Thursday, February 28, 2013

* Slighted in Italics

The End Is Nigh.

Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese have been running this a writing challenge throughout February. And today is the final day! Better yet, nobody has murdered either of them; I feel happy and sad all at the same time.

And, kidding aside, thanks to Nicky and Mike for running this circus. I know how much work is involved, and much as I’ve grumbled, I’ve had an amazing month.

Okay, school’s out now! You can all go home and chill. If you’ve just been reading, thanks for keeping us company. If you’ve been writing, you deserve a medal.

But I hope to see you all here again very soon.

Indigo



This blog entry has been removed, revised and included in the romping sci-fi epic TESTAMENT: FUNNY BADGERS by Indigo Roth, Red Angel Publishing, 2013.

Its reference in the book is PORTENTS 5:1-35

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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dissolving Into Cold Sharp Laughter

I have a nasty suspicion we’re all going to write the same entry today.

Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese are running a writing challenge during February. And this is day 27! So hey, we’re almost there!

But still, we all like to dream.





My vision is slightly blurred, my voice slurred.

Max and Yavin the badger kneel over me, their faces broadcasting concern. I think we’re in my front room, but I really can’t remember. I don’t recall it spinning this much, certainly.

And that’s why… that’s why I got drunk... I mumble in conclusion, waving the small square of paper and dissolving into cold, sharp, sobbing laughter.

Max takes the paper and glances at it. He chuckles, Wow, this thing has driven him right to the edge. He hands the tear-off calendar square to Yavin. The engineer nods and reaches for his pipe, fumbling the scrap paper, which slowly spirals down; it’s not as important as what it shows.

Their faces now emanate compassion and mild amusement; we all know I’m going to be fine. If a little hungover.

The page reaches the floor, face up, to show its date.

It’s March 1.

The 30M2DoW Challenge is over.

And that’s why I got drunk.


Indigo

This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2012/2013




Tuesday, February 26, 2013

* Not Running Their Way

The end is in sight. Not that I'm excited, or anything.

Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese are running a writing challenge throughout February. And Nicky knows how much fun this has been. You all do.

I say we all get together to go and thank them personally.

Bring torches and pitchforks.





This blog entry has been removed, revised and included in the romping sci-fi epic TESTAMENT: FUNNY BADGERS by Indigo Roth, Red Angel Publishing, 2013.

Its reference in the book is NUMPTIES 7:1-19

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

Monday, February 25, 2013

* Two Sweet Emulsions

Okay, it’s time for some self love.

Hey, stop giggling at the back there, Dufus!

We few, we happy few, have been working hard. We’re almost there, and we deserve a reward! A treat! Specifically, we all need one of these:



These are the perfect souvenir! WEAR YOUR SCARS WITH PRIDE!

All are available from the Indigo Roth Zazzle shop. There are literally dozens of styles to choose from (tees, sweatshirts, hoodies, vests) and they're easy to create. First, choose either the blue-on-white design or the yellow-on-“dark” design. Then, choose your required style from the 60+ on offer on the bottom right of the sales page. You can also choose from a wide range of colours for the dark design, not just the black and blue shown here.

They're not the cheapest (the price is set by Zazzle, sorry), but if you order before the end of February, you can get 20% off by using the SALEFEBRUARY code on checkout.

Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese are running a writing challenge during February. All profits (plus mine for the month) will go to Nicky & Mike’s nominated charity. They’ve not decided on a charity yet, but it will not be cheese related. But only because they can’t find one.

Nicky will be after you with her cattle prod if you don’t buy one.

So, get clicking and start customising.




This blog entry has been removed, revised and included in the romping sci-fi epic TESTAMENT: FUNNY BADGERS by Indigo Roth, Red Angel Publishing, 2013.

Its reference in the book is REVELATIONS 1:1-25

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

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Klonky Moment Passes

This is the final Sunday of the challenge!

What, challenge, you say? Good grief, where have you been?! Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese are running a writing challenge during February.

It’s not too late to join in.

But run if you can.




Max brings the best folks home for dinner.

It’s last night. I return home as twilight is giving way to chilly dark, laden down with bags from the supermarket. I shout a welcome as I slam the front door, but no reply comes. There are faint voices from the lounge though and, stepping through from the hallway, I find Max standing by the fire with King an Oriental gentleman.

Roth! roars Max, Come in, join us, join us! He’s looking uncommonly smart, with long trousers and everything. King looks as magnificent as ever in his three-piece suit, and his vibrant striped necktie looks suspiciously familiar.

The third of their party, whose long robes and good looks suggest Chinese, detaches himself from the group and extends an aged hand.

Mr. Roth. It’s a pleasure to meet you. We shake hands. My name is Kong Qiu; thank you for welcoming me into your home.

His hand is warm and kind, and I find myself smiling despite my usual reticence with newcomers. It’s my pleasure, Mr. Kong. I indicate Max and King as they head through to the kitchen, presumably to check in on the food I can smell cooking. Are you a diplomat, like Mr. King?

He nods and offers a crookedly cryptic smile. I am an ambassador, of sorts, yes. In my home land, I am known as Kong Fuzi, he frowns momentarily, by those with a far too-high opinion of me.

Humility is endless, I say, pulling the phrase from somewhere; it sounds awkward and pretentious. I scratch my head, searching for conversation at my greying roots. His name sounds familiar; has he been in the news? Kong Fuzi? Does that mean Master Kong? Nope, that still sounds awkward, however correct it is. But the Oriental nods, amused, and the klonky moment passes.

Quite so.

So, how do you come to be here with Max and King today? King doesn’t bring many guests home. I consider why this is, and add thoughtfully, He’s something of a loose cannon in the diplomatic world, I’m told.

Kong nods and checks we are alone.

If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. He moves to the lounge door and closes it before continuing in a lower tone, I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself. He smiles warmly, with a mischievous glint in his eye.

I smile, remembering the phrase. I learned it at my grandmother’s Juno’s knee. She was something of a diplomat to China, and a very wise lady.

That's Confucius. No intellectual self-aggrandisement is intended. Okay, perhaps a little educational vanity is showing. I receive a small nod of acknowledgement. Keen to move along, I indicate the generally untidy state of the lounge. I wish I’d known you were all coming, I’d have straightened the place up a bit.

This received a quiet shake of the head. This feels like a home, Mr. Roth, he shrugs reflectively, Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

More Confucianism. Curious. Again, his name nags at me.

But there is no time to think. The lounge doors bursts open, and an ebullient Max fills the space.

Dinner. Is. Served!

I wave our philosophical guest through ahead of me, and we enter a dining room that is bursting with delicious smells. The table groans with dishes and lidded wicker containers. It looks amazing, though I note that all of the food is Chinese. And vegetarian.

My tummy grumbles its hunger and disappointment.

Well, this all looks magnificent, I say, scratching my ear reflectively, but I kind’ve had my heart set on a big meaty pizza tonight.

Kong Fuzi chuckles kindly, and slaps me on the back. You’re a schmuck, Roth.

My self-effacing laughter joins his. Did Confucius say that, too?

His eyes catch mine in flight, and hold them easily. He leans closer, the same mischievous smile playing about his lips.

You bet your ass I did.

Max brings the best folks home for dinner.

And sometimes, they come a very long way.


Indigo

This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2012/2013




Saturday, February 23, 2013

* A Frozen Game Of Patience

Well, in stark contrast to this busy-but-wonderful week, I’ve had a lazy-ish day today; family, friends, coffee, good food. And kindness.

I feel spiritually renewed, but sleepy.

Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese are running a writing challenge during February.

She’s a kind lady, is Nicky. Crazy as a sack of badgers, but kind.





This blog entry has been removed, revised and included in the romping sci-fi epic TESTAMENT: FUNNY BADGERS by Indigo Roth, Red Angel Publishing, 2013.

Its reference in the book is DREAMS 7:1-18

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

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hanging By A Thread

I tell you what, February is wearing me out.

Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese are running a writing challenge throughout this longer-than-it-should-be month.

So, I’ve been running myself ragged. And yes, I know - we've all made sacrifices.

The house is untidy, the squiddrel needs feeding, and - as my mother often observed - there’s not a badger in the house washed.

I'll put some coffee on... EolistBlend, anyone?




The craving burns in him.

He sits in the dim room, cursing the dazzling blades of sunlight that are slicing through the cracks in the curtains, the carpet, his brain. He did too much last night, pushed his body far more than is healthy.

He’s addicted. This need, this compulsion, drives him. He used to survive on one fix a week, but as his appetite increased, so did his need. He feels so weak, so lost, in the indescribable sensations it provides.

The phone lies in his lap, his twitching fingers remembering the call to his supplier.

Anticipating.

The merchandise will be here fast, but not fast enough.

The craving burns in him.

His friends have gone, his money is vanishing fast, and his job hangs by a thread. He always told himself he could handle it, that he would always be the one making the decisions. He would be in charge of his habit.

But he needs it. It has him.

His eyes close, this damned sluggishness claiming him for a few minutes peace. Cold sweat on his brow, his fever consuming him.

The doorbell rings. Finally! His heart sings! Cash gripped in his damp hand, he compulsively stumbles from his threadbare armchair, and lurches to the front door to receive the delivery... an extra large, stuffed-crust meaty pizza with extra sauce, mushrooms and jalapeƱos.

The craving burns in him.

He really needs to get some Alka Seltzer.


Indigo

This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2012/2013




Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Ruin Of Their Lives

I was a bad lad yesterday, and posted nothing.

Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese are running a writing challenge throughout February.

I am unrepentant.

Tho I did publish The Other Shoe earlier today.

That’s right; I’m bad.




The city was burning.

Though it was night, the sky was lit from the mouth of hell, and the screams of the dying hung desperately to its edge.

Behind her in the ruin of their lives together, her husband and children were gone, lost to this senseless war.

Ahead, the railway line ushered her into the darkness of an unknown future.

This was the last train out of the city, and she was on it.


Indigo

This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2012/2013




Lost In Heavenly Friction

Well, I suppose I have to write something today.

I can’t just post a picture of shoes. Not even Nicky’s pretty pink ones.

You remember Nicky, right? Her and CheesyMike over at We Work For Cheese are running a writing challenge throughout February.

So I’d best write something. No pictures of shoes.

They really are very pretty, mind.





Friends keep me sane.

Their actual efficacy in this respect is debatable I’m told, but for me, it’s a fact to say that without them, I’d be a wreck.

For example, take Max. We’ve been friends since we attended St. Mungo’s Boarding School back in the Seventies, and he’s been a rock in all that time. And occasionally a tree. And sometimes the Pope; that was an odd fortnight. But mostly, he’s been a rock.

I knock quietly on Abbey’s open back door and with a brief halloo, I enter her kitchen. I always marvel; as neighbours, we have identical houses, but they couldn’t be more different. Take this kitchen; it’s a neat and scrupulously clean affair, with dazzling work surfaces, immaculate appliances, and vibrant fresh flowers standing on a gingham-clothed table.

Mine is a little more relaxed and male, even when I have company.

I’ve not seen Abbey for a day or two, and I’m just checking in, making sure she’s okay; it’s what friends do. And I’m relieved to hear bright laughter coming from inside the house, and again I offer up a shout of welcome.

The laughter stops, and I hear a clear, happy voice.

Through here, Indigo!

It’s Abbey. I smile. I’ve only known her for a couple of years, but my neighbour and I have become close friends. She’s like a sister somehow, a warm and supporting presence under any circumstances. In return, she seems to enjoy being my neighbour, and will drop by for tea (and bring home-made savouries and cake) most days. It’s lovely.

I follow the signature scent on sunflowers through to the front room, and peep round the door.

Abbey is there, sitting on her pretty floral sofa. Again, I’m struck by how lovely her own version of our front room is. But only momentarily; she has company. My neighbour, freshly blonde, is fussing the ears of a magnificent Siberian tiger who sits like a big happy dog on her bare feet. His back leg and tail twitch appreciatively.

Sitting next to her on the sofa, gently stroking the back of the tiger is a pretty brunette with a thoughtful, inward smile. Her dark hair tumbles loosely, almost touching her knees as she bends to fuss the big cat.

It’s Ziva. I smile. I’ve only known her for six months, but it seems like longer. She’s strong and determined and focused, and a source of encouragement and kicks in the arse when I need one. In return, she seems to like my stupid jokes, occasional words of wisdom and, as my literary agent and occasional muse, she seems to like my writing.

I had no idea the two of them knew each other.

Somehow this makes me nervous.

Indigo! they chorus and laugh, waving. Their hands touch briefly, and they exchange a smile.

Hey Abbey. Hey Z. I say, my smile a little crazed. The tiger looks up at me, expectantly. And hey, to…

This is Tiger, he's with me. says Ziva. It's a statement, not an explanation; it doesn't invite further questions.

He’s so beautiful, cooes Abbey, and on cue, the big cat rolls onto his back and offer his tummy, hopefully; my neighbour does not disappoint him.

Well, this is a nice surprise, I say, uncertain; I hope it doesn’t show. I had no idea you two knew each other. Nope, I definitely sound worried.

Abbey smiles warmly. Ziva dropped by to introduce herself as she was in the neighbourhood, but you were out.

Out? I’ve not been out today.

Yes, I dropped by after lunch yesterday, says Ziva, as insightful as ever, I would have headed home after coffee, but I was having such a lovely time getting to know Abbey, she touches Abbey’s knee, and then that charming Mr. King came home from the Embassy and insisted on taking us out for dinner.

He’s sweet that way, a real gentleman, interjects Abbey, appreciatively. She’s soft on the lion; they’ve dated on and off for some time now.

You’re not kidding, whispers Ziva, and he’s so handsome!

That gorgeous mane!

And that beautiful silk tie!

Well, it was probably one of Indigo’s.

Yeah, Roth always looks so smart in them, but King? she cracks a mischievous smile, Yum! You know? The pair laugh like old friends, not-quite-oblivious to me.

Oh good grief, big cats will be the death of me.

I cough politely.

Tiger rolls again, lost in heavenly friction.

Friends like Abbey and Ziva keep me sane.

As individuals, I feel so lucky to know them both. So much so, that I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And as I see them together, I’m pretty sure I just heard it.


Indigo

This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2012/2013




Tuesday, February 19, 2013

* Beyond The Notice Of Physics

It has come to my attention that some readers of this challenge are tuning into my entries just to enjoy the introductions, and not the main body of the entry.

This would annoy me, but I like them too. They’re so short!

That said, Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese are running this writing challenge throughout February. And Nicky has noticed what you’re up to, and is not best pleased. Oh yes, very little escapes the baleful gaze of her lidless eye.

Oh, hang on. That’s Sauron, isn’t it?

Well, she’s making a list, and checking it twice. Definitely.

Nope, that doesn’t sound right either.





This blog entry has been removed, revised and included in the romping sci-fi epic TESTAMENT: FUNNY BADGERS by Indigo Roth, Red Angel Publishing, 2013.

Its reference in the book is EOLIST 5:1-38

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

Monday, February 18, 2013

* Not Factory Fitted

I have no clue what I’m going to write about today.

Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese are running a writing challenge throughout the month February. Twenty-eight days, twenty-eight entries. And each and every one demands my authoring integrity.

I refuse to just make something up.





This blog entry has been removed, revised and included in the romping sci-fi epic TESTAMENT: FUNNY BADGERS by Indigo Roth, Red Angel Publishing, 2013.

Its reference in the book is PORTENTS 4:1-22

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

Sunday, February 17, 2013

* And Would I Mind Awfully?

Today’s tale includes badgers, Max and time travel. For Nicky.

Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese are running a writing challenge throughout February.

I’m fond of Nicky, but her heart and other interesting parts belong to Ziva.

And dammit, they refuse to invite me over.





When pizza is delivered, my heart always races.

This blog entry has been removed, revised and included in the romping sci-fi epic TESTAMENT: FUNNY BADGERS by Indigo Roth, Red Angel Publishing, 2013.

Its reference in the book is 2 ROTH 7:1-26

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

Saturday, February 16, 2013

* The Music Of The Spheres

Today I am wonderfully relaxed.

After yesterday's shameless slacking, which must have been a disappointment to the blogging community that embraces this wonderful challenge, I nevertheless find myself refreshed and ready for the remainder of the month.

What challenge, you say? Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese are running a 28-day writing challenge throughout February.

They're truly wonderful people, Nicky and Mike. I've said some bad things about them in the past couple of weeks, but I realise now I was wrong; they're warm, creative muses, supportive friends who bring out the best in us as writers.

If I had to do this challenge all over again, I would.

Some people may say that this is all just flattery, the sugary scribblings of a desperate man who would have typed anything while being coerced with a cattle prod by a crazy woman in a sound-proofed Montreal basement.

*zzzzt*

But some people will believe anything.

This introduction is dedicated to Ziva Moon, who knows a good build-up when she reads one.





Today, I shall attempt the impossible.

A blog entry in an hour.

Yes, not content with creating strange new worlds and life forms that even Captain Kirk would have steered clear of, I now crave a little simplicity. The most basic of things, and the hardest to achieve.

So, without so much as a flourish, but hopefully with a nice picture, I just wanted to relate something that happened last night. I'm even going to abandon my usual first person present narration to save time. Yes, writing in the past tense is much easier.

And I promise, no internal voices. No men in sacks. And no bears.

A medieval woodcut, artist unknown. This seemed to fit my mood and the sentiment of the piece. Don't ask me why.This blog entry has been removed, revised and included in the romping sci-fi epic TESTAMENT: FUNNY BADGERS by Indigo Roth, Red Angel Publishing, 2013.

Its reference in the book is 2 ROTH 6:1-31

Paperback and Kindle:
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This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2009-2014

Short Changing The Masses

Friday arrives in a cloud of scented blue gravel.

Sorry, my metaphors are on the fritz.

Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese are running a writing challenge on every day during February. It's been a long month.

I’m trellis. I mean tired.





Today’s entry is short.

I’m just going to say that I’ve had a lovely day in London, and post a picture.

Or else I’ll never hear the end of it.



The Shard is a new building, the highest in Europe.

And no, looking up at 350m of glass and steel didn’t give me vertigo.

Though the two fast lift journeys left my stomach in my boots.

And the views were breathtaking. The website shows it better than my photos.

I also had some really yummy food today, too, a break from my recent salads.

Sometimes, we all need a day off.


Indigo

This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2013