Our last full day of the holiday and we'd planned to spend it by the pool, but alas (and I know you'll sympathise if you've been in the UK this week), it was very lightly raining in the morning. At the kind of level that if you were reading a kindle you'd have to brush away tiny droplets of water every five to ten minutes. Yes, it was Hell. So we sat inside the hotel and did our reading there, until the afternoon when it was mainly sunny again. I was re-reading Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5, one of my favourite books and enjoying his quiet wisdom and humanity. He really was a great man and unfairly side-lined as a writer because people thought he was "sci-fi" (as if that's a bad thing anyway). If you haven't read this book then get it immediately. If you have read it, then read it again. Not if you've literally just this second finished it. That would be dumb. If you are a member of Amazon Prime you can borrow nearly all of Vonnegut's stuff for free (on a monthly basis).
I have been thinking again about the idea of trying to write a book in monthly installments. It's how Dickens used to write his novels and seems ideally suited to the ebook age. Plus I think it would suit the way I write. If I have deadlines (and a monthly target of hitting 8000 words of a story would be a good one) then I do tend to get stuff done. I have an awful lot to be getting on with when I get home, but I am considering having a crack at one of my ideas in this way. Coincidentally, (given I started reading it on a whim) the main book idea I have is a little similar to Slaughterhouse 5 in that it's about revisiting a life (though not in random order) and would be classified as science fiction. It's based on that idea from one of my shows ("Oh Fuck, I'm 40!", I think) in which I discuss a heaven made up of judgemental babies, who are the people who would have been born if their sperm had made it to the egg instead of yours. I have a notion of how it would begin it, but no plan as to where it would go. Which might be the way to write this episodic stuff. It should be as much a surprise to me as it would be to the reader. I might give it a crack anyway, and if there's any interest I will carry it on and if there isn't I might carry it on anyway. I think most of my ideas for novels are too esoteric for publishers (Goodnight "Goodnight Sweetheart" Sweatheart, for example), but might have enough fans out there to make them worth doing. But in any case, I quite want to see where I can take these weird stories.
This year I am taking a few punts at trying things in a different way, using the internet (the Meaning of Life stand-up show being the most obvious example). I am keen to explore possibilities. I have said before that I think we're in a similar position with the internet that the movies were in 100 years ago. Charlie Chaplin became a millionaire because enough people were prepared to pay a tiny amount to see his films - similarly before him, Charles Dickens did the same, but charging one pence old money per installment of his stupid books. Whilst I might not be up to the standards of those pair of Charlies, I think the format might work for me. What I have been enjoying about Breaking Bad (apart from it being exciting and excellent) is that we are watching it in an old school way, where you can't just but the box set or download the next episode and watch it all. We have to wait a week to see what happens next. And I think that could once again start working for the written word too. Especially if the author is similarly clueless. It might grind to a halt. It might seem like a bridge too far when I am no longer on holiday, but it might be a way to trick myself into writing a book in a year.
No idea if I will have time. No idea if it will last a chapter or three or just go on episodically forever. It's a crazy idea, but it might just work. I mainly just think that it suits the way I am. If I've done almost 4000 consecutive blogs, then a monthly chapter of a book is not beyond the bounds of possibility. Or a monthly stand up show. Or a weekly chat show. I can't see any reason why I couldn't do all of that (plus find time to do the paid writing work and self-playing snooker work that will bring in the real money).
But it's always exciting to be on the last day of your holiday and making plans about how your life is going to change now. I am also going to read a lot more and lose weight and get as fit as my old body will allow me.
I always say this shit.
But this time.... you never know.