“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Down Those Green Streets A Man Must Go …

I’ve quit smoking, folks. It’s been on the cards for quite a while, but I finally took the plunge yesterday, and at this point it’s been almost 36 hours without a smoke. Not that I’m counting … Actually, I feel pretty good; I’m guessing there’s a euphoric feel to it in the initial stages that keeps you buzzing. But apart from some craving pangs and the occasional brain-slip where I find myself reaching for the makings without really thinking about what I’m doing, I’m okay with it all. In fact, I feel pretty damn good about it. I’m sure that won’t last forever, though … If there’s any ex-smokers out there with any advice and support to offer, I’d love to hear it.
  In other news, I’ve been thinking strongly about starting a new blog. Crime Always Pays, as all three regular readers will know, started off as a blog about “the latest news, reviews, gossip and slander about the dicks, dames and desperados of (mostly) Irish crime fiction”, said news et al providing a platform for some news of my own once in a while.
  Lately, though, and you’ve probably already noticed this, Crime Always Pays has become very Declan Burke-heavy, which really isn’t very fair at all. Not that anyone’s getting fat off the three molecules of oxygen publicity that CAP provides, but still, fair’s fair. Anyway, what I’m thinking of doing is banging up another blog, called Green Streets, as in, “Down those green streets a man (or woman) must go …”, and making that one the news / gossip / slander venue for Irish crime writing, while I toddle on with Crime Always Pays as a personal blog.
  It probably all sounds a bit messy, but in the long run I want to establish Green Streets as an on-line magazine, and a proper website, for Irish crime writing – novels, movies, journalism, non-fiction / true crime, and theatre.
  As it will mean more work for yours truly, I’d hugely appreciate it if anyone out there wants to volunteer to lend a hand. Also, if you’re a writer with a functioning blog or regularly updated website – Dec Hughes? Updates once a year do not a blogger make – drop me a line with the url at the usual address, or in the comment box. If you’re an Irish crime writer with an idea for a blog post / regular feature, please feel free to get in touch. Put it this way – if every Irish crime writer out there at the moment was to contribute a single post, I wouldn’t have to lift a finger for about two months.
  One post every two months? Surely everyone’s capable of that …

12 comments:

Josephine Damian said...

Dec, I gave up coffee and booze. Coffee was hardest. Took me three tries. So even if you take up smoking again, don't beat yourself up, try again with the goal of going without longer next time.

And watch those situations where you were inclined to smoke (bars?) - and try to avoid them till you're really strong and confident about quitting.

As someone who has, like, 7 blogs, I understand too well the urge to expand. Love the title.

Not sure if a brash, opinionated Irish-American girl would be a welcome contributor, but I wouldn't mind making a contribution or two if you fancy it.

When are you going to post about your recent interview with Master Neville?

Declan Burke said...

Josephine - Appreciate the thought, ma'am ... And no, I'm not going to offer myself the option of failing ... Life's too short to feel this crap, especially with a little girl in the house now.

As for the new blog, you're more than welcome to become a contributor ... We'll iron out the details when I get the blog up and running.

As for Master Neville - I need to get the interview written up, first ... I'm way behind, work-wise at the moment. Stay tuned ...

Cheers, Dec

Corey Wilde said...

My brother gave up smoking after more than 25 years of it. He used the patches, Nicoderm 1, 2 & 3. He asked for them as a Christmas prez and that's what I gave him. He's been smoke free for two Christmases now. Says he gets only a minor craving now and again, squashes it by focusing on his work.

Best of luck with your own struggle. I know you can do it. That little girl is too precious to allow for anything else.

Fiona said...

The precious dumpling doesn't want blue air. So quit. It's not a big deal to Lily. Those things are smelly anyway.

Gerard Brennan said...

I quit when me and the missus decided to have kids. I used the nicorette lozenges for about two weeks and they did the trick for me as far as beating the first barrier goes. Once you spend a few weeks breaking old routines like the fag after your brekkie or the one on the way home from work, you can concentrate on beating the nicotine addiction. I've been off them for five years, though I've had the odd lapse when drinking. But I'm happy enough with that. So long as it's only once in a while and I've the will power to stay off them when I'm sober, I'll take it.

And if you do have the occasional lapse (not recommended, but it can happen), the thing to remember is; the nicotine is out of your system in 72 hours. Any cravings after that are psychological. When you've your mind set on it, it's wee buns after the third day. That's it. Just three short days.

Cheers

gb

bookwitch said...

Well done!

And you can't have too many blogs. On the other hand, a Declan heavy blog may be what we call in here for.

Stuart Neville said...

I was on 40 a day for more than ten years, but I've been smoke free now since 2001. There was no particular trick for me apart from finally making the decision. I went cold turkey having previously tried patches and so on. In the end, I had to just say enough was enough and quit. Even now, I still get cravings, but they're gone as quick as they arrive. Bear in mind, I have absolutely zero willpower, so if I can do it, anyone can.

Declan Burke said...

Much obliged for the support, folks ...

Still going fine, the odd psychological craving aside (I'm using the nicorette patches) ... But it's bizarre how programmed it is. If I'm somewhere I wasn't smoking before (ie, in any other room in the house other than my office), then I don't even think of smoking. As soon as I come to the office, or step into the garden, my first thought is to have a smoke ...

I feel good about it all, though. I think might turn out to be one of those smug evangelical pain-in-the-arse-types lecturing everyone on how bad smoking is for them ... which is what I was before I started smoking, actually.

Anyway, again, ta to you all for the support, it's really appreciated.

Cheers, Dec

seanag said...

Congratulations for making a beginning, and do keep going.

I really like the Green Streets plan, but you have the wrong impression if you think anyone is bothered following your writerly adventures. Wish you well on that front as well.

Brian McGilloway said...

Hi Dec

Like Stuart, I went cold turkey. I found the threes to be a slight problem when I quit. Will power carried me to day three. Initial enthusiasm began to wane by week three and the realization that I'd stopped for good hit me at three months. I'd tried a few times so I knew they were coming and prepared myself. With each it was just a matter of remembering why I stopped. You don't want to think of your own kids smoking afterall. Without being all Fisher King, you just have to start looking at yourself as a non-smoker rather than a smoker who's quit. It does make a difference - (it meant I stopped feeling sorry for myself and feeling like I was missing something when other people lit up.)

Happy to contribute to Green Streets by the way - sounds like a good plan...

Good luck with being a non-smoker. It's the one thing I have no regrets over doing.

Declan Burke said...

Hi Seanag - Thanks for the kind wishes, I really appreciate it ... I don't know, I just feel I shouldn't be dominating proceedings so much ... we'll see.

Brian - ta for the advice ... Feeling ratty today, but that's to be expected ... and even at that, I'm feeling a lot better than I thought I would.

I'll be in touch about the Green Streets idea, appreciate you coming on board ...

Cheers, Dec

Josephine Damian said...

Dec, have you considered joining twitter? I find it drives a lot of traffic to my blog even though I'm doing hardly any blogging.

Participate in the twitter conversation - think of it as a watering hole where people gather to chat, as opposed to doing the occasional update there, and you'll get lots of traffic here.

You'll find there's lots of crime scribes/peeps you know, like Stu, Ger, and Allen Guthrie.