Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Positively Negative, or something...


I just dumped a number of blog posts in my Unused Blogs file for the same reason many others are there – too miserable and negative. Now I shall try to be positive because, it often is a matter of choice. Depression can be at a point where you can choose whether to sink lower or pull yourself up by your bootstraps and so it is with grief. I can continue chewing on my own liver by hauling up horrible images and memories for my inspection, or I can choose to deny them and think positively. Hang on, this is getting miserable again. Stop now. Smile.

 
So, Transformation II or Factory Station Room 101 (provisionally) has winged its way off to Macmillan. After that, being positive (this was two weeks ago) I opened up a file called ‘Dr Whip’ which I again read through (and no, this is not a short story destined for the pages of Spanking Weekly). Here is another weird character who had a nasty encounter with Penny Royal. He appeared in the first book along with that character Tuppence who appears in my story The Other Gun (Asimov’s). I removed both of these completely from the book, which I guess demonstrates that I do that editorial thing of killing my babies. Asmodeus Whipple had a nasty encounter with Penny Royal and has undergone, and is still undergoing, a transformation...

However...

Sorry to be negative again, but I just could not summon up enough interest in it to continue. Still too soon I guess. I turned then instead to Transformation III or Spear & Spine (provisionally) and started editing my way through that. I suspect that with the new publishing schedule of my books of January to February I’ll be sending that in a year before it’s due.

 
In other news it seems I am now addicted to kayaking. Only yesterday, I took the thing from Revans in Makrigialos up opposite a restaurant called the Kariotsina at the far end of Koutsouras, then later took it in the opposite direction to a beach called Lagada. Those of you who don’t know this place won’t know what I’m talking about, but suffice to say it was a good few miles. This was all after my ‘big swim’. I’m now wondering whether I can go to all three extremes in one day: the two kayak runs above, my three-quarters of a mile swim, all after a morning walk of about eight miles. Of course the problem with this is that I won’t get much else done and will spend most of the rest of the day comatose on my sofa here.

 
It is now September and a crappy one for Crete too and, despite the above, I am not spending loads of time at the beach. I dump my stuff by a sun bed but don’t spend much time on the thing. I sit in Revans bar, but am not boozing till darkness. I drink fruit juice and piss about on Facebook and Twitter via the internet connection there – a pastime with limited appeal. I have therefore started Greek lessons again.

 
In English there are average word counts that differ for people’s speaking, reading and writing vocabularies. I’m not sure what it is for the first of these but, in Greek, I’m sure I’ve learned many more words. Sure, there are big gaping holes in my knowledge but if I could actually use the words I do know I’d have a fair shot at conversational Greek. To that end, the lessons Anna is giving me are slanted towards speaking and grammar. At present, she writes out a page long text for me in English. She reads out a sentence to me at a time, which I write down (so I don’t forget it) then speak in Greek, with her correcting me along the way. This takes up half to three-quarters of the lesson, whereupon she starts hitting me with various phrases in English that I then have to translate – testing all my weak points. Afterwards she hands over the English text and my homework is to translate it into written Greek.

 
Maybe, one day, I’ll translate all of Gridlinked into Greek and get it published here. That’s if I’m still capable when I’m 86.   

7 comments:

Graeme Finch said...

Could you find someone who can instant message you in Greek, or drop into a chat room for Greek learners to hone the written skills?

David Scrimshaw said...

I've found that a great thing for building conversational ability in another language is to hang out with a chatty 4 or 5-year-old kid.

It's just about communicating with them.

Tigger MK4 said...

As a (published , albeit mostly small & hobby press ) vaguely semi-pro author, its interesting for me to see how someone far more successful and productive copes with the creative process...thanks for blogging about your experiences !
Before we lose you to kayaking entirely (or to the task of translating the cormac saga into greek), any chance of persuading you to write another splatterjay/sniper & 13 novel? I'm a huge fan of that particular series (and Mr Gaminara's audio renditions ) ....
Ps . Looking forward to the tranformation series - have so far thoroughly enjoyed all the polity set stories !
All the best , and remember the kayak is supposed to go hole side up ! :-)

Chris O'Connor said...

I like the provisional names, especially "Spear and Spine"

Thud said...

good luck with the Greek...I'm scouse so English is still a mystery to me.

Laffe said...

Just want you to know
It is known that exercise is good for depression. Those who exercise regularly are at not only less likely to fall ill, exercise also makes it easier to recover. But why exercise is good for depression are not well understood.
Now researchers at the Karolinska Institute found that muscular mice have higher levels of a certain enzyme, CAT, in the muscles. It was shown that this enzyme degrades kynurenine, a substance formed during stress and is harmful to the brain.
- Our hypothesis was that the muscles produces a substance that has a beneficial effect on the brain. But we found really the opposite: trained muscles produces an enzyme that cleanses the body of harmful substances, says Jorge Ruas, one of the researchers behind the study, published in the prestigious journal Cell.
The muscles seem to have a filtering effect that - when activated - may protect the brain.
The researchers are now facing a new principle for treating depression. A treatment that affects the muscles, not the brain.
mvh
Lars-Åke I love your books

Ian Campbell said...

Hi Neal,

Did you forget us? *sniff*

rassenfrassenrickrassen.....

;)