Thursday, March 29, 2007

Rain

(I post less often these days, because I think I was supposed to be writing a whizz bang promotional authors blog, but instead I end up writing stuff like this:


Rainy days to wrap yourself up in and ignore the world. Chatter recedes. Sinking, detach and float.

Watching age creep up your legs, stiffening, slowing.

Story is an alchemical process. Good story, which I don't have right now. I have a needle buzzing above a woman's wrist, a girl in a derelict house with an older man, an inbreath. The set-ups, not the pay-offs.

I need the twist. The moment it all coalesces. That's a gift from the Great Whatever that I have to wait for.

Last night we drove to a house by the beach. Small, empty, beautiful. A garden. But a railway line cutting past it, six feet from the front door. Could we live there? The train horns, the electromagnetic fields. Freight trains. We havered.

Windows over the sea. If life was a story you could wait, and the answer would come, perfect and wry and inevitable.


- which is not really what any reader would want to hear, is it? It's rambling stream of consciousness nothing. Warm up exercises, to be honest, in preparation for the real writing.

Ah well. Sorry.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dress up, dress down




The above battered photo is the only one I have of Hallowe'en about ten years ago. You can't see the silver skirt or the body glitter or the hobbling shoes! (You also can't see my best friend in her Oxfam wedding dress sprayed red, red wig and red gloves.) Nobody recognised us, nobody.

We won second prize at the art school ball for our costumes. I'm sure that's a monopoly card...

In other news, I think I'm painted out. Anything I do between now and the weekend will definitely not be dry in time. I've sliced my thumb open (shouldn't be allowed scalpels), wrenched my back and inhaled a few gallons of turpentine. I think I've done enough!

So next, I'm aiming for a couple of deadlines for stories that are gnashing their teeth at me. A tattoo story with no ending and a couple of thousand words of bitchbook. No rest for the wicked.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sorry

It's all gone pretty quiet in here, hasn't it?

It's a good sign, really. Means I'm working.

Wait - Hear that? If you listen very very carefully, you can hear a little scraping rustling sniffling noise.

It's the sound of me scribbling and daubing and thinking...

(...and a clock shaving off the seconds till deadlines start to collapse all around me.)



Hasta luego x

Monday, March 19, 2007

Whiz

When the boredom became deafening and waiting became interminable, something snapped and

I wrote half a story, up until 2am and drowning in metaphors, the images coming thick and fast and the story branching, swerving, growing despite itself. Sucking on a bottle of red wine and forgetting the world, falling into story.

Crashed late, dreamt twisted, woke early, stared mute at the newspaper. A blank morning passed.

When the sun became too hard and the hail smashed against the window I painted pictures full of water and sap yellow grass and thunderous skies.

This seems necessary:

a) insufferable boredom, repetitive tasks, acres of nothingness that sink into ones bones.

b) that itchy, unsettled, almost-angry feeling that means I'm about to start spewing out story/picture.

I'm not sure if this is a healthy schema, the tossing and turning and unsettled sensation of creativity. I'm not sure if there are better, more consistent ways to produce things. I don't know, ever, if I'm doing it right. I suspect the mistakes are part of the work.

I do know I've got 1,500 words and half a dozen small pictures to show for it, this motion sickness of inbalance.

Swings and roundabouts, amen.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Final warning

To the heroine of my novel-in-progress.

Dear C,

What is your problem? Why do you act so sullen? I've given you not one, not two, but three hot males to choose from, and yet you stomp around looking surly and chewing a day-old piece of what was once strawberry-flavoured bubblegum, fiddling with your belly piercing and refusing to join in.

We've got a plot to develop here, girl! This is your last chance to be the heroine of a nerotic novel!

It pains me to say it, but this is your final written warning. If you don't show a bit of moxie (my favourite new word - from our Violet Blue interview over at lustbites) within the next week you are getting the chop, in favour of a light-hearted paranormal romp featuring witches.

Thin ice, girl, thin ice.

yours in puzzled desperation,

Nikki

Hey, I know I'm a couple of months too late, but....

...It's snowing!!!!

Now it's hailing!!!!

Scotland has a funny sense of humour.

Ah, I love the weather.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Guilty pleasures

If, today, you were to cancel all your usual plans, pull a sickie, and do just exactly what you really most of all want to do, what would that be?

I'd curl up on the sofa with a blanket, in my pyjamas, and read the new Janet Evanovich I just got out the library, with lots of tea and the phone switched off. I might, if I was feeling energetic, put on some music at low volume.

I suspect my fantasies lack a certain degree of excitement...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Normal service

...resumed.

A weekend of beaches and visiting and phenomenal tea-drinking sessions with family and old friends. Got back with a suitcase full of pebbles, a bunch of snowdrops and a rested-refreshed mind. Perked up for the next round of deadlines!

Found a nice little surprise in the post, too.

Here's the cover of one of the new Black Lace Quickies, which contains 'All I Have To Do' - a wistful warmfuzzy lost-love piece wrapped up in musicality.

It's my first reprint, and it's a cute wee book. They're only three quid! Out in April! Copies are available to preorder here!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

E for Exotic


My story 'Essence' will be included in 'E for Exotic', released later this year by Cleis Press.

I can't tell you much about it or I'll spoil it, but it's about a botanist called Edmond.

Is that not the most lovely cover ever?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Sexy v Beautiful

Image by Barbara Kruger


- over at lustbites today. Swing by and choose a side!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Two years...

...to the day since I threw off the shackles of gainful employment and became A Business Woman.

Since then there have been more ups and downs than a tart's knickers. But I'm still here, still working, and still trying to make sense of Tax Returns.

Here's my brief and unreliable advice about being self employed:

1. It's terrifying. White knuckle, sleepless night, hair-falling out terrifying. When you're busy, you're very stressed, and when you're not busy you're very very stressed.

2. It's the closest you can come to dropping out of the human race. There is no Boss, and no Payroll Department. (Unless you count the shoebox under the sofa).

3. Everything you achieve, every small little victory, and every bit of money, and every milestone is entirely yours. I think this is what they call a handmade life. It's wonderful, and I don't know if I could live any other way.

Cheers!