Write yesterday's fortune cookie. It got everything wrong.

642 You will be clear in focus, strong in argument and unflappably calm.

642 Tiny Things To Write About: Introduction.

About 642 Tiny Things To Write About is a book created by the San Francisco Writer's Grotto and contains six hundred and forty odd prompts for those who are short on inspiration for something to write about.

After spotting the book at the shop in the old John Rylands Library on Deansgate in Manchester, I realised it was just the thing I needed.

This blog has stagnated. I know. You only need to look at how monosyllabic the subject matter's been for the past few weeks to see that. Assuming I've even posted here at all.

Partly it's time. I'm not sat at my own computer half as much as I used to be, preferring to watch films or read or walking.  Lots and lots of walking, mainly to work and back.  Oh and working.  A lot.

Health.  The anxiety ebbs and flows and I'm currently in a bit of an ebb.

But it's also inspiration.  I'm feeling a bit drowned out, with so many other voices with a clearer message or indeed point making me feel a bit irrelevant.

So to try and get my brain cells firing again, I'm going to work my way through all six hundred and forty two prompts and post the results on here.  Daily.  That should be good for at least two year's worth of content.

Let's see how this goes.


TV Yes, indeed:

Bloody love everything about this, from the multi-coloured highlights across the t-shirt and coat to the boots to the piercings. It feels contemporary and old fashioned and above all alien.  Also, my fear was that the tradition "Edwardian" idea would have been carried over from her male incarnations and Jodie would have been stuck in a ball gown.  Of course the re-design of her new TARDIS is an abomination, but you can't have everything.

Dead Man's Hands (IDW Graphic Novel).

Comics A cursory glance through this volume might suggest that Eighth appears throughout. But the floppy haired gentleman is Oscar Wilde, pitched up in the town of Deadwood in the Old West, as a zombie Wild Bill Hickock is threatening the local townspeople, with Calamity Jane convinced that he's not himself.  It's the mother of all celebrity historicals, with Thomas Eddison also appearing for good measure.  As Eleventh Doctor comics stories go it's an entertaining romp, capturing his and Clara's essences superbly and writer Tony Lee navigates the Doctor's usual opposition to fire arms in a place where everyone carries them more successfully than in tv's A Town Called Mercy.  Wilde at some point ends up borrowing Eighth's clothes, so imagine my disappointment on reading the story properly to discover that the "real thing", although not actually, only appears on two panels during a matrix projection sequences deflecting the blame for the Time War:  "I wasn't the cause of the Time War!" he says, "You can't place that weight on my shoulders.  You don't understand.  You can't understand.  What I had to do ... I did everything in my power ..." Cue sideways glance to the War Doctor (who has nothing to say for himself).  Interestingly, despite the 2013 publication date, Mike Collins depicts him in his TV Movie form.  This was the final run of stories before IDW lost their license to produce the Who comics, so they decided to mark the occasion with cameos from all his previous incarnations, albeit in digital form.
Placement: "Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the Eighth Doctor"

Supremacy of the Cybermen: Prologue (Titan Comics)

Comics This is a single page fragment of narrative tucked in at the back of fourth issue of Titan's Fourth Doctor limited series, Gaze of the Medusa. He's back and it's £2.39 - which considering the £7 odd pounds The Lost Magic audiobook cost for his not real appearance across about ten words still isn't the most expensive cameo I've witnessed this week. In what looks like a homage to now apocryphal Bill Potts preview Friend from the Future, Eighth and his comics companion Josie enter a random corridor and a cliffhanger which finds them confronted with Cybermen who seem to want their help. It's an interesting enough moment that you'd want to read what happens next but maddeningly, according to the TARDIS Datacore, Eighth doesn't appear in the ensuing event series, an effort which does however find room for Melanie Bush and Rassilon.  I can see that this is supposed to be just a cute bit of marketing, but if I hadn't been paying attention I might have headed off into the main series on the expectation this would be explained there but been disappointed.  Plus it's just another tease that we might get more Eighth and Josie stories in the future.  Perhaps, for the purposes of this project the most notable element is that the artist Lee Sullivan also drew some of Eighth's earliest comics adventures in Radio Times twenty-years ago, the first story of which also featured the Cybermen and there's something of his approach to drawing them in evidence here.  Placement: Before The Lost Dimension cameo.  I'll stick to the publication order.

The Lost Dimension #8 (Titan Comics).

Comics Titan's Doctor Who output is largely a mystery to me. I see them on the shelf in Forbidden Planet, dozens of stories starring recent and older Doctors and with everything else in which
 my disposable income is otherwise invested tend to leave them there. The covers seem to indicate that they're continuity heavy, with numerous multi-Doctor stories and cameos from the show's recent history which I tend to prefer in small doses.  Much like Big Finish, I've decided to keep to the Eighth Doctor contributions and dip into the rest, so here we are with his cameo at the close of a many issue event which features 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th, their respective comic companions, his biodump daughter Jenny Who and everyone else you might imagine.  Probably much like trying to dip into Game of Thrones in the middle of the third season, there are too many new characters to really get a handle on, but there's some rather lovely artwork and writing of the respective incarnations.  Eighth has little more than an extended cameo, volunteering to defend the collected companions of the various Doctors while they're off saving the universe.  It's the Time War incarnation and his comics companion Josie appears, wondering why the Ninth Doctor knows her name.  Although he provides some vital exposition at an important moment, Eighth's participation largely amounts to him standing around making presentational hand gestures and giving someone I assume to be Kate Stewart a hug.  Hopefully this won't be the final outing for this version of the TARDIS team.  Placement: After the Titan Comics series, I guess.

The Lost Magic (Twelfth Doctor Audio Original).

Audio Being an Eighth Doctor completist does take you to some strange places. The Lost Magic is the third installment of a four part arc across four audiobook cds featuring Twelfth and a couple of teenage companions from the United States co-written by George Mann and the author of this installment Cavin Scott. It's a quasi-historical set on the eve of the Spanish Armada in which the Doctor investigates why the astrologist John Dee knows High Gallifreyan and is "inventing" anachronistic technology years before it should exist.  Given everything, I think you can probably guess what kind of entity it might be.  The area around Plymouth is wracked by time winds and Eighth cameo happens when the Doctor finds himself at the epicenter of a storm which forces him to degenerate backwards through his incarnations.  Here's a transcript of Eighth's entire cameo:  "Another flash and he was young, long hair flowing freely in the wind: "Need to win back control."  Back in the day, there was a (probably) made-up rumour that one of the Christmas specials would feature just such a storyline with Tennant and McGann playing through large portions of the action.  If only.  Clearly this doesn't really count as an Eighth Doctor adventure.  He still has all the Time Lord's experiences and memories through to Twelfth, so although he looks like him and talks like him (I suppose), it's not really him.  But like I said, being an Eighth Doctor completist does take you to some strange places.  The real star of the cd is Dan Starkey, an expert and exciting reader who's rendering of some of the Doctors is extraordinary.  But much like Fraser and Pat, Dan's imitation of Peter is eerie in places, exactly the right area of whichever planet his Scottish accent is from.  If only he'd managed to sneak in a "Don’t forget to click below to subscribe to the Official Doctor Who YouTube channel."
Placement:  New category!  "Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the Eighth Doctor".