As far as writing projects go, I've been a bit preoccupied lately. I have been trying to encourage myself to work on a specific story that has been around 15 years in the making - in my opinion, way too long. But for some reason it's just not flowing as well as some other tales that have really snapped my attention. Like a cat to a laser pointer, I have been drawn away to the bright lure of intrigue and fun...
I still remain hopeful that all the stories and such rattling around in my head will see daylight eventually, but for now I'm stuck on the one main theme, which is ghosts, ghoulies and all things macarbe.
This week - Her Darkest Deed
As you'll remember from my last #writingfriday post, I've been working on some material for a little collection of online comics I want to create. Right now I'm fleshing out the pages for a short story called "Her Darkest Deed" - about hauntings, guilt, and a rotten apple on the family tree...
I don't want to give too much away before I post the final piece, but I have gotten about ten pages into the rough sketches. For me sticking with any one project for that amount of time is pretty special, so I figured I'd celebrate by sharing a few sneak peeks.
This story was inspired by an urban legend I heard surrounding the Lady Bangor, and the mysterious disappearance of Audley's Town in Northern Ireland.
Lady Harriet Bangor, widowed with six children, lived in the stately home of Castleward overlooking the town. When she remarried, the legend goes that she and her new husband were stern and ruthless landlords. 250 people lived beside Castleward in the town; 25 families living in poor and dismal conditions. Not the best neighbours for a fancy Lady with a new husband.
One night, all the villagers were suddenly and mysteriously put on a ship to America called 'The Rose'. The reason for such a mass exodus of an entire population? Well, the legend goes that once they were evicted, the Lady had all the homes torn down because it was effecting the quality of her view.
Unfortunately, there is no record of such a ship ever leaving the port, or arriving at its destination. Was the name of the boat changed? Did it head to another part of the world? It seems that no one knows. Which leaves a lot of room for speculation, and plots of selfish scheming, evil deeds, and despicable landscaping...
These are just a few pages from the rough plotting stage, so they're not going to make a lot of sense right now. But I'm pleased with the progress, and excited to share the journey so far. Plus it's good to spread a little intrigue, get a bit of buzz before I launch the first finished page.
So stick around, follow the growth, and hopefully soon get to enjoy the full story, in all its creepy, ghostly glory! And don't forget to sign up to the newsletter to get all the updates straight to your inbox.
A while ago back in the summer, my Ripper Street illustration got quite a bit of attention on Twitter. A lot of people asked me for a similar picture of all the ladies, including the actresses that played them. As gleefully exciting as that was, unfortunately deadlines and business have kept my hands exceptionally busy - until now!
I present to you, the ladies of Ripper Street; Rose Erskine, Long Susan, and Jane Cobden...
****Now available to buy in the shop! Click here to get yours!****
I was in chapters the other day looking at the sale items, trying not-so hard to resist buying yet another note book to add to my increasingly ridiculous collection. I flicked through a few, but could not find a single bloody one free from your bog standard staples of seemingly popular modern culture symbols. You had your deer heads, feathers, vintage bikes and of course - pugs. Sodding pugs. Ugly, bug-eyed little creatures that are bred with breathing problems and legs that don't work, all because they're the in-thing. Needless to say, I went home empty handed.
So how is it these random animals and items get more popular than others?
I'm a firm believer in collective consciousness - the theory that once you have an idea and you release it into the universe, it's there for other people to pick up on at the same time. With that in mind, I thought maybe a shake-up was about due.
I decided that maybe if I release a few choice options for replacement trends, they might catch on and we can have a bit of a refresh, just in time for the new fashion seasons. With things I think are cool and weird as my starting point, I'll see if any of them take hold. If they do, maybe it's the universe telling us to stop drinking the pop culture kool aid...
If I see one more moustache I think I might attack someone with an electric razor. Maybe next year we can get behind the intricate and fascinating shapes of ancient history's various head protectors?
Little known fact - Viking helmets never actually had wild horns attached, that was an artistic flair added by artists in the late 1700s. Imagine going into battle with a "decapitate here" handle right on your noggin. Makes for good imaginative inspiration though, more than a moustache ever taught you...
Owls are pretty cool, there's no denying it. But that doesn't mean I want them on my tshirt, my plates, my jewellery, my hot water bottle cover, my PJs, my christmas cards and on my desk filled with tea with a handle coming out of its butt. I'm a big fan of many ornithological dudes big and small, and a very understated bird that I am particularly fond of is the kingfisher. Gorgeous colours and bad-ass moves, why wouldn't you want to see more of these critters? To this day I've still never seen one in the wild, unless watching CountryFile counts...
I do love a good glass jar. I have an ever expanding collection whose previous contents stretch from jam, to branston pickle, pesto, pickled peppers, pasta sauce, the lot. There's just something about free glassware I cannot escape... but maybe it's time for a change. Do you know what else are cool, unique and a little bit scary? Toby Jugs. They come in all different shapes and sizes, and many characters are available. Who wouldn't want a beautiful flower arrangement atop a grizzled Toby head on their wedding tables I ask you??
I strongly encourage this line of thinking - find the individual in everyday life, don't settle for the first easy idea. It got me where I am today, and my life is more colourful for it. Tell yourself what you think is awesome, and the world will be full of amazing ideas.
As I mentioned in my earlier post I'm trying to find ways to focus more on my blog and up my game when it comes to articles. As part of my research I came across a popular site called Bloglovin' where you can sign up and follow all your favourite blogs in one place. It's a handy tool for following multiple blogs, and if you're a fan of my stuff my site is also listed.
To celebrate my sign up with Bloglovin' I made a few buttons to share with anyone who wants them. Just right click the image you want from the list below and choose "save image as" and save it to your computer. They're all .png files which means they don't have a background, perfect if your blog is a different colour or pattern.
Just remember that these images are for personal use only, and are all my own artwork. Share with your friends, and if you want to you can leave me a comment with a link to your site so I can see them in action. Contact me if you have any questions. Enjoy!