Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Smile like you mean it

I'm only 11,000 words behind.

I could be doing a lot better than this, but for my past two lunch breaks I've grabbed a coffee with my colleague and occasional friend JB instead.

Luckily, I've got the whole day free tomorrow for catch up, and I've set the alarm for 6am.

Will I get up though?

Or course I will.

But will I?

Who knows guys, who knows.

Isn't it always the thought that counts?

Things have got very exciting in it. I've moved on from break-ups in Nandos. There's now domestic violence in Tesco, AND you think a little girl has been taken from school, BUT SHE HASN'T.

Ramping up the drama.

As always my efforts to loosen up my mind, in hope that a few original thoughts might fall out, is resulting in some rather disturbing conversations, disturbing for me and those around me.

I can only apologise. It's part of my process. For you, you're scared, uncomfortable, and close to ending the friendship. For me I'm relived, impressed, and I might just end up with a novel which surpasses the subject of admin. Here's hoping.

In other news, I've been hanging out with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Two french guys claimed to have seen him some seven rows below us at The Book of Mormon. I spent the whole second half trying to recognise the back of his head. The first half was stupendous.

I especially liked how one woman said, "There's no way he'd be with us in the shit seats." And he was. Arnie was choosing to slum it with the commoners. And I for one, appreciate that.

Well I did, until the guy in front of me said, "Ooh yay, floor smartie," and ate his finding. Then I was just embarrassed for us all.


I held a rather successful (if I do say so myself)  wine night at a posh bar. We did have 'All about the bass' on a speaker phone on repeat, let the female Gingers play fight in a corner, and stop a poor girl from leaving the bathroom until she answered questions about how her date was going. But the main thing guys, is that I didn't fall over, not once, didn't even totter. Or vomit. There was no vomit in sight. Well done me.

I've been to many, many events recently. It's not because I hate London and am desperately trying to stop myself from being one of those Monday morning commuters who looks across the rain splattered train tracks and decides to jump. IT'S REALLY NOT.

It's just because I love spending all my money. Yeah, that's the reason.

Luckily I don't even have to bother to smile anymore, because I've bought one of these signs from ebay. You should get one; they are very reasonably priced. Also, as if you need another reason, arguably a good work out for one of your arms.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The puppet show

Oh bejesus guys - by midnight I'll be 7,640 words behind.

The only saving grace is that my last chapter is bloody stupendous - my protagonist gets dumped in Nandos.

GingerBeard says that I involve food in every chapter without fail like some obsessive fatty. But as he's only a fake Doctor, and not a writer, I don't take him very seriously.

To his credit, he is entertaining me. I took him on a surprise visit to Bath for his birthday. Well it was going to be a surprise, until the night before when I bellowed out, "So, when we get to Bath...Nooooooooo!!!"

I'd bought him a laptop and a bag for it to live in, but only taken the bag to Bath. He opened it and thanked me profusely saying, "That's so great, I'll go out and get a laptop for it."

And I was like, "What?"

GB: "To go with the bag."

Me: You think I've bought you a laptop bag without a  laptop?

GB: Yes, and I really like it.

Me: I've got you a laptop too!

GB: No you haven't.

Me: I really have.

GB: It's cool, I like the bag.

This is the kind of thing they were thinking of when they stated that relationships were hard work.

And anyway, who appreciates a bag for something they don't have?

I would've gone fucking nuts.

I wonder what else he's lying about, now that I know he's a really good actor. Probably loads of stuff. I'm pretty sure that the trust we've developed as a couple is disintegrating.

Could you tell him for me?



Nia Edwards took me to see a Russian play last night. They promised English subtitles, but there was a good stretch in the middle where they couldn't be bothered. My interpretation of that bit, is that a giant girl was bitten in the vagina by a lion. They put a bowl under her bum, for her to bleed into, and then a real dog came over and drank some. Then she died. Then her boyfriend killed himself with a sword to the ribs. Then she came back to life and had a sleep over his body. And finally, her head fell off.

Nia's thoughts were close to mine, but she's certain that the girl was bitten everywhere, then peed herself in terror, and the dog drank her pee.

Either way, the main actor for the whole thing was a dog, and he gave the best dog performance I have ever seen.

At one point, they undid the male puppet's crotch and his penis fell out. They pumped it up with a  bicycle pump.

I think I liked it.

But I'll get back to your formally in a few weeks on that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Park life

Yesterday, I was hit by a falling suitcase as I walked down a spiral staircase. No, it wasn't a magical, Alice In Wonderland staircase, or an especially dull dream.

This shit actually happens to me.

In my shock, and as the woman ran down to reclaim it, I turned and said, "Woah, easy there!"

As if she was responsible for a reckless horse.

Maybe I am secretly a suitcase tamer? Not such a secret one anymore!

I think I really need to try and be the person that doesn't experience things like this. I think it's known as being normal.

Any tips?

An old English teacher of mine often said that I was eccentric.

So maybe I only have myself to blame for the suitcase incident. Maybe I was walking in such a peculiar fashion, that the woman was trying to put me down for the greater good - end the horror.

It's possible.


I'm starting to get over how awful my novel is. I don't mean that the writing's getting any better, it's not. Previously, I would've compared generating it to undergoing something painful without help, like getting a filling. Whereas now, I have taken the anaesthetic. Because I cannot complete this thing kicking and screaming my way through, and I have to complete it in order to uphold my thinning, pathetic wisp of a dream.

Otherwise, as discussed in an earlier blog, I will have to be an astronaut.

And the more I think about it, the more I worry about me as an astronaut. I think I've managed to become a bit spesh despite being in the company of  well turned out others, imagine what isolation would do to that. I bet the only thing that keeps me in check is public shame and embarrassment.

Guys, it's not looking awesome for me right now. I am precisely 4,663 words behind.

My main problem is that I'm trying to write something of value, which is also at least mildly entertaining/interesting. I'm also reading 'The shock of the fall' by Nathan Filer which is super, super good. Nathan is a mental health nurse and has used this knowledge to produce a novel. If I did that, I would have a novel about admin. I just don't think it's fair that some people have quite exciting lives, which they are able to use to inspire successful art.

Whereas I, am writing a novel which in the main, is about admin, and get hit by falling suitcases.

Yes, that's correct, the best fiction I have been able to generate follows a protagonist through which can be specifically described, as my work history.

I think if a lot of you comment on this post saying, 'Sounds like something I'd read.' and 'You've really landed on a gap in the market with that one,' then everything will be okay.

I don't want to pressure you, but I will blame you if I fail.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

You crazy

I'd forgotten that one of the biggest jobs of Nano (aside from painfully extracting 1667 words a day) is when you realise that there are a few impossible writing days ahead. You do some basic maths and find that on the 5th November, you need to write 10,400 to be on target for the end of the week.


I appreciate that I've been out of the writing game for some time, but guys my writing is BAD, I mean seriously AWFUL.

Every time I read it back, I do a mini sick.

I'm sure that this happened at the start of the other four novels - I've probably just blanked it out to protect myself.

At lot of the prep talks are about letting go, re-embracing the vast imagination you had as a child. My imagination is currently like the misplaced car key when you're trying to escape from zombies.

I'm frantically patting my brain down and screaming - 'WHERE IS IT? WHERE IS IT?'

My 9-5 life has gobbled it up. Nom nom.

Is it possible, that there's just nothing new to say?

I think that's way more likely than me just being a shit writer.

Maybe I'm just in a bad mood because I got kicked on the tube, and only mouthed 'Ow' but remained silent.

I'm a mime artist! I know just how Ariel felt now, when she traded her tail for legs with the sea witch, but found out that her voice was gone, and she couldn't tell Eric who she was.

It's really nice when you find that Disney can be relevant as an adult.

At least I seem to be fulfilling one compulsory part of NaNoWriMo:


Only 25 lovely days to go.

And now for this weeks, Sleep of the week, temporarily re-titled to Sleeps of the week.

It's only been submitted by Sand Man extraordinaire Nia Edwards!

For those of you who don't know Nia, here is a recent photo of her, from our night out at Dine in the Dark:

You can see from the Tube photo, that she has managed to knock out three defenseless commuters using only one pinch of magic sand.

What happens to them when they're asleep?

Only Nia can say.

Still sponsored by Durex - ;Respect it, Protect it.'

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I believe I can fly

Alright chumps?

My very first blog post in November 2011, was to announce that I would be taking part in NaNoWriMo (http://nanowrimo.org/). That is, the challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November.

In fact, the entire point of this blog was to track my writing progress.


It's not really my fault that my real life is more comical and ridiculous than any fiction I could produce is it? If people would stop throwing ketchup at me from their car, letting me fall over, taking photos of my weird running face and sleeping on the tube, I'd probably be a renowned author by now.


But just in case there is a remote chance that I'm responsible, I'm going to do NaNo this year. Yet another attempt to see if this writing lark is for me or not. Probs not.

I really do need a new dream, just in case, a set of aspirations waiting in the wings.

GingerBeard once got a bit annoyed that we were getting too old for certain jobs:

'I can't be a professional football player anymore.'

Me: 'Yes, but you never wanted to be one.'

GB: 'And I can't be an astronaut anymore.'

Me: 'Since when did you want to be an astronaut?'

GB: 'No, I don't want to be either. The point is that if I wanted to be, I couldn't be.'

And this is why I don't understand Gingers.

Just to spite him, my back-up dream will now be to conquer outer space. On the NASA website, it explains that their correct name is space sailors, which I prefer. I think it would give me instant cool at parties. I am always searching for instant cool.

Basic requirements for an Astronaut Pilot include the following: 

1. Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, or mathematics. An advanced degree is desirable. Quality of academic preparation is important. 

What's quite annoying, and very surprising, is that Ginger has achieved the first basic requirement. I don't think I'm far off with my Creative Writing degree, because I have probably written stories which include maths etc.

2. At least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Flight test experience is highly desirable.

Now, initially that sounds like a lot of hours, but I've worked out that if you fly constantly, you can do this in 41.6 days. It also says that you should be in command, but does not stipulate that being asleep stops you being in command. Maybe you can just hang around in the cockpit of an Easy Jet flight looking serious for a bit?

I don't know what flight test experience is, but I think it's testing if you can fly. I would be prepared to do this, which is desirable.

3. Ability to pass a NASA space physical which is similar to a military or civilian flight physical and includes the following specific standards:
  • Distant visual acuity: 20/100 or better uncorrected, correctable to 20/20 each eye.
  • Blood pressure: 140/90 measured in a sitting position.
  • Height between 62 and 75 inches.
I don't really understand a lot of this bit, but I'm pretty sure my eyes aren't up to scratch for NASA. This is not, as Ginger had previously stated, due to being old, but because I read a lot of books as a child in poor light. My Mum told me this and says I therefore brought it on myself.

Ginger does not wear glasses, and so I reckon that his visual acuity will be at least 99/100 or better uncorrected. Phew!

In summary, it doesn't seem that hard. It really is a lesson in thinking before you speak. I think that I will save up for laser eye surgery, just in case I decide to go for it.

I keep asking you guys for money and I never receive any. But I guess that because I have now been able to demonstrate the feasibility of me becoming a space sailor, you will reconsider.

Thank you in advance.

Friday, October 24, 2014

They call me Wallflower

I bet you'll all be relieved to know that my inexplicable injuries from Saturday are on the mend.

I say on the mend, but the wound, that's right WOUND on my knee will, without a shadow of a doubt, scar.

And in years to come, concerned strangers will gasp, put a comforting hand on my shoulder, and knowingly ask, 'Shark?'

As if things couldn't get any worse, in all probability, I will never be a leg model.

Those who are close to me will know that this was my back up dream.

Yes, if it turned out that I could not woo the world with my fiction, and win the Man Booker Prize five years in a row, I was going to get my legs out.

Probably for upmarket gigs, like Primarni, or Matalan.

Shattered dreams folks, shattered, tiny pieces on the floor at my feet (which are also a bit cut up) dreams.

As you may have come to expect from me, in times of trouble and despair, I would like to make a request for money. Money always makes me feel better. Give generously, holding onto the image of my horrific right leg, clad in a pair of reasonably priced shorts, being told by execs at Primarni, 'Shark bites just don't sell shorts.'


Absolutely brutal.


Last night, me and GingerB were in the bathroom, going through the motions of our bedtime wind down. Beards were washed (mine), teeth were brushed. As is tradition, Ginger B would leave first, arms laden with his array of beauty products, and I would remain behind to floss.


However, last night, right, last night, he left the bathroom, and turned the light off on his way out. Then moments said, 'Oh sorry, I forgot about you.'

Moi, forgettable?

You'd think all of my recent clamouring for attention, i.e. despite spending 70% of Sat evening in complete darkness, managing to fall over twice in the 30% of complete viability, would infer that I was stuck fast in the memory of many.

Apparently not.

It does however make sense now as to why I was mowed down by a runner in Covent Garden, who's flabbergasted face accused me of coming out of nowhere. I think we had a fundamental disagreement about the speed involved in walking Vs running.

I'm fading away. I'm becoming a watermark.

All those mean people calling me 'Casper,' have finally cursed me. Once it existed as only a passing comment on my translucent, occasionally reflective skin tone, but now it has gone even further.

At least Casper had a castle, and a sort of girlfriend who never forgot him, and he was never assaulted by skinny men with massive backpacks (at least it was never documented in the films.)

I might see you soon, but you won't see me. It's been awesome (in parts).

Monday, October 20, 2014

Reasons not to dine in the dark

I really want to tell you what happened.

If nothing more, it will serve as an educational piece. 

But I don't think I can handle the truth.

It would be inaccurate to believe that what happens in the dark, stays in the dark, and much more accurate to say that when you leave the darkness, you find yourself changed in horrible ways and forever damaged.
No, this is not a Guillermo del Toro film.
Goddamit, this is my life.

Basically guys, don't think it's a good idea to get intoxicated and then head down into the pitch black with twelve of your friends, and your blind guide Christina, for a three course meal. And if you take nothing more away from this blog, at least take that.
The most significant sign that you're making a mistake, is if you fall down the stairs of the restaurant, when the lights are still very much on. I'm not going to say who did that, but it definitely wasn't me. I bruise like a peach.

I've devised a list of what not to do, if you're stupid enough to attend this event:

-After falling down the stairs, don't sit at the table silently, until your neighbour says, 'Are you okay?' and say, 'Well I've been crying for a bit, but I think I'm nearly finished.' 

-Don't down wine like it's juice, just because the experience of not being able to see anything is closer than you've ever felt to your own inevitable death.

-Don't decide not to eat the food, just because it tastes disgusting. You will pay £75 for this evening, and all that wine on an empty stomach leads to some pretty humiliating decisions from you later. Eat up.

-Don't encourage the men getting their penises out at the dinner table. Or submit to the kiss rapists, running around trying to get some. In fact, don't even notice this is happening, until debrief the following day.

-Don't fall over in the road. Again, this wasn't me. Who could fall over and cry twice in one night? Someone else, that's who. Don't let everyone crowd around you while you hysterically howl and then to the question 'Is it one of those things where your upset at the shock, and you're actually fine?' admit 'Yes, I think you might be right.'

-Don't get taken home by an equally paralytic GingerBeard, devastated over your skinned knee (are you ten?), sob for the full journey, alternating between shouting 'There's something wrong with me!' and 'My tights are ruined!'

-Don't throw up on the platforms of three different tube stations.

-Don't walk around the flat you share with six strangers in your bra and pants.

-Don't spend all of Sunday throwing up and trying to understand the story your cuts and bruises are telling.

-Don't admit the above to your mother. Then don't write a blog so that everyone else knows about it as well.

In my absence, the below occurred, and I think you can agree that without me, the night went downhill:

A dwarf was rescued. I don't know from what. I've only got second hand snippets for you. Presumably one of them had to rescue the dwarf from another one of them.
They tried to break into a pub.
Laundry was done
Someone developed amnesia
The depravity which was born in the dark, continued into the light, inside numerous taxis and bars.