Wednesday, 31 December 2008
I *heart* Lesbian Nurses - The Kick Ass Cool Competition Edition, Plus: Even More Books To Give Away
Thursday, 18 December 2008
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
It has come to my attention, and why it surprises me I’m not sure, that people have been reading my book.
Now, yes, I know. I had sort of expected this. And yes, I know, it is surely a good thing. I am assuming that these people who are reading the book have paid for the book and so surely riches cannot be far away.
People are reading my book. At work, sat in the staff room, people are telling me how far through they are, asking me questions, and saying nice things. This is all very good, I am aware of this.
But I don’t know how to respond. I find myself changing the subject. I find myself avoiding the staff room.
Because I know what’s coming.
Although it’s all nicely, darkly comic to begin, it goes a bit … well … odd, toward the end. It all goes a bit… twisted… toward the end.
And of course, in all my wisdom, I wrote in the first person.
And so people think that it’s about me.
This worries me.
If you’re one of the few that’s read it, you’ll understand why.
You’ll understand why the thought that my parents might read it terrifies me. You’ll understand why I envision some awkward conversations.
Monday, 1 December 2008
What’s the word?
Proper Mint? How.
Well yeah, I think that does it. Proper Mint. How.
Because it’s been a very, very exciting week for me.
I’ve struggled, quite a bit really, since I found out I was getting published. I was chuffed, obviously. Grinning secretly between lessons and when no one was looking. I had, whilst writing 9987, planned great things for the day I got THAT phone call, received THAT letter, heard THAT news.
But when it happened I felt, well, I dunno. I was excited, ecstatic, euphoric, erudite (ran out of ‘e’ words there, went for a fairly poor English Teacher joke here…). Strangely though, amongst people, even amongst friends, I felt embarrassed. It just felt too… distant. Too flimsy. Too much time for something to go wrong.
Somewhere in the back of my head a withered, grey haired little man, stroking his beard sadly and sucking at the gaps between his teeth. He was shaking his head a lot and cackling at moments of publishing related excitement.
Even when I saw the cover, I was dubious.
Even when I had the t-shirts sorted, I was reluctant to relax.
I have been widely ridiculed for my inability to answer simple questions about my own book. I have blushed at the mention of Lesbian Nurses.
This week has been different.
This week has been kick ass cool.
This week I’ve felt like a writer.
It all began in the Bath…
I was invited, quite a while ago actually, to go down to Bath Spa University. (MY university. Oh yes. And a very nice one it is too. It has muffin stealing squirrels.) They wanted me to have a chat with some undergrads doing the Creative Studies in English Degree. The one I was doing when I started writing 9987. So I went.
There were some niggling problems. Getting up at five in the morning to catch the plane (oh yes, quite the jetsetter me), the fact that someone had moved the Students Union (and the truly terrifying fact that when I found it at 3:30 no one was drinking. At all. Soft drinks all round. Muchos disturbing, I fear for the students of today.) and of course, a slight problem that the group of students I was expecting to chat to were slightly larger (in number, not stature) and in a slightly more formal setting that I was prepared for.
So I walk into a lecture theatre facing one hundred and eighty people. Some were making notes. Some had laptops out. One may have been sleeping.
Luckily I HAD been drinking in the Students Union.
So. I talked about Prostitutes. I discussed Magical Pub toilets and alternative routes to Narnia. I did a little Hula Dance to demonstrate rhythmic prose. It was most successful.
Oh. And I failed completely, twice, to answer the question – Why was the book originally titled Lesbian Nurses?
Cos I’m mint.
But, hey, it was fun. Then Carrie Etter, poet, lecturer, pint buyer, took me for a drink. Which I felt I needed.
Then BIG things happened.
Then I got an email.
Then I took a drive.
Then I collected a pile of books.
And all of them,
Each and every single one of them,
Had my name on.
Ten, count’em, ten pristine, ever so pretty and real and strokable and actual copies of my actual book.
They’ve got pages and words in and everything.
And, suddenly, I found it a bit easier to talk about it.
I found it strangely exhilarating to show it to people.
I acted a bit smug, and I think I had a licence to.
I am so very, very chuffed. How.
(and no, before you ask, yo ucan't have one of the ten copies. They've all been given out. The first one to someone who makes me grin. The rest to people of various import after. And Caroline got a special one from the publishers. So sorry kids, all gone.)
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Actual News About Actual Stuff Which Is Actually Interesting Rather Than The Stuff I Usually Post Which Is Actually A Bit Crap. Actually.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
I remember I started to make notes.
I remember making sure that I would not forget the game.
The name was never important. The characters were never really important. In the games we played our protagonists were all much the same. I was I was I was I. Strangely I was always injured. Strangely I was always captive.
At some point, some rainy, lonely afternoon, the whole thing seemed to slip away from me. I started making notes. I did not show those notes. I hid them from friends. I folded them into a space between my wardrobe and the wall. These notes were private games.
I remember I was playing games, my friends played Games. Rules. Systems. Tactic. Strategies. I kept making notes. Sometimes the notes were in sentences. Sometimes the sentences were connected together. And somewhere down the line, in some loud and crowded classroom, the game became more important.
“We can never give anything up.” Said Freud, and I think that perhaps he had a point. “We only exchange one thing for another… [when a child] stops playing he gives up nothing but the link with real objects, instead of playing, he now phantasises.”
I remember the toys becoming much less important. I remember them becoming unnecessary. I remember phantasies. I remember one sentence following another. I remember crossing the boundaries of that first page. I remember the fresh page, the sparkling white, the faded blue lines, and me starting it part way through an idea. Those pages flowed.
At age ten: eight pages is a mammoth task. At age ten: eight pages is an achievement unmatched throughout history. At age ten: eight pages is a release of something powerful. At age ten, at some point, someone will tell you to stop.
The content is unimportant, a story based on bluetac is an achievement I will only manage once and I wish I’d been able to keep a hold of the book. What is important is that I did not stop. What is important is that I wrote a game about a hedgehog. A game about a scientist. A game about a rock named George."
Proper mint no? Thank you for allowing me my self indulgence...
Plus: Disco Kettle is all packed.
I move into my new place at the end of the month. Got a bed ordered and everything. DK is muchos excited, he's even volunteered to do a photo shoot once he's in the new place. He's been posing and Fffssssttting for the last few day practicing. He's even been working on harmonising his Bing with the microwave. It's all very sweet.
Monday, 3 November 2008
But last weekend I've also been Dahn Saarf. Innit. Wiv me spoons an pearl suit an apples and pears and other fruit salad stuff.
And now I'm knackered.
I did get to go to a costume party though. And, horribly, it got me all wondering again...
It's this whole juggling thing again I think, different bits, extra arms, occasional shift in priorities. Gets confusing.
I am, generally, during the day a Professional and Caring Teacher - able to Educate and Inspire and to Look Very Busy when people arrive during my free lessons (much like now - the sound of typing is always convincing.)
Most evenings I play at Hugely Successful Author (at least in my head I do - it is generally a role characterised by glazed eyes and me staring into space...)
Two evenings a week I also get to play at Dedicated and Conscientious Student, with added bonus of a secret I'm Actually Already Getting Published superhero pants which I wear beneath my jeans.
I also get to play at Star Striker on a Friday night. At least during the first half. Second half I'm knackered so I play at Lumbering Defender instead.
Of course I have a favoured role I get to play, feels like my most natural I think - generally get to play it on a Weekend, sometimes on a Wednesday. It a Grinning Like A Tit role and is, most definitely, my favourite.
I'm sat on the Tube (dahn saarf), on a Saturday - please note, no longer Halloween, in a giant yellow duck suit. And too my left is a five foot nine baby. With beard. To my right is a four foot ten crack whore. Without beard. And I'm sat there, whilst a German tourist snaps pictures.
And I know exactly which roles I favour, and I only wish I could play them more often.
On the upside though - regardless of role, my wonderful hair remains the same. Largely due to the glue thats in it.
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Sunday, 12 October 2008
Monday, 6 October 2008
Saturday, 4 October 2008
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
I went to Chester (ish) this weekend for Caroline's signing. I did initially test out the widget to breaking point to see if it indeed have magical powers and could transport me physically, as well as mentally.
But no. It is not yet that magical - perhaps the next one will be.
So I got the train instead with Evil Cake Fiend (she baked, which was lovely. But made me carry them and wouldn't even let me steal one. Not a single one...) at stupid hour in the morning.
Still - the signing was really good. Caroline looked busy and impressively cheerful throughout. I drank coffee and read Black Boxes (so far, so mint - it's a bit rude though so i had to hide it from the families which surrounded me in the coffee shop.) She even signed my copy. Even mentioned Lesbian Nurses for me which made made me proper smile, how.
Then, finally, I got cake. And buns. And more coffee. And most importanly met loads of fellow bloggers. Took me a while to begin to unravel the Blog Names from Real Names and for a time couldn't shake the feeling i was in bizarre suburban based spy thriller. But, as no hencemen appeared, I eventually relaxed into it and quite enjoyed myself.
I resisted the urge to jealously punch Caroline's New Mint, largely because he was actually really nice and quite entertaining. He was also equally awkward about revealing the storyline to his forth coming novel - so that made me feel better. What I did wheedle from him made the book sound pretty interesting too, so I may yet end up hating him (kidding. Or am I? Yes. Maybe. Who knows? No, really, kidding.)
Anyway - I'm back at work doing nothing at all useful now and feeling more like my old self for so shamelessy wasting my time. Soon I will go and steal someone's biscuits or scrounge ket from the kids. Later I will have a coffee. I will breifly consider marking as I make my way home. I will remember that I left my marking at school when I get home. Bugger eh?
Liverpool Fans Drown My Sorrows.
Despite my proper mint day on Saturday all was not great. Stupid bloody Toon. Messing up my day. And Caroline's oldest laughed at me when he discovered my dirty footballing secret (he did have the decency to turn away and giggle quietly though, he's obviously well brought up...)
Anyway - there I was, at Liverpool Lime Street waiting for my train, propping up the bar upstairs, when a Liverpool fan spotted the Newcastle Keyring which dangles from my Man's Bag (It is very manly. Honest, like).
So, a very big thank you to the Liverpool fans who insisted on buying me drinks to help ease my supporters pain, and thank you all so much for travelling with me to Leeds and keeping me entertained and the rest of the carriage so obviously irritated. It was mint. how.
Friday, 26 September 2008
I'm hiding or, perhaps, I am camouflaged. Blending in seamlessly with my academic surroundings, child's exercise book open on the desk in front of me, no one just has realised their mistake. No yet has spotted I am a fraud...
It astounds me that I am allowed to do this. I teach, stood at the front of the room, or wandering about making suggestions and corrections and, occasionally, fairly poor jokes. And all the time I am convinced I am about to be found out.
At some point there will be a knock at the door and all this will be over.
I've got the right degree, I've got the right teaching qualifications, I can talk the talk and generally I think I'm pretty good at what I do... But I'm blatantly not an adult. I'm a twenty something year old child.
I am playing hide and seek with my Head of Department, crouched behind the Big Green Books. How mature am I?
Saturday, 20 September 2008
Monday, 15 September 2008
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Monday, 1 September 2008
Balls To Employment, Plus DK Cocks Up, And I Erect A Tent (not really, just wanted one more penis reference in the title.)
Here is my plan...
I play football on a Friday. Well, I stand on the pitch and run about a bit. Sometimes I fall over. But anyway - some of our Sixth Formers play with us.
They started asking me when they were due back for lessons.
So I made up a date, somewhere toward the middle of the month.
A friend of mine has a daughter who is in my form. They started asking when they were due back for lessons.
So I made up a date, somewhere toward the middle of the month.
Do you see what doing there?
The Head of Year 11 rang me to ask when we were due back to start lessons.
I told him we went back last week.
It amuses and confuses me that people continue to have faith in my Work Abilities. It astounds me that no one seems to have realised that I am, wholly and spectacularly, useless.
But, of course, no matter how useless and inefficient I become, no matter how honed my Looking Busy Skills may be, it still cuts into writing time. I still have to turn up physically, even if rarely mentally.
So I thought long and hard (more penis jokes... always witty)
I may have solved this. I may have found a way to sit with my laptop, to wear my dressing gown, to slurp at my coffee, and never set foot in Work again.
I've bought a Lifesize Cardboard Cutout of myself.
Of course of it's own this would mean very little, no one will be convinced. It's just stupid. Yes?
Ahhh, but no, see. Because, right, this CardBored Me, right, comes with a speech bubble. Oh yes. So I scribble on something witty and/or inspiring and that'll seal the deal. No one will be any the wiser. I'm thinking of "Work harder, especially you Connor..."
Me: This is cold.
Me: You're not funny.
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
Well, no, not very odd. Quite understandable really. Perhaps what I mean is this:
Bit of a frustrating thing this.
Here, on my blog, I can say, pretty much what ever it is I want to say. I don't always, because of course some statements are definitely better off being left in my head. But I could if I wanted to.
See, here, I'm quite happy saying things about 9987. I don't, not often, I am fairly comfortable doing it. For example:
It is mint it is mint it is mint it is mint.
See? Very easy to do.
Meet me face to face however and it's another thing entirely.
Slowly word has crept around friends and family, family friends and friend's families, friend's of friend's and people I work with, or have once worked with, or went to school with. Etc. This, I tell myself, Can Only Be A Good Thing. People are interested. People tell me they are already preordering (I was, briefly, in the top 40,000 list on Amazon..)
But, increasingly, people have started asking me questions. Have started being interested and wanting to talk to me about it.
This is muchos bizarre. Tres weird. Geet unsettling, how.
They say lovely things like: Congratulations, I heard you're getting published. You must be proper chuffed, how.
I nod and smile.
Then they ask quite sensible questions, things like: So, what's it about then?
And I'm stumped. And I blush. And I try not to make eye contact and mutter stupid things. Sometimes I say:
Then they, too, avoid eye contact.
Sometimes I say:
Loneliness. Lust and Unrequited Love
And they say 'Aawww' and I see the pity in their eyes.
Sometimes I say:
Sometimes I say:
But never do I say this all at once. And never with any explanation. And always with the suffix - Sorry, I'm parked on a double yellow, I'll catch you later.
Face to face, I'm fairly crap. Ask about someone else's book. Ask me about SAT's revision or GCSE coursework. Ask me about football. Ask me why my flies are undone or why I'm wearing a dressing gown in the middle of the street. Ask my why I'm cradling a Disco Kettle and pointing out the sights to it. Anything else I can do.
This is a bit of a problem...
So I've done some Maths. By choice. On my own. And I've shown the workings out.
I have 172 Days until 9987 is released.
I have 172 Days until I really, really have to be able to talk about my book without feeling like a tosser.
I have 172 Days until I really need to be out of my corner and into a spotlight, even if only briefly.
I have 172 Days.
Before my Great Big Assault On The Spotlight though, I would very much like to promote someone else.
Caroline Smailes' Novella 'Disraeli Avenue' is now available for Pre-Order. It'll be out in time for Christmas, it's proceeds are going to a very, very good cause, ad if you loved In Search Of Adam as much as I did it will, I'm sure, be worth every penny. For more info stop by Caroline's blog.
Friday, 22 August 2008
You've drank it.
Hello, sir. Just the coffee? Is there anything else?
Are you sure? We have some lovely Watercolour flavoured chewing gum.
No. Yes. No.
(A patient pause from smug tilljockey)
Ok then, fine. I'll take the red flavour.
You sure? Not even a tenner?
(A patient pause from smug tilljockey)
Hello sir, you look like a man with a tenner. Would you like a pint of Sweaty Whisker Real Ale?
No. I'm busy. Not got my words done. Just needed coffee.
Are you sure? You can really taste the reclaimed farm runoff? Only two quid.
(A patient pause from the all knowing barmonkey)
Ok. Just one though.
Good afernoon young man, you look like a man with eight quid in your pocket. Care for a copy of Radiator Decorator's Monthly?
No. Words. Busy.
Are you sure? It comes with a free Tom Jones In Profile Stencil. Only four ninetynine.
(A patient pause from the unnervingly round magazinepimper)
Well hello there, you look like the sort of bloke to have exactly three pounds and a penny in your pocket. Would you care for this delightful ceramic bust of two dogs going at it nasty, which I was about to sell on ebay?
Are you sure. It has nipples on?
(A patient pause from the ebaybotherer)
Ok then. But I want it in a bag.
No. Too busy. Words.
(A patient pause from the Disco Kettle.)
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
It was Mint.
I mean, obviously I expecting something good - Roz is already part Mint, like my self, but it was, overall, proper mint, how. So there.
Great little basement theatre setting with bar and barman I got to confuse and then befriend, we even swapped rum drinking advice.
But no, just, great - Becky Owens was a perfect choice, simple piano driven songs, really emotive and she did really well getting a gang of (reasonably) sober adults to make trumpeting noises. Great stuff.
Oh yeah, and there books and things. Plus another really good idea - having actors read perform sections of the two books. I liked that. Cos there is no way I'd be able to read my stuff out. I had to be dragged from the darkest corner I could find to talk to people... Honest.
Anyway, it got me thinking - What do I want for my launch?
I've already decided on lunch - that was Greggs... Hmmm Greggs. But now I'm thinking - Launch.
What to do what to do?
Tonto say I can have a go thinking up ideas, and they assure me we have plenty of time. But even so... I'm impatient...
I've set up a 'Bloglite' type thing and have put a link somewhere over on the right there.
I want some ideas. I want some suggestions. I want someone to volunteer to do things for me because impatience does not necessarily translate into energy. And I'm a very, very poor planner.
So, when you have a minute dive over and do something helpful :)
And once again, Roz, Stephen: Mint. Just, you know, Mint.
I met my Most Sage and Wise Mentor yesterday.
I was terrified - what if she didn't like me? What if this, finally, was the end of the mint. I was hiding and shaking a little little.
She was, is, lovely. I'm so pleased to stay part of the mint, so pleased to make a new friend.
Caroline you are proper lovely, how x
Sunday, 17 August 2008
I'm not having this. I'm fed up.
All you people, yes you, with your 'Oh, where did the summer go?' and your 'Not til long til Christmas.' It's not on.
It's no wonder the sun is so shy, so eager to hide, so lacking in confidence when the slightest bit of cloud have you searching through your decorations box looking for tinsel. Can't you see what you're doing?
I have three weeks left of my summer holiday (yes, I know, but I work hard, occasionally. In fact I vividly remember a Tuesday in April when I turned up to teach all my lessons, and marked stuff, and planned stuff. So there. But anyway.) and I'm not giving up on summer until I'm back on coffee making duty in September.
It doesn't matter that DK has been feeding me Lemsips for the last few days because I have a bit of a cold. In fact, no, scratch that. I Am A Man - Thus I have Exploding Head Death. Not a cold at all, it is in fact a serious and life threatening condition.
Nor does it matter that my insistance in walking home from Pubjob has resulted in me getting soaking wet and cold every night this week.
In fact, I'm even chosing to ignore the fact that I went into Matalan for a decent shirt yesterday and found that all the summer clothes are now gone, and large, bulky coats and jumpers have sprouted from the squeaky lino flooring.
None of this matters. I accept the fact that Winter is the natural state up on my frozen hilltop. That's not going to stop me fighting for the summer though. I will wear shorts dammit. I will saunter about in t-shirts. I will eat picnics, even if it's from the front seat of my car because the parks are all now swamp.
Oh good, Lemsip time.
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
He is proper mint, how.
"Haruki Murakami is quite possibly the most successful and influential cult author in the world today. His books are like Japanese food — a mix of the delicate, the deliberately bland and the curiously exotic. Dreams, memory and reality swap places, all leavened with dry humour. His translator, Professor Jay Rubin, says reading Murakami changes your brain. His world-view has inspired Sofia Coppola, the author David Mitchell and American bands such as the Flaming Lips. He is a recipient of the Franz Kafka prize, has honorary degrees from Princeton and Liège, and is tipped for the Nobel prize for literature."
For more info go here
I've read 'Catcher in the Rye.' and its ok - Don't hit me, stop throwing things at your screen. Come on, admit it. It's good, it's fine, there is nothing wrong with it, I'm not criticising it. Honest. It just didn't do much for me. I found Holden Caulfield - well - a bit of a dick. Sorry. I just couldn't connect to him. I tried. I read it twice, never again.
My Dad gave it to me, an old second hand copy, which I still have, because he said it was one of those books you have to read, at a particular age. And yeah, it was. I'm older now, wiser, more mature, more handsome, hairier, wearing my dressing gown and I'm glad I read it. But it made little lasting impression on me.
'Norweigan Wood' was different...
See, me, I like a bit of the surreal. Maybe thats why 'Catcher in the Rye' didn't really do it for me, maybe I was just too young to really understand it, I don't know.
Anyway, the reason I'm going on so about CitR is because I think Norwegian Wood is a very similar book. It's a coming of age, becoming an adult, sort of novel. I also found NW spoke to me in a way CitR didn't. I connected to it. Possibly because it contains nipples. Who knows.
"The novel is a nostalgic story of loss and sexuality. The story's protagonist and narrator is Toru Watanabe, who looks back on his days as a freshman university student living in Toyko.
Through Toru's reminiscences we see him develop relationships with two very different women — the beautiful yet emotionally troubled Naoko, and the outgoing, lively Midori.
The novel is set in Tokyo during the late 1960s, a time when Japanese students, like those of many other nations, were protesting against the established order. While it serves as the backdrop against which the events of the novel unfold, Murakami (through the eyes of Toru and Midori) portrays the student movement as largely weak-willed and hypocritical." - I stole this from here
To be honest the storyline wasn't incredible, it was enough. The troubled Naoko created enough tension, and enough heartache, to keep the story moving, to keep Toru's character believable.
It is the quality of the prose which wins me over - a lot of credit must go to his translater Professor Jay Rubin.
Murakami writes of very simple, very mudane acts. His work is peppered with descriptions of the everyday, of preparing meals, of household chores - but he manages, always, to suggest something magical, something very important just out of our reach. It is a skill I wish very much that I possessed.
More impressive, and more poignant I think, from my perspective, is the sense of isolation he creates, the characters, the places - huge bustling cities like Tokyo full of noise, excitment, danger, mystery - and yet despite this, or perhaps because of this anonymity, his characters so often feel alone. Feel disconnected. Like Holden Caulfield. Yet this sense of the magical, this sense of a higher, or at least greater, power, this suggestion of fate makes the character's situations seem more - meaningful - I suppose I mean. They seem to have a purpose, even though they don't know it themselves.
Anyway, I'm rambling.
Try 'Norwegian Wood' and please note, it has a kick ass sound track to it, then try this one.
Kafka on the Shore - It's little weird. In fact it's a lot weird, very surreal, but so worth it.
"Comprising two distinct but interrelated plots, the narrative runs back and forth between the two, taking up each plotline in alternating chapters.
The odd chapters tell the 15 year old Kafka's story as he runs away from his father's house to escape an Oedipal curse and to embark upon a quest to find his mother and sister. After a series of adventures, he finds shelter in a quiet, private library in Takamatsu, run by the distant and aloof Miss Saeki and the androgynous Oshima. There he spends his days reading the unabridged Richard Francis Burton translation of A Thousand and One Nights and the collected works of Natsume Sōseki until the police begin inquiring after him in connection with a brutal murder.
The even chapters tell Nakata's story. Due to his uncanny abilities, he has found part-time work in his old age as a finder of lost cats (a clear reference to The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle). The case of one particular lost cat puts him on a path that ultimately takes him far away from his home, ending up on the road for the first time in his life. He befriends a truck-driver named Hoshino. Hoshino takes him on as a passenger in his truck and soon becomes very attached to the old man.
Nakata and Kafka are on a collision course throughout the novel, but their convergence takes place as much on a metaphysical plane as it does in reality and, in fact, that can be said of the novel itself. Due to the Oedipal theme running through much of the novel, Kafka on the Shore has been called a modern Greek tragedy"
Yeah, I know. A bit odd. But go with it. Murakami is not universally loved in Japan. Younger readers see him as a great cult author but many critics find his style to 'Western' he has often been accused of betraying tradtional Japanese Literary traditions.
Here though, we see a mix. The same blend of humour, popular culture. The same surrealism, but with a stronger link to Japanese religious traditions. And yes, more nipples.
I don't want to go on and on for much longer - you can read blurbs, I don't want to retell the story to you, I don't even want to offer you a huge personal reflection on his work. The beauty of these works I've made as clear as I can.
They bring magic to my daily life, they make me feel important, they stop me feeling alone. They have nipples and always, always good music.
Monday, 11 August 2008
Or at least part of me.
And here is my T-shirt.
I know full well that it is (slightly) pathetic and desperate to put your name on a T-shirt, but I don't care. I bought two of these, one for me, one for The Brother. My plan was for the two of us to wear them to work. (He works at the pub with me. In fact he is my boss, which he loves as he's the younger one and doesn't often get Power.)
But he said we weren't allowed.
We had to wear our Official Wetherspoons Dulliforms. So I was upset and a little relieved because wearing it in public was actually becoming more and more worrying. Besides wearing a t-shirt with my name on the back felt a little, well, crude I suppose. A bit up myself. I mean, I am a bit up my self, I was tempted to comment on the fact that the photo doesn't show off my wonderful bum, but again - that would be very arrogant of me wouldn't it? The point is is that I don't want everyone to know how arrogant I am. I have a bit of shy thing going on. For no particular reason.
Slightly relieved that I couldn't wear it to work I put my dressing gown and tried to write. But The Brother had other plans.
So we went to work early.
In our T shirts.
And pulled poses, like the one above - which is not at all a girlie pose, Caroline, it is,in fact, a super hero pose and one which Disco Kettle taught me. Although I will admit that he does it better than me - for an hour. Much to The Brother's delight I pulled my poses going redder and redder and redder.
But women did come up and stroke me. Which, of course, made me go a very deep scarlet colour.
So now you know, and, as a bonus, you can go and practice your own super hero poses. Which are in no way girlie.
Friday, 8 August 2008
Thursday, 7 August 2008
This morning the lovely people at Tonto Books sent me the cover for 9987.
It is fairly mint, I'm proper chuffed, how.
So, I'm going to keep it to myself today and, you know, just stare at it and stroke it and stuff.
But tomorrow, tomorrow I dress my baby
Wednesday, 6 August 2008
(doors slam, feet pound the corridors)
(a phone drops to the floor: hello? hello? can you hear me? hello?)
(a panicked foot crushes the phone: hello? he-)
(distant sirens, children wail)
(A frantic knocking, a muffled cry: help me, I can't get out.)
(Please, I'm locked in. Isn't anyone there?)
(Oh God, please, please, is anyone there?)
(A woman screams, the banging on the door is desperate, a body slamming against unyielding wood)
(A woman is screaming: Oh God, this is it, tell my mother I - )
(A single beating heart, pounding in your ears.)
(A woman faints.)
Monday, 4 August 2008
Yes you heard right.
Cross-Genre, Trans-Format Fusion of Creative Energies.
Ironically I am discussing Creative Energies because, today, mine are horribly lacking. Maybe it was last nights bottle of wine. Maybe it was because I found myself watching Reality TV Shows at three o'clock this morning. Maybe it's due to my grief over missing nipples. I just don't know. But anyway, here we go.
Quite simply, I am talking about music.
Yes, I know. I know, stop it. Distracting surely. Silence is what is needed to write. Silence and coffee. And magic dressing gowns. I know, I know.
But I find silence quite intimidating. Even at work I'm the same.
(Class scribbles away in silence. Just the sound of pen to paper. A cough. A sigh.
Me: ... Ok kids, stop it. You're freaking me out. Say something or it's detentions all round. Especially for you. Yes, you.)
Here's how it works.
Depending on the chapter or scene different types of music are required. Generally speaking I find 'trip hop' as a good general backdrop. (I had to look up 'trip-hop'. It's an actual thing you know.) Rjd2 has worked well, as have Death In Vegas. Cos they're weird. They're all disjointed and mixed up and, bizarrely, stuff I hate in any other circumstances. I did try Jazz, for the weird disjointedness. But Jazz gives me nightmares. Yeah, I know.
For today my plan is this:
1. I have a scene in a park which involves hallucinations or the scary kind. This is a Death In Vegas scene. But, it's also outside so I will interspace DIV with The Coral, their first album, Obviously, because 'trip-folk' (and yeah, I made that one up, but it sort of fits) is good for any outdoor oddness.
unrequitedness. This is a Bush scene. Because no one does pain quite like Gavin Rossdale. Maybe because he's married to Gwen Stefani. I don't know.
3. I have a short scene in the main protagonist's flat. I think this will be the Pixies, because their lowfi lyrical madness will lend themselves nice his frame of mind.
Hmmm... That's a lot of work. Right well, I'd get past Part Two then.
Part Two: Disco Kettle Has A Bath.
Somehow DK has smeared himself in beans. I really don't understand how. I turn my back for one minute. So before jobs 1,2 and 3 can even be properly considered DK needs a bath.
I'm not having him delivering coffees splattered with greasy orange gunk.
Filthy filthy kettle.
Friday, 1 August 2008
I have just finished writing a Chapter of Novel 2 - FSLL. This is obviously a good thing. In fact the whole thing is going quite well, I have some bit and pieces I want to redo later and they are highlighted in yellow. I also have some adjustments I want to make to a character, these are highlighted in blue and come with a handy comment bubble.
But I worry.
I really do.
For you see, I have just finished writing a Chapter of Novel 2 - FSLL in which my main protagonist is in a strip club.
And not once have I mentioned Nipples. I fear I may be unwell.
9987 has nipples in.
So I have to ask myself: Where have all the nipples gone?
There is an easy fix to this. I could just go back and put some in. But somehow the tone of FSLL doesn't lend itself to nipples.
(I know, I was surprised too. What book wouldn't be better with nipples?
"Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?"
"Juliet, show us your tits!" )
I fear I may be growing up.
Disco Kettle doesn't see this as a problem. But he has different tastes, there is nothing gets his water bubbling like a supple flex of power cord, like a shiny plug pin. In fact I think he has a thing for the microwave, they regularly 'Bing' together...
But I digress.
Where have all the nipples gone? I can only assume someone is stealing my nipples.
So if it's you, you unscrupulous fiend, stop it. It's very upsetting. Nipple thief.
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
I first discovered John Connolly through a desperate and vague Christmas request (always a risky stratedgy I know, but it pays off suprisingly often) a few years ago. I'd asked, quite simply, for short stories. I received quite a few. The most impressve one though was Nocturnes, by John Connolly. Partly it wa sso impressive as it was Hardback. Plus it was a deep, beaten purple, like a bruised book, designed to look old, worn. And it was a first edition. And it was signed. So there.