Have you met the divine Mme. Sosostrus yet? She’s preposterous, and yet…..such fun. She’s quite the character, and seems unable to pronounce, let alone spell, her own name. Still, she has all this weird knowledge, she claims, from these Kookistani people that nobody else seems to have heard of. She’s pretty vague about their whereabouts, but Mme. Slives half way up a local mountain, with a troop of Capuchin monkeys for company, and only ventures abroad down the town, on Alice the bike, when out ofUisce Beatha, apparently, or when there’s a chance of some silver crossing her palm. Oh, there’s a piano half way up there, too, which, by her own account,they gather ’roundin the evenings, to knock out a tune or two on.
We’ve heard her singing, unfortunately, at a recent seance we had. As a writer, I seek out these Kooks, to help me cook up new books, and Mme. S was quite the hoot, as she literally threw herself into finding the ghost myself and Mr. Poxley-Warner dreamed up. With all this free entertainment, and barely containable mirth, we almost forgot teeny Foxley Poxley’s wailing for the evening. The only dark spot on the ectoplasmic spectacles was the fact that that Donna Emerald beat me to making art out of the pig’s ear that Sosostrus made of the performance, by publishing a play of her own. The pigeon post must have been intercepted, or some malicious spirit put the evening’s entertainment gossip about via secret twitching curtain coded signals, or teatime tattling, down the local cafe. Still, there’s a book and several dramatic paintings in it still, I suspect. Plenty of time for clearing up the mouse remains from the cooker, too. One can’t rush art, and she’s such an inspiration.
Oh, Ireland. Where are we now, after a full year of the big Lurgi lockdown? Nowhere further along to freedom being restored, it seems. Oh, sure, we had brief glimpses over the wall, but that was just to tease us, wasn’t it? A big joke on us; a prank to make us think that if we played along, our jailers would set us free sooner. Still, we learned to love our servitude, didn’t we? Kissed the jailor’s hand, and even begged to be beaten down some more.
Well, folks, I hope those of you that played along are happy now. What’s that you say? It’s people like me that are holding the rest of you back from getting your freedom? Suuuure. You keep on believing that, then, if that gets you any further along, towards freedom. I think you’ll find it doesn’t, but far be it from me to try to persuade you differently. I know well how people like to cling to beliefs that make them feel better. Bit sick of it now, are you? He he. Aren’t we all? I discuss a couple of aspects about the Lurgi lockdown, one personal, one political, that have cropped up for me recently, because of the events of the last year, in this livestream.
Never mind their psyOps. Maybe turn the narratives off for a while, completely, and dance to your own tunes, when you need a break from their madness? Freedom happens mostly in your own mind, anyway, some say. Just don’t tune out the truth, completely, through fear or blind trust, and expect it all to turn out grand in the end.
Yipee. It’s that day I’ve been looking forward to. My new book is out, and I’m so excited, because I get to celebrate down at Café Emerald (leaps out of bed, and flings open the curtains). Well, the sun isn’t exactly shining, but that just makes it sparklier, down at the café, so it’s all good.
Didn’t know I had a little cafe, did ya? Well, I have a lot of things tucked away in my imagination, and “The Q Woo” is just one of them, that we’re celebrating today. It’s like a birthday party, for a book, what we’re doing today. This is Part 2 of “The Q Affaire”, of course, but I’m publishing it as a volume on its own, today, in the gift shop (points to an area you hadn’t noticed before, as I pour you a nice hot beverage, at the best table in the house, and they’re all great tables!). I make things. Books, art, craft, anything pretty or interesting, that I think will be fun to do, I’m sure to give it a go. I’ve even had a go at doing an ad for my book (titters).
I’ve arranged the shelves nicely so you don’t even have to get out of your comfy seat to see all the bits and bobs (returns from behind the shelves somewhere with a plate of fresh croissants and jam for you, smiling).
(The Gift Shop, over there- points vaguely towards the back, at shelves with all sorts of interesting knick-knacks, plus that book that you’ve been waiting eagerly on. You salivate with interest, then notice that Donna has obligingly brought a copy of it to the table for you): DonnaEmeraldArt etsy.com
Here’s the blurb on the back cover of the latest one. I’ll read it for you, if you don’t want to let your croissants get cold before the butter and jam go on (adjusts reading glasses and reads):
What’s it about? Well, it’s a continuation of a comedy thriller I published recently, but I’ve brought in this new character, Q, that you didn’t get to meet personally, in the first book, and there’s romance, and comedy, and adventure, all rolled up in a big puzzle plot, and it’s all set on YouTube, and it’s terribly exciting, and funny, with lots of suspense, and thrills and spills. I put everything I like into it, just like I do with the other stuff in life, you know? Put in things you get a kick out of, and hope other people get a kick out of them as well, you get me? Of course it’s very deep too (puts on serious author face, not terribly convincingly). He he. It’s actually a pretty hard to follow plot, so I recommend the Backchannel Reading Room, over there, for those who are anywhere past, ooooh, Chapter 5. It’s nice and quiet in there, and very secret, so don’t tell anyone about it. You, dear reader, are a special customer, so you get the key (pulls out an ancient looking key from a devastatingly attractive but tastefully understated cleavage area, and displays its rusty elegance against a deliciously curved clavicle). There’s a fire in there, on chilly afternoons (you haul your eyes up to my face, thinking of fires and cleavages, for a moment, until comprehension dawns. I pretend to not notice I know what you were thinking, and look back at the book. as you blush. So, let’s read what the reviewers said about the ol’ bookie book, shall we? This is from the blurb at the back, as well:
I’ll leave you to enjoy your tea, coffee, cakey, musicy, bookie nice time, on your own for a while, and go look after the other customers. If you need a refill, just raise a hand absent-mindedly while reading, and I’ll be over without you missing a moment away from reading, or having to talk. Have fun, and get up and walk around whenever you want to think. WCs are in the Top Level Clearance Rooms, for Q clearance customers’ eyes only. Extra fluffy towels and fancy cologne for handies available there, dear reader. See you later. (Goes to say hello to other arrivals, seats them, and heads off to make more tea and coffee, and fiddle about with gift items people have been enthusing over while they get settled down with copies of the fabulously Fnordish looking new tome, hot off the always wonderful Ms. Emerald’s magical tablet.
I didn’t write the whole thing at the café, as some writers do, you know, because the beeps and other weird noises can put you off, but then again, I’ve made sure nothing in my cafe beeps, and the customers, being the type that love books, are delightfully quiet and civilised. There’s even a noise cancelling button you can press, under the table, if the music distracts you, and you just want Raindrops playing. In fact, come sunset, if you are still tucked away in a corner, reading, you will mostly just hear seagulls and waves, as you drift away yourself, into your imagination, watching the sun set from our balcony, over a last cup. I do hope you had a wonderful time, and that you enjoyed the day. I hope you enjoy the novel as much as the novel time we spent together, too.
Well, that was a nice day. Think I’ll watch the stars come out before I wash those dishes, and clear up after the book launch guests. No hurry, after all. (smiles, and pulls up a seat, with a last cup of tea, to end the day).
It’s nearly the weekend, and you’re bored, bored, bored. It seemed like such a good idea at the time, to ask Madame Arcati to pop ’round on her bicycle for a pep-you-up scéance. Now, you are beginning to wonder, as she seems even dottier than the reputation for summoning up things from beyond the wildest reaches of the imagination led you to expect. Will a vase or two be damaged in the throes of whatever is possessing her? Will she return from the other side safely? Most importantly, will she be able to remove the troublesome apparition of your dear deceased mrs., much missed, but not enough to actually have her still hanging around, looking rather green around the gills, in a fetching way, but interfering somewhat in domestic matters you wished she would just keep her pretty nose out of?
This terribly funny movie has a script to die for by Noël Coward, and the suberb Margaret Rutherford plays the delightfully potty Madame Arcati. A real classic treat from 1945, in Technicolor, despite the fact it looks spooky that way to me, as I remember seeing it first in black and white (pre- our first colour TV, I suppose). I hope you love this witty and wonderful movie as much as I do. Should get you to the weekend laughing.
Nothing’s perfect, they say, and our Friday night movie has ads. It’s free though, and free is good. I hope the ads aren’t too invasive. Oh, an’ watch out for those pesky bodysnatchers. They’re everywhere!
You know when you’re in the mood to fight evil, and then the Queue seems just too long to bother with, so you leave it too late, then you figure, well I may as well stay in. No point now, right? It’s the big movie event the boys are all talking about, but the traffic’s just hell out there, is an excuse that all your friends will surely understand, or if they are particularly energetic, and just don’t get it that, baby, it’s cooollllddd outside, you could always pretend you were there, somewhere down the back of the Queue, while you tappity tap away, and bring up a nice good vs evil movie to watch from home instead, while pretending to be on the way, and just having some last minute issues with your google map, for finding your way down a straight highway. If you’re too lazy for even that much action, but managed to click once to get here, and haven’t worn yourself out too much, maybe you can manage one more click, to bring the battle to you.
A fun movie for a quiet night in. Who would think it evil, if you snuggled up tight as a Tootsie Roll in your favourite blankie, with the cosy feet built in, and your teddy for comfort, during the really scary bits, for this big battle between good and evil? It feels good to know you don’t even have to go out in the cold, to find out who wins that one.
Yeah. I’m at it again. Writing another book. To be more specific, the second part of “The Q Affaire”, which recently hit my little shop’s shelves over here. The second part can be read as a stand alone novel, or as a follower-upper, as we used to say, on de mean streets of Dublin libraries, when we were scoping out those shelves like secret spies, peering through books, pacing the aisles in anticipation of some new thrills to keep us off those same mean streets, our collars turned up, and hat brims dripping puddles as we stalked the tiled flooring, searching out a comfy spot to slump, with brims pulled low, to hide out from the rain for a while.
Yes, you guessed it. Book two’s a little moodier in atmosphere than the first novel, with the first part a comedy thriller with some psychological twists guaranteed to melt your head with madness, as well as keeping you in a sub-hysterical state of mild giggles throughout. I think you’ll find the second part sucks you into the heart of the maze pretty quickly though, and presents many interesting puzzles, and you’ll be sorry when you finally find your way out again, at the end of the book, after being amazed and dazed, for at least some of the rest of it, I would think.
No more Q for you, though, after that. Two books are quite enough, and although Q tries to lead you through an endless maze of confusing twists and turns, and keep you lost, and puzzled, my job is to help you escape it, and give you a map of the territory. Take my tiny paw in yours, then, and we’ll claw our way in, before taking the journey to finding the keys that let us solve the puzzle, and get out in one piece again, but let’s start with an insight into how the book’s being constructed. I’m just hammering it out now, you see, and you might like to see how the thing’s being constructed. Big bits of paper are terribly important, you know. Very. Highlighters, fun, but not essential. Good ideas a must. Well, you probably know what a plan is already, but might glean something of the plot from the themes and metaphors I explain, while trying not to give away too much of the workings of the plotline, when discussing my creative process for writing the book, here.
Q pushers are starting to notice that there are big bits of paper everywhere, as they stalk the thriller section of the library aisles, while I take up the round table with my square papers.
The MuppetOfOz employs his handy Wafflinator , to foil rational conversation yet again, then departs confidently with his pals from the office, earing sparkling, to see if the latte post lunch is frothier than the breakfast one, which put him in the bit of a mood, to start with. pic.twitter.com/752VqP4MVI
I think you’ll find “The Q Woo” a lot hotter a read, a less stale bake, and certainly less hackneyed affaire than what Q has evolved into, in his second part, somehow. He’s got a oddly dragging gait these days, is distictly wooly smelling from being out in the rain, and generally looking a bit down on his luck. Don’t feel too sorry for him, though, as he’s still got some company, even if the birds don’t fancy him any more, a few coins in his pockets from last payday, and he still can parley vous oh la la the lads and ladies over on other platforms, admittedly in less salubrious surroundings. His rag tag band of patriots soldier on in their fantasy world, between snoozes, and manage to forget how wet their socks are, until the librarian moves them on, come closing time, with the rest of us. Where we go one, we go all, huh? Breathe in, on the way out, ‘cos you don’t want the smell of Q pressin’ up on you.
The first part of the book, which came out at the end of Nov., 2020, can be purchased here, in digital formats, with instant download. The next part I’m crowdsourcing funding for, to publish as one big blockbuster, comprised of the two volumes together, in paperback Kindle format, after part 2 is released as a digital version, for those who read part 1, over on Etsy. You can read about what the funding goes on, not just getting it to paperback, but getting that all important ISBN number, and other important bits and bobs, on the main post, over there. So, hopefully, there’s something to appeal to everyone, format wise, without having to go to the library in the rain, although, who knows, it may hit the shelves there, some time, too. “The Q Woo” will hopefully have reached the completion stage, anyway, with all editing done, by April, 2021, and I’ll be sure to let you know, here, too, when part 2 is available to read on Etsy. A big adventure for 2021. The next part of the adventure started here, and you’re in on it, like a secret library spy! Shush!!!!
“Watson, I simply must tell you, old man, the most extra-ordinary thing. You remember Moriarty dropped around yesterday, while I was at my pipe, poking around for information, as usual?” “Why, yes, um, yes, I do Mr. Holmes (hurumph) That awful man.Was he trying to find out why that attractive lady visitor was here yesterday? (thinks, pretty little thing, smiling).”
“Yes, and while he was trying to get information from me, I noticed something flew from his pocket as he retrieved his handkerchief, to blow that large snout of his in. It fell in the fire, as bad luck would have it, but I managed to distract him by cunning means, which, as you know, I’m a master of, and pointed out some new slides I’d obtained of dancing Gibson girls, at a side table. While he was busy rustling about in my intellectual mess, I reached quickly into the fire with a poker, and rescued this!”
“Oh, jolly well done, Holmes. Um, ah, what does it say? It’s rather scrappy and why’s it torn up?”
“Exactly, Watson! WHY IS IT TORN UP? It’s quite clearly something he doesn’t wish to get into the wrong hands, Probably intended to burn it himself, but doesn’t have a Mrs. Hudson about the place, to clear the fire out and light it, and such. I mean, he doesn’t have my charisma, and charm, when it comes to getting ladies to do things for you, when you want.”
“He he. Quite, Mr. Holmes (clears throat). Will Mrs. Hudson be serving buttered crumpets and tea soon, incidentally?”
“Try to concentrate for a moment, my friend, while we await the afternoon tea. This is a bona fide mystery, and I have been furiously playing my violin trying to cogitate on it. I believe I have decoded the document, after carefully unencrypting the scraps, and piecing the information together.” “Oh, really? What does it say, Holmes?”
“It’s an invitation, to a very secret affaire. That’s why he intended to destroy it. Allow me to read it to you.”
(Dramatic pause, while sounds of a teatray rattling downstairs can be heard)
“You are cordially invited to a “Portrait of Q” Art Auction Event, to celebrate Q’s favourite number, and the recent release of the new novel by Donna Emerald, “The Q Affaire”. This exclusive event has been arranged to thank customers who bought the book. Customers who bought the book are now eligible to bid on the only known portrait of Q in existence. Wish to own this beautiful Oil on paper portrait, signed by the artist, Donna Emerald? Then come along to the event where we officially party (and grift off Q) hard, via livestream, to open the one day bidding war in style, so you can start placing your bids on Etsy, and having fun in chat. This is your top secret Q clearance level invite, to the auction of the year, at 4.30pm GMT (check your coordinates, and synchronize your watches, for a zero delta) which promises to go down like an epic stQrm. Be there, or be square. Good luck, Q Patriots!”
“Goodness, Holmes. Q! Why the whole of London has been seeking him. They’ve been seeking him in Bankok and Mexico, too, with rumours of sightings from San Francisco to Moscow, and still he eludes us all, even Moriarty, who is not half so stupid as immediate appearances suggest.” “Yes, Watson. Someone knows his whereabouts, and someone wants to meet in secret. I’m rather curious to get a look at this Q character, finally, aren’t you? Where are my dressup costumes?”
(Door bursts open, making Watson jump, and Mrs. Hudson appears, panting heavily from the climb up the stairs with the teatray, laden down with tea and buttered crumpets, little pots of jam and sugar cubes, tiny milk pitcher of floral design etc.).
“Mrs. Hudson? We need to borrow your best dress. And bring me some glue, immediately.”
I bet you know a lot about Q by now, if you hang out in this bookshop much. We’ve got acres of pages written about him already, but did you know there’s a new Donna Emerald novel, too? Oh yessy, indeedy, and not only can you admire the artwork and sit on the squeaky leather seats under my reading lamps, considerately positioned on side tables with hot tea freshly poured at your elbow, while you peruse my journals, but there’s also an invite to a special auction, for special customers.
Q loves a good grift, so I feel sure he would approve heartily of my auctioning off the portrait I did of him while he performed “The Q Woo” for me, which you’ve no doubt read about in one of the journals at your elbow, or sliding from your lap, as you snooze in your cosy alcove, lulled by the ticking of the Q clock.
You see, Q doesn’t come ’round no more, and since he’s absconded rather hastily, from various parties hot on his heels, he’s left his portrait behind, much as he adored looking at himself. You’ll adore it too, dear reader, since he was a cutey, with nearly a whole tube of ceruleum blue used up, just to get those baby blues right, and two palette knives worn down in the chiseling of his cheeks. Wouldn’t you like this framed on yer bedroom walls, ladies? Or gents, wouldn’t this just make you feel like saluting, after waxing your mustachios and straightening your epulets? Yes Sir!
Now, I’ve never turned down a cash paying customer at my bookstore, and browsers are also more than welcome; after all, wasn’t it Donne who said..? “They also serve Who only stand and wait.” But honestly, some just come in and spoil the whole atmosphere, without even wiping the mud from the street off their shoes first. This lady kicked up such a fuss about that scandalous book, which she erroneously believed contained instructions for how to kill her (banish the thought!) that I thought I was Donne, but now I find that “When thou hast done, thou hast not done, For I have more…” Pardon my loquacity, but I do like my poetry and prose, and the muse can’t be stopped, even by elderlies, who imagine the plot is about them. Don’t fret, she will not darken the bookshop door again; the library will deliver the novel to her on a trolley, no doubt, instead:
So, you see, it promises to be a fun event, and when we reach our 17th customer (we’ve passed one of Q’s other favourite numbers, 10, recently, and shared a Q secret to celebrate that) we’ll let you know, because we value your custom, and want to find out which sherry you favour with which cheese, for the reception. That’s why your invite doesn’t have the date on it, just a big 17. It won’t be long now, though, so pencil it in, in your moleskin dairy. See you there, and thank you for your custom.
(Discretely nudges an interesting journal article on “The Q Affaire” towards you, to whet your appetite for the novel)
Oh, look, who’s this, droppin’ over to her place? Q himself, in deep, deep, disguise, in his “Jack” character. She must have left her groceries behind her, in aisle one, or somethin’, that he’s doing special home deliveries of the eggs she left behind, to her comments sections. So friendly, too, when he’s in the murder gang, that kill, according to her. Making omelettes from the broken eggs together, no doubt. Hope she has a few dozen in, as she’s got other friends with nowhere else to go, at the moment, too. They must have misbehaved in reading rooms, or something.