13 October 2009
For those who have read my blogs, books, or more rarely, seen a play that I have written, will know that absurdity, madness and exaggeration cling to my missives like a suspect body odour. In these times when the creative monster hibernates, I am able to look backwards and forwards and digest this rather peculiar world that I’ve stumbled into. For that is just it, up until Spud I always felt that everything achieved was a consequence of my direct input over which I was (mostly) in control. Post Spud, I have entered a world that seemingly happens to me. It’s thrilling, but I can’t help the feeling that it all appears a little charmed and out of control. One moment I’m caught up in the throes of writing and creating, and then I’m touring the country with much fanfare, like some sort of Prodigal son on yet another lap of victory. The third phase is the most difficult – the silence and banality of filling each day without waking up and jumping on the rollercoaster. One would think that regular living would be the easiest phase to adapt to, but to be honest it seems like a great pause before the next storm. The last time I was able to wake up and not have to write or promote my books was almost two years ago, and yet I have learned from that experience that despite my agonising and minor emotional torment, this period of downtime is as important as any other part of the writing cycle.
The title for the third Spud book derived from the first two lines of the chorus in Tom Petty’s song Learning to Fly.
“I’m learning to fly,
But I ain’t got wings...”
Strange that the following two lines should speak to me right now:
Is the hardest thing...”
But before I lapse too far into indulgence, let me say that I have been thinking greatly about what will follow the final Spud book. And whilst I’ve learned never to say never; it would take a prolonged period of creative or financial bankruptcy to force me back into the world of schoolboys after Spud 4. The “undiscovered country” is a tantalizing thought, along with the creation of a new set of characters which leaves me slightly tremulous with anticipation. But that’s all for the future and in the lap of the Gods. Right now I’ve got to figure out what to have for lunch and whether it might rain this afternoon or not. Since i don’t have an umbrella this may factor into whether I take a walk to fetch the evening paper or not... Let’s face it, it’s a risk... Okay I’ve decided, I’m staying in with Stephen Fry’s priceless journey through America and a pot of steaming tea for company.
I’m also on a quest to track down the funniest novels of all time. I am aware that humour is subjective and that some people think haemorrhoids hilarious, but if anybody would like to add to my reading list I would be most thrilled. After copious research and mass trawling through websites i have purchased the following...
Right ho, Jeeves . PG Wodehouse
Lucky Jim. Kingsley Amis
A Confederacy of Dunces. John Kennedy Toole
Three Men in a Boat. Jerome K Jerome
Adolf Hitler, M y part in his downfall. Spike Milligan
Others that I would consider for the mantle of the funniest novel ever would be Catch 22 (Heller), The World According to Garp (Irving) and Still Life with Woodpecker (Robbins).
Look forward to hearing your thoughts...