Saturday, 18 October 2014

This has been bugging me...

I've had a niggle in my mind for a while about something I just don't 'get'. It's probably not even occurred to anyone else as it's so minor a thing to be bothered by but I feel the need to vent.

Fan art. There's a lot of it about. People expressing themselves through art inspired by their favourite characters from pop culture. That in itself is a wonderful thing and I'm astounded by some of the incredible talent out there.

What bothers me is when people use works inspired heavily by other people's creations to turn a profit. A site called TeeFury.com is the most prominent example of this, at least as far as I can see. There are some brilliant designs on there, mainly referencing Doctor Who, Sherlock, but also making Mash Ups, where the TARDIS might land outside Ariel's sea cave for example. Again, the artwork itself is usually brilliant and there are some really cool ideas, and I've no doubt that the work comes under the heading 'tribute' rather than blatant knock off, but they are standing on the shoulders of other people.

Look at it this way. A small, independent artist creates a fun character that captures the imagination. A large company take that character and make clothing featuring it. The internet would be full of people demanding that the large company pay their dues, claiming that this was theft of intellectual property.

Just because the roles are reversed, should that mean that it's ok?

Saturday, 13 September 2014

For @teddy_red and Bonny Mo

I started noticing something was odd the first time I met your parents. They were pleasant enough, if a little quiet, but there was something.....clinical about them. Everything they did from opening the door for us to waving us goodbye had an air of rehearsed precision.


After seeing the practically robotic way your father sliced the Sunday roast and placed each perfectly sheared slabs of perfectly cooked beef onto the perfectly warmed plates I started seeing everything you did in a new, eerie light. Things I'd passed off as coincidence or just habit became red flags. For instance, every time you woke up, your hair was already perfect. No need to wash, brush or straighten your already tamed locks. No girlfriend before you, and there'd been a few, ever left the house without at least a cursory comb through. but there you were, bounding out of bed at 6.47 (always 6.47, something else I'd noticed) and tossing your hair back over your left shoulder before blowing me a kiss and leaving for work. You always left the room naked, but came back from work in your jeans & blouse, hair perfect as ever. 


Where did you get dressed?

For weeks (I think) I tried to convince myself that I was being stupid, but it wasn't just your perfection that made me uneasy. Seeing the broken plate in the kitchen, the one resting on the sideboard by itself, was making me feel ill. Fine, I'll throw it away. The same thought every day. Why didn't I get rid of it? Come to think of it, besides seeing you and the plate what else did I do with my days?

I tried to make a list, naming all the things I did the previous day. I could remember nothing. Not even going to the toilet. I woke, kissed you goodbye, you came home, we made love, we slept. What was I doing without you around?


Things changed after I wrote the list. My days were more varied but not enough for me to stop being suspicious. I would get letters but no bills.. Letters from friends long forgotten but now keen to get back in touch, written with bold promises of amazing days out once they had the time to visit. No-one visited. In fact, aside from you and your Stepfordian parents I hadn't seen anyone else.

Yesterday (I think), I tried to leave the house on my own.

A searing pain to my temples.
Screaming.
A sense of loss.


I remember.

We had argued, again. My excuses and borrowed time had run out and the kitchen became a battleground. I ducked as the plate was thrown at my head but it struck sharp and true.

I can hear my parents now, and the Doctor. It is 6.47.

Time to wake up.












Friday, 12 September 2014

For @wonderwaff

Think of a filthy creature
Like a pigeon or a rat,
With deep set eyes
And claws the size
Of Andrew Flintoff's hat.

It scuttles round the garden
Or flaps around the square
It freaks you out
And makes you shout
While pulling on your hair.

Now picture how you look to it
All large and loud and strange.
With screaming fits
I'm not sure it's
How you'd want to engage.

The beast could be called Ingrid,
Or Joy or Phil or May
And have a house
Next to a Louse
Who calls him everyday.

The beasts aren't really Vermin,
It's just a point of view.
Remember this:
With prejudice
The vermin's likely you.








For @y_t__ part one!

Being a spy was meant to be exciting. Flights to Hong Kong or The Bahamas, wooing sexy contacts by vast, ornate swimming pools. Keeping the world safe with a sharp suit and a sharper wit.

Sitting outside a flat in Rochdale night after night to see if the occupant had any pets was not what Jeremy had signed up for. True, he wasn't a spy per se, more of a private investigator with a flat above a chip shop with slightly disturbing hygiene standards, but he'd been at it for eight months and this was his most interesting case yet, ranking just above the Case of the Unfaithful Wife which turned out to have been more a case of the Stupid Husband who didn't realise his wife was going to the library because she couldn't stand his droning.

This was his fourth night sat in his 1988 Skoda, clock radio by his side as his car's radio preferred the sound of silence, glumly looking at Flat 36b and waiting for any sign of animal activity. He was being paid (surprisingly well) by the night and had planned to string it out for at least another week but the tedium was beginning to have an effect on his sanity. Earlier in the evening he 'saw' Santa in Bermuda shorts ambling down the street, and just now he saw a pair of large Siamese cats being brought into 36b.....


SHIT!

This was it. An actual result! He fumbled for his camera to shoot the incriminating evidence but by the time he'd flicked the lens cap off the door had been opened and the cats were swept inside. He'd have to get inside.

Quite why these cats were so important to Ms Campbell he wasn't sure, but he had been told in her fax that it was of VITAL IMPORTANCE that he provided evidence of animals being brought into the flat. Without thinking of a plan he found himself at the door and knocking. Instinct, what little he had, was kicking in.

No answer.

The next thing to happen was the single most ridiculous thing Jeremy had ever done. It was a stupid idea, inspired by a stupid thing, and pretty much guaranteed not to work.

"HO HO HO! IT'S SANTA HERE, LET ME IN!"


The door opened wide.

Jeremy bowled in, camera ready, and took a photo instantly before running off. The flash stunned the first assassin and the second was expecting Santa in Bermuda shorts, their contact. Someone so wildly out of place he'd be assumed crazy and no one would bother him. Instead there was a fat guy with a camera legging it to a knackered old car.....


Ok YT, MORE WORDS TO FINISH THIS STORY!










Thursday, 11 September 2014

For @teddy_red

I'm scared.

The lights above me are bright and warm. My doctor is kind and the nurses gentle but I am afraid.
They talk to me but I hear only fragments. Far, far too soon the platform is raised and the machine lowers and I am still afraid. The lights above me burn brighter now. I am shivering in the sun.

I am afraid.


Which means I am alive.

For @waywardlou

'Laboratories for the study of genetic manipulation are no place for house pets'. 

This is a fact that should not even merit the briefest of mentions in a health and safety manual, and if it did, it should share a page with 'Do not throw Sulphuric Acid at each other', and 'When in doubt, consult your physician over glowing body parts'. However, Howard was typing the amended edition of the H&S booklet with the offending caveat because of his own stupidity so he couldn't complain.


He glanced over at Frederick, his cat, and shuddered at the thought of what could have happened. Frederick lazily curled up in his bed, falling asleep in seconds. Wishing he had the same alacrity for sleep, he went back to his typing. As well as amending the H&S documents he had to write a full report on the events of the past few days. It didn't show Howard in entirely the best of lights. 

'I was late for work on Thursday 11th April 2030, and as such did not have time to feed my cat. With hindsight, I would not have brought my household pet into work with me. Carrying him in a case labeled 'experimental stock' (breaking rule 12, para 3, ss 4 on correct labelling of equipment) I let him loose in my workstation, assuming he would be safe. I had stayed late the previous night and left modified canine claw samples in an open Petrie dish and serum 234X, (contravening rule 4 on safe workplace management) on the edge of my desk. While I was pouring cat food into Frederick's (my cat) dish I knocked the samples into his food. Before I could stop him he had eaten the resulting soup. The combination of the serum and the dog's toenails have caused a reaction in Frederick's gut. While the long term effects are not yet known, I now have a cat that barks rather than miaows'. 

For @dawbes

Mildred was ready to murder someone.

Not literally you understand: though the means, motive and opportunity presented themselves nicely, she was far too polite to bump someone off. How terribly vulgar. She did however feel incredibly angry over the fact her plum pudding was deemed 'inedible' by her brute of a husband. Forty years they had been married, and for Thirty-Six of those Malcolm had not once raised even the tiniest grumble about her cooking.

Then THAT programme started.

They'd watched the first few episodes together, and Malcolm gobbled up all the terminology and marvelled at all the contestants baking skills until he was the foremost armchair critic of his day.
All of a sudden he was an expert on all things sweet, and his knowledge of the savoury was second to none.
"Bit salty this pasty"
"Have you proved this bread dough long enough?"
"I can't stomach this cake, far too heavy"
For four, long years he had taken every opportunity to pass on his 'expertise' without once setting foot in the bloody kitchen. It wouldn't be so hard to take but previously his favourite ingredient had been glacé cherries. Such a sophisticate! At first Mildred was pleased he was at least taking an interest in her favourite past time, and one that she felt she had a reasonable amount of skill in, but after a few weeks without so much as a smile it began to grate, and four years on something snapped in her.

He had put himself forward as a judge on the W.I's cake baking competition and the silly old crones made him head taster due to his use of the phrase 'soggy bottom'. Clearly, he knew exactly what he was talking about.

The tent was flooded with the warm aromas of freshly baked cakes, tarts, pies and bread. Mildred had gone for a simple sponge, packed with glacé cherries, which in days gone by had been Malcolm's favourite. She smiled sweetly as he strode up to the table, eager to impart more sage advice to his wife and (more importantly) impress the gaggle of W.I judges hanging on the every word of this Cake Colossus.

A slice was already prepared. The cherries gleamed an enticing scarlet glow, and Malcolm commended his wife's efforts on making the cherries look 'ok'. He took a massive bite, as his teeth sunk into the soft, yielding sponge....and smashed against the impossibly hard cherries. Shards of yellowing teeth cascaded from his mouth as Mildred looked on, impassive, painting her nails with the Ruby nail varnish she'd bought that morning, along with the bag of marbles from the local toy shop.


If he hated her cakes, he'd learn to love her soups.


















Give me a kick up the arse!

Not literally.

Hi, yeah, it's been a while. I am writing this because I need to be doing *something* even vaguely creative. The script I'm working on has hit a bit of a dead end embarrassingly early on, and at the moment I can't think of a way around it. I'm determined to finish it though, because:
A) I really like the idea, and
B) I want to prove I *can* finish something.

So, while I figure out what to do, I need your help. Send me words. Topics, colours, names, places, ANYTHING! One word. I will then set myself a challenge: to write a short story/blog post/sketch around the word sent and post it here. Just to be writing something. *Anything!*

Cheers then,

Me.