Tag Archives: novel

Writing and Inspiration (Part 2)

I write because I’m addicted. Deep down, I just can’t stop. In my teens I wanted to write as a career, to earn money and to attend literary lunches. I’m still not clear what a literary lunch is, but I knew that writers went to them.

That was as far as I got this morning, before being diverted from my course with some thoughts on junior match reports.

After trying novels I moved on to poetry, then back to novels. I did think about an autobiography but I didn’t really have enough material at the age of seventeen. After that I carried on writing endless first pages and throwing them away whilst reading books on how to write best sellers. Occasionally I had a go at magazine articles, and had a few accepted. I did wonder if I could become a freelance writer, but lack of a decent work ethic suggested it would be a disaster.

Eventually I had a proper go and tried for more fame and fortune with a detective novel. I say novel, what I really mean is “load of words”. It went to about 120,000 words but lacked a couple of things, including a decent plot, an ending and a lot of editing. So I tried again. Another 80,000 words, but still a lack of plot, ending and editing. At least I’d learned to keep the word count down.

After that I moved on to poetry for light relief. My father-in-law had started writing poetry in retirement and had several pieces published. He also performed some of his poems on stage, which is something I will never be brave enough to do. I decided to follow his example and had about fifteen published, was Highly Commended in a national competition, and even managed to get one poem in a decent quality magazine.

At that point I ended up in hospital a couple of times and, when I emerged,  started writing match reports (as previously mentioned) and programme notes. This was not the time in hospital I blogged about a few years ago, but the forerunner. It did, however, involve much the same procedure – spinal anaesthetic, small orifice, large camera and much whining. It also included two biopsies. The dissolving stitches on one of them dissolved far too soon and it took two hours to stop the bleeding. Ah, good times…

There were a couple of years where I did nothing, then I started the blog, went into hospital again and decided to have a crack at haibun. So far it seems to have worked out.

It’s not much for fifty years in writing. A handful of poems of various types published, a dozen magazine articles and a blog. I’m clearly not in it for the money, or even for the fame. To be honest, when the rejections start piling up I don’t even do it because I enjoy it.

One day I may write enough to think about a slim volume of poetry but I’m not, when I think about it, too worried. Once they are published I’m not too concerned. I like the idea of testing myself against the standards of editors, and showing off by blogging about it, but I’m not sure if a few poems justify cutting down acres of trees.

No, as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, I do it because I’m addicted. Or, if that isn’t possible, I am at least in the grip of a very strong habit.

How about you?



A Restful Sunday

I’m struggling to find anything to talk about.

I could talk about my new resolution to alter my entire life after watching Ninja Warriors. However, I would be wasting your time, as I think we all know by now that my resolutions rarely survive the week. Often they don’t actually survive a good night’s sleep.

This week I’ve developed a new way of amusing myself. As I’ve addressed envelopes to send off eBay parcels I’ve been looking the addresses up on Google. It’s very interesting seeing where people live, though I’ve only actually done it twice as it isn’t what I’m paid for, and it’s also a bit creepy.

However, it will probably form another part of the projected novel about the antique dealer and the mummy in the basement. I looked up references to mummies for sale last week – I didn’t find any but I did find an article about artifact smuggling.

There was a mummified head for sale on one site (5,000 Euros if you are interested) and a hand, complete with red nails, on another. I suppose you could build your own from bits if you had the time. I can’t find the links I need for the body parts but here is a link to an interesting auction.

I’m not quite sure where the novel is going, probably nowhere, but if it has antiques and mummies in it then it is off too a good start. I’m going to site the antique shop next to a cake shop and give them a customer who works in a quarry and has access to explosives. That, I think, covers the basics.

Having just eaten a slice of insipid cheesecake I may make the neighbour a cheesecake shop and indulge in some hard-hitting satire on flavourless food.

Anyway, that’s about all for now. Nothing much happened but Julia took the day off after her recent Mediterranean exertions (she describes Malta as being “all uphill”) so we didn’t have to get up at 5 am. It can’t be a bad day when that happens.

The daisy was one I took last week, but there are a lot about in the grass verges at the moment so I thought I’d use it again.


An eBay Sort of Day

We ended up sending 14 parcels this morning, which took a bit of application. We posted one to Canada, one to France, one to Italy and one to Portugal. Who would have thought I’d end up as a packer of International Parcels?

The tests I did at school indicated outdoor jobs like farming and being a gamekeeper. Now I work in the windowless backroom of a shop.

The twists and turns of my life have been mighty strange.

I’m thinking about becoming a writer next, with a book about a man who is haunted by the ghosts of his youthful dreams. At the moment I’m trying to work out a way of introducing an Egyptian mummy into the plot. You can’t sell human remains on eBay so that’s a non-starter. I’ll have to check the rules on Amazon…

In the afternoon I took Julia to Beeston – the one on the edge of Nottingham rather than the one in Cheshire – to buy a copy of Medal News. The shop has been mentioned, with picture. I bought the last copy in W H Smiths, took it home triumphantly and found I’ve bought the old issue. It seems that although the subscribers have had their copies, and have been getting in touch with us (mainly to tell me I’ve put weight on) the newsagents are still flogging the April issue. Ah well.

Today’s picture is a rather battered Staffordshire County Ambulance Service Badge. That sort of non-numismatic item gets passed on to me. It made £20 on eBay, which was a surprise – I knew it was a good badge but I thought the damage would hold it back, and we posted it off this morning. That’s the magic of eBay – you don’t need to know much to make money.