Of Wolf & Man

We’ve been wracking our brains trying to think of a werewolf story that hasn’t been done before. It’s often said that there are no new ideas, just new takes on old ones. It’s kinda true. Look at the recent film releases – how many of them are remakes? Even Hollywood is struggling for original plotlines, though they do seem to have boy meets girl ones in abudance that are all clones of each other. Anyway, with 3 weeks to go before the deadline, we think we’ve thought of a different slant. Whether or not it works is up to the publisher to decide. We started it yesterday and have reached 3500 words so far.

Speaking of original ideas, for anyone who’s sick of the steroytpical mindless zombie, check out Nekropolis by Tim Waggoner. It’s a highly original, imaginative, funny book about a zombie private eye, Matt Richter, who can think, move and talk. He just can’t feel anything. The world of Nekropolis is dark, spectacular and appealing. We want to live in Gothtown. Matt is a great hero – handsome (from the cover) funny, brave and well, dead. Devona, his half vampire accomplice is tough, ballsy, beautiful and isn’t a sterotypical female sidekick who for once, isn’t just there for the hero to fall in love with. She actually has a purpose. Though it does kinda bite ‘cos we’ve written a short story about a zombie that isn’t mindless, just dead, though it’s nothing like Nekropolis, so we maybe we can still write the novel about our zombie called Scott. We’ve written a poem about Scott, so maybe one day we’ll perform it for the right audience.

Dressed for Success

Just heard we’ve made it through to the next round of the Brit Writers’ Awards. We didn’t think we stood a hope in HELL of getting through  ‘cos they had 21,000 entries. Just found out they only put 1000 through to the next round. And they picked us. US. Still can’t believe it. We submitted 2 novels, 2 short stories and a collection of 5 poems. They haven’t said which piece or pieces got through but fingers crossed. The finalists get tickets to the awards ceremony, which is a black tie event. Imagine if we’re finalists. Us at a black tie event? People will think it’s You’ve Been Framed. Are dresses with skulls on acceptable at a black tie event? Expect PVC is out, which is a shame. We have a lovely black PVC dress one of us could wear. Expect they said black tie to keep riff raff like us out.

On a completely seperate note, one of our Facebook friends sent us a link to a band called We are the Arsenal. We loved their song So Long and downloaded their album so we’re spreading the word. Remember their name and check out their song. We hope they’ll be huge. Just a quick note – we’ve now listened to their album and they rock! It’s called They Worshipped The Trees. Download it now. NOW! 🙂

The End is Nigh

Actually, the end has come. The end of our novel, Daughters of Annwn, that is. It took 3 weeks and 4 days to write, currently stands at 98,718 words and was a lot of fun to write. Until the last 4 chapters when our lack of planning threatened to derail the ending. Because we didn’t have one. But as usual, we just wrote until it came to us. Had we sat there thinking about it, we still wouldn’t have finished. We’re now letting it sit for a while to get some objectivity before redrafting it. Instead we’ve started implementing our mum’s suggested changes to Missed Call. When we’ve finished with a novel or short story, we give it to her to check for errors and for an objective point of view. Now we realise how much work we need to do. Her suggestions often causes arguments between her opinions and ours, but then criticism is never easy to take. So we compromise – we implement the suggestions we agree with, don’t change the ones we disagree with and the ones we aren’t sure about, we leave until we’ve had a think and again, given the story some rest time.

We’ve been practising for our poetry reading on May 6th. One poem, Deadly Reflection, is about a man talking to his ghost in the mirror, so, being twins, we figured it’d look great if we performed it facing each other, pretending there’s a mirror between us. Without paper. Yep. We’re memorising it. We’ve managed to memorise it, but still stumble on some lines – coincidently, we have trouble with the same lines, despite learning it separately. Whether or not we’ll be able to carry it out on the night remains to be seen. We’ll take the poem with us, just in case.

On a completely different matter, we’re becoming addicted to Facebook. Never got it before, but it does get obsessive checking to see if we’ve had any updates, or whatever. Maybe it’s not such a good idea for people with obsessive personalities, like us. Though it is disheartening when you’re friends with someone with 1000+ friends while we have 7 and one’s a magazine and another’s the pseudonym of this cool writer and My Chemical Romance fan we’ve befriended. But then we prefer quality over quantity. Bet all the unpopular people say that. Popularity’s never been our strong point.

Facebook Friends

We’ve finally succumbed to the pressures of the digital age and joined Facebook. We’re down as Cat Lynx Raven so if anyone who reads this is on Facebook and wants to be our friends, feel free to climb aboard this sinking ship. They wouldn’t let us sign up as C L Raven. Maybe they’re worried about people signing up as I C Dead People. Following the success of winning the ghost story competition in Writing Magazine, we’ve had five rejections. Think that’s the most we’ve ever had in a week. Fate gives with one hand, slaps us around the face with the other. But we’re still riding high on the success, so we don’t mind about the rejections. That might change next week when the rejections roll towards us like tumbling skiers caught in a snowball.

YYYYYEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!

Hum Hallelujah just off the key of reason. Thank you Fall Out Boy. This morning we got another story rejected then this afternoon, we got an email saying we’d won first prize in the Writing Magazine Ghost story competition! FINALLY! It’s called Field of Screams and is a quirky story where hauntings are at an all time low so the Scream Department call a board meeting for ideas. We thought it had no hope in hell of even getting shortlisted because it’s so different to the usual winning stories, but figured we’d send it anyway, as we had nothing to lose. It’s an Easter miracle bigger than Jesus rising from the dead (which we all know didn’t happen.) It’ll be in the August issue which will be out in July. We’ll remind you closer to the time so you can hold in your hands a piece of history – the first competition C L Raven has ever won. (First and probably last.) Just when we thought our mission for twelve publications was heading south faster than a tobogganing penguin hitting a patch of black ice, we have our first success. Celebrated with a big bottle of Smirnoff Ice that’s been sitting in the fridge for months. Now for the other eleven…might have more chance of becoming Prime Minister. We’d sure shake up the cabinet. Is there enough time to start a political party and get campaigning? They obviously have no standards on who can form a party because they let the BNP form (booooo!) We sent three poems to Square magazine yesterday so talons crossed again. Excuse the unimaginative title of this blog. That’s what Smirnoff Ice does to you. Cat just managed to spill hers down her top. One story wins a competition and all of a sudden, we’ve turned into drunken lushes. We’ll be like those singers who do great one hit wonders then vanish into obscurity, trotting out their great hit 2o years down the line. God knows what will happen when we win the election.

We’re not in love

Last night we went to a poetry reading event organised by Seren in the Chapter Arts Centre in Canton. There’s an event every first Thursday of the month but this is the first one we’ve been to. We didn’t read ‘cos we wanted to suss it out first. We figured if it was going to be all deep, obscure poetry then our comic poem about speed dating would be as unwelcome as a corpse at a wedding. It was very friendly and relaxed and we wish now we had read. Our mate Neil was there and he was going to read. Naturally, in true Raven style, we got ourselves noticed. And not in a good way. If first impressions count then we’re screwed. The lack of decent drinks at the bar (Smirnoff Ice and Red Bull) led us to buy orange juice. Should’ve known then it’d be a disaster. We’ve never been to a social occasion where they haven’t had Smirnoff Ice. We had it for our book launch in Waterstones and our reading in the Poets Corner pub. Cat shook each bottle before opening them and didn’t see the barmaid loosening the lid on the fourth bottle. You guessed it, as she shook the bottle with a ferver only matched by Grand Prix winners with their champagne, the lid flew off and beautiful orange rain descended on the floor, the bar, our mum and Cat. This was made worse by the loud “Crap!” uttered by Cat. In a tiny room with quite a few people already there, this really wasn’t how we wanted our introduction to the poetry scene to go so now everyone’s memory of us is stained orange. Cat’s had a bad week. On Tuesday her laces and boots got caught together resulting in her landing splat on her face. She went down like a felled tree. Did her still injured knee the world of good, though the ducks did gather round their fallen comrade to offer suggestions, or laugh. They’re not used to seeing one of their mummies sprawled face down in the dirt.

Back to the poetry. There were two published poets reading. Have to admit, can’t remember their names. The first guy did quite deep poems and you know our opinion on them. An arse numbingly fifteen minutes later, the second guy got up. He was much better. His poems were lighter, funnier and his talking in between was funny. Then there was a ten minute break before open mic night. Actually enjoyed most of the poems. There were a few deep ones but the majority were quite light hearted and funny. Neil’s were the best and we’re not just saying that. His poem ‘Goodbye my love’ was absolutely hilarious and we were still laughing by the time he started reading his third poem. We’re still laughing now. Got some very strange looks going round Sainsbury’s. Another good poem was by Amy, think she was the poetry editor. It was about the rules passengers must obey on a train. The best line was about hurling a wet teabag at snogging couples. Who hasn’t rued the moment when there’s an annoying person around and you never have a wet teabag to hand? Like when someone holds you up in a supermarket queue when you’re dying to talk to your favourite cashier then because the jackass in front is taking so long, you’re moved to a different checkout, denied your chance of talking to aforementioned favourite cashier. (Happened to us today.) If we’d wanted to go to an empty checkout, we wouldn’t be queuing at this one! Might have to start carrying some wet teabags. There was another line about puking in a handbag, at which point Lynx and our mum poked Cat. But don’t worry, it wasn’t after a drunken night out, it was after her knee op and it was a choice between opening the door and puking on the road in the middle of a traffic jam, to the disgust of the other drivers, or puke into a handbag. Don’t worry, we emptied it first. There’s another event May sixth and we plan to read at that one. We’ll do ‘Dating By Numbers’ which we did at the Square event and maybe two others, one funny, one not. That’s election day. Should we mention our hatred of David Cameron when we’re up the front? Maybe we’ll save it ’til after the stand ovation dies down and we’ve finished crowd surfing safely. Being dumped on our heads by Tory supporters wouldn’t be the best end to the evening. Oh wait, they’d hunt us instead.

Following on the back of ‘The Eden Project’ being rejected we’ve sent it to Fantasy Magazine, an online magazine. Their response time is seven days, so talons crossed. We’ve also sent off two love poems to Writing Magazine. We’re determined to get something published in there one day. Maybe when the judge is no longer the judge. He does seem to enjoy twee, cosy stories. Even when the theme is ghost or crime stories! Twee doesn’t belong in these categories! Blood, gore and humour people! It’s the way forwards. The future’s bright, the future’s bloody. Our poems are ‘Night Dancers’ about lust and passion, which we are seriously lacking at the moment and ‘Eternal Love’. For those who remember us mentioning we had ‘Wedded Bliss’ published and then read at Square, ‘Wedded Bliss’ ‘Eternal Love’ and a third one ‘Til Death Us Do Part’ are trilogy poems. They’re all about marriage and share the same first two, middle two and end lines. Whereas ‘Wedded Bliss’ is about the funny side of marriage, ‘Eternal Love’ is about long lasting love into old age and ‘Til Death Us Do Part’ is about domestic violence. It’s a laugh us doing love poetry, having never been in love and not even sure love actually exists. Maybe one day we’ll be proved wrong. Or maybe we’ll die cynical bitter spinsters, found face down in a bowl of ice cream and partially eaten by our cats. Partially eaten because cynical, bitter spinsters can’t taste very nice. We’re not joking about the cats. Our female cat, if we don’t wake to feed her, bites our toes. If our toes aren’t sticking out the end of our quilts, she reaches under the quilts to find some flesh with her claws. If we’ve succeeded in cocooning ourselves, she bites or claws our faces. That’s if we don’t wake from being asleep. Imagine the damage she’ll inflict if we don’t wake from the eternal sleep.