Dienstag, 31. März 2009

Now if there's one thing I do like, it's a party.
On Saturday a friend of mine turned thirty, and in the true German tradition he had a shindig.
However, there's a slight twist in the German observance of this very special day.
The custom is that any male who isn't married by the age of thirty must, on his thirtieth birthday, sweep the steps of the (aptly named) Rathaus, which is the town hall in English.
The ladies don't get away with it either; they have to clean the brasses on the town hall doors, but that's nearly always a more low key affair.
Anyway, I digress...
So, where this was once seen as a mark of shame by the older generation, it has now turned into a celebration of bachelorhood and freedom. While the newly turned thirty year old sweeps the steps, sometimes dressed in a suitable fancy dress, (on Saturday he was dressed in an inflatable Sumo wrestler suit), his friends and family drink beer and schnapps, laugh at him and in general have a good time.
Some carry on drinking throughout the day and up to the evening "do", which is a tremendous feat of alcoholic endurance I can tell you.
Because all parties in Germany are paid for by the host, the party on Saturday was all free; I just had to turn up. There was beer on tap, more spirits than a Customs and Excise Christmas party and a LOT of drunken Germans.
It was a great night which ended around six the next morning.

So why am I telling you all about this?
What has this to do with my writing? Has it any literary connection what so ever?
Well, the Rathaus is next to the public library, and I went there on Saturday to change my books.
Yes, but a great day.

Reg :-) (hic!)

Montag, 30. März 2009

Just knocked off.
I'm cream crackered now. Nightshift does tend to take it out of you.
Right I'm off to bed now, I'll tell you about my weekend another time, it was WILD !!!

OK, maybe not wild, but it was good.

Night night.
Reg :-)

Dienstag, 24. März 2009

Well I received an answer for my query as to whether I leave a space after a full stop, comma or question mark; and boy do I feel stoopid.
They replied,
"There is always a space after a full stop, just not two, as some people use."

Aha… I see now, though I wonder who would want to put two spaces after a full stop?
Where's the sense in that?

Whatever, I'll rewrite it all, WITH a space after every punctuation mark, and just hope rejections-ville ain't the next stop.
What is a bit unsettling is the fact that I had already sent them a short story, with this strange punctuation spacing that I'd picked up on incorporated into it. However, they were gracious enough to reject me without mentioning my faux pas.
They probably thought, "What a divvy".
And they'd be right.

Tee is getting to grips with Frank Delaney now. We had a brief email flurry and then it was all quiet on the western front, so I take it she's going for gold on it.

It's my first practise with "The Band" tonight, which will be interesting because the chap who has my drums at the moment is in Hamburg all week.
At the moment I'm a drummer, sans drums… so I'm not expecting a very productive evening. However, it's better if I turn up to tell them personally what has happened, instead of just not going which would send the wrong message, thinks I.

And with that, I bid you all a fond fondue.
Reg :-)

Samstag, 21. März 2009

At the moment I'm waiting for a reply from a magazine about their formatting requirements.
They specifically put down that under no circumstances should I put a space behind a full stop.
It looks weird, but they want it like that so that's how I've done it.
However, they then write to reiterate that they want no unnecessary spacing after punctuation marks, so does that mean after a comma or question mark too? Or after closing a bracket or inverted commas? Am I being dull here?
Anyway, I decided to ask and I now await eagerly their answer.

It sounds silly and to my untrained, amateurish eye it looks off, somehow.
However, they require that the script be in Courier, and so it doesn't look THAT odd after a while.

Anyway, Liverpool meets Chelski again! For the fifth year in a row we battle it out with Abramovitch's boys in blue in the Champion's League.
My German mates are gutted because Bayern have to face up to the mighty Barcelona, which in one foul swoop puts an end to Bayern's run of luck in regards to facing weaker opponents. A fact that I took great relish in conveying to my downhearted German buddies… he he he.

Anyway, gonna take a wall apart now and build it up again…why is my spare time plagued with such unnecessary Sisyphean-like jobs?

Well, life's like that I guess…

Reg :-)

Donnerstag, 19. März 2009

When I said the, "Hello Johnny" story was experimental, I didn't expect it to be so experimental that my mate Ads couldn't understand it!!
DOH !!!
He read it, said it was a good read and that it kept him glued to the pages, but he couldn't understand why a doctor in the story was calling him Johnny when the hero/victim's name was Gary… which meant he completely missed the point.
Ah well, he said it was a good read… just a pity the point didn't get across.
Whatever, I changed it, sent it to Badger-Bonce Winterbottom to read and he understood it straight away.
Thank Tarby for that.

What else is happening in my little world?
I'm still on short time, achieving nothing at home besides writing short stories that nobody understands and getting successfully on my wife's wick.

So with that happy thought, I'll leave you to it.
Oh, I've joined a band. Just for fun, defo no serious musical aspirations here; I just want to play the drums again.
Let's see where that all ends, eh?
Hopefully not in tears…
Reg :-)

Montag, 16. März 2009

"Hello Johnny" is finished.
It's a bit experimental but I'm happy with it.
It's most definitely a step up in my capabilities and I feel it's taken me to a different plane of consciousness and thought progression, man... cosmic baby, cosmic. :-)
Seriously, I'm really happy with it, just hope it makes sense to other people.

Tee is busy with Frank Delaney right now so I might start on Gulag again.
There's already a storyline down and I've written about 7000 words. Not much but I haven't started it properly yet.
The thing is, I need a religious angle on it, if it's to fit in with part one… or do I?
Mmm, decisions decisions.

Whatever, did I mention that Liverpool rogered Man United all over Old Trafford the other day?
Oh I did , did I?

Good, eh?
Reg :-)

Donnerstag, 12. März 2009

Well, it's been three months to the day since I sent the MS off, and with every tick of the clock my expectations and doubts grow fatter.
However there's nothing I can do to change the situation so I'll just have to remain cool and aloof from all those alternating misgivings and hopes… somehow… must be cool, must be cool…
The problem is that cool is not an asset I can count on in my arsenal of behavioural qualities.
Damn, I wish I was, "The Fonz" sometimes…

I haven't written anything for a couple of days either, even though I've had a brain-ache of an idea for my "Hello Johnny" story… which I haven't mentioned to you yet but I was getting around to, honest.
Basically the story starts with a dude answering his phone only to hear an old woman say two words to him; "Hello Johnny" (hence the title, subtle, eh?).
This line follows him through the story, popping up in his email in-tray, his handy blah blah fishcakes, you get the idea. I was all fire and flame when I started it, whizzing down the first thousand words in a jiffy. However, I seemed to have slowed down in productivity these last couple of days.
So I'm going to give it a bash again today, see where it goes.

Tee had some bad luck with Frank Delaney. She lost all that she'd put down on a corrupted disk.
I lost the first six months of my book to a virus when I first started it. I couldn't even use the disk I'd stored it all on because the virus was apparently on that too.
"Stoopid computers" as Homer would say.
You love 'em, you hate 'em but you can't live without 'em, right kids?
Right Reg.


Mittwoch, 11. März 2009

Just let that scoreline roll around your tongue like a melting chocolate Maltezer, spreading that sweet, malty satisfaction in its wake....
It's almost sexual.
That's what Liverpool did to Real Madrid last night.
I know it's not anything to do with my book but hey, it's my Blog, right?
Right Reg.

Mmmmmm, I feel all warm and toasty now.
Time for bed.

Reg :-)

Freitag, 6. März 2009

On March the 12th it will be three months since I sent my MS off. I wonder if that means anything?
Granted, the people I sent it off to read the whole manuscript, which is a bonus in my view, but still… three months… come on. It just HAS to be positive, hasn't it?

Whatever, I went through the Vampire 300 story again, changed it a little and now it's gone, into the great wide cyber-world. The story itself was over the word count limit and the guidelines for submission clearly stated that anything over 10K had to be queried first, which I duly did because I'm a good boy, I am.
I received a very nice email back thanking me for sticking to the guidelines and saying that they would keep an eye out for my piece.
The thing that flummoxed me was that they thanked me for sticking to the guidelines. Why wouldn't I?
My word count was 10431 words, the limit was 10000, and they'd know if I'd gone over because it was on a Word document which has a word count installed. Who would be so obtuse as to think that they wouldn't check?
I wonder at the mindset of these people who think along the lines of, "Oh, they'll never know it's over the limit. We'll keep quiet and blag it…"
Bloody Chavs.
Anyway, it's gone now.

I'm tired, irritated and work is getting me down. On top of that my bed is calling me… must sleep…must slee….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Dienstag, 3. März 2009

Well that was quick.
I sent it off on Thursday and received the rejection yesterday.
Can't fault 'em for the swift answer, just the content could have been a bit more positive.

Ah well, I wasn't sure it was the right sort of publication anyway. The name alone, (Extreme Horror Anthology) arose my doubts as to its suitability.

So why did you send it then? (I hear you ask.)
Well, it was the first one on the list that didn't have a ridiculous amount of formatting to do. I think it must be some kind of test of willingness with these publications. Everything has to be "just so". The spacing, the margins, the type set, the size, indent or not indent on a new paragraph, put three asterixes, (or should that be asterii in the plural?) after a change of scene, every tenth letter must be a capital, translate the whole story into Hindustani... the list is as varied as it's ridiculous, especially when you're sending a twenty thousand word novella.
Each publisher has their own "needs" and I've no idea why, it's not like their going to print it blind. Why can't they read it through, send it back and then say how they want it?

No way Reg, that's far too much like hard work. These guys work a twenty five hour day and have no time to do that if they want to read everything.
Are you kidding me? Half of the slush pile gets binned after the first paragraph.
Ok, (I hear you say again) that's a fair point, but it's you who wants them to print your work, not the other way around.
True, but it's not like they're paying me, is it? At most it's a cent a word, an American cent that is. Or a voucher at Amazon or an Oxfam christmas card, whatever. The market out there is geared to the muck-eater (the writer) being kept in his bottom-dwelling place. You only have to read the comments on some of the other blogs by agents or editors to know who's at the top of the superiority tree and who eats what in the big scheme of things. I don't blame them, I'm as arrogant as the next one if I'm feeling superior. The thing is, I haven't been feeling very superior since I started sending my work off, to be honest.

That's because it's crap, Reg.
Thanks for that.

Actually, I must add that some of the blogs I've read from people in "The Biz" are very good; the ones I follow are excellent.
However, there are those that smack of self-love so much, I feel like I'm intruding on a
solitary sexual act everytime I read their splurge. Ew...

Well, that's it for now.
Needless to say, I found a different publisher of short stories, formatted the text to their expectations and sent it off.
Now where's that muck, I'm starving.

Reg :-)