(WordPress.com Readers, you may need to open this post as it’s got plugins on the page)
Grey Moon is my fifth series of Little Fears stories. A bit of pondering on life, death and a lot of puns. Told across seven days in the Grey Moon pub with a cast led by three of our favourite characters, Yuffie, Fuen and Reala.
Due to the explosion that was the WordPress 5.0 update, there’s a few repeat pictures and broken YouTube links. Sorry about that.
Otherwise, I hope you enjoy!
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If you enjoy Grey Moon and want to inflict my puns on others, this complete series was carefully curated in a book, available on Amazon.
Available as an Ebook and paperback. It’s the perfect gift for someone you want to torture with terrible puns!
Spiders is the Little Fears third series of stories, originally posted in 2017. Much like January, it’s a series of random silly tales with frightful doodles. No plots or development. Just a whole lot of puns.
Although there’s a book available which is complete, I lost parts of this series on the website during the WordPress 5.0 upgrade that wreaked havoc on the Fears.
What’s left is most of the third series, which I hope you enjoy.
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If you enjoy Spiders and want to inflict my puns on others, this complete series was carefully curated in a book, available on Amazon.
Available as an Ebook and paperback. It’s the perfect gift for someone you want to torture with terrible puns!
It was a fear I had myself back at the start of the year. I’d done serials before. 30 posts for each of the Lost Leads crime stories. I was concerned about doing anything longer than 30 stories as it felt like an attention span limit. My current story is about 53 tales into an 88 tale long story. So yeah, the ongoing, serialized fear story that is Brass, just ain’t working for me.
There are a few reasons for it. I thought I’d run through them in a post. Do something, learn from the experience and then explain.
The internet has a short attention span.
100% including myself there. I cannot tell you how many blog/fiction serials have hooked me in the first few chapters. Then I forget to visit. I delay catching up and fall further behind. Then I skip a few chapters and miss something important. It doesn’t apply so much with the Brass series. But psychologically, it matters. For both readers and myself.
Some folks hate serials.
Like, straight up. There’s some real hate for web-serials. I’ve had a few comments from older Fears followers that said they stopped reading on the Brass serial. They check in to see whether it’s over. Although I always say, don’t write for other people, serialized fiction is rather polarizing.
People who join halfway, walk away.
A combination of both of the above. Folk that have been following Brass since the start, are not put off by the episode numbers in each post. Readers that first see the Little Fears, on chapter 40, will often read, laugh, then leave and not come back. They feel they’ve already missed out on a huge chunk of the story and can’t catch up.
The Fears are far less nimble.
I’m always miles ahead of where I need to be for content. I’ve pre-written years worth of stories. But, I mentioned all the big plans I have several times before, and I can’t seem to get them going. When I post too frequently outside of the ongoing Brass story, it seems to mentally disrupt my flow. It’s another psychological thing. The background story of Brass is vague. But it still feels disruptive when my feed bounces between the ongoing story and random “fear of ink,” stories. I think that’s the killer for me. Not being able to enact all my great plans. A story is now holding me back.
As there are only 35’ish tales left in this serial, I’ll continue it to the end. I think in future I’ll avoid writing singular serials such as Brass. Instead, writing more one off’s that might have a theme and character progression. Seeking Hydra and Grey Moon style. As for different projects, one thing that is apparent to me from people coming to the Fears mid serial is that I need to have a home page, footer or header that can take you to a complete story/category of the website. Even a single post with links to all single tales within a particular storyline would help. I think I’ll get to work on that this weekend.
I’ll end by saying I’m happy with Copper and Iron, and that I started publishing Brass online. I’m a firm believer, that no matter how many “ten great ways you can write a story,” articles that exist out there, a lot of the time you’ve got to try things and see how they turn out. Sometimes you’ll hit, sometimes you’ll miss. But you’ll often never know until you take a swing.
Here we go. Little Fears Presents: Seeking Hydra. The fourth book in the Little Fears Presents series. The ebook will be free this week. Head on over to Amazon and buy it for $0.00 and you can download it to any PC, tablet, iPad and Kindle ereader.
If you grab a copy and enjoy, please do leave me a review. It helps me so much! If you leave me a review, let me know in comments and I’ll give you and your own website a shout out during the week.
Fancy a synopsis?
If anything is going to save the Little Fears from awful punch lines, it is not Hydra having an existential crisis. In Seeking Hydra, Great British groaners are the order of the day as the assembled Little Fears make their way through 90 tales of lemon trees, kinky behaviour, confused doors and mystical road hogs. Boxers seek a joke; Beat finds his pop; Sprite sees a Russian president; Lucy shoots a clay pigeon; Emu’s tossed out of a club. Written and posted with scruffy illustrations daily on LittleFears.co.uk, these brief vignettes (50 to 100 words) chronicle the continuing adventures of the Little Fears. With only a sense of whimsy and a deep love of old British comedy, Seeking Hydra will make you groan, cry and laugh until a bit of wee comes out, in a truly original, unoriginal, work of art and fiction.
Little Fears presents: Spiders – Free for 3 more days
Hey, there rabble you still have three more days to grab a free Kindle edition copy of spiders. Links are at the bottom of this post. The rest of this post will cover the closure a book can bring.
The Little Fears books give me closure on 3-4 month blocks of stories.
I had a comment from Phil Huston the other day, “Tell me. There is joy in putting a project on the shelf? “
Yes. For me there is. I like finishing projects. My end date moves all the time for every project, but generally, I like to conclude things. Finishing a project gives me a tremendous sense of freedom and excitement for the next project. The Little Fears as they currently stand have enough tales written to keep posting one new story a day until 2024’ish. About 2,000 stories left to publish. I’d like to get to get the Little Fears to 2027. A full ten year run of Fears daily tales!
When I created the first book, January, it was about 96 stories long. Three months of stories. It felt like a good length book. At the time it also allowed me to, well, literally close the book on the first three months worth of Little Fears. Mentally that enabled me to get on with putting together Capricorn and Spiders. The next book in the series will be Hydra. Self-contained as are the previous books, but with a running theme of Hydra seeking his identity. Imagine being told you only existed as a hope or a dream. Well, that’s all Hydra is. We can explore that idea of the unknown identity, even in classic Fears style. The following book, Grey Moon, centres entirely on our three favourite women, Fuen, Yuffie and Reala. All are working in a bar on the road to the afterlife. 90’ish stories that each flow into each other.
After that, we visit a post apocalyptic landscape, where we met a new rabble of Fears. Again, 90’ish tales forming a single story throughout now told from multiple perspectives. Lots of the usual Fears humour and along with it, some, drama flash fiction. After that another set of 90 tales, this time following a pun filled Little Fears murder mystery investigated by DCI Lily and Inspector Sally.
The point being in all this is that as the Little Fears move on on this site, the direction changes a few times. Always in 90’ish story blocks which take 3-4 months each to publish online as one story per day.
Ambling back to the original quote, with January, Capricorn and Spiders, they gave me closure on a 3-month block of stories. In the future, the Little Fears books will give me closure on a complete story arc. For someone who likes finishing projects and moving on, yes, putting those books on the shelf does bring me joy.
Have you got Spiders yet?
If you haven’t grabbed your free copy of Spiders yet, you have until Sunday! Take the links below. Want a copy on your local Amazon and can’t find or buy it? Let me know in comments. If you leave me a good review, please do let me know, as I cannot place Amazon reviewer names to blogs. Would be nice to give you an acknowledgement in a post here.
Busses and Fears books. Wait a thousand years for the Little Fears to put out a book, and three come along at once. January and Capricorn are now both available in paperback formats on Amazon (woot!). January is a collection of 90 pun based tales (all published here) and Capricorn being 88 horror tales (12 posted here so far).
The paperback edition I got down to £12 from the looney prices I was looking at before by some ninja editing. Getting it to one tale per page made a huge difference on the printing costs.
The Little Fears is something I really enjoy doing. I think that comes across in every tale and doodle I put out there. But it wouldn’t exist the way it does if you, the awesome readers, didn’t come by, leaving funny comments and laugh along with the tales. As a thank you for being awesome, I have set Capricorns digital edition to free for the next 5 days.
I am a texture lover. For those out there that did not follow my old web site, I used to use newspapers to doodle on. Towards the end of my old website I had an impending feeling of doom. What if someone recognises a photo that I do not have rights to modify and upload and comes looking for monies? It never happened, but it was burbling away in the back of my mind. So I stopped doodling on newspapers, and found my work lacking. The main thing missing was that grainy newspaper texture.
I then came across copyright zero images on Unsplash and Pixabay. Print them off in medium to low quality on 80 gsm paper, and like magic, that texture has returned!
Scruffy is Awesome
I am not saying doing a bad job is awesome. Those little imperfections, those grains, the bumps and flecks. They can combine to create something more than a doodle. Intentionally imperfect. That’s the scruffy that’s awesome.
I am not the only texture lover out there. I know DMS at DMStrachan.co.uk is a texture lover too. In a very different way to me and my messy textures, but the way she writes about the feel of the fibres.
It’s a pity you can’t squish this fibre through a monitor, I can’t look at fibre without reaching out to feel the texture of it.
For a worryingly colourful post, and much wool, artworks and paints, give her a visit and a follow.
It’s a canvas effect paper, at 200 gsm, it has a sexy look and feels awesome. Glad the buyer liked it too. I take that as more evidence I am best served warm, with texture.
Now here’s the problem and point of the post. My TellyTube videos. Have you seen them?
The humour and artwork is all very me. Scruffy, kinda, with minimal colour. But in the same breath, it is lacking. The voice is me, daft London accent. The music is kinda goofy. It currently masks background noise I cannot eliminate in my home without a better mic. My voice has enough character to go without music. I hope to deal with that in a few months time.
But the thing that is really missing, is the texture. The visceral feel of every other art work I put there. Canvas or paper. Grainy or clean. It is missing that scruffy edge everything takes on when it has some texturing to it.
That pretty much sums it up doesn’t it? My TellyTube needs texture. I have been thinking about this, and there is a few options I can take.
The first would be to take the original art work, and do close ups of each part as it comes up in the spoken word tale. I think that would look and feel jaunty and awful, but it would be textured.
Another alternative is to draw each scene individually. I am not a consistent doodler, even of my own images. That would go over the scruffy edge into sloppy inconsistency.
I can achieve the above effect digitally. Take this as a test card. I would probably run this effect on white paper.
They grey and black background is printed on 80 gsm paper, with Fuen and Yuffie added digitally. Hey I think this is the first appearance of Yuffies actual image on this website!
It looks scruffy, would be more consistent, certainly better than both the other options above. Even with that terrible grey, it looks more ‘Little Fears’ than the super clean format images I currently use in the videos.
The last option is to record the video as me telling the story to the camera. I look as daft as I sound. My facial features and animated movements would make for a great story teller to the camera. My hands and face constantly move in exaggerated ways when I tell these tales to people in person. I get much more in character too. My voice is toned down in the current videos.
Don’t point that camera at me!
The problem there is I really struggle to talk to a camera. I have tried so many times, I just can’t seem to do it. Give me a stage and an audience, and I am up there. You can give me a social group, and I always end up leading the pack. Or a class room of people, and I will be the clown, getting everybody’s focus. But talk to a camera? Holy crap, do I get self conscious.
But that could work. I mean, imagine a fella, sitting on a tree stump, or heck even in an alley way, somewhere odd. With my voice, behind that mask, wearing a shirt, grey wool jacket and jeans. Reading the Little Fears tales from a book. That could work. I would still be animated with the body, it ‘might’ give me the right head for talking to the camera, and a mask like that would fit for tales of whimsy, humour, terror and courgettes.
Where am I?
After all this writing, I still am not sure what I want to do with the videos. I want create them, even for creative sake. I really enjoy making them. They never take long to create. Man, I want to do something else with them though. I need to get some texture in there! I’ll figure it out. If you have any ideas yourself, let me know in comments.
In the mean time, you can check out my current set of video offerings on TellyTubeHERE. Also if there are any another texture lovers out there, you can check out my Etsy store, with matte and canvas paper art prints on sale from £12.