Thursday, 31 December 2009

A Non Review Of The Year

S'over, nearly. Deal with it.

And it's been a long one hasn't it?

Obviously, while thinking over the last year it felt ... well... quick and eventless, really.

January happened, then February, then March as usual. I've been told that April and May were around. I remember the lead up to summer. And the summer, mainly for the frustrations at not getting my proper writing time. Um, and then it was Christmas. With snow. In fact, I'm still watching the snow coming down now and, since I have a New Years Picnic planned, I'm not liking it. Although, fresh snow... I can feel a snow man coming on. Or an Igloo. Yeah, that would be cool. In fact, an igloo with an Inuit family gathered around it skinning a Caribou. If that is indeed where Inuits call home and skinning stuff is indeed what they do. Maybe, to be safe I'll do an Inuit family, in shorts, playing on an Xbox in front of a villa as well. Just in case anyone asks.

But anyway, the point I was sort of ambling towards is that, actually, thanks to all those Review of the Year programmes it turns out that I'm wrong. It's actually been a long year, hasn't it.

I mean, January was ages ago. In fact, January was the official release of 9987. That boggles me a little bit. It already feels like it's been out forever. I already feel like I'm resting on my laurels and yet... You know, twelve months, whilst being ages ago is equally quite recent.

You see my point?

I dunno. Is it cos I'm getting old that a year sounds quite trivial now. It's no longer a tenth of my life, a twentieth, not even a quarter.

Does that mean that I'm allowed to work slower now?

If a year is quite trivial and yet is equally long, does that mean that twelve months hard writing need only amount to a years effort? Cos, you know, doing anything for twelve months takes ages. And it's a bit tough. But, stuff you did last year took seconds and, really, well it's all over now isn't it?

It's a line on an end of year review.

Which is why I'm not doing it.

So there.

This year we had that plane crash in New York, you know, the one in the river? And Jade Goody died, which I didn't really care about, although it feels like it happened a lot longer ago. Newcastle got relegated, which I did care about and, even a year on(ish) still hurts. Michael Jackson died and so we a month worth of funeral to enjoy. Barak Obama became President and that was ok for a bit, then he won the Noel Peace Prize and I starting thinking that, somehow, he was leading a bit of a charmed life. Not that I'm bitter, I just don't understand how he won it.

But anyway, I'm rambling, as always. What I'm trying to say is this:

It's been a long year and, when I'm not paying attention, it feels like a short and uneventful year.

But, you know, I think the best thing to take out of 2009 are the things that I can take with me into 2010. I'm still writing, by the end of the summer I'll have finished the first draft of Novel 2 (FSLL). I have a Disco Kettle which still dances as long as you've put enough water in him. I have a cat that stands on my keyboard. And, most importantly, I have my Geet Mint PR Guru.

And cos I'm really jammy I get to plan for a 2010 with them all in.

All the best yo! Hope you have plenty to take with you into 2010.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009





"...! ...?"

"No no, nothing like that. Just got nothing to say really..."

Not a lot going on really. In a sort of Christmalaise - not really got all my shopping done; not really got all my work done; not really got that much writing done although I'm getting bits and pieces done. Just, you know, not getting stuff done.

I blame the weather. And the mince pies. I don't actually, really, like mince pies but I keep getting them given and, you know, it's sweet pastry. I'm a bit of a tart for sweet pastry...

I did almost get to meet Bill Bailey though, which I admit is not as exciting as actually meeting Bill Bailey but, still, s'quite good. I almost sort of supported him at the Sage last night too. Again, it would have been far more impressive to have actually supported him but hey, not many people have even managed to almost to that have they?

I tried going in the performers entrance too, but was told to go away. So I had to pay for my parking., although I got mince pies (iced for extra Chrismassy goodness) and free drinks and attention and, well, that's me sold really isn't it?

Me and Bill and Sheila Quigley - rocking the Sage up right nice, how.

We had a reading event thingy on the same night, in the same venue as Bill. We decided to let him have the main hall though, he'd come a long way, plus he had instruments and stuff so needed the space. Obviously that left hundreds a little upset that they couldn't fit into the library space we were using but I hear that Bill was pretty good - hopefully they still had fun.

S'a good laugh doing events with Sheila, she has this great thing where she asks the audience questions if they go quiet; rather than my trick of sitting in a quiet corner staring at my feet. She's good value that woman.

Twas was a good laugh and actually was the first time I'd been in the Sage. S'big. And sort of wobbly, you kind of want to go around hugging the walls cos it's all so friendly looking.

Anyway, got some work to pretend to do now I think, try and shake off the spirit of Lazymas for a bit and, you know, look busy.

And boil up DK right nice too I think. Got some mince pies to dunk...

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Reading Comprehension

Me: That's... interesting. Explain it to me.

Student: Well, the question said to draw the monster.

Me: Uhuh...

Student: ... So I am.

Me: Yeah, true but what are you basing the picture on?

Student: ... The description of it in the story.

Me: Great. So what're these?

Student: Well the story said it was a bit Octopussy so I've done eight of them.

Me: ... Yeeeeeesssss...

Student: And it said that it had evil eyes so I've done them all red.

Me: I like the eyes, they're good. But why are these hairy?

Student: Oh, I know, I wondered about that cos it's says they're like leather doesn't it?

Me: It does yeah, so why do them hairy?

Student: ... Well... Because they are hairy aren't they?

Me: ... Um... Are you sure?

Student: Yeah.

Me: ... Could you, um, could read that word out for me please?

Student: That one?

Me: Yes, yes please.

Student: Testicles.

Me: (Trying not to giggle) ... Um... No. No it says tentacles.

Student: (After a long pause) ........................................ Oh.

Me: Yes.

Student: Ah.

Me: Yes.

Student: Can I start again please, sir?

Me: Yes. Yes that might be a good idea.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Hey Everybody, Hey Dr Nik: Step Two


Yes yes I know, I'm evil and cold and uncaring and have been ignoring you all for geet ages and yes. I feel bad about it. I do. Really. Really really do.

But I've been busy as, how. ("Busy as" what? You may say but unto you peoples I shall say only this: it rhymes with truck and isn't nearly as easy as it looks...)

Ages and ages ago, in a time before work kept getting in my way and before my car started coughing and wheezing I posted this. And they laughed at me. They said I was mad! But who's laughing now eh? Who? Well yes, exactly, no one. I'm all very serious now and use geet long words and semi colons and stuff; I am cleverer than the most cleverest person in the world*.

I am: Nicholas R***** Jones BA (Hons) MA (Distinction) and all round modest nice guy.

Or, as My Geet Mint PR Guru prefers to say:

I'm a BAMA.

Which is also pretty cool.

And not only that, I'm greedy too.

I am not yet content.

DK has a PhD. He waves it at me sometimes, wanders around with it stuck to his buttons. He lets it flow out behind him when he steams, a rippling cape of geet mintness inside of which he stands, silhouetted against the rising sun, his 'little tea pot' spout raised in a fist against the retreating night: a God amongst appliances. Not just a kettle. A super kettle. A hero.

And it pisses me right off.

Cos I want one.

I want a PhD cape what I can strut about in.

I want to stand silhouetted against the sky looking hard as nails and wearing an Indiana Jones hat for extra crispy impressiveness.

I want a Fudd.

So I'm going to get one. I've been applying see, and I'm creeping closer... Ever closer... I can almost smell the dusty corridors of academia, the heady aroma of stale coffee and old books. (mainly cos that's what my classroom smells like. I have an Essence of Academia room spray).

I will get that cape...

Plus: A success for me and many others that realises a dream I thought I'd given up on but actually it turns out I haven't. Catchy subheading no?

Ages and ages ago the results of the Even More Tonto Short Stories Competition was announced

And I was a winner! Yeay for me! It's got some writers I know of and they're kick ass cool. Shanta Everington and Fiona Robyn are in it and I'm really quite keen on reading those - even more keen on being in a collection with them. Makes me all chuffed inside being included in stuff with writers like that.

I've been sending out short stories since I was 14 and have quite the collection of polite "No" letters as well as huge gaps where no one could even be bothered to send out generic "No" letters or emails.

When I was younger and (even) lazier I sort of assumed that Short Stories were going to be my only route into being published. I couldn't be bothered to stick at novels and, if I'm honest, short stories required a skill I've been lacking I think.

Until now (giggles).

I'm so pleased, and so chuffed for everyone else who made it in and so gutted for all those who didn't.

I know how you feel.

If you want I'll give you TontoStu's address so you can send him poo-in-bags.**

*Not actually in way true, not even slightly, although I did once meet someone at university who thought Shithole was an actual place after which horrible places had since become known.

** Not actually at all recommended, or very fair, as I hear the competition was tough to judge due to the quality of the entries. You should have done what I did and bribe him with beer BEFORE the results were decided.***

*** Not actually in way true, not even slightly, although I did once meet a bloke who dressed up as a woman and stripteased his best mate in exchange for beer.****

**** Not actually TontoStu. Really really.