More to Me Than HIV

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More to Me Than HIV

First published in Gscene July 2020 For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library.For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being           Read more

More to Me Than HIV: GScene post Aug 2020

More to Me Than HIV is a project that aims to breakdown the stigma that has historically been attached to this virus.  When I saw my piece in last months Gscene to promote the More to Me Than HIV project, I was extremely proud, but a small part of me was filled with anxiety; but why should I feel this way? I have been on effective antiretroviral therapy since the Read more

More to Me Than HIV: first published in GScene July 2020

For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being             diagnosed HIV+ 32 years previous. Back then there was no treatment and a lot of fear and misinformation concerning how HIV was transmitted. As such stigma was rife, Read more

Janice

Blanche Street 19: Dead Famous

 

Art By Julie Peterson

Janice: By Julie Peterson

Way back in early 2012, QueenSpark books put a call out for writers to submit ideas for stories based on Brighton’s diverse history. The stories in turn were to be to a local artist to bring the stories alive. My original story was based on the Infamous Brighton Trunk Murders. Although this story won me a place in the project, during later meetings the group was asked who would like to write a story based on Brighton’s LGBT scene; I put my hand up and wrote a completely different script but reworked my trunk murder story: Dead Famous.

While writing Dead Famous I had the idea for the Blanche Street tale, Filth and began to write the two stories to complement each other and reveal the truth of what was attacking Netty in her tale and also connect this Brighton tale with my Blanche Street Tales.

I began to get the threads of my story together by first reading up on some of the grim deaths and murders of Brighton: there have been a fair few which has kept those men and women dressed up in Victorian clobber busy as they take people around Brighton and reveal the darker side of Brighton.
For me personally it was Brighton Trunk Murders that stayed with me as being the most shocking and soI decided to write an updated version of these tales while linking it to the past.
While writing the two tales, Filth and Dead Famous I played around with names for my protagonist, again I tried a few but it was when I introduced the other main characters, Janice and Nic that the Name Bryan popped into my head. I needed a device to give the reader an idea of age difference and so I had Janice do the work for me.

“Bryan with a Y”, replied Janice, “like Bryan Ferry. I guess you’re too young to remember him.”
I wanted to make further differences between these three characters, this was achieved through the use of costume; While Bryan wears an ill fitting overcoat, Janice and Nic are much more smartly dressed which intrigues and disturbs Bryan and hopefully the readers too.
Bryan dived round the corner and straight into the path of a woman in a full length mink fur coat.
This story is worth reading more then once as the reader gets to understand some of the more sinister moments that first time round seem quite innocent. A good example come in the scene when Janice cajoles Bryan to go to the pub for a drink.
Before he had a chance to answer, Janice linked her arm into Bryan’s and led him through the narrows lanes, until they came outside the Cricketers. Bryan tried to protest by saying he’d forgotten to bring his wallet, but Janice just laughed and pulled him into the warmth of the pub.
“Sit yourself down Bryan, I’m just going to powder my nose, while Nick gets us all a drink. What you having, lager?”

Poor Bryan genuinely thinks he has made some new friends when in fact the pair are putting the next part of their evil plan into action. For those who know the ending of the brilliant film, The Vanishing, will recognise the weapon Janice uses against Bryan.
The ending of the film, The Vanishing is one of the most deliciously disturbing films of that style of horror genre, non-gory but equally horrifying.
I wanted the ending of my story, Dead Famous to have a similar impact. Want to read it? then follow the link below to Inkitt and download it to read for free, in return please sign up to Inkitt (you won’t get bombard with spam) and rate my story.

Bryan become s dead famous.

Bryan become s dead famous.

Thank you.

The Brighton Writer.

Posted on by admin in Blanche Street, Brighton & Hove, Brighton 19, creative writing, Dead Famous, fiction, Fiction & Books, Horror, Janice, short story Leave a comment

Writing 101, day 17. Fear.

Day Seventeen: Your Personality on the Page
Today’s Prompt: We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears.

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I’m back!

I’m not alone with the fear of being buried alive, which can be thought of in many different ways. The recent earthquake in Nepal would have made many of us think of this horror. It is because of our fear that news reports show us of the one lucky survivor, pulled out of the rubble alive that allows us to concentrate on the hope that if it happened to us, we might just be lucky too.
In horror fiction this is not always the case. The first time I was made aware of my fear was when I was very young, watching the TV series, Armchair Thriller, in which a man drugged his wife and built a brick wall to encase her while whistling the song, Greensleeves. the combination between the horror of his action sand the gentleness of the song still makes me shudder.
Later on in life I discovered the works of Edgar Allen Poe where again I was confronted with my fear of being buried alive in his brilliant short story, The Black Cat and the Tell-Tale Heart

When I was studying for my MA in Creative Writing, I knew I wanted to use my fear of being buried alive in a short story and so I returned to Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories as well as the brilliant buried alive horror film, The Vanishing (1988) not the remake!

For the longest time I had trouble getting my protagonist into a trunk without the reader shouting “As if!”

In this version I had my protagonist called Dan, running away from a group of homophobes and hides in an abandoned house in Blanche Street.

A shout from the landing below, sends him running to the windowless room at the back. He trips, loses his shoe and stumbles onto the trunk, hidden in the shadows. With no time to think, he climbs inside,scraping the skin off his back as he pushes his body down. Holding the lid with one hand, dan peeps through the crack. He watches as the group pile into the room
“He couldn’t have jumped.”
Letting out a sigh of relief, he’s fingers give way, the lid slips down as the lid clicks and locks firmly in place.
Hidden 2010.

From here on in there were lots of flash backs which became quite weary to read and so I had to go back to the drawing board. The main problem was that I was trying to shoehorn a story into my Blanche Street tales, when what I really needed to do was to break free. It was around this time I was reminded of a story my tutor and mentor, Dave Swann told me. He had been on one of those haunted walks round Brighton, where the spooky host retells tales of Brighton’s murderous past, including the infamous trunk murders of 1831 and 1934. Dave mentioned a more recent Brighton murder but was told that those murders were not to be discussed on the tour. It was then an idea began to really take shape.

I started off by creating a character who was isolated from anyone who might care or miss him, as was the case with many of the victims of notorious serial killer, Dennis Nilsen. Being buried alive is one thing, knowing that no one is coming looking for you just rack up the terror all the more.

Next I gave form to the murderous couple, Janice and Nick.

To read the story, Please click the link via Inkitt on my Facebook page.

Posted on by admin in Brighton 19, Dead Famous, fiction, Gothic horror, Horror, Janice, writing 101 Leave a comment

Writing 101: (Day 1) Building a Blogging Habit

I’ve signed up to “Writing 101: Building a Blogging Habit.” which will give me daily prompts to write everyday to get me back in the habit of daily blogging/writing.

Today I was told: To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write, and don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.  

Day one, write for 20 mins about anything.

And for your first twist? Publish this stream-of-consciousness post on your blog.

Here’s my 20 min scribbling. 

Brighton 19: horror comes to the seaside, is the working title of my 2nd collection of Urban Gothic stories Brighton 19 follows on from, Blanche Street: where all the neighbours are a nightmare.

I have about three or four stories that have been waiting in the wings ready to be discovered by me again and whipped into shape.
This time the tales are set in 1980’s Brighton, (the last collection was set in late 1970’s Blanche Street). This time, instead of a street, the tales all take place in a large house that has been turned into flats.

The final story of Blanche Street was set in Brighton with the door number 19, hence the title: Brighton 19.

 

Janice with her chosen weapon of choice: laced whiskey.

Janice by Julie Peterson.

I really liked my character, Janice, which my friend, Julie brought to life with her drawing.I have a feeling that Janice will be making a return visit in this collection.

As part of my creative writing course I undertook in 2003 at Brighton City College, I wrote a story called Nursery Crimes, it was also called, All Fall Down, because Geneses have an album of the same name. The story, Nursery Crimes was inspired by the slasher films of the early 1980’s. The film, Friday the 13th is a strong influence, as well as Agatha Christie’s story, Ten Little Indians.
In this story, a group of friends are reunited at 19 Brighton, (before it was transformed into flats), in each room is a different nursery rhyme. As the friends backstory unfolds it transpires that they, along with their teacher, Miss Hickory, who lived down Dickery Road, by The Dock were responsible for another pupils death.
Someone is lurking in the darkness, extracting their revenge in the shape of nursery rhymes. Fear for the person who’s nursery rhyme is, There was an old woman who swallowed a fly, that’s a grim end!
Other tales so far are and eco tale about a filthy rain storm, a man who is so hated that even death has turned his back on him and then there’s an old man, recalling a childhood horror that only now he can talk about as he and his mother wait for the blackbirds to sing.

With the 101 project daily prompts I am really looking forward to getting this project on the road.

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