I am writing this post because I believe I have WordPress-followers here with talents and passions for creative writing – am reaching out to share a little something of a project I’ve long been working on, and in the hope they might – you may – have something to comment upon, to encourage even, or have a few words of advice to share.
For six years or so, more on than off, I’ve been writing and illustrating the stories of the island of Scrambili Egg. Originally a vacation whimsy begun with my wife, the stories and their characters – the residents of Scrambili Egg – grew to be an almost-main project for me, reaching a giddy and giddying result of sorts last Easter-time with the entirely home-made, hand-stitched, home-printed and glued together book, The Island of Scrambili Egg. A big deal for me this, inspiringly reminiscent of the ‘make it real’ ethos I made real in past innovation roles – never one to shy from showing how the box would look, how the bottle would be dressed, how the lovely copper tubing would dispense. And more-so, it gave me, the home-made book, the thing to present to a friend who could properly begin to review what the heck it was I was striving to create.
Here’s that book pictured, right here – and snippets too of content illustrations.
Well okay, but what is Scrambili Egg all about? A contained world, for sure – an island of unspecified geographic whereabouts – where much of the structure of children’s tales is put upon the world of grown-ups: their histories, their reasons, their secrets, their jobs and the lovely particulars of what makes up a life. As goes the back-cover blurb:
These are the stories of Scrambili Egg – an island, here and thereabouts – an account of its people and places, and how some things got their name.
And further, the material’s a riot of joy for me and my B., as so often from holiday balconies we’ll observe a photographing couple, a man with a dog in a basket, and we will know, will make, their back-story in minutes. For above all this begins and continues as an exercise in clinging to the make-and-believe of the childhoods we had.
An Old Man of the Sea is in reality a passionate commentator on all things digital; bending the ears of his harbourside cronies with critical evaluations of social media interfaces, user-generated content, and the truth about real-time audience…
The first five stories are written and drawn, and, mentally at the very least, are being prepped for Kindle publishing. The second set – originally taken up as Back to the Island of Scrambili Egg, but now re-jigged as It’s Murder on Scrambili Egg, and having a different format of one long title story and three little eggs that follow – is darker, certainly, and has much to do with a world of Jeans; variously the characters ‘Cut-off Jean’, ‘Turn-up Jean’ and ‘High Jean’ among them. And a bad murder, to boot.
And then finally in these pan-scrapings, here is an extract from the very first story – Natalie Rattily’s Mix-Tape:
The island’s main employer is Rattily Plastics, manufacturers of kitchen fittings and autoparts, and owned by Omlit-born businesswoman, Natalie Rattily. The autoparts division is a subsidiary concern, Rattily Dashboards, run, not always well, by Natalie’s brothers, Matt and Lee.
Here, in Chapter One, we learn a little about the woman behind Rattily Plastics, in ‘Natalie Rattily’s Mix Tape’, and more, to boot, about the coming about of her company’s diversification into the motor-parts industry: which, appropriately, begins with the car of her own.
When her stolen car was retrieved, the jacker’s cassette tape was still in the player. A mix tape of dance tunes, it was at first a horror, then an intrigue, next a fascination, and ultimately a treasured obsession for Natalie, who found herself increasingly distracted by day dreams and fantasies about the mix tape’s creator – she assumed from the get-go this was his work – this criminal who stole her car and was now stealing her heart.
Who was he, this bold and careless rhythmic thief?
And what was it that prevented her from taking the cassette to the island police; to her brothers, even, with their contacts? It was sure to be covered in his prints; the prints of his so creative fingers that had otherwise left no trace on her yellow convertible Delcher Marie. And how many DJs, if DJ he be, on Scrambili Egg? Three nightclubs; the recording studio; musicians’ agents; the radio station… all possible leads for the Dippers (the locals’ name for the island detectives – colloquialisms and Eggish slang naturally garnished our entrepreneur’s vocabulary). But Natalie hung on to it, made back-up copies, even. And told no-one.
Told no-one but suggested plenty to many – to her staff at Rattily Plastics; her family, and, of course, the girlfriend gang and the guys at the TV studios (SETV, where Natalie was a regular guest and commentator on the late night chat show Shellfish) – they all daily and nightly overheard her unlikely new hums, taps and – heaven forfend – beatboxing beneath and along with her breath as she went about her Natalie ways and the Natalie life that she knew was a life the cover of which no longer matched the cassette within.
She knew too in her heart he was perfect unmet.
A friend at SETV, diagnosing heartache, arranged a series of dates, the very prospect of which made proud and purposed Natalie squirm, but she told herself it would be a healthy intervention, and – who knows?
The first arrived with his ex-wife.
The second picked her up in his car and they drove (with bad music) to Petit Sangwidge on the coast and a restaurant there agreed upon. The car park by the harbour was full as ever. ‘Not to worry,’ he said; and he swung the car into the disabled bay. ‘Are you registered disabled?’ Natalie asked. ‘Don’t be daft,’ he said, ‘there’s nothing wrong with me.’
And the third was a no-show. She disliked him the least, expert as she was fast becoming in filling in blanks for herself.
Thank you for reading. It’s really appreciated.
All content ©Steve Mitchell, 2014