Lucy

She lived alone, and few could know when Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and oh! The difference to me.
A slumber did my spirit seal – I had no human fears. 
She seemed a thing that could not feel the touch of earthly years. 
No motion has she now, no force; she neither hears nor sees – 
Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course with rocks, and stones, and trees.

This is a companion piece to the blog entry I’ve just made for NaNo London. If you’re not interested in NaNoWriMo, there’s probably not a lot here of interest. But if you’re interested in how I find inspiration in music and elsewhere, read on…

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24th October 2012Permalink 1 Comment

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev’rywhere you go;
Take a look in the five and ten – glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow.

Well, maybe not a lot like Christmas, but the mince pies have arrived in the supermarkets, the nights are drawing in and summer’s over. Most importantly, my Winter Ale is maturing nicely. So much so, in fact, that I’m going to have a go at a second autumn / winter beer, flavoured with plums, liquorice and spices. An interesting experiment if ever there was one. And after that I have plans for a US-style pale ale. Beer brewing: it’s the hobby that just keeps going…

And then there’s the other big part of the autumn coming up: NaNoWriMo. This year I’ve gone down the planning route again. I have a notebook that’s gradually filling with plot outlines and character notes. For my 10th anniversary of trying the challenge, I’m doing something different. The last few years have all been pretty grounded stuff – based as far as I can in reality. I haven’t cared to write anything that’s fantastical, preferring instead to take a concept and grind it down to what it might have originated as.

This year, I’m having a break from seriousness. Inspired by the fantastic production of Sweeney Todd that is about to close in the West End, which takes the Victorian story and sets it in the 1930s, I’m inspired to go even further and write a complete antithesis of steampunk; my novel this year will be inspired by the classical victorian melodrama, but set as a space opera. I’m beginning to think it might work quite well.

 

17th September 2012Permalink 1 Comment

Tower of Song

Now you can say that I’ve grown bitter but of this you may be sure:
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor.
And there’s a mighty judgment coming, but I may be wrong.
You see, you hear these funny voices in the Tower of Song.

In my last entry I hinted that I’d be making a complaint about Sleeper Jr.’s treatment in the first few days of his life. To sum things up, Mrs. Sleeper had immense difficulties in breastfeeding our son and as a result was kept cooped up in a hospital bed for five days after his birth, in a ward that had half as many beds again as it had any right to contain. It was excessively cramped and we found the hospital staff to be extremely unhelpful in the main. If I’d known at the time that a self-discharge was an option without getting social services involved, I’d have suggested it.

Anyway, they’ve finally replied to my extensive letter of complaint. In some parts there seems to be an immense difference between what we remember and what the nursing staff claim; however at this point it’s our word against theirs and as a result I can’t be bothered to argue as nothing good will come of it. In some parts they’ve acknowledged that the treatment was less than stellar which is at least something.

One point I am going to argue though. It’s well known that hospital car parks are priced extortionately. Because Mrs. Sleeper and Sleeper Jr. were in hospital for five days, whenever I could I walked or took public transport to the hospital. Except on the Jubilee Monday and Tuesday, because the hospital makes no charge for parking on Bank Holidays. I was charged £12 on the Tuesday, and wasn’t too happy about that so I asked why this was the case. While I can afford the cash, I’m sure that for plenty of other people it’s a lot of money.

The answer? “Tuesday 5th June wasn’t a bank holiday”. Hah. I’ve replied asking them how they were able to rescind the Royal Proclamation of said bank holiday. I wonder how they’ll respond.

When You Dream

With life just begun, my sleeping new son
Has eyes that roll back in his head
They flutter and dart
He slows down his heart
And pictures a world past his bed.
It’s hard to believe as I watch you breathe –

Your mind drifts and weaves
When you dream.

Sleeper Jr, in a rare moment of both wakefulness and calm.

On June 4th, the little chap pictured in the sonogram below finally decided to show up, over a week late. It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, in more than one sense of the word. I won’t talk about the hospital experience too much because I’ve been told by two independent healthcare workers involved in little’un’s care that I should be making a formal complaint about it. So more on that later. For now though it’s back to the office on Monday. Hopefully there I can catch up on some rest!