The Blog…

… has been languishing. Languishing badly indeed. There were things Hellstrøm could have posted, but… nah. They weren’t ripe. It’s not like Hellstrøm hasn’t been writing, but it wasn’t the right stuff for the blog, or it just wasn’t ripe. Write, let it lie, look at it sometime, write more, edit, write more, cross out half of it because it’s shit, write again, it’s still shit, and so on… That’s the way it goes, and it isn’t something that fits itself to the blog. Fifty and more posts in petto, it goes its own way, and one picks and chooses what comes in the blog, because God knows Hellstrøm doesn’t want to expose you to everything he writes, nor does he want to expose everything he writes to you. He is a judicious son of a bitch, and you should be thankful for that. It’s bad enough as it is.
But, in spite of not wanting to encourage anyone to expect a surge of posts, I can say that there may be a couple of things coming. Have a seat, brace yourself, haha! No, but seriously, you know that joke about the fleas in a New York hotel, the ones with hunched backs…?
The main problem with writing things for the blog, to be honest, is that most of it is foolish drunken ranting. There may be a grain of truth in drunken ranting, but you have to be drunk in order to do it. Or, to be more specific, you need not only be drunk, but be drunk alone. Can’t write in company, for Christ’s sake, writing is a solitary occupation. And if your life is normal, you don’t get drunk alone, nor are you alone at all very often, late at night, in front of the computer, in a writing mood. Which is to say that Hellstrøm’s life has become somewhat more normal, no real desire to get drunk alone. Besides, Hellstrøm may write drunk, but his editor is stone sober in the morning. God help the son of a bitch (which one?).
The fact is, Hellstrøm is getting on in years, and even Hellstrøm can’t stem the tide, much as he’d like to. He has responsibilities, the old bat. One might almost say he’s become a responsible person. Almost. He manages to steal away, now and again, and he always hedges his responsibilities to an acceptable level. In spite of all the requirements he has no intention of ever meeting anyway. If there is one thing Hellstrøm knows how to do, it is staving off the world to keep himself from going insane. Hellstrøm will always fight them off (I haven’t the slightest idea who they are). Just because he’s paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get ’im. He’s a million miles away, motherfucker, you’ll never get ’im, and though he loves writing all this shit, he doesn’t give a flying damn if anyone reads it. He’s got other brands in the fire, other cats to whip.
Hellstrøm is doin’ good, God damn his dirty little soul. He don’t deserve it, but he ain’t been abused lately. Try as he will to make it all bad, he’s doing good. The devil braying outside his door is being ignored. God only knows how long it’ll go on, but he’s taking full advantage of the situation. He’s a hound that’s taken the scent, and he won’t let off until it’s reached its end. He has the feeling it never will. He wants more. He’s riding the Big Wave, he’s cruisin’. How much longer? Well, good luck to him, the sucker. At the bottom of his soul, in spite of it all, he was always naíve. On the other hand he’s an old codger, so look out. It’s a dangerous combination.
Listening to Jubilee Street from Nick Cave. Look at him now. And then Ska Fort Rock from the Skatalites. God damn, let those horns take you away…!

Rectitude

Ah, Christ, how’s a knight to live, in these hard old times? A knight of words, nowadays, needless to say. Couldn’t wield a sword worth shit. Could have, maybe, wouldn’t have, probably. A dreamy knight, I would have been. A knight who writes poetry because he can’t turn his fucking brain off. He would have liked to turn it off; he would have wondered at the way the other knights did.
And nevertheless he would have killed. He would have done his duty. Take the salt, and do the duty. With reservations, but nonetheless. Protect his own, and kill the rest. Lucky bastard, got two children to his name, survived to this day. He loves them. So, he’d kill.
Or I’d have ended up a peasant, a churl.
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The Rules of Writing (Or: Fuck You, Elmore)

Hey, I’ve read books from Elmore Leonard, and enjoyed them. Good writing. That said, I shit on his supposed rules of writing. There are no rules of writing. If there were a rule, it would be as follows: if you can’t write, follow Elmore’s rules, but, if you trust yourself to write, follow your own rules. Don’t trust Elmore, or anyone else.
And if you tell me never to write in the passive voice, I’ll kill you.
Fuck you, Elmore. I’ll just bet you would have liked that statement.
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Unsocial Occupation

Writing. An unsocial occupation if there ever was one, for me at least. I know there are writers who take their laptop to the local café and write there, watching the goings-on, meeting friends now and again as they sit and drink their coffee, greeting, conversing, laughing, saying goodbye, but that’s not for me. I’d hardly get a single word down that way. I need the silence I can only get alone in a room of my own. Its only then that the single-minded concentration comes, and the ideas start to unfold in words.
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The ideas are already there. They’ve budded prematurely, fooled by the long summer, been hit by frost and fallen to the ground, where they’ve fermented during those two wonderful warm October weeks. They’re waiting for me. All that remains is for me to let them unfold in nice little words that most people, I hope, can understand. All those little words are like notes in a song, to be arranged in the best possible way I can conceive of. It’s a real bitch sometimes, but basically I enjoy it so much I can’t stop doing it.
It makes me something of a recluse at times, but then again, perhaps that’s the way I like it. Not always, mind you; I need human contact, God knows. What would my stories be, without the interaction of human beings in them? Sterile things. But I need that sterility in order to focus. I need calm and silence in order to think. I can’t let ideas unfold when I am surrounded by people, because I am then always thinking about what they are thinking. About what they are doing, and why they are doing it, and what they are thinking while doing it.
Well, not always. Sometimes I just don’t give a fuck what they do or think (pretty often; that is to say… almost always, actually). But you get my drift.

Nice Car

To me, writing science fiction is like driving a car I like the look and feel of. I really, really like this car, man. It has these super-charged computer controlled motors, you see, and the seats are so comfortable, you feel like you’re a part of the machine. The displays are totally futuristic, all in damped glowing colors, and a thousand little buttons at your fingertips… it’s all so psychedelic I haven’t yet fully grasped it. But what’s actually important is driving, getting somewhere, or, in other words, telling a story. In the end I don’t really give a fuck if it’s a Ferrari or a Hyundai.
Most good books, from my point of view, don’t fit a single particular genre. If anything, they start a new genre because they are so good. Mostly they are a mixture of genres, a new synthesis.
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In any case, I love a good story. It’s the story that counts, and of course the writing style, but not the genre. Am I making myself clear here, you know, not the genre…? So try reading a couple books outside your usual genre. If you read sci-fi, try Neville Shute for a change. If you’re a hardcore horror fan, start reading some –I am tempted to say Dostoyevsky here– uhm… Patrick O’Brian. Okay, maybe I am insane for suggesting such divergent things, but, try my car.

Borrowed Time

I am so drunk I’ve spilled my wine. I have heard that a true alcoholic is never so drunk that he spills his drink, which is a consolation to me: I spill my drink ever so often (God help my carpet). It follows that I can’t possibly be an alcoholic. Alcohol, you son-of-a-bitch. In my youth I would have nothing to do with alcohol. I drank my first drop at the ripe age of 20 years. I was afraid of it, because I had seen what it could do to a man. I knew a true alcoholic, bless his soul. He beat the alcohol, but he’s dead now, a victim of cancer… and who’s to know if his cancer wasn’t a result of his drinking? Liver cancer.
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This was a man I loved and respected. He was a mentor to me. Later he told stories of his drunkenness, though he drank no more. He told all kinds of stories. He wrote too, though he couldn’t believed anyone would ever appreciate what he wrote. He burned most of it. He was a beautiful person. I can remember stroking his hair, as a child, as he lay with his head in my lap. Well. We’re all living on borrowed time.
Bunkhouse Theme from Bob Dylan.

Cease

Oh holy fuck you have no idea how I sit here under the glaring unforgiving light of some fucking sun or other and write this fucking shit for consumption by who knows what for creatures, creatures that are are unknown and strange to me like animals, be they out of a flipping fairytale or horror story, a terrible story of normal life, which is, in the end, more fearsome than all of the other possibilities that any human being can think of put together in one huge animate piece of…
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I am not listening to music right now.
In the end I am only afraid that my voice will… stop. That I will cease to speak, that I will cease to care to speak. For that is the end. When I cease to care to make my thoughts known then I cease to exist in my own mind.

Hop, Skip…

The horrible thing about a blog is, you have to figure out something to write every few days, otherwise no swine will visit your fucking blog because they are all so damned impatient and constantly bored that their attention-span amounts to the length of a hunch-backed flea.
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So, here I sit, thinking about what to write, and not a damned thing occurs to my somewhat addled brain on this fine Monday morning. I hate Mondays. Which reminds me of a Banksy piece. For those of you who don’t know it: tough shit. For those of you who do: tough shit. 
Just the Way it Goes from Jaya the Cat.
 Now that we have dispensed with the cancel (ehhh, I hate it when my fingers type something they think I meant when I meant something completely different) CYNICAL formalities, how about a drink? 
And a jump.

Spell-checkers Cause Illiteracy

I can’t spell a damn thing anymore. I can’t type either, not really, never could. I am fairly quick, with three fingers from each hand workin’ the keys, which just manages to match the speed of my sluggish thoughts. But I used to be able to spell properly… until the automatic spelling correction started fucking things up.
I used to stop and think, occasionally, when I was writing and used an uncommon word. I’d ask myself for a millisecond whether I’d spelled it right, and if there was the slightest doubt in my mind I’d look it up in a dictionary after finishing what I was writing. Through the occasional renewal, review and supplementation of my knowledge that occurred naturally in this way I continued to be a good speller.
Spelling
No longer. I haven’t had to look a word up in a real dictionary for a year at least. The knowledge I had deteriorates because the machine makes the corrections for me, on the fly. And if the machine is in doubt, it pops up a bloody menu where I can lazily peruse what it considers to be possible correct alternatives for the indecipherable nonsense I’ve just typed in a drunken tizzy.
My spelling gets worse and worse. And soon, I fear I may lose my ability to read, as if were coupled somehow with the ability to spell, to decode all those little ciphers that make up a word, to juggle them in your mind’s eye until they fit your thoughts or your thoughts fit theirs. So I’ll need a computer to assist me with that, too. Oh, wait, I already have that. An mp3-player, great audio books, a program that will read from a text-document to me. Reading becomes unnecessary… and soon enough what I type will be so full of errors that the computer will throw up its hands in dismay and decide to just write the whole damned text for me. With that, writing has died out across the world, except for what the computers send back and forth, believing they are dealing with humans. And Humans writing gibberish to nirvana. God only knows what insanity will arise thereof.
As you may have noticed I’ve been traveling time in this rant. All that stuff will take hundreds of years to happen. So don’t worry about it.