Search

12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it

Tag

murder

How to cure back pain

If I were to tweet about my day, it would go something like: ‘sat on my arse eating scones and reading The Last Dragonslayer cover to cover #myperfectsunday #bliss’.  Obviously I would be using these hashtags for comic effect, because I’m cool and ironic and whatnot. Continue reading “How to cure back pain”

Advertisements

Leith FM Interview

As promised, here is a link to my interview with Simon Fielding on Leith FM from last Friday.  It’s about 40 minutes long and is completely fascinating, so I urge you to make the time.  Unfortunately the last part (FAQs) is missing, but you’ll get the gist.

http://soundcloud.com/periwinklewine/leithfm

In other news, I’m still looking for stories from hacks, so if you want to help me out with book 6 leave a comment here or on facebook, or email ali.george85@yahoo.com.

Another Excerpt From Book Two

“What did she mean, we’re stuck?”  Mrs Shiers peered at Bob accusingly.

There was a pregnant pause, then:

“….what?” he said, in the worst feigning of ignorance ever showcased in the whole of Auchtergowrie Theatre’s long and painful history.

“That actor lassie said we were stuck,” Mrs Shiers reminded him, accidentally slipping into a broader accent in her concern.

“Ah,” Bob shrugged helplessly, looking about him for guidance but receiving none, “that.”

“The security system is jiggered, Mrs S,” Lauren volunteered after several long moments.  “We can’t get out of the building, and there’s a high chance nobody else can get in.”

“But we’d rather that it wasn’t common knowledge,” Bob interrupted, “because we don’t want people to panic.  And the police’ll probably want to talk to everyone that saw the show, we think.”

“Why would they want to do that?”

“Well, to get their eyewitness accounts,” Bob said vaguely.  “To find out exactly what happened.”

“Come on,” Elspeth encouraged, holding out her arm for Mrs Shiers, “let’s leave these lot to it and get a stiff drink.”

“In light of the situation,” Mrs Shiers conceded, “that doesn’t sound like a completely terrible idea.”

An Update

Apologies for my recent silence.

The reason behind it is mainly that I haven’t written as much of book two as I ‘should’ have – 9000 words less, to be precise – and I was a bit embarrassed to come forward and admit it.  I’ve written loads of other things, mind you – for example, I am to be relied upon if you want to read lengthy dissections of nonsensical song lyrics.  And I’ve pitched a couple of articles that have elicited vague promises of monetary gain, which is hugely exciting for me because I haven’t been paid for my work since I was 19 and wrote some arts reviews for The Perthshire Advertiser.

Other than that, I am now back in Edinburgh after the chicken sitting adventure.  Last night a group of friends rallied round to show their support of this whole nonsensical idea by buying me beer, which was very sweet of them.  Thus my enthusiasm is renewed, and cannot even be dampened by the shock revelation that there are only 28 days in February and it’s already the 6th.  Perhaps fortuitously, my temp agency hasn’t as yet offered me any work for this week, so maybe I’ll get caught up over the next day or two.  Stranger things have happened…

And now, an unedited excerpt of book two.

 

“I am never working with you amateurs again,” hissed Morag McWhirter, whose turn it was to throw a wobbly as the curtain went up for the final time.

“You always say that,” Elspeth pointed out, hastily pasting a fixed grin to her face as the audience came into view.

The company bowed once more to the lukewarm applause of about thirteen people.

“God.  This is depressing,” Hamish McWhirter said under his breath, giving the old lady who always sat in seat G15 a cheeky wink of recognition.

Then a body fell from the fly floor onto the stage in front of them with a blunt thud.

First Draft of Caligula’s Blog Complete!

In university, I had a habit of working on essays right up until the deadline, then racing along to the history department to hand in essays right as they were being removed from the box.  It would appear that, certainly when I am unemployed, I have retained this tendency, for not twenty minutes ago, right before midnight on January 31st 2011, I bashed out the last few posts of Caligula’s Blog.  I’ve written 5905 words today, and I wouldn’t advise doing that much in one sitting because now my back really hurts!

The draft is very raw, and falls short of my 50k word target, weighing in at only 33, 173 words.  However, given that I knew nothing whatsoever about the man on the 1st of the month, and most diary style books are shorter than 50k, I regard this as being fundamentally OK.  We’ll see how that changes when I come to look over it again – April at the very earliest!

41 AD
January 24th

I dreamed last night I was standing in heaven, near the throne of Jupiter.  It was very beautiful and humbling.  I was about to say something, when Jupiter gave me a push with the big toe of his right foot, and I fell right on my face.  When I woke up it turned out I had fallen out of bed, so that’s probably why that happened in the dream.

Doesn’t feel like a great start to the day, really.  Still, things can only get better now that I’m awake!  Perhaps I’ll sacrifice a couple of white bulls to the big man this afternoon though, just to be on the safe side.

Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus – or Caligula to you and me – was assassinated later that day by his own men.  His wife, Milonia Caesonia, and infant daughter Julia Drusilla were killed by members of the Praetorian Guard a few hours later.  He was succeeded by Derek Jacobi.

Caligula’s Adiatrepsia

As January’s book is Caligula’s Blog, today I have mostly been reading a book about Caligula by a Roman historian called Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus.  It’s essentially a massive list of the crazy stuff he did, which is very handy from my point of view because each item can be a blog entry (or several).

I haven’t finished it yet, but some of the highlights have included:

– Caligula having a gold statue made of himself.  Every day some lucky slave got to dress it up in clothes identical to whatever the man himself had thrown on that morning.

– Inviting the moon to go to bed with him every time it was full.  Well, I assume he was after the goddess of the moon rather than the lump of rock, although he pretty much seemed to do anything and anyone that stayed still long enough…  I will look into that.

– On meeting handsome men with good hair, he had the backs of their heads shaved to make them look daft.  He wanted to be the sexiest, you see.  Perhaps making other men look bad would detract from the fact he was a terrifying, all-powerful sex pest.

– He apparently described his maternal grandmother as “Ulysses in a dress.”  He didn’t like her very much.

– He referred to signing execution lists as “clearing his accounts.”  As you may have gathered, he was a sensitive soul.

– He liked to get members of Senate to run alongside his litter for several miles at a time.  A bit like having a performing animal, I suppose.

– Lots more things, but I’m not going to list them all.  They’ll be in the blog…

I don’t know much about Suetonius himself yet, so won’t be 100% sure how reliable he is as a source till I’ve done some more research on him.  I do know that the man had some lovely turns of phrase and that several subsequent biographies of the Caesars were based on his works.  Also, he was mates with Pliny The Younger, which is interesting in the sort of way that makes you say, “oh really?” because you’ve vaguely heard of him.

Which is nice.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: