Saturday, 19 May 2007

The Chelsea Flower Show, Stephen King and Shutting the Door

I'd like to share this piece about what writers have to do from my blog about the building of my shed.

My dear builders have left me for the Chelsea Flower Show. Here they be, trundling their specially designed Darmuid shed into the grounds for construction.

Rooms Outdoor goes to Chelsea Flower Show

Rooms Outdoor goes to Chelsea Flower Show

I miss 'em but I cheer them on. Go, guys. Show those gardeners a thing or two about shed building!

It took the Rooms Outdoor guys eight working days to build the shed. The whole process was a bit like Genesis (the bible chapter not the band)

Rooms Outdoor and Genesis

But then it rained for seven days and seven nights.

It was too wet to move my office out there though we did try.

George Washington Crossing the Delaware

Now the rain is over and my mind turns to the true purpose of the shed. Which brings to mind Stephen King, everyone's favourite horror writer.

Horror Author Stephen King

Here is Scary Steve's good advice to writers in his book On Writing:
You can read anywhere, almost, but when it comes to writing … most of us do our best in a place of our own. Until you get one, you'll find your new resolution to write a lot hard to take seriously.
But you don't just need a room of your own, says Scary Steve. "If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot, write a lot."

He then lists places where you can read — waiting rooms, theatre lobbies before the show, long and boring checkout lines, and "everyone's favourite, the john".

The john?

Baby reading newspaper on the toilet

But why read when there are so many other things you can do while sitting on the toilet!

Listen to your ipod

ipod and toilet paper holder


sudoku toilet paper

Play your uke.

ipod and toilet paper holder

Campaign against terrorism

Anti Osama Bin Laden Toilet Paper

Grate cheese

ipod and toilet paper holder

But I digress.

One location Scary Steve fails to list is Ikea — spiritual home of the flatpack and scene of many a friendly tête-à-tête about family-led design.

Ikea Edmonton opening chaos in 2005

I've been spending a lot of time at Ikea, well, spending a lot of money actually, sorting out furniture for the shed.

And Scary Steve is right. Long, boring queues are perfect for reading! I've finished three books so far (including King's book, On Writing).

As for writing a lot, Scary Steve says a writing room "only needs one thing: a door which you are willing to shut".
The closed door is your way of telling the world and yourself that you mean business; you have made a serious commitment to write and intend to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
How hard could that be?

I mean, Jack Nicholson managed to do it in The Shining.

The Shining: Jack Nicholson before.

And look where it got him!

The Shining: Jack Nicholson after.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Theophilus Prowse, Head Louse

I don't usually, but I thought why not?
I'm currently doing a dummy for my picture book text, Theophilus Prowse, Head Louse about a girl with head lice and her mum's extreme delousing techniques. This is the Nit and Lice Vacuum Device.

Click on the image to view it large

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