Saturday, 27 May 2017

Occular oddities

I have a slight problem. My wife is always claiming the same kind of thing but I generally ignore her when she's in that kind of mood.
    I lost my glasses. 
    Normally that's not a problem. I don't need glasses for the important stuff, like trucks bearing down on me when I'm riding my motorbike, or plates bearing down on me when I'm ignoring my wife.
    I do need them when I'm on the computer. But not the ones I use for reading. They are far too strong and make me feel sick and dizzy if I try to use them for writing.
    I tried, anyway but the font on the screen was too big and still blurry. I tried moving further away from the screen but then my fingers were too far away from the keyboard.
    "Why don't you just move the keyboard a little closer to you," aforementioned wiflet suggested in that tone which hinted that I was in possession of serious problems.
    "You wouldn't understand, my petal," I responded, dabbing ineffectively at the keyboard which now had unplugged itself from the computer.
    "Then why don't you move the monitor further away from you?" she sneered in that particular voice she reserves for when I'm really being a plonker.
    "Because there's a wall in the way."
    "Well move the desk further back from the wall then push the screen thing away from you." Did I mention that my wife can speak in italics? I could even hear her smiling from behind me.
    I stood, ready to turn and consider physical violence when the distinctive sound of breaking glasses broke my stride.
    I don't know whether it was the shattered frames, or the amount of Elastoplast it took to repair them that made her peal of delighted laughter even more unbearable.
    I think it's time for the old spider-under-the-pillow punishment again.

Friday, 26 May 2017

The mid-book blues.

I'm almost half way through my new book and I can't finish it.
    Oh, you might say, he's got the block. Well we all get that from time to time.
    Well I haven't got the block. I haven't run out of ideas, and I haven't run out of anything, except time. Why?
    Because nobody will let me finish. 
    Every time I try to do some writing: "Roger, cut the grass, Roger, plant some flowers, Roger, muck out the horses, even thought they're not even mine, Roger, move the house three feet to the left so I can vacuum under it. Roger, Roger, Roger..." it never ends.
    I suppose I could just stay up all night like I used to, but I'm getting too old for that. I barely get twenty minutes kip a day as it is. But now, with a three day weekend looming, I'm going to nail my writing room door shut and weld some ear plugs to my head. What makes it even worse, is that cowering behind the steering wheel with my notebook in hand today, it occurred to me that the original MS, about 100k words, just like most of my novels, just won't do. I think I'll need at least one hundred and fifty to finish. At this rate I'll be dead and in my coffin before I even finish.
    And even then I'll probably have to move it so that she who must be obeyed can vacuum under it.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

From the hooves of death

We finally got my daughter home on Monday night. She's very sore and very stiff but alive and healing. Apart from being moved three different times in the hospital I have nothing but praise as usual for the National Health Service despite what they had and still have to contend with, ie, no money and mad hackers. It means that my weekends for a few weeks will be spent with the very horse that tried to do her in. I'll be nice, well as nice as I can to the nag who's always hated me. In fact always hated everyone, but I prefer to believe that's the result of the dreadful way she was treated by her former owner.

    I finally cleaned up the mess from that extended Windows update. However they finally got rid of that maddening shut-down bug. It was worth it if only for that. When I get back from the stables, and providing the horse hasn't tried to trample me, I can finally get down to some writing. It's all getting a bit intense now and I'm still trying to stick to plan A, which is to say the plot I originally envisaged. It gets harder the deeper I get into the book. 
    I miss my old style of writing but I don't envisage a spaceship chock full of irate aliens landing on the streets of England in this one so I'll have to stick with it and keep writing.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

That ******* virus.

Unfortunately my family was a recipient of that awful computer virus that struck all of Europe and north America last weekend.
    Not me so much as my daughter. After riding a completely unsuitable horse my daughter was thrown. The helmet lasted as she hit a fence post head first but the chin strap snapped leaving her no protection as she hit the ground with the back of her head.
    Her fiance called the emergency services and a helicopter arrived within twenty minutes as it was in the middle of nowhere. 
    That's where the virus came in. For another half an hour the helicopter had to wait in the field as it had no idea where to go as most of the hospitals in London were in chaos, and more specifically the hospitals with major trauma centres and a landing pad. 
    Eventually they were able to go and now my daughter is healing, but we still don't know when she can come home because of the backlog caused  by the fight to clear the virus.
    I hope those hackers rot somewhere very hot.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

A windows update messed up my night.

I wasted the whole night waiting for my computer to download the latest Windows update. Did I get any choice? Not on your nelly.
    After using more than the entire output of the Hoover dam and three abortive attempts, I finally resolved the issues with whatever I just downloaded. Creators edition or some such nonsense.
    It must be good I thought, because its about half a billion exabytes of data.
    Wrong. Apart from some pathetic 3d imagining rubbish I can't see any difference from before. And what the hell is groove music? Which I can't have, anyway unless I pay more money than I could earn in a month.
    Ho hum. At least it was free. I suppose I ought to copy it to my seagate just in case it all crashes. What I should say is for when it crashes as Windows is hardly the most stable platform ever invented. I just hope it fixed that shut down bug that came with anniversary edition.
    If you've got that by the way, the best way to shut the machine down, with the exception of a sledge hammer, is to go into processes, Ctrl+alt+delete. Wait for it to settle down to less than five percent, then press Alt +F4. It might be old school but it always (mostly ) works for me.
    So, back to my writing. Today's target for my clumsy sort-of hero is MI5. I'm going to have some fun there, but just in case I disappear one night pretty soon, you'll all know that it's not a good idea to mess with the boys from Thames House. That's in London by the way, pretty near to, as the name implies, the river Thames.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Had a great weekend but now my fingers are worn to the bone.

After fifteen months of not writing I thought I'd never get back into it.
    In the past year I've begun two books, both the next in the series of those already in existence. I got to about a hundred pages in both but it just wouldn't come. In fact I didn't want it to come. Was I finally losing the urge after over twenty five years? 
    At first I was relieved. Twenty five years for daddy's little hobby wasn't so bad. At least it didn't go the way of photography and all the other transient pastimes I picked up.
    Then I got upset. I love writing, so why didn't I want to do it anymore?
    Now I know. I was writing the wrong thing. This weekend I've written, without effort, nearly ten thousand words. Of course a lot of that will be annihilated in the first edit, but for the first time in a couple of years I'm finally excited by writing, and what I'm writing.
    Going to take a few hours off now until my fingers stop bleeding. I might have to buy a new keyboard as well. This one's beginning to groan.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Time's dragging.

This is the last day of my three day weekend and I've done precisely no writing whatsoever. It's not that I'm lazy - well there may be a little of that in it. It's just that so many jobs have piled up. The most important of which was that I had a Windows moment the other night. You all know the ones, where Windows decides to go phut for no reason. Luckily I was backed up so no real harm done. Except that firefox won't work properly anymore but that's alright, I'm beginning to prefer Chrome now.
    I've just put yet more topsoil on my front garden, to replace that which I replaced last autumn, last summer and last spring. I wonder where it goes. I'm almost tempted to wait up one night, peering round the curtains to see the little topsoil pixies making off with my garden. It hasn't run off with the rain so where is it? I suppose it could have run off to topsoil heaven.
    See, I'm slowly becoming unhinged.
    I'm at that stage in Sod's Law, my newest tome where I beginning to worry about what I'll put in it to make up the numbers. It always happens to me, but finally I'll get over it and just write. Then as usual I'll easily cover my 100k minimum. I don't know why I set myself that particular figure but I feel comfortable with it.
    In that vein, here's the final snippet of Arnold Pratt's life until I finish the book.


It was in this position and unknown time later that his mildly erotic dream was disturbed by a strident voice announcing that his genitals were rotting. Damn, that was the third time his alleged daughter had changed his ring tone without him knowing.
    ‘Is that you, Pratt?’
    He knew who the caller was even though it was withheld as usual. The barking voice, always close to fury and as usual scornful and condescending waited, demanding his usual servile response. Arnold lived for the day that this man might say please or thank you, but had long given up that forlorn hope.
    ‘Need you in early. Got to leave town. Pay you extra. Seven. Don't be late.’
    Arnold had never heard him use sentences containing more than four words, either but cared little for that. With a loud click the line was cut and with a groan Arnold readied himself for action. And getting up really was action these days. In two years since this new arrangement, vis a vis his working practise had taken shape he’d gained nearly two stone onto an already impressive fourteen which was eight kilos as his daughter might say in one of her rare lucid moments.
    ‘Who was that?’ His wife lumbered into the room, her belligerence preceding her like a tidal wave.
    ‘The Shouty man,’ Arnold said finally lumbering to his feet. The name coined by his daughter after answering his phone and immediately slamming it down but only after telling his part time boss to get stuffed. Luckily his client had believed it to be a wrong number and not given him the sack; or perhaps he was accustomed to being addressed in such a manner.
    ‘Oh, Corporal gruntfuttocks.’ It was becoming increasingly difficult to identify his separate bosses seeing as how both his daughter and wife had elected to give them all different names. ‘I don't know why you keep working for him,’ said Doris following him upstairs with another barrage of accusations as to both his sanity and legal status.
    ‘Because he pays the bills,’ Arnold finally tired of her as he climbed into his least wrinkled suit and prepared to leave.

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