Merry Christmas from Books, Films and Random Lunacy

The great Noddy Holder once said…

“IT’S CHRISSSSTMAAAAAAAAS!”

I’ve always loved Christmas and to me it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.  For as long as I can remember it’s been an annual event that usually starts in our house around the first week in November, as the tree is put up and the dust is blown off the spiky garlands, rolling merrily along like a Yuletide locomotive until the big day arrives. Ah, the 25th of December, a day of love, peace and gluttony where all the worries and pressures of life are discarded while family and laughter take precedence. A day when human beings of all ages become excited kids once more, celebrate and feast like Saxon monarchs.

A time of year when we should all be grateful for our relatives and loved ones and cherish the time we have with them whilst remembering those who we can know longer pull a cracker or share a joke with. Something I could write at length about after losing my Grandad this year, but the last thing I hope to do is have you crying into the sleeves of  your Christmas jumpers. So what I will say is Merry Christmas, and I can think of no better way to say that than with my short story of overindulgence and cheer, ‘A Festive Celebration;’ something which I hope you’ll all have over the next few days.

If at some stage you do manage to rise from beneath the blanket of chocolate wrappers and discarded wrapping paper (in which case your a stronger person than I) please look out for my review of ‘Papercuts and Inkstains’ by Madius Comics. It should be posted during that window of time between polishing of the last of the turkey sandwiches and singing intoxicated choruses of ‘Auld Lang Syne.’ 

Until then eat, drink and be merry dear reader, and in the words of my old Grandad…

Happy Crimble to one and all.

 

‘A Festive Celebration’

The day arrives and with it brings a sense of childlike euphoria, the transportation back in time starts as the eyes flicker and the smell of meat travels up the stairs. A multitude of flavours mingle and entwine as they delicately infuse into the simmering roast. After weeks of planning and anxiously wondering how to fit such a gargantuan poultry into the oven the feat is accomplished.

The many accompaniments of the festive feast now begin to steam, marinating simultaneously upon the hobs.

As the first gift is opened, the infantile joy is obvious within the souls of all. After embarking upon a light breakfast, the rest of the morning is spent sampling and testing the culinary pleasures shoved into the mouths of the unaware from wooden spoons or steaming saucepans.

The sense of chagrin grips as the fact sets in that the festive television selection is a wasteland of laborious programmes and period dramas. Loved ones scurry into the house with cards and presents in their shaky grasps as lunacy ensues. The possibility of snow is questioned as the paper is torn from sweaters, socks and chocolates. Laughter rumbles as drinks are poured and with a cry from the kitchen it’s time to feast. Hungry mouths crowd around the cheerful table like giddy animals; gradually the surface begins to fill with countless condiments and assorted festive appetisers.

As the majestic beast is brought forth the folk around the table hold out their platters and look ravenously at the food stacked high upon it. Observing the plate, wondering how to approach it with the strategy of a warrior in battle, they feast. Reaching wildly for an array of pots they add every possible condiment to their towering meals except for one lone container, redundant and unloved.

The house is transformed into a realm of paper hats as stories already told a thousand times are again performed. Groans of exhaustion fill the air and cries of ‘Couldn’t eat another thing,’ are heard throughout the house. The elders of the family debate over empty plates happily inebriated as the first of several puddings approaches.

A hand reaches for the chocolates. ‘Just one more,’ a voice mutters as the day draws to an end and the celebrators depart.

The weeks of excitement and preparation had been worth it. As the air settles and peace looms, the world’s jubilant festive friend was gone, leaving a New Year in its fantastic wake.

 

A Return to the World of Blogging

I’ve been away for a while working on a few new projects behind-the-scenes of Books, Films and Random Lunacy, it’s been an enthralling and experimental couple of weeks, floating back and forth between several eccentric pieces that are being forged within my creative mind at present. From exciting comic strips to finally writing restless short stories that refuse to lie quietly within my consciousness any longer.

Alongside crafting a handful of new stories I recently had the chance to watch ‘Jupiter Ascending,’ a 2015 sci-fi adventure starring, Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum and Sean Bean. I enjoyed the film, but it didn’t get a good reception at the Box Office, and I can see why. It was standard sci-fi fare, and wouldn’t be what the critics might call ‘Original.’ Although I didn’t think it was that terrible, I didn’t see it as a low-budget interplanetary adventure that missed the mark, but a self-aware and vibrant genre movie that didn’t rely upon pretentious special effects. In fact it had more in common with movies like ‘Labyrinth’ in terms of its use of prosthetics and make-up to achieve its look. Overall it was a very entertaining but technically underwhelming piece of cinema.

In other writing -related news, I was recently published in the latest issue of ‘The Indie Project Magazine.’ The third issue of the wonderful underground publication is full to bursting with its usual array of interviews, articles and reviews, although I believe the standout contributions in this instalment are the comic strips.

The magazine begins with a silent horror strip about a possessed winter garment entitled ‘Stranglehood.’ The hauntingly innovative tale was created by Lee Overton with artwork from one of the indie scene’s most promising illustrators The P.X.D. The second of the three graphic storytelling contributions was the comics debut of podcast-personality, wordsmith and all-round cool chap Darrel Smith called ‘Dee’s Nutz.’ The art for this surrealist strip was drawn by Indie Project founder Rees Finlay and showed yet another facet of Smith’s creative skill-set. The final comic to be found within this issue is a sneak peak of Dakota Stoops and Colt West’s ‘Small Town.’ A well-written and entertaining story about a universally recognisable sleepy community that is void of excitement until something explosive takes place.

This issue also includes an interview with Leah Moore in which she discusses the story behind creating the groundbreaking new digital comics platform  ‘Electricomics.’ She also gives the reader an insight into some of the innovative content that can be found on the app, as well as explaining exactly how aspiring creators can be a part of the new age of comics.

In addition to all this, issue three of ‘The Indie Project Magazine’ was particularly incredible for me journalistically as I had the opportunity to interview Darren Shan. It’s very well documented that The Master of Young Adult Horror is one of my biggest influences. I’ve met him many times over the years and he has been very supportive of my writing, but I never had the chance to interview him professionally before now. It was without question one of the best moments of my writing career thus far and it was a thrill to have an excuse to pose questions my 12-year-old self would have been dying to ask.

That’s enough from me, I won’t stall you from reading it any further. Click this link to purchase issue three of ‘The Indie Project Magazine’ on Amazon. The Indie Project Issue 3

alternatively you can read it for free here…

http://issuu.com/reesfinlay/docs/issue3