Writing a novel – progress made!

No poems or music today. Today I want to relay my experience in writing one of the novels I am working on. I finished it, or so I thought, three years ago and foolishly sent it out to agents. They all gave me less than encouraging responses, if indeed they responded at all.

I picked it up again about 6 months ago and on reading it realised that although the bones of the story were still good, there were so many holes in the plot, too much rubbish in between the good writing, and some good writing and great lines that were simply surplus to the story (they added nothing, just took up space).

I spent sometime noting down what I thought needed to be done and then went on to reading some books for no other reason than to give my brain a break from the story. I spent some time writing some songs and music as well. Then I went back to the book and began to re-write it during which time I have found more holes.

Rather than be disappointed about this I have found it very liberating and motivating because I think the story can only be improved.

And many thanks to John Harman, Stephen King, Garth Nix, Peter Temple and Phillip K Dick for their assistance in getting to this point. Their writing, in most cases, and verbal advice in one, has been very useful.

 

 

Fulton Farnsworth Fletcher

It’s at this time of year that I like to remember Fulton Farnswoth Fletcher … one of the true Dregs of History

 

Known to his friends as Fletch or Farnsie, Fulton Farnsworth Fletcher was a prominent figure in Yorkshire sporting circles. He played cricket, usually at the lowest possible level, as well as 23rd division Sunday morning football. His mediocre talents were spread across numerous teams, all of which tried very hard to get him to join them.

His talents were more in social rather than sporting arenas. Fletcher was an accomplished Saturday Night Specialist.

He led the drinking and visits to Indian restaurants with a passion and vigour second to none. It was not unknown for him to down 15-20 pints of a variety of real ales, follow them with rum or whisky chasers, and then consume a vindaloo curry, or perhaps two.

Fletcher was no stranger to his local job centre; he found it difficult to hold on to a job for more than a few months at a time. He lived in a small council flat in Bradford where, it was later found out, he spent his time attempting to write poetry in his brief moments of mental clarity. He specialised in his own individual version of the Japanese Haiku which he applied to the local social and industrial landscape. His seminal work is considered, by many totally unqualified to judge, to be his classic series of five haikus entitled A Saturday Night Out In Bradford.

Fulton Fletcher died early at the age of 45 in tragic circumstances. He had been out drinking copious amounts of beer and spirits and had ill-advisedly followed this with a nuclear-strength curry. The next morning, while sitting on the toilet reading the Sunday Sport, his arse exploded taking him to the next world. R.I.P. Fulton Farnsworth Fletcher.

 

A Saturday Night Out In Bradford

 

A night on the town

One pub after another

Who’s buying my drink?

 

Navigating crowds

Did you spill my pint sunshine?

Got my lights punched out.

 

The fiery curry

Challenges constitutions

A warm wind blows strong

 

Falling on pavements

Fighting the urge to vomit

Where’s my house gone mate?

 

Sat in the throne room

My arse a ring of fire

Torturous hours

This is an extract from The Complete Dregs of History which is available Here

Sunny Afternoons

It’s been warm and sunny today so this old poem came to mind – we were just missing the cooling breeze

 

Warm and sunny afternoons

are made for doing nothing,

absolutely nothing.

Don’t worry about the washing or

get out and prune the roses,

just enjoy the afternoon.

And feel the warmth of sun on skin,

and feel the gentle, cooling breeze,

that rustles through the uncut grass,

that hides the fences peeling paint,

that frames the weeds between the roses –

still unpruned.

A moment in time, a moment of peace

I thought I’d give readers a break from my musical adventures – I was recently reminded of my time up north in the Kimberley

 

In the Kimberley, 1994

 

An absolute peace chased the dawn

dimming memories of the night sky’s

show of shooting stars,

and being crapped on by fruit bats

from their Pandanis Palm fortress

chattering in the dark.

 

The Jetranger’s whining turbines

called time on a swift cold breakfast;

the diamonds were waiting.

Day after day of dry stream samples,

condemned to work in majestic gorges,

to swim in cool lakes.

 

Crocs made the wet samples more fun.

Silent death waited patiently

somewhere in the high grass,

but death was everywhere out here,

the adder, the sun, the breakdown

in the midst of nowhere.

 

When the chopper didn’t return

we made camp, waited for rescue,

which came nine hours later;

the welcome sound of rotor-blades

interrupting contemplation

of this tenuous life.

 

We flew back over savannah,

parched land awaiting the monsoon’s

deluge driven rivers,

a desolate expanse, so harsh,

so unforgiving, so vicious,

so irresistible.

 

The pilot had removed the doors;

I leant out to drink in the view,

a warm breeze on my face.

Skimming treetops in the dusk light

beneath a glowing orange sky

was a perfect moment.

Freelancer – On the Underground

Another one – On the Underground

 

Vacant staring into space, I’ve been waiting here so long

Worrying about the morning train, the one already gone

Still thinking of that warm bed, and the girl I kissed goodbye

Before heading out once more, under a dull grey sky

 

His steam-pressed pin-stripe suit, on top of dull scuffed shoes

Staring at the black windows, reflections of commuter blues

Trying not to bump anyone, look no one in the eye

In this still and silent herd, as dull and grey as London’s sky

 

Packed in tight

they’re clutching dreams,

Reality –

it’s not what it seems,

they’re nowhere-bound

on the Underground

 

She’s wearing that mini  skirt and boots, they’re sexy, right up her knees

She’s staring at her reflection, I wonder what it is she sees

A meaning to the tedium, of climbing up the corporate steps

Just one within a faceless crowd, adrift within the city’s depths

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