Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sleepy Hamlet Update

Okay, so this is the state of play so far as Sleepy Hamlet is concerned: I've had so much outside stuff to deal with lately I haven't had the time or the energy to get on with what I really want to get on with and as a result projects like the Night of the Village Idiots has taken a most undeserved back seat. But that is about to change.

Over the past few days I have been piling through the editing; chapters have fallen like nine pins against my perusing eye and I am well and truly past the half way stage.

Once I have completed this it will to go to a proof reader---which should a few days---before coming back to me to put up on Kindle and CreateSpace.

Now plenty of authors state that you must put it on Kindle for a few months before releasing it on CreateSpace; I guess this is more to do with creating two sales events rather than one. But I see it this way: If I have something to publish I will publish it on as many platforms as possible at the same time, so you can go out, there and then, and purchase my books in your chosen format.

 It's not like I wont ever mention it again. A bit like I about to mention my first POD project: Ryan's Dinosaur Dreams, which is a lovely little book for children and can be viewed and purchased by clicking here or on the books image on the side bar.

See, I did that after the event and no one was bothered. So no fancy gimmicks with me; simply write it, publish it, and announce it!

Now because I haven't exactly gotten up to speed on this whole book thing I've decided to give you another sample chapter read. This will be the second chapter, but if you're new to the whole concept of Sleepy Hamlet then pop along to my previous post and read chapter 1, which can be found at the bottom of the article.

But for those of you who are familiar with my odd-ball, eccentric, nut-job villagers, and are raring to get on with this next freebie chapter, then zoom away and enjoy my friends.

Chapter II

Down in the large expansive kitchens of Hamlet Hall a trio of servants huddled against the raging storms outside. They were variously: Mrs Bothy, the flatulent head cook, Cheri, the maid with a curtsying fixation and the very solid form of Jennings, Hamlet Hall’s staunch head butler.
Cheri was fussing around Mrs Bothy who was in a state of severe anxiety--- due to the fact that she was terrified of thunder and lightning--- always had been, ever since a bolt had come through her bedroom window as a child and done unmentionable things to her Smurf collection. As a result every time lightning turned the sky white, she panicked; and when she panicked, her bodily functions panicked too and with volcanic ramifications.
Jennings, ever the diplomat so far as Mrs Bothy’s prolonged and sustained bodily function fits were concerned, had suggested opening the window slightly, but his suggestion had been met with hysteria and sounds not unlike the tuba section of an Orchestra tuning up. So Mr. Jennings had retired to his pantry, shut the door and busied himself polishing the family silver; a very therapeutic pastime and one with which he enjoyed to levels of near curative ecstasy.
But several times during his self imposed confinement Mr Jennings had been interrupted by the hysterical Mrs Bothy. He’d heard pots and pans being dashed to the floor as she ran herself into a frenzy and the klaxon call of her screams could be heard above the storm that raged and beat with an unrelenting ferocity outside. 
Eventually Jennings could take no more. He put down his polishing cloth and resealed the tin of silver powder he used to get that extra shine on his cutlery. He sighed and resigned himself to the fact he was not going to get any more peace that night. He stood, righted his waist coat, set his jaw into a state of formality and headed towards the door to his Butler’s pantry.
As he opened it wide, his eyes filled with alarm as the portly, flour encrusted shape of Mrs. Bothy honed into view at a distressing speed and density--- looking and sounding like an inflated balloon that has just been released to fly around the room.
Jennings tried to avoid her by enacting some kind of dodging tactics and leaped to his left. Unfortunately, Mrs Bothy, catching site of the butler, had the exact same idea and dived to her right; the result was a mid air collision of the downstairs hierarchy.
Mrs Bothy, although much shorter in stature, had the consistency and shape of a cannon ball. And when in full flight she was very hard to stop. Add to this the air that was expelling violently from her behind and she was now more akin to a surface to air missile: Jennings, it was fair to say, stood no chance.
The impact was resounding.
They alighted in an embrace of pomposity and flour; they flew through the air with as much decorum as one could elicit under the circumstances and their landing was not a fitting one for a head cook and a butler of forty years experience. They crashed through the pantry door and rolled several times before coming to a confusing, if not tangled mass of arms, legs, pinnies and highly polished shoes--- with Mrs Bothy on top.
Jennings, always the consummate professional, tried to regain some propriety but before he could issue his regal cough, a thunderous clap filled their ears; Mrs Bothy released a lightning crack of her own and launched them a further two feet into the room. Jennings groaned.
Cheri the maid came bursting in, transfixed with horror at the scene set out before her. A scene that had the head cook trying to disentangle herself from the very haughty form of Mr Jennings. She, not knowing what to do next, did what she always did when uncertain, and curtsied herself into a frenzy.
Eventually, and after the confusing and complicated disentanglement process of the senior down stairs staff had been completed satisfactorily to all the participating parties concerned, Mrs Bothy and Mr. Jennings retired to the large scrub top kitchen table where they both sat, chastened and more than a little shaken by their experience. Cheri, once her curtsying fit could be curtailed, was dispatched to the larder to bring a strong bottle of restorative red wine and two glasses. While Cheri could be heard clattering around in the wine cellar, Jennings took the opportunity to straighten his tie and posture while Mrs Bothy adjusted her piny, flicked off a few more layers of flour and generally fussed around her personal fixtures and fittings. Cheri came back in due course with the wine and Jennings administered the sedatives to both himself and Mrs Bothy. Cheri looked on in hopeful attendance and the butler acquiesced with a sigh and poured her a small measure into an old chipped Jubilee mug, which was received gratefully to another encore of curtsies.
Jennings cleared his throat, placed his still half full glass on the table and cradled the stem as if in deep and ponderous thought. Mrs Bothy looked up and awaited the butler’s pearls of wisdom.
“Mrs Bothy” he began “I feel that your fear of lightening has reached a point that it can no longer be ignored. I know, that is to say, we all have stood by and forgiven you your, ah, eccentricities, so far as the rumblings of the elements are concerned, but what has just occurred crossed all boundaries of decorum and, most would say, taste. It is one thing, Mrs Bothy, to run around screaming and generally setting the fillings of your audience’s teeth on edge, but when you bring me into your phobic world of panic, ending up as it did with the pair of us in a position that can only be described as ‘compromising’ and in front of the lower servants, Something, I’m sure you’ll agree, has to be done”
Mrs Bothy opened her mouth, as if to reply, when the air was rent to a thunder-clap of biblical proportions. Mrs Bothy leaped off her seat; her chubby little legs collided with the tables’ underbelly, sending the glasses and bottle leaping an inch or two off the surface. All, that is, except for Mr Jennings’s wine glass---that made it all the way above his noble brow where it halted, did a little spin, and liberated its contents about his features.
The room fell into silence. All that could be heard were the drip-drip-dripping sounds of a fine Bordeaux and Mrs Bothy as she let out a low-level emission that sounded like a deflating whoopee cushion.
Mr Jennings was mentally verbalising a dressing down and would indeed have delivered it with his best sermon-on-the-mount intonation. But something held his anger in check. Ever the diplomat and consummate professional, he rose above the cave man and held his tongue.
Instead he sought to solve the problem. He knew his head cook had genuine concerns with thunder and lightning--- it was indeed an affliction that gripped a great deal of the worlds’ population---but he was also aware that something had to be done to alleviate his head cooks predicament.
 As he was pondering the seemingly imponderable, the room lit up once more. Jennings absent mindedly counted off the seconds, then a rumble of thunder rippled its way across the night sky and Mrs Bothy baritoned in reply.
Jennings looked up, the semblance of a light bulb haloing above his shiny domed head. A faint flicker of a smile twitched apprehensively at the corner of his mouth and his eyes looked heaven wards as if in exultation. In that simple act of absent minded counting, Jennings had had his eureka moment. He had had his ‘great’ idea. He was aware he could probably never cure Mrs Bothy of her fear of lightning, but he thought he’d at least found a way of controlling it; and that was better that nothing.
Once Mrs Bothy had calmed down from the last thunder-clap and was once again in her seat, and he was sure he had her full attention; Jennings began to outline his thoughts.
He told Mrs Bothy of the theory--- as far as he understood it--- that for every second that lapsed between the bright light and the resultant rumbling or thunder-clap it represented a mile in distance between it and them, and so long as the light and the thunder-clap were never in the same time or space she had nothing to fear, and that if such an occurrence did happen, then she had his full permission to panic to whatever levels she saw fit.
   But Mrs Bothy, aware as she was of Mr Jennings’ great mind and wealth of knowledge, was still not fully convinced. So he smiled and patted her shaking hands with fatherly kindness and asked her to at least conduct a little scientific experiment with him and count the seconds off. This she tentatively agreed to do, but reserved the right to raise holy hell if it came through the window and disintegrated something again. Mr Jennings agreed to her terms and they waited.
No sooner had Jennings stated that the last one had been to the count of ten, the room lit up once more. They all began to count, Mr Jennings and Cheri counted to eleven, Mrs Bothy, who was counting in a state of severe agitation, had reached four hundred and twenty eight by the time the thunder clap came. The next rumble reached twelve and the third, fifteen.
“You see” reasoned Jennings “it’s getting further away, not closer. You’re quite safe now.”
Mrs Bothy seemed to visibly un-knot. Her shoulders slackened and she took a relief-filled deep breath, releasing it with a relaxing smile. For the first time since her Smurf collection had been vaporised, Mrs Bothy began to feel a little better about thunder and lightning.

But not for long.

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Thank you


  1. Hi Karl! I was already hooked on Sleepy Hamlet from the first chapter, now I'm ravenous for more!!
    I think you have the right idea about publishing. Get it out there in all formats and get as many people as possible interested as soon as possible.
    Can't wait for the Village Idiots to see the light of day!
    Kind regards, Brian.

    1. Hi Brian,

      Really glad you liked chapter two and the good news is, chapter three is coming next week!
      That way you will have all of the three settings for the truly odd night of the village idiots; and it is these three settings that the story will flip between as it degenerates into the usual Sleepy Hamlet state of calamity. But warning, next comes the bane of all Sleepy Hamleters; the fearsome octogenarian Mrs Heppleheimer. I will say no more...
      I'm glad you agree with me on the publishing line and I will endeavour to get The Night of the Village Idiots into your hand as soon as possible, Brian


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