A Year of Writing: Days 21-30

Day 21 of #ayearofwriting and I am back with the Mausu story, making some tint corrections and holding myself back from doing too many big ones. I need to make some lines clearer, some images crystal but not to much to make the story a trip in to telling rather than showing.

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Day 22 of #ayearofwriting that is all.

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Day 23 of #ayearofwriting and from Mausu to my man at Hurley. For those of you who don’t know where it is, follow The Thames up from Windsor and you will find it. It’s prime flood land and my man is on a flood plain in the immaculate and middle class Hurley Park. He is like a modern Mr Pooter, for those of you unaware of Pooter, he was the archetypal diarist of a century ago chronicling his ascent into middle class life. Charles Pooter penned the Diary of a Nobody. My story though is more like the last rant of a nobody, someone clinging to the way things where and there is something of the Ballardian about him, something of the Enormous Space. The water is creeping up around Mr Pooter’s ankle’s and he is too busy writing emails to councillors about street signs he demands they take down.

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Day 24 of #ayearofwriting and I am three weeks in and nudging closer to four weeks. That means one month down and only 11 to go. Feedback on The Tin Grasshopper story is my reader is a little flummoxed by the dialogue but then again, I consider Anthony Burgess on this, and a Clockwork Orange. I may have to make somethings clearer but to deny the narrator’s language to make the reader happier seems to contravene what the story is about. My reader admits they need to read it more and finds it difficult to read on the screen. I have every sympathy but now that I am writing someone inconsiderate in my new story, I am concerned that any response, like this status, will sound so bloody pompous. So, thank you my reader, thank you for all your feedback and let’s see what comes of The Tin Grasshopper. Here’s a clockwork heart for The Tin Grasshopper.

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Day 25 of #ayearofwriting and this evening I am making notes, plotting conflict and being all noir. Well, certainly in the photo filter stakes. Sometimes you need a little perspective and distance from the things you are writing, so you can question and get the big red pencil to make necessary answers.

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Day 26 of #ayearofwriting and the climate change denier is the root of my story now. The suburbanite in Hurley, down the river from Windsor, and watching the neighbours move out because of a little rain. The oddity is not the denial but the fact that he is hiding something, something has happened between him and his wife, and he isn’t talking about it. The problem is, I haven’t figured out what has happened yet and he’s not at a stage to tell me. I am slightly worried.

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Day 27 of #ayearofwriting and I am being drawn away from the story I am writing now for the novel I need to write the outline for. I find myself spending an hour looking at climate forecasts, and running through my head is a refrain by David Bowie:

I think about a world to come
Where the books were found by the Golden ones
Written in pain, written in awe
By a puzzled man who questioned
What we came here for
All the strangers came today
And it looks as though they’re here to stay
– Oh! You Pretty Things by David Bowie (1971)

I drop this into a document and decide to put the date of release on, then my next page simply says 2135, and I am struck by the juxtaposition of dates and the flood maps. I am considering the cults in this society, in a world that is increasingly hot. I drive home from work and listen to the song, and I feel afraid, I feel it is necessary to write this novel and it has to be based in the North because by this time, there will only be a North, the south will have ceased to exist. This is not scaremongering, it is simple science, the world is melting and my story is about the boiling point. I want to thank Tiffani Angus who in her email got me considering the story more rather than the science, rather than the landscape. Though I can write bloody good landscape.

 

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Day 28 of #ayearofwriting and the location for my story comes out of Three Men in Boat, I consider The Thames and the projected flooding and I am drawn to Hurley Weir and Magpie Island – I remember that in the book they put down on such an island but I think this was at Runnymede on Magna Carter Island – but the insistence of Magpie Island and the idea of bad/good luck sticks with me. Yet, I find myself drawn to flood maps of London and consider what it will be like further to the west in the land of my story as the last great deniers cling on as the gates and dykes are breached. For I know that in the end, London will try to hold on as long as it can because the capital though in a bubble, stands for an ancient idea, the idea of what our culture means and when it falls, it will be the end of our nation as we become island states. All this is being thrown into the mix on my novel.

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Day 29 of #ayearofwriting and in my Hurley Park story, my narrator mentions the water-men for the first time, the same characters that are in The Tin Grasshopper. He talks about what a good idea they are, that it’s the best decision the government have made to stop looters and sort out the refugee problem. He alludes to wars in Africa and India as if we know what he is going on about. This is thebeauty of first person and not the omnipotent/omnipresent narrator, there is no God head here, it goes unsaid because the narrator has a limited view of the world in first person, and naturally assumes you know what he is going on about. I know what wars he is talking about, and as readers by stating countries in conflict now you kind of guess what wars have happened. You see echoes of Syria or Iraq or Afghanistan but you know because they are here in droves that it is far worse, and the fear from indigenous people far worse. ‘Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering’ #yodaquote
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Day 30 of #ayearofwriting and here are the water-men, the creeping of fascism in my Hurley Park story:

‘I have told Charlotte to up her security, spy cameras have lowered our home insurance and made a damn impact on those thinking of getting in because any facial recognition is sent straight to the new branch of the police and army, the water-men; smart, officious and dealing out penalties on the spot.’

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