Monday, 16 July 2012


After another eighteen blog posts hit the trail, there’ll be a second REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE collection. What will I bundle with the blog posts? A piece of nonsense from the archive. Yes, yet another story that was – splutter – originally written by hand.
   If I make it that far. The year 2012 saw the release of statistics on the lowest number of fatalities on Scotland’s roads since records began in the mid-Jurassic. Small comfort to me as I hastily threw myself out of harm’s way when yet another speeding van cornered the market in focusing my attention.
   The vehicle thundered by, and I looked back to see a message of wonder. SAVING LIVES. Fortunately, I was in no great danger. I’ve made the incident sound a touch more dramatic than it was. Oh, the irony of being felled by a lifesaving van dedicated to the battle against cancer.
   Worlds die as writers keel over. Sometimes, that’s a blessing in disguise. Depends on the writer. I really can’t bring myself to name names. Readers, you’d be shocked. This writer is seriously contemplating the release of that story about the giant space cockroach, and (AUTHOR DELETED) is on the list of scribblers who didn’t die soon enough?! For shame.
   Compile your own lists. Include me out.
   I contemplate traffic. Nothing to do with vans. Traffic visiting my blog. I view the repeat offenders via a world map. Or check referring sites. Why, I can even monitor the words used by people when they feed letters into their questing machines.
   Quite how readers get here from a dating site for patrons who have already been cheated on, I’m not sure. A few blog titles generate interest from fans of other things. DARTH SINISTER PAINTS IT BLACK. Rather obvious. TORI AMOS. Has her rabid fans. DEFECTION attracted traffic from Russia. A fourth example? Mm, the blog post with PORNOGRAPHY in the title.
   People came in search of naghuty porn. Yes, dyslexic porn. It’s the filthiest. Greeg porn may have been a search for Greek porn or Grieg porn. I semi-suspected Eddie Grieg ran a neat sideline in erotica to tide him over during the composition of The Peer Gynt Suites.
   If there’s a Mr Naghuty out there reading this, I’ve blown your cover. That is no euphemism. Though euphemism itself may be. It certainly sounds dirty enough. They found her in THAT HOUSE, stark naked, surrounded by EUPHEMISM!
   Bear that in mind, next time you speak euphemistically.
   The thing I found most curious was the attention given to part four of a story serialised across the blog. It’s understandable that THE WINDOWLESS WOOD-PANEL ROOM would attract the attention of those surfing the internet in the hunt for wood-panel furniture.
   However, most people who looked at that story settled on part four of the four-parter. Had I written a tale so enthralling that it was best-appreciated in the final quarter? I must bottle that formula and use it in all my stories, saving 75% of the work.
   Pressures of life in the Digital Age, we must suppose. It didn’t occur to me, writing of Kacey Vanderkarr as a baby seal bludgeoned to death on the ice of my imagination, that I would pick up surfers looking for stories of actual seal-bludgeoning incidents.
   BLUDGEONING A BABY SEAL FOR ITS OWN GOOD. The animal-lovers in the audience must have thought me beyond barbarism. Then realised I was merely bludgeoning an author for her own good. I am more than happy to report that within short-order of pushing Kacey out of the aeroplane, Sergeant Jock MacBastard noted her parachute opening.

SERGEANT JOCK MACBASTARD: Jist a wee step oot yon airyplane door, an’ ye’ll dunt doon oan rah grun’ licht as a pee-rah-bed. Nae worse than a skelpit erse.

BABY SEAL: Sarge, I have NO CLUE what you are saying.

SERGEANT JOCK MACBASTARD: Aye, rah wind’s richt fierce at oor altitude.

BABY SEAL: No. It’s your accent. Rilly.

SERGEANT JOCK MACBASTARD: This is Commando training. Fur writers.

BABY SEAL: Writers who wear fur?!

SERGEANT JOCK MACBASTARD: Taken frae rah deid wrecks o’ ither writers who couldnae complete oor course.

BABY SEAL: Couldn’t they just sit out some of the tougher exercises?

SERGEANT JOCK MACBASTARD: Pish. Ye huvnae e’en reached blindfoldit bomb-disposal yet. Jumpin’ oot rah plane wi’ nae parachute’s a doddle next yon.

BABY SEAL: I have no parachute?

SERGEANT JOCK MACBASTARD: Parachutes are fur Big Jessies.

BABY SEAL: What about tall Kacey?

SERGEANT JOCK MACBASTARD: Jist jump oot an’ count tae custard.

BABY SEAL: Why custard?

SERGEANT JOCK MACBASTARD: Yon’ll be rah consistency o’ yer erse when ye laaand. :)

BABY SEAL: I find your use of an emoticon truly disturbing.

   Kacey was subjected to some brutal treatment. The important thing is that no seals were hurt in the making of my blogs. I grabbed hold of Kacey’s publishing fear and made her take a long hard look at it. Her fear shattered. This fugitive is pleased to report that, not long after, Kacey landed – a publishing deal. I had little to do with that. Though sometimes, little is enough.
   Sergeant Jock MacBastard jokes about the lack of a parachute 50% of the time. I present thoughts on publishing from an author on the run. Not diktats. Giving advice to Kacey was the exception, proving the rule. I pushed a hesitant author out of the aeroplane. Pulling the ripcord was entirely up to her.
   I’d promised Kacey that I’d chop her head off if she weren’t published within a year and a day of our first meeting. Casting myself as the Green Knight to her Gawain. Gawain survives the return-match, of course. (Did I mention that Kacey’s husband once tried to behead her with a chainsaw?)
   In my last batch of blogs, there wasn’t the opporchancity to congratulate Kacey on her news. She’d asked me to keep the publishing deal hush-hush while things were finalised. Then she hijacked proceedings, and pushed me out of an aeroplane.

SERGEANT JOCK MACBASTARD: Rah game’s a bogey! Haud rah bus! WRF?!

BABY SEAL: On your feet, soldier! We’re going on a mission. Joint-operation. We jump in five!

SERGEANT JOCK MACBASTARD: Is this revenge fur forcin’ ye tae eat Haggisy hooves in brine?

BABY SEAL: Yes. No. Stand by for Operation BLOGVEL.

SERGEANT JOCK MACBASTARD: Ah think ah went therrr fur a wee hoaliday wance.

BABY SEAL: War’s no picnic. Except for Operation PICNIC. It was no holiday. Operation CRUISE was no day at the beach.

SERGEANT JOCK MACBASTARD: Whit’s oor oabjective?

BABY SEAL: To storm the fortress of serial-blogging-slash-fiction. I didn’t mean slash fiction. That’s, er, something else entirely. Not that I’ve written any Twilight stuff. Ah…


BABY SEAL: Yes. Dare I say, ock aye. The noooooooooooo…

SERGEANT JOCK MACBASTARD: Leave yer accent at rah door, hen.

BABY SEAL: What’s a doorhen?

SERGEANT JOCK MACBASTARD: Jist jump oot an’ count tae custard…

BABY SEAL: Doorhen. Is it like a moorhen? Wait for me…

   Kacey invited me to participate in the 2012 BLOG NOVEL hosted by Michelle Simkins. As I write my blogs in advance, it’s too soon to say if I’ll be blogging about that or burning the internet down to erase the memory. Stay tuned. I say Kacey invited me. Well, that’s one view.
   No sign of this giant space cockroach. Is it a giant cockroach in space, or a cockroach inhabiting a giant space? That giant space itself may be in outer space. So we could be looking at a giant cockroach, inhabiting a giant space, way out there.
   If memory fails to serve, her name is Betsy.
   The Space Cockroach.
   Given the passing of Ray Bradbury, I suppose I should say a few words. I remember reading DARK STAR before I saw the movie. When I saw John Carpenter’s film, I sensed that a Ray Bradbury story somehow inveigled its way into this no-budget flick.
   Between the two stories lay a gap in literature. A gap filled by Betsy the Space Cockroach. This was the interstellar love tale of the age. Boy meets Giant Space Cockroach, boy loses Giant Space Cockroach, laws are passed banning that sort of thing.
   Of course I type with a straight face. It’s the straight face of someone I’ve hired to sit by my side and look the other way so as not to crack up with laughter at the nonsense that makes it into my blog. And that’s only the nonsense that makes it into my blog.
   Am I really going to bring Betsy the Space Cockroach back from the archives? As I sit typing this, I think that’s 80% likely. If I don’t bring her back, I’ll have to fill the collection with something else. Something that’s as wondrous as Betsy. And I just can’t see that happening.
   Now I’m curious as to the sort of blog traffic this post will generate. If you’ve come looking for cockroach porn, you’re a little early. I should have put non-runcible spoon in the title. That would have brought the readers flocking. Ah, but from where…


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