So I’m still writing this ruddy novel. It’s why I haven’t been blogging or working on the short story collection. Can’t remember when I last had an idea for a poem. I have thousands and thousands of novel words yet to write. Thousands.
I had no idea I would make such glacier-like progress; I thought that seeing as my brain seems to jabber on at 1000 words a second, the words would flow from my fingertips in a similar fashion. Not so. Although I know the story, the outcomes, the characters, the awful and the wonderful things that will happen, I obsess over every sentence, every paragraph, can’t leave a chapter un-edited, fret over a dependent clause. I have drawings of each character’s arc, even the dog and the chickens. I walk by the river to clear my head, then get an idea and must run home and throw in what I think is a brilliant or hilarious new plot twist. Then I have to go right back to the beginning and see what needs changing in light of this fantastic development. This behaviour is common, I gather, amongst many anal-retentives.
I am not a novelist, of that I’m pretty sure, but I need to do this thing because I said I would, and I have to prove that I can. It’s a fascinating adventure and very, very difficult. I wasn’t at all surprised to read that Donna Tartt takes ten years to finish anything. The Secret History was an astonishingly good book, really bloody, properly clever. My novel, however, is as shallow and frothy as a shallow, frothy thing, and about as meaningful as a yeast infection, and it’s still taking me a decade.
However, in the spirit of getting the details right, I’ve needed to do a fair bit of research, and because the Tories have burned down all the libraries, I’ve used a thing called the internet instead. It is quite an invention, I can tell you.
Ten things I have learned off of the internet:
1) It only takes a couple of clicks to go from a picture of a composting toilet to a picture of a man pulling cutlery out of his willy.
2) There are a number of ways of treating mites in chickens, including using wood ash from a wood burning stove. Make sure the ash is cooled before placing your chicken into a bowl of it.
3) You can have your dead pet freeze dried rather than stuffed. It’s more expensive, but the likeness is wonderful.
4) There’s a woman on a lesbian dating site in New Zealand who has one eye and loves sports cars
5) I am a nullip.
6) Bromodosis is the medical term for foot odour.
7) A bee pollen pellet contains over two million flower pollen grains. One teaspoonful contains over 2.5 billion.
8) Jeremy Clarkson has punched Piers Morgan in the face
9) If it can be drunk, eaten, inhaled, injected, penetrated, absorbed, emitted, squirted or expelled, then someone has done it and filmed it.
10) One of the greatest pleasures a man can experience is when he unpeels a hot bollock which has stuck to the inside of his thigh.
I’m off to the river now, then will do a thousand words before supper. That’s the plan, anyway.