The Turquoise Boy
Edited from feedback: 21 May 2016
If there is a colour in paradise it is certainly turquoise. For Mother and Father it is the colour of their newborn boy, innocent and pure, lovingly cradled and doted upon by his inexpressibly happy parents. It is the colour of his shallow eyes as they fill with the world around him with the knowledge and encounter of phenomena that gently draws him from this to that; from one to all; from me to I and eventually to you.
So I thought it high-time I took on a writing course; subjected myself to failure, learning, and perhaps even moderate success in completing something. Or perhaps I’ll just enjoy learning again, and meeting some interesting people.
Que sera, sera!
Why do I want to write?
Because it’s often quite tortuous to have an idea, insight, fleet-of-foot line of thought that you then do no follow
Recently, independent publisher of European novellas Peirene Press ran a 900 word short story competition.
Not only was I over 2 weeks late in realising, (and this was after I’d already written the following piece on a train journey to Sheffield) I also wasn’t aware that there was a specific brief to which I subsequently did not adhere!
Yes, I’m terrible with deadlines and guidelines.
But I thought I’d share it anyhow.
900 words (to tell you that I love you)
We’ve just met and already it feels like an Epic. Continue reading
“Stop trying to say something and say it!”
These words pounce on to the page as I try to write the introduction to a response to watching 21 grams for the first time. Appropriate, as I stared at the three previous abortive attempts. And further appropriate as they sum up what I actually want to say…
A lot is made of narrative structure: the kind that accommodates pragmatically measured ‘acts’; reveals, clinchers, revelations, restoration, progress, catharsis. I have found that in recent years a lot of cinema has been released solely to satisfy this kind of ‘fix’-narrative, providing highly satisfying experiences… at the expense of moving its audience.
Is this done in anticipation of reviews? Of expectancy? Of an apparent decreasing span of attention and/or sensitivity to stimuli in new audiences?
Recently I found myself watching an American drama series after having skipped roughly one and half season’s worth of programming and narrative development.
No, I did not do this for kicks.
Tumbleweed rolled across my feet. I followed it with great concentration, perhaps hanging on to one of the last tangible objects I could see in existence. Except, of course, “me” and the gaggle of suited ‘corporate looking’ individuals conversing somewhere in the foreground. Foreground. I noted how redundant this term now seemed: with no reference points available in the expansive plateaux of grey, blue and milk white, I couldn’t tell if they were ten metres or ten miles away. I looked to the sky in order to distract myself and was relieved to see the blue expanse still watching over. To my left I could make out the weak outline of the moon. At least something survived I noted with little enthusiasm. Continue reading
Qfwfq and the merry Alea band of Jamsters shall be making an appearance at Poppy Corbett’s ‘The Jam’ – an evening of live music, stand up comedy, performance poetry, burlesque, new writing and a few other tasty treats from the artists of London Town…
Based at Artsadmin’s Toynbee Studios, in their friendly and comfortable bar, this event is shaping up to be a brilliant little night!
For more information, and to book your ticket, click >>>- HERE -<<<
The chasm of silence that followed my ill-thought-out response had convinced me the voices were hatching as brutal an end for me as they could possibly conceive of. Again, I reflected: if I recall key stage two Science correctly, the Big Bang refers to a large ‘explosion’ that constituted the birth of the universe. Conversely, Creation indicates an act of God and the proffered 7 days it took to ‘build’ the Earth and inhabit it. I would have to clarify which they were referring to, exclusively, to avoid any future confusion and/or miscommunication. It would not make for a very happy workplace and we all know what conflicting dogmas tend to result in.
“Our new employers will be arriving soon,”; the first voice again, “we’ve been briefed-“
“Thanks to you”; Gambon. Continue reading
“I should have realised when I saw the word ‘Apprentice’” spat my friend, guzzling the fuel of the full-time-unemployed-application-writer (obscenely strong coffee). I consoled:
“Excuse the…lateral…use of language, but it’s symptomatic of the late ‘paradigm shift’ that has seen a stick of dynamite lit at both ends, with the only question being Which way to face when the fuse is up?” My rhetoric struck a chord, despite its redundant flamboyance.
“Which way do you think I should face, Qfwfq?” continued my friend, fanning away with yet another rejection letter. Quite why we had decided to drink coffee on the hottest day in history I do not know; perhaps it was some form of self harm. Continue reading
Shifting/Shuffling my feet just a few inches at a time, arms still outstretched as though ready to throttle the first thing that may decide it wise to startle me in the impenetrable darkness, I edged my way further into the hole and farther from the ever fading half-light of day.
It said its name was Nora. I say ‘it’, because I cannot be sure the feline race follows the same gender-naming structure we humans tend to follow. In fact, you may decide upon a gender, if it helps you imagine its voice. I recall making this observation quite clearly, because Nora proceeded to pull me up on it. With part of my attention still retained by the phantom puzzle-bag, I may have distractedly muttered a quizzical Nora? and offered my most confused looking frown. Nora grilled me: Continue reading
Somehow I’d managed to uproot myself from the spot, and apparently also found time to manipulate my jaw shut and blink two or three (million) times. In between these episodes I’d retreated down the stairs to the kitchen, to the kettle I’d filled with too much water for the mere two cups I’d anticipated. I was in no state to consider any such Freudian revelation that I’d filled the kettle with enough water for three cups on purpose, though retrospectively I imagine I’d always been expecting the arrival of a massive elephant, to assume its position in the corner of the living room. Continue reading
‘In a heartbeat’
It’s a clear memory, pristine like a framed photograph that hasn’t been moved, never mind handled, for centuries: the off-white door with its panelled design and grainy sheen of cheap paint, that could chip in a gust of wind; the dulled metal of a well-used door handle; beige carpet, rough looking but certainly not designed as such, speckled with various darker coloured ‘fluff-stuffs’ caught in the fibres and unyielding to any hoover. Tightly packed into an alcove to the right of the doorframe an Ikea wardrobe, comprised of a balsa wood frame over which a dark material skin is draped; all the walls in the world are white, matted over time with scuffs and scrapes betraying numerous move-ins and move-outs; and me, right hand cupped round a personalised mug, hot tea steaming like hot breath on a bitterly cold evening – my left hand poised in a knocking position. Continue reading