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Ray’s What To Do #1

12 Mar

“Have you ever found yourself writing a story where you’ve got no idea where to go next?”

Yes. This is a situation you’ll find yourself in frequently.

So what do you do?

Start by not panicing. Accept the situation.
It’s a place you’ll become familar with over time.
It’s not a scary place. At first it might feel scary, because it’s new.
But once you accept where you are, you can beging to move on.

Do your characters have the resources or abilities required to move past their current impasse? If yes, use them to do so. If no, move them to a point where they can aquire such things and then move on.

And now the story should be moving along again.

A day in the archives

26 Feb

So a couple of days ago I was trying to kill some time as the PC has been misbehaving (my fault, I put a RAM chip in the wrong way round and made it run slower. I know, I’m an idiot!) as of late.

Anyway, I thought I’d try to find my missing “Hitchhiker” notes.

That turned out to be an epic fail, they are currently nowhere to be found. My guess is , despite checking all the stuff I threw away, I think I chucked them out by accident.

But that time looking wasn’t entirely wasted as it have me the chance to have a complete look through all my “on paper” archived, as yet unwritten ideas.

And boy are there a lot of them!

I’ve pulled a few, the ones that immediately piqued my interest as I was reading through the HUGE pile. I’m not sure which of them will get turned into finished stories and when, but it gives me ideas to play with when I get a dry spell.

To keep everything in one place, I store them all inside a hardback copy of “Eye & Talon” (A Bladerunner book) by KW Jeter. They’ve lived in the there for well over 2 yrs now, and the pile just keeps getting ever larger.

I guess what I’ll have to try and do is pick all the stuff that could easily be turned around into finished stories within a few hrs and sit down and write them.

I guess that’ll happen when pigs fly.

COMING SOON, MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!

19 Feb

So. As you can tell from the title of this I am very excited.

I was about to start writing this afternoon when I decided to casually check my emails before I kicked off.

Got 2 from the same place.

News about something I’ll tell you about when they tell me I am allowed to say something concrete.

I’ve emailed them back, just waiting for more details.

You’ll know more once they update me.

Watch this space!

Facist

31 Jan

With heartfelt apologies to David Bowie I present this. To be sung to the tune of “Fashion“.

Fascist

There’s a brand new guy
but I don’t know his name
That people from bad homes
Liked again and again
He’s big and bland
full of tension and fear
He’ll do it over there but we don’t do it here

[CHORUS]
Fascist! Turn to the left
Fascist! Turn to the right
Oooh, Fascist!
We are the goon squad
and we’re coming to town
Beep-beep
Beep-beep

Listen to me – don’t listen to me
Talk to me – don’t talk to me
Dance with me – don’t dance with me, no
Beep-beep

There’s a brand new guy,
but he’s not very clear
That people from good homes
are voting for this year
He’s loud and tasteless
and I’ve heard it before
You shout it down while you’re marching
on the Senate floor
Oh bop, Fascist

[CHORUS]

Listen to me – don’t listen to me
Talk to me – don’t talk to me
Vote for me – don’t vote for me, no
Beep-beep
Beep-beep

Oh, bop, do do do do do do do do
Fa-fa-fa-fa-Fascist
Oh, bop, do do do do do do do do
Fa-fa-fa-fa-Fascist
La-la la la la la la-la

Summing up 2016

31 Dec

So to sum up my year:-

Started (and finished) a new job.
Wrote a novel in 28 days (it’s still in edits!).
Submitted over 25 stories.
Sold nothing.
Received 2 free contributor copies of an anthology I’m in.
Wrote 87 new short stories.
Moved house.
Tried & failed NaNoWriMo.
Got older.

Swimming In Jelly [a silly poem]

17 Dec

Swimming In Jelly, By Ray Daley

Let’s all go swimming, go swimming in jelly, Jilly & Jimmy & Bob,
Just don’t crazy, don’t invite Daisy & certainly don’t invite Rob!
We can 3 have fun & when we’re all done we can have trifle for tea.
So let’s all go swimming, go swimming in jelly, what a wonderful thing it’ll be.

THE END.

Deconstructing Magic

14 Dec

CAUTION! CONTAINS SPOILERS ABOUT A MAGIC TRICK! STOP READING NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW HOW IT’S DONE!

Today I’m writing about something that interests me very much, the world of magic and illusion. Today I’m going to be explaining how a trick is performed.

Today’s trick is “The Mad Scientist” as performed by “Professor” Al Carthy. I first saw this trick performed when I was about 8, whilst watching The Paul Daniels Magic Show.

I had a MASSIVE fear of Frankenstein (at the time made even worse after seeing “Carry On Screaming“) so seeing this illusion scared 7 shades of shit out of a very young me.

Apparently, Al is STILL performing this trick today, almost 40 yrs later!

I’ll include links to 2 different performances of the trick as there are some slight variations between the two. I’ve been a massive fan of how tricks work for a long time and it’s the main reason why I like Penn & Teller, they like to explain how some tricks are done.

I find I appreciate the staging of an illusion more if I know how it was done.

Version #1:-

This is the trick in what I believe to be it’s original incarnation.
“The Scientist” walks out, carrying the top half of his creation. Walks over to the animation machine (stage left) and places the top half of the creation onto the table top.

He examines the creation (vanishing behind the animation machine) then quickly reappears, repositioning the creation to go and get the creation’s legs from around the front.

He demonstrates how the legs work then goes behind the creation to attach them. He then moves the creation around to the front of the animation machine and plugs the creation in, then fires the machine up, bringing the creation to life!

The creation then walks around, up some steps, almost falling over but amazingly managing to hang at a seemingly impossible angle. The creation rights itself, walks back down the stairs where The Scientist deactivates it & begins reading his notes.

The creation unplugs itself, walks over to The Scientist who turns around, then the creation pulls off The Scientist’s head, who falls to the ground, apparently dead.

In this version of the trick, the creation breaks character at the end and Al takes his bow.

#

Version 2:-

This is what I call the “scary version”, it’s my belief that this is the version I saw on the Paul Daniels show near Halloween.

“The Scientist” walks out, carrying the top half of his creation. Walks over to the animation machine (stage left) and places the top half of the creation onto the table top, he then gets the creation’s legs from around the front.

He demonstrates how the legs work then goes behind the creation to attach them. He then moves the creation around to the front of the animation machine and plugs the creation in, then fires the machine up, bringing the creation to life!

The creation then walks around, up some steps, almost falling over but amazingly managing to hang at a seemingly impossible angle. The creation rights itself, walks back down the stairs where The Scientist deactivates it & begins reading his notes.

The creation unplugs itself, walks over to The Scientist who turns around, then the creation pulls off The Scientist’s head, who falls to the ground, apparently dead.

#

How it’s done.

In version 1 that’s Al walking out with a dummy scientist attached to the back of him. His legs are disguised under the lab coat. Al positions himself into the table, bending his legs.

At this point, the assistant who is playing the scientist is already under the “animation machine” and helps Al remove the dummy, which is why the scientist vanished from view for a moment.

It’s to allow the assistant to stow the dummy & swap places wearing an identical costume.

In version 2, Al is being carried by the assistant with his legs hidden by the lab coat. When the assistant places Al onto the “animation machine”, I believe Al is putting on his shoes.

The assistant then goes around to the front of the animation machine and gets the fake legs, showing how they work as a distraction to allow Al time to secure his shoes.

As the assistant is pretending to connect Al to his “legs”, the fake legs are being stowed in the same compartment where the dummy of the fake scientist was placed.

Al is then moved into position and connected up to the “animation machine”. Al does some simple robotic actions and walking. His deliberate slow small steps are established to show how “the creation” walks.

When he reaches the middle of the top step, he stops there for a reason. It’s the area rigged for the next part of the trick. As Al reaches that step, he slides his shoes into some preset rods that allow him to do the forward lead without falling.

After the “lean” you’ll see Al taking 2 slight steps backwards, that’s to release himself from the rods. It’s just then a matter of walking down, positioning himself for the assistant and waiting for his musical cue to pull off the scientists head.

Obviously it’s a fake head, the assistant is much smaller & wearing the fake head & neck rig on their shoulders. As the “scientist” falls, you’ll note the assistant places their hand on Al’s arm to guide their fall safely.

I assume this also done to ensure the fake shoulders rig doesn’t come off in the fall.

In the Paul Daniels version (version 2) the trick ends with the creation (Al) holding the scientists head in the air. However, in version 1 the creation places the fake head onto the animation machine & Al breaks character, takes his bow & smiles.

In no version of this trick do we ever see the scientist move after the end.

#

So that’s how this excellent and extremely entertaining trick is performed.