Weird things you find out as a writer. Sunday, Jul 26 2015 


Isobel (lead female in new novel) has her next period this Tuesday coming.

I didn’t mean to work it out, it came up in conversation.  I have had to timeline this one, because unlike ‘Promises’ I need to keep track of who’s doing what (or even who’s doing who!)

Alex and Izzy who houseshare are having the following conversation, and I know the date it is happening:

“I was having some really weird dreams, and when I woke up all sorts of stuff was going through my head.”  She forked some yolk covered salmon into her mouth.

“Is it ‘cause you’re due on Monday?”

“Could be… hold on, how do you know when my period is?”

“You don’t need a sexual relationship with a woman you share a house with for any length of time to know that,” he said, “and you are like clockwork.”

“Most men don’t, No-Show was always surprised.  When’s my next one then?”

She watched as Alex did the maths muttering under his breath and then said “Twenty-eighth of July, which will be a Tuesday.”

The fact that this is 2 days away from when I’m writing is a complete co-incidence.

 

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Another Poem for my Wife Tuesday, Mar 11 2014 


It was suggested to me recently I haven’t written a poem in a while. I took the hint. Not sure it’s what she expected, though.

Everywhere on Earth
There are things that come in twos
Coz no one likes the rhythm
Without listening to the blues.

(more…)

Chinese to fake ‘Fake Moon landing’ Sunday, Jan 19 2014 


Chinese space officials today admitted that they are sending real astronauts to the moon, as it is easier than faking a moon-landing convincingly.

“Modelling the low gravity on a sound stage is a huge problem,” one unnamed official admitted.  “We tried CGI, but the cost of the render-time was more than actually sending a ship there.”

Instead the actual landing will be preceded by 2 other spaceships, one carrying the 20 man production crew, and another containing a specially made Ikea flat pack sound stage – known as “fakr”- with all the pieces needed, including polystyrene ‘moon-rocks’.

NASA official Buzz Trellis said “We wish we’d done this.  No-one believes real footage- fake is always more convincing.”

Book is finished Saturday, Apr 27 2013 


It’s come in at 118000 words, or there about. It’s currently with 3 people for reading/finding cockups/grammar errors.

It also has two endings, I don’t know which one I want.

I’ve Finished my book! Tuesday, Feb 26 2013 


Ok, maybe not finished finished -I need to round off the odd chapter – I’ve put in ??? to say ‘Something more, possibly’.

But after 15 months (I had a long break in the middle, – not stressed enough) and 118,000 words I have a novel that can be read as such.

Now just need to tighten up the start, make sure the continuity works, and correct a few pages. THEN start the editing of the first draft.

BUT

I actually have a novel.
Bugger. That’s a bit scary. Never written anything this long before

Dr S-Who-se Thursday, Oct 25 2012 


I have a Cat in a Hat now.  Cats in Hats are cool.

I’m The Doctor, but don’t ask Who

Just meet my old girl, dressed in blue

You may find me a wily old fox

And not a madman in a box.

 

Travel through time, and travel through space

To anywhen, and anyplace.

From Big Bang to Big Crunch

To farthest star then back for lunch.

 

Remember, I never ever use a gun.

So when danger comes I’ll just shout RUN

I sonic open the strongest locks

But I am not a madman in a box

 

I’ll wear a scarf, or fez or suit

And piece of salad, or Converse boot.

Destroyer of Worlds, the Bringer of Darkness

The Oncoming Storm (All me, not Harkness)

 

You’ll see pits and quarries that all look the same

Monsters of ice, beasts of flame

There may be homicidal pepperpots

Who are scared of a madman in a box

 

Fixed points in time cannot be changed,

For reasons mad, weird or deranged,

There’s one more thing, now let me think,

Ah yes, you must never ever blink.

 

So as I travel through time and space

With Sarah-Jane, the Ponds and Ace,

Through the thrills, the spills and shocks,

I most definitely am a madman in a box!

Pre…? Sunday, Jul 22 2012 


For some years I’ve had a nagging sense of wrongness about a sign on a office supplies seller. Finally put my finger on it today.

“Pre-used furniture”

PRE used?

Surely that is is ‘used’ then? Pre used would be new.

My wife compounded this by refering to her payment card she had been sent for her travel costs as ‘pre-loaded’ with cash.

No that would be loaded (note I am not getting upset with the evolution of the word loaded, that is just using physical imagery for an electronic idea – makes sense in context).

My correction of her was met with a sour face, despite her laughing agreement earlier.

I have a new mission in life – ridicule the misuse of ‘Pre’

Don’t Tell Your Mother Tuesday, May 15 2012 


A poem dedicated to fathers and sons.

When things went not quite wrong
But then again not quite right,
Dad would lower his voice,
Just like a conspirator might,
And we’d grin and smirk
One to the other,
He’d wink and say
“Don’t tell your mother.”

(more…)

To my Wife Saturday, Apr 14 2012 


Grow old with me, my Love
And hold my hand in the autumn sun,
Grow old with me, my Love
By my side in days to come.

Grow old with me, my Love
And watch our kids find love of their own
Grow old with me, my Love
Family will be seeds that we’ve sown.

Grow old with me, my Love,
And wrinkled, and forgetful, and fat.
Grow old with me, my Love,
I won’t regret any of that.

And when you’re old with me, my Love,
Know my heart will still be true,
So when you’re old with me, my Love,
I’ll be happy I grew old with you.

How to seduce a writer. Friday, Mar 9 2012 


Good advice from Neil Gaiman.

In my experience, writers tend to be really good at the inside of their own heads and imaginary people, and a lot less good at the stuff going on outside, which means that quite often if you flirt with us we will completely fail to notice, leaving everybody involved slightly uncomfortable and more than slightly unlaid.

So I would suggest that any attempted seduction of a writer would probably go a great deal easier for all parties if you sent them a cheerful note saying “YOU ARE INVITED TO A SEDUCTION: Please come to dinner on Friday Night. Wear the kind of clothes you would like to be seduced in.”

And alcohol may help, too. Or kissing. Many writers figure out that they’re being seduced or flirted with if someone is actually kissing them.

http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/18932682858/as-requested-by-too-many-people-making-the-last-post

I ain’t dead… Monday, Feb 13 2012 


…to quote Granny Weatherwax.

Between writing my ‘book’ (currently at 80,000+ words) and planning the Kriegspeil for this coming Saturday, I’ve been a bit busy, computer-wise.

The Kriegspiel is getting to be a bit big:  not only am I lead Umpire (PANIC), but it looks like 10+ attendees.  It’s different in concept to other K-S I’ve played/helped umpire: it’s all about the planning.  I joked that I’m looking forward to the 19th, as I get my inbox back!

Sunday I will (hopefully) publish an AAR, plus the rules I wrote, along with the counters etc.

Hello Readers, everywhere. Friday, Jan 13 2012 


I keep track of hits by using the WordPress stats page.  It also alerts me when I have new followers etc.  I can’t help but think most of you are disappointed most of the time.

This blog is so eclectic that what ever you subscribed to is probably only a fraction of my output, and the rest of it is of very little interest!

My characters surprise me again. Friday, Jan 13 2012 


There is a phrase I’ve come across in the online writing community ‘Pantsing’.  This means ‘Writing by the Seat of your pants’ – ie making it up as you go along, with minimal plotting ahead.  It seems that most writers sharing their experiences online are a mixture of Pantsers and Plotters (ie have it all laid out before start), myself included.  The previous post on this blog revealed the surprise this can lead too.

And now it’s happened again.  I am happily writing a scene, I know exactly what the next bit is (not the precise words- imagine having to write a presentation: you know the topic, you just need to find how to vocalise it).

THEN the lead character reveals with NO WARNING WHAT SO EVER that he almost had one of his closest friends committed to hospital under the Mental Health Act.

I literally had no idea!  I finished one paragraph, went to write the next and he said something completely different.  I had just enough time to stop myself writing and add a set up for the next 250 words correctly.

Mind you, this whole chapter has been hiding surprises from me.  I knew it existed- its a party, but I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about.  I just knew it needed to exist as a bridge between two major plot points.  A little later I realised I needed to introduce a new character to tie up the loose ends in what I suppose is the ‘C’ arc of the book, and I look at this as yet unwritten chapter, and find this guy fully formed with a appropriate back story, as if just waiting for me to find him.

Ok.  I may be getting a little wierd as I get older…

The trials of writing Monday, Jan 2 2012 


I’ve started writing again.  The current story is the longest I’ve ever written – it’s approaching the point where it may become a full size book, it’s far longer than the than short stories I’ve written before.  It thrown up a few interesting problems I’ve not encountered before.

I don’t write from the beginning all the way through.  I know what ‘set pieces’ through out I want to write, as I know the general progress of the story.  If I have a good idea I will often start that bit before I forget it, especially if I’m stuck with the earlier story – often one part will inspire another part, and allows me to use tricks such as foreshadowing.

However, because it is so much longer the characters are obviously having to be more rounded.  It turns out that they seem to have a life of their own, no matter what I think.

My female lead has talked the male lead into asking her out to dinner.  I was as surprised as he was.

THAT WASN’T THE NEXT BIT. Now I have to write a whole restaurant scene because she thought he was going a bit too fast.

Thanks dear. I sometimes wonder whose narrative it is!

The problem appeared to be the way I was writing her speech – it’s the classic joke about how a man can say three words on the phone, because he saw his mate last week, but a woman will speak for an hour because she isn’t seeing her friend until this evening.  I felt she was speaking too much like a man.

Once I gave her a less clipped way of speaking; fuller sentences etc, what she said changed, and it became obvious the way she thought was different.

Later the male lead was got drunk by his best mate. I thought it was so he could work through the issues around the woman he loves. Turns out he told me something completely different- why he feels guilty about their other best mate’s death. I didn’t know!

Also I didn’t know how he had died – the official story (which I knew) isn’t the same as what actually happened.

I’m beginning to wonder if I’m sane…

2011 in review Sunday, Jan 1 2012 


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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