Saturday, 30 November 2013

Photocopying hell

PHOTOCOPYING! If Dante had written the inferno in more recent years I'm sure he would have included use of the photocopyer to reproduce more than 10 sheets at any one sitting on A3-A4 reduce setting. Ukh I have copied 40 manuscript pages at a sitting, twice. No I tell a lie. I WOULD have got to page 80 today, had the library not closed. So as it is, I'm only on page 65. I have to copy this document to send to someone who can tell me their opinions....

I'M IN A REAL FLAP of a bad mood. Got into a tailspin this afternoon about something exceedingly petty (but VERY important, in the scheme of things) that I can't go into. If I could go into it here, then it wouldn't have got me in such a flap. Just one of those annoying things that, frankly, I wish I could afford to pay somebody to do for me. You know, the trivial petty things in life that personal assistants/managers/lawyers do for you. I worked out recently that had I been born an 18th century aristocrat NONE of my present-day problems would exist! They are ALL to do with having to have the volition to run the meaningless minutiae of my own life, which of course I don't want to. Like washing my socks. Washing clothes. Cleaning house. If somebody else could do that for me, I'd be absolutely fine. But as it is, those nut-doctors would put it down as "issues with self-care" or some such nonsense.

ANYWAY back to writing. I'm about to start book 2 in my amazing "better than Harry Potter" series of entertainment! How amazing is that!!!

I've got to go. I'm too irritated to write any more. Really starting to feel shitty and depressed. I'm just glad I can put a deceptive brave face on. People who think they know me think I'm OK. I'm not OK at all.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Calligraphic Black

I'VE BEEN LOOKING for the "blackest fountain pen ink". There are pages and pages of online reviews for brands not available in London. Who are Noodlers? Should I have heard of them? I've never seen their products anywhere...
The standard ink here in the UK would be Parker Quink. But it's nowhere near dark enough. They should call it Quink Dark Grey. I used to use this stuff called Higgins Eternal, but it's eternally even lighter mid-grey than Quink, and certainly not proper black.
The one I'm using now is called Lamy black, but it's still too washy for my exacting taste. I want my writing/artwork to look "like a void in the universe" as someone else put it.
Why is it that rollerball and gel ink pens write so much darker? Is it that because for a throw-away pen they can use a more intense formulation that would clog a fountain pen over time? Who knows. Actually, does anyone really care?
WELL ANYWAY, I'm learning (my own style of) calligraphy, you see. Very slowly. I mean, I  wish I could be as artistic as this (I'm getting in this direction):
or even this (by JRR Tolkien):

But I'm not quite there yet. One day soon I want to learn "real" calligraphy. Did you know you can get work calligraphing lawyers' deeds? I'm serious. For that I'm gonna need really ultra-black lawyerly cosmic ink, y'know the type fraudsters cannot wash off. I used to have an india ink pen, which was really for doodling and drawing, not writing: that produced fantastically black scribbles, but I heard you can literally wipe it clean from parchment and vellum. Not very fraud-proof! Is that true?

I'd also like to learn Japanese and Chinese calligraphy. When my set of TEN books is finished (not just one book ~ ten) and I've got paid however much you get for writing bestsellers these days, then I intend to invest in the Rosetta Stone Japanese course, but you'd need to write a bestseller or ten to afford it. The complete course costs £279 ($449.35)


O, and last but not least; THIS is what a real Tolkien manuscript looks like (the one on Saturday's post was by God knows who, but it wasn't JRR Tolkien!)
Isn't it beautiful.
Ukh and that's another thing. I have to learn how to do proper pen-&-ink drawings to illustrate all TEN VOLUMES of my kiddies' book. If I end up publishing it myself. Even if I do get a real publisher, I want them to agree to let me print up limited fine editions myself. So I'm STILL going to have to learn to draw. Wish me luck because I only have a talent for abstract art, not the real stuff. (I would be make a good interior designer of mosques.)

Illustrated: Noodler's ink bottle by Geeky Girl at her blog; homespun calligraphy in black Quink; dwarfish runes on MS by Tolkien, another Tolkien manuscript; mosque design...

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Still Writing...

I'VE FINISHED HALF A BOOK. Half a short book. (I'm talking about the rewrites. Version one is finished and lying in a ringbinder as we speak...) WH Smith's refill pad by hand and now it's less of a mess (but I STILL keep remembering little lose ends not tied up... y'know... very annoying).

All this bluster and puff from me about how I "don't want to self-publish" ~ now I'm spending most of my time wondering whether the local supermarkets will take mine in hardback... etc. If I AM gonna print it up myself I definitely want it in proper hardbacks. Even just a tiny print run of 500. Then I'll go round every WH Smiths, bookshop and supermarket in every part of London saying I'm a "local author" and would they take just 25 copies (surely that's not very many, for a future classic of world literature, is it?) Hmmm.

WH Smith, by the way,  is a news agent, stationers and book shop. In many UK towns they're the ONLY book shop left ... What do people do in foreign counties where there's no WH Smiths? Not read or use Amazon, I suppose...

Oh did you know I used to live in a REAL garrat and I DID write a novel when I lived there. I still have the handwritten pages in £1.99 A4 exercise books.

It's not very good though. And it's FULL of drugs. Ukh.

I'm getting my computer fixed soon. So I can be a "professional" writer! I will let y'all know when that happens!

Got to go. I spend every waking hour editing or thinking about editing. (TV blaring away in the background, of course. How very professional of me.)

Once this one's finished I have plots of NINE MORE TO GO!!

Cereal characters: doncha just love 'em!

BTW was I very miserable and depressed last time I posted? I sounded it. Been sleeping 12 hours flat every night, Going to bed at 5am getting up at 5pm. Last night I popped a humungous dose of antipsychotic to knock me out early and was up at 7:30am! You see, legal drugs do have their uses!!!

Illustrated: not my MS but (allegedly) part of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit

Monday, 11 November 2013

A Real Pen!

HEY SOMEBODY BOUGHT ME A PRESENT! YES, finally I'm the proud owner of a real ink pen again! I lost all my old pens when I turned into a raving heroin junkie nearly 14 years ago (don't even know where they went: I certainly didn't sell 'em). I love a good ink pen, with a liberal nib that splurges ink all over the paper (before it sinks in, you can see the wet writing sort of standing up on the paper). So I'm really happy with this pen. It is for writing great literature with. Well... editing the "great literature" already written. I've so far revamped 5000 words and have "only" 25,000 to go! (Which is not that much prose: Liz set a goal to pen 50,000 words this month alone! A shortish adult novel would be 80,000 words and that would occupy about 200-300 pages, depending on typesetting.) So my 30,000 words isn't that much at all. When I'm in a good mood I do think (or hope, more like) that they're 30,000 pretty amazing words, it has to be said. (Well someone has to believe in this book~ it's my job to!)

WHY AM I SUCH A MISERABLE BASTARD? I should be happy. I have everything going for me. I have written draft one of this book I keep banging on about. Including illustrations it would comprise a 150-page (or so) volume.  So it's not that long. But at least I achieved something ~ so why am I so bloody miserable? Ukh, I have no idea.

I told my methadone worker about all this and the new life I was hoping/intending to start up, you know, as a worthy writer and all and she said "what about your mental health?" (my drugs worker thinks I'm really nutty, last time when I came in looking particularly scruffy she said I looked "very community care" (community care is what they call it when you see a person going barking mad at the traffic lights. It means there's not enough room in British mental hospitals). Oh I saw a TV prog t'other day on Channel 4 called Bedlam. The episode I saw just happened to feature 3 bipolar people. The theatre studies girl happened to have been slapped with the same horrible label as me ("schizoaffective")... but I couldn't help but notice, when her manic episode wore off and the meds were working she looked completely and utterly sane ~ I mean, even saner than I am. There was a big black guy who the nurses said was being "horrible" (you have to be REALLY horrible to get that label from a mental health nurse!) and lastly a bloke who'd come in after a "suicide attempt" looking really chirpy and not at all depressed. Supposedly bipolar, but it turned out to be a misdiagnosis. The new doctors decided he was personality-disordered, promptly withdrew all drugs and chucked him out of hospital! Yeah so anyway, my future mental health. Well I've never expected to feel any different in the future from how I do now, and it turns out that was a most pragmatic move on my part. Because I've "achieved a life goal" and yet I feel practically the same as before! Every morning I wake up feeling miserable. Every time I stop thinking, moving, speaking, writing~ the misery floods back. Like a sinking ship, when you cease bailing out. Swamped all over again. Oh I dunno!

Hey I just had a really nice pineapple-vanilla ice lolly split. I do love a good lolly in the autumn. Inspires the mind to greater things.

OK I've got to go. Noah I will get back to ya tomorrow. I'm about to be timed out by this ******g thing. Can't swear. Now that I'm a children's writer ha ha!


Illustrated: Lamy Al-Star ~ a fountain pen for writting intellectual books; Liz Hinds jailbird extraordinaire (she's a prison chaplaincy adult literacy counselling assistant. Or something... Authoress of This Time Next Year, available on Amazon! The last photo shows Liz's dog George having an "issue" over a twig with a Northern Spitz. Nothing to do with anything really. Just liked the picture!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

I've written (a rough version of) a (very short) intellectual book!

THE BAILIFFS ARE OFF MY BACK. I hope. I had to go through an Eastern-European potato-rationing queuing system to see a kindly black lady at the council with artistic fingernails.. She told me that because an arrangement to repay my council tax arrears had been made by the council, complete with instalment plan (starting next week) the bailiffs had been called out in error and just a click of her mouse would (supposedly) send them e-packing (I hope!)

Oh and I've finished my intellectual children's book. It's not that long. (About as long as a Famous Five book, if you know those (Americans don't seem to have heard of Enid Blyton, which is weird. Or maybe not. She's about as British as cricket and rain.)

According to Wikipedia, Enid Blyton's 800+ books have sold over 600,000,000 copies. So I hope a bit of her luck rubs off on me!

So now I'm due to hack through this intellectual "MS" of mine (as us intellectual writers call it) and turn it into something printable. Considering my novel is for the under-12s, do you think I'll have to take out the lurid 10-page sex scenes? O I'm just kidding. Really they're 12 pages long ha har!.

Do you know my friend Liz, who is always going in and out of prison, so she must have something decent to write about, (OK, fair dinkum, she does work there) but anyway she sent her intellectual novel to 25+ literary agents, before ending up self-publishing. How very inconvenient!

Did you know an advance for a children's book can be as small as £2000 ($3213.24) so I'm going to have to save up loads of these books and submit them all at once... (Do you think?) Ukh, I don't know anything about the publishing business. Is it true the book business is supposed to be on its last legs? If so, how come EL James has managed to flog 70,000,000+ books in the last year or so? She was said to have sold 45,000,000,000 copies in just three months this summer! Is that really true? (They do say publishers' biggest fictions are their own sales figures!)

OK well I have to stop thinking about this stuff and just hope I ever manage to get in print at all! I wonder if anyone will wanna read my stupid tales? You know I have so many "literary ideas", at the present rate it would take over TEN YEARS to pen them all! I'm serious!

Anyway I've gotta go. Take care everybody. PS I'm hopefully getting my computer fixed. Soon!

Illustrated:  the field of children's books is crowded out by "celebrity" authors. From top: Sarah, Duchess of York; footballer Frank Lampard; my fellow blogger Liz's book; Madonna with a book she wrote and got a million-pound advance for (wonder if anyone actually read it)...