#1 Come to me, jungle friends

Updated: Dec 21, 2018

So, much like when the printing press was invented and the very first headline became 'PRINTING PRESS INVENTED', this blog is inevitably going to be about the blog itself. Why did I set it up? What can you expect?

The main reason is to get my writing out there. I'm terrible at finishing things. I need some kind of deadline. I've always been creative. Starting things is easy. I'm hoping that giving people a window to my work will keep me writing and reading more regularly, and to spur me on instead of skiving off. So far it seems to be working. The plan is to post regularly every Thursday which, for one week at least, has happened. I'm also guilty of editing things to death so want to keep the blogs as train-of-thought as I can.

The push that made it all happen came from a chat with my friend Amanda at a Christmas party at the weekend ('the Third Annual Woolcock Winter Warmer') when she asked what I was working on. I had been writing a novel for almost a year and decided right then that I'd get it finished by the end of next month. That's January, about seven or eight weeks away. "You'll need a blog," she said, and here we are.

Those of you who know me know that I'm always going on about what I'm writing, particularly the book which so far no one has read anything of, not even the title. It's a novel called 'Boxhead' and is set in a parallel version of Glasgow. It's very influenced by Philip Dick's short stories and Black Mirror, but there's a dark humour in there too. If all goes well it'll be the first book in a series. I figured that the only way to get to the end would be to chop it up into episodes and put them all under the same banner, hence Midnight Tayles.

Rod Sterling, smoking.

I write short stories too and it appeals to me to tie them in with the novel to give a different perspective. Unfortunately we're all in the middle of 'shared universe' fever right now which will pass but it's something I've always found interesting, not in a 'oh look it's Aquaman because he's getting his own movie next year' way, but in sharing the same themes and feel. I'm a big fan of The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. They had so many great ideas and even though they were self-contained stories the tone was always really consistent and made them exist in the same time and place.

But I digress. Things are going well and, now that the bravado has died away and I can see things realistically, I'm confident that I really can get a draft finished by the end of January. There were many problems with the first few chapters that I've addressed over the last couple of months but it was worth taking the time to sort them out, meaning that I can charge forward now to the end. That's when it's the most fun, when I can let the story and characters take on a life of their own.

I'm hoping to put up some excerpt chapters soon when they're ready, along with other complete stories and extra material such as character interviews (like with Goo The Experimental Fashionista) and a podcast or two with real people.

Until next Thursday...

Reading: 'La Belle Sauvage', Philip Pullman. Listening to: Ultravox. Watching: Lindsay Ellis

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© 2019 David McMahon.