Category: writing

Vault Finding #1

Rather than wait around for inspiration to strike, I thought, why not look back through those unpublished old drafts for possible new posts? And what could be more appropriate than some typically down-to-earth advice from a master storyteller?

 

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Steinbeck Advice

 

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To Boldly Go …

Speaking as a compulsive ditherer, I find it helps to reduce multiple motivations to a primary purpose. At the end of the day when push comes to shove and all is said and done, there is really only one reason for doing anything.

When it comes to writing, there are always a host of voices telling me why I shouldn’t bother. Refreshing, then, to stumble across a piece of advice that has the potential to guide me through the hubbub. So it’s out with all my How To Write books and in with this simple slogan!

“First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!”
– Ray Bradbury

I’ll let you know how I get on …

 

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Image: iChurch OKA

The Write Way

Just read something which is too good to keep to myself. If I could only recommend one article about writing fiction, this would be it. Click on the link, let me know what you think …

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/04/what-writers-really-do-when-they-write

And I bet it helps him sell copies of his own novel!

 

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Image: Oxford Dictionaries Blog

Voyage in Time

A sentimental – even slushy! – poem about early childhood when my greatest joy each morning was lying in bed with my mum and swapping sense and nonsense with her …

    a secret key to everywhere

head to head           whisper soft
just us two            i just laughed
snuggle down           why does the sun
warm as toast          who life begun
nice and cosy          how high the sky
safe and sound         what where why
special secrets        only we
never to be told       riddle-me-ree
what say what          when is the moon
now and always	       late and soon
where our words        lost in dark
bibble-babble          gobbledy-gook 
che ma pasa            shan ti kapo
bazi baza              yabos yabo
little birds calling   let them sing
airy nothings          float in the wind
waves on the seashore  play in the sand
castles tumble         sweep of my hand
word in your shell-liketickles my ears   
shush now shush        sounds of the seas



This is the intended opening to a long poem about childhood that will explore the relationship between nature and culture which makes us what we are. I’ve made lists of childhood memories – the easy bit – and now all I need to do is write them up!

I may post the occasional extract to gauge public reaction …

What I must remember is that being creative is not an exact science. Things could get messy. A little bird tells me you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. And so, the cc-rack of eggshells and rrr-rip of  tearing rule-books in my ears, I set sail …

Baffle Bursts Banks

                                  On-The-Spot Flood Special From Our Helicopter Team

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Much of Bafflesby is underwater today after weather conditions described by an official source as “exceptional and unprecedented” caused the River Baffle to overflow in what locals say is now an annual event. When asked why the department of forecasting science had been axed in the austerity cuts, an Environment spokesperson said: “Nobody could have predicted this.”

Mobile-phone footage sold to the media by distraught residents has brought the rising floodwater into millions of homes nationwide. One dramatic clip captured the moment a newspaper reporter asked for a house-owner’s reaction:

… (sound of rushing water) … “So how does it feel to watch the river swirling up your garden, pouring through your back door, streaming through your lovely home and ruining all your gorgeous furnishings and precious family keepsakes?” … (sound of lachrymose sobbing) …

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. One enterprising organisation has managed to turn tragedy into triumph. Shard & Froyd Travel Tours Inc. has taken the plunge where others shiver on the side, bringing a cascade of visitors to the most severely flooded areas where they can experience all the torment and misery at second-hand. “There’s always somebody worse off than you,” said Hugo Smirke of hilltop village Upper Crustleigh, “and this is a welcome break from campaigning against wind farms.” The tour company said the catastrophe had come in the nick of time. “To be honest,” said their spokesperson, “it’s a case of sink or swim. Luxury travel has been in the doldrums since the recession. After this deluge, we’re home and dry.”

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The firm who built many of the swamped estates was Floodplain Fabrications Limited Liability Company. They declined to comment and told us to contact Bafflesby and District Council who had put the land out to building tender. No council spokespersons were available but an automated message referred us to the national government agency that originally approved planning permission. The only person actually authorised to comment was the head of the agency but he was still on holiday in the Seychelles and pending his return we were advised to check back with Floodplain Fabrications that they had adhered to official guidelines.

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Back in Bafflesby, confused residents awaited the arrival of a swat-team of junior government ministers on an urgent fact-finding mission.  A rain-soaked crowd perched on duckboards in the town square, all eyes peeled for the ministerial convoy. The cry went up but cheers turned to jeers as fingers were pointed across the still-swollen River Baffle at the politicians and their frantically-phoning aides – 20 minutes later than promised – gazing down with apparent surprise at the impassable wreckage of the town bridge.

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Their reset SatNav route took a further 20 minutes, by which time most residents had wearily resumed their property reclamation leaving a few stragglers to heckle the motorcade. The ministers leaped from their cars, donned brightly-coloured protective-wear and began to point in all directions with expressions of decisive intent and looks of pained empathy. Another mobile-phone recording captures the responses of one minister to inquiries from disgruntled bystanders:

” … and so at the end of the day, madam, when push came to shove it boiled down to hard choices and I have it on unimpeachable authority that allowing Bafflesby to flood in order to save Nobsford made perfect economic sense under the circum … (muffled interruption) … well, yes, Bafflesby does have more homes than Nobsford but when you consider market value it’s crystal clear that … (muffled interruption) … ah, yes, I see where you’re coming from but … (muffled interruption) … no, madam, what I meant was that I understand your point of view but we have to consider the British taxpayer in every … (muffled interruption) … oh well, sir, as a Nobsford taxpayer you will certainly appreciate your brand-new state-of-the-art high-water flow-containment spill-proof flood-barriers … (muffled interruption) … dear me, flooded too, you say … well, let’s not forget we’ve had exceptional and unprecedented weather conditions and I’m sure your flood defences performed brilliantly right up until the point where they failed … “

Here water penetration appears to bring the recording to an abrupt end.

Coming Soon

We seek answers to the key questions – why, what, where, when and who?

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Seasonal Stop Press!

              Shoppers queue as fizzy-drink truck rolls into shop car-park

Families from across town queued up in their hundreds to sneak a glimpse at the famous bright red truck as it made its way into Bafflesby.

The iconic lorry rolled up at Pennywise in Markdown Lane yesterday to greet queuing shoppers ready to have their photograph taken and grab a giveaway bottle of the fizzy drink.

April Fuddle and her daughter Freebie were among the throngs of people queuing for their time in front of the camera.

The 46-year-old, of Witsend, said it was fun to come down with her family and get into the festive mood.

She said: “We’ve never seen the truck before so we thought we’d come down as it’s in Bafflesby. As soon as you see the advert you feel really festive. We’ve been singing the tune non-stop.”

Queues were already building before the truck’s arrival time of midday, with residents from across Bafflesby travelling specifically to see the brand’s television advert star.

The brand’s TV advert has become synonymous with Christmas and the iconic tune Party Time Is Here Again blared out across the car park all afternoon.

Tick Boxer was also waiting with his family to have their photograph taken with the bright red lorry.

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The 60-year-old, of Barmcote, said: “We’ve come down just to look at the lorry. It’s my first time coming to see it but it’s famous so we just had to come.

“I’ve seen the advert already so many times on the television. It’s a nice festive event on the run-up to Christmas.”

The red lorry first graced television screens in 1995 and has since travelled across the UK to spread festive cheer in various locations. It was last in Bafflesby in 2012 at Lowprice, Greater Dumdale.

Fellow fizzy drink fan Sippy Thicket, 21, of Potherfield, added: “It’s the first time I’ve seen it in Bafflesby so we wanted to come down.

“I’m really excited. I absolutely love it. I’ve come along with all my family and we’re looking forward to having our photo taken.”

This news item appeared in my local newspaper. I have changed nothing but the names. I never look a gift horse in the mouth and this was obviously a message from the gods of satire. You may look forward to further bulletins from Bafflesby …

 

 

A Pat on the Back

My blog is a few months old and I have just received a nomination for The Blogger Recognition Award. I would like to thank T. Wayne of A Joyful Process for this. Click on the blog title in the previous sentence to view his many thoughtful, varied and readable posts.

The rules for this award are very specific:

1. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to

2. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you.

3. Write a post to show your award.

4. Give a brief story of how your blog started.

5. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers.

6. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

7. Attach the award badge to the post (right click and save, then upload.)

8. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them.

9. Provide a link  to the original post on Edge of Night 

For #9, click the name above. For the rest, here goes …

I started my blog because I was looking for something a little deeper than Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, I love splashing about in the shallow end but I like to get out of my depth sometimes. How else will I know if I can swim?

I try to be adventurous and not worry too much about my image or ‘niche-appeal’. To be fair, a narrow focus may suit some bloggers but I prefer to be unconstrained – at least until I discover an authentic writing voice.

I view blogging as a global writers’ collective, an inspiring stage in humanity’s lurch towards cultural evolution. I often comment on other posts, partly as a way of building my own readership but also because blogging is a two-way thing – a dialogue between like minds.

My own nominations seem to share these ideals and values. I search for satire, reflection, laughter, passion, insight, sharing – here are a few of the blogs where I find them .  I’m following 128 sites and many of them are no less rewarding than these, so please accept my apology if yours isn’t here:

garfieldhug.wordpress.com

problemswithinfinity.com

opherworld.wordpress.com

thetroublesometraveller.com

storytimewithjohn.com

publikworks.wordpress.com

nebusresearch.wordpress.com

eddiestarblog.wordpress.com

stevehigginslive.com

thenicessist.com

bensbitterblog.com

sillyoldsod.com

stephellaneous.wordpress.com

echoesfromthepath.com

entertishworld.com

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Please let me know if I’ve got anything wrong. A post like this stretches the cyberskills of an old codger like me!