Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Green fingers

Kind of a lazy post today, as I'm finishing up the script for Mirabilis #10 and, as each issue nears the end, you feel like you've thrown so many balls in the air that you have to keep checking none of them have stuck to the ceiling. This has been a particularly fun but challenging story to write, too, because Jack and Estelle have crossed a line in their relationship from which there's no going back. Oh well, you'll get to read all about it in the iPad reader in a couple of months. In the meantime, here's a new letter addressed to the Royal Mythological Society:
Dear sirs

Please help me; my husband has turned into a pot plant. He is a salesman for the ‘Num-Num’ relish company and spends half his life on the road. When he got back from his last trip I could see he was done in, and I felt quite guilty reminding him that he needed to cut down the bay tree that has taken over our tiny back garden.

He just stood there with the axe, saying, “How does a thing grow so big on just sunshine and water, when we have to work the long day just to find the rent and the price of a mutton chop?” He didn’t cut down the tree, I just found the axe lying on the grass, and indoors my Albert had flopped on the settee and stuck his feet in a tub of soil where I’d been going to sow some bulbs.

By the next morning he was a plant - I think a begonia, but can’t be sure as he hasn’t flowered yet. It hasn’t made a lot of difference around the house because he doesn’t say much as a rule. I’ve just been watering him from the teapot and leaving his paper for him to read. But I’m a bit worried because the cat sometimes goes about her business in my plant pots, and I don’t think Albert would like that.

Yours in concern, Mrs Beryl Gartside, Denham
Prof Bromfield replies: Num-Num relish, ah yes. Just the thing with a plate of sausages. Strong stuff, though. Clears the sinuses like curried mustard! Talking of curry, some of those bay leaves…

Dr Clattercut: Of course; right to the nub of the problem, as usual - or the “num” I might say in this instance. Leaving aside the culinary aspect of Mrs Gartside’s letter, I think we can say with some certainty that the transformation is unlikely to last beyond October as the effect of the green comet diminishes. In the interim, Mrs Gartside, I suggest a litter tray for the cat and regular repotting to ensure your husband doesn’t become root-bound.


  1. Dave, I've finally read the 1st episode on the iPad - at work. It is glorious. I'm coming round to your original view

    I wondered - as I can't find the answer anywhere - which episodes appear in the published book? Am I missing this basic fact?
    Your helpful friend

  2. Norman, I'm torn; having said that the iPad is "better than print" I've now seen the amazing color reproduction in the Print Media hardback (on sale literally any day now, promise).

    Anyway, to answer your question, the two books comprise Mirabilis: Winter. The first volume is issues #1 to #4, and the second book is #5 to #8.

    It currently looks as though Mirabilis: Spring will be three volumes of the same length (ie 4 issues each) and I think we should be getting those onto iPad on a bimonthly schedule starting at the end of July.

    I'm also hoping we can get a special standalone issue (no connection to the Jack/Estelle story) out in time for Christmas. More on that soon, but for now I'll just say that it's got a little bit of a dream theme.