Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Cover Design Contest!!

The Klandestines graphic novel is coming along nicely at the moment. Soon we'll be able to start seeking out a home for it. Before we can do that we need a snazzy cover, and we decided it might be fun to run a contest to see what other people come up with.

So if you want to see your design on the cover of The Klandestines Part 1, then go here: to download the brief and information.
The deadline is the 27th of Feb, and I'm officially letting everyone know about it by this Friday. I know no one ever looks on this blog, so this is very much falling on deaf ears: but if you have stumbled here then you're lucky enough to have a 3 day head start on everyone else.

In other news: I have been trying to learn to knit. A few of my friends are doing it, so I thought, why not? For your information: most of said friends are buff men, often seen chopping logs with axes, using chainsaws and doing other typically masculine things. Versatility is a good thing, for sure. Unfortunately for me I seem to be failing at grasping the concept of the knit stitch. I'm not sure I can even cast on correctly. It worries me that two masculine men are better at knitting than me, a girl.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Keen for it to end

I can't stop listening to the Eels. It is my newest obsession. I have long known about Hugh Everett's Many Worlds theory. I (sort of) came up with the same theory when I was 14 years old. Then I found out some other guy had come up with it fifty years ago, and with a lot more science stuff to back it up. No one even took him seriously, so I kept my own mouth shut and wrote a book about it instead, and later did an art project all about it.
Christmas day 2008, ten years after I first came across Hugh Everett and about seven years since I came across The Eels, I was told that Mr E is the son of Hugh Everett. I was also told that Hugh Everett died when Mark Everett was only 19. E found his father dead in bed. Then a while later his sister killed herself, then his mother died of cancer, and his cousin died some years later in the 9/11 plane crashes. Shit.

I am listening to Essential Eels Vol 1 over and over.
This music is so wonderful and inspiring. I wish so much that I could make something this good, this poetic. There is a crisp poetry to his lyrics.
Today I am not feeling very poetic. I am feeling vague and distant.

I found a beginning to a story I wrote a couple of months ago. I didn't get any further. I'm not sure there will ever be an ending, or a middle. Just a beginning. Here it is:

We were walking along a suburban street in a small town. The day was turning into night; golden fringes were absorbed by the encroaching muddy-blue of dusk. High-pitched squeals peeled into the air. Children were dressed in black and green, as ghosts or vampires. They ran from door to door, weaving across the street, spilling sweets from their sacks. We walked through it, our eyes fixed ahead. The moon was going to be full that night, but was not yet risen.

The suburbs turned abruptly into countryside. We slipped through the space between two red brick walls. There was a stile at the end of the corridor, we entered the field and stopped. The valley was dark grey-green with a weak-blue sky hanging above it. The trees and hedgerows were still and silent. Not even the nearby children’s voices broke the stillness of dusk.

We walked onwards. The grass was wet, cold and dewy but the black leather of our boots was too thick to let it in. In a few nights it would turn to frost and sparkle in the light of the cold moon.


Down by the donut prince
A fifteen year old boy lies on the sidewalk
With a bullet in his forehead
In a final act of indignity
The paramedics take off all his clothes
For the whole world to see
While they put him in the bag
Meanwhile an old couple argues inside the queen bee
The sick fluorescent light shimmering on their skin

-Mr E: Susan's House.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Dear cottage on the hill near the golf course

A month or so ago I wrote a letter to the cottage on the hill near the golf course. I did not send it.
Since I wrote the letter some people have moved into the cottage. I feel very sad, because I have seen those people and I know they do not suit the cottage. They have modern furniture and they have hideous horsey ornaments in the window. I feel sorry for that cottage, because I would have shown it so much more love and respect. In this capitalist society love and respect is meaningless, because only money matters. I did not have any money to buy the cottage. I only have love and respect.

Today I walked fast across the vales, through the woods and over the hills. It is icy on the paths. Careful as you go. The green shoots coming up in the woods have not progressed any further. I am watching over them. They are a signal for springtime. I love the springtime, but I also love winter. I don't want it to leave. I never want the seasons to leave. I always think that whatever season I am in is the best one by far. Winter is cold and crisp. You can see everything; the countryside is open and vast. There are no tics to worry about, I don't overheat when I walk really fast so that my calf muscles hurt. The lakes are frozen over and glimmer in the sunshine. The earth is frozen dry; it is so much easier to walk compared to the slushy mud of autumn and spring.

Here is the letter :(

Dear cottage on the hill near the golf course,

I go walking in this area quite frequently. I live with my parents in the village. Ours is the little white cottage in the middle of the terrace opposite Bridge Street. I do like living in the little white cottage, but it’s small, and I’m running out of space for my books.
I have noticed you have been empty for quite some months. Earlier in the year a window would be opened every so often, but that hasn’t even happened for some time. You stay silent and cold. It’s coming up to Christmas, and I am sure you are very lonely up there.
If you are at all interested, I am seeking residency is the area. I’m very neat, and respectful of old houses such as yourself.
But perhaps you need some more background on me; maybe I am still too much of a stranger. There are many beautiful places to walk around these three neighbouring villages in these three neighbouring counties. So although I walk most days of the week, I probably only take the routes by you once a week or so. But I’m sure you’d recognise me. I am a girl, in her twenties. I have glasses and messy brown hair. I don’t have a dog. Almost everyone else who walks around these parts has a dog. They have stopped putting their dogs on leads when they see me approach, because they’ve learnt by now that I go for a walk most days, even though I don’t have a dog.
My occupation is a writer. But I am still very young, and everything I have got published so far has not been for money. This means that I have a part time job, which is at the discount bookshop in the nearest town. It doesn’t earn me enough to be able to live in my own house. I could get a proper job, and then afford to move into my own place, but that would mean giving up being a writer. That is not an option for me.
I really love the countryside a lot. I have tried to live in towns, and even lived in a city for a little while. But I hated it there. I much prefer to be close to the seasons and the air.
So now you know a little more about me. I was just wondering if you wanted to team up? I could live with you; you’d offer me shelter and space, and I would offer you warmth and love. How does that sound to you?

Anyway, I’ll pass you many more times in my lifetime, so I’m sure we can discuss this matter further at a later date.


Miss J Bell.