Deep sea or deep space? Which is more captivating

Deep sea or deep space? Which is more captivating

May 17

As I write this I am already feverishly about 10% the way through Tapeworm Slim 2. I don’t like writing similar/same books and therefore the follow up to a claustrophobic horror is much more expansive, more political and even more based on a thriller than a horror. it certainly won’t be as gory as the first. I can’t say anymore without giving away what I am doing BEFORE I have even finished it.

After that though, even though there will be final part, I think I may have a break for a while and start working on something else. The world of Tapeworms and dieting is something I am really enjoying but…. I have yearnings to look at other things. There are two areas I am torn between. Space and sea. Both have captivated me since I was a little boy and both have a huge amount of inspiration and potential to become immerses in.

Firstly the sea.

I watched Jaws when I was five and it sparked my love of cinema and also my love of the ocean. As a child I had shark books, ocean books and I have been in love with the deep ever since. I still can’t swim. I’m still completely terrified of falling into water, and maybe that’s where the fear and horror resides. Like Tapeworm Slim had its roots in my fear of hospitals, my fear of the sea is something that fuels my passion for what lies within its glassy abyss. Sea monsters, an unbreathable atmosphere, unknown discoveries and a place where man does not belong.

All things which inspire and tantalise a creative mind.

Then there is space. Aliens, an unbreathable atmosphere, unknown discoveries and a place where man does not belong…… So similar yet so different.

We know more about space than the sea. And the fact we have seen supermassive black holes bigger than the milky way, stars which are well over a billion miles wide and physical forces/properties beyond comprehension. Yet the sea is more accessible, has terrors which we know about and we have been able to sit in cages and get close to the great whites and giant whales which roam the daylight zone.

Giant squids are real but rarely seen, there are still many things unaccounted for and we live in hope of discovering monsters like the extinct Megalodon still swimming in the depths. We have only discovered about 5% of the ocean. What a shocking and exciting thing to flint the brain into sparks of ideas.

May 18

Yet although we know about space there is still so much which is supposition and hope. Scientists are still arguing about many things and the chances of travelling the light years we need to in order to contact alien life is a long, long, very long way away. Are we the only ones? Debate that all you want. One thing is for sure though, we are TINY. A speck of dust within a microcosm of a speck of dust. Even compared to Jupiter we are small, to our sun we are tiny…. And that’s before we get to the giant sun of VY Canis Majoris and the supermassive black hole of the Phoenix Cluster Galaxy. Which make even our solar system look tiny yet alone our little old earth. What a wonderful thing to mine and explore.

Neptune the icy giant with winds of 1000mph and temperatures of -200. Andromeda, the galaxy hurtling towards us at 400,000mph and will collide with us in 4bn years. The increasing violence of our own sun which will mean we have 1 billion years to get off this planet due to the increasing radiation. After that it gets even worse! But how can words like light years, billions, trillions and supermassive be quantified? Amazing stuff to boggle the mind.

Then there is the sea. The deepest part is deeper than mount Everest is tall. Its almost unfathomable and way beyond our reach to explore properly. There is a cluster of creatures and worlds down there we know nothing about. The deep sea covers our world and surely hides things we can only dream of. Not to mention just being in the sea. Jaws captivated that so well. A 25ft great white shark, a true leviathan of the deep yet so plausible. And then once you are in the water. The shark has you. No chance. No possible hope and you are alone in a substance which you are not meant to live. We drink water, we swim in it yes, but we are at the mercy of what is below us.

Both are amazing.

Of course both would have shades of science fiction which is a genre I haven’t written before and I haven’t really been too tempted by but maybe something different would be good.

I always feel that every book should be different. That is why each book of Tapeworm Slim will be a different type altogether. Its something I have always believed in.

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So be it planets and stars or oceans and underwater trenches, I am already pondering where to go. I love writing, I love creating something and once an idea hits and expands it is the most wonderful feeling ever.

But for now its all about diet pills, Tapeworms and the next stage of Dr Scarseed’s story.

I have to say, having a little one has only made these ideas more exciting. Watching Octonauts, reading books about the sea and space and watching videos about mysteries of above and below give a whole new, childlike way of looking at these things which slip away from us once our magic and imagination gets side checked by bills, work, mortgages etc.

So there we are. This week is all about inspiration and excitement.

As ever, you can read what I have already written by clicking on the menu link at the top.

Tapeworm Slim is on sale now.

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You can follow Chris Lowe is on Twitter https://twitter.com/_chlowe_

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Nightmares in hospital & Jeremy Hunt’s NHS Human Centipede!

Nightmares in hospital & Jeremy Hunt’s NHS Human Centipede!

Blog May

Well I’ve had a bad week. Admitted as an emergency to Hospital for important Cardiac surgery…. And that was only part 1! The second part of the operation is even bigger. But I am not here to bludgeon you with my history and problems, dear readers, this is a site about horror and the influences behind my Tapeworm Slim 1 & 2 stories.

The great thing about being a horror fan in hospital is it offers you a fantastic sense of humour whilst scaring the sh*t out of you at the same time. I have truly had my worst panic attacks in hospital and these are something that, even at the tender age of 40, I am still enduring. This time, when I went for surgery it was a flashback to the time where I was still awake and they were prepping the tools and covering me with antiseptic which inspired my book. Yet again this happened and, although everyone in the hospital was amazing, I could hardly breathe as I was still awake, naked and had about five people around me tampering with metal knives and odd tubes!

I have a pathological fear of hospitals yet, paradoxically, I love them! I think that duality of weirdness was what got me working in one like I do at the moment!!!!!!!!!!!

I always think of hospitals from horror films when I am admitted. Heiter performing surgery in The Human Centipede, Freddy “Well it ain’t Doctor Seuss” in Elm Street 4, the infamously deleted Cenobite scene in Hellraiser 2, the Silent Hill nurses and countless more which I have seen over the years.

Blog May 2

In this country there is a lot of worry about the health service. There are concerns that we are facing privatisation from an omnivorous Tory government and that the service can no longer cope.

Utter crap. Its an amazing service.

Now I wont preach here, because this is not about last week, but the amount of hard work and care I received was amazing. Our NHS simply needs funding not cutting. I could now write a 50000000000000 word dissertation on the political abuse of our hospitals but I am not going to. Not today anyway.

This blog comes in two stages. First part serious and about the book. Second part a little more light hearted!

So where was I? Oh yes the serious part, hospital panic attacks! Marvellous things because there is so much inspiration in them! Much of Tapeworm Slim is set inside a private clinic/research facility and this comes from three aspects of hospital issues.

Firstly is the isolation and trust you place in surgeons when they operate. You give them 100% faith and The Facility where Scarseed unwittingly tortures her 8 subjects comes from this trust as they are all her own NHS patients when she recruits them from the ward.

The second aspect is privatisation. The Facility is owned by a billionaire owner of an insidious company and what goes on behind those walls are all at his design. My fears about hospitals going into those hands percolates throughout the book.

Thirdly is the procedures themselves. The things we go through to be healthy. Anyone who has had surgery knows about the scars, pain and recovery which can affect your whole life and this too permeates the entire depth of the book once the Tapeworms go beyond the control of the endocrinology which is supposed to control them.

Its funny as well how vulnerable you become in hospital. And how embarrassing that can be. Grown men, career women and also me can be reduced to feeling so humiliated when we have to get someone to assist us with the toilet or cry when we get a needle in our arm. Its not any easy life being stuck in bed all day!…. Unless that bed is your own, facing a large TV, takeaway on one side and wine on the other and any other erotic/private add ons you need! My god, no wonder my heart is so bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last week was a wonderful inspiration yet again to keep writing Tapeworm Slim 2, which is now already 10% complete! It was a fantastically scary experience which I can only metabolise through the cathartic process of writing. But, like other people getting drunk at 3:00am and listening to moody music and getting an intoxicated stream of creative consciousness, I seem to get my best inspirations from hospital admissions!

Sometimes, joking and writing about things, or even exaggerating things through literary gore is the only way of managing emotions properly. Writing isn’t just a tool for me, its a way of life, coping and something I enjoy so much so that’s why I channel much time into it!

Blog May 6

But the political pressures, paranoia over healthcare and fear of being sick/unable to afford treatment are very real problems and something which the “arrogant, dangerous and incompetent” Sahara Scarseed saw and tried to fix with her revolutionary new pill which was going to save the NHS billions…

…Before it all went horribly wrong before her eyes!

Blog May 5

So what would save the NHS? Who is as insane as Scarseed and what could they offer our hospitals?

What if Doctor Heiter was the cheapest consultant Jeremy Hunt could find to run the NHS???!!!!!!!!!!

The UK’s first NHS centipede!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, firstly, Mr Hunt could finally afford his seven day NHS as all non urgent patients would be in hospital AND waiting in line! Simply join the back of the queue and when a bed becomes available we will unhook your mouth pop you off the line, and into that bed! Hospital food bills would come down by thousands if you only had to feed those in bed and the head of the centipede! Finally patients would be self sufficient! And if there was a winter diarrhoea bug break out, its all contained! No issues there, just pop a tray at the back!

Also, constipation is bad for the heart…. And repeatedly re-digested stools aren’t going to stick are they?

Private patients would avoid the queue and pay for a bed straight away! The rest of us simply stuck in our line, on our hands and knees, and getting sh*t directly from the person in front of us as opposed to it being fed to us via the newspapers and TV from our politicians! A political sh*t bypass!

Also, not sure how many would want to come to the hospital so patients wasting time would be down!

And hire Silent Hill nurses! They only move when there is noise! They can stand still for up to twelve hours! Just hours of standing there, not wanting a break or unsociable hours pay! Okay, all they seem to do is stick sharp objects in people and have a dislike of Sean Bean but they can administer the anti-biotics if anyone needed it and then go back to sleep standing up! You’d only need a few to manage the waiting line of conjoined people!

All this money saved Jeremy!….. Hang on…. He might be getting ideas…. He is already under pressure from the junior doctors (I fully support them!) and this may be a headline out of his NHS woes…. I could end by being the reason he decides to privatise it and give the proles the pede treatment!!!!!! I will stop going on about it now!

I have to say, I’d still rather have heart surgery than have my teeth out! Dear god that terrifies me so much I cant even write about it. I’ve had a few out in my time and it is a genuinely grotesque experience! And I was going to watch Saw 1-7 again recently but…….Nothing like a trip to theatre to ruin the love for a torture porn movie!

So I am at home  and writing again which is the one good thing to come out of this week. My third book is under way and going well. Its completely different to the first yet shares the same DNA and, I promise, wont be as gross as the first.

The first book you can buy now from the link at the top.

Blog May 7

Tapeworm Slim is on sale now!

Real things that are scarier than a horror film!

Real things that are scarier than a horror film!

Volume 1 – ADVENTURES IN FAECES!

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There are some things in life which are more scary than anything Jigsaw, Freddy, Jason or a pea soup spitting little girl can offer…. Things which cause us real terror and can leave us thinking “NO! PLEASE NO! THIS IS MY WORST NIGHTMARE!”

So this week, its all about the toilet! The one place we are all tied to and the many inconveniences it brings which, sometimes, cause immense distress more terrifying than anything a great horror writer has to offer!

Number 1 – No lock on the toilet door!

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I remember my first sixth form girlfriend and staying the night. The evening was very pleasant but the next day, when I would rather have been in bed, I needed the toilet. On my way through to the water closet facilities I noticed TWO things which made my heart stop.

No lock!

Toilet about ten feet from the door!

This activates the MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE thought train and within minutes I had put the washing basket against the door, piled old bed sheets around that and then reinforced it with a tiny bin. My god I was terrified! A lady who actually liked me and here I was desperate to sit on the loo but torn between neuroticism and desperation! Nothing ends a date like seeing someone on the loo and if you need more than a pee…. Then its all hands on deck!

Of course this affects ones physiology! When you see no lock, you become more desperate as time runs out and the bowel turns into the countdown clock and you know that by the time it hits the “de-dum de-dum de-de-de-dum!” you are going to be washing the poo from your pyjamas in her bathtub but, when you actually sit down, the rectum becomes shy and stubborn and refuses to move at pace!

“Nope, we may get interrupted and I cannot perform under pressure soooooooo…. Its gonna be one piece at a time until she is thinking ‘what the hell is he doing and why is he moving all my furniture behind the door?’ but you stay alert eyes, and I will EVACUATE! EVACUATE!”

Honestly, its like my arse is a Dalek!

Of course once you finish and go back its small talk time as you both try and keep the romance whilst a smell worse than the devils armpit seeps under the door and you realise you have been gone for thirty minutes!

Number 2 – Thin walls!

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When I moved into a flat in 2006 the loo was right next to the bedroom and I think the builders had cut corners on plasterboard and painted cling film white such was the thinness of the partition between toilet and bedroom.

So, again when I was a single man entertaining a lady, the morning and bed time was a terrible dilemma of orchestral sounds and pantomime in order to stay sexy and avoid embarrassment.

Of course this never happens and you end up in ruination but, once again your body loves to undermine you! Imagine, setting the scene and having too much wine and food before taking someone to bed so you need to Dalek your bowel again and EVACUATE! E-V-A-C-U-A-T-E right before the good bit of the evening!

Firstly, your bottom refuses to stay quiet and decides to caterwaul a cacophony of wind and broken down gasses which echo round the bowl and make even the couple in the bus stop over the road stop and giggle! Then, once again, rectum goes shy and you are sat in there for an AGE whilst she waits patiently… Then checks her phone… Then rifles through your draws… Then has some existential yoga… Then decides she should never have left her ex and so will get dressed and catch the bus to see him.

By the time she has seen him and caught the bus back to break up, I am just surfacing and ready for action.

The morning is worse! You almost have to drug her into a deep sleep so you can relax and then hop to the toilet and loudly COUGH and SING LOUDLY everytime you have a movement.

Laying one sheet of paper on the water does nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Number 3 – No toilet roll!

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In some friends and relatives houses its like WHERE IS IT?! And you find yourself feverishly checking every single cupboard and corner but it isn’t there!!!! The bastards have it in the airing cupboard but you’ve already been and cant shuffle across the top of the stairs like an egg bound penguin because they will see you!!!!!!!!!!!!

So instead you search your pockets for everything and end up using last weeks tissue over and over, then a box of tic tacs and, finally, resorting to whatever magazines they have on the floor!

Please, keep your loo roll in the loo! It is all I ask! My nerves are not built for Indiana Jones escapades to find the holy grail of the loo roll!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Number 4 – Irritable Bowel!

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Cheers genetic biology! Not only am I too thin, awkward and unattractive but when I do FINALLY get a date with a female woman of the opposite sex who has boobs and everything, you ensure that nerves and lunch will ruin my evening.

One date in 2006 ended badly. I went to Dudley for a drink with a lady and got nervous so had three pints of Guinness before she even got there. Then got hungry and so ate pork scratching’s and by the time we were thirty minutes in I had to go to the loo.

Then again. And again. And again. And again.

Must have had pulses by mistake at lunch and now, the one thing vaguely interested in me which actually has a pulse (and one that doesn’t set off my sphincter) I am spending more time in the loo than with her. Things got worse once we went for Pizza hut where I had to go another 5 times and ran out of excuses of “making a call, just having a pee, I need some tissues to blow my nose, there is someone I know just going into the loo I shall go and say hello!”……… Suffice to say, that was the end of that chance.

IBS is caused by stress and diet so, whenever I have anything like a job interview or a conversation with another human being….. We may as well conduct it in the loo…. But with ten feet thick steel walls so you cant hear anything!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or lets not bother at all.

Number 5 – Odour!

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Briefly mentioned before but something that will always ruin your hard work.

How many times have I been trying to impress people when you either need to break wind or use the loo and for some reason, your insides smell like you died weeks ago and have been embalmed with chilli sauce.

My first job in the health service and a group of very important men were about, I thought “I will just break wind in the office whilst I am alone!” and then WOE AND BEHOLD…. The odour is so bad even the cockroaches are putting a complaint in to the senior managers. Of course, everyone piles through the door “Oh yes, this is Chris and he is one of our staff nurses!” and you can see all the faces shrivel up as they come to greet me! Its like five men have just bitten a lemon as they gingerly shake my hand and I have NO ONE to blame this on.

Same thing happened once with a trainee nurse and after completing another Ethan Hunt level of impossible mission in breaking wind silently…. I spent twenty minutes talking loudly and SINGING for some reason just because I knew she was aware of what I had done because the smell was so bad it had clogged the air conditioning.

If ever you use the loo at someones house and you want it to have ten minutes clear you can guarantee that soon as you step outside the door…. There is mum of the girl you want to impress heading in to fold towels or have a womanly wee amidst the leftovers from your green fog.

Number 6 – It won’t flush away!

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“Is Christopher unwell or something?!”

Flush number 14 and its still there! Bobbing up and down like a playful dolphin who wants a fish! You’ve buried it under toilet paper, you’ve kept your finger on the handle until ALL the water pressure is gone and you have prayed to god to remove your poo but its still bobbing there… Dancing like a member of Bewitched in that Ce La Vie video!

At home you can laugh it off! With friends you take the ribbing but at work or with someone you like….. This is terrible and short of picking it up and throwing it out the window its already reducing your chances with every second it keeps U-Bend teasing…. Only to come back up and smile at you!

What the hell…… Did I eat Helium??!!!!!!

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Nathan Drake from the game Uncharted above this line….. Looking for a toilet after crashing that plane no doubt! I couldn’t be an adventurer, I would need a nearby toilet in between crashing planes and fighting bad guys! But its an important thing to a neurotic like me. Where is the nearest loo when I am out.

Please god don’t let me need the loo when I am with someone I am trying to impress.

Like I said, give me a chainsaw wielding monster any day but PLEASE don’t leave me at the mercy of my colon!!!!! Its caused me so much grief!

Anyway, little bit of a different blog this week! Sorry! But writing is influenced by many things and, as TAPEWORM SLIM was conceived whilst I sat on the loo (something I have written about in the preface of the book) sometimes real life is more inspirational than the films and art we love!! My god I am weird… Wonderful, but weird non the less! I think it stems from so many years in hospital…. The scars of bedpans and 1970’s nurses always bothered about my toilet use! Funny though, take away all of our narcissism, wealth, jokes, pretence and clothing…. We are all biological pink things that just need to poo!

Anyway, has this blog has inspired you to read the book?! Hey, this site is all about the writing process behind my magnum opus of a horror story so there are going to be some odd weeks here and there!

Anyway, the menu link at the top of the page takes you to Amazon UK and USA respectively so, by all means, check out the book if, like many people in my life, I haven’t creeped you out with my very odd toilet fixation.

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Tapeworm Slim is on sale now!