Thursday, 29 September 2016
On The Hard Art of Writing
Most of my writing tends to be on the dark side. Twisty tales and damaged goods leaking from a thin brown bag. See, I can’t stop myself. But sometimes, I do write a bit of comedy, particularly poetry, like My Partner Joan.
My Partner, Joan
I'm not the most attractive bloke
Some might say I'm quite the joke
Education was never my bag
My brain's not big and inclined to sag
I've got a belly the size of France
You'd think that I could never dance
My partner, she is not that pretty
And you wouldn't call her very witty
Her nose is long and inclined to drip
She has no hair and a gammy hip
An odd shaped lass, with massive hands
Not fat exactly, just dodgy glands
But when we step ou on that dance floor
Joan and I become a Force Majeure
My dodgy pelvis no longer creaks
Her feet, a silken, graceful treat
Swirling, twirling, a sensuous pearl
Joan, the exotic Brazilian girl.
I find that poetry requires less emotional effort than long fiction projects. There isn’t the excruciating middle bit when my Lower Fifth latin teacher’s voice echoes in my head snapping about how I never finish anything. Sometimes, writing a novel can feel like a trench. You can’t clamber out of it and the mud at the bottom is awful, bloody cold.
There are plenty of writers who find the writing experience exhilarating and fluid. Thousands of words pour out of them at one sitting and books are finished in 3/6/9 months. If I sound bitter, I’m not. Awestruck and envious, definitely.
Richard Bach who wrote Jonathon Livingstone Seagull said in an interview that on some days, he would rather sharpen thousands of pencils than actually type any words. I don’t feel that much rancour towards the physical process of writing but sometimes it’s close.
Social media is not a poisoned chalice for me. It keeps me in touch with other writers and publishing news but allows for short, multiple breaks which suit my working style and my teeny, tiny attention span.
As I write this, a strange boarded up camper van just drove very slowly past my window and down our narrow street in Edinburgh. This type of vehicle is out of place and it looks wrong. I am starting to wonder who is driving , who is restrained, screaming into the oily rag that has been shoved into their mouths, and which broken down farm building in Largs are they being taken to?
On the other hand, Babs and Reg Littlejohn, are starting on the adventure of a lifetime after buying a second-hand camper van that is need of a good makeover. Bab’s has promised Reg that he can drive this time but her attention is making him nervous so he anxiously crawls down the street hoping not to hit any side mirrors.
Do you see my problem? I’ve already created two stories as I’m creating this one.
Luckily, none of this will go to waste. Babs/Reg or the campervan will turn up in a short story or side character in a novel somewhere. Maybe yours if you pledge enough!!
Blood On The Banana Leaf has now reached 41 percent with 85 supporters. I still find your generosity and support astonishing and the fact that this will be recognised once the novel is published makes me happy. Thank you so much.
HALOWEEN COMPETITION ANNOUNCEMENT
Watch out for the first October Shed Update with news and details of a spooktastic competition.
I know right? #baitedbreath ☺