Sunday, 19 November 2017

A week of dithering.

I absolutely had to get to grips with ArtRage since it cost me actual money.

    This is what I came up with. A bit cruddy but a start.

    This week, if I get any time, I'm getting back to the writing.
 Sod's Law hasn't come back from my wonderful, fantastic, lovely beta readers yet so I'm continuing with my new one, Snodden. I've come up with an outline meandering towards the ending which is already written in my head.

    Half way through the second chapter I realised with shock that it was turning into a serious book. Couldn't have that. So it's back to a rewrite of the chapter that isn't even finished yet to make it humorous or just plain silly.

    Here's an excerpt of the non silly first version.
The young man stumbled, immediately ducking behind one of the enormous stone pillars in case someone had seen him. It wasn’t the cold or the howling, never ending wind that disturbed him as much as the enormous piles of waste dropped by the eagle sized herring gulls. Somehow the buggers always managed to find a target here in the school pinned in the wilderness between two dales in North Yorkshire. Whoever had built it must have been a nutter for isolation or absolutely insane. Certainly it must have required an especially uncaring parent to sentence their offspring to a hellhole such as this.
    He lingered behind the chipped granite pillar for several more seconds scraping the vile smelling excrement furiously until it was safe to continue. As if chastising him for its own weakness a spirited howl of wind echoed through the gables of the Victorian buildings. He looked up, cringing, almost expecting a tile to crash down. It had happened before. Unfortunately it had not been onto the headmaster, but happily the young recipient had recovered eventually.
    ‘What the hell are you doing here.’ Stanton was not inquiring of the gargoyle glaring down at him. The question was to himself. And it was a good question. 

Saturday, 11 November 2017

The single most important question

We all know, or at least those of us with decent literary tastes, that the answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42. And the way to understand the question and thus the answer is:

(Thanks to Erwin Schrodinger for his attempt to come up with the correct answer.)

But as important as this might seem there is only one real, fundamental question to be asked; and my wife demanded a simple answer at the supermarket today.

    Imagine expecting me to answer that which has confused the most intelligent for millennia, or at least a long time.

    "Well, which?" she demanded, "Daddies, or HP?"

    As if I could solve something that has baffled the real intelligentsia for time immemorial.

    "Well why can't you just have both?"

   Both!!!  Aghast I stumbled away and after bumping into a terrified shelf stocker settled for  ketchup. 

    Women. They'll just never understand.

 I realise that this may just be a particular British phenomenon but the unfathomable answer is no less important.

Sunday, 5 November 2017


Finally got onto mindless epic number two. Here's the first page.

"Broderick Snodden loathed children. He despised them with all his heart. Snodders to his enemies, of whom there were many, detested the very sight of children. Especially the small ones, scuttling to and fro as if the only thing in the world that mattered was their own puerile fun. How he hated them.

    But soon that would no longer be a problem, for Broderick had a plan. It had come to him in a flash just the day before. Despite thinking, and failing to come up with a solution for many years, the answer had miraculously come to him upon bending down to clear up yet more vomit from his shoe. It was all so simple: it would cost nothing, and even better no one would either suspect or blame him.

    Today would commemorate the twentieth of his thirty year punishment. More to the point it would mark the final month of this awful torment. A dim and distantly heard voice reminded him that his first so-called brilliant plan had engulfed him in more pain than he could have imagined. ‘Not this time,’ he told the voice smugly. This time he would think it though, weight up all the potential consequences and choose a singular path to success. With that thought in mind he left the quad and it’s mindless hordes of scampering brats and returned to his rooms. Therein he would begin to write his manifesto for success.

    Encompassed within his loathing, from the governing board to the rest of the tutors, all of whom he considered his social and intellectual inferiors, was a man he hated more than anybody else. That this person had no idea that he was the centre of Snodden’s loathing made little difference. He would perish with all the others."

    Most of this will change of course but this is the tone I'm setting from the beginning. 
    Now I've just got to work out who "the man" is and how he might foil or fail.

Another wasted day.

Did anyone else destroy an entire day yesterday?

    I did; trying to download Windows 10 Ver 1307. It was trying and failing to download itself and in the process completely ruining any chance of my working on my new novel whilst Sod's Law is being beta read by my wonderful, fantastic, (did I mention great) beta readers.

    Anyway, I finally got it done to find...nothing. Do I want to write on my PC screen? Do I want to change the colour of the virtual post-it stickers I never use? In fact do I want to do anything included in the newest update? Frankly no. I couldn't even turn off auto updates for fear of missing cumulative updates that kind of are important. 

    I think it's just some long term plan by Microsoft to do, well something to us, probably resulting in a lot more money for them and a loss less for us. Only time will tell.

    Oh, and it's slowed my machine down to a crawl again. I think I'll take it off and find some hack to stop it coming back. That might involve a sledge hammer, but whatever works.

    Whining finished.

    My newest anti-hero is Broderick Snodden. He loathes every child in the prep school at which he is forced to work. He also hates all the staff especially one man in particular. For what reason yet I haven't decided. He has a plan to eradicate all of them. Whether he will succeed or not depends on the character whom I've yet to name. 

    The panster begins another - can't wait.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

A train ride to hell

I had to go to sunny Devon yesterday.

    Upon leaving Paddington station it was beneath a startling azure sky, shimmering heat (although that could just have been the taxi fumes) and a gentle zephyr rustling what's left of my hair.

    All the way to Pusey, wherever that is, I basked in the heat blasting though the train windows. The moment, the very nanosecond we left Taunton station a tiny black cloud began to grow and move at alarming speed. Even faster than the train, which for a change was overtaking crippled wildlife until it became a battle between the huge stormhead and us. Even at approximately one hundred miles per hour the train could no longer keep up with the awful black wall hurtling towards, and finally past us. By the time we shuddered into Tiverton it was freezing, wet, and awful.

    Apocalypse aside I did get some decent writing done and now I'm almost ten pages into Sod's Law 2. I know it's a little presumptive of me to begin the sequel to a novel I haven't even finished editing yet. But I had me an idea which might work well if I can ditch all logic and revert to my usual childish style of writing. It might not sell many books but makes me laugh, and if that's not what writing is all about then I don't know what is.

    Image courtesy of google images. It was worse than that but I couldn't find anything cataclysmal enough for what I saw yesterday.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Edit number three sorted.

I've finished the third edit of my new book. Blah blah, editing stuff. Mumble, mumble, writing nonsense.

    Okay. Got that out of my hair.

    I've got a whole week off and don't know what to do with myself. I'm currently typing on a keyboard liberated from my (alleged) daughter's bedroom which means that I can't do anything else until I drag my scraggy posterior down to the shops and buy another. Oh what shall I do? 

    Not that I've got much money to do anything after forking out £800 to have the eye of my daughter's largest horse extracted. I offered to do it myself but curiously she rebuffed my kindness with a very rude word. There's just no pleasing some people.

    So, after much, or very little thought I'm going to do what I've been promising myself for weeks - no, not extracting the teeth from her pony who should, just about now be preparing to bite her Iphone 7, or whatever it is, in half again in preparation for my spawn's demand for the next one, or even heaven forbid the Iphone X.

    "oh, come on, she whined last week, "It's only a thousand pounds."

    Of course we've all got a thousand quid to waste. Why just a few days ago I dumped my scooter in favour of a Lamborghini because I was bored.

    Getting away from the point. I'm going to bed. And I'm going to remain there for the next three days until my beloved turfs me out. Just like she did last Saturday afternoon, barely bothering to hide the hammer in her twitching right hand.

This is what I'd rather be doing - forever.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Second edit done.

It's taken me two weeks because I don't get much time these days, but I've finally finished edit number two of Sod's Law.

    All the plot holes are gone (I hope) and the next edit, after a few days off, will be to refine the writing. I have a bad habit of writing extraordinarily long sentences split sporadically by semi colons and commas. I used to copy Oscar Wilde who could make a sentence last a whole page. But he was better at it than me. These days I have to edit them all away.

    Edit number four will be the one I hate, all the error thingys. Still, it's for a good cause. My twentieth novel should be my best. Yes, I know every new novel should be the best thing I ever wrote and I do strive for that but twenty is quite a milestone for me. Admittedly three were so bad I didn't even try to edit them but just tossed all the paper in the trash. That's probably when I stopped writing all my first drafts with a pen, and discovered the wonderful new invention of Word - Ver 1a. Yes it was that long ago.

    So, onto some painting and this time I'll keep them all to myself. My changeover to (simulated) oil is not going very well and I won't offend anyone's eyes with my scrawl.