Neil Gaiman ruins my life. Again.

I watched the movie ‘Stardust’.

It was dreadful and I absolutely LOVED (parts of) it. The female characters were all hideously offensive setreotypes, but Robert De Niro played a cross-dressing sky pirate and there was magic and adventure and an excellent cast. It didn’t so much make up for the stereotypes as distract from them, but that was sort-of-ok even though it was wrong.

I watched the whole thing, enjoyed great swathes of it (often despite myself) and then – as the credits rolled – realised the obscene truth: the nice little movie I’d been watching HAD BEEN ADAPTED FROM A NEIL GAIMAN NOVEL. That’s not even the worst of it. If only. The worst part was that the first thing that popped into my head when I realised it was a Neil Gaiman creation was “oh ace, can’t wait to buy the book and see how he imagined it”.

WHAT? EXCUSE ME? Did I just think, “I can’t wait to buy the book”? Did I accidentally express EAGERNESS to read something written by my nemesis? Since when am I a contributor to Gaiman’s Empire of Smug? Since when do I use my hard-earned farthings to support his smug lifestyle? NEVER! Imagine my horror. Imagine the cold prickle of disbelief, the overwhelming sense of self-loathing and betrayal. How could I possibly be thinking such things?

I’m even now inclined to get the book to read for myself.

UGH. This is SERIOUS.

American Gods? Neverwhere? Now this STARDUST? Where will it end? When will he stop torturing me with all his talent and his imagination on the one hand, and all his smug and his shameless self-promotion and his‘cool’ and his ‘nice’ on the other. ARGH. It kills me. At least I hated Coraline. At least I’ve got that to cling on to…

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World Book Day 2011

SOMETHING MILDLY FANTASTIC IS HAPPENING!

Derek Landy (of Skullduggery Pleasant fame, obvs) is writing a book for World Book Day. Y’know who else wrote a book for World Book Day this one time in the past? That’s right, NEIL ‘I’m-excessively-smug-and-look-how-kooky-I-am-with-my-messy-hair-jeez-don’t-you-just-WISH-you-were-a-cool-and-successful-author-like-me’ GAIMAN. Brilliant. I can’t wait. I get to judge these two writery froods on a level playing field. A COMPLETELY level playing field that will be in no way hampered by the excessive, pointless and groundless prejudices I have against Neil ‘Hey-everyone-come-and-see-how-smug-I-am’ Gaiman. Nope. No way.

Currently reading: ‘Sunnyside’ by Glen David Gold. (This is just something I’m going to put in from now on. For interest. But also just to prove that I do read things that AREN’T books-meant-for-kids-but-wot-I-read-anyway. So ner.)

TWO VITALLY IMPORTANT THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW!

First, I discovered THIS HILARIOUS GENERATOR. Read some internet fiction and want to leave a gloriously crappy comment, but prevented from doing so by your natural good grammar and spelling? Well worry no more, this generator is for you! It makes me want to spam the shit out of my childhood internet haunt, Elfwood. YEAHWOT? I WAS A FF GEEK! SO WHAT? WE CAN’T ALL LIKE THE CURE Y’KNOW!

Second, I re-wrote my NaNoWriMo magna carta and turned it into a WORDLE! Yeah, that’s right: I’M SERIOUS THIS TIME AROUND! (For those of you who aren’t familiar with this particular usage of the words ‘magna carta’, get obsessed with NaNoWriMo for crumbs sake!). Anyway, here it is:
Wordle: Magna Carta 2

Third – yep, a freebie for you here – I have now decided to be obsessed with the children’s author DEREK LANDY, creator of the Skulduggery Pleasant series. He can’t write girl-on-girl friendships to save his life, bless him, but he sure packs a mean magic adventure. I have decided to do this because he has a BLOG in which he posted a nudity warning on a photograph of a skeleton. Win. Landy wins because he’s sarcastic rather than smug which makes him the ANTI-GAIMAN! Sarcasm would KICK THE PISS out of smug in a fight (or it’d at least say loads of mean things until smug was left crying in a corner – either’s fine).

 

Smuggity Smugface Fails at Words

Day three. My latest imaginary boyfriend is Mark Ronson – he gets on better with the imaginary cat.

But back to “Day three”…

I went to bed pretty smug last night. Not just smug, actually: Smuggity. I was Smuggity as hell. Neil Gaiman-esque.

I’d had a good session (of writing, don’t be filthy) in the evening and felt like I’d cruised to my word count without problems, having written in some good interaction between my characters, solid dialogue, plodding-but-actual tension building towards a definite scene climax and revearsal. I keep calling it the ‘Wronski Feint’, but I think that’s actually something from Harry Potter. You know, like in Quidditch… *Ahem* AS IF I know about Quidditch tactics. What do you think I am, some kind of loser? Oh. Hang on…

Anyway, even though I keep calling it by the wrong(ski) name I *am* actually thinking of a real thing. I think. I’m thinking of a term Mark Gatiss used in A History of Horror to describe a particular kind of tension release and revearsal of expectations in horror movies (used by and named after some director or other). An example of the kind of situation it describes is, say, where a woman is walking down a dark alley and hears footsteps coming after her; she quickens her pace; the footsteps also quicken; she breaks into a run; suddenly there’s a hand on her shoulder (moment of maximum tension) BUT in a revearsal of expecations (is it the monster/murderer?) it is revealed that it’s just the friend she’s on her way to meet. That kind of thing.

I’m getting carried away. The point was supposed to be that I’d done a day’s-worth of good writing, felt highly pleased with myself, greased my moustache (I don’t have one but if I did it would be like Dali’s), and did a lot of “faw faw-ing” before going to bed a confirmed Smuggity.

Tonight, I write nothing (to do with my story). I’m not even properly procrastinating. I just have absolutely no plans whatsoever to write. And do you know why? BECAUSE I DID WELL YESTERDAY AND TO CONTINUE TODAY WOULD BE TO INVITE FAILURE! Deep, right? Like, totally.

What I want to know is this: who the hell invited my inner bloody editor to take part in this project? I thought I’d sent the snarky bitch off on holiday for a month; why the hell is she back so soon?

Let’s do a count: 1700 tonight + 1700 that I’ll fail to write tomorrow night because of  bonfirenightbrilliance + 1700 on hangoversaturday = 6800 words on Sunday.

Probs well easy, that. Right? Right guys?

Shit.

Some of all of the things.

One of the things about writing is that there’s never a good time.There’s always something else going on, something that needs you’re attention, something you are supposed to do or to have already done, something you need to worry about, something you need to think about.

One of the other things about writing is that it’s a nostalgic activity. It was always better in the past, always easier, quicker, funnier, better. What the hell is wrong with you, Writing? I thought we were friends. We used to have fun together, didn’t we? What about all those nights we spent together, up until dawn – they were good times, weren’t they? I’m sure I remember them as good times…

Another one of the things about writing is that you need to be in THAT MOOD to do it, and THAT MOOD isn’t always the most condusive mood for normal life.

Another one of the other things about writing is that when you lose your voice, it really does NOT sound sexy.

One of the another other things about writing is that it takes up so much energy: thinking energy, avoiding energy, doing energy, procrastinationing energy, guilt energy, snacking energy, taking two baths in a day energy. All the different energies.

There are so many bloody THINGS about writing…

PLUS other writers are all smug bastards (Neil Gaiman, I’m talking about YOU).

1800 words down, another 1600 tonight. 2000 would be better. Apparently my characters live in a small seaside town in a city that’s nowhere near the sea. And it’s seemingly aimed at kids in the 8-12 bracket, with the occasional chapter that’s more appropriate for some kind of non-fiction geological tome, and parts that even the imaginary cat that I don’t own wouldn’t piss on.

T’was brillig…