Monday, September 28, 2009

Flash Drive

Here is a picture of me holding my complete works, loaded on to a flash drive. It's the first one I've owned. I'm always a long way behind with technology.

These are so ubiquitous now that I didn't even have to go to a computer shop to buy it. I got it in the local 'We-Sell-Everything' shop, where it was sandwiched between alarm clocks, novelty mugs and plastic food containers. Last month I bought a cheap kettle from the same shop.

I put everything I've ever written on the flash drive. That's a lot of books, including Thraxas. Then I attached it to my key-ring, and walked around feeling pleased with myself. I have my complete works on my key-ring. I wasn't expecting that to happen in 1984, when I was writing Milk, Sulphate and Alby Starvation on an old typewriter.

Later I became worried about literary spies stealing my works in progress, also copied onto the drive. So I downloaded encryption software, learned how to use it, and encrypted it all. Then I walked around feeling even more pleased with myself. Whilst I may always be behind with technology, I refuse to give up the struggle, not wanting to fall out of touch with the modern world. Next target, film myself reading and put it on Youtube. That sounds difficult, but it's time the world was exposed to my impenetrable Scottish accent.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What? £42 for a book?

Last week I was staggered - appalled - to find myself paying £42 for a book I needed for research. I mean, £42 for a book? $68? €48? What's the world coming to? Is it normal for academic books to cost that much? It came as quite a shock, and led to me shuffling round the kitchen muttering about greedy publishers, my impending financial ruin, and the imminent collapse of society. £42 for a book. It's not right.

( I'm not going to say what this book was, fearing that international literary spies may be trying to steal my ideas. Hmm. Must check the phone again for bugging devices. )

Scotland surprised me by winning against Macedonia, thereby reviving our hopes of qualifying for the World Cup in South Africa. Unfortunately, despite a plucky performance against Holland, Scotland lost the next game, and have therefore failed to qualify. Sigh. Scotland used to have such good football players, but we don't any more. Well, I suppose it will give me more time to read my £42 book.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Night Shift

Have now watched every episode of Claymore anime, and read every episode of Claymore manga. Afterwards, found myself suffering from Claymore withdrawal symptoms. I'd really like more adventures of these silver haired warriors.

Disconsolate, and still wanting more Claymore, I wander into the kitchen to make a cup of tea. I put on the radio. Unexpectedly, Led Zeppelin are playing. Am immediately cheered. I find myself playing air guitar, not something I do that often. Continue listening, and play more air guitar. Finish off with a final flourish of air-drums, something I don't think I've ever done before.

Find myself cheered. OK, I might have finished Claymore, but there will be other manga and anime. I can survive the crisis.

Am generally cheered up by Led Zeppelin. Apart from in 1985 when they played at Live Aid. They played in Philadelphia, and that was broadcast live in Britain about 1 A.M. Unfortunately, at one o'clock in the morning in 1985, I was working in a warehouse just south of Waterloo bridge, doing night shifts, carrying heavy mail bags, in a really, unpleasant job. Urgh. That was such a bad job. Long, long night shifts, in that warehouse. I'd be exhausted, and sleep all day, and work through the night. It doesn't take long doing that till you become quite confused about what day of the week it is.

At that time I'd written Milk, Sulphate and Alby Starvation. I'd found a literary agent for it, who was enthusiastic. I thought that she'd find a publisher for it soon enough, but it took her three and a half years. (That's not a criticism of the agent. She proved to be very dedicated, and didn't give up on it, fortunately for me.) So while I was struggling around in that warehouse at night, loading heavy sacks into trucks - dimly aware that there was some big music concert going being broadcast on the radio - I had a nagging feeling that really I ought to have been published by then. Probably because of that, I've never been able to remember Live Aid / Band Aid very fondly. (By all accounts, including their own, Led Zeppelin didn't perform very well at Live Aid, being plagued by sound problems.)

I gave up that job with great relief, and found work as a clerk for the council, which was better, though it didn't pay so well. I think I was there for two years before my agent finally found a publisher for Alby Starvation.

I can see two solutions to the 'no more Claymore' problem. One, hunt for more Anime to make up for it. Two, throw myself into my work. Hmmm. I can see which way this is going.