William P Thomson

One Who Would a Writer Be.

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

Two Into One?

Two Into One?

Hello, you lovely readers.

As of this moment (Friday, midday, August 31, 2012), I have just completed the penultimate ‘GEORGE’ story. Mind you, I’ll spend the next few days working on corrections and editing of same before I send it over to SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed! Remember?). Once done, it also means looming large is the matter of the final story. If you go back to my piece headed ‘BOO!’, that I put on the blog a week or so ago, you will be reminded of one possible problem I saw pending.

Horror. To do or not to do?, that was the question. No, probably not. Suffer little children not to scream! Perhaps a little something ‘off centre’. Maybe along the lines of the ending of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, only on “speed”! Yes, that has a certain taste to it. But, can that alone conclude the ‘GEORGE’ series? If not, what to do? How about two endings? If so, how to do?

Well, my idea is to confine the ending to the last page, which itself will be in two parts – top and bottom. In the former, I shall end in a manner fitting to all that has gone before. The adult reading to the child can satisfy the latter with a nice closureto all. For the reader, he or she, they can read the bottom half of the page, and perhaps enjoy something of a slightly darker shade.

But, you may ask, what if the child alone is reading the story? Aye, there’s the rub.

Goodnight, children …. everywhere!

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MINDHORIZON: a ‘tool’ in writing

MINDHORIZON: A ‘tool’ in writing

Hello, good people. Something happened a few nights ago, that relates to my writing. I thought it might interest you. I’m coming to the end of writing the ‘GEORGE’ stories, and had a problem; the ending itself. How best to conclude the 14th and final story and the two series as a whole. I had one thing in mind, but it would not have been appropriate. After all, they’re stories for children! Then, a few nights ago, I stirred in sleep. In so doing I realised I was still in the state of sleep, yet beginning to have conscious thought of that very fact. I was, in reality, in the state of ‘MINDHORIZON’, on the cusp between the sleeping and conscious states. What hypnotherapists call the Awakened Sleep, or the Hypnogogic state. Of itself, very powerful. The mind is divested of all interferences. Mental “white sound”, if you will. Everything is exceedingly clear, nothing to impair the progress of imagination. The trick is to stay in that state. Think too hard and you end up passing into the conscious state. Put more simply, waking up! I have been able to enter ‘MINDHORIZON’ on occasion, but never held it too long. You do it as you’re starting to come out of sleep, not going into it. You must be aware the moment you enter and make use of it, creatively, as quickly and gently as possible. So, stick to just the one creative problem you have, and not begin to tax yourself with it. Try too hard, in other words. I got my answer in that state, re ‘GEORGE’. It was simplicity itself: dreams.

It is said that two classics of the horror genre came via dreams. Mary Shelley’s ‘FRANKENSTEIN’ and Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE’. Indeed, in the case of the latter, it seems the story was all but complete, and when Stevenson awoke he committed it to paper in haste. When he showed it to his wife, she advised that he could never show such horror in the printed word to any publisher. He toned it down and, as they say, the rest is history.

So ….

‘In dead of night, in depth of sleep,

I dreamt the deadly dream ….’

That’s it. Sleep well!

PT

(William P Thomson)

PS: To know more about the MIND’SFLIGHT concept, click on to the website.

“The horror …. The horror”.

“The horror …… The horror.”

(Courtesy of Colonel Kurtz, “Apocalypse Now”)

So, why am I inclined more to writing horror stories?

I suppose one reason would be that the possibilities within this particular genre are infinite; no rules, no restrictions and no boundaries. Party time!

Perhaps the ultimate skill of the best of the horror writers is that they strive to make the impossible appear possible, and the unbelievable to come across as believable.

Let’s look at an all-time classic, Mary Shelley’s ‘FRANKENSTEIN’. The reason I pick this great work will soon become quite obvious.

Some might say the text was a little too flowery, even OTT. However, certainly the circles in which she moved, it was hardly surprising, with the great poets Percy Bysshe Shelley and the ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ Lord Byron for company. The former also being, of course, Mary’s husband.

The background for Mary’s inspired Gothic horror was substance enough for inspiration. Electricity had been discovered and, amongst other things, the Medical fraternity was experimenting with the new ‘power source’. Such included passing bursts of electricity through severed limbs and whole bodies of dead animals. Then likewise, with the detached limbs and whole bodies of dead human beings. Madness, in the guise of medical research and advancement. The more deluded believing they were restoring life to things dead when, in truth, they were simply producing little more than reflex responses, stimulated into being by the electrical currents being passed through the dead flesh, muscle, sinew and tissues. What real material to fire an already ripe and eager imagination!

In the Forward pages to Robert C. W. Ettinger’s ‘Prospects of Immortality’, he dealt with two specific things, one being the use of Cryogenics within the science of Medicine.

For Mary Shelley, electricity was the launch pad for Doctor Frankenstein. In my modern, parallel story, ‘PROMETHEUS ASCENDING’, Cryogenics was the launch pad for the neurosurgeon, Carvel. Whilst Mary’s vision of Hell is still a nightmare some way off, waiting to become probable, what is addressed in ‘PROMETHEUS ASCENDING’ is already much closer. With every passing year, it moves closer to the realm of clear and present nightmare, and a not too far distant reality. The improbable made probable; the unbelievable made believable.

In quite deliberately writing fantasy horror (as opposed to the genuine horrors within the real world), most still try to give their works a substance, a reality amidst the unreality of the stories they write, even a certain respectability. Explained in a more immediate, basic level, not taking the reader to be a fool to be fooled.

Taking a step back ….. horror can also be fun, of course, as I hope some of my ‘BoCheK Tales’ show.

For now, sleep well, or at least as well as the dark of the night and your imagination will allow.

PT

(William P Thomson)

S & P and BOO!

S & P

No, no, you’re thinking about S&M. Naughty!

I just want to highlight, for a moment, Spelling and Punctuation.

SPELLING

As I’ve stated, I’m no academic. When I began to ‘write for real’, I placed a pocket dictionary at my elbow as I sat at ( then) my typewriter, and do so to this day (as I sit at my laptop).

When I first used a dictionary (many moons ago), I thought it something not unlike a ‘Catch-22’ set-up. I mean, how can one find the word one wishes to spell correctly, when one begins trying to find a word one cannot spell in the first place!? Just an idle thought.

I became reasonable proficient over the years. When I get caught out, it’s usually because I’m sure I know how to spell the offending word. DOH!

PUNCTUATION

With punctuation it’s more interesting. I was never much cop at it, but got a little better. However, truth to tell, more often than not, I write for the narrator of my story, be they speaking aloud or ‘within their mind’. In other words, how I believe it should be read. I write very specifically for the ear much of the time. And, much of the time of course, the narrator is the reader, reading for his or herself alone. I hope that makes some sort of sense to you. I believe it all came about for two specific reasons. Firstly, as I was trained in drama (speaking aloud the lines) and, secondly, perhaps even more so, because my first ‘break’ was writing for RADIO! So, there you go.

*******

BOO!!

Question: To what degree can, should one, set about scaring kids shitless? Discuss.

In truth, not really. More a case of just a little. I mean, just cap an eyeful of the grim fairytales of the Brothers Grimm. Mind you, they were German! Steven Spielberg came up with an interesting observation. When they did some test screenings of his monster hit “JAWS”, he said it was the adults who screamed in genuine shock and fear of what they viewed, whilst the kids whooped with glee and screamed their delight at the gory bits …. not to mention cheering for the shark! Don’t you just love the little b …….s* !? (* beauts, that is). I raise this issue simply because of how I intend to conclude the “GEORGE” stories (‘For Young Adults’).

******

That’s all, folks!

PT

William P Thomson

‘Who would a writer be’ article for the blog site

Who would a writer be?

I am not a professional writer, and certainly no academic; neither sage nor prophet. I write because I want to tell myself a story. I write because I wish to articulate my imagination. As with millions like me, I write because I want to, with no guarantees of financial reward. I’m grateful if someone reads what I’ve written, because at least it’s a closure to a particular effort.

So, what was the route I took to writing? Simple, really, no great revelations forthcoming.

At 13 I went into a military school. At nights, in the dugout (dormitory to you civilians!), I used to lull my fellow little ‘soldiers’ into sleep by telling them stories, straight off the top of my head. I remember also taking my first stab at writing; a story about our teachers getting bumped off one by one by an aggrieved pupil. Some little shit split on me and I was threatened with dire consequences, and words such as libel and slander were hurled in my direction. They were as pearls cast before swine. I had no idea what they meant. Interestingly enough, when I eventually left school, I didn’t write for a long time. I ended up studying Speech and Drama, through LAMDA. I got my Golds and then went forth to give Olivier and Burton a run for their money. I lasted barely six months in a children’s theatre company before jacking it all in. I wasn’t cast in the heroic mould of a thespian. I liked my basic human creature comforts too much.

One thing I should mention before I forget. I learnt two-fingers typing on my late father’s old typewriter, slowly but surely wrecking it in the process. We now move on to the mid-60s. I happened upon a book: Robert C. W. Ettinger’s ‘THE PROSPECTS OF IMMORTALITY’. Bang! That was it. I began writing with a serious intent, putting together a work of faction (fiction, with a strong mix of fact), following Ettinger’s line of prophesy.

It was to take me close on forty years. The results will go on to Kindle in the course of time. I eventually titled the book ‘PROMETHEUS ASCENDING’. Around the mid-70s, along came the old Capital Radio and their little dose of late night horror stories slot – ‘MOMENT OF TERROR’. A kind lady named Doreen tipped me off that the radio station needed five-minute ghost/horror stories – and fast! I think I eventually got seven of mine broadcast, learning a few things along the way. I was happy writing in that genre, and that five minutes in print equalled four A4 sheets of paper and double spacing between the lines. Hey-ho.

I continued writing, even though my brush with miniscule fame had passed. Along with working for a living, I went on to study and qualify in Hypnotherapy and Counselling, I also slogged away on the writing front. A good friend of mine, David, put some of my stories (‘BoCheK Tales’, as I now called them collectively) in his free magazine. They also went on cassette for the American Institute for the Blind, and were broadcast on a popular radio station in Israel. And before you ask, the answer’s no, I didn’t make a buck to speak of, and fame bade me to go forth and multiply.

And then, dear reader ……..!

A therapy technique I’d developed (MIND’SFLIGHT) was put on to a website (www.mindsflight.net), created by a remarkable young lady by the name of DIONNE. You know the one, ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed!’ When that was done, she casually asked me if I’d done anything else. I told her I’d ‘written some stuff.’ She suggested I get it on to Amazon-Kindle, and became my I.T. expert and mentor in the venture. That more or less brings us up to date.

I haven’t made this journey alone. Apart from Dionne, friends have always encouraged me, ‘egged me on’, in a manner of speaking. In matters technical and I.T. especially, I’m lower than crap in knowledge and execution. The term I apply, ‘crap’, is most apt, as certain people have often pulled me out of the brown stuff over the years when my various typewriters, PCs and then laptops failed to function. I mention in particular, Huwie and Alejandro. They’d get a plaintive yelp of ‘HELP!’ call from me, then ride to the rescue. The former still does. Shit, Shakespeare never had such problems.

Bring back the quill and ink, says I.

I guess that’s it. At least for now. I’ve prattled on long enough.

To all my fellow writers I say …. WRITE ON!!

Regards,

PT

(William P Thomson)

Latest entry for William P Thomson’s blog site

Hello Amazon-Kindle users,

Well, the wonderful lady who prepares my writings to go on Kindle has suggested I get off my butt and write something else for my blog site. When SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) ‘suggests’, it tends to mean DO! So, in a gesture to appease, I’ve suggested I do one ‘something’ a month. So, here comes one for August.

What’s in a name?

As those of you who write for pleasure or professionally know, having a pen-name is one ‘tool’ one can use. My name is Peter Thomson. Sometime in the early ‘70s I took up the pen-name BoCheK. I won’t bore you with why I came up with that one. Suffice to say, I did. The first small set of stories I got on the old Capital Radio’s ‘Moment of Terror’ series was under my own name. It gave me a little buzz. After all, it was my name. In the mid-‘70s I had another small set of ‘BoCheK Tales’ broadcast (four, I think). The first two still under my own name, the last couple under the ‘BoCheK’ name. I should say, they were not under the collective ‘BoCheK Tales’ title. When those last two ‘Tales’ were broadcast, under my pen-name, the experience was buzz-less. After that, all the ‘Tales’ I wrote were under the ‘BoCheK Tales’ banner, although none were broadcast here in the UK. Fast forward to the beginning of this year – 2012 – and SWMBO had taken my literary efforts in hand. As she prepared Series 1 of ‘The BoCheK Tales’ to go on Kindle, she asked me ‘Who’s BoCheK’? I don’t think she grasped the fact it was my pen-name. As a result, I found myself describing a strange storyteller character called BoCheK. It has to be said, I’d already decided to ditch it as a pen-name and use my own name – in a slightly different order: William P Thomson. Someone said it made me sound like a successful author. Smart ass! So, there you go.

Changing.

I’m sure those of you who write go through changes with the plots and characters you create, right? Tongue firmly in cheek, a book I’ve written and refer to as my magnum opus, simply because it took me almost 40 years to sort out, was titled ‘The Carvel Experiment’ for all but the last few months prior to it going forward to, hopefully, going on to Kindle, but now titled ‘PROMETHEUS ASCENDING’. I’m now into the third story of the second and final series of the ‘GEORGE’ stories (‘tales for young adults’). I have just decided to change the eventual ending of the series, via the ending of the last story. I guess that’s because I’m always writing …. in my mind. Sound familiar? Hey-ho, who would a writer be – right!?

That’s it. Thanks for reading this, those that have, that is.

William P Thomson

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