Jun 29th

Lovely Little Roger

By Ned

Didn't realise Roger Daltrey was so small! I saw him on Glastonbury last night, he looked sort of old and crouched. But still a formidable rocker for a seventy one year old. Good grief - seventy one! I wondered if he was gay or straight; so I looked him up on Google today. And saw this, tab 'Roger Daltrey height' - what, I thought, is he ... small or something? 1.68m so ... rather small. Do I still like him? I suppose so. He's still breath-takingly lovely in those old photos from the Tommy days ... and in those old films, shirtless and mighty haired! Not gay, anyway, as I am sure you all know. With the same wife since 1971! Amazing.

I'm not a real fan, don't have any Who music, I only know those songs they played on the radio at the time.

I did see him as MacHeath in the Beggar's Opera, years ago. Gorgeous. Hmmm ... I must say a pig-tail suited him. He didn't come across as small in that. But maybe I was so smitten by his face, I just didn't notice.

Jun 29th

You can't beat a pithy line

By AlanP

I love a classic line/extract. I write a lot of them myself, of course, but that's my judgement and a clear sign of my success is that I'm the only person that gets to read them.

Seriously, for me a classic line is one that you recognise instantly and completely out of context. Or is it that the context is memorable and the line is just one of the prominent features.

This isn't a quiz, btw. Here are two of the better ones, in my view.

1: "He was a big man, but not more than six feet five inches tall and not wider than a beer truck"

and

2: "Eleven long haired friends of Jesus in a Chartreuse microbus"

I'm going to bet that, although there may be a weighting that may be age related, many people will get them, if not instantly, then after a very little bit of thought.

One of my own, not quite a single line, I have always had hope for is.

3: "Charlie watched for hours and got soaked to the bone, but nobody came. Meanwhile on the Rue de Rennes the girls put in a hard night's work but the result was much the same, nobody came."

Mine isn't in the same league, of course. It lacks, amongst other things, being surrounded by success.

Have you got any of your own or taken from others.

Jun 28th

a genre query

By mike

Genre query

 

   A few weeks ago I reported a squirrel attack.  Thank you  your kind thoughts and  your wishes for my speedy recovery.  The comments you made, suggested a way in which a story could develop.   I considered a family of upwardly socially mobile squirrels in the context of the London housing market with the garden of Buckingham Palace as the prime location -   though migrating to the suburbs might be a sensible option.  Last Sunday I worked out the plot and anthropomorphism ran riot.  I soon realised that I had plotted a Walt Disney cartoon.

 

  During the week, I popped in a library and  tried an escalator pitch on a work colleague and  was damned  for my efforts - seen it, done it,etc etc.  - even though I could provide plot alternatives.

  The red hero now wears a fetching pair of spectacles, wishes to be a writer, and is worried about being metafiction.  The  brown heroine  is a working class squirrel  who has kept to the old ways -foraging etc  -and can cope when the tree/man/god crashes to the ground because of  the attack. The family’s source of food has vanished. ( Any Walt Disney cartoon worth its salt has to be underpinned by a Shakespearian plot and it is only necessary to suggest one)  The tree/man/ God provides upmarket goodies to fatten up the squirrels for stew. There has to be a grandmother squirrel to provide ancient squirrel lore - a parody of Hiawatha for street cred - and two squirrel parents who are far more concerned about what the neighbours would say.

 

As my colleague pointed out, this has all been done before, but the whole point about genres is that they have the same plot and construction.  If they did not, they would not be a genre?   This applies equally well if a genre has been subverted, but all genres have been subverted?  Who is right?

 

I wonder if franchise might be  better word than genre?  I think I might have been thinking of the Watlt Diisney cartoons I saw as a child,  The Wallace and Gromitt cartoons are entirely different - as are Tom and Jerry.

There are echoes of  'The Lady and the Tramp' and 101 Dalmations in the squirell plot.

 

Jun 27th

LIFE ON MARS

By FergC

 On the way home from this morning’s rehearsal, I noticed queues at every ATM. On the Tube I could overhear voices. Everyone was on mobile phones urging whoever they were calling to clear out their accounts. I got back at two and turned on the telly. Every channel had live coverage from the Greek Parliament. A referendum is being planned for 5th of July where the general public will be asked if they would accept the European Commission’s proposals for economic reforms. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Greece and I love the Greeks, but they have a tendancy to be unable to agree on almost anything – except maybe on whether the Elgin marbles were stolen or not. Yet another bitter quibbling match about who was to blame is still going on right now. Conflicting reports from leaks at the Commission about whether their proposal is still on the table or not makes the referendum seem impossible to impliment. 

Yet another bizarre developement is the surfacing of a story that the E.C. was working on an unbelievably better deal for the Greeks at the exact moment the Greeks announced the referendum. I have never been ashamed to be european until now. Hastily typed documents with figures that no EU finance minister would have suggested and a date and time stamp (something that such documents are good at avoiding), started showing up after about six o’clock. That is after the next eurogroup.

At the moment announcements are being made faster than I can type, Scheuble, Disselblum, are now fumbling around trying to catch each others arse, along with Greece’s.

Every day here is an Oddysey into pure surrealism. Some say we live in interersting times. I say we live in terrifyingly unpredictable times.      

Jun 26th

Friday ....

By Old Fat Prop

Today's laugh is chat up lines..

 

1. I'm so horny the crack a dawn ain't safe...

 

2. You remind me of where I'm working tomorrow ... Slough Flats...

 

3. How'd you like to earn 3 quid the hard way.

 

4. I've got a grant from the arts commission of the EU to make a film ... How about  we take a bottle of wfine back to your place and you could help me with the script?

 

 

5  Lets get out of here... I know a place much worse....

Jun 24th

Flash Flood - the Group

By Athelstone

A quick blog to point interested parties in the direction of this group. Everybody who has submitted an entry to the National Flash-Fiction Day, whether it has been accepted or not, is urged to sign up and post the entry here.

To protect the work of those who have plans for it, the group is private so you'll need to ask to join - which, of course, you can.

 

Jun 24th

Flash Flood - The Unrejected

By Jillybean

Like so many other Cloudies, I have missed out on membership to the FF rejects club - which is now becoming very exclusive. The original blog post is now officially the Moby Dick of all blogs and Squidge had the good idea of having another blog thread where those who made it into Flash Flood Journal can post their name, the title of the flash fiction piece accepted and the rough time it's being published on the site.

 

Here is the link again - Flash Flood

 

If you have been denied entry into the smashing new Rejects Club, please place your information below.

 

Then we can all check out and follow each piece of cloudie flash that gets published.

 

Well done to everyone, those in and those not in.

Jun 24th

Colonial Compromises - ideas needed...

By stephenterry

 

Thanks peeps. I've found a solution. Amazing what the sub-conscious can come up with. 

Jun 23rd

Guilty pleasures

By Pinkbelt75

Hi Guy's, 

I'm in one of those moods again where I put up a random blog to find out some juicy nuggets of info about my dysfunctional cloudie friends. This one as the title suggests is where we openly admit to things we really shouldn't like but can't help ourselves. So roll up old friends and new and share your guilty pleasures.

I'll go first. As a six foot one, skinheaded, martial artist, with a reasonably strong scouse accent many people expect me to be the angry and aggressive sort. I love horror and action / thriller films as well as anything fantasy or scifi. But aggressive couldn't be further from the truth. I'm quite a sensitive soul at times and i've got a deep love of music. Any type. I love rock music as my staple diet but i'll listen to anything.

Anyway my guilty pleasure is musical shows or films. I love them so here's just a sample of the things I have watched over the years.

Glee, X-Factor, the voice, PopStars the Rivals, Pop idol, American Idol, Stars in their eyes, top of the pops 1& 2.

Grease 1 & 2, Annie, Sound of music, West side story, half a sixpence.

This is but a few. There are many, many more. So join in and get it off your chest. I'll look forward to hearing from you.

 

Pinks

Jun 23rd

Memories, Peaches and the Return of Writing

By Jill

Written 15.6.15, Menorca.

Yesterday, on a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean, I came, with a tinge of sadness, to the last word of Joanne Harris's enjoyable read 'Peaches For Monsieur Le Curé'.  It is a sensual story - ('A brave and gripping confected story.' Sunday Times).  It revisits the changed characters and French village of her 'Chocolat' and deals with ethnic influx and influence.  Opposites: the essence of Life.

Early that morning I'd woken from a vivid, strange dream with the urge to write stream of consciousness stuff.  Perhaps 'sub-conscious streaming' is a more accurate term, for the meaning of my dream soon became apparent and I was transported to the years of effusive creative activity I'd experienced during Adlerian/Jungian therapy training and personal therapy.  I remembered 'perseverence' and a special peach - the latter memory no doubt restirred by J.H.'s story.

A tiny girl walking through a colourful Midlands market, one hand holding that of her dear Grandma; in her other the gift of an exotic peach.  This memory came to signify love, entrustment, sensuality and awe.

'Perseverence' arose from a workshop where my subconscious led me, unwillingly, to put myself forward for brief therapy with a renowned American therapist.  Working with him in the centre of a large group audience was nerve-wracking.  I felt exposed and vulnerable, although we managed to work mainly in metaphor and afterwards I felt proud of the creativity of this process.  The session proved life-changing, but, as importantly, I took away his earlier general remarks to the group about perseverence.  As in life, so in writing pursuits, it is an invaluable trait, as I'm sure you will all agree.

But in the past year or so, when my creative writing has been in a state of dormancy: seemingly lost forever, I almost gave up.  I no longer wished to persevere in that way.  The urge to write new stuff and to submit completed work just wasn't there anymore.  Ideas had dried up; words failed me or did I fail them?  Pages remained blank; white and stark.

During previous fallow times, I'd always trusted creativity's return, but now I wondered whether I could truthfully call myself a writer; a storyteller.

This state may have been connected to the need to deal with health issues in the family, along with the 'loss' of loved ones to The Big Apple.  It has certainly been a period of gradual acceptance and adjustment; one where priorities shifted.  This state may also have been connected to discouraging rejections, despite support and enthusiasm for the particular work from fellow Cloudies.

No matter!  The first creative glimmer of hope returned with our older grandson's regular requests - 'Grandma, will you make up a story?'  Also his remark that Grandma makes up very good stories, which were heartwarming words for this storyteller to hear.  Our sessions are mostly on Facetime now and are treasured shared times.  They also seem to have released my creative juices from their long sleep.

 

When we arrived, one week ago, on this gentle, beautiful isle, it felt somehow like a completion of a circle.  We were immediately taken down memory lane to happy holidays spent here with our son aeons ago.  But the early morning sub-conscious streaming, full of other memories, connections, realisations, new ideas, plans and resolutions, has also made me feel as though we are/I am at the great start of a special, later-life phase; one to be welcomed.  Like J.H.'s characters, we have changed, aged, grown and, in part, have integrated our opposites.  Within this process there are embedded a myriad of experiences and emotions.  The peach - in China a symbol of eternal life - is no longer a perfect orb.  However, I am quietly certain that this will be a phase in which my writing will play an important personal part once more and will flourish like a fruiting tree.  I feel able to say again, 'I am a writer.'

My storytelling began at the age of six, when I used to cradle my younger sister on our swing under an apple tree.  I now aim, in my late sixties, to continue on towards a visualisation I once had during a cognitive hypnotherapy session - that of myself, the storyteller, sitting on a swing suspended from the branch of a tree and surrounded by children sitting on daisy strewn grass.  The children are listening with rapt attention.  The storyteller seems to be eternally youthful, gifting them her stories with love.

 

 

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