Victorian Anthropology by Martyn Clayton

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Having spent the previous day stripping layers of old paint off the shop front the last thing she wanted to do today was begin on the interior. But needs must. Her body complained as she dragged it out of bed, Al still snoring contentedly beside her. He was a lazy bastard but to be fair to the boy he’d worked hard the previous day. He’d climbed ladders and brewed up and carried stuff and taken increasingly fraught instructions as she slowly reached the end of her tether. He moved an arm and an eye shot open then closed again, his head being buried further down into the pillow.

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Beaten But Not Bowed by Adam Kluger

typewriterAll around– the city coughed up scorched reminders of life’s inevitable costs. The walking dead. The rag-tag homeless. The diseased and displaced stationed themselves strategically at major corners– and watched the miserable faces of the business suits as they scurried about in the broiling hot sun. New York City rush hour–only the tourists  were seemingly immune to the heartless magnetic draw of the subway staircase as they stopped to hear a tale of woe and fish through their pockets for change.

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The Hell with Hollywood by Edward S Barkin

 

typewriterI’m sitting in my Manhattan psychiatrist’s office feeling so anxious and depressed that my limbs aren’t sure whether they should twitch spasmodically or rest heavy and stone-like inert.  But the shrink, let’s call him Dr. Becks (in real life his surname is actually just a different brand of beer), has my fickle attention suddenly.  Why?  Because instead of talking about how to cure me of my various mental illnesses (the impossible dream) he’s talking about an idea he has to make my all but moribund fantasies of big-time Hollywood success come true.   He thinks this screenplay idea that he thought up, based on some show he saw on the History Channel, would make a perfect project to attract the attention of one of his celebrity actor patients – let’s call her Kali Kass (in real life her first name is just that of a different Hindu goddess).  And who better to write the initial spec screenplay treatment (i.e., unpaid long synopsis) than me, Evan Breach (pseudonym), the man who has written and directed micro-budget films that have been reviled around the world at tiny film festivals (and even the occasional big one, where at the coyote-like reviewers were waiting to rip him apart with mere words, their fangs dripping auteurial blood).

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Week 79 – Memory, Repetition And Brigadoon.

typewriterI have come across a problem that I think we all have at some time whilst writing. I am thinking on things and then doubting if I have mentioned them before. Yep that old problem of a crap memory causing repetition. Anyone who has written more than a dozen bits and pieces begins to wonder if they have used the same phrases, the same topics, ideas, thoughts and feelings. It is hair pulling time as you need to look back. This is the writers equivalent of being drunk and repeating yourself. How many times after a few sherbets do we need to say, ‘Of course sweetheart, I know that I have already told you that, but I am just emphasising the point…Oh and did I repeat the fact that I love you?’ To which a curt ‘No!’ is the normal reply. Being drunk and reading has one advantage, you can read the paper at least three times with no penetration. When I was younger I could remember everything that I had done the previous night on the sauce, now not so much. I have forgotten conversations, visitors and my identity. I have woken up some mornings and had to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to myself to get my name. I now need to look in the kitchen to see if I ate supper. I have on occasion woken up to thinking I had some form of deformity growing on my face only to find that it was a midnight attack of the munchies and an inability to find my mouth for a toffee. This memory constipation is the same when writing, you begin to repeat and doubt and think that you have said it all before. Nine times out of ten, you have! This is why I admire the multiple authors so much. (I know that is repetition, I have mentioned that before and am emphasizing the point!!) Sure you can find some common themes but for someone to write multiple stories and for them to keep their ideas fresh is some talent. This wee weekly posting is a bit easier, I normally find something throughout the week to kick-start an idea. Hence this weeks thoughts on memory being the inspiration.

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Borrowed Fragments by Vince Barry

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“. . . ?”

How can you help? Hmm, how can you—

“. . . ?”

My mother? . . . Okay, we can start there. . . . My mother—my mother  came from a large family, a very large Irish Catholic family. Do they make them any more? I think not. . . . At any rate, as a boy, a young boy, no more than eight or nine, I would employ the template of the Baltimore Catechism to sort them out and keep them straight—the Faheys I mean . . .The catechism’s set formula, y’see, helped me convey the essential and fundamental content of the Fahey family. Beginning—

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They Who Were Wordless by Piyali Mukherjee

typewriterKu was named with a rare consonant and the last vowel her wordless family had to spare and she had fallen on desperate times indeed. The Qxlb recruited Ku when they discovered that she sold slang on the black-market, desperately moving from alphabet to alphabet to feed herself. Ku had always considered them her last resort, and now that she had succumbed to it, she felt her end very near. The Qxlb chose their unpronounceable names from scraping the remnants of burned lexicons on the streets, an act which endeared them to the wordless majority. They made bold claims to restore the depleting vocabulary and often acted on them, using methods that Ku could neither accept because of their extremity nor reject because of their results. The government could not capture or describe that which they could not name, which served the Qxlb’s purposes quite well.

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