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Sandbanker: a novel (or, I wrote a book)

Available now on Amazon
It’s a moment to savour, the day you drag yourself from your quotidien torpor to finally achieve that thing that’s been gnawing at your brain for the past several years; a thing done, not for fame or glory, but for enjoyment and tortuous self-satisfaction.

Sandbanker is my first attempt at a novel, and, like many first attempts may prove to be the worst, the hardest, the most enriching, anxious, educational and boring trial the craft of writing will put me through. And it may not.

Self-publishing they say puts control back in the hands of authors. That seems true. It certainly obliges them to take marketing and social media seriously (which I don’t) not to mention become their own worst critic in the absence of any grizzled editor. It opens your eyes to life-long relationships with ungrammatical structures, swings your resolve between ‘Yeah, screw it, it’s okay to publish’ and, ‘No! It has to be perfect, every letter, every pixel!’

girl-02Pick up a copy

Sandbanker is available initially as an e-book on Amazon.

Hey, if you don’t decide to buy it, or hate Amazon, or are just tight and still want to read it get in touch, and I’ll send you one for nichts!

If there are inconsistencies, mistakes, and other could-have-done-betters, then I ask in advance for your understanding, and, if you have time, your feedback. In the latter case, future drafts will be yours for free if you can stand it.

Bash It Out

bash-it-outWhen the charge relates to my literature-related activities, if I can be convicted of anything, it’s that I postpone diving into my daily writing routine like a vertigo sufferer at a Procrastinators’ Anonymous skydiving meet up.

My claim is that I’ve always produced my best work under pressure, when in fact, whenever the hammer of time has descended just to the point where it’s about to flatten my eyebrows, I’ve produced ‘work’, and nothing more.

So in an effort to procrastinate even further, I set out creating a WordPress plugin to provide a little friendly nudge to the slovenly.

It’s called Bash It Out. To use it, you set a word goal, a writing time limit, how often you want to be nagged, and it will provide you with the overbearing pressure you need to bash out that word count.

Installation instructions

  1. Get the plugin
  2. Install and activate

It will be in perennial beta, so please create a Github issue and I will try not to ignore it. After I perform sufficient dogfooding on the thing, I’ll try to push it to the WordPress plugin directory.

Now, back to procrastinating!!

The Face of the Leviathan

‘Such heat!’ said the Commander, fanning himself with his hat. The two uniformed men at the front of the bus made a panicked show of fiddling with the air-conditioning levels and redirecting the fan grills. ‘I’d forgotten how searing the heart of this country is. Positively Hadean. What can we do about this heat, Dickie?’

Dickie put down his pen, twisted the top off a bottle of sparkling water, and handed it to the Commander.

‘No, no. I mean this,’ the Commander said, and tapped on the window. ‘The dying trees, if you can call them trees. The red dirt. I say, it is little wonder that so few of our citizens care to venture this far inland when the whole place burns like a kiln. They say they used to come in droves, by the millions, to tramp around an unadorned slab of rock, and eat flies by the dozen. Spend their own monies to do so! And now the railway line we built from the capital lays dormant and warping under the sun. How much did it cost to build?’ Dickie opened his mouth but the Commander held up his hand. ‘Never mind. Don’t remind me.’

Lees verder The Face of the Leviathan

Divine Programming 101: EndOfUniverse()

Deleting everything makes it better!!
Deleting everything makes it better!!
/*
I've been toying with the idea of cataclysmic annihilation for some time now, but never got around to completing it. Something always got in the way - famines, floods, planting dinosaur bones around the place - and I was only able to make the most modest of adjustments. 

So much for spare time! 

But I'm finally proud to announce the release of a beta candidate. After several thousands of years, we're ready to test Armageddon, people! 

The code probably needs a tidy up here and there, but then so does the Universe. Ha ha!

I considered pair-programming with Allah, but he's a terrible coder, and would have probably just copied and pasted some awful snippet straight from Stack Overflow.

(Note to the wise: running this code will only affect your current reality. This system doesn't yet support parallel universe programming, if you believe in that sort of thing anyway.)

Thanks to everyone who believed in me, and kept rooting for the final destruction of time, space and all matter, dark or otherwise.

Yours in theoretical eternity,
God.

*/
/**
 * @description: This class, when instantiated, 
 * will trigger the end of the known Universe.
 * @version: 1.0.0
 * @author God
 */

class EndOfUniverse extends BeginningOfUniverse{
 
    constructor(super) {
       
        // first pause the
        // ongoing universe
        super.pause();
       
       // assign the current universe
       // to this instance
       this.universe = super.universe;

       // let's save the 
       // date so we know
       // exactly when
       // Armageddon took place.
       this.endTime = new Date();

       this.forgiveAllSins();
       this.startTheRapture();
       this.bigReverseBang();
    }

    forgiveAllSins() {
       console.warn('Hi! You are all forgiven!');
    }

    startTheRapture() {
       this.universe.filter(atom => {
          // filter out Christians from 
          // the universe
          // before destroying it.
          // Sorry in advance to all
          // other faiths, but
          // after the Jesus() update
          // there was no going back!
          return atom.contains('Christian') === false;
        }); 
    }

    bigReverseBang() {
       // this is the method
       // that basically
       // reduces everything to
       // nothing
       this.universe = this.universe.reduce(
          (reducedUniverse, atom) => {
              if (atom === undefined) {
                  return atom;
              }
          }, 
       []);
    }

    reset() {
        // Sorry, I haven't found a way 
        // to build a reset function
        // that doesn't take 14 billion years
        // of CPU time, let alone seven days! :)
    } 
} 

The ocean’s hourglass

Once a month the universe tosses him a get out of jail card; allows him a ruffle and a blow dry from the sopping subaqueous saga, and shines a torchlight on the shores of hope.

He was never overly dramatic, but he can’t help but chortle and whistle as he sloshes from the waves onto the wet rocks, pinches his cold cheeks, and shakes his gills in anticipation.  Lees verder The ocean’s hourglass

Hang in there

The DivideWhen the tyre blew, there was no explosion of rubber. No extended hiss.

No sudden slump in the cab, or grinding of rim on rock. Nothing to indicate that the wheel had put up a fight. Only an unsatisfying and noiseless wobble, an deflationary apology for having left me perched perpendicular to the descending mud track, and enveloped tip to toe in mountain forest.

It was eleven past midnight. Lees verder Hang in there

The Ghost of Brompton Cemetery

The accountant’s wife has seen ghosts before—Bhut they are called in her home country—and she remembers the very mischievous one who would come crawling down from the mango tree, her bangles clanging in the night, and slip through the crevice in the wall at the foot of her bed; the one her mother insisted brought luck, though it often caused the young girl to wet the sheets. At times the apparition resembled her father, featureless and bloated. On other occasions it was a witch with black teeth and a pulsating, red bindi. No more than pedestrians passing through the nightly imaginations of a child, her mother had said. But to the wife, they were real.

As real as the one for whom she is now preparing tea. Lees verder The Ghost of Brompton Cemetery