Happy new year!
Forgive me, reader, it has been . . . thirteen days since my last post. Or thereabouts. Anyway, I’m sure it’s OK; I mean, we’ve all been doing other things, right? Christmas/New Year is one of those times when we all switch off and shut down for a while. I’ve managed a bit of work, but it’s never easy when there are children to entertain – although, things are easier now they’re getting older. We’ve pushed beyond the 6am wake ups and now we’re at the point where they emerge from their rooms like bears awakening from hibernation. Ah, happy days.
Well, I’ve managed a first draft of my new new novel. I say ‘new new’ because if it gets published, it’ll be quite a way down the line. Dark Horizons is next (May) then, hopefully it’ll be my other completed novel (which is with the publishers as we speak) and THEN we’ll get to the one I’ve just drafted. This one is probably my most ambitious and I’ve had to do a touch of research (I can’t claim to have lived in 1930’s Ukraine), but it’s been fun to write. Just need to polish it up, now.
So. A new year, eh? I suppose the etiquette is to write a list. Top 10 books of the year, Top 10 films of the year, that kind of thing. Well, I’m not much of a list person. You want lists, talk to my wife, she does lists. Me? Naaa, I’ll spare you the list.
Talking of films though, I did go to see The Way Back yesterday – enemies of the Soviet state escape from Siberian labour camp – and it wasn’t bad.Colin Farrel’s Russian/English accent was a bit dodgy but it was excused by the epic scenery. The story touches on some of the themes I’m writing about at the moment, although it’s set 10 years or so later, and it surprises me that it’s such a ‘forgotten’ period of history. We remember the terrible things the nazis did to the Jews but we forget what Stalin did. It’s odd that people wear hammer and sickle badges/logos as fashion without thinking about what it represents. The communist revolution might have once been chasing an ideal but the executions and the deportations and the starvation of millions of people that followed . . . well, we wouldn’t wear swastikas, would we?
On a different note, I also saw Kick-Ass. I realise I’m a bit late to this party, but Kick-Ass is a very cool film. (Is it OK to say cool? Is it still down with the kidz?) If you don’t like bloody comic book violence and hearing twelve year old girls use the C word, then it’s not for you, but I thought it was great fun. Stylish, colourful, funny – I’lll definitely be wtaching it again but . . . next stop, Scott Pilgrim. I know, I’ll be late to that party too, but I can’t always get to the cinema when I want to – though nothing’s going to keep me away from the Coen brothers version of Charles Portis‘ True Grit. Can’t wait.
Books? Well, I just finished Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord by Louis de Bernieres and can reccommend it. A bitter-sweet fable well told. The kind of book that makes you want to take a breath before you start another, because you’re worried the next one just isn’t going to be as good. Yep, still struggling with the Girl who did the Thing to the Hornet’s Nest. Ah well.