Monday, 8 October 2012


It's been a while since I last posted, and I apologise for that.  My motivation recently hasn't been aimed toward writing (even though I have a story to write, poetry to compose, a blog to keep updating).  If I haven't been working I've been at home doing other things (like learning to play "Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues" by Skip James - twatting hard that).

Anyway.  One of the things I have been doing is thinking about 'pod casting'.  I wonder whether it's something I could do, if I'd enjoy it, and if people would watch it.
"What would you talk about?", I hear absolutely no one asking... well I think it would be along the lines of my more 'ranty' blogs.  I picture me, in front of my web cam, talking about something that I would normally put in a blog while recording myself, then posting it up online.

Those that know me know I loathe being seen in either video or pictures, so doing this would kind of go against that.  It's easy to write words on a screen and swear and shout (metaphorically) because there is a feeling of anonymity whilst sat in front of a keyboard.  But actually putting my face and voice to something, that's different.  Even though there wouldn't be a 'live' presence (although I do have the ability and the software to be able to do that) people would see it as actually 'me', rather than  just words on their screen.

I think my first couple of postings would be watched by quite a few people from my Facebook friends list - more out of curiosity to see how I look now rather than the content.  But beyond that, would interest be there?  I have no idea.

Maybe I'll have a go at it one night this week and see what I think of the results.  At the moment I can do that, and post it to the same place I store some of the songs I've covered so it would be easily accessible.  I don't know.  As I said, I've been thinking about it, so we'll see what happens.

Currently reading: "The Official Zombie Handbook : The Ministry Of Zombies (UK)" by Sean T. Page (and really hoping for a Zombie uprising).
Currently listening to: Bloodhound gang for the laughs, Seasick Steve for good slide guitar blues.
Currently eating: 60% cocoa dark chocolate with cherries.


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

And so it begins

Following on from my previous post, last night I started writing my 'epic'. (Ha!)
It's a proper, novel-length story and I have a fairly clear idea of where it's going to go.  I think the idea is an original one as well, which I'm really happy about.
In my mind, I can see the story unfolding gracefully, like a film, and I realized last night the difficult part is going to be getting it all down in words.  Writing is hard!
I got in from work yesterday, grabbed a drink from the fridge and sat in front of my laptop.  "Right", I thought, "I'll spend a little while making a start, formatting the document etc." and then I looked at the clock and an hour and forty five minutes had passed!
I have made good progress on the first chapter, and even in the short space of time I spent on it I learned a few interesting things:

  • Writing in Wordpad is rubbish.  I need to get MS Office or something.
  • Proof reading / editing is important, but interrupts the flow of writing.
  • Deciding on, and sticking to, tense is hard. (i.e. telling the story as it happens, has happened, will happen etc.).
  • Writing is hard!

One of the main things I'm going to struggle with is keeping my motivation.  It's going to be a long hard slog, but I have to remain focused on what I want to achieve.  Those that know me know I flitter between obsession and complete lack of interest like a poncy butterfly, but this is something that will really suffer if I don't stay focused.  I spoke to my writer friend a little while ago and we agreed that taking on a project like this becomes like a second job.  Working on it half an hour here and there will never get it done.  I will need to properly invest time in it, in chunks of a few hours or more.  And I can't lie, that fills me with a low level dread...
Still.  If I give it my best, and I realize it's not going to come out as I want it, at least I've tried.
I won't be posting a lot of the work online for review / comments - I think that will be counterproductive.  But, I may post excerpts from it as I go, if I'm particularly proud of a scene or piece of the story.
Anyway, thanks for reading and I'll keep this blog up to date with how I'm doing.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Now we see if I can really do this

Those of you who are regular readers will know I have embarked on a new journey, or project, of writing fiction. So far it's been a (very) short story and some poetry. (What's that? You want a link to the site? Oh ok then... Click me! Click me!). The feedback I've had has been positive and frankly I feel sometimes that I don't deserve the kind words I've received. However, the reason behind the whole thing is because I really would like to write a novel. I know a lot of people in the past have said something like that and believe me I know my limitations, but I just feel that my passion for reading good writing and captivating language will give me enough impetus to be able to produce something interesting.

So far the problem has been thinking of something that will a) keep my interest b) be interesting for other people to read and c) be something I can actually complete. The poetry has been an interesting diversion and I will try and keep that up but I have at last hit upon an idea that I think might have legs.

When I write, what triggers the whole stream of fiction for me is a clear image. Something like a scene, a person, a location that sits in my minds eye so clearly that I see it more often than I should during waking hours. I now have this as a start of a 'proper' story. I won't give anything away just yet, but one thing I can definitely say is that I've decided to NOT publish chapter by chapter as I go. I don't think, for a novel-length story, that format will work. What I think I will be doing is publishing the odd excerpt on my fiction blog, scenes I enjoyed writing or that I think will spark interest.
I hope those of you who have shown interest in my writing so far will stay tuned and visit my fiction blog. The most important thing, if you do that, is to leave comments. I won't learn if I don't get any feedback, good or bad. So do that for me, and you'll be wonderful, sexy, intelligent people. Well, more so than you all are already.

In other news: I just watched "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". I've read the book which I enjoyed and now I've seen the film I'd definitely recommend it.
I'm currently reading "Blackout" by Mira Grant (the third book in the "Newsflesh" trilogy) and mostly eating duck l'orange pâté.


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

First story complete

So on my new 'fiction only' blog Experimental Fiction I have finished my first short story.
It's only about 3700 words long, three chapters each split into two parts, but I think it takes you from beginning to end in a way that isn't too hurried.  I can't say where I got the idea from (as I don't really know!), just that the images I had in my mind were very clear, and I tried my best to present them in a way that would let the reader spend a little time in this world of my imagination.
I spoke to my writer friend (I love saying that) and said to her that I wished I could see into peoples minds while they read the story, and see if the pictures that are being played on their internal screen are the same as the ones I saw - or how different they were.
So where next?  Well, I do want to continue writing, and I do have a few ideas that I'm toying with.  I don't know if the format I used (releasing each chapter when complete) will work for a longer story but I think I'll give it a go.  I have really valued the feedback I've received, especially from Jules Lucton (her website can be found here).

If you've not taken the time to go read my story yet, please do.  I should only take a few minutes of your time, and I would really love to know what you think of it, good or bad.  Is there something you would have done differently?  Would you have changed anything in the narrative? Any and all comments will be read and responded to.

In other news : not much.  Work and fatherhood are all that's happening right now.  No new music recently, and nothing on TV has excited me.  The only vaguely interesting thing is I'm toying with 12 bar blues on my guitar at the moment.  But you won't really care about that will you?

Anyway - without wanting to sound like I'm begging(!) please take a look at my short story on the link above, and let me know what you think.


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Experimental Fiction

I've decided on what I want to do with my efforts on writing fiction.

I've started a new blog - Experimental Fiction - which will be a place solely for me to write and post fiction.
I've already put up the first chapter of a short story I've got in my mind, so please take a few minutes to go read it and let me know your thoughts.  I will be honest (that's what blogs are all about, right?) and say that I don't know how long this 'experiment' will last.  I may lose interest in it by this time next week, or I may get so hooked into it that my health suffers, I lose my job and I become a recluse who only interacts with the world via his keyboard and blog.

The types of things I will put up there will be short stories, ideas for chapters from a possibly larger piece of work, maybe even some poetry.  (Yes, OK, I know that sounds a bit weird coming from me... poetry?  wtf?  but I like the idea of writing something short but meaningful and I'd like to give it a go).
If there is anyone out there who has ever fancied having a go at something like this, and would like me to post up their efforts, get in touch and I'll be happy to post your work.  I can't say it'll get a massive audience, but I do have some very good friends who give good feedback and who knows, maybe in a few months I'll have a global audience in the thousands??  (hahahahahahahahaha!)

So when I post new work on my fiction site, I'll do the usual of alerting Facebook & Twitter.  There is a 'Follow' link on the blog so if you want to you can get email updates when I post new stuff.
No more fiction will appear on this site, it will go back to being about me moaning and complaining about the world and the people in it.

Of course you may not give a toss about all this and you've just wasted 2 minutes of your life that you'll never get back by reading.  If so, apologies.


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

End of the experiment

I want to thank all of you who read, and commented, on my last three posts.  It was a personal experiment to see if I could actually write something that people wanted to read.  The feedback I received was very inspirational and it was very gratifying to me that I could write something that captured peoples imagination.

Unfortunately, I won't be writing any more about Janine and her late night visitor - partly because I'm not sure what will happen next and partly because I want to start thinking about the reason for this experiment.

Those who know me well enough know I am an avid reader.  I devour books at a stupid rate and I get an obscene amount of pleasure sitting with a cup of tea early in the morning and losing myself in a good book.  I have always been attracted to a good story, and I think I have quite a good way with words and language.  These things, coupled with the inspiration I have got from a writer friend of mine, have led me to think about writing my own fiction.  At the moment, I'm not sure what form this will take.  These are the questions I'm asking myself at the moment:
Do I actually have any ideas worth exploring, and are they original enough to be interesting?
Do I write a short story or two first, or do I jump straight in tackle a large piece of work?
Do I write something that is to be published, (as per Jules Lucton's book, which you can find out about here)
or do I write something in chapters on a blog?

I mention the last point because I really did enjoy getting instant feedback on what I'd written but I don't know if this format would work.

As tempting as it is to just start writing something and see what comes out of my imagination, I know this is a bad way to do things.  Not that I am an expert, but I think without a solid idea and a clear story path, the whole project would just fizzle out and come to nothing.
A writer asks something of his audience - that they invest something far more precious than mere money in the project they undertake.  He asks them to invest their time.  Do I have the imagination, and the ability to interpret those images, in a way that will make people want to spend some of their precious time in the world of my own making?  I don't know.  But judging by the feedback I received for my last little effort I think I may have enough to give it a go.

So - for those of you who are interested, I'll keep you up to date with what I decide.  At the moment, I'm leaning toward the short story route first, probably issued on a new blog so I can garner some instant feedback and comments.  But I'll let you all know what happens.

Thank you again all those who read and commented on my very first little effort.  And as always...


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Part trois

Click here for Some Fiction (part one)
Click here for Part Deux

There were not many places that Janine felt she could completely relax, but behind her locked front door and entry phone she could finally shed the weight of the day and breathe deeply.  Her adopted cat, Fitz, would not go so far as to greet her with any great enthusiasm but he deigned to look up as she closed the front door and let out a sigh.
"And a good evening to you too,cat" she said, hanging her jacket on the coat hook by the door.
She really had surprised herself in the amount of pleasure she'd had tonight, but now that it was over she needed to focus on getting ready for another busy day tomorrow.  Preparation would consist of a long, hot soak, a last glass of wine and a catch up on emails that she would have missed between leaving the office and getting home.
Although Luke's arctic blue eyes had seemed to have taken residence in her mind, she decided that maybe she wouldn't be calling him as soon as she thought she might when she said goodbye.  He was a nice man, and although the 'dark and mysterious' type wasn't normally the sort she'd go for, there was something quite enigmatic and attractive about him.  However, she'd already taken a risk in agreeing to a drink with a complete stranger and to push that any further might be asking for trouble.

As the bath was running, she poured herself a glass of wine from the fridge and scanned her email inbox for anything that might need attention before tomorrows staffers meeting.  The usual nonsense about non-disclosure agreements being contested (which happened a surprising amount of times, more than the general public knew), missing deadlines and the latest corporate guidelines on what constitutes a 'good' story.  In short, nothing worth sitting down and responding to right now.  Janine went through to the bathroom, carrying her glass, and called to Fitz,
"Stay out of trouble cat, I don't want to have to get out of the bath for at least half an hour".

As she undressed in her bathroom, Luke's voice played out in her mind - the dark, almost syrupy, sound of a man who would never have to raise his voice to command a room.  The slightest chill scurried down her back and caused her skin to tighten as she remembered his cologne... something woody, yet spicy.  She had a good idea that her dreams that night would be more 'adult themed' than usual.
The water slowly closed over her as she lowered herself, wincing slightly, into the hot soapy water.  The moan she let out was almost climatic in its intensity and she settled herself back with the water closing up to just below her chin.
"If there's anything better than this after travelling on the underground, I don't know what it is" she thought to herself.
The heat, combined with the earlier alcohol, made her feel light headed for a moment and she thought she heard her entry phone buzz.  She stopped moving and held her breath, thinking "no, no, no not my phone, I really don't want to have to answer the door". Ten seconds... twenty seconds...
And yes, there it was, the strident angry bee like buzz of the entry phone by her front door.
"Shit!" she exclaimed.  With a sigh, she lifted herself out of the bath, grabbed her robe, and opened the bathroom door emerging from the steam like a magicians assistant from a cloud of dry ice.  She tied the robe around her and snatched up the handset from the entry phone.
"Hello?" she snapped, thinking that although that might come across as a bit rude, she was in the bath, dammit!
There was no response.
"Yes, hello, who is it?" she demanded again.
Still no response.
"Hello?!" she said again, slightly louder this time.
As she was listening she heard the main entrance entry phone buzz, and after a few seconds the main front door open and then slam closed.
"Wrong bloody house, you tit" Janine thought to herself.
She replaces the handset and turns back toward the bathroom.  As she starts toward it, and her cocoon of hot water and soap, she hears movement just outside her own front door.  Like someone dragging some cloth along the wall.  She stops, and tilts her head like an inquisitive dog.  Her brow pulls down into a frown as she waits to see if there is any other sounds forthcoming.

Suddenly, there is a large bang as something is thrust against the front door.  The door itself seems to jump in it's hinges and the letter box opens and shuts with a sharp clap.
Janine lets out a scream - she can't help it.  She doesn't think of herself as a girlie, lady-in-distress type but that noise scared her.  Another thump hits the front door, this time making Fitz the cat jump up from his perch on the back of the sofa and hurtle toward the bedroom.
"Who's there?" Janine demands loudly.  If it's the same someone who just mistook her flat number downstairs, she's going to be mightily pissed off.  But the next thing she hears sends a lightening bolt of ice and fear shooting down her spine.  Her letterbox is eased up and a voice, still dark and thick but no longer pleasant - more like hot tar than chocolate - speaks to her.

"I told you I'd see you again soon".