This one’s for the freaks

Version A
In an attempt to evaluate the user experience of the popular blogging platform Tumblr, I have undertaken to publish a work of my own devising, thus experimenting with its user, admin and customisation features. Because, apparently, we’re all so short of spannable attention, I’m going to publish it scene-by-scene three times a week, till the end. I will attempt to gain followers (gasp). The result of this experiment will also influence when and how I publish my novel Lo! The Flat Hills of My Homeland.

Version B
Because of reasons I am uploading Star Cross-dressed Lovers a spoof jukebox show, a Manic Street Musical, if you will. (It’s built around Manics songs. Of course it is.) It’s got James eating pies, Nicky nearly destroying the world, Sean being evil and best of all, Richey isn’t dead (much).

If Tumblr and I get on, I’ll use it to publish my completed (in the sense that I’m not bloody doing it again) typo-ridden novel which is NOT called Lo! The Flat Hills of My Homeland, but it probably should be.

You can visit the Manic Street Musical site any time you like.

Manic Street Musical

So, I did it. I spent the summer writing and the autumn editing and correcting endless typos.

Here is Star Cross-dressed Lovers (A Manic Street Musical) [Linked updated May 2012]. A time-travelling political rom-com of a show in two acts, neither of which are credible.

I’m weirdly proud of this. I know I said it was a joke but I did actually try to make this entertaining trash, if not high-level. I suspect if you don’t know the Manics it will make no sense at all. And if you do know them I suspect you’ll be horrifed I placed such firey, jealous, all-consuming songs into a musical at all. But that’s why it’s funny. It’s all a joke.

Feel free to download and use as you will. I only ask for credit (and protection if you send it to James).

A rhyming planet

Today is National Poetry Day. By pure coincidence, it’s a piece of verse that’s been keeping me sane/sending me happily around the bend in the last 24 hours.

Things have been stressfull recently and I miss all my friends so badly. But – sigh no more, Kathryn. Along comes a beautiful song, some delightful dialogue and Keneth Branagh to sort it all out.

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never:
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.

Sing no more ditties, sing no moe,
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leafy:
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.

If you haven’t seen it watch the whole thing, please! I am currently obsessed with this last scene, but I know it will lose the emotional pay-off if you miss out 90% of it… Here’s the last scene anyway.



It’s another Branagh-Thompson ’employ all our friends and family for six months’ effort. So from the geek side of things, there’s Emma’s mum, Imedla Staunton, Brian Blessed, and the curious case of Robert Sean Leonard (now in House) prancing around with Ken & Em, meaning that I keep expecting Hugh Laurie to come running in at any stage. But no, you’ll just have to make do with Ben Elton pretending to be a horse (!).