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

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the C-word

in the greylight – virgin prunes

I contacted a couple of artists last night about covers for ‘1919’, ‘the C-word’ and ‘person-hair’. Then, to stop myself being bored, I exported the whole of ‘dreich NOiR’ from WordPress and started ripping out all the extraneous characters.
I also watched ‘benefits street’ on 4OD, since people were still arguing about it on Twitter and Facebook. For anyone who’s had their head stuck in the ground all week, it breaks down like this: a poke-fun-umentary about people with, quite literally, nothing. Like Scotland’s ‘the scheme’ a couple of years ago, ‘benefits street’ points the camera (and the waggy finger) at a group of people who live near each other, the bastards. People under intense financial (and social) pressures, people forced to break the law in order to survive. What’s next? Videotaping a group of working class primary fives in a gas chamber, watching them claw their way over their dead and dying peers for the last crumbs of air? With points deducted for anyone not having very good manners?
According to Twitter, the company responsible for this latest Circus Maximus have previously been investigated for exposing children to risk in some other ‘documentary’. And people who appeared in the programme have been subjected to death threats and baseball bat offers.
This is propaganda for that Bullingdon view of the world: a world where anyone without the common decency to have enough disposable income to insulate themselves against the present economic disaster is, at best a cartoon character, with no function other than to entertain those of us with televisions and couches.
Watching it, I was incensed that these levels of poverty and desperation are still with us in 2014, disgusted that people can see people fighting to survive and hate them for it. So much for that ‘big society’ the prime monster seems to have shut up about recently.
The United Kingdom is breaking down into those with too much (how much did IDS pay for his breakfast this morning?) and those living from day-to-day, with no real hope of anything other than battling the symptoms of their poverty.

complete control – the clash

That’s it finished. Another year of NaNo under my belt and another novel first-drafted.
I’m so glad it’s over, too. Much as I enjoy the adrenaline, the sheer up-against-it-ness of my month in a parallel universe, I’m looking forward to coming back to earth and catching up on all that sleep, food and personal hygiene I’ve been cutting corners with for so long.
Feels great (so far) being finished. I haven’t yet hit that yawning pit of darkness when my soul realises that all the reasons for getting out of bed are now no more. I’m expecting that over the next few days, though.
Next up: I’m working on an idea for another fictional blog, based loosely on a running gag that I tweet about occasionally.
Oh yeah. And I’m going to spend some time with She-Who-Reckons-i’d-be-as-well-Obeying-Her.

second honeymoon – deaf school

I’m well over forty thousand words now, hurtling downhill, using my face and balls as brakes. This novel’s really coming together now (it’s a plus, when you can see yourself fixing what’s wrong with this draft in the next one, right?)
Instead of writing profiles for my characters, this time I downloaded photographs and I’ve used them. I know what each of these looks like, which is carrying me just now – also, it’s hard to remember where the convicted murderers end and the politicians begin!
This was just a way of keeping the experience fresh for me. If I ever got bored – or found myself writing the same book twice, I’d probably give up.
Everything I write has to be a first for me. Has to be a brand-new challenge. Much as I love the adrenaline rush of crashing towards a deadline, it’s got to be more than just a sequel.
Which is odd, because I’ve always found that, when I’m roughly three-quarters of the way through a first draft, I start coming up with ideas that don’t quite fit what I’m writing. I used to file them and somewhere in the back of my head, start planning the sequel.
Which I’ve never written. Even back-in-the-day when I used to arrange all the cutting-room floor ideas into a narrative, I never sat down and wrote a single sequel.
I believe this conservation of ideas has more to do with clinginess towards characters and less to do with great (or even average) literature.

are you ready – rollins band

I’m getting ready for NaNoWriMo. (So yeah, these are written in advance, but the message is the same, right?)
I’m writing this at the home of my Superior Half, waiting until it’s time for the train back to the wilderness I call home-and-work-and-shit. I’ve got the house to myself, even the cat has headed off upstairs to crash out – after a *very* cursory goodbye.
I’m trying to balance work, physical intimacy and wringing out another novel. It’s a precarious juggling act – any one of these could take over my life completely. November’s when I try to ram all my eggs into the one (NaNo) basket.
I’m trying a new method of characterisation this time, too. Downloading photographs of complete strangers and sketching my creations from there.

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.

i crawled – swans

The bairn has neglected to pay the internet again, making it impossible to back this month’s novel up to the cloud. So I’m having to leave two hours early for work – to use in-town wi-fi – and I haven’t a fucking clue what my word count is.
I’m praying the bus station has free wi-fi – otherwise I’m going to be frequenting starbucks, which I personally regard as desertion and treachery. Those who follow me on twitter (@white_cell) will no doubt be aware of my opinion of the dread arsefucks – from shitty coffee to the wholesale financial rape of communities worldwide, I hate them like I hate racism.
So here’s hoping I can back up my tablet to the cloud.
In other news (whatever my word count is) the novel’s taking shape nicely. This morning, I wrote a section about the mmc and mfc’s wedding reception that I’m particularly proud of. Dredging up memories of wedding receptions I’ve attended, as well as the time I followed swans around the uk leg of their 1986 tour, I think I’ve nailed that scene.
(Later)
Managed to back it all up to the cloud – at 22:20, in Kirkcaldy bus station. And my word count’s lying at a respectable 12007 as of this morning.

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.

people are strange – the doors

Walking around Edinburgh, experiencing what Robert Sheckley called ‘metaphoric deformation’. Basically, when we go somewhere unfamilliar, we see people we think we recognise. Then we do a double-take and realise it’s a complete stranger.
The first time I remember experiencing this was in Leeds, September of 1979. I was seventeen as I drifted around the city for the first time, I kept spotting faces of people I knew, looking again and it wasn’t them. This happened repeatedly, surprising me every time.
To be fair, the weekend before, half the pub I’d been in were all hitching down to Leeds for the Futurama festival, but on the day, I was the only one nutty enough to actually attempt the journey.
Fast-forward to 2006, when I moved to Liverpool. Strange town? Check. Spotting familiar faces? Check. Not who I though they were? Every single time.
The following year, visiting Edinburgh, I began mis-seeing the familiar among all the strangers in what was once my home town.
I realised a couple of years ago, that since I left Edinburgh, I haven’t put any roots down anywhere. Liverpool never felt like ‘home’ and, in the couple of months I spent back in Edinburgh, neither did that.
I drifted over the bridge to Fife in 2010 – for no great reason, really – and just sort of remained there. I live there, I work there and because the two are so far apart, I spend a lot of time on buses going through countryside and small towns. The Person I’m terribly fond of lives at the opposite side of the country which necessitates three trains and a long-ish journey from my place to Hers. I feel no more or less ‘at home’ in the wee town I live in than I do in Hers.
Maybe none of us really ‘need’ the familiar. Deprived of it, our minds fill in the gaps and give us – albeit fleetingly – split seconds of that sense of the ordinary and comforting. It’s entirely possible I won’t ever put any more roots down as long as I live.
And, strangely, it’s not a glaring absence in my life. Just something that I remember from time to time and makes me nod my head a bit before I file it away under ‘vaguely interesting things’.

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.

the disease – echo and the bunnymen

This latest draft of ‘the c-word’ is the one where I smooth each section, perfect it.
I’m finding this really difficult. I’m impatient to get my fingers into the bastard and start gouging the fucker.
I’m going to tough it out, hang on for November and NaNoWriMo. I didn’t do NaNoCamp in August – first one I’ve missed in about three years. I missed it. I feel like a sick junkie, raw and shivering. I know that once I get those first few drops on my lips, the drive, the sheer motorised instinct will take over and I’ll be writing again.
Like Geoffrey Rush’s Sade in the film ‘quills’, everything else is fuel for the writing that, if I try to stem it, will explode me.

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

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.

laughing song – the residents

That’s me finished the 3rd draft of ‘the c-word’. I’ve probably more-or-less doubled the length of the thing, so it’ll be around fifteen, twenty pages (probably) once I type in all the additions I’ve made.
That’s it taken a sort of shape. There’s still polishing to be done, but I’m happy with what it looks like for now.
It’s throwing me back on the authors I like who use humour well, Tom Sharpe, Christopher Brookmyre and Mil Millington, to name but three.
When I’m unsure how to polish a particular scene for maximum hilarity, I try to reconstruct the scene in the style of each of them – Sharpe’s willful blasphemy, Millington’s stunned rationality, Brookmyre’s pope-hating and catholic-baiting…
Other humourous influences are, Monty Python (who gave me surrealism when I was but a callow youth with spots and mood-swings), and of course, Graham Linehan (Father Ted, the IT crowd), Charlie Brooker and Chris Morris.
Hopefully the finished product won’t be a photocopy of any of these, but draw on elements from most-if-not-all of them.
I’ve never written humour before, so I’m looking forward to the challenge. Which will probably kill me. And follow me to hell. And watch me being sodomised in a lake of fire by Cerberus, the three-headed dog of the abyss.

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

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.

read it in books – echo and the bunnymen

I’ve had a bit of a break from ‘the C-word’ this week and caught up with my reading. After all, you can’t produce if you don’t consume – and Garth Merenghi’s the only writer who’s written more books than he’s read.
I finished George RR Martin’s ‘a storm of swords’ and started Chelsea Cain’s ‘kill you twice’ – and my bath books are Christopher Brookmyre’s ‘where the bodies are buried’ and Miles Davis’ autobiography.
I saw Brookmyre reading in Dunfermline recently. If you aren’t familiar with his work, he’s like a Glasgow writer except he doesn’t support Celtic FC (I know. Difficult to imagine, isn’t it?)
Live, he’s very very funny, sharing a number of his one-star reviews for ‘quite ugly one morning’ and reading a section from the newie, ‘flesh wounds’.
This is the first of his straight up crime novels I’ve read. The style, the overall voice are the same, but with the trademark coffin humour reined right in.
Clelsea Cain’s ‘Archie and Gretchen’ series are best described as ‘Hannibal Lector – with a uterus – for young adults’.
‘Kill you twice’ isn’t her best (not so far, anyway) but both Brookmyre and Irvine Welsh have had points where their books felt formulaic and both writers grew out of it and went on to create great, surprising work.
I’m going to finish this anyway. I’m already interested in the characters from books 1-4, even if no-one’s really moving forward (yet) in this one.
I’ve tried watching ‘game of thrones’ and, having read the first couple of books already, found it flat and disappointing. I’ve now got three of the novels under my belt and I’m utterly hooked. This is so good you just know weak and insipid hacks are already gearing up to copy this. This is Ellroy’s ‘american tabloid’ with swords and dragons, ‘lord of the rings’ based on the British government (David Cameron as Joffrey, anyone?)
I’m quite literally cheering the goodies and booing the baddies while reading, an experience I don’t think I’ve had before.
I’m only a couple of chapters into the Miles Davis autobiography and already, the most used word is ‘motherfucker’. It’s been used to describe everything from Dizzy Gillespie’s playing to how Miles’ mother dressed when he was a kid. Gleefully enthusiastic like a hipster Frank Booth.
As I say, I’ve only scratched the surface of this just now, Miles is still a child, but has *just* discovered music, announcing in his 78 RPM fashion that it was going to push aside all other interests.
(Oh yeah. I finished ‘kill you twice’. What a superb ending! The whole book set up that ending (and the next one). She definately had me fooled!)

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

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.

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