dai lowe recent comments

written 179 days ago

This is 107% brilliant. Even though you said you don't care about backing I will put it on my shelf anyways. I sometimes have insane dreams like this story, but can never remember them. It is harder to write nonsense than people think, and you've got some quality nonsense here!

Thank you kindly. It could just be that that's how my brane wurks. My adult book publisher specialises in 'eperimental fiction' but I had no idea my stuff might be labelled thus. Makes me worried I wrote gibberish and they think I'm being deep and interlektial and all that. view book

written 182 days ago

Lots and lots of fun! Backing this because it made me laugh out loud.

That's very nice of you. But do bear in mind I'm not looking for backings or in with a snowflake's in hell of getting anywhere anyway (this is the first backing for 504 days!). So do free up your shelf space for someone who is.

But yes, lovely to know I made someone laugh. Out loud even. view book

written 242 days ago

These vignettes are such fun to read. I've been clicking on random chapters, devouring each in turn, and I think I've read most of the book by now. Your prose sparkles like the surface of the sea in sunlight.

You say the sweetest things! ¡Gracias! view book

written 686 days ago

hello there,
I fell instantly in love with your voice. Cuddled into a cosy chair and started to read. This book is the reason why I am here at Authonomy: how rarely this joy is found when i read - and how delicious it is to find it, and know it from the first sentence: here IT is. It is ALIVE. It is written from a source that bubbles up, ever fresh, unexpected, playful and so very very poetic. I read the last paraghraph of the first chapter again - and again.
Love and praise
Leelah Saachi ( and six-starred too :-)

Wow, that's really nice of you. Would that most readers (on here and otherwise) and any publishers agreed. I haven't had any comments or backings for nearly two years and suddenly two come along at once! (One for my kids' book) So I had weaned myself off the site and accepted the message that my writing is not good enough to cut the mustard ~ and I sold three drawings this year and wrote a play. I wonder if those will make me rich and famous, where novelling plainly won't?

But in this day and techno-age, it would be churlish to deprive the loopy few who do like what I'm trying to do from seeing the whole effort. So if you want to read the whole thing, you can download it (in kindle or ereader format or as printable files) at www.lucidity.ltd.uk/bear.htm.

Sorry but for now I have no plans to read or back stuff on here, much less to promote my own assoted twaddles.

Having said all that, I am now talking to a protege of John Calder (publisher of Beckett, Queneau and many old Russians) about Fardel's being one of the first titles of a new semi-print/semi-electro publishing imprint. So here's hoping you're less unique than I thought!

Good luck and thanks again. view book

written 1282 days ago

I really hope you don't recast this as YA.

I see the YA phenomenon as a major signifier of much that is wrong with our culture today and I'd hate to see it devouring all that is right, snuffing out the lights of originality wherever it finds them and turning them into more adolescent pabulum to feed the solipsistic guts of the young and generate more self-centered infantilised adults.

But that's just me. Any sign of that last chapter at 20 yet:? view book

written 1323 days ago

I don't do comments but I must say that the previous one is way out. Unless you've changed it, you are not switching tenses, as far as I can see. That the dialogue is in present tense but you are reporting it in past seems perfectly normal to me. view book

written 1384 days ago

Gosh; thank you! Welcome to the select band of Poonlop backers! view book

written 1497 days ago

Ooh, thank you, Cully!

Yes, I have always had a problem with books in which authors are the main protagonists; though I do believe writers should write largely about the milieu they know, they should bear in mind their readers mainly don't ~ so I sort of compromised by writing about a not-very-good wannabe writer (cos I knows all about that!) and aiming it mainly at people who think real writers are pretentious prats. Whether it works for them, who can say, Lobothomy is not a good place to find out.

The 'chapters' are only for the authonomy site. In fact the chunks, ie bits in any one style or set of styles, get longer and longer on a fibonaccian basis, delineated from one another only by a couple of blank lines, until chunk 12 takes up three authonomy chapters (12-14) and Part II, though subdivided to mirror the chunks of Part I, is one whole chunk, over a third of the whole book.

As mentioned on the book's 'pitch', the whole thing can be downloaded as 2 rtf files from my site, and prunt or stuck in e-readers, in the format I want.

I make no apologies for expecting the reader to work a bit. My favourite reads are Joyce,Tolstoy and Proust and they expect ~ and reward tenthousandfold ~ a bit of effort.

I'm being completely blown away at the moment by Bernhard's Korrektur, in two parts of 120pp, each a single paragraph and the average sentence length well over 100 words. I used to say the novel is a dead form, hopelessly tied down by the Lilliputians of 'story', but now I realise that only applies in English.

In the never-to-be-written sequel, Current's Turn (a Restoration Comedy), all the chapters will be exactly the same length, using a vignetting approach which will mean each ends (and possibly starts), not only mid-action, but even mid-sentence, to enforce the x-word limitation. Not that I want be thought of as an Oulipo guy, any more than I like being accused of stream-of-consciousness. ;o) It just suits what I have to say. Or rather, don't.

I only recently read the Sound and the Fury ~ I couldn't make much sense of it but I doubt William would lose much sleep over that.

Anyway, thanks for those wonderful and critical comments. Food for thought, definitely. I may be back with more comments or to run past you ideas for improvement based on your astute perceptions. view book

written 1606 days ago

Ah right. Well, yes, I am one of the people who sees the 'Wake' for the hilariously funny, evocative and moving work of genius that it is. The intellectual 'trickery' is always at the service of the underlying effects. I guess I was fortunate in that I read Joyce before anyone told me he was supposed to be difficult or smartarse, so I was able to read it simply for enjoyment. I've read it a few times since, though I don't think it's as good as 'Ulysses' ~ but then little is.

There is of course a confusion in that I don't have chapters but chunks ~ very mathematically structured (in tribute to Austen's meticulous layouts) but not easily fit into authonomy. Not that I'd have anything more than a row of * to separate them in book form. The speed of change of the voice, the author's search for identity, if you like, gets slower as the chunks get longer. Only the fifth chunk is Woolfish. Or meant to be.

Well, others have downloaded and read the lot (twice in one case!) and found it moving and meaningful (which latter I find far harder to understand than your reaction),so it can't be a total failure. Cleverness was not supposed to be part of the impression. If I were clever I could use it to disguise the cleverness of the book, if any.

But as it is a novel about itself, I would have said it was all surface, all skin ~ at least at first. I think something gradually coalesces as the form settles. For some readers anyway ~ for me the beauty of the 'Wake' is the way globs of sense loom out of the impressionistic dreamscape and then fade back into a mist, just as in a dream. I know I can' compare my shit with that in terms of achievement but the ideas are there ~ somewhere.

I love the idea of a novel as a joke but this isn't one. And some of it (particularly the Huxley bit) parodies novels of ideas ~ valid though they are ~ better than boring 'story-based' shit anyway. Most of my faves are very low on plot; though I'm still far from sure about M Perec or Mr Faulkner, I feel I should persevere with them. Unlike my writing, I do have a suspicion they have something to offer if I work at it (and something you don't have to work at is far less rewarding ~ this does not apply to FB, so don't think I'm encouraging you to read on).

So I think I can conclude you aren't one of the 25 people who will like Fardel's Bear. ;o) This makes me all the more grateful for the trouble taken and the comments. view book

written 1607 days ago

Oooh, thank you.

That's why the Waves parody is only one small chunk of the book (850 words). It is parodying both the style and that character-building function. Also a sneaky way to tell you Heidi's mother is a tea-lady from Berlin, Wendy is curious but suppressed and prudish etc.

The early chunks, which get longer and longer, parody authors I have been influenced by (not always authors I like) ~ as the book is about a search for an identity and a voice as well as a no-doubt-symbolic bean tin, this seems an appropriate excuse ~ sorry, device. Huxley and Proust f'rinstance, being less stylised, can cope with longer passages (as can Wilde and Orton but that's another story). Even Thw Waves is too long in that style, I ain't writing an equally long pisstake!

The corresponding passages in Part II are of course mirrors of these, deriving elements of what I hope is my own voice from a synthesis and adoption. But as the end shows it's all self-deluding ~ postmodernism tells us, everything is a rearranged quote from stuff we've heard or read. The book asks what's the point of originality, reality says it don't exist.

But mainly I did it cos it made me laff. Thanks very much for the comments ~ always good to know someone's struggled through some of it too. view book

written 1662 days ago

Gosh, yes, I remember Mrs Pepperpot, either from my kid sister's collections or her own kid's (two of the Poonlop dedicatees).

Sadly, its reception on authonomy and from publishers makes me think it is appreciated only by a deranged minority and in reality would be stuck to the shelves of Barnes and Borderstones like glue.

One thing seems to be that the book does not have a child MC (though both the MCs are juvenile in their own way and in the past Pepperpot and Benn have made it big). And I know publishers are a bit scared of quirky ~ it either goes cult-crazy or bombs and is thus risky. view book

written 1664 days ago

Written and posted up over two weeks, pretty much on the fly and with little or no editing, this novella is not here looking for backings, comments or anything really, but it seemed a shame just to let it rust away in an ancient and forgotten thread.

So it's here in the hope it will afford the odd passer-by a moment of pleasure and not too many nightmares ... view book

written 1678 days ago

Yes but Best (who to my mind was better than Pele but I was in Manchester at the time) said, wisely, that most of his money went on women and booze ~ but that he just wasted the rest. Sounds about right.

But the parody and the comedy. Well, I am a comic writer. Pain and all that shit are best presented in a comic setting, partly because it can hit harder that way and mainly because the pain of life is a cosmic joke anyway. And a book about the futility of originality and the search for a personal voice could hardly do without parodies of the influence on that voice.

But it is a first novel. The never-to-be-written sequel ('Current's Turn' ~ which is all about the restoration of Love, my one true subject) was obviously going to contain intertextual references but far less parody, if any. Where FB is an attic comedy, this was to be a Restoration Comedy, restoring a house and a love, while mirroring many of the conventions of the model (as does FB).

There is no parody in Poonlop or Spayne after all, not as such. But I don't really like books that aren't comedy (I nearly said except Hardy, but he makes me laugh) so I sure won't write any.

If a publisher had ever agreed with your kind comments or my books ever crawled into the top authonomy hundred, I might start to believe that I have some of this skill, this potential. Then my pen would become a blur, my output prodigious and varied. Maybe some would have the power to move men's souls.

As it is I am flattered but far from convinced. Thank you. view book

written 1694 days ago

You're not the first person to comment on the pisshead architects. I have given it a lot of thought.

I know no modern eight-year old who is unaware of how stupid grownups can be after a few drinks. I hate kids' books that talk down to the little buggers (obviously the Poonlop style is a knowing parody of this in itself) and feel it's a bit patronising to edit out such stuff ~ just as it would be very irresponsible to glorify or condone it (after all it causes Mr P problems).

I have no doubt you're right about the oversensitive mollycoddling modern approach and that this would ensure the book never got published in its present form.

If I thought I was a better writer, that might bother me. As I have no chance of publication anyway, I think I can safely stand on principle here. ;o) view book

written 1703 days ago

Ah but ... The 'littles' cannot be done without because they are part of the joke! Words are never merely there to tell what is happening (I'm sure Morpurgle would accept that but I do think he has that bourgeois habit of looking down on and underestimating kids). In fact, as you can probably tell, I have no interest in plot. ;o)

There's no word wasted in Beckett's The Unnameable. But still bugger all happens for the whole book.

But how many 'little's? There's the rub. Some kids seem to think there are too many, a few oddballs have even wished it had gone on longer. Timing is so difficult when everyone's humour is different.

Thanks very much for the shelf. view book

written 1746 days ago

Thank you for the very interesting but worrying crit. "In chapter one, when Wendy has the internal dialogue about the kitchen being cold, and trying a threesome" this rather concerns me. Heidi has an internal monologue on the toilet about the room being cold and having a threesome. As the author, and thus too close to the book, perhaps, I can't see how it can be read any other way but obviously it can. I shall have to give it some thought.

Be that as it may, both Heidi's toilet (stream of consciousness) passage (chunk 4) and the three voices in chunk 5 are parodies, of Joyce and Woolf respectively. So the style is bound to theirs. And I happen to like them that way ~ the style to parody is not a random choice. I feel the choppy consciousness, a little like Leopold Bloom's (where Joyce uses the stops to contrast with Stephen's more flowing and reasoned flow) does actually suit Heidi's. And the fact that there is a very similar voice to all six of Woolf's characters in The Waves suits here to show a certain sameness of worldview in my three main actors ~ in direct contrast to their rapidly diverging attitudes to the life into which Dai has dragged them. I hope the differing personalities develop in the mind of the reader as the book progresses, but to start from some apparent similarity, some remnant of a fellow-feeling, is important to me.

But I have to satisfy myself that Heidi is at least discernible enough on the loo, as Wendy would never admit to thinking any of those things. It should at least show from Wendy exclaiming Heidi's name 'in exasperation' who it is that is the naked wife and whom the demure flat-owner ~ and this is underlined by Wendy's thoughts in the last chunk of what authonomy labels as 'chapter one'. I shall have to think about it a bit more.
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written 1750 days ago

Mardi: thanks for the comments and shelf. Let me deal with the ideas, some of which I will definitely need to take on board.

CHAPTER ONE: '...when Spayne were second...' Yes, was/were with a compound or synecdochic usage. Hmm...is it was because Spayne is a singular team/town or were because they are a group of players? I think we Brits use the plural, I'll have to check.

Well, Swann's Practical English Usage, tells me it's another Atlantic side issue. Maybe for the same reason you're prone to putting a definite article before team names, the US standard is to say the team was successful. Over here it's less clear cut and can depend on surrounding clauses but either is acceptable and most of us tend to say the team were losers. eg we would say Boston United were disappointed at being destroyed but "A team is unhappy when it loses", because 'A' can only be singular.
Maybe I shall change to a singular verb throughout so it plays in Nottingham and Peoria! Or maybe not cos were sounds more natural to me. JUST CHECKED ~ British newspaper soccer reports always use the plural forms with all team names.

'pernickety'/'persnickety' Yes UK/US versions ~ word is of Scots origin apparently. ("adj finical; (of a task) exacting minute care")

CHAPTER TWO: '...black and white strip...' Strip is right, it's what we Limeys use to denote a team's uniform ~ "a lightweight uniform, esp one displaying the club colours, for running, football, etc;"

CHAPTER THREE:/FOUR Authorial intrusion. Interesting. Obviously there's a lot less than in Poonlop but I like the old-style books where the writer does address the reader casually from time to time ~ this only really works now in comedy, for which it gives a lot of scope. But your comment has given me a heads up to think about it detracting. I think I shall proceed with Part II and see how I feel. I can always come back and rewrite bits, if it isn't working/necessary.
CHAPTER FIVE: I did wonder if this was getting too long. I like the opportunity for a few jokes at the town's expense, I want to lead in to the more substantial chapters to come but it's the jokes you leave out that make the rest stronger. Main options would be to see if I can cut some from I:5 and pepper them through Part II.

One of the most important things I wanted to do with the dialogue there was to bring out the unsaid stuff with double meanings ~ not all of which may work stateside ~ do Yanks say 'Corrr' when they see a hot broad for instance? Is there a sense of Jeremy trying to get into Sarah's knickers, he cold (but teasing) indifference and Terri's seething jealousy? Will there still be if I trim it?

Name: yes, we definitely don't use 'the' for sports teams. If you look at 'Chapter 6' which tells you where the story's going, you'll see there is a conection to 'my' team, ill-fated Boston United. They may not even be 'a' Boston United much longer!

Like I said; useful stuff to ponder so I'll cherry pick that comment.

Oh yeah ~ long dashes to indicate dialogue. This is the standard way on mainland Europe and, like Joyce, I find 'perverted commas' unappealing. Roddy Doyle and a few other writers in English have got away with it. I suspect a publisher would impose normality on me. Ho hum.

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written 1781 days ago

two hundred!!!!!!!!!!!!! view book

written 1789 days ago

"Allow me to explain further.
You have written your story partly in:
3rd person – The truth is that Mr Poonlop had to rush back into the kitchen to rescue his toast from under the grill,
1st person - where I was writing flames all over it.”
Narrator – the author has…"

I'm not sure I agree. There is no inconsistency of voice. If I tell you "I went to the shops and Mrs Fernackapan was buying some artichokes", do you think that's a clash of voices? Or "Mrs Fernackapan picked up the artichokes which I had been looking at a moment before"? That strikes me as a perfectly natural way to present a narrative, so why does it seem mixed in a written text? It's written in an informal storyteller's voice. The storyteller is telling of his direct involvement. The whole book is thus in first person telling (in third person, naturally) what happens to other people. This is so normal I'm at a loss to understand your issue. view book

written 1790 days ago

Thank you. I agree it could be done that more 'removed' way, but that would make it a very different book, I think. Techniques that could be applied differently elsewhere, though.

As I worked out, thanks to jaeger's useful questionings, this method has given me a lot of opportunities for crap jokes. The fact that the narrator's own personality (eg fear of heights) affects the way he writes and narrates is too rich a vein to abandon. Characters who can't agree on what they look like, because I haven't had time to come up with a description, for instance.

In answer to the question, it was mainly read to kids by other people, their parents usually (damn restraining orders!) ~ or to themselves by some older or more precocious ones. So quite a wide range. Most loved it, each found their own take. Fascinating the feedback.

I do find that adults, particularly those who write ~ even worse, those who read 'how to' books ~ have to make more effort to cross into Poonlop's/my world, get pulled up by things that the far more sophisticated mind of a child takes in its stride. But then many adults love it and I think I have more comments on here that say they like it for those effects than those who seem to want it done different.

But, like I say, I hope that other stuff I write will take on board such questions and be the better for it, so thanks again. It's certainly given me yet another way to play, that I hadn't considered before. view book