Week 116 Short Paragraphs, Alien Slime And Type-Writer Ribbon

I write this as the events in London unfold.

Our world has many sicknesses and all of them are man induced, no matter what their ideals or beliefs. For our world and the innocents I do grieve and all of us at Literally Stories pass on our thoughts to those involved.

This has brought me to the topic of madness. But not the narrow minded madness from a bunch of insignificant bastards who can’t comprehend the common theme of being human first, followed, with no significance, of sex or religion.

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Week 115 – Identity, Excuses And A Goosed Liver

I’ve been off. So I’ve been happy. I’m back to work on Sunday. So I will be suicidal!

I’ve had a few sherbets this week, throughout the week. (Sherbet(s) – ‘Sherbet Dip’ – Sip – Meaning having some alcoholic beverage.) This gave me this weeks posting.

If you are of a certain age, alcohol has been a constant companion. We marvelled at our relations who could handle the booze. Those that were never sick, were legends. We started off with a shandy (Beer and lemonade) and then had a sherry at New Year. From there we sneaked into pubs to marvel at our first pints. We had four and wondered how any man could drink twenty. Before we knew it we were drinking four pints as a thirst quencher, then starting on the haufs. (Spirits) Ironically, we all remember the first time that we drunk a bottle.

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Week 114 – Acceptable Pyromania, Hairy Lollipops And A Fungal Infection.

I had a spare ten minutes at work and I thought that I’d give this post a go to see what I could come up with. It was such a productive ten minutes, I would have been as well working. Nothing! Zilch! Bugger All!!

For me, my job spoils everything. I like to eat but I won’t eat at work because I enjoy eating and I can’t enjoy anything whilst I’m there. I also love to read a paper. I know that this is a dying art. But you do still see some dinosaurs going into the newsagents of a morning, buying a paper and tucking it under their arm. I’m not sure if anyone under thirty even knows what a paper is. If it’s not their phone, it’s nothing!

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Week 112 – Marriage, Mosquitoes And A Wet Gremlin.

We’ve had a writer this week who has given me permission to divulge.

Our very own Kathryn Lord is actually the wife of Andrew Miller. So I’ve outed them. I had to check with them due to our strict confidentiality process. I think it’s amazing that we’ve actually got two authors from the same household. Well, maybe it isn’t the same household?!? I’ve always thought that the reason me and Gwen have been together so long is mainly because we’ve seldom been in the same house at the same time. I don’t mean we’ve had two houses, it’s just that our work has kept us apart for many glorious hours. Sorry, I mean, when we’re together, it made those hours all the more glorious.

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Week 111 – Writers, Story Tellers And Virgins

We’ve had some great comments regarding last week’s post with the stats. Nik did a brilliant job collating them. We do hope that they offered some useful insight and maybe encouragement to those of you who might have been thinking of submitting again.

But now on to Week 111.

There is a vast difference between a story teller and a story writer. If you are both, well, you are in a minority. It’s a bit like script writers and actors. If you know a comedy and you read the script, you naturally hear the actors’ voice in your head. If you didn’t you wouldn’t find it so funny. It’s very difficult to write timing!

So in that aspect, you think that the story teller is skilled. But get him to read the code of practice from your work place and I guarantee that they won’t be able to make it funny! You need the material and when the two of them come together, there can be something magical.

The reason that I’m mentioning this is because we had a story submitted to us this week that I commented on. I mentioned that it would be enhanced by being read around a camp fire. This is an old dying art as well as conversation, making Paris Buns, and getting on with a fecking job. No-one talks, no-one makes Paris Buns and no-one can do their work for red-tape, recording and analysing the shit out of it.

If you are of a certain age you’ll have sat around a fire as the old yins of the family told a story. You’d have heard it a hundred times, but there was something soothing about your grandfather’s voice. And I am not talking ‘soothing’ as in those creepy Werthers Originals Adverts! I bet that auld guy had some puppies for you to look at!

Even at your first job just after leaving school, you always had some colourful characters who would tell all your workmates a story. Their timing was impeccable as they waited until the laughing died down, silence prevailed and then they would ask in a loud and happy voice ‘Are you still a virgin?’

Oh how everyone else laughed!

The same with a pub. There was always someone holding court telling stories. They were the guys who never had to buy a drink. They could also get out of fights due to their wit. And on the odd occasion that this didn’t happen they had all the locals to back them up.

Ignoring the clergy and politicians – The truly great story tellers are the 17 year old boys who talk about their sex lives. Frequency and exaggeration replace fact. Their brag of ‘The next time I see a ….’ can be interrupted with ‘Don’t you mean…The First Time you see a ….’

I enjoy writing but if I ever had the guts to do it, I would love to do an open mike. But that won’t happen as I am setting myself up for a fall. My material could be good but my delivery could be terrible. My material could be terrible and my delivery good, or let’s be truthful, them both being crap is more than likely. And if I want to be booed, I’ll show my wife my bank balance or my mother, well, basically anything!

Onto some very good story writers.

This week we have a very literal bunch. The topics are all in the titles. That actually doesn’t happen often for the whole five days. But every story we’ve had this week, the clue of what it is, is in the title.

Two newsters to add to our ever growing family of authors. And as always our initial comments follow.

First up was an old friend. The wonderful Tom Sheehan added to his amazing stats with ‘A Soldier’s Crusade‘ which was first up on Monday.

‘When Tom is in full swing, his knowledge or research is awe inspiring.’

‘I was utterly and beautifully lost in this.’

‘The last line was a cracker.’

On Tuesday we had a returning author. Lawrence Buentello had his second story ‘The Kite People Of Ang Thom‘ published.

‘This had the rhythm and feel of an old folk tale.’

‘I loved the imagery of the kites.’

‘I think in the Far East they fly kites to entertain the Gods and have a good harvest – I guess this is what he has based this on.’

Another returning author but for the fifth time. The quirky Ashlie Allen added to her back catalogue on Wednesday with ‘I called My Alcoholic Friend Sad Satan.’

‘A very strong last paragraph.’

‘Powerful’

‘Ashley does give us some very interesting work.’

Thursday followed Wednesday, so no difference there. We had our first new writer of the week and we extend the usual greetings, pleasantries and appeal for more stories to Mr Tom Roth. His short, ‘A Day In The Life Of A Sandwich Artist’ was next up.

‘Good atmosphere and tone.’

‘This appeals to me and the writing feels real.’

‘Tom captured the hopelessness very well.’

Our next new writer was Debra Brenegan. We hope that she enjoys the experience and also sends us in more stories!! ‘Shaking Hands’ finished off the week on Friday.

‘A powerful piece of flash fiction.’

‘This was full of fear and emotion.’

‘Different and very vivid.’

That’s us again folks. And not a statistic in sight! I actually think we are all the less for that. (Based on a survey of the one person who is writing this! So if that is classed as a statistic, then ignore this paragraph)

Back to story tellers, I may look out for John Laurie as Private Frazer telling the tale of ‘The Auld Empty Barn…

There was nuthin’ in it!’

But I reckon I’ll really spoil myself and dig out an old CD and listen to the greatest story teller who also wrote the material. That’ll be Mr Billy Connolly doing ‘The Crucifixion’

…We are the Romans

…We hate the Christians

It really is murder to try and write timing, but I’m creasing myself as I can hear the words in my head!!

Hugh

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