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.

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!

I’m Still Not Entirely Sure What It’s All About…

James Proclaims (4)

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Is that the correct greeting today?

I don’t know. I’m British. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving over here. Or I don’t anyway. I can’t speak for all British people (unlike many Brexiteers who think it’s perfectly fine to speak for all British people all of the time…)

But I’m not familiar with anyone celebrating it over here.

I don’t think we even know what it is.

I wrote a blog post about how I didn’t really know what it was two years ago.

I still haven’t bothered to find out.

And I still haven’t tried Pumpkin Pie.

I don’t know if it’s even possible to get Pumpkin Pie in the UK without learning how to make it myself. And I’m not going to do that.

I mean maybe I’d bother to find out about Thanksgiving if my boss would allow me to honour my US heritage and have the day off.

But he won’t.

And there’s no way he can possibly know I was lying about having US heritage.

But if you are someone who knows what Thanksgiving is and actively celebrates it, then I really hope you’re having a good one.

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 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)

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 7

Ok people, you know the drill. This is the bit of my blog when I tell you about a novel that I’m definitely not writing in order to fully ‘not participate’ in this year’s NaNoWriMo.

There’s a hint of Scandinavian whimsy about today’s effort as I present:

The Old Man Who Did Something

It’s essentially about an old man who does something. Probably something quite ordinary and mundane.

But in doing that thing he will doubtless make the world a better place in some sort of abstract way.

And everyone will feel uplifted.

Which can only be a good thing.

TheCircusJelly

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 6

If I were taking part in NaNoWriMo, I’d almost certainly be on track with my word count and winging my way towards a commercial and critical success.

Instead I’ve chosen to affectionately lampoon the whole thing by sketching out ideas for novels I will never write.

Because they are bad ideas.

Today’s worthless would-be work is the following:

You had me at Cello

Everyone loves a ‘rom-com’, don’t they? So, I imagine they also love the literature equivalent – I think it’s known commonly as ‘chick-lit’ although to my untrained eye that does seem sexist as terminology goes. I’m already a little out of my depth here.

On with the story then and this would essentially be centred around a cellist in an orchestra (hence the extremely clever title), who, despite being attractive, and clearly successful (I imagine it’s not easy to become a professional cellist?) has worrying self-esteem issues that instead of addressing in an appropriate and sensitive way, we’ll use to create lots of uncomfortable and highly comic scrapes for her to get herself into. Although in reality, in the broader context of the world we live in, she’s probably quite privileged and all her problems would fall very much into the category of ‘first-world problems’.

Let’s also say that she’s ‘second cellist’ (do they have multiple cellists in orchestras?) and she has her eye on becoming ‘first cellist’ when her mentor (a loveable and wise old person) retires, early in the story. Instead she is overlooked, despite her obvious talent, for a new orchestra member, who is in every way her polar opposite (except they are both cellists – let’s ignore that minor point). He’s also really attractive though.

Initially there’s a kind of sang-froid between them, but eventually, after a number of hilarious mishaps fuelled by their rivalry, they fall in love. Maybe she becomes ‘first cellist’, but in a way that allows him to step aside graciously and retain his dignity.

Let’s throw in some other clichés too. Like a kooky best friend – probably a percussionist in this tale.

And a happy ending that, when all is said and done, is probably a little ‘too happy’ to be even remotely credible.

MyPrayerJournal (1)

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 5

Hello people that are reading this, and welcome to the fifth of my ‘novel’ ideas for novels that I almost certainly will never write, except in the unlikely event that someone comes across this post and wants to read the finished work so badly that they are prepared to give me a stack of cash to write it.

But that won’t happen, so the fifth novel I won’t be writing is this:

The Dividend Yield

It’s a thriller set in the murky world of finance. It’ll be a rollercoaster ride of revenues, and an adrenaline-fuelled journey through investment opportunities.

Basically, it’ll be a cliché-ridden chronicle, probably with a murder or something at the centre of it. There will be various ‘set-pieces’ such as the main two protagonists (an unlikely pairing who have been thrown together in improbable circumstances and who despite their clear differences can’t help but feel a growing sexual tension) sneaking into a building to get information and then having to make a daring escape. There will be a twist at the end that you’ll probably work out in the first few pages of the book.

There will be a paper-thin plot that will be entirely predictable and lots of pages needlessly going into minute detail about economics, so as to turn what would have been quite a slim volume into a much thicker tome and thus give the purchaser the illusion that they are getting value for money, because nothing adds value to a reading experience than extra words. Even if some of those extra words are boring.

It’ll be made into a film starring one of either Matt Damon or Ben Affleck. It won’t be a very good film, but it’ll be vaguely watchable and reasonably cheap to make and should, consequently, make a decent return at the box-office.

The Darkness Of The Light (1)

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 2

Hello fellow Internet-users. I’m back with more evidence as to why I really shouldn’t participate in the year’s National Novel Writing Month with another idea for a novel that no-one should ever write.

The title of this non-idea is as follows:

The Darkness Of The Light

This ‘clever’ sounding title is my attempt at literary fiction. I don’t really know what it would be about but the title alone should be enough to tell you it’s going to be really intellectual. I mean how can light be dark? Clearly there is some sort of personal tragedy at the heart of this tale. Perhaps by sharing in the protagonist’s misfortune and consequential stoic optimism we can learn something about our own lives and relationships.

I don’t know.

It all sounds a bit pretentious to be honest.

But it should still sweep to the top of the bestsellers on a wave of critical acclaim and word of mouth before everyone realises it’s actually a bit over-rated and derivative.

But seriously, how can light be dark? My mind is literally blown by my own genius…

The Darkness Of The Light