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coalface

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.

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talent is a vampire – bongwater

I read somewhere that all the living we do is pure research. “That which does not kill/more grist for the mill”.
For years, I’ve prided myself on being a method writer; I’ve done – and continue to do – all my own stunts.
The process of writing is all about rigorous honesty. Back in the early 1990s, I got into reading de Sade when his work started appearing in mainstream bookshops. Although his fiction holds little interest for me these days, I’ve never stopped being impressed with his brutal, incisive intellect.
This brings me back to method writing. Every ludicrous, terrifying or repulsive situation I get myself into has the capability of becoming a bit of fiction at some point. I might only use a tiny fragment, but it’ll be there when I need to haul out memories to authenticise what I’m writing.
Which is probably why I’ve devoted my life to getting myself into the sorts of situations normal people spend their lives trying to avoid.

http://dreichcoalface.wordpress.com/

Why not read the novel that started it all? 1919 (inside)

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/bunnied

A love story – on home-made acid – narrated by someone first used romatically, then set on fire, by the blue peter team, capering around the pyre like wrinkled vikings.

boredom – the buzzcocks

Still thinking about draconian governments and the jobless being used like a political football. It’s a shame the most vocal opposition to this government seems mired in a very black-and-white misery of its own.
“Don’t be fucking,” they clamour. “And definately, do not be committing all that pervy stuff.” As if that wasn’t bad enough, “don’t be doing alcohol or drugs.” If that’s the best revolution you can come up with, let’s see if it fits in your collective arse, eh?
The single worst thing about having a tory in number ten is the way conservatism spreads out from it, like a moist and silent fart.
Music gets boring. Fashions get uniform. Look at what’s happened to cinema in the last few years.
The good shit’s still out there, you just have to dig around a bit more for it.
The only groupings that don’t get a bit more conservative in outlook, principles and demands are the far right, picking up all those who voted tory and now don’t think the magic wand they hoped for is working fast enough.

http://dreichcoalface.wordpress.com/

Why not read the novel that started it all? 1919 (inside)

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/bunnied

A love story – on home-made acid – narrated by someone first used romatically, then set on fire, by the blue peter team, capering around the pyre like wrinkled vikings.

stupidity – dr feelgood

I’m working too much. Worst of all, the job’s actually pretty good fun. Something I can get my teeth into, an activity that demands my full concentration for a goodly chunk of each day and leaves me spent and gary glittered after it’s over.
I’m pretty lucky. Most people don’t have jobs that’ll let them keep their last meal down
It’s a balancing act. Working at something that engages me steals time and energy I could be using to make shit up.
That said, my body (and mind) seem to finally be acclimatising to this summer’s chronic yellow-ball-in-sky syndrome. As a friend of mine pointed out recently, the human brain must have a maximum operating temperature and once that’s exceeded, galloping stupidity beckons.
I’ve mind-mapped out pretty much the whole of this month and I feel more confident about attacking that.

http://dreichcoalface.wordpress.com/

Why not read the novel that started it all? 1919 (inside)

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/bunnied

A love story – on home-made acid – narrated by someone first used romatically, then set on fire, by the blue peter team, capering around the pyre like wrinkled vikings.

blockheads – ian dury and the blockheads

I’ve stared to mind map august’s happenings in coalface. Mibby that’s the way through this block – structure.
So I have the bare bones of this month. All I have to do now is flesh it out and make it a bit viler! Piece of piss.
I went back and reread what I’ve written already. Looked at what I’ve done so far. Extrapolated the ideas coming through and jotted down where they were going.
Next week should be a little less frenetic than this last fortnight or so. I should have a wee bit more time on my hands (that’s the plan, anyhoo!)

http://dreichcoalface.wordpress.com/

Why not read the novel that started it all? 1919 (inside)

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/bunnied

A love story – on home-made acid – narrated by someone first used romatically, then set on fire, by the blue peter team, capering around the pyre like wrinkled vikings.

expressway to yr skull – sonic youth

I feel slightly out-of-condition. Somewhere I’ve lost the ability – and focus – to write every day. Still, now I’ve identified the problem, hopefully I can rip its lungs out.
The plan: I’m still keeping my (near) daily journal, still trying to write in here as often as I can. And when there’s time, I’m getting torn into ‘coal face’.
My journal is essentially an x-ray snapshot of my skull each morning. What I’m thinking about, how I feel about it, anything interesting that’s happened in the last twenty-four.
‘Coal face’ seems to be getting plenty of likes and follows. Which is kind of ironic, being as it’s an attempt to write something that out-grosses everything else I’ve done. The self-mutilation in ‘erotic cleansing’, even the cascades of shit, piss and miscellaneous in ‘1919’. The ‘great white death’ of contemporary scottish literature!

http://dreichcoalface.wordpress.com/

Why not read the novel that started it all? 1919 (inside)

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/bunnied

A love story – on home-made acid – narrated by someone first used romatically, then set on fire, by the blue peter team, capering around the pyre like wrinkled vikings.

heat – soft cell

This heat’s killing me. I’m just not designed for it. I’m permanently floored, like a hangover with neither beginning nor end. Each day, I exceed my brain’s maximum operating temperature and each night, I’m wiped out. I have no energy, all I want to do is blob out.
If I wasn’t working just now, I wouldn’t even open my curtains. And I certainly wouldn’t be going over the door before the sun dropped.
A year ago, I was working full-time AND writing a novel. Now, it’s all I can do to work and sleep. Where the fuck has all my energy gone?
Last weekend, I visited a couple of friends who live a few miles away. First time I’ve seen them this year (they hadn’t even seen my hearing aids).
Like scottish people the world over, we discussed the weather in its entirety. (A) There’s too much of it, (B) it shouldn’t be this hot this time of year and (C) it wasn’t like this last year/when I was a kid.
By the next morning, we were in full agreement. This fucking weather’s all wrong and should be somewhere else and what’s bloody nigel fromage going to do about it, eh?

http://dreichcoalface.wordpress.com/

Why not read the novel that started it all? 1919 (inside)

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/bunnied

A love story – on home-made acid – narrated by someone first used romatically, then set on fire, by the blue peter team, capering around the pyre like wrinkled vikings.

puppet life – punishment of luxury

I’m at that stage now with coalface where I feel like the puppet master – my wee creations are flitting about, doing my bidding (for the most part!) and the plot is progressing reasonably smoothly. Ok, this never lasts, but for now, I’m enjoying the experience of watching the in-skull movie unfold.
This weather’s killing me. My DNA’s pretty much Welsh/Scots, so I’m just not genetically wired for there being a yellow ball hanging in the sky, burning flesh and making under clothes hot ‘n’ moist.
And, while we’re on the subject, why’s the sky itself that fucking colour? What’s wrong with grey, the way the sky gods intended?
It’s even affected the musics I’m listening to – moby, gorrilaz, echo and the bunnymen… This canny be right!
Back to work today after two weeks free of the damn place. I wonder what’s changed in my absence?

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

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/bunnied

It’ll be our secret – mum and dad need never know!

lost again – yello

The experiment is over. I’m back home as of this afternoon. I’m exhausted, sore all over and toasted by the sun, but delighted to have had the opportunity to be dragged out of my comfort zone.
And, most importantly, being separated from phone coverage, the internet and television for a week, I was able to press on (in the odd quiet moment) with coalface, which I trust everyone’s enjoying, yes?
I’m not going to witter on endlessly – I’m cream-crackered, so I’ll try again after a good night’s sleep.

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

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/bunnied

It’ll be our secret – mum and dad need never know!

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