So about this ‘Belief’ thing. Reflections from Arcadia

I really must stop troll-hunting on ‘Have Your Say’ sites and ‘Fourm(es). Aside from the fact that arguing with them is like shooting fish in a barrel (itself an occupation which is doomed to failure as the first shot goes through the barrel, the water runs out, and then someone comes rushing at you waving an axe ‘cause the shot kept right on going into their garden and parted their hair…I digress); it also brings out the slavering, predatory, sardonic Punisher (as per Marvel Comics) in me, which is someone I try to keep comatosed these days. He was once let loose to write a 400 page fantasy novel soaked in violence upon those who brought violence; there was no plot just; scenes based on Death Wish I & II, only slower in the despatching of folk.

No, let me stroll in the fresher air through bright sun-lit lanes of the WordPress writing community. Folk who love writing, folk who strive to write, folk who share their gifts and experience, folk who are suffering but find a courageous way to put it all down into words and folk who challenge with their art. This is a far richer land.Yep! This is Arcadia (Yea! I forged the link in!!)

Anyway, so reading through the posts and the opinions I encounter a whole myriad of views, beliefs and outlooks. All through the medium of The Writer, and in this constructive place there is so much encouragement to a view which has grown within me for a few years, as follows..

When faced with a world view it’s not what you believe that counts amongst the world community it’s how you treat your neighbours on this planet that counts. Of course that is nothing new, but it’s worth repeating. Compassion, Respect and Tolerance (CRT)

So, I’m a convert to Roman Catholicism and this forms the foundation of my Faith Belief. But who am I to judge that someone who espouses to these goals of CRT by a different path is not ‘doing it right’? We all know the whole question of believing in a supreme being, or not, or another power which is not a deity is an area which is heavy with potential for furious exchange (and a lot worse). Why does that have to be so? To repeat who are we as individuals to judge another taking a different path to the same goal?

I have interests in things scientific; far too many than is good for my memory cells, but the little knowledge retained does help when viewing belief and faith against the backdrop of the Universe and its constituent parts.

To move to a cosmological scale, which helps when viewing Creation, we’re part of a 14 billion light sized/aged universe; the scale is so vast that there are clusters of galaxies forming even bigger clusters (clusters of clusters). When you consider that in our own galaxy there are at the bottom estimate One Hundred, Thousand, Million; (that is like One Hundred Thousand, millions) stars then that makes for a lotta stars with a lotta planets. Now that’s big. So from my theistic, Abrahamic Christian perspective in such a potential proliferation of intelligent life forms (which we might never meet due to distances issue) why should I have the monopoly on Truth. Is it so unreasonable to believe that God has lain out Truth in a myriad of ways so that the vastness of Life can comprehend in ways understandable to each different type.

Now consider other end of the scale, down in the quantum scales of the unimaginably small, where the very particles’ natures defy the comprehension of our three-dimensionally wired minds. Take Light; Light can be a particle; it can be a wave. Now back to my belief in God and someone else believes in; say an Earth-Religion. Is it not acceptable to say ‘Ok,’ one to the other. ‘This Creation is something beyond our concepts. Let’s just work together to bring some sort of sense, order, peace and joy to the world. You do it your way, I’ll do it mind, and we’ll try not to tread on each other’s toes (Which being human, we will, but will restrict our remarks to allegoricals ‘Ooops. Sorry’ ‘Oh it’s alright. You’d want to steer clear of clumsy me first thing in the morning,’).

And suppose someone believes this is either part of some greater law of physics, or a chance event and there is no entity or empathetic force behind it all. Again, I ask- are you on board with CRT? If so no problem. Do what you can to spread the word.

I once chanced upon a USA radio station religious broadcast in which an atheist scientist was being interviewed. She must have been well known, because she remarked she had letters from Christians who said they enjoyed listening to her and would pray for her. To which she said with chuckle ‘And that’s so sweet’. Oh man what standards to live up to! That both parties could accept the other in a spirit of such generosity! (In the UK say that to members of a very vocal minority and steam will shoot out of their ears that one should dare to intrude upon their- well I dunno actually since they make a big fuss about not believing in a supreme being).

So if you embrace Compassion, Respect and Tolerance I really don’t worry about how you continue on your journey. If you don’t, well (hey….you don’t want ‘him’ to be uncomatosed- trust me, he is ,at best a spiteful mocking jerk)

There is room enough for all of us, but not if we include for the mistakes of Hate, Intolerance, or even Mockery. Embrace those and the person’s words are at the least liken unto that from the lower parts of a person who has gorged on beans.

At worse? Well are they ready to take responsibility for this, because that is where their path , untitled make no mistake.

So my dear bright and prolific writers fill the world with your creations. Never give up. Continue to spread your words, reach out and strengthen this Community. Best wishes to you all. Never give up on your dreams or plans, and most importantly support each other.

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So Watcha Gonna Next Uh? – Reflections from Arcadia

I am in the enjoying stage of writing my book,thE11YBTYO so much so that it was time for a wander back down the work-thus-far and re-write for continuity, spellyng and removing those ‘what-the-heck-were-you-thinking-of ‘passages.Disbelief

 

Also there is a definite need to tightenrunning training up on my writing process and disciplines. So I set myself the task of blogging each day, oh (stop that! It’s not nice!)and thus the idea of a lofty title for the project was born. Yes, Reflections from Arcadia. The title denotes a certain wistful, perceptive, yet detached approach to the sundered foibles which swirl about one. Such a statement will embrace the reader and set within them the empathetic predisposition to engage with the subject matter. literature_authors_frost      th8O14X4T3

 

 

 

There will be no specific direction. The best way to explain, is from a recollection way back in the early 1980s. I went up to our daughters’ room (5 & 3 respectively) to see if they gone to sleep. They were both awake and looking quite cheerful. “Hello? What you doing?” I asked “Oh just talking,” replied Meg (5 and spokesperson). “About what?” “Oh food, and days and things,” This is now our household phrase for generalities.

Only, sorry but there’ll be no discussion about food.

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My cooking skills are basic. My aspirations in this area are even more so. Shove something in the oven/microwave/toaster and that’s fine by me, as is meat, cheese or jam slapped in between two slices of bread (even better with the latter two)

For those not used to my…..errr….style? Humour might get mixed up with serious stuff, I will try and highlight that. Any profundities will arise quite by accident. There will no plagiarisms, because how do you know ‘they’ dostoevsky  didn’t steal it off someone who didn’t get the chance to get it published AND there’s that coincidence thing …. uh-uh-uh? (You know how I feel, don’t you?. We’ve all been there!!)

Oh yeah, there might be rants.

Daffy duck

Anyway, that’s me for the day

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WordPress posts don’t read themselves y’know.

Then there are those re-writes…..

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Until tomorrowur5vr  and

 

yep! tomorrow…

So this couple walk into a bar and there’s the gorilla sitting in the corner

Well I had to get your attention somehow.

In my last posting I admitted to the fact that I could not write a serious piece for very long, which is a pretty useful statement to make when you are thinking about what to write for your next post. This is my social conscience side speaking, because it is not fitting for me to keep on filling up posts with bits of my book. Folk might lose interest. When one is a bad writer such thoughts must be taking seriously, in a heroic fashion of course, seize the opportunity and take up the challenge.

So let us consider Humour and the writing thereof.gstave

There are those who will preach at ill-advised length and quite inappropriate gravitas about what they insist humour should do. They’ll come out with a lot yada-yada-yada about shocking sensibilities, provoking thoughts or being a mirror to society….Ahhhh-dreng!! (Farscape). Humour is there to make you smile, grin, snigger, snorf or laugh, anything is incidental.

So then writing Humour. (Dear friends across the Atlantic, whereas I salute your economy in the number of letters you use in the spelling, I must insist, our spelling has the appeal of the intangible and will therefore continue thus)

Everyone will know (ruefully) from their own joke telling experiences, that making people laugh is a minefield. One person’s ‘LoL’ is another person’s ‘Hmphh!’. Those who are brave enough to face an audience can employ gestures, nuances of voice and expression. A writer only has words and their own off-kilter imagination…..

Well yeh,! You can’t really do Humour unless you are prepared to step outside of the routine and see the funny-side of things, when others might not want to or are missing the humour.

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So your SECOND task will be to draw folk in on the joke. Your FIRST will be to choose the ground you are prepared to make your stand on, because you have to … convey the Humour and you can only do this from a place of confidence and some originality. Watching or reading someone going full tilt in a desperate hope that their soulless and flaccid impression of someone of talent is at best boring, usually cringeable at worse there is the urge to violently stop them.

So there you are ready to make people laugh, and you have a notion on how to accomplish it. Fine but remember the THIRD; the ‘Hmphh!’ factor. You will probably be offending someone’s sensibilities so be prepared for more ‘kritiks’ (sic/sick) than other writers might encounter. You will also, for certain, be facing up to one of the quirks of human nature- if a person is told something is funny they might well be going there to make sure they find it is not and thus assert their own independence of thought. (You gotta love ‘em)

Have I put you off the idea yet?…..No…..Good.

As Humour comes in as many forms as there are people, the permutations are many and sundered. My attempt to list then was abandoned when it occurred to me I was falling into the Yada-yada-yada trap. So let’s assume you have chosen your style, and do some brevity.

Macabre; Satire; Sardonic & Gallows- You know you are going to offend folk but the chances are you might well reap a following too, for being shocked or having one’s own beliefs affirmed will always be popular. The minefield here is going too far. Remember only the ‘Great & Beloved’ can get away with any old stuff. You have to tread far more carefully. You have a plot about a high-profile politician who is a serial killer and the establishment’s attempts to cover it up while reining him in….ok but it will need nuancing. To make it work the characters around him will have to have a degree of credibility. All the politicians can’t be corrupt, all the cops can’t be stupid and so forth. And be very, very careful in your use of children or animals. You have been warned- this in Humour we are discussing.

Feel-Good; Rom-com; Observational & Caper- Be prepared for the ‘huffnpuff ‘brigade who believe comedy should have a message; they will be complaining about the book being ‘light’ and ‘inconsequential’. Ignore them, because there is an audience which simply likes to be entertained while enjoying a good tale. The latter is important. The story is best told by being a solid one based on a measure of reality; a narrative which the reader can believe could happen or has happened. Happy, poignant or cliff-hanger endings work best, after all you’ve taken the reader along a broadly steady journey; jarring the ending ‘with a ‘shock’ or complete’ surprise might leave the reader dissatisfied, that will get out on the network and your hard work is in danger of withering. Ok….. say you have a Rom-Com plot two people are drawn to one another; you write it from the point of view of one party and you have lined up a whole host of mishaps, rivals and antagonisms; so far so good. Annnddd you have this twist, being the object of the central character’s affections is not of the gender the central one thought they were. Do not leave that to the last few pages and everyone says ‘Oh dear’ and it all ends sadly- what a let-down. Put it in say three-quarters of the way through; Love will triumph but how in the name of Jennifer Aniston are they going to get there? (Oh by the way if you do pick up on that one be prepared for getting involved in a skirmish in the Culture Wars, whichever way you write it you’ll annoy some group- some make your characters intelligent and sympathetic; it helps)

Wacky. Off-The-Wall. Chaotic. Surrealistic: Tailored-made for those of us who cannot stay put in any sort of reality when writing. The universe is yours to fool around with. One thing to bear in mind though a plot is vital. Having a bunch of folk rattling about the place doing comic things, making wry observations, fooling villains or heroes or failing magnificently in some weird plan is fine, but they need to have a cause which will hold the readers’ attentions. Anyone who writes 300 pages of this sort of thing where the plot vanishes only for it to be dragged out from time to time with some rather obvious commentary is going to fail (This I know to be true dear reader. Do not argue with me on this score. It is a proven fact)……………….pogo.stick.10 NNQP Vol 2

 

Parody: Works best if it is done with an affection for a genre, so the readers can join in on the jokes. They will have had the misfortune to have read the very bad; they will have been obliged to read the over-blown by some ‘Name’, so rest assured they will get ‘it’. Thus, you enjoy a type of story but you know the failings which crop up- then off you go. There are those who will target styles or a popular book with the sole aim of taking it down; they will have an audience of like-minded folk. If you go for that, try and be wry in your attack on your perception of the failings; sledge-hammer humour just comes across as ‘sour’. There is a sub-set of hacks who will just do it ‘cause they know it will sell (and be dumped in a charity bin-but they should care they got your money!). Try not to do that. You are a writer not an opportunist.

FOURTH- have fun writing. If you aren’t laughing, sniggering, smirking, or smiling then it an’t working. Sitting there hammering out vitriol with a grim satisfaction is basically not humour; it’s being nasty or sour, so stop it there, spend some mind mulling over the Life and return in more positive mind.

FIFTH- Off you go. Have fun.

Oh yeh…I nearly forgot…so they ask the barman ‘What does he drink?’. The barman replies ‘Anything he wants to’

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The Treasonous Ways of Men Are On My Mind

Rachael Ritchley’s Third Volume of the ‘Twelve Realms is under way. These are truly entertaining and captivating books which can be read by ‘All Ages’.
Not only does Rachael write them, but creates the covers, does cool YouTube promotions and markets them.
Visit her blog not just for details on the books but also on ‘how it can be done’

Rachael Ritchey

WORK IN PROGRESS!  WIP-ping it out here. haha

Okay, so this is totally first draft stuff, but I thought today would be a good day (sunny and bright) to share an excerpt from my current WIP, The Treasonous. This is the third book in the Chronicles of the Twelve Realms, and it’s coming together kind of slowly, but I’m loving the characters.

Map of the Twelve Realms Map of the Twelve Realms

If you will remember, Florian is one of the twelve guardsmen knights of High Prince Theiandar. He is from the realm of Wyeth. In The Beauty Thief we found out that he was raised south of Wyeth Castle. His nobleman father and his mother were killed when Florian and his sister were both young. They were told that raiders from Crescent Cave had murdered their parents, and they were sent to live with their uncle whose manor was near the castle. In…

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(Humour &) The Patchwork Warriors- Ep 4

For me to write a piece of fiction which is continuously serious is impossible. Sit me in a chair and force me to contend with one of the great tragic or dramatic works of  literature or drama and the fifteen year old in me will rise to the surface to do re-writes. Hamlet will stab Polonius in the backside; The Brothers Karamazov will develop strong rural accents and argue of the merits of a desert known as Gooseberry Gurgles; Greek Tragedies will abound with examples of British Smut (The Carry On Films); numerous Shakespearean characters will develop pirate voices (except for Hamlet, being Danish he gets a quite inappropriate  Muppets Swedish Chef accent- I tell ya it’s a winner with The Soliloquy To Be Or Not To Be  ), and as for Marlowe’s Edward II…. no it’s not something I should repeat.

Ergo!…

The following extract, which is the final part of Chapter One was thus something of a capering after the strain of sticking to the start of the plot , I tried to keep some sort of narrative relative to the main story line…but gee….my characters will have their say…

Extract…

The translator pastoral recognised concern as opposed to the usual custodianal displeasure. Firstly, on returning the custodian had merely dismissed the three translators with a curt statement that they had work to do amongst their communities, so they were obliged to leave the light supper and scuttle out into the night. Secondly, he had been quite willing for Widow Darroe to see the girl into the kitchen and had not even bothered to ask ClnMyla if the arrangement between Widow Darroe and Servant Harrdel was a ‘correct one’. Instead he had ushered the translator pastoral into his own reading room, where he at least allowed ClnMyla to sit down before he started.

“Let us ignore your previous mistakes in this matter,” Meradat did not wait for any agreement “And look at the issues to hand. We have a man who in his vanity has peered into places far beyond his capacity to handle, thus panicked and fled. Then in response to his incautious and irresponsible ways, appears a strange young woman with an ability to trace such practices. This in itself raises issues which will need to addressed as will her apparent propensity to burn places at her whim,” at this juncture he stopped appearing to have argued himself into a corner; thus he paced, hands firmly clasped behind his back. Not being one to dwell too long on a problem the custodian stopped at the window and starred out into the damp and dirty night.

“Although the risks are great and the weaponry to be handled very carefully there is no doubt that The Lord God has delivered unto me the means to do battle,”

Problems and issues assailed ClnMyla. Still out of breath he only half-rose

“Now Meradat my long-time associate in perils! You’ll not be thinking of taking that possibly unhinged young girl on one of your steely and messy jaunts? Sweet Mercy of God! For all we know she might be a little runaway dreamer who latches onto any event and claims it for her own doings. I’ll wager she believes she can hold conversations with flowers and the more pleasant of insects,” ClnMyla felt inclined to add a warning to the next part “And how can you be certain she’s not been sent to discredit you? You’re not the most popular of fellows amongst your ranks, upsetting your superiors and equals with your assertions of corruption, nepotism and laziness. You’ve seen off five assassination attempts to my knowledge. So they try discrediting. What could be worse than a middle-aged experienced custodian being made a fool of by a waif of a girl. It’s happened before, mind you from what I heard those were for natural reasons,”

The face drew taught and flint sharp, winter grey eyes became hooded.

“Do you think I wouldn’t know such a trick?”

And ClnMyla knew that as far as Meradat was concerned was the end of the argument. ClnMyla had to admit the man had been walking very strange paths for many years, he was party to the most peculiar of information and experiences.

“Whatever that fool saw and whatever ability this girl could offer a path to those who would destroy this world and replace it will a Hell. Even if this is the only army I will have I will make it so. I must speak with her now. You may rest,”

          Oh upon my faith he’s in one of his fanatical stages. What in the Name of Sweet Mercy has he been brooding on now? For once maybe he is the one with the best answer? Oh I don’t know though. But I’ll have enough to do with the authorities and gangs being a nervy as frogs about a fire; and neither being responsible, while suspecting each other. I think this role is getting to be more than one man’s work; pastoral indeed! Mine you he has a point; it will do no harm to be resting my eyes for just a fifty or so…..

Karlyn was perched upon a kitchen stool working her way through a meal of stew and extra portions of vegetables. Widow Darroe managed to feat of wrinkling her nose at Meradat in a respectful fashion.

“The young woman should have the comfort of a bath and bed too Your Honour,”

“Sadly, good woman, there is little time. The services of the Lord God are pressing. Now then, Maid Karlyn,”

“Yumf?”

“Very well. Eat, but with all dignity. Now listen well, and bear in mind I will expect an answer,”

“Uh-huh,”

He drew from his large and pocket rich coat a slender black leather book; the custodial axe inscribed in gilded lettering. Sitting opposite her, he skimmed it across the table to her.

“Pick that up,”

The need to shovel another spoonful of stew took precedence, but following she picked up the volume, sniffed at it and having looked admiringly at the cover put down her spoon. While she chewed in a very demonstrative manner, Karlyn thumbed through the pages, ending her survey with a very obvious swallow.

“Hey! I like these prayers about burning wicked folk!!”

“Good. Truly evil folk cannot bear to open the pages. These sacred texts have been woven with purity of purpose,”

Widow Darroe passed a comment which she kept wisely inaudible and excused herself. These being that The Official Custodianal idea of purity could be mistaken by ordinary folk as the determination to wreak havoc and terror

“Recite unto me a maiden’s prayer,”

Karlyn pulled a long face, the stew was beckoning.

“Dunno much. Where I lived they never encouraged ‘em,”

Meradat glowered, not so much at her, but many leagues distant and many years passed.

“Try,”

“Humph….OhGoodLordGod.HelpUsYerFoolishAndBig’EadedChildren.WeAveBeenWaywardAndUngratefulScropes.Sorry!Sorry!!Sorry!!!”

And returned to the stew.

“You made that one up did you not?”

“Yer. Told you where I lived we weren’t encouraged,”

“It was sincere enough,” he had had enough experience of the panic and haste of the other sort “So are you ready to work for The Lord God?”

“Yumph,” stew again.

That was quite emphatic; just the sort you’d expect from an irreverent yet honest sort. He continued, while observing, carefully.

“How long have you had this gift to scent out evil?”

“’Bout three years. Just came to me, it did. My family started to pong very bad, an’ not just because they didn’t wash. Then the whole neighbourhood did,” she pulled another face “Not that you needed a gift of smell to know things were crocked there,”

“We have little time. If this man has fled in terror, who knows what pursues him and where he has gone,”

She looked up, wrinkled her nose, tugged at her shirt.

“He’s gone west, he has. Maybe a hundred miles,”

Meradat stared at her for a long time, she did not flinch, she just stared back out of curiosity, and of course alternating with considerations of the stew. Most irregular; but the unblinking look in her, the absence of any furtive twitches, along with the steadiness of breathing. This suggested to him a purpose which was not malign.He’d had his suspicions about the central west coast and its penchant to trade in anything.

She might well do.

 

The Translator Pastoral was woken from an untidy, uncomfortable and inadvertent doze in his chair, by a great deal of hustling and bustling primarily a duet, one deep and sonorous counterpointed by a high, rapid and possibly incomprehensible one. After a few moments he concluded Meradat and the girl were about some business of their own, after another few moments he judged it would seem they were getting ready to go on a journey. He wished he’d stayed awake and heard what had passed between them. At least he might be able to have an influence on their manner of departure. So with the years of practice of being a translator at the beck and call of his congregation he unfolded out of his chair.

And became aware of the waves of mumblings and occasional shouts of opinions, from outside, and in consequence winced.

Of course as was common with custodians, they were inclined to make their rank known upon arriving anywhere. This had one of two effects; in the more sedate or humble communities everyone would take fright and guilt and stay indoors as much as possible, praying, literally, the said official would not choose to speak with them. In more unruly places it would not take long for a crowd to find the collective courage to find out just what was what.

Firstly in came his servant who announced that he probably knew but there was a crowd outside, then appeared Meradat and the girl, he as usual was thunderous while she was narrow eyed and thin lipped; both obviously dissatisfied. ClnMyla was at once for hands raised and a warning.

“Now before you pair start on your own interpretations of the Slaughter of Lowden Moor; let’s try and find a way out of this which makes sense to those poor noodles out there,”

“A custodian does not need to explain himself!” Meradat boomed.

“That is a charming trait you all share but I do not have the luxury of being able to or an inclination to distribute terror and I’ll not be the one having to clear up a mess of injuries and taller tales. Amongst other things this town trades in information in all directions, so nor do I want an already unhealthy place attracting even shadier folk. Meradat,” he fixed the fellow with a most pained expression. “Do you really think my three poor translators are up to that sort of challenge?”

“Hmm,”

In ClnMyla’s experience that response was a start, he pressed home his advantage.

“Look! Could we not have that young girl there disguised as a heretic and you’ll be taking her, looking as a Him for interrogation,”

Karlyn much refreshed by food clapped her hands and did a little jig.

“Oooh playtime! I loves playtime and dress-up. Can I have a moustache and a beard and swagger,” she stuck out her midriff and puffed out her cheeks and was about to demonstrate her vocal abilities, when Meradat pointed out, very sonorously that heretics did not swagger in a clownish fashion. Karlyn, mused and agreed. “Alright then I’ll be a noodley-hutch,” twirling her right index finger near to the side of her head.

ClnMyla and his servant exchanged unhappy and fatalistic glances.

Meradat rolled his eyes.

The crowd were stirred up by news of the fire and more importantly that the Pastoral Translator had been out and about with a custodian and they’d been seen dragging someone away. The crowd had discussed this enough and were just getting in a mood to push someone forward to do something, when the door of the abode swung inwards and there stood The Custodian, in his full imposing height and his iron badge in the shape of an axe of justice hung ominously about his neck. In his firm grip upon one shoulder a small hooded figure twitched and seemed to cackle.

Meradat did not normally care for this sort of theatrical and but he did have sense of duty to ClnMyla and so once more was going along with one of the Pastoral Translator’s whimsical schemes. This one did have a measure of economy and plausibility.

“One side!” he boomed “An heretic hast been apprehended in your town!!”

At this point Karlyn squeaked and waved her fingers in flapping motions about her head.

“Oooh the All praise,” she stopped, suddenly stuck for a suitable heretical statement, luckily for her the febrile imagining of the crowd were rich in possibilities.

“He’s got one of them Gervalons!” screeched a woman “Oh Good Lord God help us, there’s Gervalons here!!”

And a flurry of cried went up demanding all manner of very painful and bloody executions there and now, not helped by Karlyn cackling and crying back that they were all going to suffer Wraths, they were.

At this stage ClnMyla and his servant wisely made their appearances; the latter to run around to the attached stables and bring out the horses, ClnMyla to interpose himself between two forces of nature, maybe three he was not sure about the girl.

“Please! All of you. Be calm for, he, the Custodian must take this wretch,” Karlyn made a rude noise and stuck out her tongue, which caused some puzzled silences for as far as folk knew heretics did not resort to street urchin tricks, ClnMyla took advantage of the lessening of the hub-hub. “He must take them for interrogation! They are obviously not having enough wits of their own to plan anything!” Karlyn seemed attracted to this notion and began to babble the word ‘Burn’ “There are others at work here!” he concluded in some desperation; the girl was not helping

At the appearance two suspiciously convenient saddled and bridled horses Meradat boomed once more for all to stand aside and dragged the girl to the mounts.

“You’re all gonna burn!!” she chanted and pointed randomly at folk squeaking ‘’Specially you!”

This litany ended when Meradat picked her up and slung her over the saddle of one mount, fixing her with a furious glare.

“Cease your blasphemous babbling!” he warned with more than a hint of truth in his voice, and tided her hands and legs.

“Can’t stop me!” she trilled

“Can’t stop me!!

You’re all gonna swing from the burning tree!!”

This ditty ended in a ‘mmph’ when Meradat shoved a rag into her mouth. Crowds even small ones could be volatile things and it was difficult to gauge just when the provocation would set off a riot. His prompt action turned the tide and caused cheering, calls of approval, with the occasional ‘God Lord Good Bless You’ thrown in by those anxious not be seen to offend a custodian.

Thus did Custodian Meradat ride off into a smear of wet dawn with his apparent prisoner still managing to cause a few folk distress by an excessive rolling of eyes and some stifled but chilling sounds.

ClnMyla turned to his servant.

“Well I hope that’s the end of our part in the drama,” he whispered, then turned his attention to those still hanging around and the days ahead of tidying up. No one ever wrote about the tidying up did they now?

End of extract….

Authot’s footnote “I never claimed to be a Mark Twain or Oscar Wilde”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jumpin’ Jelly Beans!! I’m On A Par With Brandon Sanderson!!!

 

I have had one of those glorious moments of affirmation of knowing my work is on the right track and it will only be a question of time before my name, will be there alongside the giants of Fantasy!!!

Let me explain dear reader, while there is still enough coherence in my febrile brain.

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My MP3 player was doing sterling service treating me to the audiobook version of Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings,  Way of Kings     Book One of The Stormlight Archive; then suddenly half-way through one of the minor characters makes reference to a saying revolving around a person having eyes of Red and Blue!! ……………. The self-same attribute I gave to one of my own characters!!

Wow! What are the chances of such!!

Now some might quibble over a little ting such as Mr Sanderson’s book being in print before mine; but I would be willing to swear upon the entire Mistborn Collection that I had never read/heard the book in question until this very month, whereas my books have been out there for three, two and one year respectively!! In fact I may have been writing of the Red & Blue around about the same time.

Naturally I defer to Mr Sanderson.

(Today’s lesson: One takes encouragement and affirmation wherever and whenever one can)

 

Time to Meet Some Folk- The Patchwork Warriors-Ep 3

So, having set the scene, it’s time to introduce those Who May Possibly Be Main Characters. Y’see being a chaotic sort of writer I never know who will stay, who will go and who might hang around and turn up later, while acknowledging that it might be best if some folk take the lead…..

Now are we going to have someone soliloquising or brooding in a plotting sort of way?

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Or do we have one or a few getting down to no-nonsense violence?

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(Whereas I’m all for innovation in the theatre; it seemed this version of Mary Poppins was too much style and not enough substance; somehow the essence of Chim-Chim-Cheree was lacking)

However I digress…. The opening had been low-ky; a build-up was required but to keep the pace not an overwhelming one. So time to introduce two new, but more idiosyncratic folk.

Two nights later Translator Pastoral ClnMyla was soothing the nerves of the town’s three indentured translators; men who had probably started out life meaning well but had in one way or another made too many accommodations while trying to make living in a place like Yermetz bearable. Being summoned to the Translator Pastoral’s abode was worrisome enough, having the additional information that it was at the behest of a Custodian would result in a communal air of three very scared rabbits, each making excuses or credible reasons for things. they had done. Some of these he’d had no previous knowledge of, but resolved to keep as note as the details might prove useful as leverage in later times.

“Now my brothers-in-faith. You must not be vexing yourselves so. Yes, the presence of a Custodian of the Word of The Lord God can be a measure troubling even to the most innocent of souls, but he is here on far more important business than a few,” slight cough “Relatively minor transgression in the moral fibre of the local clergy,”

His assurances were not given time to even fall on figurative ground when the door was flying open and stood a tall, solid man whose heavy featured scowl was made all the more impressive by his mane of steel grey hair and matching eyes. ClnMyla sighed, he was used to the man, but for weak folk with troubled consciences…

“Ah brothers-in-faith. Allow me to introduced Custodian-“

“Meradat,” the man intoned casting disapproval in all directions “You are the first line in defence of the Lord God’s Word, but because my presence here is necessary, you are found wanting,”

The three men’s countenances at once changed from variations on the state of trepidation to a shared misery beyond measure which stifled their abilities to even stutter excuses. As ClnMyla expected Meradat was perversely and grimly satisfied by this woeful sight.

“Hmmph! The sin of incompetency is as dangerous as any. It says much that I have to find useful information from the Translator Pastoral’s humble and contrite servant!”

ClnMyla knew for a fact Meradat always asked servants first. They replied out of respect, faith, terror or the urge to redress a wrong upon themselves In Harrdel’s case that would be a bit of the first, some of the second and certainly the fourth; not the third though.

But before the Custodian could further indulge his hobby of making translators miserable Harrdel appeared in the hallway, not caring to stand on any ceremony.

“Just got news honoured mentors! That house in our fire!!”

Ignoring the nonplussed three translators, the custodian glowered in general, ClnMyla grabbed at his nearby cape, told Harrdel to be giving the three brothers-in-faith something warm for the night and suggested Meradat he should firstly step aside and then follow on account of not knowing the way.

This did not last, soon Meradat was striding ahead instinctively drawn towards trouble.

“Brother ClnMyla I detect yet again a failure in that soft approach of yours, otherwise you would not have resorted to contacting me by this,” the custodian pulled from his pocket the hexagonal thumb-nail thick hand sized metal object with one dark green gem at its centre “Thing!” he enunciated the word with his customary distain, not happy with the Custodian’s Office compromise in using such devices for urgent contact over distance. “Indulgences in the dealings with human frailties will be your downfall!”

“There you go exaggerating again! Is this not the first time in two years, three lunations and six days that I’ve called you up on the chunky… Thing!, Is it not so? How would it be if I was to be troubling you dogged fellows every time something difficult turned up?”

Meradat grunted, the Translator Pastoral was a master at sounding reasonable and it was a sad fact that custodians were spread very thin these days. Far too many involved in or watching the myriad intrigues within the Oakhostian Empire; far too much attention to internal politics and not enough upon sin and blasphemies. Small wonder his reports were never answered or he was constantly despatched to the more obscure concerns of the empire.

Taking in Meradat’s silence ClnMyla did not labour the point, anyway he was wryly enjoying the spectacle of furtive figures who upon seeing the custodian’s forbidding outline vanished in a scampering of feet.

“By the way Meradat, did you take the trouble to announce your official presence?”

“I have no time to waste on miserable town officials with their ditherings and fawnings!”

“So what did you tell the town watch at the gates?”

“They did not care to challenge me,”

“No, they being used to harmless local farmers and traders. Or influential Local Interests. It must have been quite a shock to their sensibilities,”

But then it was time to break into a trot because the custodian was picking up his pace as the smell of burning tar and wood stung the throat, while the accompanying glow turned into the livid hues of orange and yellow bloom of fire at work. They cleared a corner and there the building ClnMyla had visited was host to a roaring column of flame; its brood of sparks dancing up defying the drizzle, the windows once empty sockets now were portals from which fire in perverse parody of waterfalls flowed upwards.

“Would you look at that! And it starting in such a damp house too,”

“Yes,” the custodian replied teasing the word out “It was what I was planning on having done,”

“That’s all well and good for a Custodian. You come in like an invading army, then leave the poor Translator Pastoral to deal with all the outrages. Which only start, I might add, after you’re safely out of hearing,”

He shook his head at the chaotic but not very energetic attempts by a few folks with buckets.

“There would be more cries of outrage if anything had seeped out of that abode of stupidity,”

Meradat paused, studying the sight “Damp you say? Then what brought cleansing flame upon this blighted place?”

“That would be me! Doin’ good works!!”

Both men executed swift turns, and promptly lost some dignity by bumping into each other, but once composed observed in these now flickering shadows a figure standing at their full, albeit ordinary height, eyes sparkling in the blaze, a bright wide smile across their narrow face.

“Oh,” they sighed “An’t burning wickedness a glorious deed and no mistake,”

There was no doubt about it, despite the ragged collection of jack, shirts trousers and boots by the tenor of the voice, the softness of features and the long dark eye lashes this was a woman, possibly a young one; leaning against the wall arms folded.

ClnMyla was first to the conversation, he did not want Meradat causing this possibly unusual person to go all skittish and run.

“Pardon me for appearing slow. But would you be after claiming the responsibility for this conflagration?”

This caused the person to rise from their slouch and frown, arms unfolding and straying down to their sides.

“Just said that didn’t I?” they leant forward, teeth slightly barred “I set fire to that nasty place. Just like I’ve done before!!”

“So you’d be making a career of this then?”

“Yer!” she waved a hand at them “Like you holies, it’s my vo-err-voc—“

“Vocation,” intoned Meradat, she nodded in response “And by your accent am I correct to assume that you have journeyed northwards all the way from the Blaggatinian peninsula, burning down places along the way?”

“S’right. Right up from Elinid,” she spat, quite profusely, narrowly missing clerical shoes “Rot-it-to the Fifth-Hell,” a pause to scratch their scalp “I’ll go back there one day an’ burn the whole dam’place down!”

Meradat was normally a man given to action, either physical or verbal on the basis that assault took the foe off of their guard, however this person presented a collection questions which he felt, just this time, might be better dealt by his colleague. ClnMyla was of course all for talking.

“Well, miss, I take it, it is miss,” the arrival nodded, sniffed and followed it up by a wiping of nose on sleeve, which he took as a perverse sort of confirmation of her gender. “Just what would be bringing you on such a task?”

The girl raised her head, a thin smile about her face.

“I can smell nasty business I can,” a quick shrug “Not the robbing and cheating sorts, but that dirty creepin’ whytchie stuff, the stormihiggle or something,”

“Stommigheid,” Meradat corrected and being only able to restrain himself for very short interludes, loomed in asking “And just how do you burn things?”

ClnMyla winced, one odd answer here and the girl could be on the wrong end of an official Stommigheidate accusation. She swung out a sack, previously hanging from the back of her belt.

“I got all I needs in here. All the natural stuff that will burn anywhere and anyhow. I can set fire to a riverbank if I fancies!”

After a hasty glance to Meradat, ClnMyla put on his most disarming smile.

“This scenting of things?” and he let the question deliberately hang there, letting her have her say.

“I just do. It’s a gift and I makes the best use of it. Soon as I got the chance to get out of the sproggle hole Elinid and into the open where I could think and smell straight, it all became alright, an’ since then,” she shrugged, then looked back to the fire, losing herself in the sight, one hand idly tugging at her shirt.

ClnMyla moved between her and the flames, his smile determinedly fixed in a kindly manner, time to calm her down and learn more about the wheres and the whys.

“Well this is go news to our stretched and tired hearts. Another to the fight. My new cook, she’s fine at her calling and a most devout lady, will be only too glad to prepare you a decent meal and a hot brew. Would you care to accept the invitation?”

At the mention of food there was a low gurgling noise from the girl’s midriff and a swift lick of her lips, although her expression was guarded.

“No funny-bunny business?” she asked, eye narrowing “No having me take off all my clothes to check for sinful marks? No creeping up to me at night with your trousers off and nightshirt up?”

ClnMyla was fair certain Meradat’s nasal inhalation and exhalation of outrage had caused two attendant drafts. These being a precursor to a combination of tirade and apology against the ways of lax, unworthy and thrice-wretched members of the Ecclesiastes.

“Ah, now you’ve started him off,” explained ClnMyla “He’s be going on about his colourful notions on how to cleanse our wayward brothers-in-faith and what’s wrong with the ruling councils. So unless you want to suffer a chill or a severe ear-ache you’d best accept my good graces and assurances and have a decent meal inside of you, for certain of the Good Lord God you’re looking as if you need one,”

The girl considered her feet.

“Yer, I’ll chance it,”

“Grand! I’m Translator Pastoral ClnMyla, that fellow with the endless vocal chords is Custodian Meradat, and you’d be calling yourself?”

“Karlyn, Karlyn Nahtinee,”

Before ClnMyla could comment on that, the blazing roof fell in, Meradat announced that there was no more to do done here and Karlyn Nahtinee was shepherded away.