Tag Archives: blogging

The Daniel Day Lewis Method of Writing

19 Feb

Here’s a question for you:


An addictive substance yesterday

Your hero has a cocaine habit.  In order to appreciate his/her viewpoint, do you seek out the drug and take it as part of the writing process, or do you simply imagine what it might be like when you write about it?  Do you talk to known users as part of your research?  Equally, when it comes to preparation, do you simply read about it in the press and make it up, or do you try it yourself?

Drugs are one of those things that are illegal, but a lot of people participate in – hence my question, which really boils down to this:  for the sake of authenticity, is it important for you as an author, to know about what you’re writing about in detail?  And if so, where do you draw the line?

It’s possible to become a drunk for a night, or a week as part of your research.  You can even sleep rough if you want.  You can develop a cigarette habit until you cough, and know what it’s like to hack one up every morning.  All this is perfectly legal.  Then we come to the illegal – joints, lines and injections, each increasing in addictive qualities and physical effect.  If you try something once and don’t like it, what do you do if a regular user tells you ‘you gotta get a habit man, to appreciate it’?

Then there’s the question of murder. Obviously I’m not advocating killing others in the name of authenticity, but is it something you might consider?

The question is open to the floor: how far are you prepared to go?


It’s a Pope-ish Kind of Day

11 Feb

There are two words which the media frequently like to misuse, which really wind me up when I hear them, in a spitting feathers kind of way.  People who work with me regularly soon stop misusing these words, because they know what’s coming if they do!


Pope John Paul II Pontificating

The first word of the day is to pontificate.  The clue as to what this word word means is in its first half – pontiff.  The ‘cate’ ing of a Pontiff – what does this mean?  It’s like the ‘tate’ ing of a cogi (cogitate), but done at a much higher level.  When a mere mortal chooses to think something over, that’s what we do – give it a bit of a mull, rattle the old six-sided brain cell around inside the skull, see which side it stops on, forget what we decided because it doesn’t really matter, then move on.  When a Pontiff chooses to think about something, he does so with god on his shoulder, in an ineffable fashion.  What comes out after his communion with god is infallible, and has been since 1870 when the First Vatican Council decreed it to be so.  Unlike the rest of us, the Pope can’t break a few balls or enter into banter over the communion wine (in Latin, presumably), because anything he says is true and can’t be questioned, except by god himself.  If the Pope tells you to ‘go f*** yourself’, not only must you do so, you must also be capable of doing it, because he can’t be wrong.

This is what an online dictionary has to say on the matter: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pontificate.  Apparently, the ordinary man in the street CAN now pontificate.  However, I disagree!  Pontification is reserved for the Pope and possibly the Queen, as supreme head of the Church of England.  Since the schism, we need a different word – the ruling monarch of England ‘Majecates’.  It’s a new word, so don’t go misusing it.


No Decimation Here

The second word of the day is to decimate.  Whenever anything is destroyed, be it crops, people or things, there are those out there in media land who commit the heresy of declaring it’s been decimated.  OK, I’m not the Pope, so I can’t really declare the misuse of this word a heresy, but you get the idea.  Decimation was a particularly cruel punishment carried out on a unit of a Roman Legion when it under performed. The unit was divided into groups of 10 and lots drawn at random. The unlucky one was then clubbed or stoned to death by his fellows.  Now, I’m all for a bit of decimation, provided it’s done by 10,000 of the general populace on 1,000 well chosen bankers and politicians, without the drawing of any lots at all.  A field of wheat toppled in a storm comes nowhere close to a 1,000 heads on poles.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about decimation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimation_%28Roman_army%29.

One of my Catholic friends has a particular favourite, which is epiphany,  the common phrase going something like: ‘I had an epiphany the other day’.  Epiphany is either a religious holiday (6th Jan) or a book of the bible, it’s not a thing in itself.  The state to which the word heretics refer is a theophany, which is the appearance of god or a god to a person, and the realisation that follows.  A conversation may or may not be involved.  Every time the Pope pontificates, he undergoes theophany.  When he tells you to ‘go f*** yourself’, what you undergo when you realise that this entails chopping bits off to fulfill the request is also a theophany and not an epiphany.

If you really want to wind me up, the sentence to do it with goes something like this: When I was pontificating I had an epiphany that that crop decimation was carried out by locusts, not by flying cats after all…

If your BLOG was a comic what MIGHT it look LIKE?

3 Feb

I was messing about on the web the other day when I chanced to come across a site called Pulp-o-MIZER, which threatened, with a bit of my time, to turn my idea into a classic comic book cover.  So here goes with The Ferret Files:


Pulp-o-Mizer can be found here: http://thrilling-tales.webomator.com/derange-o-lab/pulp-o-mizer/pulp-o-mizer.html

Go have some fun and please – mail me your art!

Here’s a dilema for you… What should I do?

9 Jan

Here’s a question for you:

money-bagsFour months ago I quit my job in the city to take time out and write the Ferret Files, excerpts of which I’ve been printing here.  Today, I was offered a six figure sum that doesn’t begin with ‘1’ to go back to work for a bunch of banksters doing something I regard as morally wrong, until this time next year.

On one hand it’s a LOT of money, on the other it means abandoning Ferret for the next year, which means in turn it’ll probably never get finished.

Over the last 15 years I’ve worked in Defence, Finance, Telecoms and computer gaming.  I’ve got a lot of experience in all of these areas, the constant thorn in my side being  Management Consultants, who I simply *love* taking the rip out of.

Ferret is the biggest rip of the lot, by far: he is one.  A management consultant in a defence conspiracy, with millions at stake.

So, should I continue writing, or should I take the money and run?


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