caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
(This actually, or at least oneirically, happened the other week. No sheep were harmed in the production of these Zs. May contain traces of poetic licence.)

And Dream of Sheep

I swam to surface, from the deep
And dodgy currents of a dream
Which I fell into, counting sheep
To rustle later by the gleam
Of moonlight on the haunted moor...
(The honest count was such a bore!)

...I dreamed my mafiosi kin
Had come to sponge a sandwich lunch.
They plotted sheep-related sin
While we spread peanut butter crunch
And whetted knives to carve the beef,

Who kept distracting me from what
I absolutely had to do -
To write a fairy-story, that
Would necessarily come true,
And overthrow the Government,
And crown a King who wasn't bent.

I wrote it up between the beers
And sandwiches. The sequel came,
And so I joined the mutineers
Who rose in the Republic's name!
I would have left it there and then,
But I'd already sold Book Ten...

...To daybreak's edge across the moor
I ran from fifty feral lords
Who wished to dunk me in my gore -

Since this has come of counting sheep,
I'll try a nightcap, next, for sleep!

caper_est: I dreamed all knight... (dream)
Are BARRED from my dreams until with strange aeons, even Death shall die. And they shouldn't get up their hopes too much then, either.

Apparently the Crawling Chaos looks a lot like a network manager I used to know, only with charisma upgraded to Maximum Evil, and bringing the Apocalypse instead of the Inconvenience. Also he ate somebody's brains in front of them, which apparently one can do if one has the top level cheat codes, and which I am fairly sure that the Nameless NM never did in any strictly physical sense, or on purpose if it comes to that. Moreover Nyarlathotep committed many other breaches of the rules of cricket, including the one about not sending ravening mobs through the streets after me; and generally degraded the quality of my unplanned nap quite a lot.

The less arseholish student and I eventually stuffed him and the Hasturpocalypse back into their box by timey wimey wish-lawyery woo. Nyar hah!

Nonetheless, I feel no urge to revisit this or any potential spin-off scenario at any time in the foreseeable future.

Dream rating: Two poppies - the second being for technical excellence, and actually having something approximating a plot, which ended better than could have been expected. The three poppies not awarded are for all the myriad ways in which the experience was otherwise objectionable.

I sign off in haste, to read a great big sugarload about kittens and Drones Club doings before my just bedtime.
caper_est: I dreamed all knight... (dream) not the latest addition to the Brainsssslit genre, but only my dream last night. 

I and all the abovementioned were trying, in a very-much-at-cross-purposes way, to solve a mysterious English village murder, of the flavour Agatha Christie generally farmed out to Miss Marple.  We appeared to have insufficient Brainsssss between us for the job.

The Fourth Doctor's attempt to distract a zombie at a critical juncture by performing the Dance of the Single Scarf is an image which shall live long in infamy, however much I wish it wouldn't.
caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,640 words, and the end of the Chapter of Puffins.  We have already seen Katy's great stroke in a previous chapter as miraculous and redemptive, and here now we get to see it from the angle where it looks about as redemptive as a big byakhee beanfeast.

I was chased out of my dreams by killer crocodiles at three in the morning in order to finish this.  No lie.  I hope that the lady responsible is now satisfied!

caper_est: I dreamed all knight... (dream)
I assisted at the harrowing of H___ by Emma Woodhouse.  This was planned with all the unerring foresight one might expect.  I was not Mr Knightley, but I might as well have been, except for the 'not marrying her at the end' bit and the 'being too busy running around trying to stuff Lamia and the Three Stooges back where we found them for any of that soppy stuff' bit.

This comes of eating devilled eggs in the evening.

I shall now attempt another hour of shut-eye, and hope that this nap leaves me less tired than I started out, thank you kindly Emma!
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Suddenly afflicted yesterday with either a significant irritation or a minor infection in my left eye, whereafter not much sitting at computer screens possible. Better today but not yet quite right, so communications may continue economical.

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 280 words more of Kate's Speech. How vile is my disposition when the stories are not flowing, and how little I notice until the cloud lifts! I think I usually more or less fake homo sapience socially during lulls like the past week's, even to myself at the time; but the mood's aftertaste is not a lovely one; and as for the effect on the housework, I stepped out this morning to find the silverfish forming a picket line and waving little teeny placards demanding cleaner and tidier working conditions. Or perhaps there was just something in my eye, and I saw what I secretly expected to.

I dreamed a brand new fantasy world and have forgotten almost all of it, except for the map of the region I was in and its near environs. I was on the western side, which was a sort of combination of Dark Lord's Wasteland and 1970s Slump London - more lava lamps than Mount Doom - with various punky subcultures around the fringes. There were various impassable barriers to the happier and more diverse countries to the east, except that they weren't entirely impassable either on the magical barrier end or the big enormous mountain range end, and evil imperial invasion was being plotted going eastwards, as well as serious iffy eastern sorcerous plots whose details I don't remember leaking westwards onto my own side of the barriers. I was involved in some Arab Spring style of sedition against the Lava Lamp Imperials, and either I have forgotten all of the details of that too, or I was just engaging in my usual dream strategy of Victory Through It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time.

The little I do remember of its general feel makes me wish I retained enough of the setting to use it for something.  I wonder if it was influenced by thoughts of the late Diana Wynne Jones?  The register seems right.  Ah well, back to my work again!

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 190 words.  Bah.  Luke's plan explained in full, and the Slight Setback recounted.  I am tired and manky and peevish, and I was badgered in my sleep last night by the Governor of Wisconsin.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Lob Lazy at the House of Silence: 560 words.  Cunning Brother, unlike Thuggish brother, actually bothers to research what he's getting into - and the conversations he gets into are much more interesting.  He will have the last word on everything, though.  I  just noticed a rather large and painful irony in that.

I found him a rune I liked very much, and I think I know what the next one is for, but the third is still a Mystery Plot Prize.  I knew it once.  I hope I rediscover it soon.

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: I've slept on the mess that is the Late Reveal plot fork, and it will probably work if I have to make it - at least, well enough for an exploratory draft.  I just need to get the bugs ironed out of that structure, and then do the same to Early Reveal.  Still deeply ambivalent about which I'd like to go with.

I was only being persecuted by some sort of Algernon Blackwoody ginkgo last night, which I suppose counts as an improvement.  What next, the Turnips of Terror?  It's not like I've been eating cheese before bedtime, or anything!

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 370 words. Hero-Father's had enough. It's not going to be enough.

Valentine's Night spent on Darkover as written by Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey. Fianna Fáil won the civil war there, and I was obliged to spend certain hours with the survivors of my platoon digging ditches Down Under, before repairing to the pub for some well-earned amber nectar.  We scored some famous victories on the Trivial Pursuit machine, but the dragons never came back for us, and Carcosa was still lost to us when Pertelote my talkative Vietnamese alarm clock woke me up to a working London morning. 

Pertelote is real and wonderful, but the rest was born of sleep and the Old Speckled Hen.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 750 words.  The detested scene finished.  Fiery Younger Sister's work is done...decisively.  This can't possibly be anything other than a victory for my protagonists, eh?  I do now suspect that, seeing how this has played out, the problem in the next chapter to which Kate is the answer isn't going to be quite as simple as I'd envisioned.  FYS can spark all the fire any rag-tag army could possibly need.  All the wildfire.  But that still isn't the same as heart.

Lob Lazy at the House of Silence:
 240 words.  I got my viewpoint character out of the pub, with only moderate struggle, and sent him on his way to collect his next plot token.  I even remembered what it was.  One of the others, with a certain thematic appropriateness, I have both forgotten, and neglected to write down.

Dreamer's Log: Lankhmar.  Just don't go there.  Don't.  I don't care how good a deal they're doing on EasyJet!

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
I spent much of last night in extravagant adventures with the story's protagonist Oenone - a sort of lionless Una, overflowing with fangirl squee for a ridiculously pretty, gallant, and transparent knockoff of Sir Lancelot.  Oenone could have spotted Helen of Troy a pawn, a queen, and a Primark tracksuit, and still been more attractive.  I was not Sir Lancelot.

And then I read our reviews.  The novel - which was, as I well knew, our actual adventures and not the mere telling of them - garnered somewhat mixed reactions from the critics.  It was called Theseus and Oenone.  I don't know who Theseus was, but I shouldn't be surprised if his surname turned out to be something like de la Mare.

"Unputdownable!  Unpronounceable!" - Romantic Times.

"The dragon was everything every dragon should be.  However, Lancelot du Lake is not Mary Sue's Legolas.  Lancelot is the bastard son of Muhammed Ali and a brick shithouse." - Unidentified Prestigious Fantasy Reviewer.

Philistines!  What do they know?  I was there, I tell ya!

Even if, while it was going on, I could have stood for a lot less of Mary Sue's Legolas myself.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 480 words, beginning the central Kate/Bonecold Refugee sequence at Garcastle.   The male characters there are spending too much time thumb-twiddling: must use these scenes to fix that.

Last night I dreamed I was Eustace Clarence Scrubb.  My life has now seen its crown.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
The Popinjay: 430 words closing the Sister Scene.  Beauty has EVIL STEPSISTERS, but apparently not a flying pink pony.  I am going to have to ration the amount of quality family time these people get onstage, since I doubt I can get away with more than two or three scenes like this in a single story.  Also, I must remember not to try and drink fluids whilst channelling Bright Young Thing's conversation.

Me and my big mouth: Turns out it wasn't such a good idea to make jokes about dreaming Thomas Covenant: the Musical, after all.

Okay, it wasn't a musical.

And of course I didn't get to recruit James Stewart, and especially not Campaspe.  In fact, guess who got to play Our Blithe Hero?  Yes.  How right you are.

And the script seemed to be derived from some alternate volume of the Last Chronicles, Against Creator's Running Out of Money - the scene I was acting being an indefinitely prolonged "Thomas and Linden go to confront the evil powers at Revelstone, but first they must stock up on frozen waffles at Tesco!" slice o' not very much life. 

I and the friend who was playing Linden spent more time kvetching about the wallpaper script than we did actually rehearsing it.  And since, in the way of dreams, rehearsing it meant actually being inside the world it described...  Ah, Morpheus! Forgive!

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

The Popinjay: second chapter begun, with 870 words.  Father is still missing, and Money Spider nerdsplains the fantasyland credit crunch to Bright Young Thing and Beauty, with the ultimate assistance of the Treasure Fairy and the Default Troll.  How will they all avoid getting eaten, and will her younger sisters irritate her into the grave first?

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 220 words, skipping ahead to stay in Langdale, and starting Fiery Younger Sister's scene.  Not a nice head to be in.  All generous rage and no warmth, like a flame that has only an edge.  Narrowly clever, viciously funny, earnestly vulgar.  I think she has one more viewpoint scene coming up after all, in the final battle with the Bad Baron.  It would take a strangely misapplied courage to refuse her that.

I dreamed of spam.  There is no refuge anywhere!

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 570 words, and the repugnant aristocrats and revolting peasants still thrashing around in what's looking ever more like a classical Prisoner's Dilemma.  Don't flunk this one, guys!

A bit of scribbling and feeling out the beginning of the next section of The Popinjay, but no words on that yet.

Last night did again access Creative Energies In My Sleep (TM).  Unfortunately, it was by way of viewing an avant-garde Dutch film called, in English, If Anything About This Made You Happy, I Will Never Make It Again.  Fortunately, I have forgotten almost everything except the title, and the fact that it conveyed the spirit of the film precisely.  Fortunately or otherwise, I've never seen an actual piece of Dutch avant-garde cinema in my life.

This ugliness left me in such a foul mood that, when I woke up, I drifted into a reverie concerning Eros and Psyche, the dream-born Gilbert and Sullivan fan-operetta on which I am in no way working, in order that I could think about something nice instead.  The third-act comedy duet between Psyche and her disciple/deputy Sacharissa still does not exist, because only through a glass darkly could I glimpse either lyrics or music; but it took an unforeseen plot-turn to the dramatic and brought a tear to my eye.  A good tear, in this case.   What thoroughly nice people they both are!  Archaizing comic opera is definitely more me than avant-garde cinema.

Also, Sacharissa is a really lovely name for somebody to have, especially if one is not that somebody.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
They don't always get on with one, as I am occasionally reminded.  On a medicine now that will hopefully pacify them.  I see much bland eating and even plainer drinking ahead for... some time.  I suppose small frequent meals does mean more variety, which is spice of a sort.

I slept reasonably last night for the first time in a while, which is probably why I didn't wake up fresh from the memory of roping James Stewart, Cyndi Lauper, Nicholas Nickleby and Campaspe into an amateur Anglesey production of You Won't Believe It!, the smash-hit musical based on The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.


Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 410 words of critically urgent instant diplomacy, and Elegant Elder Sister, who is not the sort of person who speaks much of 'guts' at all, nonetheless turns out to have even more of them than I thought.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Health problems which I shall not detail at this time, but the ocular one of which has just been provisionally dealt with by SUPER SCIENCE LASERS!, have rendered today unavailable for my day job and largely useless for writing.  I may or may not have to grab a drop-in appointment tomorrow at my GP's tomorrow to deal with the gut one, since it has had its incapacitating moments and, yea, hours this week.

Its effect on my sleep, i.e. buggering it up, continues to yield strange creative results.  For last night's dream, my subconscious suggested, "Let's put on a sequel to about half Gilbert and Sullivan's operas at once, right here in this brain!"  And once again, the upshot made enough pseudo-sense that I was obliged to scribble on waking - in this case, the rapidly-crystallizing opening number, in order to get it out of my head.

The premise, such as it is, involves Lady Psyche out of Princess Ida setting up as Headmistress of an exclusive finishing school after breaking up with her irrepressibly misbehaving lover Cyril, who comes up with a ludicrous scheme to win her back.  Characters from The Mikado, Utopia Ltd., and The Grand Duke*  appear prominently.  It had no title in the dream, but would of course necessarily be called Eros and Psyche, were I ever so lost to both sloth and shame as to actually fanfic it into existence.

In a welcome nod to normality, this dream did at least have the decency to intermingle the above with a lot of random matter involving bad bookkeeping and continual boozing within the London Green Party of yore, both of which were somehow my fault.  The politicoes were possibly also the cast, and the scintillating lady with the Cyrano-esque nose may have been either our Psyche or the director - either way, it was a merry meeting - but I doubt things were really so cogently arranged as that.

* And also G&S's still more famous opus Pride and Prejudice, but let that pass!

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 270 words of circumstantial matrix for Elegant Elder Sister's Moment of Awesome, which is now fully achieved.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
This morning I was stuck for several hours at a godforsaken bus stop a very long way from anywhere, even Acton, while the train company waited for multiple failed trains on multiple lines to resurrect themselves.  Ahem!

I hadn't a pen to write a bestseller with, so I wrought the spell-staves for Katy's Elegant Elder Daughter's Moment of Awesome instead.  I hadn't visualized her as a spell-chucker until about 6pm this morning, because I'd incomprehensibly forgotten that a spell is only words that change the world, and that EED is all about the strongest sense of romance.

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 450 words.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: About another 500 words last night, and a field of strange parley.

No new words this morning, because I dreamed that I was stuck for several days at a godforsaken station a very long way from anywhere, even Rhyl, while the train company waited for the rails to dry out in the rain. I whiled away the time by writing a bestseller, which had already been published before the blooming train arrived. It was a pastiche Victorian melodrama with every cliché turned up to 11i, and it might moderately be described as kind of racy.  Amazingly, I remembered the principal plot when I woke up, and spent my breakfast-write scribbling it down before I forgot it.

In extreme nutshell: Villain twirls moustache, swindles hero out of his estates, gets his marriage to heroine annulled by a Wile E. Coyote trick, and constantly attempts to seduce said heroine.  Heroine follows hero into poverty and disgrace.  They rescue saintly matchgirl from certain starvation on streets, and share many hardships, since neither fisticuffs and speechifying (hero) nor weeping and swooning (heroine) prove very lucrative career skills.  Also hero Respects heroine, or something, too much to touch her following annulment.

Heroine ends up accepting villain's proposal, as she comes to appreciate that not only does he Truly Love her, but also that his kinks and hers are an irresistibly good fit.  Hero marries his secret soulmate the saintly matchgirl - who talks exclusively in Dickensian homilies and Sunday school platitudes just like his own - to full angelic choir.   The very-naughty-but-super-nice comic relief characters marry each other.  Heroine and villain live in happy and harmless wickedness ever after.  Hero and matchgirl, with generous funding from villain, sail ecstatically into the sunrise to find their true vocation as missionaries to the benighted heathen.

Everybody has a considerable deal of sex, by no means all of it missionary, but a discerning public buys the book anyway because it is all artistically integral to the plot, especially that scene in the back of the flower-shop from p.134 where the spine always cracks.

I would like to finish by reporting that I am rich and get to live it up also, but in fact by the end of the dream I am still on the train and waiting for my enormous advance, and wishing I was anywhere that was anywhere, even Rhyl.

Should I somehow ever end up writing this and garnering riches beyond the dreams of avarice, I will be indebted to Librivox, Jerome K Jerome's Stage Land, and the fact that I am finding it rather hard to drop off at present.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
A happy New Year to one and all!

I have not been awful active in a literary way over the holiday. 2,650 words of Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland, all of them from a long Council of Infodump very little of which will survive the redraft. But the developments it sparked have changed both my present chapter and the whole dynamic of the Rising beyond all expectation. Again, I am cast upon strange tides, and many-braided Allwater has taken me to some places I never imagined I'd see.

Two new visions which may bear future fruit, and which have at least helped keep me out of mischief. One was a reverie into which I fell upon the Holyhead train, in which I learned that one Man's Eru is another Orc's Azathoth - and that one side's desperate doomed stand against overwhelming horror and power can look remarkable similar on the other side of the lines. But not necessarily in the same genre. I like Doc Wolfram and Splicewire and the Lady of the Last Ditch almost as much as I would hate to live in their world, and it is just conceivable that I've met a dark fantasy notion with enough heart that I might be able to yarn about it. Certainly I haven't stopped having new flashes about that setting yet.

...And one that came to me in a dream, of a hunt on St Lucy's Eve, where I involved myself in a thousand-year adventure with St Lucy herself, and the Titaness Luna, and a charming and witty Iranian emigrée named Soraya, to wrest the light of the world from the heartless legalist glare of Delian Apollyon.  The end of this dream is not yet, so I shall say no more.  But if there is really a sensible answer to its central problem, I should give a great deal to be able to tell of that, too.

Ars longa, vita brevis, as always.

Meanwhile, here is a merry year's-getting toast from me and all the Katherines; and here are certain New Year's resolutions, looking to a day when they have gone to their long slushpile. 

Wassail, dear friends and good neighbours!  Drink hale! 



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August 2015

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