Tag Archives: Fun fiction

Help Desperately Needed!

Please help Will Blyton and The Stinking Shadow FREE on Kindle today.

Amazon.co.uk: will blyton and the stinking shadow: Kindle Store

My novel for children Will Blyton and The Stinking Shadow is FREE on Kindle today and tomorrow..  We have all had that sickness bug and I haven’t been able to do much promotion.  So if you know any children from about  9-12 who might enjoy it please pass the above  link on.

When Hamnet, a tiny boy trapped in a stone, promises Will Blyton time travel, he thinks his problems are over. When a 14th century monks becomes his Stinking Shadow, he realises the trouble has just begun. Find out how Will stops the malicious shapeshifter, Ravensmite from returning Hamnet to his cursed existence whilst plotting to get rid of The Stinking Shadow. Although, Will Blyton and The Stinking Shadow is an hilarious comedy, it explores one boy’s journey from being bullied to learning a precious lesson about both himself and his tormentors. Step back in time to the 1970s and the strange seaside town of Groaningsea. There you will join Will in the adventure of a lifetime and find out how he becomes The Alternative Detective.

This book has great insults in it using Tudor type insults.  Subsequently, this is a wonderful stepping stone to introducing children to Shakespeare by insults.

Thank you so much for your help.  It is truly appreciated.

 

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Filed under Creative Writing, For children, Groaningsea Gazette, Will Blyton and The Stinking Shadow Chapter 1, Will Blyton's Diary

Loony Literature Holds a Party for Charles Dickens.

Loony Literature is holding aparty for Charles  Dickens.  Sadly, it all goes wrong.

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Will Blyton – The Alternative Detective video – part 3

Find out what happens when Will Blyton, The Alternative Detective, and his friend, Bongo  try to take a photograph of the ghoul at Boris Death’s old house.

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Filed under For children, Loony literature videos, Will Blyton's Diary

My Frankenstein Diary 6 – A Creative Writing Journal.

          One of the jobs taking place in The Laboratory at the moment is the promotion of the children’s book Will Blyton and The Stinking Shadow.  In this post, I want to look at how we can promote our writing in a creative manner. 

          As the book has a main character called Will Blyton, it seemed obvious that he needed introducing.  I know from my own experiences how attached I become to fictional characters.  It is embarrassing to say but I miss characters from long running sitcoms and books when they end.  When I know them really well, I feel as if I am meeting up with a friend or a member of the family; that is how important character is to us.  I believe this happens even more with older children.  As they follow a character’s adventures, they not only have the excitement of the story but they have a friend who never makes them feel bad about themselves.  Great characters are addictive to the human spirit.  So how could I promote my twelve year old character, Will Blyton before his first adventure is for sale?

          The first thing I did was create a diary written by Will which was set a few weeks prior to his adventure.  It introduces him, his friends and the place where he lives.  It does, I hope, make him interesting to other older children.  I also wrote some silly newspaper articles for The Groaningsea Gazette which is the local newspaper.  A letter from the villain Master Corpsehound is also written as a post.  I then placed them on this blog.   It occurred to me however, that blogs seem to be read by adults. 

          A great truth hit me as I watched a book review show.  The reviewers were three female celebrities.  They were talking about Michael Morpurgo’s “War Horse”.  One of the celebrities, Caroline Quentin, said that she had never read any of Michael Morpurgo’s books and started talking about the film or the play.  The other two celebrities – I don’t know their names –  gave me the impression that they hadn’t read the book either.  They also spoke of the film or play.  It was dull and painful.  However, when the next book was mentioned, a thriller with a main character as a woman – they had all read it and talked animatedly about it.  Apart from the fact that I question celebrities going on book review shows when they haven’t read the book, it seems like grown ups like reading their own stuff.  I don’t blame them, I am simply making the point that to promote an older children’s book, you have to appeal to the kids themselves and not the parents – I think.

          From the age of nine to twelve, my son loved Youtube.  He still uses it but not as much.  It would seem then that a good way to promote Will Blyton and The Stinking Shadow would be to film the diaries and put them on Youtube.  How easy can that be?  I have decided that I fool myself about these things or I simply would give up and become a stand up comedian.  In my next diary, I tell of my creative calamities.

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Loony Literature interviews Will Blyton and The Stinking Shadow for Radio.

Loony Literature interviews Will Blyton | Spreaker Online Radio   Loony Literature is desperate to get The Queen to The Laboratory. For some strange reason she believes that Will Blyton knows The Queen.  The Stinking Shadow causes a whiff and Loony Literature is not very happy.  Listen to what takes place.

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Will Blyton’s Diary 2

Find out what Will Blyton and Bongo see when they sneak up to Boris Death’s old house in the dark.

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Watch a Will Blyton Diary Entry.

Meet Will Blyton on video before he embarks on his adventure with The Stinking Shadow.  Find out what happens when  he comes face to face with the town bullies The Toad, Ferret and Snot

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Filed under Loony literature videos, Will Blyton's Diary

New Radio Show!

Check out our new radio show! Exclusive to spreaker. Edit show “The Loony Literature Show” | Spreaker Online Radio 

You can listen to our new radio show for free, you don’t even have to sign up to spreaker.

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My Frankenstein Diary 5 – a Creative Writing Journal.

In the previous journal entries, I have discussed wanting to show young people how we can use our literary heritage as a springboard for our own creativity.  Mary Shelley and Frankenstein inspired me to write a play “Frankenstein’s Revenge”, make two monsters and build The Laboratory.  The idea was that I would take the set and the monsters into village halls and perform the play.  A creative writing workshop would follow and we would all get writing.  The problems came thick and fast when it became obvious that constantly moving The Laboratory was not practical.  As if that was not enough, I couldn’t move my dominant arm for pain.  It seemed as if Loony Literature was at its own funeral.

Manuscript page from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Manuscript page from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, I am a great believer that there is a way around most problems.  If we are writing a piece of fiction, when we hit a problem, we don’t opt for the first solution which comes to mind.  We ferret around in our brains hoping to pull out the morsel that might be hidden in a dark corner.  However, if we don’t find it, life tends to whack us around the face until we notice the obvious.

It was a normal family setting.  I was sitting on the sofa with my teenage son and I had slipped into a character.  The pain killers had numbed the pain in my arm so I was feeling happy.  Unknown to me, I was too busy sprouting off with nostrils flaring and arms gesticulating, my son was filming me on his laptop.  He burned his footage onto a disc and played it on the television.  As the rest of the family hadn’t seen my earlier performance, it was met with a bit too much hilarity.  As I rolled my eyes upwards and pursed my lips, I realised that I did not have to cart The Laboratory around for Loony Literature to work.  I could turn my study into The Laboratory and film the play and the creative writing workshops.

Steel engraving (993 x 71mm) for frontispiece ...

Steel engraving (993 x 71mm) for frontispiece to the revised edition of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, published by Colburn and Bentley, London 1831. The novel was first published in 1818. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a solution to The Laboratory presented itself, so did relief from the relentless pain.  After doing some research, it seemed that certain tablets from the health shop would help the joints.  By this time I was desperate.  Although I had been clowning around, I couldn’t carry on with normal life.  I took the tablets and expected to wait a month for them to work.  I will never know whether the pain went naturally or my body was seriously short of Glucosamine.  Within three days, I was so much more comfortable.  After a month of pain and not being able to live my life, I suddenly felt as if I had won the Lottery.

The Laboratory now sits in all its grotesque splendour always ready for writing, photography and acting.  All right, so it does look pretty spooky having two monsters always sitting there and a table full of skulls and (fake) body parts.  However, when we add the werewolf sound effects and are dressed in Victorian costumes, it is utter fun and inspirational.  It works.  If we can pass that on to others then everything we are doing is worthwhile.

In the meantime, as Loony Literature is also hoping to get more boys reading, we have Will Blyton and The Stinking Shadow to publish and promote.

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Filed under Creative Writing, Frankenstein

My Frankenstein Journey 4 – a Creative Writing Journal

Problems are like buses…

In the previous journals, I have described how I wanted to encourage children and teenagers to read and write more by using texts from our literary heritage as a springboard.  The text I started with was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  In order to inspire the children to write, I wrote a twenty minute play and built a set which consisted of Frankenstein’s Laboratory and two monsters.

Al

Reginald Easton painted this miniature portrai...

Reginald Easton painted this miniature portrait of Mary Shelley, on a flax coloured background. It incorporates a circlet backed by blue, the same seen in the Rothwell painting and a shawl. (Seymour, Mary Shelley, p 543) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

l I needed to do next was turn the ideas I had for workshops into structured lesson plans.   I would then be ready to put Loony Literature into village halls.  It seemed a good idea to take some photographs of The Laboratory for promotional purposes.  The problem was that the whole of it was packed away in trunks.  Every time, I wanted to take photographs or practise the play, I had to set it all up in the garden as there was nowhere else to put it.  It was time consuming, heavy work and I had to wait until it wasn’t raining or windy.  Reality was starting to hit home.  If I wanted to take Loony Literature to village halls and schools, I would have to transport all the equipment and costumes, set it up and take it down again.  All this will seem obvious to the reader but I had been caught up in a creative idea and practicality had not raised its ugly head up until that point.  It was then that I hit the first low ebb in the Loony Literature process.  Although, looking back now, that was nothing when compared with what was to come.

At this point, I started to re-write the play because it was too short.  On closer scrutiny, I realised that what I already had could be the final act of the play.  I simply had to unravel why Frankenstein wanted to meet his creator, Mary Shelley.

Steel engraving (993 x 71mm) for frontispiece ...

Steel engraving (993 x 71mm) for frontispiece to the revised edition of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, published by Colburn and Bentley, London 1831. The novel was first published in 1818. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Writing the play did not have problems, initially.  Prior to Loony Literature, I have always opted to write fiction as opposed to drama.  Although I have studied literary criticism of drama and studied creative writing for drama; I have only ever written plays to get qualifications and have not had to produce or direct my own work.  The more we rehearsed the play, however, the more the constraints kicked in.  In other words, when we write a play to be performed by a class of children – we can be quite blasé about how many characters we put in the play and have on the stage at the same time.  In fact, up to a certain point, the more the better.  It was the opposite with our play.  As there are only two of us, I had to have only two characters on the stage at one given time.  At a glance, that does not seem problematic.  However, when one character goes off and has to do a costume change before he can come back on as another character, there has to be a lot of imaginative manoeuvring.  I was spending as much time creating easy costume changes as I was writing.

When I look back at the difficulties we encountered, I realise that to someone reading this, they might all seem obvious.  However, when we get pulled by a passion whilst wearing rose coloured glasses, we only see the end result.  For me, it was Loony Literature inspiring children with our literary heritage.  It was encouraging reluctant readers to read and getting the children to write because they want to.

One Sunday morning in late November, I woke up in terrible pain in my left arm and shoulder.  I am left handed and could not even comb my hair.  After a month of intense pain, x-rays revealed that I had wear and tear on my neck.  I was told by my G.P. that as they couldn’t give me a new neck, it was something which I would have to learn to manage.  At that time, I couldn’t even use a keyboard or hold a pen.  I thought of Loony Literature, envisaged transporting and putting up the set, tried to imagine myself acting in front of the children and wondered if all my hard work was for nothing.

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Filed under Creative Writing, Frankenstein