I got lost in my archives today, looking for posts to include in a Spinneyhead collection. Along the way I rediscovered my online version of Out Of Fashion And A Trifle Uncool (alternate title Ten Years Asleep). I’ll have to repackage that for Lulu/Amazon distribution as well. Re-reading bits of it I’m embarassed by the clunkiness of some of the prose, sad that I’ve lost some of the optimism on display and amused by some of the phrases I turned.
Penny arrived at the barbecue on Saturday and demanded a copy of Another Education because she’d been printing it out and ran out of ink with only 20 pages to go. This is the sort of thing my ego needs. Demands that I publish the follow up, and a little bit of persuasion finally drove me to produce the Acrobat version of Ten Years Asleep- downloadable here. The online version has been updated to match it, and is available here.
A little note, which I’ll be incorporating into the download page and adding as an authors comment on the online version just as soon as I expand it some more-
Every few years, I sit down and write a State of the Ian story. In 1992 it was Ruby Red, two people picking up the pieces after traumas and fallout from previous relationships- with a little lesbianism thrown in because I became attached to a supporting character and wanted to make her happy. 1996 was politics in Another Education, with the compromises and bad decisions forced upon students by the increasing concentration on the bottom line in higher education.
Out Of Fashion And A Trifle Uncool was written in 1998 and was about a bunch of guys in their late twenties casting about for some direction in their lives, with varying success. It forms the major part of Ten Years Asleep. The original TYA was an attempt in 2001 to consolidate Education and Fashion and add some more stories spread over the decade to trace all the characters interactions over the period. Some of the chapters for this project have been included in the story put up today. Some others- notably a silly contemporary tale of Susan and Gareth unwittingly foiling industrial espionage- have been excised.
Looking back over the stories it’s possible to see themes- the female lead who has overcome some past problems and is now determined to leave them far behind, who falls for the clever but slightly flakey male lead; indie music; the Lakes; eccentric cars; beer. People who know me have spotted other things I missed, such as the feminine side I didn’t know I had. But the most obvious aspect of all the stories is my continued and ever optimistic romanticism. Like Gareth, I continue to believe that one day, through the simple method of just being myself, I am going to meet Miss Right. Based upon my body of work I’d hazard a guess that she’ll be a short redhead or brunette (but she could be blonde, black, asian or oriental. She doesn’t have to be short either- I won’t know until I know.)
I’m off into town to look Darcy-esque and see if I can bump into Miss Right. Enjoy the book.
I am now under orders to put Out Of Fashion And A Trifle Uncool/ Ten Years Asleep into pdf format and post it to the site and start work on my vaguely biographical ‘This is what I blogged and this is what really happened’ novel Post & Publish, which I’ve been thinking about for a while now.
The idea is to have the narrator blogging his life away in the countdown to a significant date (say, for example, his third of a century party) commenting on his life and the things going on around him. Obviously, what he says in the posts won’t have the full texture of the reality, and there are going to be some bits that he leaves out, so the self censorship and editing, as well as the narrative, give an insight into his character. Politics and silly links will be left out, of course, unless they relate directly to the tale.
Gotta go now, must start writing.
My second shareware nove is now up. Read it, enjoy it, give me some money if you’re generous.
Out Of Fashion And A Trifle Uncool is edited from the version that appeared on the site in 2001 as part of Ten Years Asleep. Follow Gareth, Derek and Paul through pub crawls, a wedding, a funeral and the big University reunion.
Whilst desperately seeking backed up stuff after the PC crash, I discovered a few pieces I wrote which could have gone into Ten Years Asleep, but I forgot about. So-
They had promised each other that they wouldn�t be as slovenly as during their student years. Privately they had admitted to themselves that this was a lie.
The one mod. con. the house lacked was a dishwasher, so cutlery and crockery piled up in and around the kitchen sink.
Derek, manager and accountant that he was, surveyed the debris and decided that there should be a dish washing rota. After eating a pork chop on a bed of noodles he added the plate to the pile and went up to his room to type it up on his computer. When he sat down he discovered the Quake mission disk he hadn�t finished yet and decided on a quick game.
Paul was an engineer and ever practical. He set about cleaning the kitchen up. He stacked the plates, with the largest at the bottom and saucers at the top, and placed the bowls atop these. Cups and mugs were regimented, presenting arms in the shape of forks, knives and spoons. Pans and other utensils were stacked precariously. He was about to fill the washing bowl with warm water and detergent when he remembered it was time for Star Trek, and decided the washing up could wait until afterwards.
Gareth, applying his skewed memory of various sciences, had concluded that there was a median level of washing, about which the pile fluctuated. The current amount was at the dirty far end of the bell curve. He washed a plate, saucepan, large bowl, fork and spoon to bring the pile down a few percentiles. Then he used the clean items to cook and consume a large amount of pasta.