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new or unusual in an interesting way: they hit

on a novel idea to showcase regional talent

www.novelmagazine.co.uk

Contents... ...articles, short-stories, poetry, artwork, photography, listings...

tom reid 06 john adams 08 darren hardman 10 john maguire 12 paul regan 14 kevin cadwallender/ ellen phethean/alan harland 16

andrew maughn 18 scott donohue 20 kabiee hlalo 22 david havannes 24 andy siddens 26 My Town

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Literature Illustrations By Matt Ferguson. View More At: inkonpaper.org.uk

Editors Kerry Kitchin kerry@novelmagazine.co.uk Lee Halpin lee@novelmagazine.co.uk

Design Kerry Kitchin kerry@novelmagazine.co.uk Ruth Comer ruth@novelmagazine.co.uk

novel issue 1. Published bi-monthly by novel magazine, rights reserved. Printed in the UK. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in articles are those of author.


So it begins. A creative publication for and from the people. A mutually beneficial arrangement in which we take most appreciatively with one hand, and give so freely with the other. We’ve chosen the best you had to offer. If you don’t like it then don’t blame us. Turn instead to your neighbour and ask them why they didn’t do better. If, on the other hand, you do like it, then all the live long day! It’s free anyway, you just can’t lose. This first issue of novel unifies a collection of disparate work, forming a collage of creative pieces that we hope will provide inspiration for those eager to share their flair as both writers and artists. It is our foremost goal to provide opportunities for the creative talents of this region to have their work published in our fledgling magazine. The second and subsequent issues of this bi-monthly publication will follow a theme that is explained online and inside each new issue. We call upon all contributors to submit work that comments on and relates to this chosen topic. (see back cover) As a side note, for those interested, this format of writing is in itself a novel concept. It is called Triangular Writing* The idea is that the lines get shorter as the significance of the content diminishes. As you can see, the paradox is that it also gets much more to the point.

*Patent pending


TV and Bratwurst: A TwentySomething Birthday. By Tom Reid

i

remember a time when birthdays were an occasion, a festival of gaiety and whimsy and a celebratory time of frivolity, laughter and sausage rolls. But somewhere along the line the gaiety seemed to stop, the frivolity gave way to dour responsibility and the sausage rolls became congealed under the weight of their own relative insignificance. What was this puritanical force hell bent on destroying my day? I guess that would have something to do with the proverbial mind bender we call age… So I wake up and I’m twenty four. I’ve had a long weekend, a ten hour sleep and it’s only nine o’clock in the pissing morning. Jesus. What ever happened to my rock and roll? I’m not exactly sure, but I can tell you with a certain confidence that it wasn’t down the post office depot at ten thirty a.m with a collection receipt and a valid form of identification. That’s where I was on my birthday, and you know, somewhere between handing over my missed delivery card and receiving the package (a DVD that I had ordered for myself) I had a moment of cosmic reflection. I was looking through a window, not

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just at a little fat man with an office stamp and a comb over, but through the looking glass. And in that moment I saw the way things really are. The clock hands ceaselessly turning. The gravitational force of fate pulling us towards the inevitable last gasp. The rosy fingered dawn and dusks’ silent veil, casting shadows on an empty eternity. I saw everyone and everything that has and ever will transpire… and it was shit. I thanked the little hobbit behind the counter for his services and walked out, with a DVD box set and a newly obtained existential nightmare. When did I become old and where did the joy and carefree nature of birthdays become replaced with a need to fill the day with something useful?

“...birthdays were a time when you would be lavished with gifts, attention and all things mario related”

Why have birthday’s suddenly become just another day? Presents for one thing just aren’t the same. How can you get excited when you’re at the age where you have the means to buy yourself all the DVD’s and socks that you want. When you were a child, birthdays were a time when you would be lavished with gifts, attention and all things Mario related. The late teens were a wonderful passage of liberation, where every year would bring a new opportunity of freedom and responsibility. You could smoke, gamble, drive, drink, vote, even go to Centerparks! Every year unleashed a torrent of new and exciting possibilities, a great wave with a crest unseen. Now what? After the age of twenty one comes the confused doldrums, where you find yourself sitting in a noisy waiting room without an appointment. You’re too old to be care free, but you’re definitely too young to take this seriously. The choices you make now will shape the rest of your future, but who wants to plan, you only get one youth? It’s a tightrope between the boring and the feckless. This growing realisation of adulthood has been slow and depressing. The joys


of music, sex and getting too drunk to remember have not been forgotten. On the contrary, if I could only recall them they would be my most cherished memories. Over the last few years I’ve noticed that it doesn’t take such youthful exploits to get me off any more. Case in point, is there anything sadder than finding yourself overjoyed and brimming with self satisfaction, after successfully setting up a monthly direct debit payment? It may take eighty minutes on hold listening to Michael Buble, but I’ll be damned if I won’t save three pounds a month on my phone bill.

“...now after two pints I feel like a senile who’s been left out in the sun too long” I find this mature approach seeping into all aspects of my life. On a number of Friday night drinking sessions I’ve found myself almost comatose by midnight and now after two pints I feel like a senile who’s been left out in the sun too long. A crinkled prune of my former

self. So what can I do to combat this mid twenties crisis. I’ve had a number of thoughts. I have never been what one might call an adventurous dresser and unlike most people I am only now yearning for a more outlandish attire. I’ve never had the cojones or the naivety that most people have in their teens to wear what I actually wanted to. If I was given a choice I’d bowl up to nights out in brown full length cowboy boots, a purple jacket and a forest green Robin Hood cap. Sadly though, unless I visit the Glastonbury festival, I don’t see this happening any time soon. So what else can I try in order to reclaim my youth; rollerblades, space balls, sniffing glue, all three at once? It’s not as easy as it sounds, believe me. Try as I might, no superficial kick is ever going to take me back. With age comes perspective and the great kick in the balls that is self realisation and maybe therein lies the problem. On my birthday this year I sat on my arse all day watching the Simpsons box set I bought for myself. I’m pretty sure that five years ago this would have been considered a great way to spend a day, but not any more. Try as I might

I couldn’t get away from this burning urge I had inside me, this surging incomparable energy, a volcanic explosion of need and utility. I just had to do my ironing. And lo, it was said unto him that as the fields and the sky grow old, so shall ye. As the calves lay their heads in the black of the night and the ass toil the fields in the blistered sun, so shall ye perform menial chores around thy house. So were there any surprises in store for me this year? Well yes, and not one which I exactly expected. The last present I received consisted of a tombola box filled with newspaper cuttings and unpackaged German sausages. I was surprised as I imagine you are about this. Especially as I had to remove said sausages in the middle of an overcrowded and reputable coffee house, to many strange looks and much rejoicing. And you know what, in many ways it was the best present I received this year, because, aren’t we all trying to dig a little deeper. Avoiding the wanton scraps of the media in reach of the unachievable grease of an air hung sausage? In essence are we all not an assortment of continental salamis, lost in the vastness of our own little tombola box?.. No, of course not, but they did taste bloody nice.

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Where There’s Mucca, There’s Money

Jo h n Ad a m s h

e was going to ask Macca what he knew about ornithology but in the end decided it was better not to.

The most interesting thing he had found out so far was that birds (apart from the Ostrich 1 ) have no bladders. When they need to go, they have to go right there. No point in trying to house-train your pet budgie then. If you do happen to examine a bird dropping, you will find that there are three visible constituents: a white liquid (urine), a thicker yellow part (urites) and lumpy dark matter (faeces). If it is the dropping of a sea bird, then you could rightly call it guano. Guano is amazing stuff. Used at the turn of the 19th century to manufacture gunpowder and later - when the agrochemical business got going - to make fertilizer. The USA, realising its immense value, passed with an arrogance learned from the British Empire, the Guano Islands Act. The act enabled any American citizen to take possession of any island, rock or key, not within the jurisdiction of any other government, in order to extract guano deposits. Over 100 islands were so claimed and some of them are still under US control. Not so the island of Nauru and it’s unfortunate inhabitants. Some facts about Nauru: the world’s smallest island nation, the smallest in-

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dependent republic, the least populated member of the United Nations - and according to the CIA World Factbook, the only republican state without an official capital. However, Nauru did have capital by the bucketful as it turned out. This dot in the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Hawaii and Australia, was annexed in 1888, by Germany. Teutonic prospectors discovered that the island was covered in thousands of tons of seagull shit, deposited over the millennia and transformed by chemistry, into phosphate rocks. Immediately, the new rulers of Nauru set to work mining the stuff whilst the islanders looked on. But things changed. Australia captured the island in World War I, clumsily lost it again during WW II, before finally becoming its chief administrator on behalf of the United Nations when fighting ceased. Ah, the poor people of Nauru, knocked from pillar to post, watching their tiny home being carved away by the greedy exploiters of guano. Things would get better though – and then much worse as it happens. On January 31, 1968 the Nauruans woke up to find that they had become citizens of a newly independent nation! Woohooo! So all that guano belonged to them again, but this time they weren’t just going to let it sit there;

they were going to sell the f**king lot! And they did! For a time Nauru was one of the world’s richest nations, with the highest per capita income, no personal income tax, a welfare state and cars for everyone. No more walking for Nauruans. Great.

“Pizzas, pop and crisps for everyone!” Then this happened: they stopped farming and fishing, so had to import all of their food. And what food? Pizzas, pop and crisps for everyone! In short order, the population of Nauru topped the world’s obesity and diabetes tables. Life expectancy of males dipped below 50. And worse. The phosphate is all but gone and Nauru is not rich anymore. Ninety percent of the island is devastated by mining and in return for a handout from the Australian government, the island has become a holding-pen for asylum seekers. All that stuff about Nauru wasn’t in the booklet he was reading, which was about birds that visit the Wetlands Centre in Washington. Not Washington DC but the Washington where Mucca2 was brought up. This, he supposed, was the reason that Macca had wandered into the Social Club at 11.30 on a Saturday

morning. Looking up, he wasn’t the only one who had noticed the presence of nobility. Tommy the plasterer is leaning on the bar when Macca orders his pint and immediately gets on the mobile. “You’ll never f**king guess who’s f**king stood next to me! F**king Paul, f**king McCartney! He f**king is! Hang on a f**king minute!” He hands Macca the phone and says, “Sir Paul, could you tell my mate Nev that it really is you?” Macca (who is surely accustomed to situations like this) graciously takes the mobile and assures the guy at the other end that it is Him, that he and Yoko are friends now and so on. Tommy takes back the phone and says to Nev, “See - I f**king told you! Paul f**king McCartney, standing right here in the f**king Club! (Pause) The funny f**king thing is, no c**t’s bothering him! 1 The ostrich cannot fly but has evolved with a pair of powerful legs capable of propelling it at speeds up to 70 kilometres per hour. It is the largest bird on earth and so too are its eggs. 2 Heather Mills was born in Aldershot on 12th January 1968 but spent her young life in Washington, Tyne and Wear. She married Sir Paul McCartney on 11 June, 2002 and subsequently was awarded £24.3 million in a court settlement on 17 March, 2008, after an acrimonious divorce. The Sun newspaper, in its evenhanded coverage of the proceedings, dubbed Mills ‘Lady Mucca’. For the latest news about Heather, visit www.heathermills.org – or follow her on Twitter.

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...Articles///

Shoe Tree

By Darren Hardman

O

n entering Armstrong Park from Heaton Park, take the lower path, bearing left. Walk twenty metres along this less frequented route and you will be met by one Newcastle’s most striking, bizarre and charming botanical gems; the Shoe Tree. So called due to the discarded footwear adorning its every branch, the Shoe Tree has become part of Heaton’s and Jesmond’s folklore. Public art in its purest form, or petty vandalism? Opinion is divided. What is certain is that the Shoe Tree is infamous and it has been around for decades, tantalising generation after generation of local residents with its weirdness.

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Many suggestions are put forward re garding the origins of the tree’s strange fruits and their significance. Many people in the area have a theory about the trees’ enigmatic presence and some even claim to have started the shoe dangling ritual. Each theory and tale is as improbable as the last; urban myths, Chinese whispers. What surrounds the tree, aside from more typical and less renowned shrubbery ,is uncertainty. Might this be the reason the tree remains such a beacon of fascination?

In his book The Enigma of Stonehenge, John Fowles celebrates the inexplicability of the Wiltshire monument and argues that it is precisely this uncertainty from which it draws such grand appeal. Fowles goes on to say that Stonehenges’ ‘great present virtue is that something so sui generis, so individualised should still evoke so much imprecision of feeling and thought’. The fact that a monument or, in this case, a Shoe Tree, cannot be explained, seems to attach some sort of aura, a disparate symbolism to the site. Granted, the shoe tree does not date back to 2800 b.c, nor does it have quite the same status as Stonehenge, but this humble tree does harbour a portion of the sort of wonderment which people convey to larger and more ancient monuments. For those who walk their dogs past the tree every day, it is a never-ending inducement of a wry smile and an inward chuckle. Children warm to its anarchic, chaotic aspect. For first time visitors to the park it is one of those stop in your tracks moments; a bewildering augmentation to the already beautiful surroundings. For the most part it is greatly loved and precious to its local community, for which it has become a type of totem, bearing the soles of its anonymous contributors.


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...Short Stories///

Words of Encouragement

By John Maguire


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loved cricket. I was shown the basic techniques when young and I developed an aptitude for the game. Nothing consistently good or outstanding, but enough to know the pleasures of occasionally making a significant contribution to a game and receiving the congratulations of my peers. I captained the school cricket XI and I played for my Dad’s works team in the local league.

A new job took me to the Northeast and again I found cricket with the company team to be an excellent way of making friends. I had left my climbing companions in Manchester and the demands of a young family meant that giving up time to meet them was almost impossible. So I found my way back to cricket and the memory of Stan Worthington’s words was revived.

I read all the biographies of the top class cricketers and Immersed myself in the history of the game, encouraged by our neighbour captain of the league team - who introduced me to the works of Neville Cardus, with his stirring accounts, from the Manchester Guardian, of test matches against the Australians in the Thirties when Don Bradman was in his prime.

In fact, they spurred me back into showing something like my old ability; I was invited to join a team in the senior league of the county. In the event, this didn’t work out but it encouraged me to join another club which competed at a similar standard. I joined a club in a pit village north of Newcastle which socialised after the cricket matches as enthusiastically as it played them.

Lancashire, the county team, would visit Blackpool every year. It always seemed that the start of play was delayed by rain, but I would wait patiently for my heroes to appear late in the afternoon. Then, after a couple of hours cricket, I’d walk the 7 miles home having spent my bus fare on ice cream, or a copy of the annual County handbook. This treasure trove of statistics kept me fascinated for hours as I poured over details of the careers of long-departed, much revered, cricketers.

It couldn’t last: age, slower reactions, less keen eyes were now beginning to tell. Still, despite good performances being less common, old Stan was there behind me to offer comfort with his words from twenty years before. “Ee, lad, you’re just t’ kind of player crowds like to watch”. Eventually, however, even this was not enough and I packed it all in, not being able to get any satisfaction from the way I was playing.

It was a love affair which, like several before and since, I thought would never end. When I eventually went to Manchester University to study chemistry, the first thing I did was join the cricket club. I was delighted that its winter activities included practicing in the indoor school at Old Trafford, the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club. Though I didn’t realise it, there was a worm in the bud of this infatuation. My past interest in things outdoor and mountainous had led to my joining the University mountaineering club. I had already had several heady experiences on the rocks of the Peak District and North Wales before, one dreary December afternoon, I went to the indoor “nets” at Old Trafford. The practice I had enjoyed throughout that autumn had boosted my confidence. The hall, strung with the ceiling-high netting to separate the different batting tracks may have been damp and ice-cold but, as I hit the ball hard and gracefully, from even the most difficult bowlers, I felt as if Spring had arrived. I knew that I had played well, and when my session was over, I went back to my towel and dry shirt with a smile. During these afternoons, the county coach would often visit the nets and look over the people practicing. He never said much, just nodded and smiled, as taciturn as you might expect a Lancashire man called Stan Worthington to be. There were not many other names you could imagine him having. He had been watching me. As I went past, he said, “Ee, lad, you’re just t’ kind of player crowds like to watch”. I stopped in my tracks. Never in my life had anyone given me such unequivocal praise about anything. I glowed and continued to glow all the way back to my digs on the rush hour bus as it crawled through the Manchester fog. The Lancashire C.C.C. coach had said that to me! I should have gone on from there and devoted myself to the game that had been so significant a part of my young years. But the companionship that I built up in the climbing club was slowly drawing me away. The distraction showed and that summer, after desultory performances for the different University teams against local clubs and other Northern universities, I more or less withdrew from cricket. Climbing was my “thing” and over the next few years I became assistant secretary, secretary and finally president of the University mountaineering club. After I graduated and started work, I joined the company cricket team. The standard was good and I enjoyed myself, playing largely in the evenings, mid-week. But the years spent climbing had taken the edge off my game; I didn’t practice and my scores were, more often than not, poor. Cricket is a cruel game if you are a batsman. One misjudgment of a hundredth of a second and you’re out; your individual contribution to the game seems over. However, if the coach of your home county cricket team thought you were good enough, the disappointments were sometimes bearable.  “Ee, lad, you’re just t’ kind of player crowds like to watch”.

“...Ee, lad, you’re just t’ kind of player crowds like to watch...” We moved to Wylam in the Tyne Valley and I joined the cricket club there. I had come down a level or two in the standard of cricket I had been playing but this was more than compensated for by the commitment to post match hospitality. The West-Tyne League was played on wickets that did not really allow the development of a cultivated style of play – you had to be exceptionally good to prosper regularly and players of this calibre usually left for better teams in other leagues. No one cared particularly; it was enough that you played against the same lads, home and away, twice a year. I joined in enthusiastically, still buoyed up, despite frequent failures, by the words of long-gone Stan. The highlight of the cricket year was the league dinner, when, in November, all the clubs would meet in a Hexham hotel for an evening of prize giving and serious drinking. To hand out the various cups and shields, the management committee would recruit a cricketer of note, usually a retired test cricketer who now made a few bob touring round functions like ours, telling a few jokes and reminiscing about his career. He’d talk about other famous players he had met or competed against, and for a short time we all felt touched by greatness; they were our friends, too. This particular year the guest was a famous Lancashire cricketer, much respected, very accomplished. I sat rapt through his speech given in a rich East Lancashire accent. Here was one of my own, a missionary come into heathen lands. After the speeches, people moved around, answered calls of nature made long ago during the formal proceedings, or went to reminisce with friends they had recognised at the other side of the room, who they otherwise only met in deadly combat on the cricket field. The famous cricketer was sitting alone. Surely, my beer and wine consumption told me, he would welcome meeting a kindred spirit. He should have been used to it; this was why he was invited – to tolerate and amuse the hoi polloi. I told him I had seen him play in Jesmond at the Northumberland county ground. I mentioned people I knew in Lancashire who might have been mutual acquaintances, and indeed some of them were. I was now starting to feel that we were old pals, unaware, that he, impatient with this persistent, yet friendly drunk, was about to drop a bombshell.  I wanted him to know that I had Lancashire credentials. I wanted him to know that I had played in the nets at Old Trafford. I could play the game well. I saw how cut off he was in this strange land. I wanted him to know that Stan Worthington, the coach of Lancashire County Cricket Club, had once said to me, “Ee, lad, you’re just t’ kind of player crowds like to watch”. I might have outstayed my welcome a little, but did he have to put it like that? “Old Stan! Ah, yes!” He replied. “He used to say that to everybody”.

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An Almost Fictional Account of My Life Thus Far... -By John Whitaker the 3rd

G

reetings, fellows. My name is John Whitaker the 3rd, and today I would like to tell you a story. Perhaps this seems a slightly vainglorious endeavor to you, after all, who am I? What makes my experiences worthy of print? Well, I suppose you could say that I have led a chequered life to date, and not through any intention of my own design. Humbly, I tell you that you may learn something through my words. Lesson one: Vampires. Now, even an old fuddy-duddy such as myself can hardly help notice that the undying fascination with Nosferatu has once again become en vogue. These things – like leg-Warmers – come in and out of fashion like nobody’s business, it would seem. But to me, vampires are something much more real – and foul – than the sparkling Romeos we see depicted in cinemas these days. Some six years ago, my father died. We always had a strained relationship, and – I confess – Whitaker the 2nd’s death felt almost like a release for me. He left me his entire estate; an enviable sum which I used to fulfill an old dream. Along with my young wife, Natalie, I upped sticks from suburban Hertfordshire and purchased my dream home on the extreme north coast of Scotland. I had been head of English at my old school, and in the Scottish town of Ferret’s Bush I took up an even more senior position. Everything felt right: I had my dream home, a great job, a beautiful bride... And then a vampire ruined it all.

You see, the house I bou ght with Natalie was ver y old, so old, in fact, that within the ann als of the archaic basem ent lay a sealed sarcophagus. Nat urally, when I went into said cellar and found the wretched coffin, I was beside myself with shock. It is not the kind of moving -in gift one expects to find in a new home. Natalie was even more mortified than I. Nev ertheless, we decided to put a bra ve face on things, and I agreed to seal the entrance to the lower floor until such tim e as we could arrange to have the dam n thing moved. The next day I started my new job at the tiny second ary modern school in Ferret’s Bus h. With class sizes totaling no more than fifteen students, it was an English teacher’s dream . However, during third period, a rotu nd and pasty-faced bra t named Melvin (clad in black, with a satchel adorned with such pleasant motifs as “Cradle of Filth” and “Reign in Bloo d”) informed me that I had moved into the most haunted town in Britain and that my house – my own dream home – was the zenith of supernatural activity with in the area. Naturally, I brushed asid e such superstition as the over-active imaginings of a macabre teenage mind. That was my first mistake. Upon returning home tha t evening, I found the ma in body of the house empty and dark. Where was Natalie ? Traipsing gingerly up the stairs, I saw a light coming out from underneath our bedroom door. I don ’t know why, but someth ing in my soul knew that things were abo ut to turn bad.

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As I tilted the master bedroom door ajar, my jaw fell and my heart sank. There was my wife – my beautiful, innocent wife – lying on the throw-rug, being mou nted with fiery passion by som e black-clad, greasy cur with a pencil mustache and a receding hairline. “What the-?!!” was my natural

reaction.

The vile interloper stood up and with a hateful lack of shame or decency he had the gall to extend his hand to me, whilst Natalie scrabbled around on the floor behind him, reaching for her knickers. “Whitaker...How do you do?” the beast said to me. “I am Julio – the immortal vampire”. Well now...What does one eve n say to that? My choice of words is unpublishable. Naturally , I believed this oily rapscallion to be nothing more than a silve r-tongued chancer, and raised my fist to settle the matter.

My second mistake. Like a force of nature – nay – something of a far more sinister, supernatural nature, the creature flung me five feet through the air into the adjoining wall. Bruised, broken and full of hate shock and shame, it was some five minutes before I could raise my head to address the monster once more. “Who....what are you?” I wheezed desperately. “It is as I say, Whitaker: I am Julio. I am he that can never die”, the beast gloated. “And your wife is now mine”. To conclude this first chapter of my hen-pecked life to date, I can say no more than this: when life hands you lemons, you go and plot a murder. A mortal man I may be – and a reserved, slightly conservative one at that – but there was no way I was going to let this Italian blood-sucker take what was mine. It was time to get creative... To be continued...

Written by Paul Regan Paul Regan is the writer and co-creator of Trenchfoot, a scummy little comic book about supervillains living in the Lake District. Paul lives in Byker, Newcastle and is currently crafting John’s fictional diary into a macabre novel entitled Demonville, which he hopes to have completed by early 2011. For further information on these projects and more, email trenchfootcomic@gmail.com

www.novelmagazine.co.uk


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Poetry... Dallek Calling As a busy working Dalek conquering planet after planet sometimes I neglect my skin care routine which leads to metal fatigue and telltale signs of ageing or rust as you call it. I recommend brillo pads and battery acid to exfoliate, you must exfoliate use an angle grinder preferably or a bastard file or rasp. Moisturize you will need to moisturize with diesel or crude oil Then I can conquer my busy working day and not worry about cowering alien life forms commenting on those little oxidation blemishes that can ruin a dalek’s confidence. Brillo pads and battery acid Because I’m worth it. Kevin Cadwallender

Frankie remembers winning The Poetry Prize The year nines had an exercise in rhyme. A poem, not more than fourteen lines, the theme was open: freedom, love or war and had to use a central metaphor. Frankie’s was the best, his teacher thought it should be printed in the Annual Report. He wrote about a leather glove that had lost its pair, took it home for dad to see, wanted him to know he’d won the prize, to show approval for his clever son. Frank gave it to him proudly; straight away Dad put it down. The paper went astray and turned up later, a message scribbled on it, coffee stained and torn. It was a sonnet. Ellen Phethean

Birds Birds are settled among the wires Like a stave of music notes. Song notation for avian choirs? Or just warming feet on invisible fires And staving-off sore throats.

Now and Then It’s now. And then...... It’s now again.

A Coroner’s Report He dropped his savings in the rain He’d just come from the bank He watched his life go down the drain Into a septic tank. I assume before the fatal fall Had gone his precious pride From affluent To effluent Verdict:- Sewer-cide Alan Harland


\\\Poetry...


...Artwork///

Bilderburg Andrew Maughn

(Right) Queen Beatrix Acrylic on Canvas (Below) David Rokefeller Acrylic on Canvas

a

s garish as a pantomime dame and as hapless as road kill, Andrew Maughan's new series of portraits depicting Bilderberg attendees, confront us at the tenuous border between fascination and repulsion. His gaudy – verging on grotesque – pallet of colours, and fast, lacerating brush marks, build up paintings which are almost entirely plastic surface, subsuming (or denying) any suggestion of the subject's personality, humanity, or of an interiority to the work. This specularization, and negation of an interior life, serves a double purpose. On the one hand, Maughan utilizes the frenetic painterly gestures and synthetic colours to obscure the identity of the subjects, as a simile for the abstracting and alienating effects of the esoteric secrecy surrounding

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the Bilderberg meetings. Whilst on the other hand, he is underlining, with jovial cynicism, the complicity of contemporary art in the entirely material, and vacuous systems of commodity culture.

“His gaudy - verging on grotesque pallet of colours...” But hold on, Bilderberg? You may well ask. What is Bilderberg?...Surrounded by police tape, political opacity, and media blackout, Bilderberg is reportedly the most well-protected, unofficial, meeting of the world’s elite. Whether a supreme cabal, a political conference, or a bombastic shindig (that the rest of us aren’t invited to), what little is known about Bilder-

berg is that it is an annual get together of the most influential politicians, heads of state and directors of big business in a luxury hotel, beyond the public gaze and democratic accountability. Andy Maughan’s distorted, and fragmentary portraits endlessly obfuscate comfortable certainty. They require the viewer to reconstruct the subjects in their imaginations – with their scratched-out eyes, the grotesque mouths, the dribbles of paint – but this is an impossible task. Identity and recognition, is never complete. It continually shades off beyond the frenetic marks and beneath the macabre fleshy colours, in the same way as the subjects do; in their inaccessible, elitist echelons of power. Words by Iris Aspinall Priest Andrew lives and works in Newcastle. www.andrewmaughan.blogspot.com/


The Beautiful Chaos of Science Scott Donohue (Top) Unreal Ink on paper (Bottom) Consciousness Ink on paper

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echnological advances are the vehicles we drive to pave our future. The shape of the path, whether it be winding, straight, wide or narrow is solely dependent upon our freedom of choice. We are a relatively young industrial breed of humans, hinging upon the ambivalence of science. We use technology for war, to extend life, for personal convenience and to catapult our race forward. In order to grasp the full responsibility of the tools we have stumbled upon, it is necessary to wade through the pools of scientific chaos. Artist Scott Donohue illustrates through various forms of mixed media the struggle between humans and machines. He creates large installation works to photograph and recycle into paintings and 2D mixed media imagery. His website is humorous and a bit chaotic like his pieces. Scott does not stop at illustrations. This unique fellow also creates installations that he describes as “machines that refuse to be repressed�. He likes to create the idea of machines being incapable of handling the intense imagination of the human mind. The precursor to his whole artistic world revolves around the co-dependent relationship of humans and machines. The instant gratification of text messages, internet and cell phones placates our egos, but also diminishes the necessity of human contact. Words by A.J. West

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Showcasing in Europe, his work is already gaining wide recognition. He is also working on a book called People Love Machines. Visit him on MySpace and www.peoplelovemachines.co.uk


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Linear Universe Kabiee Hlalo

anbound by acute iverse, a place un un ar semd line an my pe to sha Welcome son through searching for a rea r own reality I ou in nts rai gles, continuously nst co ting in multiple physical dream of manifes blance. Tied by the what I would only ve hie ac to pt can attem an empirical form. presence, a deep resonating d from nothing, a present is the e for be st Something create pa able murmur of the niz ginnings of og be rec t ate ric bu int ht slig th of a star or tiny bir the s specs, e; nc rou iste me shot into ex gle spec to nu sis grows from a sin as partiilt bu is re ctu tru ink to paper. Gene infras gin mrous atoms and passageways be a single atom to nu replication, linear ed lat lcu ca gh cles tie. Throu tion. ilosophical causa to take form, a ph

Bleeding Heart 22


electric musicland

conservatory

long passageway

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A pe rso na l pro jec t driv en by an att rac tion to the od dit ies pe op le tha t fill the of the pla ce an d the go od s sol d the re. I co nta co unc il ab out the cte d the ide a to do a pro file of the inte res t in the bu ildi Ma rke t as I ha d a ng . The y allo we d me kee n ac an d a dic tap hon e ce ss wit h my ca me for a we ek wh ich I ra spe nt inte nse ly inte rvie an d ph oto gra ph ing win g the pu nte rs an d sta ll hol de rs the re. I nee to spe nd at lea st a de d few da ys ga inin g the tru st of the pe op le ord er for me to wo the ir in nd er fre ely wit hou t too mu ch att rac tion .

w it h a p tu re d to c n e s s w it h in te n a p ti it e During the time I noticed t I w a solemnity; an impres- W h a t w a s a n e m lt h o u g h q u . e sion that the world was a p is m ic h , a c h s moving at a pace which th is s e w f e e o ac the market was not willi th e s p e m s a p la c o n m e n t o f ng to adhere to. Severa l en , se stalls had been passed e n v ir at wh down through generation g ri m -c la s s s li c it y th c a n s e e m and there was a definite o rk in g sense of pride in working A w e n s iv e s im p e there from the majority is ta n c ra te . in e x p of stall holders. Friendly fr o m d e banter and a strong com e rv e d c a n d d e s p s b o munity spirit seemed to o li ensure a high morale, kee la n c h e m ping the place afloat.

nnggeSe

Grra aii G

Dav

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mi dd le e lar ge ly pa st Th e cli en tè le ar th ing in th is me so e se I r ag e, ho we ve me , t th at to uc he s pa rtic ula r ma rke th e of r te ac ar ch d an at titu de an th e at I at trib ut e to pe op le he re th ab le th ing ap pr oa ch me So st. -Ea ht No rth slig a ng ali ve ye t re an d en de ar ing e wi de r wo rld . th of n sio en ap pr eh

eSetrrr Cha

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1

andy siddens No Images Were Harmed during their capture ...and this article gives me the opportunity to release them back into the wild. An interesting and very different mix of my current work. Photographers aim to create a personal style... if you can see one here please let me know as I’m still searching for it.

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’Rocket’ The days are numbered for Derwent Tower, otherwise known as the ‘Dunston Rocket’. Demolition has just commencedand I wanted to record this iconic feature of the Gateshead skyline. Taken from Dunston Park, the swing chains have placed the rocket in a proleptic hangman’s noose, while it is juxtaposed with another Dunston rocket in the foreground - the playground’s climbing frame.

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’The Gateshead Multi-Storey’ This was taken through the security fencing during the demolition of the famous Gateshead Multi Storey Car Park. It featured in the 1971 gangster film ‘Get Carter’ starring Michael Caine. One should not get misty-eyed about a car park, but this is a miss on the Gateshead skyline. Pleased I managed to get this shot while I had the chance.

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’U-bahn Orange’ With a train approaching a U-bahn station in Berlin this scene suddenly caught my eye. The wall’s reflection brings fluidity to an otherwise static scene. For me, the beauty in the photograph lies not in the wall or in its mirror image, but in the interplay between the two.

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’As what it was’ Taken at night through the railings of the Newcastle High Level Bridge. Using a wide aperture has allowed me to selectively focus on the riverside arch (Rise and Fall - Lulu Quin).

5

’One tree, space, blur, nothing’ Taken on the A1 motorway at 70mph through the car’s side window without even looking through the viewfinder. I had noticed these isolated trees and attempted to capture one of them. Success - but I can only claim this as luck. A photographer told me that this image did not ‘stand up on its own’. It stands here on its own, perhaps.

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‘OK Left’ Waiting for a green man to appear, this photograph appeared at my feet.


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my town

to submit artistic & literary events on these pages, email mytown@novelmagazine.co.uk

Galleries The Baltic LINDSAY SEERS 12 February 2011 - 12 June 2011 It has to be this way2 It has to be this way2 explores the complexities and uncertainties of history and memory. The installation resumes the story of the disappearance of the artist’s stepsister, Christine Parkes. Presented on a circular screen within a structure derived from forts on the West African Gold Coast, Christine’s stepmother narrates her tale while the film retraces her travels through West Africa. The complex and unsettling story takes the viewer on a journey that navigates the occult, the subconscious and the fragmentation of personal memory.

The Biscuit Factory Spring Exhibition 11 March - 30 May 2011 EMMA HOLIDAY - ‘Four Blues’ - Cube Gallery An exhibition of brand new work. DAVE BARDEN & COLIN PAINTER - ‘For Old Time’s Sake’ - Corner Gallery A collaborative music inspired exhibition. Other artists exhibiting include ROB VAN HOEK, PETE MCKEE, GEOFFREY KEY and ALISON BELL 11 March - 3 May 2011 HORSLEY PRINTMAKERS: PRINT TO IMPRESS A huge array of all types of print from the Horsley students, including Helen Richardson and Marie Stansby and tutor Chris Daunt.

Lazarides Gallery Lazarides gallery is one of the, undeservedly, lesser known galleries in the Newcastle area. Novel urges you to visit this gallery.

GEORGE SHAW 18 February 2011 - 15 May 2011 The Sly and Unseen Day This major exhibition of the work of British artist George Shaw will bring together some forty paintings from 1996 to the present day. Within a practice that has encompassed drawing, video-making, performance and writing, Shaw is best known for his expansive body of painting. Based upon photographs taken of and around his childhood home on the Tile Hill Estate, Coventry, Shaw’s landscapes are at once familiar and unnerving. JIM MCELVANEY -til 12 March “Plans Creative Problems” Jim’s work is inspired by expressionism, illustration and urban art. The subject of his portraiture range from the surreal and haunting to the witty and charismatic. Combining a number of methods and materials to produce engaging and provocative depictions of human expression, for Jim, the emotion in each work is represented as much by the image as the process of achieving it.

Literature Newcastle University - Culture Lab DIANNA ATHILL IN CONVERSATION WITH JACKIE KAY 3 March 2011 Diana Athill retired from publishing in 1993, aged 75, having worked

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to submit artistic & literary events on these pages, email mytown@novelmagazine.co.uk

with some of the great writers of the twentieth century, She then embarked upon a highly successful career as a writer of memoir and published Stet in 2000. Anybody interested in the world of publishing or the art of memoir writing could benefit greatly from this event. CULTURE LAB HOSTS THREE RUSSIAN POETS: DMITRY KUZMIN, MARIA STEPANOVA AND LEV RUBENSTEIN 14 April 2011 These three Russian poets will be reading from their work and taking part in a Q and A session. These are award winning, heavily published, widely translated poets. This is a rare opportunity. If you are from Newcastle and be missed. you read, write or listen to poetry then this is an event not to

The Lit. and Phil. Society RED SQURREL PRESS BOOK LAUNCH 3 March 2011 A Time For Justice, a crime fiction novel by Graham Pears is the sequel to his bestselling debut novel The Myth of Justice. Born in Wallsend, Graham is a retired Northumbria Police Chief Superintendent and his first novel was a New Writing North Read Regional selection in 2010. In the sequel Jet, the Newcastle detective, is in pursuit of a serial murderer at work who also has a keen interest in him. Jet knows the rules of the system, so he is well aware if he steps out of them…

my town

British Film addicts are in for a treat this March. Director MikeHodges returns to Newcastle to mark the 40th Anniversary of the North East-set classic Get Carter with a special screening of the film at Newcastle’s Tyneside Cinema. This event kicks off a Hodges retrospective at the Tyneside. Through out March, all of Hodges greatest films will be screening, including ‘The Croupier’, ‘Flash Gordon’ and ‘Dandelion Dead’. Don’t miss this opportunity to see some of the most infamous British films ever made.

The Side Cinema FREDERICO FELLINI SEASON 15 March- 29 March 2011 “I make a film in the same manner in which I live a dream...” One of the great directors of the 20th Century, Frederico Fellini changed the landscape of Italian film making. The Side cinema are showing three of his greatest films in a homage to the great man.

Dick Curran’s Almost Persuaded is the hilarious novel by the talented Newcastle born playwright. He has written several full-length plays and dozens of shorter pieces. Dick has also written radio scripts and was a BBC Radio Alfred Bradley Bursary Runner-up. His novel is comic rites of passage and follows Tony Palmer on his rollercoaster pilgrimage without purpose, through a jungle of sex, love, religion, technology, crime, family politics and country music – not necessarily in that order.

Cinema Tyneside Cinema

Image by David Mcclure - velcrobelly.co.uk

MIKE HODGES SEASON Starts 10 March

15 March La Strada 22 March La Dolcew Vita 29th March 81/2

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my town

to submit artistic & literary events on these pages, email mytown@novelmagazine.co.uk

Theatre

EDWARD ALBEE’S “WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF” 12 April - 30 April

Live Theatre

This timely revival of the American classic is a sexy, sassy, and stirring look into the volatile world of relationships. George and Martha are terrific company, magnificent sparring partners and cruel lovers. So when they invite newlyweds Nick and Honey back for late-night drinks they’re on top form. But as the evening unfolds, the drinks flow faster, and the truth starts to come out. It soon becomes a night none of them will forget.

FAITH AND COLD READING 9 Feb - 19 March Written by Shaun Prendergast Directed by Jonathan Moore Sam is a professional medium who lives with Carla. He owes a lot of money to Freddie, a big time gangster who has recently buried his mother. Will Freddie overlook the debt if Sam can re-connect him with his mother in spirit? With the pressure on, can Sam deliver or will it be left to Carla, herself bereaved, to make the connection? BlueGiro 24 March - 26 March Jodie might have that undefinable “something” that makes for star quality, and she’s on the move, so is mum Evie and neighbours Lisa and Laura. Set against the backdrop of a televised singing competition BlueGiro tells the story of a young woman’s desire to grow and a mother who threatens to stop the show. BlueGiro is Open Clasp Theatre Company’s brand new show. Inspired by women across our region, this new writing aims to expose the myths that protect perpetrators of sexual violence

Northern Stage

Examining extreme acts of violence, this sinister comedy of ineptitude is a funny and disturbing look at the lengths people will go for their beliefs and how powerless we are to stop them.

Theatre Royal BLOOD BROTHERS 28 Feb - 12 March Few musicals have received quite such acclaim as the multi-award winning BLOOD BROTHERS, and Bill Kenwright’s production, having recently celebrated its 21st phenomental year in London, continues to enjoy standing ovations at every devastating performance. No wonder BLOOD BROTHERS is now ‘The musical for all time’. YES, PRIME MINISTER 22 Feb - 26 Feb

HAMLET THE CLOWN PRINCE 8 March - 12 March Company Theatre Mumbai Shakespeare’s best known play is hilariously rehashed as a bunch of clowns attempt to put on their own production. The clowns sometimes misinterpret the meaning of Hamlet as they try to understand the play; occasionally finding new meanings of their own but very often making a mess of it. And through it all they never stop searching for the essence of Hamlet.

the nine henry’s by mcdada

AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON 12 April - 30 April Told by an Idiot and Drum Theatre Plymouth Production

The original writers of the classic BBC TV series, Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn have reunited for this hilarious new anniversary production, featuring Prime Minister Jim Hacker, his Cabinet Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby and his Private Secretary Bernard Woolley! In a world of spin, Blackberrys and ‘sexed up’ dossiers, the PM is staring disaster in the face. The country is on the brink of financial meltdown and the Government’s only apparent salvation comes from a morally dubious deal with the Foreign Minister of Kumranistan. Will Jim Hacker and his team of advisors be able to rescue the country from the edge?

The Worlds First Cloned Cartoon Character www.ninehenrys.com

Henry was bizarrely inflicted with a staircase infection. Henry’s shadow bruised easily on corners.

This last illustration will be the subject of a caption competition. Please submit your captions on the nine henry’s blog post at www.novelmagazine.co.uk


Novel will read all contributions, regardless of their connection to the theme.

Important: This theme does not only apply to the writers of prose. We hope it will appeal to the journalists, poets and artists alike.

Think of Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, with its fragmented non-linear structure. Think John Fowles’ French Lieutenant Woman and his shattering of the facade of the omniscient narrator. Think artist, Lindsay Seers’ (currently showing at The Baltic) use of photographs of her missing sister to tell the story of her disappearance.

We are looking for creative pieces that use or examine innovative story-telling techniques.

The theme for the second edition of novel is to be centred around unique approaches to narrative/story-telling.

Unique Approaches to Narrative

Novel Magazine #01  

The Creative Publication

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