The Girl Who Went Up…

… Is the title of one of the short stories I’m playing around with at the moment.

For some, utterly bizarre reason I haven’t yet identified and for years didn’t even particularly notice, I have traditionally oscillated between writing poetry and writing novels. (No mid-way; mid-way has been for losers; I’m all about the full-way. Or something.) Many authors, probably quite reasonably and intelligently, recommend building up to writing novels via short stories, as though they are mainly instrumental spurts of intent and skill (maybe pain-staked, maybe accidental), a bit like lifting weights before lifting a car (terrible analogy, sorry; and people don’t generally lift cars*). But I never really bothered.** Continue reading

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Two Things

1. Writing is always a game of tricking yourself into productivity via reverse psychology (luckily, my subconscious doesn’t ever get the joke); when I sit down and intend to write absolute nonsense, in a mockery of myself, that’s when I write the good stuff. When I sit down to write the world’s most innovative, surprising, heartfelt prose, that’s when I decide I need a walk, and another cup of pomegranate green tea. Continue reading

Spelling music in colours

One of my characters is a synesthete.

According to wikipedia (because… well, nevermind), synesthesia is:

‘a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.’

It’s quite unarguable that colours naturally evoke particular moods (or colour therapy wouldn’t be A Thing, as wouldn’t such literary clichés as ‘red = anger’ and ‘white = pure’, etc.), but there is a certain automatic and unselfconscious precision with which a synesthete experiences the connection of disparate sensory experiences that, to me, is fascinating. Continue reading

Reign Beau & The After Man – a poem on the novel (how meta!)

I find it very difficult to describe my current project. Last night was a prime example; it’s not easy to shout coherently to a new acquaintance across the noise of an East Oxford bar about philosophies, humanity, and a character who is ‘a bit unusual, metaphysically’ but ‘not really an angel’, or about how I think my novel is ‘sort of melancholic but also quite funny’. I need to equip myself with the classic elevator speech for such emergencies, instead of resorting to ‘themes’, buzzwords and the wonderful armour of a mysterious smile.

I hope I might be exquisitely talented at describing what I’m doing once it’s actually… you know… done.

In the meantime, I wrote a poem: Continue reading