Archive for January, 2012

So the contest for a free copy of the book ‘Mental Wellness: Real Stories from Survivors’ come to and end tomorrow at midnight.

To enter to win simply go HERE and leave a comment as to how mental health has touched your life.

You could also enter to win by going to the Face Book page and clicking the ‘join’ button.

What have you got to lose? As to what you could win – well here’s a little review to let you know;  Review of the book ‘Mental Wellness’

I saw somewhere – gods only know where now –  an interview with a small press publisher  that linked to their available anthologies that were open for submission. One of the anthologies pinged in my head. I thought, “Now there is a theme that just calls out for a Jonathan Alvey story.”

Jonathan Alvey is a paranormal P. I. character that I have written about in a handful of stories, plus he was the protagonist my NaNoWriMo novel (that was the story I managed to get some editing in on just the other night).

So I started letting my brain fumble around concepts.  Idea’s, plots, and characters were birthed and smothered to put them out of their misery. Cursed items, seedy stores, and horrid ending were shifted, twisted and mutated. And then, finally, my head caught the right set of images and out comes from the myriad of pictures that my Muse was pushing through my brain.

I had the story. Or at least as much as I needed to be able to sit down and write it. The bones were there, the meat would fall into place as I wrote it. That’s just how it goes for me.

Most important – I not only had something to write –  I want to write it. Inspiration is stronger then apathy at the moment. My Muse has gifted me an escape from the doldrums my mind has floated into.

I don’t think, by the time the story is complete, that it will still be a viable submission for the anthology that inspired it. It may be, and if I think it is close I’ll certainly give it a shot, but that is secondary to the having a tale to tell and the impetus to tell it.

Of course it is never quite that simple. I’d like to just sit down and write but life gets in the way. We are nearly out of wood again (yes there is no one to blame but me) and tomorrow I will have to brave the cold  (and stupid, stupid snow) and see what I can get cut that is burnable. And today? Today, I will have to struggle to keep what wood we do have burning (it is wet and apt to extinguish itself).

Any one interested in a cursed gramophone, ghosts, and bitter P.I. ?

I have a story – I want to tell it.

Let’s see if I can.


I admit I have not read the book – so sue me. I did see the movie, knowing what it was based on and knowing the premise. Damn hard movie to watch …which is probably why I’ve never tackled the book. It was far to reminiscent of what cycling is like (and yes I am actually smart enough to be in MENSA – deal with it…I have to)

It hit very close to home for me (as did A Beautiful Mind but I digress – which isn’t surprising as I haven’t got any sleep) Let me back track a moment if I may?

My sleep cycle has been sliding further and further into a nocturnal one. Night before last I tried to go to sleep at my current hour of bedding down (2am) and found I could not get to sleep. Knowing only too well how these nights can go, I didn’t bother pretending but got up and read. At 4am I tried again with success.

Last night I stayed up reading till 4am again (I was finishing a book and had got to the’ I can put it down now stage’ – unfortunately the book was King’s ‘The Dome’ so that stage came with still an normal sized novel of pages behind it) I closed the book – having read the last page of the acknowledgements (Reading King’s comments are sometimes even better then the book itself) and got up to go to bed.

Here is where we circle back to the beginning of the post and, in fact, the title itself.

As I headed for the stairs, I suddenly found myself with a quiet, still, and clear head.

No noise.

No befuddlement.

No confusion,distraction,depression,mania,voices, sounds,colours, beeps,sprongs,whistles,coffee grinders,music,walruses or even a single misplaced concept.

I was thinking properly. I stood absolutly still for a moment, shocked by this moment of respite in the middle of a long cycle.

The sensation was amazing. I had never had it just – stop – before.

It was like living with cronich pain for so long you stop thinking about it and someone comes along and gives a serious pain medication but better!

I didn’t hesitate. So overjoyed to have this beautiful, ripe and poignent moment. I dashed to my laptop , flung open the lid and opened my current work in progress. From 4:30 am to 6:30 am, I edited and wrote and polished fifteen pages of writing. Tired but calmly elated to have worked again, I saved my work and got up.

I thought of bed but in another hour the animals would need to let out and feed. If I did it, that meant for a once my wife could sleep in.  ( hey don’t get on my case – she’s the one that wanted them) so I decided to stay up the extra hour.

A waited for the sun to rise, and as the murky ink of blackness seeped away from the heavens, it seemed to creep into my brain.

Flower for Algernon – I felt it coming back – the process that usually takes a month or so to creep over me, fell like a heavy, wet, mouldy, blanket on my brain.

Still, I had that two hours – I danced with the angels for brief moment (actually I walked with a tough paranormal P.I. – pahtatoe – potaytoe)

Now, however, to finish up the story and tie up the lose ends (ha – as if) I will explain why I’ve had no sleep. Both myself and my patient wife thought it might be best if I just stayed awake and tried to reset my sleeping schedule as opposed to waking at say 3 and going to bed at four – if I can, I might actually get to do more then share a cup of coffee as we pass each on the way to/from the bed.

But oh boy it’s been a long day and this took my last gasping efforts of rational thought to get down – but I wanted to, for me, for you, and yes for the walrus in my head.

I guess the news I got is good – I mean, I know it is as the creative creature but as the editor and self-critic, it almost feels like bad news… somehow.

Oh – right the news, then my reaction too it. Well, you write your blog your way and I’ll bumble through mine, my way

I was told that one of the beta-readers for my Urban Fantasy novel got half way through and gave up editing – but not (as I would have expected) because it was just too much to correct but because they kept being swept up by the story itself and forgetting to make any edit/comment/notes.

Having now read it just for the pleasure – it is now being reread for commenting on.

I see the good part – I do – but I can’t shake the feeling that now the comments will somehow be tainted because of foreknowledge.

I’m sure I’m being crazy (really- I’m quite sure I’m being crazy, though whether I am in regards to this is a different matter) and I am genuinely gratified they felt the story was that strong, so I guess I’ll put the hesitation away …for now.

And there you have it … a post about my writing (with only a little  spam mental health)

…but i like spam!

spam, spam, spam, spam – spamity spam!

One of our cats favourite things to do when they have caught a mouse, is play gladiator arena in the tub. They sit in the centre of our rather large tub and the mouse runs laps around them, inside. Should the mouse start to flag – a swipe of the paw gets the entertainment going again.
So I was taking a bath earlier …..


Well, lets just say that I’m glad I didn’t have to share my bath  – although my little girl is a bit put out with me and my choice of bath time.