What is a Blog For?

I need to figure out where I’m going with this blog business. I think that I might be losing my way. I don’t feel like I have a real purpose anymore.

Used to be that I just wanted to write stories and test those tales out with the public and see if they passed muster.

But I don’t write stories these days.

I wanted to build up a fan-base so that when I released my novels (to wild acclaim) I could announce them on my blog and people would beg, borrow or even (gasp) buy them so that they could benefit from the insights and entertainments contained therein.

But I can’t even get around to editing them.

Then I got caught up and I revelled in the backwards and forwards of banter between myself and the wonderful WordPress community.

And this is where I am. By and large that’s about all I do now.

Sure – chatting is fine. Yes – friends are wonderful. And if this is all I want, then … this is what I have. But … I don’t know. What about getting to be a better writer and getting my stories out there on the shelves of the bookshops of the world?

I need to think.

My Evening T20170713

I can’t stand sleeping in the daytime – even if that snooze is in the evening. I just wake up grumpy and then I continue to feel frumpy until it’s time for bed. That’s what happened just now. I let myself fall asleep and now I feel … well, you know how I feel.

I never want a good thing to end, so I prolong it and stretch it out, and before I know it, it’s minutes past midnight and I still haven’t put down the book or closed the laptop lid. Six thirty is my getting up time, so you probably understand what I mean.

Before I fell asleep I had a perfectly lovely meal of chickpeas and potato in a curry sauce on a bed of rice. There’s a fancy name for the dish but it slips my mind. It was followed by a bit of a crossword and a bit of reading and a bit of sleep.

After I woke up I had some icy grapes. They were perfectly lovely too. I think I’ll have a nice cup of tea when I’ve finished writing.

Have you ever noticed that words fall into predictable patterns? Writing a piece like this is not that much different from writing a song. It’s all about repeating phrases and themes.

  • Look at how I
    • described falling asleep
    • told you happened before,
    • then wrote about what happened after.
  • See how I had food before and then food afterwards.
  • Watch how I began the piece with a summary refrain.
  • Notice how I will finish the piece with a balancing concluding coda.

All these things together produce a kind of a harmony that pleases the mind of the reader. It persuades them that they have read something satisfying and complete within itself.

Of course, I just made all that stuff up. But I hope it’s true all the same. I hope you’ll finish reading this and be left with the mental equivalent of having consumed a satisfying meal.

So there you have it – an evening of eating swirling around a small sleep, like a tornado twisting around the eye of a storm, or a dish of tomato soup with a blob of cream on the top being stirred around and around and around.

May you have the sense to extract what nourishment you can from my sanities without being affected by the inevitable accompanying inanities.


Elements of Writing

Elements of writing – the building blocks of a sentence or piece of writing:

  • Adjective – “a word naming an attribute of a noun, such as sweetred, or technical.”
  • Adverb – “a word or phrase that modifies the meaning of an adjective, verb, or another adverb, expressing manner, place, time, or degree (e.g. gently, here, now, very). Some adverbs, for example, sentence adverbs, can also be used to modify whole sentences.”
  • Noun – “a word (other than a pronoun) used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things ( common noun ), or to name a particular one of these ( proper noun).”
  • Verb – “a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence, and forming the main part of the predicate of a sentence, such as hear, become, happen.”
  • Rhetorics – “the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the exploitation of figures of speech and other compositional techniques.”

This piece is only here to support another of my posts: Food For Prose. Think of it as being Appendix A.

(Source of all definitions – Google Search. Thank you Uncle Google.)

Do Not Read This

Please do not View this post, and certainly don’t hit the Like button. If you can’t restrain yourself from doing those things – for sure don’t leave a Comment! And even if you do manage not to manage that – do not, on any account, Follow this blog or Repost anything you find here!!

Today is looking like it is in danger of becoming a Record Breaking Day. Viewing levels are just shy of the highest daily total achieved since this blog began. If you can’t manage to hold yourself back, your activity could push the blog over the edge!

I’m not sure that I could bear the excitement. I’m not naturally inclined towards too much jollity and fun and, well – imagine the scene if you made me happy! It’d be a tragedy – right?

So, if you are reading this – back away slowly – I’m a man on the edge. Any sudden movements and my poise is done for. Easy now …

Thanks for your kind consideration.

What She Almost Told Me

My writing process (and what happened because of it):

  1. Look at the keyboard in front of me.
  2. Check what thoughts are in my mind.
  3. Try to clear my head and get ready.
  4. Ignore the hollow feeling in my chest.
  5. Ignore the scornful twist of my lips.
  6. Feel an empty space open in my mind.
  7. Watch to see what’s happening inside.
  8. See the absence of me and get worried.
  9. Decide that some idea is going to come.
  10. Watch for the new idea’s birth pangs.
  11. Push aside the image of Bond (Brosnan).
  12. Wonder why I’m remembering a dream.
  13. Decide that this must be important, so …
  14. Notice that the last point was thirteen.
  15. Decide it’s unlucky to start from thirteen.
  16. Get so bored with writing about my mind.
  17. Decide to write a story so that I can escape … me.

The bullet enters my rib cage just to the left of my heart. I guess it missed killing me outright by an inch. As my lung begin to fill with blood I think of the ants outside my kitchen door. They had been tunnelling into the foundations of the house, removing sand and grit piece by piece. I had been outraged by this invasion of ‘my territory’ and had responded by filling their hole with poison powder. But that wouldn’t hold them.

In my bag is a newly bought tube of Liquid Ant Killer that says, in tiny letters, that ants will feed on it and pass it on to the entire colony. As my breathing becomes harder to do, I start to worry that it’ll never get used. Not by me anyhow. Waste of money. I wonder if I should give to someone in the crowd gathering around me. I wonder if …

I wonder if I’m insane to spend what could be my last minutes thinking about ants.

The urge to cough grabs at my throat. I try to hold it back. I’ve seen people coughing in movies after bullets hit them and I know that it always leads to blood pouring out of mouths and trickling down chins. I’d just put on a new shirt this morning – clean and crisp – straight from the packet. It’d be a shame to get blood on it. Then I laugh. There’s a tiny hole in the front of the shirt. A bullet-hole. A bloody bullet-hole!

I recklessly let the laugh turn to a cough. What the hell – in for a penny.

There’s a little girl standing in front of me when I stop. She can’t be more than five, or maybe six. She has such a tender expression on her face. Sweet and kind of serious. As she looks down at me I feel a lifting sensation – as if a fast moving elevator is starting upwards. I want, so strongly, to carry on going up. I feel as light as the hair snaking around this girl’s face. Strange – why is she glowing?

Her mouth opens and I know she’s going to tell me the most profound truth. I know it will answer every question. Simple, yet …

I feel the most incredible pain slam into my chest. I open eyes that I hadn’t known were closed to see two men crouching beside me. One of them has ripped my new shirt. I’m outraged. I feel something smooth against my chest. Two things. Paddles, a voice whispers inside my mind. Then male voice calls out – calm, serious – we have him.

I look around for the girl, but she’s not there. I  scan the anxious faces watching me. Just a bunch of concerned citizens.

I want to tell them not to worry. I want to explain that it’s going to be okay – whatever happens.

But part of me knows that they’re not really bothered. Most of them will be itching to get home. Aching to tell someone what happened today. One even stops filming me to make a call. Yeah, hi – this guy just got shot!!

A quick pain in my chest and when I look down I see blood flowing through a tube into a bag. Not the best way to make donation. A sharper stab in my arm and I feel myself begin to float. Hopefully, I look again for the girl then realise my mistake. Probably morphine.

Sliding into a soft place in my mind. Couch potato. Quiet calm. Cotton-wool. Safe and …