Welcome to the web page and blog of Gregor James, children and adult fictional author.

Hey. Me again. And whaddya know -another 3 months appear to have slipped past. 

So where do I start? I guess with the sad fact that while the old Covid outbreak affords one a lot of time in front of this PC, but has also chased away anything one might be able to call a muse. I have - once again - sat down in front of this thing - bashed my head against the keyboard for a bit, then gone off - this time to do a bit of Sonic Pi. Don't know if you've heard of it - it's a codeable synthesizer- great fun for a while when you are determinedly prevaricating. But that ran its course (I have no more patience for composing than I have for writing) and so now I've come back, to resume the plan as set out below. Will it actually come to pass this time? Ha ha ha ha. Sob. 

So to be specific - my author Kanban has the following tasks in it currently:

take gorodin down from publish sites - check

update website etc with new situation (yuh-huh)

read up on novel structure - especially. scenes and which scenes i should write first - i.e. should I write key scenes first and then write the rest of the novel to join up to them, or will that screw up the fluidity of the book - especially considering the lack of time I spend writing in any case.

- carry on with the Gorodin plot and character and scene grids.

- write amazing Novel

- be worshipped as author god

 

Let's see where we end up this time...

Wassup imaginary fanbase. How are you all surviving the pandemic. Sorry my ,missives have been verging on non-existent. Life has been getting in the way. And it probably still will. I have a family etc. - we all have a lot of stuff to deal with, so I can't promise this will get any more regular - but we'll see.

 

Writing-wise I have given up on the short stories. I was finding it so hard to get anything at all on paper.  I think part of that is because one of my main source of motivation is the sense of wonder at movie-scale epic plot lines - you know fabulous monsters, epic betrayals, that sort of thing. You can't squeeze that into a short story - it's like trying to do a long jump with a 2 foot run-up.

 

So I have embarked on a change of tack. Having *accepted* that I don't have the hour+ a day to get proper traction on a novel, I am sharpening the saw in other ways. First is essentially to plan a re-write of Gorodin. So I am doing things like character questionnaires, using a lot of hints from podcasts etc, a plot 'swimlane' which follows the main characters throughout the book, and a synopsis. The PLAN is - I publish bits of these here, and you get to see the masterpiece taking shape. But we've had plans before, so let's not promise anything.

 

I'm going to wrap this up now, because I have a job to do, but I will check in next week. Or that's the plan…

Sorry for the delay. Had a lot on. We all do, don't we.

 

Just looking at the last entry - it seems like years ago. I was still trying to write, for a start. Since then scarcely a word has passed by keyboard - not counting emails, other work stuff, or notes not dissimilar to this, urging me to do something significant with my life.

 

This is because - shortly after the last entry where I was trying to wrestle myself back to the keyboard, I gave myself a week's break. And it felt good. Way way to good. What's more it continued to feel like that for a while. And then other things started to move in on my time. Some worthwhile things, like helping my kids revise their mocks. But also other things, like work.

 

I have been toying with giving up. Abandoning hope of getting anything published and doing something else. Try to play the piano. Compose some music. But I can't even get enough zhuzh for that. It's like I'm shrinking.

 

I also have another issue to deal with which  kinda puts everything into perspective. In fact just thinking about it makes me feel guilty for the self-indulgent hogwash up to here. I am going to stop now for a bit

So there I was - this Saturday, at the start of my big weekend. Time to smash heroically through the writers block.

 

I had reached a critical point, you see. For - I dunno - 6 weeks - a month maybe - I had been hardly writing anything because I couldn't find space for it in my routine. Regular space, that is. I tried to do it after work, but family stuff takes over. Not all the time - but enough of the time. And that lack of routine is fatal to me - maybe that means I am not committed enough I dunno - let's hope not.

 

Anyway - during Sunday planning (geek!) I found a solution. I get up early, exercise (without which spending all day in the house is fken hellish) and sit here until 8:15 when the kids need a lift to school. Giving me 30-45 minutes of regular time. The family are still there at this point, but too half-asleep to make too many demands. Now I read this over I realise I need to add to this even to get to my miserable commuting writing time, but hey - it's a move in the right direction.

 

And it worked - for a bit. Week 1 I got stuck into my second short story - developed a couple of characters, began actually writing. Since then though…not so good. A lot of the time I seem to peter out after about 200 words. Saturday being a case in point.

 

I was writing a scene in which Richard, my main man, is talking to Rachel, his wife, who is wheelchair-bound. It's set in the near future. And at some point it seems apposite that she might stop talking, and, I dunno - pick up a cup of coffee. But then I get stuck. Why? Because I haven't really worked out how bad her condition is, what her wheelchair is like, what her house is like. How will she move? Can she even drink the coffee properly? What height is the table? So it's simple right? I have gone too far toward the write side of the 'prepare' vs 'just fken write' spectrum, and I need to work out how the MND patient of the future lives.

 

So why have I spent the rest of weekend moping, rather than coming to this basic conclusion, Hm? Should come to you first, right? I just hope it's just that simple. I plan a bit more, unblock, and hit a gusher. Lord knows I'm due one…