Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Give money to Christian Voice: fund a mentalist

According to later today's Guardian, some pressure group called Christian Voice is trying to prosecute the producer of Jerry Springer - The Opera for blasphemous libel; also the Director General of the BBC for showing it on TV:

Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, said in 2005 that the show portrayed Jesus as a "coprophiliac sexual deviant".

Hmm. Anyone else think Mr Green's case might be just slightly compromised by his familiarity with the correct term for being sexually aroused by faeces?

Good. Then if we're all agreed that he's at least put his foot in it*, I can skip the earnest ramblings about freedom of speech and instead let you know about a superb little radio programme I just heard: From Fact to Fiction. It's a series in which writers pen a 15-minute fictional response to the week's news. I've heard others in the series and not been especially enthralled, but last Saturday's was the best thing I've heard on radio in ages - a funny, witty, thoughtful, at times cuttingly satirical, surreal narrative called To The River, performed and written by a poet, Adrian Mitchell, and a singer, Andy Roberts. Yep, it does mostly rhyme, and there are short comedic songs... yet it's still wonderful. Get clicking before it's gone (probably by Saturday).

*To those with more visual imaginations than me: sorry. Also, to Mr Green's lawyers: that was A JOKE; and if it could remain a cheap one, that would be just peachy.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm sure it'll pass

There's one consolation to having writer's block: the fact that even though you aren't writing you still get to call yourself a writer. Which isn't so much a consolation as a lie. Still, it's quite a consoling one. And sometimes you take what you can get.

For those of you who might be reading between the lines, yes, I have writer's block. Although, how you can claim that was between the lines...

Anyhow, I think I know at least part of what's behind the block: I've got out of the habit of just coming up with stuff from scratch. During the MA there were always assignments - briefs, words, or ideas that had to be turned into something. Granted, I generally turned them into things that were very much my own, but there was always at least the smallest of starting points; the clicky thing that lights the gas, if you will. And if you won't: well, I suppose you could choose your own metaphor, but really you're just creating work for yourself.

I remember not needing prompts and deadlines - frankly, I'd be worried if I couldn't; it was only about a year ago. It was nice. I probably needed someone to shut me up or point out where I was being self indulgent, now and again, of course, like at the end of that last paragraph; and half the stuff I wrote never got finished... But still, I didn't really need prompts. And now? Well, this blog's the only thing I write from scratch, and just look at it. Poor limping creature with its uneven fur.

Oh well. There's a lesson to be learned, I supppose: you can't enter an institution without becoming institutionalised; at least a little. Still, I'd do it all over again. One of the best years of my life.

And I never was good at learning lessons.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Warming up

I appear to have injured my throat. By eating.

Unless there's some other explanation for why it rather suddenly began to hurt to swallow just as I came to the end of my evening meal tonight. I can't think of one. I was eating salad - not a very big one; there wasn't even anything sharp or spiky in it. And besides, it's not that kind of pain. Which all leaves me with just the one conclusion: in future, I shall have to warm up before eating.


Anyway, the apparent unfitness of my gullet wasn't really what I came here to blog about. I was actually thinking of trying to witter on about something writerly. You know, seeing as I threatened a week or two ago that this might yet turn into a writer's blog.

If any writerly types out there were waiting for that, incidentally, well done, you've been practising a valuable skill - writing seems to involve an awful lot of waiting (waiting for inspiration, waiting to hear whether people want your work, waiting for your benefits claims to be processed). All of which, I suppose, is only fitting, given the similarity between the two words - all too easily confused. In which case, maybe I could solve all our problems by thinking up a new word to replace 'writing'...

Of course. We could call it procrastinating.

Which would be great. For one, it would eliminate all these kinds of conversations:

"Are you writing, or procrastinating?"

And wouldn't this be a great aphorism?

Writing is 1% inspiration, 99% procrastination.

Wait. No, it wouldn't. In my new scheme of things that aphorism would end up being:

Procrastinating is 1% inspiration, 99% procrastination.

Which makes no sense whatsoever. Shame. (Or possibly makes perfect sense. But that might just be me).

Oh well. On the bright side, at least I've fulfilled my intention of wittering on about writing for a while. So, then, time for a bit of good, solid procrastinating, I think.

Who says blogging's not a good warm up exercise?

Well, not for eating, though, probably.