Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bored with the election? Try these new political parties...

Fed up of the same old politics and policies?

I thought I'd invent a few more. These are parties you can trust:

The Utopia Party

Believe: Utopia is a state of mind not a place.

Happiness is more important than wealth; and happiness is an attitude: we are already in the best of all possible worlds. It's just your mindset that needs adjusting.

Vote for us and we'll help you to change it.

The Retro Party

Believe: Things were better in the old days.

Vote for us and we'll turn the clock back. We'll:
  • Close down the internet

  • Bring back hanging

  • Bring back pounds shillings and pence (and farthings)

  • Only two tv channels

  • And four Trebor Chews for a penny

Vote for simpler times!

The Parity Party

Believe: The Poverty Gap - the difference between incomes in society - is responsible for most of our social ills.

So in future everyone will be paid the same salary pro rata no matter what job they do. Then people will choose the job they do because they want to do it not because it pays more.

Greedy people will leave the country: good riddance.

Bonus: besides creating an equal and happier society we'll save billions on paperwork in tax and NI since it'll be the same for everyone.

UKIP 2: The UK International Party

Believe: We will get the UK out of Europe by towing it to the Indian Ocean - and everyone benefits from a warmer climate.

UKIP 3: The UK Interplanetary Party

Believe: The World is going to hell in a handcart.

So we'll work to take the whole country into space and leave everyone else to fester in their own fetid juices.

The Nothing Party

Believe: We stand for nothing.

Vote for us and you won't be disappointed.

The Criminal Party

Believe: Only known lawbreakers can be MPs.

Result: for the first time you will have fully transparent MPs - you will know that they break the rules. Let's be honest: everyone breaks the rules if they can get away with it.

The Lazy Party

Believe: If you can be arsed to vote for us maybe we'll do something sometime.

Or not.

Like, how about the two day week?

Or is that too much?

Which one will you vote for?

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Some nice comments on The Drowning

I'm starting to get some good critical feedback from the first draft... thank you very much. Especially nice to have the very successful Jenny Woolf call the writing "brilliant" and "accomplished".

She asked me soe questions in her email and as they're very interesting it's worth posting some of my responses:

Influences: Alan Garner began as an influence - I remember vividly re-reading The Owl Service (set nearby) when I moved here and admiring again his sparse style, but when I tried to read him again in preparation for writing this I found the style too old fashioned. The influence in style came from more a MEMORY of him, but also a touch of Cormac McCarthy and a beautiful classic of ornithological writing - The Peregrine by J A Baker which is absolutely extraordinary in the number of different ways he finds to describe, say, a bird flying, with powerful observation. This is the first time I've set a book in a place where I live, and I did a lot of exploring and photography and talking to people.

Publisher: I have no publisher as yet. A Welsh publisher, Seren, has expressed interest, but they have little reach outside Wales unfortunately. Seren has an interesting new series updating/reinterpreting Welsh myths.

Structure: I'd pictured the opening as curling into the narrative. You see Gary, then Bryn, then Gary again. You realise both are victims in their own way, though Bryn only of Gary. So, why? Gary is the character with the furthest development arc to travel. You follow Gary through the storm, and its aftermath until he is forced into the company of Bryn on the run and the core story begins.

Bryn and Gary represent polar opposites. One endures the other dies. But it's suggested that what the one who died represents is a quality that is really the more enduring. We've sacrificed so much and we will lose more, but it is nature that endures. The land outlives us and we are blinks in its eyes. Even the legends have life beyond us.

Gary's disability cannot be used as an excuse for his irresponsibility. That's what he learns.

The website: The Chance To Create team (see the credits page) stipulated a website in their grant conditions. You wouldn't believe what else - I have to give a seminar to tourism providers in the area about local legends and other novels set locally (there are quite a few - cf also the late great Susan Cooper's Dark Is Rising series) to make the area an attractive literary destination! The things a writer has to do to earn a crust!

Anyway, I'm still buzzing from Jenny's comments!