Iron Man faints at the gym!


A bizarre title you might say but it was a bizarre series of events if I’m honest.

I’ll make this a quick one as I have already blogged today, but this made me laugh so here you go.

I have a suit of armour in my front lounge. I say front lounge as though I have more than one but I don’t. I have a tiny lounge, and my knight stands in the corner glaring at people as they enter the room. I’m seriously thinking of fitting a little microphone thing inside his helm and saying ‘NONE SHALL PASS’ to whoever comes to visit me.

He was almost menacing. Almost… until you spot the rubber gloves.

That would be cool right? But I digress.

A friend and his autistic son came and visited me today to drop off some goat food (Yes, I have goats.) and the young lad was in awe of my suit of armour. He kept poking it which causes my eye to twitch in what I presume is irritation and barely restrained gorilla rage. He keeps poking until it starts to sway at which point I feel the need to ask them both to leave. The father was somewhat embarrassed and I kind of feel bad, but hey… nobody pokes my knight in the groin.

A little while later I receive a text message from the father, firstly apologising and secondly telling me that his son thinks I am Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. Now I found this to be hugely cool. I have never been a hero before, even in my dreams. (Yes, I have been a Jedi.) To make things even cooler, my wife also bumped into them and the son asked her if I was a superhero. Ever up for a practical joke she simply replied, ‘Oh I wouldn’t be allowed to answer that. Superhero’s need to have a disguise, don’t they?’

She said his face lit up as though he were the only one in the world to know my secret. Priceless.

So, I am now a superhero in the eyes of an autistic child. Now, superhero’s need to look pretty super. They have to look all muscular and strong so that the baddies know they’ve picked on the wrong guy, and so I went down the gym. Now it’s important to remember a few facts here.

  1. I am now an approved superhero.
  2. I have not been to the gym in at least six months.
  3. The Olympics is on and they play it on huge screens in the gym, egging you on to greater feats of endurance and godliness.

I only did half an hour and boy did I feel as though I’d run for a week and lifted every rock and stone of Hadrian’s Wall. I left the gym and I have to say I was feeling pretty good until I stepped outside. My wife met me (as she had been swimming) and said that my lips were grey and that I had less colour than paper. I have to admit to feeling rather ill. We drove home as quickly as possible where upon getting in the house I promptly collapsed. My wife tells me I had no pulse at my wrist at this time and had it not been for my pitiful cries I could have been dead. Not a good look. Thank god the autistic kid didn’t see that.

Yes, I realise this is not Iron Man.

Right, that’s it for today. I need my rest. Hopefully my dignity will grow back as I sleep.

M J

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I don’t feel like writing today.


I really don’t feel like writing today. And yet, I have to.

This is one of those creative writing advice things that you find somewhere near the front of just about every creative writing book out there. You the know the one, “Try to write a little something every day. Even if you don’t feel like it.” To be honest, I’m not feeling the love right now. It would be so easy to shut this program down and fire up a game. I’d have much more fun, at least for a time. Then my shoulder angel would appear and say something like ‘You know, if you didn’t waste your time playing these games, you could be writing the back story for them.’ This almost always happens, and how the hell do you argue with that anyway?

Then the shoulder devil appears and speaks his hard to ignore words, ‘Don’t listen to that guy. He’s full of crap. He wants to lead you down the path that sucks. I’m not. You’re doing just fine on your own. Look! You’re a level ten druid.’

This is my life. I have conversations with these guys daily.

Well, I’ve resisted the cool devil guy and here I am. This is a good thing. I feel better already for having sat here and let my mad fingers go to town over the keyboard. It could have been an ugly experience, especially if I’d had writers block. That could have led to a very grumpy and depressing afternoon. But no, this is good. My mind is working, the circuits are firing, and new synapses are growing in my skull. My mind is being charged up for a potent release of genius. I can feel it….
Hmmm. Any minute now…. any minute and genius will strike. I’ll never suffer with writer’s block again. Come to think of it, when do you start calling yourself a writer? Technically, as I have actually published a total of fuck all then I’m not really a writer am I? So what the hell have I got if not writers block? Depression? Brain damage? Hmmm. Something is going to have to change soon. I can’t go on staring at blank screens and wondering why I can’t do it.

That’s right… because the computer is to blame for your lack of talent.

It’s a damn good thing I’m not being paid for this. My boss (hypothetical) would no doubt be wondering how best to lay me off. I’ve just had the strangest mental image. I’m going to have to try to find an image to encapsulate it.

This needs no caption. Oh wait… this is a caption.

Well then. This is just getting silly now. Although, I thinks its been worthwhile. It’s a few hundred words I wouldn’t have written if nothing else.

Lets see what madness tomorrow brings.

M 🙂

Freelance? Me?


I won’t lie. I want to make money out of this writing lark. I’m sure many people do, as I’m sure many people actually do. But can I?

There in lies the question at the heart of the matter. There are a few concerns I shall list below that are at the forefront of my mind whenever I ponder this subject.

1) Do I have the motivation to stick to a given deadline? I really don’t know. If the frequency of my blog posts is anything to go by then you would be forgiven for thinking that the answer is no. And yet, I write an awful lot behind the scenes and 90% of the dribble I do churn out is just sitting on my pc’s hard drive. I tell myself that maybe one day it might make interesting reading but in reality it probable won’t. I am a victim of today’s fast society. Everything must be now now now. I need instant gratification. If I start reading something that hasn’t got me hooked within the first few lines then I’m gone. It hurts to say that because I know how hard it is to write. To spend hours crafting something, rewriting countless sentences and re-reading paragraph after paragraph – you don’t need someone like me deciding it’s not worth the effort after reading your first line. Perhaps I’m missing out. Maybe. Or maybe I’m saving time for those writers who know how to grasp my attention.

2) Talent. Quite simply, do I have any? How do you gauge this? I could (and have in the past) give my work to my friends or family to see what they think. But what are they really going to say? It’s doubtful they’ll be rude or harsh in their critique, just as its likely they’ll come back with something nice to say about it. They won’t be impartial and because of that fact, anything they say wont mean a damn because you just never really know what it is they really think. So what do you do? My personal thought on this is to not give anything you value to friends or family. Instead, send something you love equally out to the competitions. Let the public be the judge. I have a few bits and pieces on another website right that are doing quite well. A short story I wrote while smashed off my face a year back is still ranked number one in its particular category. Yet, when I re-read that piece I cringe. It’s grammar is appalling and I clearly didn’t proof read it before submitting but there you go. I guess maybe even if it looks bloody awful (and it really does), the underlying story still somehow shone through the shite. It never ceases to amaze me what people really like.

3) Were my fortune to change and I managed to sell something, or several bits and pieces…. How much would I have to sell before I actually made enough to live off? I’m not in this for mega money. I’d just like to be able to get up, not bother getting dressed, sit in my study and paint with words all day whilst not having to worry about how to pay the bills. That’s not too much to ask is it?

4) Where do I find the writing jobs people say are everywhere? How do you break into writing for tv or role play gaming?

5) Where the hell is the writing oracle who knows all the answers to my noob questions??????

Well there you have it. I know I’m not alone, and that there are 100000000000 of you wannabe writers out there but I just thought this post might strike a chord with some. We travel a lonely road but maybe someone reading this has seen the off ramp somewhere and might throw a few sign posts up? Then again, maybe that’s why the road is lonely. If its that hard to get to where you want to be… Maybe you feel nobody should have an easy time of it. I mean, if you worked as hard as I am right now to get where you are, are you really going to let someone else in who hasn’t put in the time? I’d be interested to know any thoughts people may have.

On Writing – Plot (Or how to work bloody hard and get absolutely no where)


Arrrrrrrrrrrrgh!

Plot! Does anyone else find plotting bloody irritating? Its not like I’m trying to overthrow a government here. I can understand that that would be hard. No, I’m just trying to plot my own damn story.

Normally I’ll try and wing a story. I’ll have a vague idea and I’ll try and just bash it out in one go. Then I’ll discover that my cool ‘story’ idea is actually just a cool ‘scene’ and that once I’ve written this scene I hit a brick wall.

Not today though. Today I wrote an outline. I had hoped the outline would keep me on track, that I would somehow start and finish and that the result would make sense. Nope. Didn’t happen. The finished product had no resemblance to my outline at all. In my outline, I’d set the scene in some old women’s bedroom. Shut up. It’s not that kind of story. So, My character is supposed to be in this bedroom but instead the scene opens in a street in London. My protagonist female is now a male, and instead of regaling us with a rip roaring tale of a past life he is now charging up a London backstreet where he gets his head kicked in.

What the hell is that all about? What happened to my plot that I had written so carefully in my outline?

Can you imagine if that had been a paid job?

Editor: ‘Er… Mark, what the hell is this shit? I asked you to write a story about a roman hero and his rise to glory. He is supposed to heap piles of skulls at the feet of his own Emperor before casting him down and taking the empire for himself. He’s supposed to do all of this armed only with a stave. And what is this you’ve given me? Some weak shit about a mad giraffe who pebble dashes his way across the Serengeti before being unveiled as the reincarnation of Shaka the Zulu. Your fired!’

Oh dear. Does anyone else struggle with plot? I find it hard enough just coming up with a bloody idea, and should I actually come up with an idea/cool scene, it never seems to appear on the screen as I type. It’s almost as if my fingers are working against me. Yes! That must be it. My brain says,
‘Fingers! You will write this crazy cool scene.’
‘Oh okay sure, no worries. Leave it with us.’
*Cue cute finger sniggering*

Oh god it’s happening even now. I wanted so much to write something insightful about plot but… but… It’s the fingers I tell you! They’re holding me back!

*manic laughter*

I don’t need fingers! Who needs fingers??

*Sharpens knife*

Arghhh!!!

P.S I am not drunk.

P.P.S I am now drunk.

P.Ps. I an oh fuck it.