Liberation! Vol Two – Too!

Hot on the metaphorical tail of the Liberation! Volume One re-write comes…

Yes, the 17th Child-Friendly Photo-Novel has been made near perfect and has been re-published for all to marvel at. What, before, was merely fabulous, is now…um…even better. Yes, buy the e-book at your favourite e-book seller at the first opportunity. Don’t wait until pay day: put yourself in debt straight away. You know it makes sense. Here’s a montage to make you salivate – metaphysically anyway…

Liberation Liberated From Mediocrity

Hot on the heels of…

…comes the fabulously wonderful re-write of this e-book…

…which lifts the product out of the realms of mediocrity, and catapaults it into the artistic stratosphere – which, in laymans terms, means that its a bit better than the original, and well worth a look. I like it anyway. Here’s a montage…

Product Placement – Again?

Well, obviously, no one took the slightest notice of my suggestion that they advertise on this blog. Well, I mean, why should they? It was only a joke, after all. But, more seriously, my readership has been steadily falling for yonks and yonks. I thought that, maybe, things would improve when Covid 19 placed everyone indoors and bored them stupid; but sadly I was wrong. My stats continue to disappoint. And now that WordPress seem to have it in their heads that I want the Premium Plan and are asking for real money from me, I’m considering walking away from good old HamsterBritain dot com. But before I do, I thought I might have some more fun with product placement. In this case it is a product that I actually use. And here it is…

When Magnuss Earplug and Hair-Trigger Provost find their energy reserves sapped by endless heroic acts – made in the preservation of the sanctity and liberty of The Museum of Future Technology…

…they whip out a tube of Berocca from inside their novelty sporrans; tear off the…er…tear-off bit , and up-end the contents upon their tongues. A short while later…

…they’re feeling perky as heck and ready to go kick some ass.

Berocca: makes you go-go-go when you feel totally shit! 

Product Placement?

If there’s one thing missing from the Earplug Adventures that has probably gone unnoticed, it’s product placement. Yup, you can search through 30+ volumes and you will fail, miserably, to discover any product placement. This isn’t because I’m virtuous to the point of sainthood, but because no one has ever offered me money to place their product in one of my tales – the bastards.But, just to give would-be advertisers the idea, here is a couple of product placements that wouldn’t go entirely without comment, were they to appear in the next serial / e-book…

Before they start their day – defeating would-be dictatorships and alien threats to the Museum of Future Technology and what-not, Magnuss and Hair-Trigger always enjoy a huge bowl of Scotts Porage Oats – even if it does make Magnuss delightfully windy.

And…

When Dr Gideon Snoot and Flaxwell Maltings break from their heavy schedule whilst shooting the Earplug Adventures, they pass on Cafe Puke and march straight to Starbucks. Coffee that’s guaranteed to keep them awake at the controls of the Scroton Five – and tastes quite nice too!

Okay, advertisers: I leave the ball in your court.

It’s Better to Know.

Yes it’s better to know – than not – that the delightfully rehashed version of this fantabulous e-book…

…has been published by Lulu.com – finally! Yes, I have been extremely slow regarding this re-work. Also, a few days from this post date, the new version  will replace the original at iBooks. It always take them a while to catch up – as it does at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. So, if you’re a Nook, iPad or Kindle user, give them a week, at least, before you, very sensibly try to download the new and improved version.

Of course, there follows a pleasant montage and a titchy sample of the tale…

Charm itself, I think you’ll agree.

 

My Apologies, Earpluggers…

…but recent times have not been kind to your favourite author of silicone-based stories. It has proven difficult, in the extreme, to produce a ‘new’ Earplug Adventure. I have the story sketched out in my mind; but finding the time to shoot sufficient pictures is proving impossible. But I have managed to cobble together a montage of possible inclusions in A Tale of Three Museums, and I’d like to share them with you. Perhaps you’d care to comment on them. That would be nice. Give me a little pep-up and all that…

Not bad – right?

Tooty.

Sources of Everyday Earplug Inspiration 3: Venerable Swiss Sweetener Dispensers

In the original Everyday Earplug Inspiration, I mentioned a popular coffee sweetener dispenser. In this edition, another rears its familar head. It is, probably, the first artificial sweetener available in Europe, and has been in production for eons. It is, of course, this…

Now, if you read the first post, you might be wondering just how I managed to find similar inspiration from this tiddly little transparent box – with no apparent removable parts that could be utilised as Earplug modes of transport. But look closer. Imagine that blue plastic cover torn apart and cast into the nearest litter receptical. What would you be left with? I’ll tell you: it’s this…

I’m talking about the white bit, upon which all those other plastic parts have been glued. In this case Valentine and Rudi are discussing the merits of the Punting-Modesty Facepuncher XL5 Attack Craft. Here it is in action during the Battle of the Museum of Future Technology – in the story….er…actually I can’t remember which book that was. It might have been Liberation. Yes, that would make sense…

With no ancillary parts for a second Punting-Modesty, the next Hermesetas box yeilded a Taxi-sled, which carried a group of T.W.I.T recruits to the museum in The Time Tamperer

And soon the third will appear as a sports version of the sled in A Tale of Three Museums…

And who knows what other uses it might be put to. Can you think of anything? I’m all ears – metaphorically that is. 

Just How Famous Am I?

When you’re a self-proclaimed literary genius, international author, and master chef, it’s monumentally important to discover just how famous you are. Or in the case of me – how famous I am. To this end I ‘Googled’ Tooty Nolan. Of course, strictly speaking, I should have punched in my parentally-given name. But, heck, I’m Tooty Nolan: I’ll do as I damned well please. But, anyway, I was reasonably pleased to discover that I’m averagely omnipresent. More importantly, so are my books. And even more importantly, it proves one of my assertions: I AM an international author. Look, the people of France can buy my books…

Not to mention India and Brazil…

Of course I’m well catered for in my homeland too…

And not just on Amazon either. Why, even Polish book retailers carry my titles…

Now, tell me, did you notice something peculiar about these screen-shots? Yes, none of them feature any Tooty Nolan books. Instead they display my best work. My ‘Silent’ Books – which is probably as it should be – because they really are rather good – in an old fashioned, very English sort of way. Well I think so anyway. Look, they even prefer them in Norway…

In most cases this pair of books sell through Barnes and Noble. So it came as a pleasant surprise that even that respectable retailer is willing to stretch it’s street cred by including Earplug Adventures…

And why not: wonderful prose and stunning photography rolled into one genre. It’s a no-brainer. Talking of no brains: oh dear – look at this…

Oh no – even Walmartians can read my books. The operative word being ‘can’. Maybe they have that right: unfortunately they don’t choose to exercise it. So far Walmart have sold exactly none of my books. Why aren’t I upset? 

So there you have it: clearly I am famous. Just not famous enough to keep the Bank Manager happy.

P.S This is how my daughter sees her famous Dad. Er…not exactly flattering, is it!

A Tastier Taster and a Promising Promise

Do you remember these guys?

No? They appeared in an Earplug Wallpaper. Hair vs Hat, I think it was called. Well, they weren’t a one-off. They – Flaxwell Maltings and Dr Gideon Snoot – are going to (finally, at last) appear in an Earplug Adventure. And in a very important role too. In fact they are going to tell the tale of A Tale of Three Museums – using a very nice little scout ship that enjoys the moniker of the Scroton Five…

…to search for The Porthole of Everywhere…

…which will display The Museum of Future Technology…

…in two timelines and two distant spacial locations – making three museums in total. Gosh! Imagine! How will I ever manage to keep all of these disparate threads coherent within my aging (and not always rational) brain? With difficulty, that’s how.

Well hopefully I’ve whetted the appetites of any Earpluggers reading this. Also hopefully, I’ll get the time and opportunity to shoot the pictures and write the script required to produce the story. At the time of writing this, the vagaries of life are creating barriers to the completion of my literary and photographic plans: but, fear not, I shall persevere. You will see another Earplug Adventure. I just don’t know when.

Tooty.

   

Writing: Continuity is Everything.

I’ve been watching some 1970’s cop shows of late, in which, I’ve noticed, continuity is often a little wanting. Relationships between characters seem to change from episode to episode – depending, it seems, upon the needs and whims of the scriptwriters. In one episode a Sergeant took an exam and was promoted to Lieutenant and, at the show’s denoument, lamented that from now on he would have to call his (former) superior by his first name. The following show saw him once more cast as the brow-beaten sergeant – without so much as an attempt at explanation. Also the central character’s distinctive two-door coupe appeared as a four headlight model in active scenes, but, oddly, resorted to the earlier two headlight model for library-supplied establishing shots. This, as a viewer, annoys me beyond endurance. I’ve bothered to invest my time and cerebral energy to the show: the least the show’s makers should do is not insult me by assuming I wouldn’t notice the glaring errors. And so it is with the Earplug Adventures. Okay, maybe only three or four people read these tales avidly, and might notice; but I try my best to keep accurate continuity for them, their kin, and future generations, who, one day might discover this silicone world of wonder – despite my inability to remember stories I’ve written, or their character’s names. Take this as a case in point. When I decided to start preparing to shoot some scenes for the next photo-book, I had to read back through The Time Tamperer Vols 1&2 to find out what some of the lesser characters looked like; what their names were; what they did; and what they said. In the majority of cases the latter amounted to a single line or two of dialogue. Here’s a shot that features several of them…

No, not that one. That’s disgusting! I mean this one…

Trapped inside a force field, by the look of it. Or maybe this one…

Because it will be necessary for these characters to appear in A Tale of Three Museums, however briefly, I was required to search through the (literally) hundreds of characters that are stowed away in compartmented plastic display boxes in my attic ‘studio’. A long and exhausting task, I can tell you. Well check out the little golden-eyed guy third from the left. His name, I discovered, is Nobby De Aranquez. Why, I have no idea – but it’s a distinctive enough nomenclature, you’d think I would have remembered it. In The Time Tamperer he did sod-all but wander around in the past with all these other characters. He barely said a word. He was, effectively, little more than an extra. But because I believe in continuity, I couldn’t let it rest when (despite an extensive search that resulted in loud and extensive cursing) I failed to find him. I went back the following evening and left no prop, set, or light unturned in my efforts to return him to the fold. The result was this…

Step up Nobby De Aranquez. He who was lost is found! And this time I’m gonna have him say something significant. Heck, he might even try to chat up Hair-Trigger Provost! 

Let’s Fly to Mars!

Were you to click on this link to my publishers, Lulu.com, you would discover that the delightful touch-up, re-imagining, make-over of this 2016 eBook…

…is complete. Not only have the pictures been invigourated and made utterly splendid in every way; but the script has been improved by approximately one hundred per cent. Actually I couldn’t believe how bloody God-awful the original was. But that doesn’t matter now – coz it’s been re-written and re-published, and everything is wonderful. And, despite my great effort at the key pad, it’s still magnificently cheap to buy. Here’s a montage…

…and, of course, a snippet…

Was it worth the effort? You bet’cha!

Sorry, Earpluggers – Once Again.

Not for the first time do I find it necessary to apologise to my readers for the dearth of material upon this site – especially the lack of new Earplug Adventures. Although I’m loathe to give precise reasons for my inactivity, I will say that they are health-based; and until such time that I discover the state-of-play regarding the aforementioned, I can’t really find the time and enthusiasm for, what is, a prolonged creative effort. BUT, now and again, I do shoot the odd picture here and there, so (although incremental in the extreme) some progress towards A Tale of Three Museums is being made. What I can say, is that Magnuss and Hair-Trigger will return…

And Folie, Placebo, and the crew of the Brian Talbot will continue their mission from the last tale…

So it’s not all bad. It’ll just take time.

Thanks for hanging in there.

Tooty

Sources of Everyday Earplug Inspiration 2: Lavatory Fresheners

I may have mentioned, once or twice, that my camera and I seem to hang around toilets rather a lot. A strange place to find inspiration, I’m sure  you’ll agree. And you’d be right. But that doesn’t change anything. On this particular occasion I’d like to draw your attention to a little toiletry object that, perhaps, most loo-users might over-look – quite literally, if you stand up to pee. I refer, of course, to this…

You know, the simple device that does this…

They come in or sorts of shapes and…er…well…shapes…

But, boy, are they useful! Look at these natty habitat modules for use in distant places and inclement conditions…

Or maybe military outposts…

Or scientific facilities…

On all sorts of worlds…

And there’s the out-spill too, of course. The sweet-smelling stuff that the dispenser…um…dispenses. The coloured chemicals that adhere to the bowl on the way down to the water. Play with a shot of that for long enough and one can create a lava explosion…

Or, thinking bigger, a solar flare…

“Yeah, great, Tooty.” I hear you complain. “You’re an artistic genius, okay? I get that. But what the heck does any of this have to do with Earplug inspiration? I don’t see any of these bog cleaners in the Earplug Adventures!”

And you’d be right. But not for much longer. Look…

And look again…

And again…

Believe me, when I say: “Toilet fresheners are the future!”

The Evil Act is Done!

Of course the evil act to which I refer is the removal from this blog of the wondrous serialised version of…

Now it can only be obtained as an e-book from almost every e-book retailer in the known universe. For easy access to Lulu, iBooks, Nook, and Kindle see the sidebar book covers, or the pertinent page beneath the header. You will have never made a better decision – of this you can be assured.

Barnes & Noble: Getting Thier Arse Into Gear

“Ugh?” I hear you question. “What is that Tooty Nolan talking about?” Well that would be understandable, because the title includes colloquial English, with which you might not be familiar. It’s the sort of English in which I specialise throughout all my written work – be it the earplugs, hamster-fiction, or my serious books. And it is this intrinsic ‘Englishness’ appearing in books that are published in the USA (and are available from e-book retailers world-wide) that amuses me and makes me realise that we really do live in an Internet-created global village, where we are all neighbours (or neighbors). But, more specifically, what the title really informs everyone, is that the retailers of the Nook reader have caught up with Lulu and iBooks. Evil Empire (and those e-books that precede it in the series) is now available for their reader. Good, eh?

P.S The first three books listed there are absolutely free!

Evil Made More Evil

Of course, the evil to which the title of this post refers is nothing less than this reasonably fabulous e-book…

…which is now available at Lulu in it’s new and improved form. Or Second Edition, as they prefer to term it. Naturally it’s quite pleasant, though if (as its author) I’m totally honest, it isn’t as good as the tale that precedes it. But what the heck: it’s part of a vast saga; so who cares? Usual stuff folllows – that stuff being a nice montage and a snippet of the text…

Oh, I dunno; maybe it’s not so bad after all!

P.S For the first few days following release, the iBooks version is the old, unimproved version. But fear not; the Second Edition will appear.

Distant Land (part 44)

Captain Cedric Mantequilla wasn’t an overtly emotional earplug; but something in the Skail Brother’s tale of an uprooted and decimated civilization broke through his not particularly stony reserve…

“How sad.” He said into the silence that reigned upon the bridge of the Brian Talbot…

“Agreed.” His crew responded in a fusillade of croaks as they avoided each other’s gaze by paying overly close attention to their work-station screens and read-outs.

Even Folie was feeling a little subdued…

“What are we going to do now?” He asked. “We can’t just fly away like nothing happened.”

“And it’s not enough to show this video to anyone who is willing to watch. “Placebo said quietly. “We have to do something more positive. Can star ships go back in time? Can we stop the disaster from ever happening? Maybe warn them, or something?”

Folie picked up on this: “Hey, maybe we could show them their own video: that’d make them think twice about tapping into alternate realities. And it must be awful having so many earplugs using so few toilets!”

Cedric remained mute and immobile throughout this. At the rear of the bridge, three crew-plugs chose to quietly conjecture…

“Cedric isn’t the bravest captain that ever was.” The pink earplug, known as Lawrence Bunion, stated. And before his colleagues could put their feet in their mouths by saying something derogatory about the captain, he did so himself: “Me – I’m all for trying something stupid like that kid suggested. But I reckon Mantequilla will cut and run. He’ll probably panic and order max speed in any direction other the one he morally needs to take.”

But he was alone with these negative thoughts. The others believed that, for once in his life, the Captain would overcome his natural propensity for panicky actions. This would be the time when he would exhibit the type of character that star ship captains, throughout the Galaxy, were famed for.

“I’ll bet you a week’s wages that he doesn’t.” The orange crew-plug, whose name was Brett Scuttles, whispered.

But before the deal could be ratified by a dry spit and the shaking of hands, Cedric stood and led Folie and Placebo to the front of the bridge…

“Sorry kids,” he said to them as everyone turned their attention to the main viewer, “but star ships can’t travel in time. Only space.”

For a brief moment Brett Scuttles  wished that he’d not suggested the bet: he couldn’t afford to lose that much money. But his concerns evaporated when Cedric added: “But it can find that frozen world that so closely resembles Earth. And maybe it’s crew can visit that world. And maybe…just maybe…that crew can figure out how to use their fancy equipment and bring that world back to life.”

Folie was confused. “I’m confused, Captain.” He said. He was also at a loss. “I’m at a loss too. What would be the point? There’s no one left to live on it.”

“Not now maybe.” Cedric replied through a grim smile. “But when we cross over into that alternate reality and fetch all the survivors back, there certainly will be.” He then added loudly, in his most commanding tone: “Helmsplug – set a precise course that follows the Gravity Whelk’s ion trail back to it’s planet of origin. We don’t have forever to get this job done: so get us their quickly…huh? Maximum thrust all the way. No holding back. Talking of which: I need to visit the lavatory – and damned quickly too. So let’s go-go-go!”

Moments later, the heading having been entered in to the navigation computer,  the Brian Talbot blasted into an uncertain future…

The End

Now watch out for the next thrilling tale – ‘A Tale of Three Museums‘.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019  

 

Playing Catch Up

Well it seems that the Nook and the Kindle are still lagging behind Lulu and iBooks. By that I mean that (so far) Barnes & Noble have reached ‘Earplug Aftermath‘ of the refurbished Earplug Adventures, and no further. And Amazon are only at the ‘The Invasion From Hyperspace‘ stage. But keep an eye open: they’re bound to catch up eventually. If they don’t, we’ll let this lot loose on ’em!

Cometh the Earplug Cometh!

Yes, that’s right, the next in the series of touched-up, much improved, made gorgeous, Earplug Adventures has arrived at iBooks and Lulu.

As the blurb on the 2016 psuedo-cover suggests, it’s uncommonly long (for an Earplug Adventure)…

WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS A HUGE NUMBER OF CHAPTERS! When danger comes visiting in the Museum of Future Technology, who do you call for? Magnuss Earplug, that’s who. Cometh the moment, cometh the earplug, or so they say. The usual mayhem ensues.

And boy does my right forearm know it. I have spent hour upon bloody hour on this refurb, and my ‘mouse’ hand has cried “Enough!”.

Anyway, here’s the usual montage…

And, of course, a snippet…

And just for my loyal reader, Jayne – it features those popular favourites of hers, Magnuss and Hair-Trigger!

 

Distant Land (part 43)

Take-off for the Gravity Whelk had been uneventful and rapid. Now Richter and Beaufort looked back at their frozen home world…

“I’m aghast.” Richter gasped. “That scientists could be so stupid. If only we’d gone all ecological…like composting our turds: eating curly kale and nut loaf: complaining about fashionable log-burning stoves: dispensing with pleasant holidays, and walking everywhere instead of riding a vehicle of some sort – despite it being impracticable…our previously beautiful planet would still be habitable.”

“Yes.” Beaufort commiserated. “It’s a sod, isn’t it? Now let’s try to detect that Way Station: it appears that it’s no longer in orbit.”

Well, as time was to tell, Beaufort was entirely correct. When they finally discovered it, almost a million measures beyond its normal orbit, the unmanned space station communicated the news that its sensors had detected the global catastrophe and resultant significant drop in global temperatures, and (in fear of freezing solid) had elected to ease itself to a wider orbit, where it was a bit warmer…

“Clearly smarter than the average earplug.” Richter sniffed disdainfully.

“And infinitely smarter than Whoops Brannigan et al.” Beaufort added.

Then it was time to set metaphorical sail, and blast for the deeps of the cosmos…

And so the museum’s sole-surviving space craft continued to blast for the deeps of the cosmos until it had carried the Skail Brothers in as deep as they felt was comfortable…

Then they cut the motor: dropped the buoy; turned around: and blasted back in time to make the journey into an alternative quantum reality with everyone else.

“So there you have it.” Beaufort said as his brother turned away and left the room. “Our story. So, if it isn’t too much trouble, please bear witness to our existence. And learn something too. We were dumb asses: don’t repeat our mistake.”

The screen then faded, and everyone watching realised that the show was over…

“Ugh.” Placebo complained. “I was enjoying that.”

©Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

Distant Land (part 42)

And what a call it was. The recipient? Only Princess Cake of Potwell, that’s all! Well, her Equerry anyway…

“Whadda ya mean?” Beaufort roared at the poor individual through the Comm-Panel’s microphone. “Why isn’t she there? She should be packing.” Then moderating his tone, he added: “Oh, she’s a lazy sod who’s left it all to you: I see. Well where can I find her? It’s really important.”

The unseen Equerry gave the adventuring earplug the information he required, and soon Beaufort and his brother left Yaki to help herself to breakfast cereal, and were making good speed along  the corridor away from their delightful quarters…

“That Yaki’s a nice earplug, isn’t she Beaufort?” Richter said as they hurried along.

“Charm personified.” Beaufort agreed begrudgingly. “But don’t go getting any ideas, brother: she’s a Geisha Boss: she knows how to push male earplug’s buttons. And yours are just bursting to get pushed. Turn left just down here.”

Moments later they found themselves in the iced-up skateboard park in the lower levels…

Richter was disappointed and almost surrendered to the powers of fate; but Beaufort was no pushover: “Let’s think, Richter. Her Equerry said she was coming down to here to convince herself that they’d made the right decision to evacuate the museum. Where else would she go to cogitate and ruminate – besides the skateboard park? Think. Think!”

“Um.” Richter replied. “Well, when she was little, and her Dad was out on ceremonial visits to distant lands, she used to play in her favourite hide-away. It was an atom-proof bunker from the old days, when the museum was under threat of nuclear attack.”

“Brilliant.” Beaufort yelled so loudly that shards of ice began falling from the frosty ceiling. “Let’s go!”

It took a while, but eventually the brothers found their way to Princess Cake’s childhood sanctuary…

“What, the flipping heck,do you want?” Princess Cake demanded.

Clearly the museum’s figurehead and nominal ruler was annoyed at the intrusion into her solitude, so the Skails trod carefully as they told her of Yaki Hogwashi’s request. To which Cake replied: “So what do you want your ruler to do about it?”

“Two things.” Beaufort answered. “One: the Gravity Whelk was once the Royal Barge. Your father used it to make royal tours to nearby worlds. When we returned, the ignition keys were handed into your possession. Two: we’ve forgotten the way to where we parked the ship. We were kind of hoping you’d use the Royal Locator Beam to find it.”

Finally, or so Cake felt, the Princess had something useful to do. She could actually help. “Yeah, alright.” She replied. “I carry it in my bustle. Follow me. Or rather – follow my bustle.”

Five minutes later…

“It’s okay.” Cake said to calm the Skail’s fear of being swamped in snow, “the route I’m taking is through a dry, desert-like valley, where the snow can’t fall. Oh look – there it is.”

And it was – although the Princess hadn’t been entirely accurate: there were patches of snow that had collected in hollows everywhere…

“Flipping heck, this place is barren.” Beaufort complained. “Is it very far, Your Highness?”

“It’s just over that rise.” Cake answered, as she extracted the Gravity Whelk’s ignition keys from a secret pouch in her royal bustle. “You go that way: I’m going to find piece of high ground, from which to watch you depart”.

And she did – although it was only a very small piece of high ground that wasn’t very high at all…

“Good luck, boys.” She called. “Now be on your way. You have tale to tell. Go shout it at the Universe.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

 

 

Delivering the Goods.

Good old Barnes & Noble (those who sell my ‘Silent’ books rather better than anyone else) have added the tarted-up, refreshed, improved, and generally much more wonderful versions of these e-books…

…to their listings. So if you (as a Nook user) ever balked at purchasing the originals because of their dreadful photographic quality and dubious prose, balk no more! Click the link to see them.

P.S Later stories to follow, obviously.

P.P.S Currently Amazon have only the first two on offer – so Kindle users will need to wait a little longer for later tales in the saga.

Distant Land (part 41)

It would take time to organize the evacuation of the icebound Museum of Future Technology…

And because the protective electromagnetic screen’s vast energy consumption was…um…vast, it was decided to lower them and trust in the integrity of the building’s multi-layered outer walls to maintain a livable temperature inside – at least for a while. But, just to be certain that no one would freeze to death, whilst preparations were completed, it was recommended that non-essential personnel remain in their quarters and keep their wooley socks on. This included the Skail Brothers. So Yaki Hogwashi wasn’t surprised  when, the following day, Richter answered the door to her insistent knocking…

“Why, hello!” The yellow earplug said as his eyes alighted upon the attractive Geisha Boss. “Whatever you’re selling – I’ll have half a dozen.”

Beaufort, who was looking out of the window, called out: “Enough of the smarm, Richter: invite her in.”

So, moments later, Yaki had parked her posterior at the dining table and duly introduced herself…

“Nice quarters.” She added. “The decor is divine.”

“Thank you.” Richter replied. “I can take no credit for it, I’m afraid: I leave all the decorating to Beaufort.”

Beaufort decided to dispense with niceties: “Whadda ya want?” He all but snarled at the uninvited interloper, whom he didn’t know, nor really cared to. “I was darning a hole in my underpants!”

In response Yaki dropped her smile. “Okay.” She said. “I’ll get cut to the chase. I make a point of knowing who is doing what to whom inside the Museum of Future Technology. My geisha business relies on it. So I know that several months ago you were dispatched off-world to find an alternative energy supply. Our current situation strongly suggests that you failed.”

“Not for the want of trying.” Beaufort said in the sibling’s defense.

“I don’t doubt it.” Yaki replied. “But you returned in a fully-functioning ship that bears remarkably few scars.”

“What are you inferring?” Beaufort snapped. “Are you calling us cowards?”

Yaki was appalled at the suggestion…

“What?” She squealed. “No, of course not. Flipping heck. No – I was just pointing out that the Gravity Whelk remains space-worthy. That it can still fly!”

Richter chanced a half-smile.”What do you want us to do, Yaki?” He said quietly

To which Yaki replied: “Tell our story. Don’t let our disappearance go unnoticed. Let the Galaxy know that once we were here. And let them know what destroyed us. That conspicuous over-consumption has devastating consequences. Make sure that others don’t make the same mistake.”

It was a long sentence, and Yaki had been so earnest that she’d forgotten to breathe throughout it. So she slumped back in her seat and awaited the Skail’s response…

“Actually,” Beaufort said slowly, “the thought had occurred to us. But we didn’t know quite how to go about it. All the Comm-Stations are under several measures of ice and snow. We can’t dial out.”

“No, that’s right.” Richter spoke clearly and concisely. “But the Gravity Whelk isn’t!”

A split second later the three earplugs had leapt from their seats and were on their way to the Skail’s communication panel…

They had a call to make. And it wasn’t to order a gross of toilet tissues!

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

Distant Land (part 40)

…the girls clambered out from the crevasse. Weevil ‘harrumphed’ loudly from the tail-gunner’s position; then complained: “When I joined the Geisha Adventure team, I never expected to use pitons, crampons, and other climbing paraphernalia. My dainty Geisha clogs are utterly ruined. And I had to pay for them, out of my wages, too! You know, I’ve a good mind to quit.”

“Oh, don’t do anything rash.” Maureen warned her colleague…

“Indeed, Weevil.” Yaki said through a hidden smile. “It’s an awfully long way back to the Museum of Future Technology. Wouldn’t you rather ride in my nice warm armoured personnel carrier?”

Weevil might have been feeling disenchanted with her choice of career; but she wasn’t stupid. “Did I say ‘Quit‘? Of course I was referring to smoking. Clogged lungs play merry havoc with assailing precipitous rock faces and the like.”

So, moments later…

…Yaki was guiding her vehicle home. But conditions had worsened during the course of her rescue mission…

…and the motor struggled with frozen coolant pipes. Worse still…

…the deepening snow had sucked some of the oxygen out of the air – further reducing the efficiency of the carrier’s power plant. In fact Yaki was getting decidedly flappy in the undergarments department, as…

…her vision slowly blurred in the terrible conditions. But she thankfully gave up a prayer to the Saint of All Earplugs as her vehicle stuttered to a halt only slightly short of her carport.

“Quick, everyone.” She shouted whilst dismounting. “Get indoors, before our knickers freeze to our buttocks like superglue!”

Naturally no one wasted a nanosecond…

…and within five minutes Yaki had returned to Valerie…

“Well, Val,” She said – in far better frame of mind since the safe return of her Geishas, “now we can enjoy the snow. Let’s get outside and winter boogie!”

So they did…

…and they both enjoyed themselves enormously.

Whilst the curvaceous beauties frolicked without shame, former space-plugs, Richter and Beaufort, were en route to their rented rooms…

“What do you think of Whoops Brannigan’s plan, Beau?” Richter asked his brother.

And Beaufort replied: “It’s the end of the world – and we’re running away. It doesn’t feel right at all. How will history judge us? How will anyone from the future know that we were ever here? It’s like becoming extinct – but without dying. Can’t say I’m keen at all: but what other choice do we have? I just hope they have toilets in the alternate quantum reality: I hate pooping in ditches!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

 

Hard Work Worked Harder Still

Okay, I’m on a roll. Yes, I’ve re-worked the third book in the Junior Earplug Adventures series. This e-book…

…is now available in it’s new & improved form (both visual and literary) at Lulu and iBooks. Like those that came before it, it’s wonderful in every single way imaginable. Here’s a montage, lovingly assembled by the author himself…

Hard Work Worked Harder

Following the minor success of retouching The Museum of Future Technology, I’ve been at it again, with the second book in the series – namely this one…

Naturally I’ve re-published it, with all the pictures made-over and looking lovely. Here’s a sample…

The story picks up EXACTLY where the first ended, so there’s no need of a reprise. Of course it’s charming and of the highest literary quality imaginable. Check out Lulu (on the sidebar or beneath the header) to see it in all it’s glory.

Distant Land (part 39)

Princess Cake told the brief tale of George Tweedy and his son, Aswara, who had tried tirelessly to reach the sanctuary of the Museum of Future Technology. But as tireless as the young Aswara was, George’s extra years did not work in his favour, and soon his tortured body fell to the snow-strewn ground…

“Oh, Father.” Aswara had cried. “You must be strong. Stand up and continue the struggle.”

“No.” George had replied. “I’m done for. Go on without me. I bequeath you my corregated bike shed manufacturing facility to you. Carry on the business in my name. Would you do that for me?”

Aswara was taken aback by his father’s capitulation to the elements…

But he also quite fancied being the boss of a factory – even if said factory was buried beneath several metres of snow and ice. “Oh.” He said. “Is it alright if I paint them yellow?They might show up better in the snow.”

“Orange.” George had replied. “Less aesthetically pleasing: but more vibrant. Of course it’s only a suggestion.”

“Which proves,” Princess Cake concluded – all too quickly, or so thought Richter, “that earplugs will always continue to uphold their conventions and do their duty, even when the situation seems dire and the problems insurmountable.”

She then went on to tell the tale of Yaki Hogwashi, a Geisha Adventure Team Leader, who (along with her latest recruit, Valerie Perkins) were standing at Geisha HQ’s window when the trans-dimensional disaster had struck…

Valerie was overwhelmed for a moment; but Yaki reacted with admirable alacrity…

“Flipping heck, Val.” She said. “How long has it been snowing now? Five – six hours? Perhaps we should go outside and check out the temperature.”

“Oh, Geisha Boss Yaki,” Valerie squealed, “my little wooden geisha shoes are totally unsuited to these inclement conditions. In short: my toes are becoming solid and are threatening to become frostbitten and gangrenous. Please let’s go back inside.”

Valerie’s timing couldn’t have been more…er…timely: it made Yaki consider something that hadn’t occurred to her, but should have…

“Flip me over backwards!” She exclaimed. “The sudden climatic change has addled my mind. I completely forgot the Adventure Geisha Team. They’re up in the mountains, serving green tea to some male business earplugs and dispensing other niceties and looking demure and pleasant. I suppose I’d better see if I can find them. They won’t last long in this weather – even with their kimono’s internal heaters turned up to ‘max’.”

So, without thought for her own safety, she raced to the garage and leapt aboard her armoured personnel carrier…

…which, without hesitation, she gunned out into the snow storm and raced away at breakneck speed…

“Hold on, girls.” She yelled against the incessant wind. “Yaki Hogwashi’s on her way.”

Fortunately the mountains stood a short distance from the museum, and soon she closed upon her destination…

Slowing to a halt, she dropped from the vehicle and began wading through the snow drifts…

“Weevil.” She cried. “Consumpta. Maureen. Where are you?”

She then paused to listen for plaintiff calls for help. Moments later she spotted her ‘girls’, lower, beneath her, in a crevasse…

“Oh, Geisha Boss,” One of them, who might have been Consumpta, cried hysterically…

…we’re down here. Our clients escaped via helicopter; but we were considered worthless scum and not worth saving. Fortunately their craft was caught in a waterspout and they were dashed against a mountain, where the helicopter’s fuel tanks ruptured and the resultant explosion destroyed it entirely. Heck, are we glad to see you!”

Yaki cared nothing for the absent clients: they’d payed in advance, so she’d lost nothing. But her team were another thing. “Hang on in there.” She bellowed.” I’m coming for you!”

And so the struggle towards salvation began. Many times they stumbled and fell back; but eventually…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

Distant Land (part 36)

Well, as luck would have it, someone had forgotten to switch off the museum’s Racing Plugmutt homing beacon. So, before very long, the Gravity Whelk’s atmospheric drive roared above the Museum of Future Technology in a blaze of fury…

“There it is.” Richter yelled in unadulterated joy. “Down there – below us. Call them up! Call them up!”

Beaufort was no less enthusiastic; so it was with dejection that he felt compelled to inform his brother of the radio silence that greeted his hail.

“Arse!” Richter yelled in disappointment. “I’m so disappointed I could cry. Try another pass: maybe someone will notice us out of their bathroom window.”

Beaufort had similar thoughts, and within seconds he’d instructed the Automatic Pilot to perform a U-turn…

“Best be careful.” The Automatic Pilot warned the siblings. “The Museum has automatic defences – against marauding aliens from outer space and suchlike. You don’t want to get us shot out of the sky, I hope.”

This was a situation that neither brother had considered. Now they did. “Take us somewhere else.” Richter yelped in an embarrassingly high pitched voice.

Beaufort took a second or two deliberating: “Somewhere nearby, but not too nearby.” He added.

So, moments later…

…the ship headed for the nearby hills, where…

…its sole occupants disembarked.

“Was our world ever this cold?” Richter asked as he stared at the snowy hills, beyond which their home lay quiescent and strangely foreboding.

“No.” Beaufort replied. “Not even during winter. Something happened while we were gallivanting about the Galaxy upon a fools’ errand. By the way – I wish I had some thermal underpants on.”

Richter felt much the same way. “Do we have any aboard ship?” He inquired.

Beaufort thought about the question…

“No.” He answered finally. “But if we visit a city, we might find some in a department store.”

Richter didn’t hesitate: “Let’s go!” He yelled.

But when the ship grounded once more – on the outskirts of the nearest city – Ciudad De Droxford – they discovered that it was…

…thoroughly snowed-in, ice-bound, and barely visible through the blizzard that greeted them.

“Arse again!” Richter growled as he and Beaufort looked out of the Viewing Room window…

Richter sighed. “I guess there’s no point in searching for survivors. Surely anyone with more than two brain cells would have made tracks to the Museum long ago.”

Beaufort also sighed. Then his gaze fell upon the Space Loo that glowed invitingly upon the other side of the Viewing Room. “Oh, that reminds me: I’m desperate for a pee. I hope you don’t mind, but I like to do it alone.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

Early Work Gets a MASSIVE Makeover

For some while now the quality of my early Earplug Adventures – both script and photos – has concerned me. At the time (2014) I was dipping my metaphorical toe into the art and didn’t really know what to expect. I used a nasty cheap camera: I had a very limited supply of ‘actors’: my computer programs available to me were the basics that come with Windows 7: even my pens failed to write properly when I drew faces upon the the earplugs: and I didn’t have a story either. So I suppose its a surprise that I was able to produce The Museum of Future Technology at all. On top of that, for some reason, the photographic quality dipped further as I transferred the pictures from one file to another as they were integrated into the final manuscript. So I thought the time was right for a makeover. No re-shooting, obviously – that would take months: but a general clean up of the pictures – making facial characteristics clearer and adding a few special effects – and a re-jigging of some of the prose, was in order. Well its not yet complete, but here’s a sample of some of the pictures…

When its done I’ll pull the original version of the e-book, and replace it  with the new and improved version. You know, I might even label it as such. Good idea, yes? Will it be worth the effort?

Tooty

Distant Land (part 35)

Meanwhile, Folie, Placebo, and the others continued to stare in utter fascination at the bridge main viewer…

And what it showed at that particular moment was a spectacular head-on shot of the Gravity Whelk against a backdrop of stars…

Placebo was about to say something along the lines of: “Wow, how did they get that shot? Do they have a huge, invisible selfie stick or something?” when the view reversed…

“Ooh,” Folie managed, “a big star. Do you think that object in the top right quadrant is a planet?” But he shut up when the view altered again…

“That sure is a pretty ship.” Placebo opined in a  breathless rush. “And look how close it passed to that star. Look – it’s turning to port. It’s surely heading for…

…that planet. Oh, by the Saint of All Earplugs: it’s a frozen world!”

Then it became clear to those watching that the pause in commentary had been inserted so that they could enjoy the aesthetics of space craft in their natural environment. So, once more, the tale was taken up…

“Flipping heck.” Beaufort cried out at the planetary apparition, as the Gravity Whelk made a fly-past. “What the flip has happened on our home world? It’s gone all icy!”  

“Dunno.” Richter replied grumpily. “But we didn’t come half way across eternity to turn away now: We’re going in.”

So they did…

And before very long they were plummeting through the atmosphere towards the frozen surface…

Above which they skimmed at intolerably low altitude…

“Beaufort.” Richter called above the noise of keening air as it tore at the blunt prow and bulbous flanks of the large vessel. “See if you can locate the Museum of Future Technology. If that’s gone, the world is done for!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

 

 

Distant Land (part 34)

Shortly Princess Cake returned to the royal chambers…

…where she returned to her fretting…

…about all of her surviving subjects who were out in the cold of the resulting nuclear winter. She even felt a smidgen of pity for the four scientists that had caused the disaster, and who now helped the search teams in their quest to bring those survivors into the bosom of the museum…

“You gits.” One particular survivor shouted at them from the deck of passing hover truck. “You’re lucky this truck is moving: if it wasn’t, I’d leap from this deck and give you all a good kick up the arse!”

Knowledge of this made Princess Cake almost wistful…

“Why, I do wish I’d thought of that: I’d have loved to kick Whoops Brannigan up the arse.”

Meanwhile, the loud-mouthed (but essentially harmless) survivor’s twin brother arrived from the opposite direction aboard another hover truck…

But he was too traumatized to say anything. Instead he avoided eye contact completely.

“Whoo, lucky.” Frutilda whispered to Dido. “I was certain that one was going to kick us up the arse really hard.”

Despite her eagerness to conjure up a brilliant plan to save the population, Princess Cake seemed singularly incapable. This concerned her…

“Honestly.” She complained to herself. “What kind of nominal ruler are you? Surely it can’t be that difficult to save the world!”

Meanwhile, out in the cold, word got around…

“Really, I think its lamentable.” Whoops said to Dennis. “That female is getting ideas above her station. If anyone is going to think up a brilliant alternative to a slow dissolution into extinction, it should be us.”

And Dido said to Frutilda: “I don’t know so much: maybe a good kick up the arse would give us just the impetus we need to activate our genius genes. Tell you what: I’ll kick you first: then you kick me.”

Naturally Princess Cake had secret microphones everywhere; and when she heard this, she felt confident that, perhaps, the day might yet be saved…

“They’ll think of something.” She said with a relieved sigh. “I’m sure they will.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

Distant Land (part 32)

For a short period, after their return to the Museum, Whoops, Dido, Dennis, and Frutilda tried to live normal lives in a changed world…

But deep down inside each of them suffered…

…as they tried to ignore the curator’s attempts to save the survivors of the disaster that they had caused. Although they were aware that search teams traveled far and wide to aid desperate earplugs…

…they chose, as best they could, to enjoy life within the huge edifice…

And while they looked out upon a world that had slipped into nuclear winter, the curators dispatched rescue craft…

…into the mountains…

…where members of isolated communities were invited to return to the safety of the museum…

“Nice vessel.” Some would say. “Where are the passenger seats?”

To which the welcoming crewplugs would reply: “Sorry: standing room only. We need to pack you in like small silver marine creatures in tomato sauce.”

On one occasion, Frutilda and Whoops fell into a sullen conversation…

“You never know.” Frutilda said optimistically, “the Gravity Whelk...

…might yet return with the answer to our world’s ills.”

But Whoops was far less hopeful: “I think I want to go outside and suffer a little for my hubris and egotistical stupidity. You’ve been a bit of a turd too, Frutilda: care to join me?”

Naturally Frutilda, concerned for Whoops’ state of mind, duly slipped through a side window with her boss…

But even she was surprised by what Whoops did next, which was to jump into a deep drift and sink up to his bum in freezing snow…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019