Sunday, July 26, 2009

Berlin and back

Last year in Paris
The online study group I belong to meet up once a year, in different places.
Somewhere in Berlin

Last year in Paris.

This year Tons invited us to meet in Berlin, and we had a fine old time...

My internet connection seems slow to useless at the moment, so I don't intend to upload anything much right now. If you care, you can see some pictures of the Maybe crew in Berlin on Only Maybe.

Jabba the Hutt recommends the Rock 'n Roll Herbege in Berlin!

Fly Fuzz and I stayed at the Rock 'n Roll herbege, which proved an excellent choice for those of us who stay up late, and like to mess around. Highly recommended!
Rock 'n Roll Herbege bar

Room No 6 at the RnR hostel

One for the road...

Friday, July 17, 2009


I do hope some of you follow @gnosis - one of Bobby Campbell's masterpieces of collaborative work. It gets better all the time...
Click banner to see preview

Bobby scripts this stuff and also does illustrations of his own, of all kinds, for all sorts of output - including covers for my first attempts at making a book.

See post for 7th July

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bard in the Bardo

I am still experimenting with the webcam on this netbook, and as I have had to do 'serious' voice-over (PA announcements) for the library, recently, I (as ever) gave myself a real project to do - rather than just mess about.

So here's a poem by Louis MacNeice, written in the UK during The Blitz (1944). I found myself born shortly after that, so it always seemed somehow personal (at least to my generation of heavy-metal babies - Hiroshima contaminated the planet while I was still in the womb).

Here's Louis reading his own poem (if you have Real Player).

Poems for Paranoids

Friday, July 10, 2009

Quentin's message of hope

If you’re on a tightrope when you first set off you don’t know how much play there is in the rope, but when you get into the middle between the ages of 20 and 40 the thing rocks like mad and it’s too late to go back even to look back.

But if you go on as carefully as you can, you see the other platform and then you just make a dash for it not bothering with what the audience thinks, or waving your arms or looking dangerous, and difficult and prodigious.

What you grab hold of when you get to the other side in fact the edge of your coffin. And you get into it and you lie down and you think, ‘my cuffs are frayed’, ‘I haven’t written to my mother’. And then you think ‘it doesn’t matter because I’m dead’.

And this is a message of hope. It will come to an end. It will come, we cannot be blamed for it and we shall be free.

Quentin Crisp

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Infinitely Monkeying

Have a Little Fun
Make a Little Money
Do a Little Good
Christopher Hyatt

I just received a draft of the cover for my recent NaNoWriMo novel, so now I have no excuse to not complete my proof-reading and tweaking and get the finished thing up in my Lulu storefront.
Actually, you could have got the work-in-progress already, warts and all, but now I will try to tidy the whole thing up.

I have spent a little time making small corrections, but have failed to savage it, rip it up and re-write - as all the advice suggest a writer does to a first draft, hey ho. I still quite like the simplicity of the story and style.

I'd rather do another one, and keep going until I get the hang of it.

Even more fun, I don't have to write juvenile novels and shove them in the bottom drawer, as people used to. I can publish it for my own amusement, to learn all the different processes of layout, commissioning covers, and all that.

I have never waited for approval first.

I started juggling to pass the time, rather than go look for a job. Then people stopped to watch me practising, and eventually passed a hat around for me, so then I had a job for a decade.

I'll just keep writing, although I can hear Lou Reed's devastating put-down of an incoherent heckler "If you're a writer, nobody reads you!" But in the modern world of blogs and tweets I don't feel alone in this. Just reminds me of the days of juggling on street corners with busy commuters avoiding my eye, and scurrying past... I still enjoyed myself juggling, even when I didn't get a crowd.

So do if you do it for the fun, even if you don't make any money, you do at least have some fun to show for all the work... Fortunately (or 'like magic') I have found a very creative collaborator, who can do this stuff for me - he's cheap (or rather, I'm poor - I'd pay him more if I could), he's fast, he has fun.

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