Archive for March, 2016

Space Command

Posted: 29/03/2016 by Alternate Celt in Dark Tales, Self Published, writing

A reblog of this extract. This is one of the stories in the Dark Tales short story ebook

crowkitchentales's Blog

The following is an excerpt from a story I wrote some time ago, partly inspired by the events of the 11th of September 2001. It is set in a possible near future. In this excerpt, the main character, Honey Kirkwall, explains a little about herself and her world.
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Things I remember from my childhood, before and then in those first few tentative years after the September 11th attacks, seem almost unreal – too glossy and glamorous to have really happened. So many things we took for granted, things I wanted and possessed as a child that no child now ever dreams of. Peace, the sanctity of your home, education that the world envied, even looking down -albeit with sympathy- on all those developing nations sunk in a quagmire of civil war.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, flickering on celluloid, is the voice of a man pleading with…

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Author Spotlight on Lulu

Posted: 29/03/2016 by Alternate Celt in Self Published, writing

This is my Author Spotlight page at Lulu , which is a Self Publishing website.  Here you can buy Dark Tales from the Crow Kitchen which is a book of short stories, The Ballad of Sara and Jared, which is a fantasy novel and my picture book of poetry, From Underhill.

Rock n Roll in the 22nd Century

Posted: 28/03/2016 by Alternate Celt in Extracts

This is an extract from something I’m working on.  It’s set in a rather wet and sad dystopian 22nd century at the birth of a musical revival.  The style is a kind of faux biography and the language is adult.

I remember the first time I heard the music.  It tore into my consciousness, bringing vivid colour into a world of pastel bland, “acceptable” music.  It was raw, visceral, bristling with fury and pounding with a sexual rhythm that I was barely old enough to understand.  It didn’t matter to me that it was old and playing on ancient salvaged equipment, because it felt like every saw-toothed guitar riff was ripping my eyes open after a lifetime in a musical coma.
I was no illiterate, even at 10, because my parents were nightclub musicians and I’d been surrounded in song and rippling blues and jazz since I was born, but this was something utterly different.  Maybe it was because it was everything my parent’s music wasn’t and I already wanted to be anything other than my parents.  It also wasn’t a thing like the bubblegum pop and brat rap that the kids around me seemed to class as music; another major bonus for a girl always sitting sullenly on the fringe of the many different schools she passed through. It was special; a newly discovered secret, an archeological find as glorious and beautiful as any ancient golden horde. It was Rock n Roll, and, so my Uncle Ché told me, it was like a hundred years old but it was still the most incredible fucking thing I’d ever heard.
Ché is 4 years older than me, and we were sitting in my Parent’s current box apartment in the High Towers of the Big Easy where all four of us have lived crammed together for the last 8 weeks. I can’t remember where my parent’s were, drunk someplace probably, and I have a feeling we both should have been at school, but instead we were listening to this wild music and having our minds blown.
“Who the fuck is that?” I remember demanding, even as I was already trying to twist my tonsils around emulating the screeching howl the vocalist was using to send thrills all the way through me.
“That’s Guns n Roses.  They were fucking epically HUGE in the late 20th,” Ché tells me, sucking on a joint stolen from the top drawer of my Dad’s dresser and hunching over Dad’s half dead acoustic guitar.  It was the only one that didn’t get pawned regularly because it had two missing machineheads and a hole punched through the back of the body that stole what sound the remaining four strings could make.  Dad wouldn’t part with it though, because it had belonged to his and Che’s Abuelo; an Argentine  mariachi who had stayed old school about his music till the day he died.
“Guns n Roses?” I echoed rhetorically, savouring the name like a charm, “What’s the song called?”
“Welcome to the Jungle,” Ché replied, having already memorised every song on that album;  Appetite For Destruction, I learned later.  I would also discover this was just the tip of the iceberg, and soon we were both immersed in a world of names, songs, styles, places and times far removed from anything the early years of the 22nd century was throwing at us.  Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones, and Black Sabbath; Grunge, Glam, Punk  and Metal: LA, London and New York; the (nineteen) fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties. All long gone, over a century ago, but all suddenly more relevant to me than the horror, alienation and drudgery of my real life.
Soon I found myself heroes among the wild cast of musicians
Ché and I discovered, who I lived and breathed as if they were still alive.  Guns n Roses stole a special place in my heart after that first encounter, and I fell in love with Slash, the lead guitarist who became my Rock n Roll “Mr Darcy”.  Still, I already knew my place in music was to sing, so I needed singers to look up to.  I quickly developed a love/hate relationship with Axl, G n R’s singer, because although his talent was undisputable, he himself was definitely a total dick.  I wandered from Robert Plant to Johnny Rotten, but it wasn’t until I uncovered Janis Joplin that I knew who my heroine truly was.  Axl had mimicked her, for fuck’s sake, and she was both a woman and not a total dick.  I didn’t see it then, but Janis was also a bridge between the music I had fallen in love with and the music I grew up with.  My mother was a blues and jazz singer, I had learned to sing sitting on her knee while my father played piano or guitar, so those songs would forever be a part of my voice and my soul. Janis sang those songs as well as the rock songs that made me love her, and through Janis I discovered that I could sing with that same raw power.  I know I have the technical skill of someone like Axl Rose, or those long dead jazz singers my mother used to cover, but I’ve always felt the chaos and rawness of Janis’s voice as something really close to my heart.
So that first time sealed my fate. That first time moulded the path my life was going to take.  Axl Rose welcomed me to the Jungle, and I never left again.
My name is Amy Tighe Cavalero, though humanity knows me as Tighe Blackheart, and this is my story.

To blog or not to blog

Posted: 02/03/2016 by Alternate Celt in musings

Or rather, to blog again. It’s been rather a long time,  but I have been writing away quietly for all that time. The question is, truthfully,  what do I wish to blog for. Mmm.

I shall ponder, and post some of my scribblings in the interim while I decide.