Thursday, January 31, 2008


Working on your own there's no-one to celebrate with, so I have to do a dance all on my own and pretend Romain Duris is lying utterly shagged out nearby.

I'm not saying right now what I'm celebrating cause I don't want to jinx it but I think soon I'll have some good short story news!

Plus ...

That's right, the Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, edited by Maxim Jakubowski, is out, stuffed full of lots of wonderful authors and stories. Hoorah! The link-tastic Alison Tyler has got deets of lots of the writers therein on her blog today, and because I am crap and running to the post office I have not, so please visit her for more info! Or just buy it!

(My story is 'undercover' and it was my 'rotica cherry, so to speak. Aw.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Chapter six and a half

God, it's all over the place. Sex scenes won't come when they're called and then they pop up and run over when they're not supposed to. I keep thinking 'where's the fucking plot' and then thinking well, maybe the fucking is the plot, but is that enough?

Beyond that, I'm so tired. For some reason writing novels makes me feel like I'm trying to work out the meaning of life at the same time. I had it last Tuesday, but then it fell down the gap in the sofa cushions, and now I'm having to re-read Kierkegaard all over again.

That's a complete lie, I've never read Kierkegaard.

Anyway, I'm groping around blindly and so are my characters. There's a lot of sex, yes, but I do want it to have some deeper meaning (I don't mean morally, I gave that up years ago) but story wise.

God, when I finish this I am going to have a glass of wine as big as ... as ... a zeppelin!

Curious paradox, too, when writing: want to spill everything, tell someone everything, everything, in the greatest detail, from the glossiness of lupin leaves to the confusion I feel when trying to imagine nebulae, and all of history, and every memory. Yet, too, struck dumb. Ignoring the phone. Forgetting friends and family. Trying to turn oneself into a giant earmouth and nothing else, shutting down some senses until the point where the words come out is concentrated enough to drip, drip, drip, and eventually flow, with luck.

See, blog posts, case in point. Make no sense. Dropping whatsits all over the places. Become large breathing writing-sponge and only characters talk. Author not talk. Unless in quotation marks, not real conversation. Very dull at parties. Just book. I am a big book with lots of white space from chapter six (and a half) until the end. Look, it's swirling, and I think I need to go and lie down now, can I have my pills please? Thank you. Alas.

P.S. If readers would rather be entertained by writers with witty and compus mentis thingummies, please check out the links on the sidebar. For now until I finish, I fear this garbled nonmoominsense is likely to continue. Write book, blog goes to pot. Yes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Maths is as important to writing as English ...

18000 / 70000 words. 26% done!

I have to treat my writing like a child. Coax it with little carrots, threaten it with big fat fucking sticks.

Next goal: 23,300 words - one third.

Another 5k, come on, come on.

I don't know what it is, this inbuilt sulky dipshit avoidance that goes on. It's the same impulse that makes me spark a fag when I know I'd rather breathe clean air or eat a piece of sticky cake when I'd really deep down rather have an orange.

My perversion, I suppose. Sabotage.

Which leads me back to carrots, one of the ways I treat myself. Every time I write, I'm allowed to find a good song on youtube. Sad, really.

But you know, if you've been chewing fingernails for too long and fidgeting in your seat and giving the blank page baleful glares and reading too much of the book section in the paper that's full of sniffy reviews and grand critics' declarations and declaimers, and spinning off into sideways tangents that might help you win at pub quizzes someday but will never really help you write the novel -

Sometimes the only way to kick-start this fucking huffy muse is with a dose of grinding drums and scratchy guitars. And swearing. Swearing definitely helps. If I had a car I'd drive it into cardboard boxes. As is, the Beastie Boys provide the same rush. That beat - does it every time. Anyone else got particular songs that rev the engine? Or should I be seeking hard drugs instead?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Imaginary men research

I spend a large part of yesterday looking for Tam.

Especially his cheekbones.

It's the combination of wilful and delicate, I think. Rough but with polished edges. Hint of devilment. Surly boys.

Hair in your eyes, black hair, delicate mouth, stubble, sunglasses, lean, tall, little lines at the side of your smile, your collar turned up, your leather jacket.

The smell of fresh sweat on you, that smile, your cockiness, your belligerence. How you tuck your thumbs into your belt loops and slouch. How you scratch your stubble. How you smoulder. The way you look up at me like that, all stormy and petulant. That glowing, hairless chest with the tiny nipples, just pin-pricks on your chest, and the rib-cage, counting down to that hollow, the dip, the place where I slide.

Hero # 1 covered from varioius different angles. Next up I'll be trawling for Hero # 2, who is a whole different kettle of fish.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


First, the good and sparkling news - My search for musical help hit gold when the intestimable Jonathan Caws-Elwitt came up with a real, musical, twanging and banging and lyrical song for Kara! The man is a genius. And he must have eight arms. It's amazing, truly amazing, to hear a song I scrawled down as background research put to music. I owe him massive thanks.

Later on, I'll start casting for singers and guitarists and so on. And sometime in the summer, you should be able to hear a demo of the song! With filthy bits and everything.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to put together the puzzle that is a plot. Right now it feels like I'm adrift in a rather rocky sea, clinging to a piece of driftwood. I need a bigger brain. And really, I need to swear off reading the internet for a while, till I get a rough draft down on paper. There's too much shouting going on at the moment, and I can't think straight.

Anyway, I am retreating to my burrow for a bit to work on writing a book that will merit having a soundtrack ... if I'm not back in a month or so, send a search party.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Gaaaaah, my book's gone funny. I don't mean peculiar, I mean ha-ha. Some reason my heroine keeps cracking jokes.

I think it may be to do with my latest positivity experiment, gleaned from a book who's author is so chirpy you can hear her hyperventilating as you read. The exercise is: Every day, choose something positive about yourself and every time you start to think of gloomy neggy things, quickly switch focus to your chosen blessing-for-the-day.

I started with feet (I have nice feet), and moved on to my sense of humour. Yesterday I kept reminding myself what a fabulous sense of humour I have, even when I chipped my favourite turquoise plate, even when another friend called to announce her engagement (and yes, of course that is cause for celebration, I'm over the moon that everyone I know is getting hitched and/or pregnant while I bravely plough on creating plasticene porn films for la posterity. But I digress) even when I banged my shin very hard on the bath tap. Haha, I said. I have such a feckin great sense of humour. Ahaha. Sob.

And then later when wrestling with Chapter five, every time I wrote dialogue, my mean and moody and hep heroine kept bursting all the sultry bubbles with wisecracks. I told her to shut up and she stuck out her tongue.

This is something I struggle with, being of grasshopper bent. I flicker through moods like a shapeshifter, and a novel takes a few months to write, during which I've gone up down and sideways about four hundred times, and sod it, the tone has leaked onto the page. I'll let her keep her funnies for the moment, and do something horrible to her in Chapter six to wipe that smirk off her face.

Today's positive affirmation: I am determined. (This is a lot harder than you might think, coming up with thirty different positives and no repeats. Maybe I should have started with 'left foot', and saved 'right foot' for another day. Ah well. I still have 'not dead yet'.)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Honestly think you've come up with an idea so ludicrous it must be original.

And then you find this:

Monday, January 07, 2008

Glasgow cures the common cold, the only way it knows how

DEAR LORD I CAN BREATHE AGAIN! Thank you! I'd like to take a moment to thank Vitamin C, my immune system and malt whisky.

Sometimes I think it's almost worth being ill, because afterwards the usual humphy everyday me feels like Bionic Woman.

Anyway, I am back to sniffling fitness and was very pleased to stumble on Lucrezia Magazine yesterday, a new emag which looks very cool. I was also pleased to discover that the woman behind it is Anastasia, of 'Sexualite' fame - a prolific and thoughtful writer who will no doubt make waves with this new venture.

Novel news: Yes, I'm doing it. Feeling my way forward. I'm really looking forward to launching this book, for one 'cause I hope it'll be a good one, and for two cause I have plans. I want to find a band to record one of the songs I've written for the imaginary band in the book. (It may be ridiculous but if I do one thing it's research as thoroughly as I can (yes I said research, not furious tangent. Of course creating a band and video isn't procrastination, are you mad?)).

So if anyone knows of a band who'd like to pretend to be The New Rakes so I can make a video of them, let me know. I need two girls and two guys, who look all sultry and hep. Cheekbones and hair-over-the-eyes style. Mmm. Lowslung guitars and electro ability.

Yes, I am definitely getting into this book ...

Thursday, January 03, 2008


A very happy new year to you all!

I've arrived in 2008 with a sodding flubug, hoorah.

But also a whole raft of hopeful and good intentions. I'm hoping the days in bed will be like an incubation, after which I shall shoot like a rocket spewing stars, light and deep and meaningful work firing off in all directions.

Meanwhile, if you like the sound of getting some contemporary poetry sent to you every week, join up to a new email thang from Oxford Uni here.

And if you're looking for a nice little film to watch, have a peep at four eyed monsters, which is a very sweet and funny and nicely handmade film about love and sex and film making.

In other news, my dear and most winsome friend Shanna Germain is embarking on novels this year, which is fabulous news for anyone who likes books. Check out her new blog on the link, and cheer her on!

I wish you all a great and beautiful year with many balloons. I am off to tend my bedsores. I mean, write chapter five.