Archive for July, 2010

Blowing Your Mind, in Five Easy Steps

July 25, 2010

1. Go to YouTube – here’s a LINK

2. Start watching any video.

3. Pause the video.

4. Hold down the Left Arrow key on your keyboard.

5. Play Snake

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A Sliver of my Scribblings So Far…

July 20, 2010

The arias of archangels arc through the air as I am “assisted” into the amphitheatre. Their anticipation appals me, my arrival announced with apish amusement, ablaze in affected affluence. Alongside the angelic anthems, their applause is an absolute aural agony.

Abominations, all.

Behold – the buzzing breaks, albeit briefly, into a breathless babble as a bolt of brightness bursts into being, far above. It bears downwards, becoming bigger and bolder in the blazing sky and I blanch, barely believing that the bastard would bridge the barrens of Babel to be beholden to my embarrassment… but lo – in a beat – he is before me, and he burns with bitterness and bile.

My betrayal is brought to light, and with a bellow that blasts me backwards, he broadcasts that I am to be beaten, until both body and brain are broken. This is, unbelievably, better than the barbarity I would brook from the brutes on the balconies above, so I bow. I will bear the first blow. But before it begins, he bends down beside me.

Baptism by blood, he breathes.

–   CRACK  –

I crumple. On cue, a cacophonous crowing cascades into the courtyard and the collisions continue, coming without cease as carefully, quietly, my consciousness creeps away, consumed by cavernous… crawling…

Dark.

An Aria of Alliteration

July 17, 2010

This week, amongst property adventures and employment explorations I’ve mostly been writing a new short piece of fiction, naturally in complete odds with the writing goals set out in my last entry. It’s a bit gimmicky really, but basically the story is made up of paragraphs using words beginning only with the same letter of the alphabet,  going from ‘A’ to ‘Z’ (which, oddly, hasn’t been the hardest part to nail down). Almost.

I say ‘almost’, because without ‘the’, ‘and’, ‘a’, and other incidental words, even Tolkien or Lovecraft in their wordiest of writing fevers would have had trouble pasting a coherent sentence together. Believe me I tried it, but after much humming and lip-chewing  decided to forgo my first idea for a piece of writing that’s actually – hopefully – interesting to read, rather than just a pile of words that start the same way. I’m not using any thesauruses (or thesauri? The debate rages within us all, I’m sure), so it’s a masochistically enjoyable process, as I’m having to scrape the very bottom of my vocabulary knowledge with each new section. It’s a test of how capable I am, and all said and done, this thing is probably a psychological response to the fact that, lacking employment, I have no other outlet in which to prove to myself that I’m not completely useless. So this is how I’m doing it.

As for the story; it started off as the fairly mundane tale of a man looking for his kidnapped friend, but – and don’t ask me how – quickly turned into a much more… theological, supernatural tale of power and misjudged malice. Basically, more of the fun stuff 😉

Deep Space Discs

July 11, 2010

As most of us know by now, being stranded on a desert island these days means becoming instantly embroiled in adventures involving mysterious hatches, smoke monsters and electromagnetic anomalies. You wouldn’t even have the time to listen to your favourite CD ever, or settle down with a good book.

The silent voids of deep space, however? Now there’s a desolace worthy of a castaway from the 21st century! And so, if you were left drifting through space, and could have one book, one album, one game (or film), and a luxury item, what would you choose?

I would take these:
.

1. Book – The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

As a young’un I was a rather voracious reader – a bit like Mathilda, but without the domestic abuse and psychic powers. However, for all my word-munching,  I didn’t know what comedy writing truly was until I stumbled across The Guide. Obvious thematic practicalities aside, I chose this book as my papery space companion for a few reasons. Firstly, it is emminently re-readable; there are a wealth of clever little details to pick up on, and the humour hits home on so many levels that it demands just a little bit more effort from the reader than they might be used to. And that was what attracted me so much as a child, and has kept me coming back. Secondly, this particular version of the book is comprised of all five parts to the story, so once I’d read the first three books, I would go about trying to rewrite the last two so that they were better, keeping me well occupied between bouts of space-snoozing. This leads on to the third point, which is that on reflection, the appreciation of Mr. Adams’ writing style served me well as a diving board into my own scribblings.

2. Album – Appetite for Destruction (Guns N’ Roses)

There are more complex compositions out there, sure. And those which perhaps invoke a fuller spectrum of emotions across their tracklist, but to me, if I was lost in the universe with no sign of rescue, nothing beats Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction for sheer energy and bravado. The guitar licks in this raw monstrosity could melt suns, and there’s not a single duff* track in there. Welcome to the Jungle, Paradise City and Sweet Child of Mine are the well-knowns, but it’s the dynamic riffs of tracks like Nightrain and You’re Crazy that would keep my spirits burning long into the endless night.

3. Game – Planescape: Torment

This is a rare beauty of the gaming world. The experience offered by Planescape: Torment transcends  simply being something to ‘play’.  You take on the role of The Nameless One, a man who, for one reason or another, cannot truly die. He has lived thousands of lives, but each time he dies, he loses part of his memory. By the time we pick up his story he is waking up on a mortuary slab, covered in tattoos, with absolutely no knowledge of where, when, why, or who he is.

‘What can change the nature of a man?’

Along The Nameless One’s journey, it is you, as the player, who addresses that question, exploring his past and present, and forging his future. It’s a role playing game, with a script of 800,000 words. Yep. And the number of different decisions and choices you can make are astonishing, as you explore Sigil, a city of doorways to every other plane of existence. And those doors could be anything – a word, a feeling, an object…

Aside from its thoughtful reflections of the decisions we make, and what makes people tick, PS:T is also highly replayable due to the number of different paths it is possible to take through the game. So off it goes with me into space!

4. Luxury Item

Pens and paper for writing. Technically multiple items, I suppose, but it’s my catastrophe – I’ll let myself off. And who knows, with all  that time I might actually get something finished. And, er, be the only person to read it…

*(Hoho!)

So…

July 8, 2010

Sofas safely and successfully sequestered in storage, my stay in Leicester has ceased, and the city sinks slowly beneath the skyline as I set sail (so to speak) to sunny York…

A quick update on what I’m doing with my writing at the moment, in the spare time that I’ve got –  my immediate aim is to finish off the three short stories that I have kicking around in various stages of completion:

Hamlet… In Purgatory – Is the closest to completion. Now on its third draft, I want to add a bit more narrative and tune up the characters a little, and then it’ll be done.

Chocalypse – Next up; the sugar-coated destruction of mankind. What I have at the moment is a bunch of scenes running from the beginning to the end of the story which need tying together. I also need to write a few paragraphs to give the feel that the world really is coming to a sticky end.

The Director’s Vampire – My third story, first of all, probably needs a better title. It has three chapters written and finished, and I want to find a way to wrap the story up over another three chapters or so.

When these are out of the way, the path to Nocturn will be clear and I’ll throw myself into the city of blood and stone once again, going through editing and rewrites, and tying things together more thoroughly in the story. I honestly can’t wait. It’s been too, too long.

Paradise Settee

July 3, 2010

I’m still in Leicester! Furthermore, I’m being held here against my will…

By sofas.

Earlier today I purged the house of 99% of my worldy possessions, with the help of my aunt, her fella, and their Volvo.  Sofa so good. I, myself, was also supposed to accompany this menagerie of people and objects back up to York.

However, there are also two awesome leather sofas in my house. They were given to us by our lettings agency when they saw that our lounge was furnished with a lone deckchair, and a beanbag which bled little white bobbles every time someone sat on it, and the resulting spike in Lounging Quality (scientific term) sent my housemates and I into levels of comfort previously limited to only the wildest of furniture fantasies.

And so the issue arises of what to do with these big lumps of ex-cow, now that I’m moving. I couldn’t leave them for the next tenants to take advantage of, after all – that would just be wrong – but neither do I yet have anywhere in York to relocate them to. A solution for now is that I’m going to have to stay in Leicester ’til Monday, and rent out some storage space to stick them in until the time comes where I will either need them to furnish my new place, or take them to market and trade them for magic beans.

To protect the sofa’s identity, an actor has been used in this recreation