Welcome to the web page and blog of Gregor James, children and adult fictional author.
- Written by Greg
So I'm back. s'up Sergei? How's it going Webcrawler?
Has it really been 2 years? Wow. Time really does speed up as you approach decreptitude. Now I know you'd love me to tell you everything I have been up to in that time - it wouldn't even take that long, sadly - but I think if I focus on stuff affecting my writing I can condense it still further.
So to dust off an old metaphor with a bit of help, a lot of effort (18 of the 22-odd months I was out) and a generous sprinkling of fortune I made it to the Kingdom of Betterjob. The rumours that the streets are paved with new and interesting people seem to be true so far - I just need to make sure not to P*ss them off. Also I reckon I have found the secret passage to Semi-Retirograd. It's a long way away though - through a block ed tunnel that will still be several years in the digging, but it's there. So it looks like I managed to stay on course long enough to get somewhere, and I am pleased with that. It's not where I want to be, but it's closer. :)
What next then, I hear you both cry. No idea - stop pressuring me, I cry in response. I've only just made one decision - gimme a break! What I do know is that I have some time, I have lots of ideas and I still want to write. I do I just. Can't. Get. The Rust. Off.
It's fear partly. You see I have discovered the wonderful and varied world of podcasts in the last few months. I have learned French. I have learned how we're all going to be ruled by robots (stay tuned for more on that). And I have listed to Brad Reed's 'Inside Creative Wiring' podcast. Which is excellent, but also scary, because it has reminded me how little I know.
Right from Episode 1 I felt like I was walking off a cliff edge. Fictionalising your audience. (What just as worrying is that I had to go and look that up.) It was about ways of placing your reader in the thick of the action, through ways I have already forgotten. I did none of this. Nor do I do any mis en scene. I don't even have much of an idea what my theme is - let alone how to support using the various extraneous parts of my characters, settings etc. And this is only at podcast episode 5. Out of 37. If I took on 20% of those podcasts that makes me about 3% competent.
I've had time to reflect on this now, and have realised a few things. Firstly a lot of these episodes have a lot less implicit criticism of my writing in them. The one about grammer for instance - my grammar's not too bad - and not just because of my scrupulous daughter proof-reader. Secondly - and more seriously - I am throwing up barriers because I am scared to get back on the old literary horse. The way I combat that is goals. I have a goal now. I need to finish a draft of the short story I have been kicking around for months by Christmas. Short stories - I have realised - are a much better for learning one's craft - and for fitting in all the other stuff that comes with this like trying to hold down a job/get published, or more realistically get anyone to read what I've written without me paying/emotionally blackmailing them.
So we're off. I'll see you in 6 weeks time . Wish me luck !!
- Written by Greg
Sorry - Gregor James the author can't some to the phone right now. Why? Because he is trapped in a magical chest in the corner of his study while an imposter struts around in his stead. Pretending to enjoy his job. Or maybe, worse still, actually enjoying it.
- Written by Greg
So now, I have once again decided to take my work underground, to stop it falling into the wrong hands.
This will be my last entry for some time.
Or will it?
I have a confession to make. I am extremely indecisive. And right now I am at a crossroads. One that looks depressingly familiar.
On one side - the Kingdom of BetterJob . In the distance I can see new and interesting people, a fulfilling working environment. And wedges of filthy cash.
On the other…well at first the road descends into a swirling mist, until just before the horizon emerges a glittering tower, where the King of the World lives. He is not only the King of This World, but the King of many other worlds, because he creates those worlds by means of his four typing fingers. And he is a Happy King, because he creates these worlds for a living.
I strode boldly into that mist many times, but the broken compass of indecisiveness keeps leading me back here. My head is spinning, my legs are weary, and those wads of filthy luchre have never looked so tempting.
It wouldn't be selling out, you understand. I'm not talking about burning the bridges to Self-Sufficient-Writer Towers. Rumour tells that beyond the Kingdom of BetterJob lies the mythical land of MortgageFree, and it's capital city, SemiRetirograd. And beyond there, those same rumours indicate there is a mountain pass leading straight to the Promised Land.
But finding the path is not without peril. Before reaching it, BetterJob visitors risk becoming enslaved by its cunning rulers into the Joyless Army of Pointless Capitalism. And the route itself is fraught with peril, littered as it is with yet more obvious metaphors.
So here I stand at the crossroads. Turning around and around. Begging for divine guidance. Or, failing that, a coin. Anything.
- Written by Greg
Hi Folks - a Happy 2018 to one and all. I have spent the Christmas holidays incubating cold and flu viruses, mostly wearing my way-too-comfy new pyjamas and publishing my new book. See -> there it is on the right. Gorodin Pt1. Like most authors I am 1 part proud, 1 part ashamed, 1 part desperate to rewrite the whole thing, but that's partly why I've put it out there - to remove the temptation for endless re-writes. It works fine as it it Greg - leave the damn thing alone.
This is the first part of a trilogy - the rest of which currently exists as an unmanageable combination of rabid, indecipherable notes and plot plans. So what I really need is for people to read it, love it, and tell me they are desperate to read part 2. Then I can discard all my other life roles (father, wage earner etc.) and go write it. Or maybe not. It would be a powerful motivator though...
I've written plenty blurb elsewhere outlining the book, but not the inspiration behind it. It's a while back now and I don't remember it all perfectly, but I remember liking the concept of someone being kicked out of a isolated desert city, and then learning an earth-shattering secret he needs to get back in for, and around the same time coming up with a neat fantasy idea what that secret would be. Then I got the 2 main characters, and we were ready to go.
Anyway do please check it out. I will be back shortly hopefully with news on failed attempts at promotion via Facebook/Twitter/Good reads et al. Farewell until then.