Thursday 7 April 2011

Tardiness - and music review

Apologies for being missing; Real Life has intervened temporarily. As a result, tonight's post will be relatively short, as I need to do some of that Writing stuff that will hopefully one day pay the bills.

I was thinking about writing a short post, and thought about how to get an interesting idea across quickly, and my mind turned - as minds do - to music. How to get an idea across properly, well and comprehensively in a very small number of words and a short amount of time is something that good pop music (using that term in its broadest sense) has always been wonderful at, in the same way as sonnets would have been the form of choice in an age without radio or TV.

And a recent album illustrated that neatly for me, so I thought I'd talk about it.

The album is "Build a Rocket Boys!" by Elbow, and it's a great album, every song.
But there is one song in particular that encapsulates the ability of music to capture an emotion through the combination of words, delivery and the music itself, and that is "Lippy Kids". I would recommend anyone who can to listen to the album any which way you can, and have a listen to this song.

Maybe you won't like it, maybe you'll love it - different things speak to different people in different ways, after all.

It's a song about growing up - actually, no that's not right. It's a song about being grown up. It's a song about realising that the days of carefree self-confidence and the associated feelings of invulnerability are behind you, that you will never get them back.
It's a sad song, but it's filled with a wonderful celebration of that feeling, something that only a person who has come through the other side of it can actually feel. With the sense that the people who are still there have no idea quite how precious that feeling actually is, and won't until it's gone.

It makes me want to live my life backwards.

There's one particular couplet, well it's three lines really, but the second one is repeated:

"Do they know those days are golden?
Build a Rocket Boys
Build a Rocket Boys!"

It seems trite written down, I know, but if you hear it, listen to the delivery - the plaintive tone the second time around. Only music can bring that primal feeling about.

Now like I said, maybe you don't feel it. Maybe hearing it, you still feel the lines are trite and meaningless.

Fair enough. We all feel things differently.
But I hear that line and I despair of ever creating something that will make someone feel the way that line makes me feel. But then what can you do but try harder.

Because we all only have a limited time on this earth. Maybe it's up to us to make sure that all of those days are golden ones.
Maybe we all still have time to build our own rockets.

So why am I wasting time writing a blog post and not my book? Why are you wasting time reading it? Go away and Build your Rockets!

Take Care!

Mad Iguana.........

Sunday 3 April 2011

When Things Go Wrong (The Challenges / Climbing Mt Everest)

Sometimes, no matter how good your story or your writing is, no matter how compelling the narrative and no matter how interesting the specific event you're retelling at any time, you mess it up.
You write something, spend days - weeks, possibly - crafting immaculately-constructed sentences, ensuring that every character acts precisely according to their motivations and personality, putting words into their mouths that David Mamet or William Shakespeare would weep with envy to see and all described with words of such poetic strength that Wordsworth would swoon.

And then you read it a day, a week later and realise it's all codswallop, horse-crap and balderdash.

Tuesday 29 March 2011

The Writing Process continued

Hi there,

The Faerie story will continue another day...

For now, I want to continue on the story of my writing process / progress and how I've got to where I am with my writing. The first part of it is here

The phase of unemployment and almost daily writing didn't last (thankfully for my financial situation), and the book ended up being put in mothballs for a while.

I had made it to what was then Chapter 8 of the book in a pretty creative few months, given that I was starting from a position of not knowing how to write for a prolonged period. Once I got over the initial "hump" of realising that the writing just had to continue, no matter what, it was just a matter of ploughing onwards, learning more about my own story and how to create chaaracters, events, storylines, places - a believable world with all of the geography, morality, laws and religion that entails.

On a tangent, that is one thing that is so much more challenging for a Fantasy author than for an

Writing and online reviews

Good (late) night all!

I was on my way to bed, and decided at the last minute to post this, in response to the minor kerfuffle going on at a reviews blog nearby.
There are a couple of reasons why I made that decision, chief amongst them the realisation that I don't want this blog to become a place where I just type out stuff that I wrote 14 years ago that probably isn't very good anyway.
Instead, it's supposed to be about writing, and my opinions on it - whether they're right or wrong.

So here it is.

To give the background to this post, a certain writer has independently (I assume) written and published a novel which was reviewed by an online blog at this link. She decided it wasn't a very flattering review, although it featured a combination of major/minor criticisms as well as some reasonable praise.
As a result, she entered into a very public correspondence with him that may or may not have been terribly wise.

Monday 28 March 2011

A Strange Fickle Thing (Pt 2)

The continuation of my little story - written on 8th September 1997. It's a lot longer than I thought it was... What have I gotten myself into??

So, the last of the faeries - four there were, old, wise and mighty in the ancient lore of magick: Grimkin, the most ancient of all, who was old before the arrival of the new forest and of man; Elmheal, who would converse with the trees for news beyond the city, until time and sorrow wore him out; Bayswife, the wise matriarch whose smile - oft seen - would cause the grass to grow as if sunshine and rain were unnecessary; and Palmbark, whose sad grey eyes made the trees weep, and whose youthful golden hair caused the birds to sing to her beauty - came together to discuss this: man's "love".

Now other faeries lived still in man's park, but these - sadly too numerous to name, although the once-great Leafblade and Thistlemaid were amongst them - were beyond the reach of the other faeries. Many had begun to partake of the leaf that did intoxicate them into incapacity, and some had given