Odd Writers #7: Sitwell’s Spooky Habit

coffin

Writers are funny things. When the dreaded writer’s block rears it’s ugly head, they often think back to when they were writing really well. What were they doing then? Had they had three cups of coffee instead of just one? Were they using a red pen or a blue one? Had they gobbled down cornflakes for breakfast, or Cocopops? Was their computer exactly 23.5cm away from the edge of the desk?

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of: ‘If I do this, this and this, in that order, I’ll be able to write some good stuff today.’ But some writers can go a little too far… Continue reading

The Fearless Toaster Mouse Gang

mice

One day, we were making toast for breakfast and noticed the kitchen smelt really bad. Of dead things. I looked in the cupboards, under the cupboards, behind the cupboards several hundred times. Nothing. We ate the toast… Continue reading

Odd Books #1: Everything I Want to Do is Illegal

everything illegal bookI’m breaking the chain of ‘Odd Writers’ to bring you the first ‘Odd Book’. In this series, I’ll be looking at bizarre book covers and attempting to find out if the inside is just as bizarre, or if there’s a healthy explanation for the madness on the outside!

The cover of ‘Everything I Want to Do is Illegal’ (picture found on Bored Panda) features a cartoon farmer who appears to be ranting at an array of surprised farm animals on a sunny day. It immediately made me worry about what he had planned for them, and I set out to track the book down on Goodreads and find out the real story. Continue reading

Odd Writers #5: Schiller’s Rotten Writing

apple.jpeg

German poet (later called ‘the pop-star of his time’), Schiller believed in the magical power of apples. AND, after he died, his mate kept his skull on his desk. Beat that!

Goethe popped round to Schiller’s one day while he was out and decided to wait in his office for him to return. A strange smell pervaded the room, and Goethe prowled, his nose in the air, looking for the source. It was stronger as he approached Schiller’s desk. He neared, sniffing, but could see nothing to cause the smell. He frowned and sniffed again, tentatively pulling open the desk drawer. Continue reading

Odd Writers #4 : Robert Shields & His Enormous Diary

nailclippers.jpg

Diaries are supposed to be full of secrets and intrigue. They are a place to store our wildest dreams, and crazy thoughts we would never let out of our confused little heads in a million years. The idea of someone discovering your diary should be an unthinkable thought, filled with icy horror.

Rev. Robert Shields’ diary was absolutely not one of those diaries. It was a whopping 37.5 million words long and filled 94 boxes – the equivalent of 500 good-sized novels. How did it get so big? He simply documented his life every five minutes of every day for a quarter of a century.

There may well be secrets and intrigue hidden within those pages, but the six pages available to the public contain treasures like these:

“7 a.m.: I cleaned out the tub and scraped my feet with my fingernails to remove layers of dead skin.”

“7:05 a.m.: Passed a large, firm stool, and a pint of urine. Used five sheets of paper.”

“6:30-6:35 p.m.: I put in the oven two Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese at 350 degrees.”

“6:50-7:30 p.m.: I ate the Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese and Cornelia ate the other one. Grace decided she didn’t want one.”

Out of all my ‘Odd Writers’ so far, Robert Shields has to be the oddest!

Odd Writers #2. Victor Hugo

victor-hugo

Charged with just a few scant months to write ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’, Monsieur Hugo apparently prepared by buying himself a large grey shawl, reaching to his feet. He then locked away all of his other clothes so that he was not tempted to leave his house.

Dressed for six months clad only in a grey shawl, he met his deadline.

Image from Wikipedia Commons

Myth or Fact? More here.

Odd Writers #1. Truman Capote

truman capote.jpg

“I am a completely horizontal author. I can’t think unless I’m lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I’ve got to be puffing and sipping.”

PARIS REVIEW Article, 1957

Image from Wikipedia Commons: Moscot