Hello blog – long time no see. All the cool kids have moved on to twitter and tumblr and other lrs, but I wanted to resurrect this blog to help me get my head around my new writing project and occasionally vent a little. I find that if I vent in public fora I spend far too long waiting to see if anyone has read it. By writing it here I can be pretty sure that nobody does, but every now and then some poor bewildered soul might stumble in and start talking to the drunk tramp in the corner. I doubt anyone is reading, but if you are, and feel so inclined, a little wave hello in the comments is always appreciated. Or tweet me @monkquixote.
So – to work. A lot has happened since my last post. Mojo has come and gone, had a little dance, left some uncatholic doings and generally laughed in my face. ‘Ha ha,’ it said, ‘you think you have the tenacity to write at volume, but you haven’t met my friend Duende’. Seriously, the little imp gets everywhere. Jobs to do. Lists to write. Angsts to slice. I even went as far as researching what mojo actually means – or at least what some oik on wikipedia says it means. That was/is dedication to mojo. It didn’t/doesn’t help that I am more familiar with the Canary Island sauce mojo – garlic has little place in writing endeavours. Unless you’re that Twilight woman.
But I digress. I have shelved Monk Quixote the novel for now. And I have also shelved The Onion Man which was partly MQ attempt 2, and partly my attempt at a more serious narrative style. I used semi-colons and everything. Possibly incorrectly, but that’s not the issue; the important thing (see what I did there) being I tried to write a kitchen-sinker-get-me-on-Faber type book. I perhaps took it too literally – it did start in the kitchen. And it was much better ‘written’ than Monk Quixote. However, in its only industry runout, I once again wrote a muddled synopsis and couldn’t produce a strong enough plot on paper – so that too has been put in a folder somewhere (although I have added onions to my recurring tropes – currently seagulls, crows, cats (angry and fluffy efforts), number plates, fixed bear stares and staring bears).
So I’m writing something new. And I’m writing mainly to please myself. My oldest piece of fiction – in the sense that I’ve been nibbling away at this story for 20 odd years (some of them more odd than others, although all equally as old – time being regular SI units after all. Are they SI units – one of my physicist friends will be along in a minute to correct me. Pun not intended, but hey, we’re on a roll here). I’ve started the story many times over the years, but I never quite had the courage of my convictions. Who on earth would want to read about talking cockroaches, llama policemen and mentally disturbed children? Well, so far, at least one person does. Correction – two (I like it too) – and for now that’s all that matters.
I’ve spent an awful lot of time not writing things that I didn’t think people were going to like or writing against type or worrying about saleability, markets and tastes – and yes, I’m still worrying a little about all of these, but fundamentally I think that if I am enjoying my writing it will show on the page, and that may (may!) be enough to get people to turn to the next one. My natural style is morbid comedy, absurd satire, and occasional pathos – occasionally there is the dim dying embers of political/philosophical thought (but less as I get older). So that’s what I’m writing – or rather ‘how’ I’m writing. Not everyone will like it – even among the tiny group that have read my previous full length efforts – in fact some people will positively hate it – but I guess that’s also what will hopefully make it individual, unique – more ‘me’.
The hero is still Tom Esher – part Arthur Dent/Marvin, part Tim from Spaced, part misanthropic Charlie Bucket – and some of the characters from other stories have been recycled, but then it was always my intention to have a series of novels taking place in Tom’s Universe. I can see a sequel to this one, and then another – and then possibly a new version of MQ down the line. I’m enjoying myself a lot more. Some of what I’m writing is pure nonsense. I have to make it easier to read than on the blog, so there’s less word play and general arsing about, but it’s quite similar in some regards – but with dialogue and stage directions. I worry I write too much dialogue sometimes – that I’m really writing a screenplay lite, but anyway, that’s for another day.
Some of what I’ve written is macabre. Some, I hope is touching. And some is gratuitous writing in of reference points and characters that I want played by specific people in the movie who in the cold light of an editing pen will probably get removed (or I could release an Edgar Wright style – this is what this cereal packet represented type extra on the e-book). You’ve got to dream, after all….
So, we live again. We dream again. We fight on. We fight on to win. I will write a bit about process and story arcs in the next blog post. But for now… can you hear The Hum?