One of my absolutely favourite authors is Will Self - I'm loving reading The Book Of Dave at the moment. Picked it up on my way to Bangkok - haven't put it down since (except for once when it slipped out of my hand when I was struck by a tuk-tuk).
Will has a blog, bless him, and there I was thrilled to find 71 pictures of his writing room. I'm guessing they must have been taken while The Book Of Dave was in progress, judging from the maps of London with topographical tide marks in red felt tip pen on them.
And I was fascinated to discover the secret behind his method is actually not heroin, but post it notes.
Dr. Tim died on May 31, 1996. And on that day I would venture that the backplane of our planetary mind, the spirit world if you will...was vastly enriched with the new edge of human experience that Timothy's life so powerfully embodied. He was a modern hero with whom millions resonated, and whose mind and spirit opened many evolutionary pathways.
Appealing insanity from pamphleteer and retired spy Jesse Ball. Here's what I'm talking about:
ANYONE desiring the presence of JESSE BALL in the office of poet can solicit it elegantly by email.
AS REGARDS the COMPLICATED BUSINESS of COMMISSIONS, Ball eagerly consents to be commissioned in various possibilities.
are as follows: Ball will undertake an artistic commission (that is, a
commission involving the creation of a work of theoretical or actual
art, verse or prose) and deliver himself of that commission within an
agreed upon period of time. Ball will undertake a physical commission
(that is, a commission involving the physical doing of a deed, ie. the
delivery of a turnip to nebraska on motorcycle in three days time).
Such commissions may or may not be costly. The cost varies with the
task involved, its difficulty, and its appealing or unappealing nature.
Generally the stranger or the farther afield, the better. A commission
to photograph Cape Horn with a pinhole camera, for instance, would be
The schedule is as follows:
1. You are to write to Jesse Ball, either by e-mail or physical-post.
2. In this letter, you specify the type of commission, and amount of
money that is to be paid. In the case of certain commissions, Ball
charges only traveling costs, and a small purse with which to sustain
those small appetites that occur to the spirited traveler when pleased
by the moment.
3. The abovementioned specification should take the form of an
itinerary, listing in particular, the places to which Ball will be
required to go, the actions that he will be required to take in those
places, the goods or documents he is to transport, and the obstacles,
be they man, beast or the unknown.
4. As well, it is crucial that the chronology be precise. Ball must
know the exact day upon which the task ought to be completed. In the
case of tasks where such a day cannot be surmised, that date will
necessarily and acceptably be absent.
5. Payment schedule -- payment is to be made promptly by cash, check,
money order, or trade. Trade can be made with goods, services, or
pieces of art (as in the Holland of old).
6. Once the letter reaches Ball, the proposal will be either rejected,
accepted, or put into consideration. In the third situation, the
proposer may find his or herself the recipient of a counterproposal.
Such a counterproposal may then be in turn be met with another
counter-proposal. At this point, the negotiations move into a different
realm, and a physical meeting is even possible, in order to alleviate
the difficulties of bartering.
7. In the proposal, the proposer or querent should write what category
the proposal falls under. These are as follows: a. construction of a
situation or spectacle; b. delivery of goods; c. chronicling of an
event; d. transmission of news; e. the writing of a work; f. the taking
of an animal or human being from one place to another.
8. In the latter case, the animal or human being in question will be
screened by Jesse Ball or an associate of Jesse Ball that a decision
regarding suitability can be reached prior to the definitive signing of
9. All contracts will be legally binding and will be made in the
presence of a witness, and on a Tuesday between the hours of 8 and 9
o'clock. Other times are patently unacceptable and can only be
tolerated in the direst need.
10. It should be specified in the proposal whether or not Ball will be
traveling under a true or assumed name. Should the latter prove the
case, it will generally fall to Jesse Ball to determine what that name
will be. The client will or will not be appraised of that information
prior to Ball's acting upon the commission. Should the client be
informed, he or she may be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement.