Well, here is the fruit of Madmonkey’s labour (above left). Thanks for that, Madmonkey old chap. It’s an interesting idea don’t you think, this composite idea. The would-be designer could in principle put together all sorts of combinations of elements on the figure of one’s choice, pillaging from both old and new. In particular some of those old classic black and white shots could be first colourised in Photoshop or its equivalent and elements – or perhaps whole outfits – put together in imaginative ways. Alternatively the designer might leave the source material in monochrome and convert any more modem elements one might choose to include – such as the school ‘jumper’ of Madmonkey’s vision – into monochrome to match, the idea being to recreate that pastimes air of strict reform-school discipline. The one proviso I would add is that the uniform should be clearly designed to conform to the biologically adult form of the late teen. Whether one starts with a 3D computer generated figure as a framework (an interesting concept in itself) or one drawn from some other source (one has to be careful here) it should be possible to morph the impression of a mature figure into one’s design. So there’s the challenge – let’s fry those imaginative little grey cells out there! I’m always looking for creative input to aid in the design of the new book cover and it may be possible to integrate the outcome into the design as it presently stands.
Now you will have noted my absence for some time from these pages: I have been a little 'indisposed'. Some fool using a mobile phone drove over my foot while parking close to where I was crossing the road. This did my foot no good at all as I only had trainers on, although x-ray revealed nothing broken (don't know how - must be made of rubber!). The real problem is that I have osteoarthritis in my right knee that I refused an operation on as long ago as 2001 (I was coming up to the 12 month report stage of my PhD and couldn't afford the time off involved). Of course it has worsened somewhat over the years.
It is little surprise that when, having argued with the driver, he subsequently leaped out and jumped on me from behind (brave chap) my knee promptly gave up the ghost pitching me onto the ground - whereupon said driver proceeded to give yours truly a 'good kicking', as we say here in the UK. Hmmm nice! No real damage was done other than a bit of bruising and I felt absolutely nothing (I was very, very drunk - of course!) but it has made my knee swell and walking painful, so I am using it as an excuse to springboard myself back onto the treatment track. I had no GP so I have been in and out of x-ray and registering myself at a GPs surgery and all the rest to ‘get the ball moving’. After all this time I would imagine we are talking knee replacement surgery (at least that is what I am hoping - they have some good stuff these days). So a little bit of a silver lining there!
Despite these...er...distractions, I have been working my way through my files from time to time and cutting and pasting into the book. At last a logical story progression is emerging. The upcoming new book now stands at 315 of 9 by 6 inch pages of 10 point text, should it be published as a single work. Of this figure, perhaps 300 pages will likely survive further editing by my estimate. Unfortunately the next part to be inserted will not be such a simple cut and paste job as I am going to have to run through it first, changing the tense it is written in. You see there is a section in which one of the characters first encounters her new ‘home’ - her first impressions of ‘The Ward’, as the place is euphemistically known - which at present is told in flashback at a later point in the girl’s mind's eye. After the adjustment I propose, the reader will encounter the layout of ‘The Ward’ in 'real time' as the girl first enters. It makes for much more sense that way from the point of view of storytelling, as the reader immediately has the backdrop picture painted in their mind for the action to then play out against. As always the devil is in the detail and the essential thing is that the action should flow in a logical sequence.
By for now – have to fly.