Tomorrow is the twenty-ninth, the leap year is almost upon us, and I realised I hadn’t updated here in a very, VERY long time. New Year’s Eve, I think.
I remember where I was four years ago on the last leap year. I went to see Rammstein play at the Metro arena in Newcastle. It was a fantastic gig, probably one of, if not THE best I’ve ever been to. Their stage show was amazing, everything about them was electric from their entrance to their exit.
Anyway. What’s new? What have I been up to?
Well, writing still, as always. I’m reviewing CD’s on a regular basis for R2 magazine now, and the perk of this is that I get to go to a gig for free sometimes, like a couple of weeks ago when I saw the fucking awesomely talented John Grant at the Sage in Gateshead. The month before that, in January, on the day of David Bowie’s death, coincidentally, I was lucky enough to catch Henry Rollins on his latest spoken word tour, though I wasn’t reviewing this and I didn’t get in for free haha. He was at the Tyneside Theatre and Opera House in Newcastle, he spoke at length for three hours. Rollins is an incredibly interesting man, and very funny, and I enjoyed seeing him a great deal, it was totally worth the numb backside I had by the end of it from sitting through a very small and uncomfortable chair. Seeing him was a big deal for me though, as, and I know this will sound pretentious, Henry Rollins is a man I identify with a great deal. Every time I watch his videos on YouTube, hear him talk, my head is just nodding along in agreement with practically every sentence.
Okay, so, writing! This year I hit a benchmark with my thirtieth short story seeing print, online at a sweet site called Fried Chicken and Coffee, the tale was called ‘The Gun At The End Of The Night’, and was my attempt at writing a Harry Crews story. I might not have succeeded in that goal, but shit if I wrote a Paul Heatley story then I’m pretty happy with that, too.
Other stories that have seen publication thus far this year, both online and in print, included ‘God May Forgive You’ in issue one of Crime Syndicate, ‘Big Ben’ in issue one of Dead Guns Magazine, and ‘Lady’s Choice’ over at Spelk. There are more in the pipeline, and hopefully more beyond that, and I’m working hard on some other stuff so fingers crossed I’ll have bigger news. Gotta keep striving for bigger and better, gotta keep moving on! I work hard, I enjoy working hard, and I enjoy seeing the fruits of these labours just as much, if not more so.
There are two quotes I keep coming back to lately, one I read just yesterday and has been running through my head ever since. It comes from Malcolm X, he said ‘The future belong to those that plan for it today.’ The other is from body builder Mike Mentzer, and I’m going to paraphrase it as it was quite a long passage in his book on high-intensity training. It went ‘If you look at those at the top of any profession, you will invariably find they got there through wanting it the most.’ I guess they’re sticking with me because they’re both about hard work, and when I feel like slacking off I give myself a slap and repeat them to myself and get back to work. All this work I’ve set for myself, ain’t no one else gonna do it for me.
So one more, that’s been particularly relevant to me lately, in what has, personally, been a pretty shitty 2016 so far, and I believe it was said by Winston Churchill, but I know it best from Sage Francis’ ‘Vonnegut Busy’: ‘When it feels like you’re going through Hell, keep going.’
I’m gonna close with some shameless self promotion; below are the links to my six novellas, The Motel Whore, The Vampire, The Boy, The Mess, The Pitbull, and Three. In case you’re curious, those first three make up a very loose trilogy. All are available for the Kindle from Amazon, and that’s what I’ll be linking to below.