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JustRob

  1. The Prisoner

    Patrick McGoohan, co-writer and star of the cult 1960's TV series The Prisoner stated that its underlying theme was that "Each man is a prisoner unto himself." In the final episode, as the titular prisoner repeatedly tries to unmask "Number One" all he finds is another mask until finally he sees his own face. In my attempts to understand my own novel over the last six years I have come to understand the full significance of that.

    At a climactic point in my novel ...
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  2. The strangers in my dreams

    Today It occurred to me that the people in my dreams are all strangers, apart from my angel and even when she figures in them we tend to be parted quickly. I must be very reclusive to dream only about people whom I don't know. On the other hand I doubt that I would recognise anyone in my dreams anyway because of my aphantasia, an inability to visualise mentally at any time. Very occasionally it does happen but it comes as a shock to see images inside my head because I'm not used to it. Certainly ...
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  3. The Martian

    Having watched the film The Martian recently I got Andy Weir's original novel from the local library yesterday morning and have just finished reading it. Yes, that's why I read library books, because it would cost me five pounds per day to buy paperbacks to match the speed at which I read. That may well explain why I don't give much consideration to word counts when writing either. In that time I did also sand down and paint the bathroom door as well as watching many hours of television, so I only ...
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  4. The inspiration supermarket

    Those who have read my more whimsical anecdotes will realise that I get a regular supply of inspiration at our local supermarket. My brain is pretty well in neutral as I mindlessly push the trolley around behind my angel and the least thing can fire my imagination. This morning was no different.

    Staring idly into the trolley I noticed that a tin of spaghetti in tomato sauce had some round dents in the top, but these appeared to bulge outwards, as though something small had been hammering ...
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  5. Obituary for a novel

    Today I posted on a thread where the terms "hook" and "synopsis" were mentioned. Reflecting on these I realised that, while the hook for my novel was what persuaded me to write it, I never managed to write a synopsis despite many attempts. I think I understand why now.

    A couple of days ago my angel and I attended the funeral of a very old lady during which tributes to her were read out along with reminiscences. Maybe it was this in my mind that caused me to think ...
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  6. Nothing to do with me, honest

    I have been collecting coincidences relating to my novel ever since I wrote it years ago. Today I found a corker, purely by chance as I have no idea who the people involved are or what they do.

    In 2009 Laura Ann Masura (Who?) was involved in a serious motorcycle accident and fellow musicians held a benefit for her. These included Billy Corgan (Who?) and other members of the group the Smashing Pumpkins (?). A special one off group including Corgan and others named the Backwards Clock ...
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  7. Ingrowing fiction

    My fiction writing still keeps coming back to bite me. It's even biting itself now.

    My writing revolves around people whose past lives get mysteriously changed. For example, there is a private eye who keeps discovering that the events that he is asked to investigate never actually happened and a journalist who discovers that news events about which she has written articles never happened and apparently she didn't even write about them.

    In a chapter destined for a new novel ...
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  8. Déjà écrit

    It's still happening. I've written about it before but I doubt that anyone believes me. Nevertheless it is a part of my life and the only explanation for my having written a novel so spontaneously back when I did. I am referring to the fact that my novel is apparently based on my future memories, which have been becoming past memories ever since I wrote it.

    This last week my angel and I visited new friends in Devon. Partway through the week I woke one morning realising that the events
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  9. No reason to write

    So my WIP isn't in progress at present because I have no reason to write. I have considered this state of affairs, understand it and am comfortable with it. I could explain it all here but on reflection I have no reason to write this either. Ah, blissful peace at last. The muse is sated. Of course how I treat other addicts may not change.
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  10. An Act of Faith

    I was recently in Waterstones buying The Last Dark, the final book in the long running Thomas Covenant series by Stephen Donaldson. I found it on the table where they'd put their favourite science fiction / fantasy books. Being the final book it necessarily tied up all the loose ends in the long story and performed the ritual farewells required by readers of such a long series who were leaving the world that he had created, but that is all by the way.

    While at the table I also selected
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  11. Nobody should have their illusions shattered

    The title of this item is of course a quotation from the first chapter of my novel. Well, that's the usual signature feature of my writing out of the way.

    Such sentiments expressed in my writing are unsurprisingly often my own, so I wonder just how warily I should tread within these forums, being an elderly self-opinionated fellow but a novice writer. I read the many threads here about the rites of passage towards better writing, whether on specific subjects or the ordeal in general, ...
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  12. The Long March

    Recently I attended the annual speech day at my old school as I am a donation governor there. That doesn't mean that I am involved in governance of the school but simply that I have been awarded the honorary title as a result of making donations to its funds. The school is hundreds of years old and speech day is a high profile formal occasion with the Lord Mayor of London in attendance. A highlight of the day is the march-past in which all the 860 boarding pupils march past the Lord Mayor with the ...
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  13. Never Upon A Time: The errant muse

    Several years ago some errant muse from another dimension made use of my brain while I was sleeping. I only know because each morning there were memories strewn around inside it that hadn't been there the day before. It was like someone telling me about a TV series that they were watching on a channel that I couldn't get -- and you probably know how annoying that can be. Every morning for a couple of weeks I awoke to a voice in my head reciting the intriguing introduction.

    Three clocks ...
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