Posted by: Hummingbird James | June 27, 2011

A Pledge

Okay guys, I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna start posting regularly on this darn thing. In fact, for the month of July, I’m going to try posting something once a day. Seeing as after the 7th I’ll be done with college for the year, I’ll have plenty of spare time to do this. It’ll generally be me rambling about whatever my chosen subject for the day is, whether it’s what I’ve been playing recently (Magic: the Gathering and Team Fortress 2, for those who care) or an essay on why assholes are assholes. Those subjects are not guaranteed. I’ll probably end up releasing a couple of short stories on here, too.

Also, I’ve changed the menu at the top a little. I’ve added links for you to reach all of my writing on this blog and on Six Minute Story, for your convenience.

Posted by: Hummingbird James | June 2, 2011

I’m terrible at updating.

I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.

But yeah, I hope to post more on this blog. Not sure if I’ll manage it, though. Just watch the gif of Tennant in the rain.

Also, I’ve got a few exams in the next couple of weeks, which means that right now isn’t the best time to revive this oops oh well might as well keep this trainwreck going.

Posted by: Hummingbird James | March 1, 2011

Six Minute Story

So, I discovered through the magic of following Tim Sevenhuysen on Twitter about the site known as Six Minute Story. Basically, the premise of it is to write a story within a constraint of six minutes. You also get a prompt that you’re supposed to abide by.

So I wrote a story. It’s called Just There, and you can find it here. I ain’t gonna copy and paste it here because it would drive attention away from them. I recommend that you write a story there, because it’s quite a refreshing experience.


Oh go on, have a quickly made audio version.

Posted by: Hummingbird James | February 23, 2011

B-Movie Wednesday

So I’ve been piloting a little thing called B-Movie Wednesday. Basically, the premise is that I take a B-Movie and stream it at 8PM sharp on a Wednesday, and join in the chatroom with riffing it. Well, I’m taking it a small step further now: I’m taking it here, to my blog. The same blog that only my friends know about. The friends that also already know about B-Movie Wednesday.

At least now I’m letting people send in suggestions for films, and I’m going to try and set up a schedule for the next few weeks.

Tonight was Teeth, which is a film about a woman with teeth in her vagina. I really should have announced it before the film.

Posted by: Hummingbird James | February 19, 2011


Writing is one of the few things I can do somewhat well. I have a lot of ideas circulating inside my brain, too. So I thought, hey, how about I put a bunch of them down into actual stories? Even better, why not put a bunch of them together in a collection?

So, I’ve decided to make a book. It’s tentatively titled “Tales from the Birdhouse”, and it will feature four or five stories, straight from my brain, ranging from spy thrillers to giant mecha noir. I’m quite excited about this, actually; it’s my first attempt to try and publish something of mine. I hope to finish the stories by the end of April, and get it published during the summer. But for now, have a quick preview of one of the pieces I’m working on. It’s currently called Problems.

Darkness engulfed me. I pushed off from the cold metal. My heavy suit suddenly felt like it was nothing as I moved away from the airlock. I grabbed one of the rails nearby and swung myself to it so that I didn’t float off into space. I looked above me. I dipped down, pulled myself up on the rail and shot myself to the top of the ship, catching hold of another rail on the way.

I could have just taken the ladder, but that gets boring after the fifth spacewalk.

I lifted myself over the rail and planted my boots firmly on the hull plating, then raised my arm in front of me to flip a switch on the wrist panel. The electromagnets on my feet hummed to life. I walked across the hull plating, step by magnetised step. Sweat formed on my brow. Losing heat is a bitch in space. I detached the automatic screwdriver from my belt as I reached my destination.

Simple maintenance. The chief engineer wouldn’t normally have a job this menial. But I do it every month.

I surveyed the grey box in front of me. Sometimes, ship builders had no sense of aesthetics. They go and make the hull svelte and curved, then stick a square lump on the top. It wasn’t very large, but it was noticeable. I loosened the top of it. Despite it being routine, this was a very important task. If the main sensor array’s mechanism was out of alignment by even one femtometre, or if the primary X-ray antenna was pointing in a third of a minute in the wrong direction, the ship could collide with an asteroid and no one would notice until we were all space dust. The screwdriver buzzed as I took out the last screw.

I pulled off the cover, and placed it on the hull next to me. I put the screws back in their holes, so that I couldn’t lose them. I peered inside. It appeared to be in working order. I took out the alignment caliper, and tapped the side of my helmet to activate the communicator.

“Engineering, this is Lieutenant Dell. I’m about to begin sensor maintenance, please shut down the array. Send a system-wide alert about the temporary downtime.” My voice was a little scratchy. I hadn’t drunk my morning coffee yet.
“Roger, Lieutenant. Array going down in five.” was the reply. Sure enough, in five seconds the faint glow from the power conduits faded into nothingness. “Array is down, you can proceed with maintenance.”

So, what do you think? Please leave comments with well-thought out criticisms.

Also: I’m going to be livewriting a short story that I will hopefully include in this collection tonight! Come watch! Oh sorry, I finished.

Posted by: Hummingbird James | February 4, 2011

Once More, With Feeling

So I’m going to do it. I’m going to finish it. I’m continuing on The Watching. I’m going to pass through what I’ve got so far, and see what I can salvage, improve or delete. I probably won’t be able to finish this on my own, though. But I’m gonna give it my damn best shot.

It’s gonna be Biblical, hyperbole notwithstanding.

Posted by: Hummingbird James | January 27, 2011

What I’ve Been Up To

So, it’s been a few month since I last used this blog, ignoring the little piece earlier signalling my return. A couple of things have happened, and because I’m pretty sure this is going to be a long, long entry I’m going to stuff a jump in here, if I can get it to work.

Read More…

Posted by: Hummingbird James | January 27, 2011

So I didn’t move.

I kinda forgot about the blog after moving it. Also I got rid of the server I was hosting it on, which means that it’s dead over there. So, uh, hi again! Later today I will post what I’ve been up to since October.

Posted by: Hummingbird James | October 13, 2010

The Disturbance in the Forest

Because I have a lot of free time, have another 250 word story.


The gorilla hurried through the trees, heading in the direction of an almighty sound that he heard. It sounded like a great crunch. Not the kind of crunch you’d normally hear in a forest, though. It wasn’t a tree falling, that’s about as much as he could tell. He ran. It seemed like it was only a good few hundred yards away. The gorilla reached one of those human-built roads. Smoke was billowing from behind the trees on the other side. He ran over, looking both ways to see if one of those monsters with humans in drove by.

The sight that the gorilla came across wasn’t pretty. It was one of those man-made machines, with the front of its yellow frame crumpled up against a tree. The human inside had cracked his skull against the inside of the machine. Poor sod probably died on impact. Blood was running down, out of the front and down the side. This couldn’t do. The gorilla would have to try and clean up a little.

He reached into the back of the machine’s frame to see if he could find something to clean with. His hand brushed against a stick, then grabbed it and pulled it out. It had bristles on one side, at what seemed to be the head. This’d have to do. The gorilla sat down next to one of the round parts of the vehicle, and started rubbing the bristle-stick quite vigorously against it, up and down, side to side.

Posted by: Hummingbird James | October 13, 2010

The Tulip

I’ve decided to try out a new form of story, inspired by Tim Sevenhuysen and his 50 Word Stories. Instead of limiting myself to 50, which is something I’ll probably never do without seeming boring, I’m limiting myself to 250, allowing me to flesh out a character or two. This is the first of these such stories.


There was once a very special tulip. The tulip stood all alone, growing by the side of a garden path. People walked past it, disregarding it for it was alone. One day, the tulip had enough of this and uprooted itself. It headed down the garden path, to the human house it led to. It hurriedly climbed through the cat-flap in the back door, and scurried through the kitchen to the bottom of a cupboard. It grabbed a hold of the pattern on the cupboard with its leaves, and started climbing.

It took about ten minutes for the tulip to reach the top of the cupboard. It looked around. The kitchen was a vast expanse, for a tiny thing like the tulip. There was a set of drawers on top of the cupboard. The tulip, intensely curious of this new world, started pulling the drawer open, its leaves wrapping around the handle. It slowly slid out, and the tulip jumped on top. There were rows of various implements, made from a mysterious shiny substance.

One of the implements looked different than all the others. It shined more than the others. Its round head – was it a head? The tulip wasn’t sure – seemed to reach out and grab the tulip. Suddenly, it rose up, facing directly towards the tulip. The tulip jumped into the drawer, trying to get a closer look at the strange, round object.

The strange, round object took one look at the tulip and bashed its head in.

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