Curtains for the Earplug Adventures?

Fear not, Earpluggers: the Earplug Adventures will continue, though at a reduced pace henceforth. Had I written this post yesterday, the title would have been a question mark short. In fact it would have been replaced by an exclamation mark. Yesterday I all but decided to quit writing my photo-novels entirely; but, being a sensible fellow (beneath this tomfoolery), I chose to give myself twenty-four hours to cogitate upon the subject.

“Oh, Tooty, what could have caused this almost-monumental decision?” I hear you cry into your coffee / beer/ wine / vimto / lavatory bowl. “Why, oh why, would you want to deny the world your fabulous literary/photographic delights?”

Well the evening hadn’t started well: I’d wanted to watch Star Trek: The Original Series, but the magic box beneath my TV said: “No – not unless you want me to stop recording either Bones or Medium.” Then the cistern in my bathroom decided to form a small boating lake on the floor beside the lavatory. So things weren’t going well when I decided to Google myself. Naturally (having punched in Tooty Nolan) I found page after page of my nonsense on sale – often on sites that I’d never heard of (and which make me wonder why I’m not receiving the royalties I might be due). Then I discovered that back in my dark depressive days – or 2013 to be more precise – I’d joined Goodreads. I’d even posted some book extracts there. Then I noted the absence of my 2014 novel Silent Resistance, and duly elected to add it to my listings there. But when I began a casual meander through the book in search of a suitable extract, I discovered that during the subsequent three years – all of which have been Earplug Adventures years, I might add – I’ve become a lousy writer. No wonder I felt the need to abandon my third Causality Merchant novel – Broker Me No Future: I can’t write anymore.  And what was it that I found in Silent Resistance that so disillusioned me? It was this paragraph…

When morning finally revealed the new day it was quite unlike those of recent times.  Although the sun was winter-weak, wisps of steam rose from the sodden wooden walls of a nearby barn into a perfectly clear azure sky. Likewise the early morning mist that slowly retreated from the surrounding fields and dissipated into nothingness. And the broad leaf trees of a distant thicket shone in glorious shades of orange and yellow, and were perfectly counterpointed by the sombre greens of a scattering of conifers amongst them.

I breathed deeply in the clear country air – something that was becoming more and more prevalent since the demise of industry, the motor car, and people. I could almost imagine that this was one year previous, and soon my sister would join me as I searched through the orchard for late fallers.

My reverie was interrupted by the arrival of Colin in the farmyard. He was studying the AA roadmap as he trudged from the farmhouse.

“Hey,” he called, “I’ve found a route back that doesn’t involve us going anywhere near anywhere we’ve already been. It’s a bit ‘round-the-houses…”

“Circumbendibus.” I interrupted.

“Circum-what?” He inquired as he came to a dead stop.

I repeated the word. “It means ‘round-the-houses.” I explained.

I think he was going to argue, but it being early in the day he thought better of it.

“Oh, right.” He said as he recommenced walking towards me. “Well I’ve found a route to that co-operative of yours that shouldn’t take too long – just as long as nothing gives us gip.”

It was my turn to exhibit ignorance. “Gip?” I said.

“Trouble. Pain. Inconvenience.” Colin explained. “A broken leg would give you gip; but in another way so would a broken-down car.”

“Got it.” I said. “Gip bad: we no want.”

“Yeah.” Colin responded – his expression clearly indicating that he thought I’d gone mad.

But any opportunity for us to swap examples of our personal lexicons was interrupted by the bus engine stuttering into life.

“How’s the fuel supply?” I shouted to Kylie as she leaned out of the driver’s window to wave hello.

After giving her dashboard a quick scrutiny she called back, “Loads. More than we need to get us where we want to go.”

“And afterwards?” I pressed.

Her face dropped. “Who says there’s gonna be an afterwards? We’ll worry about that when the time comes.”

I nodded without replying: it was time to rouse the others.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

Well there you have it. I need…no MUST…get back to that standard of story telling. So, from now on, it’s less earplugs and more ‘proper’ writing – if I still can of course. A good place to start would be that unfinished novel. Now I wonder where I’ve stashed it away.

P.S This book is available as an e-book pretty much everywhere (take your pick), and as a paperback and e-book at Lulu (see Lulu logo on side bar).


Heavy Duty Creativity

If I’m creative at all, it is in a vaguely cerebral way – that being my writing, my photography, and (of course) the combination of both in the form of the Earplug Adventures. But did you know that I can turn my hand to heavier duty stuff? Big chunky stuff? Stuff that can result in cuts and splinters? I shall explain:

In my professional life I have two desks. One is an office desk…

The other is my shop floor desk…

Not quite so nice, I think you’ll agree. But it does boast a fridge and a coffee machine, so it’s not all bad. But what it doesn’t have, is something that a six-footer like me requires for day-to-day operation: height. There are times when I need to stand up to do my daytime job, and neither of these desks cut the mustard, so to speak.What was needed was a tall desk with a small footprint. Cue creativity. Like my stories I don’t plan a course of action: I just get on with it. In this case I helped myself to this lot…

…which surprised those who watched the resulting whirlwind  of sawing, nailing, and screwing. A short while later I had created the first of (what were to become) Tooty’s Tables. I call it El Basico…

El Basico impressed one colleague so much that he took photos to show his wife, who had asked him to build some garden furniture for her. Well you know me: I couldn’t leave it at that. Soon the Deluxe model followed…

The Deluxe model included a pleasant rustic windshield – to stop paperwork blowing away. But even this higher spec model wasn’t quite what I was looking for. What I really required was the Executive Model Tooty Table – with a documentation tray. So I made one…

So what do I do on said Tooty Table? I take pictures of course. Sometimes I take pictures of pieces of wood. Pieces of wood that look like…

…bears with toothache. I mean, what else would I use it for? Surely nothing so prosaic as work? No, surely not.


Five Stars! Five Stars!

I’m pleased to note that the iBookstore has finally listed The Masters of Scroton; so now all of you lovely Apple product users have no excuse to avoid buying it for an extraordinarily paltry sum. You can see it HERE at, which will then guide you to the iBookstore. And were you to click HERE, you might be astonished to discover that some exceedingly astute reader, with enormously good taste, has given the photonovel five stars. Yes, this e-book…

…is a 5 Star publication. How can you possibly resist?


Striking Whilst the Iron is Hot

I was on a roll. Ideas were coming thick and fast. Although, at the beginning, I had no idea how The Missing would end, the finale came to me with such haste that I couldn’t apply the creative brakes, so-to-speak, and so I just kept on shooting pictures, when I should have been writing the story. So, the early shots of the next tale, which will be entitled ‘The Island of Doctor Wiel-Barrau‘, are already ‘in the can’. And just to prove it, here’s four of them in a pleasant montage…

Now please continue enjoying The Missing, and, hopefully, look forward to The Island of Doctor Wiel-Barrau.