Back – After Six Years Absence

Thought you might enjoy a reblog of something I wrote way-back-when…

How many times has your rip-roaring tale of gung-ho-ness stuttered to a halt because you’ve written your characters into a desperate corner, and you can’t find a logical way out? Loads of times, I’m sure – especially if (like me) you’re the sort of writer who can’t stand planning the whole story out before hitting the first key of the story proper. There’s nothing worse for a writer (other than writer’s block) than thinking up a fabulous new direction in which to take the story – only to be forced to ignore it because you can’t fit it into the pre-existing plot.

So my tip for today is this…

Insert needless asides and details that move the story along not one jot, and which might appear at first to be totally spurious, but will later be called upon to get you right out of the literary shit. As an example I bring you this extract from my book ‘Danglydong Dell Diaries’. You will find that it appears needlessly rude – but boy did it come to my rescue when I needed to save my characters from oblivion later in the book…

Blubbersday, the Forty-sixth of Plinth. Like the other two parties before them, the group that was psychically protected by Primrose Pickles entered Far Kinell through one of the four main gates. In their case it was the rickety old Historic gate, where market stalls had been set up that sold ‘old fashioned’ or ‘retro’ stuff – like woollen bloomers, clogs, wooden false teeth, earthenware bed-warmers, beetroot wine, and a plethora of multifarious strap-on dildos.

For a brief moment Colin was quite taken by the latter, and even went so far as to study one or two of them minutely.

“Ere,” Boney called down to him from the broad back of Gargantua the giant cavy, “leave them fake dicks alone. Nothing good can come of tinkerin’ with the unnatural.”

“But I’m unnatural.” Colin reminded his current owner. “There isn’t a natural product in my body. And I was just wondering if I could utilise one of these as an addendum to my ‘special tool’. It could be fun. I could frighten sailors with it.”

Boney had to think about this for a few seconds. “Yeah that sounds alright.” He replied finally, “Maybe we can mass produce ‘em too, and sell ‘em as advanced alien trinkets. They don’t have no patent laws in this world, do they?”

It was a brilliant idea, and Colin duly flicked a few coins in the vendor’s direction, and snatched up the largest, most impressive specimen on his stall. It wobbled alarmingly in his paw as he walked away, and appeared almost too real for comfort. “Indeed they don’t.” He said quietly.

Primrose, meanwhile, was reconnoitring the immediate area with all six senses. She cocked her head upon one side – as if listening to something that no one else could hear.

Gargantua noticed this, and immediately he began mimicking her.

“What are you doing?” Primrose inquired.

“Hoping that whatever you’ve got rubs off on me.” Gargantua replied. “Maybe I can be the first recorded psychic cavy in history.”

“Do they keep such records in Prannick?” Primrose was instantly fascinated.

Gargantua shrugged his shoulders, which almost flipped Boney from his elevated perch. “Somewhere in some secretive cubby hole of The Wheel they do, no doubt.” He said.

Primrose’s fascination dissipated. “I’m trying to sense Tybrow Mooney’s presence, or at least his spore.” She spoke sternly, “Don’t interrupt with mindless trivialities.”

Colin arrived. He waved his wobbly dildo in Primrose’s direction. “What do you think of this, Primrose?” He asked politely.

Primrose wasn’t really paying much attention. “Lovely.” She said absentmindedly.

“Would you like me to go back and buy one for you?” Colin offered generously, “There was a sign that said ‘One size fits all’. Obviously I wouldn’t know what that means, but I’m sure it must be a positive attribute.”

Primrose then noticed the dildo as it wobbled like an elongated jellybean. “No!” she screamed. “It’s disgusting. Put it away.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan

To discover how this was put to good use later in the tale, check out Danglydong Dell Diaries at any e-book retailer. It’s also available from the stockists mentioned on the sidebar and under the header – those being Lulu, Apple, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

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Cricetinae Fictionem – or Something Like That: 21

As per usual with this wondrous series, I bring you an excerpt from one of the following Hamster-Sapiens tales…

And today it’s the turn of The Abduction of Wetpatch Wilson!

Divine inspiration didn’t strike Wetpatch very often. In fact he couldn’t recall it ever happening before. But he was in receipt of it now. “Rat Trek!” He blurted.

Roman was mightily impressed with this. “That’s right.” He said with a smile so broad that he resembled a wide-mouthed frog that had been smoking the magic mushrooms of Danglydong Dell. “Mister Horseblanket was well versed in the science fiction genre, and would often utilise the events that took place in episodes of Rat Trek during periods or crisis. And like his hero, Lionel Flugelhorn made the best use of the fertile minds of those far away script writers. He freely admitted in a recent interview on Heathen Radio that without a thorough grounding in sci-fi, he and his friends would surely have perished in one of those frightening scenarios thrown up by the alien artefacts from Area Ninety-nine.”

Wetpatch didn’t know what to say when an auditory vacuum formed during the period that Roman spent trying to re-gather his breath following an ill-advised second extended sentence. So he fell back on old ways. “Yeah? So?” He grunted.

Like some sort of truncheon-wielding biathlete Roman drew in sufficient air to calm his tortured lungs for just long enough to say, “You’re a fan of the show. You have a box set of DVDs. Have you seen an episode that might pertain to our current situation in any way?”

So whilst the young police officer rolled about the carpeted floor gasping for his life, Wetpatch considered the question. It was patently true that science fiction had often pulled Horatio Horseblanket out of the metaphorical shit and probably saved the lives of countless hordes. It was equally true that Lionel Flugelhorn had also utilised his knowledge of the genre for the betterment of his situation on more than one occasion.

Wetpatch had once met Lionel at the grand opening of a rather graceless unicycle ballet, and couldn’t help but be impressed by both his girlfriend, and the copy of Fantabulous Stories that protruded from his back pocket. And he had at least seventeen copies of Horatio’s autograph: So he could see no logical reason why he – Wetpatch Wilson – shouldn’t duplicate the efforts of his illustrious predecessors. So he set to work, and quickly began running titles of Rat Trek: Season One past his inner eye.

Roman was well into his third cup of coffee, and probably his Nth spool of cotton candy, when Wetpatch looked up from the floor where he was ruminating, and waved for his attention.

“I think we shall have to conduct our search using an amalgam of science-fictiony scenarios.” Wetpatch informed the slightly older hamster. “No single tale of the much-loved TV show relates directly to our situation. But I believe that if we behave in much the same way that the helms-hamster, Mister Lulu, did in the second season opener ‘The Death Ray of Dork’, we shall take the first step upon the road that will carry us upon our great crusade to bring stability to The Crustacean Collective.”

“Wonderful.” Roman clasped his paws together in glee. “Good old Mister Lulu, whomever he is. What did he do?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

Wasn’t that lovely! It didn’t tell you a bloody thing about the story, I know; but that’s the problem with random excerpts: they’re a bit…you know…random. Also as per usual, this e-book is available via the links on the side bar to your right. If you’re on a tablet it’s probably down the bottom somewhere. But it has to be somewhere. That’s the trouble with tablets; the screen isn’t big enough. On the plus side, my earplug stories look really nice on them though.

Cricetinae Fictionem – or Something Like That: 12

Long before those little-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.

For this excerpt of Hamster-Fiction, I bring you a sample from the best of the five: The Psychic Historian…

Taking his pistol from its holder, he eased the door open – only to be assaulted by the sight of a youthful male hamster as he rode his foldaway stunt scooter over a series of artificial jumps. Upon these he would perform various ‘tricks’ like heel-clickers, naks-naks, nose-twirlers, and, most spectacularly, a mid-flight willy-wave. And all by lustrous candle light. He culminated the run with a perfect back-flip – before landing safely beside an Germanic officer who not only stood awkwardly as he dunked a bratwurst into a huge flagon of rose hip wine, but who also appeared to have the sort of face that Caruthers would gladly have slapped from dawn ‘til dusk.

“Ach, it is being you!” The officer bellowed as he spotted Caruthers over the top of his tankard, which he quickly passed on to the puzzled youngster – before adjusting his monocle in a most fastidious fashion, and growling. “My men are being chased away, and my mission looted – and it is by none other than you!”

The shock of recognition turned Caruthers’ paws to jelly, and he dropped his sidearm to the hardwood floor, where it clattered alarmingly.

“B-b-b-but you’re dead.” He managed as he unplugged his ears. “I saw you fall to your death. I heard the impact.”

Manfred Stenchlinger hobbled forward. “You are not having so much the luck, Hamster Britisher.” He sneered with a hatred that seemed to permeate the air, and frighten the stunt scooterist. “Sure enough I was falling to my death, but my storm troopers bravely fell before me, and were cushioning my fall. My only injury occurred because I was falling upon the helmet of my sergeant, and the spike was going right up my jacksey. I was always hoping that we would be meeting upon the field of battle – where I could slay you, and grind your genitals into the ground. But it was not to be. We are meeting here – where I am defeated – and you are wearing the dirty underpants.”

Caruthers quickly retrieved his weapon, and wished that he could retrieve his trousers too: He couldn’t take the risk of the mad officer doing something unpleasant. He indicated the room in which all three hamsters stood. “What is this place?” he demanded.

Stenchlinger’s eyes seemed to scan the room as though seeing it for the first time. “This,” he said, “is being the home to my family.”

Caruthers cast a glance in the direction of the young hamster who stood stock-still in a most perplexed manner, and who only allowed his eyes to make any movement.  “Is this your son?” he inquired gently lest he frighten the youngster any more than necessary.

“Ja, he is being my son.” Stenchlinger replied as he pulled up a stool and painfully lowered his weight on to it. Then the merest hint of a smirk appeared at the edge of his mouth. “Would you care to meet his mother?”

Caruthers didn’t particularly care to meet anyone else; Stenchlinger had been enough. But he was a very polite hamster, particularly when in someone else’s home. “Is she pretty?” he asked in the time-honoured fashion.

“Ja, I am thinking so.” Stenchlinger now openly sneered in the way that only a truly unpleasant bastard can. “I think you will be feeling much the same when you see her.”

He then called to someone in an adjacent room, “Oh darling, could you be coming into the stunt scooter display room? I am having someone here who is wishing to meet you.”

If Caruthers had thought that his incredulity could be stretched no further – then he was desperately mistaken and utterly wrong. This is because the pretty female hamster who nervously entered the room was obviously none other than Amelie De Pottage herself! Her name caught in Caruthers’ throat, and he almost gagged upon his own oesophagus.

“Bonjour, Caruthers.” She spoke with a voice that indicated infinite patience and the acceptance of the inevitability of fate, and with an accent that would have made Caruthers’ trousers flap if he’d been wearing any. “ ‘Ow are you?”

“Amelie?” Caruthers asked stupidly. Stupidly because the years had done nothing to diminish his former love’s beauty, and she was instantly recognizable – even wearing a crimson caftan and wading boots: And even more stupidly because he was well aware that Amelie had no identical twin, and that, as yet,  cloning was merely the product of the fevered imagination of the occasional science-fiction writer.

“Oui, it is I.” she replied gently. “ ‘Ave you come to rekindle our passion after all these years?”

In truth this had been just about the farthest thing from Caruthers’ mind: But now that the recipient of his bodily fluids stood across the room from him, the contents of his underpants began to alter his perception.

“Well…” he began awkwardly.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

 

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: 6

Long before those silicon superstar 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, the sixth excerpt from my somewhat unique book series, I bring you a taster from the inexplicably unpopular The Abduction of Wetpatch Wilson – a book, I might add, that a test reader considered the funniest yet (until the fifth and final book – Danglydong Dell Diaries, arrived, of course).

Well naturally not one of those present in the former Federation Council Chambers could make any sense of the seared and ruined notice that Droop so painstakingly reassembled over the next five hours. It was simply too damaged to read – even after holding a candle behind it, and peering really hard. But the time hadn’t been totally wasted: Desmond had invented a highly interactive Education Computer so that Wetpatch wouldn’t fall too far behind in his studies for the Right to Adult Existence Examination that was due later in the year. And the fact that he’d managed to utilise some advanced Crustacean technology for it made it seem exotic and exciting – and Wetpatch had it follow in his wake everywhere that he went – even to the toilet.

“Hey, Wettie. The Education Computer, which naturally Wetpatch had named Kevin (despite Sally’s assertion that it should be known as Eddie) called, as it trundled behind the young hamster upon a multitude of tracked wheels, “Can you slow down? I got just the one ocular unit: I don’t got no depth of field. These walls get real hard sometimes: I done scratched my paint-work a thousand times already.”

As an education computer Kevin was a mine of information – most of which had been gleaned from the central computer of the Federation Council. Naturally the folk of Hamster Heath had added their input, and generally speaking it had been a worthwhile endeavour. But the machine’s use of the spoken language was flawed, and everyone was concerned that (upon Wetpatch’s eventual return to hamster civilisation) he’d sound like a single-brained-celled idiot to the populace of that fair town.

“Can’t you do something about it, Professor?” Sally had asked. “The thing speaks abominably.”

“I’m sorry, Sally dearest.” The hamster genius had replied, “I share your concerns, but really I don’t have the time: There’s just so many things to study if we’re ever to find the whereabouts of the Federation Council members. I’m afraid that it’s a matter of priorities.”

“Sure, Sally.” Ho had offered, when the ambassador mentioned it to him, “I got time between baking cakes and things: How ‘bout I try fix computer talking stuff?”

It had been a genuine offer, and Sally was grateful for it: But she must refuse.

“I’m sorry, Mister Ho.” She said as she patted his paw, “That’s very kind; but your Hamster-British is complete shit. With your verbal input we’d have Wetpatch talking like a Chinese chef by the time we get home. Now run along and knock me up a nice bowl of something vaguely edible. Can you do that for me?”

Of course there wasn’t anything that Ho wouldn’t do for Sally – even accepting horrendous insults without reply. “Sure, Sally.” He said chirpily, “How does sea-slug burger sound?”

Moments later Wetpatch flung himself into the tiny room that he called his ‘cabin’. Naturally Kevin followed him in, and settled down upon its suspension in the only free corner of the room. The remainder of the room was stuffed to the gunwales with ‘stuff’ that Wetpatch had ‘liberated’ from various places throughout the vast building.

“Sorry, Kevin.” Wetpatch began. But his mind quickly wandered when he heard Droop Van Dong shuffling past his door. He could tell it was Droop by the sound of the ball and chain that Roman had manufactured and affixed to his chubby leg.

Kevin recognised the sound too. “Hey, Fat-boy; get your blubber in here, will ya: I got somethin’ real important to tell ya.”

Wetpatch was surprised at this invitation by the quasi-automaton. He couldn’t imagine what an education computer would have to say to an imprisoned Dutch hamster clone. But he was about to find out…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

Cricetinae Fictionem – or Something Like That: 1

Long before those dumb-ass 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. 

As you can clearly see, there are five of them available currently.  And very nice they are too – if you don’t mind stories that are not really suitable for pre-teens and can be a bit…ah…RUDE sometimes. In this brief series of  Cricetinae Fictionem – or Something Like That, I aim to bring you little snippets from all five books – and that includes the fourth book, which (would you believe it) has not sold a single copy in the half-decade since publication. So, since I mentioned The Abduction of Wetpatch Wilson, let’s kick-off with a sample from that wondrous submarine tale…

Meanwhile Wetpatch and his schoolmates had concluded their competition, and were now kicking an old cola can into the shallows, and then throwing pebbles at it.

To his surprise Wetpatch was proving a crack shot, and several times his pebbles would ricochet onto the promenade and scare the shit out of old ladies taking the air.

Amy noticed this, and called Wetpatch over.

“Wetpatch,” she smiled sweetly – a ploy that had always worked well with her nephew – “how would you like to take a trip around the harbour in a dugout canoe?”

Wetpatch considered the question. Then he asked, “Will I have to dig out the canoe first?”

“No.” Amy’s smile faded slightly, “It will have been pre-dug out by an army of wood-gnawing rodents from over-seas. You won’t even have to paddle: They have a water vole that clambers off the back and pushes. I expect Mister Ho, Sally Blunderbuss, and that tart Gloria will join us.”

Wetpatch considered some more. The young trainee teacher was certainly hot stuff. He wouldn’t mind ogling her for half an hour. He agreed, but added a caveat. “Just as long as I can take some pebbles along.”

Both Amy and Roman were surprised at this. “Why?” They asked in unison.

“I want to impress Miss Bewtocks.” Wetpatch pulled himself up from his usual insolent slouch, “If the sailors that we pass en route leer horrendously I shall hurl pebbles at their groins with telling accuracy.”

Well this was possibly the most male hamsterly statement that Amy had ever heard Wetpatch utter; and despite the vague illegality of his intended behaviour, she agreed to his terms.

“Will your friends want to come?” She added.

Wetpatch looked casually over his shoulder in the direction of the beach where the schoolboys were currently hiding behind towels whilst they dressed themselves in their swim suits, “Nah,” he replied, “They’re all going into the sea.”

“A little bracing for a swim this early in the summer, I would have thought.” Roman opined with open admiration of the youngsters.

“Nah.” Wetpatch corrected his assumption, “They’re not going to swim: They’re just going to wade in up to their waists.”  He could see that neither adult showed the slightest comprehension. “It’s a shrunken gonad competition.” He explained, “They’ve taken measurements before they got here: When they come back out of the water again after five minutes, they have a re-measure. The owner of the most dramatically shrunken privates is the winner.”

Despite his better judgement Roman couldn’t help but ask the next question.

“Who’s going to do the measuring?” He asked.

“Well not Gloria Bewtocks, that’s for certain.” Amy answered before Wetpatch could open his mouth, “It would probably give a false reading. I suppose Mister Ho could though.”

“Who mention name Ho?” Mister Ho called out as he arrived with a nervous-looking Sally on his arm, “I don’t have time measure nothing: Sally think we being followed. Gonna take her round harbour. No one follow us out there. We got boat trip to go on. You come too?”

Well with an offer like that, not one of the three hamsters could resist. And as far as they were concerned, Gloria Bewtocks could watch out for the other boys. They’d probably prefer her company anyway: She could hold their towels for them.

“And who cares if their measurements go all awry.” Amy added, “It’s a silly sort of competition: No one’s a winner – not really: Especially the winner.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

The Where House is Toast

By that I mean I’ve been a little dismayed that the serialised version of the book has been so poorly received. Viewing figures have been lamentable. So it’s gracias to it, I’m afraid.  It’s still available as a free PDF (under header). And, of course, the charming book and e-book remain on sale (see Lulu logo and book cover photos on side bar), so it’s not that it’s disappeared up a black hole or anything: you just won’t find it here, in bite-size chunks, anymore.

Tooty