Category Archives: Story writing

The lesser known transition

OK, lets go for the politics double tonight, then hopefully put the subject to bed for a long time! All this year, in a few, err, deeply religious, states in the US, the issue of Transgender people, and their rights have stirred matters up nicely. The most infamous of those states of course, is North Carolina, which has virtually become a pariah subject for new jobs, concerts, and sporting events for so many. Hopefully the awful governor behind their bathroom bill will lose his job tonight, though given the nature of many in that state, I’m not going to hold my breath! A few other states have contemplated similar moves, realized the fallout, and changed their minds. So far at least.

Despite the fact that the number of cases of transgendered women assaulting children, and actual women is nil, these zealots decided they needed to keep these people out of the women’s restrooms. Yes, go in the men’s, and get beaten up, just perfect! The hilarious outcome of course was when a number of very good looking trans men pointed out that in that case, they’d be using the ladies room anyway, but they tried to ignore that side of things…rolls eyes.

Personally, I admire women who transition to men as much as I do those of us who choose to go the other way. I have no ideas of numbers, who transition that way, as opposed to men transitioning to women, but I suspect the number is lower. The surgery ‘down below’ is a bit more complex (not that male to female is easy, but…), and lets face it, its easier to pass that way without surgery. Not that that should be an issue, but… And yes, fine, if you stopped anyone on the street, and asked about transitioning, I’m sure all but a few would think of men becoming women. But anyway…

What happened earlier today, was that I was discussing a story concept with someone. This one,

A cursed 1930s night-club that slowly transforms women in the audience into night-club singers.

and he said to me that he wanted to include transgender in it, because he fancied the transformation happening to himself, and whether he should do it, given the board we post on isnt a transgender related one. No, he doesnt know I’m transgendered myself, by the way. I said that if he wanted to, he should do it, but also added that if he was going down that route, maybe his female partner could also transition to a male singer. No, given he’s in the US, and is working, I havent got a reply yet.

I hope he does, because I think there is a need for more people to realize that its not just men who change their gender, but women too. Oh, and yes, I’d love that transformation to happen to me! 😀

The video? A singer, in a nightclub, naturally!

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Can Anyone Help With Some Research?

Yes, its one of my story ideas, which I could do with some research help on, and I was just wondering if anyone knew someone, who could help me out with it. Where’s a good place to start? I guess the story summary I did for someone else, is a bit of a guide

So far I’ve written purely what is a summary piece, about 3,000 words, to get the base idea out on a few sites, and get a reaction to it. Introduces an actress heavily into method acting, regardless of the role. Gets offered a role playing a patient in a psychiatric hospital, who would be ‘seen’ to be having ECT in the role on stage, and wants to know what its like.
Her agent should arrange her a visit to a unit, to see the set up, and how to react to it. Unfortunately (or otherwise), he doesn’t pass on the correct info, and they think she wants to experience it for real. Plan is to take issues, and everything else forward from there, how she reacts to it, how they react when they discover she wasn’t meant to be treated, and everything else.
Pretty much I want to do some research, ideally from experience, to help with writing it, see life from the other side of the electrodes, and all that. Also would then be able to gauge how she would react to that first session, and everything, if I knew what it was like.
As I say, maybe less than full voltage, and duration, but enough to know what its like. But if I have to do a full session, I definitely would!

In fact, someone suggested to me that it might interest TV/film people as a script, if sufficiently developed, which would be even more amazing for me, and I might look into that, but for now, lets leave it as a story concept.

Yes, I know, slightly crazy, maybe to be interested in having something like this done to me, at any voltage, or duration, but unless I know what it feels like, how am I going to write it? Fine, yes, it also has appeal, lets face it, as a personal thing, as it will surprise no one who knows how much I’d enjoy having my brain ‘zapped’ like that, to some degree. Mind, equally, if anyone can give me a detailed guide to what being on the receiving side of ECT feels like, it would help. But yes, fine, I’d love to find out for myself, I really would.

As stated, it doesnt have to be standard voltage (about 450 volts), or duration (up to 8 seconds), though if thats all that can happen, I’ll take my chance, and do it. But yes, ideally, something less (principally voltage) than that would be fine, as long as I get the sensation, the after reaction to it, and everything else, to get it written down afterwards.

Oh fine, maybe the story idea came to me, because I watch the wrong type of videos on You Tube, but anyway, here’s a fine example

Alright, faults with this, as its a movie scene. Voltage, and milliamperes, way higher than really used, or so websites tell me, at least. Duration, I time it at 14 seconds, and pretty much the longest said to be used is 8 seconds! So fine, she wasnt really zapped, but these things make it look more dramatic than reality. In truth, duration wise, this one is even more crazy! Again, fake, mind.

So yes, I’m looking for something a bit more sane than those, for my research lol! But yes, though I might secretly enjoy something like those, in reality, I’ll settle for something that lets me know what its like, with as little risk as possible. I know, something like this, there is no such thing as no risk, but even so…

But yes, if anyone can help me with research, in any way, please email me, at stephmajor8@hotmail.com and let me know. I know, but we writers have some crazy ideas, and fantasies, sometimes.

The video, a strange piece I found, suitable subject matter

I’d love you to take me

As some of my regular readers know, I do occasionally, when the chance arises, dabble in a little story writing. Given the popularity of Amazon (plus the fact 1 book is exclusive to them at present, here’s a link to my stuff

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_hi_2?rh=n%3A133140011%2Cp_27%3AMerry+Brooks&bbn=133140011&sort=relevancerank&ie=UTF8&qid=1437587127

The author name will also work at Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and a couple of other smaller places, though the latest one wont be there until September, when the 90 day Kindle Unlimited thing runs out. Yes, I do it for fun, though admittedly it can be frustrating at times, when nothing seems to sell, but anyway…

Something I discovered on Twitter (see, there are benefits to being there lol) is that some wonderfully generous places offer writer residences, generally in beautiful, and inspiring places. One of those became a contact with me on Twitter, a residence named Hedgebrook, on Whidbey Island, near Seattle, which just happens to be one of my favourite cities anyway.

Get out 1
Me, this is for serious writers, not people who write short ebooks. Answer, not necessarily, we consider anyone who writes in a good inspiring manner, and oh, who is female.

Get out 2
It costs money to apply, and given my personally perceived chance of making the grade, given I’m out of work currently, I shouldnt be throwing money away on something like this. Answer, when there is a good reason for not paying the fee, like being unemployed, the fee might be waived.

So at this point, with this information, and nothing to lose, I’ve gone for it. Well, its all set up to go for it, anyway. At this moment I’m waiting to hear how I apply, without paying $30 off my credit card, so that I can complete it, and submit my application.

Yes, it would be amazing in so many ways. Not only would I have no excuse not to write, in fact just the opposite, I’d get to meet other writers, get the chance to discuss so many things, and I suspect, learn to write a whole lot better! And yes, fine, living in my own little cottage (if only for 2 or 3 weeks), writing, walking, and generally being inspired by everything would be heaven. I suspect the networking would be fascinating for me too. I have requested 3 weeks (2 books in that time, maybe?), but if they offered me 2, I’d snatch their hands off.

My initial plan would be to write a much extended version of one of my short stories, actually, one of those on sale at Amazon, “No Place Like Nome”. Other possibles would be to develop, and extend “A Hollywood Happening”, or to do a Jean Harlow biography, and try and put a few things right, that were so awfully wrong in the early ones. Mind, 2 or 3 weeks, if I got as inspired as I suspect I would, I might get more than one done!

No, seriously, its not likely to happen. I’m told this is a very cherished spot to be, and there will be far superior writers to me looking for one of those delightful cottages to work in. But I guess you never know?

OK, to the video. What I’m saying to those nice decision makers, though I’m not sure how closely they will listen?

Merry Brooks publishing proudly presents…

And before you query matters, for those who don’t remember, and it has been a while, that’s my author name, for publishing purposes.

I know, its been a while, but thats what work will do for you! But while I was taking it (relatively) easy, before I headed to Hollywood, I wrote this. Yes, I know, I write this before I get to see the city, but on the whole, I made a good premise of it. Yes, Google maps helps in that sense, but anyway…

http://www.amazon.com/Hollywood-Happening-Merry-Brooks-ebook/dp/B00Z6Z4NLQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1433792412&sr=1-1

If you want an idea what its about, before you buy, there’s a guide in the synopsis. All I will say, is that there are 2 very famous actresses mentioned here, 1 of whom gets to try life in a modern era too (technically, she also appears as a ghost, but…). There is also 1 less well known actress, who gets to live 2 lives as well, for whom I have a special affection.

As I say, think the tale of Christmas Carol, hitting Hollywood, only the visitation is not just the sight of things, you get to experience the whole thing.

Oh, and it features a couple of guys as well, who might be a bit sinister, but have a dry sense of humour too, purely fictional.

No, I dont expect to sell enough copies to give up the job hunting lark, but hopefully enough to boost my sagging funds, pretty please!

OK, you had this video only a couple of months ago, but who’s counting. Its a much under rated Gerry Rafferty gem, that deserves some love, so…

Oh, and this lady might appear in it

Digital Camera

Back to serious writing

Do you know the last time I wrote anything longer than 2-3,000 words? Seemingly, its over 3 years ago, wow! Yes, it shows how tough it is to write while I was working, I guess? Well, no longer do I have that millstone hanging around my neck, as today, I finished my first long story since then. Currently, its just under 9,000 words, though that figure might alter slightly, once my wonderful editor has done his part.

To be honest, I enjoyed doing it, though I had forgotten just how tiring long writing sessions can be. But at least I know, when I’ve got the time, and the inclination, I can still write long pieces, something I had begun to wonder.

Yes, as you might have therefore gathered, its going to be a while before you get to see it. Well, a few weeks at least, I suspect. I’ve heard many things about this Kindle Unlimited thing, ran by Amazon, so I might give it a try, though of course you would be able to buy it from them as well. But it does mean I cant sell it for a certain period through any other market, but in all honesty, apart from Barnes and Noble, I wont be missing out on much.

As I said on Friday, I’ve taken the concept of Christmas Carol, and played around with it. So though there are 3 situations, there is only 1 visitor, in fact. And none of it is set in the future lol, unless you count the result of the very ending.

I admit it, most people would write a story set in Hollywood, after you’ve been there, but no, I have to jump in, and write it in advance. At least that way, I dont know I’ve got all the locations wrong! And yes, shock horror, it has a happy ending…of sorts.

Being honest, I suspect there will be at least one more very shortly, working on someone else’s concept, which will involve mind control, and will go as a freebie to the Archive. But this one will hopefully put a few pennies in my coffers, I could probably do with them!

Well, supposedly the weather is going to improve this week, but I’ll believe it when I see it. If it does, I might go over to Headingley, and take in some cricket, while I can. Its only a friendly, against the local university, but its cricket, and if the weather is good…it will be a day not spent over a hot laptop! Beyond that, a baseball game in Los Angeles, in a couple of weeks time will definitely happen. Have a couple of Dodgers games I can go to, on the Friday, or the Sunday, and will plan to get to one of them. They are also home on the Saturday, but I will be otherwise engaged that evening!

The video, some would say this sums up the news of me writing a longer story is, but others might say otherwise!

Trying something old, something new. Nothing borrowed, or blue

Well, today, I’d sort of had plans to go to the rugby league, over Keighley, but I never made it, thanks to the weather. Most of the morning was wet, part of the afternoon was too, and in between, it was grey, and miserable, so I never bothered. I might regret it, it probably was my best chance this year, but anyway…this early in the season, and all that. Hopefully I can get in some cricket at least, somewhere, when its a bit warmer.

So fine, its enabled me to catch up on things of a writing nature instead. I have a friend over on Twitter (well, contact at least) who runs excellent blogathons on movies of the distant past, usually silent ones, which given her handle of @movies silently is a bit of a give away! I’ve often read them, but never taken part, mainly due to work, and commitments. Well, as I havent got those at present, I volunteered to do one for her next series, which is all about short movies.

Did you know, before she became famous, Jean Harlow worked in a series of small, uncredited parts? Probably not, but she did. Some of those (including the one I’m going to mention), she quickly got added to the credits once she became famous, others she didnt.

Probably the most famous of those bit parts, was in a movie with Laurel and Hardy, called Double Whoopee. Possibly famous, because Jean (with Stan’s help) manages to lose most of her dress in this, and reveal plenty of leg! So despite my friend having reviewed it expertly recently, in a recent readers request thing (yes, it was my request), it was the one she suggested I tackle.

Her expert review can be found at http://moviessilently.com/2015/03/01/double-whoopee-1929-silent-film-review/

So, I couldnt compete with that, so I had to do something new with it, and have! I’ve taken a look at the movie from the eyes of Jean Harlow, and what happened during the movie, and afterwards. You can find the movie on You Tube, both the full 20 minutes, and just the section with Jean in, if thats what you prefer?

In addition to this, after far too long, I’ve started work on a new story. First 3 chapters are written, of about 10, I would guess. If you’ve ever read, or seen the movie of ‘A Christmas Carol’, you have an idea of how things play out, though not exactly the same as events in that story, all the same. I’m guessing it will be a few weeks before I release it to the public, especially given the holiday, but it will depend how the writing goes, and how busy my poor editor is.

But sometime soon…

I thought long and hard about a video, and then I thought of this. Were these 2 gentlemen involved in Jean’s big break? Who knows?

Is it me, or is it me?

Its just one of those funny things, most places I go, or pass through, I dont worry too much about what people think of me, or about me, its not like I’m going to see most of them ever again anyway. So if someone laughs, or says something, I just walk on by and ignore them, its just the easiest way.

Its not like I’m controversial, I have worn a skirt out a few times, and no one has even blinked. I have even worn dresses out, but not often, and only in a group, I’m not that daft! Well, not strictly true, I walked across the block to the staff dinner last December in a dress, and heels, all on my own. But given it was a December night, not in the centre of Leeds, beyond the hotel reception area, no one was even going to notice it.

But as I lightheartedly (to some degree) posted on my Facebook account today, at work, I think it would be fair to say my nickname could be marmite. Yes, you know what I mean, it seems I’m either loved, or disliked, and seemingly nothing in the middle. Now, to be fair, you’re never going to be liked by everyone. Well, not genuinely so at least, though a few celebrities might think they are lol!

No, I’m not perfect, and not just in the transgender sense either. I’m a typical Yorkshire lass, with the habit of saying what I think, even if its not always the best thing to do. So yes, my bluntness, especially with a few delicate souls, might just annoy them somewhat. And agreed, I’d be amazed if there werent some who didnt dislike me, for not being the ‘perfect woman’ shall we say, in bodily form at least. I suspect there might even be a few who dont like me for both reasons, who knows?

Dont get me wrong, the vast majority are lovely, it might be with a few, that its only to my face, but thats fine by me. Its just those few that either ignore me as much as possible, or if they do have to look at me, just glare, and tend to walk on by without saying a word. Personally, if they do have a good reason for it, I just wish they would say what it is, but of course they never do. Dont get me wrong, I try to be nice to them, but sometimes its like hitting your head against a brick wall.

Alright, frustrations over, just been one of those days I guess?

In other news, I’ve seen the pictures of me, some of them are truly amazing, it has to be said. And yes, I will post at least a couple on here, in good time, but its likely to be a few weeks I gather. Seriously Boudoir Couture do some fantastic stuff, so if you want some glam pics done, either Google the name, or ask me for details, I’ll happily provide.

Sadly the new story seems about as popular as the plague at present, not sold one copy yet. 😦 Alright, the fact that people can read it for free elsewhere may play a part with my reader market, but all the same…So a little reminder

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/merrybrooks

They are also available at Amazon, and a few other good ebook stores, if you prefer, or certainly if you own a Kindle.

Alright, advert over.

The video tonight, is one by a pair of performers who I only regret never having seen live in the flesh. Never got to a reunion concert, and probably never will now, but I wish I had. Some would say this title is in tribute to a few at work

A general catch up piece

Sorry, its been a while, work and a few other things are responsible for that. Normal service will resume at some point in the next few days, I promise you.

So right, catch up time. The photo shoot, well I lied, it happened on Tuesday, not Monday, but hey, it happened, and it was lots of fun. I’m told the pics look good, and certainly what I saw, on the camera, that seems to be the case. Official viewing was going to be Tuesday, but is now on a short delay, as the photographer has been called down south on a family issue. Still, should be soon, really looking forward to seeing the results.

A couple of styles that were most Brooks-ish, a few shots in a fur coat (fake, which I suspect Louise’s were not), and lots more in a gorgeous sparkly top, and hat, including some with me playing with a feather boa, great fun. Some other outfits too, hopefully I can get some in a way that will enable me to post them on here. Certainly some great stuff for a 20’s style author, that is for sure.

Talking of which, at some point next week, I will be posting up my 3rd story as an ebook, an absolute Louise Brooks homage, with some nice OMD cameo touches too. Yes, I’ll let you know when its up, feel free to purchase that, or my other 2 books btw. Please do, 17 sales in all so far, but wouldnt mind a few more. Oh, and in setting up Paypal, to get all those royalties, I had to name the company, went for the obvious, Merry Brooks Publishing. No, I dont ever expect it to make the FT-100 lol!

Oh, and a piece of silliness yesterday. The Euromillions lottery thing (no, I havent bought any lottery ticket in years!) had a special yesterday, instead of 1 guaranteed millionaire, as they normally do (we pay 2 pounds, as opposed to 2 Euros, so they have to give back some way), they were guaranteeing 100. So I joined in with the office syndicate of 9, but we didnt win a thing. So no upgrade on the flight to the US in September, 8 weeks today in fact. Ah well…

The video, go back to that paragraph about the book, and you get the answer. Different mix, no idea which one, but some interesting shots of Louise, including a brief segment of her in the 70’s, when you get to hear her speak.

Yes, 8 weeks from now, I will be a long, long way from here, even if it wont be Kansas! Enjoy

Oh, last thing, get better soon, Malc Holmes, after suffering from heat exhaustion during a Toronto concert, where it was meant to be 115 in the hall! I know you arent on the original recording of this, but you’ve played it a few times since then. All my best wishes to him, and the rest of the band.

Having A Heatwave

Oh my, things are starting to warm up now, I think summer has finally arrived, and allegedly will be around for a while now. How long before people (probably including me) are complaining that its too hot! Ah well…

So, what are the tennis commentators going to go on about now, given that the long count of years since a Brit won the men’s singles at Wimbledon is over? I managed to catch the end of it at least, and saw the magic moment. I was also following a far more important victory today, that of the Ireland cricket team against Holland. Another victory on Tuesday, and they are at the next cricket world cup in Australia in 2015 with a round of matches to spare. They are already in the Inter Continental cup final with a match to spare as well, and that without most of their county players.

In other news, its now official, I’m an ebook author. If you want to know more details, ask, but otherwise thats the only news you get about it, on this side of the blogs at least. No, I dont expect to make my fortune, but it will be fun. The signing tour, somehow I doubt it!

The video, yes, you might have worked it out, and yes, its sung by a blonde. But not Marilyn, or me (thank goodness), its the one and only Miss Piggy!

If you prefer Marilyn, and I expect some will, just find it on You Tube!

Bank holidays

Any other year, today would be a bank holiday. This year, it isnt, due to the Jubilee celebrations next weekend, when there are 2 bank holidays instead, both Monday and Tuesday.

The thing is, apart from bank staff, and most office workers, how many actually dont work on a bank holiday nowadays? Think about it, people go out for the day somewhere, or go shopping, or as is relevant in my case, go gambling, and people have to work to cater for all this need. Dont get me wrong, I appreciate why we need these bank holidays, and everything, I just think the concept of them has become a bit of an anachronism, given the percentage of people who actually wont be working that day. And yes, I get 8 days added to my holiday allowance to allow for working on all these days. Well alright, not Christmas Day, but equally that is taken back from the holiday allowance.

No, I’m not a staunch royalist, not in the slightest. Not sure if that makes me a republican though, or just a ‘couldnt care less’ type! So no, working while the Jubilee celebrations will be going on around me, doesnt bother me in the slightest. Except, like the last royal wedding, I can foresee all the TV’s being focussed on it at work anyway!

But alright, one of my main bug bears about bank holidays, even more so nowadays, is the Sunday bus service that runs! Seriously, trying to get on a daytime bus, on a bank holiday is akin to sardines in a tin! Maybe in the good old days, a very limited bus service would be enough, but nowadays…I know, I know, trying to rob even more of their day off lol, but…Interestingly the trains run a normal service, hint, hint.

Yes, I’m in one of those silly periods at work. I was off yesterday, in today, then off tomorrow and Wednesday. The logic of which is…? As it is, assuming the weather holds, it helps. Given that I wont get to Ireland for cricket this year, I’d assumed I might not get to see any this season. But a hole has appeared in my diary, Yorkshire are at home on Wednesday (first day of 4 day game), so might sneak off there, if the weather holds, as its supposed to (ha, ha).

Sorry, for those who like the videos, there isnt one. One, I cant think of anything obvious, and even more so, two, I need to get off here in 5 minutes for work, so not really the time to find one.

Tomorrow, got some writing to do, and I dont mean a blog, though I possibly will do one as well. Ironically its about 3 months since I had the time I last worked on the story, but as I say, a window this week, so need to get it done.