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Friday, August 24, 2007

I've long since forgotten when the writing competition announces its winner, but it seems like history now. The book is in a decent state at last. If only I was. I have a synopsis and sample chapter on my desk but no inclination to send them to the agent I'd hoped might look at them. It all seems pointless, although saying that, I think the book is just getting better and better. It's just that it's become painfully obvious that this is never going to pay the rent or the utility bills, which have all shot up this year. I'm broke. I'm sick of being broke and let's face it, no one is interested in books by writers.

This summer has been horribly busy and stressful. Working in the shop - with all the appalling crap 'customers' throw at you - has really taken its toll. I write letters to people and tear them up, I'm chucking away all the art I've done, I see no point in seeing anyone. I'm only writing this because no one will read it.

But I've done some good stuff too, and will hopefully be seeing Bagas Degol and Pendans on Monday and maybe even Rosie and the Goldbug later in the month. Now there's a band that's going to be big.

Friday, May 11, 2007

And a very long time it's been: again. I even have my first comment and no idea as to what it related to! But thanks for making the effort.

Since this blog is supposed to be about how the new book is going, well there's been a lot of progress. The first draft is finally completed, and I'm well into the second draft. The book even has a title now - Tallis Zawn. Saying that, I have had to stop for the time being to enter a writing competition. Silly me, I never win these things, but the chance that Patrick Gale might read my short-short story (500 words no more) if it's shortlisted is just too good an opportunity to miss. So I've done a quick first draft and will be hoping to finish it very soon. Amazing how difficult a low word count can be, but I've managed to get a little story out of it.

Monday, January 08, 2007

After looking at the only other blogger's site that I can get into - the library still insisting on treating its users (i.e. those who can't afford home net access) like children - and seeing all the topical/political stuff its full of makes me feel not guilty about not including anything like that here, but just underlines how different my life is now. What I want to write about is how a few of us went to the Minack Theatre yesterday, just to sit in the cafe and gaze at the incredibleness of the place. The wind and rain was howling around us, and a real treat was seeing a bunch of gannets plunge-diving into the sea for fish, something I've never seen before. The sea was stormy as hell, and much as I hate the fishing industry, I did mutter a prayer for those out in it.

During the last few days I've been horribly ill and a lot more bad tempered than usual. Two drivers who overtook me in stupid, dangerous places would have had their necks wrung if I'd managed to get hold of them. But that would be no cure for their stupidity, of course. I was used to seeing bully boy tactics in London but not down here, please? Meanwhile, there's a bit of a lesbian fest going on at the local theatre in Penzance, with Claire Summerskill and Sue Perkins both going stand up shows. I'll be going to both, as it seems like a real novelty to do anything 'sceney' these days, and they should both be good. We'll see who comes crawling out of the woodwork, too...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I'm house sitting for a week, and seem to be too busy to get on with the novel - being in a proper house, with a garden, birds to feed and water, etc, takes a lot of doing. Still, I've managed to blow money on getting Sigur Ros' Takk and tickets for Eliza Carthy and for the Seth Lakeman gig in Falmouth in December. I was very keen on going to the CEMG meeting at the end of October, as Craig Wetherill was giving a talk and he really knows his stuff, but the group is horribly cliquey. I love what they're about but I don't want to gatecrash a private party. It's probably not deliberate, so I wish folk would think a bit more.

And Torchwood is not nearly as good as I had hoped.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Much as I hate my generation's utter obsession with nostalgia, I did freak out today after seeing some photos from the Rupert the Bear puppet show that I watched in the early 70s. Here's a photo of the cast:

Some of them look almost scary now but I did love the show. On more recent matters, the Eliza Carthy gig that was planned for the Clipper Bar in Camborne has now been moved a bit further away to Falmouth. I'm quite disappointed, but it still sounds like a small gig, and I'll try and get tickets.

Meanwhile, the morrow brings a 5 day trip to Dartmoor, probably soggy and misty but with plenty of local ale to keep us warm.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Oh, and the new Blyth Power album, 'Fall of Iron', has just been released. Buy it and tape it for me, please.

Back in a writing frame of mind but less time to do it due to working in the shop. I don't mind - sometimes it's the job of my dreams, like the other day, rummaging carefully through two boxes of stuff that was presumably left by a woman who'd died. Amongst the tons of sewing stuff was some WW2 Women's Voluntary Service pieces and a porcelain cake decoration in the shape of a cat, which I think might be valuable. It's expression and green bow tie are priceless, anyway. And more old jazz ep's have turned up, which makes my dad a happy man. The not so good aspects are the humidity on the shop floor (the new lights are killers) and the extras that people leave in their bags of donations. Like a pubic hair in the cover of a book on how to teach "retarded" people. Most of all, I would ask that folk PLEASE STOP DONATING SPIDERS. Dead or alive, they're unsuitable! On Tuesday I found another big one, curled up and long gone, but there was also another insect that I didn't recognise. Very interesting in a Darwin-kind of way but I'd just rather have some good books to look at.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Long time, no post. Too much has been going on recently, but things are calming down. I’ve been reminded of my mortality over the last month and so got trawling on the ‘net again for potential publishers for the first novel. My genius must be recognised! Or not – Serpent’s Tail rejected my synopsis and two sample chapters very quickly, describing it as ‘not falling within any of their genres’. That almost sounds like a good thing, except that ST publish stuff the mainstream won’t touch. Anyway, they were polite and fast, so I’ve got a further list to try – a synopsis has already gone out to someone else. Two short stories have also gone to a publisher of ‘weird fiction’. I managed to get hold of the address of an American queer SF publisher, despite the library network’s best efforts to block all access to it. Dealing with the US can be difficult, what with some wanting return postage and that appearing to be impossible to buy here. Recycle the synopsis and send me an e-mail! There was a letter in the Guardian recently from a woman who said that it was about time the impossibility of getting a book published unless you were already famous was made clear to writers. Perhaps we shouldn’t even try, just put it all on the ‘net or even just chuck manuscripts under the bed. What does it matter, if you really believe in what you’re doing? Nice ideal, but ego and scraping a living are things that are impossible to avoid.

The last few nights here have been amazing; the moon is huge, low and orangey, hanging over the sea, with a beautiful silver path leading away from it on the water. That and half price veg at the local supermarket makes being poor completely irrelevant. The sea breezes are back with a vengeance, so I can go outside again without cursing the heat. I sat for hours at an old arsenic labyrinth the other day (a lot nicer than it sounds) and read the rest of Armisted Maupin’s ‘The Night Listener’. Never read one of his before, in fact even long after I’d come out I thought ‘Tales of the City’ was a dreary old ‘classic’ set in the 1800s. The Night Listener was very easy to get into, and I finished it in two or three days. It’s a good story, too, except for the ending, or rather, the Afterword, which is a lousy cop-out, the modern equivalent of ‘and I woke up to find it was all a terrible dream’. Shame on him! It made me angry, I always feel cheated when that happens. The novel had a natural ending that should have been there. But read it if you get the chance. Just stop when you get to ‘The End’, and you’ll be a much happier reader.

And still the second book creeps on. Quite a feat bearing in mind the stuff that’s been going on, but quite frustrating nonetheless. I was asked if I would consider doing a book on the Dresden Dolls, but I know nothing about them and don’t want to waste months on research a la Green Day. They look like a decadent goth duo, very good image but I’m too old for this shit…

On Monday T and I went up to Men-an-Tol for the first time in quite a while. It’s a popular site, but seems to lose nothing when people are around. Some North American hippie women were hugging the holed stone but it was good just to sit nearby and contemplate. The landscape is wonderful, a panoramic view across the moors, and the wonderfully named Ding Dong mine on the horizon. Best moment of all was passing a group of witchdykes on the track and having one of them say, “Hello, sisters”.

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