My little experiment

In an effort to keep myself writing as often as possible, I have been taking songs I like and then penning a wee story that is kind of based on the lyrics.  It is just a bit of fun and there was a part of me that wondered if the source material would shine through too obviously.

I was way off the mark with that thought!!

So there are 3 stories on this blog that are based on songs.  The songs are as follows

68 guns

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Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

They are not literal interpretations, more a cover version in story form.  Bizarrely the Soft Cell one was the least read of them all…despite it being the most mainstream song…

This all came about because when I hear songs with lyrics I like, I seem to always conjure up little pictures in my head.  What did they mean?  What was happening?  That sort of thing.

The first time I was fully aware that I was doing this, was when I heard this Roxette Song.

The line “The sound of silence and all around” conjured up a vivid picture of lonliness that kept getting more detail with each time I heard it.

So when that keeps happening, you should realise that the world is telling you something.

It only took me 20+ years to realise what.

 

Another song to story will appear later on today.  Not a particularly obscure song but offbeat enough.

 

Let me whisper a story to you

Part of trying to pull together all the wee stories I have written over the years, is having to read them again.  Often I do not even remember them.  Almost as if they had been written by someone else.

Then as the words envelop me, I remember how I was feeling at that time….reality spilling out over the page.  Morphing into words that helped me cope with my life at that time.

I also notice a recurring theme in my stories.  Identity, frustration with how things are and wishing they could be different.

The following is from 2013….reading it back now, it is rough and ragged and needs to be wrangled into a better form.  Yet there is a beauty to it, to me anyway.  A perfectly frozen moment of time. The fear that if I edit it, then I am losing something from it.

I wrote a superhero comic script way back when I was in my late teens.  It is awful.  However when I read it now, it perfectly captures that time of my life.  Changing it for publishing today would surely remove the energy that echoes from the words.  That may change the whole feeling that the story has.

Maybe all writers feel this and the good ones are able to let that draft go?

Anyway, here is a blast from this blogs past.

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Hey…you fancy something to read?

I was on holiday recently.  Well I say holiday, I was off work looking after the Bat Kids.

I had plans…such grand lovely plans.

I ended up playing video games with my spare time and my plans were put back on a shelf marked “C’mon man…..just do it”.  On the plus side, I cleared a few games from my backlog (Ryse, Outlast, Rise of the Tomb Raider, D4 and Gat out of Hell).

On the down side…I did not edit my stories into a book.

Yeah….I know….believe me I do.

So back to work and full of woe wishing I could just go back to sleep for a couple of hours, I have spent my lunchtime looking at my old stories.  They are not too bad and although they need a good edit and some obvious song lyrics changed, they could form the spine of a not bad book.

So as it is Friday and I am feeling generous….here is the beginning of what will eventually be self published.

Please read and let me know what you think – good or bad.

Many Thanks

Remember I love you all

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This has been on my mind a lot

Specifically the section on writing yourself into the story.

I’ve posted this before and discussed this before. So why repeat it?

Well as we go through life, things change, you learn and you adjust.  This video always makes me feel able to handle those changes.

Plus how many other videos start like this?

Fan Fiction – ideas for Game Of Thrones

After a conversation at work, where I had suggested to a colleague that due to GOT being released later in the year next year (Possibly) that she watched something else….this was not acceptable!

So I suggested that she write really good GOT fan fiction and get famous enough to be invited to read the scripts before they were filmed.  I then came up with a couple of ideas off the top of my head for her.  I present these below fully aware that my spelling may be wrong, my understanding of the mythos is flawed and that there are very possibly already versions of these out there.

The Erotic Adventures of Tyrion and the Khaleesi – Not as you might think, a badly written erotic story about the two of them getting it together, rather they visit all these parties and get with other people…..

Daenerys and Tyrion – the search for the dragonrider – A kids tale where the two of them have adventures with the dragons, while searching for the third rider.  Tale 2 would obviously involve Jon Snow

Hijinks with the Lady and her Pod – Brienne is clearly a strong woman with a mischievous streak.  Tales of what the two of them get up to when they have not been on-screen.  Pod obviously being the voice of reason in this scenario.

Ned Stark – The Return – The Faceless ones, using strange arcane magic, realise that Arya Stark will become their leader one day.  So they replace Ned in the kings landing dungeon with a Faceless one and he is hidden away.  Maybe he is the Faceless man?  Maybe Not.

Who’s that at the Moon Door? – Kids book using pop up (or pop down more likely) art to depict the various people, animals etc who have “fallen” through the Moon Door.

Melisandre and her Smoke Babies – Childrens tale of an old woman living in a remote cottage with just her smoke babies to entertain her.  A little bit like Snow White but with more smoke.

A day at the wall – Harrowing tales of life in the Nights Watch, written as Haikus.

 

And with that I must stop.

 

 

I once claimed I was the Scottish Green Lantern

Dressing up at Conventions.  I am totally for it, even if I do not particularly like the term “cosplay”.  Recently Aberdeen held its 2nd Comic Convention and social media was full of pictures of the various efforts at dressing up.  There were some great costumes and some average ones but it did not matter because everyone involved was doing what they wanted to do.  This is what being a fan is.  The ability to embrace your inner geek (nerd, princess whatever you want to call it) and enjoy what you enjoy.

For instance, I do not get Harry Potter (Or Gotham, Agents of Sheild, etc) but I know there are a lot of people who do like those fandoms.  My not getting them does not make me want to stop those who do from enjoying themselves.  Just don’t push it on me (a bit like religion or politics) and enjoy yourselves.

However I was not always so open and accepting.  Mainly because I was, you know, growing up and learning all the time.  It was a bit like my personal established Continuity was being rebooted every few years and the old me was cast away and forgotten about.

I have struggled with parts of the concept of cosplay.  To me, dressing up should be fun and all costumes should be home made.  Seeing these beautiful costumes that have been bought is nice and all but are quickly forgotten as soon as you see someone who has poured their heart and soul into something that they have cobbled together.  That to me is a true fan (of course that is just my opinion).  The other bit of cosplay I dislike is….well….the “skits” that some fans put on.  Again that is my personal view as I know there are people who like that and that is fine.

It has been 25 ish years since I was at a comic convention (22 ish since I was at a Dr Who one).  I went to my first ever one down in that London.  I don’t think I had ever been there before and I went with my eyes ready to be opened.  Boy were they.  I had noticed on the information leading up to the con, that if you entered the costume parade, you got your convention fee refunded.  That was all I needed.  That year I dressed up as Robin the boy wonder, my costume made from the finest cheapest materials I could find in charity shops.  I think I even had green washing up gloves.  As a naive 18 yr old I was in awe of the costumes around me in the dressing room (the winner was a guy who was the Fantastic Four – him and 3 dressed up rubber dolls – to be fair he deserved it) and I ended up involved in a Skit of sorts.  One of the other contestants had a Batman costume.  Now my memory of this may well be wrong but I remember thinking that it was perfect.  The host of the parade (the wonderful Hass) was dressed as the penguin and the plan was I went on, got interviewed by Hass, then attacked and Batman would stride on to save me.  A picture of that event made it into Zones (A british reprint mag at the time) and my only sadness at that, was that they did not know my name and I went uncredited!!!

Still I have made it into a comic and that makes me happy.  I have also been in a music video, so I am slowly invading your consciousness a little bit at a time.

Over the next couple of years I went as various characters to the costume parades (Both at UKCAC and GLACAC).  Jay Garrick Flash, Middenface McNulty and Green Lantern.

It was London that I dressed as Green Lantern.  Green Tshirt, white gloves, green boxer shorts, black thick tights, I looked ….well…like I had made it myself.  However I did dye a pair of white sandshoes, and they looked good with my green socks (I think they may have even been the same colour!)  My proudest achievement though was that I had found green luminescent paint.  I painted a ring on my glove, painted my domino mask with it and painted the Green Lantern Symbol onto my T-Shirt.  I thought that they could lower the lights before I went on and the glow would look cool.

They couldn’t.

So I was standing at the side of the stage feeling a little bit down.  My costume was awful but I did not really mind that.  It was part of the fun of the parade.  I remember a Glasgow con, a guy went as Buster Gonad with two Pillows attached to his jeans…genius idea.  He may have even won.  No I felt a bit sad that the effect I had planned would never be seen (hey I was 19/20 …I am just surprised I never wrote a poem about it).

At that low point, a young child in the queue asked me which Green Lantern I was.  Maybe it was being in London on my own, maybe it was just tiredness, maybe it was defensiveness.  Whatever it was, I turned and sneered at him,

“The Scottish One”.

Not my proudest moment.

I awake as if from a dream – One Year On

I wrote this as a little tribute from me to the Wonderful Dark Souls video game.  I had been avoiding it and its precursor Demons Souls as I no longer have the same amount of time to play video games any more.  So I prefer smaller, easier games so that I can enjoy myself and feel I am progressing.  The idea that I would play a game that relentlessly punishes you time and time again, seemed alien to me.

However I am also affected by what is happening around me.  So many positive reviews and articles about Dark Souls made me think “What if I’m wrong?”  Then one day I say it on Ebay and did what I always do, put in the maximum I would be happy to pay for it (In this case £10) and forgot about the auction.

I won it and when it arrived, I installed it to my 360 as I read the instruction manual.

I miss actual instruction manuals.

The game started and something clicked.  It was hard but not overly so.  Every play session, I felt as though I had achieved something.  When I died in the game, it was never because of bad game design, it was always a mistake I had made.  I had gone for an extra attack instead of dodging, or I had not kept track of my surroundings and walked off a cliff.  The difficulty of the game is no joke but it never feels unfair (Yes even Ornstein and Smough!!) .  I was inspired to pen some fan fiction.  Re-reading it now, it still makes me remember the thrill each new area brought me.  The joy I got when I finally took down a Boss (Four Kings – 1st Time – no help – I rock!!)

Since that time I have bought Demon Souls, Dark Souls 2 (twice…well technically 3 times!) and Bloodborne.  In an attempt to support this type of game, I also bought Lords of the Fallen – It is good, just not as good.   I have not completed any of them but each time I play, I am enveloped in the atmosphere and I discover something new.  I will buy Dark Souls 3 in time but for now, I will complete at least one of the above games first.

So in case you missed it first time around, here is the short story.

Praise the Sun.

 

For a split second, all I can see around me are lush green trees and grass.

Then the reality sets in and my surroundings are rubble and mud.  My fire has almost burnt itself out and I shift slowly from my prone position to get closer to its warmth.  I do not remember going to sleep here but the evidence is there in front of me.  Despite my tiredness I had built a fire and arranged a camp for the night, seemingly on auto pilot.

I eat some meagre rations, not enough to tame the hunger inside me and I am left feeling as hollow as before.

Todays plan, go and find something to eat it seems. Standing up hurts parts of me that I did not know existed.  My chain mail creaks softly as I stretch, the links have seen better days and will need to be repaired soon.  If only I knew how.

Starting my trek to the broken down building that I can see at the top of the hill, I pass through an area of such desolation, that I wonder if anything had ever lived here.  The ruins ahead of me would seem to indicate that life had existed here, but it must have been so long ago.

What am I doing in such a place?  My memory is as rusty as my armour.  Images flash but they do not help.  The ruins are important, that much I am sure of, but the why escapes me.

By the time I reach the outer rubble, the sun is high above me. Its light provides no warmth but does allow me to see most of the way inside the building.  It looks like something from a dream.  Ornate carvings seem to decorate the walls, untouched it seems, by the passing of time.  Taking my time I crouch under what seems to be a half collapsed archway and venture inside.

This was some palace, that must be it.  Such glorious decoration could only have been paid for by the very rich.  A grand mirror stands unbroken off towards the end of the room I have entered.  Approaching it, I can see that the dust of the ages has covered the surface.  Using my fingers I brush as much of the detritus away.  The reflection has dulled with the passage of time but I can still make out my reflection.

It horrifies me.

My face is sunken and aged, my eyes wizened and tired.  I look as if I had died years past.  My travels have taken a heavy toll on me. If only I could remember what I was searching for, then maybe I could get some rest.

I hear the clang of metal on stone behind me and I turn quickly to face whatever has made it.  My sword slides out of its scabbard smoothly and glistens in the light.  It has served me well and I have no worry about putting my faith in it again.

The monster looks at me as I would look at a bug.  It is easily four times my height.  Its lips peel back to show blackened teeth as it moves towards me.  Looking around my position, I realise that it is now between me and any means of escape.  Gripping my sword on two hands, I slowly try to circle around the creature.  It anticipates this and thrusts forward with its weapon.  I see the lance strike the ground beside me, the force of the blow knocks me off my feet.  Scrambling up, I realise I am standing in a patch of green mist.  A side effect of the creature no doubt.  The mist seems to swarm around me, covering me in its fingers.

Then it is gone.

I feel slightly better, at least it was not poison.  I reassess my position and try to circle the other way but once again the monster reacts, his strike this time crashing off of my raised guard.

Then I see it, As the creature moves towards me, I can see a gap between its legs.  Not a large one but possibly enough to roll through if I time it right.

I start to run towards it and just as it attacks me, I roll myself underneath its vast bulk.  The pike shatters the stone where I had been just a moment ago.  Standing up, I see the exit ahead.  Do I run and have it follow me, or do I fight?

Slashing at the creatures legs draws thick black blood.  Its scream of pain reverberates throughout the stone walls and emboldens me to keep attacking.  Slash after slash draws blood from the monster and I lose myself in my possible victory.  Lose myself for just long enough to not notice that it had turned to face me.  Too late I see the point of the pike bear down on me.

I awake as if from a dream.  For a split second, all I can see around me are lush green trees and grass.