Month: January 2008


"For a cautionary tale, everyone cites Paul Bradley Carr." - THE SUNDAY TIMES


Have laptop, might travel

Is there a name, do you know, for when you are perfectly capable of getting to sleep but just can’t be arsed? Elective insomnia? Napathy? I only ask because I’ve been suffering it for about a month now and it’s making me exhausted.

I half-assume there’s some root cause to it but then I remember that actually I suffered from it a lot at University too. Maybe it’s just a thing. I think it’s connected to uncertainty – some decision that needs to be made about what’s next. I was reminded a few days ago that my current tenancy agreement is due to expire in just a little shy of a month. Which leaves me with the question of where to go next. Part of me thinks I should just get an Aussie man and van to move me more centrally; another part of me thinks fuck it, stick my Ikean furniture on eBay and move to Nevada. Or Boston. Or – I dunno – Ohio.

Oh me oh, oh my oh, oh Cleveland, Ohio.

Fortunately, everybody I ask has a precisely different suggestion, or they assume I’ve already made my mind up. And I’ve less than 48 hours to tell my Estate Agent what I’m doing.…

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Walk softly and carry the U.S. Pacific Fleet

Col. Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I think I’m entitled.
Col. Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth.
Col. Jessep: You can’t handle the truth.

A Few Good Men

Quick story from earlier in the week, while I remember.

We were standing in the Jewel Bar – Robert and me – enjoying a post-pub quiz drink. The Jewel is that most vexing of things; an overpriced dive bar. Just off Piccadilly and full of tourists and people who think they’re a cut above Cheers! and Tiger Tiger. So when a man in full US Naval dress uniform strolls in – chest full of medals and a white hat in his hand – your eyes are naturally drawn.

No doubt about it, we were in the presence of a con man and as a responsible citizen, I had a duty to act. I mean, the guy was convincing. He certainly had Robert fooled. “I have to say, it’s a convincing looking uniform.” Well, of course it’s convincing – this man’s a pro; probably out to fleece some poor girl on a hen night – or, worse, a lonely widow. Over we go.

Some basic checks – Rob asks a couple of trivia questions about the US Navy and its history.…

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Save > Attach > Send > Vomit

I finally finished it on Friday, the book.

It was an odd experience, writing a story that hasn’t finished happening yet – a bit like directing a thriller without knowing what the twist at the end will turn out to be.

But it was also exciting and – like school, I can say this only after the fact – thoroughly enjoyable. I’ve always subscribed to the Peter De Vries school of writing: “I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork”, an attitude only exacerbated by my inherent laziness.

Every day I’d wake up at 9am; raring to go and – after breakfast, a walk to Tesco, a cup of tea, a quick catchup with mail, the Daily Politics, the Channel 5 movie and Diagnosis Murder, lunch and another cup of tea – go straight to my desk to start writing. A quick Facebook status update to get me in the mood, and perhaps a short blog post and a move or two on Scrabulous (five games on the go) and the first word hit Word by about six. Ten hours later and I was done for the day.

I’m extremely lucky that I write fast – or more accurately, I think fast and type adequately – so I was still able to put down between 6,000 and 8,000 words on a decent day.…

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Praise Jesus, praise booodah

A quick Update: to earlier. As if on cue, I just received an email from my editor at Orion. Given how far off the original brief the book ended up being, I was slightly sick with worry that he’d hate hate hate it. But he didn’t. He likes likes likes it. And he laughed at my footnotes. I’m actually stupidly proud of the footnotes. Who the hell is proud of footnotes?

I actually feel nauseous with relief. And now onwards to the lawyers.

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