This week, Monday 3rd September 2012

A Whole Heap of Hooting

Well I’ve still done very little. I blame a very short working week, the burning need to catch up on some sleep (achieved!) and a shocking lack of discipline. The main thing to report of note was a very fine improv show on Friday. I told a story (with words and phrases randomly selected by the audience for “seamless insertion”) about a man irradiated by atomic molybdenum (probably not possible) and his terrible need to find a mate. It seemed to be quite funny. The necessary spontaneity of it reminded me of why I enjoy writing so much, and the need to re-introduce that improvising spirit to my daily scrawl.

A Plan For T’Week

This week I’m catching up on my writing habits! Yes. I’m going to write an Alphabet Story every morning before/after breakfast and post them the day after. I’ve jabbered about improv games in writing before – the Alphabet Game is a simple scene – pick a letter. That’s the letter your first sentence has to start with. Continue in the same way through the rest of the alphabet. On stage we tend to finish on the same letter we started with (so 27 lines) partly because the audience often don’t click we’ve gone through the whole alphabet and partly because it’s aesthetically pleasing. As a device it’s an excellent way to force myself to write and to enable those random jumps and leaps I so enjoy.

Robots in Digitise

Comic books have returned to my reading life this week (they never get very far away), and while I have still never found comics to genuinely be the equal of a novel for story telling (Alan Moore’s as close as they get for me) there are certain stories that I want to see illustrated. Transformers is one of those. I’ve adored the comics from issue 4 (had to get 1-3 later) way back in 1984, and the modern IDW series is even better. It’s all very good and well describing giant robots but you have to see them (which is why I adore the film versions, terrible though they are in story). I’ve also started using the ComiXology app on my tablet and I think comics on that are possibly even better than on paper. Being able to glide through the comic panel by panel is awesome, and I can’t accidentally soak the thing in tea. They’re also vastly cheaper than their paper counterparts, which is fuelling my current mania. Should you have the remotest interest in what I’m reading, feel free to follow me (or whatever it is you do) on Goodreads.

This week’s scribbles

Tuesday:  Story 1. I don’t know what it’s about yet, but it begins with sails dripping with blood.
Wednesday: Story 2. Yup, don’t know what it’s in this one either…
Thursday: Story 3.You get the idea, something will happen.

Round Up of Last Week

29th August: The Blundering Buccaneer – romance tempered with stubbornness on the High Seas.

30th August: The Pirate Coves – a preview and information about the show I’m doing in the Nottingham Comedy Festival on 27th September.

31st August: Eric the Bewildered Weasel 3 – my favourite (maybe) character – Damien, the magpie makes a proper entrance.

Events and Excitement

Exciting stuff coming up in Nottingham:

MissImp in Action – Friday 21st September at The Glee Club 8.30pm (not free, but cheap!)

Pub Poetry – Monday 24th September at The Canalhouse 8pm FREE

The Pirate Coves – Thursday 27th September at The Golden Fleece 8pm FREE

The Flock of Fear Adventure (Alphabetic 22)


Blood dripped from the sails like magic rain. Captain Fatbeard’s expedition had ended in disaster. Doves, or rather, pieces of doves continued to land on the deck in soft thuds. Everyone, even those pessimistic from the start were surprised by how badly wrong it had gone.

For as long as his crew could remember, Captain Fatbeard had a particular fetish for tiny birds. Granted, it was not the strangest appetite on board for with Leslie and his eel trousers no one could really compete – but this story’s not about his deviant writhings. However, Fatbeard was so named because he greased the twists of his beard with fat and matted seeds into the locks to attract the attentions of the English countryside birds. It was a difficult matter at sea for he was often divebombed by seagulls (whom he despised) and twas two mates’ responsibility to beat ’em off with sticks.

Jealousy between the little birdies who he kept in the onboard aviary was assured and ye could see the hatred for each other that filled their beady black Beelzebub eyes. Keeping the creatures under lock and key, even though they were in a cage somewhat larger than the orlop deck, probably accounted for their ghastly tempers.

Lard dripped from the captain’s chin as he allowed a pair of tits to nestle against his throat and ransack the fatty plunder. Many’s the time I’ve watched this ritual, and their pecks, though fierce seeming are surprisingly gentle; some’d say affectionate, but I consider the two-legged bastards to be Satan’s own arse feathers. Never before though had I seen the sight that followed. Open was the door, with Fatbeard getting his neck groomed in it – out flew a sharp bright little beast which shot into the sky trilling sharply. Prayed for rain we had, for the bulk of our fresh water went to wetting the birdies, and so the sudden darkening of the skies was a thing of hope. Quizzically I stared at the clouds, for they seemed unlike the grey and spitting lumps from which rain falls – they appeared to be flapping.

Rain it was not. Skirling birds of a thousand varieties fell from the sky, wheeling down upon The Golden Shrike. Their beaks were viciously sharp, and though their bones were hollow their flapping was more than just a distraction for jags o’ shattered wing gashed open throats and hands. Under the hail o’ feathery vengeance the aviary was burst open and the domesticated pretties joined their wild kin in battle.

Veins sprayed from man and bird alike, painting the ship in gory hues. Why I meself had a puffin lodged in me eye socket and saw a robin peck its way through a man’s chest. Crossin’ me heart I hauled round a cannon and loaded it with leadshot and birdfeed. Ye’d not comprehend the speed with which the aerial assault was distracted by the flyin’ seeds – they sought ’em ought and received a battery of leadshot in their gullets.

Zoophiles, such as the poor Captain Fatbeard would be distraught at the buchery; fully half the crew’d been pecked to death but that loss was matched with a ship sticky with blood and feathers. Alas, poor Fatbeard had succumbed to the creatures he loved so fondly in captivity. Birds covered the man’s corpse where he’d tried in vain to hug ’em, only to receive the death that always lurked in their evil unblinking gaze.