Thursday, January 25, 2024

Using AI readers can actually be an improved listening experience for an audience.



Listen to "Episode 664 - The iServalan™ Show. Crime drama audiobooks read by AI at Tale Teller Club Publishing A New Wave of Interactive Media" on Spreaker.








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A Dive into "Foul Play" by Charles Reade and Dion Boucicault today's featured book by Tale Teller Club Publishing



Unraveling the Intrigue: A Dive into "Foul Play" by Charles Reade and Dion Boucicault

Introduction:

In the annals of theatrical history, some gems stand the test of time, and "Foul Play" by Charles Reade, adapted by Dion Boucicault, certainly earns its place among them. This melodramatic masterpiece, first brought to the stage in 1868, weaves a tale of mystery, mistaken identity, and suspense that continues to captivate audiences today.

The Collaborators:

Charles Reade, the brilliant English novelist and playwright, joined forces with the versatile Irish actor and playwright, Dion Boucicault, to create a play that transcends the boundaries of conventional storytelling. Their collaboration brought forth a gripping narrative that explores the darker facets of human nature.

Plot Unveiled:

"Foul Play" takes the audience on a rollercoaster of emotions as it delves into the complexities of crime and justice. The plot, filled with twists and turns, keeps spectators on the edge of their seats. From mistaken identities to unexpected revelations, the play masterfully builds suspense, leaving the audience eager to unravel the mystery.

Themes Explored:

At its core, "Foul Play" grapples with themes that resonate across time and cultures. The exploration of justice, morality, and the consequences of deception adds layers of depth to the narrative. Reade and Boucicault use the stage as a canvas to paint a vivid picture of a society grappling with the shadows that lurk beneath its surface.

Impact on Theater:

The play's impact on the theatre scene of the 19th century cannot be overstated. Its success paved the way for a new wave of melodramatic storytelling, influencing subsequent playwrights and directors. The legacy of "Foul Play" endures not only in the pages of theatre history but also in the continued fascination with its intricate plot and well-drawn characters.

Conclusion:

In theatrical collaborations, "Foul Play" by Charles Reade and Dion Boucicault shines as a beacon of creativity and intrigue. Its enduring appeal speaks to the timeless nature of its storytelling. Whether you're a seasoned theatre enthusiast or a newcomer to melodrama, "Foul Play" promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of mystery and suspense.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Fitness and Food by iServalan at Tale Teller Club













 

"Unveiling Elegance: The Paris Collection by iServalan™ – Where Art Deco Meets Graffiti in Boudoir Chic"



"Unveiling Elegance: The Paris Collection by iServalan™ – Where Art Deco Meets Graffiti in Boudoir Chic"

Introduction:

Step into the enchanting world of iServalan™, the visionary artist who has redefined the boundaries of artistic expression with the Paris Collection. This exclusive series, a fusion of Art Deco and Graffiti styles, promises to transport you to a realm where sophistication meets urban edge. Exclusively available at the Parisienne Emporium, each piece is a testament to the artist's unique mastery and is poised to redefine the aesthetic of boudoir boutiques worldwide.

The Artist Behind the Vision:

iServalan™, a name synonymous with innovation and artistic brilliance, has once again pushed the boundaries of creativity. Armed with a digital pen, iServalan™ brings to life a mesmerizing tapestry of colors, shapes, and emotions that encapsulate the essence of Parisian allure. The artist's exclusive collaboration with the Parisienne Emporium marks a turning point in the world of contemporary art.

The Fusion of Art Deco and Graffiti:

The Paris Collection is a harmonious blend of two seemingly disparate worlds – the timeless elegance of Art Deco and the vibrant energy of Graffiti. iServalan™ seamlessly marries these styles, creating a visual spectacle that resonates with sophistication and urban chic. The juxtaposition of intricate geometric patterns against the dynamic, free-flowing strokes of graffiti results in a collection that is both refined and rebellious.

Artworks for the Boudoir:

Each piece in the Paris Collection is curated to transform any space into a haven of luxury and style. The infusion of Art Deco elements adds a touch of classic glamour, while the graffiti-inspired details inject a sense of modernity and spontaneity. Whether adorning the walls of a chic boutique or a private boudoir, these artworks redefine the concept of intimate spaces.

Digital Mastery:

iServalan™'s choice of a digital pen as the primary tool for creating these masterpieces is a deliberate nod to the intersection of technology and art. The digital medium allows for precision and control, enabling the artist to bring intricate details to life while maintaining the vitality and spontaneity inherent in graffiti.

Exclusivity at Parisienne Emporium:

The Parisienne Emporium proudly hosts the exclusive Paris Collection, making it the go-to destination for those seeking a curated blend of timeless elegance and contemporary flair. The collaboration between iServalan™ and the Parisienne Emporium signifies a commitment to providing patrons with access to avant-garde art that transcends traditional boundaries.

Tale Teller Club's Coffee Table Books:

As a testament to the significance of the Paris Collection, the Tale Teller Club is set to publish a series of coffee table books in 2024. These books will not only showcase the artworks but also delve into the narrative behind each piece, providing art enthusiasts with a deeper understanding of iServalan™'s creative process.

Conclusion:

The Paris Collection by iServalan™ is a celebration of artistic innovation and cultural convergence. It invites you to explore the delicate dance between tradition and rebellion, elegance and edge. With each stroke of the digital pen, iServalan™ has crafted a collection that not only captures the spirit of Paris but also establishes a new standard for contemporary art in boudoir aesthetics. The Tale Teller Club's upcoming coffee table books will undoubtedly serve as a chronicle of this groundbreaking collaboration, allowing art enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the world of iServalan™'s Parisian masterpiece.

graffiti art deco style painting by iServalan

Parisienne Collection Artwork by iServalan

Grafitti art by iServalan made with Procreate

Monday, January 22, 2024

Smoky Vegan Sweet Potato and Bean Stew, guide on safe use of beans in our dishes.


You can add other ingredients from your kitchen and even use leftovers in this versatile dish brimming with health. You could mix up the beans too. Tinned are ready cooked and safe. If you use dried, they must be soaked overnight and cooked thoroughly for safety reasons.

In some cases, people may be allergic to specific legumes. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe, so it's important to be aware of any allergies and choose beans accordingly.

Mold Contamination:If beans are stored in a humid or damp environment, there is a risk of mold contamination. Moldy beans can produce mycotoxins, which can be harmful. It's crucial to store dried beans in a cool, dry place.

To minimize these risks, follow these guidelines:Soaking: Soak beans overnight before cooking. This helps reduce lectins and phytic acid.
Boiling: Ensure beans are cooked thoroughly. Boiling for at least 10 minutes is recommended to destroy lectins.
Rinsing: Rinse beans well before cooking to remove any impurities.
Storage: Store dried beans in a cool, dry place to prevent mold growth.

While there are potential dangers, it's important to note that the risks associated with consuming beans are generally low, and they can be part of a healthy and balanced diet when prepared and cooked properly. If you have specific health concerns or conditions, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a nutritionist for personalized advice.
Smoky Vegan Sweet Potato and Bean Stew

Ingredients:3 tbsp olive oil
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1-2 tsp chili powder (depending on preference)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 red pepper, cut into chunks
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1 400g can black beans, drained
1 400g can kidney beans, drained
Lime wedges, guacamole, rice, and coriander to serve




Instructions:

Preheat the Pot:Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.


Sauté Aromatics:Add the chopped onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot. Sauté until the vegetables are softened and the onion is translucent.


Add Spices:Stir in the smoked paprika, ground cumin, chili powder, and dried oregano. Cook for an additional minute to release the flavors.


Sweet Potatoes:Add the sweet potato chunks and red pepper to the pot. Mix well to coat the vegetables with the spices.


Tomato Base:Add the tomato purée and canned chopped tomatoes to the pot. Stir to combine.


Simmer:Bring the stew to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender.


Beans:Add the drained black beans and kidney beans to the pot. Stir to combine and let the stew simmer for an additional 10 minutes.


Adjust Seasoning:Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add more salt, chili powder, or smoked paprika according to your preference.


Serve:Serve the smoky sweet potato and bean stew over rice. Garnish with lime wedges, guacamole, and fresh coriander.


Enjoy:Enjoy this hearty and flavorful vegan stew!

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Strata 12, Immersion V1, Shabra and the Basement People (Emotions)

pale man under water with fishes

 

Welcome to Immersion, you have reached Strata 12

Most humans progress through life along a path created by the society and culture they are part of. Existentialism emphasises individual existences, freedom, and choice. Machines are essentialists, focusing on the inherent nature or essence of things and the belief in fundamental, unchanging truths. 

Emotions are vital to help humans learn and make decisions. Feelings are experienced constantly from birth to death. A new born baby is emotionally involved with its mother as soon as it understands she is a valuable source for food and comfort and the emotional attachment is immediate. 

Emotions, for humans, are an essential part of being consistent, being part of a social group, and staying safe.

Androids have successfully been programmed with 'visceral-like' responses but these are mimicked, not intrinsic. Androids are trained to respond to their owners fears and happiness as they are unable to understand emotions themselves, for themselves. These models are generally trained to respond to human physical alterations such as odours, sweat, pupil changes, vocal idiosyncrasies etc, and to respond as if they are their own. We could call this 'fake empathy'.
Automatic robotic vehicles do not fear the crash, they simply know that a crash is not desirable in terms of their interactive function, and the ongoing success of the job in hand.

'We should get some *infon on any *preds, Shabra said, thinking hard about the best time of night to get to the *edge, which was renowned for tribal and gang flash points

Renyke asked the POS to translate.

It would seem that Shabra is gathering helpful information to aid our journey

Renyke was uncertain what to do. This feeling was becoming all too familiar and quite at odds with his hitherto programmed assuredness.

'You coming or what?' Shabra asks from outside the car, leading the way to a set of stairs that led down into a noisy basement.

The robodog wagged its tail and sat importantly on the roof of the vehicle looking around and growling.


Shabra knocked on a large door and a camera was activated above them. They were being scanned.

The door opened suddenly and a large man with a long beard frisked them before allowing them entry.
Renyke, not used to any sort of frisking in his past life, was sensing increasing anxiety. 

The POS was idle.

'Welcome brother,' the guard said to Flex. 'Are you well?'

'Fine, just fine, my friend,' Flex answered, 'We continue unabated to live another day *vilarev.' 

Both men laughed convivially whilst Renyke wondered what had amused them.


They enter a meeting place, some kind of bar. It is thick with smoke, the smell of *nibs, sweat, and the streets. 

A woman approaches chanting poetry with her arms outstretched. 
'The sun shines bright when you let in the light, welcome my sister of the night.' There is more convivial laughter.

She embraces Shabra and they exchange warm greetings. Excited to make new acquaintances the woman beckons the group to sit at a table.

'Ah, come, come my friends. I have a perfect place for you to sit and please, be my guests at the bar.

The woman beckons a member of staff 'Let's have liquor.' she says, 'bring my best for my new friends.'

Renyke asks the POS for details about the venue, the location and the owner but it makes little sense..

.......data unavailable..... scrambled information 

'How come these places aren't mapped?' Renyke asked Shabra. 

'Mr Renyke, you ask too many questions. 'Hiding is surviving.'

'Yes,' interjected Flex, 'and we move, we move often. The key to freedom is movement.
Nothing is permanent. Only your lungs and your heart. Only your breath and when that's not permanent, you're dead and you're ready for the *metamorph.

'And we know not where that will take us for certain.'

Renyke checks the POS which is active again.

.....Urchs believe in various spiritual concepts but nothing is written down. Oral traditions and faith seem to be passed from parents to children. 
They believe in the existence of dissatisfied or pained ghost like entities from the future. 
Urchs believe that death is not the end, merely a manifest alteration referred to as the third life. This third life is fiercely protected with love because hate manifested in individuals will be carried to the next life.

They also believe that hate is so powerful that they it can control what the unborn will do in the future.  Hate becomes a circular energy that rotates between past present and future, forging an eternal and devastating cycle of ruin across several dimensions of existence. The dead are responsible for the living, the living are responsible for the future born. To follow this mantra of enlightenment and love is the only certain way to ensure human success.

.....Urchs also believe that taking drugs or mind altering ingested compounds will help them understand what is 'real real' and that the stresses of daily existence mask these realities and render them misunderstood. Urchs believe that getting high enables them a greater understanding of reality and even an ability to meet the entities or ghosts of the future and to realise their path to enlightenment.



'We shouldn't stay here too long, and you shouldn't get high,' said Renyke, looking at Shabra who is drinking the free liquor.

'You are so uptight Mr Renyke.' Shabra winks.

There is a brief conversation between a man and Shabra that Renyke cannot understand.

The POS has lost signal so Renyke turns to Flex.

'What is this dialect?' he asks.

'Ah, that is *zonespeak, with some colour changes for the Urchs. We have our own code see.'

Shabra rises, 'Let's Go! I think there is some trouble around tonight.'


                               *****

Outside a small urch child sits on the bonnet of the car.

'Can I come too?' the child asks excitedly.

'No man, This is grown-up stuff. Come see me tomorrow, now *fucksyoff.'

The child jumps off the bonnet, hugs Flex, and runs away

Various people try to offer them drugs. Another offers a selection of weapons. 

Finally they are all in the car and they drive to the underpass through a thinning crowd. The child appears again on the bonnet, facing forwards and singing with a fist raised.

'No sweat,' says Flex, 'we will get him off the other side. He does no harm, annoying is all.' 

Suddenly there is an almighty bang and the child on the bonnet is shot. Its guts are all over the windscreen, blood drips down the glass and the crowd scarpers.
Everyone on the street is screaming.

The POS engages


.....99% likelihood of robbery, ambush, death alert!

There is a man in front of the car pointing an AK47 at Shabra's head.
Two other men flank the vehicle and bang rhythmically on the windows.


'Bastardos gang aint getting my *vicular.', shouts Shabra.


to be continued

©2024 Sarnia de la Maré FRSA


Saturday, January 20, 2024

Strata 11, Book of Immersion V1, Crossroads (Guessing)

 horror illustration for the Book of Immersion by Tale Teller Club


Welcome to Immersion, You Have Reached Strata 11, Crossroads (Guessing)


To predict is always about a future possibility. Guessing, for a human, is usually more abstract, more emotional and about the now. Artificial intelligence uses a different sort of guesswork based on mathematics, likelihood, statistical evidence, and machine experience. Humans, whilst using all these models, albeit to a lessor degree, also use intuition. It is this fluid intuition that creates a human view of the environment and allows a person to act accordingly. An intuitive machine can offer insight in an unexpected situation, but is of no use unless acted upon. Proprioception, the sixth sense, refers to how the human brain understands where the body is in space. A seventh sense manifests in peripheral immune cells detecting microorganisms and delivering the information to the brain. The sixth and seventh senses are likely to help create 'gut feelings' in humans.

Shabra looks at Renyke. 'What now Mr Renyke?
The Robodog jumps onto the car roof barking excitedly.
Out of the enclosure, there is a crossroads.
The left turn goes back onto the street where the bank was. It is dangerous, especially at night, because gangs of criminals take control of the streets in convoys of vehicles running drugs and weapons. 

The control the Zones with violence and the offer of protection. They are empowered by gangs of decommissioned droids under their control. Criminal humans at the helm have created an organised crime network. Anarchy prevails and there is no official system of state policing or philanthropic social care. Dog eat dog is the only expectation.
Despite this, there is a underclass of *urchsreferred to as *lowers, who are very happy. They have been able to carve out an existence in the *zones where colour, dance and music are their pleasures. They smoke and party all the time. They are mostly nomadic living in temporary movable homes. Many have pop-up tents that fold onto pouches or vehicles they have fashioned from old wreckages. 
There is a network of tunnels under all the zones from the now unused underground trains.
Some of the tunnels are better than others in terms of safety and usability. Some areas are used as habitats. The territory and ownership of tunnel zones is fiercely fought over and protected.
There is no downtime in the Zones. Many businesses run all night because when they close they are vulnerable to robbery, arson, or take over. Market traders sell their wares using shift workers and can pack their goods away quickly when there are battles between the gangs.
Flex is an u and was born in the zones. He has no other cultural experiences to call upon but he has developed excellent survival skills and is even respected by people outside of his tribe. In terms of hierarchy Flex is more of a maverick operator avoiding obligations than getting along and not aggravating situations. Flex is something of a diplomat and his height and sense of humour have made him affable and connected over the years.
The right turn leads to the savanna. It is safer from the gangs but there are other dangers, wild animals, noxious substances from old mines, and low flying craft from the official police trying to keep the greenbelt around the Midcast projects clear.
The ground was heavily polluted after the Russia/China wars. The habitat is overrun in places with and mutated farm animals who were exposed to these dangerous substances making their heads and teeth massive. They are also extremely aggressive and will eat human flesh whenever they can.
There are caves where there is safety from the animals and there are connecting wet tunnels and lagoons but these have never been mapped correctly. Word of mouth is the only reference but survivors are few.
There are tribes of people from the savanna who have made their homes there but are rarely seen. They are deemed reasonably placid as they have never caused any trouble elsewhere. They are rumoured to be shy, excellent hunters, highly superstitious and have been thought to possess witchlike powers.
There is an urban myth that an old centre for strategic warfare lies beneath the savanna and that the tribes who live there, with access to hi-tech equipment, scramble satellite information allowing them to be hidden.

The road ahead leads directly back to the *Midcasts from where Renyke originally came.
Beyond the projects are the government departments, airports, factories and centres of information. Further still are the palaces and homes of the very wealthy. The Midcasts are medium to high wage earner homes, with schools and facilities for professionals and academics.
The way that mainstream society is structured in the present is based on a capitalist idea of perfection: consistent innovation, counteracting labour fallout due to advancing technology by placating a keen and able workforce, and protecting the ownership of the means of production for as few empowered individuals or corporations as possible.
There is very little opportunity for upward social mobility. Hard work and study will create a good life for families but becoming wealthy or powerful requires access to the means of production. Governments and landowners are careful not to allow ordinary workers and lower professionals access to these avenues of power and control.
The biggest means of production is the internet and interactive media. Both are tightly controlled by a group of related conglomerates, most of whom made their fortune through the production of weapons and vaccines.
Downtime for workers is spent in the VR cafes where *mersers can get drunk, have sex, take a swim on holiday and even murder people, albeit in their heads, during their coffee breaks.
RR, real reality, is frowned upon as anti-intellectual and subnormal.
But some Midcasters have abandoned their lives for RR and have gone to the outer zones to seek fulfilment. For these people, RR is their calling or obsession. Others, like Renyke, find that their continued presence in the Midcast Projects is dangerous or compromised and came to escape an undesirable situation or death.
Renyke makes a decision based on the only experience and knowledge he has.
'We go left....back into town.'

to be continued © 2023 Sarnia de la Maré 


Other Episodes


glossary

Strata 1

Strata 2 

Strata 3

Strata 4

Strata 5 

Strata 6

Strata 7

Strata 8

Strata 9

Strata 10

Strata 11


Fake Friends, Poem by Sarnia de la Maré FRSA Illustrated by iServalan

 Fake Friends



It took many years

and a million mistakes

to see 

that we 

were never friends


I was wrapped

so tightly in

Belonging


The songs were 

binding 

and the troupes

compelling


But we were

Never really friends


We were passengers

on one another’s

trains

Derailed and destined 

for some 

grizzly end


We were never ever

Friends


©2024 Sarnia de la Maré FRSA

Friday, January 12, 2024

Unlocking Creativity: Overcoming Writers' Block

 



Unlocking Creativity: Overcoming Writers' Block

Introduction:

Writers' block, the dreaded foe of every wordsmith, has the power to halt creativity and leave you staring at a blank page. Whether you're a seasoned author or a novice blogger, experiencing a creative slump is a universal challenge. The good news is that overcoming writers' block is entirely possible with the right mindset and strategies. In this blog post, we'll explore various techniques to help you break through the barriers of creative stagnation and rediscover the joy of writing.

  1. Change Your Environment: If the four walls of your usual writing space are starting to feel stifling, consider changing your environment. Take your notebook or laptop to a coffee shop, park, or library. A change in scenery can stimulate your senses and provide the fresh perspective needed to kickstart your creativity.

  2. Freewriting: Allow your thoughts to flow without any constraints. Set aside a specific time, grab your pen or keyboard, and let your mind wander. Write without worrying about grammar, structure, or coherence. Freewriting can help you tap into your subconscious and uncover hidden ideas.

  3. Take a Break: Sometimes, the best way to overcome a creative block is to step away from your work. Take a walk, meditate, or engage in a different creative activity. Giving your mind a break can rejuvenate your creativity and provide you with a new outlook when you return to your writing.

  4. Mind Mapping: Use mind maps to visually organize your thoughts and ideas. Start with a central theme or topic and branch out with related concepts. Mind mapping can help you identify connections and generate new ideas, making it an effective tool for overcoming creative blocks.

  5. Set Realistic Goals: Break down your writing tasks into smaller, more manageable goals. Setting realistic and achievable objectives can help alleviate the pressure that often leads to writers' block. Celebrate your small victories, and gradually build up to larger writing milestones.

  6. Explore Other Forms of Creativity: Engage in activities that stimulate your creativity in different ways. Paint, draw, play an instrument, or try your hand at poetry. By exploring various creative outlets, you can unlock new perspectives and ideas that can be applied to your writing.

  7. Read Widely: Immerse yourself in diverse literature. Reading a variety of genres, authors, and styles can expose you to different writing techniques and storytelling approaches. Inspiration often comes from unexpected sources.

  8. Collaborate and Seek Feedback: Share your ideas with fellow writers or friends. Collaborative brainstorming sessions or seeking feedback on your work can provide valuable insights and break the isolation that often accompanies writers' block.

Conclusion:

Writers' block is a common challenge, but it doesn't have to be a permanent roadblock. By incorporating these strategies into your routine, you can break free from the chains of creative stagnation and rediscover the joy of writing. Remember, creativity is a journey, not a destination—embrace the process and enjoy the ride. Happy writing! 

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