Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Butler Didn't Do It

Sometimes, you get a break just when you need one.

It's October 2010. After some very stressful weeks getting important stuff done*, I was delighted to be invited to one of Bear's parties. He's just got engaged to his girlfriend Clarice, and I can think of no better reason to celebrate. Anyway, the pair of them love an excuse to dress up, so they decided to hold a murder-mystery party based on CLUEDO/CLUE.

[*Vague, I know.]

I just got back. Here's a picture of us, all dolled up.

CLUEDO, Bear style. The guy can party. (The picture's worth a click, there's tons of detail.)

From left to right:

Colonel Bear Mustard - The lad himself. Trust him to nab the best costume opportunity. But he carries it off magnificently, don't you think? The moustache was a nice touch; I can just see him sipping a gin and tonic in Poonah, India during the Reign of Victoria. And trust me, this fella can roar like a general.

Miss Clarice Peacock - Bear's beautiful fiancée. An American bear, originally from the deep woods in Augusta, Georgia. She'd not played the game before, so I explained that we were there to solve the murder of Doctor Black. For added realism, King provided a dead zebra, which he declared was Dr. Black-White, a close relative. I thought he'd never stop laughing.

Professor Indigo Plum - I dug out one of Uncle Idaho's old smoking jackets. I think he'd been smoking kippers in it. There was still one in the pocket, in fact. Luckily, there was time to dry clean it, else I'd never have got a date. On which subject...

Miss Abbey Scarlet - My lovely next door neighbour, and date for the evening. Blonde today, in a simple red t-shirt and a pair of jeans. Bare feet, as ever. Not exactly pulling out all the stops on the costume front, but every time she spoke to me I forgot my name.

Reverend Max Green - Taking time off from invading Bolivia in a submarine, Herr Doktor Tunguska brought his own murder weapons along. I salute him; when he method acts, this guy goes deep. Of course, the Reverend's attire is his own. He's diverse.

"Mrs" T-101 White - A late addition to the party. This decommissioned Terminator has been in the shed for a while, but agreed to cross-dress to play the cook and make up the boy/girl ratio. He rather liked the idea, actually, and already had his own pig-tailed wig. Worrying. The chef's apron was another late addition; we didn't want to frighten the horses.

We had a lot of fun.

And the butler didn't do it.

It turned out it was Max in the Lavatory with the Chainsaw.

Some things never change.


Indigo

This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2009-2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Shameless Bit Of Misdirection

I have a half-written story on my computer. Well, an outline. I really need to get it written, but... ooooh look, PHOTOS!

*runs and hides*


I saw this lad in a field as I drove home one night at twilight. I had to get a photo for my good friend Jayne Martin, who tells me that he's a Gypsy Cob.


After a long drive round this morning, this is the only good photo I took. Spring has indeed sprung.


I'm rather pleased with this. Sharper than my last attempt a year ago.


A local house. I had shade to take it from, and the weather and clouds and pretty much the whole thing conspired to be interesting.


Too good to miss. I did some severe cropping from the top because of some movement in the branches, but the final letterbox effect is very pleasing.


Spring sap rising. This was all about the colour.


Not a very attractive bridge, but this begged to be captured as the sky was cooperating.


The view from one end of the bridge. I like the tractor lines and the zig-zag landscape.


When I was dropping a friend back at work, he pointed out a nearby duckpond. This handsome drake was king of the water.


A sleepy lad/lass peeps out from under Mum's wing. There's actually half a dozen of them under there!


A little later, under bright skies, the duckling came out for a nap in the sun...


... but got too hot and made a mad dash for the water!

Thanks for visiting!

Indigo

This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2009-2014
All photos are copyright © Indigo Roth, 2009-2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Distant Parting Shot

I've already declared today a victory, and I'm dreaming of my bed. But, before I slip away to the awesomeness of duvet and eight hours uninterrupted, I'll leave you with these.


Just north of my hometown lies the quaint rural village of Lilley. They have horses. This is dedicated to my dear friend Jayne Martin with great affection.


A different view of the hills at Lilley, from much closer. I toned down the sky to bring out the warmth of the earth on a beautiful Spring day. Too arty? Nah. S'just a photo.  


I spotted this from the car and had to double back. I do this a lot, usually because there's a truck bearing down on me while I'm dawdling looking at the scenery. I'm glad I went back. Especially as I managed to get the clouds acting as the foliage.


Okay, a bit of an off one. A hold in the road left by the removal of a "cat's eye" reflector. And yes, it's full of water. I don't know why I snapped it, other than it looked interesting.


Just south of my hometown is the village of Barton-le-Clay. Not long after they ploughed the fields, I finally managed to capture a view I'd long had my eye on.


I don't know. Geese maybe? Maybe they're enjoying the nice contrast of the water and the reeds?


I didn't trust these lads. They whispered among themselves whenever I checked the camera, and I swear that big one in the middle was on the right a few moments earlier.


Okay, this is definitely arty. But I like it.


The camera went off when I put it down. Well, that's what I'm telling Alistair, who really likes this one. It looks like a path, but is actually a six-inch-wide concrete kerb on an industrial estate. Yes, I wander.


And finally, more cloudsome fluffiness near Lilley. I liked the curve of the road and the nice balance of colours. There's hope for me yet.

Thanks for tuning in. There will be more words soon, I promise.

Indigo

This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2009-2014
All photos are copyright © Indigo Roth, 2009-2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

More Breaking Than Entering

I love exploring.

The black square of the open attic hatchway gazes down on me. It sighs cold air my way, frustrated to be awoken this early on a Sunday. The chilly breath finds its way down inside my shirt as I stand at the foot of the metal ladder.

I wonder what's up there?

Five minutes ago, I listen to the complaints of ageing glosswork as I apply leverage to the painted-shut hatch. The heavy screwdriver–discovered in a kitchen drawer, but too wide for any fixture I've come across–seems well-suited to the task. I twist its heavy handle, and the wooden frame flexes and begins to splinter; it looks like I’ll need to work my round the square, else I'll be doing more breaking than entering.

I wiggle the tool free, choose a new spot, and thump it into the sealed crack.

Back in the now, my shoulders covered with a dandruff of paint shards, I poke my head up into the attic. I can now hear the wind outside through the tiles, but no light makes it past them. And again, the cold strikes me, tho I detect no damp or moisture in the smell of the place. As I look about, unable to see anything beyond the few inches illuminated from below, I pick out the familiar odour of old newspapers.

So far, no surprises. Emboldened, I thump up a few more steps and stand, my hands tracing a circle around me as I search for an upright. I curse as my wrist finds one, and proceed to fumble up and down the treacherous sawn edges of the wood for a light switch.

My shredded fingertips find a control, and I flick it hopefully.

A conical lampshade lights up above an antique table in the centre of the attic. The light from the bulb is surprisingly clean and constant, and picks out tall piles of yellowing newspapers on all sides before being swallowed by the darkness. I can't see the corners of the room, but I know they're equally full of old newsprint.

Something sits at the centre of the table, but I can't make it out from over here. Intrigued, I step up and tread the old bare boards for the first time; they move beneath me, but are quiet. The newspapers slumber on as I amble over to the table, emerging into the circle of light. I expect the small, square table to be dusty. It's not; the dark lacquered wood could have been cleaned this morning.

In the middle of the immaculate table is a small box covered in lace. The decoration is delicate and intricate, a complex asymmetrical pattern that must have been tricky to weave.

None of this makes any sense.

As I pick up the shallow box–my hands bright in the overhead lamp's beam–the outside feels sticky to the touch. Dry, but sticky. I draw it closer, and see the faint seam of a lid, and feel hinges on its back edge. I flip the lid up. It's reluctant, and to my surprise the lace shell stretches across the opening.

I frown. It's not lace.

It's covered in cobwebs.

Instinctively, I drop the box, and the cobweb disintegrates as it hits the table. Something small and metal drops onto the lacquered surface, bouncing once.

I glance about, unnerved. The dark attic gazes back, indifferent.

The light flickers momentarily as I reach for the shiny object, and I snatch my hand back. I laugh quietly, chiding myself, tho my heart continues to pound.

Nerves.

I reach and pick the whistle from the table. It's slim and perhaps three inches long. I turn it over in my hand, seeking markings; there's nothing there, and no corrosion or blemish. And there's no room for a pea in it, like there would be in a sports whistle.

Is this a dog whistle?

I raise it to my lips and give it a blow.

It's silent.

I blow it again, harder this time.

And from the corners of the room, there is movement. Scratching replies, a faint tearing of thin newsprint, as many coordinated legs stretch and find purchase.

An arachnid scrabbling of creatures awakening, responding to my call.

No, not a dog whistle.


I love exploring.

But sometimes you have to leave places alone.



Indigo

This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2009-2014

Monday, March 03, 2014

The Road Slacks Ever Onwards

Having survived the intricacies of our shortest month, I now have a list of story ideas up on my wall. 

I haven't written anything, but one cannot rush such things. 

So, to cover my proverbial, here's some pictures.


Spring shoots lead to a distant church in the Village of Old Warden, Bedfordshire. Aren't those typically moody Sunday skies?


The church itself, at the top of the hill. Saint Leonards! Edmund would be glad to see it!


I don't know what to make of this, other than it caught my eye as I went past. Stand to attention when an officer is addressing you!


A distant stately home, next to what was - just a few days ago - a wide and unplanned river.


Some kind of tall grass by a river in spate. Looks like The Wizard Of Oz's Kansas, somehow.


The British countryside is littered with Public Footpaths. They have to signpost them, so ramblers don't wander off track and get shot for trespassing. True story. 


A leaf? No. A fossil? No. An old, crazed earthenware pot. I'm told the correct name for this pattern is "craquelure"; that was a new one on me. Groovy.


An arrangement of dried flowers made by my mother.


I believe this is what old-timers call "a field". Alistair will agree, I'm sure.


A family of teazles wait for the rain to arrive from the horizon.


A good-old-fashioned rural postbox. It looks quite chipper under those clouds.


A church in Letchworth, Hertfordshire. Very pointy. Those clouds followed me all day.

Thanks for making time to check these out. 


Indigo

This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2009-2014
All photos are © Indigo Roth, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Crash Bang Wallop What A Pizza

Did I say pizza? I meant "picture".

I've been away, but I have a note from my mum.

I took a few photos today on a drive round neighbouring Bedfordshire to cover my indolence.


There's still a lot of standing water in the fields, tho Bedfordshire received hardly any compared to some of the western counties. So many are flooded, with no sign of it easing. 


It seems to be Spring, even tho my friends in the States are still up to their noses in snow.


These lads are popping up everywhere.


The view upwards from Dunstable Downs. Must be nice to be up there looking down, too.


There were lots of these "sit down parachutes" being flown. Launched from the ground on an up-gust, they looked pretty amazing.


Not a glamorous subject material, your average fence post. But hey, this one was pretty cool.


It's a boat in a field. Yes, it defies deconstruction. It involved a twenty mile round-trip after I saw this at high speed from the car, and a small amount of harmless trespass, but I had to get this shot.

Thanks for your patience.

New tales soon!

Indigo

This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2009-2014
All photos are © Indigo Roth, 2014

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Really Hard Work Starts Here

I like Sunday mornings.

I'm sitting in my front room with a pot of tea and some quiet music. Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, an old favourite. It weaves a wonderful tale of the sea as I pour the tea carefully into the room-temperature milk in my cup. The aroma is wonderful.

Outside, it's cold and grey, but the fire is on, and I'm browning some toast in the grate.

My sigh is deep, heartfelt, and well-deserved.

It's been a busy week. I've been publishing a book, both as a paperback and an electronic book. The preparation has taken months, but things have intensified in the final stages.

But finally, I got to click the button and my first book was out there.

A quiet knock at the door is unexpected, and I half-mumble, half-shout a welcome, more in surprise than anything.

The door glides in, and a short black-and-white figure smiles around it. It's Dantoo, Yavin the badger's young niece. She steps into the room with a grin, looking very pretty in a warm-looking orange corduroy dress with blue frills. A matching blue bow sits on the line between a black and a white stripe on the top of her head.

She's holding something behind her back, and seems pleased about it, excited even.

Hello Dantoo, I say, smiling, what's that you've got there?

The young girlcub steps forward and produces a book from behind her back. She hands it to me shyly. I turn it round, and laugh as I see the title.

It's called Testament: Funny Badgers, by Indigo Roth.

It's my book.


I'm surprised, as my own copies haven't arrived yet. These badgers, they're very well connected.

Dantoo beams and points at a tiny picture of herself on the cover; she's clearly a little giddy to be one of the funny badgers. Her brother Hoth is also on the front, and his twin Sollust is on the back. They all look pretty adorable.

Hey, this is the very first copy! I say.

Before I can say another word, the pen is in her hand, and she is offering it to me; she wants her book signed. I notice the felt-tipped pen is pink.

This is unfamiliar territory for me. Book signings? Perhaps there's more of these to come. I'd like to get used to it, certainly.

I open the book and think for a moment. And then I write.

For Dantoo. This is the very first book I've ever signed. I hope you'll treasure it as much as I do this moment. And I hope you enjoy the book! Love, Indigo x

I hand it back. She regards the inscription and rushes forward for a hug.

I like Sunday mornings.

They're full of surprises.



You may have noticed that I've been absent for a while.

The good news is my book is out there, both on Amazon as a paperback and Kindle as an eBook. Go to any of the regional Amazon sites and look up Testament Funny Badgers and out it will pop.

And there's good news for Kindle owners and owners of Amazon Kindle applications on various platforms: Until Thursday 19th December, the full book is available FOR FREE on Kindle.

Go there, download it, it's yours forever.

I'd be giddy if you give it a go, and positively delirious if you'd rate, review and share the good news with friends. To be honest, as a self-publisher looking to get a literary agent, my book won’t exist without these.

I'm a surprisingly shy guy, and loathed to ask for help, but today I will; your input might make a short-lived oddity into a well-loved oddity.

I think you might have a lot of fun into the bargain. 

And I never forget a kindness =)

There's more information over here on the website for Red Angel Publishing, the imprint I've created to handle this book, and others.


Thank you, one and all, for getting me this far.

The really hard work starts here.


Indigo

This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2009-2013
All photos are © Indigo Roth, 2009-2013


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