Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Amelia: A Girl Transported Back in Time: Victorian Schoolroom Discipline in the Twenty-First Century
Outside, the London traffic thundered, horns honked, taxis bobbed and weaved, police sirens wailed and screeched past and buses waited impatiently for passengers to board at their stops. Inside, it was 1889 from dawn to dusk, night and day, right down to the typically severe Victorian schoolroom discipline. It was a world in microcosm in which Victoria was on the throne, corporal punishment was the norm, authority was unquestionable and a girl like this, even one of marriageable age, could - and would - be returned to childhood: and if you were to as much as show the young honourable Amelia Fotheringale-Sloane, heiress to the famed Fotheringale-Sloane estate, a mobile phone she'd turn her pretty head away in terror.
Nothing to do with the NEW book, but inspired by a sequel to one of my earlier works (one of the INSTITUTIONALISED series - some of you may remember it) which never got much further than a hint at the end of a story and a few words on my hard drive - oh well! Something about this image just brought my mind back to it - I'm not entirely sure what, but that's often the way. The cane resting on the desk is of course something I created and later added; you have to imagine the metronome is positioned somehere close to the viewer's position.
By the way: I'm still hard at work on the new book, even though also still working with the artist, Roger Benson, and working on a book on Mad Cows Disease / CJD and other protein conformation disorders in the background.
I'm also very soon going to reinstate direct, non-moderated, commenting on this blog, since it has been some while since there has been any attempt to post spam - perhaps as early as this very afternoon. So there will no longer be that annoying delay between you writing in and you seeing your lovingly composed comment up in lights... Nice, eh!
Tuesday, 23 September 2014
Friday, 19 September 2014
So... I couldn't get my head around writing much today - too little sleep; the storm last night woke me up and then I couldn't get back off. But I did have had enough residual get-up-and-go to have completed a quick and easy item for Roger Benson (just adding a 'think' bubble to one of his sketches - though I had to do a little work on the bubble itself first). And having booted up my photoshop-style software package I felt sufficiently inspired to have a go at some sort of first-draft book cover. See what you think? I'd value your opinion. It's not even the correct aspect ratio at the moment, so it has a long way to go yet. I'm thinking at the moment that the lower paragraph ('Money was not sufficient...') may be unnecessary, and may even lessen the impact. Any opinions / ideas?
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Today's offering has very little to do with the story arc of the new book, but it might well form part of the basis of the cover design, with certain adaptations to reflect the story. This is an amalgam of several elements, including no less than three layers, taken from two separate sources, just to build up the woman's cleavage. And of course the can you will have seen before - it is something I created long ago. Many thanks to all those who have made a donation thus far to help fund the new work, by the way!
Friday, 12 September 2014
This has nothing to do with the new book I’m afraid, simply something I cooked up harking back to - and inspired by - the good ol’ INSTITUTIONALISED series, particularly VOLUME 1: BEYOND THE STANFORD EXPERIMENT which some of you, if not most, will doubtless remember. It is actualy an improved - I think, I hope - revamp of something I created for Tumblr. The nurse is from an old medical catalogue, the straitjacket girls from a Yahoo Group, the background wall is several repeats of a copy taken from a background image used on THE ORIGINAL INSTITUTE website pasted together. The barred window is of course something of a repeating motif of mine and is a de novo creation of my own hand (of which there are several versions - originally intended for a comic book project, which might still go ahead now that I’ve had a couple of donations, given sufficient funding). This is probably not my finest bit of PhotoShop work (actually The Gimp), but I had great fun doing it. And I hope you gain equal pleasure from viewing it.
I have to admit to having always been fascinated by the idea of blameless captivity, yet legitimised in some manner. The trap, which, once sprung, proves increasingly more difficult for the young (invariably – although always post-adolescent) woman or girl to extradite herself from. And the experimental behavioural psychology study gone awry seems to fit the bill nicely, the hapless residential participants being bullied and pressurised into perpetual renewal of their candidacy. On the other hand, there is more than one way a pretty, nubile young thing might find herself deprived of her freedom and subject to disciplinary zeal; and one such alternative scenario will be examined and explored in the upcoming new book, which by the way is provisionally titled (you have to have SOME sort of working title) ‘HOSTAGE OF DISCIPLINE’ or ‘THE DISCIPLINARIAN’S HOSTAGE’.
Talking of donations: I have received a couple already for which I am MOST appreciative and cannot thank you enough, particularly one person in particular who has been MORE than generous – I wish I could name names, but that wouldn’t be fair, as I have to respect the donors anonymity; unless he or she wishes otherwise of course.
Meanwhile, the wrting continues (see my comments on my last posting - in comments section)
Tuesday, 9 September 2014
The domestication process had begun day one, immediately after the ceremony, with the presentation by her spouse of her 'housework outfit'. The chores are pinned upon the kitchen door, and woe betide her if they are not completed. She feels put upon, that she shouldn't submit. And if she wasn't dressed the way she is, perhaps she wouldn't. But the way she is dressed makes her feel 'kept in her place', makes it harder to argue back.
Arranged marriages are nothing new of course, even in Western society. Same-sex marriages are increasingly becoming accepted. How long then before an arranged same-sex marriage? Consider: She has been a hell-cat, a tearaway – no longer! Those days are gone! She is married now – to a woman! A stern, hard-faced older woman hell-bent on domesticating her in a manner no man ever could. Just a year in and already she is a very changed girl, all defiance being lovingly squeezed from her like pips from a lemon. She'd been a reluctant bride of course, a committed boy-chaser beforehand. But her guardian had known what she was doing when she'd placed her future spouse over her a year previous to the ceremony as her governess. “If you can tame her, you can claim her”.
Well, as you can see I managed to get a 'donate' button in the sidebar. But it took half the day; it was WELL hidden on Paypal, I must say. Almost everything I tried ended with me being directed to 'upgrade', which doubtless would have cost money I don't have. I just hope people don't take its presence wrong.
Monday, 8 September 2014
Oh lord! WHAT a lot of comments the last posting produced – the most feedback I have received in such a short time since I don't know when! And all for the donate button bar two – the comment received from 'Ben J. Amen' (yes, I do know who you are. But I cant find your email address, so please email me.) and one which arrived via email. Several others which arrived through email were also largely positive, with one or two minor reservations. The consensus seems to be, then, in favour of the inclusion of a donation button and a willingness to make a small donation from time to time. So unless I hear otherwise in the next few hours or so I will go ahead with the idea – at least on a trial period. Saying all that, though, I'm not even sure it can be done on this kind of blog, nor have I looked into it thoroughly. At this moment in time I have no idea how to go about it!
Alan B (yes I know who you are, too), Ben J. Amen (see comments) and two others via email have suggested I put out some of the unfinished fragmentary stuff I have written over the years which might not otherwise see the light of day at some small nominal charge, perhaps with some words of explanation fore and aft to “set the scene”, place it in context and describe where I had intended it to have gone next, had I finished it. And as an email correspondent pointed out, it is true I tend to write the action and event-laden stuff first, as the ideas occur to me (although I already know the premise and context) and then later add in the basic scaffolding which surrounds those events – the story leading up to them, the character development and descriptive stuff / scene setting and so on.
So there is probably much there some of you would find interesting or exciting. However some of it would need editing, even as fragments and action scenes, spell checking and so on. And of course there are those “few paragraphs of explanation” it has been suggested such an undertaking would require. The idea would be to pay some sort of fee via Paypal and I would then email the PDF (as a correspondent points out – LULU, through whom I publish in addition to via my publisher, Andrews UK LTD, charge a minimum fee which would preclude my charging the suggested 50p - £1 a shot (about 1$ or a bit less I think – I'm not sure).
But at the moment I'm not certain I'd like to go down that latter route, if nothing else than for the reason that I don't know I would have the time to do the editing, spelling correction and the introductory text, without which the reader might wonder, not so much what is going on, as the events would largely be self-explanatory I would imagine, but how it all came about in the first place and perhaps who the protagonists are and their relationship and so on. Remember, this is stuff I have not looked at in a long while – one piece I wrote while down in Eastbourne two years ago I have not even looked at since, and I wont have spell-corrected it as I went along either (and my spelling can be SO atrocious, without correction you would have no idea what I was talking about.
But on the other hand, if enough folk feel strongly enough about it – and there is enough interest out there - I might give it a go in my spare time or when the ideas for the new book dry up from time to time.
So for now it's the donation button, if I can make it work / find out how to do it. I don't know how long I'll need it for, nor whether it will bring in enough to make a difference, but if it will just pay for my internet connection it would help. The work I'm doing with Roger Benson will undoubtedly prove lucrative and my new book, should I get it finished MAY prove lucrative (a bit – it's mainly a labour of love! And the work on the website wont be lucrative at all) but the problem is: they are not being lucrative right now! Oh well! And the banners you see round you don't work: the links will lead you to the relevant sites but in the most part those sites have changed their revenue collection companies and so I don't get a penny (my fault – I haven't kept up to date!).
If and when the button appears it will, I imagine, be found at the top of the right hand side bar.
Bye for now. And thanks for your feedback and to all those who have shown their support. Sometimes words are all it takes to gladden the heart! (The fact that it is a sunny day helps too!)