Thursday, 20 October 2011

Wincey on Harry

Harry Moseley was an 11 year boy with a heart of solid gold. He died recently after fighting a brain tumour. His funeral was today.

Harry became well-known through his charity work after being diagnosed with the tumour in 2007.
Harry, passed away on the 8th October.
During his illness Harry raised funds of more than £500,000, for the charity Cancer Research UK by speaking at events and selling hand-made bracelets.

His Help Harry Help Others campaign gained widespread celebrity admiration from celebs including Dragons' Den tycoon Duncan Bannatyne and England captain John Terry.

To learn more about Harry go to my mate, Wincey's Blog.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Weird Writing

How do you write? Any weird habits?  A favourite position (ooo, er missus)? Do you need complete silence, or do you rock out to Black Sabbath? Or can’t you even think about it until you have 3 coffees, melba toast and a wee dod of caviar? (Aye, right.)

Truman Capote, who arguably wrote the best true crime “novel” ever, couldn’t write unless he was lying down, in bed or on a couch with a cigarette and a coffee. As the day progressed he moved from coffee to mint tea to martinis. As he described it, he had to be puffing and sipping.

Hemingway used to write 500 words every morning, to avoid the heat. Living in Scotland, I SO don’t have that problem.  He is quoted as saying he wrote one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit and that he aimed to put the shit in the wastebasket. I’m thinking the toilet would have been preferable.

Nabokov wrote his novels on index cards – they would then be paper-clipped together and stored in wee boxes. In the Paris Review he said he liked lined Bristol cards and well-sharpened, not too hard, pencils capped with erasers. We call erasers rubbers in these here parts. Which could cause all kinds of confusion and does cause all kinds of sniggering in classrooms around the country.

Thomas Clayton Wolfe, the early 20th century novelist (no, I’ve never heard of him either) was so tall he used to write leaning over a refrigerator.

Ben Franklin liked to write in the bath.

Voltaire used to place his parchment on the back of his naked lover.

John Cheever only had one suit, so he would go to his writing space, hang his suit up and write in his boxers.

So go on, fess up – when your (creative) juices start flowing what weird habits do you have?

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Of Tattoos and Things.

I was being served in a local clothes shop (I've lost 45 pounds now - new jeans, 32 inch waist – just saying) and I noticed the young fella – I’m a poor judge of age, but I’d say he was in his late teens - serving me had a tattoo just below his neckline. It was a string of words – and I don’t know about you, but when I see words I have to know what they say.

(See me reading the same cereal box at breakfast every day for YEARS. It's got thiamine and riboflavin)

Me – Excuse my nosiness but what does the tattoo say?

Him – That’s alright – he grins – It says, everybody dies, but not everybody lives.

Me – cool. What prompted you to get that done?

Him – It’s kinda my thing, my mantra – I think it’s important not to just, like, let life happen to you.

How often do you hear that the young of this country are like the lost generation? It was great to meet a living example that proves that it ain’t necessarily so.

What’s your thing/mantra?

Go on, spill. You know you want to.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

It's National Poetry Day!

So here's one wot I wrote earlier.

(I was commissioned by my friend Margaret Thomson Davis, to write a series of poems for her novel, "Red Alert". The brief she gave me for this character was that she was in her late teens and about to go off to art school. She lived alone with her mother who had Victorian attitudes - and who believed her daughter was going to be drawing bowls of fruit and embroidering lace. Wrong! The young female character expressed herself through a series of poems in her diary - and Margaret asked me to produce the poems.)

Rule of Thumb

She hides behind her thumb
under the guise of the first
lesson in perspective. She stretches
her arm out like a thin, pale promontory
her thumb as beacon,
rigid at the far end
warning of the rocks beyond. 

Her first life model, on the first day
of life classes is naked. And male.
Wearing nothing
but an everyday expression.

The statues that line the hall didn’t prepare her.
Smooth and cold and lifelike no comparison
for smooth and warm and life. With hair.
She didn’t know there would be so much hair.

Dark against the celtic pale of his skin,
it marked him with a t-shape. The crossbar
waved and curled across the tight muscle of his chest
meeting in the middle
where it warmed his heart.

Her eyes trace the line as it narrows
on its path to the navel, before
swelling in a dark tattoo at the groin.
The man must have read her line of sight.
His cheeks bunch with a suppressed smile.

Hers burn as bright as a lighthouse.
She withdraws from his scrutiny
and finds sanctuary behind her thumb.

(NB. This poem doesn't feature in the above collection. I wanted an image to go with the poem and I couldn't be bothered trawling the net for drawings of naked men. Sorry, ladies.)