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Monthly Archives: January 2010


Been busy this last week, and will be next; paying the rent gets in the way of writing. But I’ve managed to write a draft of chapter 8 of Grendel.

The book is a rewrite, but chapter 8 is brand new.

Rewriting a book that you didn’t complete is like renovating an old, decrepit house. How much can you knock away and replace without losing the original essence of the place? How much do you want to keep?

How much to add?

But like I said before, I’m in love with April Speed, Grendel’s narrator, and I want to see her story through to the end.


Going to try and complete Grendel (see link at the side). The first few chapters are already written, but it’s deciding how to proceed beyond that point that will prove a challenge.

I know exactly what is going to happen. Just got to get it down.

secret sentences

How come that as soon as I decide I’m not going to write this year, I suddenly get the compunction to sit down, open a fresh word document, and put fingers to keyboards.

I dunno.
But I’m enjoying it.

Maybe that’s the secret.

balancing the books

Della gave me a book of aphorisms, and these are the three I like the best:

The answers are apparent.

Everything you need is at hand.

Take what you want, and pay for it.

None of them help me very much, you understand, but it sort of comforts me to know there’s a higher logic at work.

Which reminds me, my tax returns are due next week.


Talked with Della, first time in a while, I’d sort of got out of touch with her, and maybe that’s because she always tells me the truth, which I didn’t want to listen to.

What she told me, what I knew she’d say, was unpalatable for a while and so I avoided her, but she’s right; I have to make decisions, adult decisions, and stick to them.

Then I rang Casey and chatted with him for a bit. His advice? I have to Take The Pain.

Then again, he once got a Mickey Mouse tattoo on a whim, so he’s not the wisest monkey in the tree.

But between them, they’re right. I have to.

sleep mode

Going to defrag.

Unless something special lands in my inbox, I’m not planning on writing at all this year. I think I’ll read, listen to music, maybe redecorate my website, but that’s all.

Try and live a life, instead of writing one.

(blogging doesn’t count)

define normal

Thought I was better, back to normal, so went to meet Jackson for a coffee, but when the bookshelves in Waterstone’s started to spin around me I realised that I didn’t feel well at all, only better than yesterday.

Jackson’s training for his next bout. Kid’s like a pit bull. A friendly pit-bull. I dropped him off at the gym, came home and went back to bed where I sat up watching DVDs, until Ruthie arrived and offered to make me soup.

haha – feeling sorry for myself.


a good walk spoiled

My man Wilson invited me on a walking expedition this weekend, with him and Ivan. It sounded really good and I was looking forward to a bit of a mish with the lads, but then on Thursday I got whacked sideways by some sort of norovirus/vomiting bug, which was, officially, Not good.

I spent two days running between bedroom and bathroom, purging myself. Starlight stayed away from me at first, coming upstairs only to whine for her meals, and cat-food never smells good when you’re in the middle of a vomiting session, but after about a half a day she deigned to lie on the bed next to me, purring. And she’s been there pretty much ever since.

Anyhow, I was woken about eight this morning when the postman delivered a book from Amazon, signed for it and went into the kitchen to make a breakfast of coffee and rich tea biscuits; I was feeling washed out but pretty much back to normal.

Need a bath and a shave. First though, I gotta feed the cat. Then I’ll open the package and see which book has been delivered.

cheap footwear

Foss died, I just heard.

He’d been in and out of jail recently, had done some bad things. Then he got straightened out and became a drugs counsellor. Then he relapsed. And now he’s dead.

Lot of people I know didn’t like him, but I thought he was cool. A liar, sure. A thief. Untrustworthy. But once you factored all that in, he was charming. Good company. Intelligent in his own way. Thoughtful.

‘I find out what people want,’ he told me, ‘and I give it to them. And then after a while, they get used to it, and they start to need me.’

He was talking about relationships in this instance, not supplying Class A drugs, but it was no coincidence that his approach to social interaction was based on his observations of the more successful sales techniques of drug dealers.

He was tactile, garrulous, generous with his attention, and very successful with women. There was a desperate, myopic glee about his lifestyle; a huge appetite for experience and human intercourse.

For some unexplained reason, if you gained access to his top-floor flat, you noticed he didn’t have any doors, but there was always a large pot of stew on the oven; he wore cheap trainers, not even trainers, just canvas plimmies, and lived on borrowed money between unemployment cheques.

I’m not lauding him. He was what he was. You wouldn’t want to spend too much time with him either, because he’d spend all your cash, eat all your food, sleep with your girlfriend and then borrow back the drugs he’d just sold you to use for himself. And keep the money you’d paid for them.

Anyway, he’s dead. The drugs got him.
The lifestyle.

Road Grit

Watching The Road gave me pause for thought.

The UK has just about run out of road grit after a surprise winter. Imagine if some really surprising event were to occur, something actually unforseen, and then substitute the word ‘food’ for grit. How soon would it be before we too would be robbing the neighbours for a tin of dog food? How many days before we turned feral? I read somewhere that any civilised country is about four meals away from social breakdown.

The way I normally eat, I’ve got enough food in my home for about four days. If I was careful, maybe a week.

Beyond that I’d have to casserole the cat.