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!

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 ...


Nicole said...

Hi Gled! Just wanted to say hello. I've been hanging around in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the past few weeks and like it here. Am staying with a good friend of mine. Planning a short trip to Croatia from here and Trieste and Venice in Italy, since it's all about an hour away. Hope you're well and I'm always reading your posts, even if I don't manage to comment all that often!

Jeannie said...

I suppose selling the book to a publisher IS the next big hurdle once you've managed to write it. Kudos to you if you get that far. I've never got past about a page before I see that it's horribly stilted and I've already run out of ideas. They say to write what you know but I'm afraid I'm too oblivious. I think you have to be a people watcher - interested, curious enough to ask questions - to write good characters.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Just sending love, Gleddy. I hope your stomach gets straightened out.


Akelamalu said...

It's not easy writing but then nothing worthwhile is easy is it?

Good luck with it m'dear.

Puss-in-Boots said...

I would like to find out how to write a good synopsis too. I have Stephen King's book and it is excellent.

Have you thought of joining a writers' group, Gleds? You get a lot of encouragement, support and constructive criticism from published authors. And tips on how to get published. Think about it, it may help you.

Best of luck with the project.

Gledwood said...

thanks folks. can't say anything else ~ about to be terminated (yet again)

Gledwood said...

Nicole: hi! I do drop by too but have been a bit silent of late

Jeannie: o yeah you gotta be a people-watcher that's for sure. They said the difference between Joan Collins's fictional attempts and her sister Jackie's was that Joan was so self-obsessed she never noticed much about other people, whereas Jackie spent her life watching and observing ...

SB: it's fine now, thanks!

Akelamalu: indeed it isn't. And if it weren't, the entire field would be even more crowded out than it already is ...

Puss-in-Boots: ever since you said that I've been musing about writers' groups. I think I'm going to get a 2nd draft finished and if it still causes problems, I'll go find a group!

But I keep wondering: are they full of old people? Is there lots of jealousy and competition? Is the "leader" a dashing, silver-haired retired army colnel and do clusters of would-be Catherine Cooksons and Maeve Binchy's cluster round him, hanging on his every word ... ?? Sorry, my imagination got going for a while there ....(!)

Baino said...

No advice on writing from me I'm afraid but at least you now have some good literary mentors and a reason to get out of bed in the morning.



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

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