|...When the Writing gets tough, the Photoshop gets going...|
The novel’s on hold. Been shelved for a month. But there’s absolutely no problemos, because the path and plot are kinda set, and the outlook is special. So let’s not get our frilly pink Asda knickers in a knot about that. More worrying is Mr. Ridiculous, a side project that is only 10,000 words in after over a year. The average must be a paragraph a week! Half a page every now and then is good going. It was always going to be slow because it’s unique, and relies on notes. You can’t make notes up. They arrive every now and again. Sometimes 3 a day. Sometimes none for 4 days. I text myself notes, on my portable mobile telephone. But still, progress at the moment, in all written endeavours, is snail-like.
Even editing the backlist, which was like a breeze for the first 2 books, has run into a wall. Exhausturbation is proving to be as much a headache to sift through as it was to write a draft. As Michael Douglas says, in the writing film Wonderboys (2001), starring Robert Downey Junior of Iron Man, Katie Holmes of Batman, and Toby Maguire of Spiderman...phew...much of it was written ‘under the influence’, meaning a tipple of premium Dutch lager by the way, not Valium crushed and snorted through a blunt. His unfinished script in that film takes up a couple of boxes, and in loose pages to boot. And like the Constant Writer Steve King says about his doorstop tome The Tommyknockers, “It wasn’t so much written, but gutted out.”
In Exhausturbation, at a part where the story goes into the main characters mind, describing the makeup of his psyche as an actual physical place, very much like in The Cell (2000), guess who was shatted on by a dollop of writer’s block, regarding this particular work, that lasted 3 whole years? Yup, yours truly, who else! And alas, at the same place during editing, guess who has been stuck again for several weeks? The passage is about a metaphysical dome called THE LOBBY OF HIS PERSONAL HELL, an enormous cathedral-like structure of bio-mechanic matter like that godforsaken sludge pit where the robots feed off humans in The Matrix (1999). Basically, it has just dawned that the book fleeces (rips off) movies from around the millennium...although of course it is ten times well better than all of them combined.
Exhausturbation is so far the most difficult story to ‘make work’. And in a way, the most exciting. It went on such a tangent that the only way to wrap things up was to include a black hole/multi-verse/parallel reality. This abstract diversion would give way to the kind of dreamscape prose that would rise in The Violent Arsonist, 2 years later, although because of the long gap, I came back to Exhausturbation after The Violent Arsonist was finished and did the 36,000 word flash fiction collection Kixter in between (the titles Exhausturbation and Kixter are words of my own making...voila). And that’s how the themes of books interlink, see? Because at times you juggle and flip from one to another, taking with you what you learn in each...
At times even I, the dude who wrote it, thinks wowsers, gracious me, what the frig is going on in this man!? I can’t believe or remember what I’m reading. It's a pwopa (proper) mental journey. I killed a main character for no good reason and introduced a giant child in a force field as big as the Marshmellow Man in Ghostbusters (1984). All good zany fun, if nothing else! The plot literally fell apart at the seams and had to be stitched up with alternative
drink thinking. Martin Rees, eminent cosmologist and astrophysicist,
has been discussing dark matter and multi-verse theories just this morning on
BBC Radio 4, which is doubly-fitting after the meteor on Friday night, which,
for dangsakes, I missed. There was a new programme called Orbit aired on Sunday
night too, and the skies have been clear over here in Northern England, so
inklings of space are in the old grey matter, like – cliché alert – distant
jewels. Or sequestered sequins.
Does space conflict with faith? Why is there a black hole in the middle of our galaxy? What is the universe expanding into? Are the aliens already among us? And most bafflingly of all, joking aside, just who the flying fook IS Carmen Sandiago? Answers in an email with the subject heading WHOCARES please. Danka.