Writer T. James' Exploration of Words, on the Internet.

Month: November 2011

Gaseous Emissions from The Queen’s Regal Posterior: A Poem.

It may seem insincere to say I have the greatest respect for the Royal Family, but financial debates aside, I believe they all, and especially Her Majesty, have worked hard on behalf of charities, and for our country.

Two other facts are pertinent, however:

Firstly, The Queen is still a human being, Her Royal Biology no different from our own.

Secondly, when writing a poem about bodily wind, the more upper-class, and auguste the personage concerned, the funnier it is. It is simply one of the eternal rules of comedy.

So, this is not an attack on the Queen’s Royal Person, but rather an acknowledgement of the paradox that is royalty: that according to ancient tradition* they are God’s Appointed, sent to rule over, and take care of us, and yet, they are also human, and so subject to all of the daily comedies and tragedies of which the human condition consists.

So I offer, this, my humble poetic tribute to the humanity of our Queen, and hope that I may prevail upon the Royal Sense-of-Humour, not to hold this against me when one day, God willing, I will be nominated for a Knighthood. Continue reading

An Interview with Anne Michaud: Writing, Creativity, and Wild Swan.

 As I’ve recently discovered, creativity is a fickle thing, sometimes abundantly overflowing, at others, full only of empty promises. The elation of success, and the frustrations of failure, are part and parcel of the writer’s life, except for the lucky few. So, as my thoughts turned toward the nature of creativity, it happened I came upon a series of tweets from writer Anne Michaud about her forthcoming novel, ‘Wild Swan’. I asked some questions, and the more I found out, the more intrigued I became. Here was a writer in the grip of an unstoppable creative maelstrom. Ideas more subtle and profound than anything I had witnessed before were filling her head from dawn to dusk. Dumbfounded, I could only look on in admiration, and awe.

A tidal wave of envy swept through me. I must tap into this bounteous outpouring, before my own dribble of inspiration dried, and rather than a writer, I was left a mere shrivelled husk wearing human shape. So, unable to contain myself any longer, I decided I would risk it all and ask Anne for an interview. Humiliation, rejection – these only would have been my lot had Anne refused. However, she has been incredibly gracious, and deigned to grace my humble blog with her presence. It is my honour, pleasure, and nefarious plan to introduce Anne, and Wild Swan to you now… Continue reading

The Ones Who Do Not Mourn

This is a post-apocalyptic science-fiction piece; Mankind is facing extinction, can they survive?

It was written for a competition on the Kelley Armstrong OWG forum. The brief was that it had to be less than 1500 words, should have a post-apocalyptic setting, could be written from any point of view, and had to contain, “animals,” and, “a forest.”

Please let me know what you think in the comments…

Continue reading

Long-term Project News (3)

My two longer term projects have been paused ‘under review’ for some time. After a little gentle prompting from Twitter friends Sandy and Kirkus I have decided to go back and revisit the short story, where I had been considering abandoning it. As was pointed out, I don’t know if it will ever be ready for publication, but the editing experience I will gain from finding out will be invaluable.

A fantasy novel (no working title), paused at around 60,000 words, it is the first thing I ever wrote. There are plot and pacing issues. I still remain undecided about this one, as there remains a lot of actual writing to do. This goes against my natural inclination, but not just ploughing ahead writing scenes as they come, and using a more considered approach will probably be a more successful method of actually finishing what I started. Now I just need that minor consideration: a plot…

A short story (working title, “Cassie”), which I hoped to publish, has issues with style and content. It covers the subjects of cancer, depression, disinterest and relationship breakup, and hope. It’s ambitious, but I’m (eventually) going to edit it to within an inch of its life, and then I’ll know the fate that I shall decree…

Long-term Project News (2)

My two longer term projects are ‘under review.’ I need to decide whether to proceed with either of them:

A fantasy novel (no working title), paused at around 60,000 words, is the first thing I ever wrote. It has plot and pacing issues. Can I resurrect it?

A short story (working title, “Cassie”), which I hoped to publish, has issues with style and content. It covers the subjects of cancer, depression, disinterest and relationship breakup, and hope. Was it too ambitious?

Decisions: Do I abandon them and move on? I don’t yet know…

Aftermath of a Stormy Night: A Poem.

Another first for me as a writer – an attempt at ‘serious’ poetry (no sniggering at the back there!) that doesn’t rhyme. It’s got metaphors in it, so it must be the real deal… ;)

The original idea came after a call for poetry from Chrissey Harrison, on behalf of The Great Escape website. This, and four other poems by other writers are posted there for your delectation. Just click the on the link. Enjoy. :)

The brief was to write a poetic piece about, “The Night Sky.” Initially I thought it would be easy, after all the night sky is easy to be poetic about, right? Too easy as it turns out…

Ever since “Twinkle twinkle little star…” poets have been looking at the starry heavens for inspiration, and to impress the bird who lives at no. 43; the one with the lisp, jutting chin, and boils. Sorry. Anyway, it took a long time to find an idea that wasn’t just going to be a clichéd re-hash of over-used themes. I hope I’ve succeeded. Please let me know what you think, and what you think it’s about, in the comments (and yes, you are allowed to say you don’t like it, although stating why will enable you to justifiably wear your air of intellectual smugness). I hope you enjoy it… Continue reading

And Then There Was Nothing: A 100 Word Horror Short.

This was inspired by a competition idea from Anne Michaud,

Scare me in 100 words or less! Fright me to no end with unique, non-rape/animal abuse/ torture horror in the comment section.

Check out the link above, there are over forty well written and scary one hundred word horror shorts  – Well worth a look. Continue reading