Trestle banqueting fingerfull

Saturday, 6 June 2009 10:20

Odd title for a blog entry isn’t it. But that’s what the recovered Word document had on it when I opened it just now and there is no recollection forthcoming as to why those three words were typed by me the last time I used it. It’s at times like these, when I’m attempting to be creative and think about work I’d like to be doing rather than work I’m being paid to do leading to the complete and utter failure of actually doing any creating and currently fresh out of bed on a grey Saturday morning all dishevelled and full of tea with a purring creature snoozing on my lap having just wiped her nose vigorously all over my face as I struggled to breathe, that I really wish I would bloody well write things down.

I have ideas, loads of wonderful, imaginative, funny, stupid ideas that I reliably fail to ever get down on paper and as a result lose the buggers to the memory fog that is showing no signs of dissipating anytime soon.
I need to discipline myself. This will not involve dressing in a leather bodysuit and whipping my own bits and pieces and sensuously calling myself a “naughty boy” although I wouldn’t rule anything out at this stage.

A bunch of lovely, creative people and, for some incomprehensible reason, myself are building a city. This has now passed from speculation to fact and we are at a stage now where we can almost see it, smell it, touch it and get slapped in the face by it. This city is fast taking shape in our collective minds for a forthcoming fiction project that is gathering pace so fast I’m pretty sure it has gone back in time and come back again fifteen times in the last two weeks.

[Pause to scratch cat’s chin. Purring reinitialised]

I’m sure soon the writings of The City will commence and then I’ll have to wade into the memory fog and stumble around to see if I can find any ideas I might have once had. For now though, it is all very exciting.

The trick is, Robert Rankin once explained to me, is to never read anything ever. Or words to that general effect. Possibly. I was quite drunk at the time. We were having a chat about writing and influences, specifically influences that creep into your writing that sneak in because you just read a book and are now in the process of subconsciously rewriting it. Even not reading anything doesn’t always work, continues the paraphrasing. Once he was writing something similar to the 39 Steps without realising it because he’d read the book many, many years before.
This is, of course, probably a completely inaccurate report due to the drinking and the memory fog but it was something similar.
And for myself, I rewrote the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Near enough anyway.
When I think back on the only novel length bit of fiction I ever completed it strikes me as a little too close to home sometimes (“sometimes” in this case meaning “quite a lot”).
We have Hal, Arthur Dent. Bin Yarker, Zaphod Beeblebrox. Shara Bently, Tricia McMillan. We even have Marvin in the shape of former taxi computer given his own independent body which does nothing to improve his foul mood and foul language although he’s quite happy that he gets to keep the name of Monty. Strangely we don’t have a Ford Prefect which is slightly odd as he’s one of the best characters ever written in this, and a high number of other, similar realities. Saying that, he kind of merged with Zaphod to create Bin so it’s like that and I’ll have to live with it.
The situation is slightly different, Bin takes Hal on a journey to the future because of an administrative bollocks-up and they go from there really. It’s all fucking funny still, just wish I’d thought it through more. It gets better too. So. There it is. Was. Isn’t it.

Douglas put into his book the final message from God and I, without realising the similarity to his works when I wrote it, put God’s first message at the creation of the universe. In the interest of fair play and lack of suspense building skills, I shall copy and paste this here:

Hal concentrated on the nothingness in front of him as if sensing a subtle change, the beginning of a stirring in the great unknown, imagining the rolling clouds in the bubbling cauldron of the great Before…
Except of course there was nothing there.
Nothing…but wait…now something was different.
It started as a feeling, a vague sensation, the hairs on the back of the neck rising.
The dog’s ears pricked up and he tilted his head to one side as if hearing something no other could.
‘What’s happening?’ Hal whispered, unnerved.
‘Shh…’ Bin put his hand up, ‘here it comes.’
Softly, faintly, gently a far away hum invaded the minds of all the onlookers, all conspicuous by their invisibility.
Building in volume, the sound caused the travellers to vibrate slightly, rattling their teeth and making many aware that they’d had far too much lunch.
Becoming a deafening rumble of a thousand thunderstorms, the anticipation the sound produced became unbearable.
Then, out of the cacophony, God spoke…

Mr Rankin told me to carry on writing so I bloody well will. I will attempt to never read anything ever again but I can’t promise.

Time to end this blog for today, I need tea. I am not looking forward to the new Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book, written by someone who is not Douglas Adams for fuck’s sake. I will therefore put into practice my new non-reading lifestyle by shunning that tome for all eternity until one day I’m so bored and curious that I give in just so I can slag it off even more vehemently than before.

I have also decided that when I finally get to do episode five of Lost Bearings that it will actually be the last episode. It is going to be very good indeed.