The Pickled Mushroom

Sherlock Holmes and the wonderful PLING (63k!)

November 16, 2009
4 Comments

Well well well, it’s been a while. I reached the magical 50k words barrier on the 11th of November because two hours before midnight I suddenly decided that it would be a fun thing to crack the minimum on 11/11. So, I stayed glued (woah, just spelled that ‘glood’ at first – should get to bed soon!) to my keyboard until shortly before midnight.

Since then it’s been a few days and now I’m proudly at 63k, EXACTLY. My daily average word count so far is at 4,200 words which has been better, but I can live with it. Currently I’m more at around 3k daily, though – and things have been stalling a bit, but it’s getting better now. Thank goodness, I need some more plot happening! At first Albert didn’t want to appear at all, now I’m having a hard time squeezing in scenes with other characters in between bits of him and Abraxas having crazy human-ghost sex. (Not really, but I always wanted to write that just to fulfill the cliché. Go, me.)

Anyways, today I ran into a bit of a problem that had be tearing out my hair for an hour before I figured out a way to work with it. (Please note: I don’t solve problems. I work with them.) So, Albert died in 1997. A big part of his first memories he gets back concern literature. Well, I had this PERFECT scheme of him having read all the Sherlock Holmes stories when they appeared, and he also owned his own copy of the complete works, all that jazz. Abraxas goes to a second hand book shop and happens to find that exact book, Albert’s name still in it and everything. Whoot.

Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Thought so, too. Until I checked my own copy of the complete novels and short stories. The last story wasn’t published until 1927. Dammit. But, being the clever little girl that I am, I also remembered that Holmes faked his death sometime and the series was on hold for a few years, including people publicly mourning his death with black armbands and veils, until he was ‘resurrected’ in The Adventure of the Empty House. Luckily, these years happened to be from 1993 to 1903. (In 1901, the Hound of the Baskervilles was published which takes place before Holmes’ alleged death chronologically, his actual return only came in 1903.)

This is something I could actually work with because in this manner, Albert died when all the world thought that Holmes was death for good and there must surely have been a ‘complete’ compilation around, so all’s well with the world. We also have a touching scene of Albert discovering that the hero of his youth actually ‘lived’ still.

This is what I love about writing, seriously.

Now, to leave the topic of NaNo for a moment and explain the PLING in the title: even before I took my first bellydance lesson I knew that I wanted to learn to play the finger cymbals (or zills, as they are also called). Zilling and dancing simultaneously is a skill that is considered essential to claim professionality by many. (Although, of course, there are people that disagree.) I myself love the mere concept and have been itching to reach a level to try it myself.

Well, my teacher heard from my eagerness to learn to play and invited me to take part in the cymbal project at the dance school and so I had my first real life acquaintance with zills yesterday.

IT. WAS. HEAVEN. TWENTYFOLD. NOT JOKING, GUYS.

I actually surprised myself by being able to dance and zill quite decently already – not perfect, of course, but I had been expecting to only be able to zill OR walk at a time, not to zill and actually move in a way that could be called dance if you’re optimistic. This is so many kinds of awesome I can’t even begin to tell you, really. I also got alphabet soup for the soul when people could hardly believe I’ve only been learning to dance for one and a half months. Goodness, I’m feeling like an idiot for sitting here with a huge, delirious grin on my face.

And so I bought my own first set of zills and am happily zilling up and down besides my bed in my room, annoying my rabbit. I already muffled every zill with masking tape, but they are still a bit loud, so I try to practice as much as possible down in the living-room where I won’t be disturbing Sally. (Only the neighbours, but they’ll have to live with it.)

Anyway, I should be off to bed now – it’s 12:30pm and I have to get up early. Laters, everyone!

 


Fifty Percent Gay (36k!)

November 9, 2009
Leave a Comment

As hedgefairy already noticed in her comment on my last post, the name of this blog has changed again, and it’s probably going to stay at least for as long as I will be working on my novel. Now, to make the explanation I gave hedgefairy understandable for everyone else on here who doesn’t speak German:

The Pickled Mushroom is a setting in my novel, more specifically a pub that’s pretty much the most exciting place for a newcomer band to feature. I actually worked a lot with the impressions I got from the Irish pub and restaurant Hapenny Bridge in Geelong during my exchange when I saw Kate Miller-Heidke playing there. The Pickled Mushroom has a very similar layout, but is weirder, featuring an eccentric owner that never fails to remind me of Master Guy in disguise. (Hello, Naruto readers out there!) This owner also happens to be named in a special way, he is Mr Ian Woon. If you change those letters around, it spells out NaNoWriMo, and featuring him in their novel is an endeavour every good NaNoer tries their hand at. (Or at least, a lot do.) Piece of useless side information: he was actually called Mario at first, before I changed my mind.

So. We’ve got the setting, we know Jazz is playing with his band The Stingrays and he’s pretty nervous. Barbara is there and Abraxas too, his girlfriend Emilie and a whole bunch of others. The concert is awesome and stuff happens. Wanna meet the band? Have some of the unedited goodness. (There’s another post coming up right now, just to not make this one too long.) Just for your info, Marcel’s lead singer, London guitar, Andy bass and Jazz drums.

(more…)


NaNoWriMo… will get you, too!

November 1, 2009
3 Comments

So, there’s this thing called National Novel Writing Month, short: NaNoWriMo. I’ve heard about it a few times in the last few years, but never thought much of it. Well, this year I’m along on the ride and have right now 25 minutes left until November, until absolute literary business.

I must be masochistic. I’m about to start in 24 minutes and I don’t even have names for the majority of the characters in my first scene. At least I’ve got a bit of a plot outline and an idea of the beginning, middle and end of the story, which isn’t too bad considering that enough people start without any plot whatsoever. (Although I have to say that I have 22 minutes to go and am feeling the impulse to ditch my whole plot and write a pirate story instead. Must… resist… won’t… give in…)

Now, this is a bit of a first for me – not just NaNo, but the story itself. It’s going to be a ghost story, which is kind of funny considering that I really don’t like ghosts. (I don’t believe in them, but I prefer to think that they really don’t exist, because they’d scare my pants off me.) Now, last night I was happily staying up late, reading on the internet… And suddenly the old CD player in the livingroom goes off! Let’s just put it down to some technical weirdness, okay? I don’t even want to think about ghosts before writing a story about them. Gladly, I’ve got only one ghost, and he’s not the scary yucky type. Whew. Love you, Albert.

Anyway, let’s have a look at my synopsis:

Ghost of a Touch (working title)

Abraxas Timothy Holt, nicknamed Bas, can hardly believe his luck when he gets to move into his own small house, which is very old but just perfect for him to live out his student life and have some space to create his paintings. What he didn’t know he would get in the bargain is the ghost of a young man that died a century ago and knows only his name, Albert, but cannot for the death of him remember how he died.

As time goes on and the two slowly start unravelling the mystery of Albert’s life and death, they develop a curious relationship that leads Bas to question all the rest of his relationships, including those with his family and girlfriend.

Doesn’t that sound exciting? I filed it as “Mystery & Suspense” because weirdly enough, there’s a board for “Horror & Supernatural”, but only a category for “Horror”. Oh well.

May I mention that I love Abraxas’ name?

Anyway, twelve minutes two go and I still have no names for those other people. Perfect! Let’s get cracking.

You can follow my progress here.