February 1st, 2006


Gathers no boss

This morning I had a meeting with the Director in which he confirmed all the things I knew that I wasn't officially supposed to know, and I reassured him that all the information I wasn't officially supposed to know was getting trickled down to me via my line-manager. He also confirmed that the process of change which is currently being implemented will change things, and that until that happens things are unlikely to change.

So that's all okay then.

The problem, though, is that we won't really know how things are going to change until the people we're hiring to tell us what we already know have told us what we already know. (There's also a parallel process involving transferring people from one location on a map to the same location on a map by moving them in a circle that's so small it's nearly indistinguishable from a point, and that might effect some change slightly sooner, but it's hard to tell.) In the meantime, though, it's back to sitting and waiting.

You might not think it from this post, but I really do like this job, most of the time.

See the living crocodiles

It's mythically true, if not actually true, that professional writers of fiction are forever being asked where they get their ideas. Who the hell asks these dumb questions? I don't need to know where to get ideas. They soak in through my ears and my eyes and my fingertips, welling up behind my eyes like an acid bath of overloaded metaphor. If ideas were portions of fruit and vegetables, and if portions of fruit and vegetables really cured all known diseases, I'd be appearing on chat shows to talk about what it's like being immortal and whether that unique perspective on life really gives you a better chance of working out who's going to win Celebrity Big Brother.

What I want to know is how you get the tools or the time or the what-is-it-that-it-is to hammer those ideas into cogs and wheels and sprockets and pipes and valves that can be bolted or welded together into actual working machinery which can take stuff in at one end and spit different stuff out at the other. Because frankly in my limited experience the process seems to have entirely too much in common with attempting to weave writing-desks out of feathers.

The other question is whether sticking a lot of nuts and bolts et cetera on a big sheet of off-white canvas in any way constitutes Art, and -- ah! -- solving that question brings the accountants galumphing over the horizon, and that's before the critics are at the door, licking their gleaming teeth.