A Gigantic Ball of Slow-Moving, Unimaginative Toxic Sludge

Added on 11 April 2011

I spend weeks on holiday desperate to return to work, full of creative beans, itching to get back in front of the computer to spew it all forth; bizarre and fantastical concepts that could fill a raft of Terry Gilliam movies; streams of consciousness to make The Master and Margarita look like a mundane essay on the social effects of the electric kettle. Then finally I get the chance to return to work, and I sit down in front of the computer and look at it, and phttt! Nothing. My brain fills with a gigantic ball of slow-moving, unimaginative toxic sludge. All those great ideas that seemed so magnificent while walking along sandy beaches, a gentle breeze blowing in off the Atlantic, just get blown away in the bitter wind of the workplace. (The workplace being the kitchen table.)

And anyway, it's all fanciful talk this week. There is little opportunity to work. Having spent a week on Exmoor and by the sea - "Dunster Beach. Some places have a desolate beauty. This has a desolate rancid ugliness." - we come back to two more weeks of school holidays.

While away I made a list of exciting projects that I need to work on.

This is what I'd like to be doing this week:

1. We Are The Hanged Man. Crime novel, halfway through the first draft. Or thereabouts. If this was an invasion, it would be one of those rubbish invasions of Russia that get bogged down in the winter. Nevertheless, chances of ever being finished (COEBF): Pretty good

2. Waiting for Sputnik - Sitcom idea set in a SETI-esque institute. I've had the idea for the better part of ten years, and I've written ten pages or thereabouts. But I did write those ten pages this year, so you know... There's hope. COEBF: 40/60

3. A follow-up CD to The Strange Case of Solomon Green's blockbuster 2009 set, The Lost Warsaw Sessions. Need to write some new songs. Haven't written a song since 2009. COEBF: Not great

4. A collection of writing from eight years of essays and blogs, in a David Sedaris kind of a thing, called something like Suicide Chess For The Under-50's or I Didn't Know What It Was So I Ate It. COEBF: This one will happen at some point.

5. Room With No Natural Light: Literary romantic epic. Needs work. COEBF: Eventually.

6. Get the Barney Thomson novellas The Face of Death and The Half-Blood PM up on Kindle. COEBF: Pretty good

7. Complete a work of poetry under my exotic nom de plum, The Urban Batcave Death Poet. COEBF: The Urban Batcave Death Poet is a mysterious character whose actions are rarely easy to predict.

8. Edit and publish my lost novel, previously called The Last Fish Supper, but which will have to be called something else now that I used the title for a Barney Thomson novel. When I say lost, it was lost, but I found a copy at the weekend. COEBF: Not great, but might happen. Depends how shit I think it is when I read it for the first time in ten years.

9. Produce the movie Monkfish Cowboy. COEBF: Just as soon as I become an outgoing and engaging bullshiter with a sound business head and an eye for a legal document.

What I will be doing this week:

1. Spending money on my children.