Sinclair – Due for Release 2018/19

Sinclair

Sinclair, the character you are about to meet is a seemingly normal bloke who does some interesting stuff; you could bump into him in your local wine bar or favourite restaurant. You perhaps wouldn’t take a second glance, unless, he was carrying his poppy-red umbrella, of course. If you were to meet Sinclair in your place of work, maybe a dark alleyway, or on your doorstep; you wouldn’t want to take your eyes off him.

Sinclair has to travel and do some pretty exciting stuff, this is all connected to his job. The story isn’t particularly about what Sinclair does for a living, it’s more about how he lives and the people he comes into contact with.

A lot of Sinclair’s characteristics and peculiarity, in his earlier days, had been sighted as eccentric. A mid-life diagnosis of Asperger’s had compounded a lot of insecurities for him. The bisexual element of his life he’d just taken on the chin.

Sinclair takes stock of what he thought was his safety net of friends, colleagues, family and acquaintances. They perhaps were not all that they first made themselves out to be.

In this story we visit, Greenwich, Bruges, Montenegro, Holland, Leeds and have a quick stopover in Bulgaria. Who knows where the story might take us next…

 

Toby Krats is based in a small Lincolnshire Market-Town in the UK.

 

 

Spring

07 Track 7

Okay, final revision and editing of Sinclair is nearing completion. Hugo is all set to release his hilarious ‘A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to The Pub’ and Polly is still frantically taking photographs and spilling flour; ready for the new ‘Bistro at Home’ release.

It’s been a bit manic and after all the new releases we’re planning a trip up to the cabin, no doubt one of us will keep you updated…

 

Keep smiling.

Sinclair – Due for Release 2018/19

Sinclair

The character you are about to meet is a guy you could bump into in your local wine bar or favourite restaurant. You perhaps wouldn’t take a second glance, unless, he was carrying his poppy-red umbrella, of course. If you were to meet Sinclair in your place of work, maybe a dark alleyway, or on your doorstep; you wouldn’t want to take your eyes off him.

Sinclair has to travel and do some pretty exciting stuff, this is all connected to his job. The story isn’t particularly about what Sinclair does for a living, it’s more about how he lives and the people he comes into contact with.

“The bar didn’t seem to have its usual busyness about it, there was a theatre attached to the building, maybe he’d missed the last call. Judging by the number of glasses waiting to be put through their cycle, he’d also missed the throng of thespian devotees, no doubt dressed for the occasion.

Dressed in an emerald green long-flowing cocktail gown, the hostess made her approach. A kiss on each cheek and one on the lips…” This is Sax, Sinclair’s sister, she is something of a, companion, come PA. Let’s just say, that she takes care of things.

 

In this story we visit, Greenwich, Bruges, Montenegro, Holland and have a quick stopover in Bulgaria. Who knows where the story might take us next…

 

Valentines

 

 

Valentines.

 

Okay, so I’ve had the obligatory text message, “Wear something nice, don’t be late. See you there.” Now, I have the usual internal questions, what’s fashionably late these days? Something nice, I get it; not something I’m going to be comfortable in and of course now I’m being informed that I’ve got to make my own way there.

We get settled in our seats the waitress has brought over the drinks. I can’t find anything on the menu that takes my fancy. Chrissey, sat opposite looks like she could be ordering each item as she sits pouting and licking her lips at each menu entry she reads.

‘Perhaps I could choose the wine?’ I proffer.

‘I phoned ahead and ordered a bottle of bubbles to be put on ice.’

Right, maybe I should just sit back and get through this charade. It’s not that I’m against the idea of Valentines, it’s more about the deceit that’s rising above the chitter-chatter in the room. I can almost feel it as I glance around the restaurant. Nine out of ten of the dining-partners are probably branded as useless or non-caring in some shape or form. It could be that they were late, possibly wearing something too comfortable and heaven forbid if they had any involvement in the restaurant or wine choice. The tension is building, slowly the numbers start to deplete as, in turn, there’s a call for the restroom.

Chrissey has made a decision for both of us, that way we can always share. I make my move and join the smoking group all huddled in the freezing temperature of February gathered around a single light bulb under a shelter in the backyard. The conversations are pretty much all on the single theme of, why? As three or four rejoin their respective tables another two or three join the group. I’ve decided I’m going to have a stiff drink at the bar. I do and I’m carrying one back to the table. Just as I’m sitting I see a chair being pushed back, a woman standing, a bit of a muffled exchange of expletives and then them both storming out of the dining room. I sit calmly looking at Chrissey through what is now becoming my gin-soaked vision.

She’s pretty, well dressed and well educated. She has a strong presence and is used to giving orders. Making big decisions and being in control have been her traits since childhood. I was never that interested in power or the struggles that accompany it. We made the promise years ago that we would always make the effort on the 14th of February each year. One reason was that it would be our father’s birthday and secondly, we both enjoy a cynical people-watching experience. It’ll soon be time to start our little game of ‘Table Story’, we each have to choose a table and describe the story of the couple, as we see it. We always end the night in the happy knowledge that neither of us has ever fallen into the trap of a ‘true valentine’.

Short Shorts Review

By Kay. Booker · ★★★★☆ · January 2018

How do you go until age 32 before reading something like this? I have no idea–but I was delighted WAY beyond expectation and learned so much when I read this witty and clever collection of stories
Toby Krats has something about the way he puts stuff across… hilarious. Well worth a read.

2018

Breaking News: Time simply never existed. Did no one think to make this information more accessible? How differently the approach to most people’s lives would have altered. In essence, time was a man-made component and on the whole an artificial enemy. Light and dark, the possibilities of the bit in between becomes endless.

It was perhaps a scientist’s compulsive disorder to create overwhelming order. Now human conception to demise appears as a rhetoric beginning, middle and end. A span of thinking, living, existing; past, present or future? The notion of motion with a passing of existence, backwards, forwards, sideways. A timepiece stops, life goes on, life stops and life goes on.

Inevitability measured by a chronometer of life.

Will everything now happen at once? Is history only now? Past, present and future becomes a choice derived from emotion not measured by a clock. Life is of the essence.

 

 

A Bit of Lit.

                                  pixabay.com

Old Shoes Are Easiest

Explores the basic plot, theme and structure used as a framework for the narrative of a fairy tale which enables an old story to be told anew. By using references to the narratives found in Perrault’s tale of Puss in Boots and Angela Carter’s similarly titled piece from The Bloody Chamber: an interesting transformation of theme is discovered. Metamorphoses as a theme will be seen to illustrate change as shown in the narratives of fairy tales, which incorporate some Greek-Roman myth and legend. Traditional fairy tales such as Cinderella which has survived hundreds of years across all parts of the world, Japan, Russia, Africa and America, involves the embodiment of beliefs held by society. Fairy tales belong to an oral tradition which has been handed down from generation to generation: an assortment of Myths, Legends and Folk Tales has been adapted into many stories, nursery rhymes, even grand opera and ballet. Examples of how greater freedom now exists for us to interpret and understand the classical fairy tale which is widely used in various forms of modern media. A number of well-known tales combine a familiar format: a singled-out young person, sometimes homeless or reliant on others for shelter who is helped by someone surrounded by magic and intrigue.

The longevity and translations of these stories knows no bounds, the use of these stories in teaching and the passing on of knowledge, coupled with the magic of metaphor, is eternal. A look at some of the structure and devices used in these parables will demonstrate the simplicity in which human strengths and frailties can be framed. With the aid of modern technology, we could even have a chance to try on the magic slipper, just to see if it might fit.

Old Shoes are Easiest is a proverb with convoluted origins, for the purposes of this essay the literal meaning; sometimes familiar tried and tested can sometimes be easier, will be adopted. Using this as our starting point we will take a brief look into the idea that perhaps the essence of a story far outlives the shiny buckles and silky bows of its narrative. Of course, narrative is not just added colour and movement; it is a framed pattern of the social understanding, cultural ideas and behaviour of its time. A story is written with the knowledge and belief base of the time: observably knowledge bases change with time… in turn the perceptions created by the narrative alter accordingly. Storytelling evolved as a natural way to teach and learn effectively, this communication needs to be conveyed internally and externally with a most understandable, convincing and attention-grabbing technique. Through these framings personal histories, identities, culture, ethnicity, faith and gender will have a significant impact on what is perceived and remembered. These are the highlights or indeed the buckles and bows that a narrative adds to an already existing plot. It is suggested in Basic Patterns of Plot[1] that there are only three plotlines in existence; happy ending, unhappy ending and the literary plot. Foster-Harris sees the literary plot as a hinged ending dependent on fate rather than decision.

Perception and interpretation are palpable factors, with social Identity comes dissonance, and with a self perception comes judgemental traits. These traits can be used on one’s self and on others combining beliefs and cognitive associations which impact the processing of information. Cultural scripts can be shown to tell the same story; although the narrative can elicit a different meaning for different readers. (Jew > Christian> Exodus story[2])

For a writer, when constructing a narrative, all internal and external influence affects the entire multifarious reasoning that goes into a narrative. As a reader it could be said that time and modernity-shifts can alter the material values contained within the narrative… not perhaps the spiritual / psychological elements of the story. Twenty First Century findings have apparently found that if the bible is read in its original Hebrew, the words ‘red’ and ‘reed’ have, in the past, been mistranslated. According to the findings of David Rohl, in the Hebrew bible Moses and his people cross the ‘yam suph’ — the Sea of Reeds. “Now this is a strange story. You can imagine trying to cross the Red Sea would be horrendously difficult but a Reed Sea is something quite different”[3]

At each stage of re-telling, the narrative can become a little less of its original form, the story pretty much remains intact, despite the consequences of its journeying through modernity. The basic structure and plot of a story is used as a framework and starting point, then appropriate emphasis together with the most compelling parts of the plot need to be built into the context of the work. This is the ideal make-up for the narrative of many tales and creates a fantastic approach to telling an old story in a new way, fairy tales in particular.

An excellent model, to the idea of an old story being told anew, is found in the narratives which are based on the story of Charles Perrault’s tale, Puss in Boots[4] and Angela Carter’s similarly titled piece from The Bloody Chamber[5]: The examples show a massive shift in the narrative which generates an interesting makeover, yet the original story stays very much intact.

An element of Greek-Roman myth and legend, Metamorphoses, as a theme is used to illustrate change, new beginnings and transformations and can be found in a great number of stories. Clark Kent transforms into a super-hero or indeed, with the helping hand of the Fairy Godmother, Cinderella becomes a beautiful princess. The traditional fairy tale which has survived hundreds of years across all parts of the world, Japan, Russia, Africa and America, involves the embodiment of the beliefs of many forefathers. Fairy tales belong to an oral tradition which has been handed down from generation to generation: words of wisdom that mirrored the practicalities of life. An assortment of Myths, Legends and Folk Tales that have been adapted into many stories, nursery rhymes, even grand opera and ballet. The written versions are a reminder, perhaps, of a more innocent age. The 21st Century has brought a greater freedom which exists for us to interpret and understand the classical fairy tale, which is now widely used in various forms of modern media. A number of well-known tales combine a familiar format: a singled-out young person, sometimes homeless or reliant on others for shelter who is helped by someone surrounded by magic and intrigue.

The longevity and translations of these stories knows no bounds, the use of these stories in teaching and the passing on of knowledge, coupled with the magic of metaphor, is eternal. Christopher Booker in his, The Seven Basic Plots[6] discovers very early at the start of his research that, “…a well-known nineteenth century novel is constructed in almost exactly the same way as a Middle Eastern folk tale dating from 1200 years before…”[7] Likewise familiar plot lines can be found in many 21st Century movies and video games. Again, a running theme seems to frame what we experience and what we know, which is coupled with what we remember and anticipate. Characters do not need to be self-images they are the perception and interpretation of what we either would like to be or the exact opposite. This is a very simplistic response to a very intriguing topic, although it appears to be a tried and tested formula.

Cinderella and Puss in Boots represent two stories which are similar, not only in their references to footwear, but by the showing of an undesirable mode and an ultimate ‘happy-ending’ mode to life. Adaptations to the format of each narrative can be so simple in structure or indeed so outlandish, (Fanciful) yet the substance and didactic foundation of the story remains the same.

Perrault’s Puss in Boots is a pleasant tale of a young, orphaned boy who enjoys good luck through the wisdom and cunning of his cat, the story has a basic plot, structure and theme which is commonly found in this genre of work. One feature of fairy tales appears to be the absence of any detailed descriptions regarding the settings and the characters of the story. The characters are by and large portrayed as one dimensional, often showing only one human characteristic such as goodness, badness, or sadness. By presenting characters in this simplistic manner, it is easier for the reader or listener to recognise their own traits. A decision to reject or run-with the characters is based on their anticipations of the story. It is fair to suggest that over the many years the nature of fairy tales have changed quite dramatically. This is yet further evidence as to the narrative buckles and bows which are adapted to suit the fashionable trends.

With the 21st Century comes the probability that it would be appropriate for Cinderella to be asking for a prenuptial agreement and for the Marquis of Carabas to be insisting on some sort of ‘Insurance of Indemnity’. This of course would be after a full ‘risk assessment’ and a full ‘scheme of works’ appraisal. Between the two stories, the themes of romanticism and social ladder climbing seem to be quite acceptable today as they were in the earlier versions. The idea of male or female suppression seems to be lost in the anticipated good fortunes that are promised at the stories out-set. The first Cinderella story has been dated back to as early as the 9th Century A.D. so it is remarkable that 1200 years on the old story is still being told.

Consistency of plot appears to be a successful key feature of fairy tales, almost all action within the story is in some way connected to the story’s initial conflict. This idea is echoed by H. Porter Abbot in his Cambridge introduction; ‘The rhetoric of narrative is its power… all those elements of the text…combinations of feeling and thought we experience as we read.’[8] This feature allows a story to appear more plausible within its own setting and it permits the story to be brought into an acceptable context. This feature is very much present in the story of Puss in Boots, as each action of the tale is plainly and every time aimed at finding a resolution to the original dilemma of the young man. ‘Yet obviously these dazzling young heroes and heroines are not exactly the same people that we saw…’[9] Christopher Booker follows this statement through by encouraging the thought that the qualities that transpire and the will power shown were already present within the characters spirit.

Ultimately these consistent themes mirror the idea of overpowering adversity in one’s own life. As a metaphoric emblem that most things can be worked through, even if it does take the help of a rather cunning cat or indeed the wand waving of a Fairy Godmother, there will be a form of happiness for all.

H. Porter Abbot, ‘This is because fiction, with its freedom, can imitate every single device one can find in nonfiction and still remain fiction.’[10]

‘Gandhi was boarding a train one day with a number of companions and followers, when his shoe fell from his foot and disappeared in the gap between the train and platform. Unable to retrieve it, he took off his other shoe and threw it down by the first. Responding to the puzzlement of his fellow travellers, Gandhi explained that a poor person who finds a single shoe is no better off — what’s really helpful is finding a pair.’ (Mohandas [Mahatma] Karamchand Gandhi (1869–1948),

pixabay.com

[1] Basic Patterns of Plot Harris Foster William, University of Oklahoma Press (USA 1981)

[2] The Holy Bible Old Testament (2/5) Exodus

[3] The Test of Time: The Bible-From Myth to History David M. Rohl (Century Press 1995)

[4] Puss in Boots Retold by Nicola Baxter, Ladybird Books (Devon: England 1993)

[5] The Bloody Chamber Angela Carter Vintage Books (London: England 2007)

[6] Christopher Booker The Seven Basic Plots (Continuum Publishers: London 2004)

[7] Christopher Booker The Seven Basic Plots P5 (Continuum Publishers: London 2004)

[8] H.Porter Abbot The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative second edition P40 (Cambridge University Press 2008)

[9] Christopher Booker The Seven Basic Plots P56 (Continuum Publishers: London 2004)

[10] H.Porter Abbot The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative second edition P149 (Cambridge University Press 2008)

Precocious Reader

 

Toby Krats
Writer, based in a small Lincolnshire Market-Town in the UK, surrounded by land, sea and forestry.

 

Dec 21

Precocious Reader

“There was a Door to which I found no Key:
There was a Veil through which I could not see:
Some little Talk awhile of Me and Thee
There seemed — and then no more of Thee and Me.”

[Omar Khayyam: English version by Edward FitzGerald]

 

I have spent the last couple of weeks, literally, (forgive the pun) trawling magazines and the internet, basically to see what all the fuss is about. I don’t have a twitter or a face and have relied on my instincts for over half a century. It seems that with age we can become a bit slower or maybe less motivated to take hold of new life-demands.
The bombardment of, how to, and quick fix articles became quite overwhelming. I hadn’t realised my life was lacking so much. Up and until now it hadn’t actually occurred to me that, perhaps, I had been completely misguided in my approach to life. I get all the hype-stuff and the need to have a presence, of course and this is all ok as long as you are in control. That’s it, I need a brand.
A few years back I looked into the possibilities of using Facebook for a business promotion. Great, got the concept, understood the reach, then came the disruption. Who are all of these photographs and messages from? Within a couple of days of having set-up the page it was just a chaotic brawl of attention seeking trivia. The opening times of the business just faded into insignificance.
Now, there is no judgment of how other people choose to lead their lives; after all I’m one of the lucky ones. A number of years ago I decided to use a pen-name, (or two) this enables me to lead a completely anonymous existence. Of course, this is when it dawned on me that I had been enjoying these benefits without actually realising that what I had is in fact a brand. An old-fashioned version, but a brand all the same.
All my hopes and dreams have finally come to fruition, I am at last ahead of the game. My stepping, all be it, gingerly into the simulated, virtual reality of the 21st Century Internet World is happening right now. I am so pleased that you have been here to join me in this life changing revelation.
Onwards and upwards, I don’t anticipate having something to Blog about every day. I’m taking the advice of my soothsayer and going, all in. I am launching into my brand wholeheartedly. Brand: Toby Krats is officially launched. Medium today, website tomorrow and blog to follow…
I hope you’ll find the time to look us up occasionally, just to see how we’re getting on. Go team Toby.