Some thoughts on humour, music and smells.

Some thoughts on humour, music and smells.

It’s a bit of a grey, overcast day here in Edinburgh so I thought I’d blog about something to lighten the day up – humour, music and smells. Why? They can add depth to your writing. However, all have to be appropriate otherwise it will ‘jar’ with the reader. 

Humour:  Here’s an awful joke for you, ‘What do you call a guy who likes to jump into leaves?’  Answer: ‘Russell.’  I know, I know, dreadful and it can make you wince, but there again, it made me smile when I first heard it. I also used it in the book.

Then there’s this three part joke: Q1: What do you call a donkey with only one eye?’ A: ‘A winky donkey.’ Q2: What do you call a donkey that only has, one eye and three legs?’  A: ‘A winky, wonky donkey.’  Q3: ‘What do you call a one eyed, three legged donkey that can also play the piano?’  A:  ‘A winky, wonky, honky tonky, donkey.’  Again, dreadful but also very funny.  (Tell this to a young child and just watch them collapse with laughter.)  I’ve also told this joke to a number of the guys I was with when I worked offshore – the ridiculousness of it invariably doubled them up and it soon became the rig’s in-joke for that hitch.  Most probably I won’t use it, but there again, if the situation warrants…

Music: It’s the same with music. There are times when you just stop what you’re doing and listen. With the development of web radio we now have thousands of stations from which to choose.  My own preference is for a more ambient style as personified by Soma FM and their station, ‘Groove Salad – a nicely chilled plate of ambient / downtempo beats and grooves.‘ Very restful and is the music to which I listen when writing. Advert free and supported by its listeners, it’s a delight. Try it out and think about supporting them as well. 

I’m also interested in stringed instruments since being given a ukulele a couple of years ago by my once in a lifetime love. Unlike me, Mac, one of the Normal characters in ‘The Kold Kronicles’, is pretty good at the ukulele. The downside, as he likes to phrase it, is that Linn, ‘when she’s had a few, likes to dance…  Not a pretty sight…’ Thus a mix of humour and the impact of music – and, it must be said, alcohol in Linn’s case when she decides to shimmy.

By the way, Mac’s uke isn’t a standard uke, it’s a tenor sized harp-ukulele and as you can see, it does actually exist.  Created by an outstanding luthier, Alistair Hay, Emerald Guitars. I have one and I love it.  

Synergy Uke Red Artisan (NPU) as Smart Object-1

Smells:  Then there are memories created by smells. They can be evocative of so many things.  

The good – the smell of the back of a newborn’s neck – beautiful. Fresh bread also comes to mind. I make my own and love the smell.  It is a smell of home and all that that word means – comfort, laughter, love and delight in being with another to name but a few.  

The bad – other smells, some of which are not so pleasant, but that’s for another time and a more dark mood.

So, think about using all the above when writing.  They can be evocative and powerful as a ‘mechanism’ if you want to create a particular scene. 

JJ Mitchell

‘Never leave anyone behind…’

Varben – an introduction

Varben – an introduction

For those who have not yet read ‘The Kold Kronicles, Book 1: Discovery’, Varben are the life-partnered morphing soul weapon that Sylvern and Shadow use when in combat.

The Varben came about as I began to write some of the fighting scenes. There was a need for a weapon that was somehow different.  They are the Sylvern after all. 

I did some research on pre-modern combat weapons and, as usual, Wikipedia came to my aid. A quick search will provide you with a whole range of weapon types that can be considered when writing one-on-one combat. As I mentioned in a previous post, I find Japanese culture fascinating. Therefore, Alegria’s preference for Zastra morphing into a katana was a given.

As a matter of interest, Nux and his Varben, Yasuo, prefer a two-handed long sword with a large pommel, whilst Bracken and her Varben, Beth, prefer the Roman gladius. In Bracken’s case, it’s a weight thing. And an efficient way of killing thing. And it’s a pointy thing too…

As to how this partnership is created, well, Sylvern meld with Varben at The Choosing Place during their training to become Kombat Troopers. There again, sometimes they don’t. If this doesn’t happen, then that’s it. They are unable to continue their training as a potential Kombat Trooper. Varben cannot be directed as to with whom they will meld, they just know it. As do the Sylvern. The relationship between Sylvern and Varben is totally transparent with no hiding who you are.  Acceptance of all the strengths and challenges in each other’s character is a given. Each will die to protect the other. That is another given. 

In Alegria’s case, she melded with Zastra, (a Sanskrit word – look it up). Both mask their love by teasing the other. Honours tend to be even on that score. 

Then there’s Nux and Yasuo. She is gentle and wise and the relationship they have is less challenging. There again, with Nux not really being the Sylvern who many think he is, they have had the time to develop their relationship.  

Varben are a delight to write about and I feel they add some ‘colour’ to the world of The Korum.

JJ Mitchell

‘Never leave anyone behind…’