DEFAULT :: Part Forty-Four

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On the other side of the planet, Bond opens eyes, swearing in his head across several disparate languages. The uplink died nearly fifteen minutes ago but he doesn’t want to move, can’t as the memory of the kevlar corset consumes all rational thought. It is the only thing Ronni has worn in his dreams since Venice, accentuation of curve from rib-cage through waist to hip: hands at first trace smoothness, silken fabric under sensitised fingertips, warmth of body as he controls, manipulates. Heels set her just at the height required to penetrate, fucking without pressure, focusing purely on friction. For a man who loves definition, this stopped being animal a long time ago. It’s not sex either, and the word he’d willingly utter suddenly alters an entire landscape.

Accepting love for this woman makes the whole world a very different place.

Body remains unsatisfied, groin still primed and aching despite two orgasms in under an hour: the last time he did this for real was with the woman who’s insane half brother has now murdered to the top job in the western world’s most notorious criminal organisation. It’s a memory he’s well on the way to erasing, but will need work, and not simply by the redefinition of this relationship. Veronica had become arbiter not simply for his ashes, but their future, multiple points of connection to begin a mission combined. His life had been returned by her: after penance for a decade of sins it seemed only appropriate to offer himself to another’s care, once and for all.

004 was determined, brilliant, funny and utterly dedicated, without equal since Vesper. No, she was better, because Lynd had deceived: Flemming’s honesty was both refreshing and beautiful. He doesn’t care that for a third time hand grasps engorged flesh and that he’s allowing imagination to blossom, wondering if she’s still doing the same, in the abandoned farmhouse on the western Italian border. He imagines her still naked, lying alone, fingers insider her own body, thumb stroking in a slow, firm rhythm outside, and his whole body shudders with the thought of someone else’s arousal.

Then he detaches from the Hotel, focusing solely on imagination merged with history: wearing just his dress shirt, hips pinning to the bed, rocking backwards and forwards, audible gasp as he recalls the skill at her internal control. He tries to postpone the orgasm but it’s arrival is instant, panting for air as he comes, hard and long, feeling body ache with a memory he’d forgotten. That first night together, in the dark, making him talk when he’d normally just fuck. Pushing him as she had every day since: always questions; thoughts and queries, assessment meshed with consideration.

She made him laugh in a way he couldn’t remember with anyone else, reflecting back his outlook, questioning attitude at every opportunity. It isn’t just her body he craves but the mind that it carries, because when both exist in his grasp there is nothing else he needs to be happy. Once upon a time he’d not grasp that significance, but now the truth is inescapable. This is the only person he never compromised to prove a point, or succumbed to under pressure. This woman was unique, had made him something better; rediscovery of soul thought ruptured forever.

Bond’s not sure how he exists when they take the designation away, but understands that if he is to survive after all of this is done, someone is needed to help maintain an equilibrium. In forty-eight years on the planet, only one person had ever fitted that bill so completely, and now he grasps that should he tell that woman that he loved her, this would effectively destroy the life worked so hard to create. There has to be a better way, and he needs to find it when all this is done.

For now, her future is what keeps him moving forward.

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Everything related to James Bond (007) belongs to Eon Productions and Danjaq LLC, except the bits in here that are mine and I made up. I get how this works.

Duet :: Relaunch

It seems only right and proper, as I will presenting you guys with a brand new original piece starting next week, that I get you up to speed on the fiction that inspired it. Therefore, I’ve spent the weekend tidying up and re-organising my work, and this morning would like to invite you to learn about Veronica Ashby. Her friends know her as Ronni, and she’s about to embark on the most important job interview of her life.


Access Duet Here

This page also has a musical playlist to accompany it, and as part of the buildup to Default starting this time next week, I’ve got a whole new set of tunes to share, plus a look into how music plays such a vital part in my creation process. For now, I’d like to thank everyone I know who has already read this story, and inspired me to come up with a logical successor.

I hope I’ve created a suitable companion piece for the original.

Tomorrow Never Dies

And you’re done. 

I still have to review SPECTRE, but its fair to say that I don’t think Daniel Craig’s coming back for another go at 007. Frankly, I don’t blame him: this has taken a decade of his life, and the journey has, at times, been fairly tortuous for everyone concerned. Nobody liked the guy when he arrived, and having not only made Bond acceptable in the 21st century but actually likeable again, he’s now become a victim of his own hype. The problem with the 24th episode in the franchise is that it had to go back to the worst part of its roots, under some mistaken belief that actually, the supervillain/criminal organisation ‘trope’ would still be relevant in a world full of cyber-terrorism and religious zealotry. The problem for Eon and Sony, quite apart from the stupid amount of money they threw at SPECTRE, is that they ended up being a parody of a parody of themselves. There’s moments when you watch the interplay between Waltz and Craig and you realise it could just as easily be Mike Myers talking to himself. Then things just get a bit strange, and you want it to stop.

Oh, behave.

This morning, unsurprisingly as Craig comes up for his 48th birthday, the rumour mill has started up over his ‘successor’ with the Independent suggesting that TV is a better draw for a man who’s made so much cash from the Bond franchise he could probably choose never to work again. There are a number of factors to consider in the next Bond ‘movie’: it’s the 25th, and that’s going to mean summat big. 24 wasn’t nearly as successful as had been hoped, which is going to set people’s minds to thinking that maybe they need to reboot regardless. However, now SPECTRE is back, the whole Bond ‘world’ is different, and quite possibly dangerously out of touch with the trend in action/spy/thrillers for realism against a backdrop of constant peril. That’s not Eon’s biggest problem by a long way, however. Fleming’s ideals of a guy who treats women like dirt and does whatever the fuck he wants without consequence are all well and good, but its the white male tradition that causes the most issues with an increasing proportion of the movie-going population. Bond remains the last bastion untouched by diversity: Austin Powers’ inane sexism and misogyny, still acceptable after over five decades. Craig has hinted he thinks it’s extremely unlikely that will change, and I have to agree with him, because as a woman I was never who the films were selling to. In fact, anyone who’s not white and male is pretty much out of luck, quite possibly for many years to come.

They’ll ask him, and if he has any sense he’ll say no.

So, if I were Tom Hiddleston, I’d turn down the offer when Eon present it, because I’d not want to be associated with a franchise that sells Britain as a place where diversity doesn’t exist. I don’t care how good you look and how many people you get to sleep with without consequence, Bond’s legacy is a bald-faced lie. Fast cars and guns and pretty eye candy is rubbish, and considering how this franchise has reacted to change over the decades, it’s become quite sad to see that the way Eon decided to deal with evolution was to just pretend it hasn’t happened. Instead the franchise became a homage to an age not that many people would ever actually want to go back to. This is the reality of ‘modern’ Britain, that a Bond author can happily turn around and declare a black actor unsuitable for the task of 007 because he’s ‘too street’ for the role. It’s depressing and it actually cheapens Craig’s achievement, which was to actually give Bond a soul. He’d never really had one in all that time, except for that brief period in OHMSS and between Goldeneye ’til Tomorrow Never Dies. All the rest of those years it was a lie, actors flirting with the concept of a man who actually wasn’t worth knowing or saving a lot of the time. He was a hero, yes, but he was never really a decent human being. Daniel Craig’s Bond did at least show an evolution, understanding of what had happened to make the agent as brittle and fractured as he was. In the end, I don’t blame him for leaving with both the car and the girl because if it had been me? I’d have taken both too.

Still my #1 Choice. By a mile.

So, how do we go forward? Well, I’ve discussed with several people that maybe the path is to stick Bond back in the 60’s and play it that way, because if you do so then you can just ignore all the modern issues and maybe eventually they’ll go away. There is the option to make Bond black, or a woman, or possibly both (don’t get me started at how criminally underused Moneypenny was in SPECTRE.) I’d argue everybody will need recasting in the supporting roles if they start again, and maybe if that happens then you can give people an opportunity to rethink the dynamics. Mostly I’d love to see something more than ‘supervillain threatens world’ because honestly, I think for everyone’s benefit it might be an idea if we left that alone for a while now. The thing is, if Bond reboot *again* it is really, REALLY hard to see where it goes. Mostly, if I was in Eon’s production offices right now, I’d be worrying how this all goes down. Because there is no easy answer to how you move this franchise forward without some kind of change, and if they do it wrong, Bond 25 could end up being the last of the series.

For what it’s worth? I’d take it to TV. I’d reboot from scratch, do a deal with the BBC, and make it into a Spooks-style alternate universe where SPECTRE’s been in charge of super-villainry for the best part of 40 years. Sell it worldwide, give Craig a starring role as the old 007 handing over to a newer, younger counterpart.

If you could make her somewhere in the early 40’s? So much the better.

Stars Align

Motivational Crap goes here.

Occasionally, the stars do align for me. It’s still a rare enough occurrence to have to take a step back when it happens: today is a case in point. A blog post I wrote on the gaming site was mentioned by an AOL affiliate, and (quite possibly, not sure, need to check publication times) as a result of this got dragged onto one of the de facto huge traffic websites around the game. This means, as of 6pm tonight, I’ve had more hits in twelve hours than I’d probably see in a week. Even more ironically, I’d suspect very few people have actually read the post at all. That’s one of the issues picking a subject matter which inevitably has ‘contentious’ written through it. It makes me wonder how many people might stay as a result. Time inevitably will tell.

What today did make me realise is that my website is, after nearly six years, beginning to creak from having had too much crap bolted onto it and not enough effort placed in organising it properly. As a result I suspect ALL my web content’s coming up for a merger, this site included.

I went and registered as a result today, and now it is mine.

Not often, but…

I have a number of things I would like to do next year. Quite apart from doing a fair bit of dancing at gigs (Elbow, Underworld and David Arnold so far on the list) I have half a plan to review all 23 Bond Films before the the most current one comes out for my birthday (cheers for that Mr Mendes.) There is other stuff too, but a girl likes to keep stuff something of a mystery, especially when trying to make more days when stars align and everyone gets to at least see her work on’t t’internets. Needless to say, this site is likely to change this month, along with the other one, and it is probably possible there will be some kind of central portal to cover everything by the time we move into January 2015.

Consider it the first steps into a larger Universe. Or summat 😀

Nobody Does It Better

Well, there’s a title.

Anyone who knows anything about me will know just how passionate I am about the 007 Franchise. Needless to say, this morning’s announcement of the title of the new Bond movie has set a cold-infected brain buzzing. It’s no 24, and the title is a killer, before we even get to the details of the movie itself. The reason they’re using this? I suspect it has a lot to do with this one line of text you can find on Wikipedia:

‘On November 15, 2013, MGM and the McClory estate had formally settled the issue with Danjaq, LLC and MGM acquiring the full copyright rights to the characters and concepts of Blofeld and SPECTRE.’

To summarise: Kevin McClory originally adapted Bond for the big screen. In 1961 there was a row, which in 1963 resulted in Ian Fleming giving McClory the rights to Thunderball, which was subsequently remade as Never Say Never Again in 1983. The organisation SPECTRE and Ernst Stavro Blofeld remained McClory’s intellectual property until… well, 2013, when MGM bought them back. The organisation is synonymous with Bond, the 60’s and countless imitations in the following half a century. The franchise famously ‘killed’ Blofeld off during the pre-title sequence of For Your Eyes Only but you know, if they went to all this trouble to settle the dispute…

Anyway, my concern isn’t with Christoph Waltz’s character being even the possibility of a relation to Blofeld. My interest is with the addition of a new member of supporting cast.


This is Andrew Scott. He’ll be 39 when SPECTRE releases, and just about the absolute perfect age to take over from Daniel Craig. He has the looks for the part, has played Moriarty in ‘Sherlock’, possesses nearly 20 years of film credits and appears in the supporting cast in a role that I don’t think is supposed to draw attention to him at all. However, his presence is considerable. Most excitingly for me, Scott is openly gay. There has been a lot of discussion for some time concerning the possibility of Bond being played by somebody other than a straight white guy, and although I’d say I’m unlikely to see Idris Elba do it (probably too old anyway, but I’d take it) and NO WAY would Bond ever be a woman… this could be a start, at least in terms of Eon accepting that diversity exists in the 21st Century. I for one will of course be rather sad to see Daniel Craig go, but he’ll be 47 when SPECTRE is released and frankly, he was showing his age in Skyfall. It has to happen sometime, and if they’re going to introduce a 21st Century Superthreat, why not use the one synonymous with the Franchise?

Oh, and the premiere of this is on my birthday. GET IN.

What this does encourage me to do is to consider the possibility of doing a long form review of every Bond Film prior to the release, and get the piece of Fiction I wrote post-Skyfall to a state where people can read it. Because, frankly, I’m rather proud of it.

Leave that with me.