Thursday, October 09, 2014

What gives

Soz for the radio silence. And blog silence. Basically I have been silent on the radio and the blog, and it's just not right. So I'm sorry, OK? Like I already said. Jesus.

Anyways, some of you may want to follow another blog I am posting to here. I've been doing a fair bit of running lately and it's something I feel inclined to waffle about, so that link is where I do that. Or you could catch the action via @rungatedawn on Twitter, if you are that way inclined.

Other than that, just keep on trucking.

Especially if you are actually a truck driver.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Wombat Man

I love taking the dog for a walk at dusk. Bats follow me down the lane, swooping around my head and apparently trying to get my attention. They are delicate little animals, like kits made out of silk and bits of balsa wood, powered by a little clockwork motor. I sometimes wonder if they have been sent out by a reclusive demi-god to tell me something. But what? I can see that they are beautiful. I can see that they are admirable works of engineering. But what are they all about?

Good writing is like that. Failure awaits the writer who sets out knowing exactly what he wants to say. His output does the job and works efficiently. It is conventionally pretty and might turn your head for a while. You might even hail it as a work of genius for a season or two. But in the end it has no charm. You cannot love it.

The writer who sets out with a vague idea and a character to travel with, meanwhile, she can succeed. She has the best chance of getting something up in the air and making it soar forever. It can be a thing of beauty, something you can't take your eyes off. It can possess truth. But it might not be a bat.

It might be a wombat.

I love those wombats. For me, the best kind of novel is one I get to the end of and think, wiping a tear from my eye or calming my beating heart, shit, what was that? I might not know what it was but I know it was something. I know it lives and breathes and has a smell. I know it has slipped some form of truth past my consciousness. It's a truth bomb, waiting to go off at a later date, maybe not even noticed.

Maybe at dusk, taking the dog for a walk along that lane, the wombats swooping around my head.

Friday, February 28, 2014

I'm Bad

But not in the Michael Jackson way. In terms of being a tough guy in leather, a weird mullet and a lot of make-up, Jackson is king. (Notice how I say "is"? His legend lives on.) But in terms of staying up with the latest authors, yes, I am bad. The proportion of books I read published in the last five years or so is minuscule. Actually make that forty years.

Does that make me less of a connoisseur if the written word?

Hell no.

I hate to declare this, but books don't get written better as time moves on. Very little that is new and exciting can be discovered in terms of putting words together. Chaucer Nailed it. Shakespeare nailed it. Hardy, Conrad and Poe nailed it. Dickens nailed something, slightly overwritten though it sometimes was. Then there was Hemingway, Chandler, Hammett - they all nailed it in a tough guy kind of way. Thompson, Caldwell, Dick, McCarthy, Bardin, Goodis - they also did some pretty hard nailing of their own. Bringing us up to King, Lansdale and Thornburg, who all did nailing of varying degrees of prolificacy.

Does that make me more of a connoisseur if the written word?

Hell no to that too.

What it makes me is someone who digs old books. End of.

Friday, January 31, 2014

A Cool Thing

Here is one of the very cool things I was going to tell you about. I was going to wait until it's a fait accompli before telling you, but I just can't. So I have waited until it is a fait semi-accompli. But it's one hell of a fait!

A DEADFOLK film is in pre-production.

You heard it right - a project is afoot to turn Royston Blake into an actual living thing... at least for 90 minutes or so. The project is already quite a ways into development. The screenplay is written (by me), Stuart St Paul to direct and Neil Chordia and Andrew Berg of Eclipse Films producing. Casting is underway. I know what you're thinking: who is going to play the big guy? Believe me, when I know, you'll know.

Thursday, January 02, 2014


Hey, it's 2014! And you know what that means, right? Yes, we are in the future. We have actually time-travelled. Finally!

In other news, there will hopefully be two big announcements this year. I'm always doing that, right? I tell you there will be an announcement and it never comes. Well, that's not strictly true. I do eventually tell you the things, I just don't tell you they are the things I told you I was going to tell you. But I will tell you something about each of these things right now, it being not long past the season of goodwill*: one is Mangel-related, the other is non-Mangel-related. Is that useful?

* Is there a season of bad will?