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Saturday, 31 March 2012


And so, my memory stick that served as the back-up for my writing is completely fried, taking 99% of my stories with it. I understand there are worse things to feel (like grief at losing a loved one, for instance) but for any creative type, destroy something they've spent a lot of time and effort creating and you might as well have put a bullet in their mum's head.

My PC had the main files on, but it broke, taking them with it. Hence, the memory stick being the back-up. I'm hoping to use this next week to have a good old sit down and think, to try and remember all the details (and if possible, finer details) of the stuff that's now only a memory. Of course, it'll be impossible to replicate exactly every single word and idea I'd had, and it's probably a waste of time trying to do this, but I was genuinely pleased with quite a lot of the stuff I'd written recently. I've always been a fan of fiction that incorporates recurring characters/settings/etc (which is why I like King's Dark Tower saga so much) and I was finally getting to grips with my own way of doing this. Suffice to say, it was a deeply complex fictive system, and I can only remember the bare strands of it. AAARGGHHH.

Whilst I was waiting to hear of the fate of my memory stick, I've been trying to rework an older story, that I was told held promise. Doing this has enabled me to regain some of the discipline I used to have, regards writing, but it's been interrupted by my having to write a funding bid.

Yes! A funding bid! The research aspect of it is quite fun, as we gather prices and whatnot, and decide what activities etc we can run, but the main brunt of the bid is a proposal - we have to come up with 2000 words on what we want to do, and why it'd be such a good thing to do. Suffice to say, this is a massive ballache. But, it's the sort of thing we (hopefully) will be doing more of in the future, as we seek to grow into a genuine artistic force in the region. Practice makes perfect, after all.

I don't know if it's because of stress from writing the bid/losing my stories, or the two recent booze-filled evenings I've had lately, or lack of sleep, but I've had a lot of dark thoughts lately. Not about myself, but about people close to me. Some were fuelled by ridiculous flights of fancy based on real world situations, others were more grounded fears that were still unfounded.

For instance, one dream had myself and my friend going for the same job (which we are, in real life), but in this case we were working together. There were two job offers, and one offered 'fringe benefits' the other didn't, so we went for that. Turned out we were expected to work on arming nuclear warheads for a maniac who planned to bomb parts of America, and all the boring places in the UK. The 'benefits' were that we would get to stay alive cos we were on his side.

Anyway, we were sequestered in a hilltop pub, where the maniac asked me to work on the guidance system for a warhead. I tried to surreptitiously remove screws from it, so once it was in flight it'd fail to function and explode in the air, miles from anywhere. But, I got paranoid he knew I'd done this, and that he was letting us stay in the hilltop pub because we'd get obliterated once a bomb went off (cos there was nothing nearby to absorb the blast). Somehow, I managed to wrangle it so we were put into a bungalow, which had an odd basement/kitchen/bedsit. A guy lived in there, but I agreed to swap rooms with him, since he'd been in there for ages. My friend was convinced we'd be okay there if anything went wrong, but I became increasingly convinced the maniac had put us there specifically to get killed in a deeply unpleasant way. And it turned out I was right! Whether it was the warhead I'd tampered with, or another one, I don't know, but one went off a mile or so from the bungalow, and the dream ended with a bunch of us huddled in the centre of the bungalow, waiting for the nuclear winds to raze us. Nice and cheery.

And today, I got to thinking about how it doesn't take ten seconds for something bad to happen to someone. We're supposed to leave 24 hours before we can 'legally' report a person as missing, but what if, five minutes after you last spoke to them, they're murdered, or mugged for their phone and money, or involved in an accident? Something that prevents them from answering your calls, or from contacting people they know? You've got over twenty-three hours to go a little nuts as you go through every possible scenario. Maybe you're being silly, and their phone battery died, and they can't get wi-fi access on their laptop/iPad/whatever. Maybe, they got talking to someone and time ran away with them, or they ended up going on an impromptu night out? All perfectly reasonable things, that 99% of the time happen. But, it's that 1%...

It's bananas to go through life worrying if you'll be that 1% at some point, or if someone close to you becomes that 1%, but you'd also be bananas not to consider it, or let it concern you. Otherwise, that friend you can't get hold of could be bleeding to death in a ditch, and if you'd only acted sooner they might be okay, but you thought "Oh, they're probably sleeping off a hangover". All it takes is for someone to act 'uncharacteristic' (which is something the police look at) to set alarm bells ringing, even if they do it by accident. Having these kinds of thoughts is uncharacteristic for me, given that I'm blessed with a sunny disposition, but on occasion they pop up in my brain, reminding me that it doesn't even take ten seconds for things to go horribly, terribly wrong.

Good grief. Let's hope my next blog post is more like my usual self. I don't like all this angst!

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