The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘coffee and cigarettes’

My NaNoWriMo Novel Is A SF… And A Horror… And A Thriller… And…

Posted by BigWords on October 21, 2009

It isn’t surprising that I couldn’t work out what I wanted to write for NaNo, given that the blank canvas laid out before me could take any number of turns. The work, as has been pointed out, doesn’t have to be a novel of outstanding brilliance and originality, it is merely required to hit the fifty thousand word mark before the end of November. Most of the ideas I generated in the last week have been short stories, maybe novellas at best. Not a problem.

The thought that I might be able to tie these disparate elements together in a patchwork of overlapping events was one which only came to me this morning as I sat down with a cup of coffee and a smoke. Maybe it was a moment of divine inspiration, it might have been desperation… Hell, it could possibly have been an injection of caffeine to the system which finally nailed the concept in my brain. I’m gonna be writing a novel made up of novels…

Which is a dumb way to think of the idea, but I can’t think of a better way to put it. There seems to be quite a lot of history building in my subconscious already, and I have the feeling that I may be writing closer to 400k rather than 50k when I’m done with this. I’ll try to get the main story out of the way during the month, and – if I have time – begin filling in all of the strands which aren’t essential to the overall universe.

Exact information would be hard to give without me beginning anything, but I’m sure the SF elements will be heavy to the front, with horror and comedy bubbling beneath the surface. The thriller aspect should be handled with the nature of the plot, but I’m not sure how many other genres I can draw from. This might work after all…


The first person to say “cyberpunk” gets poked with a sharp stick.

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Where Did All The Cigarettes Go?

Posted by BigWords on August 30, 2009

The main problem with being awake for so many hours in the day – okay, not the main problem, but a close second – is the temptation to keep smoking when any sane person would be considering how many cigarettes they go through. I spent about half an hour searching through my coat pockets, in drawers, beside my chair, looking through the kitchen… There was just a single pack left. Which is strange in and of itself, but I bought 100 on Friday afternoon. It’s the lack of sleep…

I don’t normally smoke so much, but with the agitation caused by spending the night looking for a game which wouldn’t annoy me, then having a day full of interruptions to my writing, it’s no wonder I smoke so much. It’s only when I have to run for the train in the morning that the full effects of my habit seems to show itself, but that is a subject for another post.

For a long time, maybe three years, I have managed to ration myself to one cigarette an hour, but the temptation to light up when I get even slightly irritated is growing.

They go so well with the consumption of endless cups of coffee, and y’know, the odd alcoholic beverage, so it is easy to lose count of how many I smoke in a day. But 80 since Friday? I’m sure I never smoked this much when I was in my twenties, when I had the capacity to deal with such intense abuse of my lungs. I still have the endless fucking walk each day, but it isn’t exactly the kind of exercise that is going to help in the long run.

Sometimes I think that the self-destruction gene, which ain’t so dormant in humanity at the best of times, is pushing forth on my being. “Go on,” it cries, “Light up, you fucker. Take a deep breath.” It’s the same voice that whispers in your ear when you’re on the balcony of an apartment, telling you to jump. Only it ain’t as blatant. It’s the tapping of fingers, the urge that grips in the gut, the need to fill your lungs with the inspiration-giving escence of nicotine.

And a few thousand words later I’m back where I started, looking at the screen and hankering for another smoke.

‘Scuse me, I gotta go. I’m sure I have a lighter around here somewhere…

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Punctuality Is The Bane Of Small Minds

Posted by BigWords on August 21, 2009

Having spent the better part of the week running to and fro across the larger part of Fife, I’ve realized that I don’t really care for being in a place at an exact time. Five minutes either side of an appointed time is accurate enough, and I’m already too fucking tired (with, y’know, the insomnia and everything) to be doing such things. Seriously, the amount of hassle to get to a place exactly on time just isn’t hardwired into my brain. I can barely tell you what time it is without spending a minute hunting for my ‘phone.

There are, however, some people who see punctuality as the be-all and end-all, and I don’t mind if they see me as an aberration. I like those guys. Really, I do. They’re perfect models on which to base my villains on, because (alongside record-keeping) the psychotics of the world seem to have a fascination with time. Just look at Sylar if you don’t believe me.

Maybe I wasn’t born with the “time gene”, which explains a lot. I couldn’t tell the time on an analogue clock until I was about fifteen years old, and when I write I tend to time-jump back and forwards between different eras. The messy way I see the past – lumping big stretches of my life together as if everything happened at once – is because I can’t sleep, and it all seems so, so long ago. Last week or last year… It’s all the same to me.

In about five hours (give or take) I’ll be back at the train station, wondering how the fuck I manage to get anything done without sleep. I’ll have had my fourth coffee of the day by that point, and I may be in a better mood.

Don’t bet on it.

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Busy, Busy, Busy

Posted by BigWords on June 29, 2009

There’s Not Enough Time In The Day

Last night (and into the not-so-small hours of the morning) was a battle of wills between myself and the beautiful designs of HTML. I’m a big fan of computer languages as art-form, despite having seen the travesties imposed on simple code by folks who would rather be playing in the murky depths of obscure and complicated math. HTML can be manipulated and twisted to allow for all sorts of formatting options, but it gets to be a bit much when I have been staring at a notepad document filled with it for any number of hours.
…And I’m still not done yet. There are fun blogs I have visited, though not bookmarked. I’ll get around to the ones I have overlooked soon enough.

There have been a lot of new additions to the ‘to do’ list in the last week, and (with the lack of sleep ‘n’ all) I have added more jobs. I need something to do, or else I’ll end up chain-smoking, drinking endless cups of coffee and bemoaning the lack of take-away service at 5am. One of my bright ideas was a blog dedicated to book reviews. It’s been set up, ready to go, but there aren’t any actual reviews on it yet. I’ll post one up on Wednesday or Thursday, after I manage to deal with more pressing matters.

Ah, the other projects… Yeah, they seem to be multiplying.

Tomorrow evening is already set aside for the construction of a base on which to situate the largest shed I have ever laid eyes on. It is massive, and will comfortably hold the excess books, computer games and comics once it is insulated properly. When the shed is filled, which will probably take some time, I’ll gain back two rooms which have been used primarily for storage.

A complete list of my collection, for insurance purposes, has been an on-and-off-again job which desperately need doing. It’s #2 on the list.
The notes I’ve already taken for reference has thrown up some surprising items. I’m was working through boxes of European comics, and came across  Greek (I think) editions of Lucky Luke, French reprints of Marvel Comics material and other weirdness. The Italian reprint of Secret Agent X-9 (in hardback format) and a Disney annual (which translates some duck stories to Italian) I vaguely remember purchasing, but I have no idea where all the others came from.

There are also the external hard drives which I have been meaning to tidy up. Files are kept all over the place, and having all of the material relating to connected subjects stored together makes sense. I’m guessing that the job will take a few weeks, though with new ideas popping up every so often – sometimes just as I have exited the word processing suite – I’m holding off from immediately jumping in to this.

Lack Of Sleep x Things To Do = Time Distortion

What seemed like a few days ago to everyone else, Friday to be exact, is more like a week for me. I figured this out about an hour ago, when the compulsion to call a friend up hit me. He said that he was going to buy a new car (Friday, to be exact, not a month ago, just on Friday), and I was about to call to see if he ever managed to get around to buying one. It’s a shock to realize that it wasn’t a long-gone conversation, and I’m beginning to think that I need to keep better notes on any interactions I have – just so I don’t bring up anything which is still in the process of being handled.

It feels like a couple of days since I added anything to the blog, if that makes any sense.

The Milk Doesn’t Go In The Cupboard

Maybe the sleep-deprivation is having more of an effect than I would normally admit. I was making coffee earlier, and I discovered I had put the jar in the fridge and the carton of milk in the cupboard. It wouldn’t be the first time my brain has completely left my body while doing automated actions, and I know that I’ve left the oven on for too long as well. My grasp on the minor activities is one reason why the aforementioned insurance policy has to have accurate information.

Be thankful I don’t have a driving license.

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