This week's news: Nyphomaniac zombie quokkas, Cootie Catchers, and flogging, castration and mutilation.
It's an exciting week, folks! It kicked off with Talking Tales last night - our second Stokes Croft Writers storytelling event at Left Bank in Stokes Croft, Bristol. We heard stories from a few of the SCW team including Steph Minns, Leah Eades, Thomas David Parker, plus myself.
There were also performances from more of Bristol's talented writers - Angela Brooks, Mark Rutterford, Kevlin Henney and Joe Smith...or is it Bryron? Oooh the mystery!
Christie and Andy of SCW were co-compering, Andy delighting us with some of his flash fiction (it really is very good - read some here) between the acts, picking which flash pieces to read in a 'Cootie Catcher' inspired way.
At my school we called them 'Chatterboxes' I think, and they were all the rage for a while hence I've been able to make such a professional looking one so you know what I'm on about. They are indeed a hard thing to describe otherwise. In my experience they were mostly just used as a more creative way of insulting people. The 'you smell' in the picture was far preceded at my school by much harsher words.
I was sad enough to Google 'Cootie Catchers' and found out that they can also be called 'salt cellars' or 'whirlybirds'. 'Salt cellar' sort of makes senses as apparently if you turn it over you can put food items in each of the pockets, although I can think of much more sensible ways of storing salt. This may work for jelly beans though. Try it.
If you are still fascinated by Cootie Catchers (and why wouldn't you be?) you can find out more here, or watch this video to make your own. You know you want to. Moving swiftly on...
Back to Talking Tales. I performed a particularly niche story - a review of the film adaption of Zombies on a Boat, so only about 5 people could enjoy it. I suggest you listen to the last podcast before the next one comes out and hopefully it will make a lot more sense. For anyone who needs further clarification of what a quokka is (as if my explanation of 'if a possum shagged a kangaroo' isn't enough?), see here. Don't be fooled by the cute furry smile.
All of the performers got a Talking Tales badge, which of course they'll all still be wearing with pride. God forbid they took them off to go to bed! Talking Tales badges are like Blue Peter badges except you look ever so slightly less of a knob wearing one.
'Finish the Lines' was a success again, the winning line rewarded with the ultimate prize, you guessed it - a Talking Tales badge. The best will be published soon on the Stokes Croft Writers website. If you're not already, please follow us on Twitter on on Facebook for updates.
The next Talking tales is likely to be in September, as apparently people go on holiday in August...wankers. Oh, I'm just jealous.
In other news...
I'm going to be recorded on Thursday for BBC Speechbubble! It's a radio show which 'showcases the talents of local amateur comedians' - it's mostly stand-up so I've no idea how I've been able to get in there, especially being as they said they needed something 'clean'. My story, a slightly adapted version of 'A Pocket Guide to Earth', involves 'flogging, mutilation and castration' so I'm not sure how 'clean' it really is. We'll see how that goes down.
You can read a taster of the story on my new website - FREESIZED! This was called Embracing our Bodies as that was a bit pants it is now back and is bigger, bolder and brighter and ready to take on the the future. Check it out!