Oh, I’ve been blocked lately, and how.

There’s been the sale of the house, and trying to find one we like in Clarkson. There’s been the worry about making sure Aiden gets to come to us like he wants to. There’s been work. There have been the babies. There’s been the compensation case. There’s been such a long list of things that have taken my attention and focus away from the word-crunching. And frankly, I thought I was over, at least for a while. I couldn’t find anything inside me. I was dry, empty, kaput, kershplunk, kerschmuttered.

But at work today, in a fit of boredom, I was leafing through my notebook, and came across a single line I’d jotted down between a whole bunch of other things, and something went ‘chk chk whooooof’ (imitation of an igniting fire) somewhere toward the back of my mind.

Came home, informed Luscious that tonight was writing night (like she’d argue: she’s just annnounced she’s put 1100 words down on a new project), and threw 1300 words of the new story at the keyboard before I stopped, content in the knowledge that I’ll have the rest of it wrapped up by the end of the weekend. It’s a nasty little thing called Mister Snopes, and I’m going to be very thankful to it for some time. It’s rescued me from being just a Normal, just a desk jockey. I’m even going back into my archives and taking a look at some of the half-pages and not-finished thangs I’ve got kicking around.

I’ve spent so much time wrapped up in The Divergence Tree and the preparation of Napoleone’s Land (have I told you that the novel’s changed name again? I forget.) that I’d forgotten the joy involved in just writing. Think I’ll ride this wave while I’m on it.


Nicked from Shane Jiraiya Cummings’ blog, the first lines of some current projects and projects that, after tonight, are back to being current projects:

I do not intend to go into details, but Mister Snopes was the most evil man the village had known in centuries. Mister Snopes

The sand of Easter Island is a curse. Napoleone’s Land

I know. Amygdala, My Love

My name is Hideshi Nakata, and though it be the greatest of honours, I do not wish to die for my Emperor. Most Divine of Winds

Walk like a monster. Walk Like a Monster

Mrs Thornapple was a large woman, and she began to smell after the third day. A Good Year For The Roses

My Name Is George Dawson. Manuscript Found Upon the Body of a Hanged Soldier


Picked up a copy of the DVD documentary I Told You I Was Ill: The Life & Legacy of Spike Milligan the other day, and got around to watching it last night. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Milligan, but I was reminded just how much his work has been a part of my life: The Goons of course, but also the poetry, the cartoons, Q, A Show Called Fred, the war memoirs, the live LPs, the letters, the public persona. Granted, the man often defined the difference between eccentric genius and arsehole, but I would be a very different man if not for the way his work has insinuated itself into my consciousness.

I’ve always liked Kurt Vonnegut’s notion of the karass– that group of people who are linked to you by the influence they have had upon your life, either (or both) good or bad. Milligan sits close to the centre of mine.

Luscious made an interesting observation, afterwards, that she had never drawn inspiration from ‘pretend people’, that she had always found herself influenced by people in direct contact with her, such as grandparents and children. There’s probably a deeper link into our psyches from these statements, which I’ll leave it to future discussions between us to discover, but it makes me wonder: what about you lot? Who are your influences? I have a message board, you know…


What is my playlist trying to do to me? All in a row:

Vincent by Don McLean
Cat’s In The Cradle by Harry Chapin
Send In The Clowns by Joni Mitchell

I swear, if it plays Pink Floyd next I’ll be in the bathtub with a jar of leeches before I know what I’m doing….

Song of the moment: Send In the Clowns Joni Mitchell