the state of things

 

Chick Lit, Petrocelli & The Superbowl

by Douglas Lindsay - 12:07 on 04 February 2008
Cracking on at a rate of roughly ten thousand words a week, which was the post-Christmas plan. No real time for anything much else, like all the other site related things I was intending, such as more on-line readings and a Barney short story. Just not enough time to do everything which needs to be done. Which is why I was struggling to get going with Juarez before Christmas because I was doing all the other stuff related to getting the website up and running. Now the book is coming together, at least the foundations, walls, roof etc. (Back to the house building analogy...) At the moment I'm doing the basic structure, start to finish. At the end of that, it's back to the start to apply the interior design to give the book the right feel. Hopefully make it readable.
Before Christmas I was building at the rate of Petrocelli. Now I'm more like a cowboy builder throwing up a house as fast as he can. Let's hope that analogy doesn't progress too far.
I've had no internet access for the last two weeks at home, which has also helped the work rate. No time looking at sport, no following the transfer window, no time following the endless buildup to the Superbowl, no reading about Tom Brady's ankle. The internet is back, but I am going to try to go cold turkey on the NFL. Shouldn't be too hard, you might think, given that the season just finished. But you know, last year, through the seven months of the off-season, I looked on Patriots blogs every single day. I read message boards, I read columnists. It was nuts. My team just won eighteen games in a row and I wasn't that happy, then they lost the final game with thirty seconds to go and I wasn't that disappointed. A true addiction. I need to go cold turkey.
It's been eight hours so far and I haven't checked to make sure that they still lost...
My wife is currently reading a piece of chick-lit mince every night in bed, although she keeps telling me how wonderful it is, and that it's far removed the norm. I'm hellish snobbish about chick-lit and don't want to hear about it. I accept that I have no right to be. If there's a crime equivalent - say, crime-lit - then that's what I write. Lowbrow, populist, mass market mass murder. (Obviously, mass market is just a term here used to signify the type of literature, as opposed to indicating any sort of sales figures...) Nevertheless, despite the pot and kettle element, I still can't stomach the genre, and every now and again she'll read a bit aloud if she knows it will particularly annoy me.
The other day it was a reference to one of the characters having "sweet and tangy morning breath...." What the f***???! What had the character been doing in her sleep? Eating sweet and sour chicken? There's no such thing as sweet and tangy morning breath. Or  maybe she had an implant in her teeth which slowly released the sweet and tangy flavour through the night, so that when she awoke in the morning her breath would be, well, sweet and tangy? But if that was the case, wouldn't you go for, I don't know, minty maybe?
I've never referred to morning breath in any of my books, because what adjective are you going to use other than stale or minging or frankly unacceptable. I've had a bee in my bonnet about it ever since Al Pacino kissed Ellen Barkin first thing in the morning in Sea of Love, after having spent the previous night on the piss, smoking heavily, and falling asleep without brushing his teeth. No one, not even a woman with a major movie star crush, is going to want to kiss Al Pacino under those circumstances.
Back to Juarez, not a fragrantly breathed morning person in sight.

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