While living and working in Edinburgh in 2008 I set out to write one million words in 366 days... but only managed 800,737.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Here come the drums, here come the drums

Elvis Costello is what I would sound like if I sang right now. A cross between 'Pump It Up', 'I Want You' and 'Tokyo Storm Warning.' I am drunk on six Millers and four hefty glasses of red wine (of mixed denomination and mixed origin). I do have some self control. An unopened bottle of South Africa's First Cape Limited Release 2006 Merlot sits but centimetres from my mouse. A freebie, sure, but I'm pixelated and alone and pouring my heart out to the one other person who voted on my "Will Craig Write 1 Million Words in 2008" poll. I love that one believer. (I voted "No".) There is a mirror directly above my laptop and I look like maybe I have leukaemia. I apologise to those who actually have leukaemia, but I'm pale and the satchels beneath my eyes are full of undelivered letters. My forehead is bigger than the time Yak's mum commented on my receding hairline in sixth form (she was crazy anyway, doing the ironing at 1am). I am listening to the new Foo Fighters album. The truth is my best memory of the Foos is when the Kaiser Chiefs opened for them in Brisbane in 2006. My second best memory of the Foos is listening to their self titled debut in 1999 or something (I'm too jacked to wikipedia the exact release date), and singing, "Hey Dad, Hey Dad" even though I think the lyrics are "Hate it, Hate it" when my dad was still alive and said, "What?"

I like the first three tracks of Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace. If I typed slower, I'd be able to give a fuller appraisal. Instead I'm drunk and alone in Edinburgh and realise I will regret this post in about sixteen minutes, but until then, let me remain firm: this is me, I am vulgar and flippant and loving the first chords of 'Come Alive' (track four). Dave Grohl screamed too much on the heavy disc of In Your Honor, and the non-screaming disc was too flat to be affecting (that is an important verb right now, though grammar may be evading my addled brain).

I should paragraph better.

I will paragraph better from now on.

Let me express my unbridled affection for everyone reading this. You are soldiers, you are boiled eggs, you are the staple diet of a small south east Asian nation not currently ravaged by floods, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions.

Track, um, 5, 'Stranger Things Have Happened' is also good from the get go. Maybe I dismissed the Foo Fighters when I shouldn't have. Or maybe I'm judging them on half an album (if In Your Honor had been culled to 11 tracks, I'd have stayed faithful; instead, I slept with Maximo Park, The Futureheads, The Weakerthans, Rilo Kiley, Spoon, Kings of Leon, and a hundred Tragically Hips).

I want to say something about fiction. I've written about 30,000 words of short fiction in the last month - - an all-time record for me - - but it would still only equal 10 or 11 days of writing toward the million words. I believe in honesty. Fictional honesty and blogtional honesty and maybe even face-to-face honesty (circumstances pending). So I'm going to show you what I write in 2008, and if I fail miserably, I hope I'm not miserable about failing (why be miserable about things you can control? Save it for the inexorable progress of time: that makes me miserable, regardless of what I do with t-t-t-t-time).

Let me express my unbridled affection for everyone reading this, again. This is like a university lecture: when they say something twice, write it down. When they say it three times, it's in the exam.

Let me express my unbridled affection for everyone reading this.

The 2008 exam will be assessed in person. Applicants unable to make it to Edinburgh, please contact your course provider to organise some other means of conversing with the examiner.

Tracks six and seven are forgettable. I'm pushing next before track eight ('Summer's End') is even over with.

I have done the phoney thing and gone back and read over most of this entry and corrected hilarious typos like 'living' for 'loving'. Perhaps I should replace 'hilarious' with 'true'. Neither of those words mean anything when you think about it.

Track 10, 'Statues', is good. Real good. Well, on a first, semi-distracted listen anyway.

Track 11 is so-so. It has an unfortunate turn of phrase: "as I count my lucky scars". More follow. A pity. When the guitars come in at 3:15 it is a good move, but it only lasts ten seconds before Dave-O starts talk-scream-singing again.

I heard Track 12, 'Home', on Zane Low's mixtape on BBC Radio One last night (Thurs 6th Dec) and it was amazing then and still is now. The whole mixtape was fixating. It made me scavenge the Pumpkins 'Soma' and Beck's 'Nobody's Fault But My Own' from the net, even though I have copies on my stranded hard-drive on the other side of the world.

I guess I'm a miserable MF at heart.

Being miserable on red wine and Siamese Dream is an amazing feeling.

I have just decided I am not properly miserable enough. I will make a 'Make Craig Miserable' playlist tomorrow (it will include Warren Zevon and Mark Lanegan and a Paul Weller cover, probably of Neil Young's 'Birds'), and I will drink red wine and feel amazingly miserable while listening to it and the world will be crystalline and beautiful.

The Foo Fighters new album just stopped, so: so should I.

[This blog may or may not be indicative of the content to follow on 'The Year of a Million Words']

[[The above is 982 words, or roughly a third of 2008's daily quota]]


SwissToni said...

I think the foo fighters are a great band who have not done a great album. They have about 3 or 4 songs an album that I think are really good, and the rest... hmmmm. This means that they are great fun live (because they never seem too stuck on plugging the latest album, aren't afraid to get into the back catalogue and because they rock!). It also means their Greatest Hits should be ace. I totally agree with you about the latest album.

Million words in a year? You'll piss it. This blogging thing is addictive.

Are you going to count what you write in the comments section?


SwissToni said...

I've just realised how I'm OCD enough about blogging as it is... never mind if I was also counting the words.



Craig Cliff said...

Yes, words in the comments section will count. Though it'll hardly be worth the effort of counting them. [18 words, = 0.65% of daily quota]