Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Once In A While...

Politicians beware! I'm giving you a rest day. Enda and Eamon, you're safe. I'm still debating whether I should youtube the censorship issue. Was kind of hoping someone would come in late with a nice paid internship running my own magazine dealing with popular culture from an alternative viewpoint. And no, I won't be a paid patsy. No Times or Indo either! Maybe Politico or if The Story goes daily. I'll increase your tax take or go bust doing it. Isn't that what it's all about?

I thought it would be groovy to write about writing again for a change. That weird thing a percentage of the population engage in which keep the rest of society that safe distance, as engagement with them would surely only mean trying hard not to fall asleep. On their side, of course!
Maybe some writers will understand that. It never really bothered me much that I could spend mounds of time on my own. It certainly suits the pursuit somewhat.

In recent times I've been finding it harder and harder to let my writing go. It's not that I doubt what I write about - but small mistakes showing up, does for some reason really annoy me. I've been getting the help of some kind people of late to make the ebook version of Booker's World an error-free zone. I'll disclose the amount of mistakes i get back when they are finished. It shouldn't bother me much, I mean I didn't bankrupt a country or anything, but I guess it matters enough to not want them there.
I'm nearly finished my second novella, Cripple. Originally wrote as a short screenplay, lost to a wet weekend, I've been mulling over it for over six months now. I'm trying to make it fit into about 10,000 words and what I hope to make a customary feature with shorter works - 13 chapters. It probably says more to the type of reader I hope to appeal too as the years go by, as anything more I can offer. We all have our quirks. Quirk is welcome here.
The word on Booker's World by those who gifted me the read has been great. I don't say that easily, but I have been told that once readers get into it - which takes a little time - it's gets harder to put down. That's a good thing, right? Or am I reading it wrong? Anyways, it always sends a little adrenaline flowing through the juices again. Writers will understand.
Some enjoyed the way I didn't chapter it like in the traditional sense. One or two didn't like that approach. I definitely felt it's more of a male book - though a lot of the comment has come by way of lady readers. It's a small group to appeal too - the middle aged working class/unemployed male reader of Ireland - but Booker was never about appealing to anyone in general. I needed to prove to myself that I could go the distance on something that required more effort than 20 minutes spent just wanting the life of Charlie bleedin Harper for a day. Or being taken out by Bernard Dunne in one.

Cripple is based around an incident I witnessed while in school of a cane beating. I saw a few of them back then. The fact that it was a Christian Brother didn't help. The theatrical show he put on also didn't do much to make one understanding of the world any better. And finally, it was who it was dispensed too - a nicer lad, I doubt most people would ever meet. The crime, well let's just say it didn't fit the punishment. That particular school pal done OK as far as I know. But I do know others who didn't do so well. So I went exploring that idea and Cripple will be the result.

As I mature as a writer - I hope - I learn new things as I batter out the pages. Some things about myself. Some things about life. Themes. Things universal to most people whether they admit it or not. In Cripple, I wanted to see how a childhood event like that could send someone sideways for a time. And how and what it would take to make the trek back from there.
It's impossible to draw on something without bringing what life experiences people gather along the way into play. Or maybe it was just the look of a beaten soul, seen somewhere - for whom it seems a saving is beyond. I'm sure we see them on our streets everyday. Those lost - their reasons their own.

I know I really should be writing genre specifics to get those damn sales in, and who knows where writing goes, but for now it's nice not being a whore to a paycheck.
I have a genuine belief anyone can write. Lots of people dabble I'm sure in the quiet at times. To what extent people take their writing will always depend on their effort... and perhaps a higher standard of English also helps. It depends on what your writing. But I don't see writing in ways like standards so much. People should set those for themselves. We get told what to do enough.
Whatever anyone else says really shouldn't ache too much if you write for the right reasons and are comfortable enough with who you are. I guess in many ways that's why I didn't write seriously for the best part of 30 years. Effort will always be made more for the set of the time. Times hard to leave behind. Or maybe not - dependent on the times.
I know it's an old cliche, but we do all write the book of our own lives. Those invisible pages - read differently by all and sunder. Perhaps most are best left unwritten.
Would people change things? You bet they would, but what then would wizards of the word, Hemmingway, S. Thompson, Capote, Bowokski or Twain have had to write about then? Handbags and shoes? Lesbian Zombie's? The End of Days?
Sounds a lot what Leon used to write... back in the day, when the drink flowed like water from a fall down his eager throat. Mad fecker he was!

I want to write a crime novel. Under a pseudonym no one will ever know about called Jack... Did I just write that? It's a short or long story - again dependent on how you look at it. The bore and doubter in me is not sure though. What if it didn't sell like the I-Phone 4?
I guess I may still have some learning to do on the plot end of things too. I'm too young for an autobiography ghost-written by Eamon Dunphy. Though I'm sure Jordan has about a dozen of them out there in multiple languages- everywhere. Damn you, Jordan.
We will see what happens. The need to emigrate is the time filler these days. It gets a little more intense with each day. Back to the real world for a time. With it's many worries and woes. Ups, Downs and disapointments - some harder to bare than others.
'But you have your health,' as Mum Booker used to say. When she could remember...

It should be easier by now. And in many ways it is. Other things which one has no control over are battled easier by the experiences you pick up as you go. There was a saying flying around Facebook the last few days about allowing things live rent-free in your head. That can cost people years. With no years left to lose - I guess those things don't hang around so long anymore. None of us might have control over much, but they don't have to control who you are either. That's probably the best thing writing has given me over the last few years. That sense of freedom. The chance to find out who you are and then what the **c* you're going to do about it. Can't say that is ever easy, but I don't want to live life in a shell or a haze. So one has to find the ground between. 'The Ground Between' - The self help masterpiece by Booker D. Booker! Might even get on Oprah! Or Hannity?

My budget doesn't extend to the top of the bookshelves this weather. But I do get the occasional gift. One swung by my way a few months ago from a friend down under. Barry Simiana. His story, Gone to Mum's is part of a collection in a book called Next Stop Hollywood - Short Stories Bound For The Screen. I read it today. Exquisite. I don't do reviews, because I'd have to do them honestly and sometimes people don't like that, but Baz is my kinda writer.

...and I quote, ''Kelly intrigued me. I've always been a sucker for redheads. They get me everytime.''
Baz and Leon would have been great pals. The story though is more than that. It ticked all the boxes all good stories should. Brilliantly set, defined characters - it drifted between the raw and subtle with ease. I even ate an orange!
It had a letter in it too - readers of Booker will know what I mean. Irony hey! From so far away.
Baz's new book is out now. Touch of Evil. I'll see if I can't nab a credit card from somewhere soon. Mine ran off with half the government Ministers at the last election. They got millions. I got to be a writer.
Life doesn't suck so much when it's 25 outside and when your Ayrton Senna on a mower for an hour. What about those skid marks? Ground will be dead soon - for another year.
The hottest day of the year, they say. It's nearly October!
A strange daze indeed.


If you have 18 minutes

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