Things people always say to Writers.

Great piece by my brilliant friend Tom

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

It was recently said I look like a writer, which I tried to pretend wasn’t shorthand for appearing socially inept, malnourished and skint. They then asked me what genre my novel is.

It’s a regular question, and in light of people invariably asking the same things upon hearing that you are a writer, it would be a good idea to have well-prepared answers, which makes my lack of them even more inexplicable.

The most common is, ‘Are you published?” like it’s something that inevitable happens to every writer. Of course you want to grab them by the lapels and scream ‘D’you have any fucking idea how hard it is to get published?’ It’s not something you choose as an option at A-level . If I was published I would be (even more) unbearable, and you’d not be able to enter my house due to piles of unsold copies of the novel…

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Malaise


This is me yesterday: bleary-eyed (hence the sunglasses) suffering from a bad case of ‘the morning after the night before’ as I spent Saturday evening in the pub. I was on my way out of the house to go and vote in the first round of the French presidential elections. I may not live in France anymore but I still love my country fiercely and I very much care what happens to it. There is no question that I should do my duty even from abroad and go cast my vote.

And yet, for the first time in my adult life, there wasn’t a single candidate I identified with. I had to make a tactical choice and vote for the person I thought had the best chance to keep Le Pen away from the presidency, because she is a real menace. It was predicted she would get to the second round of the elections but her chances depended on who would join her there.

Should she win, heaven forbid, I will slap (hard) the first idiot who comes up to me to inform me that the French are obviously a bunch of fascists. Because should she win, it would be thanks to a wave of protest votes against politicians and politics, just like it was with Trump in the US.

Liberals are dismissing people’s concerns, political correctness is breeding resentment, so people are turning to the one misfit who makes loud (false) claims to be different from other politicians – the one who actually addresses (seemingly sincerely) the issues they care about. I can understand that, I used to be a socialist in France until they started patronising the working class on a grand scale. It’s one thing being fucked by the conservatives if you’re working class, you expect it. But when it’s the party that is supposed to be championing your rights doing it, it is that much harder to take.

The problem is that people who vote for a Trump or a Le Pen don’t realise that those would-be leaders are actually insane. And you don’t put insane people in charge of a country. You just don’t, no matter how angry you are and how disenfranchised you feel.
And yet people are doing just that: voting for dangerous lunatics who should be under the constant care of a good psychiatrist.

Where is good old common sense? It’s lacking from our current society and nowhere is it more felt than in the political field. I, along with too many others, am disillusioned – I would rather stick pins in my eyes than vote for a Trump or a Le Pen though.

At the time of writing, the results in France have given us Macron and Le Pen in the second round. I think it’s safe to say she hasn’t got a hope in hell of winning now, everyone will rally round Macron. Still, I have no faith in him like I had no faith in any of the other candidates; this political malaise is real – even if we escape the dreaded Le Pen peril, there’s just nobody to believe in.
I can’t help but ask myself if this what the climate feels like when a revolution is brewing.

Casualties

You are finally mine,

the tip of my tongue traces the fine lines in the corner of your eyes

you grab my face, pulling me closer,

you pulse inside me while white flashes make the room fade in and out

as waves of pleasure roll through me like the sea surging forward,

pausing

holding perfectly still for an exquisite second

and withdrawing

before starting all over again, repeating its infinite journey

Yes, the beast has been released, clawing and biting,

rendered mad by the prolonged waiting –

it won’t be satiated until we fall on the field exhausted –

and then it will be said that lust has claimed its casualties.

Fantasy

Your face is hovering on the edge of my day, steadily driving out all coherent thoughts from my brain.
Night descends and you become a distant galaxy stretched across the sky, pulling me in with the intensity and insanity of a forest fire devouring everything in its path without regard for maps and lines drawn by man.
The dark swallows me whole, no pinpricks of light in the tight fabric of life, just this ferocious lust, the torture of my flesh moving, undulating under your faraway hands, I try but fail to catch my breath as you touch me, and I ignite like dry kindling despite the rivulets running down my legs. I can’t breathe and yet my fingers rake through your hair and my nails engrave deranged poems on your skin, you move inside me, stealthily at first, just as I like it, before gaining strength and speed and I scream into empty space, my throat raw, the primal sounds getting lost in the caves of the Stone Age.
All of this, a wild fantasy we’ve built, one which has coloured too many days not to become reality.
As Spring begins-how fitting- real sex and nothing else, because you and I have the same flames running through our veins and once I’ve tasted every bit of you, and not before then, the world can exercise its privilege to fucking go to hell.

Betrayed


This is the story of a man who took a fancy to a vase made of delicate and fragile porcelain

He was asked not to handle it unless he understood how precious it was, how rare—

this wasn’t a job lot out of a rubbish factory, it had been crafted with love & care

Someone else, the man was told, had been thoughtless, even cruel, and had let the vase fall

It had not shattered but some pieces got broken and scattered all over the floor

It had to be put back together—long and tedious work of many hours

But eventually, it was as beautiful as it had ever been

The man listened to this story

Of past abuse and said he was so sorry to hear it

That he wanted the vase very badly

The man made many promises

The man oozed sincerity,

It seemed he could be trusted

And yet, after just a day, the precious vase he dropped and betrayed

And for the sake of a childish boast, he made public this betrayal

The vase, faced with this further disrespect crumbled a little more

Before it got angry-but resourceful-and called on the spirits of wizards and witches of old

Who fixed the vase in a second and turned the traitor man into a toad

Like all stories, there is a moral here of sorts

Very few men are able to appreciate and take care of precious porcelain

No matter what they fucking claim

It is safer to hide all valuables behind locked doors

*This was written a few hours ago (very quickly and it’s as subtle as Trump’s orange hue, I know) on my way to a date. And yes, I was wearing a kickass leather dress, for those of you who appreciate such details*

La Dolce Vita

I’m in the mood
for a frothy kind of moment,

wading into the Trevi fountain at dawn while early tourists gawp

and the water rolls off my skin sweetened by a feast of Italian pastries

the disbelieving, laughing sparse crowd disappears as it is all for your benefit

For you,
who is unlike anybody I’ve ever met,

and for you

I am a goddess made of pale flesh, a temptress in a black dress

though Fellini is long gone, the cameras stopped rolling at a point in time when the world gave up, the colours bled out and la dolce vita died

except in crooked hearts like mine

La notte—dark as tar, I would be blind if it wasn’t for the light in your eyes,
reflecting my image a hundred times—
a dreaming woman materialising out of film stills, in black and white

How Long does it take to write a novel?

My brilliant friend Tom on writing: a kickass post by a kickass writer (with kickass hair)

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

The short answer is bloody ages. I should know. The Life Assistance Agency loitered in my life with the entitlement of sullen teenagers at a bus stop. It was long enough to be transferred from at least two computer hard drives. For many writers, looking too closely at how long it takes to complete a book is inadvisable without emergency services on speed dial.

As already blogged about on here, one of the popular questions people have for writers is ‘are you writing another one?’ which makes you wonder why you started all this nonsense in the first place. Despite your wildest fantasies, there’s no sea of adoring fans at Red Rocks under a blood red sky or name drops from major interviewees clamouring for another book, there’s simply people idly wondering if you’re going to write another, as though it’s on par with eating a few more crisps at a party.

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Us

“She’s gay and you’re straight, she loves you ‘that way’, you like men, you think you can be friends? Blah blah blah…”

I wonder about those who look, stare intently and yet see nothing. What of them?

Pity and fury require too much energy, disdain demands a little caring.

They think of it as a game of chess, moving pieces on the board,
strategically

I want to jump and dance on the dark squares waving my hands in the air

let the pawns do as they will,
be static,
erratic,
fantastic

I know only one thing, I am not willing
to sacrifice my queen, won’t have her or me reduced to our sexuality. Is it such a wild thing to believe—imagine—we are much more than tits on a stick?

She is passion, and maybe in another dimension I like pussy and we align perfectly—maybe—gotta throw something to the gossip

She is strength, she is the sun rising in the east, the hopeful flower burgeoning too early in the spring

She writes words on small paper boats and sends them down rivers, whether they float or sink without a trace does not fucking matter

in the slightest, because she dares, and cares

She sees with her eyes closed
much further than most, even them with their night vision goggles

There was no need or craving, but so much room for her

when she appeared

and instantly took a place that was hers, as surely as if her name had been carved there before birth

See, us?
It’s our story: she’s gay, I’m straight and we love each other—
talk about it, analyse it, make it sordid, seedy, do whatever but…deal with it, yeah?

Because, you know? We don’t really give a shit what anybody else thinks.

Sisters last longer than lovers, we’re gonna be laughing together forever.

Sex

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He was wearing a pair of geeky specs, there was a battered book peeking out of his pocket, Baudelaire, no less, Les Fleurs du Mal—in French—a significant detail and the perfect conversation starter…that, and the shared cigarette…so, anyway, in a room full of people, we fucked—with words—we didn’t touch each other, except at the end, when he whispered against my neck…and, well… I don’t have to tell you the rest—I’m pretty sure you can guess.