Month: March 2018

The monthly update (March 2018)

Personal

This month felt like it lasted a year. If you’ve learnt anything about me while reading this blog, or by following me on Twitter, you’ll know that I am an ‘all or nothing’ kind of guy. Once I’m interested in something, I have to know everything about it. I work in Quality Assurance in my day job (and that’s all you’re getting, about that) which means that I am a slave to data. It doesn’t sound very interesting, I’m sure, but it kinda defines who I am, and how my mind works. I had felt that March was an unproductive month, but in reading over the data from last month, I know that I’m being too harsh on myself. Quite honestly, I was ready to wallow in depressive thoughts because of it, but now? Nah, I’m doing okay. I’m progressing slowly, but like I keep saying to myself; slow progress is still progress.

Early March was emotional. I wrote about it a few months back, that little boy Jonah had an abscess on his bottom which worried me and my wife greatly, well; he had his appointment at Chelsea and Westminster hospital and they gave it a diagnosis. He needs to have a surgical procedure to fix it. We’re waiting on a date for it, now, but it’s good to know that there is a plan in place. He’s moving on to solid foods now too, so there’s a possibility that it will fix itself. We’ll see. There are no guarantees. I hate the idea of surgery, but if it’ll improve his quality of life, then I’m all for it.

I met Bruce Campbell on the 13th March. It was during a signing at Forbidden Planet, in London. He was a really cool dude. He signed a copy of his new memoir for me. It’s only the second signing I’ve been to, and despite how nervous some people get, I didn’t really feel it. I’ll admit, I have only seen the first Evil Dead movie. But I’ve listened to a bunch of interviews with Bruce over the years, and I have a great deal of respect for him as a result, but I didn’t get nearly as star-struck as I expected to. Here are some pics:

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Writing

I’m still editing Almost Surely. I ended last month on page 104 of 380. I’m ending this month on page 249 of 395. My biggest takeaway is that I edited 145 pages this month, but I added 15 pages, too. These aren’t fresh chapters, (well, one is) they, mostly, are new paragraphs and expanded conversations within existing chapters. Excluding page-breaks, I probably added 8 or 9 pages of content. I’m neither happy nor upset about this. I know that most writers’ aims are to remove pointless text from the book and (given last month’s review of Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’) I understand why. But sometimes you just need to add a little here and there.

My target was to finish this draft by the end of March, but (obviously) that isn’t happening. If I were to repeat this month’s progress and edit 145 pages next month; I may be finished by the end of April. Which, I’d be ecstatic with. My aim is to get proofs printed in June, so even taking the delay into account; I’m still on target. Also; (and as an aside) I know when I’m revealing the cover.

I haven’t made any notes on future projects this month, but I’m thinking a great deal. I want to write a short story/novelette sort thing, next, maybe 45-50 pages in length, and I want this to be my ‘June Task,’ but we’ll see. I had a lot of plans for this year, but I think this editing lark is going to take up most of my time.

Books and stuff

I’m still reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle…

My comic book highlights this month were:

Paper Girls Vol. 4 

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The mind-bending, time-warping adventure from BRIAN K. VAUGHAN and CLIFF CHIANG continues, as intrepid newspaper deliverer Tiffany is launched from the prehistoric past into the year 2000! In this harrowing version of our past, Y2K was even more of a cataclysm than experts feared, and the only person who can save the future is a 12-year-old girl from 1988.

What I said: Issues 16-20. The last arc was a bit hit and miss, and ever so slightly confusing, but this arc makes sense of what’s going on. It’s fantastic, too. Roll on June, for issue 21!

Plastic 

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Retired serial killer Edwyn Stoffgruppen is in love with Virginia, a girl he “met online.” Her affection quiets his vile urges.
Together, they tour the back roads of America in their LTD Crown Vic, eating doughnuts and enjoying their insatiable appetites for each other. Life is good…until a Louisiana billionaire kidnaps Virginia, forcing Edwyn to kill again in exchange for her freedom.
And the twist to all of this? Virginia is a sex doll.

What I said: Hilarious, sad and bonkers, I wanted to give the book a standing ovation once I finished reading it. I didn’t though, because that’d be weird.

Movies and TV

For a month that felt as long as this one, I cannot remember all of what we watched, but the highlights were:

The History of Comedy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yn4t0FMzC3Y

On Sky Arts, rather than CNN. Each episode breaks down a particular aspect of comedy, and delves into its origins and showcases the pioneers. I’m an avid comedy fan, and knew a lot about what was shown, but there were a few pleasant surprises here and there. Like, that ‘Here’s Johnny!’ line that Jack Nicholson shouts in The Shining. That’s in reference to Johnny Carson, and how his MC would introduce him to the audience. I mean; I’m only guessing, but it seems about right, right? Check this out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZKmsA8bzao

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) 

I’ve had the DVD for a couple of years now, but in doing my (much needed) CD and DVD cull, I pulled it out, and put it on. It was incredible. This is what I said about it:

The monthly Spotify playlist:

1, Kendrick Lamar – The Art of Peer Pressure

2, Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.

3, A$AP Rocky – 1Train

4, Dave Brubeck – Take Five

5, Thundercat – Tokyo

6, Sampha – Timmy’s Prayer

7, The Ting Tings – Wrong Club

8, Rolo Tomassi – Aftermath

9, Tarika Blue – Dreamflower

10, Jon Hopkins – I Remember

11, Syl Johnson – Is It Because I’m Black

12, Kali Uchis – After The Storm (featuring Tyler, The Creator and Bootsy Collins)

13, Suicidal Tendencies – Get Your Bass On!

14, Gunship – Art3mis and Parzival

15, CHVRCHES – My Enemy

16, Kylie Minogue – Confide In Me

17, Joe Pass – A Time For Us

18, Adrian Younge – Dusts of Gold

19, Thug Life – Pour Out A Little Liquor

Other stuff:

I set up a public Instagram account. You can follow it here:

https://www.instagram.com/DoctorUlysses/

I’m pretty active on Twitter, check me out here:

The Surrogate

Obesity is a thing of the past; it was eradicated at the cellular level, many generations ago. The populous is now healthy, beautiful and promiscuous, but all is not as it should be.

Ronald Calico is renowned for being the world’s only living obese man. He is the proprietor of Little Harajuku’s premier cuddle-lounge, the destination for those who crave intimacy.

He is ‘The Surrogate,’ and he has requested my presence, so that I may tell his story.

My debut novel is available now from your local Amazon website. Click below for a preview.

The Surrogate, now available on Kindle Unlimited.

Kindle Unlimited is a pay-for service. You pay a monthly subscription, and it allows you to read any, from a large selection of books in the Amazon library.

My novella is available to read, using this service.

*this isn’t a new thing, in fact; I chose to enrol in the programme when I uploaded the book, I just hadn’t promoted this fact.

Synopsis:
Obesity is a thing of the past; it was eradicated at the cellular level, many generations ago. The populous is now healthy, beautiful and promiscuous, but all is not as it should be.

Ronald Calico is renowned for being the world’s only living obese man. He is the proprietor of Little Harajuku’s premier cuddle-lounge, the destination for those who crave intimacy.

He is ‘The Surrogate,’ and he has requested my presence, so that I may tell his story.

The Surrogate is a science fiction novella about sexuality, intimacy and the societal narrative behind the subjects deemed as ‘taboo.’
Also included is the short story entitled: ‘Collector.’ A story in it’s own right, but also a teaser for Gavin’s upcoming novel; ‘Almost Surely.’