A life for a life – Part 1

This is a little experiment. Below is the first part of my short story (recently written). All I would like to know is whether you would like to continue to read it. A simple YES or NO will do and your contribution is much appreciated 🙂

“So you wouldn’t say that False Bay is any different to any other prison?” the Cape Town Independent reporter asked, twirling his pen in the gap where two of his bottom teeth were knocked out. “No. No different”, the warden replied. Warden Rodemeyer considered the man seated in front of him with disdain and tried to ignore the tattoo he saw hiding behind the reporter’s collar.

“But surely you can’t be serious Warden. I mean, the highest suicide rate in the country? And I don’t mean a few more than the others, we are talking large numbers here”, the reporter said, tapping his thumb against his thigh, “There have been speculations for years, you know that”. Paki “The Tooth Fairy” Lewis, as he had become known in certain secret circles, had waited months to secure this interview and now it was all going to shit. Fifteen years of journalistic experience was no match for the keeper of this prison.

“Yes. I know that. I run this prison well. I keep monsters away from Joe Public, monsters you would not want to burden yourself with my friend”, the warden replied, “and as you know, I am not guilty of anything. That has been proven”, he continued confidently.

Paki turned back as he exited the warden’s office, “Thank you for your time warden”, he said, leaving behind a smile which promised future investigation into the matter. He did not get anything out of the man. It might as well have been a press conference where, as usual, people ramble on in front of a microphone but nothing is ever really disclosed.

The warden securely unpacked his most prized possession, neatly placing it on his desk. He sat back in his fake leather chair, accustomed to the squeaking of its hinges, swallowed two painkillers with cheap whiskey and rubbed the residue from his mustache with thin, scrawny fingers. Fake leather and cheap booze didn’t bother him, as this was not a place for expensive material luxuries. This was a place for gut wrenching cries in the dark of night. For sweat and piss and a controlled level of malnutrition, he thought. After finishing his drink, he lit the first candle.

To be continued…..hopefully

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Greetings

I purchased a Random House Word Menu a while ago (second hand, published in 1992) which I have not really put to good use. So many words, so little time, but I thought I would take the time to show you some of the greetings we use in every day life. We all have our own, customised sometimes, greetings and they might differ depending on the person we are saying hello to. Such a universal thing isn’t it? To greet? Here goes.

Ahoy, all hail, bonjour, glad to see you, good to see you, greetings, hail, halloa, have a good one, hello, hello there, hey, hey-ho

Hi, hi there, hi ya, hola, how are you?, how do?, how do you do?, howdy, howdy-do, how d’ye do?, how goes it?, how’s by you? Howdy-doody

How’s everything?, how’s it going?, how’s the world treating you?, how’s things?, how you be?, how you been?, how you doing?, hullo, how’s life

Welcome, what it is?, what’s happening?, YO, what’s up, sup, howzit

Strange how we tailor our greetings according to the person standing in front of us in order to either create an impression, a familiarity, to make small talk or to hide nerves. I cannot imagine greeting a new employer with what’s up (well, I suppose if my boss was a pimp) and at the same time I cannot imagine greeting one of my best friends with How do you do.

I find Greetings interesting. Not just which type of greeting is used, but also the emotion behind it. It could be a ‘Hey! (so happy to see  you oh my god I have really missed you). It could be a ‘Hi. (Shit, this isn’t weed mom, I swear). Or, ‘Yo. (Let me push my chest out so you know not to mess with this). What about, ‘How’s life? (Because I really want to tell you how shit my life is right now). Greetings are the okay, now that that’s out of the way, lets talk. The foundation on which so many conversations start and the launch pad for which emotional tone they will take.

Stay tuned for my post on Insults, Slurs and Epithets, where we will come across words such as bananahead, basket case, bozo, deadhead, dimwit, dolthead (really?), dodo, easy mark, egghead, shit for brains and the list goes on. We all have our own rage-words, but one can never have too many.

Greetings from Cape Town

Lions, Pythons and Ice Cold Beers

First of all, a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you out there. I hope that when you read this, you have just woken up from a holiday nap and that you are not yet consumed by the engine of every day work.

I am writing this post from my parents’ home in Namibia. A medium-sized beach home community on the coast called Longbeach. It’s 4pm, the colour of the sky is a rich dark grey, the north wind is causing choppy waters and large container vessels are lying silently out in the big old Atlantic.

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I managed to enjoy quite a few things during the festive season. Since not all of you have had the opportunity to travel to Africa, I thought I would share some of the moments with you. A camping trip to Erindi Game Reserve (www.erindi.com) left us with some amazing images. Lazy lions stretching out in the cool afternoon (one of the males sneeking a feel, typical).

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Four Kudu bulls huddling together, a large bug devouring a not-so-large bug (freaky shadow) and a huge elephant (or the rear end of one at least).

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A short trip to our family farm produced an encounter with a python which is rarely seen. We got extremely close, absolutely worth it. Lying dead still, its skin glimmering in the sunlight, this big boy is not known to have caused many human fatalities, but best to keep your wits about you.

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I have always found giraffes

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Other than that, I enjoyed some time with the best friends and fiancé a girl could ask for.  Ice cold beers, braais (barbeque) and long naps. I feel rejuvenated and absolutely ready for 2014!

In 2013 NaNoWriMo helped me to write in the region of 22 000 words of my novel. Not the 50 000 as aimed for, but I’m happy with the result. Time to finish this bad boy!

xxxx

Paperback Writer – The Beatles

Here’s some lyrical inspiration by The Beatles. I have to be honest and say that I have never heard this song before today.
Click on the link at the end to see the video!
Released in 1966. Its creation was spawned when McCartney was requested to “not make a song about love.”
[Intro]
Paperback writer, paperback writer

[Verse 1]
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It’s based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job
So I want to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer!

[Verse 2]
It’s a dirty story of a dirty man
And his clinging wife doesn’t understand
His son is working for the Daily Mail
It’s a steady job
But he wants to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer
Paperback writer, paperback writer

[Verse 3]
It’s a thousand pages, give or take a few
I’ll be writing more in a week or two
I could make it longer if you like the style
I can change it ’round
And I want to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer

[Verse 4]
If you really like it you can have the rights
It could make a million for you overnight
If you must return it you can send it here
But I need a break
And I want to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer

[Outro]
Paperback writer, paperback writer
Paperback writer, paperback writer
Paperback writer, paperback writer
Paperback writer, paperback writer
Paperback writer

 

paperback writer – The Beatles  (music video)

We have promises to keep – Robert Frost

I was watching a documentary on the John F Kennedy assassination when the narrator mentioned that President Kennedy loved to quote Robert Frost. He spoke specifically of the last two lines in the poem below.

Interpret it as you will. For me, today in particular, this poem inspired me to keep writing my novel. I made a promise to myself that I would have 50 000 words by the end of November, and I have that promise to keep.

Image: thewistfulmuse.com

Image: thewistfulmuse.com

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.  

Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)

Random Page Number 3

I opened The Artist’s Way this morning, and this is what I read:

‘Growth is an erratic forward movement: two steps forward, one step back. Remember that and be very gentle with yourself. A creative recovery is a healing process. You are capable of great things on Tuesday, but on Wednesday you may slide backward. This is normal. Growth occurs in spurts. You will lie dormant sometimes. Do not be discouraged. Think of it as resting.

Practice being kind to yourself in small, concrete ways. Look at your refrigerator. Are you feeding yourself nicely? Do you have socks? An extra set of sheets? What about a new house plant? A thermos for the long drive to work? The expression “God helps those who help themselves” may take on a new and very different meaning. Be alert for support and encouragement from unexpected quarters. Be open to receiving gifts from odd channels: free tickets, a free trip, an offer to buy you dinner, a new-to-you old couch. Practice saying yes to such help.

More than anything else, experiment with solitude. You will need to make a commitment to quiet time. Try to acquire the habit of checking in with yourself. Several times a day, just take a beat, and ask yourself how YOU are feeling. Listen to your answer. Respond kindly. YES, I am asking you to baby yourself. We believe that to be artists we must be tough, cynical and intellectually chilly. Leave that to the critics. As a creative being, you will be more productive when coaxed than when bullied.’

Julia Cameron – The Artist’s Way

I kidnapped my inner editor

Regarding NaNoWriMo – I have hit 12000 and something words. Needless to say I have quite a way to go, but I am chuffed with my progress so far as this is my first REAL attempt at actually completing a novel. I had one small, irritating rock in my shoe though. My inner editor.

Image: tropes.wikia.com

Image: tropes.wikia.com

What I have decided to do is kidnap her, gag her and tie her to a chair. I then proceeded to take her down to the basement (yup, I am strong like that) and place her in the middle of the floor. After that I loaded a shotgun and placed it carefully in front of her, making damn sure she stared straight into the barrel that could instantly end her life. There is a leaking tap in my basement which I am now happy I never fixed, because I hope the incessant dripping of unfiltered water will drive her insane. Right behind the shotgun, I propped a clown doll on a chair, staring straight at her. The basement is dark, except for a dim light bulb clinging on for dear life right above the doll’s head.

Image: creepyblurps.com

Image: creepyblurps.com

I know, it seems harsh, but I was left with no choice. She constantly badgers me about my plot, my characters, my punctuation. Someone had to shut her up. I suggest you do the same, and if you don’t have a basement, mine is free.

Now I shall write in peace.

Happy Writing!