My short-short fiction piece, “Interview with a cat: Don’t call me Fluffy” has proven to be popular story.
So after the story appeared (above), I made it into a Podcast/Audio clip.
Yet, maybe some out there would like to watch the cat face and listen, so now I have made it as a one shot video story.
Yep, stories come in all sorts of packaging around here.
Enjoy, and endure. Thanks for reading, seeing, listening. And leave a comment!
Archive for June, 2010
This writer has gone off his schedule on this blog since hopping off to Italy for five days a few weeks back. I let things lay, took off, came back, and made an entry here and there, and then my hands got full.
My usual schedule of
took a hit. Sure, I did some audio, one video, a couple of stories, then last week, dropped it all. As I formed my next immediate moves.
Interesting, my time off from posting showed up in the visits, i.e. Goggle statistics, showed a dropping off, an equal laying low. Yet I’ve been busy.
I did get some unexpected voice over jobs during this time (although most voice over jobs are usually unexpected). But also landed a sizeable job of shooting seven videos round town, and then downloading, now editing for delivery. This is called Real Money to support my budding publishing and free storytelling gifts to my world.
Yet I’m recording audio for three books (two out, one coming up), and editing it, and recording videos, and editing them, and toying with new stories, and about to post some. Been working, and getting ready to post. And getting my two published novels Kindle ready.
So right now I’m juggling right-now-money-work and my someday-over-there-money-work; a balancing act between meals now and dream meals in a future time and place.
Anyway, this right now is written to mention I’m busy and everything’s getting back to shape on the storytelling front. With more story goodies to arrive.
Elsewhere I promised not to write many or at least not too many posts on writing, publishing and related activity, but I have developed a backlog of material and will be posting a bunch of them in the days/weeks ahead.
— Update on what it takes to pull off a one-man publishing company.
— Announcements on upcoming launches if new, new stuff.
— About where I get my ideas for stories.
— About my story and videos, Red Ball and Max Dix, brings hits huge extra from porno sites.
— Multimedia (Vook, et al) books and where I’m headed with that, and what’s happing.
— eBooks and more ebook news.
— And some more fun videos on my book rejections, and my sales, on my connections. And, if time permits, my soul.
There, you’ve been warned.
Just a little while ago I wrote and posted a short-short story (read HERE) about a cat complaining about human behavour towards his person.
It has been one of the more popular stories that I’ve posted. So I thought I’d start recording and posting some of my favorites and reader favorites from the “Noses in the House” stories.
And we’re starting with pissed-off Fluffy: Listen (and/or download) here: Don’t Call Me Fluffy!
It’s less than four minutes.
Enjoy and thanks for dropping by. Don’t forget to leave a comment below!
Here’s the last excerpt of this book I’ll be running here. it is the conclusion of the long chapter 3 in part three of “Self-Portrait of Someone Else”
PodCast: PART THREE – 3.3 of “Self-Portrait of Someone Else
With this excerpt, I come to the end of my series of podcasts of this book. We’re almost halfway through the book, and by now you, kind reader-listener, get the idea. I am still in the midst of reviewing several online audiobook sales channels, and will make the complete audio book available when I’ve completed editing all the clips–a time-consuming job.
I hope you have enjoyed them. To the point where you will someday go to my publishing site, HIDDEN PEOPLE and purchase the version you wish (print, ebook/Kindle, audio), when it is all available…
Next up in my series of podcasts will be a handful of my “Noises in the House” short-shorts. After that, I’ll be launching my next novel, “Brussegem, a snug hell” and will release excerpts of the whole book over the summer. That’s the plan.
Thanks for reading this. Vincent
The mail arrived, hitting the tiled floor below the mail slot, giving off sounds like slaps on still water. Envelopes, junk mail and threat after threat hit, slid, then settled. And began glowing faintly. A pale red glow, like nuclear contaminates.
Lately Luc’s mail had gone from worse to very bad to deadly. A while back he had become an unwilling victim of the World’s Failing Finances and anything that fell through the mail slot these days throbbed ugly on the floor tiles. Bills numberless and aggressive. Endless overdue official documents. Lawyers with impressive letterhead threatening to send thick-shouldered males to repossess his remaining bits and pieces.
Each day the mail’s thick, competing threats elbowed one another for positioning, trying to get through the slot first, as they plopped inside his house like separate fetid diseases.
From around a corner, he peered down the corridor, trembling as the glowered mail on the floor. He had nothing left to feed it. Three months ago he had cashed in some retirement funds years before his retirement was due. Yet still the mortgage payment remained way overdue, the elastic of all his underwear had worn out and showed through the material, all the labels of his clothes were blank of any words or logo due to endless washing and not being replaced by anything new.
As he made a step toward the pile of mail, its glow intensified. Since last week the bills had taken to giving him paper cuts, like taking nips out of his hands as he reached for them, like unhappy domestic pets. A few days ago he swore he had seen some little sharp teeth around the edge of certain letter flaps.
Closer, he reached toward the pile of letters. Three bills hiding under a supermarket brochure leaped and grabbed his hand, wrapping round. He pulled back but they would not let go, forcing his hand to the floor. Other envelopes from vicious lawyers and sneering companies and blasé utilities and determined tax officials wrapped themselves around his arms, moving higher, toward his face. They went for at him.
Struggling, Luc called out, but his wife had taken the kids to stay with her parents and had begun divorce proceedings because he hadn’t held up his end of the bargain financially. As a failed provider, no one was around to pay attention to his screams. Another bill and then another wrapped around his left ankle and gave a jerk. He wobbled, then tumbled onto his back, with a yelp, like his dog Leon, which he’d had to get rid of because the dog food cost too much.
The envelopes of bills unglued of their own volition and seemed to release some liquid dissolving agent from its edges. Feeling deep burning sensations, Luc whipped out his mobile phone to call for help but his service had been cut off due to lack of payments.
He struggled but the bills held fast. They sucked, they dragged, they frantically covered him top to bottom. All the sheet were sliding out of all the envelopes and in a multitude adhered to his face and eyes and right into his mouth, muffling his cries. Then into his nose. Endless swirls of rustling paper struggled with the debtor now squirming on the tiled floor.
Bit by bit there was less and less of Luc, who tried to scream pass the bills that firmly covered his mouth, who tried to breath through the bills covering his nose, who tried to continue struggling but the bottomless debt of the bills took total and utter possession of him.
In end all the police officers and investigators and bill collectors would find were a neat pile of overdue bills by the front door placidly waiting to be paid, bland, implacable, yet satisfied.
If you want to listen or download, click here:
27 – PART THREE – 3.2 – Self-Portrait of Someone Else
I hope you enjoy this, and thanks for listening.
Being a sometimes nice guy, I got roped into driving two friends to the middle of nowhere in West Flanders for an obscure celebration and free wine.
The drive was an hour and a half from Brussels, and in this compact nation, such a drive could easily end me up in another country, going in any direction except the North Sea. This day’s destination was a teeny town called Nowheresville, Belgium that few go to except by mistake or deliberately and morosely.
The plot-line was that this village was twinned with some equally teeny town in New Zealand where one of the people in my back seat was born—teeny because maximum 800 citizens (another Nowheresville on the other side of the globe). She had been specially invited by the local New Zealand embassy as a true representative from the place. The twinning connection was due to many young guys from this New Zealand town had come over and died during WWI battles right near this tiny Flanders village. So the cities had decided: Let us be international twins in memory of.
It was now thirty years on and time to celebrate with real live Māori based in London who were coming over to dance and fete. “And there’s free wine sent in from New Zealand.”
Now civic celebrations in municipal halls usually sap my will to live, and this municipal hall that took ninety minutes of dark skies and windy roads to get to was tucked away on a side street with major parking problems. The building itself had little personality pop nor any architectural zing. Upainted bricks with a roof. Inside the bricks were painted white and went up three stories high, ending in unpainted cross beams. Basic and hollow and a wind was coming in from somewhere, in addition to the continually opening and shutting front doors.
A wide stage had been constructed of the easy click-it together type. There was no backdrop for a pinch of atmosphere, nothing modest or tasteful on the stage that might announce a moderate idea of celebration. Post-modern functional ugly was the effect that was sought and richly achieved. True, there were travel posters of the two towns hanging inside and out with huge chunks of sticky tape splayed across their corners to hold them in place. A number of long push-together tables ran lengthwise from one end to the other. Blue crepe paper had been laid on top with cheap ashtrays decorated with beer ads holding the crepe in place. There were worn wooden benches without backs lined up along both sides at each table.
The couple I had hauled over staked their right to some table space. Sitting down, looking around, doing a slow 360° sweep of my head, I saw everything of interest to see. Done. Over the next hour local people wearing good stabs at fancy dress were arriving in mini-droves, with faces determined to have excellent fun. There was no heating, and people, after settling, bundled back up as the doors opened, closed, letting winter wind find a new home in my bones.
An hour later, free wine was finally made available and my friends went hunting, returning with bottles they set on the table before us. Gulping began. As I didn’t drink, I sipped some fresh fruit juice lukewarm straight out of a tin can.
After another hour, the Māori dancers were introduced by the New Zealand Ambassador, a short, dapper man with the right kind of Ambassador hair, meaning it stuck in place and was plenty frothy. He told a long story about Maori traditions and what they were about to sing and dance about. Then somebody took over the microphone and told it all over again in Flemish. I sat there sipping water—I’ve always been fearless in mixing my drinks—evolving from melancholy to forlorn. Although the point was to celebrate the memory of the brave dead and the symbolic twinning, it was all rather rural, earnest and minor.
Some musicians began hammering on drums and the Māori came stomping out half-dressed, their chests exposed, and seem to give it their all. They made big eyes and stomped their feet and turned down their mouths, tongues came out horribly, and they slapped their chests and thighs, although no one played rugby. Songs alternated between aggressive shouts and gentle, sweet-voiced tunes. After fifteen minutes, I got the idea. After every song, they stopped and the Flemish guy barked over the tinny microphone explanations concerning the meaning of the song, the words, the dance. I sat back and wrapped my coat around myself as the festivities wore on, a chill spreading along the bricks and through the hollow hall. Without alcohol in my veins, the spread was quicker in me than in my friends, who seemed rapt at the goings-on, filling their glasses with more free wine, a different vintage.
Once the show was completed, village people gave the dancers a standing ovation. The dancers were nice, professional, and that was it as far as the day’s entertainment went.
As the evening came on, New Zealand meat was brought in from a BBQ outside. Slabs flopped onto paper plates, which were placed on the random wine stains that had begun appearing on the crepe paper. Children ran around the now empty, rather sad stage. They frolicked, and one girl came forward to imitate lewd dance moves she must have picked up from music videos. She gyrated her hips, and thrust out her non-existent breasts, coming off as a spastic Lolita. She spun and stuck out her butt in the direction of the audience. It was spell-binding, illicit and weird. No parent stood up the say, Cut that out! Older men looked; women kept chatting among themselves.
There were a few upright stands against one wall of the room with photocopied newsprint. I wandered over. The clippings concerned both towns, their history, their meaningful intertwining. After ten minutes browsing, my curiosity was satiated, if not spent.
The hall got chillier as the night drew on, and I hugged the coat around me more tightly. My friends snapped at each other, as their marriage bounced along. They made blurry parental comments on the greatness of having kids. I had none.
The drinking went on, and on, and somewhere in there the Māori sang another song, but slumming it. They gathered around a table, just for the heck of it, and the song was one of the gentle ones, thankfully. It went on and that was nice. Then the local mayor, showing he was a good sport, got out his bugle and began playing a version of “When the Saints Come Marching In”. I had already hugged my coat about me as tight as it could go.
Driving home in the the winter night with my now well-drunk friends, I was requested to pull over to the side of the motorway. One friend opened his door, got out, leaned against the motorway railing and out streamed New Zealand wine on the Flanders landscape, like so much spilled blood from all those years ago.
The rest of the trip was dead quiet, as they had both passed out in the back seat, celebrations completed.
It had been eight hours of my life, and it took me a while to get warm again.
Early in 2010, a television film came and went that I had a bit part in. I’ve heavily edited this just to highlight my minor participation in it. I speak bad French, heavily accented, which was my job as gallery owner, Howard, to the star of the television film.
There are no subtitles.
Click here to go to the video.
My previous entry on this: CLICK HERE FOR POST.
If you want a behind-the-scenes report on the making of this film, see this post of mine: CLICK HERE!
Interviewer: First of all, thank you for your time in answering a few questions.
Cat: Meow meow meow, this is not a good move on my part.
Interviewer: How so?
Cat: A cat needs its mystery. But humans need to understand something, so I’m speaking out. Hope I don’t regret this.
Interviewer: Which is—?
Cat: I don’t like their hands all over me.
Interviewer: But I thought cats—
Cat: And what’s with the kitty-kitty crapola?
Interviewer: But you like to be petted and cooed at?
Cat: Yeah, sure, under certain terms and conditions. I’m not a bloody mobile phone you just pick up whenever the urge comes on.
Interviewer: But most cats—
Cat: Hey! Pay attention. I have no desire to be petted when I don’t want to be petted. Just because I have fur, am able to purr, and lick my privates with the greatest of ease, does not mean I want to be suddenly picked up and called really pathetic pet names. Sometimes I’m sitting there licking my rear end recalling what I had for breakfast and suddenly I’m in some sort of air elevator and being lifted and carried from the chair where I was perfectly settled and then dropped off at the bottom of the stairs where I had no desire or need to be. What do I look like, a stuffed animal, dirty laundry? I have hopes, and joys, I have feelings and desires.
Interviewer: So how do you solve…?
Cat: Once in a while I scratch the hell out of them. That’s after I’ve tried everything else. Stopping the purr machine. Narrowing the eyes. Squirming in their grip. Swishing my tale. Flattening the ears. I mean, I give signals. I have all sorts of ways that say no pretty clearly. Still they do the fur. Start between my ears and end at my tail, again and again, and then call me Fluffy. I mean, Fluffy? There’s no respect in such names. So when they call me Fluffy, that’s it. I scratch and take some skin off them. And they seem so surprised. They don’t get it. So I hope they read this and get it.
Interviewer: I see.
Cat: Don’t get me wrong. There’s hope for the long term relationship. After it’s out of my system and I’m settled down, I make it up to them when I’m hungry. Rub against their pants legs, make with the throat sounds, shed on them. Walk the figure eights, the whole cute deal. They forgive me and put some food in my bowl, maybe a puddle of milk if I’m lucky. I eat, I lick, but why is it when I’m getting to a difficult spot on my left shoulder, and hit a tough clump of fur I couldn’t dislodge last time—suddenly they have crept up behind me, lift me in the air, call me fluffy, and again I have to scratch the holy crap out of them. Do they not learn? I do, can’t they? Who trains them, exactly? Who’s in charge, that’s what I need to know?
Interviewer: I’m not sure—
Cat: I mean, put yourself in my place. Whoops! Is that a mouse over there? Gotta go. Spread the word!