Pre-match Nerves

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Tomorrow my story The Path Of Swords will be for sale on Amazon and I’m a little nervous. There are all kinds of thoughts that occur at a time like this. Will it look ok on the page? Is the cover right? Is the blurb interesting enough? Have I checked carefully enough for typos etc? WILL PEOPLE LIKE IT?

But I’m ignoring all these thoughts. My goal has never been to publish a book, have zillions of sales and retire to the Caribbean. I mean, that would be nice but it’s never been the plan. The plan is to write a series that people will read and enjoy. This is the first step, and as such it’s an important one but there is a long way to go. It’s a journey that I’m enjoying so far and I’m in no rush. Too often the first time you do something slips by without you realising it. I intend to savour the moment.

Remember that you have until lunchtime today (12th May) to get a free review copy of The Path Of Swords by clicking:

Free Review Copy

The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of Swords.

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Maps and Legends

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I love books with maps so I was very happy to sit down and start mapping out the world of the Second Son series which I did fairly soon after I started writing. At first I had it all straight in my head but I got to the point where I needed to actually see it. I drew this as a working document, it’s not meant to be the sort of map that you stick in the front of a book. Having said that it’s something I want to do and I will probably draw/paint one for the omnibus that will come out after the first three books of the series. Not going to worry about it just yet though!

And if you’re wondering why I’ve added legends to maps in the title then you need to listen to more REM.

Remember that you have until Friday to get a free review copy of The Path Of Swords by clicking:

Free Review Copy

The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of Swords.

 

The Song of Amhar

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The Song of Amhar

Five great ships from out of the night

Riding the waves to the land of light

Amhar the strong, with foresight blessed

Follows his destiny into the west

 

Considering I’m the sort of person who a) likes poetry, b) used to write songs and c) read the Lord of the Rings every year for about 15 years, its not surprising that bits of song and poetry crop up in The Path Of Swords. Obviously not too much, you don’t want to slow the narrative down too much, but there a times when adding something different really helps set the scene. This especially true when you consider the type of civilisation that the characters inhabit. Poetry, song and story are the way history is recorded, and knowledge passed on. Also one of the main characters is Mack, an aged minstrel, a wandering bard that befriends Luan and helps him along his way.

Remember that you have until Friday to get a free review copy of The Path Of Swords by clicking:

Free Review Copy

The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of Swords.

 

Isis – My Favourite Dylan

 
  I married Isis on the fifth day of May

 But I could not hold on to her very long

 So I cut off my hair and I rode straight away

 For the wild unknown country where I could not go wrong

So begins Isis, Bob Dylan’s sprawling Western ballad from his album ‘Desire’. It is a story of romance and grave robbing set to a pulsing backtrack of rhythmic guitar and eccentric violin.  Told in the first person, Dylan’s protagonist sets off to seek his fortune and falls in with a nameless stranger on a hunt for treasure.

  We set out that night for the cold in the North

 I gave him my blanket, he gave me his word

 I said, “Where are we goin’?” He said we’d be back by the fourth

 I said, “That’s the best news that I’ve ever heard”

 It’s only when he gets to their destination that the stranger reveals his unsavoury business. 

 We came to the pyramids all embedded in ice

 He said, “There’s a body I’m tryin’ to find

 If I carry it out it’ll bring a good price”

 ’Twas then that I knew what he had on his mind

But the plan doesn’t work out as intended. 

 The wind it was howlin’ and the snow was outrageous

 We chopped through the night and we chopped through the dawn

 When he died I was hopin’ that it wasn’t contagious

 But I made up my mind that I had to go on

Things go from bad to worse. The tomb is empty, so our hero decides to dispose of the body and head for home.

 I picked up his body and I dragged him inside

Threw him down in the hole and I put back the cover

 I said a quick prayer and I felt satisfied

 Then I rode back to find Isis just to tell her I love her

 Typically the reunion is less than romantic.

 She was there in the meadow where the creek used to rise

 Blinded by sleep and in need of a bed

 I came in from the East with the sun in my eyes

 I cursed her one time then I rode on ahead

And then the final reconciliation is a masterpiece of understatement.

 She said, “Where ya been?” I said, “No place special”

 She said, “You look different.” I said, “Well,I guess”

 She said, “You been gone.” I said, “That’s only natural”

 She said, “You gonna stay?” I said, “If you want me to, yes”

 It’s hard to pick your favourite Dylan track, but when I was doing a mix tape for my sister I put this one on which tells you something. It’s a great song. You can listen to it Here 

Congratulations Bob Dylan, Nobel Prize winner.

Every Heart

Every heart sings a song,

incomplete, until another heart

whispers back. Those who wish to

sing always find a song. At the touch

of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.”

-Plato

I’ve reblogged this from the Eyes+Words blog because I thought it was just great.

It’s even more amazing when you think that Plato actually started out as a wrestler. In fact Plato wasn’t even his real name, it’s a nickname from his wrestling days which means ‘stocky’ or even, if you are feeling unkind, ‘fatso’.

So if a wrestler can:

a) become one of the greatest philosophers of all time

and

b) express the sentiments above

then

c) maybe there is hope for me yet!

Eyes + Words

7/22/2016

“Every heart sings a song,

incomplete, until another heart

whispers back. Those who wish to

sing always find a song. At the touch

of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.”

-Plato


Artist Unknown

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     Original Writing – Cat video Sci Fi

   

The robot had five of these snaky limbs but unlike the other four which held the robot steady as it perched on the ridge, this latest one moved around as if the robot were looking for something. Suddenly the tentacle pulled three tiles off and plunged through the roof into the attic.

“Hey!” I shouted “That’s my house. Leave it alone!”

I thought it was ignoring me but then another triangle detached from the body and came snaking all the way down the side of the house towards me. I took a nervous step back but the triangle stopped at head height about three feet away. Then to my surprise words appeared on the surface.

“Please wait…”

“What?” I said “Why? What’s going on?”

“Work in progress…”

“What work? What are you doing to my house?”

“Dry rot…”

“Dry rot? I don’t have dry rot!”

“Dry rot detected and treatment in progress. Please wait. This video will help you relax…” To my utter confusion the words were replaced by a video of a cat falling off a sofa.

“Why am I watching a video of a cat?” The video shrank to fit in the lower part of the triangle and more words appeared across the top.

“Research shows cat videos are the most popular entertainment for humans?”

“Switch it off!”

“Do you not like cats? Other animals are available…”

“Of course I like cats. I’ve got one of my own”

“Detecting cats…” Videos of cats started appearing, each one shrinking to a small triangle until the lower half of the screen was filled by cats. More words appeared across the top.

“Identify your cat…” And there he was, my rather scruffy looking black tom cat. Without thinking I leaned forward and touched the triangle. All the other cats disappeared and I was watching mine. He was sitting on a wall having a wash and ignoring the Alsatian that was going crazy in the garden below. More words appeared across the top of the screen.

“Is this your cat…”

“Yes, that’s him. He’s called Steve”

“Contact attempted with Steve. Subject was unwilling to communicate”

“That sounds about right”

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This is an excerpt from a short story I wrote called “The robot that sat on my house”. I was reminded of it by a post on Charliandmeg’s blog, so decided to post a bit here.

I don’t know whether this story is finished. It could even be part of a novel, you never know.

I got the idea for this bit after I heard a song on the radio called “The Internet is made out of cats”

I think that sits in the “Strange but true!” category.