Last night, we had our monthly NIBS meeting. I chose to take the paint sample cards again as we'd had fun with them in the past and after my recent school visits, I have *ahem* obtained quite a few more to choose from... (Mind you, I resorted to sending Squidgeling J into B&Q last time because I think the staff are beginning to recognise me...)
Special mention HAS to go to AT, whose piece had us all laughing again. I've mentioned before that Valspar, the company who produce these paints, have a creative team working on names for the thousands of different shades they produce. In a nutshell, AT's piece was about a member of that creative team; a gentleman who, after years in the job, finally went a bit doo-lally because there were only so many names he could come up with for 'pink'!
I chose 'Skein of Blue' to start with, but nothing gelled so I plumped for 'Ceremonial Ochre' instead. Ended up with this (unfinished) piece:
The priest pounded the red earth, mixing it with great gobs of his own saliva into a paste. Aleeka shuddered, knowing that before long, some of the revolting mixture would be smeared across her forehead.
Payter's grip tightened on her upper arms. "Don't show them you're scared," he hissed into her ear.
"I'm not scared," she growled back.
"You should be."
And yet she wasn't. Even though she knew that smear of paste on her skin would mark her out as the village's latest sacrifice.
No-one ever came back from the cave. You knew you were as good as dead as soon as you picked out the black pebble from the reindeer skin bag. Aleeka had stared at the stone, numb and disbelieving, looking up only when her mother's ululations broke the silence of the choosing ceremony.
She had since been guest of honour at her own death feast, her face whited out with ash so that all present would know she was not of this world any more.
Fear had not figured in her emotions then, and now she experienced only raw excitement...
Might be the start of something bigger, I think. Today, I've used some of this and combined it with an older bit of flash (also created at NIBS) into a piece of flash for a competition. That means I can't share it with you yet - but of course I'll share when it doesn't win and I can do what I like with it. *winks*
Our second activity used a rather unusual resource. Have you seen those sets of postcards based on book covers?
I picked a set up from an 'unwanted Christmas present' stall at church; the box contained 100 Penguin classic book covers. I'd thumbed through them and though I'd heard of many of the titles, there were even more I hadn't. Like...The Case of the Curious Kitten. August is a Wicked Month. Vile Bodies. Kiss Kiss.
So I sorted out a few with a darker feel to them and challenged the group to visit their Dark Side. Sweet Danger, Not to be Taken and The Half-awakened Wife were picked by the others for their grisly and gruesome stories, but I chose Vile Bodies... It wasn't really so much a story I wrote as a racist handbook, something that might figure in a dystopian novel. See what you think...
Among a homogenous race, the vile body must be removed. Consistent standards must be maintained at all life stages. Aberrant forms will not be tolerated.
Height charts will be consulted to ensure growth patterns are within normal range. Excessive growth will be curbed and insufficient growth encouraged by compulsory chemical intervention.
Regular weighing will dictate dietary requirements and exercise regimes.
Skin colour will be restricted to shades B26 to B71. And shades outside of this range will require bleaching or UV exposure as necessary.
Sensory perception will be maintained at 90% effective, minimum. Intervention techniques may be used between 80 and 90% effectiveness, but anything under 80% will not be tolerated.
Bodies which do not meet homogeneity standards will, in the first instance, be corrected. If correction fails or bodies are deemed to be vile and beyond correction, then euthanasia is preferable.
It seems that the writing mo-jo is definitely switched on again,,,even if it is churning out some shadowy stuff! Hooray!