Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Since I Did It": An Excerpt

Here is an excerpt from the (forthcoming) debut title (fiction) of the publishing house Carlos and I will be launching in 2009:


Call me Aurora.

My story ends with a police station, a dank cell and a howling in my head that I cannot ignore. I fear this voice will drive me mad so I must write, and write quickly. I'm using a roll of toilet paper and a smuggled eye-liner, they won't let me have pen and paper for that - or so they say - is the root of my crime. But I must start. I am compelled to write. A hand moves mine that is not mine and will not move on, this is my pennance.
Can a person be convicted on the strength of a tattered, stolen manuscript? Penned by a man possessed by a ghost? If told carelessly, this would be a tale that would defy all attempts to suspend disbelief. Where should I start?

Yesterday I woke in my place of hiding and was tempted out into the open for the first time in days. And caught. Caught like a rat by Derekus and Colin and brought to this dark windowless trap - where I am now incarcerated.
Q what tempted me?
A you might well ask. A sale in my favourite department store.

I must have been half mad. Delirious through lack of sleep, worry, and the persecution of a man (a man? Is a dead man still a man?) Who is not able to rest until his story is told.

Again and again and again.

Bloomsburyton. How I hate you!

To explain the rest of my story I would have to go back to the beginning. A bright, crisp morning not so long ago when I decided to launch an online diary.


Extract from Since I Did It
Forthcoming from Broomscape Publishing (early 2009)
All rights reserved (c) 2008

Manuscript submissions (experimental work / serious literary genres only. No poetry) welcome at shoscombe.oldplace (at)
Authors WILL be required to provide incontrovertible proof of ownership of work submitted.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


And they lived happily ever after.

In every story there is the hero and the person who becomes zero.
The hero lives happily ever after. The zero doesn’t.
For all of you busy frequenting this blog, save your time and internet connection. You will not be seeing any new posts on it for a while. A long while.
Society will be better off in the absence of that blog and its owner.
I’m not gloating.
The last one week has run like a high-budget movie. A few days ago Ms Adorna Shine was picked up by the Law, at a famous departmental store (name withheld) in a nearby city (name withheld), delirious, defeated, devoid of make-up. Her bag held only two items: Her switched-off pinkberry, and a yellowed, severely dog-eared sheaf of papers - MY MISSING MANUSCRIPT.
Her lips held no lipstick, only hallucinatory cries about being haunted by Broomington.
There is blood on her hands, on her pen, on her book covers.
I’m not sure I need to remind you of this: that the hunter has now become the hunted.
And the man she had horribly brainwashed and coerced into her service, Carlos (previously known and addressed in some quarters as "Ms. Shine’s shin-breaker") has now seen the light and accepted a Proclamation of Emancipation from her mental and emotional enslavement.
(At the moment, Carlos is shuttling between here and the Offices of the Law helping out with investigations. She is trying desperately to rope him in, but I can assure you that at best - or worst - all he was was an unwilling accomplice, an actor-under-severe-duress. That we can easily prove, there are years' worth of letters and notes and emails ready to be called up as evidence)
Carlos and I have decided to put the trauma of the last few weeks/months/years behind us. We are two men bound by the cruel antics of the same woman.
Time to out with the news:
Carlos and I have decided to venture into publishing.
Serious literary publishing, two to three titles a year, prompt payment of royalties, active and committed representation of our authors (we will be agents cum publishers), plenty of T(ender) L(oving) L(iterary) C(are).
You might be thinking: How dare they venture into publishing? What experience have they got? One struggling writer, one pseudo-novelist’s long-term sidekick, what do they know about publishing? What have they got to offer?
This is where you’re getting it wrong!
What does experience have to do with serious publishing?
If experience had anything to do with serious publishing then you need to ask yourself why the most successful publishing houses are not owned by the most successful writers. Surely a successful writer – having long been accustomed to dealing with publishers and navigating the treacherous catacombs of modern publishing, and having learnt (through suffering) how not to treat a writer – should be in the best position to start and manage a publishing house.
Carlos and I will bring a combined wealth of tangential experience to this venture. We are outsiders, mavericks, intent on changing the system from the margins. We are not ‘more of the same’; we are not old wine (whether in old or new skins). We are encumbered neither by stale knowledge and misleading experience, nor by the stagnant, uninventive arrogance that comes with having being around too long. We want to be to publishing what the skinny kid with a funny name (Barack Hussein Obama) is to the musty-suited stiffnecks of Washingtonian politics.
Our experience is as long-term marginalized persons, underdogs. I have written, and struggled to publish. I have had my work, painfully labored over, stolen, I have suffered the trauma of starting afresh. I have, in the paucity of my success, been slandered and victimized. I understand what it is spend all more time reading form-letter rejection slips than carrying on with my writing.
Carlos on his own part has for years served (albeit informally) as an ‘agent’, representing the interests of Ms Shine, serving as a go-between in dealings with her publishers, negotiating various contracts, serving as a counselor, idea-bouncing board, events manager/party planner, logistics personnel, project manager, muse, bodyguard and threat diffuser, etc.
Here's to the future.
We have already signed up our first author - and novel.



Monday, December 1, 2008


I have spent the last few nights agonising over this post. I have said again and again that this is a literary blog, not a gossip column. But it seems she here's hellbent on distracting me. Who am I to resist putting a noisemaker and rabblerouser where she belongs?

As I promised you in my previous post, there was adventure last Thursday, at the launch of the most famous plagiarised novel in the world, Pink As (Stolen) Perfume.

She showed up, much to my surprise (I had no idea she'd be that shameless to show up as the author of a novel that the entire world knows is not hers).


Carlos and I spent the last hour before the event studying (wildly rewinding) clips of QUANTUM OF SOLACE (he's watched it a million times, and brought it to my attention).

When, a few sentences into her reading, he launched himself onto the stage like a rocket-propelled grenade, he caught her and the entire audience (made up mostly of people who had come to see the adventure I promised) unawares. Strapped like a parachute on his back was a pressurised bag containing her missing dog, Sherlock (whom we had rescued a short while before from her chronic neglect). Upon seeing the body of evidence confronting her:
  1. the maltreated dog
  2. copies of the letters implicating her in Broomington's tragic fate
  3. incriminating extracts from her memoir-in-progress (The Collected Emails of Adorna Shine)
  3. COOPERATED AND CONFESSED to her heinous crimes against the late Broomington, against the traumatised Desiderus, against abused Sherlock, and against defrauded Carlos.
We MADE her read a confession (which was of course far more interesting than the novel she was attempting to launch), as well as the portions of the novel which she had copied and pasted from 19th century pornographic magazines - all she did was to translate them into 21st century English). After this I kind of got carried away and decided to read a bit from my novel-in-progress. The audience seemed to like it and erupted in wild applause and adulation, and a few people clambered onto the stage to express their delight.

In the minor confusion that followed, Ms. Shine BOLTED. With Sherlock! I admit that Carlos and I were stupid to allow that happen. But I thought I saw someone video-taping the entire incident, and have been searching youtube to see if they've uploaded it.

Before her reading she had talked about being in possession of her original manuscript, and of her desire to auction it at the end of the reading. Alas, that manuscript (which I suspect to be my stolen novel) is nowhere to be found. Either she still has it and bolted with it, or it's fallen into the hands of someone else... either way, bad news. It's the only thing depressing me now... I need to get that manuscript back!

She's been saying some nonsense on her blog about "the words [I have] been scrabbling to hold onto [not being mine] after all."

I thought she had reached the zenith - or nadir - of her mad delusion. I'm OBVIOUSLY wrong. Perhaps her talent lies in writing GHOST FICTION - make that GHOST FICTION "GHOSTWRITTEN" FOR HER. Fancy her saying I was possessed by Broomington, and that it was him writing my first novel using my hands.

Preposterous! Whoever believes such in this Age? If he wrote my first novel why isn't he helping me write this second one? Hah!

PS: Thanks Carlos for helping with the photo above (photoshop i believe it is called)

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Word Count: I am suspending work on the novel, to face research. I think that the reason why I am blocked is because I have not been focusing on my research. I won't return to the novel until I write extensive notes on at least a DOZEN 'innovative' methods of murder.


Today, Thursday the 27th is D-Day. (Check the Accused's blog for details, if you have no idea what I'm talking about!)
I haven't been this happy in weeks. I slept in a bed last night and woke up this morning suspended in the air, floating in a bliss that even fiction will not be able to describe.
If you've got the stomach for action-packed adventure (with an explosive cocktail -- rose wine in chemical reaction with pink perfume ON THE ROCKS -- thrown in for the strong-of-liver), join Carlos (YES, CARLOS!) and I later today at the event mentioned here. [Ignore the rest of the psychotic, paranoid, incoherent brambbling (babbling+rambling) in her post. Take it as it is, a disguised invite from the most-experienced and shameless self promoter in the world]


Here are two more pieces of breaking news (THANKS CARL!) - can't get more incriminating, can it? (Share it with law enforcement agents if you like. I have decided to handle my own stuff myself...):

Exhibit Two: a post-it note. (See Exhibit 1 here)

C (Desi's Note: Original name abbreviated by me to protect owner's identity)

I've got the gun, but I don't know how it works. Could you handle that aspect? I'll come along for the ride, of course – and bring the mop (or should that be 'broom' ha ha ha!)

Love and kisses forever

Adorna xxxxxxx

P.S I am not joking. These contraptions are complicated. Could we not try the garotte idea instead?

Exhibit Three: a pristine piece of thick cream paper, complete with a red wax seal (broken). Blue black fountain pen ink.


Adorna, my love,

Where can I find the strength to go on? To live with this burden of guilt? The light of your beauty does not outshine the darkness in my soul. The warmth of your love and your bed does not thaw the icy mass of my tarnished conscience. Must this go on? I thought one book would have been enough. But no, you needed two. And now you have killed your golden goose? What are you going to do next? The thought makes my blood run cold.

Please, my love, my darling – your voice is like the music of my mother's violin – essential to my life and my happiness. Lets stop this madness now, while we still


C (Desi's Note: Original name abbreviated by me to protect owner's identity)

P.S Do you believe in ghosts?

Monday, November 24, 2008

I have become a character in a bad novel...

Word Count: 4,420

I stayed off the internet for days. I had to. Life is becoming crazy. Offline I'm haunted by strange mails and messages, online it's even worse. I can no longer sleep in my own house.

Yesterday I was a struggling novelist, anonymous, today I am a wounded novelist - assaulted psychologically at first and then physically - and worst of all 'they' have gone ahead to label me a
kidnapper of grown men and pampered dogs. (her skills as a fiction writer are at their best when she isn't stealing other people's words)

All I want to do is write. Write my novel. Find a publisher. It's all I've ever wanted to do. But I have now become a character in a novel, the half-hearted experiments of a heartless, incompetent novelist(s).

It is crazy. I fear for my life. I misunderestimated the viciousness of the woman I am dealing with. So I have decided to bring into the public domain every 'evidence' that comes my way. So that if I disappear, and my body is washed up on a beach miles away from anywhere, at least I'd know that I left something behind for people to find the truth.

Nothing seems real anymore.

In my
very first post on this blog, I told about X.X. Broomington, the famous children's writer, how he'd lived in this house and then moved out, and how I suffered for his sins of chronic indebtedness. So you can imagine my shock when I got an anonymous comment on this blog that Broomington has been dead for ages. And that he died IN this house. I thought it was one of those crazies who haunt the web (my blog seems to be No. 1 Tourist Destination for them these days), until I got a newspaper clipping in the mail. Containing Broomington's Obituary. And even gruesome photos of the scene of his death. The scene. This house in which I live. Lived.

Broomington dead? So why did no one tell me? Where the hell did the caretaker get the story he told me? I still recall how furious he sounded as he narrated to me how Broomington was evicted for owing half a year's worth of rents? He even warned that I'd suffer Broomington's fate of instant eviction if I ever defaulted on my payments.
Broomington's fate was a violent death, annihilation, not eviction. Will that be mine too?

I'm going to have to go to the police. See this 2007 letter (Exhibit One), a crumpled, torn sheet of pink notepaper, watermarked with the A.S mono gramme.
I don't need to let you know in whose handwriting it is.

Dear Broomington
my dear, dear, dear Broomington. Ma cherie!
How is the new novel coming along?
If you could see your way to leaving it out for Carlos this Friday, I'd be eternally, forever and infintatley grateful. Incredibly so.
So thankful, and so in your debt, in fact, that I may destroy the negatives of these fine photographs (please find enclosed).
Ah – these snaps certainly bring back memories, don't they? Who'd have thought such a wholesome children's author would beg, plead and pay vast sums for....

[portion of this letter missing – seems to have been torn or damaged]

what photographs? what was Broomington begging and paying vast sums for? the tone makes me shudder. I can no longer pretend I can handle this...

And you don't need to ask me how I was able to lay my hands on such classified material. The only thing that keeps me going now is the fact that the Head of Enemy Intelligence has defected... VOLUNTARILY...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Notes on Craft

Word Count: 4,001

When Desi started this blog it was meant to be a LITERARY blog, not a discussion of his personal life. He will not allow his initial intentions to be hijacked by the antics of unscrupulous elements, no matter how devious they might be. This blog will continue to be a chronicle of his literary life. A thousand robbers and a thousand assassins may visit violence upon him, he will not be cowed. He will remain resolute.

Similarities between the Old and New (novels)
One thing the old and the new (ongoing) novels have in common: they both have heavy elements of crime - old fashioned murder, by stabbing, shooting; shooting especially. For H & H I spent a lot of time reading about guns and gun stats - a 240g bullet released from a .44 Magnum will travel at 360 metres per second, with an energy of 1,000 Joules. But it produces significant recoil, which is a drawback.
With the ongoing book. I have taken my research to new levels. I am trying to research NEW ways and methods of MURDER, and the tools to achieve them...

Differences between the Old and New (novels)
The new novel is much harder to write, writing it makes me feel like I'm a candle burning at both ends, trying to pin down the characters is like grasping at clouds. Every word is so reluctant to join the previous.
Unlike the Lost novel, which kind of flowed. The words flowed, edits flowed, commas flew in and out and seemed just right, knotted plots resolved themselves, characters literally walked into the book unannounced, or vanished off the page without regret. Things happened....

The Old Novel seemed to write itself, the New struggles to be written...

Sticks, Stones, Swellings

Sticks & Stones may hurt my bones.
But I will not be cowed.

They came in last night.
Left me bloodied, but unbowed.

First, Novel stolen,
Now, Face and lips swollen

Sticks & Stones may hurt my bones.
But Desi will not be cowed.

*It is all beginning to make sense. The link between the fate of HANGMEN & HANGOVERS, and my fate last night