Captain’s Log – #87

I officially started this little blogging venture on the 21st of June 2017, and to date I’ve issued 87 little missives chronicling my ‘journey’ as a scribbling teller of tall tales, towards that mythical Avalon of becoming a published author.  

Have we made progress, are we inexorably moving forward – even if we must stand aside to let tectonic places rush past us?

I think we have.

About ourselves we have learnt so very much – about the craft of writing so very much more.

The request for a full manuscript remains as ever elusive – and we have had near instant rejections, and some many months after submission – but we learn, adapt, improve and move onwards. 

The destination remains the same, the route taken an at times frustratingly tortuous and slow – yet as ever our eyes remain fixed on the prize of standing teary eyed in Waterstones Belfast (Fountain Street – next door to Boots) with my book in hand. 

Some seek prizes, public adulation, fame and fortune, me I just want to stand in the foyer of that book shop, and see the result of my labour for sale on one of its hallowed shelves… 

Perseverance is king, maybe one day soon the third table on the left will carry my book – we can only hope. 

As the great wit and raconteur Oscar Wilde quipped “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”  

Stay safe – keep sane!

The best laid plans of mice and men!

So, if your non-fiction offering MUST be in or around the magical 80,000 words, and your current scribble is a little over 135,000 do you cull the difference or enact the epiphany and split the book into two? 

I’ve opted to divide and conquer!

The theory is so enticing with its near genius simplicity – it’s just that finding a mid-point (or as near as dammit to one) and then neatly ending phase one…

When you generalise, all projects are overly simple – put a man on the moon, a little bit of brain surgery – you get my drift. 

The natural break in “Thomas Payne” isn’t at a nice halfway point – more it sits at about two thirds – so if I cut there, I’m still going to be a reasonable chunk over the desired 80,000.

What was initially greeted with near euphoria and cries of eureka, is now viewed with considerable trepidation and near panic…

Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how I get on!

Lost and then found.

I think it’s probably true that writers lament the loss of their mojo with a greater regularity than blues guitarists sing about losing theirs. 

Me, I tend to lose mine with the regularity many misplace their car keys, and luckily like them I too seem to rediscover what once was misplaced.

Granted then latest period of loss has been longer and deeper than any before, but this period wasn’t me flouncing around in a frilly shirt chugging opiates while writing dark emotionally profound poetry – not least because I don’t own the necessary frilly shirt!

We have accepted our ‘experienced truth’; and that honesty being that we write tales with a nasty cruel and dark undertone. 

To our own selves we MUST be true!

What was once ‘edited’ from a tale because it was too dark, has now been reintroduced. 

The previously omitted narrative of the murder of children is indeed dark and troublesome, and potentially fertile ground for a therapist and a collection of ink blots, but for a writer and teller of tall tales it is indeed manor from heaven. 

So, were my lack of productivity keeping you awake at night, worry not, should you ever get to read what has reinvigorated me, you will indeed be still awake fearing the darkness and shadows and the evil that it may be concealing…