Thursday, September 25, 2008


There have been shocking scenes of misery and deprivation in these parts recently as the heating engineers arrived to install a new boiler in my flat. It meant I couldn't stay home during the day, as they were drilling through walls and stuff.

Now, I could have coped with these two days - organised to visit someone or something like that - if I was not the most hopelessly disorganised person on the planet. And also, the agoraphobia didn't help. Did not really want to go far from home. Which led to me spending one day sitting miserably in the local library, waiting for the engineers to finish their work. I felt like a refugee. All I needed was a blanket. And I had to go to the dentist later. What a lousy day that was.

The next day was my day for agoraphobia therapy so I set off several hours early and then just hung around uselessly for ages. Another very poor day, all in all. Though it was interesting being on a bus at 8.30 in the morning, something I haven't experienced for some years. It was full of people going to work, and none of them looked very happy, which is understandable.

I haven't been to work for many years, though I was employed full-time earlier in my life. My last job was as a clerk for the local council, and before that I was a library assistant, a clerk at the Brixton benefit office, and also a manual labourer.

When my first book was published, Milk, Sulphate and Alby Starvation, I kept on being a clerk for the council, but next year, 1988, when Lux the Poet came out, a magazine phoned me up for an interview. So I thought, well if magazines are phoning me up for interviews I must be close to being a famous and wealthy author, so I'd better just stop working. Which I did. And that turned out to be a mistake at the time, as I'd neglected to consider that I didn't really have any income, apart from puny royalties of a few hundred pounds per year.

However, have studiously avoided work ever since then. Indeed this is my main reason for being an author, and always has been, so I don't have to go to work. This has gone well, in terms of being able to lie on the couch doing nothing for days at a time, but has sometimes been a problem in terms of income. However, I'm doing better now. There is no need to send food parcels.

My agents are now doing the contract for a German edition of Lonely Werewolf Girl, with a particularly fine German publisher, which is good news. In the next year or so the book will be available in Italian, German, Greek, and French. My werewolves will conquer Europe.

Hmmm. New heating appears to be working well. Will lie on the couch for 48 hours, checking it out. What if they didn't install it properly and there's a gas leak? If you hear news of a catastrophic explosion in South London, that will probably be me. Will just have to hope for the best, because I'm not leaving my flat again ever.


  1. Anonymous2:30 pm

    “My werewolves will conquer Europe” - I now have a mental image of vast werewolf armies, spreading over the map as the first step towards world domination.

    (We will have to make sure, when we hold the inevitable counter-revolution, that we avoid the full moon…..)

    I would write more, but unlike you, I still have to work, and I’m not 100% sure this would count.)

  2. Where would the world be without all the starving artists?

    Also Martin, it would be funny if you didn't actually have agoraphobia but made it up as a piece of enduring experimental fiction. You'd fool us all forever.

    I think not having to do a 'proper' job is the greatest reason ever to become a writer. That, and of course, the groupie sex kittens.

  3. Anonymous9:58 pm

    Writers get groupie sex kittens? And they don't have to work? And they get a new furnace?

    Why did I pick social work?

  4. Well done for resisting two full days out in the wild world of South London.
    You may treat yourself to a nice rhubarb cobbler - richly deserved.
    And a few mangas too, so the lounging on the warm couch bit may be more enjoyable still.

  5. Marjorie, I like the idea of this vast werewolf army too, spreading over Europe. I'm siding with them, definitely.

    David - Well, modesty generally prevents me mentioning the groupie sex kittens who hang around outside in huge numbers. It just wears me out some days.

  6. Anonymous3:18 am

    Spacedlaw: Is rhubarb actually edible? My ex is always after me to make him a stawberry-rhubarb pie and I always think he is joking.

  7. Rhubarb is wonderful!
    All hail rhubarb, the wondrous stalk.
    A tad sharp, would be perfect with mellow strawberries. Or on its own. With custard.

  8. Hello Martin, pretty COOL out there without heaters...

    So, I thought I could bring you some more on which you can warm yourself up:

    Did some MoreExtremelyColouredSorcerers-Fanart which you can see on my blog.


    Please note me, if you're interested in posting them somewhere!

    Would be happy to get your opinion!

    All hail the holy rhubarb!

  9. Read Lonly Wearwolf girl on holiday to Kona, Hawaii.... Loved it so much I stayed indoors and read more than I went outside. Does reading great novels cause a new DSM IV disorder: Domusphilia? Now half way through The Good Fairys of New York... I'll be reading the rest of your books soon.

  10. I for one welcome our new werewolf overlords.

  11. Yes, I would like to make clear that my comments about counter-revolution were purely speculativ and I wholeheartedly welcome and support our lupine masters, too...

  12. HI Nebele, thanks for the link to your Thraxas art, I'll put a link to your page on the Thraxas website.

    Zostrianos, I'm glad you liked Lonely Werewolf Girl but I hope I didn't spoil your holiday.

    And to others, now I'm starting to think about a huge werewolf army too. We'd better just submit right away.

  13. Nope, I've been to Hawaii a lot so staying inside and reading gave me a lot of pleasure on my holiday.

    Fairys of NY makes me think of how when the puritans came to america they managed, unfortunately, to shake loose of most of their Pagan roots. Putting fairys in the USA is a long needed infusion of the Old Gods here.

    Without that ancient mythos the imagination can easily be noticed in the films of Hollywood. Mostly they are stuck in the Hero myth and its identity with the ego. What good is the damn ego if it isn't made strong to serve the old gods? As Kazantzakis put it: we need to be the "Saviors of God".

    BTW if you struggle with agoraphobia then maybe something has crept out of the inner basement and is now a day walker... hiding behind the veil of extraverted existence. Restoring what is lost to the seaculum would be revitalizing. Recollection of what is lost often restores the anima to her rightful place as your guide and inspiritrix. Sophia may be lost in matter for you currently.

    Pardon me if this is too forward a response to your post.

  14. Submit to the Werewolf armies, Martin???? I think you should think about leading them! Or writing about them.....

    I have no heat either right now, stubborn I guess, bloody expensive just now, am writing from under blackets. Will come out in the spring....

  15. You need heating Lorraine! Writing under blankets is surely awkward?

  16. Well, yes, it is awkward, but I have weird values. I'll spend money on the most useless things that I want, but HATE giving it to the heating people.

  17. Just stumbled across your blog. I read Lonely Werewolf Girl a few months ago, and let me tell you how ridiculously happy it made me. I lent it to my college roommate, who lent it to another friend, who lent it to her sister in Nebraska... I'm sure I'll never see it again, but it was a lot of fun to read. My inner werewolf has a lot of new imaginary friends to play with. Thanks.

  18. Lorraine, put the heating on!

    Hi Liddy, I'm glad you liked Lonely Werewolf Girl, and quite pleased at the thought of your copy now traveling through Canada.