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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

In the sunshine of your loo-o-o-oooo-o-o-oooove


I got my funk on this evening, and not in a boogie down productions fashion, neither.

It's a spinning my wheels evening, where I feel as though everything I read on the internet only reminds me how much I have been neglecting what I should be focusing on. I read through things written by friends, or by people whose work I admire, and to be honest I find myself kind of daunted by it. I sit down and try to write something, but find myself struggling to organise my thoughts into cohesive structures. Irritating, since it was always structure that I prided myself on the most in my essay-writing days. A good structure, however spurious your argument, guaranteed at least a B in those heady university days. Or those heady post-university, writing-essays-for-a-middle-aged-real-estate-agent-who-was-doing-sports-psychology-through-Massey's-extramural-program days.

But I look over things I've done recently, and they just aren't coming together in the same way that things used to. I know practice is a big part of it. Too much writing stream-of-consciousness dithers, to little structured thought. The NaNos are great in some ways for that, but to be honest I've only had at best a skeletal idea when going into them (and no idea at all in the first one). The first two came out by fluke, but are dreadful as is. On the third one, although I finished it, I came a cropper on the lack of structure, completely devolving into silly nonsense by the final third. Oh sure, it was fun silly nonsense, but nonsense is what it was. Let me tell you this: the next time I write a novel about satanists sacrificing a shipload of passengers to their dark master, I'll treat it with the seriousness it deserves.

I need to work at it, I know. This clumsy, limited feeling I have is incredibly frustrating. It works against me, another excuse to shrug off the discipline required to keep a routine, to expand my output. I gotta force myself out of my comfort zones and make myself do work that has some purpose.

I'm tired of being stuck in our current living environment as well. We've been surrounded by boxes for months now, after our initial burst of packing enthusiasm. We've been involved in the buying of our new place for four months now, and looking likely to stretch to five, at least. Our initial packing burst, as glad as I'm sure I'll be of it come the moving date, feels a bit silly. I'm not one much for feng shui and the like, but our current flat feels increasingly like some kind of prison-cum-warehouse, where we get to go on day release for work.

Anyway, just having a little moan. If not here, then where? The good news is, I know what I need to do. Just as soon as I get all my novel revision stuff out of that box. Tomorrow.

Somebody give me three words and I'll write a (very) short story. Go on. I'll do it by the end of my next weekend (next Monday). I can't even vaguely suggest it'll be any good, but I'll crank out something.

There you go. Proactive action. I feel better already! Time to reward myself with a computer game.

Carry on reading...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Necessity is the Mother of Monsters

So, I guess it's time for a little catch-up!

1) Shaking Out the Dustpan
So, as you may be aware, I did finish my NaNoWriMo last year, despite my lack of blogging on the matter. Not sure what happened this year, but I lacked the sense of urgency and involvement I had in the previous attempts. Sure, I still finished, but it was probably my worst effort yet, and the difficulties I had with it early on, combined with a growing disillusionment with the story I was writing, meant that I just couldn't get excited about it. Well, 50,000 words is 50,000 words, I suppose, and the failures are as important a means of learning as the successes.
2) Defrosting the Freezer
Speaking of which, I'll be going back to my revision of my 2009 effort. It's been largely stalled for quite some time now, so I'm gonna have to start again from scratch, I think. Probably not a bad thing.
3) Scrubbing the Bathroom
So the ongoing saga of our house buying is...ongoing. We're at about 3 1/2 months and counting since our offer was accepted. It's all looking fairly positive in terms of going through, but we're waiting for lawyers to their lawyerly thing. Buying in this country is a ridiculously convoluted process, and it's easy to forget sometimes that we're about to put ourselves in debt to the tune of a couple hundred thousand pounds. As a warm-up we've been buying stuff we're gonna need. We're now the proud owners of a new telly, with a sofa and a bed ordered and due for delivery in 7 or 8 weeks. Hopefully we'll be in by then!
4) Sweeping the Floor
Work has been crazy. Two people are leaving, and I am about to go back to handling the book ordering for the store. Meanwhile libraries are spending money like they're about to lose it (they are), big changes are in the offing for our building thanks to a new owner, and we've got all kind of plans for the coming year. I've done or am doing a couple of little interview things (for the FPI blog and the Comics Bureau blog) and am on a panel about selling graphic novels at the London Book Fair this year. So that'll be fun.
5) Making the Bed
Things are all good on the married front. We've taken to having a date night, not because we're desperately trying to salvage our relationship, but rather because we've grown a bit too comfortable in our routines and both miss going out and enjoying what London has to offer, especially on the food front. Unfortunate, given we're about to have to start living on a shoestring once the mortgage payments kick in.
6) Writing the Blog.
And this thing, of course! Well, I've thought about getting rid of it, but, y'know, all the points I made in my last well-intentioned but doomed post still hold true, so I'm going to keep on with it. I won't make any foolish commitments to it, but I will get to it as often as possible and try and work it into my week somehow.

And that's about it! Now, time for some Xbox...

Carry on reading...

Monday, January 17, 2011




Carry on reading...