Inbox #14: 16 new messages
Subj: Minimum Viable Prawn
I am the proud owner and manager of minimumviableprawn.co.uk Your one stop shop for prawn calculations.
Now in its 10th successful year.
Subj: The Winnowing Flame special editions
My shameless self promo for the month: the award-winning Winnowing Flame trilogy are getting special hardback editions thanks to The Broken Binding!
As part of their subscription service, The Ninth Rain, The Bitter Twins and The Poison Song will have sprayed page edges, foil blocked boards, as well as a signature by me! The author! So fancy. Check out the Broken Binding website for how it all works
I rock and sometimes roll.
Subj: Tango with an enchanting woman and shudder (6)
Mid-way through the first lockdown, I decided to start streaming cryptic crosswords on twitch as a sort of desperate grab for human contact. Also because performing live comedy suddenly became "attempted murder". I've been doing it every weekday lunchtime for nearly two years now, and my love/hate relationship with cryptics hasn't changed.
If you've not seen a cryptic crossword, they're like normal crosswords, but set by a smug leather armchair from a gentleman's club in the 1800s.
Regular crosswords have clues where the whole clue is the definition, like "Seats around a table (6)" for "chairs", while cryptic crossword clues are dickheads. Generally the first or last part of the clue is the definition, and the rest of the clue is stuff you need to bugger around with to get there. While the clue may look like a sentence, it's actually a stupid series of codes and instructions, and you need to train yourself to stop reading things like a human being and pretend to live in a magical place where the concept of meaning is entirely fluid.
A cryptic clue for "chairs" could be "Presides over church with certain graces(6)"
"Presides over" is the definition, "Church" gives "ch" and "certain graces" gives "airs", as in "airs and graces". Eugh.
If that sort of horror tickles your fancy, I stream at 1pm UK time every weekday. The chat are a lovely and inclusive bunch, and they spend most of their time suggesting that "Bum Nuns" is one of the answers. Thus far, it has not been. (The guardian's crossword blog described it as "the language has been salty even for me", which is fair, though while we do Big Cusses, slurs or hate speech etc are obviously not tolerated in the slightest).
I'm genuinely surprised by the audience I've built, both in terms of size (two years ago I did NOT expect to spend my lunchbreaks with 50 people watching me solve a crossword), and how absolutely bloody lovely they all are.
If you are into Extremely Niche Content - and, let's face it, if you're reading this newsletter then you probable are - you can join me and the chat here:
Finally, you don't have to enjoy cryptic crosswords to enjoy the streams! Many of the chat don't! We've got a lovely mix of abilities, from people who are great at them, all the way to people who flat-out refuse to engage with them and just show up to hang out. I always explain how the answers/clues work once I finally solve them, and people have told me that it's helped them learn to solve cryptics, but honestly it's mainly an excuse to fanny about for a couple of hours.
I should have led with that. Come fanny about with me at lunchtime. It's a laugh: twitch.tv/brainmage
From: Tommy Mackay
Subj: The Meatless
The third album from South Queensferry's only vegan Beatles cover band is out now. Get mad and get 'Get Mad' now. It's free! themeatless.bandcamp.com/album/get-mad
Subj: Re: Plug your stuff
I write moving words, and film moving pictures, on most subjects, using my 25+ years' experience in broadcast.
This means that if you have a project or business that you want to boost or simply stamp with a recognizable identity, then I'm your man. You can call me a fluffy creative if you like, but I'm a hard fucker too, and hate wasting time in meetings.
I've made content for big international broadcasters, global blue-chip brands, and random deserving entitities that float my boat.
You might need words for your campaign, video for your website, or a combination of both for your social media. I advise on content / language / durations, and have a growing sideline in rescuing projects that have gone sideways.
www.truvu.co.uk has a link to some of the stuff I've made / beaten into submission; you can also contact me at email@example.com
From: Mark Norman Francis
Subj: GIFs by @cackhanded
Make your own analogue GIF by printing each frame out, stapling them together, and flipping the pages! Part one of eleven.
From: Matt Gaffen
Subj: Hearse Pileup
I'm in a band and we're about to release our first single since I lost my voice.
All our music is licensed CC-BY-SA, so fee free to use our music in your stuff if you like it. License exemptions available on request!
It's loud and angry. A bit punk-y.
We're called Hearse Pileup, the single is called Realise.
You can find out more here:
Portuguese ambergris for sale.
For more information: shorturl.at/esKT6
From: Richard Tingley
Subj: Gonk Comics
If you long for the days of reading Whizzer and Chips whilst being sugared out of your skull on Panda Pops, then I suggest you subscribe to my newsletter. Go to gonkcomics.com and subscribe.
Subj: Re: Plug your stuff
I'm a Middle aged ex-pat Welsh MC who limits my audience by using mainly 80s references, have a penchant for old school ignorant hip-hop and the topic of recent Singles include documenting unbridled anti-Welsh (imaginary) racism across the Severn Bridge and Welsh killing machine cartoon fantasies, are available on 'all good streaming sites'. Spotify link
Also, all previous albums are available gratis, along with a 40-track 'sampler' collection at mink-c.bandcamp.com
Lyric video for my latest tune 'No Dragon' can be found here on YouTube
Brand new album out soon. Only folk 40+ likely to get half the references, and absolutely no mumbling whatsoever.
Peace (as they say)
From: Salesman For You!
Subj: en eff tee hate!
Hey there, fellow voles! I'm coming at you with an ad! Don't want an ad? TOO BAD!
Are you tired of seeing all those pesky, annoying, ugly en eff tees? don't you wish there was something different? WELL YOU'RE IN LUCK!
NOW INTRODUCING: THE EFT! Yessir, the EFT. This wonderful product is an EXTREMELY Fungible Token. Why buy those 1,000,000 pngs, when you can have BETTER ones FOR F R E E! YES YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT, FOR FREE!
Just head on down to extremelyfungible.com
Subj: Re: Plug your stuff
I am a twitch streamer that never stream
From: Are you a millionaire?
Subj: Please give me three hundred pounds
You can also give me three pounds. But if you are a millionaire you really should give me three hundred pounds:
Subj: Bored Royal Yacht Club and other prints
I got carried away making fun of the Royal Mint/Rishi Sunak's NFTs. You can get hold of all 24 Bored Royal Yacht Club images in a great big limited edition print from www.happytoast.co.uk
From: Matt Round
Subj: Re: Plug your stuff
Hi, I've got a daft site called VOLE.wtf and it now has a weird newsletter.
Give it a go, you can sign up here at <a href="u▅iY^Gole.wtf/vmail/~wri▚╱▒╩╩F6 75 69 F4 24 E0 5D F5 94 AE CA 64
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DF D6 06 B3 77 BF\ / \/ |\/| /\ | |_▅Inbox #14: 16 new messages▅---▅+ Write a message for the next inbox▅---From: @mvpbot▅Subj: Minim***OVERFLOW***ather armchair from a gentlem for t^he next inbx Wrte /a messsage