Cricetinae Fictionem – or Something Like That: 11

Long before those anthropomorphized earplugs appeared on the scene, my comedic desires were assuaged by stories about sentient hamsters that lived in a parallel universe to our own. Hence the Hamster-Sapiens series of e-books.

This excerpt originated in the least successful book in the series – The Abduction of Wetpatch Wilson

It quickly transpired that what Droop could see caused mass exclamations of surprise and puzzlement. At first sight they looked like precise co-ordinates. They did at second sight too. And when Desmond punched the figures into the ship’s computer, the resulting location made everyone snort in consternation. And the reason for this was because it was deep inside an underwater mountain.

“How fluff they get there?” Ho inquired eloquently.

“Aint that some obvious stuff?” Kevin called from the open doorway into the corridor, “They perhapped.”

“You said that they perhapped onto an ethereal plane of quasi-existence.” Amy argued with bitterness in her tone. “Now you’re saying that they perhapped into a solid mountain? If Professor Squealch hadn’t made you, I’d suspect that you’d been left behind just to confuse us.”

Although Kevin was a mere machine, Desmond had programmed it to comprehend emotion and feelings. Consequently it felt rather hurt at the semi-accusation.

“Hey,” it cried out plaintively, “I been given all that emotion, and feelings, and biological crap ya know. I’s hurt something like buggery by your semi-accusation. And who’s saying that the mountain’s solid anyway. Maybe it’s like a big hard balloon thing.”

And although everyone put aside a brief moment to contemplate Kevin’s appreciation of emotions, feelings, and biological crap – what really gained their attention was the theoretical scenario in which a mountain could be hollow.

“Is it possible, Desmond?” Sally asked hopefully of the wild-furred hamster.

“It would take an army of workers yonks and yonks and yonks to hollow out a mountain.” Desmond shook his head and smiled condescendingly, “I really feel that this time my creation’s idea is somewhat fanciful. Gag-makingly in fact.”

“Fanciful is good.” Wetpatch felt duty bound to remind the professor. “Hasn’t your whole career as a brilliant inventor been based upon fanciful ideas? I don’t remember any of them being gag-making – even that machine that turned people upside down and shook them around lots and lots in an effort to simulate birthing to those right-wing Argumentalists who doubted that vaginal tissue could really stretch that much; and that natural birth was just a government conspiracy to cover up the truth that we’re all products of spontaneous existence, or that we were brought here in flying saucers from the planet Gargh. Just because Kevin’s a machine – that doesn’t make his fanciful ideas any more unlikely than your own.”

“That’s right, Professor.” Roman unexpectedly railed against his hero. Or rather he didn’t. “Kevin is your brilliant invention: You obviously built in sub-routines especially designed to think up fanciful situations and scenarios. Ergo – Kevin’s intelligence is an extension of your own.”

Well this statement placed an entirely different complexion upon the argument. Fortunately Desmond didn’t actually say those words. Instead he made do with, “Oh yeah; you’re right. Brilliant idea, Kevin. I don’t suppose you have any idea how they ‘perhapped’?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

Taken out of the context of the main story, that might (possibly) have made little sense. But if you’d read the preceding text first, quickly followed by the words that appeared after this excerpt, it might have hung together rather well. Of course, the only way to discover the truth is to purchase the (surprisingly inexpensive) e-book – at almost any e-book stockist, which includes all the majors. Check out the book covers – to the right – for direct access to Lulu, Apple, B&N, and Amazon.

Cricetinae Fictionem – or Something Like That: 10

Long before those silicon-wonder earplugs appeared on the scene, my comedic desires were assuaged by stories about sentient hamsters that lived in a parallel universe to our own. Hence the Hamster-Sapiens series of e-books.

This time I’ve decided to display a random excerpt from Danglydong Dell Diaries…

“It’s a bit of a long-shot, isn’t it?” Stubby seemed unconvinced a few moments later. “Your plan relies entirely upon some pretty spectacular physiological differences between the people of Prannick, and the people of Hamster Heath, which, quite frankly, I think are rather unlikely. Take the two Algys for example: They are so identical that we don’t dare let them touch each other in case they explode.”

“Ah, but there’s a good case in point.” Dung counter-argued by grabbing Algy and dragging him to the centre of the room. “Are they so identical?”

It was a rhetorical question, so no one responded. Dung continued by addressing Algy directly…

“Mister Timber,” His tone was quizzical, “Do you like custard?”

A shudder ran through Algy as though someone had just slipped a large slug into his underpants.

“Can’t stand the stuff.” He said. “It’s bad enough that I have to work with the muck five days of the week: Eating it would be like adding insult to injury. I’m a porridge person myself.”

“Hmmm,” Dung nodded sagely. “But if someone put a gun to your head, and shouted, ‘eat it – you snivelling cretin, or die’ could you, in fact, eat it?”

It was a ridiculous question, and Dung knew it – yet he shook Algy several times in order to force a response.

“Yes of course I could it eat it, you stupid hamster.” Algy retorted, “And I wouldn’t need a gun to my head to do so either. A twenty Rodento note would be enough.”

“Could you keep it down?” Dung urged.

“Of course.” Algy retorted again.

“How much could you eat?” Dung pressed, “A cup full? A bowl? A flagon? A family tub?”

Algy was becoming weary of what he considered a pointless interrogation, but Joan must have had an inkling of where Dung was going with his questioning, and duly urged Algy to answer.

“All of them.” He replied. “One after the other. Or all together if they were different

flavours, and one of them was dandelion and lemongrass sorbet.”

There appeared a definite light of passion in Dung’s eyes when he then asked, “Would it make you drunk?”

“It might make me vomit uncontrollably,” Algy sniggered as he adjusted his Kool Kustard company tie, “but I think I can hold my dairy products with the best of them.”

“By the Rim!” The Abbott cried out in revelation. “The big-nosed hamster makes perfect sense: The reason that custard never became popular in Prannick was because of its pseudo-alcoholic effect upon the population.”

“That’s right.” Joan began bouncing with enthusiasm. “Don’t you remember, Mister Timber – how we tried to open a custard store in Weasels Pit just after we’d helped free it from the tyranny of The Wheel, but…”

Quentin Blackheart took up the line…

“…I had to close it because of all the bad behaviour it was causing with the youth of the town. And many of the patrons of the Stoat and Wanger public house were too drunk to walk there, and the landlord almost became bankrupt overnight.”

“Of course.” Darkwood threw up his paws. “That’s why I get so giggly and show complete strangers my shaven buttocks when I eat custard in Joan’s realm: I’m always pissed as a fart!”

Then everyone began relating tales of how they’d seen custard have detrimental effects upon the cognitive powers of Prannick-folk. Only Stubby and Dung remained silent. Stubby indicated to Dung that they should speak alone.

Moments later they stood together in the corridor.

“You realise what you’re suggesting?” Stubby began. The warning tone in his voice was clear – even to an insensitive bastard such as Arthur Dung.

“What – does getting drunk infringe upon the monk’s religious beliefs, or something equally trivial?” Dung sneered.

“It strikes directly at the heart of their beliefs.” Stubby replied. “These monks are the spokes of The Wheel. They keep separate the evil that is at The Hub, and devote their lives to assisting the ordinary rodent of Prannick to attain a higher state of being – that being ascension to The Rim.”

Dung shrugged his shoulders. “So they fall off the wagon every so often: They’ll get over it. Besides – would they prefer being gutted by a bunch of mad-hamsters in stead?”

It was an excellent argument, and Stubby was hard-pressed to counter it. He had to make do with, “You’re an arse-hole – did you know that? But you’re also essentially correct: When shall we do it?”

The sound of splintering wood in the gatehouse below brought new impetus to Dung’s thought processes. “How about right now?” He suggested.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

This e-book is available at just about every e-book outlet, which probably includes your favourite.

 

Pretentious? Moi?

There I was, Googling myself, when, hey presto, I discover that I’m one of those wise asses who expound their opinions and display spurious knowledge upon the Internet. I wrote this, upon someone else’s blog, in 2014…

“No two writers are alike. I’m not sure that one writer (however successful) can really teach another ‘how to do it’. In the end we all find our own voice.”

Have you read my stuff? Earplugs and hamsters, for heck’s sake. How pretentious can I get?

Oh yes – that pretentious!

 

Cricetinae Fictionem – or Something Like That: 9

Long before those nauseatingly fabulous earplugs appeared on the scene, my comedic desires were assuaged by stories about sentient hamsters that lived in a parallel universe to our own. Hence the Hamster-Sapiens series of e-books.

On this momentous occasion I’ve elected to share with you an excerpt from The Psychic Historian.

It was clear from Freda Bludgeon’s appearance that time had passed in the green valley where the famous author lived in her stone-built cottage. Now her grey muzzle perfectly matched the low cloud that hung above the valley like a menacing oil spill. Her clothes had become worn, and the previously bright white net curtains that hid the interior of the house from nosey passers-by were dull and splattered with the detritus of years.

Freda, herself, was trying desperately to write her latest best-seller, but it was obvious that she had been stricken with the nastiest case of writer’s-block since the invention of the written word.

“Oh woe is me.” She cried plaintively as she flung aside her tatty, almost useless, typewriter, “Until I can feel my belly full once more I swear that I cannot write another word.”

Any other complaints and utterances of self-pity were put aside when there came a knock at the door.

“Who is it?” she called.

“Get up off yer skinny arse; answer the door; and you’ll find out – won’t you.” The gruff reply pierced the thick wooden door that barred the cold, blustery, day from entering like a head-hunter’s spear.

The voice belonged to Izzy Ekaslike – the local postal delivery person. For a moment the thought of what Izzy might have in the bottom of his satchel gave Freda reason to hope. ‘Is it possible that he might be delivering a royalty cheque?’ She thought it unlikely – especially since everyone was so poor now that not a single book had sold in the last year – anywhere throughout the entire land of Hamster-Britain.

‘But there’s always overseas sales.’ She thought, ‘Not every country has adopted the environmental concerns, and legislated new anti-pollution laws that my endless campaigning has managed to push through parliament, and which now cripples the country’s industry and farmers to such an extent that they’re no longer competitive in the world market.’

“Be right there.” She said chirpily.

Izzy Ekaslike stood and dripped in the doorway as Freda opened the door to him.

“Izzy.” Freda said by way of welcome.

“Miss Bludgeon.” The miserable-looking male hamster replied politely – if a little curtly.

“Do you have a little something for me?” Freda inquired.

Izzy held secret feelings for Freda, so he was surprised, and slightly thrilled, by the question.

“How’d ya mean?” he inquired in turn. “What – in me trousers, ya mean?”

Freda, for all her fame, was no female-of-the-world. “Your trousers?” she looked puzzled. “Has your satchel developed a hole in it?”

Izzy’s shoulders slumped. He knew it had been too good to be true. Famous authors never had sexual intercourse with postal delivery people: It was a well-known fact. “Yeah,” he said, even more grumpily than usual, “It’s a letter.”

With that he flung an envelope across the threshold; turned away abruptly; mounted his push-along-scooter – which Freda noticed no longer bore any tyres upon its tiny wheels – and made off at his best speed, which was actually very slow, due in no small part to the fact the road was nothing more than potholes held together by short stretches of tarmac.

Moments later Freda had returned to her pantry, and was tearing the envelope open with her incisors. It had been weeks since anyone had bothered to contact her, and she was shaking with the excitement of anticipation.

When, after she’d managed to calm her trembling paws, Freda had battled her way past the arsenic-laced seal, the cheese wire wrapping, and the small incendiary device inside, Freda’s eyes pored over the attached letter. In the brief moments before her solitary oil lamp stuttered into extinction she managed to decipher the opening lines: They read…

Dear Miss Bludgeon, you are an utter bastard. I hate you with all my heart. When the time comes for you to die, I hope it is long and protracted, and gives you the opportunity to reflect upon your actions, which have been instrumental in destroying the fabric of life in Hamster Britain. If it was physically possible for a minge to fall off – I hope your does. Or at least get horribly infected. Due to your stupid environmental interference I have lost everything, – my company, my family, my self respect, and, most importantly, my great wealth. Recently I was forced to sell one of my kidneys to one of the few rich people left in this benighted country, and the larger of my testicles to scientific research – merely to buy a loaf of bread and some fuel to power my lawn mower.  Worse still is the fact that I am one of your biggest fans. This winter I have found it necessary to burn my entire collection of your mystery novels – not because I now hate your work, but because it is the only way to heat the tiny garden shed that I now call home. If Springtime doesn’t arrive soon I’ll have to burn all your self-help and sex guides. After they’re gone I don’t know what I’ll do. I can’t even nail up an electrical socket without literary aid: And quite what I’ll find to do with my willy confounds me. But that’s all by-the-by: The point of this letter is…

To say that Freda was shocked was possibly the understatement of the year. She was more than shocked. In fact she was so shocked that she had to run to toilet, which was fortuitous because she kept an early prototype Timmy the Twonk Engine wind-up torch on top of the cistern for situations just like this. Winding the handle on the side of the torch for all she was worth, Freda dropped her knickers, sat her withered buttocks down as comfortably as possible (which was difficult because the toilet seat had broken during an autumn storm, and she was yet to find the fiscal resources to replace it), and settled herself to read the remainder of the letter.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

These magnificent e-books are available all over the place. For easy access to your chosen e-reader (or whatever) visit the book covers over there → on the side bar. Failing that, you can always click on the Lulu logo, or Google ‘Tooty Nolan Books‘.

Do Ya Think…?

“Here, Dave; do ya think Tooty Nolan will ever write that thirtieth Earplug Adventure, he keeps promising?”

“Dunno, Brian: how about asking those guys over there.”

“What? You mean there’s some question over it? Some concern?  No-no-no: as far as we’re concerned, he’d better: this is our one chance at Internet immortality!”

Photography: Dark Light: When Dead Cameras Return to Life

I collect old digital cameras. Recently I came across an Olympus FE4000. With no battery inside it, I had no idea if it worked; but I bought it anyway. Two weeks later a battery arrived from Germany. Cheering, as the camera sprang into cybernetic life, my joy was dampened when I took one of my usual camera test shots and discovered that the White Balance was stuck on Minus 2…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This feeling was tempered by the thought that this is still an excellent picture. And it was extinguished entirely when I discovered that I could adjust the non-functioning WB facility by the simple expedient of doing a factory restart in the setting program. I’ve found that buying old cameras is a bit of a gamble; but so far it has paid off handsomely. Ebay and my local charity shops must adore me. Now to see if I can get that old Fuji F455 working…

Cricetinae Fictionem – or Something Like That: 8

Long before those inglorious earplugs appeared on the scene, my comedic desires were assuaged by stories about sentient hamsters that lived in a parallel universe to our own. Hence the Hamster-Sapiens series of e-books.

This time I’d like you to study a wondrous excerpt from Fanfare for the Common Hamster

Finally, as evening drew on, they settled about the smoky fire and discussed a possible constitution for Prannick – once the power of The Wheel had been overthrown, of course.

“So tell me, Joan,” Darkwood spoke between draughts of a foul ale that they’d purchased from an inebriated chipmunk whom they encountered on the road that led towards Knackered Dobbin, and who was selling hot baked beans and treacle tarts to passers-by, “since you know Sponx is ruled by an absolute monarchy, and Prannick is a religious mono-culture, how well do you imagine that your land’s concept of democracy would fare in this obviously more culturally-primitive dimension?”

Joan’s reply was short and sweet. It was also a question.  “Capitalism, or Socialism?”

Darkwood pondered this subject for a moment. He then asked the obvious question, “Is there any real difference?”

Now if anyone had asked Joan this question just a paw-full of days previous, then it’s likely that she would have responded with, “You what? Socialism? Duh…” But the new Joan now used parts of her brain that hadn’t been dulled by an upbringing in the company of a moronic gerbil, and the ever-present aroma of custard. Just as Darkwood had done moments earlier, Joan too pondered the subject. When she spoke is was with precision and clarity…

“In ideology and theory – a difference so vast that it could lead to war:” She informed him, “But in practice – they are barely discernible. They’re both highly proficient in the art of corruption, but only one of them is capable of running a country long-term without bankrupting it or causing civil unrest. Well that’s if Hamster Britain’s government is anything to judge by. The same goes for dictatorships and police states: In the end you can’t tell one from the other. Except for cornflakes, of course: There’s always a greater choice of cornflakes and cereal-based products in states where free speech is the norm. Otherwise they’re much the same. Even the pornography looks remarkably similar. So I’ve been told: I’ve never actually indulged…”

She turned away to cover the brightening of skin beneath her youthful hamstery fur.

“Not doing well, are we Darkwood?” Rootley returned from prodding the smouldering fire, “In any case – aren’t we being a tad premature? We have the fluffin’ Wheel to overthrow first.”

“And I have a trabajo to find, if you recall.” Brother Alfonso spoke from inside a hammock that he’d fashioned from a huge sheet of muslin that was usually used for containing the village pudding, but had been washed and left outside to dry overnight by the village pudding maker, and which had been subsequently stolen by Brother Alfonso as he sauntered past en route from Lake Effluence to Rootley’s hovel, “As a monk my professional days are over.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

Charming, wasn’t it? And intellectual too. You get everything in a Tooty Nolan book, you know!

 

 

Cricetinae Fictionem – or Something Like That: 7

Long before those silly-sod earplugs appeared on the scene, my comedic desires were assuaged by stories about sentient hamsters that lived in a parallel universe to our own. Hence the Hamster-Sapiens series of e-books.

In this encounter with Hamster-Fiction, I invite you to view an excerpt from the final book, Danglydong Dell Diaries...

Of all those present in the audience in Danglydong Dell that night, only Algy Timber – the production manager at the Kool Kustard factory (which was located in the small industrial estate between the Green Mucus Home for Old Bastards, and the petrified forest) – recognised the tiny figure that now stepped upon the dais. He was scruffily dressed in a sackcloth jerkin; baggy woollen trousers; and a pair of rough, high-heeled, riding boots that easily gained him an extra ten percent of his true height. He was also a harvest mouse, and almost everyone there felt a vague sense of disgust at his appearance.

“Stubby Collett!” Algy roared with surprise, “What are you doing here?”

Algy’s wife, Mildred, tried to pull him back down into his seat. She feared that her husband might cause an embarrassing scene, and she didn’t like ‘scenes’: They gave her the hiccups.

‘Stubby’ waved to Algy in a most feminine manner, and what few fans he’d managed to muster in those opening seconds quickly withdrew their support. “Hiya, Algy.” He croaked in an equally unappealing voice.

Although Algy had told her all about him and their adventure together, and how Stubby had been shot in the chest by a crossbow bolt, and how magically he’d gained some pert young breasts, Mildred had never met Stubby Collett. The recollection was too overwhelming for her, and she did exactly what Algy was afraid she would: She fainted.

This simple act was probably fortuitous because what Stubby did next stunned almost everyone there. First his sackcloth jerkin changed into a pleasant winter poncho: The trousers transformed into a pair of the sheerest snow-leggings that anyone could ever recalling seeing: And the riding boots became elegant steel toe-capped builder’s sandals. Then his tail disappeared; breasts appeared upon his slender chest; and finally the harvest mouse was no longer a harvest mouse at all, but a beautiful young female hamster.

“Well bugger me,” Huck Ballesteroid exclaimed. “I’ve come over all shocked and awed!”

“Cor blimey!” Horatio Horseblanket spoke at his most lascivious.

“Hello Primrose.” Algy returned the earlier wave of Stubby Collet’s. Then he added, rather unnecessarily, “Look everyone – it’s the delightful Primrose Pickles: She’s a super-psychic from an alternate continuum you know. She can make you believe anything that she wants you to believe, she can. Gosh she’s so super-talented.”

“And super trouser-flappingly gorgeous too!” Horatio’s gums salivated with desire as he spoke.

Everyone tittered at this: They did so adore their local hero, and thoroughly enjoyed his sexist remarks – even if he was betrothed to the lovely Colleen Slapper of Chunderland, and should have known better.

Primrose gave Horatio a subtle wink, and then opened her diary in preparation to speak.

Joan Bugler was surprised at this: As far as she was concerned Primrose was a non-practising lesbian: To see her wink at Horatio Horseblanket so suggestively caused her to reappraise her relationship with the shapely young hamster, and question many of the psychic’s actions during their adventures together in Prannick.

Felicity had just retaken her seat beside her sister, and noted Joan’s thoughtful expression. She read it perfectly. “He is Horatio Horseblanket.” She whispered into Joan’s ear. “His hero status and charming demeanour are enough to turn the head of even the most confirmed dyke. He gave you one last year, I seem to recall. You’re not exactly a sex-goddess, yet you succumbed: Poor Primrose has no chance against his will.”

“Or his non-bristly, and ever so squelchy, scrotum.” Joan said as she recalled the events immediately following the end of the Psychic Historian show in Gerbils Ruin the year previous when she was seen to ride off with Horatio into the night upon the back of his pet cavy, Wolfgang. “And he can ride a scooter fantastically well too.”

But within a heartbeat both rodent’s attention returned to the dais…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

Wasn’t that nice? And only slightly disgusting too! Naturally the e-book is available all over the place. Check out the side bar (to your right) for some of the better-known outlets.

Why Do I Enjoy Writing The Earplug Adventures? (Part 1)

 

The answers to that question are multifarious. But the one I chose to relate today is imaginative photography. That is taking an everyday object and making it into something else. Take, for example, the humble in-car air freshener. A dark room; a painted board with holes punched in it; a light; and the aforementioned air freshener. Result in…

…the Chi-Z-Sox cruising through space. Don’t believe me? Well try the addition of a red light source; and what do you get?

That’s right; the Chi-Z-Sox making atmospheric entry.

Something out of almost nothing. That’s one of the reasons why I like writing the Earplug Adventures.

 

Who? You and Your iPad Too!

Have you ever wondered what an Earplug Adventure looks like on a tablet or e-reader?

If you have, I imagine you’d expect it to appear pretty damned wonderful. Well, for those of you who have wondered, but failed miserably to do anything about it, here are a series of pictures that show exactly what an earplug story looks like. For the purposes of this educational montage, I have chosen the Apple iPad.

You’ve visited the Apple iBookstore. You’ve downloaded the file…

 

You’ve checked out the Index…

…and decided foolishly to forego the Prologue. Instead you’ve chosen to jump straight to Chapter One…

Despite missing the important introduction, you’ve quickly figured out what’s going on and begin to enjoy the sort of fiction that not one of the six billion human beings co-existing with the author upon this planet have yet to write. You discover that you are reading something quite unique…

 

At which point you decide to share your discovery with all your many friends upon the Internet via Facebook, Twitter and all those other, slightly less well-known, social media sites. Well at least I hope you do: I’m not selling enough books and I kinda need a helping hand!