Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

It’s Christmas Time

December 24, 2010

O here we go again, can you hear

The choir’s festive warbles?

Someone shut them up before

They shatter all the baubles

 

And twinkling down on Santa’s sleigh

Is a shower of glittering lights

As the portly gent of bearded bent

Tries on some fishnet tights

————–

Just a quick Christmas entry to wish everyone a great festive season! In terms of blogging activity, I’ve definitely been naughty rather than nice this year, and am thusly expecting a lump of cyber coal in my inbox from the internet Santa.

Merry Christmas!

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Moving House

September 3, 2010

And here…

…we…

..go!

From an Up to a Down

August 9, 2010

The other day, Fate decided that, having reached what it presumably saw as the pinnacle of my life’s achievements, the only path left to me was falling backwards fifteen feet off a ladder onto concrete paving.

Needless to say I rather disagree with Fate’s assessment, and we’ve since reached a consensus that such things should, in fact, be kept to a minimum wherever possible.

Convincing? No? Alright. By ‘Fate’, I of course mean ‘the laws of physics’. What happened, was that after starting some cleanup work on the outside walls of one of my aunt’s properties, I discovered that ivy had snaked its way around the walls and roof, in the way that ivy always does (presumably given the absence of more interesting things to do, like go to parties, or, say, take up parkour).

This, I was told, would not do, so it had to be pulled down. Being a person who is not a giant, I needed a ladder for this. Luckily there was one to hand, which was fine for the lower strands, however the ivy that was entangled around the roof remained out of reach despite my increasingly frenzied efforts, one of which involved a pair of shears, which were too short, and then a broom, which was, well, a broom and so not really all that much use.

After five minutes or so of waving garden implements around, a spark of “I’m going to sort this out if it’s the last thing I do” determination* hit me, and I decided to recruit the garden table into my mercenary band of ivykilling brothers. I placed the ladder on top of the table to gain the extra height I would need, and began to climb. It wasn’t the most stable of setups, I knew, but I had someone holding it steady for me. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

I’m not sure what it was that did cause the ladder to topple under me, be it overzealous grasping, poor positioning, or badly timed breeze, but topple it did!

They say that time slows down in that sort of situation. As it was, I only had time to wonder which bit of me was going to hit the ground first, before immediately finding out. Fortunately it was my side and hip so the impact was fairly spread out, resulting only in some bruising and a slight House M.D.-ish limp for yesterday and today.

I got most of the ivy down, too.

.

*idiocy

Good News, Everyone!

August 2, 2010

I have my first actually-in-a-book-made-of-paper-got-paid-for-it-‘n’-all-publication!

It’s not Nocturn. No, the world isn’t quite ready for that one just yet 😉 But my journey to the lofty heights of writerdom is underway and, like most things in life, it starts with a bit of zombie erotica.

Hold up – what?

Okay, let’s backtrack a little. A few weeks back I mentioned that I’d come up with what I thought was the best piece of poetic writing I’ve ever done. Well, turns out a few other people think it’s not all that bad either, and so the piece has made its way into Rigor Amortis, an anthology of zombie sex, horror, and for my part at least, wry comedy. ‘There’s Plenty of Room in my Heart’ (such is the title)  tugs – hungrily – at the old heartstrings, and ponders whether love can conquer the occasional over-enthusiastic love-bite and the odd bit of exposed viscera. ‘Tis a charming tale!

More details as and when the date of publication approaches, but there we have it – no longer just a writer, but an author. How about that, eh? 😀

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

One Night in Derby – Part 2

June 20, 2010
.
I wandered lonely as a cloud, along the Derby streets
As if I’d fallen from the sky, shaken free by techno beats
(If you will remember, I had left the warmth of Fusion,
With three hours still to go before the night reached its conclusion…)
 
 ————————-
 
Salvation came in the shape of a bar which was named the Flaming Fox
Referring, I supposed, to the barmaid, whose smile could have melted rocks
I settled myself at the edge of the room, and got out my notebook
Figuring I would do some work, make the most of my bad luck
 
But it wasn’t long before I was approached by one of the in-house bouncers
Who’d seen me writing in a book, and had come looking for some answers
“Are you an inspector or something?” He asked me, to my surprise
“No,” I responded, then instantly thought of many better replies
 
About ten minutes later, it was the barmaid who ambled over
And we chatted nonsense for a while, me glad that I was sober
She went away for a few minutes more, and then, upon returning
She turned my head and kissed me, leaving my cheeks fairly burning
 
“Keep up the good work,” she said with a grin, and slinked back to the bar
While I smiled like a lunatic – best moment of the night by far!
‘On par with Zeppelin Dude at the least’, I thought, and began to wonder
If any other strangeness would emerge from out of the thunder
 
Lo and behold, the night indeed had one more thing in store
Blasts of cold wind filled the room, and a midget walked through the door
He wandered round the room a bit, and passed me once or twice
So on his third pass I said “Hello”, trying to be nice
 
He said hello back and so I made polite conversation
Feeling rather sorry for his slight air of desperation
However this backfired when he asked me “So… wanna come back to mine?”
I managed to say, with contained shock, that I’d have to decline
 
After that he turned away and left without a word
Just as the dreaded call ‘It’s closing time!’ was heard
Thusly did I head out again into the Derby night
And trudged back to the station, which was a very gloomy sight
 
The only passenger was I, on a train so quiet and dead
That never so eager have I been, to see my single bed
And when finally I did get home, at around half-past seven
The cloudy grey of Leicester dawn looked like the plains of heaven
.
—————–
.
So that, then, is the story, of what happened on that night
Of shocks and laughs and oddities, and the occasional fright
But should I ever find myself once more stranded in that hell?
.
I think I’ll do the sensible thing, and find a good hotel.

Seasonal Signs

June 13, 2010

You know it’s summer in England, because the rain gets warmer.