There’s talk of doing ‘No-vember’ again this year (as in, no booze) but it’s just talk at the moment, and talk is cheap. Almost as cheap as the Gin and Cognac in Aldi, which isn’t bad actually.
We will see.
After the U.K. opted out of the European Union I felt I needed to ‘do my bit’. Time for a trip to France. And, just for fun, we went ‘old-school’ on the travel. In truth, that was mainly because my partner, Kay, doesn’t really do any form of claustrophobic travel. Channel Tunnel? Er, no.
So it was a boat to Caen (beautiful place), train to Paris, train to Geneva and then the whole thing again, but in reverse. Thankfully, not literally.
There is something magical about taking your time, seeing the countryside and feeling every mile of a trip. I always seem to be in a rush to get somewhere, yet often the journey IS the point. A solid lesson in life AND an important one in my writing journey too. It isn’t all about books on a shelf, it’s about the creative roller-coaster and enjoying the scenery along the way.
I knew I had some significant gaps in my knowledge of the build-up to World War 2. So, spent the entire day at the Caen Memorial Museum in Normandy, an incredible, humbling and emotional experience. The museum commemorates World War II and is a reminder of the horror of war as well as being dedicated to lasting peace. An important place.
Travel always gets the juices flowing too. I made lots of notes for Hibernation Book 3 (yes, it is going to happen) and Joe Bridgeman’s latest adventure. We also caught up with good friends, ate drank and switched off from home-life for a bit. A week felt like a month and was a strong reminder of the importance of friendship and connection, the beautiful world we live in, and how lucky we are to live in such relative peace.
Stuff I’m reading
I first read ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy‘ when I was a kid. Who didn’t? It felt like being part of a secret club, one with in-jokes and sarcastic, depressed robots. It’s so famous I had sort of forgotten it (if you know what I mean) I felt like I needed a reminder of the fun and brevity good writing can contain. Douglas Adams was a clever man (as an author and in his life too) and I’m loving every weird chapter. Confidence oozes from the pages and you can just ‘feel’ he loved the characters and the universe (literally) that he created. He also famously struggled with deadlines.He was quoted as saying, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” Ha.
I suspect I will go on to re-read the rest of the books in the series…
Charles Dickens: On Kindle, loads of his stuff is free. Yes. Totally Free. As in ‘I paid nothing’. Incredible! Just had to download all the ‘Classics’ and am working my way through them. He was a genius and popular. No mean feat. Only a few manage that. Einstein, Mozart, The Beatles, Shakespeare, Prince? You are allowed to pick your own, it’s a free world.
Apparently, Dickens created a staggering 989 named characters during his career. That’s insane… I’m struggling to keep a handle on the twenty or so I’ve dreamt up. Oh well, that’s what Evernote is for. Dickens, I may never be, but all comparison is the road to ruin. You can quote me on that. It will make me feel clever as I compare myself to everyone in the top 100 on Amazon.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2: I loved the first, giggled all the way through its vibrant mix-tape of sci-fi epic adventure. Okay. so the sequel throws everything at the screen. it’s like the writer swallowed my entire bookshelf of ‘Character, plot and techniques’ and spewed them out in a violent technicolour yawn. Yes, it’s messy and too long and tries to do too much. Okay, it has too many spaceships blowing-up spaceships. And the ending is ten minutes of boom-tastic, CGI (aren’t they all these days). But, it’s fun, exciting and pretty cool. Also, there are some good lessons in there. Like, would you trust someone called Ego?
Oops. Is that a spoiler? Nah… I mean, come on… he’s called Ego FFS.
Alfie – The Italian Greyhound
The doG (It should probably be reversed) gained the accolade of largest response to any of my emails. Ever.
Of course, I wasn’t surprised. Whenever I take him for a walk people talk to him more than me. It’s okay. I understand. He’s cute. I’m not. Anyway, as promised here are some ‘action’ shots of Alfie sporting his new ‘Bobbing Boats on a Summer’s Day,’ onesie.
Before I get hate mail like, ‘Dressing up dogs is cruel.’ I need to be clear on something. If we don’t he whines because he’s cold and naked in this world. Okay, so we could choose something more manly, but where’s the fun in that?
Notice the roaring fire in the background. All morning Alfie stares at the cold, dark log-burner… “Daddy make it go orange for me?”
Next month I’m planning an outdoor shoot featuring Autumnal scenes, falling red leaves and squirrels (they won’t be falling, they will be climbing trees, fast.) Alfie has a special bark for them, one that breaks windows and world-records.