My Words, My World

First drafts – A few pages in the large wilderness of the world of writing

Archive for the category “Humour”

The Seeker

In all my years as a detective on the Kent police force where, admittedly, I wasn’t inundated with out-of-the-ordinary cases, this was probably the strangest.  if I hadn’t had been there, I’d have laughed it off. I was, however, so I didn’t.

Being close to London, we had our share of dead bodies turning up, the majority of them unwillingly dead.  Then we had the willingly dead, the suicides, which normally entailed jumping off something high, into something deep or into the path of something heavy and fast-moving.  The story of The Seeker is none of the above.

Why The Seeker?  Well, his circumstances brought to mind that old song by The Who, we named him that in the station and it stuck.  When we have our pub get-togethers the case still gets referred to as The Seeker and yes, we smile about it now; certainly more than we did when we found him.

We were called to a semi-detached house on the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells one morning.  It was June and the glorious English two-week summer had been and gone and had been replaced by scattered showers and lower than average temperatures.  The bin men had become concerned at the lack of refuse at number 31, The Rise.  Strange, they said.  Not like him, they said.  Never goes on holiday, they said.  Would you mind checking?  So Davis and I pulled up outside number 31, between downpours, and knocked on the door.  Receiving no response, we circled the house, round to the back garden.  The only window open was the small hopper window, impossible to get through without removing it.  10 minutes later, Leatherman multi-purpose tool in hand, the window was off its hinges and Davis was head first and arse last through the hole.  I could only hear his muffled voice.

“Christ, it smells like your armpits in here.”

“Just open the door and let me in so we can confirm the man’s gone off on holiday and get back to the station for a coffee.”

The key turned in the kitchen door and it swung open.  Davis was right, the place stank.  I would, however, contest that my armpits smell like that.  The mewing of cats came from the landing above our heads as we walked through the hallway.  We looked at each other, no words needed.  Something wasn’t right. The stairs creaked as we made our way up. The cats scattered as we reached the landing, at least five or six of them.  The stench was almost unbearable.  A reluctant room-to-room followed.  We found him in the small studio room, still sat at his computer.

With the help of Martins on forensics the story was pieced together and it went like this.

The man had had an addiction.  No crack, meth or needle chill for The Seeker, no.  just good old Google.  He’d played chicken on the information super-highway and lost.  Too much information can kill you – ignorance is bliss.  He should’ve listened.

Only afterwards, going through his browser history, did the full extent of his addiction come to light.  He’d researched everything from an aardvark’s anal glands to a zebra’s zoonosis.  During this month-long bout of browser fever, he’d starting neglecting himself then he’d started neglecting his cats.  The official cause of death was dehydration; he’d sat and sat until his body was so drained of fluids he’d just collapsed.  He’d even rigged up some form of hose system to an old washtub so he didn’t have to get out of his seat.  No eating for The Seeker, he was nourishing himself in a Wikipedia frenzy, feeding off a You Tube drip and, slowly but surely, Googling himself to death.  Somewhere during the course of this derangement his dehydrated body gave up and his heart gave out.  At least we hope it did.

After all, the cats had to eat.

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Hell’s kitchen

The Sous-chef was on the floor. I left the knife where I found it, in a red puddle beside his foot. Its blade pointed towards the door, as if indicating the escape direction of the guilty party. The stainless steel worktop dripped and I noticed more splatters up the wall, behind the sink. A saucepan had overturned, spilling its now-smoking contents over the hobs.

A constable came in. “We have him sir; he was outside the rear entrance, behind some dustbins,” his face registering shock as he looked around at the scene.

“Where is he now?”

“In the car, sir.”

“Keep him there.”

The constable backed out slowly as I turned around, taking in details. A handprint, red and smudged, hailed me from the fridge door. I felt something drip onto my left shoulder. I knew what it was even without looking up, but I looked anyway – curiosity is like that. Then I heard a muffled voice behind me.

“Yes!”

Knee joints clicked as the Sous-chef rose to his feet, a look of triumph on his face as his arm withdrew from under the fridge with his prized wooden spoon, a gift from Keith Floyd apparently.

“So much for Hell’s Kitchen eh, officer?”

“What happened?”

“Well, when the Maître announced Gordon Ramsay’s arrival the chef became agitated, to say the least. Then, while he was plating Mr Ramsay’s Penne al Pomodoro, I happened to mention he’d forgotten the basil and then …” He waved his spoon around the kitchen.

Swiss six word stories

He looked at her, and Gotthard.

 

For those of you with dirty minds, I was writing about a man and his wife on holiday, just before passing over the St. Gotthard Pass.  🙂

 

Sometimes, always – part II

“I’m already in town Stephie.  I’ve an hour before I have to meet Dan and Bill.”

“OK Jules, see you at Starbucks in 10 minutes.”

Julie gathered the various carrier bags and took a slow walk along the pedestrianized high street.  She stopped to look at the new releases in the window of W. H. Smith then made her way to Starbucks.  Her friend was already seated, looking at the coffee menu.  She looked up as Julie came in then looked at the bags.

“Hello Jules.  It’s not Christmas come early is it?”

Julie placed the bags around her chair, smiling.

“Bill’s birthday next week.”

“Where is he, with Dan?”

“Yeah.  They’re taking a walk along the beach.  Bill loves the sea.”  She shivered.  It didn’t go unnoticed.

“Have you tried talking to anyone Jules, apart from Dan I mean?”

She shook her head.

“I think it’s time you thought about it.  You can’t go through life with this fear that stops you doing something you always liked before.  Cappuccino?”

“Stephie got up and ordered two coffees, leaving Julie staring at the black plastic table.  A minute or so later she returned, coffees in hand.

“Four years have passed; you’ve got to move on Jules.”

“I will. I will.  I’m just not ready for that last step, to air it out in public.  Not at the moment.”

“What does Dan say about it.”

“That he understands.  He can’t though.  How could he?”

“Well, no one apart from you can really understand, it’s impossible.”

“At least, as a woman, you can understand me more.”

Stephie stirred in the sugar slowly, contemplating this last comment.  She looked up into her friend’s eyes, which were starting to glisten.

“You can see a psychologist Jules.  Professional secrecy and all that.”

“The psychologist will still know though.”

“Yeah, but you won’t have to go back there.  I’m sure it’ll do you good, you can start to enjoy walking with Billy again.”

“All Billy’s ever known is that I’m scared of the water, that I can’t bear the sight of it.  How will explain the sudden change, if indeed I do change?”

“That you did it for him.”

“And how am I going to tell a psychologist?”

Stephie looked into her friend’s face.  Her eyes were still glistening.  They were more than glistening.  Her eyes wrinkled around the edges.  She pinched her mouth shut to control herself, but she couldn’t hold it back and sprayed coffee over her jeans.  Customers looked round as Stephie howled with laughter.

“It’s like this, Doctor.  I was sunbathing on a beach when a bloody big crab came along and nipped my tit.”

Like the passing of wind…or was it air?

The heavy, oak door slid on hinges oiled better than a Neapolitan donut-seller’s hair and Gaum heard it. Well, he sensed the liquorice black room slip into a shade of night slightly less gloomy, but still far darker than charcoal, jet or even coal. He stopped breathing. Well, he’d actually done so 14 years previously and just never got back into the habit. What a waste of energy, he thought, and carried on living his life in apnoea, oblivious to the need for ins and outs of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Ah yes, the door.

He had to hide and moved with so light a presence that the dust under his feet, which had last been swept around the time Gaum still breathed, failed to raise a speck. He heard giggles as light flooded into the room for the first time since the floor had last been cleaned. Bollocks! he thought, Kids! What are they doing in here? It had been some time since Guam last laid eyes on children, in fact probably around the last time a dim light rolled in from behind the heavy oak door which swung on an oiled hinge, but they’d never been in this room, ever.

The giggling got louder and the light lighter. Gaum kept still behind the ancient teak desk, as the giggles became murmurs. Dust kicked up, swirling and dancing in the shaft of light from the open door and a heavy scraping sound made Gaum’s heart leap. The chair, its cracked and faded burgundy leather billowed more dust.

“I thought of it first.”

“Get off; I got us in here didn’t I?”

“Yeah but I thought of it.”

“Only because I told you about it.”

The tussling continued, dust was thrown up everywhere. Gaum wanted to sneeze but then remembered he’d stopped breathing, so sneezing seemed irrelevant. A loud, metallic ringing followed by a series of taps told Gaum they had knocked a pen off the desk. Still they pushed and grunted and still the dust flew.
A heavy groaning sound was followed by a grinding crash. He looked out from behind the desk. Busted, bent keys lie about like dead soldiers, the ribbon strewn across the floor in a last bid for freedom and the carriage return lever lay twisted under the bulk of the old Remington like a broken leg.

“Look what you did.”

“It wasn’t me, you pushed it.”

“Let’s get out of here before someone comes.” Two shadows leapt through the open door.

As their footfalls faded, a light shone down on the remains of the typewriter. Gaum felt strange and light, so light in fact he could feel himself floating as he looked down on the senseless mess.

Then, with a shake of his head and something resembling a sigh, or maybe the passing of wind, or a breath of air, the ghost of the muse of the long-dead writer was finally free.

Semicolon

You, semicolon
A dot. A comma,
a pause slightly longer
than a breath

And instead of punctuating words
they’ve punctured your heart
You, semicolon
Half remembered, barely read

Semicolon; you ran your race,
and lost your place
And in this fast-paced world
of the modern human race
You paused once too often
and became a Winky, smiley face

;o)

The shrink and syllable

Message / psycho / disyllable

Sounds like an English pub name, in fact, should I ever own a pub (dangerous Farley, dangerous) it wouldn’t be a bad one.  I digress.  This piece came from an early morning idea of opening the dictionary, closing my eyes and jabbing my finger three times and seeing what words were found…the first two were ok. At 7am I really had to think about ‘disyllable’ though. Anyway, I gave myself 20 minutes for the exercise and it rolled out like this:

***

He sat there staring at me, just wouldn’t drop his eyes. I could feel myself squirming inside, uncomfortable was not word enough for how I felt. In some far off corner of my brain though I rationalised; he had a point, some twisted logic that made his argument plausible. He waited.

“You must understand Mr Brunton that I am not an expert in that field.”

Yes, but what do you actually think doctor?”

Well, I suppose if I had an opinion I could proffer it, I guess I can’t see the harm.”

He waited. I cleared my throat. I wasn’t so much worried about his reaction, I found myself wanting his approval. I held his gaze.

“The first thing is you need to stop thinking everything is some kind of subliminal message, with some hidden agenda. It really isn’t like that. You…”

“Doctor, you work for the system, you would say that.”

“System? What system? I am a psychologist Mr Brunton, you came to me remember?” I heard my tone change. No matter what the situation I’ve always kept a lid on my feelings. Impartiality is my middle name. However, with this psycho sitting in front of me thinking God knows what about me, whilst the colour drained and returned to his face with every fleeting emotion that raced through his mind, his eyes constantly wandering round the room. I could feel tiny bubbles of anger rising up, like champagne in a flute glass.

“There is nothing untoward about it,” I continued, “and I really don’t see the problem Mr Br…”

“Ah! But you wouldn’t would you doctor. For you it isn’t a problem you’ve ever considered. How many people go through life blatantly ignoring fundamental questions such as these? Too many I shouldn’t wonder.”

“Mr Brunton.”

“You ignore these things at your peril doctor. These issues must be confronted, they have to be…”

MR BRUNTON!” I was now shaking visibly and any trace of impartiality had flown out of the window or crawled under the door. “Mr Brunton, I am not an expert in either linguistics or grammar, therefore I will now find you the contact details of the Oxford English Dictionary, whereupon you can contact them yourself and ask them just why the word “disyllable”, which means a word containing two syllables, itself actually contains four.”

Jack and the Beanstalk – Modern day London remix

I’ve not blogged for a while, a holiday (finally), a short trip back to the UK (again finally) and work got in the way, as well as some evening studies just to completely muddle my brain.  I have also been working on a short story which has now got out of hand and is slowly heading towards (at least) novelette territory.

However, last week back in the UK I came across a book of fairy tales in the second-hand bookshop.  I flicked through and came back home with an idea, which, after my Little Red Riding Hood of last year, I just had to get it down.

Take it away Jack…

____________________________________________________________________________________

Once upon a time, in fact not that long ago, in a small flat overlooking Clapham Junction there lived ateenager called Jack and his single mother, Tracy.  They were poor.  Tracy was on benefit and had a bit of a problem with the vodka so Jack, ever resourceful, had to go out and steal so they could eat.

One day, while out thieving a couple of BLTs from M&S, Jack was caught by the security guard, taken to the office and held while the police came, and eventually they did.  Jack was also linked to a spate of other thefts but they couldn’t prove anything but he still finished the day with the promise of an ASBO over his head.

He was eventually let out but was in tears, as he’d promised his mum he would bring home some supper.  “Nothing for it,” sobbed the young lad, “I’m gonna have to go up Kings Cross and sell a piece of me so we can eat.”

One of the two coppers, big and burly with a sergeant-major moustache and a funny walk, was following him out of the station and overheard his lament.  He tapped him on the shoulder.

“Hello again son,” said the copper.

“Alright sir?” answered Jack.

“Where are you going?” asked the copper.

“I am going to Kings Cross to earn some dough sir.”

“It’s lucky I met you son,” said the copper. “You may save yourself the trouble of going so far, and save you the expense, though I’d bet you would have jumped the train barrier anyway.”

With this, he put his hand in his pocket, and pulled out five curious-looking beans.

“What do you call these, beans?  Ain’t seen nothing like them before,” said Jack.

Yes,” said the copper, “beans, but they’re the most wonderful beans ever known.  If you plant them overnight, by the next morning they’ll grow up and reach the sky. But to save you the trouble of going all the way to Kings Cross, I don’t mind exchanging them for a piece of you,” he said, fiddling his truncheon.

“Done!” cried Jack, who was so delighted with the bargain that after the deed was done he minced all the way home to tell his mother how lucky he had been.

But oh! How disappointed his poor single mother was.

“Off to bed with you, and no PlayStation!” she cried; and she was so angry that she threw the beans out of the window and they landed on the embankment next to the railway line.  Poor Jack went to bed without any supper (not that there was any, apart from the lemon in his mother’s vodka) or PlayStation, and cried himself to sleep.

When he woke up the next morning, the room was almost dark, which even for an English autumn was rare if not impossible at 10.30.  Jack jumped out of bed and ran to the window to see what the matter was.  The sun was shining brightly outside, which was strange for Clapham but from the ground right up beside his window there grew a great beanstalk, which stretched up and up as far as he could see, into the sky.

“I’ll just see where it leads to,” thought Jack, and with that he put on his stolen Reeboks, gangster-boy jeans with the arse down to his knees and a hoody bought in the last winter sale from the nearby camping shop and stepped out of the window and on to the beanstalk, and he began to climb upwards. He climbed up and up, till after a time his block of flats, an eyesore from the 70s, looked a mere speck below, but at last the stalk ended, and he found himself in a new and beautiful country. He immediately looked around for something to steal but there was nothing going.  A little way off there was a great castle, with a broad road leading straight up to the front gate. “I’ll ‘ave some of that.” He said, to no one in particular.  But then a beautiful maiden appeared from nowhere.

“Bleedin’ ‘ell,” he said, “I wish I could do that, I’d ‘ave a few things away I’ll tell ya, luv.”

The maiden winced at the lad’s massacre of the English language.  Staring at his jeans, wondering if in fact Jack was incontinent; after all, why else would they hang so low.  Then she saw his hoody from Millets, felt pity and decided to tell him.

“Hello Jack.”

Jack, not the quickest on the uptake, wondered how she knew his name and then presumed she’d got news of his earlier arrest, soon found out she knew a great deal about him.  She told him how, when he was quite a little baby, his father, a semi-successful drug-dealer, had been slain for trying to rip off the giant who imported directly from Columbia and lived in yonder castle, and how Jack’s mother, in order to save Jack and for a few cases of Smirnoff, had been obliged to promise never to tell the secret.

“All that the giant has is yours,” she said, and then disappeared quite as suddenly as she came.

“She must be a fairy, or there were still some ‘shrooms left over in that tea-pot from Mum’s girly night in,” thought Jack.

As he drew near to the castle, he saw the giant’s wife standing at the door.

“If you please, missus,” said he, “you wouldn’t ‘ave a bite to eat would ya?  I ain’t had nothing to eat since yesterday.”

Now, the giant’s wife, although very big and very ugly, had a kind heart, at least before she got on the Tennents Super, so she said: “Very well little man, come in; but you must be quick about it, for if my husband the giant finds you here, he will beat you up, break your bones and all.”

So in Jack went in, and the giant’s wife gave him a good breakfast, but before he had half-finished it there came a terrible knock at the front door, which seemed to shake even the thick walls of the castle.

“Oh shite, that’s my husband!” said the giantess, in a terrible fright; “we must hide you somehow,” and she lifted Jack up and popped him into the empty kettle.

“Oi!” shouted Jack, scared shitless in the dark.

“Shut up a minute you silly little git,” she said, sticking her finger in the kettle spout and cutting off any sound the saggy arsed-trouser boy could make.  No sooner had she done so the giant roared out:

“Fee, fum, fi, fo;
I smell the blood of a young ASBO;
Be he alive, or be he dead,
I’ll bust his teeth and jump on his head!”

Oh shoosh!” said his wife; “you having a laugh love.  You been on the ale already?  It’s the T-bone steaks you smell.” So the giant sat down, and ate 5 kilos of T-bone with a gallon of home-made ale. When he finished he said:  “Woman, bring me my money-bags.” So his wife brought him two full bags of gold, and the giant began to count his money. But he was so sleepy from the meal and ale that his head soon began to nod, and then he began to snore, like the rumbling of thunder. Then Jack, slipping and sliding with his Reeboks in the copper kettle, crept out, and made off with the two bags, and though the giant’s dog, an enormous Pit-bull, barked loudly, he made his way down the beanstalk back to the flat before the giant awoke.

Jack and his mother were now in the money; she hugged him and after the fourth vodka and tonic told him she loved him.  Jack went down Maccy Dee’s and had a couple of Big Macs to celebrate, before buying an ounce of puff from his classmate.  Things were rosy for a few weeks but his mum’s shopping sprees and nights down the pub along with Jack’s computerised home entertainment fixation soon meant they were down to shopping at Lidl in no time at all so it occurred to him one day that he would like to see how matters were going on at the giant’s castle. So while his mother was away, offering favours to the owner of the local off-licence in the hope of something to drink, he climbed up, and up, and up, and up, until he got to the top of the beanstalk again.

The giantess was standing at the door, just as before, but she did not know Jack, who was more finely dressed than on his first visit. Well, that wasn’t hard, compared to the first time.  Maybe she was dazzled by the bling.  “’Ello missus,” said he, “will you give me some breakfast?”

“Run away,” said she, “or my husband the giant will beat you up, broken bones and all. The last boy who came here stole two bags of gold – off with you!”  But the giantess had a kind heart, although she looked eagerly at her watch, waiting for Tennents hour to arrive, and she allowed Jack to come into the kitchen, where she set before him enough breakfast to last him a week. Scarcely had he begun to eat than there was a great rumbling like an earthquake, and the giantess had only time to bundle Jack into the oven when in came the giant.  No sooner was he inside the kitchen when he roared:

“Fee, fum, fi, fo;
I smell the blood of a young ASBO;
Be he alive, or be he dead,
I’ll bust his teeth and jump on his head!”

But his wife told him he was mistaken, and after breakfasting on a dozen deep-fried chickens and a gallon of home-made ale, he called out: “Wife, bring the little brown hen!”  The giantess dutifully went out and brought in a little brown hen, which she placed on the table.

“Lay!” said the giant; and the hen at once laid a golden egg.  His wife breathed a sigh of relief, glad that he wasn’t referring to her for a quick shag.  “Lay!” said the giant a second time; and the hen laid another golden egg. “Lay!” said the giant a third time; and she laid a third golden egg.

“That’ll do for to-day,” said he, and stretched himself out to go to sleep. As soon as he began to snore, Jack crept out of the oven, went on tiptoe to the table and, snatching up the little brown hen made a dash for the door. Then the hen began to cackle, and the giant began to wake up; but before he was quite awake, Jack had escaped from the castle, and, climbing as fast as he could down the beanstalk, got home safe to his scruffy flat.

The little brown hen laid so many golden eggs that Jack and his mother had now more money than ever but the vodka, designer clothes and bling took their toll once more so, one day, afraid of getting caught stealing or even selling himself in train station toilets, Jack crept out of the window again, and climbed up, and up, and up, and up, until he reached the top.

This time he decided he would have none of that ugly, beastly woman on the doorstep malarkey; so he crept round to the back of the castle, and when the giant’s wife went out to the shed, full of Tennents Super, he slipped into the kitchen and hid himself in the oven. In came the giant, roaring louder than ever:

“Fee, fum, fi, fo;
I smell the blood of a young ASBO;
Be he alive, or be he dead,
I’ll bust his teeth and jump on his head!”

But the giantess was quite sure that she had seen no little boys that morning; and after grumbling a great deal, the giant sat down to breakfast. Even then he was not quite satisfied, for every now and again he would mumble:

“Fee, fum, fi, fo;
I smell the blood of a young ASBO.”

and once he even got up and looked in the kettle. But, of course, Jack was in the oven all the time.

When the giant had finished, he called out: “Wife, bring me the golden harp!”  So she brought in the golden harp, and placed it on the table, turned round and knocked her fifth can of Tennents over the rug. “Wife, you are a drunken bint” said the giant, “start sobering up and get the dinner on or something.  I’m bloody starving!”  Seconds later the harp began to sing the most beautiful songs that ever were heard. It sang so sweetly that the giant soon fell fast asleep, flagon of ale in his hand; then Jack crept quietly out of the oven, and going on tiptoe to the table, seized hold of the golden harp. But the harp at once called out: “Master! Master!” and the giant woke up just in time to catch sight of Jack legging it out of the kitchen-door.

With a fearful roar, he seized his oak-tree club, and dashed after Jack, who held the harp tight, and ran faster than he had ever run before.

“Sod the bleedin’ fags, I need to stop smoking” thought Jack, out of breath after the first fifty yards.  The giant, brandishing his club, and taking massive strides, gained on Jack with every step, who would have been caught if the giant had not tripped over a case of Tennents his wife had hidden, half-buried in the ground.  Before he could pick himself up, Jack began to climb down the beanstalk, and by the time the giant arrived at the edge he was nearly half-way to the horrible, dingy flat he called home.

The giant, not only pissed but also very pissed off, began to climb down too; but as soon as Jack saw him coming, he called out: “Oi Mum, bring us the can of petrol we wanted to burn old Mr. Jacobs from number 76 with!” and the single mother, pissed as a fart but thinking about the longevity of her vodka supply, came out with a gallon of unleaded and a box of Swan Vestas.  Jack had no sooner reached the ground than he chucked the petrol all over the base of the beanstalk and lit a match.  WHOOSH! went the beanstalk, along with Jack’s eyebrows and down came the giant with a terrible crash and made a huge hole in the ground, big enough to be buried in, which is precisely what Jack and his mother did after they went through his rather large pockets to see what they could find, which, apart from a snotty hanky that would have made a bedspread, was nothing.  What became of the giantess and the castle nobody knows, but Jack now had enough money to start dealing, taking over from where his father once left off whilst his mother could now drink enough to be able to spend one month in and three months out of the Betty Ford clinic.  It is supposed they lived happy ever after, especially after moving up-market from Clapham Junction to Tooting Bec. 

Today

It’s the twenty second, yesterday gone
No super volcano or atomic bomb
Someones’ calculation went astray
The world should have ended yesterday
Down in Yucatan in ages past
Predictions made a little too fast
A man, a chief with feathered hat band
Arms to the sky, numbers in sand
2-1 1-2 2-0-1-2
I’m still here, what about you?

Thank you NaNoWriMo

Well, the 30th November has come and gone.  How did I do?  Was it a success?

Let’s be frank.  I didn’t get 50’000 words down during the month; far from it, in fact I finished with under 20’000.  This was due, in part, to two factors.  One of which no-one could have foreseen and necessitated 3 weekends out of 4 away from home.  The other simply being that work commitments HAVE to come before my writing for pleasure as I’ve never earned a buck from my writing and I’m not in the position to do so now.  Bills must be paid and there were times during the month when I came home late and the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of another computer.  I did force myself a few times, and it shows in what I wrote (I’m sure I’ll be murdering a fair few of THOSE darlings…).  Instead, the times when I felt at ease the words flowed, humour was easier to come by and the characters gelled and developed.

I returned from visiting my folks in England at the end of October and sat down (as I’ve previously mentioned on here) on 1st November with little idea what to do or where to go with it once I had it. I always thought it an exageration when I read that writers, or rather successful ones, don’t know what their characters are going to get up to when they sit at the keyboard.  “What a load of old tosh!” I said to myself.  However, now I’m a changed man.  It’s not tosh at all.  I started the beginning of the exercise with no plot whatsoever – none!  It developed and it is still developing and I love it.  It’s the first time this has happened to me and it’s a fantastic feeling.

So; what about my novel?  It’s there, it’s at early stages.  My characters are still sussing each other out.  I’m discovering traits in a couple of them that weren’t there at the start.  A couple of big-hitters are still yet to show their faces but they will, in time. I’ve been learning how to tell their story, I hope by the end I make at least a reasonable job of doing so.  I hope so.

Finally, I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to the NaNoWriMo team for uniting writers from all over the world for one cause; to write.  No more, no less.  In my 19’000 words you helped me become more of a writer than I was at the end of October.  There’s the possibility I may never earn a buck from my writing, but I do know I’ll enjoy it all the more for the experience during the last month. You see NaNoWriMo has given me the discipline to write, when I can.  One evening I turned out 2’000 words in one sitting.  I’ve never done that before and boy, what a feeling.

So, was it a success?  Personally, yes.

Thank you.

A Colonel sketch

The drunken colonel, after a morning aperitif of several G&T’s, finds himself seated for lunch in a restaurant he happened to fall into:

>

“Waiter, there’s a turd in my soup.”

“No Sir, that is Tofu.”

“Toffee, waiter?  I like to drink my soup, not chew on it.”

“T.O.F.U. Sir.  It is a meat alternative.”

“Waiter, if I ask for chicken soup why would you serve me a meat alternative?”

“House rules Sir.”

“House rules?  What the devil are you talking about man?”

“Yes Sir.  This is a vegetarian restaurant Sir.  We do not offer meat products.”

“Vegetarian restaurant?  What, you mean no meat and two veg?”

“Just the two veg Sir, in fact more if you wish Sir.”

“Vegetarians… I blame vegetarianism on the lesbians you know.”

“What, Sir, may I ask, have the two in common?”

“There you go, you just said it.  Greenham Common.  Thirty years ago thousands of ordinary housewives went there to protest about nuclear deployment.  They all came back lesbians and vegetarians.”

“Oh Sir, I think you are exaggerating the link, even if I am too young to remember.  After all, I grew up a vegetarian.”

You’re not gay are you?”

“No Sir, I am married.”

“And your wife, she doesn’t bat for the other team then does she?”

“Sir, I can assure you we have two healthy boys, who are not gay and we are all vegetarians.  About the soup Sir?”

“Something less resembling a floating turd would be my soup of choice.  Oh, and waiter, a man can only drink so much water; bring me the wine list would you?”

“Sir, this is a non-alcoholic restaurant, we intentionally do not have a licensed premises.”

“?!?!?”

>

Exit waiter, rapidly.

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