Let’s All Just Take A Moment to Acknowledge My Momentous Achievement

James Proclaims (4)

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This month I have derided, mocked and otherwise made-fun of various November ‘traditions’. Many of my posts this month have been mock-ups of potential novels in an affectionate sendup of National Novel Writing Month, while I have also derided (at times with a touch less affection) such November notables as Movember, Black Friday (and it’s even stupider sibling ‘Cyber Monday’) and World Sandwich Day.

All the while though, I have been participating in the bloggiest of all the November novelties. For I have been ‘secretly’ participating in National Blog Posting Month (or NaBloPoMo) for which the goal is to produce a blog post for every day of November. That’s thirty posts in thirty days.

As a writing challenge it’s much easier than NaNoWriMo, but it’s still no mean feat I can tell you.

I haven’t been this productive on my blog since I did the same challenge two years ago.

Back then I swore I’d never do it again, because it’s really hard think of sufficient things to write about in order to produce that many posts.

Out of desperation I did stupid things during my 2015 NaBloPoMo challenge, such as writing a post on November 5th saying I couldn’t think of anything to write about. This was ludicrous for two reasons, firstly the ‘I can’t think of anything to write about’ post is all well and good later on in the month but using it up on day 5 was throwing away a potential lifeline very early on. Also, it was Guy Fawkes Night, so I should have just written about that. You’ll note I did not make the same mistake this year and Mr Fawkes very firmly had his place within my 2017 November challenge.

Anyway, today marks the day that I have achieved the thirty posts in thirty days challenge. It’s a day before the end of November because I posted on the last day of October.

Because that was Halloween, which seemed an obvious thing to blog about when trying to generate lots of content.

However, in the spirit of this being a November-specific challenge I will post something tomorrow too.

It will be an explanatory post about what will be happening on this blog during the month of December.

Because I’m extending this blogging party right up until Christmas and possibly beyond.

Do try and contain your excitement.

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 12

James Proclaims (4)

As November draws to a close, so too must my series of not-novels that I won’t be writing for this year’s NaNoWriMo.

If you’re actually participating in NaNoWriMo, and you haven’t yet given up, then worry not – you still have another two days to hit the coveted fifty-thousand-word count. Also, I salute you, I don’t think, in previous years when I have tried to do NaNoWriMo, that I ever made it past day 15, and even that year I’d really started to fade quite badly by around day 8.

But for my little series lampooning the modern novel, this is the twelfth and (for the time being) final contribution.

To be honest I’m amazed I’ve managed to churn out this many.

When I came up with the concept at the start of the month I only anticipated producing five. But it seems that, while I’ve oft struggled to find the requisite inspiration to produce my own novel, I seem to have no difficulty in finding the inspiration to mock the novels of others.

I’m not sure what that says about me as a person.

Probably nothing good.

But I’ve quite enjoyed it.

Particularly the fact that some people have told me that they would actually buy and read some of these nonsensical novels.

To be fair, they’d probably all sell a lot better than the kind of introspective, self-indulgent lament on modernity that would inevitably be the focus of any novel I might actually be bothered to produce.

And high sales figures is the motivation behind today’s, final, entry into the collection:

Dan Brown

What’s that?

You were hoping for an action-packed thriller starring everyone’s favourite ‘Symbologist’ Robert Langdon? You wanted a slightly incoherent plot underpinned by historical inaccuracy, written with questionable grammar and sentences like “the tall man picked up the big red book”?

You wanted conspiracy theories, implausible dialogue and easy-to-spot plot twists?

Sorry, you won’t find any of that here.

This is a slow-moving piece of high-brow literary fiction about the ruminations of a retired postal worker as he comes to grip with the passing of time and the ever-changing state of the world around him. ‘Dan Brown’ is the eponymous hero of the story, not the author. The author is me. James Proclaims. Surely that’s abundantly clear if you look at the cover of the book?

DAN Brown

No, you can’t have your money back.

A Slightly Confusing Metaphor To Illustrate How Utterly Redundant Cyber Monday Is As A Concept.

James Proclaims (4)

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Sometimes I like to think of Black Friday as the ‘bad guy’ in a second-rate action flick. He’s over-the-top and stupid, but poses a genuine threat to our hero – ‘Captain Common-Sense’.

Oh no! How will Captain Common-Sense survive that unbeatable deal on headphones? How will he remember that he already owns a perfectly good pair of headphones? Headphones that he barely uses anyway. With deals that good, surely, he’s going to be tempted to part with his hard-earned cash on another frivolous purchase. Curse you Black Friday!

Of course, if the movie runs true to form, Captain Common-Sense beats the temptations of Black Friday and wins the day.

And although it’s a genuinely dreadful film, the battle between Black Friday and Captain Common-Sense does well enough at the box office to merit a sequel.

And the sequel is vastly inferior to the already-bad original.

Because in an attempt to make a bigger, more compelling bad-guy, the studio massively misjudges what made the first film popular, which was that, although kind-of inane, Black Friday poses a genuine threat to the wallet of Captain Common-Sense because his deals are ‘for a limited time only’. That’s where the jeopardy is.

So, given that Captain Common-Sense has now prevailed, for any kind of sequel to work, the bad-guy needs to be a bit different.

Not exactly the same but with a different name.

And as far as I can see, the only difference between a ‘deal’ on Cyber Monday as opposed to a ‘deal’ on Black Friday, is that the Black Friday fake deals are available online and in-store, whereas Cyber Monday fake deals can only, by definition, be online. So Cyber Monday is exactly the same as Black Friday, only not as good.

And given that Black Friday is already pointless, Cyber Monday must therefore be worse than pointless.

And on that note…

Happy Cyber Monday everyone!

Let’s Make A Day Of It

James Proclaims (4)

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I enjoy a made-up-day as much as anyone. This month alone we’ve observed ‘World Sandwich Day’, ‘World Television Day’, ‘World Toilet Day’, ‘World Kindness Day’, ‘Beaujolais Nouveau Day’ and the ever-ridiculous ‘Black Friday’.

And those are just the ones I’ve mentioned on this blog. I missed the opportunity to cover ‘Hug-a-Bear Day’, ‘Spicy Guacamole Day’ and the truly oxymoronic ‘Use Your Common-Sense Day’ which are apparently also November ‘events’

But today brings a rare treat, for whoever organises the ‘World Days’ has made a double booking. That’s right, November 26th allows us to celebrate two different causes concurrently (well three if you count International Aura Awareness Day, but I’m afraid that might be a step too far for me)

Although there is a slight conflict of interests.

For today is apparently ‘Anti-Obesity day’ and, simultaneously, ‘World Cake Day’.

It does cause something of a quandary.

How can I support both days?

My only conclusion is that I must eat all the cakes, to save everyone else from obesity.

You’re welcome.

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 11

James Proclaims (4)

Back by ‘popular’ demand, here is my eleventh suggestion for a novel that I could have attempted to write during the annual novel-writing festival that is NaNoWriMo.

But to be clear, I’m not writing any of them.

Because they are not good ideas.

And today’s ‘not good idea’ is the following:

Children Of Dystopia

Are you a young adult (or do you fit into the incredibly vague parameters of what might qualify as a young adult)?

If the answer is yes, then maybe you’d like ‘Papier Mache Gorillas’, one of my earlier efforts at a potential YA novel. Or maybe you’d enjoy ‘The Golden Socks’ a magical children’s novel that should appeal to all ages.

But if they both seem a little too saccharine for your tastes, then maybe you’d prefer something a little darker.

If so, does the idea of a dystopian world appeal? One where troubled teens do battle for some hard-to-define reason? Perhaps where many of the main characters meet violent and disturbing ends at regular intervals?

Perhaps you like your fiction bleak, humourless and set in a nightmare version of the future, a sort of ‘1984’ for young people but nowhere near as inciteful or reflective as Orwell’s masterpiece.

Despite the carnage and brutal loss of life, some of the main characters will make it to the end of the novel and there will be the beginnings of a romance forming between two of the central characters, but don’t get too attached, because there will be more death, destruction and trauma in the ensuing sequels, before the trilogy of novels concludes with the toppling of the antagonistic and corrupt authority figures and an ensuing, albeit vague, sense of optimism. Nonetheless any survivors will be so traumatised that there’s no conceivable way they can ever hope to recover any semblance of joy in their lives.

Enjoy it all again as the trilogy gets made into a series of films, although you’ll no doubt be infuriated beyond all level of reason with the inevitable plot changes that will be required to make the big screen adaptation of a such a convoluted plot even remotely possible.

The Lone Planet

Happy Black Friday Day

James Proclaims (4)

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Well, here we are again, at the culmination of the Black Friday celebrations. After an exciting ‘Black Friday Week’ in which the deals were, quite literally, too good to be true, we arrive at the day itself.

Black Friday Day.

Surely everyone’s favourite day of the year.

A magical day.

I’ve already bought five new TVs this morning alone.

It’s just a shame I’ve got to go to work, or I’d have probably bought another one.

To go with the sixth new sofa I’ve purchased.

Two years ago, I wrote about what a bizarre concept Black Friday is, particularly the preposterous way we have appropriated it here in the UK.

I’d have been totally fine with us appropriating Thanksgiving, which as far as I can tell is a bit like Christmas but in November.

I could get on board with that.

But Black Friday without a preceding Thanksgiving is lamentable.

Obviously because I wrote about it two years ago, there’s no point in me rehashing the same arguments – they haven’t changed so you can read them again by clicking here.

Did you read it?

Don’t I make a compelling case?

So why is it still going on?

Can someone please sort this out?

Or at least make the supposed ‘deals’ actually worthwhile?

I don’t want to be having this conversation next year.

It needs to stop.

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 10

Have I really come up with ten of these?

Well no, as it happens I’ve come up with eleven.

But this is the tenth.

The eleventh is coming soon.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Let’s just enjoy number ten.

For it is the wonderful:

Quest Fallen

If you like Sci-Fi and Fantasy, then you’ll love this. I mean if I ever write it obviously. Which I won’t.

But which is it?

Sci-Fi or Fantasy?

They aren’t the same thing you know.

Aren’t they?

Really?

In that case it’s probably safer to say it’s Fantasy because there won’t be anything remotely scientifically credible in it.

Or maybe there will be.

I don’t know.

 I don’t even know what it’s about. But there will be unpronounceable names. Of both people and places. And battles. And strange creatures.

And probably far too much about the politics of the made-up world in which it is set.

And not a single hint of anything resembling humour.

Because this is a serious genre and should be regarded as such.

Quest Fallen

The World Is Watching

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Apparently today is ‘World Television Day’.

I don’t know why we need a day for that.

Don’t get me wrong, I like watching TV as much as anyone, but is it really worthy of its own day?

Evidently so, for today is that day.

It’s not even one of those frivolous ‘made-up-for-the-sake-of-it’ days like ‘World Sandwich Day’.

This has the backing of the United Nations. This is their baby. So, it must be about more than ‘Downton Abbey’.

I did briefly look at the UN website to see if I could work out why today is ‘World Television Day’.

But, about two lines into the explanation, I got bored.

So, I turned on the telly instead.

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 9

Here I am again with another idea for a book I’ll never write.

Where do they keep coming from?

I don’t know.

Maybe it’s a gift I have.

In which case, it’s quite a rubbish gift.

Still, if that’s my place in the grand scheme of things then who am I to argue?

Today’s non-contribution to the world of literature is:

Papier Mache Gorillas

This is one of those tales that views tragedy through the lens of hope.

There’ll be plenty of bittersweet humour.

Expect to laugh and cry in equal measure.

I expect it’ll be marketed towards ‘Young Adults’  (whoever they are).

But really anyone can read it.

Critics will describe it as “incredibly uplifting” and “deeply moving”.

It will be both of those things.

And not at all cloying, mawkish and a little bit conceited.

monsters

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 8

Another day, another horrendously bad idea for a novel.

A novel I won’t be writing.

In honour of my continued non-participation in this year’s NaNoWriMo.

Although one person’s idea of a bad novel is another person’s idea of a ‘must-read’.

It’s all subjective really. There’s probably no such thing as bad or good.

It’s all just shades of grey…

Probably about fifty of them if we’re honest…

Which brings me onto today’s effort…

 Mr Whippy

Basically it’s an unashamed rip-off of Fifty Shades of Grey, which is a book I’ve never actually read. Mrs Proclaims has read it. She described it as “one of the worst things ever written, yet strangely unputdownable”.

Which sounds like a recipe for success if ever I heard it.

And there’s no denying that it did quite well.

Obviously I can’t copy it word for word and just change the title.

So I’m going to copy it word for word, change the title and change the character of ‘prominent businessman’ Christian Grey (I got that bit off the blurb) to ‘prominent ice-cream van driver’ Walter Whippy.

Then I’m going to sit back and watch the money come rolling in…

Mr Whippy (1)