Hi, this is David Hasselhoff disguised as Christopher Lillicrap, guest-blogging for Charlie Williams. I just wanted to applaud Charlie's earlier post about the Pogues and Fairytale of New York, which has resulted in BBC Radio 1 going back on their censorship decision and reverting to the original version of the song, which includes the words "faggot", "slut", and "cunt". Charlie deserves a lot of credit for wading in on this row and bringing home the right result. You should go out and buy his books as a gesture of gratitude.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Great fly-on-the-wall thing about a journeyman boxer on Setanta last night (with the above title). Tony Booth has been fighting professionally for 17 years, with 50 wins out of 162 fights. He takes fights on a day's notice, and tries to provide for his wife and kids through fighting alone. Yet he doesn't train (quite clearly), drinks like a fish and is not bothered about losing (on points). Watching him fight the young up-and-comers, there is no doubt he has the skill to have at least gone for a national title. But, as one of his pub mates says, "No one bothered with him." I found him very familiar. I also found him kind of heroic. I love characters like him. A journeyman (aka professional opponent) is way more interesting than a hyped up prospect surrounded by yes-men. I thought the filmmakers tried to insert some sadness into his depiction, but there really was none there. Pathos, but no sadness on his part.
Interesting to see the scalp of Omar Sheika on his record, who went on to have four world title fights and go the distance with Jeff Lacy, Markus Beyer, Eric Lucas and Glen Johnson (Joe Calzaghe knocked him out).
Watch it (in five parts):
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Ricky Hatton bids for English glory in Las Vegas in TWO WEEKS. If he pulls this off, surely it would be one of the biggest coups in British sporting history. Or just British history in general. Actually, if Ricky Hatton, the fat Manc who drives a Robin Reliant van, beats Floyd Mayweather Jnr, the widely-regarded and self-proclaimed best fighter (and mouthiest cnut) on the planet, it will be the most momentous event IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Anyone interested in Mangel and Royston Blake should sign up to my newsletter. I will be saying something about a possible fourth book in a couple of weeks. You also might have been morbidly amused by this recent news item.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Can't be sure, but I think the above is the Russian edition of DEADFOLK. Can any Russian speaker confirm? Looking at this page it does seem like it. (Look at that telltale "2.8i" in the blurb.)
Anyway, if Мертвецы is the Russian DEADFOLK, and I am this Чарли Уильямс guy, then very cool. I'm off to celebrate by purchasing a football club.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
This blog salutes Joe Calzaghe, probably the best boxer in the world at this moment. It's between him and Floyd Mayweather Jr in the silky skills stakes, and Joe takes it in my books book because he is also a granite-chinned battler. On Sunday morning, against the immensely destructive WBC/WBA chamption Mikkel Kessler, he took some bombs on the chin and regrouped to win. The best shots of the night were from Kessler, but he couldn't land enough of them to trouble slippy Joe. But skills are not all. You need a fighting heart to be a great, and Calzaghe showed that in round 12. He never looked like knocking Kessler out and constantly faced that danger himself, but instead of playing it safe and protecting his carefully constructed lead, he chose to trade blows. the final stanza included some toe-to-toe action the like of which I've not seen outside of Kingsway, Swansea after Ritzy's chucks out.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
There is an Italian version of FAGS AND LAGER out now from Baldini Castoldi, it seems. It is called Paglie e Birre Chiare, which presumably is Italian for fags and lager. If you're Italian, and you like fags and lager or great novels about troubled door staff, go for it!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I mean, BLACK SHEEP can make you reassess your opinion of these supposedly docile creatures, right? What with GM and E-numbers and all, maybe they really have started eating people? It makes you think, see? When was the last time you actually walked through a field of sheep? I mean, how would you know that they're not aggressive? Personally I walk through hordes of sheep on a regular basis, and I must say I HAVE noticed the evil eye they have started giving me of late. Turn around fast enough and you'll see it. So maybe BLACK SHEEP is on to something there. Maybe BLACK SHEEP is actually, like, a documentary?
But hey, now you can rest easy. The Guardian have taken steps to quell the burgeoning mass hysteria by getting an expert's opinion:
"The reality is that sheep won't bite you. At the front of their mouths, they have teeth only on the lower jaw, so they wouldn't be able to rip the flesh off your bones even if they tried. The only way to get bitten by a sheep is to stick your fingers right into the back of its mouth to reach the cheek teeth. You'd really have to be trying."Feel OK now? Happy to walk once more amongst our woolly brethren? No? Well this should do it for you:
"And of course, they're herbivores, so they wouldn't enjoy a human intestine even if you offered them one."
Friday, October 19, 2007
A few months ago I saw a new play advertised at my local theatre. It's called BOUNCERS, and it looked right up my street, me being a purveyor of doorman literature and all. When I looked into it, I found that this was a play with a long history and a big reputation. No way was I going to miss it, so I bought tickets.
For this Saturday night.
You've got to understand - back then, no one would have anticipated England making it to the Rugby World Cup Final. But there they are - the ragtag band of iron-willed brothers who just will not lie down (when Jonny is playing), versus the awesome team from the New World who kicked their pale arses out of sight not so long back.
Part of me thinks "Sod it. Don't go. Watch the game - which is surely the most hotly anticipated game in history in any sport - and catch the play some other time. Lisa won't mind missing a rare night out."
Another part thinks: "This is fate. This clash of interests was preordained months... nay, millenia ago and you cannot tinker with it. For whatever reason, the England Rugby Team requires that you sit this one out in a non-TV environment. They will do what they have to do, and you will come out of the theatre and find out how it went. Trust me - it'll be just as exciting."
Another part of me thinks: "Bring a little TV into the theatre. No one is going to be there anyway. Not even the cast!"
Another part of me says: "You honestly think Lisa won't mind missing a rare night out?"
Yet another part says: "Ring the theatre. Make them understand the importance of the occasion and tell them to put up a big screen instead of the play. The cast can watch it and everything."
Then there's the bit that says: "Ring up Paris just before the game. Tell them you've planted a b..." No, don't listen. Don't listen!
COME ON ENGLAND!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
This Saturday night (Moscow Time) sees America's own faded former champ Evander Holyfield travel deep into enemy territory to take on Sultan Ibragimov - the WBO Heavyweight champ. If Holyfield wins it'll make him an amazing five-times heavyweight champ and get a slice of the heavyweight cake back on the USA plate. But more importantly, this is just like Rocky and Ivan Drago all over again.
Rocky was past his best and the universal underdog. Evander is 44 and has taken some beatings of late. Ibragimov is an unbeaten heavyweight built by evil scientists in a lab, just like Drago. Rocky and Evander are blue collar heroes. Sultan and Ivan are both just robots incapable of uttering only short phrases such as "You will lose," or "If he dies, he dies," or "I must break you".
OK, Evander is black and Sultan does not have a blonde flat-top, but everything else is identical. Evander will turn the crowd around and have them chanting his name at the end. Sultan will angrily proclaim his selfishness and incur the wrath of Vladimir Putin. But most importantly of all, Evander apparently has a real ROBOT in his house that glides around serving drinks and playing tinny 80s music.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Of course, the lack of recents posts here is purely so I can come across all mysterious. "I wonder what he's up to?" they'll be thinking. "Maybe he's writing the Great American Novel? Although he isn't American, so that can't be right. Saying that, what if his novel was set in America? Would that be a Great American Novel? Assuming it was great, of course."
But that person isn't very clever, so it doesn't matter what they think. A cleverer person might be thinking: "Hmm... the real gamble is not whether Gordon Brown should go for a snap general election now, but whether he should risk leaving it until next year."
Somewhere between those two, someone is possibly thinking: "I wonder if Charlie is writing something different? Like a screenplay or something? Or maybe a romance. A historical romance. The Great American Historical Romance... written by a Brit but set in Salt Lake City. Or maybe he's getting into poetry? I hear there's good money to be made in poetry these days. Or songwriting. What if he's writing a few lyrics for James Blunt?"
Meanwhile... alpaca bouncers.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I'm still here. I have not gone AWOL. I'm doing a bit of this, bit of that. Sowing my seeds of creativity hither and thither. Some will take root and others will land on the harsh and stony ground (thither) and die. But they won't drive me out of town, oh no. I'm staying. I'm finishing my coffee. Enjoying my coffee.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Especially in the crime fiction world, you hear a lot of crap from writers about technique. Draw the reader in. Make him love that protagonist. Make her hate that villain. Make them care. OK, not all of it is crap, but I find it oppressive. Anyone would think writing is not a solitary thing.
Anyway, this is all just a means of pointing you towards this interview with James Kelman, who is lumbered with no such self-consciousness:
"I never bothered about alienating readers, neither then nor now. The priority was to write the story properly. The readers could take care of themselves."
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Will Smith has signed up for the proposed remake of the 1996 movie INDEPENDANCE DAY. Asked how he would justify a remake of such a recent film, he said: "In the modern world, time moves more quickly than in old-fashioned times. Therefore we don't have to wait thirty or more years before we can get away with a remake. More shit goes under the bridge. Also we thought it would be cool to make the president an African American. That's who I'm playing, actually. I've been doing intensive training with one of the world's top rousing speech experts and I can't wait to show you all my chops. And we thought it would be a fun twist to make the hotshot pilot a white man this time. Not only is he a white man now, but he is a woman. An Asian woman. Also we know more about aliens now. We know, for example, that they cannot in fact control our minds like we thought they could back in '96. It is actually our bladders that they control. So now we have the aliens making people urinate at their will, thereby giving us a new angle on the action."
Asked if he thought there would be more of an anti-war theme, Smith said: "The aliens are also going to look different this time. Instead of all those tentacles and shit, they are going to look more like us. We are going to have white ones and Asian ones and African American ones, to show that we are all the same under the skin. And there is going to be a couple of good aliens who try to sabotage the evil shit that is planned. They will be played by Cuba Gooding Jr and Lucy Liu. The evil alien boss will be Alan Rickman. Also some of the humans will have tentacles, to show that we are all the same under the skin."
In other news, John Carpenter's 1981 classic ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK is going to get a remake.
NB: Those linking here from movie news sites should be aware that this post is TOTAL BULLSHIT. Apart from the bit about Escape From New York. Sheesh...
Alex Cox tells it like they don't want to hear it in the Guardian:
We are told 10 Rillington Place "brilliantly embodies the seedy degradation of the real little Britain of the time". Get Carter depicts "a Britain paralysed by strikes and a failing economy ... in short, a nation on the skids". Get Carter was made in 1971. I was a teenager then, and can assure the promoters of this depressing vision that, despite strikes and IRA atrocities, Albion was a long way from skid row. When I went to college, the government paid for it. I incurred no debt. The state owned the water pipes, the reservoirs, the airline, the lecky, the telephone system and the railways, which ran on time and were reasonably cheap. We weren't engaged in two wars of colonial aggression. Muslims weren't our enemies. And the weather was great!
Monday, August 06, 2007
SIDEWAYS I loved this. A repressed writer goes on a booze cruise with his unrestrained mate. Could there be a better tag-line than that? (Actually I made it up.)
What happened to this film? It's fucking ace. Clearly a lot was taken from Baz Luhrman, but the whole idea behind this film had me slotting her in the player short of breath and with tremulous fingers, and I was not disappointed. Christopher Eccleston was brilliant and hard as nails, and it was good to see Eddie Izzard playing the least camp of the Duke's five sons. Alex Cox and Frank Cottrell Boyce pulled the perfect trick - giving us a 400 year old play and making it fresh. That's all you need to do, 400 year old play-wise. But why doesn't this film have a higher profile? Ah, I know... Thomas Middleton's name is not William Shakespeare.
ZIDANE: A 21ST CENTURY PORTAIT
I could destroy this film. I could attack it from every angle, like a turn-of-the-millenium Real Madrid side, picking at every glaring defiency bit by bit before firing home with the unstoppable fact that the directors are artists and not film directors. But... I liked it. I fucking loved this film. I want to watch it again! Ninety minutes of Zinedine Zidane's every move and gesture, totally ignoring the ball and the other players, is fine by me.
The edited video diaries of Rick Kirkham - TV news anchorman, loving father, all-round American good guy and hopeless crack addict. Rarely have I been so compelled by the fruits of our self-obsessed, self-documenting age. Absolutely harrowing viewing, but it just seemed so right that one whose whole identity is built around TV-friendliness should have a desperate need to fill himself full of crack cocaine.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Wow, never thought it would come so quick. The biggest fight in boxing is going to take place, probably in November. Trust me, non-boxing fans, you are going to know all about this fight by then. Expect major hype.
Of course, this is on top of the other biggest fight in boxing.
If you are au fait with the gallic tongue (or actually possess one), you might want to check this interview on the SNCF site. LES ALLONGÉS (DEADFOLK) is up for the Prix SNCF Polar this summer, in case you didn't know.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Seeing as I am currently bored, creatively bankrupt and more interested in sitting on my arse watching films than doing something as taxing as an interesting new blog post, I have dredged the archives for vintage stuff to show you. So allow me to take you back through the mists of time, to a moment when I was just as clueless as I am today but slightly more deluded about it... about it... about it...........
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Did I tell you I was on the cover of a magazine? Yes? OK. Did you believe me? No, thought not. Well get ready to eat those words, sonny boys and girls. Allow me to present WRITING MAGAZINE (Feb 2005)...
Honest to God, I can't leave my house now without people pointing at me and whispering "Hey, there's that guy from the front of Writing Magazine..." And the other day in town, when I went to pick up the mag... ah, I can't bear to think about it. People were following me from shop to shop, quickly hiding behind pillars and letterboxes and things whenever I turned around. But they couldn't fool me. I could feel them...
I knew I had to do something about it. I just couldn't let them get away with it. So I ran back and looked behind the letterbox and confronted the little old lady there, who was pretending to post a letter. "You leave me alone!" I screamed, blowing her blue rinse all over the place. "I have a right to privacy!" Her Yorkshire terrier was yapping like crazy now, biting my shoes. "It's people like you..." I said. "It's people like..." Words were obviously not working, so I kicked the dog hard and ran off, hoping that would send out a message to the public...
It seemed to work, too. For a while. Then the police came after me, chasing me down Friar Street and through Woolworths and onto the ring road...
I shook them by slipping into the multi-storey and hiding under a silver BMW on the top level. It was dark when I came out. No one could see my face in the dark. I drifted out into the night, weighed down by the futility of man's struggle in an indifferent universe...
Friday, July 27, 2007
Personally I believe everything Jeff Bridges says, no matter what he says. And this time he happens to be talking about The Big Lebowski, so it's extra special.
I had one of those trinity moments yesterday. The thing I'm writing at the moment, someone has just got coshed senseless, so he's left unconscious. Then I picked up the book I'm currently reading (a Fred Brown) and the protag, where I left off, had just been knocked out. And all day long, over and over, I had The Stranger in my head, saying "Darkness washed over the Dude..."
Monday, July 23, 2007
A different sort of book gets the prize at last. And a top geezer. Shout it from the rooftops. And if you see Al lying unconscious in a gutter this morning, somewhere in Edinburgh, just walk on by. It's a trick. As soon as you lean down he'll dematerialise, reconstitute himself behind your back and give you a kick up the arse before running off, singing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia".
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I have been developing a comic/graphic novel with the very talented Worcester artist Jonathan Dukes. So far I have written the script to the first issue/chapter, and Jonathan has been sketching out some characters. The whole point of it, besides me wanting to do some comics work, is that we both come from Worcester and share a certain vision of the town. We also both love warped stuff. Wanna see more Jonathan Dukes? Check out his PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A CHEF comic. His site is here.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Check out The Eyes of Travolta, latest blogging by The Sound of Drowning. Believe me, it's a blogging like no other. Pay attention to this guy.
Friday, July 06, 2007
The French edition of FAGS AND LAGER, out from Gallimard/Série Noire in March 2008, will be called DES CLOPES ET DE LA BINOUZE. Also LES ALLONGÉS (French edition of DEADFOLK) has been shortlisted for the Prix SNCF du Polar - the French crime writing award. Blimey. I'll let you know how it goes. More about the prize here.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
"Their debut video (for Long Time Dead) is straight forward yet inspired. Starring Nobby, their twenty-six stone tour driver, as it’s star, he doesn’t talk, dance or act, he just polishes off seven tins of Ravioli in three and a half minutes. The fat bastard. MTV have rinsed it while Nobby is still digesting it all."
Monday, June 25, 2007
If you don't like boxing, maybe you should sign off now. This is about Ricky Hatton, who destroyed José Luis Castillo this weekend. I know it's easy to get carried away with these things, but I've thought about it for a few years and I believe he could take over the world. What's in his way? Several things:
I'm starting off with an easy one. Paulie Malignaggi is the new IBF champ and is seen by the HBO paymasters as the up-and-comer, and a mouthy one at that. I reckon Ricky should take him next, otherwise the little upstart will be running off at the mouth for the next couple of years about how he's being avoided. And take the fight to MSG, so Ricky can be a true visiting opponent and pick up a few new fans.
He's been beaten, but the challenge of Mosley is that he still seems as good as ever and represents a genuine welterweight test. Hatton needs to give himself a few months to grow into welter properly, instead of the 6 weeks he gave himself for Collazo (a fight which Hatton nevertheless WON). Mosley is still considered "p4p", and he seems to want the fight. Do him.
Oscar is the big guy. And I'm not talking fame and riches, but his frame. He is more than four inches taller than Ricky and has won a world title at MW, yet could still make welter without too much trouble. But come on, does he still have the fire to win? Ricky would do a Tyson on him (Oscar playing Trevor "wobbly legs" Berbick). But I guess Oscar remains a gatekeeper of sorts, and a victory over him would alert the non-boxing public to the fact that Ricky is the new deity. And even if beating this win brings no credibility, think of the money!
Ah yes, the much celebrated p4p king. Sure, he's slick as hell and one technical boxer. But has anyone looked at his opponents lately? Oscar, Judah, ex-journeyman Baldomir, Gatti, Mitchell... These guys are ALL past their peak. Mayweather touched down on light-welter for THREE FIGHTS for before looking around him, seeing Hatton and Cotto and reaching for his coat. Leaving aside recent fights, you have his victories against Castillo and Corrales. THESE were his career definers - an unbeaten Corrales and a peak Castillo. Saying that, I had Castillo winning that first fight no problem. Mayweather was a lucky guy. After getting past the rematch, I guess he decided that live opponents are too much trouble.
For me, Cotto is the biggest obstacle. Forget Mayweather, Cotto is the real p4p king (excluding Hatton). Mayweather dances, Cotto goes for the throat. Mayweather is clever and loves money and bling, Cotto is just a 100% fighter and a proud one at that. He's fucking dangerous, as a rejuvenated Zab Judah recently found out. Mayweather wouldn't go near him. Hatton should... after dispensing with all of the above.
Beer and Pies
I'm not joking - Ricky's off-duty lifestyle is probably his biggest enemy. He piles on the pounds between bouts and can often be found down the pub, knocking back the sauce, hoovering pork scratchings and frittering away all his millions on the "Eastenders" fruit machine. I reckon he's got two years left as a top boxer if he carries on like that. No way will he be a Joe Calzaghe, 35 and still at the top. Let alone the amazing Bernard Hopkins (41).
OK, if he does all that, then he can retire.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Dunno how I missed this one. Looks like a film is being made of Magnus Mills' brilliant debut novel THE RESTRAINT OF BEASTS. Must be nearly ten years now since that book appeared. Some may know that Mills is one of my favourite authors. His humour is dry as rough scrumpy yet as restrained as, well, a beast. He is also quintessially English, in a way that your average Newsnight Review talking author can only ever dream of being. He also (still, I hear) drives buses. How can you top that?
If they can pull it off on the screen, fair play to them. Looks like Rhys Ifans is on board so there's a head start.
Hey, did you see that? I just did a proper blog post! Not a Capri in sight (unless you scroll down).
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
As some of you may have noticed, this is hardly a great era in the history of Charlie Williams Blogging. You could argue that the Capri pictures are great works of art that need to be shared with the world (and personally I hold to that view), but you could also argue that they are shit.
Argumentative little bastard, ain't you?
Anyways, the truth is that I just can't be arsed. You know what I mean? Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. Be arsed, that is. Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes the arse beats you. So, in an effort to break out of this blue-arsed funk, I thought I'd write about it. Here, for your reading pleasure.
News. That always helps, if you want to blog and keep blogging. Well, there is no news. A few things in the oven, but no cakes ready to throw at you just yet. Soon, perhaps. (Come on, you heel-dragging cunts!)
Reviews and stuff are also good and bloggable. And I have seen some top films and read some class books recently. But it's that arse-funk again. The blue one. It's stopping me from sharing my entusiasm.
Another thing people seem to use blogs for is airing their opinions on news and current affairs. Believe me, my opinions are best kept hidden. Ideally some of them should be wrestled to the ground and put in an airtight titanium capsule, then blasted off into the far-reaches of the solar system. Not because they're bad, bad opinions, but because they change so much. They slither and squirm and morph, like something from Trap Door. I'd write something heartfelt and convincing, then read it the next day and think: "But what about the other side?" Ah, that old duality thing.
Nah, fiction's me game, making up stories and shit. Some people have strong opinions, others have strong novels.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Top news: I have sold a story to the excellent British crime fiction mag Crimewave. This is published by TTA Press, also responsible for the renowned horror/slipstream mag The Third Alternative (now known as Black Static). Years ago I got a story published in The Third Alternative, so this is like doing the league and FA Cup double, albeit several years apart. Of course, TTA Press also publishes the legendary Interzone. I guess that would be like the Champions League or something. But I'm not likely to win that. Anyway, the story is YOUR PLACE IS IN THE SHADOWS. I'll give you a prod when it's out.
This has made me want to write another bunch of short stories. And I would if I didn't have so much else going on, writing-wise. I'll let you know about some of that soon enough.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
I admire writers who write with their balls out. Your balls, they are not those things down your pants. They are the things that allow you to write from within, and not filter it through some theoretical idea of popular opinion. Your balls allow you to write human stories and not approved material. Your balls are not concerned with wrong- or right-headedness. Your balls are you.
I admire writers who write with their cock on the block. Your cock, it is not that thing down your pants. It is your public reputation, and the idea of yourself that you want to project. He is the Sid Vicious you see in the mirror, not the Phil Collins that everyone sees when they look your way. Safe writing is the kind that does not take risks. It is concerned with making the reader think that the author is nice, or at least not hate him or her. You should risk that wrath.
I admire writers who write with their arse on display. Your arse, it is not that area down the back of your pants. It is the thing that (sorry) makes people laugh. This is about putting in a joke when you're not sure if it's the right moment. This is about deriving mirth from questionable sources. If there is humour there, it must be funny. Why deny it? Suppress gallows humour and you end up with sick jokes circulating via email and no one knowing who started them (until it all blows over... and then everyone claims them).
I admire authors who write with their tits out. Not sure why, just sounds like a good idea.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Hey, me here. Been a bit quiet here of late. Here are three random facts for you:
1. The appendices to Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's FROM HELL take much longer to read than the novel itself.
2. There are lots of little black and red beetles everywhere. What are they? Never seen the little buggers before. Are they aliens?
3. 28 WEEKS LATER is out next week. Or this week, or whatever. Personally I'm not sold on fast-moving zombies. There is something creepy as hell about relentless shamblers. Fulci's have the edge on Romero's.
4. Beating a late-career Oscar De la Hoya proved nothing. Pretty Boy Floyd should have faced up to Ricky Hatton at light-welter. Or Miguel Cotto. Not one of these big-name proven losers. Mayweather comparing himself to the Sugar Rays is a joke. Robinson faced everyone. And dispute the outcome all you like, but Leonard put it all on the line against the steamroller that was Marvin Hagler.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Please check the new anthology THE FLASH, edited by Social Disease and featuring a story by myself (amongst many others much more worthy - see below). The title refers to the length of the stories: each one limited to 100 words. My bit is called SON OF BOB. After writing four novels in a row, it was great (and surprisingly daunting) to cut loose on a smaller canvas. Actually that doesn't sound right. It was like wandering the tundra for four years and then being invited into a cozy little log cabin, smoke rising gently from the makeshift chimney and a strong smell of fish emanating from that cupboard over there.
Anyway, I'm happy with my effort, and impressed by the others that I've read. And the best bit is that all proceeds go to Amnesty International, so you can buy it safe in the knowledge that I don't get a penny, and therefore can't waste it on sweets and cheap cider.
The contributors: Daren King, Ian Sansom, Nick Stone, J Robert Lennon, Patrick Neate, Nicholas Blincoe, Niall Griffiths, Willy Vlautin, Sara Gran, Gina Ochsner, Dermot Bolger, Rick Moody, Sam Lipsyte, Percival Everett, Jonathan Lethem, Katherine Dunn, Ben Myers, Lana Citron, Damon Galgut, Steven Sherrill, Michel Faber, Jeff VanderMeer, Stewart Lee, Charlie Williams, Rebbecca Ray, Matt Thorne, Kate Pullinger, Emily Maguire, Christopher Brookmyre, Steve Aylett, Aimee Bender, Steve Almond, Nick Johnstone, Stella Duffy, Arthur Nersesian, Carlton Mellick III, Fred Dutton & 73 other writers...
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
"I tell you what made us what we were - we had this wonderful feeling that we were still part of the people. Every street in England had a footballer living in it. Not any more. They're behind big barbed wire fences, they've got security, they've got blacked-out windows, they hire clubs to go and have a night out. We were ordinary, approachable people. You were welcome to walk the streets, you were patted on the back, you were touchable, reachable."
- Alan Ball, World Cup winner, 1945-2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
...a celebration of all things English. A time to reflect upon and appreciate our food, our culture, our values... our green and pleasant land. A feast upon which we embrace our national identity and take our turn to stand up amongst our global peers and say proudly "Hey - we're English."
Just doesn't work, does it?
Anyway, here's a nice pic:
Friday, April 20, 2007
As a former graffiti "artist", I'm with the authorities on this. Graffiti art is transient, and the most you can hope for is that a lot of people will see your stuff before it gets painted over. Banksy knows this, otherwise he would not have chosen the medium. I don't care if his piece is worth 30 grand - it has to go, along with all the other pieces by lesser known "bombers" (no idea if they still call them that - 20+ years ago that was the word).
What, Banksy's piece should stay because he's an important artist? Fuck that - he's a vandal, just like I was when I was 15 or so. Everyone knows the rules. You get notoriety on the street level and nothing beyond. A few fabled ones become famous on a wider scale due to books like Subway Art (ah, how many hours I spent poring over that book...) Some are embraced by the art world and take it from there. But it's still vandalism. That's the whole point.
Hang on a minute - why was Banksy not prosecuted for this? When I got caught I had to go to juvenile court. And did you hear me complaining? Ok, I did get a conditional discharge, but did you hear me complaining? Hmm, I dunno. Maybe you did.
Monday, April 16, 2007
This weekend just gone, everyone in the UK seemed to be going on about the weather. "Isn't it lovely?" "Aren't we lucky to be having this in April?" "This is the warmest April 15th in history, you know, so I hope you're enjoying it". Everywhere I went I heard the same thing. Enjoy it while you can. Get your skimpies on. Sit in the beer garden drinking cold lager all day, that being the only apparent way for a man to regulate his body temperature. Personally, I couldn't get into it. I'm a fan of lager, but not of blistering heat in April. I try to enjoy it. Truly I do. I try not to be downbeat on such an upbeat day. I wipe that trickle of sweat off my brow and close my eyes and turn my face to the sun, but red light seeps through my eyelids. And it's not a nice red. It seems to me like a warning red. I think of The Day of the Triffids. Nearly everyone enjoyed that amazing display of light in the sky, none of them questioning what might be behind it. Why would you? It's a gift: enjoy it now. Only the killjoys and blinfolded abstained.
So I stay in the shade and try to deny the heat, ignoring the taunts of killjoy and miserable bastard. But it won't help me. I'm going blind just like everyone else.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Happy Saturday. Before you go off and get drunk, you could check out this interview with me on The Rap Sheet, conducted by Roger Morris (of THE GENTLE AXE and TAKING COMFORT fame). As usual, I'm not sure what the answers to his questions are. But I try.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
"But what chance did they stand against this army of attacking pheasants?" – From CARNIVORE
"Why shouldn't a child's corpse turn into a pike? No reason at all...Maybe he was a fish and hadn't realised it up until now." – From THE UNDEAD
"This doomed girl had not only risen from her deathbed but she had turned into a nymphomaniac." – From THE RESURRECTED
...and my favourite:
"He did something that caused the elephant to go berserk and the potato vendor to burn to death." – From THE DARK ONE
Any book where members of the potato industry burn to death is fine by me. Get your Guy N. Smith books here. I recommend MOLES AND THEIR CONTROL.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Catching up on films noir last night, I finally saw what might possibly be the best one of all. My mum has been on at me to watch NIGHTMARE ALLEY for years, without being able to say much about it other than mentioning Tyrone Power and geeks. I think it has only been on DVD for a year or so, which is criminal for such a fantastic piece of work, but at least I've seen it now.
I won't go into plot details. (Use IMDB for that.) All I'll say is that my mum was right when she said it was about geeks. These days we picture the "geek" as someone in spectacles hunched over a keyboard with an obsessive look about him. Rather like I am at this moment. But back then, in 1947 and earlier, the geek was a kind of human abomination who provided the most lurid and questionable thrills at a travelling "carny".
I've always been fascinated by freakshows and the exploitation of human abberations, but the geek is fits into neither of these camps, being a psychological rather than a physical phenomenon. At the beginning we see the geek on show and witness him (off camera) devouring a couple of live chickens. It seems the geek is the lowest form of human life, devoid of dignity and willpower and any kind of fight whatsoever. He is there to be exploited, and exploited he must be. All he needs is his "bottle a day" (of gin or whatever), and he's happy to go on. Stan (Tyrone Power) questions how any man can get so low. During the course of the next couple of hours, he finds out.
This film is superb on so many levels. Best of all it is utterly original and unlike anything else you have seen. If you catch the DVD (Region 2 at least - I don't know about other territories) don't miss the background notes by Woody Haut.
Find this film and watch it. Become mildly obsessed with it and make others so. NIGHTMARE ALLEY should have a following. Of geeks, freaks and all the rest.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Just to clarify, they are not making a film of any of my books right now, starring Gerard Depardieu or Uma Thurman or anyone else. That pic below, I just thought it looked like Blakey. You know what I mean? No?
He'd never be able to handle the accent anyway. But Uma Thurman, she'd be alright as Rache. Ah, shut up! There's no movie!
Thursday, April 05, 2007
One thing the French do at their book fairs is get the authors to spend a long time sitting behind piles of their books, ostensibly doing "dedicace" (signings) but in practice actively flogging units. Naturally, some are better at this than others. I think I'm not so good (especially in French). Personally I can't understand how any writer is good at that. Writing is a solitary thing. Your communication skills get specialised towards the written word and probably flag a bit elsewhere. You develop a manic look when people approach you which tends to ward them off. Also the chronic dribbling and gibbering doesn't sell books in the long run. So, I'm no good at the face-to-face side of book promotion. And I reckon I'm not alone in that.
I think that's why writers embrace this internet thing. You get to use weapon #1 on here: text. Any ideas about your work* you want to communicate, you can do it from behind the silver screen of cyberspace. You're a bit like the Wizard of Oz - the stumpy little gimp who sits in his magic cubicle and tries to make out he's a god. And you get to dribble.
So, to compensate for my lack of "meatspace" sales skills, I hereby invite anyone to drop me a line if they want to know why they should read my books. (Or why they shouldn't - you never know.) But I have to know who you are, or it's just sales literature. So tell me at least one thing about yourself (eg: what books you like... what sort of alcohol you like...) You can even do it in French. I've got a dictionary here.
I don't expect to get a lot of take-up on that offer, but there it is. And it's a permanent one.
* What a ponce. Any writer who says "my work" is up their own arse.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Back from the Quais du Polar festival. Too frazzled yesterday to post anything about it, but now I can officially report to you that it was top notch. A really magnificent festival, well organised and well attended by people in the know. Obviously it helped that the festival was free, which meant you got half the citizens of Lyon coming through for a gander. And what a nice bunch they are. Even the bloke who told me off for changing the traditional format of the Série Noire paperback, thereby tinkering with the fabric of reality itself. Also great to chill with the Gallimard team of Aurélien and Christine, along with Jonathan Trigell, D.O.A., Olly and "André Dussollier". There were many others I chilled with and I hope to chill with them again. What's all this "chill" bollocks anyway?
Lyon is such a nice town and everyone was sympa, as they say. Even if no one told me that beer was 8.5% until it was too late.
Special thanks go to the people who bought LES ALLONGÉS. And hey, you can still do it here.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
In Lyon this weekend? Come along to the QUAIS DU POLAR festival, why don't you. It's a festival of polar bears, and... Oh no, let me just look that word up. Ah, it's a festival of crime fiction, and there won't be any polar bears there at all. Mind you, if someone were to write a mystery about a murdered polar bear, who knows?
Anyway, I will be doing an event with my editor Aurélien Masson at 11am on Sunday. You get to find out about LES ALLONGÉS, and I'm even going to speak some French. See you there.
Thinking about it, you could also have the polar bear as the murderer. Shit, why stop there? Let's have a polar bear serial killer who knocks off other polar bears, and he's being chased down by a polar bear detective, who interviews lots of other polar bears. This could be a really ground-breaking work!
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Guys, here is the conclusion. Missed parts one and two? Go back and read those babies - they're going nowhere sharpish.
BTW, this story scored an "honourable mention" in the "Year's Best Fantasy and Horror" a few years back. To be honest I would have preferred a dishonourable mention, but I ain't complaining.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
I've put up a new short story on my myspace blog. Actually it's a few years old, from back in the days when I used to write about relatively normal things. But I like it anyway. This is part one. The other bits tomorrow and Wednesday.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Yes, it is true. I will put up new short story on my myspace page next week, just like it says in the title. Actually it's not new at all, being in fact six years old (and originally published in the defunct Roadworks magazine). This one is called alt.fan, and I'll post it in three parts. In some ways it's a bit dated because it's about a bygone time in terms of internet culture (being so old), but I'm hoping it will hold up. Yeah, it will.
So come back next Monday for episode one!
Thursday, February 22, 2007
I've jazzed up my website a bit. Hardly anything at all really but it makes you feel like you've made an effort. Anyway, one bit I've added is a thingio so people can join my mailing list. Do you fancy it? All it means is you'll get the occasional, highly entertaining newsletter from me saying that I've got a new book out, or perhaps that I'm standing for parliament or something. The thingio in question is on the front page. Give it a go. I'd appreciate it.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Alas, poor Bullet. I knew him, dear reader. A magazine of infinite style, and most excellent fiction.
I hate it when small press magazines fold. I got into writing through mags similar to Bullet (most of which have now folded), and without them the world of publishing seems like a dim and distant netherworld that only celebrities and exceptionally bland but photogenic "writers" can ever reach. Writers like me - a bit fleabitten perhaps but interested in pushing the boat out and walking down less familiar avenues of fiction - we have to take whatever opportunities we can to get published. And the loss of Bullet is one less opportunity. Do you know what? I had a story to send Mr Jeffrey as well.
Anyone want to publish a story? It may not be photogenic but it sure ain't bland.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
In 1945 the French publisher Gallimard brought out a line in crime fiction books called La Serié Noire. This imprint published such greats as Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammet, Chester Himes and Jim Thompson. It didn't just publish them, but it championed them and went a long ways towards supporting them and making them part of the crime canon. La Serie Noire is probably the most famous publishing house in crime fiction, and I am honoured beyond all description to have a book scheduled for publiction by them. This is like signing for Real Madrid! No, no... not Real Madrid. This is like signing for LA Galaxy!
LES ALLONGÉS comes out a month from now in France. Here is the cover (check those yellow words at the bottom!):
Monday, February 12, 2007
You cool people have probably seen it and got over it already, but if you haven't I urge you to see CACHÉ (HIDDEN). One of those films I had to watch again straight after. And this was one time I appreciated having a director's/writer's interview as an extra. You don't need to hear a film explained, but it was great to hear about how he approaches the form and what he cares about. I now want to see all of Michael Haneke's films. I loved what he said about the scene where Laurent first confronts Majid - in a Hollywood movie it would be the hero who is cool and collected, whilst the (perceived) villain (or at least obstacle) is brittle and can be broken down. Here that is reversed. I love that. I am a big fan of reversal. I love reversal so much that I've had extra gears fitted to my car so I can reverse in comfort at high speed.
Michael Haneke is a director after my own heart. I'm still thinking about the film now, after talking about it for two days with whoever will listen. There's so much true mystery going on here, and you find yourself desperate to find stuff out and get to the bottom of things. Intense, compelling stuff. In the end, though, the list of things you need to know gets drastically narrowed down.
Someone here warned me to watch out for the final scene. I must admit - it passed me by the first time. Even now, having gone and watched it again and spotted it, I'm not sure what to make of it. And I love that!
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Inspired by a post on Steve Mosby's blog, I fancy doing a post about cats. Actually not about cats at all, but about Cat, who is my cat. I say "my" cat but, of course, no one can own a cat. All you can do is look after it, feeding him and taking him to the vet etc in return for his tolerating your presence in his house.
Ten years ago Cat turned up outside the door and barged in. Obviously a stray because no collar, skinny as anything and a fleabitten, starving mess. I asked around and no one knew him, besides as a stray. From his condition we thought he was about twelve years old, an old cat for sure and not doing well on the street. Anyway, that was ten years ago and he's still around, and not looking like retiring. As for the name "Cat", what else can you call a cat that gradually becomes your responsibility? After a while you think "Well, maybe we should name him..." But you've already been calling him "Cat" for a few weeks, so why change that?
We moved house from London to the sticks about four years ago, taking Cat with us. Obviously I wasn't about to leave him behind, but I felt a bit uncomfortable about migrating a metropolitan cat to a different part of the country. I could see the new local cats pointing at him and making fun of his cockney accent. But he settled in OK after waging a month-long war of attrition with the locals, marking out his new manor and putting holes in a few ears. It was like SCUM meets STRAW DOGS meets... erm, THE ARISTOCATS or something. I am full of admiration for the little guy, especially looking at the competition. The main threat was "ginger cat", who included our garden in his territory. Any rabbits go missing around here, it's always "ginger cat". He is a force of nature. Once I got a shot of him picking off an alpha male bunny and eating it. All of it:
I also once saw "ginger cat" fight a fox. It was a short fight but the fox retired after a few seconds and ran off. "Ginger cat" is the Ivan Drago of the cat world, and his deep meow actually does sound like "I must break you". Nevertheless, since Cat's war of attrition "ginger cat" doesn't come round here anymore. So how did our cat beat him?
Because he's a piece of iron, that's how. And here he is:
Thursday, February 01, 2007
There are two words I love to write. As a novelist I don't often get the chance to write them, but when I do, baby, it's sweet. Those words are THE END, and I just nailed them on the back of my current project. Ah, isn't everything around me so nice all of a sudden? Aren't the kids so well behaved, the traffic running smoothly, and the birds in the trees singing such beautiful songs? I'm enjoying this while I can, because THE END only means the end of draft #1. Who knows how maany drafts there will be? Anyway, that cigar...
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Good, yeah, but not the masterpiece they make it out to be. Amazing visually and mood-wise. Lead actor Konstantin Khabensky could easily pass for a young Johnny Cash.
Good, yeah, but not the final episode I had hoped for. A bit too feelgood. Not enough conflict. See the universally reviled ROCKY IV for a masterclass in conflict (not subtle, no, but who ever said these films were meant to be subtle?). Also, I was frankly a bit put out that I didn't get an invite to the premier. No one has done more than me to bring the Rocky films back into the public consciousness (via EVERY ONE of my novels), and I just feel that a little acknowledgement is due. I'm waiting, Mr Stallone.
KING OF THE ZOMBIES
Not the lost classic of the zombie genre I had been hoping for. And not good either. But fun in parts. Perhaps. Actually I think I nodded off. You know what this film needed? A really good disembowelment scene. In 1941, that really would have stirred them up.
THE LAST VALLEY
This is an old film that me and my brother used to be obsessed with, as kids. There's a scene where this German "soldier boy" says to some normal kids: "Vot are you doing?" And the little girl says: "Playing a game." Is that a great exchange or what? For some reason we thought it was. The greatest exchange in film history! Seeing it again now, I'm more certain of it than ever. There's also a memorable scene where Michael Caine kills Brian Blessed with one of those pointy German helmets.
NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE
Superb, and without doubt the genre masterpiece I had always thought it was (seeing it last about 20 years ago). Herzog and Kinski - you just cannot beat those guys. I was convinced that Kinski was going to be in THE LAST VALLEY, but it was Michael Caine instead. The old memory playing up there, but at least I remembered "Vot are you doing?"/"Playing a game".
A ROOM FOR ROMEO BRASS
Wow. Does Shane Meadows know what, or what? He has an incredible talent for building slow and gentle, in a very comedic way, and then letting it all explode at the end in a very uncomfortable way. The only thing missing from this neglected masterpiece is a "Vot are you doing?"/"Playing a game" exchange.
A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
Vot can I say? Peerless. Let down initially by the fat and gormless couple behind me who let their kids run riot through the whole film. "Vot are you doing?" I said to the little girl as she repeatedly punched the back of my chair. "Playing a game," she replied. From then on, the movie transcended it's popcorn origins and wafted into the pantheons of motion picture greatness.
Monday, January 29, 2007
A duck in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania has given birth to a giant robot. The robot immediately fled the scene and is unavailable for comment. The duck was later shot by a hunter and thrown into his refrigerator, presumed dead. Two days later the killer's wife inadvertently let the duck go, whereupon it fled the premises and flagged down a passing truck, despite the hunter chasing after it with a chainsaw. Unfortunately the duck later passed away on the operating table, during surgery to mend broken wings, legs and beak. But the duck then came back to life and started meowing like a cat. The duck now resides in a mental institution, and is being examined by psychologists. 'We don't believe it is a duck,' said Dr Portland. 'We're not sure what it is.'
Friday, January 26, 2007
"Felix says keep hunting". That's how the slogan went, on the stickers that someone had slapped on the 30mph sign as you enter my village. Also on the stickers was a cartoon image of an upright fox with a big bushy tail, sticking two fingers up.
So Felix the fox wants to keep hunting, does he? Felix likes being chased all over the countryside by a bunch of inbred dogs and a bunch of even more inbred rich people? Felix likes having the limbs ripped off his body, and his blood daubed across the rosy cheeks of the braying sons and daughters of the ruling class while they talk of providing a "service" to farmers?
Yeah, OK. I'll accept that your theory that Felix is a suicidal masochist and jolly about it. I'll let you keep that theory, becuse it's yours and you hold it so dear. But what I won't let you do is plaster it all over my fucking neighbourhood, in the arrogant and unquestioning believe that the weight of public opinion is on your side. You know what? I wouldn't even care if public opinion were on your side. I'd still rip down your stickers, like I did just now. And if you put them up again, I'll rip them down again.
And if by chance we should meet, while you're putting up or I'm ripping down, we'll have a chat about it.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I got some "face scrub" for Christmas (from someone who obviously doesn't know much about me), and I had a go with it this morning. What is the point of this stuff? It's soap with hard bits in, right? Why not just use wire wool instead? Or a mixture of sand and mayonnaise? The tube also has it in French, which gives us a clue to the true nature of this phenomenon: exfoliant visage. Foliage is leaves, right? So this stuff is for getting the leaves off your face? Then there's visage, which was an early 80s new romantic band. Really, this is just me trying to justify a quirky and eye-catching title for this post. Thank you for reading.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
...and when I say "work", I mean writing. You don't want to know about that other stuff.
I am writing a novel, getting towards the end of the first draft. This is as per the usual annual pattern, and I should have it nailed by March or so. My first drafts are usually pretty good in that I always know that everything is in place and I rarely do major re-writes after that (saying that, I do all my re-writing - or "surgery" - during the first draft).
After that, I fancy a crack at something different. Probably a couple of shorts first to keep my hand in, then either a screenplay, a TV idea, or some sort of prose thing but for a different kind of market. I had my first crack at scripting last year and really liked the form (a short film should be ensuing this year some time), so I want to see if there's anything else where that came from.
Oh, and yeah - I'll put up another short story here some time soon.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
...plus some Johnny Walker and DVDs. The banjo is a truly amazing instrument! I've wanted one for years but kept putting it off. And now it's here! So now I've got a banjo, mandolin, two accoustic guitars and a Les Paul. Here's a pic of me with the banjo:
Friday, January 12, 2007
I've always had time for David Beckham. Not Beckham the media tart, just plain old David Beckham, footballer. I've never called him the best player in the world but he's one of the greatest wingers I've seen, no problem. Midfielder and captain? No - he's a winger with flair and grit, and that should be enough. A certain goal from the halfway line at Southampton stands out, but other than that it's probably the way he came back from the post-WC1998 universal slagging that impressed me most. And now, at the age of 31, out of favour with the national team and having failed in his stint with Real, he had a chance to show some of that stuff again. Prove the fuckers wrong. Talk with your feet and show you've still got it. Show some humility and strive for excellence with a proper team, not a collection of pampered show ponies. One last hurrah?
No disrespect to any yanks reading this, but your "soccer" league is shit compared to almost every league in Europe, leaving aside Andorra and Lichtenstein (possibly). In doing this, and pocketing £128,000,000 over five years, Beckham has driven a stake through the heart of any respect that might have lingered around him in these preening, make-up wearing end-times.
So go on - fuck off to California!
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
No dreams last night. But that's interesting in itself (to me at least). Did I not dream because my day was weird and eventful enough? Believe me, you wouldn't know it. I love dreams... even bad ones. But what are they? I sometimes wonder if they're the real stuff, and every day you go under into the true dream world, which is what we usually take for reality. So when you go into your non-dream (which has hitherto been considered a dream. Confused?) you'll say something like:
"Uh, I had a really bad dream last day."
"What happened, dear?"
"Well, I dreamed that I had an oppressive nine-to-five job, and I was trying to write novels in my spare time."
"Oh, that sound's terrible, dear."
"Yeah. It was."
"Mind you, the job can't have been that oppressive if you were able to post on myspace during it. Now shut up and eat your breakfast."
"I can't seem to. Every time I reach for the cereal bowl, it just gets further and further away..."
The earliest memory I have is of a dream. I was about three at the time, according to my mum, and it's a very vivid memory involving a witch, a wheelchair, and a drain. I can still see the witch's face. She looked like Rodney Bewes' wife in Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
I was at the Olympics last night. I won a gold for some sort of skating event, and a bronze in the 400m sprint (running). The skating I recalled nothing about and it was a big surprise to me, but I knew about the 400m. I was a rank outsider and took it easy from the gun, while everyone else piled ahead and ran out of puff on the home straight, while I cruised past for a medal. It only occurs to me now that one of these is winter and the other is summer Olympics. I don't think this particular double has been achieved so far. Can you imagine Michael Johnson* doubling up with Jane Torville?
Anyway, the drama came when I lost the gold. The bronze was really the big one for me (I tried at 400m when I was younger), but I needed that gold because... well, it's a gold. All I remembered was that the last time I saw it was when I put it down right after Prince Charles gave it to me. And it wasn't a medal - it was a sort of trophy, like an Oscar. Except it was made of soft lead, and you could manipulate it into other shapes. I told a reporter about it and there was a big media fuss "WILLIAMS LOSES GOLD", but finally I found it on a shelf in a shed somewhere.
This was a pretty good dream.
* Americans - Michael Johnson is one of the best athletes in history... and he's one of yours.
Friday, January 05, 2007
I dreamed last night that I had moved to East Texas. Bear in mind that I've never even been to America, let alone any part of Texas. So why did my subcobscious choose East Texas? I know it was specifically that because I had various conversations in the dream, telling people where I was. Anyway, it was quite nice living in East Texas. The climate was good and I had a great house, whch was sort of like Larry David's in Curb Your Enthusiasm, but surrounded by tropical flora. Waking life seems dull by comparison. In the dream I actually looked on a map and worked out that I was quite near Nacogdoches, which is where Joe R Lansdale lives, and I was going to go over and say hi. I even thought about joining his martial arts group. Thinking about it, maybe this is why I was in East Texas at all. Before bed I looked on my bookshelves and chose a new one (Newton Thornburg's Cutter And Bone), and might have glimpsed the Lansdales.
That is all I have to say. Maybe I'll just blog about my dreams from now on.