The best books in the world are heavily edited because, let’s face it, we tend to regurgitate a lot of rubbish. We can’t all be R K Narayan and submit an almost immaculate work. Even garnished with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint, tripe is still tripe.
Indeed, my mind churns mountains of spurious stuff and the trouble with blogging is there is no editor between the brain and the keyboard so you, dear Readers, tend to get a lot of chaff. Not that that is any excuse for poor blogging, but you have to admit the whole concept is less wholesome chicken soup and more whatever’s-in-the-cupboard. My cupboard is very disorganised, and, as such, so is my offering to the great WWW.
My best work is created while I am on the move, either in the car or walking (if any of my work could be classified as good), most especially because I know no poor soul will ever get access to it. The reason for the inaccessibility being that I have no access to paper and pen, or, if I did have access, no way in which I could transfer my thoughts. Several times, in the car, I have tried to dictate to my children, but that second-hand process is stifling and I would rather rely on my useless memory than go though the torture of trying to convey my thoughts via a third party, which is why this blog is so cobweb-riddled.
Earlier today, I had a long-train of insightful musings and was determined to trap them with ink, but, as usual, my train was derailed under the pressure of work and my thoughts were scattered to the four winds.
My house is a messy (but clean) clutter – like my brain – and there are umpteen slips of paper and napkins and torn-off bits of card with scribbles and quotes lying here, there and everywhere. My husband (bless him for putting up with it) doesn’t understand why I don’t gather them up and put them all together in one place, like my hand-engraved sandalwood box, or even type them up and throw away the original. I suppose only another writer could understand the delight of coming across a long-forgotten chitty; they are my version of the surprise twenty pound note discovered in the lining of a bag or, even better, a forgotten bar of chocolate at the back of the fridge. Tiny snippets of joy. Going out to buy a bar of chocolate doesn’t convey anywhere near the same delight (Husband, if you’re reading this, please feel free to cache stashes of chocolate about the house).
My bemused husband has also asked why I don’t use the voice recorder on my phone. Is it just me or do you also find it hard to vocalise your musings? My most recent oeuvre is all type-written, not a single word was laid to paper first (normally I would write long-hand then transfer to screen) and it was quite a task for the first few pages because I had to keep going back to correct punctuation and read the grammar suggestions, which made me lose my focus. But, once I learnt to ignore the red and green squiggles I got on much faster and flew through the book, sending chapter after chapter to my most faithful of readers as they appeared at the end of each day. I’m not saying I’ve been converted, but I was surprised at how easy it feels now. Perhaps blogging has helped as I don’t write longhand for the blog – sorry, Reader, you get the unadultered, unvarnished, raw spewings, without spelling and grammar checks.
I’ll be doing another book review soon – I read a huge amount (several books a week) but review very few. They have to be either pretty horrendous or pretty great or have something that claws rabidly for me to get my keyboard out.
Which brings me to this book: Darren Allen’s Apocalypedia
Encyclopaedias and dictionaries are often boring, of no help when it comes to secretly filling train carriages with subversive balloons and they rarely manage to offend everyone. Lexicographers assume that language is a big machine that you need an instruction manual to use, rather than a river of silvery ribbons that bursts out of your astonished mouth, or a spectacular instant tree that grows between people in collective surrender to something bigger than the both of us, or a slow lightning strike that pins you, howling with delight, to the sky, or some peculiar paradoxical state halfway between hard cold crystal- line structures driving us to a revolutionary, world-changing point, and mad hot erupting flowers of aimless joy. People who read dictionaries rarely snort soup out their nostrils in outrage, or nod with serene recognition at far distant and long estranged ideas suddenly flung together as mysterious friends, or feel gently inspired to fall in love with waiting forever, or seriously consider the only solution to heartbreak there is or possibly could be, or leave work to master horsemanship, or leave school to get educated, or up and seize their wives about the middle, ready to embark on a week-long reality-cracking godgasm, or stroll whistling into the void. The Apocalypedia is, therefore, a scurrilous, lyrical, lunatic and friendly countercultural A-Z that satirises modern society through an original and revolutionary collection of flash-essays and comic vignettes. It presents an apocalyptically optimistic and deeply original way of understanding human nature and of living in a civilisation that is in rapid and terminal decline. Looking at a combination of common value-charged words and new words coined to give voice to the often overlooked beauties and horrors of everyday experience, The Apocalypedia is a comic revelation of the kaleidoscopic twists and turns that ordinary consciousness makes throughout the day. A delightful gift book for the radically-inclined, the romantically baffled, the psychologically broken, the fledgling creative genius, the reckless, the sensitive and the actually dying, the book is an entertaining and uncompromising satire of modern culture.
Get ready readers, for my next subversive blog is sure to be silver-lined.