Pizza-Beast

The Pizza Beast

A couple of doors down from me lives a pizza beast.

The pizza beast lives exactly where you might expect a pizza beast to live – in a pizza shop.

The pizza beast and I have a wary kind of relationship. We’re like the daddy lions of neighbouring prides; rival wizards whose sorcerous towers overlook the same enchanted forest, or the last two bruised apples in the supermarket, desperately not wanting to be the last bruised apple in the supermarket.

Yep. We keep a wary eye on each other.

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Ornament

Creepy Toad Ornaments

Right now, as I type this, a creepy toad ornament is looking at me.

This particular ornament is a little smaller than the size of a fist, made of dark wood. The upper jaw/head/back section is actually a lid, which conceals a small cavity for storing half-digested flies, lily pad crumbs, long-lost surgical forceps, or whatever else might be found inside a toad.

The creepy toad ornament came from somewhere in Sheffield. Miss-Matic saw it, and decided her life really wasn’t complete without a creepy toad ornament, and so it came home with us.

Although the creepy toad ornament is ugly, it isn’t inherently creepy. It’s creepiness comes from the fact that it watches me.

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Serving-Tea

Dropping Things Again

I’m good at dropping things.

So good, in fact, that sometimes my natural dropping-things instincts kick in when I’m not even trying.

This is usually fine, except when I’m holding a thing – especially a thing that should not be dropped – like a baby.

Dropping babies is the kind of thing that can get you in trouble with babies’ parents, concerned bystanders and officers of the law – not to mention make you generally unattractive to women. I’m also informed it’s not good for the baby either – but what’s it going to do, beat me up? I’m more concerned about the women.

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Applause

Applause

I live opposite a pub – which would be great if, a) I was deaf, b) I could afford to drink, and c) it wasn’t full of morons. Unfortunately, none of these things are true, so instead of going there I usually content myself to lie in bed in the small hours of the morning, listening to the drunken patrons screaming at each other like taxi-seeking monkeys, entertaining me with loud stories of the time they flung their favourite poo at a fellow monkey before trying to get it into a threesome with a genetically not-dissimilar kebab.

But Miss-Matic and I had a guest to stay the other day, so we scoured the back of the sofa for enough loose-change to show him the sights and sounds of our small town, starting by going across the road for a drink.

Upon arriving in the pub, pre-lubricated with wine and beer and the smell of a suspicious vodka that I didn’t allow closer than arm’s length, we discovered that a band was playing to a bunch of locals and their mothers. A girl with reddy-pink or pinky-red hair was screaming into a microphone. I couldn’t really discern what she was singing, but she sounded rather angry.

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Infected Connection

Ladies and gentlemen, cats and dogs, cakes and confectionary products everywhere.

I am pleased to announce that my novel Infected Connection is now available as an ebook.

There’s a NEW trailer!

There’s a website! With extras and FAQs and even a mobile version!

But most importantly, there’s a novel!

So if you fancy some high-tech horror with your tea and toast, technological terror with your coffee and cake, or science-fiction scares with your beer and bacon sandwiches, there are links to Smashwords and a bunch of different Amazon sites, here.

* * *

In other news…

Read the above again!

It’s exciting! And Lappy II, my poor beleaguered laptop, deserves a well-earned high-five for making it through all this without turning into a flaming wreck!

novels

Self ePublishing

It’s time.

I started writing about 12 years ago – which translates to approximately 1.5 years of writing, and 10.5 of furious and intense procrastination, masturbation and staring out of windows, waiting for fiction to assemble itself on the screen before me, and playing tower defence flash games when it did not.

In this time I’ve manage to squeeze from my creative sphincter four full, and two half novels; a smattering of short stories, and two depressing poems. Two of these novels were sent off to the Club of Literary Agents, where they got drunk, and nobody asked them to dance, and they came back home at the end of the evening and had a wank and cried themselves to sleep. The others just got stuck having pre-club drinks at the Need-Another-Redraft bar.

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BONG

The Tale of the Mysterious Bong

I was lying in bed the other night, working out exactly how I would melt the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to drown the low-lying areas of the world if I were a supervillain, when my musings were interrupted by a bong.

By this, I don’t mean that an oversized piece of drug paraphernalia flew through my window on smokey wings of purple haze and struck me on the head, saving coast-dwellers around the globe from getting their socks wet – but that something, somewhere, went bong.

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doors

Doors

Yesterday I left the flat to go job hunting. Everybody goes about this arduous activity in different ways, but for me this involved walking down the street with my hands in my pockets, kicking a stone along, and wishing that I had a treehouse.

Every so often I would look in a shop window to see if there were any signs advertising vacancies for in-store writer wannabes, bed testers, or beer tasters – but there weren’t any.

I did a circuit of the library and the town’s two bookshops, hoping to see signs stating they needed someone to check the plots – but there weren’t of those either. My final option was the Job Centre, but that was just depressing, so I did the bookshop-library-bookshop circuit another couple of times in case a sign had gone up in the meantime.

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Napping

Napping

If there’s one thing I have in common with Miss-Matic, Miss-Matic’s mother, and our cat – who adopted Miss-Matic’s mother only to be subsequently adopted by Miss-Matic and I under the somewhat false pretense that we would be entirely responsible for its residency, and who still lives with Miss-Matic’s mother several years later and is most definitely still our cat despite appearances and quite possibly legal definitions to the contrary – it is that we all like to take naps.

As we step into a brand new year it is important to set one’s goals and agendas up front – this is why we make New Year’s Resolutions after all – and so I have decided to spend most of 2013 missing 2013 by napping as frequently and lengthily as possible.

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Website of A. Ashley Straker / Ash-Matic