Thursday, 10 May 2018

Mirror, Mirror, the Complete Story

The final version of my first short story. I deliberately let it finish abruptly, a device I have seen before now in the fantasy and sci-fi genres. Not sure if I have made a good job of this but for now I am intending to let it stand and maybe come back to it in the near future with an explanation for the mystery.

I am having problems getting the embedded article sized to be read on the blog page, which I know I have done before. However please click the FULL PAGE icon and it will open in another tab.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Short Story

My first ever short story, I have reported progress in the last couple of posts on this blog and now it is complete. An abrupt ending but it leaves room for a little imagination.

Find a downloadable version on Scribd, along with several other non-fiction books/booklets.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Day 3 - Completion of chapter two

Another day another little bit of my short story. I have used YWriter to plan out the basics of this piece of writing, but although I have a plan in my head I find that I just am not sticking to the plan - should I be worried? Not a problem with poetry of a story of such short length, but would it matter if I tried to get back on board with my novel?

Anyway, here are a few more "scenes" which complete chapter 2. I have now written nearly 1400 words. Not a major new tome but plenty for me to have spent the time on.

Part 3 - Mirror, mirror on the wall.

Well, first things first. I decided that a visit to the kitchen was next on my itinerary. I needed time and another coffee to determine was this real. Or was I having some kind of nervous breakdown. How on earth could what I think I saw, be real and happening to me. I could barely begin to comprehend what this meant. I literally had no idea what I had seen. All I could think of was that book about Alice somebody or other and her adventures through the looking glass. Did somebody else have a similar vision and does that make my experience real? I reached the kitchen, where I had begun my day by taking my first coffee such a short time ago. In fact, such a short time that the kettle still contained hot water, ready for a second cup of caffeine; I needed to clear my head and sort things out. Twice the sufficient amount of instant coffee, hot water to fill the cup, and no milk or sugar to dilute that hit which I needed to clear my head.

And then, "Oh my god!" I looked up and in the glass door of the kitchen cabinets, my worst fears were confirmed. I was looking at an image of the way that my kitchen looked some months ago, before I had had the renovation carried out by a friend of mine who was a builder, working in the domestic market - and making a blooming good cut of the national gross income for himself. He was supposed to have given me  a discount for the sake of our friendship but it did not feel like it when I saw his bill. Anyway, it was so clear in a diminished and greyed out way, and there I was - MISSING! Completely out of the picture. I do not know how long I stared at the reflection in front of me but my coffee was almost cold as I started to imbibe the almost forgotten liquid.

I couldn't leave things in this state. I went from room to room looking into anything which showed a reflection, and there I was missing in all of them. I was panicking and did not know what to do. I was totally unable to decide how to cope with this phenomenon. the only thing I could find to do was to remove myself from the immediate location and try to find a more normal view of the world. I dressed myself in a manner which owed more to my panic than to the fashionable style of the day, which I usually followed minutely. I went to the front door and there in the mirror, as I went out into the world at large with a final glimpse of that frightening "other world".

More to come tomorrow, hop you will join me on this journey of discovery.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Day two - the second chapter of my new short story

Well at least I have decided on what I am writing. In the last post I explained that accidentally I had started to write a story - I have decided and planned for a short story of possibly 2000 words. It will take me a few days, but I have not set myself a schedule, I will be leaving it to happenstance. Unless it drags on too long.

This second part of the story, not sure whether it is a second chapter, or indeed if it might not be all one long chapter. It is a new departure for me and I will sort things out as I progress.

I had written the first part two days ago and yesterday I looked at it again and added more content , in fact adding about 30% more. I am not reposting it yet, it makes no difference to the way things will progress, just setting the scene really.

This section describes the discovery of a strange scene which the  lead character sees in a domestic mirror and the immediate effect upon him.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall ( part 2)

I levelled the mug up to my lips, took a long sniff and then a short sip. Heaven is a powerfully strong fresh, hot coffee in the morning as far as I am concerned. I took another longer sip and began to make my way back up the stairs to my bedroom to make myself ready and acceptable for the day ahead. Casually opening the wardrobe, I had a massive shock, nearly throwing that hot beverage over myself as I stepped back. “What the ….”, there in the mirror on the back of the wardrobe door was a sight I had never seen before. In the mirror or indeed anywhere else for that matter.

It was a reflection of my bedroom but then again, it wasn’t my room. And Damnation, I wasn’t in the picture at all. How could I not be! I was simply not in the reflected image which I could clearly see before me. I backed away; slowly but carefully and reached the edge of my bed where I say in a daze. Not knowing what to do, I quickly downed the rest of the coffee with no regard for my delicate tongue and throat; not that I noticed anyway. The coffee went down without hindrance and I tipped the mug up to drain the last of the liquid, to the best of my ability. I was stumped, The bedroom looked familiar, but I still wasn’t there; and by Lord Harry I should have been. This needed thinking about, carefully. I needed more caffeine and a moment or two, or three before I took any untoward actions. I could just imagine dialing 999 and telling the operator I wasn’t myself - not in the mirror in my bedroom anyway. They would be sending the men in the white coats to get me in double quick time.

OK, we may not have moved very far forward but we are moving at a pace I can be comfortable with. More of the story as it is completed over the next few days.

Friday, 4 May 2018

The start of a new piece of creative writing.

This week my friend Monna's creative writing prompt has given me food for thought. I selected the first of three which was ..............

"You can see through your mirror to another dimension."

photogragh by the blog owner

I thought about my next poem, but in this instance for some silly reason which now eludes me, I decided to write a short piece of prose. maybe not as long as a short story (in fact how long / short does a story need to be to be called a short story?) but enough to tax my grey matter. After a while I soon realised that I had taken on a project which would need rather more than a perfunctory or half-hearted attempt to come to a conclusion. I am now looking at several chapters or episodes or simply a short step forward in measured leaps.

I simply set off writing, without considering where it would take me. A silly idea! With a poem, the rhymes often suggest things to me; this however is going to take a serious bit of thinking about where and why and what is it all about. But here are the opening paragraphs, far away from the prompt. But finding myself stuck for a way forward, I decided to stop and do a little research. Create a plan and decide how to arrive in one piece at a reasonable conclusion.

Oh by the way the title may be familiar - no apologies.


The sun coming through the slit in the orange striped curtains struck my face, found my eyes and of course woke me. I edged over into the shadows and tried unsuccessfully to find sleep again. Typically though, once awake my body started to crave its early morning shot of caffeine, and it was not to be denied. Throwing back the remaining covers, and forcing myself to swing my legs over the edge of the bed, my feet found the floor and squared up, ready for a final grand effort from the rest of my body.

"Aaaaahhhhh!" Just stretching, seemed to bring a little life back into my still tired bones and I was able to move. First stop was the bathroom. Opening the door off the landing, I stepped inside and I noticed something strange out of the corner of my eye. The wall mirror seemed to shimmer, as if it was a pool of clear water. I was tempted to think it was nothing more than my half-closed eyes playing trick with my imagination, especially when I looked more closely and the mirror's surface appeared as solid as it ever had been. I moved on and carried on with the morning's ablutions. My body was still crying out for that caffeine shot I had promised it.

Feeling a little more like a human being, I shuffled to the kitchen and the luxury of a coffee became a definite possibility. Taking the kettle and removing the lid, I held it under the tap, splashed in enough water for a cupful. This early the immediacy of a strong instant coffee was the main driving force; it was the caffeine and not the pleasure of a decent cup of coffee which drove me on. I'm not a coffee snob. Well two shakes of a cat's tail and the fast boil kettle had produced a cup of boiling water whilst I had spooned a sufficiency of coffee granules into my mug. A quick pour and a hasty swirl of the contents of the mug and my breakfast was ready. Good morning to me!

Well there it is, The next step is to plan out where I want to go and how to get around to the main (intended) idea. From there it should be a doddle. All I need is a little free time, not readily available at the moment. However having started I really would like to see it finished. I have a record of starting writing projects ambitiously and not being able to sustain the momentum and finish what originally seemed like good ideas. Maybe it is the ideas and not the subsequent slog which tempt me, who knows. Poems can be as long or short as the time I have available !

Hopefully having made this project public, I shall be shamed into a completion. Wish me luck - please.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Tristolaria Day 4 - Creative Writing

Day 4: “All Hail Anktu”.  This seemed to be the main form of greeting between everybody, whether formal or informal in Tristolaria, - "the greeting of choice".

This caused me to resolve to find out more about Anktu Robircha. As I mentioned in an earlier
posting, Anktu had obtained the methodology of using moss to make bread from Finland. This was
seen as a daring escapade in Tristolanian mythology, perpetrated by a man who had become a
national hero. In truth, I suspect that the Finns were glad to get rid of it. It was only ever used as a last
resort for example during times of great hardship as in a situation such as the second world war.

On the plus side however in Tristolaria, the situation had been dire. Starvation was ever present as
food crops would not grow easily in the climatic conditions and animals were even rarer.

Birds did breed in the country usually nesting on the ground as trees were few and far between. This
later fact meant that arrows were not easily come by (you need fairly long straight branches to make
arrows that hit the target) and as explosives were unreliable due to the weather ( yes you guessed!)
hunting birds was basically done by slingshot. A hit and miss method, unfortunately more miss than
hit in the hands of the Tristolarians.

Gastropods (snails to you) were plentiful, and frogs were everywhere but after a very unsuccessful
trip to France, the eating of snails and frogs legs was banned by  A.T. Zalekiat, whilst he was still
Chief Minister and was never revived. And frankly who could blame the population.

In this situation, the ability to make bread from moss was a real godsend, manna from heaven, you
could say. It was no surprise to find that an image of Anktu had been put slap in the middle of a new
currency note. A decree from on high had introduced a new high denomination note, just to please
the man (and woman and child and - more of this later) in the street and score a political point from the "victory over hunger campaign". This led to a career for Anktu from which followed to the
introduction of several further uses for moss elevating his national popularity to previously unheard
of heights.

The growth of industry and the raising of living standards for the whole population led to his
becoming a legend in his lifetime. His present project is the search for a waterproof fabric
manufactured from moss, or its products. A subsidiary project is the search for a potential candidate
as a food animal i.e. one that could exist on moss, rather than grass. In this latter project, rumour
had it that he has again been in Finland. But more of his life's works in a later posting. For now here is the 1024 bryta note in all its glory:-

I did manage to obtain an old copy of the original image used for the note, I was absolutely sure there was something about this face (that hat, that beard) , that pipe and that shillelagh that I thought that I  recognised ..... but couldn't put my finger on it at all. More to come on this issue I expect.

After a little thought, I pencilled in a little more hair…..which seemed to belong on the face. And did I say that he was only 3feet 11 inches tall (without the hat).

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Photographs of Moss -- Tristolaria

Day 3 ( later):
I found some travel brochures with pictures which I feel certain may have come from
Tristolaria, perhaps. (All these photos have been given creative commons licenses
on Flickr their creators Flickr ID is given.)
Thanks to Ecstaticist
Thanks to Greg Hefner
Thanks to Geir Helvorsen
Thanks to Pictoscribe Digitally
Thanks to Martin Labar
thanks to pipistruler

I had always iintended to use the photos as prompts for a little more writing but
I ran out of steam. Included here for completeness

See last few posts for more info