Monday, November 03, 2008

Searching Halloween for smatterings of significance beyond pumpkinheads and Dracula for this once hallowed evening, I found that in some cultures the entire month of November is a Festival of the Dead. Something to look forward to.
Emily and I celebrated this tricky night by treating ourselves to Comedy Scratch Night at the Arc in Trowbridge. A fun evening, though with a curiously non-contemporary ambience. 'Rather a lot of genitalia' one audience member commented, which was true, yet Master Bates apologised for both his swear words and no-one mentioned Voluptuagate.
You've probably already over-familiar with what the Head of the BBC calls "the tumultuous events of the past weeks" and the tabloids term "sickening obscenities that made the whole nation shudder", (the infamous phone call to Andrew Sachs has been viewed over a million times on Youtube) so the only thing that can make it better is... another cheap jibe. "This sort of obscenity against a member of the Satanic Sluts cannot be countenanced." thunders News of the News, "Suspension is hardly sufficient. The British sense of justice and fair play will not be satisfied until they are castrated by a baying crowd, pursued through the street on horseback with dogs, hanged by the neck outside White City until dead and their foul corpses left there to fester for at least a month. We pay our licence fees!"
What a good thing we in the literary world aren't tainted by such salacious voyeurism, I thought smugly, going into WH Smiths where exciting promotions encourage everyone to turn off the telly and read a good book. Promotions like TRAGIC LIFE STORIES - BUY 1 GET 1 HALF PRICE...

Quantum of Solace.... well I won't go on about the dizzy-making yumminess of Daniel Craig but I will just mention that Ben Elton's first novel Stark had a similar storyline (villain poses as environmentalist) though without the breathtaking car-chases, land-sea-&-air shoot-outs, the inferno and the Tosca opera. Other than that, pretty close.

I'm posting this as the world is poised to know whether Obama managed that final lap to the White House, so in electioneering mode I commend this more local party political broadcast from 'shouty scot' & poetic genius Elvis Mcgonagall.

And finally... how about writing a novel this November? NaNoWriMo will help you. Lots of tips and pep talks, and an international scoreboard for ongoing word-counts. England is at currently number 18, with the Germans already spreading their writing towels across the keyboard at number 1. So if you want to change that, pick up your pens! (Not now, at the end of the blog when lines are open....)

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