Three hoodies save the world

Constant moaning and whinging about everything

He refuses to die.

I reluctantly went to the stables today for want of something even remotely interesting to do.
This time last year Leaping Louis aka limping Louis was ready to drop, or just as ready for the vet to do him in. It would have been a mercy and my daughter promised that she wouldn’t let him suffer.

Today he almost flattened me in his haste to eat the enormous swede I bought for him, and then galloped round the field like a foal before rolling on his back like a nutcase, but of course only in the filthiest, muddiest part of the field. He’s a new horse. Maybe I should eat some of the stuff my daughter feeds him. Even the vet is flabbergasted and demands to know just what she’s feeding him, as he’s now well over thirty and should have been dog food years ago according to the ever helpful vet.

Second part of the day was a little expensive. When my daughter (allegedly) drove her car into a kerb a few months ago she buggered up something and as a result I had to buy her a new tyre. Today that new tyre was bald as a coot so we had to go back and get another, only to find that Fiat had not fixed it because it was on warranty and weren’t going to make any money out of it. Apparently she trashed the tracking, toe-in, camber and caster – I don’t know idea what that is, either.

I’ll be glad to get back to work on Tuesday just to earn back some of the small fortune she costs me every single time she draws a breath.

Oh, and she doesn’t know this yet, but Harley our tomcat just returned from a night on the town proudly bearing most of a mouse in his mouth. She’s going to go bonkers if she finds the other bit in her bedroom – again. And if it’s not there, I’m going to put it there.

Still four days to go.

It’s only Friday afternoon and I’ve mown the lawn, washed my scooters, done the weekly shop and completed my daily 5k words on the new novel. So what am I going to do next? I dream of days off work but now the next four days Easter break is threatening to stretch off into infinity.
My wife has threatened to emasculate me if she comes downstairs and catches me watching NCIS again, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to the farm to feed and muck out those nags. Is it age I wonder. Does all imagination depart with youth?
Ah, I’ve just had an idea…

January’s Reign

Suddenly they all died. The end.

January’s bitter that
Her reign is at an end,
As April weeps with joy
For all that March did tend.

February’s sobbing
That she’s forgotten once again,
While June runs round in circles
In September’s autumn den.

October’s chi)ly song
Is playing once again,
Relieving old July
And cooling August’s end.

And all December’s patience
Will pay off in the end,
When with November’s frosty breath
Sweet May’s heart she’ll mend.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

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A bit of a let down.

I usually begin my books with vulgar dialogue or something exciting, such as: “Interstellar war was not at the top of David’s schedule as he jumped excitedly out of bed.”  – Three Hoodies Save The world.
Or “Transforming two hundred retired gentlefolk into silent assassins had been no easy task.” – Old Geezers, The Gateway.
So the opening paragraph from my new novel is a bit of a let down. It’s not going to be like any of my others. This time I’m going for parody. It will contain black humour and quite a bit of swearing. I wonder if the first paragraph has an inkling of what’s to come, or is just too boring?

“Arnold Pratt slumped before the television. Nothing new there; he always slumped, whether it was at home or at work, or even on the rare occasions he had enough money, or the inclination to go to the pub. Before him flickering mindlessly, was over eighty channels of pure drivel. A large portion of it devoted to sport. All everybody seemed to talk about was sport; especially football. Pratt hated football. Or would have done if he possessed the energy to hate anything. Hatred and loathing required energy; something which seemed to have deserted him. Deep down, he knew that if he calculated when his passion for life had gone it would bring him to a conclusion he really didn’t want to think about. For if he did, then he would have to do something about it. Something fundamental.”

I’ll probably change it a dozen times before I’m finished but I wanted to build up to the fundamental part in chapter two. I don’t know. I’ll work on it.

I smell a scam.

I don’t really do controversy on this blog but just for a change I feel that I have to.
For all those non residents of England who are good enough to read my ramblings the following will mean little but for the rest of us it’s a common problem.
Uptil a few years ago I had my motorbikes insured by an insurance agent called the AA. And every year the price went up a little, or a lot depending on inflation and how many scams were pulled on them. Then a couple of years ago they tried to increase my premiums by about thirty percent.

 
Now I know (because I asked) that the underwriters were a company called AXA.
So switch, I told myself. And I did. Found another broker and he gave me a new deal, in fact saving me a few quid on my ordinary price. My happiness was complete until I discovered that the new underwriters were AXA.

 
Why couldn’t I get the same price from the AA? I demanded. Because that’s what the algorithm said blah blah blah. Load of old rubbish, but I let it go.

 
Today I spent hours trying to insure my new mega bike. As explained earlier, a truly huge behemoth of 330cc. My original underwriters wouldn’t accept such an enormous bike so I told my insurance agent to get me another deal. Four hours, and a lot of haggling later, I did. Then I asked. The underwriters? you guessed it.

 
It’s the same with my utilities. Every year I’m a rate tart and change my supplier because they always put up their prices to an obscene degree. A few weeks ago I changed my provider from latest one to the one I had the year before that because they were offering me a thirty percent reduction.

 
So why couldn’t they have just offered me that the year before – or simply not demanded a thirty percent increase, when they knew that by so doing I, and several hundred thousand other people would just switch?

 

Alright, rant over. Saved myself some money – apart from the premium rate phone calls, waiting for hours for someone to answer thereby earning themselves even more money.

 

I’ve just been to the dump.

The Community Refuse Centre/the Council Recycling Facility, or to lesser mortals “The Tip” was very busy today as it’s almost Easter, and whilst waiting in the hundred mile queue to get in something occurred to me as I inhaled the noxious aroma of last autumn’s grass which had turned into almost neat alcohol.
In the same vein as silent trees collapsing in silent forests, (how do you spell vein in this context? Vein, vain, vane?) and I know it’s a little existential, but what does one do with old rubbish bags?
And now that I’m back another problem is assailing me. I know that things get liberated all the time; or boosted, stolen or just plain knicked, but I’m in the process of buying another scooter which I plan to pick up in a couple of days, but from all the trouble I’m having insuring the damned thing you’d have thought it was some kind of superbike. I’ve been riding for over fourty years; I have a full no-claims bonus, and its only a measly 330cc scooter. But no one will touch it.

      I used to have something like this below and it cost me almost nothing to insure. I’m forsaking any kind of street cred with that hair drier above and they’re still picking on me.

Been slacking a bit.

I love Spring. I love the emergence of new life, and all that guff. What I truly can’t bear is my front lawn, satisfyingly dormant for the entire winter, suddenly springing to life one Tuesday afternoon, and by the next day almost waist deep. It also provides the local foxes and cats somewhere to procreate with all the blood curdling screams the act apparently requires.

I’d love to cut it, except that this is England and it never stops bl***y raining. I tried to other day, but one wheel fell off the mower half way through and now my neighbour, with whom I share the lawn, is upset because I managed to tear all the grass out of the ground in one foot wide strip on his side all the way down to the road, and he doesn’t believe that I didn’t do it on purpose.
Alright. It’s not as bad as that, but I just felt like whining.

Something I knocked up when the cruddy weather was annoying me.

Finally I’ve stopped plotting and begun my new novel now that I’ve finally come up with a suitably rubbish name for my character. The only thing is, it’s a real name so I might leave a dedication at the front of the book and a grovelling apology if I can’t modify it, since according to the laws of chance, an old friend of mine (with just that name) might read it. How I’ll convince him that it’s just a coincidence and my stupid bungling idiot of a character with the IQ of a carrot, but an earnest belief he’s God’s gift to the entire world isn’t him, I’ll never know. As a result I’m going to call it (perhaps) Sod’s Law, which to any American is the same as Murphy’s Law.

Can’t wait to get started. The only thing is that as my android tablet has finally croaked and I’m saving for a new motorbike, and I spend the majority of my time at work these days, I’m going back to the basics by writing it with an actual pen. I wrote my first three novels this way and began to look like some kind of mutant until the heavily muscled fingers which were the result, shrank back down to normal size.

Editing and re-drafting – a checklist, part one


Hi Guys,

Heather here. This week I thought I’d write a blog post detailing some of the things to look out for when re-drafting and editing your novel. I’m currently at this stage in my own novel writing journey and it’s arguably the hardest stage so far – perhaps even worse than the dreaded first draft. I will be referring to this list continuously myself  as I draft, re-draft and hone my novel and I hope it will be just as useful to you. I have split this post into two parts as it would have been a little bit too long to be one! Don’t fret though, part two will be posted soon.

  1. Dialogue tags

    When writing dialogue, keep fancy dialogue tags to a minimum. There is nothing wrong with plain old ‘said’. Changing it up every now and then to add variation and drama is fine, but if your novel reads…

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A Comma’s Job Security?

Writing-Insight-Success

bewilderd commaThe comma stood on the corner, bleating, “Please, can someone help me? I know I belong somewhere, but I can’t quite remember where.”

Devon Taylor, copy editor, sat at the counter of the diner across the street and watched as passers-by skittered around the pitiful punctuation mark. They looked away determined to not notice it.

Devon (destined to become The Nib) couldn’t really blame them. Commas were notoriously slippery creatures. But there was something about this comma that made Devon think it was truly in trouble.

The editor set down the empty coffee cup and wandered across the street.

“What brings you to Conjunctionville?” Devon asked the punctuation mark.

“Oh! Thank you for helping,” the comma was practically hopping. “I think I’m supposed to meet a couple of independent clauses for a job, but I can’t remember all the details. It was supposed to be set…

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My usual escape from writing.

I don’t know why I’m painting instead of writing. All week long I’ve been plotting – yes I know I never plot. Regardless, the work’s been going well on my new novel and I’m ready to begin. But for some reason I just can’t start. It feels as if I’ve never done it before.

Maybe the meteor(ite) is a subconscious way of warning myself; but of what I have no idea.
I decided not to begin a new genre but stick to what I love – humour, or at least my version of it.
I wasn’t amused last night when I decided, after wading through the knee deep grass on my front lawn, to cut it, as they who supposedly know about that stuff, predicted that it would be dry on Friday. About half way through it began to rain early, not good when one is using an electric lawnmower. Luckily I finished before being fried alive. The next thing to do is what I’ve been promising myself since last September, which is to wash my motorbikes, or at least the pathetic versions of bikes that I now possess.
Is all this another way of deferring my writing? It might be. I’ve just discovered a living mass growing inside the garage. I’d better eradicate it before it eats the cats. It’s not even as if I have the dreaded block. I know exactly what’s going to happen, for the first half a dozen chapters, anyway. But as in the last time I plotted a novel about twenty five years ago, it will probably be nothing like I envisaged it. That’s what I’ve always loved about writing – the uncertainty of it. Hmmm, I think I’ll dump all the plotting and begin with a word, then see what happens.
Sorted.

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