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What if Oliver Twist had uncontrollable, murderous urges? What if Pip’s great expectations were suddenly overturned by a mad scientist’s plot for world domination?
You wouldn’t be reading Dickens – but you might be reading Gibbous House.
Moffat is a character in the full Dickensian mode – a carefully drawn and verbose criminal thriving in the underbelly of 19th century London. When he unexpectedly inherits Gibbous House, an estate in Northumbria, he heads north on a journey that raises questions about his own identity and quickly leads to issues of morality, addiction and murder.
Gibbous House, Moffat discovers, already plays home to a motley cast of characters: the beautiful and seductive Ellen Pardoner, the conniving attaché Maccabi and the arrogant scientist Enoch – manager of the mansion’s esoteric ‘collection’. Moffat’s greed-fuelled pursuit of his inheritance takes him deep into a crazed, conspiratorial plot and a series of tense, psychological showdowns.
Gibbous House is intelligent, cryptic and brimming with historical detail. The book combines suspense and mystery with comic asides to Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Dickens – adding an engaging modern irony to the rich texture of the classic gothic novel.
Why settle for Nicholas Nickleby when you can have a Victorian Psycho?
Ewan Lawrie spent 23 years in the Royal Air Force, 10 years in Cold War Berlin and 12 years flying over the rather warmer conflicts that followed. He began writing during long boring flights over desert countries, and what started as a way of killing time soon developed into a passion.
Nowadays he spends his time in the south of Spain, writing and teaching English to Andalucians and other hispanophones. Though he has had stories and poetry published in several anthologies, Gibbous House is his first novel.
I had no sooner buried my wife than I received a summons to the reading of her late Uncle’s will. Truth told, I was not a man brought low by grief. Numb and distant, perhaps, but three long years of watching death’s shadow hover had sucked the compassion from my soul. I was not aware of any inheritance that Arabella might have expected, but a trip to the Inns of Court in London seemed a pleasant diversion.
- 13th April 2018 STOP PRESS!!!!
No Good Deed, sequel to Gibbous House, launched its crowd-funding campaign today, Friday the 13th (Moffat might smile at that!)
If you enjoyed Gibbous House, please pledge here and become a patron of this labour of (my) love, and thereby get your name in the back of a(nother) real live book.
Besides, don't you want to know what happened next?12th April 2018 No Good Deed (Update)
Having signed the contract today, the next post you may receive from me might well be on the No Good Deed project page. Exciting news for me and maybe even for you, too.
Anyway, this is what I wrote last time I signed a contract (For Gibbous House, actually). Anyway, I'm not quite such a pessimist.
They...we...I, said the Spanish would never take it lying down. The smoking…24th March 2018 Inside the Moffat Sequel...
Spoiler alert... (for Gibbous House that is) Moffat washes up in America. After around a decade of nefarious deeds on the Eastern Seaboard, Moffat is penniless and decides to make his way south via stage and riverboat. More or less on a whim Moffat assumes the identity of another murder victim, Anson Northrup, gentleman gambler. As usual the power of coincidence involves Moffat in schemes and…20th March 2018 Bullet In...
Or indeed, bulletin. Not much news on the Moffat front. As some of you will know, the sequel to Gibbous House, No Good Deed or What Moffat Did Next is a "work in progress". This is, I confess, somewhat of a misnomer, since WMDN has been stuck on 70,500 words for some weeks and I can't quite see how to get from where it is to the ending I have in mind. (No, I'm not putting…5th September 2017 Amadeus
I know a lot of people think of Falco and 'Rock Me Amadeus', when they see the name. However, I'm thinking of the film with F Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce. Many people, musicians and historians alike, were outraged by Milos Forman's film based on Peter Shaffer's play of the same name. They may have played fast and loose with historical fact when they hint that Salieri was Mozart's murderer. However…21st June 2017 Five Months In...
Here in the wilds of Andalucia, one tends to feel cut off from the vibrant life of a published author. I've posted before about how much the author does in terms of marketing and promotion. Authors with massive sales have to do it too. Some (a very successful few, and only if they stamp their feet) receive actual remuneration for appearances at festivals and the opening of a book shop or even an envelope…13th March 2017 What Now?
Well, Gibbous House has sold a few books on Amazon: no-one knows, not even the Unbounders, how many. There are six very flattering reviews on Amazon, so I think one can assume that these are from among you pledgers' number. However, all and any further reviews will be most welcome.
How I wish the video showed a real campaign, however it did make me laugh making it!
28th January 2017 Quo Vadis, Scriptor?
All pledgers will have received their copies of Gibbous House by now. I hope you will all attempt what is, I admit, a big,fat book for a first novel. Any who do finish the book, do please leave your review (five words or a hundred and five will be equally welcome) on Amazon.co.uk.
Well, here is the news.
The launch party went very well, although there were a few cancellations at the…19th December 2016 Have a Very Moffat Christmas
and a Gibbous New Year! Thanks to all who have supported this campaign. You should all have your own special editions now, I hope. Do tell everyone you know to buy it, ask about it at bookshops and libraries and recommend it to their friends. (Always assuming you can do that in good conscience, of course!)15th December 2016 An Awfully Big Adventure
Adam and yours truly at The Blacksmith and The Toffeemaker
Well, I arrived back on the 25th November from a whirlwind trip to London to sign special edition copies of Gibbous House. “27 hours, 3 airports, 100 books signed, plus 1 reconnaissance mission to the site of January’s launch party” – oh, and a chance meeting with a Royal Air Force Wing Commander in the hotel bar. Those of…22nd November 2016 Books? Books! Real Books?
Yes. Books! I can't quite believe it myself. Thank you so much to everyone whose name is in the back of every one of these beautiful books. These are author's copies of the special first edition that those of you who pledged for one will receive. I'm off to London this Thursday to sign the autographed (signed) copies that people have pledged for. Maybe they'll arrive before Christmas? Wouldn't…11th November 2016 The Signing of the Times...
I am quite beside myself. At around 10 a.m. on 25th November, I am to present myself at the Lair of the Unbounders. My mission is to sign all the books intended for those who pledged enough to get my John Hancock on the flyleaf of their copy of Gibbous House. I haven't practised my signature so much since I was bored in Geography at school! (Not true, actually. You'll know if it's my…1st November 2016 The Party of the First Part...
Provided that no last minute disasters occur, The Gibbous House Launch Party will take place in London on 12th January 2017 between 1830-2000 hrs. The venue is expected to be... oh well this link is a clue
Those of you who pledged at Launch Party level, I look forward to seeing you again or meeting you for the first time. Worry not, there is no obligation to drink Absinthe, Magenwasser…21st October 2016 News...
Those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter will be aware that the publication date for Gibbous House is the 12 January 2017. It's been a long old trip and - at times - a difficult one. I'd like to thank everyone for being patient. I'd also like to thank everyone at Unbound - especially Rachael Kerr, whose dedication to the task went far beyond the call of duty.
The launch…12th September 2016 Medium-sized News
I have received the finished artwork for Gibbous House's cover. Very nice it looks too. The next step is for the book to go to press after second proofs have been checked.
Anyway, here is a deleted scene from the book. It didn't move the plot along, so it had to go. However I retain a fondness for it. See what you think: do feel free to comment.
A Chance Meeting
Two gentlemen of the…29th August 2016 Welcome to the...
Pledges are closed for names in the back of Gibbous House now. The book's status reads, "now in production, you can still...etc."
Those of you who have pledged already, have you considered upgrading so that you can attend the launch party? Of course, I don't yet know when (or where) it is yet. I do know that it will be in London, probably in the vicinity of Unbound's offices. Anyway, why not…8th August 2016 The Big Push
Someone once said that getting a book published must be like giving birth. I'd say that it was me, but what do I know about giving birth?
I am begging another favour from the faithful readers of this shed. Unbound are keeping the Name-in-the-Book option open for another 4 days. Last chance 23.59 August the 12th. If you are reading this, you already have your name guaranteed in the back.…1st August 2016 BIG NEWS in Little Pueblo
Gibbous House really does exist. I have proof. Better than that I have proofs! Unbound have kindly opened the pledging door so that the pledger's name can go in the back of the book. This opportunity pertains until the 15th of August. So... beg your friends, convince your friends. Share my boring Facebook posts and inane tweets, encourage this book to be a success before it even reaches the bookstores…26th July 2016 What I'm Doing at the Moment...
is writing a Noir novel set around Encino, LA and Carlsbad in 1938. You can find it here.19th July 2016 No News at All
No news this week. Anyway, for you stalwarts who still read past the title and the re-iteration in these posts, here is one of my favourite stories. It's no recommendation, it's been rejected every time it's been submitted. However, even though it's unpublishable, honestly, it's not half bad.
The Most Beautiful Machines in the World
I waited all week for Thursdays. On…11th July 2016 Slightly Bigger News
It's all looking good - the manuscript's with the typesetter at the moment, so I should receive it by return of post as soon as it arrives at Unbound. There will be an update on artwork too early next week.
So those who are gluttons for punishment may enjoy the following short story.
Red. Pillar-box red, fire-engine red. The devil’s colour. The harlot’s colour of the scarlet…4th June 2016 Small News...
The copy-editor has the manuscript with comments on the comments on it. I expect to receive comments on the comments on the comments, at which point I shall capitulate entirely and agree to/with all of them, of course. Anyway, meanwhile, here is this which is some exceptionally bad writing. "Pendejo" is (apocryphally) a single pubic hair in certain Spanish-speaking cultures, it also means Arsehole…10th May 2016 Stop Press!
Well it hasn't actually started yet anyway, but...
The copy-edit is in Unbound's hands... I suspect I'll receive the Copy-editor's queries shortly, which means Unbound will send them to me, I will make the recommended changes and then it will go back to the copy-editor again and then ... well, you understand. In any event, here is some flash fiction, read it, or not, as you like...
Der Verschwundene…5th May 2016 I haven't posted
much in the way of blog-style posts here in the shed. I am hoping to have some news for you soon, meanwhile a blog-style post.
An Inordinate Number of Spoons
Among the bric-a-brac, oddities and junk on offer at the local mercadillo, someone always has a stall with antique irons, rusted weather vanes and old cutlery. Every flea-market is the same. There will be boxy TV sets too…25th April 2016 Rewarding Pledgers and Followers...
It has been suggested that writers reward pledgers by posting news and material in the shed... it might be a better reward not to post writing! Anyway (Warning : strong language in two languages) here is ..
No Word for Blue
Vitaly unscrewed the fuel cap on the bowser, jammed the plastic tubing into the tank. A quick suck on the end of the hose and the naptha-kerosene splashed into…22nd April 2016 Some News...
Unbound expect to recieve Gibbous House from the copy-editors on the 29th of April. I expect to receive any resultant queries in the first week of May and there may be a bit of back and forth concerning these, although I hope (given the amount of work put in by Rachael Kerr, Unbound's editor-at-large, before the copyeditor even saw a manuscript) that they will be minimal and take very little time…24th March 2016 State of Play
Nothing has changed since I last posted in the shed. I have adopted a policy of writing to Unbound once a month for news, and so I'll be contacting the production department in 10 days time. There's a lot on at Unbound at the moment as you've probably seen.
Anyway, just so you have something to read here's an old thing I found under the bed, give it a go. What will it cost you, five minutes?…15th March 2016 N O N E W S ...
No news is good news... anyway by dint of there being no news I have decided to post one of my oldest stories...
It was coincidence, meeting him, when I called in there. The Malt Shovel, I mean. OK, it wasn’t far out of my way and I was hungry; Dover was a long way off. ‘Sleep when you can, eat when you can’: not bad advice. There was plenty of time to make the crossing…16th February 2016 Update...
Well, you're probably wondering what the state of play is. Unbound have a manuscript they say they are happy with, so Gibbous House is back in the sausage mach- I mean, production. Over the next few months this will involve a copyedit and proofread, etc. I may experience some slight deja vu on that front! The cover artwork will be addressed over the same period. Books are hopefully going to be sent…28th December 2015 The Offending Story
Those of you who read "Editing and Things" might be wondering about the story which was edited. As it happens, you can read the story in the shed. It has the title The Wrong Morris and is here . The editorial change was the addition of the translation of two Russian words near the end. See if you can guess what the translation is, post it under the story. No prizes, just the satisfaction of knowing…22nd December 2015 Do Have a Moffat Christmas...
and a Gibbous New Year.
For all you patient pledgers here is a Moffat Christmas Tale. If it's good enough for the BBC it's good enough for me....
Moffat's Christmas Errand
I was between fashionable addresses. My topcoat had not kept the cold of the stone floor from my bones, although I had wisely spread its fraying cloth thereon before lying down to sleep. The landlord was aware…8th December 2015 Around This Time of Year...
Every writer I know has a go at a ghost story. This is one of mine from a couple of years ago...
The whole production crew was in on it, of course. Most of the guests too: they went along with it, at least. People do, when they've something to sell. One series: it was pretty long, 12 weeks, for a debut artiste. That was all I got, though, enough to be a pink…3rd December 2015 Editing and things...
After much tearing of hair and other tantrums, Unbound's team have a final (hope so) draft to put into the pre-production process. Now, here at Unbound, everything was very civilised and although I felt daunted at the work required, I understood the changes requested and why they needed to be made. I understood them because Unbound consulted me.
Every year, a writing site of which I am a member…5th November 2015 Remember, Remember
a propos of nothing else here is a short story!
It wasn’t my idea, exactly. I wish it had been. All I said was that it was a pity writers didn’t take more direct action.
Wrighty II said that was why we were writers, ‘It’s not about doing, it’s about thinking.’
Bob C said that was crap, ‘ “Write what you know.” How can you write it, if you haven’t done it…2nd November 2015 No News, but I thought you might like
This.... which isn't how it was, but how it might have been.
The Infinite Scope of Memory
Pass me my mnemo-scope,
careful! It’s versatile.
Put it to your mind’s eye;
it’s all the scopes –
from micro to tele –
from minutiae to mediation.
Which one is it,
Like all good scopes
we use it to spy
on the ‘other’.
Here, let’s gather
intelligence…14th October 2015 Does....
anyone read this stuff? Hmm... does it matter? Anyway, here's something else to read... it's short, it's made up, ergo it's...
The moon went out. Just like that. There and then gone, as though God's hand had flicked the switch or Mohammed had forgotten to change the bulb. But no-one noticed, or very few. It was a waning moon well below a quarter full, a thin sliver that was…8th October 2015 Something to Read, while you wait... and wait
It's quiet in La Higuera. It means The Fig Tree. Maybe you know it, a family run bar and restaurant on a corner site, one hundred yards down the hill from one of the town's High Schools. Tuesdays and Thursdays I find half-an-hour in my busy schedule to blow the change in my pocket on a small beer and a tapa.
The girl...When did women become girls? I know she must be in her twenties…7th October 2015 About Gibbous House...
Some fairly heavy rewrites are going on for Gibbous House at the moment... as someone who has pledged, would you prefer Moffat to be mixed up with
c) Anastasia "Ana" Steele from 50 Shades of Grey?
I'm joking, obviously.1st October 2015 There Will Be a Statement About Gibbous House Shortly...
Meanwhile, this is called Retired...
The frog lay on the asphalt like an abandoned glove. It hadn't rained since the first week of October. Those trees which had shed their leaves stretched bony limbs towards the blue sky. Others, palms mostly, looked limp and many of their leaves had turned to the brown of paper bags. He looked down at the shattered glass and rusted metal on the ground.…27th August 2015 Ex
Congratulations to Laurie Avadis who held his launch party for 'Ex' a couple of days ago. I've reviewed his book on Amazon here.26th July 2015 Write what you know?
Hmm... I've never been overly struck with this piece of CW advice. I nearly wrote cant, but but that's perhaps a little harsh. I can't help thinking that a lot of great writing would never have seen the light of day if people took this advice too literally. Anyhow, here is a story written when I used to take this advice. I leave it to you to see its relative merits.
They say that…13th July 2015 The Unbound Library
As some of you may know, Unbound authors were asked to name their favourite book for inclusion in the Unbound Library. My suggestion was The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. Suffice to say this is one of the books that inspired the Rolling Stones 'Sympathy for the Devil'. Check out other books in the Unbound Library here . There are some fantastic reads to choose from and some that I…3rd July 2015 More Stuff to Read...
I don't know, maybe you are impatient for my book. Maybe you're sick and tired of waiting. Average production time, acceptance to hardcopy on sale in Waterstones (okay Amazon if you're lucky), is 18 months to 2 years. Yes, you can self-publish in the time it takes to ignore the number of times you've written "to" instead of "too", but more traditional models are - well - slow. This is a good thing…2nd July 2015 Pssst!
The Unbounders have a finished manuscript, production looms! Thank you all for your patience.24th June 2015 How Typical It Is...
that the person charged with keeping one and all informed of the feats and fine deeds of your hero Alasdair Moffat has been more than remiss in doing so. Volume One of my exploits is close to storming the curiosity shops and emporia in your vicinity. However, there have been some trifling hurdles to overcome. For example, I am convinced that this Lawrie fellow is unacquainted with good practice…25th May 2015 Meanwhile...
while you're waiting for your copy of Gibbous House, you can download a free collection of short-stories and flash-fiction, one of which features Moffat. You may enjoy the others just as much. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/434408
If you prefer, there is a very short collection of fictionalised accounts about 80's Berlin here https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/301103
Either…12th May 2015 All Apologies
I am very sorry for not posting here for a while. Due to unforeseen circumstances (and no fault of Unbound's) there has been a delay in production of Gibbous House, sine die.
Please be patient while work is done by me and the editor to get things back on track.
I'll post again when I have some news.22nd March 2015 Favourites...
Writers - am I a writer? Hmm... People who try to write have favourites, things they have written that they like much more than others; even others that have been accepted and published. Sometimes there's something that they write that, despite everything, really represents them and what they think they are.
The following is my favourite story of the moment. One that I must have written a good…17th March 2015 O Tempora...
I've just returned from a trip to Rome. It remains a wonderful place although there are more beggars every year. Still less welcome are the "entrepreneurial" touts, lanyards round their necks, but with the identification card missing. Touts for restaurants, touts for taxis, touts to help you with the frankly daft system of ticket validation on the railways. This is Italy remember, there will be…10th March 2015 Bric... and Brac
Well, the last open post was about the contents of the shed. I said I might write a story based on the items in it. Well, I've done it. Nothing to do with Gibbous House, though. As for the title, I've a great weakness for the music of Bill Nelson and Be Bop Deluxe, so...
Make the Music Magic
No doubt about it, everything was ticketty-boo. The jam-jars were wrapped in the pages of…10th March 2015 Origins
I found it in an old carpet-bag at a yard-sale. The bag was a horrid thing, moth- or worse-eaten.
'Don't reckon you'll hev much use for the contents, mister.'
The stall holder had the baggy mouth of a tobacco chewer, but he didn't spit after he said it.
''S jest some old journal and a vest. Playin' cards all over it. 'Bout the most awful thing I ever saw.'
This time…10th March 2015 What's Going On With Mr Moffat...
As those who have seen this blog post http://unbound.co.uk/books/gibbous-house/updates/no-good-deed will know, I have had around 50,000 words of a sequel knocking about for some time. Yesterday I bit the bullet and began weeding out the tares prior to writing the other 150,000 or so words I'd like the book to have. Having come to a halt at 50,000 I'm not sure if I need the surgeon's scalpel or the…26th February 2015 The Finishing Line
The finishing line for Gibbous House seems at once distant and alarmingly close. Copy has been edited, queried and queries answered, proof-reading has been done and queries answered. A real book should be in my hands by the end of May, a launch party is in prospect in June. There are only 5 days left to pledge for the book and get one's name in the back as a supporter, as the list closes at 23.59…28th January 2015 Waiting...
We wait for large parts of our lives. In the Armed Forces, life is generally long periods of waiting punctuated by (very) short and intense periods of activity/excitement/bowel-loosening fear. If you sit down and think about it, you'll be waiting for something. An Amazon delivery, an e-mail, a phone call. Some news about a promotion at work perhaps. For the Marines, if you're Wayne County - he…27th January 2015 Remember, Remember
I wrote this poem a while ago. It's fairly self explanatory and appropriate for today.
Shoah and Tell
Down streets too clean
for challah, kreplach or sauerbraten,
a man must go lightly towards his fate.
Under the moon and lamplit rooves and spires,
while rat meets cat beside middens, pails
and műlltonnen, where then meets now,
just this side of memory,
Kurt or Bernd or even…14th January 2015 One Man's Misfortune...
is another man's luck. Or woman's, for that matter. In any case, after failing to find a home for the following short story, I've decided to post it here, it's only been rejected by two publications, but here it is for your entertainment. Feel free to comment, but remember... you're reading it for free!
The market stalls were sparse. It was raining, but being selective…9th January 2015 Yes, that is the question...
but we need the "write" answer6th January 2015 Gibbous House Update..
The Unbounders are awaiting the return of the manuscript from the Copy Editor, along with any queries he or she may have, on or around the 15th of January. Once any matters are resolved, Gibbous House will be despatched to the Type-setter(s).
I have seen the rough covers showing some prospective designs for the the cover. They look very good, anyone who has pledged for a print may be very pleasantly…2nd January 2015 No Good Deed
I do have around half a sequel to Gibbous House written, without giving too much away here are the opening paragraphs. Edited version March 10 2015.
No Good Deed or What Moffat Did Next
It was a relief to take my seat inside the coach, if only to escape the ripe odour emanating from the driver and, indeed, to leave behind what passed for a town in southern Missouri. My two fellow travellers…25th December 2014 Merry Christmas...
Merry Christmas, to one and all... here is the only Christmas poem I've ever written...
And I Followed
And I followed.
I followed the caravan out of Saba,
far behind the servants and the camp-women.
And I followed.
I followed my brother Balthazar,
who showed me the star through the palace window.
And I followed.
I followed long behind, over mountains, through valleys…21st December 2014 Seasoned Greetings
Well, you may take my wishes for the holidays with a pinch of salt, since - as I get older - I consider the un-reformed Ebenezer more rôle model than villain. So, for what it's worth, I wish you all you would wish yourselves and more.
Herewith, a present: not a particularly seasonal story but none the worse for all that.
3 - 6 - 9
The seagulls squawked, swooping on the Sanitation…16th December 2014 The Big Ship Sails
Are there still skipping songs? Do children still skip in the streets of Moss Side and Longsight?
I have no grandchildren to teach mysterious songs about a world that no longer exists. My phantom children inhabit another non-contiguous sector of the lobate multiverse. When I visit the UK, I don't see children playing much. The only people disturbing the Gibbous House video shoot in the East…11th December 2014 Christmas Is Coming...
and Winter has come. Living in the south of Spain, I am lucky enough to see snow caps on the Sierra Nevada (some 100 miles away as the Short-Toed Eagle flies) from my house, if the visibility is good. The lack of heat haze in the winter months helps this. However, it's hard to feel "Christmassy" sometimes. December makes me think of fairy tales and pantomimes. I miss going to the theatre to watch…8th December 2014 The Moon for Sixpence
Warning, may contain poetry.
There was an interesting item on the BBC News this morning
The part that interested me most was in the fifth paragraph - where many interesting items and details are to be found in news stories - concerning the funding of this Mission to the Moon. Without wishing to give everything away, the words 'public…4th December 2014 A Propos of ...
...nothing at all, save that another week has passed, here is a short, almost ghost, story, I wrote a while ago...
The Last Rite
There should have been a storm, a hurricane or a tempest. Not a grey sky and the fine drizzle that gets a man soaked before he knows it’s actually raining. The room’s window looked out on this dismal prospect. Tuesday’s weather would have been ideal for the…27th November 2014 The Contractual Obligation Shed Post...
Somewhere in my contract it says I've to keep readers posted by means of the blog known as the Shed. Regular readers will know that this particular shed is much better known as the Gibbous Hut. In any event, I have nothing about which to keep you informed at the moment. However, do not feel that this means I am abandoning you! Nay, indeed not. What I have decided to do is to keep you entertained…24th November 2014 The Curse of the Dirty Bottles
... or as the locals in Alnwick, Northumberland say it, 'Thi Dorty Bottles', is going to re-open at Christmas. It was a sad day when it closed down a few years ago. Open for over two centuries, the pub was actually called Ye Old Cross Inn. Due to "The Curse of the Dirty Bottles", said bottles remained untouched in one of the front windows for around that time. A sign was affixed at the window…19th November 2014 105%...
Hmm... thanks to all still reading these posts. 105%. Wonder what plans there are for the extra five per cent? Not a vast amount in the grand scheme of things. Might pay for a forty-word entry in the classifieds of the Costa Del Sol News, just between the offers of sexual favours at a price and nearly new electrical goods only slightly warm.
Now six per cent, I could find a solution for that. Anyway…12th November 2014 A Week After the Event...
and I'm still amazed at how quickly we got to 100%. Gibbous is a big fat book, more pages more pledges, you see.
In the shed today is a print-out of Shelley's Queen Mab and Mercutio's speech from Romeo and Juliet, two broken pencils, the largest mug of coffee outside of Starbuck's, a milkmaid's stool and a fold-up camping table. I've been looking through short stories I've written and it surprises…9th November 2014 Remembrance Sunday, 2014
During this week, my great joy at achieving Gibbous House's target and bringing publication one step nearer has been tempered by the reflection that this time of year always brings. As you may know I served 23 years in the Royal Air Force. I haven't much to add to the flippant description you can read in the bio. I do feel uncomfortable about the levels of emotion surrounding the public's relationship…4th November 2014 Gibbous House is fully funded...
from 5 minutes ago. Well done to everyone who contributed, shared, tweeted, bored friends in the pub and forced relatives to consider doing the same.
I wrote this short story a while after I finished Gibbous House... Thank you Unbound for saving me from this fate...
They...we...I, said the Spanish would never take it lying down. The smoking ban. Six months after the…29th October 2014 90 Days...
I'm no numerologist or Kabbala apologist, but there's surety in numbers. 90 days of campaigning - 90% reached. A man inclined to omens and portents might see something in that. However, I'm a sceptical fellow and more inclined to trust the results of casting the prunes rather than runes. Still, it has a pleasing symmetry.
Sometimes I think this aporetic nature of mine inclines me to the fantastical…23rd October 2014 Roll Up, Roll Up
The galloping mare that is Gibbous House's campaign is careering down the home straight. To save this poor jockey from brandishing his whip, Unbound is holding a draw for Launch Party tickets: everyone who contributes from now until the target is reached is eligible. I'll buy the winner a drink too, when I meet them. Now that's an offer. There's a free poem with this shed post below…23rd October 2014 On the Pavement
85%! Well done to everyone reading this. It really feels like the campaign is on the home straight. One last effort and it will be done and dusted.
Here is a short piece about something that happened today.
On the Pavement
Like a secret sign from gypsies, a dead rabbit lay on the pavement at the side of the road; in a side-street of low-rise apartments, one street back from…22nd October 2014 Guilt
Yes! I feel guilty. I haven't posted anything here for a few days. Nevertheless, the campaign continues, if not in the manner of a snowball down a steep hill, in the manner of chinese water torture, dripping away. We are at 84% as I write, only 16% to go. Well done to everyone reading this.
Anyhow, what follows is a flash-fiction piece on 'Guilt', I hope you enjoy reading it.
Guilt…11th October 2014 Parsing Through
David Mickes Professor of English at the University of Houston says studies 'have shown that when we read online text we do not read all of it, parsing only the left-side of the column.' In honour of this dazzling insight here is some Concrete Prosetry.
So reading is the…4th October 2014 How it all began...
I started Gibbous House with a 3rd person omniscient narrator. Quite a few scenes were written in this style and the central figure was going to be a sub-Holmesian, Mr Whicher type named Wilson. The project ground to a halt and as an experiment I wrote an introductory chapter with Moffat as the narrator. Eventually I couldn' t let him go.
Anyway, reproduced here is a few hundred words…2nd October 2014 How to Live to Be 100
You all remember these, right? Did you have Desiderata on a poster, on your wall in your university digs? And what about that record by Baz Luhrmann, Sunscreen. I wrote this poem a while ago. It's one of those self-help/good advice things.
How to Live to Be 100
Avoid reading government advice sheets:
if you want a drink, have one.
Pay someone a compliment every day.
Touch…30th September 2014 Words, Words, Words.
A fool may gain the reputation of being wise if he have but wit enough to hold his tongue
Got to hand it to that Bible book, it knows some good stuff. Billy Shakesbeer thought so, he stole enough lines from it. As you can tell I'm not one for following the excellent advice in the proverb above. At least, I'm not holding back on the keystrokes.
What are…25th September 2014 Chocolate Jesus
A song by Tom Waits: well in as much as anything is sung by Tom. In fact those words strike fear into the ears of many people. Growled, snarled, howled and grunted, perhaps. But they're still afraid in spite of the warning. Well I don't go to church on Sunday, either. Anyway, regarding Tom Waits, a man who insists on making…23rd September 2014 You May Ask Yourself...
Well, how did I get here?
Over the Barents, Sometime in Winter, 1997
'Devyatnoster cheteary sto dvatsat ah-din'. I hear the pilot through the static, maybe it's the co-. It's nice to know I've logged the number correctly. I'm reading it off the Tu-95's tail, 94121. Through one of the few windows in the fuselage of the aircraft I'm flying in. It's his bort number. I could look this…22nd September 2014 Well Done!
Gibbous House is at 71%!!! Thanks, Dear Reader, because – if you are reading this – you are responsible for this number
I'd like to tell you a story. It wouldn't be true – at least, it never happened. Not the way I would tell it.
Once 'aponner' time, 'longer go and far a way'. There. Now you know it's a myth, a legend, a child's fairy tale.
Someone was born, somewhere…15th September 2014 A Very Short Story
I must say I admire everyone's patience. Friends are very tolerant of someone constantly badgering them to contribute to their crowd-funding campaign. I'm sure people think we unbound writers have a brass neck to be constantly asking for Facebook shares, retweets and the Holy Grail that is a significant pledge. The reality is that none of us are really comfortable with this self-promotion and…12th September 2014 150th Contributor is....
Mike Graham. I will be sending out the books to him shortly. I can't say the sunshine will be arriving too! Congratulations, Mike.
I may look at another prize for the person who contributes the pledge to take Gibbous House to 100%, if only I can think of something!
Well done everybody on getting Gibbous House up to 68%9th September 2014 Tilting at Windmills
The most famous 'sally' in the adventures of the Ingenious Don Quijote has become a by-word for a futile endeavour. Like getting your novel published, for example. However, since today Gibbous House's funding stands at 64%, perhaps that's not exactly true.
I have tilted at the windmill of reading Cervantes's great novel more than once. (In translation, of course! Do you think I am mad, Sancho?…2nd September 2014 Gardez L'Eau!
Yesterday I finished writing the character requested by the generous contributor who pledged the sum required to be allowed to name a character in the book. I also managed to weave the episode into the existing narrative. Maybe you won't be able to see the joins, that's a question I'll have to ask my editor.
Even so, it was an interesting thing to do, I had to put myself in Moffat…25th August 2014 Postcard from Peñascosa
Still on holiday in Albacete Province. It's uncanny how few young people there are. Yes, it's a tiny village with two cafes, a bakery and a -well- we English Guiris would call it a mini-market at best. One name the Andalucians have for it is an 'ultramarinos', but throughout Spain they have 'Supermarket' written on the sign outside. They are corner shops, but here's the thing. Their staff in other…23rd August 2014 What's in the Box II?
After Midnight at the Floridian Hotel
And still it sat there, on the bare boards. A challenge, sullen and lowering: the peeling paint proof of its age, the padlock a claim to importance. I picked up the grey telephone receiver, the push button dial had been the cutting edge of technology only forty years ago. I pressed 0 and the night guy yawned by way of answer.
'I need some bolt cutters…20th August 2014 A Master Criminal is at Large
Damnation. No sooner had I mastered the Twitteration rebus, than I realized my arch-enemy, the master criminal Jacques Eau De Nil had followed the entire troupe of writers, scriveners, scribblers, agents and Twittificators available. Who was left for me to follow? To whom would I turn to boost my prospects in my quest for The Holy Grail, The Chalice with the Palace, or even the Vessel with…19th August 2014 A Walk in the Parque
Out here in the Parque Natural de Calares del Río Mundo y de la Sima , you don't walk far without being reminded what a fecund and fertile country Spain is. It is mid-August and there are dark and succulent berries among the unripe blackberries on their bramble bushes at the side of every dirt track. Lift your eyes to the the trees and you are struck by the elderberries lording it over the humble…16th August 2014 Under the Black Poplars
I'm sitting in the shade under the black poplars, Los Alamos as they are known in Castellano. There will doubtless be a hundred local names for a hundred different localities, when referring to these tall and sheltering trees. Say Los Alamos to a Baby Boomer and they are likely to think of mushroom clouds and 'Duck and Cover'. I think about these things: perhaps I shouldn't. How close were we…15th August 2014 What's in the Box?
46% and counting, thanks to everyone who has contributed, shared links, annoyed friends and relatives and shouted on street corners. You are all wonderful people.
Well, let's get some interaction going here...
Sunday Night at the Floridian Hotel
In the corner stood a box. It was metal, painted green in the way of the Government-Issued items of fifty years ago. There had been some legible…11th August 2014 Holidays Imminent!
Hello from the Shed!
This virtual shed is about the only kind of shed I could stand to be in, over here in Andalucia. Before I went to bed last night on the night of the Supermoon, the thermometer read 34°C. Imagine what that is like in the heat of the day.
About a year ago I wrote on my blog about a guy I met in the Venta down the road. He turned up last Saturday night with his band, Memphis…1st August 2014 Day 2
As I write this missive from the depths of the Shed, the project is 30% funded. A huge thank-you to all of you reading this, since, I assume, only those who have contributed are reading. Later today I'll post the first material for contributors only. My intention is to draft some character notes and write a paragraph or two in preparation for the Name a Character Pledge.
One of the…31st July 2014 Campaign Launch Day 31st July 2014
Today is the big day. The campaign is live. You have 2 posts to read already, if you've a mind to do so. However, this is the first official post with a live project. On here you'll find news about the project, associated new writings, short stories even, perhaps with Moffat appearing. And of course, the ramblings of someone who wants to get his novel published.
An exciting thing, this pitching…22nd July 2014 The Infernal Deferral of Gratification
Eight days after my first bloggery: I am shouting into the silence as yet. In a few days the campaign will go live. How will I animate the creature? Lightning? Phlogiston? The divine spark of genius? Sometimes I come over all Professor Rothschild. Reanimation, reincarnation, resurrection, call it what you will the legend of Enoch, Methusalah, and people who live more than their allotted three-score…14th July 2014 It Begins...
An adventure as exciting as writing the novel itself. Lots of work still to do. Final drafting; proof reading, et cetera. The difficult thing is to make a book completely ready for publication. Every reader knows it takes a long time to write a novel - every writer knows it takes twice as long to finish the process.
If you've got this far perhaps you're interested in Moffat and what happens…
These people are helping to fund Gibbous House.
Rhel ná DecVandé
John Luke Chapman