Friday, 27 November 2009

Too Much, Too Young?

I can't be sure - I never was one: but it must be an awful thing to be a Child Prodigy.

Fortunately for me I grew up with very few expectations that I would amount to anything, ever: so I pity the child of four who has been said to have an IQ of 120.

That's the problem though, when you start off with something that's right up there then you somehow have to follow it and are expected to do it again and again: inevitably you will probably fail.

Like right now JK Rowling must be shitting herself. Well, no: to be honest, she's probably too busy rolling around in bags of money and giggling to be seriously worried - but how do you top Harry Potter? No matter what she does for the rest of her career, no matter how big - she will probably never reach that height again.

Or The Beatles with Sgt Pepper, or Pink Floyd with Dark Side Of The Moon - both albums put immense pressure on the groups to come up with something as big and clever again and again.

So imagine what it would be like for an unknown to write something or say something that resonates with everyone - and then somehow be expected to come up with the magic again.

Often a single idea can be sufficient to keep you going if it's good enough - but where are those people who came through a few years ago? Where is Chris (X Files) Carter now? The truth is out there, and so is Chris - because the truth is that his single good idea only took him so far. Imagine that - knowing that there is a good chance that lightning may never strike there again and just hoping desperately to recapture the glory days

So perhaps it is better to live in hope of that Joshua Tree moment, to endlessly write that sci-fi epic in hope of attaining that Wrath Of Khan feeling - but to never actually reach it: because the view of hope in the future may actually be better than to watch it receding in the rear view mirror?

Would John Lennon ever have reached the same heights as his Beatles days, or would he have grown lesser and lesser as the years went by?

On the subject of which by way of response I would like you to summarise a plot in a single sentence - because all great ideas are essentially simple ones. Here's a couple of examples:

Wagon Train To The Stars - Star Trek
Four Dwarves Go For A Walk And Throw Away A Ring - Lord Of The Rings

Your turn :)

Friday, 20 November 2009


Thanks all again for continuing to take an interest in Maggie and her ongoing journey to...well, that would be cheating, wouldn’t it!

For those of you who don't know the journey from John O Groats (the most northerly part of mainland Britain) to Land's End (the most southerly) is quite a famous one (also known as LEJOG) and people make it via various means for different reasons. Maggie's reasons are secret for the moment...

Thanks as always to Raven for getting us all thinking: for those of you yet to play here’s the link

Words for this week's 10-word challenge are: love is a many splendored thing, trucks, inspector, symbols, rising, organic, liberation, costly, smug, naughty

And for the mini: the nature of the beast, identical, charcoal, braggart, vacation
On a further note: there really is a Trout Inn in Oxford – a couple of episodes of Inspector Morse were filmed there, and it really is true about Gretna (at least the bit about the anvil is true)

Week six – Biggar – Carlisle, 87 miles

Detective Inspector Brains, Tames Valley Police attending

Brains: I was proceeding in a south-westerly towards Oxford canal on foot when I noticed a disruption taking place outside The Trout Inn. I saw what appeared to be an elderly lady with a collapsing zimmer-frame making rude gesticulations towards the landlord and calling him a braggart.

Having watched Crimewatch only the night before I was reminded that Mrs Margaret Mills is still wanted for questioning regarding..... and as the person looked identical to the photofit I proceeded to ascertain if it were she.

However, upon arresting the individual for public lewdness I discovered that it was not Mrs Mills, but a Mr Derek Kinkade of 1 The Crescent, Bewdley, President of the Margaret Mills Liberation Front.

I took him in for questioning, and he was subsequently released pending further enquiries.


Dear Spud

I were right sorry to hear about your spat with Denise on Tuesday, but you should never have given her charcoal briquettes for her birthday. Honestly, what were you thinking? Nobody has a barbeque this time of year and you know how she feels about fossil fuels. Anyway I’m sure that you’ll get past it if only you can stop moping about feeling sorry for yerself, after all they do say that love is a many splendored thing: just look at me and Norman – he were never the most handsome man, but we got on right well enough.

Anyway – I’m finally bloody out of Scotland today, but it don’t get much better: as I’m in Carlisle today and that’s right on the border of Wales. Well, I ain’t got nothing against Wales as such, had lots of lovely holidays up here as a lass: but the bloody place is just full of wind and rain that won’t do owt for my gammy leg. The manager at the hotel in Lockerbie game me some orgasmic herbal remedy – or were that organic? Either way it looked like a bloody costly jar, so I shall use it sparingly if at all.

Gretna were a big disappointment: not how I remember it at all. Norman and me, well we eloped to Gretna when we was young, but it’s all changed. You can’t get married at the Blacksmith’s anvil no more: there’s just some smug tourist guide wanting to charge you a tenner for your photo to remind you of your vacation. Seems a shame really: I mean, where are all those mad passionate eighteen year olds just brimming full of naughty thoughts and repressed sexuality supposed to go now? Still I suppose that’s the nature of the beast that is tourism.

Carlisle is a bit grim: very noisy. I were kept awake all night by trucks bombing up and down the main road like there were no tomorrow. Still, today I were able to take a quick trip up to Hadrian’s Wall whilst me motor scooter were being repaired again. There wall were impressive: you can see it rising into the hills for miles around

By the way: thanks – I seen Crimewatch last night, but I’m sure I don’t have time to be bothering with the police right now. No doubt they’ll find me if they want me




Hope u wont mind, as ow me n Tosser had to chuck Mrs Bayliss out of number three. Neighbors were complainin coz she spent all nite playin her symbols n drums


Friday, 13 November 2009

Wordzzle 89

Thanks again for all your recent comments, and again apologies for the lack of return visits: I shall be hoping to rectify this soon.

Meanwhile we begin with a quick hark-back to the suggested titles for my NaNoWriMo before we continue with Maggie’s story. I thought it might be interesting to have a quick think about each one and see where the titles led me: if anyone can think of better suggestions please let me know

ARGENT: “ Land of the bodiless" or "Falling Slowly".

Land Of The Bodiless sounds like a HG Wells or Edgar Allen Poe story doesn’t it? Falling Slowly could almost be anything, but my first thought was a story about someone losing control of their personal situation?

RESTON FRIENDS: Sparybk Speaks
Reston – this sounds like it could be the true confessions of someone, but with a name like Sparybk they’d have to be something like an alien coming to visit earth or something?

Dr John: "The Other End of the End ", "Parrot Soup for Breakfast"," The Blind Spectacles"
Again: these sound like Roald Dahl or HG Wells, maybe even Noel Coward or Marx Brothers titles (Especially Parrot Soup) – you could probably do a good sci-fi story about The Other End Of The End. I think The Blind Spectacles is one of my favourite suggestions, because you could do almost anything with it.

RAVEN: A Gathering of Ravens
Actually this was very tempting – If I knew the first thing about writing spy novels then I think this would be an excellent title for a thriller – so I think the prize goes to Dr John (for making me laugh) and Raven. I’ll put up more info on The Benefit next time, but I think it’s time to return to the story of Maggie and see how she’s doing.

Finally before we start the story proper I would like to thank Furry, my cat, who insisted on helping me with this weeks episode by clawing up my trousers, sitting on my lap and constantly trying to lick my typing hands throughout.

as ever for rules and regulations visit the ever wonderful Raven at

Words this week for the10-word challenge are: officer, candid, drowning, turtles, sugar-coated, prospecting, shame on you, reclinder (I’m assuming this is actually recliner), luggage, brains

And for the mini: paragon of virtue, cats-in-the-cradle, swamp, sprinkles, garbage

Dumbarton – Moffatt (Dumfriesshire), 77.8 miles

Extract from CNN Live, Monday 9th November:

NEWSREADER: Still to come in the next hour, we bring you a candid report on John Goodenburgh, who’s been prospecting up in the mountains of Nevada since the 1920s and claims to have been abducted by aliens every week for the past five years, as well as Recliner Chairs: are they a hazard to your health?

But first more news on the continuing story of UK pensioner Margaret Mills, who after four weeks on the run is still wanted for questioning by the British Police in relation to... The story took an unusual turn this week, thanks to a Facebook group that has been set up dedicated to following her journey. It seems that members of the group are disguising themselves as old women and causing havoc around the country to try and hide Mrs Mills’s true destination. Over to Mel Binglebat on the streets of Dumbarton...

Dear Spud

I can’t believe it’s been five weeks and I’m still not out of bloody Scotland. I tell you if I see another tin of tourist shortbread I shall bloody well scream. As If it weren’t bad enough with all the advertisements for Christmas having started. I tell you, I had a trip around Dumbarton Castle on Monday and they’d got a bloody nativity scene set up in the banqueting hall, only it must have been warm and cozy, because there were a bunch of cats in the cradle where the baby Jesus were supposed to be. One of them had peed on the hay, which I have to say ruined the display for me.

Still, it were nothing compared to Glasgow, which as you can imagine were full of bleeding American tourists blocking the path with their luggage and going on about how quaint everything were. I swear that you have to leave your brains behind at customs when they check your passport or something.

Mind you the hotel I stayed at in Glasgow were nice, chocolates on the pillows and all: only they had melted by the time I arrived, and when I complained the manager were only able to offer me some sugar-coated almonds. Well, you know how they always give me a dicky tummy? Well, I were up and down to the bathroom all night!

So on Wednesday I got as far as Lanark. I was going to head for Larkhall, but there’s bugger all here: I swear I’ve seen more life in a rancid swamp than I’ve found this last week. I did go past a lovely loch at one point, but I’m buggered if I know what it were called. Anyways, there were this bloke in the water and I thought he were drowning: only when I tried to fish him out with me collapsing zimmer frame he started yelling ‘shame on you, you’re disturbing the bleeding turtles’ What turtles, that’s what I’d like to know, and since when do you get turtles in Scotland? Honestly, some people.

So when I’d finish yelling at him and swiping him with me handbag I took a quick visit to St Nicholas’s Church and that were lovely: though as I caught the vicar nipping off to the betting shop I can hardly consider him a paragon of virtue, now can I?

Well, must be getting on to me final destination for the week, somewhere called Biggar. Don’t forget to put out the garbage and give Mr Jones in number 10 his notice. If he feigns death again just dress up as an undertaker and threaten to throw him onto the bonfire




Fanks 4 the sugar-coated shortbread sprinkles, me n Tosser really likd em n gave a few to Mr Jones, who weren’t no truble wen e left, coz of how Tosser hit im in the nose till e went.

Police Officer cum round again. Sed e just wantd 2 talk 2u, n straitn fings out


Friday, 6 November 2009

Another Wordzzle

Just a quick note of thanks to everyone who responded to my two recent posts: I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to respond to your individual comments yet.

As I said before I don’t currently have regular access to the internet and what little time I do have needs to be mostly spent looking for work at least until I find out what’s happening with my current job. I’m actually writing this from the local library, where you get one hour free use per day (woo, and indeed, hoo!)

Thanks also to everyone who suggested a title for my NaNoWriMo – however, I had a very vivid dream after posting and was able to come up with my own title “The Benefit”. Still, once I’m back on line properly I’ll pick a winner from the suggested titles and let them know.

Thanks also to Argent, who very kindly offered to let me post the next instalment of Maggie’s adventure.

Words this week for the major:
Cute, come with me to the casba, bloodhound, respiration, facebook, Canada Geese, modern, gravity, spiders web, sea shells

Curiosity killed the cat, charming, Victorian, railroad tracks, tower, salt and pepper

Week Four
Ballachulish – Dumbarton (73 miles)

Dear Spud

Can you believe it? Four weeks on the road and barely out of Scotland. Of course, this bloody mobility scooter doesn’t help. Supposed to come with a five year guarantee, but I keep having to get people to push me up hills. Norman never did trust this modern rubbish, and I guess he were right after all.

Anyways, it were lovely to hear your voice on Tuesday, but I have to admit I didn’t really know what the bloody hell you were on about. What were all that nonsense about a Facebook group dedicated to finding me? Bloody rude looking into my affairs if you know what I mean – after all, curiosity killed the cat, and besides: why the hell would you have a book on your face?

Still, I guess it keeps them off the streets.

Honestly Spud, you should see the state of some of these hotels. The first one I stayed at this week had a spider’s web in every corner and the manager wouldn’t even move me. Said I should consider myself bloody lucky to even be alive. Well, I showed him I did – left without bloody paying and have no intention of going back neither.

Going on the second day were much easier, what with gravity giving me a hand down all those hills. Stopped at a pond in Altnafeadh and nearly got savaged by some Canada Geese, but a few waves of me collapsing zimmer frame shooed them off in a hurry.

Then Wednesday night I stayed in this B&B what had a bloodhound for a pet. They must have been just letting it loose and peeing in all the rooms, coz I had troubles with me respiration all night and you know how the smell of dog piss affects my breathing. Still the manager’s son were quite cute: and if I’d been sixty years younger I’m sure his charming ways would have won me over.

Still, I had to carry on with me journey, or else what would Norman have said? He were always a tower of strength were Norman. So I sets off on Thursday to Adochlay, which is on the banks of Loch Lomond, only my mobility scooter got stuck on the railroad tracks and I had to be pulled out by this bloke who had one of those Victorian moustaches – you know: the ones that look like they would still be perfect under fifty foot of water and covered in sea shells?

Oh well, I arrived safe and sound here in Dumbarton this morning and have no intention of moving until Monday. Right proper B&B this is and the food is lovely – they don’t even make a fuss when you ask for the salt and pepper.

Take care




Poliz cum round again

Wantd 2 no abt that nite wot you come with me to the casba club

Sed u took package from Tosser? Sumthin abt him givin u sum powder inna jar?

Mags – wot u got urself into?