Tag Archives: photo-novels

If Patience is a Virtue…

….then I must be some kind of bloody saint. It has taken me (what feels like) forever to strip out sufficient megabytes from this blog – to make room for that mass of book covers (and their contents) on the sidebar, to your left. But the task is done. From this moment forward any Earplugger can access and download all forty volumes of the Earplug Adventures. In fact some already have! These…

…wondrous works of literary brilliance, boundary-pushing photographic techniques, inspired model-making, and vast artistic merit are available ABSOLUTELY FREE AND GRATIS! The early volumes are a bit, you know, ho-hum – I was, after all, finding my feet, so-to-speak – not really knowing what I was doing, so’s best avoid them, at least initially: you can always go back to them later and giggle at my inepitude. But, whatever you choose, enjoy this load of ridiculousness. I had fun creating them: you enjoy reading them.

Tooty.

Spoiled Illusions 5: Every Day I Use Everyday Items

Are you one of those who, upon watching a DVD check out the extras, which often include a Making Of clip. I used to; but I don’t anymore: I don’t like to see the illusion spoiled. But just in case you are, here’s a little Earplug Adventures illusion spoiler.

What I particularly enjoy about shooting the Earplug Adventure photos is the using of everyday items to create the illusion of the earplug universe. When (in Haunted Mars) Folie visited  Deck One of the Gravity Whelk…

…he was quite impressed by it’s soft pastel colours and sensuous curves. He was less enamoured with the soft-top roof…

Well the story never called for that scene. It took it nowhere. But it was a quite amusing cameo for this everyday item…

Yup, a regular fabric conditioner bottle. Can’t remember which brand. But it doesn’t matter: they’re all excellent. Here’s an example of another one…

It’s the engine core of a Scroton Five from A Tale of Three Museums. It just needed some strange lighting to make it convincingly NOT a Comfort bottle – and some software jiggery-pokery to create the God of Stalled Motors. Same goes for bleach bottles too…

And the great thing about bleach bottles is – they come in so many different colours…

No doubt this rather exotic turquoise version will find itself included in a future adventure: I’ve got two of them in the shed. And a yellow one under the sink!

P.S I’ve already told the tale of how I use Lavatory Santisers and Canderel and Hermesetas coffee sweeteners to create convincing scenes for the earplugs to gallavant through. Check them out if you haven’t read them already. You might be amazed!

Now The Real Work Begins

The opening episode of Earplug Adventures: Haunted Mars used re-worked stock-shots. Today I began shooting originals and generic stock-shots with serious intent. It’s slow and sometimes frustrating. And, as you can see, a little cramped too…

It has been four months since my wife, Linzi died, and (as you can probably imagine) I haven’t really been in the mood (Tooty the Chef aside); but the bug is finally biting again. And, for the first time in my life, I don’t have to create the time to do it. If I feel like it, I just clamber up into that attic and get going. Here’s a shot from today’s work – as seen in the making-of shot (above). It features an (as yet un-named) engineering robot that has  been discovered by Folie just staring out at space from a view port set into the side of the Gravity Whelk…

As regards the Gravity Whelk: I can’t wait to start telling tales featuring that old tub again…

So hopefully you won’t need to wait too long for Episode Two!

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. 

Special Earplug Effects: Just How Special Are They?

If you are a regular visitor to this cyber-shore, you’ll probably be aware that I like to take photos and write stories. I particularly enjoy combining both…er…shall we say ‘passions‘? The result is – the Earplug Adventures. I like trying to make something out of very little. Taking something unspectacular and prosaic, and turning it into a vivid scene is a challenge. Often I find the aforementioned unspectacular and prosaic somethings standing right in front of me. For example, like this…

People who catch me snapping merrily (and know about my harmless perversion) can be often heard saying: “Don’t tell me; it’s for one of your Little People stories.” They don’t ask what I expect to do with the resulting picture: they just know it’ll be something unexpected. Can you figure what I created out of this door? Check out the peeling blue paintwork; that’s what gave me the idea for…

…some islands for Magnuss and Hair-Trigger to fly above…

The story is entitled Mutant Island; and when the daring duo discovered the titular island, they took a closer look…

Wow, that’s some really rocky island down there, huh? Well, actually, no: it’s…

…a tree stump. But what about a few drops of condensation on a frosted glass window? *

You don’t get many things duller and less interesting than that. Surely nothing neat could possibly be made out of a gents toilet window and some dripping water! Well…

…I beg to differ.

Ah, little things. Very silly, I’m sure. But it keeps me happy and stretches the brain cells, so I don’t grow old too quickly.  Where’s the harm in that? 

* Those Magnificent Earplugs

A Fourth Reminder of Past Works

This excerpt comes from an e-book that was to have been entitled The Island of Doctor Wiel-Barrau; but the publisher didn’t like it. So, with regret, I went with Mutant Island

Those aforementioned footfalls emanated from the soles of sturdy shoes worn by none other than the troubled Daffney De Mauritania…

…who had visited the uppermost level in an attempt to ‘clear her mind’ in the natural sunlight. But now, uncertain once again, she returned to the lower levels…

…where she heard a voice calling her name. Puzzled she raced to the closest area of habitation: the holding cell…

“Excuse me.” She said through the security lattice. “Why did you call my name?”

“Because,” Magnuss replied, “I have searched your heart and peered into your soul; and I know, for a fact, that you are far from happy here. You have been questioning your role here; and for good reason. Your talents are being squandered on the nasty task of torturing poor unfortunate earplugs and suchlike and turning them into freaks and weirdos with big noses and stuff. You have watched as the spirits of  previously happy couples from Lemon Stone – not to mention the two nice boys from across the valley – have been crushed by the mental deprivation wrought upon them by the cruel ministrations of the vile Doctor Wiel-Barrau. Tell me I’m wrong.”

Daffney’s mouth worked ineffectually for several seconds before she stammered: “Bu, bu, but how did you know?”

“Hah.” Hair-Trigger scoffed. “Don’t you know who you have here?”

Daffney shook her head.

“Magnuss Earplug!” Hair-Trigger roared triumphantly.

Daffney re-shook her head, which surprised Hair-Trigger, and quite annoyed her too: she liked being famous by association. “Of the Earplug Brothers, stupid.” She snapped. “The only bona fide saint living today. The most famous hero the Museum of Future Technology has ever – or will ever – know.”

The mention of the museum broke through Daffney’s mantle of ignorance: “The Museum of Future Technology?” She shrieked. “I studied for, and received, my Batchelor of Science in a little café that specialised in really terrible coffee there. It was a fabulous place. I had a wonderful time. But jobs were short on the ground in those days: I went where the work took me – which was this place. And I’ve been here ever since.”

“It’s still wonderful there.” Magnuss said huskily. “How would you like to try again? How would a job in the museum’s Space Science Department appeal?”

Daffney didn’t reply immediately: instead she hit a stud that made the latticework separate – creating a portal…

“Tell me more.” She said, as her face flushed with excitement. “But not right now: Security will have detected my action.”

Daffney was quite correct: Security had detected her action. Or, to be more precise, Slomo Chewings had detected Daffney’s action…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017

Why This Writer is So Darned Slow

Every day thousands of Earpluggers write into Tooty Towers asking the question:

“Hey, Tooty I’m missing my fix of Earplug Adventures: what’s with the hold up, asshole?”

Here is my reply:

Darlings, at the best of times, photographing and writing an Earplug Adventure is a slow laborious process, and seems to take forever; but since losing my fabulous ‘studio’…

…that process has slowed further – by (I estimate) at least ten times – maybe twenty. For starters my attic studio is far less accessible, especially during the hours of day light, so the sheer amount of time available for shooting the scenes has been reduced dramatically…

This is a bad thing. But worst of all is the lack of insulation in the attic. There’s also some kind of electrical air movement machine chucking out heat and whirring away like a torture device too! So, during these summer months, it’s hotter than hell up there. As a result of these high temperatures all my photography must take place wherever and whenever I get the opportunity (somewhere else), which, naturally, isn’t often. But, working under pressure of an assumed duty to my readers, I’ve been beavering away in the most heroic way possible; which now enables me to bring you The Masters of Scroton. It may take a while, but we’ll get there (together) eventually. 

Tooty