Friday, 13 August 2010

Ancient Futures

Friday 8:55 p.m.
The Domestic Bliss did a jobbie swop and I ended up in Perth, Australia in 1990. When I left Edinburgh, there was a play of mine still running at the Traverse, but I left my Amstrad word processor behind me. The house in Australia had a PC. I'd never used one before.

So I thought I'd better write a novel. I was sitting down working out a plotline for a couple of months when I came upon this book about plotlines in the local library. It turns out that the plotline I'm half way through corresponds almost completely with the archetypal hero myth epic. That was a bit weird.

I starts writing this hero myth epic crap and it takes me nearly three years to finish it. Of course, I'm the primary carer for the kiddo and she's only three when I start on this book, but about six when I finish it.

It's not like anything else I've ever wrote. It's more like the stuff you would write if you were wanting to be a professional writer, the writer who writes books for folk to read on the beach.

It's kind of set in a mythical middle east except the middle east in this book looks a lot like West Australia. It took me about three years to write it and after I finished it, I had no idea what to do with it. It's like an adventure story, a kind of romance with hubris. I have no idea what the hell it was trying to be! I think it might be the worst thing I've ever written. I only person I can ever remember reading it was Beef McDuck and he seemed to quite like it.

For 86 pence what the fung do you expect?! You can download it to Kindley things. You can read it on a laptop or on your fiddly phone, apparently. This will lead to masses of folk going blind. If you downloaded it to your desktop, you could print it.

I suspect all my books which are unpublished (seven or eight!) will end up on sites like this. This is very good. I don't care if nobody reads them, but it's nice that they're available.

Two good things I like about this book.

1. The sensei was round visiting me once and I went to the bog. When I got back, he was looking at this bit of scrap paper he'd found stuck to the fridge with a magnet. I used to give the kiddo heaps of scrap A4 sheets to draw on. I think the sensei had turned round the drawing. On the back was a bit of the book, an account of a nightmare I'd had which I'd put in the book. Anyway, he said he really liked it and got it published in Rebel Inc., the same edition with this brilliant story about a visit to Disneyland by Irvine Welsh, which I think might have fired somebody's rockets.

2. There is a bit in the book I really liked. There's not many bits of my books I can say that about.The bit I really liked was a discourse between this monky guy and a supposedly illiterate librarian about how you would find a book in a library.

Of course, when all's said and done, the book's a masterpiece of invention and should have been made into a film starring Victor Mature and Stewart Granger. I mean, what was I doing writing a sand and sandals epic?

I decided to become a school teacher shortly after this and wrote Are You Boys Cyclists? as a parting shot. I think that took me under six months.

The only person who's read Ancient Futures that I know of is Beef McDuck. He wrote a review of it for me which I cannot find at the moment, but I don't think he didn't like it.

Fancy writing an adventure story? I'd have loved to have written Beau Geste!

5 comments:

Dogo Barry Graham said...

I read the whole book, and liked it.

That night in your kitchen, you actually read that excerpt to me after I saw it on the fridge and asked you what it was. I still remember the bit about getting stabbed in the mouth with a sword and chewing at the blade like a mad dog.

Hotboy said...

Doggy! Thanks for that, Barry. At least, it's somewhere now! Hotboy

rob said...

There must be more enjoyable ways of going blind than reading a book on a mobile phone.

Hotboy said...

Albert? I don't think I've read even a text on my mobile phone. I've definitely not used it to phone more than ten times in the last eighteen months! Hotboy

rob said...

Just as well. You don't want brain cancer on top of everything else you've done to that poor brain.