Tag Archives: humour

Goblins 3 – something a bit like a review

I claim no objectivity for this one. It’s published by Sloth Comics – the lovely folk who put the Hopeless Maine graphic novels out. I proof read it. It’s originally a French comic by Martinage and Roulot, and unlike previous Goblins books, there’s now a colourist in the mix too, so the colours are a bit more nuanced, which is cool. Sloth handles translations, and hence the need for a proof reader.

Anyone who has ever roleplayed in a fantasy setting, or played any other kind of fantasy game, knows what happens to goblins. They die. This isn’t the first project to explore that from the perspective of the goblins, but I’m prepared to bet no one else has got quite as much or as varied an array of deaths, or as much comedy and definitely not the two in combination. It’s very funny.

I read book 1 a while ago – goblins die. By this point, the whole thing has got a bit more complicated. Goblins try things, sometimes it even looks like they might succeed, and then through their own foolishness and incompetence, they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory at the last minute, and end up splattered.

If you are the sort of person who will laugh at goblins making very bad choices and getting themselves killed, this is for you. It is sick humour. In many ways, this is a one trick pony of a series, but dear Gods, what a trick it is, and how numerous are the ways in which it can be undertaken!

More about Goblins here – http://www.slothcomics.co.uk/titles

Antidotes to unworkable beliefs

I first encountered Colette Brown (no relation!) by reading her book, Maybe the universe just isn’t that into you. As a reviewer I get exposed to New Age writing, much of which makes me want to cry. Colette’s book is a brilliant antidote to this. It’s a small, punchy and amusing read, which lead me to contact the author and ask if she’d do me an interview. So, here we are, and here it is!

Nimue: Maybe the universe just isn’t that into you, made me wonder if you had been subjected to one piece of new age silliness too many. Was there a final straw that prompted you to write?
Colette: Actually it was a build up over a few months. I had watched an acquaintance forge forward with what seemed like a very daft idea ‘because this is what the Universe wants of me’. That in itself wasn’t that bad but the venture itself would involve other people. When it failed I was upset for good folk who had invested in it. Then I thought ‘when will it be ‘a lesson from the universe?’ and sure are goodness that is the next thing I heard from the acquaintance! Simply a bad decision being flaunted as ‘lesson’.
At the same time I had been reading daily inspirations from a site on the Internet and was becoming bored by the way they all seemed to be saying the same thing day after day. To be truthful, I didn’t find them inspiring as most seemed to be saying if you could visualise success, then you could achieve it. I thought this was a bit much if you were starving in a third world country, had a terminal disease or were long term unemployed. The flip side of it seemed to be saying that circumstances play no part in life and to almost be blaming folk for their ‘failure’ even if they had no control over their circumstances. What annoyed me is that I still looked for these ‘inspirations’ and was hooked in case I missed a good one. They can be addictive.
Then I read something on Facebook along the lines of ‘God only gives the strongest warriors the pain and suffering’. Like pain and suffering was gifted to strong resilient folk but that God avoided giving it to wee sensitive weak folk? NOT TRUE!
It just seemed one thing after another. Spiritual people following ideologies like sheep, disrespect to higher beings like angels who seemed ‘on call’ for anyone who cared to turn an angel card and people spouting conspiracy theories online. I was ranting about it all to my husband, injecting humour so that it didn’t depress me and he said simply ‘write all this down’ . So I did and that is how the book came about.
I consider myself spiritual. I do believe that in the correct circumstances, with the correct intent and a lot of hard work, that we can work with the Universe to make things the best they can be. But there are times when ‘maybe the universe just isn’t that into you’ and you know, that is ok too.

Nimue: I share your unease about ‘failure to achieve’. That’s troubled me with New Agey stuff for a long time. We can’t all be winners, logically. What have you found most helpful when you’ve been learning?

Colette: I am an avid reader so I found it easy to read lot on lots of different subjects and then dispense with books or ideas that didn’t suit me. You have to be discerning as there is a lot out there and not all of it is good. I also found a strong connection with the tarot early on and found that it became such an amazing tool for self-knowledge and personal development.
I have been lucky to have some wonderful teachers i.e. people who walked their talk and informed me of it but then let me make up my own mind on it. The best teachers are the ones who simply live it and don’t preach or stifle your own thoughts.
I also have felt that my instincts have served me well. If something seems too good to be true, it normally is. I like simplicity. There are so many terms out there just now that simply don’t mean anything or are confusing to say the least. If your brain can’t understand the name of a workshop or therapy, then be wary! Either it will be a rehash of something else or it will be something you have to pay to understand the intricacies of or become ‘apprenticed ‘ to.
My family and husband have also made my spiritual life very easy for me. They accepted that it is who I am and that without it, I lose me!

Nimue: Not everyone seems to know where to find their intuition, much less how to trust it. Any other suggestions for how to tap into the innate knowing we probably do have somewhere…?

Colette: The fact is that we are sentient beings so we all do have intuition. I liken it to having the potential to play the piano: some folk can be very good piano players if they practice and give time to it. Others may well be more talented as such and have a more impressive natural gift. If they use this natural gift AND practice, then that will bring the most successful connection.
So I feel that first we must accept that we are all intuitive to different degrees and practice as much as we can to achieve our own personal best. To me there has to be time, discipline and energy given to this pursuit, even if you are a natural. A friend of mine who is a very respected astrologer told me he thought that I was like a psychic athlete who flexed and honed their psychic muscle every day as I meditated and did readings most days. So I think maybe we need to think of our psychic senses as muscles and feed them good spiritual food and exercise them a lot but not too much.
My basic requirements for this are: solitude, nature, meditation, mantras and prayer, burning herbs, and my trusty tarot deck.

Nimue: There’s a lot of warm humour in your book…. who makes you laugh?

Colette: I have always loved observational humour and for me the best with this is Eddie Izzard. He can make something as mundane as hoovering so funny. I was also blessed to see the late great Les Dawson live before he died and laughed for weeks after it.
I laugh at myself a lot too. I am dyslexic and some of the faux pas in my writing can be so funny. Thank Goddess for great copyeditors! I am a real people watcher and can find humour in most situations. But I don’t like humour that is cruel or divisive.
My previous book was Weegie Tarot which was the tarot Fool’s Journey set in the east end of Glasgow. This gave me so much fun as I had worked there for many years as a pharmacist and so enjoyed the humour of the people. I relayed stories I had heard and some from my own experiences and chuckled so much as I wrote it. Of course it was sad too……
I feel that many spiritual people can take themselves far too seriously. I think we all need to lighten up and have more fun with life. If a ritual or ceremony goes a wee bit wrong and something funny happens, it is ok to laugh. I don’t feel that the ancestors were humourless!

Nimue: Where can interested people find you online?

Colette: my website is http://www.coletteclairvoyant.webs.com my facebook is Colette Brown ( author) or colette clairvoyant.

Colette Brown MRPharmS
author of
Tarot Novice to Pro in One Book (Nov 2011)
Menopause a Natural and Spiritual Journey ( May 2012)
Weegie Tarot Life of a Foolish Man(October 2012)

coming in 2013….
Maybe The Universe Just Isn’t That Into You
How to Read an Egg

Intelligent Designing

Dear everybody, I have a slightly mad fiction thing out at the end of the month. To which end I will be doing a slightly crazy thing tomorrow to help people notice it. If you would like to get involved with the crazy thing, the information is all at the bottom of this post. But, before you rush off there, please do pause for a moment, because what comes next is the opening of said book, Intelligent Designing for Amateurs.

Chapter One
Anthropological observations of the curious habits of personages native to Barker Street

Hopefully there would be dead people next door. That would liven things up tremendously. Ever since the new tenant was first mentioned, Temperance had been trying to imagine what an archaeologist would look like, and had become stuck somewhere between the beard and the muddy boots. Granny said an archaeologist dug things up, which had formed most of her impression. Temperance had never encountered an actual archaeologist before, and until recently, hadn’t even met the word in person. It was one of those large, pleasing, hard to spell words that she liked to roll around in her mouth. There were others. Obsequious. Crepuscular. Epigrammatic. Meanings did not always excite her young mind, but a word that came with a person had more appeal. Granny told her something about digging up iniquities, or possibly aunties. Antimacassars? Digging up definitely suggested mud, and led Temperance to think from there about the likelihood of dead people. Dead people went into the ground, so it stood to reason they could come out of it again. What else was there to unearth aside from coal and ore?

“Nothing at all like a body snatcher,” Granny had insisted, when the subject came up at breakfast, but Temperance wasn’t sure. What else would anyone want to dig up, really? Treasure might be nice, she supposed, but that seemed more like pirate business.
Still, having a new neighbor would cheer the whole street up. The bigger, separate house next to their little terrace had been empty all winter. Seeing the dark windows at night always inclined her to feel sad.

“How’s that sweeping going, then?” Granny demanded from inside the house.
The sweeping had not, in fact, started, the girl having entirely forgotten about the broom in her hand. Pushing curls of escaping brown hair out of her face, Temperance surveyed the twig strewn path to her grandmother’s door. Sweeping seemed so pointless. The wind would bring it all right back in no time. She sighed heavily, feeling very sorry for herself.

Before she could start on the job, the sound of hooves and wheels drew her attention to the street again. All of the delivery people had already done their rounds for the day. Horse-drawn vehicles were otherwise unusual here. The inhabitants of Barker Street were all very decent people, but not equal to carriages, excepting for weddings and funerals. Temperance loved funerals, but the approaching wagon lacked the plumes and splendid display of misery. Instead she saw a neat little trap, followed by a heavily loaded cart where a great many things were piled up behind the driver and passengers.

With a little squeak, she dropped the broom and ran to the garden gate. Then, because she did not want the archaeologist to think her childish, she slowed down. Walking in what she hoped was a dignified way, she soon reached the next property just as the tired horse came to a halt.
The person inside the trap was carefully helped down, and then approached the front door. There was no beard whatsoever, and no obvious signs of mud. Perhaps there had been a mistake? The trap itself took off at a jaunty speed. Temperance wondered if this was the archaeologist’s wife, come on ahead to make their new home nice. The man himself would probably be in a hole full of bones at this very moment, Temperance reasoned.

One of the men got off the cart. He had wild hair and a big coat. On the whole he seemed a better candidate for the adventurous life, and Temperance watched him expectantly.
“All to be unloaded here?” he asked the woman.
“If you please.” She nodded to the girl who was sitting on the cart. “I assume you can find the kitchen, Mary?”

The girl nodded and hurried inside. The two men set about unloading items of furniture from the cart and taking them into the house. Temperance felt rather puzzled by all of this. There weren’t any bones being unloaded just usual, household things. Unless the bones were in one of the tea chests. She supposed that would make sense, even if it was a disappointment.

“Hello girl,” said the tall woman, with an accent that clearly came from another place.

Temperance had spent hours planning how to make her introductions to the new neighbor. She had already established herself as being absolutely essential to Charlie Rowcroft, Barker Street’s resident inventor. Now, she meant to impress the archaeologist, or for that matter his wife, with her clever, useful nature. Thus, she would gain free access to their home as well. Staring up at the new arrival’s face, she couldn’t remember any of the planned speech and found herself instead saying, “Have you got any dead people?”

Now available for pre-order here –
http://www.amazon.com/Intelligent-Designing-Amateurs-Nimue-Brown/dp/1780999526/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1368608170&sr=1-1&keywords=Intelligent+Designing+for+amateurs and no doubt other places as well.

So, here’s the planned silliness. Reblog the post, or post the pre-order link and let me know. I can spot a reblog pretty easily, otherwise tag or message me on facebook, @brynneth_nimue on twitter, or drop an email to brynnethnimue at gmail dot com. I will then write a limerick or silly verse about you, and post it wherever the link went. That could be slow and messy with Twitter, but we’ll do what we can…

Laughter Power

Laughter is magic, medicine, self-defence and power. Perhaps this is why satire was considered the provenance of ancient Druids. But no matter what form the humour takes, being able to laugh is a potent thing.

There is a theory (I think it harks all the way back to Freud) that we laugh to cover fear and social embarrassment. Perhaps so. Laughter can diffuse embarrassment, or heighten it, depending on how it’s used. To be lost in laughter is to be beyond fear. Laughter can take us into a strange, out of control place, children go so easily from there to tears. Adults in extremis can too. Sometimes there isn’t much difference between the two, for both are cathartic.

If we can see the ridiculous in something, then is has far less power over us. J.K Rowling was onto something with her spells to get rid of certain unpleasant entities. If you can look your fear in the face and find some way of laughing at it, you will not be overwhelmed by it. When it comes to dealing with other people, laughter takes away the power to intimidate.

I remember a violent girl at school who started hitting one of the geekier boys. He laughed at her, kept laughing through the blows. She became increasingly confused, angry and finally distressed. In the end she gave up. She’d hurt him physically, but had lost because nothing she did could defeat his laughter. That’s not an easy thing to pull off.

When we believe others are more powerful than us, and we take them seriously, then we give them far more scope to do us harm. If we can laugh at their insane ideas, laugh at their assumptions, we will not be ruled by them.

Just the act of laughing makes a person feel better. It is a release, it warms us on the insides. Laughter helps with bodily healing. Oh for a better memory that could quote you studies and statistics, but it does. Unhappy people take a lot longer to get well after illness. Comedy should be available on prescription. Sharing laughter affirms bonds of community, reassures us that we belong. We are on the inside of the joke, and therefore on the inside of the group. That can mean some people pick on others, creating an outsider to joke about so that group cohesion can be held. I’ve had people try and build relationships with me around ridiculing someone else, and it’s nothing I like or would encourage. Relationships and communities that depend on laughing at someone else have no integrity or durability. It is better to be able to laugh at yourself, and at the sheer ludicrousness of life. The best kind of laughter does not reduce anyone else.

Laugh with your friends. Laugh at your enemies because nothing will reduce them in the same way. Laughter is power. The person who still knows how to laugh has not been defeated and if you can keep your sense of humour, you can keep everything else in perspective.

According to Woody Allen, comedy is tragedy plus timing.

According to my tutors at college, way back when, comedy is the hardest thing to explain. There’s a wonderful mystery to laughter, a glorious loss of control and a sense of freedom that comes with it. There are so many reasons to be able to joke and giggle in rituals, to be able to break down into laughter, bubble over with mirth and bask in the chaotic mayhem of the ludicrous. Sometimes, to be able to take things seriously it is vital not to take them seriously at all.