I’m in my writing-clothes
For some reason, whenever a writer’s blurb mentions clothing it’s to brag that the writer writes whilst clad in their most comfortable clobber—pyjamas for example for the delightful Julie Powell of Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen; Boxers for Max(x) Barry—my hated arch-rival (1). It makes sense. Your ability to write requires zen-like conditions. Zen-like of course for yourself. Most of us are not comfortable in in tuxedos and/or spats. So most writers dress in their slobby clothes and presumably only spruce up for planned people encounters, readings or award ceremonies. I have heard of writers who, on suffering from a tendency for procrastination, end up locking themselves naked in a room with nothing but the tools of their trade. All they can do is write … after they masturbate furiously once or twice that is (2).
So I am in my writing clothes. Purely by accident since, as it turns out, my writing clothes are also my pyjamas. Girls' pyjama bottoms—since they lack the cock-hole of the men’s kind—and a t-shirt as a top. I detest pyjama tops as they have buttons. When you’re fat then you don’t like buttons and you feel cinched in. Hardly conducive torso wear for the sleeping-inclined.
However I am in fact writing as well. Because, well, I am trying to write more.
I was text-batting back-and-forth with Casso, my writing buddy, who revealed unto me the word count of her current project. I was flabbergasted at her number. She then politely asked if I was writing at the moment. I replied I planned to … then … then I declared and accepted a self-gauntleting (3)— ‘If I can ride fifteen minutes (4) a day then I sure as Fuck (5) can write for thirty minutes,’ I pompously declared. I then threw my brandy balloon of distilled Eloi-essence into the fireplace and watched as the flames flared with the spray of hyper-alcoholic rendering-of-the-beautiful and splinters of glass, the firelight’s flare reflected in the glasses upon my face.
On occasion I have ideas for characters, locations, situations, books, shows, short stories, sketches—all that jazz (waves hat). But I am a very lazy man and rarely write them down. This has now changed. I have a word doc simply file-named 1.Ideas. I had actually created the doc on a whim yesterday, having thought about writing more and jotting down some notes. But today I have actually gone through and organised it; breaking it down by writing subject—books, shows, locations etc.—and all gleefully labelled via use of header styles and the Ideas doc complete with its own table of contents. All inspired by the streaking-success of my writing buddy.
Indeed, I will even be so lame as to have the notepad by the side of the bed for when I am in the drowsy twilight to record ideas on. Because I just know that a man who has not left the precinct of his property in forty-eight hours (6) is not getting out of bed armed only with a half-baked thought to go through the effort of jiggling his mouse to wake up his computer and peer mole-eyed one inch from the monitor to see what he is doing because he couldn’t be fucked going through the glasses-fumbling-for-reaching-around (7). So armed with a trusty pad and assuming I managed to bother in the morning, I can simply update the doc … presuming I can read the mental-patient-like scrawl I would have made ... I'll likely feel like the confused character of a passery-by in a Saw movie trying to decipher a message from a victim who only had toilet paper and a toe-stump available to write with ... who then gives up and goes on their merry way leaving the victim to howl silently through the ragged remains of their vocal chords.
And, although it pains me to make the self-gauntleting that much more painful (again, see 3.), I will declare that blogging does not count towards the thirty minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging. Blogging gives me purpose and makes me feel better. It’s a catharsis. It’s also excellent practice. However as far as the thirty minute challenge goes … no, it doesn’t count. Because the plan is the thirty minutes needs to lead somewhere concrete … as opposed to merely being added to my ‘I still exist’ e-shriek ledger.
It’s either that or sit around and being sad and pain-wracked and bitch and moan and woe-is-me about my semi-failed, crappy body.
So, for the second time in three years, I jump.
(1) He’s not really. I’ve never met him. All I know of him is that the books of his I have read—Syrup, Jennifer Government and Company—are all awesome and make me blaze green eye until I could use the emanating beams to bore through steel. When I first read Ben Elton’s books I fantasised about being able to write like that. Max(x) Barry writes like Ben Elton. And, spitefully, Max(x) Barry is younger than me. But if I am going to pull my finger out, more on that later, I need to mentally tape up a picture of an admired figure in the field. Like a boxer might tape to his punching bag (1a).
(1a) Although to stand up to wear-and-tear the boxer would need to get the photo printed on some sort of robust flexible surface. I have this mental image of him down at a copy shop, in his silken boxers and with gloves on, trying to explain through his mouth-guard filled mouth exactly what he needs from a clearly unsettled skinny copy shop attendant, who likely has glasses and deluded hair. You know, where the person with the hair thinks it makes them look awesome when in fact they are deluded and it does not. Which explains why I had a ponytail from 1995 thru to July 1998. Although I confess the decision to go from arse-long to a hint-of-stubble in length was not an epiphany that I was suffered from deluded hair all this time but because I started to go bald and my stroke-afflicted boss kept point it out (‘Yes, there, through those strands. You’re BALD!’)
(2) This is with the presumption the writer is a male. I don’t know how lady writers operate, but I am presuming that the anecdotal evidence on drive is such that they can resist the lure of ‘I’m naked and alone…’ If only—and again, this is presumption, because the circumstances of female self-pleasure requires a more convivial environment than a chair, desk, and word-processor. Unless, that is, they just e-penned a particularly saucy scene involving a werewolf-vampire-supernatural hunter three-way and everything has kind of misted on up down in lower-lady-land (2a)
(2a) Casso swore blind to me she has a read a supernatural thriller(?) where that actually happened. I also am in love with the fact that bookstores now have a section dedicated to Supernatural Teen Romance.
(3) I can’t believe that gauntleting is a word. Anyway by self-gauntleting I don’t mean pleasuring myself with hand armour (because, at the very least, you wouldn’t want to turn up at casualty with a story about showering and improper stowage of protective gear. That and it would be hard to explain condom rolled over the extended middle digit). I mean throwing down a gauntlet; a challenge.
(4) Actually, I am up to sixteen. But one of the first things I learned in my abortive grad. dip. was that by all means use reality to fuel your writing … but change things for the benefit of the story. That’s why you end up with composite characters in movies because to have the 28 actual people involved in it requires more than 90 minutes to tell the tale. That’s when you need HBO to step in and do its magic. Sopranos, Deadwood and Game of Thrones. Need I go on?
(5) Title case? Seriously? It’s not my fault. My phone predictive text didn’t start with fuck loaded. I had to embed it in through use. Alas, for me, it embedded in title case. I have learned you can fix it by going edit word, restarting the word two characters in then deleting the first two characters. Voila—sentence case! But most of the time I can’t be fucked.
(6) For three years, two months, and eight days (but who’s counting?) I went for a daily walk. Rain, hail, fucking-shine. Then … Steven Bradbury. So yes, in the last 48 hours I have not left my property. I rode The Hell Wagon instead.
(7) For a second I had reach-around. Then I realised ‘oh no, that’s not right’.