Three Hoodies Save the World

Constant moaning and whinging about everything

Help me I’m boring

Whilst taking a break from writing I’ve been reading. No biggy there, most writers read – it’s a prerequisite of being a good writer.

My problem is that I keep reading the same ten book series again and again and a…etc etc. It’s no problem because I love the series. What is a problem is that like Independence Day, The Langoliers, and several other films to which I know every single solitary word of dialogue it’s the same with these books. I know what happens in every single chapter – every single page.

eBookBetty.com is a great place for finding books and kudos to Betty? for doing it. However, I don’t read or write romance and crime isn’t my bag so-to-speak. I have managed to find half a dozen great books on EBook B but there have to be more books I can read.

The problem is that the stock of 60’s espionage novels (especially if you don’t like John le Carré) is finite. Most of the post apocalypse books are full of zombies and Stephen King is no longer writing what I want to read. I quite like Vampires (especially joleene naylors series) but I think I’ve done that to death – or undeath.

Well what do you want to read?

I don’t know!!

I try not to read too much of the genres in which I write in case I accidentally copy them, which leaves me little else.

Looks like it’s back to Len Deighton.

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So what am I going to do for the next two weeks?

On the basis that I am never ever going to write more than one novel at the same time ever again, I find myself at a loss. I’ve just finished the latest reincarnation of Sod’s Law so I’ll leave alone for a fortnight before the next. The new, new novel is waiting for me to recommence but for that reason it’ll have to wait.

About twenty five years ago I read/listened to a hilarious novel by Tom Sharpe entitled Vintage Stuff. It came as about ten extra long cassettes (if you don’t know what that means you’ll have to ask your granddad. I was about to embark on a journey from the south of France to a ski resort in far off Switzerland, and clearly I couldn’t read.

I began about eight o’clock that night and plugged in the first cassette straight away. For those of you who’ve driven in the snow (or in fact anywhere in France) you’ll know it’s a dangerous pastime and even with four wheel drive the journey was long, dangerous and arduous. And cold since it was January and the heater in the Ranger Rover packed up about fifteen minutes after I left.

After driving all night, avoiding insane driver who didn’t have four wheel drive, or a brain for the most part, I arrived at the ski resort with a vehicle packed with all my boss’s gear only to find that I was still one whole cassette from finishing the book.

Even though I was tired beyond belief and frozen solid I couldn’t get out of the car until I’d finished it off.

About a week ago I bought the book for my Kindle to see if it had stood the test of time. It had and nearly cost me my job because I couldn’t stop reading it and almost being sick because it was so funny.

Anyway, this long drawn out passage is just a way of recommending the book for all of you who want a real slice of English comedy. You won’t get better and I guarantee you’ll love it if farces are your thing.

Death by bubbles.

Excuse my absence for the last few days. In my rare moments of relaxation I just have mess about with my new book. In fact I’m half way through the 247586794937827th edit.

My wife has always accused me of being tight (mean). I disagree and repost with all the money I’ve spend on my (alleged) daughter’s horses and the new boiler for which I’ve just indebted myself for the next four years, or the truly enormous bunch of flowers with which I presented her on our thirty fourth anniversary last week.

Unfortunately I may have been a teensy bit guilty this week.

As I may have mentioned I eschew the use of a car (mainly because I don’t have one) in preference for a motorbike and latterly a scooter. And although it’s getting cold – about zero degrees most morning this week- when I ride to work the cold doesn’t bother me much since I wear enough coats to make me look like the Michelin man

    However that doesn’t stop my helmet visor from steaming up, and running under a bus can really mess up one’s day. So eschewing with equal contempt the local bike’s shops exorbitant price for proper visor demister I opted for the old fashioned approach.
    This entails smearing washing liquid over the inside of the visor. Fairy this month because that’s what my wife got. After doing that you run clean water over the plastic and it’s done. It lasts for about three days and works well.
    Unfortunately on this occasion it didn’t. It was raining on Wednesday morning and just as I hastily swung away from a clearly comatose van driver I suddenly lost all vision. Slamming on the brakes and coming to a juddering halt at the side of the road I lifted said visor to wipe away the million or so bubble that had formed and turned the visor completely opaque.
    Now I know what extra-extra soapy means. I think I’ll swallow what’s left of my pride and head for the bike shop.

No writing this week.

I absolutely had to get to grips with ArtRage since it cost me actual money.

This is what I came up with. A bit cruddy but a start.

This week, if I get any time, I’m getting back to the writing.
Sod’s Law hasn’t come back from my wonderful, fantastic, lovely beta readers yet so I’m continuing with my new one, Snodden. I’ve come up with an outline meandering towards the ending which is already written in my head.

Half way through the second chapter I realised with shock that it was turning into a serious book. Couldn’t have that. So it’s back to a rewrite of the chapter that isn’t even finished yet to make it humorous or just plain silly.

Here’s an excerpt of the non silly first version.

The young man stumbled, immediately ducking behind one of the enormous stone pillars in case someone had seen him. It wasn’t the cold or the howling, never ending wind that disturbed him as much as the enormous piles of waste dropped by the eagle sized herring gulls. Somehow the buggers always managed to find a target here in the school pinned in the wilderness between two dales in North Yorkshire. Whoever had built it must have been a nutter for isolation or absolutely insane. Certainly it must have required an especially uncaring parent to sentence their offspring to a hellhole such as this.

    He lingered behind the chipped granite pillar for several more seconds scraping the vile smelling excrement furiously until it was safe to continue. As if chastising him for its own weakness a spirited howl of wind echoed through the gables of the Victorian buildings. He looked up, cringing, almost expecting a tile to crash down. It had happened before. Unfortunately it had not been onto the headmaster, but happily the young recipient had recovered eventually.
    ‘What the hell are you doing here.’ Stanton was not inquiring of the gargoyle glaring down at him. The question was to himself. And it was a good question. 

The single most important question

We all know, or at least those of us with decent literary tastes, that the answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42. And the way understand the question and thus the answer is:

(Thanks to Erwin Schrodinger for his attempt to come up with the correct answer.)

But as important as this might seem there is only one real, fundamental question to be asked; and my wife demanded a simple answer at the supermarket today.

Imagine expecting me to answer that which has confused the most intelligent for millennia, or at least a long time.

“Well, which?” she demanded, “Daddies, or HP?”

As if I could come up with a solution to something that has baffled the real intelligentsia for time immemorial.

“Well why can’t you just have both?”

 Both!!!  Aghast I stumbled away and after bumping into a terrified shelf stocker settled for  ketchup.

Women. They;’ll just never understand.

brown sauce

I realise that this may just be a particular British phenomenon but the unfathomable answer is no less important.

Looking for the Best Word? Tip #63

More great words and their usage.

Stuart Aken

kaput Word cloud created on wordart.com

A series of posts for word lovers. Offering help for writers and language learners, these posts look at many different aspects of the world of words in the hope of stimulating your curiosity and enhancing your creativity.

This week’s words: Kaput, Erotesis, Absolutely necessary, Cross that bridge when you come to it, Anecdoche.

Kaput – Roget’s thesaurus lists the following headers: powerless, destroyed, dead, useless, dilapidated, and defeated. Under the sub-heading ‘useless’ are a further 66 alternatives including pointless, naff, unworkable, unfit, incompetent, nonfunctioning, dud, unserviceable, broken down, worn out, past it, and obsolete.

Let’s look at usage for Kaput:

‘Susan hunted through the box of spares, hoping to find the missing part, but every item that seemed likely turned out to be kaput.’

‘No point asking Boris to do the job. I’m afraid he’s kaput.’

In Susan’s case, the desired objects are all useless…

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Broderick

Finally got onto mindless epic number two. Here’s the first page.

“Broderick Snodden loathed children. He despised them with all his heart. Snodders to his enemies, of whom there were many, detested the very sight of children, Especially the small ones, scuttling to and fro as if the only thing in the world that mattered was their own puerile fun. How he hated them.
 
    But soon that would no longer be a problem, for Broderick had a plan. It had come to him in a flash just the day before. Despite thinking, and failing to come up with a solution for many years, the answer had miraculously come to him upon bending down to clear up yet more vomit from his shoe. It was all so simple: it would cost nothing, and even better no one would either suspect or blame him.
 
    Today would commemorate the twentieth of his thirty year punishment. More to the point it would mark the final month of this awful torment. A dim and distantly heard voice reminded him that his first so-called brilliant plan had engulfed him in more pain than he could have imagined. ‘Not this time,’ he told the voice smugly. This time he would think it though, weight up all the potential consequences and choose a singular path to success. With that thought in mind he left the quad and it’s mindless hordes of scampering brats and returned to his rooms. Therein he would begin to write his manifesto for success.
 
    Encompassed within his loathing, from the governing board to the rest of the tutors, all of whom he considered his social and intellectual inferiors, was a man he hated more than anybody else. That this person had no idea that he was the centre of Snodden’s loathing made little difference. He would perish with all the others.”
    Most of this will change of course but this is the tone I’m setting from the beginning.
    Now I’ve just got to work out who “the man” is and how he might foil or fail.

Another wasted day.

Did anyone else destroy an entire day yesterday?

I did; trying to download Windows 10 Ver 1307. It was trying and failing to download itself and in the process completely ruining any chance of my working on my new novel whilst Sod’s Law is being beta read by my wonderful, fantastic, (did I mention great) beta readers.

Anyway, I finally got it done to find…nothing. Do I want to write on my PC screen? Do I want to change the colour of the virtual post-it stickers I never use? In fact do I want to do anything included in the newest update? Frankly no. I couldn’t even turn off auto updates for fear of missing cumulative updates that kind of are important.

I think it’s just some long term plan by Microsoft to do, well something to us, probably resulting in a lot more money for them and a loss less for us. Only time will tell.

Oh, and it’s slowed my machine down to a crawl again. I think I’ll take it off and find some hack to stop it coming back. That might involve a sledge hammer, but whatever works.

Whining finished.

My newest anti-hero is Broderick Snodden. He loathes every child in the prep school at which he is forced to work. He also hates all the staff especially one man in particular. For what reason yet I haven’t decided. He has a plan to eradicate all of them. Whether he will succeed or not depends on the character whom I’ve yet to name.

The panster begins another – can’t wait.

A train ride to hell

I had to go to sunny Devon yesterday.

Upon leaving Paddington station it was beneath a startling azure sky, shimmering heat (although that could just have been the taxi fumes) and a gentle zephyr rustling what’s left of my hair.

All the way to Pusey, wherever that is, I basked in the heat blasting though the train windows. The moment, the very nanosecond we left Taunton station a tiny black cloud began to grow and move at alarming speed. Even faster than the train, which for a change was overtaking crippled wildlife until it became a battle between the huge stormhead and us. Even at approximately one hundred miles per hour the train could no longer keep up with the awful black wall hurtling towards, and finally past us. By the time we shuddered into Tiverton it was freezing, wet, and awful.

Apocalypse aside I did get some decent writing done and now I’m almost ten pages into Sod’s Law 2. I know it’s a little presumptive of me to begin the sequel to a novel I haven’t even finished editing yet. But I had me an idea which might work well if I can ditch all logic and revert to my usual childish style of writing. It might not sell many books but makes me laugh, and if that’s not what writing is all about then I don’t know what is.

Image courtesy of google images. It was worse than that but I couldn’t find anything cataclysmal enough for what I saw yesterday.

Greneth: Halloween Hijinks

If it’s from Jo, then it’s got to be good.

Amaranthine by Joleene Naylor

Just in time for Halloween!

A cartoon vampire on the “haunted house” advertisement catches Greneth’s eyes. Then, a couples-only discount sweetens the deal, if he can find someone to take. Griselda seems the perfect choice, but when she starts asking silly questions – like just what is a haunted house, anyway? – and talking about so-called real ghosts, he wonders if he’s made the right choice.

Can be read as a stand alone.

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