Soundtrack for reading (sorry the embed went wrong, will attempt to fix it) :

Blue Drag – The Hot Club Quintet

This week I have been occupied by being back to skool, back to work. It is about equal parts exam countdown (upper years), easy-peel units on poetry (lower school) and mordant commentary with colleagues about where work might be next year. Motivation is sketchy. Sometimes little moments can be a reminder of why teaching is such a lot of fun, but a great deal of it is just the same stupid job territory as every other stupid job.

Depends on how sunny it is, mostly. Maintaining a positive demeanour in the teeth of the things with teeth.

There are multiple projects having nothing to do with earning money with which I would be far happier to engage. However, on a day-to-day basis, they are all just partially-recalled dreams, forgotten in the waking to maintain the project of watching numbers apparently related to my worth appearing and disappearing from my bank account at the same time every month.

Some Gormenghastly ceremony, the meaning of which is long since lost, that participants go through with little enthusiasm.

That’s the teeth. Ach, it’s not all lugubrious pondering and late capitalist mope! Pretty sure I shouldn’t be keeping myself up late writing… Sweeping out the mind before turning in is a highly valuable process, though.

I’ll put the chin-stroking down to a definite post-holiday blue drag. Last week it was all frolicking in familiar precincts. I remembered there was a typewriter somewhere in the house and got that out. The four year old (just picking up on an interest in written letters and numbers) now asking if they can ‘get on with some paperwork’…

lore preschoolsum

I love the faint suggestion of millennial significance, that this is a cipher holding arcane truths about the underpinnings of things.

I also love that it means “today i helped put a tent up in the garden and then did some important paperwork on the typewriter’. Or something different but also fabulous, depending on how the light hits the runes.

Infinite monkeying about! There’s a career goal. Keeping that in mind should see the rest of it fall into place.

Today I did behold a lemon and upon its label were there inscribed the names of Imazalil and Thiabendazole. Purchasing this cursèd fruit and spiriting it from the market, I was able swiftly to neutralize it within an admixture of quinine and a reduction of juniper water. Then I did betake to my study to further examine this phenomenon.

I have begun these, my Notes Towards a Grimoire of Contemporary Spirits Whose Powers May or May Not Be Trusted.

1. Imazalil

2. Thiabendazole

3. Triticonazole

4. Tebuconazole

5. Glyphosate

6. Thiacloprid

7. Metaldehyde

8. Cypermethrin

9. Abamex

10. Isomek

11. Kunshi

12. Sokol

13. Tropotox

Let it be known then that their ranks do extend yet further, and while capable each of great boon even so do they offer a bane for their unintended actions upon the other plants and creatures of the air, water, and earth.


On the Rites of the Summoning of the Mouthdaemon, M.S.G.

In a bid to shift a bunch of assorted notebook writings that look like they should be doing something more coherent, this November The Mortal Bath is undertaking National Novel Writing Month.

National Novel Writing Month is also called NaNoWriMo, for brevity and hashtags’ sake, I suppose. There’s #NaBloPoMo from and for BlogHer writers as well. This wordcrush phenomenon is a bit Teletubbies, in some ways, and I can’t stop thinking of Chief Wiggum and the hounds.

Oh, you know. NaNoWriMo is sort of a writer support group raising money for charitable writing projects, which is fair enough, although it could be seen, uncharitably, as another of a growing number of ‘something to do for the month’ forced jolly charity annoyances. One might bristle at the thought of doing Movember simultaneously.

Also, while I’m carping, I could happily go through life never having to receive an email purporting to be from “Your Novel” suggesting it has a hot date for “Us” on a Saturday.

It looks like you're trying to be a serious writer for once. Shall I introduce some personification to make it e a s i e r for you?

It looks like you’re trying to be a serious writer for once. Shall I introduce some personification to make it e a s i e r for you?

Just like that. Still! There’s nothing like a deadline. I recall reading that Anthony Burgess, at the age of 41, thought he had a terminal illness, so set himself a target of about 2,000 words a day of ‘good copy’, to get out a million words, 10 100,000-word novels, in a year.

“I was not able to achieve more than five and a half novels of very moderate size.”

And I may be misrecalling, but I think one of them was A Clockwork Orange. Almost certainly I’m unlikely to manage that, but I can at least state that the exercise beats playing Civ2 ’til 3am on a school night.

The Book seems to be actually going quite well, so far, although (in the grand tradition of distraction reading) I just saw this PD James BBC advice article thing about writing books, so, following Point 9:

I never talk about a book before it is finished and I never show it to anybody until it is finished and I don’t show it to anybody even then, except for my publisher and my agent. Then there is this awful time until they phone.

…that’s all I propose to say on the matter for now. Apart from me meh ma mo, me mu mah may.