They Think It Is All Over…

Firstly, apologies for not having been around for some time. I have had a few trying months, and I had to move home at the end of last year, the circumstances being rather difficult. Things are more settled, at least for the time being. I’ve been trying to regain my energy, as I’ve been spreading myself rather thin in recent times. Sadly, it has meant letting this blog grow dormant. I hope to rectify this, step by step.

However, it does not mean I have been completely idle. I have still been writing, and have been making some progress. Once the current novel is finished, I intend to take a lot of written material, including said novel, and create five or so books from it. This will be a work in progress, as I need to take the time to detail everything. One complication is the fact I have had to change computers, which I will have to explain at some point. Happily, I have now installed Scriviner on my new machine, and worked out where the serial key is. So, I can now – at last – access my databases again.

While i am taking the time to finish one project, and conduct a massive editing session, I still need to work out what I am going to write in November, for NaNoWriMo. Yes, I am already thinking about my project for 2017’s National Novel Writing Month Challenge. IU have some ideas, but need to focus on what I want to exactly do. It might be a whole new project, so then I am not restricted by existing chronology and such.

I will try to produce an update, when I have come up with an answer to this.

Also, thank you all for your patience in my absence. I intend to start posting more regularly.

Where Have I Been?

It has been quite a few months now since I last made a post. People will, no doubt, have wondered if I had given up, or something else had happened. Well, things have happened, and continue to do so. But let me talk about the events I’m in a position to talk about.

A combination of a rough, tough NaNoWriMo last year and the Writing Group I started attending had seriously affected me. The way things were in the group was such that I was changing what I was doing, the way I was doing it. I ended up losing all momentum – and motivation – for the novel I had started in November, and was even starting to subtly hate writing itself. I was trying to produce pieces that were going to tick all the boxes for the group, and the more I was doing that, the more I was worrying about if a piece would be acceptable, or might cause problems.

It escalated to a point where in April, things became rather interesting. A simple comment from me ended up with a massive row, where I was suddenly finding myself on the defensive. It got worse when the piece after that was another politically charged item, which shouldn’t have been read at all. She had let her boss see it, and they had made half of the long poem get struck out. Once that had happened, the whole thing fell apart.

So, I was not in a right frame of mind, after having gone through one set of debate about the Second World War. I was then hearing all about the Jungle in Calais, because she had volunteered to help out there, cleaning up the place and trying to assist. Because of the first argument, I made another comment… and again there was a large debate. And since both times I was effectively on my own, it meant that I was trying to defend my position and opinion, against a tide of opposition. I’m certain someone could have made the whole thing into a quite interesting story, if they had been there in the corner, taking notes.

In any case, I have not gone back to that group, and hopefully will find ways to make sure it stays that way.

As for the novel, that has been a long, torturous journey. Because of all the feedback on pieces read out, I ended up doing quite a bit of editing and re-working, all the while still writing it. A cardinal rule broken, and one I do not wish to break again. I have learned to be wary of releasing pieces that are not concluded, unless it is a serialised story. They can be a great source of fun and entertainment.

Thankfully, I’ve been doing Camp NaNo.

I have been in two great Cabins, and we all motivated and stirred each other on. I even managed to restart writing The Coven, and slowly it moved forwards. Tuesday, I finished it, a work that stands at 118,822 words. I wouldn’t have done it without them, and am go glad to have been in those Cabins. I can only hope and wish many successes upon them.

I’m hoping to get this Blog less dormant, and I’m trying what to do with it, exactly. I might well post up pieces of writing, to show readers what I’m working on, a sort of sketchpad, if you will.

I’m now trying to plan and outline for November, when a new novel will be started for NaNoWriMo. It’ll be exciting, because one thing I’ve done is change my Home Region. I feel that a different group – one not obsessing on word counts and beating other Regions, is more what I want.

Hopefully, this will serve as an update, and hopefully the first of a number of new posts made.

Is There A Story In David Bowie’s And Alan Rickman’s Death?

I have previously talked about writing a creative piece on the matter, and I felt I should explore the topic further, now that I have committed to it. I also feel I need to talk about it, if only to reassure myself I am doing the right thing.

As we all no doubt know, Alan Rickman and David Bowie have died. There is a lot of interesting details with them, but I also want to point out that a number of rock stars and actors have died during the same period,at about the same age that Rickman and Bowie. I also want to point out that there are a number of people suspicious of the whole affair, and are unconvinced of the pair’s demise, particularly when you have to consider the television appearance of a guy who looks uncannily like Bowie.

I want to highlight one essential fact: If they are still alive, then the identities are certainly dead. So, it matters not what has happened, we can say that they have passed away.

Alan Rickman is something of a disappointment to me, as I have certainly enjoyed his performances over the years. Amazing to think that the film Die Hard was his first major role, in both television and film. Before then, he had only a few minor roles. From there, he has had a career that has spanned decades, and covered a range of categories. He had a distinctive voice, and deliverance… It is hard to write about him, strange as it may seem. I am finding myself tearing up a little. No matter what may or may not come out about him, we certainly have lost a great actor. I want to share this quote, something he said, and I feel it tells us a lot about him:

“When I am eighty years old and sitting in my rocking chair, I’ll be reading Harry Potter. And my family will say to me ‘After all this time?’ And I’ll reply ‘Always.’ “

So, why write about him?

I’ll get on to Bowie in a moment, because there is a lot more interesting stuff I can say about him. But since I am now part of a writing group, I now have a homework to complete. And I need to include rainbows and current news into the piece. So, since I am constantly drawn to the supernatural, and horror, I have decided that a nightmare involving the two. Having them appear as animated corpses, along with other visual elements has proven a good starting point. And having Rickman as Snape – possibly his most iconic character – is a suitable homage to him, I feel. Moreover, at some point we will have to write about them, and use them creatively, even though they are dead. I am certain that Alan Rickman wouldn’t mind me doing so, particularly as I have just gone on record as saying he was accomplished, and I feel he had a powerful intellect, and a tenderness to him. I already used him as a basis for a character back in 2013, to create a hero that was so well hidden, the revelation that he was a good guy helping others was a shock to the few who have so far read the text.

As for Bowie…

Well, his real name was David Jones, and when he started off his music career, was going under the name “Davey Jones.” However, he discovered that a band called The Monkees had gotten famous, and had a member calling himself “Davey Jones” as well. So, he changed his stage name, calling himself after the famous knife, to make himself sound more dangerous and mysterious. Similar surrounds his ‘bisexuality.’ He admitted in the nineties that he had said he was bisexual to garner attention, and to cultivate a mysterious image about him.

One thing that is unmistakable is the occult connections Bowie has. Lyrics about the Golden Dawn, being in Crowley’s uniform, talking about the Kaballah… There is a huge amount of symbolism in his work, and he clearly had a fascination with the occult, even if he didn’t practice it. (I have no certainty he ever practised.) In fact, I noted the music Blackstar when it had first come out. It took three attempts for me to watch it over two weeks. There is such an overload of occultism and symbolism in the ten minutes long video that I was on overload, and was on some levels left traumatised by it. Lots of people have commented on it, and I’m not wanting to do a massive breakdown of the video. But if nothing else, there is a huge amount of visual imagery an detail crammed into it, and can be used as inspiration for many, many pieces of literature.

The video Lazarus is also filled with symbolism. Going in and out of that closet, the shadow rabbit that appears when his arms are outstretched and in bed, the dark blue with silver stripe astral travel suit he also wore in the seventies… again, there is quite a bit in there. And I have a sneaky feeling that this was intended, that we carry on talking about him for many, many years to come.

So, I will finish that piece, and go over it a couple of times, to make sure it is right, and respectful. And hopefully is read by them somewhere, somehow, and is enjoyed.

I’m Still Alive…

I know it has been some time since I last made a blog post. Well, there were reasons for that. I had a bad time with the NaNoWriMo 2015, though I did get the fifty thousand words done. Afterwards, I had a mental flop, of sorts. I’ve done very little, and I suspect that I had burned out mentally.

In the end, I sort of had a meltdown, of sorts, and stopped writing and working on all of my projects. It is only now I am trying to get back to writing, and finishing that November Novel, because I am curious to see what it is like finished.

Another change is the fact I have now started attending a local writing  group, which is now brining in some changes as well. I feel it is a good thing, because it is introducing a different dynamic and focus to my writing.

I will look at posting up some of the recent writings, to try and showcase what I have been attempting, and to see if anyone is interested in such posts. I am still trying to work out how to best use this resource, and what those who read the posts want to see.

All I know is that I am now planning to use some of the David Bowie music videos in upcoming writing, because Blackstar is utterly creepy. And if I can combine a rainbow somehow, I can then hand it in as the writing group’s homework…

I wonder if I can include Alan Rickman in somehow, and maybe Back To The Future? Additional challenges for myself, I suspect…

The Changing Of The Guard

I have to express huge annoyance.

Firstly, it has been fifty thousand years since my last blog post. (Okay, I know it wasn’t, but it feels that way.) I hadn’t meant to have that happen, but then one thing led to another…  Still, I hope to correct this lack of activity, and try to get back to a weekly schedule. Hope…

Another way I have been annoyed is how conspiracies have been mounting up on me. I ended up with story going into confusion, as I tried to work out what happens next, (something I now know,) I ended up with the staff canteen being too much of a distraction to do too much. Then The Bluetooth keyboard packed in (It wasn’t the best of brands in the first place,) and the phone prove to be getting way too temperamental. (It turns out that having your phone fall out of your pocket – and into the toilet – isn’t the best thing for a smartphone. And no, I hadn’t flushed…) And then I had the left earphone of my earphones just die on me. So, I had to use an old pair, that wasn’t working properly, but at least still had the left earphone working.

Add to that the home internet running out as well… It felt more and more as if i was regressing backwards, and would soon be writing stories (and communicating with the wider world,) by finding a cave, getting lumps of charcoal, and then writing on the walls, hoping I could work out what I was doing. (I don’t think I’d have even fire at that point.)

So, I have been patiently waiting for pay-day, and then swung into immediate action. First, I got myself a new keyboard, and earphones. I couldn’t get Sennheiser earphones, because they had sold out. So, I settled on Sony. I then waited until i could get to the phone shop, where I got a new phone, one that was the direct replacement of my toileted phone, which was on special offer. Add to that the maximum sized Micro SD Card it could take, and I was much poorer, but back in action.

At least, that was the plan.

Well, so far, the plan isn’t working. It is succeeding in leaps and bounds. The new phone is performing much, much better than I had envisioned, and has a larger screen as well. Which makes typing much easier. It also is much faster as well, with a good processor, and the proper amount of RAM to go and do stuff. That was a problem with the previous phone, which I nicknamed Tiger-Lily. It would do stuff, but it took quite some time to do it. Not helpful. With Optimus (the new phone,) I am blinking in shock – several days after buying it – at the sheer speed of the thing.Hare and the Tortoise indeed…

I also have been working in the Library, and am doing well there. It has hit the point where I am getting “In The Zone,” and that is a brilliant thing for me. It means that i am now doing all sorts of word play, and having fun with telling the story. I might well post up what I have been doing, to give a visual explanation.

The wonderful thing about using a Bluetooth keyboard and a smartphone, is the fact you have less weight and bulk to carry, are faster to set up and pack away, And can take the phone with you if you need the toilet, or need to look at dictionaries… something I do a lot of. There is nothing like walking to the Dictionary Shelf, taking off the shelf the particular volume you require, (A proper dictionary is a large, heavy pair of tomes,) and then rifle through the large book to find words you are looking for. It also allows for a break from sitting down, and helps get a tiny bit of exercise in.

So, this is where I am at… sort of. The story in question is now over ten thousand words, and is developing new characters that didn’t exist until a couple of days ago. I kid you not; a simple background character, once I had a reference photograph t play off of, has become a much more significant character for the story. And slowing me down in the process… Still, I am certain it will be all good, once I have finished the story. Preferably before the end of next month…

So watch this space for more details, and maybe an excerpt or two…

And I am feeling less annoyed now.