Friday, 8 March 2013

Every Good Book Deserves a Favour (With apologies to The Moody Blues)… And a Channel 5 UK Shocker!

...And in this case that means a cover! .  So I've designed two!  Been up most of the night doing it too; went to bed at nearly 4 AM and was up and about at twenty minutes to eight.  I hope to get a nap during the day, but probably won't get it!  Not that I'm saying it is necessarily that good; but I do try!  The differences are kind of subtle (other than the text colour, which is glaringly different - and the bars of course; but you gotta have bars for goodness sake!).  Now I wonder which bit Amazon et al will reject this time? 

The stained-glass used at the rear and also as shadowing towards the front and right hand side I photographed in a church on the Isle of Wight (I won't say which, because folk can get ,uppity’ about such things).  The cane I created using the software package, 'The Gimp' and the bars are something I created long ago for the very first book.     I always find this stage exciting - and the title is so current right now.  The UK media seems to have been full of stuff and commentary about the infamous Magdalen laundries these last few months, largely (and quite rightly, in the real world) from a standpoint of outrage (which may leave me open to attack – but one has to be brave; how was I to know when I started writing the thing that there’d be all this renewed interest?) but there have been one or two items almost bordering on the voyeuristic. 
Why, even as recent as last night the UK’S Channel Five TV station was showing a drama entitled ‘Jack Taylor: The Magdalen Martyrs’ (see pic, bottom of page) in which the eponymous private investigator “is hired by the daughter of a former inmate of the infamous Magdalen Laundries to find the identity of a former nun [who had been] notorious for taking pleasure in torturing the girls”.  I hadn’t known it was going to be on, I hadn’t heard of it (nor the presumed Jack Taylor series – I don’t know) and the other half was hovering about – and she knows what I write about, so I felt inhibited from watching it for fear of the inevitable uncomfortable sneering and sniping comments.
I did however initially blunder across the aforementioned programme while channel-hopping when the significant other happened to be out of the room and so snatched a few all-too-fleeting moments before briskly toggling back to ‘Time Team’ or whatever it was I had been watching (You see?  Like being hit around the cranium with a baseball bat!  All else has been erased from my memory!).  I have no idea about the rest of the goings-on and happenings, but the scene I blundered into made me go all ‘gooey’ inside (bloody hell, that sounds sooo camp!  Note to self:  And so does saying ‘sooo’ like that!).  There was something terribly familiar about that scene; as if I wrote it myself (and I’m sure I have done something similar – and if not, why not?  I’ll have to check – it’s worrying!).  And I know there’ll be many who will simply shrug and just not get what all the fuss is about – after all, nothing much was happening in those few seconds, action-wise.  It was just a few moments of dialog between a stern-looking and clearly very domineering young nun and a pouting, pretty late-teen girl, while another bedraggled-looking specimen looked on.  But what a piece of dialog – never mind a picture painting a thousand words, this was a few words sketching myriad (that’s 10,000 by the reckoning of the ancients by the way) images!  Basically – from memory, and with shaking hand – the nun was saying something along the lines of: 
“..I suppose you’ll soon be free of this place.  I suppose you’re thinking about meeting someone, getting married, raising a family, being free to do as you chose and that you’ll wipe all this from your memory, forget all about it…”  The nun pauses, tapping the girl on the forehead as she continues:  “…but you see, you’ve let me get in there, let me get inside your head…” 
I don’t know about you but I was just thinking “OMG!”  There’s just so much more ‘mileage’ to be had, and read into, such psychological aspects and insights than can be got from out-and-out corporal punishment-style brutality.  And that one simple scene speaks volumes about just how sadistic the woman really is; far more so than if she had been depicted at that moment dealing out a blood-curdling thrashing with the birch or the cane or what have you.  But I still can’t shake that unsettling sense of Déjà vu, as if I bloody wrote the thing!
A quick update:  I have not only been F-ing around with book covers and Photoshop; I have also done a lot of work on the website, featuring both my own work and that of my artistic collaborator and fellow writer, Angela Fox.  I have done a little work on Flikr (as an alto ego – coz I can’t be bothered to set up a new account) and added quite a lot to my Deviant Art account, featuring yet more artwork by Angela Fox, some adapted and manipulated by yours truly, originally destined for a mooted illustrated version of INSTITUTIONALISED 3, and some stuff of my own (largely book covers – though I have also added some notes to some of the Angela Fox images.. There is some great stuff on Deviant Art by various folk, far more talented in the art department than I, so why not pay it a visit?  I believe Angela Fox herself has now got an account set up on Deviant Art though I’m not sure she has uploaded anything yet, but why not Google her to check anyway?  I'll be installing a link to her Angela Fox's own website in the right hand sidebar in due course, so keep 'em peeled! (eyes)


Orage said...

Can't you watch the whole film today on TV replay?

Orage said...

And this is what I find most infuriating: "The video you are trying to watch cannot be viewed from your current country".

Orage said...

For you it's still available for thirteen days!

Toyntanen said...

Hi Orage et al!

I'm a little bit wary of watching TV and films on the internet because of my provider's download cap which I think is around 4GB (I should check, I know.

The other thing I'm always wary of in situations such as this is feeling let down. The imagined culmination is often so much better than where the tale is actually going - and such was often the case (more often than not in fact) back in the day when I would purchase a copy of a magazine on the promise of the first couple of paragraphs or so of some story or reader's letter (if a long one).

And so it seems in this case. I have just visited the Chanel 5 site and having suffered an interminable stream of advertisements I got to watch the programme. Well I didn't watch the whole thing; it's about an hour and a half long. Instead I shuffled back and forth sampling it here and there until I found the scene I was looking for (around 50 mins, 30 seconds in - give or take. In fact there turns out to be not very much made of the laundry scenes - although I did come across another scene incredibly like one I have written for an unpublished thing I have on my hard drive in which a character strolls across a floor a girl is polishing to inform her she has "missed a bit" (meaning her own shoe marks) and that the girl should start afresh (the girl is scrubbing a floor in the film). The scene I referred to last time unfortunately all too quickly degenerates into something quite nasty indeed and too grossly and explicitly violent for my tastes.

I guess what I am saying is this: If you haven't seen the programme yet then don't; not if you want to hang on the implied mental image and where you imagine it might go from there.

By the way, I am at home today, working on my very first book Institutionalised volume 1. I am putting together what I hope will be a more appealing cover for its LULU presence. I may also take the opportunity to rearrange it somewhat, perhaps do something about the preface.

The latter goes into some detail about the social psychology experiment which inspired the book. This I thought important at the time in setting the scene, but it has since led some to remark that at first sight they almost dismissed the book as a stuffy academic work.

The mind fairly boggles (but then some of those old psychology studies make boggling reading in themselves.