dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

Monday, 30 June 2014

Doing Something Right

by Donnie Dinklage
I read my heaviest and most powerful poem to date for the first time at a writer’s group last week. I’d been saving it up for six months. My hands were shaking. My voice was weak. But I got it out. It’s entitled Masterstroke. It’s about the feeling of no feelings, and the memory of no memories.

While I was reading it, I could hear verbal abuse from outside the library. They voiced awful lies and racial hatred. Because I’m the kinda guy to let things fly by (even unprovoked hate crimes), I almost felt guilty for not doing anything. It was a torrent of public embarrassment. Still, I read on, because names will never hurt me.

Upon leaving, there was a police car on the door. Since when was the last time you saw a police car at a library? I mean come on.

I got the biggest compliment of my life though, when one member of the group said to another, after I finished, “You don’t write poems like that without making enemies.”

Despite the sickly feeling in my stomach over the reality of gang-stalking, I fist-pumped my arm on the way home.

Friday, 27 June 2014

New Works

Got two books ready for the publishers today, FROM JABBERWOCKY and HEARING VOICES, ten copies of one and twenty of the other. These kinds of numbers are pitiful, of course, but ten readers compared to none still feels kinda slinky, even if it does cost me not quite an arm and a leg but more like a shoulder blade and a collar bone instead.

It’s brill getting new books, even though, in all honestly, they are more like thick pamphlets really. They don’t have a spine, but I can cram up to twenty thousand words in there (half a short novel’s worth) while maintaining a size 16 font, all within a glossy colour cover of my invention. My very first, 18 months ago, was only size 12 text, which transferred from screen to page smaller than I would have liked.

A friend suggested I Ioad up some books into a suitcase and then hawk them on the street with signs saying something like THE BEST CUTTING-EDGE FICTION YOU HAVE NEVER READ. He also made the suggestion that I should dispense of my 50 Shades of Grey parody, 50% Rude (which incidentally isn’t a parody because it was penned before 50 Shades of Grey), outside cinema doors when the 50 Shades movie comes out. Is he fulla great stonkin’ ideas or what? This same guy also gave me an appreciable quote for the front of a novel, after reading the synopsis. It goes like this: “Has Quite Literally Splattered His Mind Onto The Page.” I love the word ‘splattered’ in that. That word really makes the sentence. I’d stick that beauty on any front cover of mine any day. Thanks Luke.

Yeah, FROM JABBERWOCKY was originally going to be called FROM FANTASIA, but I came across the jabberwocky word and loved it, hoping it would fit the bill when I looked up what it meant. I was hoping it was a place, an exotic island or summet, but it turned out to be a nonsense poem from Lewis Carrol, which just about fit the bill due to its relationship to Absurdia, which I enjoy writing. Hey, I’m an indie, I have full control over the titles of my works. Hell, I loved that word so much I didn’t really care much for definitions, I just simply wanted to use it. It does sound like a place somewhere though, wouldn’t you agree? A one way ticket to Jabberwocky.

HEARING VOICES, at 17,500 words, took only ten days to write. That’s some going for me, that is. I wrote a short called VOICES, VOICES back in 2010. The difference between then and now is that VOICES, VOICES were not real voices, they were only sub-vocal thoughts of varying content in the head of the main lead. Now, fast-forward four years, and HEARING VOICES, actually hearing them, both inside and outside the head, is not to be confused with substance abuse or illness. It’s a real...well I was gunna say phenomenon, but instead I say always look at the science of something, the science of things is where you find the answers. 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Plot Plans

I've conceived the idea for a children's book entitled JELLYBEAN BLACK BOX BRAIN AND THE QUANTUM SHRIEK. All the characters are from other books, movies and TV shows from childhood. The main premise is that of Quantum Leap, in which Scot Bakula acts as a kind of time-travelling investigator. I've made some character descriptions and a brief outline guide and the ending even came to me during a spot of meditation, which is never a bad thing before putting pen to paper, but I'm reluctant to start writing the first line yet. I'm not sure why this is. I think because after nearly 4 years on the last book I feel I need time off, and there are other things that need doing. Also, I'd like to start something new that's actually important, something about me and my life. Children's books I feel are self-indulgent to some extent. There's no real 'cause' behind them. The best writing is whistleblower non-fiction (and toilet graffiti, of course). Writing new poems to read aloud every week is probably more rewarding than squirrelling away the pages on something longer, never to be seen. As Harlan Coben said, when asked if he enjoys writing: “No, I enjoy having written.” I know someone who says she never gets anything done because once she knows the ending there's not much point in finishing the story. She says she keeps starting new projects because once the solutions arrive there's little joy in continuing because there are no surprises left. It's like she's written them all in her head already so why bother putting them onto paper! And another guy who always starts with the title and the ending – all he does then is fill in the middle! “The best stories are the ones we tell ourselves.” Robert De Niro