*slides in on a light beam*
Nice to have my brain back at last. Total burn out after hammering out 14 short stories, one after another over a furious 6 weeks. Inspiration or obsession, not sure which. Very pleased by the output but the physical / mental impact was immense. After finishing Kalinka I just went into a nosedive and crashed.
Which isn’t a bad thing. Downtime. Recovery time.
So, took to playing JOURNEY on the PS3 again. What a stunningly beautiful game. Finally found time to watch DUNE again (David Lynch’s version). Love that movie. Special FX are a bit clunky in places but I really adore the mood of the film and Lynch’s particular flavour of character chaos and universal insanity that boils around the edges of human / non-human reality.
November seemed to trundle by on a wooden tricycle whilst I dangled, grinning inanely, from a non-Euclidean corner of reality.
Book launch appeared on the horizon and the abruptly it’s there. I clamp on my armour, a nice suit and full beard. Rock up with a stack of books and find that the Bristol Fantasy and Science Fiction Society have done a sterling job at organising things. Great turn out too. Video and pics here.
Floyd Hayes came over from New York for the launch – which did become something of a party. Sore head next day but it was a Sunday and great chance to migrate into the City and show Floyd the sights that Bristol has to offer. Several hours in the vast leather sofas of the Grain Barge. I gave Floyd a copy of Alan Moore’s Neonomicon to read. And enjoyed the sanity-blasted look on Floyd’s face when he reached the end. Day turned to late afternoon which saw us grabbing a taxi back at my pile of old stone on a hill; I got a fire going; bought in takeaway curry from the local Indian and bottles of English ale, then settled down to watch Night of the Demon based on the classic tale of 19th century terror by M.R.James – “Casting the Runes”. Floyd’s imagination got a further injection of horror vibe. After that it was Polanski’s The Ninth Gate, which I’ve not watched for ages. Needless to say, next morning when I clambered up to the very top of the house to bring Floyd a mug of coffee to his room, he was a mass of limbs and tangled bedding – a man who had suffered strange and dark dreams during the night. Heh-heh, mission accomplished. :o)
Great fun though and perfect way to wrap-up the launch party weekend. A couple of days later I’m in Berlin. Christmas markets, Glühwein (mulled wine), bratwurst and feuerwurst, apple strudel with vanilla cream, and me walking about 12 miles a day through history. A chance to really switch off. Well, kind of. Plenty of time for thinking – one of the new novels, a work-in-progress called Oakfield needed some issues resolving. Picture me, sat at a cafe table or at the hotel bar staring intently at a pile of paper covered in hand-scrawled notes, working it through in my mind, working it through, occasional moments of movement as I scribble another piece into place. If you’re ever in Berlin check out the Wyndham Grand Hotel. Good location – 20 minute stride from Brandenburg Gate and Tiergarden. But the hotel itself, really lovely inside.
Now I’m back in England and not much chance to work on Oakfield or the other novel Sunder Gloom. Have to finish up some marketing tasks for the new book (The Social Club) and pull together an article that summarizes everything that’s been happening last few weeks (a lot). Have also set up a merchandise store to push some of the branded concepts that exist within my fictional work, out into reality. Power of Eight Group, with their motto “Business is Life”. The Social Club with their mind-manipulating iconography. And the classic UTOC Public Safety notice that racked-up about 600,000 views earlier this year (front page of Reddit too). Watch this space for information about the merchandise.
But hopefully, come Christmas, I’ll have found time, space and mental energy to reconnect to my creative groove.
- Credit – Featured Hero image: Golden Firestorm by WhiteCrowXV