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



edgar allen poe – lou reed

The planning for next month’s NaNo was pretty much finished as of last week. I had a basic outline, scrawled on fag-packets, toilet walls and untattooed body parts, which I’ve been mind-mapping – in reverse order – one scene at a time. This lets me spot and iron out logic bubbles before they creep into the text when the time comes to write it.

I finally bought the bullet and bought a new computer after years of swithering and putting it off. It was second-user (i.e. a mongrel from many sources) so it had Linux installed. My initial plan was to cart it home, have a look at the operating system before ripping it out and installing Windows.

As it turned out, Linux nowadays is a damn sight more user friendly than it was in the days of slackware. I’ve had to install next to nothing – just a mind-mapping program, I think – and it worked perfectly, straight out of the box it didn’t in fact come in.

I’ve also been reading up on Victoriana – both fiction and non-fiction. I’ve never read Dickens before and I’m thoroughly enjoying ‘David Copperfield’. Same with Edgar Allan Poe. Since next month’s book is set in Victorian times, I’m immersing myself in that world, both the fiction and non-fiction on specific facets of Victorian behaviours and attitudes.

There are plenty of books available on Victorian life, certainly on the areas I’m researching just now and the fiction is an absolute delight. Poe is the master of description and Dickens’ humour sticks out a mile. On top of all that, I’m completely wallowing in the language and vocabulary of the period.

This is my first foray into steampunk. It’s an interesting genre, with its own rules and conventions, which I’m already planning to blaspheme against, every chance I get!


Holiday song – the pixies

Around two-and-a-half years back, I visited paris. Last week was the first time I’ve visited liverpool since I left there in 2009.
I imagined it’d be strange, staying at the home of someone who turned up in august’s ‘dystopian’ novel as an ill-tempered and racist scousewife (although only the ‘scouse’ bit has any real basis in reality!)
More pressingly, that’s me finished work now for a few days and, apart from the domicile-restructuring I have pencilled in for the next day or two, I plan on kicking back. Long lies, soaky baths, rnr.
It was national short story day today – I didny get a thing written but might well tomorrow.

something tells me something’s going to happen tonight – cilla black

On a bus from liverpool to preston. It’s been a strange and, in places, uncomfortable week back in my old stamping ground.
This is the bus I used to get to (and from) work. I’m listening to a John Foxx & Louis Gordon bootleg from 2003. It all feels hyper-poignant.
I’m considering the idea that maybe moving here in 2006 was, in fact, just another piece of my mid-life crisis. And those I met down here were just going through their own variation of the same.
A three-and-a-half year relationship, one that started out exciting, slowly turned turgid and finally ended painfully for all concerned. And all it boils down to in the end, is a couple of arseholes disappointed that they’re no longer nineteen.
I’ve stayed with a friend for the last week. She no longer listens to music – at all. Instead, she sucks up quiz shows and other gaily-coloured garbage. The rapport, based in music, books and movies has gone. Our thinking, once similar, has diverged. Maybe completely.
And considering that possibility, that maybe all we ever had in common was our mid-life crises, it’s time to nail the coffin lid down and let go of it all.
I wrote 1919 (all of it) down here. Some of it in the house I’ve been staying in since last week.
Since then, (2007-8) I’ve only written one more novel that dealt with a relationship as its primary facet. Another bite-sized chunk of human experience I seem to have outgrown and/or left behind.
On a more positive note, I’ve had a couple of experiences that’ll infect what I write in the next wee while. Bunnied with two friends I haven’t seen in three years. A night in a rugby club, listening to war stories. Watching the movie of ‘the hunger games’ and reading the second and third books in the trilogy. (And yeah, I’m still angry with Suzanne Collins for sneaking back in time and publishing her rip-off of my ‘light entertainment’ before I’d even thought of writing the bastard – bloody unprofessional, if you ask me!)
And yes, I blinked back a few tears at the end of ‘mockingjay’.

January – pilot

Monday afternoon: These are going up around forty-eight hours after they’re written. At the time of writing, I have forty-three-and-a-half thousand words down, leaving me six-and-a-half k to grind out by friday. I think I can manage.
I only have chapter one to write now, so I’m folding in a lot of cut-ins, one or two of which are actually pretty good.
I’ll take next month to work on “1919 (outside)” and get it ready for february. Come january, I’ll start revising either this or august’s ‘dystopian’ piece..
This month’s been pretty high-stress. Balancing work, on-the-job training (oo-er, missus!) and trying to squeeze out a novel has been difficult – although not impossible.
If anything, I’m already looking forward to june and next year’s NaNoCamp.

waiting – doctors of madness

I’ve sent out a couple of dozen review copies of ‘1919 (inside)’. Now I’m gnawing the palms of my hands, waiting for people to get back to me.

And they haven’t.

And I wait.


Certainly, I’m not going to pull myself to bits while people get back to me. I have the planning for ‘the idiots’ graveyard’ to do among other things.

That’s taking shape now. I’ve worked out the skeleton of the outline (about three hundred words so far) and I’m fleshing that out, sprinkling on characters to see what sticks.

I had about twenty A4 pages of nested outline when I sat down to write August’s dystopian novel, so I can see plainly what needs to be done next.

I’m also getting my head around my posh android tablet and its word processing software. This morning, I got up and wrote an entry for this blog on it – the second one composed on it.

I’m writing this one on my trusty PDA – which I did all the slowed-down/massive-learning-curve thing with in late 2007, when I was writing ‘1919’ on it.

down down – status quo

Finally made a start on revising ‘Light entertainment’ last night. I’ve been staring at it for the last few days, willing it to rework itself – nothing.

The last year’s taught me that squeezing out a first draft in a month is possible. Hopefully I can now pick up editing in a similar amount of time.

I’m not feeling wildly confident about ‘Light entertainment’ right now. Probably because it was the most difficult one to write.

I’m also looking for a new way to approach the revision process. Starting at once upon a time, I haven’t yet stumbled across any really brilliant sequences – in the first couple of pages.

This feeling of flatness is probably the tail end of my dip after finishing ‘Dystopian’. It’s not been a week yet, so I’m no doubt still experiencing post-novel-disturbance.

The process of telling lies from the inside of an imaginary stranger is so all-encompassing, it takes a few days to come back down from these unnatural heights.

Which reminds me, ‘Dystopian’ was written in the first person, while ‘Light entertainment’ has a lot more characters – and was written in the the third.

I find first person narrative much easier to write in, so there’s a bit of a leap there, too.

Still, I’ve started on the horrible, ungainly bastard now, I might as well finish. and who knows – there may even be some brilliant prose tucked away in there somewhere.

what a day – throbbing gristle

Another dead day. This not-writing’s killing me. It’s fine when I have a project to sink my teeth into, but the absence of that feels like the whole world’s in black and white.

Look, Toto. Fucking Kansas – as far as the eye can see.

The thing is, I’m still skull-exhausted after finishing ‘Dystopian’ and I’m still sticking ideas to the basic one of ‘Hassle-home’, to see what works.

My next job will be revising ‘Light entertainment’ but so far, I’m just staring at it, willing it to tell me where to start.

I’ve hammered out my last three drafts – and loads of short fiction – on my netbook. Maybe it’s time to change my input method.

For years, I wrote my first drafts longhand. (And it’s true, different paper does provoke one to different voices.)

For some reason, I’m ultra-prolific on lined yellow writing pads.

When I wrote ‘1919’, I wrote the first half on my Sony Eriksson phone, which died. I completed it on the same dell PDA I’m usin to blog this atcha from my bath, yeah?

My next two novels were written on this PDA and the last three have been written on my netbook.

All of this technology is ageing. A new phone is called for. I love my wee bleakberry, but it won’t hold a charge for any length of time now. And RIM are pretty much on the ropes now, which is a shame. As a broke consumer and fully paid up member of the urban poor, I can’t go investing currency I barely have in technology that might not survive as long as the equipment itself.

nothing – fluffy

Just couldn’t get going this morning. I woke up around seven and reached for the draft of ‘Light entertainment’ that I started going through last night. nothing. It just wouldn’t come.

So, I changed tack. Had a look on twitter, read through a bit more of the scrivener manual.

It’s only four days since I finished that draft of ‘dystopian’, so it’s only natural I should be having a wee dip just now.

I spent a month inside the skull of my mmc, so it will take at least a week to shake the bastard loose and revert to my own personality.

I have half an idea for another novel, but nothing that really grabs me by the scruff of the face and forces me to write. My UberMuse, exhausted by the process of forcing me to write ‘Dystopian’ all this month, is taking a well-deserved breather.

The plan is, I work on revising ‘The last film’ and ‘Light entertainment’ for the rest of the year while pulling ‘Hassle-home’ together in October before my Mistress UberMuse takes over and forces me to write it in November.

That’s the plan, anyway.

daughter of the fireplace – man

I’ve been finished ‘dystopian’ a couple of days now, had a couple of days’ RnR and went back to work this morning.

It’s always the same after I squeeze one out – there’s a dip, as one would expect after MDMA or similar, a coming back down to earth with a bump.

For the last month, I’ve been wrapped up in the skull of a fairly prudish victorian explorer, feeding him on my memories and wiping up what he disgorges.

He’s been with me all this time, like a badly burned friend. I’ve transcribed his sufferings, his confusion and, at points, his mindraping terror.

I’ve put the poor bastard in the most untenable situations, made him fear for his life – more than once – and I’ve loved every second of it.

You know what? I miss him – and her, my mfc – I’ve already considered bringing them back for a sequel, but then, I always feel like that when I’ve just finished forcing one out.

In other news, I’m suffering from a Domme-Muse fire-play hangover. Funny that – I’ve just run myself into the ground for an entire month and I’m so exhausted, my foreskin looks like she’s stubbed a few cigarettes out on it.

Okay, doctors might call this genital herpes, but I know better.

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