internal monologue, cockroaches, a poo.

I am too lazy to write a real post. Instead, I leave you with this offering. If you ever wondered what my inner life is like, here it is. This started off as a Line message and got rapidly out of hand as I amused myself with melodrama and cliche in increasing terribleness.

When I’m not being anxious about things, or eating, or other things of that nature, this is basically what the landscape of my mind looks like.

Sorry to disappoint.

“What a morning it’s been. I told you about the epic Alan battle (it’s very difficult to convey the toil and terror of battle in the space of a Line message. How can I describe it? That first sight of the enemy; the revulsion; the slow-rising mists of hate; and then the battle cries! “FUCK YOU ALAN, YOU BASTARD!”; the adrenaline shooting arrowlike through the body; molten blood charging the veins; the misting, insensible; the bloodlust!; and then, YES!, the final thrill!; – the kill! – the glorific flush of victory…

…and then the slowing of things. Of the beats and the breaths. Sated. Spent.

The dawning. The terrific realisation. The sharp guilt egdeways on the heart. ALAN! Murmured disgust, “MURDERER!”. To have exulted in death, in the taking of life! And, worse!, from Alan! An innocent! Defenseless! No enemy of mine, not really; no deception, no fell intent! My hands! My good, strong hands now sullied with the mulch of my murdered foe.

Far away, the Counting Alan, the Alan connected to all other Alans, adding another line to the wall in a cavernous grotto: “Rest in Peace Beloved Alan (12.05.14 – 18.06.14) Stolen From Us Too Soon”, and above the litany of Alans, the tirade, the endless repetition etched out on walls that wind worlds, the words ingrained on every Alan’s soul: NEVER FORGET. NEVER SURRENDER. And somewhere a grieving Alan, alone, lowing loss into the night. And I, alone, a murderer, return it’s woeful cry), didn’t I?

Thought so. I told you about the battle and I told you about my adorable little frankfurter. So unassuming. But what happened next? What followed that innocent hotdog sausage?

Well… I felt the call, that war horn of the bowls as if from a great distance. An ancient knowledge sparks, flares, throwing shadows on the wall of an old and dormant corner of the mind. Lower the drawbridge! The monster must be loosed!

I did not walk but was driven, treading the footsteps of my forepoos. Entranced, I stepped into the shining hall of the gods, gleaming white and mirrorlike, feet bathed in its waters like flowers in morning dew. And there, like Thor’s mighty Mjolnir, like Odin’s single eye, stood my throne, my seat of power, redemption! I drew near and readied my stance, a mountain bowed, gazed unsheathed upon the placid pool below. A tremor, and it began.

Afterwards, empty, sunken, I look back at the great wreck left behind, the monster’s muddy carcass in the depths. The waters begin to boil, swirl. A dervish dances, animates the great weight, which lurches then twirls whirling round and around and finally, slowly, sinking down.

Incantations offered up like a prayer, and I myself and all my gods witness the passing of the beast.”

cockroach on toilet roll



Moany Prose-Voice Moan About Getting Nowhere Fast In Week 2 Of NaNoWriMo

It is November. My belongings are mostly strewn across the floor of New Flat. There’s bubblewrap on the windows and tinfoil behind the radiators but it doesn’t quite keep the heat in. The fridge is full of things that can be made quickly – either added to pasta (mostly cheese) or eaten raw (mostly broccoli) – and the cupboards are too: we’ve got baked beans and instant noodles, pancake mix and more Chunky KitKats than any one person should eat in their lifetime. Social engagements keep being made and immediately broken: Don’t you know? It’s NaNoWriMo: I have no TIME for mortal human activities.

Everything is just as you would expect.

I am only a meagre PLURAL thousand words behind my daily target. I am vaguely disheartened. Being disheartened makes me reluctant to write and so I have involved myself in other things: I have crocheted an extra line to my Granny Stripe blanket (total: 2 lines); I have printed photographs I’ve been meaning to print for a while; I have made piles of lifeadmin papers to be filed at Some Point In The Future; I have finished How To Be A Woman and found it amusing and good in places but ultimately judged it to be lacking; I have planted basil seeds.

I have not written. Not really.

It’s all this Doing Other Things that’s the problem. All this ‘work’ I’m expected to do every day, which I dislike because it’s getting in the way EVEN THOUGH they pay me money for it. Not nearly enough, naturally. I check every month and there’s still no £1,000,000 bonus, though surely I’ve earned it by missing out on my calling as a Successful Author in order to administratize. They probably just keep forgetting. I’m sure it’ll turn up soon. Any day now.

The latest NaNoWriMo pep talk says that this is the week to be disheartened. Knowing that makes me feel normal again: I imagine NaNoWriMo participants all over the world looking glumly at their computers and eating too much popcorn, just like me. I think, we’re all in this together.

And then I think, I don’t want to let the side down.

And it makes me open Write or Die – just OPEN it, mind. Just to LOOK. And I might open it and think, well, why NOT try another 150 words? Another 250? Another 500? And I’ll do it, just because it’s THERE, you know, and if it’s THERE then I might as well give it a go.

The latest NaNoWriMo pep-talk suggests I do something ‘crazy’ in my story. It uses the word ‘kooky’, and talks about someone who last year sent all her characters off to the circus together. How nice. What a treat.  Maybe I’ll send mine off, too. It might not work being that – on the suggestion of A Human – one of my characters just pulled a gun on another (the Raymond Chandler technique, I’m told), but hey, I could probably get some words out of it.

Which, it seems, is pretty much the point of week 2: get some words out. No matter if they advance the plot or not, just get some words out. You’re over the initial flush of excitement and are trying to settle down into the long slog that is The Middle Bit: you need to get some words out; keep writing; stay in the game.

Pesky Middle Bit. It’s pretty important. It’s always the part I forget to think about until I’m in the middle of it.


Time to get some words out.

When I started writing this post I had a point but then I forgot it.

Orrite. Been a while. I’ve been busy having my brother come to visit getting farted on at regular intervals by a 17-year old child who is APPARENTLY related to me in some way (as if: I don’t have siblings, I have minions) and watching horses have curved metal rods nailed to their feet.

The Authors have been all excitable since my last post, all doing things and then blogging about them like it’s going out of fashion.

1. Jonathan Stroud Went To New Orleans, Fails To Sound Enthused. It’s an easy mistake to make: you’ve come back from some important Writery gig, you’ve schmoozed and want to let you new schmoozees know how much you appreciated everything they put together. The only problem? YOU’RE FUCKING TIRED! You just want to get your slippers on, take a long dump and then sit on the sofa in your pants watching adverts for the new Hermionie Granger movie. Crying, probably, because it’s the last one and you know that the rest of your life will be meaningless thereafter. Anything you write now is going to sound forced, dull, lacking your usual sparkle and finesse. Not bad you understand, it will simply fail to convey any point of interest whatsoever.  I’ve never read any of this guy’s work or seen any interviews with him or in any way researched enough to make an informed opinion (if you’ve come on the look out for informed opinions then boy are you in the wrong place!) but he sounds like a bit of a bran-flakes-for-breakfast kind of chap: inoffensive, well-meaning, nice and yet somehow unsatisfying… My advice: sleep first, Stroud; write second.

2. Derek Landy Finishes Another Novel, Has Some Emotions About It. That’s right kids, Valkyrie’s next adventure is all finished. And Derek’s having a mid-series crisis about it. It must be tough for him, poor lamb: all those successful published YA novels under his belt and STILL they keep coming. Luckily (for him), we like Derek so we won’t mock further. We like how he created Valkyrie, kick-ass female protagonist that she is (though admittedly in thrall to her male mentor). She even – shocker! – totally has frequent conversations with other (named) female characters which – another shocker! – frequently aren’t about some guy (although aforementioned male mentor does show up with irritating regularity). There are problems, of course. Derek Landy neglected to call his successful series of YA urban fantasy books after the (female) protagonist and instead – mistakenly, I believe – called them after the (male) mentor. There are other things but hey, go read them, find out for yourselves; can’t expect ME to do all the legwork.

3. Nail Gaiman Did Some Reasonably Cool Stuff, UNreasonably Expects People To Care. Ugh. Damn you Neil Gaiman, I’ve had it with all your Being Impressive. Try to stop the constant boasting and write another award-winning novel, why don’t you?

4. Lucy Christopher Still Alive, Still Not My Stalker. The main point of interest here is that YA author Lucy Christopher still hasn’t expressed a desire to become my internet stalker. I don’t get it. She’s good though – she writes words in CAPITALS sometimes, and it’s almost like she’s a real human who gets EXCITED about real life things such as signing a copy of her book for Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief. THE ACTUAL AUTHOR OF THE ACTUAL BOOK THIEF! Sorry for the repetition but I didn’t think you were impressed enough the first time around. What? You haven’t read The Book Thief? FOOL! It is all lovely and unusual and you should get a copy from your local library immediately.

One thing The Authors are teaching me is that Being An Author is chock full of Going To All The Places and Speaking To All The People. They’re off all over, ALL the damn time! Who pays for their travel? Where do they stay? Do they compensate for their carbon emissions? Do they buy lunch or take their own sandwiches? I’m a fan of the packed lunch myself  (I always like to know where my next bit of food is coming from). Anyway, all this speaking and networking would be something of a challenge for old Sasperella. Talking? To humans? No thanks love – avoiding all face-to-face human contact is why they invented the internet isn’t it? That and procrastination.

When I started this I had a point I wanted to make, but I’ve forgotten it. Attention span of a goldfish = requirement for failing at being a novelist.

Camp Nanowrimo

OK, so I stopped at 16, 000 words last year and have hardly looked at it since. So what. Still counts as a win in my books.

I had popped back  to say that this blog will be restarting in November when I will purposely be taking myself out of Real Life (including turning down any roller derby bouts I might have coming up – you cannot know the level of sacrifice that requires) to try, once again, to write a shit novel in a month.

HOWEVER, in light of recent events (i.e. the bombshell that is Camp Nano) you may find me up and blogging [read: procrastinating] a little earlier than that. Let’s see how we go.

In the meantime I’ll be posting a whole load of vapid shit over on my Blogger blog, which has been up and running for about 5 minutes. Or since March. Whatever. Anyway, come along and post comments so I can pretend I’m popular and important.


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?