Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Fighting with writing

If life hands you lemons make lemonade, so the old adage goes. It's the theme behind my latest blog which you'll find not here but on the Fighting with Writing blog, a site about a guy learning how to write. Tam, the blog's author, is a young bloke from Stenhousemuir, a small town near Falkirk which is a wee bit bigger town down the road from Stirling. He's just starting off as a writer and, as is so common nowadays, has decided to post his successes and failures on the Internet for the entire world to see. At the moment he's working as an assistant manager at Burger King so I imagine the only way is up and he seems to feel the same. And if he manages to write his way out of there then more power to his elbow.

His blog's been trundling along for a few weeks now and he's doing his best to follow the rules set down in his correspondence course until he feels confident enough to make up rules of his own. Like all good writers he went out and selected a comfortable note pad. I'll let him tell the rest of the story:

One of the other things it wants me to do is keep a notebook in my pocket at all times, so it's handy to jot down any ideas that come into my head. I was looking in Woolworths yesterday for something that might fit the bill.

The smallest notebook they had was bound in hard card. Before I spent 50p of my hard earned cash, I wanted to see if it would be a comfortable size. Without much thought, I took it from the shelf and placed it in my pocket.

That was probably not the best idea in the world; a staff member in the same aisle saw what I was doing and went to get the security guard. Thankfully I evaded arrest, and am free to do more stupid things tomorrow.

I have to say I can see myself doing something like that. In the past I've always made a fuss about my notebooks and really hate being bought them as presents. At least I used to. Nowadays I'll scribble on any old scrap of paper I find lying in the street if I don't have my notebook with me; I am getting very sloppy in my old age. Bad me.

Anyway, Tam's marked out a plan for his blog. He aims to have a post up six days a week. I struggle with a couple a week but he's young and still has blood in his veins rather than ink which might sound a romantic notion but trust me it's not nearly as efficient at lugging oxygen round the lead piping inside me that masquerades as my vascular system. He's being proactive, making friends and promoting his blog like crazy. Good on 'im.

Wisely he's roped in a few guest bloggers to take the pressure off (wish I'd though of that) and muggins here is the first (no 'muggins' is not a Harry-Potter-ism). After me there's Irish playwright Ken Armstrong and the Welsh writer Catherine Sharp from Sharp Words the week after that. All he needs is some English biddy and he'll have a full set.

You can read my effort here: So you think you're a poet but you'll have to wait till the end till I get round to the lemons. What passes for normal service here will be resumed on Monday.



If life hands you.....lemons, sugar, water and a pitcher THEN make lemonade.

If just lemons - you only got.....lemons.

Jim Murdoch said...

Thanks, Tor. And I suppose if someone asks you if you're a glass-half-full or glass-half- empty kind of person your standard reply would be, "You got a glass?"

The Insane Writer said...

I simply find it interesting that you were almost arrested for a simple

Ken Armstrong said...

Gotta brush up on your Harry Potter, Jim.

It's not Muggins.

It's Muppets... isn't it?

Jim Murdoch said...

And what would a muggle like me know about that?

J. C. said...

My lemonade is always missing something, a special kind of not enough sugar, not enough lemons, but what I have learned to like is a strong, bitter flavor.

Ken Armstrong said...


That last comment reminds me of Kenny Williams' Julius Caesar in 'Carry On Cleo' when he would always start his speeches, "Friends, Romans..." and then someone would say, "countrymen." And Kenny would say "I know!!"

That was before he exited with the great 'Infamy' gag.

Ken Armstrong said...


Last comment but one then :)

Dave King said...

What can one say or do but wish all the luck in the world? It won't help, I'm sure, but I gave up carrying a notebook a long while ago, I carry a folded sheet of A4 with me now. I prefer to start on scraps of paper which I can then either shuffle around or lose. If I lose one, then what the hell? My muse never intended me to use it in the first place.

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