Monday, 21 August 2017

The writer's back finally.

You may have noticed that I haven't been talking much about writing for a week or two. That's because I forgot how to be one. For over three weeks my newest creation has been floundering because I didn't know where to go. It's odd because I know exactly how it will end. I just didn't know how to get there. 

    But finally I'm back. I simply decided to write the last third of the book from a new place. I'll just splice the two parts together in the many edits to follow. 

    It's good to be back.

    Alas the same cannot be said for my hero, Arnold Pratt, who's about to fall victim to his worst enemy.

    ‘Get on with it. You were a man once.’ His words echoed mockingly from the tunnel below as he slowly, fearfully lowered his other foot onto the rung, grasping the steel rails as hard as his mud covered hands would allow, before feeling carefully down for the next. Maybe there weren’t two. Maybe there was only a few feet down to the bottom of wherever it went. But it wasn’t to be that easy. By the time he’d ordered his heart to quit its hammering he was down to the third rung, his head almost level with the ground. If there was much more then sod this for a game of soldiers. He was leaving and getting far away from here.
    But that was Arnold’s final rational thought, for approximately five seconds after his trembling foot found the next rung a slight sensation in his ears alerted him to two things. The first was a sound, then a waft of displaced air just before an almighty thump on his head dislodged him from the ladder. He didn’t know that because he was unconscious, and falling.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

I found something else to do this week

There are about, well I don't know, probably an infinite number of variations to the tools in ArtRage, and that's what I've been discovering this week.

    This is my first ever painting, which as you can see has hardly begun and is complete rubbish. It looks better if you don't enlarge it. 

    I'm doing it in oil which is incredibly difficult. I'd like to meet those people who post such effortless speed painting demos on YouTube and strangle them for being so smooth, or shake their hands for putting so much effort into being good. And I thought GIMP was hard.

    I will not be beaten. As soon as I've finished what I believe to be a passable painting, I'm going to begin all over again and learn water colour art. Can't wait. There's a version for android. You can guess what I'm going to get next.

    Needless to say I haven't got much; well any writing done this week. That can wait for a while. I'm enchanted with this new art package and will have so much fun.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

I decided to do something creative despite being old

As I'm still relatively healthy despite my advanced age, I decided to do something I've been thinking about for a while.

    It's been a long time since I was a Royal Marine Commando and despite working out every day for over forty years I can no longer claim to be as fit as I was as a teenager. I know that I couldn't climb up the side of a mountain with well over a hundred pounds on my back, and a damn heavy machine gun, and enough ammunition to begin, and probably end my own little war. But I am still reasonably fit. So I stopped smoking. It's been hard, although not as hard as I'd imagined.

    So to celebrate my new found wealth since a packet of ciggs in the UK costs about a million quid a packet, in just one week I've saved enough money to buy something I've been wanting for ages but couldn't really justify. 

    I bought ArtRage 5

    I know what it can do and I've been watching all kinds of tutorials on the net which has given me a pretty good idea how to begin. it doesn't have all the fancy tools of GIMP which I've had for years, or the fancy tools of Photoshop which I can't afford and wouldn't even if I could. But at least I get to try and have some fun at the same time.

    I've finished the cover for my new novel so I won't do it with ArtRage, but there's plenty of books left in these elderly fingers. Thus my next cover will be with that; perhaps an oil painting (he said, getting well ahead of himself as usual).

Saturday, 12 August 2017

It's time to face up to it.

On the eve of my fortieth birthday I spoke to my family, and in a friendly tone suggested that if they so much as mentioned my age on the morrow they would both die in horrible pain. Next day I was a grumpy old git and spent most of it on my own. Thereafter I was fine.

    Last week I received a circular from a very well known chemist's chain reminding me that as of the 10th of August I would officially be old. But just to soften the blow they also offered me a twenty five percent discount on everything they sold plus oodles of extra points on the loyalty card which I've thus far used just to clean the ice off my car windscreen. The offer might have worked were it not for the implication that due to my advanced age It might be better if I didn't dawdle on cashing in all those extra points.

    I'm only sixty!!!! I don't make Methuselah look like a spring chicken by comparison. I don't feel any different from the ninth of August when I was merely middle aged.

    The next person to ask me if I need help crossing the road is going to get the back of my hand.

    Although I am going to give in to one thing. My hair grows so fast that It's almost down to my backside in less than a month. If they offer me pensioner rates again I'm going to accept.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

A**e about face as usual

As is usual for me, I've finished the cover for my new novel. The only thing is I haven't finished the novel - not even the first draft.

    I'm nearly there but I realised that come the end of version one I'll have to rewrite it. But everyone rewrites it, not once but several (dozen in my case) times. However in this instance I'm going to change his character. 

    I've found out to my cost that although I love dry humour it's not in me to write it. It's disappointing because I was so looking forward to it. Therefore I think I'll have to fall back on my usual style unless I'm writing a non comedic novel, which is to say juvenile, because, as my beloved is so fond of reminding me, I never really grew up even though my sixtieth birthday is looming dangerously close.

    I'll keep the cover a secret for now because I might alter it or change it all together. Though I'm not sure I will because the groan of revulsion from my daughter (allegedly) tells me that I might have got it right.

    When I do finish and publish this one I'm finally going to begin what I should have started fourteen novels ago, which is to say actually advertise them. My sales have dried up somewhat over the past few months and it's time I flogged a few.

    Here's a new picture of my favourite horse. Considering she's about ten times smaller than my daughter's other nags she really gives them some aggravation. It's worth waiting around for it just to see the shock in their faces.

  She really is the height of four breeze (cinder) blocks.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

After three weeks I finally got it.

I finally got my new bike.

    Although calling it a bike is a bit of an overstatement, really.

    I then almost buggered the whole thing up by putting diesel into it while leering at a proper motorbike in the petrol station.

    Compared to my own last proper bike it's a bit girly.

    I had to sell that one because my daughter (allegedly) needed a car. But then I would have had to get rid of it anyway because it was just too wide to get down the horrible road I have to travel everyday: the A40.

    Don't care. I've finally got the replacement for my other scooter which now has about a billion miles on the clock while I've been waiting. And I've spent an utter fortune on cables and locks. I know if they want it, then they (the scumbag thieves) will take it. I chose this one because its a newer version of the one I already have and is slow and a little boring but does get me through the traffic. So (and I'm ashamed to say this) I hope they'll pick on someone else.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

The most expensive place in the world?

I just got back from Switzerland and I'm broke.

   Whilst there I changed a £50 note and got just over 40 in Swiss francs, and after discovering that they didn't have the same type electric plug as France where I was heading next, I bought this.

    That, a cup of tea and a measly ham salad, and I had to get some more money changed. And there was me thinking that Monaco was the most expensive place on the planet.

    On the upside, wherever I happen to go in this galaxy I'll probably have a suitable plug socket.

    I'm not the picky type but you'd have thought for that amount of dosh they could have at least have squeezed in a USB socket.