Notes from New Sodom

... rantings, ravings and ramblings of strange fiction writer, THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!

Sunday, July 02, 2017

A Scruffian Survival Guide: Scruffianisation

Orphans, foundlings, latchkey kids. Urchins, changelings, live-by-wits. Rascals, scallywags, ruffians, scamps. Scoundrels, hellions, Scruffians STAMP!

With the last word the girl or boy playing hopscotch would come down hard with both feet, and the rest would all stamp a foot. Made it all like some... war-dance. Weird. And some of them was a bit old for hopscotch surely.

Orphans, foundlings, latchkey kids. Urchins, changelings, live-by-wits.

They all had such sharp looks on their thin faces too.

Rascals, scallywags, ruffians, scamps. Scoundrels, hellions, Scruffians STAMP!

And they was all looking at him on that last word.

A Scruffian Gallery

A little gallery, that is, of Scruffianisations, to give yer an idea of what exactly that means. In order, we has Vermintrude Toerag, Tolliver Whistler, Upsadaisy Fagspuffer, Nuffinmuch O'Anyfink, Squirlet Nicely, and yours truly, Gobfabbler Halyard-Dunkling, Esquire. If yer fancies taking the Stamp and joining me crib, as comes with yer purchasing of one of them fancy dan lettered first edition hardbacks of A Scruffian Survival Guide, what yer gets is magically transmogrificated (by the power of various apps and a fair bit of filtery finagling and whatnot by Slickspit Hamshankery) into a Scruffianised JPG. Just like one of em above! How does it work? yer asks...

Your Scruffianised Selfie

Just place yer order and I'll pop yer a wee email to ask for a selection of selfies to work with. Slick'll do his jiggery pokery, see what works best, and I'll send yer back a JPG as brings out yer inner scamp, scrag, scallywag or scofflaw. Whether's it looks like an olde timey photograph, a 1970s polaroid, a painting or whatever... well, we'll just has to see. That's kinda a product of the process, says Slick. Yer has to discover it in the pic, he says. Whatevers. Yer free to use this JPG as yer will, of course, as avatar or whatever. But it'll be just between the two of us far as I'm concerned, unless yer explicitly says, Bollocks to that! I wants to be on Twitter! in the next chapbook! I'd be chuffed! It's your image, the original, so yer has yer rights, and privacy's top of the list.

Selfie Quality

Now, them apps can be a bit sticky over recognising faces now and then, I has to say, so if yer sporting a big bushy beard and sunglasses, yer might well stymie one of em. If the pic's fuzzy as fuck or right close up or too far away or crazy askew, that might throw a spanner in the works too, so three or four is best to choose from, Slick says. There oughts to be summat usable in an half dozen if they's different enough, if yer goes that far, but if there ain't nuffink working... well, I'll know soon enough, and ask yer for a few more to try, so don't fret. Tell yer what! Here's some befores and afters, so's yer has an idea of what works best.





As yer can see, we can deals with some facial hair. So if yer does have a beard or muttonchops or whatnot, we'll give it a go. If yer has a pic without the face fuzz though, it might be an idea to rummage it out as backup, just in case. Whatevers. We'll do our best to sort yer out, and yer should end up with a JPG as captures yer Sekrit Scruffian Self--just like Slick's managed to magic them pics of that writer bloke into portraits of Foxtrot and himself. (Why, if I didn't know better, going by this, I might think both of em scruffs was just confabblationisings invented by that Hal Duncan bloke out of thin air! But as if!)

Anyways, then all's we need do is find yer a monicker.

Scruffian Monicker

If yer's read "How a Scruffian Gets Their Name" then yer knows Teh Roolz, how a fresh-Fixed scruff sits round with their cribmates playing "Eeny Meeny Miny Mo" and coming up with suggestions for that scruff to say, Pffft! Nah! or, Banged to rights! And though it ain't but the two of us, that's how's it'll work here. I might thinks I recognise yer straight off the bat, as I done with Vermintrude, Squirlet and Nuff above--Blow me, if ain't the very spit of Squirlet Nicely! So then it'd be: eeny meeny miny mo, catch a nipper by the toe, if they squeals, let em go, eeny meeny miny mo, you are not... Squirlet Nicely? Could be a scallywag what's famous in the fabbles. Could be a scamp what ain't even been heard a peep of... yet. Like as not, if it's the latter, yer might well notice that scamp piping up in the background of some fabble down the line, innit. (Again, I won't use yer pic unless yer says explicitly it'd tickle yer to be in some future chapbook, so pipe up if that sounds cool, else I'll assume it ain't.)

But I mights be wrong. If yer all, Nah, that ain't me, why, then it's your turn. If yer knows yer own name fine well, thanks... that's just dandy, eh. Sorted! Or, chuck yer vague notion in the hat--Summat McRaggedy?--and I'll see if I can't suggest summat to replace the Summat, like, savvy? Mights end up at Fusspot Pickybrat if we's had three turns each and yer still swithering, but I'll do me best to get yer satisfied. It's your name, innit? Yer has to be happy with it.

Dedicative Decorationising

Well, once we has yer fizzog and monicker sorted, we can put it in yer copy, in that there "This here book belongs to:" page. I'll get me crayons out, or coloured pencils, or pens, maybe's some glitter, though that were right messy the last time so... well, we'll see. I ain't guaranteeing any great artistry, but I can do yer enthusiasm. And then ye'll has a picture of yerself and yer monicker in there so's if any fucker filches it, yer can be all, Oi! That's mine, ya bastard tea-leaf! Give it back!

(This here placeholder pic is of the paperback, which ye'll has to dedicatively decorate yerself--sorry, mate--though no doubt that Hal Duncan bloke'll sign it for yer if yer buys it direct.)


We gots August as the release date, and if pre-orders ain't open already they should be up soon, and if all goes to plan, we should has the first batch printed for the middle of July. With the last two weeks or so in July then, we should be OK to get yer copy done and out to yer on schedule. I'll be straight-up though, and say now that yer might have to wait a few weeks if, like, every single copy is snapped up but like every single buyer don't get round to sending me their pics till July 34th or summat daft like that. I mean, I ain't a bleeding miracle worker. But with only 26 copies in this first edition, with enough folk as pre-orders it sending pics in sharpish... well, I reckons shipping a fortnight after orders officially open is doable with the head start. The personalisation does make it a bit less predictable though, so I'll begs yer understanding and patience if it turns out more time-consuming than I'm hoping.


Hopefully that's all clear. Any questions, just pop em in the comments. I'm posting this in advance for reference from the order page on Bandcamp, which will be opening soon for pre-orders if it ain't already open. If yer reading this cause yer follows the blog, or seen it linked on Twitter or Patreon, and pre-orders ain't open yet, feel free to pop me an email at to ask for notice pronto when pre-orders do open.




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