Sunday, 29 August 2010


I once set myself the task of writing one story in each of as many different genres as I could think of.  I tried a ghost story, a love story, a cowboy story and so on, but after a while I realised, no matter what I set out to write, they almost all came out with a slight supernatural edge to them; the sort of thing you could read either way.  Was it a ghost, or had the sister not really died in the first place?  Was he really a gorilla, or did he just think he was.  Was he really a reincarnated sea captain or was it just the old fashioned way he spoke?  And so on.  Any normal reader would immediately see the supernatural reference, but it was quite possible to miss it and read them as normal stories.

I remember the joke that got Max Miller banned from the BBC.  He always told jokes that he said were just normal anecdotes and it was the dirty minded people in the audience who saw them the other way.  Nonsense of course, but that was his trade mark.  The joke I remember was this .....

"The other day I was walking across a long and very narrow footbridge when I met a young lady coming the other way.  I didn't know whether to toss myself off or block her passage."

Cringe making of course, but if you told that to a six or seven year old they would innocently ask what happened.  Did she turn round and go back, or did he?  Did they squeeze past each other?  Did he really throw himself off then?  It's only us dirty minded adults who see it the other way.

That set me thinking about the more difficult type of story where the writer's intention is harder to fathom.  How many readers would miss the point?  Or are they right and that wasn't the writer's intention at all?  It makes you realise how careful you have to be.  My stories are simple, open tales where my intention is clear and obvious.

At least I think they are.

Oh oh!


Thursday, 26 August 2010

Posted when?!?!?

As I say, I'm new on here, but my first couple of posts have been shown as posted eight hours ago.  I presume this is American time, but it's clear from my profile I'm English.  Does everyone have this?

Keep At It, But .....

I remember reading once about a new factory manager who changed the working hours.  From eight to five with lunch from twelve to one, he brought in a ten minute break in each hour; i.e., work for fifty minutes, then ten minutes off for a smoke, cup of tea or just a chat.  The Directors were of course dubious, but the amazing thing was that production actually went up.

I think there's a lesson there for some of us.  Not an excuse to procrastinate, but when we're hunched over the keyboard caress those keys for an hour, or two at the most, and then get up for a short break.  I'm sure in the long run it will pay off.

Through a change in life style I find myself able to write as much as I want.  Unless I fight it I could sit here all bloody day; irritated by any interruptions; and at the end of the day creaking away from the desk, hunched over, legs and back aching, and another day older.  Unless I've succumbed to the lure of the Internet, obviously a lot of words completed, but how good are they?

Golfers and snooker players talk about being in the zone, almost self hypnotised, not really thinking about what they're doing, and that's when they produce their best performances.  I've experienced this feeling sometimes, (but nowhere near often enough!), and probably then it may be better to keep at it; to hell with a break, just press on regardless.

In the absence of the zone though I make myself get up and walk about a bit.  It stops the aches and pains, gives me a chance to clear my mind of that blocking phrase or sentence, see what the weather's doing, make a cup of coffee, or whatever.  Then back at it refreshed.

That's the theory anyway, or am I just procrastinating?

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

New on here.

As you can tell from that title, this is my first posting.

From time to time I'm interested in different things and I'll be posting about some of them as we go along.  Until I get used to being here you'll have to excuse me if I drop any clangers.

Cheers for now.