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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.