A word of warning about this rancorous old city
Drenched in deceit and devoid of all pity
Beware her intent when with each new stranger
Comes offers of delectation free from danger
Particularly if she is uncommonly pretty.

For at best, you may wake up to find
Yourself hog-tied to an old rusty bed of some kind
Retching from the stench of cheap perfume and dodgy liquor
Wondering how on earth you came to be there
Why, she stalked you my dear then robbed you blind.

Or at worst, you may not wake at all
Stone cold dead you’ll be, back against some grimy wall
Sitting up in a putrid pool of sticky blood
Hands in your lap where your severed head was shoved
Bruised. Battered. Punctured. Like an old leather ball.

This piece of poetry is the epigraph for a novel I am writing. It's called Chop! It started out as a stage musical project, but after getting into the nitty gritty of the story I found myself way over target in the page count. Last time I checked the muscical would have run for 4 hours. Mmm, I don't think anyone's bladder would last that long? So, I temporarily abandoned the musical idea, and opted for a stage play. Within days I realised that my page count was as long as Hamlet's. More bladder troubles. And so I wisely opted for a novel format. And it's working out just fine. All being well, I should have the book finished by end of September.

And when it's finished, I will go back and write a script for it as a musical stage play. By then, I will of course be in a far better position to get out the word hatchet and give it the good old Chop!

And what is the story about anyway? Well, without divulging too much, it is set in Edinburgh, Scotland in the miserable year of 1829. It is the slightly ridiculous story of a young orphan girl who accepts a lucrative offer to dig up corpses for medical experiments in an attempt to escape the same fate of her dead mother. Grave-robbing, monsters, corpses, body parts, dodgy musicians, mad scientists, reanimation experiments gone horribly wrong, a handsome vampire and a bitch of a bordello madam.

Photo by Peter Forster on Unsplash
Eye of the Storm. Download this photo by Peter Forster on Unsplash