Thursday Blast

Not much to say today. It’s Thursday and I am absolutely knackered.

I don’t mean to turn this into a “look at poor old me” rant but I’m a seven-day-a-week masochist., Even as I look back on my week, I’m disgusted with myself. The number of hours I work for really minimal reward is shocking. I should be locked up for my own good.

I should have pursued a proper career in one of the two cities I live near: Liverpool or Manchester. I could have been a middle manager at something, maybe have an office and a car and lots of important papers in my briefcase. Even now, I look on people with briefcases with a mixture of envy and pity. It looks so grown up and I rarely feel grown up. At some fundamental level of my being, something must be broken. I struggle to take things seriously. So long as my brain is engaged, there’s always a wryness that creeps in. It’s only when I’m suffering real sadness that my inner cynic falls silent.

Not that I’d ever know what job I could do. For a while, I wanted to be a geologist but the reality of working on oil rigs never appeared to me. I think I just fell in love with the romance of getting away from the noise and bustle, enjoying the countryside, and hitting rocks with a bloody big hammer to discover the dinosaurs hiding inside. Maybe I should do that. It has to be better than this productive yet utterly pointless week.

Monday, I wrote all day. And I mean all day. I began around 10am in the morning and didn’t finish until 2am. Poured my heart into that piece.

Tuesday morning, quick last polish and I despatched the piece which disappeared into the void, as articles sometimes do. Not heard from it since. A waste of a day. I blogged and got back to the cartoons which I continued to work on until about 1am.

Wednesday, wrote another piece, which I finished around 6pm. I then managed to knock my dinner all over the floor and was so tired I couldn’t be bothered to make it again. I had very little to eat. Drew cartoons until about 2am.

So now it’s Thursday – it is Thursday, right? – I get up, really exhausted. Too tired for work. Check the blog. 0 visitors since about 7pm last night. Hardly inspired to do anything. Emails: none. No idea when we’ll be doing the next podcast. I’m technically “free” but that doesn’t mean I don’t have things to do since I like to be busy. I like being productive. I like earning money, though I find it next to impossible to do that. It’s not a great life. I’m holding out hope that Amazon might have sold a few books but it’s pie in the sky thinking. It’s lottery thinking. It’s bloody Bill Gates spots my blog, likes what I’m doing, gives me a small grant thinking. It’s dreaming.

Speaking of dreaming: I’m on the last of the hayfever tablets and I’m going to miss the sleeps they give me, though last night’s was punctuated by some idiot’s car alarm going off for 20 minutes about 4am, so at least I know that some things can wake me up. After that, I had one of my PhD dreams.

The PhD dreams always the same. They begin with me having not written my thesis and have days to write 90,000 words. I usually wake up in a cold sweat only to remember that’s not so far from what really happened. I’d scrapped my thesis at a late stage and wrote the bulk of it in about two weeks. Last night, though, I dreamed I was writing it about the role of deformity in Romantic literature. It’s actually not a bad idea, though I’m sure it’s been done a dozen times before. There’s not just the Byronic angle, what which him having his gammy leg, but everything that touches on the gothic. The Romantics were obsessed with Nature and a rambling uncontrollable universe containing the horrors that lie beneath civil society and that were momentarily revealed by the French Revolution. Yes, deformity wouldn’t have made a bad thesis but I’m really glad I didn’t have to write it this morning.

Like I said: I’m knackered.

So the plan for today: just watched NASA launch their Perseverance rover to Mars. Not a bad start. I have to write some new cartoon ideas. I’m now up to 44 cartoons, nearly all of them properly drawn, and I’m beginning to run out of ideas. Not sure how much I like this collection. There are three in there that I’d pick for my list of All Time Favourites (not published them on here yet), though two of them aren’t “funny” in the conventional sense. They’re strange, twisted, odd, and probably unpublishable if I wasn’t going to publish them myself. I need 11 more cartoons. If I could come up with two good ones today, I’d feel like the week wasn’t entirely wasted.

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Why Dunciad.com?

It’s a cool domain name and it was available. Yes, I know. Available. Crazy, isn’t it?

Really?

Yes. It also helps that it’s also my favourite satire written by Alexander Pope, one of the most metrically pure English poets who also knew his way around a crude insult or two. If you’ve not read it, you should give it a try.

So this is satire, right?

Can’t deny it. There will be some. But it’s also an experiment in writing and drawing, giving work away for free in order to see how many people are willing to support a writer doing his thing. It’s the weird stuff that I wouldn’t get published elsewhere in this word of diminishing demands and cookie-cutter tastes.