HAMSTERS & HEROIN: Not all junkies are purse-snatching grandmother-killing psychos. I'm keeping this blog to bear witness to that fact.


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I used to take heroin at every opportunity, for over 10 years, now I just take methadone which supposedly "stabilizes" me though I feel more destabilized than ever before despite having been relatively well behaved since late November/early December 2010... and VERY ANGRY about this when I let it get to me so I try not to.

I was told by a mental health nurse that my heroin addiction was "self medication" for a mood disorder that has recently become severe enough to cause psychotic episodes. As well as methadone I take antipsychotics daily. Despite my problems I consider myself a very sane person. My priority is to attain stability. I go to Narcotics Anonymous because I "want what they have" ~ Serenity.

My old blog used to say "candid confessions of a heroin and crack cocaine addict" how come that one comes up when I google "heroin blog" and not this one. THIS IS MY BLOG. I don't flatter myself that every reader knows everything about me and follows closely every single word every day which is why I repeat myself. Most of that is for your benefit not mine.

This is my own private diary, my journal. It is aimed at impressing no-one. It is kept for my own benefit to show where I have been and hopefully to put off somebody somewhere from ever getting into the awful mess I did and still cannot crawl out of. Despite no drugs. I still drink, I'm currently working on reducing my alcohol intake to zero.

If you have something to say you are welcome to comment. Frankness I can handle. Timewasters should try their own suggestions on themselves before wasting time thinking of ME.

PS After years of waxing and waning "mental" symptoms that made me think I had depression and possibly mild bipolar I now have found out I'm schizoaffective. My mood has been constantly "cycling" since December 2010. Mostly towards mania (an excited non-druggy "high"). For me, schizoaffective means bipolar with (sometimes severe)
mania and flashes of depression (occasionally severe) with bits of schizophrenia chucked on top. You could see it as bipolar manic-depression with sparkly knobs on ... I'm on antipsychotic pills but currently no mood stabilizer. I quite enjoy being a bit manic it gives the feelings of confidence and excitement people say they use cocaine for. But this is natural and it's free, so I don't see my "illness" as a downer. It does, however, make life exceedingly hard to engage with...

PPS The "elevated mood" is long gone. Now I'm depressed. Forget any ideas of "happiness" I have given up heroin and want OFF methadone as quick as humanly possible. I'm fed up of being a drug addict. Sick to death of it. I wanna be CLEAN!!!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cocaine Interlude

THE PHONE RANG yesterday afternoon. "Do you wanna hit?"
I have never literally said no to that so I said yes.
Then they explained what was entailed and it involved driving round in a car with a Scottish guy I know who I have to keep saying WHAT??!? to every second sentence because he sounds like he's speaking Dutch (Dutch and Scots do sound quite similar). Anyway I had to listen to hours of paranoia. This person is always in trouble with at least two other people who have wronged him quite viciously. Never is he at fault for basically having zero character judgement. I tried to tell him: I don't have these problems with my neighbours because I only ever say hello to them. The problems I have had were all pushed by them making judgement on me. I never wanted anything to do with any of them. But too late for that. And then he wants crack. And I told him coke is rubbish now. Apparently there is such massive demand in Britain the average cocaine powder is a mere 15% purity (against 40 or more for heroin (supposedly )). And it's just a waste of time. I'd been thinking of crack more and more recently and feeling sick at the thought of it and telling myself I didn't want to do it ever again. So I thought "one last shout". The two £20s weren't even rocks they were like damp Lux soap flakes. I learnt long ago the difference between good and bad crack before the high hits you ~ the good stuff melts under a flame and is a white smoke or vapour before you know it. This went on and on and on smoking and was like inhaling burning polystyrene with a goodly hint of car exhaust. Then you feel sick and your head spins and you're "high". Lovely. To pay for this I had to put up with more than three hours of his multiple troubles. Then the first person rang me wanting a cut ~ which I'd banged on and on about he had better give them something because I'm not getting blamed. And he didn't want to do it. So I made him ring and say no. And then he finally vanished in the rainy night and I just felt ill by this time. Good riddance to bad rubbish!

* I looked up the supposed purity of heroin and crack in the UK; I have, after all, been taking the rubbish... In 2007 when heroin was much the same the "mean retail purity" in the UK was supposedly 49.8%; crack, which I still used then was 52.3%, probably higher than today, I'm sure...
This means the British street heroin has one of the highest purities in the western world ~ which surprised me ~ against e.g. 36.1% in New York City...

She didn't sound too sure of herself singing in Spanish; this is how it's meant to sound ~ which I think sounds quite good.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Perfect Day...

This BBC short, played between programmes was never intended to be a commercial pop video, but was released (so they say) purely to answer public demand...

Spanish version of You'll See, which is a really good tune with a really good vocal:
The English lyrics sum up my attitude to relationships:

You think that I can't live without your love ~
You'll see
You think I can't go on another day
You think I am nothing
Without you by my side...
You'll see ~ somehow, someday...

I haven't the patience to read a book in Scottish and the film annoys me because it doesn't tell the "truth" about heroin... it leaves so much out!

I had a heroin death-wish for such a long time. Eventually I had to confront the reality that I HAVE to live. Don't even know why most of the time. Just have to ....

Saturday, November 28, 2009


FURRY FRIDAY ~ (on Saturday!~ as per usual...)

THE WALLABY is like a mini kangaroo...

There are 30 species of wallaby. This one's a swamp wallaby wallabia bicolor from Queensland:

They are native to Australia, though colonies have been introduced to New Zealand and parts of the United Kingdom(!) including the Isle of Man.... There have been wild, or "ferral" wallabies on the Hawaiian island of Oahu since they escaped from a zoo nearly 100 years ago....

You can even get albino wallabies, like this pair, who look a little strange. Surely they need sunscreen on those pink ears...?!?

Pose nicely for the camera now..!

Young wallabies are called joeys...

This skinny little doot reminds me of a bat!

Hope y'all are having/had/will have a cheery weekend!!

Friday, November 27, 2009


WELL I FINISHED my endlessly reupdated chapter one. Which still probably has rough bits, but it needs looking at by fresh eyes. Emailed it to someone I trust who is NOT an addict. No point just giving it to fellow addicts to read they'll probably think it's wonderful just because at last they're reading about fictional characters who live just like them. My book is written for someone stuck on a remote farm in New Zealand and someone riding the commuter train into Manhattan. I.e. normal people who are not addicts and not English. If my points come across to people like these, I've done my job.

I had a very good counselling session. I showed the counsellor the "MS" to my book, as we like to say in the trade ~~!(***if only!***)!! ~ yes and the manuscript is just as well punctuated as that.(!) My counsellor said I was a very powerful person. And spiritual. I said how do you know that and she said she can just tell ... And apart from that I don't know what to say.

Now it's back to that book and chapter two. This is where the rewriting starts in earnest as the old chapter two is just bluster and guff about my characters' past. No dialogue. No "scene" as such. It has to be totally redone. OK I'm outta here. Have a pleasant weekend, y'all!

PS do you like the picture: a blast-from-the-past Amstrad PCW wordie!

Classic song about... guess what?

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I DON'T KNOW what to say today. I feel tired and shaky and weird. Last night I had endless sinister nightmares. All about getting wrapped up in the consequences of someone else's misdeeds (nothing to do with my drugs ~ I don't often dream about drugs) ~ and all night I was running from false accusations. As per usual.

I don't really think I've got the DTs; I just don't feel very well. I noticed the chemist looking funny at me as she handed over the methadone today. Then I thought: Oh no. It shows. Usually I could be feeling so bad I'm dripping green slime and nobody notices. But odd and weird with no possible diagnosis and the world has to notice. How typical.

I'm hacking at my chapter one on a computer so I apologize to everyone for never being in touch. As soon as my mind turns to the subject I'm being timed out yet again ~ story of my life.

Anyway gotta run. Else I'll get timed out yet again!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Random Day

I COULDN'T SLEEP last night. So I randomly trawled my shelves and picked up a Marian Keyes novel ~ which is non-romance chicklit and I found it on the street by the way ~ a story about a literary agent and two novelists. Reading about book publishing wound me up so I was even less amenable to sleep.

But I did learn something about literary agents that should have twigged before. Basically they are essential in today's "market" ~ publishers don't even look at work by unknowns. That's the agents' job. Anyway I learned that fledglings at the agency don't even get a cut of the deals they negotiate ~ which seems most unfair. Only partners do. One of the agents who showed an interest last time was a director at his company. So I know who to approach first next time, don't I?

I also sat up drawing plans for my own book. I need to know where the story's going before I retell it. Telling the story I love ~ not knowing what to tell is torment. Hence this planning in advance.

Once I did get to sleep I couldn't wake up. I spent nearly the whole day sleeping. And now I feel like a dinosaur. And I'm depressed (for no apparent reason).

I have told myself that once my plans take off I'll have far less to be depressed about ~ which seems logical. I just hope it comes true.

On that note I must fly. I never seem to get two minutes on a computer before it's logging me off for lack of time... so I'll see yas tomorrow xx

PS A gust of wind last night hit me so strong I nearly got hurled backwards onto someone's roof!

PPS I saw a picture of Gwendolina in the paper today! She looks just like a bear named Finn who got shot for attacking a mentally ill man who climbed into its zoo enclosure... The horrible pictures are here ... Actually that brown bear oop top looks like Gwendolina too...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ding Dong Not Merrily On Low

I KEEP THINKING of Andra, the lady who died and what a waste and how sad and poor cow. I feel guilty now. I feel shamed. I feel that my first reaction was callous. This is the thing. About FEELING. She and I both lived in the land of the unfeeling. So when something happens to any of us, it's hard to know what to feel. I feel sorry now.

NA say addicts are divided into thirds: one third do get clean; a third are killed by the drugs and the last third carry on using till they die. Even when the drugs aren't directly responsible they hardly extend life, do they ..?

I felt that I wanted to give a proper memorial and tribute to all those who died ~ the names, faces and lives behind the statistics and I suppose that's part of the reasoning behind my book. I chose to write fiction because paradoxically it's a better medium for telling truth than a living memoir can ever be. To write about real people in such detail would be a gross invasion of privacy. Hence the need for fiction.

I can't think of many good books about addiction, Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting is in Scottish but it made a good film. Kate Holden's memoir In My Skin is as much about her career as a prostitute as about drugs but it is a well-written account of the confines of addiction. But neither of these delve far into the nittygritty of life and death. And I think someone should. Hence my book.

I took Sharon Osbourne's autobiography Extreme off the library shelf and found I couldn't stop reading. I don't know about elsewhere but the publishers in Britain are going crazy for celebrity memoirs ~ even when some of the "stars" in question are barely past their mid-20s, and what have they done? Love her or loathe her Sharon Osbourne has lived a fascinating life. She's been a rock manager and promoter. If it wasn't for her, Ozzy would probably be penniless. Reading her story, I realized I had more in common with her husband than I'd cared to admit previously and that the drugs I'd been taking have dulled me and disabled me and I don't need them anymore.

For the first time ever I thought to myself, "I don't need heroin," and felt a surge of excitement. That's a feeling I want to grab hold of ~ to feel good about not taking the drug.

I've already turned tables on just about every other substance. Not only do I not want them, but I'm glad they're out of my life.

When I can finally do that with heroin I'll know I've got some way towards getting this problem licked.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Ding Dong Dead!

MY ACQUAINTANCE and Valium Marilyn's friend the "Greek Crackhead ..." is dead!

She was never really my friend and we never got on. So I'm not going to start pretending to adore her now. I hate that sort of hypocrisy. I feel sorry for her boyfriend though. He is said to be utterly distraught.

Medically this is a familiar story: middle aged person ~ cocaine user (snorted/injected/smoked ~ it doesn't matter) ~ has sudden heart attack and dies. Apparently in America one heart attack patient in two tests cocaine positive... So none of this is any surprise.

But still... Rest in Peace Andra xx
~ Safe at last

Here's two crack links of the day:

1: A familiar situation:
vulnerable people are targeted, dealers move in, their home is turned into a crackhouse. They lose their home ...

2. The drug services seem obsessed with the idea that crack use can spread the hepatitis C virus. I'm not so convinced. This whole thing comes about from self-confessed crack smokers, who claim never to have injected anything, and yet still test positive to the blood-borne hep C virus. Would you take a crackhead's word for anything? They say things like "the hot pipe can burn your lips"... yet most pipes are built in such a way they do not GET hot at the mouth end... Grrrr! o I dunno.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Common House Mouse!


Mus Musculus ~ the common house mouse ~ is said to have originated in Mediterranean Europe and North Africa but has been carried by boats, carts, cars, trains and just about every other available means into just about every part of the inhabited world, where, especially during cold weather and winter months, they scurry around infested storerooms, offices and homes with wild abandon!

Lab mice are usually albino:

The natural colouring, sometimes called agouti (though an agouti is actually a capybara-like rodent from Brazil) is the same dull-brownish colour of most Caucasian people's hair. However the folks from L'Oréal have come up with a trendy range of variations for human and mouse.

Until the hamster arrived on the pet market in the mid 20th century, mice were very common and popular pets and were kept in conditions as cramped and unsuitable as biscuit tins and school desks. Some mice get tame enough to do tricks:

Baby mice are of course "tiny and cute" ~ it's not easy to get pictures of suckling young ~ unless the mother's ANAESTHETIZED as in this shot!

An Australian named Shane Willmott taught his pet mouse collection to surf ~ for real ~ at the Queensland seaside. Here goes!

Friday, November 20, 2009


I only had 15 mins to bash in the above without thought or pause but~
, having written my first draft three years ago. I had assumed it was rubbish because every time I opened a page my eye seemed to fall on something trite or stilted. The fact that it was in my own handwriting was also very offputting.

Then I forced myself actually to sit down and begin reading from chapter two. (Not chapter one because I spent so long hacking it about I know it by heart.) And was shocked. The prose was not bland. The characters sprang out. The dialogue was quite good. So my ideas of scrapping the whole thing and writing another draft in parallel without reference to the first goes out the window.

I'm not someone who believes in redoing anything for the sake of it. So I think what I'm going to have to do is just keep the good bits and weave in the new stuff around that. Gwendolina, the hellhound who lies in a corner chewing a baby doll's face and snarling, for example, features nowhere at all. So I gotta put her in. I said I wanted a horrible dog in my story so in she goes!

So onwards and upwards and all that. And I've got to rush again as the computer's faulted and I'm getting chucked off in three minutes.

Illustrated: Agatha Christie, who sold two billion books ~ one billion in English, yet died leaving about £170,000 ~ under £2,000,000 in today's money. That's bad business sense for you!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Becoming A Writer.

"Nobody Ever Got Published by Writing A Good Book" ~ well that gives me hope!

My Creative Writing teacher is called Dianne Doubtfire, who wrote what is by far the best how-to book for beginners, called The Craft of Novel Writing. Anyone looking for a good guidebook can do worse than read this. Unlike so very many others on the market it does not push the author's personal agenda and preferences. A rare gem indeed!

Actually another good one is Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande. Also very good.

By clicking on the above titles you can read the Amazon UK reviews. Dianne Doubtfire's book appears to be unknown in the USA (shame!); but you can read Dorothea Brande's reviews on American Amazon by clicking here.

Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft ~ it has been recommended to me several times but I haven't read it. I don't need another excuse to procrastinate my prose! All in all I would say these are the three best guides to writing, and this coming from a country where the "how to" industry regarding novel-writing and the like is still in its infancy compared to America where big colleges offer degree courses in the subject. Over here this would be considered a "soft subject" (ie an indulgent waste of time). Unless a student from the course produced a hit of Da Vinci Code proportions (The Davinci Code, incidentally outsold Michael Jackson's Thriller) in which case there'd be queues at the admission office door.

And you can read the 883 American customer reviews here.

Personally I feel all the advice I need has sunk in. And all I'm doing now is tinkering yet again with chapter one. (The first rewrite, done before the book hit the back of a closet three years ago was actually considerably worse than the original!) And wondering if and what manner of "sub-plots" I need to weave in. As I said before, this book is pretty much a ficitionalized memoir (which does not mean disguised autobiography ~ if I wanted to write a memoir I'd have finished scribbling out my own) so the plot is pretty much and then - and then - and then. I don't think I will ever be a master plotter. I like to consider myself a "novelist of character" and poor literary agents all around London will be laughing at that one, once the finished book is inflicted on them ~ hahar!

The writer's guide I really need is "how to write a synopsis that sells" (and there probably IS a book with this title but I don't necessarily mean it. I just mean the best guide to that particular subject. Because I got asked to do that when I tried to sell my ridiculous first novel. I won't tell you what it's about in case you fall off your chair laughing.

And on that note I'd better flee. I had the most shocking diarrhoea yesterday but it's all slurried out now. And I woke up bright and early this morning, watched Everybody Loves Raymond and Frasier (because they come on between 7:30 and 9:00) then put on Vanessa Felz on the radio and started scrubbing the floors. Just like my Mum does. She always does housework to the radio so I feel most grown up attempting to do the same. Well I'd better run before the morning's over. It's 10 to 11 as we speak ...

Illustrated: Dorothea Brande, Stephen King. No picture appears to exist online for Dianne Doubtfire ~ shame! And my 2 favourite characters from my book: "Polly wants a crackhead!" ~ my talking parrot. And Gwendolina the slavering hellhound. I can never find a picture that looks anything like her ~ she's meant to look something like a cross between a wild boar and a bear... And might even look cute, were it not for her ceaseless malevolent snarling ...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Won On A Horse!

I FORGOT to post this at the time, but The Great Alfie won me the princely sum of £5 (at 5/1) on last Tuesday's 2.10 at Epsom. How exciting!

Ladbrooke's cashier asked me whether it was a tip and I said no, just my lucky formula. My system involves eyeing up the odds on all contenders. If those on the top 2-3 are ridiculously short I don't bother with any. But if they're spread out so no individual horse really stands out, I usually go 3 or 4 horses down to the one with the nicest name (!) and odds no shorter than 5/1, no longer than 15/1. I've been lucky using this method quite a few times.

Unlike with dogs. Singly, in combination, whatever fancy tricast I tried to make ("reversed" or otherwise) I never EVER won so much as 1p on a dog. So it was quite refreshing to get this free £5 from a betting shop. Usually all they're good for is the free pens!

Illustration: Hedgehunter, winner of the 2005 Grand National, ridden by Ruby Walsh (a man). Couldn't find a snap of The Great Alfie. He must be camera-shy!!
The other picture is Girls Aloud's Sarah Harding. Prettier than Cheryl Cole (in my opinion...)


I like this tune:

This is my favourite one by Robbie Williams
I remember when it once came on in one of my all-too brief and rare clean attempts, bringing on a fit of over-emotion especially the lyric:

I got too much life
running through my veins -
going to waste ...

The actress who looks like Darryl Hannah IS Darryl Hannah.

Robbie Williams & Some Very Fast Trains ...

Live at Knebworth

Knebworth was just up the road from Hatfield, where I grew up on a tiny housing estate that seems now like a childhood dreamland of Scandinavian-style townhouses in rolling Teletubby-style parkland. Anyway, our house was built on land still leaseheld by the Marquess of Salisbury who still lives in Hatfield House, which is sometimes called a twin of the stately home at Knebworth ...

This is sweet. I saw this on telly last night. He picks out a couple from the audience to talk to, sings them a love song and she cries and it's all very cool. I was amazed to find out Robbie Williams, who hid in Los Angeles for years where "nobody knows who he is" ~ or he gets mistaken for the Dead Poets Society actor...(!) has even had a gold disc in America. Surely he's the most successful "not that popular in America" male solo artist of all time...

Something stupid. With Nicole Kidman. I love this song anyway. And hasn't she got a good voice?

C S LEWIS: The Magician's Nephew. Such a shame the Chronicles of Narnia films got hijacked by manic "Christian" brigades in the States (and over here) jumping up and down all over the "Christian" metaphors of the books so much they squashed them... Still, the Narnia series is absolutely enchanting. And it was set in that dreamy Edwardian age that has been described as a "long golden afternoon", the end of an era that remains planted in the hearts of British children to this day... where everyone was upper-middle class, educaated at fearsome "public" (ie private) schools... had a cook and went to the country for "hols".

WHEN I WAS LITTLE, as well as an "author" I wanted to be an engine driver (really I did!) I'd have wanted either to drive slow ones like this one with feet up on dashboard (if trains have dashboards) nibbling smoked salmon and dill sandwiches as we trundled the rusting rails of semi-disused branchlines into weed-ridden industrial landscapes.

Hang on, forget that sedate nonsense. Really I'd wanna drive a mega-fast one like this, a Japanese 新幹線 bullet train:

This is amazing. A French TGV with extra-big specially fitted wheels breaking the world speed record on rails. 574kph is over 350 miles an hour! This record, incidentally is not even 10kph slower than the fastest train ride of all time ~ which was done on a hi-tech hovering maglev track.

I always wondered whether maglev tracks can cross each other or go through junctions as ordinary railways do. And if so how would it work?

The Wikipedia article on high speed rail is quite fascinating ...

Even America, land of the old-fashioned looking double-decker, ultra-chunky slow-running train that doesn't have a locomotive on the back (just like the diesel trains of my childhood) and I know this is true because I've seen them on television is planning a high speed line between San Fransisco and LA! The trains will look like this. Not very American though ~ are they?

This photo courtesy of the LA Visions blog, many thanks!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Attitude Is A Decision...

OR, the way I'd phrase it: there are many things you cannot change, but you CAN change your attitude to them..!

I wrote out a long post last night
, but left it on my chair. It was 2500 words anyhow. I'd have to top up time twice in this internet café to bash in that much ...

I did another 500 words last night, introducing Gwendolina, that savage hellhound you may have read about in my side bar (said I'd put her in my book didn't I?~ and in she goes, confined to the kitchen for her usual bad behaviour, werewolf silhouette baying sorrowfully at the striplight through the frosted door). I also added a parrot who says "sort us out with a pipe, mate," and other crackhead phrases. I can only write what I know so it's drugs galore I'm afraid. Or rather, I'm writing about the theme of addiction. There are very few good books on this subject, fiction or non-fiction. And I am inspired to go on. So inspired in fact that once pen hits paper entire passages flow out ~ easier than a shopping list.

My one reservation is against writing anything that could be construed as "drug porn". This is a difficult one because to someone determined to find glamour in grunge nothing I say will ever disgust them. I just hope I manage to portray my situations in enough fullness that only a fool could ever say "I read your book and had to give heroin a try!"

I got out three how-to books from the library. Two on screenwriting, which I haven't the SLIGHTEST desire to get involved in because 1. I hate reading scripts and the thin dialogue and wouldn't want to write it (novel dialogue is quite different) 2. the novel is a far superior art form, playing as it does without constraints of time, technicians, cast or budget on the greatest stage of all ~ the theatre of the mind and 3. less than 300 films a year are made in Hollywood, let alone anywhere else in the English-speaking world ~ against several thousand new novels published so the chances of minimal success at least with a novel are greater. And 4. the writer is BOTTOM of the pack in Hollywood, has no creative control ~ will likely be asked to rewrite a perfecly good script over and over at the whim of the stars even if this weakens or destroys the storytelling and 5. how many famous screenwriters can YOU name?

Sorry I had to let off that particular burst steam. It's been building inside for some time...

So anyway I got these screenwriting books because I thought they might teach me something about structuring a story, which I'd say is one of my weaker points as a "writer". When I did one unit in Creative Writing: The Novel at university, our teacher, a Booker/etc nominated fictioneer of some renown told me she particularly liked my characterization and use of language. I couldn't have been more flattered. I write to the philosophy that "character is plot", but I know I have a lot to learn about particularly deft and clever plotting. So I flicked through these guides, both by successful Hollywood big and small screen writers. They phrase commonsense into technical-sounding jargon about "character triangles" and "protagonist-antagonist" ... etc. But it's all cowshite. Character triangles are just the situations you get in any story. People have varying feelings and play various roles in relation to one another. Of course. Our protagonist is our main character. The antagonist is the somebody who stands in his or her way, opposes his or her desires, possibly manipulating him/her for his/her own ends. You get the gist.

In other words it's all stuff that comes naturally to us all, whether we call ourselves "novelists" or not!

The third book, This Year You Write Your Novel (ISBN 9780316065412) by Walter Mosley told me just what I needed to hear at just the right time ~ it's about how to turn a first draft of mush into a blindingly good published tale. And he is what I call a "successful" writer. Ie not just one who got into print, which seems to be the only credential the vast majority of "creative writing" teachers offer, but a renowned and respected author. Once I picked up the knack of scribbling out pages of fiction ~ and there is a very definite knack to it. It now comes easier than blogging or letter-writing or any other type of writing ~ and I mean on a page-by-page basis. I now can see the humungous error I was making was to convince myself that the inevitable baloonings, crossings-out and tinkerings with the text constituted rewriting. Which means in times past I never got beyond a rather polished first draft. The present second draft dispaches entire characters (e.g. the protagonist's mother), adds others and most importantly will hopefully tie together a whole lot of episodic scenes into a whizz-bang tale.

In previous years I used to tell myself: I'd rather write another book than rewrite this one ... yet somehow these follow-up books never came as easy as I told myself they ought to. And complacency set in. And drugs. And my whole life went tits-up anyhow.

So I'm rewriting and rewriting. Short and bittersweet. That's what I'm hoping for.

Better stop blabbering now. I've writing to do.

Illustrated ~ hellhounds; movie script (you're warned these are judged partly on the amount of WHITE SPACE which surely says it all); novel typescript (click on each if you want to read more closely); the Mosley book; Ugly Betty's sister Hilda: eyecandy...



Heroin Shortage: News

If you are looking for the British Heroin Drought post, click here; the latest word is in the comments.

Christiane F

"Wir, Kinder vom Bahnhoff Zoo" by "Christiane F", memoir of a teenage heroin addict and prostitute, was a massive bestseller in Europe and is now a set text in German schools. Bahnhoff Zoo was, until recently, Berlin's central railway station. A kind of equivalent (in more ways than one) to London's King's Cross... Of course my local library doesn't have it. So I'm going to have to order it through a bookshop and plough through the text in German. I asked my druggieworker Maple Syrup, who is Italiana how she learned English and she said reading books is the best way. CHRISTIANE F: TRAILER You can watch the entire 120-min movie in 12 parts at my Random blog. Every section EXCEPT part one is subtitled in English (sorry: but if you skip past you still get the gist) ~ to watch it all click HERE.

To See Gledwood's Entire Blog...

DID you find my blog via a Google or other search? Are you stuck on a post dated some time ago? Do you want to read Gledwood Volume 2 right from "the top" ~ ie from today?
If so click here and you'll get to the most recent post immediately!

Drugs Videos

Most of these come from my Random blog, which is an electronic scrapbook of stuff I thought I might like to view at some time or other. For those who want to view stuff on drugs I've collected the very best links here. Unless otherwise stated these are full-length features, usually an hour or more.

If you have a slow connexion and are unused to viewing multiscreen films on Youtube here's what to do: click the first one and play on mute, stopping and starting as it does. Then, when it's done, click on Repeat Play and you get the full entertainment without interruption. While you watch screen one, do the same to screens 2, 3 and so on. So as each bit finishes, the next part's ready and waiting.

Mexican Black Tar Heroin: "Dark End"

Khun Sa, whose name meant Prince Prosperous, had been, before his death in the mid 2000s, the world's biggest dealer in China White Heroin: "Lord of the Golden Triangle"

In-depth portrait of the Afghan heroin trade at its very height. Includes heroin-lab bust. "Afghanistan's Fateful Harvest"

Classic miniseries whose title became a catchphrase for the misery of life in East Asian prison. Nicole Kidman plays a privileged middle-class girl set up to mule heroin through Thai customs with the inevitable consequences. This is so long it had to be posted in two parts. "Bangkok Hilton 1" (first 2 hours or so); "Bangkok Hilton 2" (last couple of hours).

Short film: from tapwater-clear H4 in the USA to murky black Afghan brown in Norway: "Heroin Addicts Speak"

Before his untimely death this guy kept a video diary. Here's the hour-long highlights as broadcast on BBC TV: "Ben: Diary of a Heroin Addict". Thanks to Noah for the original link.

Some of the most entertaining scenes from Britain's top soap (as much for the poor research as anything else). Not even Phil Mitchell would go from nought to multi-hundred pound binges this fast: "Phil Mitchell on Crack" (just over 5 minutes).

Scientist lady shows us how to cook up gear: "How Much Citric?" Lucky cow: her brown is 70% purity! Oddly we never see her actually do her hit... maybe she got camera shy...

And lastly:

German documentary following a life from teenage addiction to untimely death before the age of 30. The decline in this girl's appearance is truly shocking. "Süchtig: Protokoll einer Hilflosigkeit". Sorry no subtitles; this is here for anyone learning German who's after practice material a little more gripping than Lindenstraße!

Nosey Quiz! Have you ever heard voices when you weren't high on drugs?

Manic Magic

Manic Magic

Gledwood Volume 2: A Heroin Addict's Blog

Copyright 2011 by Gledwood