Friday, December 31, 2004

Goodbye 2004, How I Knew Thee Well

First I would like to wish everyone I know a very Happy New Year and I would advise them not to consume the same mass quantities I plan on indulging in. Chances are if I see you on the night I might not even remember it.

No, that's not true. When I was a young boy, a gypsy woman placed a strange curse on me: I am doomed to have a good memory.

For me, this year has been a year of changes in perspective and of getting things done.

At some point around the beginning of the year I had the strong realisation that I was actually in a good relationship and that this could be my base for 'taking off' in terms of my personal goals.

Lotsa love to ya, baby!

My first novel is really chugging along. I started at the beginning of August and I've reached 35,777 words (or 132 pages). I'm just over half way. I only had a few major events planned for the second half of the novel, so the last few weeks has seen me plotting and scheming my way into the rest of the sordid details. So once I recover from New Year's Eve I should be able to use my lunchtimes at my other job for further adventures in wording.

My partner in love and I were forced into moving house a few months ago on account of the previous landlords. Initially, I ran around telling everyone that we were evicted and that we were stupid to have nominated each other for the eviction.

That's known as a dumb joke.

The reality of it is that our landlord's daugher wanted to move in to their house with some friends. Fair enough.

We've ended up in what we both think is a nicer place, even if it is a bit smaller. So the New Year will involve us warming the house with a few close friends and then rocking out on the town. Somewhere. I'm not telling where. Okay?

So here's a final toast to you all for the year:

Go lick a power point!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Jack Daniels

I don't have this drink that often because it holds some special memories for me. But last night I went to a BBQ and I ended up polishing off two four-packs of Jack & Coke in bottle format all by myself.

The first time I drank Jack Daniels was at the age of 17. I drank a lot of it. All on the one night.

It was my birthday and two friends of mine, lets call them Michael and Michael, bought a bottle of the stuff as a birthday present and brought it to school. So, 'straighty-one-eighty' Danny ends up carrying a bottle of whiskey in his backpack for the whole day. At school. To class. Where all the teachers are. I didn't get caught, but I did have a whole lotta worry on me.

Once the day was over the three of us boys headed up to the rocks near a tower at the local beach. It might have been a light tower, I can't remember. The bottle was passed around and for some strange reason I ended up consuming the larger portion of it. We then made our way down to the northern end of the beach. Michael had the bright idea of getting hold of a cask of cheap wine.

After a few plastic cups of that it was just like drinking water. Each successive cup went down unnoticed, much like mouthwash wouldn't if it was swallowed.

I remember confessing I had a crush on a particular girl and I'm sure it meant a whole lot to me, but it just fades into obscurity with the passing of time.

Another friend or two turned up later, but by that point we were lying on the grass, in the dark, vomiting out the side of our mouths.

Obviously this helped clear my head because I jumped up and decided to leave. I remember trying to tell the others of my decision through the use of telepathy, but they didn't listen, so I walked off in a huff.

It probably took half an hour to walk home and fifteen minutes to get my key in the door.

And something like two days to recover.

During the debriefing of the evening - back at school a few days later - we discovered that I'd walked off without my ghetto blaster and that Michael had driven the others home while drunk and hit ... maybe only a few parked cars on the way.

Michael, quite the graffiti artist (seriously) tagged our names all over the bottle and I still have it on my shelf.

At Michael's funeral a couple of years ago I came up with the idea of recreating that fateful evening from so long ago. We were to fill the bottle with Jack and drink it down at the beach again, minus one. I guess the idea was a bit too morbid for the others so the bottle stays where it is.

In my room. On the shelf.

Last night's drinks were for you Michael.


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

A Date With Dentistry

I am NEVER going to do that again.

And neither should anyone else. Please, if any of you have a problem tooth or two, head over to your local sinister butcher (a.k.a The Dentist) and get a checkup. Get it sorted NOW. Before it's too late.

To explain: a long time ago I went to the dentist to have a wisdom tooth taken out. It was a trouble free operation and after it was over he mentioned that I should come back soon and get a filling done.

Ten years later and a few weeks ago, I went to have a checkup. I thought, maybe a couple of fillings and it would all be over. No such luck. I lost that tooth that very day and was told I would need thirteen more fillings. THIRTEEN.

Once the needle had done its numbing work on my gum I thought it would be a simple matter of a quick pull with the pliers.

No, no, no.

There wasn't enough left of the tooth to grab onto. He had to cut away some of the bone so that he could get his instruments of destruction in and split the tooth root by root. After that it was easy. After half an hour of grunting and pulling and jiggling with a selection of pliers and other pointy things, it was easy.

After it was over, I peeled myself off the chair and wondered what the assistant would use to clean the sweat from the plastic covering.

And to 'cap' it all off, I got to pay for it afterwards. Mumbling and spluttering to the woman from my medical insurer explaining that I'd been paying medical insurance every month for the last three years didn't stop me having to visit their office to process my claim manually.

That was a few weeks ago.

This weekend went pretty much the same, except we spent an hour or so trying to save the tooth by drilling and filling. Eventually we ran out of time and the next patient came in. I had to go home for a couple of hours and wait while the anaesthetic wore off so I could go back and get the tooth taken out.

In the interest of my own sanity I won't mention the earthing plate underneath my back or the smell of my own burning gums or the hour of agony after the anaesthetic wore off before the pills took effect.

I won't mention that although the dentist was a friend of the family and a pretty nice guy that locked the surgery door and stayed back to do the job right, he really did look like a gorilla.

I'll just mention the number of fillings I still have left to do.


Danny Hawaii OUT

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Danny Hawaii Novel Under Threat Of Self-Combustion

Sounds like a headline, don't it?

The novel has reached 32,000 words and about 120 pages.

As I make my way through it I'm starting to realise that it is probably going to be broken up into two main parts, or two related cases. The first case is fairly well plotted out, but I only have the broad strokes of the second case painted in my notes. The threads that link the two canvases together are also fairly clear in my mind and in my notes.

That's all fine and dandy. I can handle that. That means I'm almost half way there, as I'm looking at about 65,000-75,000 words total.

My problem now is that I find that the further I get into the novel, the more I have to start juggling all the elements and actually doing some research. I may have to revisit my 'Character Connections' flowchart that I drew up a few months ago. Which means that I have to redo it, because it was a total mess.

Still, even as I write this the little gears in my head are ticking away and the background processes of my mind are piecing all the bits together. I am fairly confident that the logic of the plot will make sense and all of it will unravel neatly in the denouement.

For now, it's all a bit messy and sketchy.

Thank [insert deity] for revision!

Danny Hawaii OUT

(wow, is it me I'm writing about, or am I playing the part of a person that's pretending to be me that is writing a novel about a fictional character that's based on the person that's pretending to be me?)

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Funeral Dirges R Not Us

I thought it might be good to document this somewhere. It's not really something for the novel though.

When I die - if I die - there's a song that needs to be played at my funeral. If I have a funeral.

The song is 'Boom, Boom' by John Lee Hooker.

It's very important to get the version right. I want the one that is heard in the movie 'The Blues Brothers', with Hooker and friends playing on Maxwell Street, Chicago, chugging it all out and stomping them boots.

The DVD of the movie has the full version of this song.

It's also very important that it is played VERY LOUD. Don't dare go skimping on the P.A.

Danny Hawaii OUT

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Danny Hawaii's Annual Health Warning

Don't drink and drive while swimming.

Friday, August 13, 2004

The Lid Blows Off

The transcription of my first case has just hit the 10,000 word and 10 chapter mark.


My word processor's heading function has helped this along with ease. The novel started with me attempting to retrieve a newspaper from the next door neighbour's dog. Picture the Rottweiler from The Omen and pile on the fury.

I realised that a story about a private investigator usually starts with a dead body, so I inserted a couple of chapters before this. The computer didn't even blink, for once.

Actually, it did blink. It blinks at me constantly. Makes my eyes water sometimes.

I started doing my story with a separate file for each chapter so I could keep a few open at once for reference. That's one of the joys having a dual monitor setup. My plan was to create a master document and add all these chapters as subdocuments. I looked up some help sites on the net and didn't find very much in the way of help. Why? Everywhere I looked there was one point of advice for master documents: don't use them.

So I won't.

Sometimes I don't know exactly what drives me to do these things. I've put all this time into building skills in investigation and music and after reading five books on writing I just can't help it.

A novel has to come out of me.


Sunday, August 01, 2004

In The Beginning

This would be the beginning, in which I tell you who I am and why.

My name is Danny Hawaii, and I'm a private investigator.

From an early age I felt out of sync with the world around me and I often retreated to a world of my own imagination. A world where the beats rolled as freely as the hips on a Hula girl. A world where fast cars were as loud as guitars and caused just as much pollution.

My father, a security guard that worked at The Hub, was obsessed with the hard boiled detectives of old and the ones that followed them in the decades after. He loved a world without even a concept of political correctness; a world where all wounds are healed by three chords played on an electric git-tar.

Growing up with these images and sounds, I couldn't help but be influenced by them. I can't say I ever set out to be a detective, and I even rebelled against the idea by getting a job at the morgue.

I figured it would be more interesting to see the end product.

My father was killed by two kids while on duty. Nothing out of the ordinary, no major world-wide conspiracies. It just happened.

That's when I decided I would follow his dream for him. It became my dream, and now it's my reality. Which is kinda strange, seeing as I'm a fictional character in someone else's book.

Now that I'm a licensed private eye I figured it was time to start telling the world my stories. And the best place to start is at my first case. The case that got me the license.

Keep clicking back to find out more. I'll tell you the truth, whether I know it or not.

Danny Hawaii