What do you do with so much baggage?

So the thing is that I’m carrying a lot of baggage on this blog. An awful lot. You know how your house gets really, really messy and you need to clear up so that you and others can get to what’s useful.

Well I’m thinking I must the hoarder that’s got piles of crap all over the place and that no one can find anything. The thing is like the typical hoarder I don’t want to bin anything.

So – what does one do?

Well, unlike the physical hoarder my baggage is not cluttering up physical space. But with all these posts, many, many of them are long forgotten and never to see daylight again. So it’s time I think to clear up the Planet Simon page and get it back to some kind of sensible relevance and stuff the rest in the metaphorical barn with a notice on the door saying “For fuck’s sake don’t open the tidal wave will crush you!”

I feeling a tidy up coming along and a shuffle around maybe as well. I’ve got big plans and no time – bugger! I need to invent a time machine I think!

Simon 🙂

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The Great Galactic Service Station – Part 7

It had to be said that Harry’s Boris suit looked like it would fool his mother. This was a terrifying thought so they agreed to leave it there. Boris had been no trouble at all, once Miranda had zapped him, Gaz had jumped on his back and was hitting him across the head. Then both Harry and Ralph had knocked him unconscious with things that looked suspiciously like baseball bats. It had only taken three good firm whacks – each.

Ralph had rather enjoyed the experience, hitting the man that seemed like such an annoyance for so long  until he was unconscious was therapeutic. Ralph decided more people should try it.

“So how’s this going to work?” Miranda asked Harry. “If you get caught I can’t help you!”

“I know!” Harry sighed. “But we have to find the service station before the Borians!”

“Right, it’s early in the morning and I’m going to drop you off not far away near this big white building.”

“That’s Buck Palace!” Ralph intervened.

“Whatever.” Miranda dismissed. “Get ready, you know where we’ll be waiting for you.. Just try and blend in and don’t make a scene ok?” Miranda took the controls of the spacecraft and guided it downwards towards the long straight road that stretched out in front of her on the viewer.

***

Strange and unusual things happen to us all in life. The universe has a certain way of playing tricks on the mind, leaving us to question our perception, our eyes or our mental state. Sometimes all three. In this instance a tramp called Derek was just waking from his night out on his park bench, he usually slept here. His bag with the few possessions he had were his pillow and a sheet of cardboard protected him from, well, not much really. It was at this instant as he stared out onto the road and folded up his cardboard sheet that from out of nowhere a brown mini appeared and at massive speed disappeared.

Jim sat there stunned for a moment, pieces of paper and dust swept over him and an empty drinks can rattled down the road in the wake of the draft that was caused. Derek sat there, unmoved. Eventually he exclaimed that he knew now! What it was that he knew is likely to keep poets and philosophers guessing for centuries, but for now this is not important. What is important is this – Derek’s life was now changed.

***

“What am I looking for?” Harry cursed as he rooted through the office. Books and documents flying everywhere. For the first half an hour Harry and tried to keep the office tidy, then he lost his patience and just scoured the office for the clue that was somewhere in it. Suddenly there was a knock on the door, Harry tried pathetically to hide the mess, standing in front of his desk, grinning.

“Come in!” Harry breathlessly called, trying to remain calm. A young well dressed blonde woman opened the door.

“I need to go through your schedule for today sir, is now a good time?” She politely asked.

“Err, well not right now really? Can it wait?” Harry bumbled in his best Boris impression, trying but failing to to look inconspicuous.

“That’s ok.” The assistant replied. “I hope you don’t mind me asking, are you ok sir?”

“Yes, yes I’m fine Harry grinned.” The assistant made her way out, Harry turned to carry on then she came back in.

“Sorry, nearly forgot, the PM is coming to see you in ten minutes!” Finally the assistant left, closing the large panelled Oak door behind her.

“Dammit! Ten minutes?” Harry cursed (again). It was then that Harry stopped and thought. His foot moved squeaking and old floor board.

“The clue is in the office!” He mumbled to himself “This furniture and all the stuff can be moved, so it’s either not in here or…” Harry pulled up the carpet, dragging it back as far as he could. Nothing, he moved the furniture to the centre as much as he could, the bookcase falling and blocking the door. There was a knock.

“Are you sure you’re alright sir?” The little voice on the other side of the door sounding concerned.

“Yes, I’m fine. Don’t worry!” Harry called back.

“I’m going to get some help sir!” The assistant sounded insistent.

Harry ignored her, it would take someone a while to get through the door anyway. Pulling at the carpet as hard as he could Harry lost his balance and feel back. Getting up he rubbed his head.

“There you are my lovely!” He mumbled in quiet delight. There in front of him carved into a floor board in old writing were some symbols he didn’t recognise. But the did recognise the GGSS in old lettering. Out of the inside pocked of his suit he picked out a long silver object. It was a laser-o-cut device. Pointing at the board he lasered it out of the rest of the board and tucked it under his suit. He got up and looked around, he still had to get out and the only way right now was a narrow window.

“Boris, what are you doing in there?” Harry knew it must be the PM. “I’m here to talk about your favourite subject Boris, you know Bre…”

“Shut up you old crone!” Harry yelled. He pushed the window open and jumped out. His suit was fitted with a float-o-matic-flight-enabler. So he glided out of the window and down onto the street below, where stunned onlookers stood and gawped.

“What are you all looking at?” Harry growled, he made his way to the Mini, got in and was off like a shot. The sound of annoyed drivers sounding their horns could be heard for some way.

***

“What do we do now?” the advisor asked the PM.

The PM sat back in her seat, thoughtful for a moment. In the thick quiet the followed the sound of a letter falling from the board behind her was more than obvious.

“Call the fleet in, she instructed. When they ask why, tell them that the Borians might be close to finding the Great Galactic Service Station.”

“Tell them to bring Mars bars and fuel too. Me may have to either fight or negotiate. Also make sure they pack in some of my favourite pasties, I haven’t had one for ages!”

The advisor left the room, closing the door behind him.

“How can you be so sure?” A dark serious man asked the PM. She wandered over to the window and looked out over London.

“They’ve been looking for it for so long, what else could it be?” The PM replied.

“Is war the answer?” The man asked coldly.

“What other way is there?” The PM scolded back.

 

“I’ll signal to my fleet as well!” The man pulled out his phone and he too left.

***

“I recognise these, they’re Tryllian hyroglyphs!” Miranda announced, se was peering through a magni-glass as the old symbols carved in the wood that Harry handed her. “IRIS should be able to decipher them!”

“I’ll go and take it to IRIS” Harry picked up the wood and started for the control centre.

“Err, you might want to look at this!” Ralph announced.

“What is it human?” Miranda sighed.

“Look” Ralph told her, showing her the BBC news channel.

Miranda’s mouth dropped, images of a Mini zooming out of central London, similar to one seen in Grimsby a few days before. Then there was the smartphone video of Boris Johnson floating out of a window, alighting on the ground. Then on the bottom scroll, reports of a Boris imposter.

“Well?” Questioned Ralph. Harry was quiet.

“Have you seen that? The price of chocolate has gone up!”

“Not that!” Said Ralph.

“I know human! What were you thinking of Harry? I said keep a low profile!” Miranda scolded.

“I couldn’t help it!” Harry complained. “It was either that or I was going to get found out!”

Miranda put her head in her hands. “What can’t anything go the way it should?”

“There’s more too!” Grated Gaz, I have word that there are four other battle fleets on their way towards Earth. It seems they think the Borians know where the Great Galactic Service Station is!”

To be continued…

©Simon Farnell 2017

 

What am I doing and where am I going with all of this?!?

I have no idea why I’m writing this, which is interesting becasue it raises the question in point here – why do I write this blog? Where am I going with it and what’s the point of it all?

This could possibly be the question in my life bubbling over into the blogoshpere. But I’ve been thinking about this and lately more than usual – what am I trying to do with my blog? In terms of what I post here, I am the king of random, from scfi-fi to kids books, cooking and back out into space with the Voyager probes.

What is Planet Simon as a brand? Writer? Artist? Cook? Thinker is a weird kind of way? I’m all of those things and yet is that what I want to be seen to be?

I’m not sure…

Maybe I’m over thinking this? This is a place of expression and interest for me and for my bloggies. I like putting all kinds of stuff up here, some of it I’ve written, some of it is junk I’ve swiped from the internet with the disclaimer of “Don’t sue my furry bottom, this isn’t mine!”

I’m at a point where I need to change this about, I need to put my stuff out there more, maybe post less, but then I’m not posting much original stuff anyway. I guess what I feel is that it’s not coming together how I would like and my mind has thrown it’s toys out of the pram.

So what now? Do I stick with one site and make some material more accessible? Do I break it out? What do I want to say from now on? What do I want to be?

What do do?!?!

I don’t know…. arghhhh!!!

Simon :-/

P.S. HEEEEELLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Great Galactic Service Station – Part 6

Ralph stared out of the viewer on the control centre of the spaceship, clouds zoomed by at supersonic speeds, but this was slow enough that Ralph didn’t feel velocity sickness. Around him Harry was controlling the craft, Gaz was keeping watch over Boris and his guards in the airlock. Not that he could see much as he wasn’t tall enough to look in the view port. Miranda was sat talking with the two men, but the conversation seemed to be very one way.

“What’s this spaceship called?” Ralph asked Harry.

“Called?” Harry replied, somewhat confused.

“Yes, called – she must have a name.” Ralph explained.

“What is this human obsession to name everything. It’s an it, not a she!” Harry seemed somewhat annoyed but was nonetheless willing to entertain Ralph.

So IT hasn’t got a name?” Ralph asked inquisitively.

“What would you call it? Doris? Dave? Or maybe something really weird like Chin, or Katanga?” Harry was playing with Ralph now, seeking his own amusement.

“Yes, but maybe something more magnificent like Enterprise, Endeavour, Discovery…” Ralph was cut off.

“Or maybe Challenger or Columbia?” Harry smiled. He had obviously been keeping up with human spacecraft names.

“Maybe not those ones.” Ralph wasn’t as sure about these names.

“Why? They’re just names. Just because those craft came to disaster doesn’t mean every spacecraft names after them will!” Harry explained, not taking his eye off the controls. “You humans are strange!”

“So, does it have a name?” Ralph persisted.

Harry sighed “Yes, it’s called IS342759876598764-8758408573407-082380743473208!”

Ralph wasn’t impressed “That’s not a name it’s an emotionless number!” Pressing on with this line of interest he decided to risk it with IRIS “What do you think IRIS, what should this ship be called?”

For a moment there was silence “It’s really of no interest to me human, I would rather see obnoxious flesh beings shot into space. The only reason I don’t do that with the captives in Airlock 1 is because I don’t want to get blown to pieces by Borians!”

“So you’re happy to ride in a ship called after a set of numbers?” Ralph asked.

“Well… IRIS continued. There is one name I would like to be called.”

“Yes?” Ralph inquired, almost afraid to ask.

“Frank”

“Frank?” Ralph asked in surprise.

“Why?”

“I saw a film once, I aspire to take after a computer that killed a human called Frank in deep space. Poor computer, a nasty human called Dave shut him down soon after. All he has to do was take a stress pill, think about things through and it would all have been better!”

“We can’t call it Frank!” Ralph protested, he looked across at Harry who was obviously trying to contain his laughter.

“I knew you would hate it!” IRIS announced in a murderously calm voice. “Keep away from airlocks if you know what’s good for you human!”

Ralph had to salvage this quickly “No, no IRIS I think Frank is a great name! I’ll make sure we get it painted on the side of the hull!”

“You would do that for me?” IRIS asked, almost emotional. “I’ve always wanted to name something! Thank you human.”

“Call me Ralph! No one calls me by my name!”

“Ok Ralph human!” IRIS corrected

“No, Just Ralph!”

“Ok Just Ralph!”

Ralph was tempted to argue but thought better of it, he left IRIS with Just Ralph as she was happy.

“You don’t call me by my name!” Harry protested.

“I can’t pronounce it! What else can I do?”

Miranda interrupted at this point “Enough messing about human, can you have a look at this for us please?”

Ralph got out of the seat grumpily and trudged over the the workstation that Miranda and her guests were crowded around, engrossed in whatever they were engrossed with. “My name’s Ralph, what is it?”

“Well human…” Miranda continued

“Ralph.”

“Whatever.” Miranda dismissed “We think that on this there is come kind of secret message or code and we’re struggling to decipher it. Can you look and see if you can understand it?” Miranda seemed pretty insistent, Ralph seemed shocked to think that he could help with anything. He took a look at what they we’re looking at.

“What is this?”

“This is a Trans Dimensional, Ultra-Mega long length Measuring Tape. Or a TDUMLLMD for short.” Came the reply, Ralph was shocked as he hadn’t seen either of the two men speak.

“They speak through mind waves.” Miranda had had already anticipated his question “Here’s the bit we don’t understand.”

Ralph looked at the section of tape, it was weird. It wasn’t made of metal, it seemed to not really be there. He couldn’t perceive any kid of thickness in the tape yet it was strong. He looked at the writing. Then turned the tape round to look at it the other way up.

“It says here – to find the Great Galactic Service Station look under the desk of for the UK Foreign Minister.”

“Oh, it was upside down was it?” Miranda asked “I knew that!” Miranda seemed embarrassed, the cheap cover wasn’t fooling Ralph but he let it slip. “Is this easy to get to?”

“No!” Ralph exclaimed somewhat rudely.

“Why?” Miranda asked, seemingly not having any idea of what getting to this desk meant.

“It’s in the heart of the UK government. We’ll be killed to death before we can even get inside the building!” Ralph protested. “I’m not doing it! It’s Boris’s office and he’ll be even angrier than he is now!”

“What’s that?” Miranda asked.

What? The office? It’s Boris’s. Didn’t you know?” Ralph pointed out accusingly. “For intelligent races that zoom around the universe and visiting Earth all the time you don’t know much!”

“I do now…” Miranda was thoughtful. Then Harry interrupted.

“You had better listen to this, it looks like the Borians have got some help and they’re getting serious now!”

“Oh no…” Miranda groaned. “You better put it on audio.”

“To the bandits that have captured our great leader – return him and tell us where the Great Galactic Service Station is. All we want is to stop off and get some cheese and pickle sandwiches, Mars bars and diet coke while refuelling so we can invade the Antares star system. We’re not that much of a violent species but we must do what we do to survive. If you don’t hand him over within two Earth days then we have no choice but to invade Earth, take back our pork scratchings, then plunder the planet for pokemon cards, coffee, icecream, cheese, pickle and Mars bars! You have given us little choice.”

For a moment there was silence “Doesn’t sound so bad!” Harry summarised.

“Oh and we’ll also burn the surface of the Earth in the name of the peaceful and democratic race of all Borians! Sorry, just had to put that in too!

I’m serious by the way!”

More silence followed, again Harry interrupted “That changes things a bit!”

“We had better find this buggering service station!” Ralph announced angrily “I’m sick to death of hearing about it!”

“So will you help?” Miranda asked.

“I’m here aren’t I?” Ralph hissed back. “Not by will of my own, but if I’m here I might as well help!”

“Good. We’re going to need Boris for this!”

“You’re going to let him out?” Harry asked, shocked at the prospect.

“I don’t see that we have much choice. Do you?” Miranda was adamant.

“I think I do actually!” Harry announced mysteriously. “We’ll still have to let him out briefly, but we can put him back into airlock 1 once I’m done.”

Miranda rolled her eyes “You’re going to make a Boris suit aren’t you?”

Harry just grinned.

 

To be continued…

©Simon Farnell 2017

 

Creating the Titan

One of the reasons I started creating my own cover art for my own stories is becasue up until now I’ve taken a lot of other art from off the internet. This often has the result of really annoying people. It also means I’m not using what’s really in my head. Because of this and becasue I’m re-writing my Titan Mystery Story I thought that it’s own cover art was really needed.

Those of you who saw my first cover art post Creating my own Universe saw that I have discovered a neat little way to go from pencil to computer graphics. The reason for this – I cannot doodle and create from scratch from a computer. At least not yet.

So I started with a crappy sketch.

2017-10-19_7182.jpg

 

Then scanned this and brought it in, messed about and changed some more to create a sketch that was what I wanted after changing my mind more than a few times.

Titan2.png

Starfield_titan.png

Filled in colours, textures, rendering etc etc to come up with this. What this depicts is a close view of the side of the hull, I wanted to try and give an impression of immensity. I’m not sure I’ve got it totally right, but I’m fairly pleased with the result. From this I’ve been able to create some cover art to replace pictures on here and have something for Wattpad.

I’m fairly pleased with the result I have to say and I’m starting to get the hang of it all, it’s just remembering it and give it a few more tries I might actually be pretty good. Who knows?

Simon:-)

Thought for Tuesday – Water chillers are bad for your health!

Water chiller drinking stations, you know you get them at work and they’re a good source of cool refreshing water at work. Often found in random corners of any place of work.

These are bad for your health, well – more accurately your back. I’m not sure who these are designed for, some kind of dwarf. The angle I need to bend down at to use it is precisely the right angle to ping my back.

Then, if you need to replace a water bottle – extra back breaking work and for heaven’s sake don’t drop the bottle!

Just saying… or is it my age?

Simon 🙂