Greetings and Salutations!

Welcome to the longest-running* yet least-read** blog on the internet! Here you'll find me writing about all the things that I write about, which strikes me, just now, as somewhat recursive. In any case, enjoy :)

* not true
** probably true

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Meet William Langston King, Monster Hunter

So I have been getting some writing done, a little here, a little there. I've gotten enough together on this work in progress to show you a teaser. Remember, this is just a first draft, and the part here is really just prologue.

 It's likely going to be a novel, and possible a series if the writing gods smile kindly. It's sort of a Dresden Files-esque doohicky, set in Singapore. This first story is tentatively titled Joo Chiat Blues.

*****

My name is William Langston King. Call me Will, please, or Bill if you must, but skip Billy or Willy unless you want me to call you something nasty right back. I currently live in exile in Singapore. If I return to the States, I'll be hunted down and executed. Ex-wives are funny like that.

Every man - every person - has two faces. There's how the world sees them, and how they see themselves. The truth may or may not lie somewhere in the middle. I like to think of myself as an ordinary guy. Average height, average build, nondescript face, pleasant but not handsome. Not someone you take a second look at. The perfect movie extra. I'm the guy that you don't notice walking down the street. I like it that way.

That's the outside, the surface. The most noticed and least important part of all of us.

On the inside I like to think I'm ordinary, too. In some ways it's even true. The little quirks of personality that make us individuals, but in a broader sense make us human, make us comfortably the same. After a hard day, I like to crack open a cold beer and sit in front of the television, not so much for the beer or the entertainment but because of the normalcy of it. I like cold pizza, and hate ironing. I think it's incredibly unfair that, as a man gets older, he loses hair from the places he wants it and gains hair where he doesn't. I like to sleep in on rainy mornings. I am, for all intents and purposes, your average Joe.

Except for the magic, and the monsters.

So. My name is William King. I am many things, just as we all are; good, bad, indifferent. But the words I had inscribed below my name on the plaque at the columbarium read MONSTER HUNTER.

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, and in the case of final resting places, you need to do it in advance.

Christmas was better in the Eighties

Some of you may not know, not having been fully conscious during the eighties due to massive drug/alcohol intake or because you were still in diapers, but let me assure you that Christmas was better in the nineteen eighties.
For those of you who know, shed a tear and raise a glass for what has been lost to time. For those who don't, try not to let the knowledge that you will never experience a 1980s Christmas ruin what shallow joy is to be had in these latter days.

Also, George Michael and Andrew Ridgely get together for a drink. Wham!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Raymond Chandler on the detective as hero

"In everything that can be called art there is a quality of redemption. It may be pure tragedy, if it is high tragedy, and it may be pity and irony, and it may be the raucous laughter of the strong man. But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. The detective in this kind of story must be such a man. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor--by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world. I do not care much about his private life; he is neither a eunuch nor a satyr; I think he might seduce a duchess and I am quite sure he would not spoil a virgin; if he is a man of honor in one thing, he is in all things.

"He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. He will take no man's money dishonestly and no man's insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him. He talks as the man of his age talks--that is, with rude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for sham, and a contempt for pettiness.

"...If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in."

--from The Simple Art of Murder

Monday, November 08, 2010

when the eternal footman

holds my coat, and snickers, I want to be able to give him a cutting glance because my life meant something to someone other than myself.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Laundry List

  • I see the urologist at Singapore General Hospital on Wednesday (I say that like there's only one, and like I know him/her). I look forward to bringing along the stone in a ziplock back and waving it around while saying proudly 'Look what I made!'
  • I have promised the Son that I will buy the nicorette gum. And to drink more water every day. Nothing like a five year old to keep you honest. (by the way, I do not smoke around the kids).
  • If I can survive the next six months, I may be able to eat something other than instant noodles.
That is all.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

a personal discovery

tonight I realized that the relief of pain is a much finer feeling (to me) than the application of pleasure is. There is a clarity that comes as pain recedes, whereas pleasure just befuddles.

tomorrow I see the doctor, unless the pain returns in the night.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

very, very sick.

been a long time since i had the kind of fever that gives me chills when I step into air conditioning. also have a cough that sounds like a rottweiler got stuck in my throat.

on the plus side, the whole world seems to be just a little bit lighter and fluffier. I even had some hallucinations last night as I tossed and turned in bed.

yay, sickness.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Now that it's over...

I can talk about the collision of Hari Raya and the Hungry Ghost month in Joo Chiat.

It was bad.

Hari Raya wasn't all that bad, actually. Lots of stalls set up, yummy 'street' food, pretty lights. The main problem was the traffic, and the rubbish. The main issue was that of the many, many, many stalls that didn't sell food, they all sold curtains. Curtains, curtains curtains. Would you like to buy some curtains? Why no thank you, I don't believe in them. Well how about some curtains then?

The Hungry Ghost month was less pleasant. Some lowlights:

  • People burning bales of hell notes. I swear hectares of rainforest were burned here in Joo Chiat. I mean, is it love or fear that prompts one to remit billions of dollars to the departed? I shudder to think of the runaway inflation in the afterlife. Zimbabwe? Meh. The Weimar Republic? Pffft.
  • The greasy coating of ash on everything, including my white tile floor. See, my back door doesn't close. Through a fiendishly complicated system of raffia connecting the back door to the rubbish chute, said door is always open. (I didn't create this monstrousity; it was like that when I moved in. Some people might say I'm just lazy, that I could cut it and be done. The truth is I'm in awe of the mind which devised the unholy mess, the unnecessary(?) tangle of pink raffia that connects handle to handle thorough a convoluted series of twists and turns. I suspect said mind was either brilliant or deranged, and to destroy its work would be almost sacreligious, and very probably dangerous.) Since my back door is always open (so to speak, if you can climb threee stories and squeeze through the wrought iron security bars (much like a former bosses' open door policy, come to think) and since the prevailing wind comes from the rear of the house, the ashes from all the burning billions ended up in my house every. single. day.
  • The chanting monks. To the rear of my dwelling is an open field, which allows me an unobstructed view of, among other things, the Gateway Hotel, East Wind Foodcentre (Vietnamese Favourites!) and Pub 88 & Karaoke. None of these fine establishments has ever annoyed me to any extent comparable to the three chanting monks that set up shop in the open field outside my back door. In a cheerful little yellow tent, they chanted for hours one night- which would have been fine, actually, if they hadn't felt the need to use a PA system. Why (on earth? in hell?) would the dead need a PA system? WHY? They're dead, not deaf.
So. They're over now. I wonder what else Joo Chiat has in store for me?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

8 days

8 days with the kids. It was good. I like being a full time dad, waking up with them, going to bed with them.

Now back to my regularly scheduled existence.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Interim

It feels as if my life is being crammed down into a haiku.

I'm sure you remember your school teacher at some point forcing you to write haiku; it seemed like a good idea to them at the time, a three line poem, the 5-7-5 structure. 'Yeah, kids can do this,' the well meaning English teacher thought, 'and more importantly, I can teach this.'

Only haiku are incredibly difficult to do well. You strip down the essence of one thought, one idea, one emotion to its purest form in 17 syllables. You ruthlessly sift and strip away everything that is not the business end of what you want to say. The beauty of a haiku is the beauty of survival- these words have survived to express my meaning; no others, out of the entire language, were fit to do so.

And in the end, it's all ephemeral. Desperately important, but ephemeral. Like life.