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Soft Toys

Orgo are one of the main features of my upcoming book series; so I thought I’d make more of them.  They are an animal I have created, based on the premise that they’ve evolved, following the onset of a new ice age! You can read more about my story development in previous posts.

Large in size, and having a few different colour strains, I decided they would make good soft toys.  So, I had some made…

Above is a tan orgo, and he is based on one that appears heavily in the first book 😀

Then, I thought I’d add his saddle. People ride around on orgo in my story…rather a lot to be fair!

Next is the grey colour morph.

Then finally, a grey orgo pup. Some (not all) male orgo have manes. So with this one, we’ve added that too.

Here is the pup with his mum 🤗

A massive thank you goes to Exclusively Handmade, who have worked tirelessly with me to create this range. I have to say, I absolutely adore the end result!! Exclusively Handmade can be found at the following link…

https://www.facebook.com/exclusivelyhandmade/

As always, please let me know your thoughts 😀 I would love to hear from you!

© R.J. Furness, 2017.  Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, without express and written permission from this site’s author, is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to R.J. Furness, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Accessories

Whilst creating weird and wonderful new creatures, like these, I decided I would investigate the possibility of accessories to go with my new book series!
So far, I have worked with a wonderful company, who are in the process of developing a soft toy version of an Orgo. Hopefully, I will be able to bring you more on this very soon.  But meanwhile, I have had a play around with mugs and coasters based on the cover illustration.

I am pleased with the results this far…

If nothing else, at least that’s my morning brew sorted!! ☕

As always, let me know your thoughts 😀

© R.J. Furness, 2017.  Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, without express and written permission from this site’s author, is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to R.J. Furness, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Cover Reveal

Saturday Morning BIG News 😀

Here it is 👀

The cover for my debut novel, which is planned for release on 1st November this very year!!

Featuring an orgo, a big feature of the story; the intention was to set the scene, so to speak.

A massive thanks goes to Dawn Elizabeth who illustrated the cover, and personally, I think she has done an incredible job!  Dawn is a fantastic artist, and has brought my creation to life.  More of her work can be found here…👇

https://www.facebook.com/dawn.beever.54

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, and I hope you all have a great weekend!

© R.J. Furness, 2017.  Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, without express and written permission from this site’s author, is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to R.J. Furness, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Finding The Right Title

Whilst writing my first book, there have been a fair few challenges along the way.  Yet one of the biggest, seems to be finding the ‘right’ title.  This issue hasn’t stopped me carrying on, but nonetheless, it seems to eat away at the back of my mind.

Let’s be fair, this title thing…its rather a big deal!

At the moment, my title seems mostly elusive.  Some writers appear to draw from an element of their story, that may just jump out at them; such as a main character, or an important event that dominates the plot.  In these cases, this does the job brilliantly.  However, other writers may not do this, because that isn’t the best fit for their particular story.  There may be several (equally important) key characters, or various sub-plots etc., and many reasons like these, create the need to adopt a different approach.  Stories like these, tend to need more figurative, or encapsulating titles, and this seems to be where my story slots.

This is where I’m having a problem!  Discovering the best title, that captures my story.

I would welcome any suggestions anyone has, or any ideas/methods you have utilised to guide you through this process.  Perhaps simple inspiration would go a long way too.  Therefore, please feel free to comment away.

Thank you once again for reading, and best wishes.

The Tale Of The Teacher Deleter

Stanley Smith’s gast, had never been so flabbered, in all its life.  He had always thought Mr Huff was a bit of a meany, but he was becoming meaner than mean. Mr ‘Meany’ Huff just expected too much.  How was anyone supposed to do reading, writing, mathsing, sciencing and all those other ings all in one week?  After almost six weeks at his new school, Stanley simply couldn’t take it all in.

Running out of the class before the bell had finished ringing, Stanley ran as fast as a cheetah. He didn’t even worry about messing up his spiky, brownish hair, which he was normally extraordinarily protective of. Hurrying all the way into the playground, Stanley’s only concern was to tell someone about his horrible teacher. His best pal Drew would have to listen, even though he probably wouldn’t understand; he was the lucky one—he had Miss Dove as his teacher.

‘Stan,’ Drew called out.  He was always happy to Stanley.

Almost leaving the soles of his shoes behind, Stanley didn’t slow down until he reached his friend.  ‘We need to talk,’ he said.  ‘In my office.’

Whilst they walked, Drew fixed his glasses on his nose.  ‘What’s up?’ he asked.  ‘Is it Mr Mean?’

‘Meaneeeee,’ Stanley corrected.

‘What did he do this time?’

Once they had arrived at the part of the playground, where hopscotch was marked on the concrete, Stanley felt much more important.  ‘He just wants everything,’ He said, panting a little after his mini sprint.  ‘And he wants it, before I can even remember what it is he wants!’

‘Hmmmm,’ mumbled Drew, rubbing his chin until it started to turn red.  ‘I may have…the very thing…that will help you with such a crisis.’

‘Go on,’ Stanley said.  He could feel his excitement trying to make him smile.

Drew looked left, then right, then up, and down.  Once he had finished, he looked down, the up, then right, then left.  He even looked down his bright yellow school-shirt.  Yet Stanley had no idea what it was he was looking for.

‘Found it!’ yelled Drew. Although he didnt really need to shout that loud.

Reaching into his pocket, Drew pulled out a small, wooden trinket box.  It had to be small to fit in his pocket in the first place.  The edges of the box were tatty and worn, but that in some way made it look more appealing.

‘What is it?’ Queried Stanley.

Drew grinned cheekily. ‘The answer to your problems,’ he said. ‘Just don’t open it. Wait until you really need it.’

Before Stanley could ask any more, the ear-piercing bell destroyed playtime. Drew passed Stanley the box and nodded, but offered no other explanation. With no time left, Stanley took the object quickly, and stuffed it into his own pocket, then rushed back to class.

***

Mr Huff was still being mean. He was mean when he spoke, mean when he marked homework, mean when he made offers to help, and his mean eyes were everywhere. Stanley couldn’t even trump without Mr Huff noticing.

When Stanley decided to take a break, Mr Huff approached. Stanley didn’t notice at first, but it became much more obvious when a ruler crashed down on his table, shattering his daydreams.

‘You seem to be doing very little…Master Stanley,’ screeched Mr Huff. His voice made everyone turn, and now the whole class was staring at him.

‘I’m not sure what to do. Can you help—’

‘Help?’ Mr Huff laughed in a sinister way. ‘Help? Don’t you think you’ve had enough help?’

Enough time had been wasted, and it was time for Stanley to take matters into his own hands. He just hoped Drew’s answer would work. His hand shot into his pocket, and without delay, he yanked out the trinket box. On the top of the box was a tiny red button that Stanley hadn’t seen before, and next to it, a label that read ‘Push In An Emergency.’

Thinking for a whole half a second, Stanley decided to push the button. The lid of the box sprang open, and to Stanley’s surprise, out of it, flopped what looked like a slimy slug. The creature was reddish in colour, and coated in ooze. It was impossible to know which end was its head, as it wriggled around on Stanley’s table.

Mr Huff looked astonished. Then he looked stunned. Then he looked angry. Then eventually, when the object that Stanley had released began to grow, Mr Huff looked flabbergasted; which was a feeling Stanley often felt, when given more schoolwork to complete.

‘What…’ Mr Huff boomed. ‘Is that?’

Over just a few minutes, the slug thing continued to swell and get larger. Much larger. All Stanley’s classmates screamed—especially the boys—whilst the weird beast grew. Once it was as big as the table, it rolled onto the floor. With one popping sound at a time, green tentacles emerged from the sides of the slug’s body. There were eight tentacles in total, and Stanley was beginning to get a little worried.

‘Ewwwww!’ sang all the other children, at exactly the same time.

After just a minute, the blobby, alien thing lifted, and only its gungy rear end supported its weight. Stanley could make out the head, which almost touched the classroom ceiling. Four eyes stared at him, and the animal’s tentacles did a strange sort of dance. Stanley’s gast was now even more flabbered.

‘Erm…greetings,’ Stanley called out, when the thing’s mouth gaped. ‘N…n…nice…to meet you.’

All of a sudden, the classroom door flung open and Miss Dove made an entrance. ‘Mr Huff,’ she said. ‘I’m wondering if you could help me with…aaaarrrrgh!’

Stanley was sure that her long, dark hair stood on end when she saw the monster; even though that was surely not possible. Miss Dove wasn’t much taller than Stanley, but now she seemed even shorter. She froze, as though magically held in place, watching as things took an ugly turn.

‘Aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhh,’ she screeched again, when the slug looked directly at her.

‘No!’ yelled Drew, hurrying in the room behind his teacher. ‘Stanley—’

He was interrupted when tables bounced around the room. The creature was heading straight for Miss Dove, and knocked everything out of its path as it went. All the children spread around the edge of the classroom, and Stanley noticed Mr Huff cowering under his desk.

‘What is it?’ Stanley yelled over the commotion.

Drew looked petrified. ‘It’s…it’s…a Teacher Deleter.’

‘How do I stop it?’

The boys were too late to stop anything, and could only watch as Miss Dove’s legs were yanked into the Teacher Deleter’s mouth. It looked like the thing would eat her.

‘Not Miss Dove…not Miss Dove…not Miss Dove,’ Drew chanted over and again.

‘Drew,’ Stanley shouted, glancing at Mr Huff, whose face was wearing a sinister smile. ‘What do I do?’

Miss Dove’s legs had completely disappeared, but Stanley realised that the Teacher Deleter was see through. The alien being was swallowing Drew’s teacher whole, but she started to giggle whilst her body was sucked inside. Oddly, being eaten by the Teacher Deleter was somehow tickling her. Mr Huff cackled whilst he watched.

‘Drew!’ Stanley bellowed again, not entirely sure what to make of it all.

‘Push the button in an emergency!’ replied Drew, tugging at his thick, black hair.

As fast as a speeding Stanley, Stanley grabbed the trinket box from the floor where the Teacher Deleter had knocked it. Shaking, his finger only just managed to press the button, and he instantly heard a sickening belching sound. Then another—and another!

Sprawled on the floor, Miss Dove had been thrown from the Teacher Deleter’s mouth. She was covered in a red gunk, and scrambled for the door. The monster was shrinking, and had sicked up Drew’s teacher. Miss Dove had been saved.

‘Yay!’ cheered Drew, bouncing up and down, when his teacher crawled passed him and made her exit.

In a flash, the monster was reduced back to a tiny slug. No more tentacles, and no more scary eyes. Drew ran across and scooped it into his hands.

‘Stanley, open the box,’ he cried, scurrying toward his friend with the thing sliding in his fingers like jelly.

All the other children remained in their positions; backs to the wall, and their jaws wide open. Needless to say, they were still in the middle of their flabbergasts.

When Drew reached the box, he slid the Teacher Deleter inside, and slammed the lid closed fast. ‘Okay,’ he said. ‘Maybe that didn’t go exactly to plan.’

Mr Huff emerged from his hiding place growling. His stubble looked menacing, and his eyes tightened behind his glasses.

‘Drew…go and check on Miss Dove.’ Stanley smiled at his friend and nodded to reassure him.

‘But—’

‘Close the door on your way out,’ Stanley jumped in. ‘Make sure there are no other teachers around.’

Drew grinned, then sniggered when he glanced at Mr Huff. ‘Gotcha!’

Leaving the classroom, Drew made certain the door was closed behind him. Stanley turned to his teacher when he could see it was secure. Holding out the trinket box, he marched in slow motion toward Mr Huff. It was fun to watch his horrible, meany teacher feeling so intimidated. Mr Huff’s eyes were wide and he held up his hands in surrender; he was as white as the information board behind him.

‘You always say that we should share,’ Stanley said. ‘Well…now it’s your turn.’

 

© R.J. Furness, 2017.  Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, without express and written permission from this site’s author, is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to R.J. Furness, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My Story, Orgo & Other Animals

When developing my story’s ‘world’, I focussed a lot on the animals that lived there.  I have to admit, I enjoyed this process, because to a point I was creating this world, and therefore, could have whatever I wanted living there.
To begin, keeping in mind that this was a new ice age, I gave consideration to current species that may live on.  So, this made me consider creatures that may now live in colder climates.  First up…narwhals.  Why?  They’re cool…that’s why!  Google them if you don’t believe me.  But that was pretty much my reasoning for putting them in!

Next, I wanted a bird (for whatever reason).  With this in mind, I did some thinking about how some species have today thrived, living off the back of humans.  I can think of certain gulls (other birds and mammals too), that have adapted well to our way of life.  Owing to this, they have been very successful, especially where increasing their populations is concerned.  However, I didn’t want a gull, but I did want a seabird of sorts.  My favourite…puffins.  So, that was that, puffins were in.  But not any old puffins; newly evolved, opportunistic puffins, that are doing very well for themselves.

On a final note for today, I will give you another little snippet on orgo.  These animals are of my own creation.  A new species, that look roughly like my (awful) sketch.  They live on land, but may not have evolved from land mammals.  In my new ‘future’ ice age, you could perhaps think of them as like horses.  People ride around on them, race on them, and have domesticated them for various reasons.  Overall, orgo are in many ways worshipped by many of the human species and colonies in my story.  Why?  They’re also cool…that’s why!

But you can’t Google that one…

As usual, would love to hear any comments you may have.  Speak soon!

© R.J. Furness, 2017.  Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, without express and written permission from this site’s author, is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to R.J. Furness, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

End Of School Year

As a parent of children with autism and ADHD, I have to say that I find the end of the school year somewhat daunting!

Why?

Well, because this time of year raises lots of issues, that on the whole my kids don’t cope with.  These mostly revolve around one single concept…CHANGE!

A new teacher for next year is a very real problem. Likewise, just changing classroom or curriculum can be hard. Even taking 6 weeks off, and changing day to day routines, is commonly stressful for my little ones.  Then, the anxiety from all this stuff (and much, much more) will come home. In fact, the behaviours associated with my kids feeling these pressures, is almost always heightened once they’re home.  Its their emotionally safe place!

So, where other families may look forward to the summer break, for ours it can often be tough.  This can paint a confusing picture for many, with a lack of understanding over how all these ‘foreseen’ changes can cause such problems. Especially as these things are usually of little consequence to a lot of people.

Don’t get me wrong…I love having my children at home for the holidays. But it takes careful, minute by minute guidance, to ensure they love it too.

Let me know how the summer is for you and your family.  I would love to hear from you, whether you face similar challenges or not.