Tag Archives: froth

Kim-Jong-il look-alike’s career in tatters…

The media rarely considers the plight of celebrity impersonators when reporting on the death of a communist dictator. As such the recently unemployed 61-year old Kim Young Shik has become just another of North Korea’s silent victims. He is said to be in mourning at the loss of his raison d’etre. On the other hand the BBC reports that he’s saving an absolute fortune on haircare products. Every cloud…

It’s stories like this that make Valentine’s Day bearable. That and standing in Paddington station watching the look of horror on a man’s face as his girlfriend gives him a teddybear the size of a washing machine. I did my best, but it’s impossible to convey ‘I feel your pain’ in looks alone. For a moment there we experienced the bond shared by all men when we realise that, despite our most earnest endeavours, we’ve stumbled into a trap.

Onto matter book-related, Tim Carter-Wale at systemfx has come through with the latest draft for the front cover of ‘Froth’ – a book of short stories. The colours, design and concept are all fantastic, and constitute a marvellous realisation of my frankly inept brief. The book itself is in the proof reading stage and I’m hoping to get it published online in April.

The other development is that I’m circling around the idea of re-submitting a couple of manuscripts to literary agents. It’s not something I’ve entertained for years as pitching work is a sobering experience at the best of times. Imagine a cocktail bar filled with devastating looking women (reverse sex as appropriate). You go up to the first, choke back your crushing doubt and murmur, ‘Can I buy you a drink?’ She looks at you as if you’re disgusting and spits a savage ‘No.’ You turned to the next, ‘Can I buy you a dr…’ ‘GOD NO!’ You turn to the next. ‘Can I b…’ ‘You must be joking. Avert your gaze wretch.’ The rest shun you without response.

I can only dream of soliciting so impassioned a response from an agent. Oh to be deigned worthy of a ‘sod off.’

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Mish-Mash

My pet chickens need feeding and all I have in the fridge is a spicy chicken pizza. Mmmmoral dilemma. It’s probably no one they know, but best to be on the safe side. In the absence of any grain I find myself pushing a trolley round Tesco Express.

‘OK, you’re a chicken,’ a rather attractive woman overhears me say out loud to myself, ‘what do you like the look of?’ A key-lime pie takes my fancy, but it’s completely impractical. My beak’ll never pierce that lid, and what am I going to do with the ramekin afterwards? Channeling poultry doesn’t appear to be one of my skills.

Back at home the hens seem non-plussed with the selection of cakes I set out before them. The guilt at having forgotten to stock up on their favourite nosh drives me to boil up some rice. A good ten minutes is spent wondering whether or not to add seasoning. Eventually, on the proviso that they’ll taste better if I ever decide to put them in a pie,  I reason that I can stretch to a bit of salt and pepper.

In a scene straight from ‘Come dine with me’ I apologetically serve up the chow. They wolf it down affecting clucks of contentment, but they’ll probably slag me off in the taxi back to their coop.

It wasn’t my idea to get the chickens, but I’m glad that they’re here. Their entire day consists of asking ‘is this edible?’ The answer is invariably ‘yes’.

I order more bird seed online, which instantly infuriates me. Modern life is too easy and too well defined. There’s a slick way of doing everything – ordering seed, buying pre-packaged grub, uploading blogs. Even previously off-the-beaten-track holidays are now pretty much nailed down as experiences. Just once it would be nice to find something ill-defined and reckless (if only so I could complain about it not being better organised). I pledge to go out foraging for sustenance and a female of child-bearing age, but my hunter-gatherer instinct has taken the day off, and I find that women generally object to being clubbed on the head and dragged back to your house by their hair.

So anyway, that’s breakfast out of the way. I check yesterday’s post. The copyright office informs me that my next book ‘Froth’ has now been copyrighted, but that my William Shatner-based satellite navigation – the ‘Shat-Nav,’ has not. The reasons for this rejection (written in biro) are that:

1. William Shatner has already copyrighted himself.

2. The uneven timbre and spacing of his voice may well misinform motorists, leading to peril.

Besides cooking for farm animals I’ve also published ‘The Melting Pot’ on the site ‘Smashwords.’ This means that, in addition to the already published Kindle version, it is now available on i-Pad, html, pdf and several other digital formats:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/131778

Spread the word. I thank you…

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Dr. Seuss and booze…

…spawned the idea of writing kids stories where the language and subject matter were deliberately inaccessible. By 1 A.M we had a few running titles: ‘Let’s count to infinity,’ and ‘Silly Billy retrieves his frisbee from the Nazis.’

A small selection of possible opening lines included: ‘Do you know what pharmaceutical maleficence means? You don’t! Oh dear. Give this book back to daddy and go to your room.’ ‘Ben’s ironic half-smile perfectly illustrated the juxtaposition of an anthropologist going on a violent killing spree.’ And (personal favourite) ‘With a crushing resignation they left Timmy’s rabbit down the well.’

In the sober light of day the critical and commercial enthusiasms have largely dissipated*.

I’m just starting to think about putting together a cover and design for the new book ‘Froth’ (now in its 3rd draft).

The cover of ‘The Melting Pot’ (as seen in the background to this blog) was designed by a good friend of mine, Tim, who was also a co-conspirator in the ill-conceived kids books idea – a very talented chap (though now sadly racked with depression at the loss of his bunny). He took my extensive notes (‘Can it have an orange city in a circle?’) and crafted an image that I was instantly blown away by. Check out his creative excellence at www.systemfx.co.uk

As a self published writer it’s so important to go through all of the appropriate quality gates (extensive editing, proper type-setting, critique etc) so that the end result holds up to scrutiny. A striking front cover is also paramount in showing a potential reader that you mean business. As such I Gave Tim a comprehensive brief:

‘Froth – Man standing in water with waves coming toward him. Waves should be blue. Metaphor for confusion.’

Let’s see what he comes up with!

*Favourite word of the late & fantastically great Mo Cororan!

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