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The past few weeks I've have failed to get through reading anything, book wise - it all seems a bit too trivial to be honest. I still don't feel as though I'm grieving though. Just waiting for it to dawn on me, emotionally, that my Mum has gone and will never be coming back. I will never hear her voice and her strange distinctive sayings, or her laugh again. Yet I'm not sleeping at night and I'm way more anxious than ever.
On top of all that I've been given some money in order to crack on with this book about my Mum, aptly titled 'Joan's Book'.
Tip: never tell a dying person that you're going to give them a voice in the printed form.
It's not that I regret telling my Mum I'm going to write this book for her - for me too - but I now also feel a weight of expectation that comes with it. I mean, she probably wouldn't give two shits whether I wrote it or not. But I do. Aye, and there's the rub. So I have no idea how those few writers cope when they submit just the first thirty pages or so to an agent/publisher and then get a whopping big advance to finish the thing - can you imagine? The expectation that hovers over the creative process can be stultifying. At least I've found it so. Not that I've ever been offered big advances, you undertand, perhaps then I wouldn't be so anxious and could leave London at will, but perhaps I'd be too comfortable to be creative. But I can see how it can be damaging, that expectation. Anyway, I've been pissing around with structure charts and mindmaps and split narratives and appropriate metaphors and even the history of the Pendle Hill witches as allegory and all that palava. Note to self: just fucking write the thing whilst you are still numb because it's probably a godsend, or whatever the secular equivalent is - goodsend. The book stops with me! Anyway... I am dipping into short stories by Charles Bukowski - loved the Post Office and Factotum. The first short story of this collection is called A .45 to pay the rent and this one paragraph made me laugh:

"these industrial cocksuckers of slaves who live in Beverly Hills and Malibu. these guys specialize in 'rehabiliating' cons, ex-cons. it makes that shit parole smell like roses. it's a hype. slave labor. the parole boards know it, they know it, we know it. save money for the state, make money for somebody else. shit. all shit. everything. make you work triple the average man while they rob everybody within the law - sell them crap for ten or twenty times its actual value, but it's within the law, THEIR law...'

and yes, the punctuation is meant to be like that, not in the artistic sense of e.e. cummings but just in that 'I can't be fagged to start with caps' Bukowski underbelly way. It continues:

'good. and I'll finish. you cunt. (Pet name for wife/g.friend. Nice.) REHABILITATE. that's the word, those Beverly Hills soul-cocksuckers. they're so god damned decent and HUMANE. their wives listen to Mahler at the Music Center and donate to charity, tax-free. and are elected the ten best women of the year by the L.A. Times. and you know what their HUSBANDS do to you? cuss you like a dog down at their crooked plant. cut your paycheck, pocket the difference, and no questions answered. everything's such shit, can't anybody see it? can't anybody SEE it?'

Yes, Bukowski, we see it! If only I could write Joan's Book in that way - one long rant - there'd be no problem. Now. Enough with the blogging distraction and back to the writing...

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