Saturday, December 10, 2011
Massive ‘Weirdmonger Wheel’ (inaugurated in 2004) is today re-opened to slow my pace down so that ebooks can keep up with me! It’s still free.
This to celebrate the discovery (by CERN Zoo) of the Higgs Boson next week.
Posted at 09:04 pm by Weirdmonger
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
How does your garden grow?
posted Friday, 16 November 2007
I have been attending this group from around 1995 in this area where I started living at that time (the Tendring Peninsular coast of North East Essex). All members and visitors intermittently over the years put random titles on slips of paper into a tin, and from this tin we randomly draw out titles for fiction homework and speed-writing fiction exercises during the meeting.
I am very grateful to this group for making me continue writing new prose pieces, most of which since 1995 have been written for homework or speed writing exercises.
Below is last night's speed-writing exercise - written by me then in about ten minutes and subsequently read aloud - transcribed from my scribble unchanged:
How does your garden grow?
The question was posed. Poised between thoughts of an old nursery rhyme and literal curiosity as to the nature of my own garden.
I stared at the questioner's face to see if I could ascertain which was intended. A puckish individual with a twinkle in his eye - so I gathered he meant both a reference to my childhood with the reminder of the nursery rhyme and a query as to how the colourful blooms bobbing in the wind outside my window could actually thrive upon coal slag.
He reminded me of my late father. It was my father who often told me nursery rhymes from memory rather than reading them to me from off the page. My father had been a miner during the Depression. I was old enough to remember the historical Depression as well as his. Now I had to live with my own.
Could this be a ghost before me? I was old enough to have Alzheimer's, old enough indeed to die, but I no longer carried the burden of any depression. Foolish minds could not be depressed. They could only think of foolishness.
"How does your garden grow, Mary?" he asked again, this time appending my name to his question. His fingernails were half-mooned with coal dust. His face was grainy with dark veins, contours of blood turned from red to black.
I closed my eyes and imagined a lunar landscape where nothing could grow. I needed to blot him out. I needed to blot myself out. I saw an astronaut making huge leaps from rock to rock. Why did they call areas of the Moon seas? Like the Sea of Tranquillity...
I opened my eyes to see. He had gone. I felt the flowers rooted to the bottom of my soul waiting either for water to water me or fire to burn me. Rain or sun. Either will make me grow.
Posted at 07:36 pm by Weirdmonger
Sunday, September 12, 2010
The First Four Maxims
posted Monday, 22 March 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Today's Maxim (4)
When, at the end of the day, a weirdmonger cleans his slab with pride, he sees clearly from which balcony the next wave will come.http://unsettleddust.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/one-photograph-the-last-balcony/
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Today's Maxim (3)
When, at the end of the day, a fishmonger cleans his slab with pride, he worries from which weird seas the next fish to sell will be coming.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Today's Maxim (2)
When I write, I feel like I'm a band playing in my garage.
Brashly eclectic, but I know they're trying to perfect their art, so I put up with it.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Maybe, one man's obfuscation is another man's struggle to express the inexpressible.
Posted at 01:53 pm by Weirdmonger
posted Wednesday, 10 February 2010
(Lewicide 4)In Fantasy Land, things were never like they were in Fantasy fiction. For a start, nobody would have called a fantasy land 'Fantasy Land' in any manufactured form of an imaginary imaginary world. ~~ Only in real imaginary worlds are you free to call things what they are really called. And, as I nearly started by saying, Fantasy Land is very white and cold today. .
~~ About twenty tears ago, the Welsh writer Rhys Hughes wrote a letter to me saying: "To talk about your own writing is like putting footprints into a perfect surface of crisp new snow." .
~~ He was not talking about either of us, I confirm, but about writers in general. Writers of Fantasy in particular. I’ve always tried to remember that advice. Not always with success, as most human beings (including me) are prone towards the need for ego massage. .
~~ And I need also to remember his words today, for one special reason. In Fantasy Land, I have discovered, they read nothing but DF Lewis books. And there is nothing I can do about it. .~
~~ Until once upon a time... . Fantasy Land has piques and veils. Turrets of truth pricking a turbulent sky of clouds, clouds that are as blue as if they are patches torn from a perfect summer sky in our own land, here, wherein I write about Fantasy Land at a distance, but knowing that both lands are as real as each other. .
~~ Fantasy Land’s people are dressed like chivalrous knights or, sometimes, like angels (without wings) who can easily be imagined populating an idiosyncratic vision of Heaven. .
~~ Castles with moats as if painted by Mediaeval monks, but, even so, habitable and solid enough. .
~~ And I found myself (or wrote or imagined myself as such!) to be one of the many outsiders wandering through Fantasy Land in search of readers of their own books. As I made clear earlier, Fantasy Land was perfect for me in this regard! Indeed, it had become a version of Heaven I could not have imagined better. .
~~ But to write or speak or even simply imagine writing or speaking about one’s own writing was, as Rhys said, an unworthy activity. I needed slowly to dissolve the persona that was my own self in a form of piecemeal suicide, i.e. leaving Fantasy Land insulated within some unread void where the inhabitants – amid the resplendently painterly castles and strange skies – could read only DF Lewis books to their hearts’ contents without anyone else knowing about it, especially without me-with-such-a-trigger-happy-ego knowing about it. .
~~ And I stood beneath the blue-patchy clouds before the biggest castle of them all wherefrom they were even at this moment ceremonially lowering the last drawbridge-balcony towards me notch by notch – and I breathed-in deeply and held this last breath as I watched each of my limbs fade, before all of Fantasy Land itself slowly became a metaphor for an untuned signal on an old-fashioned TV set when close-downs followed the National Anthem. .I hope nobody switches me back on.
.But, surely, nobody cannot hope for anything?
written today and first published above.
Lewicide 3: http://weirdmonger.blogdrive.com/archive/324.html
Lewicide 5: http://weirdmonger.blogspot.com/2010/02/song-of-river.html
Posted at 01:52 pm by Weirdmonger
Saturday, September 11, 2010
posted Monday, 25 May 2009
by DF Lewis
A set-aside for nesting birds.
A wet landslide for shifting burrows;
Dusk is never black enough for herds
To hide between a shepherd’s furrows.
Towards dawn, after a steady night,
A blindside mole climbs the cheeks
And settles between each eyesight,
Now sniffs the shepherd’s nose for leaks.
As day half-opens its new éclairs,
The mole makes mountains out of hills;
Our kids still dream of schoolyard snares;
The shepherd wakes and quickly kneels.
Most animals soon bend their knees
In tune with the shepherd’s stance;
And versions of their prayers and pleas
Wriggle from the blotted sky’s mischance.
The urge to merge, to mix cake with cake,
All with eager gloom, a shuffle or a shake,
So to tread upon and within each other,
Each kid knows not one from another’s mother.
The shepherd’s mole is burrowing deep,
Burrowing till not even Care can weep.
The hills heave and shove a mountain beast,
A bray of prayer for dawn to shine at least.
It is luck our shepherd’s still a-kneeling;
He knows a runny nose is not appealing.
His brow is severely creased with hollows;
Faith has furrows but dawn still hopes and follows.
The brayer God does rear on huge hind-legs;
Reaping dawn’s sneeze to yolk our nest of eggs.
Untimely darkness moats round landslid pain;
Someone has left Earth’s cake out in the rain.
(a poem that was written yesterday)
Posted at 04:53 pm by Weirdmonger
2009 CRASH PREDICTED IN 1935 FICTION
2009 CRASH PREDICTED IN 1935 FICTION
posted Thursday, 15 January 2009
At above link this from a member of that site:
(The following excerpt was originally published in the September 1935 issue of Wonder Stories.)
"Old N. J. also objects to my penchant for ladies of the stage and 'vision screen, and periodically threatens to cut my allowance, though that's supposed to be a salary. It's inconvenient to be so dependent, and sometimes I regret that unfortunate market crash of 2009 that wiped out my own money, although it did keep me from marrying Whimsy White, and van Manderpootz, through his subjunctivisor, succeeded in proving that that would have been a catastrophe."
Stanley G. Weinbaum - "The Ideal"
Posted at 01:59 pm by Weirdmonger
'The Kindly Elder' by PF Jeffery
Posted at 01:53 pm by Weirdmonger
Friday, September 10, 2010
Fanblade Fable 3
posted Monday, 3 November 2008
At the back of history there is a conclave of childhoods – as if forming a pact to create a concocted future full of grown-ups, whereas, all along, each child knows full well that all childhoods end with death.
Hiver Jawn watched the latest fanblade spin slowly to a silent halt. He unscrewed it from the fan-base and placed it carefully next to all his other dead fanblades … edge to edge … in a circle … like a flattened cone. The result looked like a dustbin lid.
“Mum! Mum! I found it for you!” he lied, eagerly shouting and running down the back garden path towards her face at the kitchen window; flying-ants infested its dilapidated frame wherein the sash-weight hung.
Mothers never believe their children because mothers do not exist.
Posted at 01:17 pm by Weirdmonger
posted Saturday, 11 October 2008
This is my take on the current Global Financial Crisis, written today:
THE 'cool sunlight' SYNDROME
It was the name of a product of two numbers. He peered closely at the packaging: COOL SUNLIGHT: he carefully unwrapped it. Beneath the inner layer of tissue there were a six and a seven made, judging by the smell, from coal-tar soap. He opened the next package of ‘Cool Sunlight’ and it contained two different numbers. Other identical packages had different and duplicate numbers inside them. The previous evening, he had tried using an eight in the bathroom sink, whipping up a rich face-lather that rather belied the otherwise less than promising unproductiveness of the hard soap from which the eight was manufactured.
The outer packaging was well-designed: a low sun on a lemon-tinged horizon with picture-book beams radiating geometrically from it. An inspiration of dawn in a brisk climate. Or sunset, depending on one’s mood. As an Advertising Executive of several years’ experience, he could not help trying to fathom reconciliation between the package and its contents, but he had not yet been able to mind-read the creative juices lying behind the concept.
His personal assistant sat in the desk opposite. She did not want her presence there to make things more contrived than they already were. She knew, however, she was only allowed the position in the office so as to be a gender stereotype and his sounding-board. Otherwise, his thought-process would have remained simply that – a thought-process privy only to the thought-processor.
“It’s a clever idea, do you think?” she said, meaningfully confusing a question with a statement.
“Yes, but I can’t for the life of me get why it is so clever!” His voice was pitched at such a register one could only guess he thought he was talking to himself.
“Hmmm.” She took up one of the packages for herself.
“I know what you are thinking,” he said. “It’s a gimmick so impenetrable, it’s tempting customers simply by appealing to their sense of life’s intrinsic mystery.”
“Not sure.” She adjusted the decorum of her skirt as she swung the chair round further into the window’s natural light. “I can just make out other smaller numbers on the big number. But they are so lightly indented, they would vanish after the first wash, no doubt...”
“It’s a bit like the whole concept of us discussing such a concept in the first place!” He smiled as he said this. She was a dish. He knew, however, that sounding-boards, like washboards, were not meant to be sexy, but simply practical in the skiffle noises made by them or the creamy suds generated to help shed light upon darkness.
“This product,” she said, “may be an allegory for a new purity that only mathematics can provide. A new dawn. Or a new end of day promising a new dawn of clean beginnings. A cool concept that is only cool by keeping its intentions to itself. An Adam and Eve binary system.”
She was aware that she was speaking his own words, to allow him to think of them in the first place. He, in turn, counted on her ability to feed his originality. Advertising was never straightforward. Customers were different from each other. No sales campaign would ever be wide enough. The secret was to create a combination of high and low common denominators in an attempt to optimise reactions to them as an overall pattern of desires and resistances rather than specifically targetting any one of them.
He turned away, knowing when he looked back, she would be gone, fearful of his intentions. She had done her job. Yet why had she not mentioned the fresh black marks on his face or was it an overnight growth of uncharacteristic whiskers stitched into his jowls and chin rather than having ends to cut?
Packaging, it seemed, had become the wherewithal. The product itself need not move sweetly along with the grain of the concept as long as the packaging of the product created the concept it was meant to perpetuate. She had not known he wanted to be told what he didn’t want to be told.
He swivelled his chair and idly watched the sweaty bankers outside the window in the new dawn of a new day slump in near-drunken figures-of-eight towards their exchanges. Each with a five o’clock shadow. They’d no doubt left their wives squatting beside newer more rocky banks to rub their husbands’ skid-marked smalls on washboards by the sluggish suds of sewage.
EDIT (13 Oct 08): Sequel: BY A WHISKER: http://weirdmonger.blogspot.com/2008/10/by-whisker.html
Posted at 01:11 pm by Weirdmonger
COAL FACE by Wordhunger
Amanda stepped back from her drawing of chaos, her final stroke an immolation of
her charcoal in a bruising smudge like singeing blackpowder. Her husband eased
her back onto the couch and assured her in whispers that it was in accord with
all the math he had worked out.
He had first used this line when they were dating, and it never failed. But the
geometric line was now hidden in the chaos. And she felt as if the bruising
smudge were now actually coming out on her face when she saw her husband trying
to erase the surreptitious additions he had earlier ham-fistedly made to her
personal chaos - but not without him inadvertently erasing her own final stroke
in the process.
He shuffled to the table to pour her the remainder of the lemonade, the
scratching of his slippers entirely masking the sense that his erasure ensured
that the meeting of the Second Pontifex in 12,348 years would not obviate the
Parliament's resolution. The return echo changed very little in his or Amanda's
Multiplication tables lead to all manner of unlikely periods of time. Art as
exponential chaos theory. And the ironheads met within cavalier dreams...
Amanda smiled. She blew upon her drawing - and shavings of charcoal vanished
leaving a clear-cut picture. Her husband squinted at it - the only known
likeness to Cromwell. History and its characters could be drawn in perfect
'photography' by eventually focussed scribble, like children forming specific
shapes from doodles.
Posted at 11:35 am by Weirdmonger