Scene 2…!

Five years have passed. A small amount of continental-drift has occurred. The first ever Frisbee floats across a patch of grass in the United States of America, as Sputnik prepares for liftoff. That is literally all that has happened. Everything else is imagined.

That is, except for Sir Kenneth Badger, the British ambassador in Belgium.

The place? Bruges. The location within the place? A hotel foyer. A good one. Not one with towels you could carve.

Today Sir Kenneth, his rampart chin thrust out accordingly, stands by my side, his smile broad and unflinching as the cameras flash. Caught, for posterity, in this thirty second charade of a handshake, I stare at the cameras, my smile a rictus of humiliation. Always with the pictures. Is there no end to it?

You see, it all changed five years ago when I inadvertently gave the interview of the century. Sorry, I mean, THE INTERVIEW OF THE CENTURY.

“Turn to the left a bit, Sir Kenneth,” says one of the photographers, his Belgian, or possible Flemish words translating in the air for the sake of continuity. Sir Kenneth does so. His hand in mine feels clammy, like the insides of a mango.

Within my capacious mind I continue the self-flagellation that has bestridden me for the last half-a-decade. If I hadn’t given the interv…hang on…THE INTERVIEW OF THE CENTURY, then perhaps I’d be able to be like a normal person, and live quietly, being positive to my swarms of locusts and painting my pictures of young swans.

But no, I haven’t painted a decent cygnet in ages, and, quite frankly, the locusts are acting all depressed. If that doesn’t say ‘sort it out’ I don’t know what does.

Fade to a kind of putty colour.


PS, Don’t make me get surreal on your collective behinds.

Check out the heft on THAT milestone…!

Look, if you didn’t want me to write updates about my word count you should have avoided looking at my blog. Oh, you have tried? Well screw you, here’s an update.

And so this week I hit 60k words for the first time on one project. I think I did a 52k a while back that died on its arse, but never 60k. Let’s, good people, put that into context.

That’s 1.65 times the size of the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and there’s NO slimy christian allegories in sight.

That’s 1.30 times the size of Fahrenheit 451 and no books were harmed in the crafting.

It’s also 0.67 times the size of Orwell’s magnificent 1984, although sanity, as they say, is not statistical.

It is 0.29 times the girth of Moby Dick, and, incidentally, I have some whales in it. Don’t ask.

Finally, as I have just spent pretty much three months (it could be longer) writing it so far, I think to have completed the equivalent of 0.131 of the Lord of the Rings is not a bad job, and there are no dull elven songs messing with your mojo. Bloody elves.

That is all.


PS, that’s twenty-thousand of your English words done in eleven days. I’d say that counts as a spurt.


Set the scene – A television studio, London (England for the US among you), 1952. Picture the sharp suits, the cigarette-smoking executives with the natty waistcoat, their waxed slick hair and uncomfortable trouser waist-line. Picture the huge cameras, hunched on their stands. Picture the sickeningly beige and grey backdrop of the London skyline.

The ‘talent’ sits in the comfortable leather chair, cameramen, make-up ladies and lighting crew getting ready for the interview of the century. That’s THE INTERVIEW OF THE CENTURY.

Backstage I sit, trying to juggle a scantily clad, buxom wench in one hand and a fifty-year old scotch in the other. The effect is curiously calming, although that may be the effect of the weed.

A runner pops his head into the green-room and asks me to make ready for the interview of the century. That’s (once again) THE INTERVIEW OF THE CENTURY.

In the days that follow the fallout from this night’s broadcast will resonate throughout the world, particularly in Belgium.

FADE TO BLACK and the words “There is no punchline”.

One day you will thank me for this small scene.

The Appropriate tale – an update

Forty-thousand words. Many of them meaningless out of context, and much of the content spurious. That is the current condition of my latest attempt to string the bullshit into some sort of story.

Not bad, you may think, but you’d be wrong.

As I embarked upon this literary adventure I took heed of advice from the great, the good and the prolific. They said, write about what you know. So I did that. Or, rather, I am doing that. But the results are not fun to read. There are great swathes of text where my character (whose name, is Appertan, or ‘Apt’, because it is appropriate. I am a funny man) just bumbles around not knowing what’s going on. The character is, of necessity, something of me, although not directly. There are elements of me (the self-deprecation, the scything wit and the idleness), but I have mostly just tried to make him flourish organically, rather than try to follow some masterplan. The way I see it is that if I try too hard it’ll become noticeable.

The same goes for the locale. I have set this particular tale in a place that reminds me very much of the hebridean isles of Scotland. Why? because it’s braw. This has allowed me to use my familiarity with the environs to give the some texture without too much in the way of being geographically creative. The result is a place and a person I am comfortable to write about. And lots of rain, heather, and a baddie with ginger hair (he may not be a baddie – I am undecided).

Unfortunately, I have found the actual plot somewhat difficult to pin down. Yeah, that really IS a big problem. I have plots ongoing (revenge, ambition, etc) but am struggling to forge them into a working tale.

But you don’t want to hear my griping, so I’ll shut up for now. I have some writing to do, and I have to inject it all with some drama and verve. So…that’ll be easy then. But if it were easy it wouldn’t be rewarding, would it?