Nibblets

What the Frack?

Native American tribes, along with several land owners are protesting the laying of an oil pipeline through their land.  You can read the full story on Think Progress – as this is just a Nibblet, we just want to discuss (read rip to satirical shreds) a few points from the story.  Obviously a similar law to the one in this country exists in America, which, if we understand it correctly means that if the government wants to frack under land you own they can, whether you want them to or not, with the option of offering ‘reasonable compensation’.  Basically a big Frack You to your rights.

Fortunately for the Frackers they have law enforcement on their side, and will be pressing charges against anyone who gets in their fracking way.  According to the report “Standing Rock Sioux Reservation oppose the project, saying it puts their water at risk and crosses sacred land.”  Apparently that’s OK though, because religious freedom in America only applies to Christians who want to refuse to sell cake to gay couples.

The report also states

Aside from disturbing Native American sites, critics say the pipeline brings a threat of spill damage to thousands of miles of fertile farmland, forests, and rivers. Federal agencies have said the Bakken Pipeline avoids “critical habitat.”

We have translated this as “oil companies have lots of money, we like money so shush,” but we had an intern do it, so this could be wrong.

Read the full infuriating story, if you like.

Whedon Does It Again

The genius behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Doll’s House to name but a few, is trying his hand and political broadcasting, and of course it’s genius.  If there was one good thing to come out of Brexit (other than Farage heading for the hills) it’s that it warned Americans that yes, shit really can happen, unless you do something about it, the the prospect of Trump actually winning is shit.  The angry shouty orangy one with his growing angry shouty following seems increasingly popular, a terrifying prospect for the entire world.  Whedon has brought together oodles of celebrities to create this excellent video encouraging people to vote.  Enjoy.

 

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Monday Mystery Mime

The Newsnibbles Quiz is back by popular demand, and now we have partnered with our friends at Feathers and Toast to bring you the Monday Mystery Mime.  Every week, life saving chef and sandwich aficionado, Tallulah Grace will perform a mime, and your challenge, Nibblers, is to guess what that mime is supposed to represent.  The winner will be chosen at random from all the correct entries, and will win the honour of a shout out on Tallulah’s latest vlog (it’s like a blog, but with videos so “vlog” – it’s an actual thing, we didn’t make it up) and the opportunity to suggest one of Tallulah’s next mime topics.*

The last mime was a nail being hammered, and the winners were, Paul Uhler, David Robinson, Melissa Spors Hubbard and Joe Hunter, for the third time – we are starting to wonder if she has psychic mutant mime guessing abilities, an utterly useless mutation, except in the case of this quiz, as it is helping her gain internet fame. We were, once again a bit disappointed with the lack of pictures this week, so, in an attempt to sweeten the pot (is that even a saying?), there will be a bonus prize to the best picture entry, which will be a free download code for one of Badger’s books, so get snapping!**

Also, if it was the offer of an ebook that put you off the photo idea last time, it is not mandatory to claim your prize. Just sayin’.

*To enter go to the Youtube page where the mime originated and post your answer in the comments section. If commenting on Youtube is too complicated you can post a comment here, but Youtube comments will get priority. The winner will be chosen at random from all of the correct entries. Any obscene entries or suggestions will be disqualified and the user blocked. Newsnibbles and Feathers and Toast reserve the right to disqualify any entry they deem unsuitable, without explanation. The closing date for entries is Friday 23rd September 2016, 00:00 EST.

**Download codes will be provided for Smashwords only, and will be active for a limited time.  The title of the ebook you are offered will be chosen by the organisers.  No alternative prize will be offered and it is your responsibility to claim your prize promptly.

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7 Questions

Today’s 7 Questions is with fantasy author Merri Halma.  Growing up with a severe speech impediment, Merri found a new way to express herself, through writing.  She currently resides in Nampa, Idaho, with her husband and son, and we catch up with her to chat writing, film and of course, pet couture.

  1. Tell us about what you write, and why you write it.

     I write spiritual fantasy. I write to empty my mind and expand my imagination. Writing is my voice because it is easier to for me to express my thoughts and emotions in writing than it is verbally.

  1. If you had to write in a different genre, which would you choose?

   I would choose Literary fiction, even though literary fiction is not a genre, per se.  I am currently re-writing a short story that is exploring romance and supernatural. It is about a ghost that lives in a former resident hall in on a university campus and the Native American graduate student that she thinks is her former fiancé.

  1. If you could interview anyone, who would you choose?

   That is a tough question. I would likely choose to interview J. K. Rowling in order to find out her secret to successfully getting published and marketing.

  1. How do you feel about pet couture.

    I am of the older generation. Pets don’t need to be dressed up in nice clothes. I do think certain breeds of dogs that to a taken to a groomer to be trimmed and washed. We have cats, and we’ve never taken them to a groomer or dressed them up.

  1. Name your all-time favourite book, film and TV show.

     I have a lot of favourite books. It is hard to choose just one.  I guess I would say Harry Potter really grabbed my attention as did Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Red Wall Series. The Red Wall series was wonderful because it showed animals that were intelligent and helped the children and teens to see a way to figure out how to triumph over their difficulties. My all time favourite TV show is Doctor Who because I would love to travel in time and space. My all time favourite movie would be For What Dreams May Come with Robin Williams.

  1. Do you have a favourite badger?

     My favourite badger would be the European badger.

  1. What’s coming next with your series?

    The third book in the Indigo Traveller Series is Many Paths to Travel. Xander Veh, Sarah Johnson, Milo Bickford and Geoffrey the albino griffin are flying home at the end of the second book, Keys to the Shadowlands, and crash land in a world that is on the verge of spiritual war. There are three main spiritual paths, The Wraiths Followers and the Murdocs. The Wraiths and the Fallen Saviors seek to rid their world of the Murdocs because the Murdocs are peaceful and don’t seek to convert others. There is a prophecy that when the lost Murdoc Princess is returned and takes the throne, then all paths will live in peaceful co-existence.

And you can get yourself a copy of Indigo Traveller: Book 1 of the Indigo Traveller Series (Volume 1) on Amazon.

If you would like to answer 7 Questions, then get in touch, you know how by now.

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Becoming Raff

A short story by C H Clepitt

Part One: Who Am I?

Raff pulled his collar up and headed down the cobbled street.  It was late and becoming-raffthere was a smell of smoke in the air, combined with sewage and a sort of burnt sulphur that lurked generally in the atmosphere at this time of night.  He was heading to the Red Monkey Tavern.  He had been there for the past three nights and liked the atmosphere.  He would order beer and sit quietly in the corner and people watch.  As he approached the Tavern entrance he plunged his hands into his pockets, focused firmly on his feet and headed in through the crowds of men and working girls who gathered outside.  Just as he was about to enter the building someone shoved him hard in the side, causing him to sidestep into another group of men.

“Watch where you’re going, boy!” A rugged looking man shoved him hard in the chest.

“I’m sorry,” he gasped, stepping backwards into someone else.  “I’m sorry!” he gasped again, turning around to see who else was going to push him.

“Oh don’t worry, darling,” a woman with a scar that disfigured the entire left side of her face was looking a Raff curiously. “I’ve had worse.”

“I’m sorry,” he said again.

“Don’t be sorry for me, darling.  You need to be sorry for yourself.  Come inside and buy me a drink before one of these great oafs takes your head off for looking at ‘em funny.”

She took his hand and led him through the crowds into the Tavern.

“Thing is, darling,” she said to him as they drank their second pitcher of ale. “You’re little.  I mean proper slight, any one of these idiots could kill you just by punching you.  And you’re quiet, gentle spoken, like.  I’m sure there must be some nice gentleman’s club you could frequent where you won’t get stabbed or anything.”

“I like it here,” Raff smiled.  “No-one knows me, and mostly they leave me alone.  I feel like I can really be myself here.”

“You’re lucky, not many people here get to be themselves, we all have to play a role.”

“What’s your role?”

“Ha, I’m the madam, darling!  Ain’t no-one gunna touch me now I got this, but ain’t no-one gunna touch any of my girls, I take care of them, for a percentage.”

“Sounds lucrative.”

“You want a girl, you ask Polly, I’ll sort you out, any type, I got em all.  I’ll do you a sweet deal too, cos you’re nice and ain’t said nothing about me scar.”

“I’m alright for now, thank you,” Raff began awkwardly.  “I don’t think you should worry about your scar, you’re a nice person, people will see beyond it.”

“Oh sweet’eart, not in my line of work they won’t.  So, you got a sweetheart, or don’t you like girls?”

“I don’t really know what I like,” he said truthfully.  “I like who I am, here, now, with you.”

“Well, ain’t that sweet, I’m here every night, gotta keep an eye on my girls though, so you’ll have to excuse me if I leave you.”

“Of course.”

“‘Ark at ‘e! ‘of course’! I’m sitting with a proper gentleman.  I’ll get your story out of you eventually.”

“Maybe.”

It was dawn when Raff left the tavern and headed down the streets home.  He scrambled over the fence into the back garden to his parents’ home, and up the large oak tree that overlooked his bedroom window.  It was a bit of a jump, but he’d discovered that if he didn’t look down then it was easy enough to make the distance.  Grabbing the window ledge he pulled himself into the window and landed on the floor with a heavy thump.

“Isabelle?” his mother’s voice called from down the corridor.  “Are you alright?  Did you fall out of bed again?”

“I’m fine mother,” he responded, quickly changing out of his evening clothes and pulling a night dress on over his bound breasts.  “Just tripped on the chair.”

“Well hurry up, we’re having brunch with Sir Thomas at eleven, and you need to be looking your best, I have a new dress being delivered for you.

“Yes, mother.”

Find out what happens next, download the complete short story pdf

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7 Questions

This week’s 7 Questions is with prolific Science Fiction author, Dale Musser.   Inspired by an idea he had in 1962, his eight book strong series THE SOLBIDYUM WARS SAGA follows the adventures of main character, Tibby, as he goes on an adventure in a 600 year old space ship.  He has taken some time out from writing book nine in the series to talk to us about writing, pet couture and badgers.

1. Pipes and pumps, seem similar to a non pipe person, is Tibby based on you?

I’m far removed from being like Tibby. About all that Tibby and I have in common is height. Tibby is athletic, coordinated, and a martial arts expert, whereas I am lucky if I can walk in a straight line and stay upright. As close as I get to anything martial arts related is I can say “HA!” and act like I’m going to hit someone and then run away as fast as I can as while they roll on the ground in fits of laughter. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some elements of me in Tibby. Every character a writer creates has some element of themselves in it, even the villains. We take what we know and feel and extrapolate from there to develop our characters and in so doing we reveal tiny bits and pieces of what we are made of.

2. You have worked and lived all over America, would you say that this has had an impact on your writing.

Definitely. Not just living and working here but working abroad as well. Seeing new places and meeting new people provides a fertile environment for growing new characters and story ideas. In each of my books you can find ideas based on things I saw and experienced at different places in the world. Books 3 and 6 in The Solbidyum Wars Saga in particular draw on those places, experiences, and cultures. I simply used elements of those events and the people from my past and put them into a different setting and then exaggerated things to work with my story line.

3. Who is your biggest fan?

That is a big argument among several of my fans. Farid Tidjani, was the first to proclaim himself my number one fan, but since then there have been a few others who may our shine him. Tommy Thompson, D. Gronsky, and Kenneth Kania would rank pretty high on the list.

4. What are your feelings about pet couture?

Now this is a serious question. I’ve seen a lot of male bull dogs that refuse to be seen in public wearing a pink poodle bow. Trying to persuade them to get in touch with their ‘bitch’ side doesn’t seem to be working. I have a sister who breeds pugs and while they are willing to go along with some accoutrements, they are quite insistent that they must appropriately reflect their true nature. For myself, I’m sort of liberal on the subject and as far as I’m concerned whatever makes your pet happy is fine with me (so long as no one is being hurt by it.)

5. Where do you start when building a universe.

For me the worlds usually come before the story. I’m always seeing places that inspire ideas and make me wonder “what if.” TV documentaries about space and other planets and the conditions on them always make me wonder what kinds of life could exist there. For example in book 6 of my saga I have a planet that circles a sun that is undergoing violent solar flares that would endanger most life forms on the daylight side of the planet. I ideas of what life on such a planet would be like and how it would evolve. Then all I did was place my characters in this environment in a survival situation.

6. What is your ideal sandwich?

I’m a huge fan of food but I would have to say my ideal sandwich is a simple hamburger with lettuce, onion, and tomato. There are many others I love but this one still is my favourite.

7. Do you happen to have a favourite badger?

Stoffel… he would be my choice.

And you can find Dale online: https://www.amazon.com/Dale-Musser/e/B00DUHJHGS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1392165033&sr=1-1

And if you’d like to answer 7 Questions, then get in touch.
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The Monday Mystery Mime

The Newsnibbles Quiz is back by popular demand, and now we have partnered with our friends at Feathers and Toast to bring you the Monday Mystery Mime.  Every week, life saving chef and sandwich aficionado, Tallulah Grace will perform a mime, and your challenge, Nibblers, is to guess what that mime is supposed to represent.  The winner will be chosen at random from all the correct entries, and will win the honour of a shout out on Tallulah’s latest vlog (it’s like a blog, but with videos so “vlog” – it’s an actual thing, we didn’t make it up) and the opportunity to suggest one of Tallulah’s next mime topics.*

Last week’s mime was a wet dog shaking itself, and the winner was, once again, Joe Hunter, who clearly has a talent for mime guessing, which, whilst useless in the real world is very effective for this competition.  We were a bit disappointed with the lack of pictures this week, so, in an attempt to sweeten the pot (is that even a saying?), there will be a bonus prize to the best picture entry, which will be a free download code for one of Badger’s books, so get snapping!**

*To enter go to the Youtube page where the mime originated and post your answer in the comments section. If commenting on Youtube is too complicated you can post a comment here, but Youtube comments will get priority. The winner will be chosen at random from all of the correct entries. Any obscene entries or suggestions will be disqualified and the user blocked. Newsnibbles and Feathers and Toast reserve the right to disqualify any entry they deem unsuitable, without explanation. The closing date for entries is Friday 9th September 2016, 00:00 EST.

**Download codes will be provided for Smashwords only, and will be active for a limited time.  The title of the ebook you are offered will be chosen by the organisers.  No alternative prize will be offered and it is your responsibility to claim your prize promptly.

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THE MONDAY MYSTERY MIME

The Newsnibbles Quiz is back by popular demand, and now we have partnered with our friends at Feathers and Toast to bring you the Monday Mystery Mime.  Every week, life saving chef and sandwich aficionado, Tallulah Grace will perform a mime, and your challenge, Nibblers, is to guess what that mime is supposed to represent.  The winner will be chosen at random from all the correct entries, and will win the honour of a shout out on Tallulah’s latest vlog (it’s like a blog, but with videos so “vlog” – it’s an actual thing, we didn’t make it up) and the opportunity to suggest one of Tallulah’s next mime topics.*

Last week’s mime was a rabbit on high alert, and whilst there were no exact guesses, the two winners with “rabbit in the headlights” were Fiona Goodwin and Doug Morrison.  We were a bit disappointed by the lack of supporting photographs with this week’s entries, please consider going the full distance when entering this week.  So, without further a do, we present to you, The Monday Mystery Mime.

*To enter go to the Youtube page where the mime originated and post your answer in the comments section. If commenting on Youtube is too complicated you can post a comment here, but Youtube comments will get priority. The winner will be chosen at random from all of the correct entries. Any obscene entries or suggestions will be disqualified and the user blocked. Newsnibbles and Feathers and Toast reserve the right to disqualify any entry they deem unsuitable, without explanation. The closing date for entries is Friday 2nd September 2016, 00:00 EST.

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7 Questions

Seven Questions is a section of Newsnibbles where we ask one of our Twitter Author picturefollowers seven questions (duh).  Because we do it via email they are free to answer in more that 140 characters, which is nice.

Today we catch up with Seattle based science fiction author, Terry Marchion, or @terrymarchion as we know him, to find out what happened to his yesterdays, amongst other things…

1.Your pitch for The Missing Yesterdays reminds us of Back to the Future, will this book appeal to fans of that series of films?

That’s funny – Back to the Future wasn’t one of my inspirations when I was writing – I was thinking more of the old serials like Flash Gordon and Buck Rodgers – also the fun of classic Star Trek and Doctor Who.  Readers who like fun adventures like those above would like my book (hopefully), and the others that will come in the series.

2. What is the most nerdy thing you have ever done?

There are so many – but the best (worst?) was I had to correct some guys at a comic shop about a storyline they had wrong.  My fiancé (now wife) was so embarrassed.  She asked me to never take her there again . . . LOL

3.Who or what inspires you?

That’s a long list.  I’m inspired by science – first and foremost.  I love seeing images from the Hubble – and movies/books like The Martian . . where real science came first and the story came later – that really helps my imagination go wild.  Arthur C Clarke has been a huge inspiration to me – his extrapolations of real science into the far future is so cool.  I’ve read Michio Kaku, whose books are full of cool science, but explained for the lay-person so they can understand it too.  I heartily recommend “the physics of the future” and “the future of the mind”  both really good reads.

4.Where do you stand on the whole pet couture debate?

Excuse me, What?  Oh, if you mean dressing your dog up in your favourite college/pro team’s jersey?  I’m all for it – anything else is just torturing the poor animal . . .

5.Do you have a favourite badger?

Yes, but there’s a restraining order against me.  Kidding.  I’ve only known one “badger” in my life, a past co-worker who went to the University of Wisconsin (the Badgers).  She was a hoot.  Oh, you mean real honest-to-God badgers?  No, I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting any.

6.If you could choose to live any time (future or past) when would you choose and why?

Ancient Rome is fascinating to me – brutal and unforgiving, but so much came from that empire.  Or I would love to see what the world is like in another 1000 years or so.  Given another era, will we still have the same problems as we have today?  Have we overcome petty issues?  Not only that, but technology has come so far in the past hundred years, what will another thousand see in advances?

7.What’s next on the agenda?

Next is book 2 in my series, titled “The Purloined Pictograph” – another sci-fi adventure, but with a look to the past.  It should be ready to publish in a month or so . . . after that, who knows . . .

And you can find Terry all over the internet including Facebook, his website and he doesn’t mind you emailing him (he doesn’t know you like we know you).

And if you’d like to answer 7 Questions, then get in touch, you know how by now.

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Avocado Theft Ripe in New Zealand

A recent rise in demand for Avocados has led to a rise in Avocado related crime in New Zealand.  According to The Guardian,   until recently the demand for avocados has been more from the export market (hipsters who enjoy it on toast with some salt and pepper and a splash of extra virgin, one presumes), and the rise in local demand has lead to an avocado black market (ABM).  The report goes on to quote the New Zealand Avocado CEO (one assumes this is a company and not the person in charge of the one random avocado, we’ll go off and research and let you know) as saying:

It’s an easy way to make a quick buck, but I don’t think we are dealing with a sophisticated or highly organised operation here, more opportunistic.  This stolen fruit will only have made it to the local markets, it would never reach our export markets.”

Apparently thieves are picking avocados straight out of trees in the dead of night, forcing avocado growers to take extreme measures, such as install security lights.  We would also like to suggest bells on branches so that any covert attempts to shake down avocados will be ruined.

Tallulah Grace modelling an avocado

Whilst hopes that a new bumper crop of avocado due soon is thought to be all that is required to meet demand and scupper the thieves, we here at Newsnibbles fear that this is only the beginning, Avocadogate, if you will, leading to a terrifying Avocado Cartel taking control of the New Zealand underworld. What’s next, the honey?

Celebrity Chef and Avocado aficionado, Tallulah Grace had this to say on the subject of stolen avocados:

Avocado theft deserves serious retribution darling. To discover one can’t make guacamole may induce fever and perhaps death.”

And that man what writes the Hollywood tag lines about cats and such, Richard Goldman said:

stealing avocados is the pits”

Then he became a bit overexcited and added:

Once there were green thieves parched by the Thun.”

See, we quote people like with real news, we know it’s been a while.  We will keep you apprised of any further avocado related incidents, as and when they occur.  If you live in New Zealand, and have been directly affected by the avocado crime spree, we would love to hear from you.  Please post a comment below.

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The Monday Mystery Mime

The Newsnibbles Quiz is back by popular demand, and now we have partnered with our friends at Feathers and Toast to bring you the Monday Mystery Mime.  Every week, life saving chef and sandwich aficionado, Tallulah Grace will perform a mime, and your challenge, Nibblers, is to guess what that mime is supposed to represent.  The winner will be chosen at random from all the correct entries, and will win the honour of a shout out on Tallulah’s latest vlog (it’s like a blog, but with videos so “vlog” – it’s an actual thing, we didn’t make it up) and the opportunity to suggest one of Tallulah’s next mime topics.*

Last week’s mystery mime was a piece of paper getting wet. Please comment below if you guessed that but didn’t want to show off by saying at the time.  There were no exact guesses, but the winner is Joe Hunter, who correctly guessed the paper element to the mime, and gets bonus points for sharing a picture of wallpaper peeling off, which is what she thought it was.  Here at Newsnibbles we always give points for trying.  Her picture is embedded below. Well done Joe!

So, without further a do, we present The Mystery Mime:

*To enter go to the Youtube page where the mime originated and post your answer in the comments section. If commenting on Youtube is too complicated you can post a comment here, but Youtube comments will get priority. The winner will be chosen at random from all of the correct entries. Any obscene entries or suggestions will be disqualified and the user blocked. Newsnibbles and Feathers and Toast reserve the right to disqualify any entry they deem unsuitable, without explanation. The closing date for entries is Friday 26th August 2016, 00:00 EST.
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