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.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

No dogs bit me today.

Today I had absolutely nothing to do. As previously mentioned I've finally got rid of Sky television so there was nothing to watch on the box. The only thing that's really changed is that I've got nothing to watch but am no longer paying £69 per month for being bored witless and screaming abuse at the ads which now appear about every twelve seconds; or rather, don't as I've got rid of Sky TV.

    So With no more excuses that I could come up with I got down to some editing and am pleased to report that by next weekend I'll be able to send my newest tome out to my beta readers. It always worries me after I ask them to be truthful, wondering if the MS will be returned with ABSOLUTE CRAP!!!! appended to the last page. But I'd rather know before I publish it. I'll still edit it half a dozen times more before that day arrives but at least I'll know if I should begin all over again.

    It has changed somewhat during the second and third rewrite. It was meant to be a parody but lest I was accused of copying certain other well known writers who are much better at that sort of thing than I, I've given up and changed it (subtly I hope) to my version of subdued comedy. The proof will be in the reading. 

    Here's a retouched version of one of my earlier paintings. I've been trying really hard with ArtRage and the fact that is difficult is what makes me really enjoy it.

    I know it's rubbish but after Sod's Law is done I'll really put some time into it.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

A dog bit me.

This is just one of the reasons I've used to save me from editing. 

    Don't get me wrong, I love everything about writing books but after the third edit all the energy seems to drain away.

    So here is a list of the reasons I've used to avoid editing:

    A dog bit me (true) but as it was only a mild scratch it didn't work too well, especially as the mutt was about the size of a mutant hamster.

    Someone almost killed me on my motorbike and my hand hurts. Also true but as that happens every time I get onto the thing it's a bit girly even for me.

    Someone tried to steal my motorbike but only succeeded in trashing it. Also true but hardly a good reason for me to be sitting in my room sobbing like a baby.

    My computer's broke. True-ish. I was downloading yet another update of windows 10 at the time. Admittedly it did take three days since it crashed every time I tried to install it.

    My mouse is broke. That was an outright cheat since I'm so old I still remember all the pre-mouse keyboard shortcuts.

    My wife moaned at me. But then she always does if I don't dig the garden more often than once a decade. She's touchy like that.

    I've just had another idea for a book. That's also true but since I have an enormous file on my pc with about fifty ideas for new books, not really enough.

    Alright. I've had enough of whining, so it's back to editing. Except that my big toe is throbbing a little. Hey, that might work for a couple of days.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

They let me go.

I don't think that Sky TV is big in the US what with the curvature of the earth and all, but over here it's big, but massive. So when I took the momentous decision to leave them last week I was prepared for all the trials and tribs so luridly described in the newspapers over here.

    'You want to do what...?' 

    Expecting to be hit with the Spanish Inquisition I was ready to do battle, especially after hanging onto the phone for over 90 minutes. I was equally prepared for the hordes of vexed people demanding to know why I should be doing such a stupid thing, and ultimately placing before me obstacles the like of which I had to trample in order to win my Green beret in the Royal Marines.

    So you might imagine my consternation when the man said "oh, but you've been with us for over fifteen years. Is there anything we can do to make you stay?"

    I had an answer or that one, too. "Not even if it were free."

    But I didn't even get the opportunity.

    'Well if you change your mind, just give us a call.'

    I can admit to relief that I was getting out of there but also a little disappointed that it was all so easy. I was equally prepared for a battle if he demanded my decoder box back, since their original one burnt out five years ago forcing me to buy another from them. But even there he surprised me.

    'Fine I'll just fill in the forms. And by the way did you know that once our signal's gone you can watch all the Freeview channels (112 at the moment) with the Sky box.'

    I'll believe that one the 21st of next month when the inordinately  expensive contract finally runs out. 

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Finished the second draft

Even after thirty years of writing it never fails to confuse/irritate me at how many little avenues and twists that sounded so good were just as quickly forgotten as soon as the next page appeared.

    My new novel was no exception. In the end I removed eight burgeoning sub plots. The fact that they were no good doesn't make any difference. It's not even as if I can blame it on senility, I was doing it when I began at twenty five.

    Next week I'll begin draft three and the removal of all passive writing.

    Draft four will be the ejection, removal, elimination, eradication, purging and ejection of all unnecessary, pointless, superfluous and wanton adjectives - not that I suffer from that particular problem.

On another note, as I'm typing I've just begun the second hour of my phone call to Sky TV in an attempt to cancel my subscription. I'll do it if it kills me, if only out of spite.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

When Harley turned into a pussy.

My big tomcat brought back a pigeon last night. Full of his own hunting prowess he strutted around the house until my daughter threatened, and tried to kill him. Despite mucking out horses on a daily basis she's strangely squeamish about cleaning up eviscerated birds from the carpet of her bedroom.

    Today I saw this in the front garden. I thought I lived in London and not the upper reaches of the Amazon. Maybe it came over on a banana boat; something I'd always written off as a myth until now. However, the very instant Harley the Destroyer saw it, his ears flattened and he took off in sheer terror

    Excuse the shaky image but one glare from all those eyes was enough for me. It was B.I.G

Friday, 22 September 2017

My new broadband finally arrived.

After two weeks they switched on my new broadband today. I got my daughter to try it out on her iPhone (should have known better). Am I the only person on the planet who thinks everything Apple is rubbish? It seems so. I don't even like real apples. Anyway, she told me that the speed had risen from my former 38Mb at fibre to 39 with super duper fibre. Can't say I was overly impressed as I'm paying for it and decided to call the company tomorrow and demand my money back.

    But as the weekend has finally arrived and I can edit all night, as is my wont on FridayI I tested it myself and found the speed (wired as opposed to wireless) had risen to 65mb. Not bad. Most of the Asian countries would laugh at me since they get far higher speeds, but it's the fastest I've ever had and I'm slightly impressed.

    Right, onto the editing. I hope to have finished the second draft by tomorrow morning, and then as soon as I've been to the supermarket,with my wife to prevent her buying ten million things we don't need in favour of a few things we really do need, I'm going to begin draft three.