The Jinx

You often read that projects are or were ‘ill-fated’ and I’m starting to get that feeling about my latest project, ‘The Rage Monologues’.

I’d written a couple of pieces that seemed well-suited to spoken word nights, not because they were exactly accessible, but because they weren’t stories, but fiery rants that straddled poetry, prose and performance art. I read them at a few spoken word nights, and they were successful (at least by my standards), and so the concept of ‘The Rage Monologues’ was born.

In short, I devised to write a collection of pieces that were designed with performance in mind. I’d take them on the road, do as many spoken word and open mic nights as I could get to, and maybe when I had enough, end it all with a one-man show where I did maybe 40 minutes of ranting and publish the pieces as a pamphlet / chapbook.

Things started well enough, with a well-received slot at Speakers’ Corner at The Golden Ball in York, and an even better received turn at Platform Thirsk a week later. I decided it was time to build momentum and hit every night going, and with a slot secured at ThreeVerse at Nevermind in York, I delivered another successful performance with some new material at Speakers’ Corner.

Alas, the ThreeVerse slot was cancelled due to several of the other performers cancelling. I got my slot rescheduled, but the week before I was due to perform, ThreeVerse got pulled by the venue.

Then I got news that Spokes, a night I had performed a number of times, and probably the best spoken word night in York due to its curated nature, announced it would be calling it a day in June.

The Leeds events I had previously attended seems to have stalled, but keen to maintain some kind of momentum, I decided to try my luck at the open mic might at City’ Screen’s Basement. I was revved, but anxious – open mic nights are a major gamble, especially for a fringe performer like me.

I arrived ten minutes before doors – just as the poster stating that the night was cancelled due to the venue flooding went up (seemingly a problem with the drains).

After three successive attempts to perform have been foiled and two regular nights have called time, I can;t help but feel that I’m something of a spoken-word night jinx, destined not to bring The Rage Monologues project to fruition.

But I’m not done yet. And if I have to resort to bellowing on a street corner before I get beaten up or moved on by the police, so be it. But if you’ve got any spoken word slots going and want to give a platform to an angry man spouting stuff in a fashion that may captivate or clear the room, give me a shout.

 

And if you’re loving my work, there’s more of the same (only different) at christophernosnibor.co.uk

No Success Like Failure: How Things Never Go To Plan

As a rule, I avoid making New Year’s resolutions. They’re usually impossible o keep and I get sick of people going on endlessly about how they’re going to go the gym or whatever, only to moan six weeks later that their plans went out the window before they’d even started. Me, if I’m going to do something, I’ll do it when I’m read and when the time is right. New Year is a bad time to start anything, on a number of levels. Moreover, if I’m going to do something, rather than making a big song and dance about it, I just shut up and get on with it. Then, if I don’t achieve my objective, no-one’s any the wiser and I save myself shame and embarrassment.

Next month sees the publication of issue 2 of I’m Afraid of Everyone, a cool, no-budget old-school zine.  The brainchild of a collective who go under the banner of King Ink, Issue 1 was dark, yet also darkly comical, a proper photocopy and staple job that goes against the tide of the slick digital publications and all the better for it. Issue 2 will feature a new piece of mine, entitled ‘Blaming Bukowski.’ Alongside this, I was asked for a few words abut what I’m afraid of. After some thought, I realised that my biggest fear is of failure. And yet I have failed. I fail often, an this year has been one endless failure for me.

Back in January, I vowed to publish less, even to blog less, and concentrate on longer pieces. As it’s nigh on impossible to write something substantial and maintain a level of output in the public domain at the same time, the plan was to sacrifice the latter in favour of the former. After I’d done the Clinical, Brutal thing, that was.

So January saw the publication of Clinical, Brutal… An Anthology of Writing With Guts, which has been doing pretty well. To promote the book, I conducted interviews with a number of the contributing authors. It was time-consuming but immensely rewarding. It also meant that articles with my name on kept appearing for the next two months.

While I may have continued into the summer without much by way of new fiction, I was kicking out music reviews like it was my day-job, and have now written and published some 325 of the things, while also blogging on MySpace most weeks and throwing the occasional article out in various other directions on-line. Some of those pieces have been requoted elsewhere, and done my profile no harm whatsoever, other than further spoil my plan to disappear for a while

In the last couple of months, after I stepped down from working for them for the foreseeable future, Clinicality Press have seen fit to publish my novella, From Destinations Set and a new collection of short stories, The Gimp. Ok, so they’ve emerged and remained under the radar for most so far, but that’s fine. I’m just happy they’re out there.

However, in a final self-defeating twist, I have recently begun to assail open mic nights and other such events with my presence and brief performances. Turns out I’m not terrible at it, but given my objective to operate as an ‘invisible’ author, I’m painfully aware that I’m breaking all of my own rules by doing this. I’ll be doing it again on December 10th. I’m Afraid of Everyone will be holding a launch night event for issue 2 at the Python Gallery in Middlesborough, and reading a selection of my latest writing. It’s good for business, and perhaps the heaviest promotion I’ve ever done, but given my aims for 2010, the price of any perceived success this may equate to is without doubt absolute failure.

I’m Afraid of Everyone’s on-line base is here: http://imafraidofeveryonemh.blogspot.com/

And if you’re loving my work, there’s more of the same (only different) at Christphernosnibor.co.uk.