03.02.15 – Day 307
I am tired. This morning it was a big issue but I’ve had the day to place things into perspective. This morning I was angry but the person who caused me a sleepless night didn’t do so intentionally, so there’s no point giving off. And the person concerned gives me so much that I was actually finding it difficult to be angry with them. So, I’m just tired.
I had – at best – an hour of sleep last night. The reason was a misunderstanding right in the middle of my Goldilocks sleep zone. As soon as everyone else in the house has retired to bed, I spend an hour winding down. It’s the hour after I’ve taken my sedative pill. I can’t sleep without that drug as my mind is so active. When I take it, I have a window of around an hour in which to get to sleep. If I go much beyond that, or if that period is interrupted, my sleep suffers. I’m a bad sleeper anyway, suffering as I do from the unholy trinity of insomnia, alcohol – although that is consumed in moderation lately – and depression. Beyond that magic hour, or if that hour is too disturbed, my brain fires up again. It’s just the way I work.
Working: something I’m doing right now. Because right now, writing is working. It’s hard to get certain people to realise that this is what I do now; that while I’m sat tapping away at a keyboard, that is my working day using the main tool of my trade.
I certainly wouldn’t hang my hat on any of the writing I do for this blog. This is me taking a break and expelling my thoughts. My work – for which I’m starting to earn miniscule amounts of revenue – is in writing books and short fiction. I may branch out but I’m busy on the latest novel and that will keep me going for a while. The Paradoxicon is selling and Travels to The Paradoxicon is now online. The novel has received a positive review:
“This book was different to most books I have read, the style was unique and one which I have not come across. As you read the book you get to really feel for the main character. The book keeps you wanting to read on and not put it down. I was so hooked on The Paradoxicon that I read it in five hours flat out. Definitely a book to read if you like dark stories.”
It’s comments like that which keep a writer going, as it can be a very lonely job. But it’s the one I’ve chosen – along with cooking – and the one I’ll stick with as I enjoy it. I just need more people to buy the book – it’s only two quid for fuck sake – and for word to spread.
I’ve started on the next book, Bloodstained Knaves. Have a first page:
You’ve heard of underground publications, right? Why is it that everything “underground” is considered bad? Just because the very word suggests subterranean? Well it not only does but it is. What you’re reading came from underground, quite literally. It is the very definition of an underground publication. I wrote it, therefore it is published, albeit self-published. I wrote it underground; beneath your feet quite probably. The fact that you’re reading it means that it made its way out. You are reading an underground publication.
Beneath your feet: I’m lower than the shit on your shoes. If I were above ground, you’d probably look down on me, if you noticed me at all. But you don’t notice me because I’m underground; deliberately, where you can’t see me. But you wouldn’t want to, so I’m doing you a favour by staying down here.
We may be below your feet but if you ever took the time, you might realise that there’s more to us than meets the eye. But you can’t see us. Whether that’s by choice or circumstance is irrelevant.
You see, since we’ve been down here we’ve learned a lot. That’s partly why we’re down here. And there is so much down here you don’t know about, or probably wouldn’t want to know about. If you chose to seek us out, you would judge us. Among many delusions, you would probably assume that we can neither read nor write. But you’re reading this: I wrote it.
You’re probably wondering who I am. Well, ask yourself another question: why are you reading this? Because you want to. You have the freedom of choice. Well so do we. We’ve chosen to stay down here and if you really want to keep on reading, you’ll find out why.
Once I’ve finished farting around with this blog, I’ll get back to the book. Just so long as I feel I’ve produced something in a day; a page, a chapter, something, I feel I’ve done a day’s work.
This afternoon will be spent writing in the pub. Yes, I have an alcoholic drink next to me: so shoot me. I’m not kidding myself and my daily consumption has reduced drastically but once I get a couple of drinks inside me and a few cigarettes as well, I’m limbered up.
I’m sort of living the classic struggling writer’s life: living out of a suitcase, staying with friends, smoking, drinking and suffering insomnia and depression. And no, I don’t think it’s glamorous but I do have a tiny bit of self pride for having written my first book, sold it and got good feedback. I can confidently refer to myself as a writer. I wonder how many of my detractors would actually b able to write a book. It certainly takes some commitment.
So I’m in a pub. And I’m waiting for a teenage girl to finish school: so shoot me again. The girl in question is very close to me; one of my adopted daughters. We are friends and friends only; very good friends at that though. This is my fold-up one. She’s a lovely little thing and has helped me as I have helped her. We talk a lot and we spend a lot of time together. We’re very close. But the reason she got her nickname is she can just be folded up and put in a corner while I get on with my work. For my part, I get the best of both worlds: sitting in a pub with one of my favourite girls and writing, while she’s just there. With the other clingy thingy gone, the fold-up one is becoming the new clinger. And I don’t mind in the slightest as I enjoy her company very much. She’s one of those people who you can be with and there are no uncomfortable silences, or ginger kids born. She’s just there. And I’m always there for her. I would both kill and die for that little thing. Love you small person.
Back to the book, which is what I should be doing. And back to the top. I’m not angry at having been denied sleep last night and lately I’ve been denying myself sleep as I’ve burned the midnight oil whilst I’ve been writing. I’m just frustrated. Very frustrated. Not with the person who denied me sleep but at the simple fact that I find it hard to switch off and rest. That’s the manic side of my condition. But as I’ve said before, if I had a big red button which would switch it off, I wouldn’t press it. What’s in my head, however it may misbehave, is what makes me, me. And there are many who wouldn’t have me any other way.
I shall remain frustrated for the remainder of my days most likely. Lack of sleep quite literally drives you crazy. It’s as frustrating as the situation faced by the infinite monkey keeper nearing the end of his project: give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters and eventually they will produce the complete works of Shakespeare. At some point the works will be complete, pending just one letter: the monkey needs to hit the letter D to spell THE END but the little cunt hits Z instead.
Just what I need.