Well, 2012 is charging along in leaps and bounds, which is only to be expected, seeing as it’s a leap year (and before anyone asks, no I did not get anyone proposing! Mind you, I’m sure some people do it so they can have some new gloves…) March is almost upon us! Can it be that this blog is nearly two months old!
A few posts ago I talked about ideas being like badly behaved cats, always demanding your full, undivided attention at the expense of the everything else. I still stand by that comment only these cats now have ADHD. There just aren’t enough hours in the day but that’s what happens when you’re a writer and why it is important to do a little bit regularly when your time is not always your own.
Five hundred words a day does not seem like a lot but it’s manageable, whether you have a full-time job, an army of kids or several other hobbies and soon, as I learned with NaNoWriMo, the story/play/novel soon grows and takes shape. It also gives you the chance to do other writerly things such as reading, watching programmes, feeding the cats, listening to the radio, housework, telling the cats they’ve been fed, making notes on another idea, the list goes on.
So, who says men can’t do several things at once? As I write this I am watching the England vs Netherlands match (England are currently 2-0 down but what a belter from Robben?) I think I’ve proved that theory wrong, just like the whole ‘manflu’ thing is a load of tripe too! We are all one and the same.
Anyway Scribblers, hope the leap day has gone well for you all. I’m now going to try and think of a good ending to my new short story (and this blog post…)
Want to know what I’m giving up for Lent? Take a look at this. No, it’s not something escaped from a science lab, it’s not a Medieval map of the world during Prehistoric times and it’s nothing nicked from the set of Dr Who. It’s my attempt at making a pancake last night:
Feeling nausious? Tired of all flowers giving you an early dose of hay fever? Chocolates trying to tempt you away from the diet? Soppy films making you reach for the indigestion pills? Fed up with pink stuff EVERYWHERE? Well, don’t you worry. Here are a few songs you can listen play loud to lighten the mood! Declare WAR on slush with these records! If the neighbours complain just blame it on the student’s next door!
1) Welcome To My Nightmare – Alice Cooper
2) Mustapha – Queen
3) Brighton Rock – Queen
4) Tie Your Mother Down – Queen
5) Shame and Scandal – Madness
6) Woman From Tokyo – Deep Purple
7) Hey Joe – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
8) The Wanderer – Status Quo
9) Run To You – Bryan Adams
10) Fat Bottomed Girls – Queen
11) D.I.V.O.R.C.E. – Billy Connolly
12) Communication Breakdown – Led Zeppelin
13) Donald Where’s Your Troosers?
14) What Is Love? – Howard Jones
15) Since You’ve Been Gone – Rainbow
16) Photograph – Def Leppard
17) The Birdie Song
18) 51st Anniversary – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
19) Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
20) Hocus Pocus – Focus
21) Lola – The Kinks
22) Gimme Some Money – Spinal Tap
23) Paranoid – Black Sabbath
24) Here I Go Again – Whitesnake
25) Strange Kind of Woman – Deep Purple
26) Should I Stay Or Should I Go – The Clash
27) Bangin’ Man – Slade
28) Kiss The Bride – Elton John
29) Sex Farm – Spinal Tap
30) (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Rolling Stones
31) The Last Time – Rolling Stones
32) Under My Thumb – Rolling Stones
33) It’s All Over Now – Rolling Stones
34) My Wife – The Who
35) Arnold Layne – Pink Floyd
36) Vindaloo – Fat Les
37) A Legal Matter – The Who
38) Is There Something I Should Know? – Duran Duran
39) Centrefold – J. Geils Band
40) Everyday I Love You Less And Less – Kaiser Chiefs
41) Looking After No. 1 – The Boomtown Rats
42) Don’t Marry Her – Beautiful South (Uncensored Version)
43) Oh Yeah! (On the Radio) – Roxy Music
44) Let Me Live – Queen
45) Hate To Say I Told You So – The Hives
46) Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman – The Darkness
47) Is She Really Going Out With Him? – Joe Jackson
48) Rapper’s Delight
49) Stealin’ – Uriah Heep
50) No More Mr Nice Guy – Alice Cooper
51) Mr Blobby – Mr Blobby
52) Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) – The Offspring
53) Hurry Up Harry – Sham 69
54) Rocks – Primal Scream
55) Big Bottom – Spinal Tap
56) The Yogi Bear Song
57) Too Much Love Will Kill You – Queen/Brian May
58) Highway To Hell – AC/DC
59) Drag Me Down – The Boomtown Rats
60) Agadoo – Black Lace
Of course, if you think of any more don’t hesitate to add them. This is just a general list in no particular order. Perhaps start off with the heavy ones, a few lighter ones in between then, towards the end when everyone’s drunk and emotional, add in the ones that they can sing along to.
For some reason I never get asked to be a DJ at weddings…
One of the problems with being a writer is the many kinds of inspiration that are out there. There’s books, newspapers, Internet, travelling, magazines, conversations, people, animals, birds, plants, fish, bacteria, invertebrates (no I’ve not seen The Human Centipede) and just generally going out, living a life and experiencing things.
Now, this is good. A writer, just like any artist, needs a good solid helping of inspiration to soak up the perspiration and dedication. Without ideas we are nothing.
The trouble is ideas, for want of a better cliché, are like children. Actually they’re worse than that, they are like badly behaved cats (like mine). As soon as you get up they want attention. They want to be the one that gets put onto paper, entered into the competition, sent off to the agents (and hopefully not sent back), read out at the Open Mic, shown to nearest and dearest (well, the ones who won’t laugh anyway). And, of course, there’s always the worry that haunts all writers. The most Great and Terrible Fear that is (deep breath):
Someone else will have the same idea.
That’s right. Some other scribe will have had the same flash of inspiration, written it down and made a fat pile of wonga before you’ve even dug out your notebook from under the pile of rejection letters. This does happen.
Fear not, though, fellow scribblers. There are steps you can take to get around this:
- Do not Tell ANYBODY ANYTHING: Alright, so they could get the idea from somewhere else but at least your conscience is clear. Remember, there is no copyright in ideas, only their expression.
- Make Notes when you have the Ideas: In your notebook, then saved on a computer. That way you’ve got an electronic record.
‘But how can I deal with this onslaught of ideas?’ I hear you all cry. ‘How are you dealing with them all?’ Well, I’ve now decided that I’ll have a go at writing a few words of the Novel during the week after work with poems/short stories/flash fiction at the weekend as a ‘break’. Well, that’s the idea, let’s see how it works in practice…
(And why does the font size keep changing on this?)
Happy First Month to you! Happy First Month to you! Happy First Month to My Blo-og! Happy First Month to You!!!
And yes I have written better poetry than that!
Good God, has it really been a month since this was conceived after a meeting of some alcohol and my brain cells and born on a cold New Year’s Eve in the stable hands of WordPress? Doesn’t time fly?
Anyway, tonight has been interesting. I’ve been to the second of the Portsmouth Writers’ Hubs for this year where there will be opportunities for open mics, a question and answer session with an agent and some very inspiring tales about electronic publishing. Something to consider for the future, maybe, when I stop burning my fingers on the bloody grill! Twice in as many days, for crying out loud!