Author Archives: Aldred Chase

Bum Glue

“Doctor, this patient is suffering from excessive farting.”

“Pass me the bum glue, nurse.”

“We gave  our last jar to the local airport, to fasten the wings on planes, doctor.”

“Too late, anyway, nurse. The patient has let loose a ripper. His hospital gurney just became a jet powered vehicle, and he has just shot through six wards, breaking the land speed record, a dozen windows and several bones.”

Bum glue has nothing to do with the brief fart-related scene above. So what is bum glue? Well, if you’re going to do some writing then at some stage the seat of your pants will need to meet the seat of your chair. Bum glue is the internal force that keeps you sitting in your chair, while you write.

Why is it an internal force?

Sometimes external forces can keep you sitting down and writing. For example you might be sitting an exam or you might be working at a job where your salary depends on your boss being able to see you sitting at your desk, writing reports on projected growth in widget sales. These are external things that are keeping you in your chair.

Now imagine that you are writing for fun. At any point in time you could get up and make a cup of coffee, or visit a friend, or shoot some hoops or go for a jog. The list is endless. The only thing that is keeping you in the chair writing is the power of bum glue, your own will to do it.

“This bum glue sounds wonderful stuff,” I hear you cry. “Can I buy it online? Will it be delivered to my door in discreet brown packages?”

Bum glue is a home grown substance. You develop it yourself. What you have to do is practice and build it up gradually.

The way I started was by setting aside ten minutes every day when I would not be interrupted. I would turn off my mobile phone, unplug my computer from the internet and sit down and write. At first it was hard. I had a timer set for ten minutes and I breathed a sigh of relief when it pinged. However, I kept going, and in a little while I began to look forward to my writing sessions. I then found that I’d be in full flow when the timer pinged and I’d ignore it.

At this point, we should have a soundtrack of inspirational music together with a video of me scribbling my way through a stack of paper, but it wouldn’t be true and not just because I type directly to my laptop. Some days the writing flowed and other days it was clunky and painful, but I stuck to my task and my chair. I was developing bum glue, the magic stuff that helps you stay in the chair when the going gets tough.

One discovery I’ve made is that on the days when the writing seems most forced and painful, often halfway through the session, I will stumble on something I want to say and the writing will take off. The sessions that start off the hardest often produce the most truthful and revealing words. Without bum glue, I would miss out on these insights.

Suppose, you’re now sitting with a blank piece of paper or a blank screen in front of you, ready to develop some bum glue. What do you do next? The short answer is that you write. The long answer is coming in my next blog, ‘What do I write about?’

A brief digression on writing posture

I mentioned in the article above that when writing the seat of your pants had to connect with the seat of our chair. “But Aldred, I write lying on my stomach,” I hear some of you cry out. “I mean what could be nicer than taking a rug to the local park, lying out in the sun and writing a page or two?”

I take your point. I’ve often dreamed of buying an extra long pencil so that I could lie in bed and write my next novel on the bedroom ceiling. Sadly, Mrs Chase objected to this idea. I did point out that Michelangelo had worked on his back when painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, to which Mrs Chase replied that if the Pope was offering to sponsor my next novel, she would reconsider her decision.

Anyway, you should feel to write in whatever position you find comfortable. The main thing is to be writing.

 

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Are you kidding?

Writing is fun. “Oh puhleeezzze.” I can hear some of you cry, across the vast electronic savannah of the internet.

For many people writing is like quarrying stone, and we’re talking about quarrying by hand with no dynamite or excavators the size of tower blocks. With the pickaxe of your brain, you chip away at the boulders of language to come up with shards and splinters called words. Is your job done, once you’ve collected these chippings? No, the work is only just beginning. Those words have to be arranged into sentences, and those sentences have to be made into a road to carry the reader safely from the start of your piece to the end of it.

And I’m telling you that writing is fun? “Oh puhleeezzze, Aldred. Do you hang out with dentists and get them to give you fillings for a laugh?”

At this point, I will clear my throat ready to deliver one of my favorite gruesome dentist stories, perhaps the one where the dentist falls of the chair trying to pull the patient’s teeth from the blood-soaked surgery ceiling.

“Hang on, Aldred,” those with sharp-eyes and delicate stomachs will interrupt. “We’ve noticed all these buttons dotted about your website, which when clicked on direct us to places where we can buy your books, with the result that some of our money becomes some of your money. Are you writing for fun or profit?”

The answer is both. I’m hoping to make some money by selling my books, otherwise in a little while I’ll be writing sad, blog posts like ‘please buy my books so I can feed my cat, Blenkinsop.’ (I promise I’ll find another job before I have to resort to writing even sadder blog posts such as ‘please buy my books because Blenkinsop and I are giving each other hungry looks and one of us is going to get eaten, soon.’) However, regardless of whether anyone buys my books or even reads them, I’ve had the best time creating them.

In these ‘Writing for Fun’ blogs, I’m going to tell you about things I do that make writing enjoyable for me. You can experiment with them, and pick the ones that work for you. The next blog in this series is about bum glue which is not as disgusting as it sounds. See you then.

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Out Now – Royal Fool

Bk2_Cover_240Royal Fool, book two of the Nobody’s Fool Quartet, is now available on Smashwords and Kindle. We greeted this happy news at Chateau* Chase with a loud fanfare, which spread the joyous tidings and brought forth complaints from our neighbors. They felt that seventy six trombones was seventy six too many, and Marigold, two doors along, pointed out that for a fanfare we should have been using trumpets anyway.

* Chateau is the French word for castle and is a slight exaggeration when used to describe our house, but my excuse is that I’m a fantasy fiction writer.

Buy the eBook:

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Coming Soon – Royal Fool

Bk2_Cover_240Royal Fool, book two of the Nobody’s Fool Quartet, is due to be available as an ebook through Kindle and Smashwords in the next week or so.

Am I resting on my laurels. I did try but they have left a squishy green stain on my chair. I’m assuming the stain is from my laurels and not a present from my cat.

Anyway after launching book two and finding some stain remover for the chair, my next task will be editing Prince of Fools, book three of the Nobody’s Fool Quartet.

 

 

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