The dangers of snot

Snotty noseTo respond to Dewi’s comment on yesterday’s post: “Wrong”. And as a quick aside before I start, I’m impressed (or dismayed, perhaps disgusted) to realise that this is not the first post on this blog to be tagged with the word “snot”. Get in there.

Well, I did say I wanted to encourage my imagination and yesterday I had the chance to do so. In the best of circumstances, to whit: winding up a 6 year old. Always fun, especially when they believe everything you tell them. Sadly, on this occasion, I faced resistance but I ploughed on regardless much to the unease of those around me, I’m sure.

Let me set you a scene… small boy and father getting changed after going swimming. Small boy has a runny nose and the first thing to hand is a pair of underpants. I am thankful to say they were his underpants, and not Dad’s. Especially as his instinctive reaction was to wipe them across his nose and drag out a lovely, shiny, watery bogey which quickly soaked into the elasticated band.

“Ooh, you shouldn’t do that,” I warned, “You’ll give your bottom a cold.”

He stopped and looked at me, head cocked to one side as if trying to judge if I was telling him the truth or not. He quickly made up his mind. “No it won’t!”

“It will,” I insisted. “You know when you pump? That’s your bum sneezing.”

“No, it’s not!”

“Really, it is. You know how girls don’t use handkerchiefs like boys do? What do you think they use instead? Spare underwear. That’s why girls smell so bad. Mummy’s always pumping isn’t she?”

“Yes, but…”

“So there you go. Bottom cold. And you want to make sure you don’t get a really bad one, because then you’ll do really big bottom sneezes and it won’t be bogies that come out…”

At this point, I was getting some really strange looks from a family sat nearby and was getting concerned that we’d be banned from the pool. In the tradition of Sun reporters of your, I made my excuses and left.

Ensuring that my own undercrackers were nose-drip free.

P.S. I hope you all appreciate the fact that I spent ten minutes staring at pictures of dribbling noses before picking one (erm…) that suited this article.

Getting the mojo going

Writing
Writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve found over the last few months that I’m struggling to write, or at least to write well. Where I used to be able to rattle off a few hundred words without a problem, making full us of what used to be a pretty vast vocabulary I’m now finding myself dribbling out stilted, dull prose.

Whether this is down to a lack of reading, a focus on reviews (on the Moshville Times page), lack of sleep, or whatever else,  I don’t know. But given that I had a couple of short stories published only a couple of years ago, I’m finding it a little annoying.

So I’m setting myself a challenge. Not a New Year’s Resolution – I don’t do them – but something to try and help me dust off the writing skills.

Time allowing, I want to rattle something off every day and put it up here. Something harking back to ye olde days of this fine blog. I appreciate nobody reads blogs any more, which actually helps as no bugger will embarrass me about this. So maybe some rants, some short fiction, some mental splatterings or some utter nonsense. Anything to get the right neurons firing so I’m happy with my writing again.

The one thing I’m happy about is that I already have a few ideas. I just want to flesh them out – and in a time limited style a la Nanworimo on a smaller scale.

Feel free to comment or ignore.

Review: Bible of Butchery – Cannibal Corpse The Official Biography

Bible of Butchery - Cannibal Corpse The Official Biography
Bible of Butchery – Cannibal Corpse The Official Biography by Joel McIver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not a bad read and as decent a history of the band as you’re likely to find.

Based on interviews with the band done quite recently and released to tie in with the new “A Skeletal Domain” album, “Bible of Butchery” makes for a good companion tome. Its weak point is there’s really nothing new or massively revelatory within its pages.

There’s a potted band history and a first-person biography of each member, plus a selection of song lyrics some of which are briefly annotated. In addition, there’s a longer interview section towards the end with more up-to-date questions which covers the bands’ individual touring memories and the like.

Chris Barnes’ time in the band is, of course, mentioned and the terms of his departure aren’t exactly skimmed over. While it’s a part of the current members’ history I’m sure they’re glad is in the past, it would have been good to have had something more details from around that time – and the cherry on top would of course have been to hear Chris’s side of the story. I’m sure there are reasons for that being missing (not least of which is whether Chris wants to talk about it or not), but if there was the ideal place for it to be published then this was it.

The presentation is top notch – Brian J Ames should take a bow – and there are plenty of photos scattered around the blood-trimmed pages to really flesh it out.

I enjoyed reading it, but I think the fact that the band are so damn nice and there’s been relatively (and surprisingly!) little controversy in Cannibal Corpse’s 25 years, the overall story isn’t as full of ups, downs, twists and so forth that could make it more interesting.

For the completist and the mad fan, there’s probably not another book that comes close to covering the band’s history and for this reason I’d recommend it. That and the great artwork.

View all my reviews

Review: Armageddon Outta Here

Armageddon Outta Here
Armageddon Outta Here by Derek Landy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great collection, though some completists will likely already have about half of the material already. What’s left, though, is typically excellent.

A handful of short stories which introduce new characters – some of whom have already made appearances in the novels – and a couple which tie in with major plot threads.

Cream of the crop is one which sits nicely on its own, and doesn’t have any real attachment to any of the existing storylines – Get Thee Behind Me, Bubba Moon. Probably the creepiest story I’ve ever read by Landy.

Some may see it as a way of extending the now-finished Skulduggery series (the final book was published this month), but there’s enough original content in here to make it worth the purchase/library loan.

View all my reviews