A Little Story of Television

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Photo from Flickr

I grew up without a TV. While I’m not the only one out there, it’s often a bit of a shocker in this era of a PC on every desk, a Mac in every home and a TV in every living room. Now don’t think for a moment that means I grew up as a well adjusted child with little interest in TV. I was obsessed with it. Continue reading

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First go at WIPpet Wednesday

I’ve been lurking following from a distance in a totally non creepy way a group of writers/bloggers, who every Wednesday share a snippet of whatever Work In Progress they’re working on. I loved the idea, although up till now, it felt a little daunting to put my work out on the interweb.

Well, time to jump into the deep end, and give this a whirl. The embarrassing thing is that despite poring over this particular section of my WIP obsessively, I’ll no doubt have left a glaring typo somewhere that I’ll only find a week later when it’s too late. Sometimes I swear there’s a goblin in my keyboard who goes and adds new typos after I’ve finished checking.

Anyhoo.

The rules of the game are that there should be a link between the number of sentences/ words/ paragraphs (pages for those feeling super keen I guess?) and the date. It’s a bit like a writer’s version of Countdown for those of you who know the TV show. So since it’s the 26th of Nov: 2+6+11 = 19 paragraphs.

A quick bit of background, Longinus has an alter-ego when he is ‘working’ called The Viper – and he’s about to start the night’s ‘work’ down at the docks:

Nobody paid any attention to the man dressed head to toe in black, his brow hidden under the wide brim of a leather hat, his chin and mouth covered with a black silk handkerchief.

Blissful are the dim-witted, thought Longinus. If only they knew how close they are to Damsport’s deadliest assassin.

All the same, he wished they would at least have the sense to shiver with quiet dread.

Is it too much to ask that the common dockworker experience a faint malaise in my presence? Obviously.

He reached the end of Main Lagoon and slipped into Smallport Marina. Smaller boats docked there, fast messenger ships, barges from neighbouring cities, and stitchers, so called for the way their hulls were stitched together with coconut fibres. They were primitive but unrivalled in their speed and agility.

The noise from Main Lagoon faded away, the silence now only broken by the creaking of ships as they swayed in their moorings. Longinus lowered his handkerchief. The air was cooler and fresher in the marina, with only a hint of brackish water and salt. It was bearable, even to his delicate nose.

Longinus’ target for the night, a sailor, was located at the other end of the marina, sat by the furthest dock. No one else was there.

Longinus smiled wolfishly. It was just him and his prey.

The Viper approached. He moved with feline grace, at one with the shadows, as the moon glittered on the water, shimmering….No.

Longinus paused.

As the moon glittered… As the moon glimmered on the water, like so many diamonds.

He smiled to himself. That was a good line, very good.

The stone walkway along the marina was narrow but lined with thick, shaggy banyan trees, their arial roots dangling towards the ground. Longinus walked behind them, hidden in their shadows, keeping a careful eye on the sailor.

When he was only a few yards away, he paused behind a banyan tree, peering around its trunk. The sailor had thrown his head back, his mouth clamped on a bottle’s neck, attempting to coax out its last remaining drops. Longinus recognised the bottle as Smithy’s Gold, a cheap, nasty rum. Sailors were so predictably devoid of class. And taste.

In front of the sailor was another stool on which he had set out a lump of cheese, a heel of bread, a plump tomato, and a small pot with a lid. Longinus retreated behind the tree trunk and pulled his writing box from the holster that kept it strapped to his back. He had plenty of time, the mark had no idea that Damsport’s deadliest assassin was closing in on him, and that last line was too good not to write down. He would give the Muse precedence over Death.

From the box he produced a delicate mother of pearl stylus, into the base of which was screwed a glass vial of black ink. He pulled out a small sheet of paper, and replaced the box’s lid, the lacquered wood gleaming in the moonlight.

Just like the moon’s reflection in the water.

He leant the paper against its flat surface and wrote out his latest composition, smiling and nodding at his inimitable way with words.

Inspiration is flowing tonight. I called, and the Muse answered.

He wrote that down too.

Hope you enjoyed that. If you want to join in or go check out other people’s work, click here. And thanks to KL Schwengel who hosts WIPpet Wednesday.

And lastly, for those of you in the US, Happy Thanksgiving!

Poppy’s Poppy for Poppy Month

In the UK (and this might be a worldwide thing, I’m not sure, but it’s definitely a UK wide thing), November is Poppy Month. It’s not just Remembrance Day. For the whole month of November virtually everyone donates a bit of spare change to buy a paper poppy that they pin to their coat / jacket, to remember the fallen and support their families. I always lost my poppy after a couple of days, so every year I’d buy somewhere between ten and twenty. There’s something really lovely about walking around London, all grey and miserable and rainy (November is NOT a pleasant month in the UK), and seeing little red poppies on everyone’s jackets. It brightens up an otherwise dismal day, and it feels like everyone is coming together over this one fantastic cause. Continue reading