entertainers.

sweet gene vincent – ian dury and the blockheads

The death of Alvin Stardust is like another bent nail in the coffin of my youth. He might not be remembered for much, but when I was growing big-boy hair, he was a glam rock Gene Vincent, a Leo Sayer who looked like he could fight.
In other news, vast, morbid crowds of keyboard hooligans are starting to gather in warlike formations on the edges of the NaNoWriMo site, especially on the forums/genres/other on the bizarro, new weird, gritty surrealism thread. They are a peaceable people, for the most part, although given to these annual outbursts of ritualistic prose savagery. Its what separates us from the skinheads, yeah?
Me, Ive completed all but one of my character dossiers, outlined the thing and I’m batch cooking. Every time I make something to eat, I make enough to fill a small car over and above what I need right at that moment. My freezer’s slowly filling up with meals I can just hurl into the microwave and have done with. No slaving over a hot stove for me next month!
No, I’ll be squeezing out two thousand words per day, much like Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining’. I have a couple of birthdays in November, as well as a sabre-toothed partner whos already insisting I communicate in more than just grunts and sighs this time. For some reason.
And, I’ve completed the final revision of ‘Ladies and gentleman’, which should be out in December, just in time for it to be lost in the ex-mess rush. Im just waiting for the cover now – and that horrible, horrible afternoon when I nuke the book and finalise the formatting.
So, hit me up (kreibebe) over on nanowrimo.org. Youll find me being unusual on the forums/genres/other/bizarro, gritty surrealism and the new weird (or whatever its called this year) thread. Something like that, anyhoo. That and the Fife forum.

the lap-dance is always better (when the stripper is crying) – bloodhound gang

With the referendum and all, I’ve been writing a lot about politics for what seems like most of the last six months, so as a wee palate cleanser, here’s where the writing’s been going.
This week, I’m working my way through the final polish of the Roger McRoger autobiography I’m working on. This should be out by the end of the year. It’s the first time I’ve ghostwritten anything for anyone, but he seems pleased with what he’s seen so far, so I must be doing something right. Or, he’s too polite to have me whacked or something.
He’s also tasked me with the job of sorting out the cover, since he was so impressed by the ‘1919’ covers. This was during a marathon drinking session (or ‘editorial meeting’) in a strip bar owned by some friends of his a couple of weeks back. Considering I’m the sort of person who goes to fetish clubs and doesn’t look at people, you can no doubt imagine how comfortable I was with that. For the first half dozen pints, anyway. They seemed like really nice people and I hope they were only joking about barring me for life. I didn’t even want a lap-dance and how was I supposed to know she was pregnant, anyway?
I’m also planning next month’s NaNo, a novel about digestion, excrement and plumbing. I’m kreibebe on there. Approach at your own risk.
I had some ideas and assembled them into some sort of an order, then went back and pulled, stretched and crushed it into an outline that made some sort of sense. This is a whole new ballgame for me – a novel with a beginning, a middle and an end. God knows where that’ll end.

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