Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Tunnel At The End Of The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

For fuck's sake...

I've written those 5 new chapters, and I'm still not finished.

So I've stopped writing to take stock of myself, only to realise I've gained enough weight for other people to notice, and I'm smoking like a laboratory beagle.

And in this absurdly slow literary process, I've realised that I'll be 70 by the time I finish which, as a smoker, I'll be lucky to get to but if I do, that makes me middle aged right fucken' now.

How the hell did that happen? I've achieved absolutely bugger all with my life, sired zero shitting machines forced out from the once-tight chuff of a beautiful woman I don't actually have, and I still live above a fucking chemists in a crappy rented flat with a fat, bald man.

I read an article yesterday about Jim Fixx, the man who made the insanity of jogging look normal, and discovered that it wasn't jogging that killed him (directly), but a blocked artery due to years of smoking.

So I've stopped cycling in case I die. The weather's gone all shitty, plus I'm finding it hard to breathe anyway.

And thus, I'm in stasis again, a self-imposed limbo that has me staring at supermarket displays for dinner options and pacing around until I plump for a shit yellow disc with cheese on it, for the third day running.

Plus I really wanna quit my job.

In other news, I've been hanging out with the lavender folk, attending Gay Paul's birthday party and meeting yet another Jewish New Yorker broad in the street outside (I managed to offend her by saying there is no god, while the gay chaps I had been chatting to got her number instead), I woke up at 4am the night after that, convinced I was about to die (I'd gone to a BBQ in East Anglia and consumed enough booze, cigs and meat to kill a herd of elephants on crack), and I spent last weekend alone - that's alone - in my room, writing til stupid o'clock, as I downed a bottle of wine, four beers, and some left-over cocaine I found.

It felt all rather Hemingway minus the talent, until I woke up the following morning with the shakes, a Eurasian-seized sense of shame and self-loathing, and a really shit book.

If this damn thing ever gets finished, it'll be a fucking miracle.


PurestGreen said...

You have to fucking stop smoking, not cycling! You talk about wasting time, but I reckon you have wasted more time "seized in a sense of shame and self-loathing" than anything else.

But keep working. It is the only thing worth beating the shit out of yourself for. You're a damn fine writer. This reader wants your book.

I was going for a bit of "tough love" in this comment. How did I do?

sas said...

if you have a couple of hours spare, go see the private lives of pippa lee. its a 'woman's movie' but i think you'd enjoy the premise. and it started as a book. aim big love!

Blue soup said...

"and some left-over cocaine I found"

Very surreal.

ess jay said...

quit the job roundy

Dandelion said...

I know the feeling. I am writing a book also.

Cheryl said...

Oh boy, oh boy, it was like reading my own thoughts when I read this post. Nothing dredges up our worst fears than working on a long term project which may or may not pay off in the end. If only one could know for certain what the results of all that labor will be. So I think artists have to develop some method of magical thinking which will see them through the long haul otherwise we'd go crackers. A part of us wants to save ourselves from humiliation and pain. Just in case...But the future has yet to take shape. I'll never get into a snooty London or NY gallery if I don't keep painting. I'll never publish a book if I don't keep writing.

It's always way more daunting when you look at the big, whole process rather than taking it one paragraph, one day at a time.

Also, think of all the comments here that tell you how wonderful and funny a writer you are and how much we look forward to buying one of your books one day. Maybe you can collect them all to read whenever the voice of doubt chimes in again.

Anonymous said...

5 more chapters? In one weekend? I can't even get started.


Do you do tangents in your writing? I do. I so totally jump the shark until I'm all "what the fuck? how did I get here?" and do massive deleting. Stay away from the sharks.

Z said...

The hope of living to 70 seems rather overoptimistic, the way you're going, frankly. I don't know if this book of yours is any good, but is it worth it?

i am not your freud said...

i dreamt of you last night. you were moving next door to my grandma.

stop whining and start looking for a new job. go to job interviews. do something.

fwengebola said...

PG ~ I think I sense the tough love angle. Stopping smoking forever’s somewhat easier said than done though, hence the delay in my actually doing it. Thank you for your hideously nice comments again. I will endeavour to carry on until my eyes bleed.
SAS ~ I’ve just googled that and found: ‘After her much older husband forces a move to a suburban retirement community, Pippa Lee engages in a period of reflection and finds herself heading toward a quiet nervous breakdown.’
I’d baulk at that, but I’m finding myself somewhat intrigued.
My book reads like a film (a bad one), but only because it’s arse-full of dialogue as I can’t write for toffee. Whatever that means.
Bluey ~ Not really. Not in my house.
Ess ~ Thank you, ducky.
Dand ~ Ooooh! Do tell!
Sorry, that was strangely camp.
Cher ~ You’re right. It’s such a long period of time that there’s a vast epoch to indulge in those huge highs and crushing lows, but to make you feel extremely awkward (if you’re anything like me), I fecking love your work and should hell freeze over and I get my turd published, I was kinda thinking if perchance you might like to perhaps draw me a lovely Jamie Hewlettesque cover (as your portfolio reminds me of his work), if indeed life was in fact lovely and brilliant and karma n’ shit existed.
Your ‘books’, plural, scares me. One’s got me convulsing in the corner in a sweat.
Jenn ~ 5 chapters in one weekend? Good lord, no. But it is about five since my last post about two and a half weeks ago. But then again, I am deliberately racing to the end just to get this monkey off my back.
I always remember at school our teachers prepared us for exams by saying; ‘Stick to the question. Answer the question.’ That forced us to keep checking that our answers, our writing, was on track. Tangents, or new scenes or chapters, are fine if they’re all relative to the overall story you want to tell.
Z ~ Is it worth it? Well it is in the sense that I’m trying to complete a huge task I’ve set myself.
Otherwise, fuck, no. It’s a thankless crime against words.
IAMYF ~ That’s strange. I hope you weren’t traumatised. Why do I keep appearing in young women’s dreams? (Not in a good way). You’re not the first in recent weeks.
Yes, I will try and do some horribly pro-active things, thanks.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Pick up Post Office and Factotum by Charles Bukowski. It's all the inspiration you'll need.

If you lived here in NYC you'd quite smoking in a hurry. The city taxes the hell out of cigs. They're about $9 a pack, I believe. Plus, you can't smoke ANYWHERE anymore. It's hardly worth the effort.

fwengebola said...

That's your second Bokuwski endorsement in my comments! I Amazoned those and I'm intrigued and petrified in equal measure. They sound similar to what I'm writing, with the added pain that they'll doubtless be brilliant.

I also xe.com'med $9 and discovered to with some amusement that at £5.60, that's slightly cheaper than all of Britain.

I haven't smoked all day. Then I bought a pack about 10 minutes ago on my walk home from the tube.

Anonymous said...

Okay if it's 2.5 weeks = 5 chapters I won't hate you too much.

All my tangents get deleted. They deserve it.

Happy tapping away. Now put The End on it and get hammered.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Fwenge, in a moment of inspiration I came up with a plan of action. Observe:

1. Quit job
2. Tidy your room
3. Move out
4. Get new job
5. Get new house w/skinny flatmate to shame yourself into weight loss
6. Write novel
7. Become famous
8. Fight women off with sticks (not literally)

There you go. Done.

Peach said...

I have a better idea: get the fuck out of blighty and come to san francisco with me xxx

Cheryl said...

He, he, aahhh, you made me blush. Sign me up that sounds awesome. And now I'm going to pray like hell you finish your book all the sooner...as soon as you stop convulsing in the corner and realize your writing can't be limited to your blog. It just can't. And when crazy doubt chimes in again, remember...Jackie Collins...Dan Brown...they suck, but do they care? Now get to it! A new career beckons.

Anonymous said...

jesus!get yourself a big bowl with some fish in it, or go to a spa for a while.You need to calm down or your nerves'll be all shot to pieces.

Not to extra worry you but you seem to tolerate alcohol and such less well since when you started the blog.Your poor liver.

pip said...

don't eat the fish

don't drink too much. drinkers are boring

fwengebola said...

Jenn ~ If it’s any consolation, a very strange thing has happened and I can no longer write. It’s really very odd.
PDEWYMO ~ I like a lot of those, although the order is somewhat skewed, such as quitting my job, tidying my room, moving out, then getting a new job. In truth I want to finish writing ‘The Abomination’ before I quit anything. Having said that, all I can think about is just getting on my bike, cycling south, and never stopping. Sadly, I’m not kidding.
Peach ~ Yay! I’d do that in a heartbeat if I could, although all the responsibilities I have are minor ones. I’ve got the travelling bug again, you see.
Cheryl ~ Thank you for that. And you're brilliant.
But you’re right; I have to carry on writing. I rather appear to have lost my writing mojo, you see. I’ve come to a standstill.
Anon ~ Erm, fish?? I would like to sit in a sauna for a little while. My health does appear to be deteriorating. Do you think my tolerance is getting worse? Perhaps it’s getting better and I’m drinking more and getting more hammered. I can’t tell anymore.
Pip ~ I won’t eat the fish, but don’t drink? I’m British.

luna said...

Honestly,that Bukowski twat is way overrated (by cavemen).

Thinks it's cool to call his GF Shagjob in his first production.

I had a terrible row with Scottish John over it and I ordered him to stop filling his head with that pernicious tosh but all I managed to do is send him straight on the phone to John Maths to gossip about me with tears (of mirth) streaming down his ugly mug.

he reckons if he was brought up by a single mum and does the washing up he cannot be contaminated by vicious sexism on which I disagree.

A Bas Bukowski!!!!!!

P.S. The whiskey got him in the end.

fwengebola said...

An American used the term 'shagjob'? I have no idea what everything else means, but at least you've ended on a beautiful high. That's how I'd like to go, drowning in a vat.

Ferestog said...

i have just guffawed. the light, tunnel, light, end, tunnel etc...brilliant:) matt

fwengebola said...

Oh hello, you've turned into a blog.