Monday, 30 May 2016

Bad Days

How much fatalism is permitted when dealing with what some people call 'bad days'? At what point does it become acceptable to throw up your hands and declare it better to go to sleep rather than keep fighting? And how much of the misery of a bad day can be traced back to the self-fulfilling prophecy of someone who pessimistically gives up far too soon? When does a string of small incidences of bad luck and unfortunate events achieve critical mass?

It hasn't been that bad a day, really, but instead a terror of a month! My beloved and venerable camera has bitten the dust of time, which will force a modern, and far less convenient, replacement. Student numbers are also falling off for the holidays, the temperature is rising, insects are proliferating, and stress is biting into every aspect of existence. Also, the water supply may have gone bad, and a giant could take resident in the garden at any moment. A giant would be the crowning glory of it all. Or a troll. All together, now, in full 'Troll Hunter' style*: "TROOOLLLLLLLL!" The important thing, however, is to focus on what's working well and not obsess on the negatives.

The 'bad day', or week or whatever, is a self-sustaining phenomenon if let it be. Think about the positives and let the chain of circumstance fall away of its own accord. A bad day is actually a wonderful opportunity for breaking out the giant pencils and doing some air conducting, or dancing words across a page which might never be read. Will these words themselves ever be read? They don't really contribute much to the world, or do they? Isn't any suggestion that people take up air conducting or origami models a good suggestion?

Go on, people, wave those pencils. You won't regret it. Let those stresses fall away, and the world become a much nicer place. A place with more oranges and chocolate cakes, more dodecahedra and Bananaman references, and of course more Addams Family. Good golly, who knew that there was a new Bananaman musical in the theatres this year? That flew under the radar, hopefully for good reason. Even the Bananaman movie is now apparently in development. Could it be that it wasn't actually a hoax?

Yes, we need more Bananaman references, people! Maybe it wasn't such a bad day, after all.


* 'Troll Hunter' was a movie. Look it up. It was good.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Television: 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea: The Price Of Doom' (1964) (Episodes 1x05)

"The plankton! Anna! The plankton!" With those words, 'Voyage' begins its awkward spiral from a self-serious submarine-set espionage series into a goofy and mockable 'monster of the week' joke with moments of dramatic brilliance. It may never have lost its po-faced attempts at sternness, but they were consistently ruined by the men in the rubber suits and minimalist or non-existent writing. However, this is before all that, back in the monochrome first season, where effort was being made and the cast hadn't inwardly given up. There were still espionage spy stories at this point, and some memorably production values! If only they hadn't had such relentlessly melodramatic episodes titles.

'The Price Of Doom' is a very early episode, and one which combines a German scientist who collaborated during the Second World War, contemporaneous spy escapades, and a horrific plankton monster loose first in an Antarctic base and then on the submarine Seaview itself. Yes, a horrific plankton monster, which was the first of the goofy 'Voyage' monsters! This is the last episode in which the crew could conceivable express disbelief at the appearance of a crazy creature. After this, every expression of incredulity is ludicrous and only adds to the daftness, even when Admiral Nelson picks up his temporary and recurrent lycanthropy! In fact, given the recurrent of at least one of the giant sea monsters (Big Eyes), it becomes increasingly clear that the crew lost it's capacity for long-term memory at some point after this show. In a way it's sad to see a series with such wonderful production values and underwater work turn into something so mockable, but that something else is one of the great 'so bad that it's good' exemplars.

'The Price Of Doom' has its good points, and it is slightly less stern than the norm. It also has the ever excellent and underrated David Opatoshu as a guest star, which is a great boon. It will never, however, escape the legacy of the line, "The plankton! Anna! The plankton!", and maybe that's a good thing. For good or bad, 'Voyage' was a classic, and the plankton monster helped set it all up. Oh, good grief, what is still to come? Perhaps crew-wide amnesia does explain much? Was it the later alien Nelson doppelgänger that did it, in the very next episode? We'll have to wait and see...


Thursday, 26 May 2016

Seven Hundred

Welcome to the seven hundredth Quirky Muffin, where much bunting has been strewn about, and the mythical origami dodecahedron has finally been folded! Hurrah! Seven hundred posts! What lunacy! Who would have thought that that first piece of fluffy nonsense in 2012 would have led to another six hundred and ninety nine pieces of similarly silly stuff? And a dodecahedron?

Over the course of seven hundred posts, real life has passed through the end of a PhD, two postdoctoral jobs and the beginnings of a self employed career as a private tutor and freelance copy editor. Personal lives have changed, and circumstances have come and gone. Many reviews and chats about books, films, radio and television series have been written, numerous stories have been launched, and several creative crises. There has even been the occasional bit of promised baking!

Seven hundred posts in, some things have been written to the point of extinction. There has been quite a lot on the series 'Star Trek' and 'Due South', and some 'Superman' movies, as well as several attempts each at posts on the films 'Flash Gordon' and 'Joe Versus The Volcano'. In fact, it's probably time to try and write something coherent about 'Joe Versus The Volcano' again. That's such a great film. Wonderful. Let's have another go.

What is to come? Will the Muffin make it to eight hundred posts? Or a thousand? Will the stories continue, and the chattering about various kinds of entertainment? Will there be more 'Star Trek', 'MASH' and 'The West Wing' ramblings, and sheer randomness? Only time will tell, although the second phase of 'Wordspace' and the joined up version of 'Oneiromancy' are now in active development...


PS Wanted: Someone with experience of rescuing writers from an excessive and imprisoning amount of bunting. Some urgency is present.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Story (?): 'Origami'

Just outside the universe, next to the cake shop that bobs up and down on the extra-universal quantum foam, and opposite the fountain dedicated to Bob the Notorious, five Beings sit calmly and fold little papers into origami shapes. Each of those Beings influences the destiny of the universe, our universe, by what they fold. Sometimes they fold generally, and sometimes very very specifically. A green crane by the Being of Order (One) could indicate the beginnings of life on the planet Oogalek, or the arrival of a parcel unexpectedly on time in Chiswick, while a little box by the Being of Randomness could send a box of chocolates into our Sun.

Three of the folders had spent time doing similar work as part of the ancient Greek mythology, but they had tired of the hours, and of the relentless harassment from Zeus and his army of unexpected penguins. Finally, after one sacrifice of fish too far, and one particularly unrelenting chase above the Parthenon, the three Fates retired to life back outside the realm of linear existence, and traded in their threads for a never ending supply of paper. The facts that the cakes were particularly good there, and that the fountain was wonderfully pretty, were not at all a factor. Oh no.

So, the papers continued, and the five Fates became ever more inventive. There, One made a unicorn and sent it fluttering into the foam, perhaps to found a new dimension all its own, while Two built ever more beautiful sculptures and houses, as well as the occasional little boat and simple bird. Three, Four and Five would alternate between their own little projects and combining their efforts into magnificent modular assemblies that reflected their prior partnership in Earthly the realm. It was an idyllic time.

What, then, did it mean when a small fish and chip shop popped up on the opposite side of the fountain, and a little girl called Regina began to watch the Beings fold, and was it connected to the origami works that had begun to return undelivered to the Beings that had folded them? And where was the fish and chip finding newspapers in which to wrap its food?

A beginning?

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Sugar Free Apple Cake

On very rare occasions, normally when the quantum flux permits and the oven agrees to function nicely, the Quirky Muffin fulfils part of its original remit and actually does a little baking! This time, we have an adapted apple cake recipe from the original found at ( It's not exactly a sugar free cake, as it does feature more than half a jar of honey, but it works! The main substitution from the original is ground nut (peanut) oil for sunflower oil, and the complete omission of pecans. It also took more than twice as long to cook as the original indicated, but it's really really nice!


1 cup honey
1 cup ground nut oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups chopped apples
3/4 cup raisins
3 cup wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

01 Combine first the wet ingredients (sans vanilla) and mix for at least three minutes.
02 Add the vanilla and stir.
93 Sift dry ingredients together and gradually beat into 1st mixture.
04 Add apples, pecans and raisins with a spoon.
05 Pour into a cake tin and bake at 160C or 325F for roughly two hours.
06 Check every half hour to see if it might already be cooked.


Now, let's get back to normal business, which is complete gibberish alternating with stories, reviews and fanciful words about nothing at all. It seems that I need the freedom of extremely long bus journeys to write well!


Friday, 20 May 2016

Story: 'Diary of a Laundry Robot', Week VIII

( Week VII , Week IX )


Egbert the eccentric elephant has been given into our care, while the Quergs check on his history in the Books. Apparently, the Quergs have books which map all of time and history in the Universe. Supposedly there's even a Book for the Querg Continuum itself, somewhere, but they have never been able to find it. Egbert is definitely one of the most eccentric beings I've ever encountered. Just yesterday, I found him making an origami donut and muttering about Easter Eggs. I wonder what 'Easter Egg' means. It appears to be an archaic reference of some kind... Today, our maintenance Querg is babysitting the white elephant while we explore some more.


Egbert wanted to write something in this journal, so I'm going to read his piece into the recorder now.

"My name is Egbert, and back home I'm called an 'eccentric elephant'. I don't know why. Egg! Egg! I have trained as a doctor, a yachtsman, a classical artist, and an engineer. Despite that, I have no idea how I got here! One moment, I was flipping an omelette at the White Elephant Restaurant, and the next... poof!

This Querg Continuum is strange, by the Great Egg. They have no mousse, for one thing, which is highly suspicious! It seems to stretch on forever, but have very little in it. This laundrette is such a great relief, though! Except, we don't have laundry robots when or where I come from.

Curiouser and curiouser. Is that enough, dear robot friend? Was it... egg-citing enough for you?"

He seems to be a very strange elephant indeed.


There were more footprints outside the laundrette facility this morning. A large bubble of coloured energy has appeared around the building, and now we all have to clear security to get in and out! The Quergs are becoming more and more concerned! Also, Egbert has been moved in to the building officially to keep us company and provide more conversation. The Quergs say that he'll be sent home pretty quickly, once they work out how he got here to begin with. They think it's in one of the Appendices of Wortle, whatever that means. Celia, being more conversant with their procedures, says that means that he's an anomaly in the continuity of at least one universe! What does that make us?


A mystery is solved. The lurker has been revealed as what the Quergs refer to as a Blot, which is a manifestation of some problem in their perception of time. The Blot always hangs around Loopholes, apparently, acting as a marker. The maintenance Querg thinks we might be the Loopholes, or perhaps that an artifact got mixed in with the laundry. We have been ordered to examine everything carefully, which is difficult, when all we have are hats! Endless piles of Querg hats! Egbert looked at them all and laughed, before asking if we could wash his trunk warmer.


Celia has suggested that we go away for the weekend, to explore and let the Quergs get on with artifact hunting. Egbert immediately asked to come along, which made her rather angry. I can't think why. I said he could, and so tomorrow we set off for what is called The Ring of Querg. It's supposed to be spectacular, and require the wearing of special glasses, which supervisor Querg kindly supplied to us. Egbert said they reminded him of something rather 'egg-celent' from home. His puns never seem to stop. Tomorrow, the great outdoors, which is something we might never get used to! We can only hope there will be no more Blots.

To continue...

Wednesday, 18 May 2016


It's getting more difficult. There is no denying that, at the moment, it is increasingly difficult to write Quirky Muffins. Seeing students is a draining process, as is the constant drain of hypotheticals about how to survive in the future. Perhaps it's time to take a turn sideways and check the Phrontistery for a word or two of motivation. Yes, to the Phrontistery!

Delving under the letter 'K', we find such words as:

kakistocracy - government by the worst;
kickie-wickie - a wife;
kismet - fate, destiny.

'Kakistocracy' is simply a fun word, and one which some would describe as being very relevant at the moment, but 'kickie-wickie' is funnier. 'Kismet' is on a whole new level, though, being an arabic word for fate or destiny, specifically meaning 'lot' or 'portion' in life. There are other meanings.

What if there is a fate, or fates? Would it be some abstract force embedded into the universe, or would it embodied in entities like the ancient Greek Moirai, spinning threads of life through from birth to death as they create the grand weave of the universe? The old Greek mythology is nice, amidst all the brutality and cruelty, a lyrical set of myths, as long as you're not wooed by the ever-voracious Zeus.

Fate, the old bugbear of philosophy. If there is a destiny, then everything is pre-ordained and is therefore immutable. Why should we try to change it, unless our trying to change something of which we are ignorant is what causes that destiny to begin with? Having a fate is only a curse if we know what that fate is, otherwise it's utterly harmless.

Factually, we do have fates, every single one of us. We live them every day, whether under the pseudo tyranny of kakistocracy or not. We can change them for the better, from our own perspective, which is all that matters. Alternatively, we could sing 'The World Is Just A Great Big Onion' repeatedly until the Sun novas out of frustration.


Monday, 16 May 2016

Television: 'M*A*S*H: Tuttle' (1973) (Episode 1x15)

It's one of my favourite all time episodes of 'MASH', and one of the most watched. Back when we only had a patchwork of the first two seasons bootlegged on VHS, 'Tuttle' was watched a lot, and marvelled at. It's an episode centered on a character that doesn't exist, you see...

The first season of 'MASH' is pitched far more toward comedy than later years, and as such is a bubbling anomaly, but it really works. 'Tuttle' is awesome, as it sees all the early chemistry of a stellar cast in full action, as well as some of dopiest scenarios to ever be seen at the 4077th. Hawkeye makes up a fictonal captain called Tuttle in order to cover for his siphoning of supplies to a local orphanage, before pulling off a massive con, with the aid of Radar and Trapper, in convincing the rest of the staff that Tuttle exists. Unsurprisingly, the hospital falls for it, and Tuttle even wins a commendation before being killed off in order to stop the mounting complexity.

It's a classic half hour of comedy. If only I hadn't seen it so many times that it's become more like a warm blanket than a hilarious bout of television. Despite that, it still really works, partly due to some sparkling dialogue but mostly due to the winning performances or practically everyone involved. Never will a eulogy be quite the same, having seen that given to the magnificent Captain Tuttle. There's a little Tuttle left in all of us, if we just let there be. Such a humanitarian, such a wonder.

This was going to be the latest instalment of 'Diary Of A Laundry Robot', but I was just too tired to write it. In such cases, it's best to do a little mini-review, and think about things that you're familiar with. In any case, integrating Egbert the Eccentric Elephant into an extra-dimensional continuum with a couple of laundry robots will require some thoughtless stupidity in execution. When in doubt, write about Frank Burns and his ordeals in MASH...


Saturday, 14 May 2016

They Call Me The Cuboctahedron

Let's throw some words about and bandy some language about the screen. Some of it may actually turn out interesting. In the wake of several hours of tutoring, anything more structured might be impossible!

Yes, words on a topic of nothing, which happens every other time on the Quirky Muffin. Perhaps now would be a good time to talk about how well the origami polyhedra have been going down with the primary school students. They really seem to love finishing off the tetrahedra, and then making the giant tetrahedron using four small ones and an octahedron blows their minds. Maybe life is nicer than it seems, hmmm? It's nice to see how wonderful the simple things are.

If only there were more time to read. There's not much time at the moment, but it will settle down nicely in a few weeks. 'The Voyage Of The Beagle' awaits, as does editing down 'Oneiromancy' and a decision on whether to take an OU course or not. If I don't have the time to read for leisure now, how would I fit in another degree? What would happen to all the endless DVD watching and writing of trivial blogs about nothing?

A re-watch of the Rathbone and Bruce 'Sherlock Holmes' movies is coming to an end, and they are truly wonderful movies. Great, great mini-masterpieces that confirm yet again that massive budgets are counter-productive when making quality films. Now, if only they could have kept the series going even longer, but of course it was not to be... We're lucky to have had the wonderful fourteen that exist, and to not have lost any in the intervening time. Viva Watson!

It's time to stop now, dig out a book, and revel in the successful construction of an origami icosahedron. What a wonderful thing it was to convert those five sheets of A5 into a twenty-sided solid! Such a small solid to come from five massive sheets...


Thursday, 12 May 2016

Film: 'King Kong' (1933)

'King Kong' is an almost indecently good classic film. From the beginning, and even despite the overriding chauvinism built in to the story - perhaps to make the gorilla seem more decent than the humans? - it's a wonderful success story. It was one of the groundbreaking movies for special effects and blockbusting, so it has lot to be blamed for, but it works brilliantly solely as a film.

Right, let's explain what 'King Kong' actually is. It's a movie from 1933, in which a group of filmmakers land on a mysterious island in search of material and discover just what exactly is being kept safely on the other side of the massive wall that partitions off the main part of the island...

Yes, this movie was made in 1933 and is still excellent. How magnificent a feat is that? 'King Kong' is fast, very well paced, and features some of the best stop motion animation that you would never expect to find in a film from so long ago. There are such subtle characterisation moments in the character of Kong himself that you can't help but feel sad about his unfortunate demise. Kong is a wonderful achievement, and some of the effects really couldn't be done any better or more entertainingly now. More glossily and seamlessly, perhaps, but not better.

This is a legendary film, and one which breaks most of the criteria that apply to movies that I like: The monster fights on Skull Island are involved (a bit long sometimes), the spectacle sometimes dominates over all else, the screaming victim Fay Wray screams a lot, and the sad ending is a real tearjerker. None of these things break the movie for me. Why does it work? Perhaps because it powers through and doesn't dwell on anything that would deaden what is really going on. Most of the emotional impact of 'King Kong' occurs after the film, when you might begin to feel really bad about the giant ape biting his last banana after being exploited by the tacky humans. We don't come off well in 'King Kong'.

Great film, great spookiness and atmosphere. Some problems with sexism, which may be tied to the thematic content. Everyone should see 'King Kong'. My only question is this: Why build a giant ape sized door in your massive wall if you don't want the giant ape to ever get through?


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Six Hundred And Ninety Two

Rain, a bicycle, some singing. More rain. Huddling under bridges. A prolonged spell of dampness while tutoring GCSE students. Such is the way of things on a Tuesday in May. The dampness has permeated the very fabric of the universe, and even now the Fates are asking for umbrellas to be sent up to their retreat.

Please, don't misunderstand me, oh deranged, improbable and phantasmic readers. Rain is the best weather of all, and has been ever since school. Many a lunch hour was spent in the arches, reading while listening to the rain come down, and enjoying the humidity. Rain is a greatly underrated kind of weather. You can sing in it, dance in it, experience episodes of sadness and joy, and become intensely wet. At university there were several occasions that saw literal 'Singing In The Rain' episodes while walking down to the town from campus. Yes, I know, it's very strange that I've never been locked away.

Six hundred and ninety two posts in, it should really be much harder to write these things. Perhaps it's the effect of practice and a total disregard for making sense or being interesting! Perhaps a writer who will happily spend paragraphs talking about rain is someone with no shame? Maybe it's a result of reading so many books and watching so many films and television series. Today, the original 'King Kong', from 1933, sneaked in via disc rental, and it was brilliant! It will certainly be the topic of the next post, so well constructed and conceived it was.

Rain is a very organic form of weather, shifting back to the original theme, and very entertaining in its own way. Is there a greater relief in the temperate world than summer humidity breaking into a refreshing shower? Is there any more thrilling circumstance than being out in a storm and listening to the thunder?

It's always raining at the Quirky Muffin. In a good way.


Sunday, 8 May 2016

Story: The Glove, XI

( Part X , XII )

Dialogue in an inn's banqueting room

A: Was that them? The giant inkeeper and the suspected spy?

B: Yes. Our information was good. We don't know anything about the boy, except that he's seen Octavius himself.

A: This ravioli is good.

B: It never fails. Every time we go to a restaurant to watch people, you end up talking about ravioli.

A: I like ravioli, alright?

B: <sigh>

A: He doesn't look like a spy, does he?

B: No, he just looks like a country bumpkin. You've got cheese on your tie.

A: Thanks. Should we watch them some more or take photo from the pepper-cam back to the boss?

B: I really can't take you anywhere. Especially with that fez.

A: Sometimes the best disguise is to be obvious!

B: We'd better get back to the boss. Freddie will keep an eye on the kid.

A: Freddie will just get distracted by the potatoes. Have you tried this mash?

B: <pushes chair back in disgust> Come on!

To be continued...

Friday, 6 May 2016

A Gentle Walk

One of the great things about having free time is that you can reliably go for genial walks and trail your fingers through the air. There's nothing like trailing your fingers through a gentle country breeze, while nature continues obliviously on its way around you. It's almost as if you can feel the molecules flowing around your fingertips, or even that you could reach out and pop behind a given atom to reach Valhalla, just as in 'The Long Dark Tea Time Of The Soul'.

It's nice to stop and relax from time to time. One wonderful method is to go to the wonderful land of air conducting, while another is to simply and slowly spin, and feel the air all around you. Yes, there is time in the world to spin if you allow there to be. It might sound like new age gobbledygook, but it works. We are frantic inhabitants on a giant rock spinning in space, so a little meditation couldn't hurt, and spinning ourselves can only add more consistency to the system, and thwarts Ralph Waldo Emerson in the process.

It's a particularly quiet weekend, as I loiter here and dogsit, wondering how best to while away the time. There's a story entitled 'The A.L.C.' to finish, which will certainly occur, and an extended session of tutoring, but otherwise leisure is upon us here at the Quirky Muffin. I would tell you what the 'The A.L.C.' stands for, but the fear of ridicule and guacamole retribution is too great. Any level of guacamole retribution is too high a level!

Maybe it's time to go outside and waft a little more. If only wafting were more socially acceptable. As it is, wafting without due cause is akin to being a suspicious deviant, and finger trailing through the air can only be undertaken in deserted areas or the privacy of your own rooms, much like watching 'Flash Gordon', or inventing new games of solitaire.

It's a wacky world sometimes.


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Book: 'Armadale' by Wilkie Collins (1866)

This novel took some effort to read, including two abortive starts over (I think) three years. It's one of the Wilkie Collins 'Big Four', along with 'The Woman In White', 'No Name' and 'The Moonstone', and is big on many levels. For one thing, my copy was six hundred and eighty pages long, excluding notes and introduction, and split into six sections. The narrative shifts from third person to first person via diary entries, moves across several protagonists, and fundamentally changes in its very nature several times. If it fully worked, then it would be a masterpiece, but it doesn't fully work and so becomes something that might charitably be called a bit of a mess.

The chief problem may be that the various sections work well within themselves but not with each other, specifically fouling the novel's internal consistency. On the other hand, perhaps it's the sheer convolutedness of the narrative that is the problem, it being founded on the coincidence of two men being identically named Allen Armadale, and also being the sons of two men named Allen Armadale. Perhaps it's a good idea to talk about the plot, but it might take several thousand words...

Before the main narrative, an Allen Armadale is murdered by his cousin Allen Armadale, the latter of whom leaves a letter for his son on his deathbed. The sins of the fathers threaten to wreak punishments on the sons, via a prophetic dream and the machinations of a rogue lady and adventuress called Lydia Gwilt. In 1866, the term 'adventuress' was not a flattering one and concealed a multitude of crimes, and Lydia Gwilt had not stinted in her previous career. Upon her entry into the narrative, the whole story steadily swings behind her to the point that it literally becomes her diary. Were she to succeed in marrying one Armadale, the poor one, and killing the other in order to pose as his widow and gain his money, she would be one of the greatest and most well constructed villains in literary history, but instead she falls in love and we get something else entirely. Is her ultimate, if terminal, redemption the redemption of the novel or does the zigzag nature of the epic defeat that purpose? It's hard to say.

'The Woman In White' and 'The Moonstone' are undoubted classics and the crown of the Wilkie Collins canon. 'Armadale' is okay, and fits into the Big Four, but it's nowhere near as consistent. Perhaps its lasting influence is in Lydia Gwilt herself, a tortured female antagonist who sets a precedent for feminine villainy not to be forgotten.

Read 'Armadale' if you dare. It has good points, and you need only struggle through the overly portentous and forbidding prophetic portion in order to reach more enjoyable times, before another shift drifts you away once again.


Monday, 2 May 2016

Getting Started

Having decided to get going, finish some stories and write books, it has now become impossible to begin! How bizarre it is! Obviously, my curse is a lack of ambition and commitment. Indeed, back in the olden days, research was easy except for the weeks spent in procrastination. Whenever something becomes important, it seems to also become unbearable...

Of course, in line with this theme, it was a day full of distracting podcasts and DVDs, including 'Jaws', 'The Avengers: Escape In Time', and now Tim Burton's 'Alice In Wonderland'. That last one is a greatly underrated film. I wonder why it was lambasted quite so much at the time? Ah, perhaps it's because it's so much of a blockbuster and degenerates into gibberish? Perhaps. Something about it defiantly works, though. Oh, such distractions. I should be writing 'Wordspace' and working through the huge backlog of unfinished short stories!

I used to do Twitter stories, but the unrelenting drudgery of life began to get to me. It's difficult to remain creative while suffering endless strings of interview failures and personal misfortunes. Of course, it wasn't really that bad, but the tendency to pessimism was rather compelling. Oh, that pessimism and distraction, such a curse to getting things done! Get back, pessimism.

What could this planned novel be about? Or the novella, at least? Is it wise to begin without some sensible idea, or would it be better to continue on the basis of the serialised stories already planned and queued for this Quirky Muffin blog challenge? How did Wilkie Collins do it? Well, hopefully an addiction to laudanum isn't an essential part of the writing process as that is simply not going to happen. No, Wilkie Collins did it by virtue of having no choice, for I assume he quite liked having a house in which to live, and food to eat. It's quite easy to do things when you have no choice...

The grand writing projects will, then, have to be 'Wordspace' and 'Oneiromancy', both of which were great fun to write. Even 'The Plain Chocolate Digestive Detective' (a.k.a. 'The Disappearance') had its moments, while 'Triangles' is ripe for expansion and continuation. This will require extensive time away from the computer and free of all distractions. Does anyone have a log cabin free for use, without payment? I promise to not invite in any bears or itinerant harpists.