So I’m probably a bit – no, make that a lot – late in discovering this track, and the album it comes from, but I like it, and thought it might be nice to share it. I’ll freely admit I don’t really go for the opening bit of dialogue, it’s a bit fraught and not really my kind of thing, but I really like the song. So:
… all of which is to say: has it really been that long since last I blogged? Crikey (though a part of me is oddly relieved to see that it hasn’t been a whole calendar year, because – let’s face it – it wouldn’t be the first time that long a gap had happened between posts).
So, as is so often the case on this blog, I open with apologies to anyone who’s been visiting on a regular basis in the hope of finding updates – thanks for your patience, and sorry the only things that have greeted you have been silence and cobwebs.
I haven’t been writing on the blog, granted, but (by way of long overdue update) I’m glad to report that I’ve made good and hearty progress in the world of long-form prose; my novel Captives has been through multiple drafts and re-drafts, and my test readers have all made very useful suggestions which led to a few bits of re-re-drafting, and now it’s out for consideration by literary agents.
Trying not to let the momentum dissipate, I’ve started on the next novel featuring the same detective protagonist, which currently has the working title of Refuge. I won’t get into the details of it here, but I like to think that the shape of the books is almost akin to that of the films of Dan Brown’s novels – the first one (The Da Vinci Code) is full of flashbacks, but the second is a ticking-clock race against time (Angels and Demons). So I’m working hard on making sure it has that all-important sense of forward motion, which I’m increasingly finding is a good way to stop me from waxing too lyrical, as if the words don’t serve plot or character, then they’re probably not needed… but I’m sure I’ll talk about that more in future blogs.
As is so often the case in my relationship with blogging, this return is intended to be the clearing of the throat before more sustained communication; in these politically and socially divided times I’ll probably steer clear of too much in the way of politics or similar, but I’ll try to compensate for that by sharing thoughts on writing, the odd review (and not necessarily of new items – one of the wonders of the internet is our easy access to things from the past), links to things which amuse or interest, and the like.
Speaking of things which amuse, I’ve recently discovered Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a TV police comedy which is genuinely as good as its fans make out, and I recommend you have a watch of it, if you’re not already a fan. That show has led me to enjoy the musical stylings of cast member Andy Samberg and his cohorts in the group The Lonely Island, which in turn led me to the following video… hip-hop isn’t really my thing, but ludicrous comedy and utterly committed performances are very much my things, so (in the nicest and most praise-filled way possible) I urge you to look at these idiots:
So I’m ferociously late to the party in appreciating this (late in doing everything, one might argue, evinced by the limited posting in recent years), but nonetheless I wanted to share the sketch from Saturday Night Live which – tech permitting – you should find below.
I wish I could explain what I find so oddly compelling about it – it could the performances, the funky dancing, the line ‘Any questions?’, or the reactions from the normal people in the sketch, which escalate in confusion but also make absolute sense. I can only conclude that, sometimes, plain stupidity is enough – and with that failed attempt at explaining myself, and/or the sketch, I shall get out of the way.
…told you it was compelling.
Honest. Posting is imminent…
If you’re reading this, then that means you’ve found my revamped website. Hello! Are you well?
This blog pulls into one place my very first online musings (dating back years – cue nostalgia about how the internet all used to be fields) from the old ‘blogger’ platform, and the far more limited number of postings which I made directly onto the old version of this site (for the technically-inclined amongst you, it was an FTP setup, and I found it very hard to post regular blog updates using that approach). So if you want blog posts by me, this is the place.
There are a couple of pages which I just need to put the finishing touches to, but they’re almost there now (I promise), so this site should be all in place very much imminently, and then the blogging shall recommence (I promise). In the meantime, though, please feel free to take a look around, and do let me know what you think of the new place.
Is this thing on?
If all goes to plan, this will be the last blog post in this current website format – should soon be shifting over to a new platform, hosting arrangement, and lots of other techie stuff that’s a bit dull to share. But anyway.
And on the offline writing front, I’ve finished the fourth draft of my novel Captives, and it’s currently out with my test readers… and on the basis of comments already received, I’ll be starting in on the fifth draft any day now.
Once the revisions are done, and I’m sending the book out to agents and so on, I’ll be shutting up about that side of it (like dreams and the difficulties experienced on a journey, other people don’t tend to be quite as interested to hear the details), but as I start on the next book, I intend to blog fairly regularly about that.
My current thinking is that, instead of talking about the (puts back of hand on forehead) soul-searing trauma of the creative process and the ins and outs of the plot and so on, I suspect I’ll talk about the thinking behind the aspects of the story, how it’s structured, etc. Plan on doing this at least once a week, and whilst I don’t expect to be sharing the twists and turns of the story, I thought it might be interesting to talk about the topics which lurk behind the storytelling decisions, etc. That’s the intention, we’ll see how it all works out…
And yes, I should also be sharing other bits of nonsense that stray through my mind (a dodgy neighbourhood, granted)… should, he said, with some awareness of how often he’s made such a vow.
See you soon.
… I have not forgotten that I own a blog (and indeed a website). Honest.
In the (many) months since my last blog post, amongst other things I’ve been pointing my attention towards the polish-drafts of the novel (as opposed to the Polish drafts of the novel, which I optimistically hope to hear about in the future when the book sells in multiple translations), and also training for the London Duathlon (more info, including sponsorship details, can be found here).
Not long now, though (he said for the zillionth time), and I’ll see about an overhaul of the site, and a return to proper blogging (as opposed to micro-blogging via Twitter, which I do seem to manage a moderate amount of, but 140 characters always seem more feasible).
But enough of that: how have you been?