Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

Blog Meets Blog

June 25, 2011

Hello!

I think’s it’s fair to say that my scribblings here over the last year have been haphazard at best. To be honest, I’ve recently found myself wanting to try something with a bit more focus. So to that (not particularly lofty, I’ll admit) end, I’m starting a new blog..

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*gasp*

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However! That’s not to say this corner of the Writing Kingdom will be completely abandoned – DM will continue to be the mind-mirror of my life, writing, dreams and delusions, however sporadic those reflections might come. Also, I’ve by no means given up on writing ridiculous stories. The new blog simply has a slightly different, more focussed direction.

As for what that direction is, if you were to consult your blogging compass and give it a spin, you’d find the needle pointing towards storytelling and narrative in videogames. I think that’s somewhere inbetween North-North-East and Behind You.

After brainstorming title ideas for at least ten minutes, I’ve decided to call it

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which is almost as satisfyingly vague and pretentious a title as ‘Digital Metaphor’, so I think it’ll serve nicely 😉

There’s also an only-a-little-bit-nefarious secondary goal for this upstart of a blog, which is that I’m throwing all my efforts into becoming a videogames journalist. Once again, I have something tangible to work towards, and as such, Persuasion Check will also provide a good way to start flinging my writing around the internet in a games-related capacity, and act as good writing practice in the process.

I’ll be opening up the lightning conductors and cranking the switch on Monday, so if you fancy taking a trip over and letting me know what you think, it would be appreciated!

The url is http://persuasioncheck.wordpress.com/

Well, I think all that’s left for me to do is wish you safe travels across the Great Hyperlink Ocean, and see you on the untouched shores of a new blogging land!

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? 😀

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.

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:
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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.

Much Mochage

June 28, 2010

Free wifi cafés are wonderful places. Let us take a moment to appreciate their gracious offer of potentially limitless internet access (so long as you sip your iced mocha really, really slowly).

I think I wrote my best piece of poetic writing ever yesterday, while on the train to Leicester (successfully managing to get the connecting train from Derby, natch).  The tale of a forbidden love between one man and his zombie sweetheart, entitled ‘There’s Plenty of Room in my Heart’ (in reference to the Dawn of the Dead line, “When there is no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the earth”), it’s a deadly serious piece…

Other than that, a T-shirt that I’d ordered online arrived, which was good… However, over the  duration of the day I had to fend off two people who wanted to buy it off me, and one who wanted to do a straight shirt-swap, right in the middle of the train. Hands off!

For those curious, the T-shirt says this:

*Chuckles*

Anyhow, this is the beginning of my last week here in Leicester, and it feels very strange. After six years, the time to move on seems to be approaching with all the serene patience of a speeding freight train, so I’d better stop writing, drain the 1cm of mocha I’ve been carefully maintaining for the last half-hour, and start packing!

Hm, lots of train-centric things seem to happen to me. Wow. To paraphrase Kim Pine, right now, if my life had a face, I would punch it. I would punch my life in the face.

One Night in Derby – Part 2

June 20, 2010
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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…)
 
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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
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—————–
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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?
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I think I’ll do the sensible thing, and find a good hotel.

One Night in Derby – Part 1

June 17, 2010

A few entries back, I mentioned that there was a tale-in-waiting which deserved to have an entry dedicated to it. As it turns out, it needs more like two, so here’s part one of that story, dragged out of the dungeons of my memory, 100% true. To set the scene: I was travelling back to Leicester from York by train in horrendous weather, and arrived at the station of a small, grimy town called Derby, where I was to change trains to continue my journey…

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It was a dark and stormy night; I think you know the kind
I watched my connecting train depart… while I’d been left behind
And the story of what happened next I wrote out for you all
But the tale came out so long it would’ve filled the entire wall
So here instead are the events, rewritten in poetry form,
Of what can happen stranded in Derby, in the middle of a storm
Oh, and just one crucial point – to add to my bad luck –
My phone battery had up ‘n died (Yeah I know; I suck 😉 )
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———-
Time: 9:00 pm

At nine o clock I missed my train, the connection had been late
The next one? Half-past five AM; so now, I’m thinking ‘Great...”
Then I saw a pub nearby, and headed towards the lights
To be told: “Closing early, love. Sorry, it’s one of those nights!
You’d best head into town by foot – it’s only half an hour.”
Which was fine, ‘til five minutes in, the sky began to shower
So watch me leg it down Main Street, while folk in taxis gloat
(I’ll leave it up to you to guess, whether I had brought a coat.)
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10:00 pm
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Thankfully I soon found a bar, sporting a sign which said:
“SUNDAY NIGHT IS BAND NIGHT, SO COME IN AND ROCK YOUR HEAD!”
“Band night eh, that doesn’t sound bad,” I thought, with optimism
Then discovered that ignorance is bliss, faced with Nu Metal rhythm.
However there was entertainment to find, in braving these aural assaults
By talking snobbily with some guy, about each band’s musical faults.
He’d been a friend of Robert Plant; so I ensured that we shook hands
While he reminisced about Zeppelin – “So much better than these shitty bands…”
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12:00 am
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That place closed around midnight, so time for some more bar-hopping
But now I had to hurry it up, with the temperature rapidly dropping
And it seemed that a club called ‘Fusion’ was the only available place
So I lingered in its doorway, spine shaking along with the bass.
I was just minding my own business there, when one of the bouncers asked
If I was coming in or not, and I had to convince him fast;
I didn’t have much money left by now, and less desire to spend it here
So I explained myself and pointed out that the weather was quite severe
The doorman laughed at this and then, after talking to his mate,
Suggested I help out on the door – “Beats freezing, at any rate!”
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2:00 am
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So I became a Fusion bouncer – well, at least for a while
Until the nightclub had to close, and I continued on my trial.
Through rain and wind and metal and bass, so far I had survived
I could only hope to hold my ground, until the train arrived.
But there were strange things waiting to happen in the intermittant time
And they my friends, will be the subject, of the next entry’s rhyme…
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November 22, 2009

Part I – [link]

Hatstanding Work…

November 16, 2009

Further to my ‘The Hidden’ entry last week (as there’s reality in there between the gung-ho dramaticisms 😉 ), I’m making this place a tad less… personally identifiable and purging away the pictures of myself. So they don’t know I’m here…

Heh, sounds like the beginning of a contemporary Lovecraft story, but to-

Cthuudu

Gah!! Admirable enthusiasm, Mr. Cthulhu, but it’s still not your time. The stars are all unaligned and messy and the end of days is a long way off, so back to bed with you. Go on, off you go…

As I’ve said before, they’re like over-zealous puppies, those Great Old Ones. Anyway, I do actually have a semi-finished modern-day Lovecraft-style story hanging about somewhere. However, as you’ll have noticed from my not crowing from the rooftops and dancing merrily in text form, every single one of my writing deadlines has slunk ashamedly past me and are now long gone; on their way, I hope, to fresher pastures than these. The state of my WIPs is pitifully mirrored by the state of our house’s single plant, which is now nothing but three dried claws sticking out of a pot.

‘This is a hardy plant’, the description sticker boldly claimed…

I am now using it as a hat stand.