Archive | Writing

Thoughts about the writing life, professional issues, the state of the industry and philosophical concerns for writers.

Marvellous Hairy — Episode Three

The Marvellous Hairy PodcastsIn Episode Three (chapters six, seven and eight), we are introduced to the bit players in the novel — Seedy, Spider, Blossom and Hippolyta, Ted Shute’s giant-booted emo daughter. The narrator, Rob explains what The Cult of the Claw is all about, and we learn what Nick is thinking as he writes his e-journal in his beloved Titania3000.

An excerpt from Nick’s journal:

In the lab they asked me questions. Deep questions and I hid the answers. Like I do every day, except with you, my lovely Titania3000!

Happily, the scientists decided to proceed. And they swabbed the lower end of my spine with Novocain, stinging, then numb. And in went a deep needle, fushed my fish, mealed my monkey, and deeper went the vile liquid that they wanted to test on me. It did no harm, except to say that now there is a large, swollen bump there, very near the base of my spine. It is tender. And red. Delicate like the prose in monkeyjoy!

It proceeds in another file, a digital brother to this record of my transformation. Who knows, perhaps someday it will be done and we can all have soup for our souls – and not just of the chicken noodle variety!

Mulligatawny ho!

You can find Episode One here, and Episode Two here. Or you may want to subscribe via iTunes. I’ll be listing all the released episodes here, and when I’ve got five done, I’ll be joining Podiobooks.com.

You can buy the book at the publisher’s website, because surely you don’t want to wait until the Fall, when it will be in stores?

[podcast]http://markarayner.com/mp3s/PB-marvelloushairy-03.mp3[/podcast]

Marvellous Hairy — Episode Two

The Marvellous Hairy PodcastsIn Episode Two (chapters 3, 4 & 5), we encounter security guards, more agents of the supernatural, and Nick gets up close and personal with the scientists of Gargantuan Enterprises.

Here’s an excerpt from this episode:

Several moments later, two men in white labcoats came in the room and peppered Nick with questions:

“So how often do you eat?” one asked — he did not introduce himself but Nick immediately thought of him as Doctor Flanksteak.

“Three squares a day, chief.”

“Good, and how many servings of fruit do you have per diem?”

“Well, if I’m feeling Latin, sometimes I’ll have a glass of orange juice, and occasionally an apple.”

“Fine. We just need to know,” the other scientist said, whom Nick thought of as Mr. Squeeze, Master of Constriction.

Dr. Flanksteak and Mr. Squeeze proceeded to ask him many questions, most of which Nick answered truthfully.

To the question: “Have you ever had a hallucination, vision or other psychotic episode,” Nick said, “No.”

They believed him, which just goes to show how good an actor Nick was, because at that very moment, the dreadful maw of the komodo dragon was superimposed over Dr. Flanksteak’s face.

You can find Episode One here. Or you may want to subscribe via iTunes. I’ll be listing all the released episodes here, and when I’ve got five done, I’ll be joining Podiobooks.com.

You can buy the book at the publisher’s website. It will be in stores in the fall.

[podcast]http://markarayner.com/mp3s/PB-marvelloushairy-02.mp3[/podcast]

Marvellous Hairy – Episode One

The Marvellous Hairy Podcasts“… methinks I am marvellous hairy about the face; and I am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me, I must scratch.”

–A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare

Okay, so here are the first two chapters of Marvellous Hairy, read by the author. (That would be me.) In chapter one, we learn about the Cult of the Claw, and why you never let psychotic psychiatrists perform your marriage ceremony. In chapter two, we discover why going to work on a Sunday can be a dangerous thing, especially if it involves either an inter-office romance or pig organs.

Not tempting enough yet? Here are the first few lines of chapter one:

Nick’s life as a monkey began with a wedding.

He wasn’t getting hitched; that would be too predictable. Man gets married. Becomes lower primate. No, the wedding was just the beginning of this story, so you know it’s not going to be a classy one.

Except for a slightly strange smell — incense mixed with some nameless funk — it started off like a pleasant dream. Sunlight streamed through the stain-glass windows, and flecks of dust floated in the beams, tiny specs of brilliance that slow danced like faeries reeling with whiskey and magic mushrooms. The wedding march played, women shed happy tears, and a bride festooned in about ten pounds of baby’s breath walked up the aisle towards the groom and Dr. Maximilian Tundra, who was officiating. He looked about as priestly as you’d expect a drug-addled psychiatrist with fire-red hair, a yellowish green cassock and boundary issues possibly could. Actually, without the chartreuse cassock, I think somebody might have asked him to leave.

[podcast]http://markarayner.com/mp3s/PB-marvelloushairy-01.mp3[/podcast]

Fun Times in Strange Lands

The prolific Ahmed Khan has just released the list of stories appearing in one of his upcoming anthologies, Fun Times in Strange Lands.

I was pleased to see that “Hounding Manny” made the grade for this anthology, which is aimed at “precocious” 10-12 year olds who enjoy speculative fiction. Fully illustrated too, which is cool.

“Hounding Manny” is a reprint of a story originally published in Oceans of the Mind. You can find “Hounding Manny” here. Bonus points if you spot the inspiration for the title character. Come on it’s easy!