Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Criminal Tendencies

The skull and crossbones, a common symbol for ...Image via Wikipedia
Another writing post. The last blog reader is going to wander away now, but I can't help it. I'm on the home straight with new book Beirut and the next two weeks are likely either going to be writing posts or no posts at all. Sorry.

One thing that has amazed me over the course of writing Beirut is that I haven't been arrested. My Google life has been extraordinary and has mostly involved things like weapons, military assets, intelligence, police and other deeply dodgy stuff.

I can't imagine how writers did this stuff before Google - they must have spent months in the library, ordering books and poring through piles of obsessive esoterica. Actually, come to think of it, I have ordered books and stuff - some of which (I didn't realise until too late) had the potential to attract unwelcome attention down at Sharjah Post Office, too! Luckily the customs chaps there have long had me down as a harmless eccentric, so they don't look to closely at the books I bring in. I think my reputation, founded on a mixed shipment of chocolate and clothes which my mother unwisely thought would survive transportation to an area with a 50C ambient temperature and exacerbated by another shipment of educational toys meant for Sarah, was finally sealed when I tried to explain my jar of rather delicious chutney made by the fair hand of Australian novelist and pilot Helene Young. They'd really rather not know these days...

I've also depended on the expertise of a number of people as well as quite a lot of walking around that most glorious of cities in the company of various lovely colleagues or on my tod. There's nothing quite like just walking around a great city and Beirut certainly rewards the experience with an enduring intensity.

Put it all together and you have a demonstrable track record of a deeply unhealthy interest in a lot of things that go bang and otherwise kill people, an awful lot of phone calls and emails with people centering on military helicopters, missile systems and toxic substances and a nasty obsession with the military and intelligence services of a number of countries. As well as mooching around certain cities day and night taking photographs and generally just acting strangely.

Nobody's batted an eyelid. I'm not sure whether I'm relieved or worried...
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4 comments:

EyeOnDubai said...

And a writing comment, though slightly OT - the walking around bit. I always found that a brisk twenty minutes or so of brisk walking in the cool fresh air was the single most effective way of making the brain work when trying to write an arresting headline or intro. Repetitive exercise empties the mind, increased circulation oxygenates it and as if by magic, novel ideas occur. Can't say it's easy here though!

the real nick said...

Well, finish your book quickly so you can resume blogging about the rejection ;)

Mita said...

while I haven't really finished Olive yet, I'm looking forward to Beirut. By the way, do you have a proper form of Olive - all I have is the PDF.

Phillipa said...

I spent some time researching how to poison someone and the poison not be detectable. Lucky no one close to me died suddenly.

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