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Rough ideas for a start
Sun Sep 9, 2018 16:37

I'm unable to say that I'm entirely happy with this example of a beginning, I'm sure it requires rearranging and quite likely needs trimming too. Just a starter....

(Travails being a sort of pun on Travels.)

Timothy Tinkletap looked glumly at the worn sign hanging outside his cottage, its rusty hinges squeaking as it swung in the wind on a signpost that wobbled from the weight of his carved wooden sign which read 'TINKLETAP TOYS'.

He knew he ought to take it down and renew the gold painted lettering, repaint the hinges, grease the hinge pins and replace the signpost that was rotting at the base, he'd known at the time that he should have used creosote to protect the wood but had been in too much of a hurry to make some because of all the orders he needed to fulfill.

Only two years ago he'd just finished his apprenticeship and set up in business for himself at the advice of his old master.

"By rights you should first become a journeyman young Tim and set out on your travels to learn the tricks of the trade and put a final polish on your craftsmanship but there's more than enough work to do so you might as well get an early start in a place of your own, 'cos I aint getting any younger and that's a fact."

His cottage looked rather dilapidated too, there was a sapling growing in the thatch and he'd had to put a brace against a wall that was threatening to crumble but even so he was, or had been, better off than most of his neighbours until the stream of orders from customers had dried up, presumably showing that the towns and citadel were feeling the pinch as well.

Nobody seemed to know exactly what the cause was, though there were rumours aplenty but as far as Timothy was concerned he thought his best hope was to shut up shop and go on the road as a tinker because when times were hard was when things got mended instead of thrown away and a toymaker has all the skills and tools that a tinker needs.

Timothy had done very well in those first two years, enough to have been able to put a bit by, more than a bit in fact because for a while it seemed that the orders would never stop coming in, most by post, some from travellers, even one or two by courier which was unheard of especially out here in the countryside.

Timothy had quickly built a reputation as a maker of fine quality and unique toys many of them with mechanical actions, such as two armed knights on foot that fought for the honour of their 'liege lords' being the young men that operated the controls which caused them to slash, stab and parry with their miniature swords.

He'd moved out to the country so that there would be no opportunity for other toymakers to learn his secrets which were the techniques he'd developed to make his toys easy to build, reliable and strong even in childrens hands, especially boys and much less expensive to make thus increasing his profits on each sale. His approach to toymaking was, as far as he'd been able to tell by talking with other apprentices, quite different from their more traditional masters.

These men made each toy as if it was their first, they used a variety of materials and techniques, mostly using whatever came to hand and there was nothing wrong in doing it that way except that it was a slow means of production whereas what Timothy had discovered was it was much quicker to work out the best way to make a particular item and then produce exact copies by making all the parts beforehand and keeping extra parts to hand so he could immediately fill an order simply by assembling them. It was the finishing touches, the painting and decoration that made each of his toys seem as unique as those laboriously built one at a time.

Timothys main customers were the citadels traders who sailed to foreign ports and brought back all manner of goods for those with the money to buy them and his toys were considered highly valued by those places that would not otherwise show any interest in the goods they were shown from the citadel. Their fabrics were far superior, their weapons much better and for the most part their goods were too expensive but they couldn't get enough Tinkletap Toys, most especially the mechanical ones which Timothy was so clever at making.

Usually taciturn and unhelpful toward outsiders, the inhabitants of Brocks Burn had taken Timothy as one of their own though neither they nor he could have said why. Perhaps it was because of the games he had given to the village inn for their amusement, no other inn had anything like them. Perhaps it was because one or two men had daughters who needed a husband but just as likely it was because of the stories Timothy told of his life as an apprentice in the citadel that no one else had visited.

They were prepared to believe anything of what went on there. It was universally acknowledged to be a sink of depravity, or would have been had they any notion of what depravity meant.

"You'm was lucky to get out o' there in one piece bor" was the generally agreed opinion "an' luckier still as you come here where folks is decent hard workin' sorts as aint out to mind your business, not like some as I do hear" said old Seth with a dark glance in the direction of the next village.
"'Tis true is that Seth, you never said a truer word" agreed the others who were equally clueless about life anywhere outside their village.

No, thought Timothy, still wrapped in his reverie as he sat outside his cottage thinking about what to pack to take with him, who to entrust with keeping an eye on his cottage while he was away and which direction to take when he left in search of opportunities to seek out employment as a tinker or whatever else was on offer.

Recent travellers had warned that the citadel was now guarded and turning away anyone that hoped to find work there unless they wanted to be conscripted or impressed into the army or navy.

    • Re: Rough ideas for a start - roger, Mon Sep 10 10:42
      Somewhere I must have missed reference to the Citadel. Did it suddenly appear in the story or was a Citadel common to the time and area? This is probably picking nits but it did come as a surprise.... more
      • The Citadel - for Roger - mike, Mon Sep 10 11:16
        I drew a map which, although a work in progress, I sent a copy of to Sarge. I'm sure I've mentioned this whole new story idea somewhere here? Well, to recap, its loosely based upon my favourite... more
        • Re: The Citadel - for Roger - roger, Tue Sep 11 09:00
          I had no idea that London was also called the Citadel. Thanks.
        • Country names? - sarge, Mon Sep 10 13:10
          How about Brythony or Brython (a nod to the Celt language of the Britons). Those I rather like really, but your pleasure comes before mine here. Anglia might be more obvious, though it does roll off... more
          • I'll go with BRYTHAN - mike, Mon Sep 10 14:08
            I like your suggestions especially Anglia and Midland would have been my choice except its too close to Middle Earth but BRYTHON works best only I'll alter the spelling a tad.
            • Glad... - Sarge, Mon Sep 10 14:49
     have contributed something a bit more "mature" today. He hee!
    • I like it... - sarge, Sun Sep 9 18:13
      ...though I wonder if the name is purposely chosen to flash back to a perfectly hideous school life, Tinkletap a primary school boy's dream name for a willy... The imagery of the setting is good,... more
      • No! Damn you - laughs - mike, Sun Sep 9 18:31
        Its onomatopoeic! Tinkle Tap the sound of metal and hammer
        • Re: No! Damn you - laughs - roger, Mon Sep 10 10:33
          Mike, Now you see how some of think.
        • Grin! - Sarge, Sun Sep 9 18:57
          I am such a ten-year-old boy! I very much like the onomatopoeia, now that you point it out, If you do want some distance from us who delight in our sometimes immature male sense of humour though,... more
          • Hopefully... - sarge, Mon Sep 10 13:17
            ...the country name suggestions make up for my male immaturity (which was intended 90% to amuse and I hope taken thus). Grin!
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