Archive of November 2008

November 30

Bad Sex awards (they're for WRITING about it!)

As I near the end of my NaNoWriMo writing one of the things I might need for my ending is a sex scene (no, it is not gratuitous!), but I am no fool and do not underestimate the potential for a literary prat fall here.

So perhaps you can imagine my interest when I read in the paper that it is that time of year and this award has been given again, this time to Rachel Johnson.  You can read all about it on the Times Blog here.

Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Awards were inaugurated back in the nineties and I think I may have made mention of them to someone on nano, or on a blog comment or something.  So it was nice to join up the dots and find them splashed on the paper.  I think they make for some hilarious reading, and literary greats are not imune from these shortcomings, John Updike was nominated four times (and I respect him greatly as a writer, perhaps all the more because he does not shy away from sex scenes in his writing).

I hope this may have made one of the more amusing blogworthy posts, I enjoyed adding it.  I remain puzzled as to exactly WHY it is that WRITING about sex should be quite such a difficult proposition though!  I'll have to think on that, my only hunch at the moment is that it is a deeply personal experience, unique to everyone and entirely personal (yet how is it that we share it by  definition with another person!).

04:04 PM | 0 Comments
November 28

My NaNoWriMo work looks set to complete.

Well, with November drawing to a close it seems I can indeed manage to write a work of literature that runs over fifty thousand words in a month.  I am not going to pretend it is easy.  I am definitely not entirely happy with the literary standard I have set (and what I have written is a rough first draft, not a polished text).  BUT I seem to have very nearly done it.

I'll admit to being a tiny bit proud of that.

The about nanowrimo link on the right will take you to a site where the entire work is hosted, or you can click here if you wish.

There are no comments allowed directly to the text there - so if you would like to say anything about it then please do feel free to comment on this post.  I'm very open to any comments or criticism.

11:42 AM | 0 Comments | Tags: , , ,
November 18

My aim is true

Well good folks, something I did not tell you about earlier is one of Lithuania’s more renowned citizens.  This was a man who made his mark in history, a man whom I feel commands respect, whose name lives on and probably inspires respect or even perhaps fear to this day.

Who do I speak of?  None other than Mikhail Kalashnikov, creator of the infamous AK-47 assault rifle, probably the most renowned firearm in the world today!

I happen to regard it as part of a modern man’s “armoury” (pardon the pun) that he should have the skill of shooting.  Naturally I long ago mastered the English shotgun, and many a fine pheasant I have enjoyed as a result.  But the AK-47 is quite a different beast.  I must admit to a certain fascination and I have hopes I shall lay my hands on one soon and experiment with my abilities and the weapon.

Please do not misunderstand, I am a peaceful man and a gentleman.  But I admire the machinery and functionality of the Kalashnikov.  Who can doubt that to be a crack shot is an asset for any man?  But one can never know what the future holds, and if I were called to arms I should like to be able to defend myself in some style..

So it is that I and some friends are planning to embark on a trip.  I'll keep this post brief, and so you can read all about it here.  So soon enough I shall be leaving these shores for a suitable venue to practice with the weapon that has become synonymous with modern day combat.  Doing so in the place where the weapon originated is an added bonus.

02:49 PM | 3 Comments | Tags: , ,
November 08

From Matlock; thoughts and the first Elgar performance

Goodness it is lovely here!  I am really enjoying just the feeling of fresh air - no doubt with the excitement of the concert still to come.  There will likely be libations to the Gods of music and choirs afterwards and that should be fun - I allready have plans to delegat my designated driver status away perhaps.  We shall see what I can arrange.  Over at my Chyrping blog you can see about my wifi troubles!  I shall be returning to this blog post after the concert, sobriety permitting and insomnia facilitating.

I am in a hotel lounge now and there is a conversation going on which I should join in - I shall publish and go and hope I can get some pics tomorrow (Google Arkwright mills and Matlock if you like for images).  Actually i should have mentioned Alison Arkwright because we are staying in Alison House and it is superb!  So beautiful here, like a complete rejujination for the senses.  The venue for our singing was NOT inspiring, but apparently anywhere other than the school gym hall local to the area would have meant we could not fit the orchestra in!  There was one awful moment in the concert when I left a dangling ESSss on a phrase and it was quiet and I am SURE someone MUST have heard me mess up... My current fear is that Stefan Reid will have noticed and mention it at rehearsal on Monday!

05:39 PM | 0 Comments | Tags: , , ,
November 07

Greetings from Fehrnzeit

Hello World!  I am sure many of you reading this will know me , or know of me.  I am Anton Ferhnzeit and of course with a name like that if you have met me you will not have forgotten me!  But then, you would not forget me anyway, would you?  I have such a lively, engaging, and frankly quite brilliant mind and such charm and wit combined with my devilish good looks.  I know modesty does not become me, you would only detect the false misplaced sentiment behind it if you knew me.

So - to those that know me - "Felicitations! You know what to expect and can enjoy my presence in the Blogosphere just as you have in my more mundane, everyday circles"

And to those that do not "Greetings!  You have come to the right place to be stimulated and amused! I intend to lift the quality of the blogosphere to new heights"

How much further should I introduce myself - well I have given this some thought.  A picture could be misleading and make you judge me to be vain, so you shall find none.  A lengthy description is unlikely to do me justice either.  My reputation precedes me if you know me already, making such a thing unnecessary.  If you do not know me, then with my charming wit and repartée you soon shall and will be a richer person for it!

On to matters more interesting than myself then!  Yes there are some, even to me!  Of course now that I have deployed my not inconsiderable intellect here I need a subject and a blog post to start this blog rolling.  Speaking of which - impress me sufficiently and I shall award you the honour of a space on my blogroll - but for now it is gloriously empty.

The subject of the moment is POSSESSION.  You may find that a little odd for me, you may have noticed my generous nature.  But there is more to possession than that.  For example I possess a great deal of self-composure.  I believe the Devil posesses the souls of those that do not hold on to their own.  And last but not least I have found that when I meet a member of the so called "gentler" sex they invariably seek to "possess" me!  Incidentally there is an excellent book of that name by A.S Byatt.  I commend it to those readers who have not already enjoyed it.

They say that possession is nine tenths of the law, and there's good reason for that.  I say that if we took the observation that "the love of money is the root of all evil" and changed it to the "desire to possess" (for surely if money is anything it is a tool for the purposes of mans' possession?

Of course, myself I am fortunate enough to possess more than ample resources to possess more or less anything I desire (including a member of the fairer sex if I set my mind to it!).  But I may surprise you if I tell you that I aspire to relinquish the DESIRE to possess.  Certain fundaments I insist that I not only possess but have complete dominion over, these include my wits and my sanity!  Certain others I insist upon shunning and have a desire to dispossess, such as trouble and strife (and these are chosen with a view to the Cockney rhyming slang also, since I cherish my bachelor status!).

I must leave you for a moment now - my manservant is drawing me a bath and I do so like it to be at the perfect temperature.  Please could my fledgling audience consider what they possess and what desires possess them - I shall return when bathed and fed to consider further...

Adios!

... Returning to my screen after a splendid repast.  I find my possession of my senses most necessary!  And I am mindful of a poor chap who owes his life to the wonderful RAF emergency service.  I just heard on the wireless that he suffered a stroke mid-air and lost his sight!  Believe it or not he survived despite being alone.  Coming to his senses (sans sight!) the poor chap radioed for help and an RAF crew were scrambled to intercept him at altitude and "talk him down" this they managed to do.  The man was heard to grumble that he was concerned his landing was a little bumpy!  But he did thank them for saving his life!

There is a good tale to end my first blog posting on - so fellow readers of the Blogosphere, retain your senses and relinquish your possessions I say to you!  It is clear which has the more value, to me anyway.

Until tomorrow - Anton.

04:46 PM | 1 Comment | Tags: , ,
November 05

Excited to write! (Why?!)

This post will be brief, because the writing I am excited about is not blog posting, but more a little light coding and then NaNoWriMo (or nano as I sometimes call it for short).

The coding part is putting the finishing touches to this new "blog" site I have set up for my book! (I want to remove or lighten the sidebar for easier reading).

I know one person who will be thrilled to see this appear at least.  But what confuses the bejeezus out of me is why I am excited about it?!  Read More »(((more))) You see

12:09 PM | 0 Comments | Tags: , , ,
November 04

Jackanory...

For whatever reason, I had one of those clearing out the loft moments going through ancient boxloads... and I turned up this exercise book that had something in it I wrote years ago intending it to be a childrens story perhaps for my daughter (she was just a babe at the time).  I thought I would type it up as a post. Read More »(((mo

08:31 AM | 2 Comments | Tags: , , ,
November 03

The plot thickens

This morning the reason my NaNo word count jumped is I finally managed to thrash out some sort of a plot outline with a few sketchy details.  In the process I realised where I planned to intersperse some of the blog posts that fit into the book.  This is where it gets interesting...

It occured to me that in addition to the main character(s) blogging or emailing I would also involve some comments from the blog.  So dear readers this means that in future you too could become part of my NaNoWriMo novel!  I have not thought it through - perhaps I have to add an "About Nano" page with all sorts of disclaimers that I retain rights to use comments... I am not sure if that is required, have to look into it if I have time.  Of course no comments may come - then I shall have to create my own log ons and make "faked" ones!  Oh what a tangled web we weave!

I had to dash then to practice the Elgar - on returning I descended into many matters geeky (reformatting external Hard Drive, finalising laptop recovery and more which I forget)... Before I know it now it's the wee small hours and I am still awaiting the format of the drive (well, it is 320GB!).

So far as I can see the idea still holds water... I shall make a page and paste the writing I have so far into it - this will have notes so that you can get the gist of it.  Of course i should warn you that if you intended to read whatever I manage to produce then the notes would give you a pretty good idea what is going to happen!

Rather than pages I could put all the writing to another blog at a different domain (effectively using the blog as a publishing engine of sorts).  This idea flies better then pages (although i shall make ONE).  BUT it will take up valuable time to implement and I really need to try to focus myself into my writing far more.  It is bad enough that I have to drive to Derbyshire to sing the Elgar this weekend, though I'll take the laptop and try to snatch what moments I can for writing (and, of course, making a blog post!).

- maybe even make a page for the Nano book - but that would need some sort of "read more" function built in and i am not at allsure that can be done at page level....

07:43 PM | 1 Comment | Tags: , ,
November 02

Displacement activity

OK well, so I sang the Verdi and that was great fun.  The best part is that unlike the first time where I went through months of weekly practices learning the piece and practicing (along with some singing lessons as I was new to singing then) this time it was one rehearsal a week in advance, then a rehearsal in the morning and sing my heart out for the concert in the evening!  What fun!  My stepmother says I am getting a "repertoire" and I tell her that is pretentious nonsense!  But it is lovely to get the chance to sing something you enjoyed again.

That recording is from a personal MP3 player with on board mic that I slipped in my pocket at the last minute - highly experimental and I am amazed I got ANYTHING!  There were mics all over and I'll probably HAVE TO buy a couple of CD's for family and friends (they'd kill me if I didn't).

But all of this is displacement writing!  I am MEANT to be making a start on my novel writing month!  You would not believe the things I have found that I just "have to do" before I sit down with the document open and type!  I have taken the rubbish out (early), done three loads of laundry (one a half load), formatted a laptop for a friend, burnt a knoppix DVD for testing, tidied my cable suitcase and filed a laptop charger...phoned a friend... emailed Quaker friends! All of these things I would normally leave for a more appropriate time or leave until they HAD to be done.

And now I am writing to my blog, because I have the dual excuse that this is also NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) where I am supposed to post daily for November.  That will not be hard to do (look at the count for October in the Archive!).

My NaBloPoMo profile 

Oh yes - I also wasted time changing a poem to "draft status" and seeing if I could install the Chyrp extension so that I could link you guys to a file where I'd put my novel to date - luckily for you that is broken but I may still do it by hand... esp. if there are more than a couple of comments expressing interest in that.

Last but not least at Quaker meeting I was (finally) able to take responsibility for the website! And I even repaired a linkback to it from London Quakers - so some of my displacement activity has been useful.  That site will start to get overhauled as soon as I have come up with content and it has been approved by the elders.

But enough keystrokes blogging - they all need to go to my novel really!  I have a name for the lead character - he is going to be Frederick Allsop, but he will prefer the Pseudonym of Anton Fehrnzeit!  So when things look weird on here with some blog entries if those names feature (or Lydia Dypchyk, the comic love interest!) then you can guess it is a "novel" blog.  I shall tag them all Fehrnzeit - if that helps...

05:23 PM | 0 Comments | Tags: , , , ,