So here we are; fifth time in and I ought to be getting good at this by now. Am I? God only knows.
It’s been another good week (I’m wary of this turning into the Simon’s Good News Show, but if that’s life then that’s life!) on the writing front. I spent a very long time on the phone on Monday night with an editor discussing one of my stories that needs some work before it gets to a publishable state. It was a really interesting couple of hours, getting a detailed perspective on how someone else reacts ‘professionally’ to one of my stories. I’m lucky, I think, in that so far no editor has said anything that I rabidly disagree with, and this was another case in point – lots of positive feedback and critique that I can use to improve the piece. It’s particularly heartening to realise that most of the critique was stuff I already suspected (I use far, far too many semi-colons; far too many; no really, I do; it’s just too much). I spent part of the week revising the story in light of the comments and have sent it off. It’s a tighter piece as a result – I’m not sure that I prefer the newest version, exactly, as I liked the earlier version as well (we parents are proud and uncritical!) but it’s certainly sharper and more in line with the criteria for the anthology. Reading this (third) version of the tale feels a bit like looking at a picture of the back of my head – interesting and…no, I’ve lost that metaphor, sorry. I think I was going to say that it’s something I know well but don’t see often, and it’s good to see it from a new perspective, but honestly I’m not sure. Oh well. Anyway, it’s another fingers crossed time, I’m afraid…
More good news of a more concrete nature: remember the creature feature story? Well, the first draft was good enough for the editor to accept it despite the story’s shortcomings (it needs to be longer, especially the climax, which is something I’ve heard before although I’m not saying in what context). Since then (and as is usually the case with the estimable Ghostwriter Publications), things have moved incredibly quickly and I’ve already got a copy of the proposed cover, which has appeared (as if by magic) at the top of this blog. It’s a good looking, eyecatching piece of art, isn’t it? It’s certainly garnered some positive feedback, anyway. And lo! What’s that? Look at the third name down! Marvellous! The book should be available on June 1st (that’s the plan, I think) from Ghostwriter Publications – there’s a link to their website at the side of my page – and I have to say, I’m enormously excited by it. I’ve never been named on a cover before, especially one that looks as fine as this. I’m beginning to feel like a real writer (whatever one of them is), and that this whole writing thing might actually be something I can do for a while. Weird. But fun. Definitely,
The novel work is going well, and that’s about all I’m going to say about that for now except for the fact that I was awake at 5 this morning bothered about a plot point and panicking because I realised my creepy intro chapter was, in fact, a plot barrier. Damn! Anyway, I’ll post more about this as and when I can. Me and Forrest like our secrets…
Actually, that’s about it for the writing. It’s all been rewrites and edits this week, which might be a metaphor for life if I could be bothered to stretch it. So, review time:
The promised review of Bill Hussey’s The Absence will be next week – I’ve been so knackered this week that I’m only half way through it. I will say that I’m certainly enjoying it so far, so unless Mr Hussey shoots himself in the foot in the second half, I think we’re on to a winner. It’s out now so can be purchased places.
I’ve just heard that my friend John Probert’s new book is out, so I’ll investigate and get back to you on that, although I think I can say on the evidence of his previous work that it’ll be a worthwhile and satisfying purchase.
Don’t watch: Bad Biology. This is Frank Henenlotter’s new movie, and it’s awful. Now, I’ll say here that I’m normally a big fan of Henenlotter’s and that Brain Damage is one of my favourite B movies because it’s smart, literate, well made, shocking, funny and sad. Bad Biology, however, is just stupid, lazy film-making, poorly acted and with entirely questionable sexual politics (and if you’re reading Mr Henenlotter, though I doubt you are, having a female lead character espouse cod-feminist philosophilcal ideas about women’s position in society as sex objects for men doesn’t then excuse you from treating women as sex objects throughout the rest of the movie – it’s not post-ironic, it’s just blokes objectifying women whilst and assuming that they all they secretly need is a good shag from a well-endowed bloke to make their lives complete!). This movie was a huge disappointment, and was (surprisingly, for a movie so full of nudity and sex) as unerotic as a bowl of porridge (don’t. don’t say it. if you find porridge erotic, keep it to yourself). Avoid.
The only other thing I’ve watched this week is my son’s new Postman Pat Special Delivery Service DVD. Well animated, certainly, but hyper and bright and simply too busy, and a poor comparison to the earlier series. Not only have the got a different guy doing Pat’s voice (sacrilege!) but it’s lost the thing that made the earlier series so good: peaceful, tranquil viewing that showed kids that calm was okay! A sad deterioration… Or maybe I’m just getting old?
Rant definitely over now. Honestly. Promise. And on that note, goodbye.