Non-thusiasm

Somewhere through the mists of apathy I’ve to find the thread that is caught on the breeze, dangling, (I was going to say enticingly but…) take a firm grip and pull it down from its flight amongst the clouds to where I can read the last part of the oeuvre. Hopefully then I’ll find my missing pathy? (Apathy beaten = pathy doesn’t it?)
Anyway, I’ve to attempt a few paragraphs if nothing else. Any minute I’m going to finish proofing the last novel so it’s best I get on with this one eh? The range of moods I go through during this process, from mild positivity to ‘why can’t I summon the will to jump in front of that train and put myself out of this misery?’ is draining but the worst has to be apathy and lack of belief, surely the most limiting?
The ‘what is the point’ is the worst. With every rejection, every glance at my sales (lack of, therefore lack of respect, lack of love, lack of worth so why don’t you just F off and do IT you tool?) the ‘what is the point’ gains more weight until it feels, like now, as if the truth is, there is none.

Enn eee wayy, I’m going to sweep aside apathy and see if I can move the story along a little. What IS the point? I shed a whole pound off my fat ass without even trying so maybe if I put enough words down I can lose a few more. Worth a try isn’t it?

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Self-is-it-worth-it?

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It’s good to do stuff isn’t it?
Today I’ve mostly been editing and typing in the hope I can work out the amount of words I need to allocate to the latest masterpiece. Oh no I’ve done that (Mast of Peace, google it) no; this one is the crappy sci-fi thing I’m writing as a salve to my brain after the mental case of the last book.
Still, I was writing a few days ago and it all started to make sense but when I tried to write today…blank! I then fell asleep in the lounge for nearly two hours so I reckon I know what the problem was.
Anyway, I never did get round to writing anything but I typed up shitloads of sci-fi guff which gave me faith that I’m moving in the right direction so that’s good isn’t it? Maybe I’ll get a bit written tomorrow.
I’m not stressing any more though, saw that Philip Roth thing on t.v. last night and he said what a relief it was when he stopped. Shamefully I didn’t know who he was but I have noticed that all the American authors I see on t.v. always seem to live in log cabin-style houses in the middle of nowhere. Er, when do I get one of those then?
The voices in my head won’t let me quit yet but one day the fuckers will quieten down and maybe I’ll get the chance to read someone else’s stuff without comparing it to my (always) inferior work.
Saying that I haven’t read any Fern Britten yet.

Bank Holiday, Mundane

Wasn’t it though? Mundane I mean.
I didn’t leave the garret today. I’m a writer, I don’t need to!
So far I’ve been to space, a little drift around Mars and in the process somehow managed to pull the twisted tail of my latest novel out of the bag of shite it was in danger of turning into. Eight days away from writing and within ten lines I’d come up with the bit that I needed to turn it around.
I don’t plan, unlike many others. I simply start writing. Often I’ve only got a title or a vague idea then I’m off. I make the rest up along the way.
Perhaps that’s why no-one’s heard of me you might unkindly whisper in a hissy-bitch voice.
Perhaps you should stop being such a prissy fuck, I reply in an overly-aggressive repost way more nasty than required but hey, I don’t tell you how to suck ass do I?
Er; anyway, I’ve also been to Amsterdam where my last novel is set.
I’m in the middle of proofing, editing and changing it from 1st person to 2nd but at the same time leaving all the thoughts of my character in the 1st person. Yea, exactly! What the fuck I was thinking of I do not know but trust me, it’s awesome and will be amazing by the time I’ve finished adding and cutting and expanding with mental metaphors and imagery unlike anything I’ve written before. No doubt the wanker agents still won’t get it but fuck em. You have to believe in yourself and your work and as they say, write what you know. I know about mental deficiency, depression and weirdness so if I can’t write this shit, who can?
So, bank holiday was a wash-out, surprise! Actually that’s something I don’t often feature in my writing, maybe my next novel will be wet. After the artificial atmosphere of space (is it though?) I could play around with the elements a bit. Ive been thinking I could do with a break from stretching the boundaries of my limited intelligence, maybe a nice holiday reading other people’s work for a change?
Hmmm, fat chance.

Wrong charity

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Disappointed? What, after asking my ‘friends’ to share a post on Fuckwit-book? What, because not one of the asses could be bothered to perform such a simple task? What, because when the fucks are asked to do the same for a cancer charity everyone is on it like a fucking dog with two dicks?
Can anyone explain what the fuck that shit is about?
Selfies, yea okay, £5:00 a go? Yea, no problem.
Stephen’s recent request? Raised however many million was it?
Yea, no problem, after all, it is for cancer eh?

Sorry, my charity request isn’t for the ‘right’ charity. I’m not on-trend.
No, mine is to help a 14 year old English girl become mobile because she struggles to walk what with being in constant pain from CRPS.
(Apparently it’s similar to having a limb removed without anaesthetic)
But, hey, it’s not cancer so don’t bother with that one eh?
I doubt you’ve even heard of it, right?
Probably best to give your cash to the big C and don’t bother with silly little things like kids in agony every waking moment.
Yea, go back to your busy fucking lives and let the non-trend charities go without. After all, if you haven’t heard of it, it doesn’t matter eh?

What the fuck is the fucking point?

Possessive apostrophes

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Possessive apostrophes…
Nope, me neither. I am making a start on the usage but like everything going into my brain it has to go through the ratification process whereby everything is presented to the requisite committee, triplicated, annotated and verified, augmented if necessary, then assessed, checked and finally processed but…only if the requisite protocols have been followed in the correct order at the correct time and with a precise and preordained amount of gravity. The slightest digression from the agreed order and the whole process must start again.
Clearly this puts constraints on the amount of new information that can be taken on board at any one time.
Take mathematics: it appears that no matter how many times the numbers are presented there is inevitably something missed out in the process that say, a picture, or a scent, perhaps a birdsong, would skirt around or perhaps charm the assessment committee members. Obviously numbers are a very serious subject so entry into the filing system needs to be extremely precise, no room for mistakes with numbers. Regimented little pedantic fucktools that they are.
English has a little leeway I find. There are rules to be adhered to but like so many of the more artistic fields, rules can be manipulated and ordered to suit the user so long as the original is understood and not completely disregarded. Obviously possessive apostrophes do not belong to the more easily challenged rules so they have remained somewhere at the back of the queue for processing and consequently every time they step up to the committee their lack of proper composure sends them back out to the reassessment department.
After publishing two books in the last six months (KAYA and The Lily Pond) I’ve had the most recent (His Own Downfall) proofread by the rather wonderful Hache L Jones so at least I have it as a guide but now I’m on my own with my latest novel.

‘The Act’ will be my first properly, fully apostrophised novel to be published. There may be the odd fuck up, there always seems to be a word, a full stop or comma misplaced but the odd thing is forgiveable, we are human.
What is it ~ ‘to err is human’ ~ (pretentious twat!)
But there is a little truth in it. I can live with minor mistakes so long as the bulk is correct.
I’m in the middle of a learning process.
Apostrophes and tenses at the moment.
I seem to have my grammar pretty much sorted now. Any minute now I’m going to be like a proper grown up, a proper author. I’m a bit worried I might get bored but there’s always the vocabulary to add to and metaphors to play with. Who doesn’t love a good metaphor? Personally I reckon a metaphor is the key, the access point to the lock that secures the mystery of the storytelling process, without them it would be like trying to get ducks to swim in cement, sausages to fry in sand, coffee to dissolve in ice. What’s a metaphor? For metering stuff dumbo!

Edit, edict, or ‘ed ache

Edit edit edit, I’m changing my terrible tense blindness into the correct past tense because I have a tendency to mix tenses which is fine for me, I know what I’m saying and it reads perfectly to my eye but I realise there are plenty of people who don’t get the world from my warped perspective. Somehow I’ve managed to mix I am with I was, we did, I did, diddle did.
It’s a bit weird and I’m going to check really carefully cos I may have got it wrong and have to rewrite the whole poxy thing but what the fuck, no-one reads my old shite so it hardly matters.
Anyway it’s added a whole new dimension to my writing because this latest experiment with psycho loony Alaish and his mental spider-choked brain is a total departure from my usual style. Maybe next time I might remember which tense I’m actually writing in?

Enough is enough…when?

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So it dawned on me yesterday after checking my amazon account that I’ve now self-published fourteen 14 Ebooks!
Wow, woop de doo, rad!
Yep, considering I started with the intention of writing a book for Scarlett (Granddaughter) I’ve done reasonably well but….here’s the crunch.
I’ve sold six, maybe seven.
I didn’t expect miracles, I understand that the bullshit stories amazon send out are full of crap but I have to say I’d hoped for more. I started writing fairly seriously five years ago, very quickly knocked the first few manuscripts off but even more quickly realised my standards were nowhere near good enough for the marketplace so I’ve been very careful to critique everything until now I know I’m up to scratch. ( I can use semi-colons like a big boy)
I’ve had four reviews in the local paper and the whole of the Isle of Wight has at various times over the past few years been covered in advertisements for my work and yet…no response.
Even a nasty review would be preferable to being ignored!
I put stuff up on Fbuk, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram but I figure most people don’t go on there to read adverts so I try not to be too American about it all but even on Fbuk, I rarely get a response and I know most of those people!!!
I asked for help to support a young girl who needs a wheelchair after dedicating the sales from one novel to her charity but only managed to get a few people to share the post and even then it has only sold three at £3:00 a copy and I don’t see a penny of that.
So, a couple of years of having my work online, a total of three/four sales, apart from the charity books, I have to admit I’m disheartened.
I’m rushing to get my last book proofed and another is being professionally proofed so it looks like I’ll have another two out by the end of the year but seriously? What the Fffffff is the point?
Pissing in the wind, off a cliff, in a storm, and the wind is hitting the cliff so creating an updraft that twists in a slight vortex to ensure maximum splashback.

His Own Downfall

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It’s an odd sensation knowing that you’ve created something of value, something that has the potential to set a fire in others but has yet to be recognised.
I wonder if the guys in say, Muse, had the same thoughts about their music? They must have known, though there is always doubt no matter how certain you are that the work is good, the underlying doubts of the so-far-unsuccessful will always lead to the belief that somehow we’re not worthy, that we can’t be rewarded, that there will always be someone else ahead of us in the queue and yet…

His Own Downfall is one of those.
Masterly; the level of skill I’ve reached is way beyond what has gone before and yet, working on my last novel, ‘The Act’, I can see I have more in me.
Metaphors, imagery, the use of grammar to enforce a point or hold the dialogue as real conversation…pauses ~ for ~ effect.
I love it, I’m starting to understand the full range of effects available and yet still the agents resist.
Still, my books reach air and nothing more. The market is saturated.
Anyone can publish online so why would anyone notice me? Like it or not, the only way of gaining the audience I deserve is through traditional publishers and the advertising contacts they have access to. You might as well piss into the void as place a book on amazon, no matter how good it is. Like most things, the first to use the service were the ones to make headlines. The rest of consider ourselves lucky to sell copies a few to friends and acquaintances (I rarely manage that, my friends are illiterate) before interest fades but the thing is I’m not trying to write for readers, I’m writing for me and the many who believe in literature as a dark art, a skill that can be taught but the sort of naturalistic flair, the love of language, grammar, panache, cannot, that has to be within you from the beginning.
Perhaps I am too arrogant, maybe I kid myself but though I know there is a danger in self-belief turning into blind arrogance, the ego spilling over into fantasy, I am certain that I’m now on that level, among those that create something a little special, a little off the wall, memorable.
If His Own Downfall doesn’t break me then ‘The Act’ will or, I swear, this time I really will take the floor-cleaner job and place my pens back in the drawer and let the young ones take over.
As it is I wonder if I belong in another era of Nabokov’s, T.S. Elliott’s, Tolkien’s and the rest though obviously I wouldn’t dream of comparing my scribbling to their work, it’s just that level of literary pretension, that’s what I’m aiming for.
You’ve got to aim high or you won’t get off the first rung.

Ha ha ha halal meat

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So it’s all going off about the halal meat thing.
Weird because I seem to have been aware of the issue for many years but only now has the media suddenly got hold of it. Maybe if more read the ‘quality’ papers and actually digested the long words and more than two syllable words there might not be so much ignorance but you know what really gets my goat? (obviously I don’t actually own a goat although many years ago a friend did actually have a couple, mum and daughter and incredibly cute they were. The baby was amazing! Playing headbutts with a baby goat is a bucket-list must if you’ve never experienced it. Anyway, suffice to say they were looked after as pets though they provided cheese, milk etc, and never faced the slaughterhouse, halal or not.)

Yea so what does get your goat Broc?
Race-fascists, that’s what gets my goat.
You know, the amazingly so-much-cleverer, so much better informed fact-monkeys who cannot ever allow anyone to have an opinion without bombarding them with ‘facts’ as if they have somehow discovered something of value that the rest of us lesser individuals might have missed. The unsaid but constantly hinted at accusation that if you don’t succumb to the bullying and persistent fact-monkeys that you are somehow inherently racist. So tedious!
I’m not racist…but.

I’m not racist.
I have an opinion on everything, I voice it, I try not to upset too many people but I will have my say and I will form my own opinions based on the facts as I read them. That is what being an intelligent individual is all about is it not?Studying issues, making rational decisions based on that study and apparently worst of all, sticking to those ideals regardless of whatever rubbish is thrown by race-fascists who merely jump on every bandwagon available and abuse anyone who might be deemed in some way inferior to their beliefs, most of which are based on dubious media-based quotations.
I don’t know exactly when England changed into the pathetic follow-the-leader, everyone-do-as-they’re-told society it’s become but unlucky, I’ve been used to having and expressing opinions long before the succumb-to-mob-rule bullies and social workers took over with their ‘ooh you mustn’t say that’, and their ‘ohhh you mustn’t have an opinion that’s not approved by some fucking committee of assholes who’ve never been out in the real world’.

Apologies but racism is everywhere and a lot of it isn’t about white people dissing other races.
Personally I get great pleasure from ginger racism, or fattism.
Another one I enjoy is mildly abusing all northerners destruction of the fine art of the English language.
Well, actually, I am liable to ridicule anyone who mispronounces my language. Oh no, sorry, did I utter the word…MY. (Racist bastard)
Oh no, there is no ‘my’ anymore. There is no England, no right to autonomy, no right to pride even though we were all brought up to cheer for ‘our’ team, ‘our’ athletes, ‘our’ troops but now that is seen as a racist abuse of the rights of, well, just about anyone who cares to pick the point up and run with it.
So, yea, a little bit tired of the halal debate.
Might have a cheese sandwich

Smile when you’re winning

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So, FINALLY, almost five years after I began my first novel I have managed to pull a winner out of a mess of a loser.
That first novel is always a rush of endorphins, the excitement overwhelming as you rush through, throwing all those superlatives and metaphors around, safe in the belief that you’re crafting the masterpiece that’s going to bring you the recognition and awe of your peers and, if we’re all honest, a little financial reward too, only to find you have actually created a half-assed nightmare for yourself if you ever plan to actually show it to anyone with the vaguest critical capacity.
I forced my earliest effort on my sister and my ex, Emma and I really should apologise. Actually, I think I did but whether either of them will ever read anything else of mine after the trauma of attempting to wade through the drivel of repetitive, poorly punctuated rubbish I threw at them: who knows?
Sorry okay? I was excited!
If you ever write that book you think you have inside you, you’ll probably make the same mistake in the haste and overexcitement of actually creating a manuscript too. No-one told me how good the finished product needed to be and in my arrogance (I’ve read Tolkien/Dostoyevsky/Bronte/Dickens)
I thought I was good enough. Ha, did I have a learning curve…am I still on it?
Fuck, it’s steep!

Now every time I begin anything at least I know the level I’m working to. I totally understand the competition, standards, level of grammar, spelling, the understanding of the craft expected and I’m prepared to meet every one of them. Now I am a ‘proper’ author I craft my literature in poetic prose worthy of actually being termed literature and I strive to reach deeper inside to pull out more every time I write. I had no idea I had all this inside me but there is more. When you compare your work to some of the greats and realise how far you have to go it’s daunting but what can you do other than keep trying?
It’s not as if I can stop now I’ve begun the attempt.
I know I’m never going to be the Jimi Hendrix of literature. I’m hoping to become a good craftsman. I can entertain; I can conjure images; I can tweak emotional responses from myself and my audience but still I don’t have the grasp of nuance and storytelling that others find so easy but then I’ve only been at it five years.
Maybe in another five years I might have discovered that story.

In the meantime I’ve worked like a donkey to rewrite, proof, edit, check check check until I’m finally happy that without a total stripping of the constituents and starting from scratch, this is the best I can do with this novel. It has all the elements of the original but now encompasses proper space, some wonderful imagery, metaphors worthy of it and the eloquence expected of a published work so…I’m happy.
Essential it is the story of me as Paul, the main character, the area I grew up in and features members of the Clarke family (my own) of which only three now survive.
It’s the idealised childhood I wish I had led although I can’t complain. Growing up next to a forest has given me the love of nature, the awe and tree-hugging feyness required to draw such emotions up from the deep well that resides inside me.
Pretentious? Yes, of course, how the hell are you going to do anything if you don’t have a degree of belief, pretentiousness, poeticism, ego, arrogance and the sheer bloody-mindedness you need to keep going when others write you off through their own lack of belief, lack of imagination or simple jealousy of your skills?
People don’t like different. They don’t applaud success. Few genuinely want others to succeed where they would fear to try. It’s a sad fact but if fame, fortune and applause arrived I think it might be a fairly lonely experience. I’m not sure there would be many laughing along.
Luckily I have enough self belief and arrogance to honestly not give a Furrrr.
Only a few weeks and I should have another book out and if the proofing of ‘The Act’ goes to plan maybe that will be ready by July too.
It’s going to be a busy year by the look of it.