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This week, Monday 6th May 2013

Summertime and Living Is Queasy

Zoetrope1The weeks flash by like crudely animated horses in a Kinder Egg zoetrope. Consequently I can barely recall what I’ve been doing… it was a quiet week in the evenings at any rate and a modicum of progress has been made. A modicum ain’t much no matter how you quantise it. I’m going to assume I did loads and that the sheer weight of effort has overwhelmed my primitive memory.

This has been my last zero alcohol week too… I am disturbed to find that there are a few of those beers that I really do like. The last one I came across was Bavaria 0.0%. It’s delicious. Even better it’s sold at the insane, face-slapping-awake price of £1.50 for 6 330ml cans. That’s cheaper than any other soft drink I can think of. It’s about to become my regular non-beer drink for the summer. Seriously that price blows my mind. It has a creamy smooth texture which I suppose is most like cream soda. I’m sitting in the cinema with two of them set to accompany Iron Man 3

♥ This week’s scribbles

Tuesday Autofiction: Accusation and Prejudice

Context and judgement afflict us all, how should we make decisions?

Wednesday Live Storytelling: A Story from MissImp in Action

When I get to monologise on stage it gets weird, quickly.

Thursday The Desert Crystals – Part Seven: This Hellish Hole

Darkness has swallowed the crew of The Dove’s Eye

Friday Film Review: Olympus Has Fallen

It’s Die Hard in the White House!

Updates on my thrilling life


I’m chasing myself to keep up at the moment. The mornings are a time of blind gaping until shower and coffee are absorbed. Maybe I need to get up earlier… Hmm. But yeah, I spent last week catching up. I didn’t write The Desert Crystals Part 6 until Wednesday evening. I just didn’t manage to start it earlier. I suspect it might be a bit weaker than some of the other chapters. I will do better! Once I’d found the time it wasn’t a struggle to write, which remains encouraging and enjoyable. I fancy the prospect of this becoming a very long running series, though that might make it tricky to catch up with should someone come into it half way through. Sorry!

They say you should write what you know. I’ve never decided if that limits or exposes you – I think it can be both. Clearly what I write about are not events that I have or could have experienced, but I do try to write my characters in ways that I can conceive of. Their feelings are sometimes mine, and their reactions and responses are, as in improv, things that I can imagine doing or saying. Whether another person can know that this this is the case, or guess it from what’s given in stories and these autobiographical bits is unclear to me.

Last week’s scribbles

The Desert CrystalsMinifig MadnessTuesday Shankata – Layers of Hatred Accrued Poetically Just a few more angry rantings for you.

Wednesday Lego Lego Blog: Minifigure Madness A little delve into my Lego heap and some playing with hair.

Thursday The Desert Crystals – Part Six: The Sweet Night Air The beasts in the night!

Friday Beer Review: Three Zero Alcohol Beers  Perhaps the final three no alcohol beers I shall ever drink…


Lunchtime build 1I really enjoyed getting my minifigs out last week (if you know what I mean) and taking pictures of them. Oddly I don’t recall playing with Lego as a child in the same way as I would with Star Wars, Action Force and Transformers toys. It was the building and disassembly I enjoyed. So I think that hour with swapping heads and hair was more than I used to play even back then.

I’ve been taking a travelling case of Lego to work with me for the last week – see the awesome gold Ferrero Rocher box in the picture. It makes for for a very relaxing half hour’s play at lunchtime. I’m not great at relaxing, but the sound the Lego makes as I turn tht case over sparks a flame of joy in my heart. I’m focussing on miniaturisation due to time constraints using a heap of Lego Friends stuff and Lego Chima.

I also watched a couple of Feminist Frequency podcasts recommended by a fellow Lego enthusiast about Lego’s messed up gender segregation. Really interesting and right on the mark. Check ’em out:

Improv Comedy

No Fisticuffs this week, which was a sadness but a blessed night off too. I ran last week’s improv jam though and tried to fuse what Parky and Lloydie have been focussing on for the last month into something new and cool. My aim was sychronisation of minds, that elusive group mind concept which is tough enough to get with people you know well and a step harder with near-strangers. So it was to be an intimate, intensive affair. I was therefore thrilled when we got abruptly shifted out of our regular space (some art installation thing) and into The City Gallery – a tiny venue. Then twenty people turned up. I could have compromised my plan, I chose not to, except for dropping a warm up game that required three times the space for half as many people.

We played a series of familiar exercises. First a form of rope, in pairs identifying the key groundings for a scene – names, activity, place and feelings. There was a lovely energy and the setups were simple, funny and concise. Next came justification and agreement. I borrowed Jules Munn’s simple “that’s because” exercise, in which every exchange begins with justifying what had just been said. These get hysterical and ridiculous quite quickly. I found mine returned repeatedly to hippy attitudes in the ’60s Odd. Finally we moved on to inspiration, patterns and games: word association in pairs again but spread out through the room. The cycle begins with a statement and the association follows that, responding both to the word that you hear and holdng the initial statement in the back of your mind. Tricky, but it produced a lot of laughter and really interesting patterns and wheels of ideas.

Those exercises and the habits of grounding, justification and inspiration lead into three person sets of scenes. Each set was preceded by a quote from one of three books I’d brought. The trio would then word associate (focussing on each other) until they felt ready to begin the first scene. The three scenes were mostly fairly short, but they all got to the point and were set up quickly and smartly. Whatever we did seemed to work!

Come And Learn…

Mebbe you’d like to improvise too? Well, Parky and I shall be running the next MissImp improv beginners course starting on 13th May for 6 weeks. If you’re interested, and you should be – check out the details here:

Media Intake


I finished the second of Terrence Zavecz’ Cretaceous Station novels, Hunter’s Moon. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first, but I still enjoyed the dinosaurs (feathery!) and the lists of scientific articles at the end of each chapter to back up his research. I moved on to a collection of short stories. Still chewing my way through them. I’ll get back to you when I’ve finished it.

Events and Excitement

Gorilla Burger – Thursday 9th May

7.30pm at The Corner, Nottingham.
Improv for everyone – on stage!

MissImp in Action – Friday 31st May

8.30pm at The Glee Club, Nottingham.
High energy improvised comedy show.

Weeks That Have Come Before


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