So i’ve some how managed to finish my novel and my work for a boardgame in the same week, and today has largely been spent looking around and remembering that there are in fact other things beside the books I have my head in; i’d heard rumours but I just had to see it for myself.
So today has involved reading the last of The Good lady Ducayne by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, which is a parasitic style of a vampire story which could have easily existed in the world of HP Lovecraft, in that it contains certain Science Fiction themes. It is one of those late Victorian stories which uses prim and proper prose- with a touch of lace -to draw you down a path shrouded in mystery.
Today has also involved a lot of food, which as you should know is apart from actually writing, one of the most important aspects of writing. I’m sure there are countless gin-soaked artists who live on nothing but the emotion of their work and whatever passes for cheap absinthe, but I think it helps to get busy with your hands and prepare some food for the soul as well as the brain.
Food for the soul can cover anything from traditional or cultural dishes that allow you to immerse yourself in the food of your ancestors- or as it was in my case – it can involve a lot of food that ends up leaving a mess everywhere. I think whenever possible it’s important to interact with that child-like mind you keep locked away; it helps if you make deserts you loved as a kid.
I’ve also started to read up on Celtic lore, which will be one of the themes for my next book, and i’m looking forward to sharing my little doodles with you. It’s a story set in the city of Manchester, but so much the place we know now. It’s going to be very strange, and full of all manner of silly characters, not to mention masks.
Masks are important, they let us hide our feelings, while showing the world a little about ourselves we may not have realised. Masks are all about choice, and choice is definitely one of the main themes i’m going to be playing with in this next book. I want to do something fun and outlandish, while sharing some of the things I love about the city I grew in the shadow of.
Manchester is one of those strange places where you can’t help but wonder how it even got here. it’s not quite as glamorous as London, and it seems to contain very little consistency as far as culture is concerned, but it does have some of the weirdest english people. These are people who constantly moan in thick nasal accents, while being secretly smug about living in one of the dirtiest cities in the world.
It’s the home of outrageous bards and poets, and despite it having such a strong community vibe, it doesn’t worry about stepping over the homeless on its streets. It smells like all good cities do. It can’t make up its mind whether it’s high class, working class, or just no class, but in such a way everyone walks away happy.
It contains Roman architecture, Saxon words, and Celtic blood. It a city built on top of itself. It is surrounded by abandoned beautiful buildings, like the bones of dinosaurs. It is a place for artists, and it is a place which never ceases to both disgust and delight me, sometimes all at the same time. It’s somewhere I have never been able to get away from, always finding myself wandering back, like meeting an old down on his luck friend.