Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Dunraven Castle for decades. Almost nothing remains of the actual buildings but the large gardens are still there.
Halfway on the excursion I tore a muscle in my right calf. I was attempting to climb a steep slope too quickly and with too heavy a pack. I distinctly heard a twang as if a rubber band had snapped. It was not unmusical. Needless to say, I wasn't able to walk very easily afterwards. Indeed I had to hobble seven or eight miles on an improvised driftwood crutch all the way to Llantwit Major to catch a train home. Three days later my leg still twinges but is getting better fast. I was lucky the injury didn't happen somewhere even more inconvenient, such as on a rockface.
Of course one does have to sit in a chair to get some writing done, unless one stands like Nabokov did... Anyway, I have been dreading this moment for decades... Yesterday morning I finished my 665th story, which means that the next one will be number 666!!! I'm going to crack on with it immediately to get it over with. Not that I'm superstitious or anything but... Story #666 will be about two climbers who can't go climbing outdoors because it's raining (Wales), so they decide to do some indoor climbing instead; inevitably they get stranded on the highest shelf of their kitchen and have to bivouac with the tins of beans while awaiting rescue. It's going to be called 'Left on the Shelf'.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Climbing Three Cliffs
The Ascent of Rum Doodle by W.E. Bowman is still my favourite comedy. Why doesn't someone adapt it for the radio? Maybe I should lobby someone at the BBC about this. Why not?
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Anyway, I already have a title for the novel, Comfy Rascals, and it will be a showcase of OuLiPo techniques, some standard, some devised by myself. I have just planned a section involving word ladders, which is a type of puzzle that seems ideally suited to the logical and linguistic constraints that are the essential basis of all OuLiPo projects. For instance, plot development in most fictional stories relies on the logic of everyday causality, but I intend to use the logic of word association instead, so the characters in this section of the book might encounter the following objects or activities in a strict order imposed by the rules of word ladder construction: Games, Gapes, Capes, Copes, Cores, Corps, Coops, Crops, Cross, Cress, Chess. Constraints like this serve to force the mind to think laterally and break the tendency of an author to rely on familiar patterns when devising a plot.
I know that writing Comfy Rascals is going to be very challenging. I also know it's going to be great fun! The third thing I know is that it's going to be extremely difficult to sell once it's completed. But that doesn't matter. I'm in love with OuLiPo and what price can be put on that?
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
The Truth has Arrived!
I really like the design and the fact that the print is big, which means that readers won't have to squint to read it, unlike some of my earlier books.
The Truth Spinner is the first to be published of the five best books I have written (in my view anyway). The next will hopefully be out in September or October; and the other three sometime after that, maybe in 2013... Our best work is always ahead of us, never behind!!
I have added this title to my Aardvark Caesar site. The Truth Spinner features 18 linked stories collected into three sections, and as I've said before I think it's the best introduction to my work so far. But ultimately that's not for me to judge, of course. It's currently available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and many other retailers, or direct from the publisher, Wildside Press.
Friday, August 03, 2012
For more details or to purchase this ebook, please look at the relevant webpage on Smashwords or on Amazon. The excellent cover is by the artist Chris Harrendence. The book consists of ten tales (or 'cases'), one for each finger of a strange hand (or for all the fingers of two normal hands), and features such dastardly villains as Mr Hyde and Dr Seek, the Sock Camels, the Haggler of Affection, Mungo Trumpet, Tockless Slockley the nose thief, and many others...
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