Monday, September 12, 2011

Blasts from the Past # 5 - "The Greatest Stories Ever Told?"

# "But you are caught in your own glory... you are believing your own stories... but you don't know which page to turn to, do you?" - Cake
I’m going to tell you a story… It’s not a particularly epic one, or even vital for you to read it, but it happened to me 10 years ago and because around this very time, this very year, the world will be thinking back that far for lots of reasons, I too find myself in a reflective mood as I begin my 5th and final “Blasts from the Past” post, looking back across the life of my online blog journal…

So back to the story – sitting comfortably? Well, you know how the rest goes, but the year was 2001 and at the end of the summer I found myself enjoying the sunshine "at the end of the world", so to speak, holidaying in Cornwall at the southernmost tip of the UK. One day, during the week’s vacationing, my then girlfriend (now my wife) and I decided to take a day trip out to Land’s End (literally the end of “our” world, as we knew it then). It was to be one of the most eerily significant decisions we’d ever made, to take that particular coach trip from our small campsite, on that particular sunny Tuesday…




The life of a "wrecker" still intrigues me to this day...
We passed the First and Last House in gleeful vacation spirit and got off the bus at Land’s End where a mini theme park bars your way from the true majesty of the natural landscape (although the “Wreckers & Smugglers” exhibition in the entertainment side of the place is recommended, and even inspired one of my future novels…) Walking along the edge of the cliffs there and looking out to sea is quite a humbling experience, and we even made sure we got a photograph of the two of us together, under the signpost that marks “Land’s End” of the British Isles.

All was well with the world and we’d had a great day trip, returning to our cosy caravan in time for tea. As we prepared our evening meal, we turned the small portable TV on and both sort of did double-takes as we wondered what we were seeing on pretty much every channel - the news reporting what looked like scenes from a Hollywood film...  As we sat glued to the TV, we began to take it all in, hearing the tragedy that had unfolded earlier in the day in New York as we’d been out at Land’s End … The really eerie thing for us personally, quite detached from the disaster, thousands of miles away, was, checking our camera, we realised that at about the time we stood under the Land’s End signpost with the marker "New York 3147" miles away, it had been at around the time of the chaos in the States had been occurring…

A fateful day to be standing under a certain signpost...
My mother once told me the story of how she'll always remember where she was at the time of JFK's assassination, and people do say their memories won't allow them to forget where they were at during moments of massive historical importance – and so it is for us, with that day of days, September 11th, 2001, I will always remember standing next to that signpost…  Our world was our country but that day, we became members of a global world…  I share this memory stones in an attempt to put across how I feel about the importance of stories even today, in this age of technology whizzkiddery, and the power they can still have on all of us.  It seems to me that it’s the sharing of them that empowers the reader AND the writer in an act of shared knowledge (even if it’s fictional!) – spinning a good yarn is still as appealing now as it was at the beginning of time (and as it was 5 years ago, when I began my online journal).


Who are the enigmatic
M.A.S.A. organisation?
And telling compelling stories, of course, is the most important thing to me in my writing life...  At the moment, I'm celebrating over some short story news in that I am about to have a fun new piece of short fiction included in a brand new eBook called "Lost the Plot?"   My tale is called "The Unbelievably Silly But Flash Drive of Jackie Armstrong".  So it's very much a case of 'patent pending' for the mysterious "Project USB"…  (To read more on this and to view the story itself, for Kindle users, click here and for other epublishing formats, click here).

This being my year of the story (in 3-D) anyway, it’s fitting to end off my look back over the last 5 years on the theme of creative tales by casting an eye forward, into the immediate future (and certainly the next 5 years) to creative ventures new...  I have a brand new "mini epic" now up on my Nano Fiction page at my Official Writing Website (to find Many Happy Returns on the homepage, locate a group of objects that look like they're "chips off the old block" and click in the middle of them).  And I'm as ever continuing to hone my art of creative scribbles by launching very soon, another revamped page on my Website, this time dealing with my speculative science fiction stories which often deal with a bleaker view of the future than I'd like to project for myself and my own writing...

Ever spinning the yarn, from TV tales to history's mysteries...
But without further ado, here's my fifth and final list of potent-filled posts from the last 5 years of this blog, all of which delved into the twisting theme of "telling tales":



  • In mid 2006 “I spun the yarn” of a local story of a Cowgate kid...



  • At the turn of the year into 2007, “I spun the yarn” of the story within a story...



  • At the end of 2007 “I spun the yarn” of my first novel over 17 weeks... (with special ‘key words’ to solve a puzzle!)



  • In 2008 “I spun the yarn” of a true story of how I really was “lost for words” after losing a valuable notebook



  • In 2010 “I spun the yarn” of the beginnings of my “Odyssey in Space”, co-creating an online gamebook with talented artist Rich Windass as co-pilot…




  • A brand NEW preview page for Novel #1
    (can you find it at: www.findthemissingreel.com ?)
    The first half-decade of my online blog journal is one in which I feel I "found my feet" as a writer, both as an author as well as a "web-wise" writer, equipping myself for a writing life on and off the waves of the Internet...   But talking of "the greatest stories ever told", my own original epic adventure in writing is now calling me back, as I've decided to take another run at my first novel, redrafting it and looking at it from a few other angles... But more on that in a future post... (and a little more can be found right now back on my Official Writing Site by finding an object with some lunar notation scribbled on it..)  The final thing I've been working on recently is my very own About.Me page - and that's what I'll leave you with - it's a picture which perhaps delves into my clouded and busy mind, casting out the images of my busy imagination, and pointing the way to writing adventures anew for the next 5 years and beyond...
    And the adventure rolls ever on... But where will this path lead?

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