All Hallows/ Last day of freedom.

And so it would appear that NaNoWriMo is upon us. I would like to wish everyone the best of luck with it and ask that if anyone needs a break or a chat about how it is going then they turn to me because I know that I will need the same.

I’ve got a very basic plan of how this whole thing should roll out and I’m hoping that it picks up snowball momentum along the way, capturing offshoots of story and development of characters and that at the end of it I haven’t just typed fifty thousand words, but I have the bulk of a story in place because I’m not really one for redrafting and will probably try and push the job onto someone else (thanks Ben).

I’m going to try and find a way of writing my blog as well but can’t make any promises. I have written a post every day (to my knowledge) since February and I’m going to try not to break from this self-imposed tradition but who knows what could happen as we get close to the wire.

Follow my progress here.

There can be only one.

I Google myself far too often. That’s something I’m not too ashamed to admit, which is probably a problem. It has been described as narcissism but it goes beyond that. It’s almost obsessive. That’s why I was so disgusted when I discovered that someone almost had the same name as me, and was sneaking into my Googlability.

I’m very fortunate in that I am the only person in the world with my name. This is down to one thing, my surname is made up. I guess arguably all of our names are made up but mine is very recently so, on the grand scale of things. Go back a hundred years and you’ll struggle to find a Schiernecker. It’s sort of disheartening to know that your family tree is untraceable further back than three generations, it makes you wonder what went before and what the hell we were hiding from to have to change it, and drop our history. On the upside it does mean that when I use a search engine I will only find me. That was until recently. One day when I was procrastinating from writing I decided to see how I was faring on the scale of Search Engine Optimisation. Imagine my dismay when this message shot up before me:

No, Google, that is definitely not what I meant. I decided to do a little bit of investigating. I’ve spent a lot of time on the Internet in the last ten years and I’ve left a pretty deep set of footprints, Paul Schoenecker must have done some series work to outdo me. It turned out he had. He’s got a degree in Chemical Engineering and he works at a Wildlife Park studying natural resources and he’s studying accounting in Minnesota and he works at Choice Auto Rental, and he is trained in Muay Thai boxing, and he’s involved with the Academy of the Holy Angels. I figured that he must be some kind of demi-God but refused to settle back and let him ruin my Google life with his incredible skills so I set to work putting my full name everywhere I possibly could. I set up a YouTube channel, I put my name on my blog, and my Tumblr, and my Twitter accounts. I created a Just Giving page and spammed my full name on there. I just tried to spread my love like a fever, and eventually it worked. When I searched for me, it was me I got and I was happy, for a while.

I realised that hero of men Paul Schoenecker might not have even been aware of the struggle I was facing. It was either that or he would be sat on the other side of the Atlantic drastically trying to outdo me. I hoped it was the latter. I needed a nemesis. I decided to make contact. This is how I chose to do that:

………To date I have had no response.

In my attempt to find this message which I sent a month ago I typed my nemesis’s name into Facebook and seven accounts came up. Seven! Why had I not realised it before. He wasn’t some kind of freaky new Jesus, he was seven men, and I had managed to outdo them all. It made me feel Hulk strong and I headed off to fight other battles that nobody else would notice.

Clear head.

Felt much better waking up today than I did yesterday. I honestly tried to get things done but it is so much harder when you’re crippled by a hangover. It was all my own doing and I know that, but I think I feel better for having got not a lot done.

It meant I went to bed at about ten last night and then got up at half five to do a little bit of redrafting before NaNoWriMo starts. I am however now in the rather unfortunate position of having to complete three short stories in three days and then have my novel all set in my brain by Thursday to get cracking on it. It’s a bit of a challenge, even when I’ve set it up myself but we will just have to see what happens. I’ve got a couple of days off at the end of November when I’m hoping I will just be able to power through the end of the book and be in a good position before I have to start looking back over it in December. I’m also planning on recording again after November, I don’t know what because I haven’t written anything but I just like the idea of it. I would like to hide away in a cabin and do it in one solid block but I might have to improvise on that.

Up and atom.

An hour wasted is not a wasted hour.

I struggle to understand why something like British Summer Time still exists, it seems unnecessary to me. That being said I was assuming that I would sleep through the changes and wake up feeling an hour better off this morning. That was exactly not what happened and here is what did.

I started drinking at around half past five, in the bath, watching Homeland. I then put my looking-ropier-by-the-second Hannibal Lecter costume on and sat about waiting for a reasonable time to go out and see other people. This was about half nine when I managed to drag my brother out of the house to give me a lift to the Brush. Once there I acted as a conduit for the brilliant people I know. You know when you overhear someone saying ‘Oh you will love me mate Jonesy, he’s fucking mental’, and you meet Jonesy and he can just down a pint really quickly and inappropriately feel up any girl in sight, well my friends are actually mental, and I mean they act so odd that in the Brush (a meeting place for the weird) people stop and stare when they dance by. That’s why I love them. Since re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-reading On The Road I see myself as more of a Paradise type figure, I take in all these firework personalities and I light their fuses and then I stand back and it all blows up in my face and I laugh harder than I’ve ever laughed before. That’s what my friends are like.

I got to see my friend James who only just decided to return to the land of the living (from up north). We spent the evening in sporadic bouts of conversation before he would be distracted like a budgie and head off into the flashing darkness, with a stead like a pirate and hair like Robert Smith after a salon day. Then another of my friends (coincidentally dressed as a surgeon) spent the evening necking a stripper from Basildon who was dressed as a zombie nurse. Then my friend Ben (who I mentioned the other day) was a skeleton John McEnroe celebrating his cat sister’s birthday. That’s what I mean by mental. I also got to see my Gonzo friend Mike and his lovely girlfriend Jess. We talked (drunkenly) about how we just switch hanging out on and off, there’ll be nothing for months, barely any contact and then it’s a click and everyone is back together and it is all hugs and how are yous and we dance in a circle and love love love one another and it is just pure and brilliant.
Kate was also there (in the best costume I saw all night) with her friends and I love seeing all of them as well because they’re just in the league below when it comes to crazy and I like to watch that develop.

How I spent that extra hour gained was stood outside. There were fifty people crammed into the glass faced kebab shop opposite, there were girls with ripped tights and fake blooded necks lying in doorways waiting for friends or taxis, there was still that noise in the air that said, where can we go? I stood out in that for over an hour, trying to make sure everyone was safe and able to get out and home, and then picking James up from the sloped entrance to the cornershop and getting him to the taxi rank. I discovered that even in this day and age the clocks resetting still fucks up technology. Every ATM in the high street refused to dispense cash and confused rolling skeletons and mummys roamed up and down in the lights of the parade of cabs trying each one in the hope of that golden withdrawal that could carry them home. Eventually it was just James and I making promises we knew we would forget by the morning. I shoved him into the back of a cab and promised to speak to him soon. I then sat on a wall waiting for the clock to turn back.

Frankenweenie

There is something magical about stop motion. It reminds me of watching The Clangers and Camberwick Green as a child. It’s not perfect. I think that’s what it is. You can see the slight imperfections in the movements, the fingerprints smoothed into the sides of faces, it looks homely. With that in mind I am not concerned that Burton has returned to stop motion once again because not only do I love stop motion, I also love the characters he creates and the morals he places in his stories.

Frankenweenie is a re-imagining of the classic Frankenstein story but told almost for children. That doesn’t mean it’s all twee and pathetic like most, which seem to feel they have to dumb things down for children, this draws nicely from the original to the point that you know what is going to happen but the jokes thrown in between make up for any over familiarity. Look out for Colossus as a perfect example.

What I like about Burton’s work is that he is always rooting for the loner/ weirdo/ underdog and that in the worlds he creates these people always prove to be in the right and generally everything comes through for them. Here we see that Victor’s love of science is lost on his family who feel he should be outside playing baseball like the other boys at school. In the end it is this that saves the town. Burton knows what it is to be left out, and he makes them the hero. That’s why it has such an appeal. It’s for anyone that has ever felt different and to put a horrible marketing term on it there will always be an audience for that.

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Another Friday.

My, how this week has flown by. Maybe because I haven’t had the chance to do anything, I’ve just been dragged from my bed to work and then back to my bed again, or at least that’s how it feels.

This weekend is technically Halloween for anyone over the age of consent which means splattering ourselves in fake blood and standing outside in the cold to get into a club. Doesn’t that just sound fantastic. Meanwhile I have a number of short stories to finish before next Thursday. I reiterate that this is a deadline I’ve placed entirely on my own head which means I’m even more determined to finish it.

I really need more sleep, I can’t think straight today.

An assignment? How exciting.

Ask and you shall receive. That’s a saying right? Well it worked because I did and I have. I emailed the author of a respected film website and he’s offered me an article on Jack Kerouac. Can’t say too much more because no doubt I will jinx my own good fortune but…. exciting times. Everything seems to be very much on the up at the moment, except my bank balance which remains very red and sore fathoms below my comprehension. Who cares though right? I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love.

I’m on the train reading On The Road for the second or third time this year. I’m now spotting all the missing segments from the film. I’m sure I heard somewhere that the original cut of it was heading for five hours, I would watch that with absolutely no qualms, maybe a few toilet breaks though.

Right, back to those doldrums.