Posted in News and Appearances

Characters I’d invite to my Halloween Party

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I was asked recently who I’d invite to a Halloween party if I could invite anyone in the world that I wanted. I gave it a bit of thought and came up with this list.

Stephen King – horror writer. I love his writing, his characters and the fact he lives in Maine. This is one place I’ve always wanted to visit in the US so if I invite him to my party, his innate politeness will dictate he feels obliged to invite me to his place. As long as he pays the bill to get me over there of course. His house looks so spooky and I’d love to sit and shoot the breeze with the man.

I’d insist that Stephen brings Pennywise with him. The clown from IT has to be one of the scariest dudes ever. I have two reasons for inviting this rather malevolent entity to my party. One is that he will scare the crap out of the Neighbourhood kids and I rather like that idea.

clown-1537543_1280As an aside, I think I have this deep rooted desire to feed on people’s fear -a little like old Penny himself. Not to mention the fact that my twenty year old daughter has a bit of a phobia about clowns. I once offered a birthday present to her that she almost had a heart attack over. There’s a gent that dresses like a clown and stalks the birthdayee. (It’s a great word, so stop frowning) The guy hides behind lamp posts, jumps out of dark corners, and generally makes their life miserable as they wonder where he’s going to turn up next. My daughter didn’t like that idea for some reason so letting Pennywise smile at her from across a crowded room while gently fondling a carving knife sounds like a great substitute. (Uhhmm, she doesn’t seem to like that idea either. But who cares. It amuses me.)

So that’s two party goers taken care of. My next guest would be the incredibly talented chef Hannibal Lecter. The young Hannibal is pretty yummy, but Mr. Hopkins would be a delight too. Hannibal is a man of great discernment, witty conversation and he’s remarkably intelligent. He’s dapper, well spoken and honestly, any hostess should be privileged to have him. I’d sit him next to someone I really didn’t like and watch the chemistry between them ignite.  I hope nothing else develops though, like a torn out liver in a state of being flambéed and served with a nice cranberry coulis.

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I need a lady guest or two to balance this out. So I say a warm welcome to Nurse Ratched, she from ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.’ Unfortunately she won’t be able to say anything back as her vocal cords were irreparably damaged when Randle McMurphy tried to choke her to death. But I’ll put a pen and notepad at the side of her table setting and she can at least have a conversation that way. She promised she would bring her little black bag of drugs with her in case any of the other guests got out of hand.

And of course no Halloween party would be complete without the loveliness of Bellatrix Lestrade, the loveable, psychotic  pure bred witch and Death Eater from the Harry Potter series. Her  Gothic beauty and her sadistic and violent tendencies, coupled with her narcissistic tendencies would fit in really well with the other dinner guests. She and Hannibal could trade cooking recipes perhaps, while Pennywise could nuzzle her lovely neck with his rather large teeth. Stephen would be sitting observing the character interplay for his next book, and Nurse Ratched would probably be trying to bully and intimidate all the dinner guests. I’m guessing though that this would be quite a feat to achieve…woman-1684113_1920

And of course, there would be me, Hostess Extraordinaire, watching the casual interaction between my dinner guests with a fond smile and a very large gun held in my hand under the table. The weapon would be necessary in case any of the humans decided to turn on me. Of course, I’d need a couple of magic spells, an incantation or two and the Ritual of Chüd. (Google this if you’re not sure what the hell I’m on about and you’ll find out which character it can kill) I would wine and dine these guests, listen avidly to their stories, laugh at their jokes and then set them loose on an unsuspecting public.  After all, it is Halloween. People expect to have the bejesus scared out of them and I think my dinner guests will do this admirably.

I look forward to seeing you all at the next one on the 31st October 2016. Come along and join the fun. I think you’ll enjoy yourselves. Oh, and leave the children at home. Just  in case. You know how IT loves little kiddies.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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Posted in News and Appearances

Whimsy and Weirdness as Halloween approaches

I fancied doing a blog post that was a little tongue in cheek and fun. And in the process, who knows, you might come across one of these collective nouns that you haven’t seen before.

I was tickled pink to discover some recent examples. I thought the ones below were either a little writing related or applicable to the genre I write in.

A Kindle of kittens

A Stud of mares

A ‘Knob’ of pintails (a kind of duck apparently)

A Worship of Writerswriters group

A Clench of sphincters

A Plump of ducks

A Pace of asses

A Grind of blackfish

A Shiver of sharks

A Head of curlews (more birds)

rooster

There was some controversy about the collective noun for cocks – and I mean the rooster like birds that flock around the hens, you fowl minded people.

Some say ‘a Flock of cocks’ others suggest the right word is a ‘Brood’. And in case you really wanted to know, and don’t spend all your time Googling it (as I know you might) apparently it is a ‘Clutch of penes’ (plural for ‘penises’). Others have been suggested but I won’t go into too much detail here.

Then of course there are those that are more cooking related and as you know , I have a book series centred around a restaurant and two chefs. The restaurant is called Galileo’s and it’s in Soho, London.

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Some may simply be someone’s fancy, while others seem to be the accepted use.

A Hastiness of cooks

A Glazing of taverners

A Rope of onions

 

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A Jam of tarts

An Accompaniment of condiments

A Sproutness of mushrooms

A Promise of barmen

 

I had a particular fondness for this one and for the rather amusing little anecdote I found online that accompanied it. You can read it here Fesnyng

ferrets

 

It’s a Fesnyng of ferrets – apparently this is the real, honest to goodness collective noun for these slinky creatures. I mean, who comes up with these weird names and what the hell were they smoking at the time because I want some.

 

And one last one I thought was rather clever…

A Fraid of ghosts

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Happy Halloween everybody!!