It’s been more than a month since I last posted anything on this blog, and that’s because I’ve been too angry to adequately form a response to my compatriots’ collective decision to leave the European Union. I’ve been making my thoughts perfectly clear on Twitter, so I’ll leave it at that. I just can’t…
So! In an effort to break this writer’s block down and rebuild, I’m going to avoid politics, socio-political grievances and the surge of rampant racism, and JUST TALK ABOUT ME.
That may sound self-absorbed – and it is. But honestly, I’ve written a few articles I could have posted, but didn’t because they’d all descended into total despair at the world. I mean look at us: from the shootings in the States, to mass murder in France, Germany and Japan, bombings in Syria, Somalia and Iraq, political “cleansing” in Turkey – for fuck’s sake, we’re putting dystopian writers out of work.
Gotta get right out of here…
With all that shit going on, I need to retreat. I don’t want this blog to become a soapbox, from which I pour my opinion into the world. I tried that for Brexit, and I failed. I tried it before the 2015 general election, and again had no effect. I’m not saying it was up to me, personally, to save the UK from itself. Just that it was emotionally draining, and for no discernible gain.
So while it is with despair that I watch my country tear itself apart, as it drifts irretrievably to the right amid a wave of “legitamised” racism and jingoistic superiority, I need to reel this blog back to what it was meant to be: a writing blog, with analytical reviews, grammatical guides, and narrative theory. It was not supposed to be yet another place to read how fucking shit everything is.
It vexes me, though, because I feel like a selfish toe-rag. I should be using whatever meagre platform I have to campaign against media lies, against political games and most heartily against the myths of “destructive immigration” and Labour’s supposed over-spending. These things are directly responsible for our Tory government and, indeed, why we find ourselves now out of an economically, socially and politically essential union with our cousins on the continent.
See what I mean? I can’t help myself. Stop it Tim. Stop it! STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.
Seriously, stop it now
All right. Fine. Here you go then – a blog about my writing progress:
- Citadel‘s 2nd draft has reached around 105,000 words. I’m in the final act. People are dying, unthinkably brutal things are being done to people’s skulls, there’s a barrage of decapitated heads falling upon the city walls filled with burning tar. IT’S JUST PEACHY THANKS.
- The short story I was going to write for my wife has taken on a life of its own, and currently amounts to 14,000 words – suspiciously resembling the beginning of an entire fucking novel. I HAVEN’T FINISHED THE FIRST ONE YET, TIM.
- Still no short story acceptances, but I’ve sent a new one out to a mag in Philadelphia. Will hear about that at the end of the month. Fingers crossed. The story itself is nice, but it was hard to cram everything I wanted to say into the 1,000-word limit. If it gets rejected, silver lining is I can extend it and submit elsewhere.
- Might also be writing a short story for a project called The Infernal Clock, run by a group of writers I came across through the Flash Dogs group. Deadline is in four days though. NO PRESSURE.
- I’ve also started planning a novel based on a tiny flash fiction prompt I did a while back, centred around one of my favourite characters in the Iliad, Diomedes.
So with three novels on the go, I’ve got enough going to be busy for the next three decades, which is something.
Some of that might take place in Canada, by the way. The wife and I are thinking of emigrating in a couple of years’ time.
Meanwhile, I’m reading The Tartar Steppe, an Italian novel by Dino Buzzati, written in 1940. An Italian guy I work with recommended it – apparently it has some similar themes to my own story (which I divulged over a few too many beers at the summer party).
Bloody hell, that’s a lot of stuff, isn’t it? I better get back to it. And you know what? Just writing that out has had the pleasant effect of temporarily distracting me from all the awful horror in the world. Oh, thank the maker, I can finally breathe…
OH NO I JUST REMEMBERED IT ALL.
See you next week.
Try not to die in a nuclear holocaust.