Category Archives: Fantsy Genre

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’: The Chapter Seventeen Incident- An Appeal for Discernment

Good day to you all at The Word Press City!! It’s really nice of you to take the time out of off your own projects and efforts and listen to what I have to say.

Firstly I’d best introduce myself, I’m Merklin Silc, brother of Grenaww, known to you folk as MR Silc. He takes care of the family business, that’s the trading and a few family emporiums whereas it was decided I could best serve our hometown of Elinid by endeavouring to gain a seat the City Council, which currently it is my honour to do so. Between us, I feel we are contributing to the city which gave birth to us.

You don’t meet me very much in the books. It’s not my role to be there. How could I hope to emulate those heroics and efforts of the other characters?  No, here I am happy to be in the background to serve by ensuring things go smoothly for all the communities in our colourful city. It’s so rewarding to help people and to enlighten them as to the complexities of the running of a big city.

But even if you are involved in mammoth tasks like that, you should never think yourself too above the ordinary day-to-day business of those ordinary folk who are the very foundations of life. So when one of my brother’s employees came to me to express concerns over what could be seen either as a minor commercial effort or arguably a civic drive I just had to take time out.

It involves these very difficult transactions between Your World and Ours in the matter of writing books. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I know absolutely nothing about how the whole things work. Such as how our folk get into your novels, or who has control of which part. I am simply proud to see we have a measure of co-operation going on in what is the area of The Arts. I do wish I had more time to spend appreciating them, but the demands of office are many and continual.

However, regarding the problem. The author of this book ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ by R J LlewellynPatchwork

a writer of determination and perception is quite the valiant independent, something I feel you will agree we must all salute. Sadly in striving to attain his goals certain errors arose. Personally, I do not feel they were very important, not when you exam the circumstances. For has he not given away many copies and those sold were sold at very low prices? Some might be annoyed at the duplication of a chapter, I would say to them ‘Mistakes were made. But lessons were learned’. I have had a chance to discuss with worthy experts the methods of transfers of information between our world and yours, and I am quite satisfied the minor errors arose through the implementation of the forces of The Stommigheid which as you realise by now are very complicated. The matter will be rectified, and a new edition will be launched by the end of what you can a month.

In the meantime, to prove his generosity and good-will if I may use his name, Roger, has allowed the current flawed copy to be given away free for the next two days. And may I say, this is typical of the spirit in which he writes. I have read something of his, as you call it, blog and he is a fellow who strives for every writer to have their say, a true champion of the cause. Something as a public servant I truly recognise.

I’m sorry but I will have to leave you now because there are matters of council business which will not wait any longer, this is the burden you’ve got to shoulder….

Sorry….just bear with me, a message has arrived……Hmm…

Well, well!! This is a surprise! It would seem we will be getting to know more of each other. I’ve just had a message from Roger, it seems he wishes to feature me more in the later works. Now that is a surprise! I’m quite stuck for words!! It really is such the honour!! I can’t think why he would want to do that, just well…I shall do my best.

Good wishes to you all

Merklin Silc

(Councillor of Elidian City, Chairman of Civic Ways and Means, Secretary for Fiscal Appointments, and Advisor to Guild of Notables. Entitled Honoured Citizen. Civic Worthy by Proclamation and Indentured Friend to The Distressed)

Don’t forget now….

Patchwork

 An Author’s Concerns

‘Ullo Everyone! It’s proper ‘Patchwork Warriors’ time!!

Mr Silc wants to have a few words about ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ Wigran Hendrechan explains something of the forces at work

‘Guess y’all kin call me a Patchwork Girl’ LifeGuard Arketre Beritt reflects.

 

 

 

 

 

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‘Guess y’all kin call me a Patchwork Girl’ LifeGuard Arketre Beritt reflects.

I told the writer, he of an excess o’ names, that I was gonna have mah say ‘cause ‘Kitlin’ (that’s Karlyn to you) was fussin’ me to do so, an’ he starts to get agitated ‘bout the way I speak an’ sayin’ I should tone down mah accent.

‘Why’s tha?’ I say

‘Because people will say no one talks like that,’ he says in a nervous manner

‘An these people,’ I say in a polite but firm way ‘They’d be from Sudd-Hengestatia?’

At this juncture he gets all flustered an’ starts going on about the way some folk speak or are portrayed as speakin’ in his world and I point out I am NOT from his world, thus what the frib’ is he worryin’ fer?

He exits ‘bout then

(Though I did promise to speak a measure more refined when the occasion did require)

So, anyhows I am Arketre Beritt. I am actually serving in the LifeGuard, tha’ an’t made up. In point o’ fact I was posted into this narrative on account of the original girl styled as military was too cute, an’ always cheery. Y’all try an’ be cute and cheery when up to tryin’ to save a life yer up to y’ arms in innards an’ all that resides in them. Damn foolish idea! Anyways I get called over by my Major an’ he tells me I’m gonna be takin’ part in one of your world’s books an’ jus’ be myself, what he meant by that I am not rightly certain.

‘My Major,’ I say ‘I’m not expected to exhibit tactical genius nor be orderin’ whole armies ‘bout the place am I? Because that stuff is not in a medician’s purview,’

An’ he just says with a sliver of a sly smile.

‘Jus’ be yourself Medician,’

Bein’ typical military they don’t go giving me full details, so I turn up into this narrative and do my best getting’ into the flow of it, an’ Thank The Good Lord God they do put me in a typical LifeGuard setting to start with, even fittin’ bits of mah own life in, which was kina helpful, with all the midden what’s goin’ on around me. This Stommigheid, or as we in the LifeGuard call it The Astatheia being the main pain in my backside, because next thing I’m knownin’ is the whole damn thing is Reality, leastways as far as Reality as any of us kan be expected to perceive.

This would have been some cause for compliant save for me meetin’ with Karlyn. Now I’ve had mah fair share o’ conquests and interestin’ interludes, like any good LifeGuard trooper, but she is somethin’ special. An’ folks that’s all y’gonna know. I told his writerness ‘Course y’all should damn well write ‘bout us getting’ together. S’obvious an’ it? Y’all pay attention to the fribbin’ narrative willa? But don’t y’all go puttin’ unnecessary details in. T’aint dignified’

He did not argue over that.

Then there’s Trelli, an’ she is the sweetest most trustworthy friend y’ could hope to ever have. She’s of a kindly nature too, which is good since us other two tend to get a bit rough an’ prone to physical retribution upon anyone who gets in our way, so she calms us down, at times. Except when she gets fierce, then folks ‘Everyone duck!’

On the whole it’s not bein’ so bad, as a trooper’s life goes, an’ getting’ to make decisions of a minor tactical nature was bound to happen I suppose. Makes a change from curin’ Particular Boils, checkin’ back-ends for worms along with all the other woes that befall bodies. Though I’m guessin’ there’s gonna be a whole more of a sewer’s worth dropped on mah poor blonde head at some stage, wouldn’t be army life otherwise.

Some of the others had been agitating about this marketing hoo-hah, which I was none too excited about, I mean how would you like to have lots of strangers knowin’ all about your personal details an’ activities an’ those doubts and fears we’re all plagued with. Point ‘o fact since it’s become apparent that Dozy Fingers  the Writer messed up with his publishin’ process, there’s a whole stop on that side o’things. Kan’t say, I’m surprised at a foul-up having been in the army for a few years, jus’ fribbin’ glad he an’t mah officer. An’ kan’t say I’m too bothered ’bout the business either, someone will sort it out; someone always will. In the meantime, I’ll keep on keepin’ my and my folks delicates intact.

Come to think o’ it. The whole thing is like The LifeGuard.

Anyways, take mah advice an’ steer clear of the book until someone tells y’ it’s all sorted out.

Be seein’ y’.

 

An Author’s Concerns

‘Ullo Everyone! It’s proper ‘Patchwork Warriors’ time!!

Mr Silc wants to have a few words about ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ Wigran Hendrechan explains something of the forces at work

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ Wigran Hendrechan explains something of the forces at work

 

Hello.

My name in Wigran Hendrechan and you’ll find something about me in ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’.

I’m not really one of the heroes nor at present, a truly central character, although to be fair if it wasn’t for me Trelli wouldn’t be the strong person she has become. I don’t mean to sound arrogant about that, but it is a fact of Cause and Effect in the book. When you read the narrative, you’ll find there is a great deal of interaction between The Stommigheid and folk and all sorts of things happen no one expects. (Actually, I don’t like the term Stommigheid, that’s too judgemental. The Ethereal is more apt because the whole business is very difficult to pin down in simple sentences)

I’ve been trying to explain all of this to Roger who makes our adventures known in your world. He’s quite sharp on the uptake on the subtleties, but does get lost with the calculations, which I admit involve numbers which don’t seem much like regular numbers, hence the title of a seminal work ‘On Number Where There Are None’ (it’s a bit of a pun, if you know your way about the discipline).

We get on very well together. Once he realised it was a bit unfair for me to be a sort of continual comic relief and be perpetually in a ‘Will they? Won’t they?’ relationship with Trelli. We talked it over quite a bit and worked out some deeper moves for Volume II. He was very helpful there because I was all for going on dying heroically in Volume I but he convinced me to stay with the narrative because of The Potential.

Yes, it is an odd concept isn’t it? I mean, you think we might die, but in our world we don’t we just move into another narrative, or if we choose we go back to our other lives. The duality or even the quadrality is all very straightforward to us, but there again we live by a quite different set of circumstances, which is why we can get exist with The Ethereal so well. Karlyn gets the idea straight away. Arketre being military just reckons ‘It’s another mission. Only with more fun’. Trelli keeps her thoughts to herself, which is fair enough. As for Mr Silc, well he’s made his views plain….I apologise for that interlude, but Mr. Silc is MR. SILC.

I should have ensured these thoughts were dispatched two or so days ago, then this most singular and unexpected event was uncovered. Some while ago Roger and I had checked the book for the Second Edition issue and all seemed well and clean (well apart from the odd words or punctuation, but these things will happen). Then we find out, that Chapter Seventeen had duplicated itself into the format of the narrative. I tell you we were both perplexed, we thought we had been carefully through this together.

Roger was all for blaming what he considers in a malignant form of life which exists in the devices you know as computers and it was done to simply to agonise him. I explained to him that our oculators are more sensitive, being attuned to colour codes and tydes of the Ethereal, whereas your computers are somewhat clunky. Therefore, I had to conclude the error had arisen during an interlude when The Ethereal or Stommigheid if you will, had flowed between our two states of existence and had inserted an older version of the chapter into the narrative we were turning into the book.

Another fascinating possibility is the whole event was caused by the merging of two separate streams of Time, so the earlier chapter was brought from ‘a time ago’ and included in ‘The Present’, both terms being approximates.

Anyway, we are working on another edition which we hope will have expunged the aforementioned chapter, although we cannot be certain because The Ethereal is quite a strong and persistent force.

You will understand, therefore, why I am not getting involved in this marketing aspect. I mean I can’t go on about something which has what you would consider a flaw. If you don’t mind I prefer to think of it as a manifestation of the vastness and complexity of The Ethereal.

Thank you for your ‘time’ (that’s another pun by the way)

An Author’s Concerns

‘Ullo Everyone! It’s proper ‘Patchwork Warriors’ time!!

 Mr Silc wants to have a few words about ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’

Mr Silc wants to have a few words about ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’

‘Ullo. Grenaww Silc’s the name. Elinid’s me home town. I do alright by her and she does alright by me, if you get my meaning, which most folks do, soon enough, and feel a lot better for knowing so.

Now this lad who does the writing. Well, be honest he’s a bit of walnut. Told him so, and give him his due, he accepts that and does his best.

To be fayre to him, he’s given Elinid a good spread, been writing about the old town for years, he has, in one those affectionate ways, which is nice. ‘Course he started out the wrong way, gave us Silcs a minor, what they call, reference role, just to build up this Ven Jek bloke. Oh yes, I shouldn’t get started on them Jeks, going on like they was all moral and just roguish when they were just a bunch of small-time shifters. But anyway, times move on. Old Elinid prevails and us Silcs, we prosper and these days, apart from that Ven getting’ a mention amongst them Jordisk folk who fiddle with dangerous stuff, who knows about Jeks?

Yea, now this book. Old Walnut has a problem with writing villains. He can’t stands ‘em! Says they’re all cliché and trop and goes off like all those arty folk do as if someone had stuck a pin in their backsides. And he always writes these pantomime types, who you know are going to fall on their arses. I told him ‘Yer lookin’ in the wrong places sunshine. Yer lookin’ at those upper-class privileged wobblers that never had to get dirt under their finger nails fighting for a crust o’ bread. Any twonk can sound menacing and superior when they’re scaring peasants. It’s when you go on the backstreets where even the little ol’ grannies can slice you up that you’ll find the worthwhile folk’

He gets the message and pays attention to the way we do business in Elinid, then he finds that writing about folk who have to do things the tough way because that’s the way it is is not so difficult after all. Even says he enjoys it. Of course we don’t tell the lad everything, I mean aside from giving away trade secrets, it might be a bit, well, let’s just say, unsettling for some folk.

And it’s been alright, working with the other folk who are characters. Nice bunch, once you get passed all of their peculiarities, but as I says Folks is Folks and that’s the way it is.

I didn’t get involved with all the editing and re-writing stuff, not really my strong hand o’ cards. My trouble was, when we came to the bit about his nibbs trying to sell the books, that’s where me and him had a BIG falling out. I look at it this way y’see. We gave him all of our special insight into villainy and so forth, so we, me and the boys we expect something for our efforts; a bit of the old gold, y’ know. But it turns out he’s a bigger walnut at that, than writing! All we see is pennies! I have to say to him ‘This is a bit o’ a disappointment, this is, sunshine. You talked a brighter version than this to me. So what’s all this about then?’ And he gives me an old sob story about marketing and profiles. Which means I have to get stern with him, then ask him to hand over the figures for me to look at. And that did it for me , I can tell you.

‘5 sold and 18 given away!’ I says ‘What’s this 18 given away then?!’. Well I grant you I might have been a bit loud, but there was no need for him to panic, hide under a table and babble on about his blimpin’ profiles. I wasn’t going to stand for all that arse-blast, I tell you.

So, I have to have a word with you folk, direct, and I hope civilised, that you’ll understand.

About this book ‘Of Patchwork Warrior’Patchwork

 

‘Err Mr.Silc, I would rather you didn’t,’

‘Sush! This is business stuff. Not your strength.’

Anyway, ladies and gentlemen, as I see it. He’s been giving these books away and selling some of them at very, very reasonable prices. Well, what springs to my mind is the old saying ‘Favour for a favour’...see what I mean. If you got a copy either free or very cheap then see it from my viewpoint, is it too much to ask for folk to say how much they enjoyed the read, or if they didn’t then say so, we’re all grown-ups here. But just a quick mention, somewhere on your ‘NET’ would be a very nice thing to do..as I see it. Spread the Good Word. Help the Old Sales bit. Shake up the market.  You know, me and the boys are very old fashioned, and we think that would just be, well Good Manners. Although we are a bit rough about the edges, we reckon civility costs nothing, particularly when someone got the book for free. And we do dislike…

‘Err…Mr Silc, I’m sure they didn’t mean-‘

‘Quiet Walnut! You’re interrupting AND that is RUDE! Get back under your table’

Now where was I….Oh yeh….This NET is interesting, I got our lad Wigran (he’ll have his say at some stage I’m sure) to check it out for me, not as flexible as our stuff on the Stommigheid, but he was able to find out who has a copy of which book (there’s some other stuff I never got involved with) and that was MOST INTERESTING..

‘Oh dear this is not going well…there will be repercussions…’

‘Mr Grutch! Would you please apply a sock to his mouth for me………Thank you Mr Grutch,’

Mmmmff!’

‘No problem Guv’nor,’

I am sorry for the interruptions, you know how fragile some of these writers can be. Anyways I’ve not got much else to say really. Gave you my side of the business and made our feelings known. So I hope you folk understand. After all, we can all get along together. Can’t we?

Nice speaking with you.

Take care now. It’s a twisty old world. You never know what might happen, if you’re not CAREFUL and not PAYING ATTENTION.

Be SEEING you.

Don’t forget now

OF PATCHWORK WARRIORS

Patchwork

‘Ullo Everyone! It’s proper ‘Patchwork Warriors’ time!!

An Author’s Concerns

 

‘Ullo Everyone! It’s proper ‘Patchwork Warriors’ time!!

Hi Karlyn here!!

‘Lo everyone! I said I’d be back didn’t I?

For meself, speaking personally, I was pleased  wiv’ the way ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ went. There was a lot of running about, thumpin’ blokes wot deserved it, stabbing a few an’ I got to climb up as many trees as I wanted to AN’ talk to so many really interesting and clever bees and butterflys. AN’ a made a really best good friend Trelli, who understands me. And is kindly an’ sweet.

AND ‘course there was (hee-hee) Flaxi, whose proper name is Arketre but she’s got this lovely blonde hair! So my pet name for ‘er is Flaxi!….But I’m not supposed to say too much ‘bout us ‘cause Flaxi’s particular about HOW much you lot should know. She says ‘I don’ want to go a walkin’ about their bedrooms do I naw? So they can jus’ use their Good Lord God-given imaginations!’– she can get a bit snippy y’know.

Anyways, so this lad Roger gets sniff of all the tydes and such wots and starts to put them together, us putting him right from time to time. Sometimes I had to give ‘im one of them allegorical smacks on the ‘ead. I told him straight ‘I don’t care wot a rommm-Kommmm is in your world sunshine, it won’t do for us!’ then he got in a sulk an’ then a panic and starting wibblin’ about the place ‘bout ‘is own ideas! Well I just laughed, harshly, an’ threatened him with a half-finished book. I says ‘We’ll walk out on y’know. Leave y’ Bee-refted an’ all forlon, just like an unwatered flower!’ so ‘e does as he’s told (Well, actually ‘e had Flaxi lurkin’ over his shoulder an’ whisperin’ fings like ‘Dontcha y’all go writin’ no stuff for the boys to get over-excited about naw,’).

An’ then later on he got another bit of panicky ‘bout ‘ow I was like some characters in more well-known stuff in ‘is world, then I says ‘Huh! If y’’ asks me seems like they’s more like me! Only not as variable’ well that confused ‘im, so he shut up and got on wiv writing, like a good lil’ doggy.

Mus’ tell you! We ‘ad so much Hooo-Hah wiv the cover! Y’see Roger thought ‘e’d try ‘is own an’ did all of these photographs, which I ‘elped ‘im wiv, ‘cas although the lad is a sproggle-head like me ‘e’s all for allegorical an’ symbolisms. But when I shows the rest of the folk  the draft photos there was all sorts of grumblin’ and objections. Trelli wanted to know if that was supposed to be ‘er undershirt, ‘cas it looked common an’ unsanitary, an’ Flaxi complained the whole fing looked like ‘alf of the latrine pit was showin’. Then The Captain (that’s Dekyria), well ‘im being all stern and correct says there should be outlines and silly-outettes of grim lookin’ figures with swords an’ stuff. Well, I told ’em all straight, ‘Look’ I says ‘We’ve got a noodle-hutch doin’ this. Do you fink ‘e can organise that sorta clever stuff? You’ve been wiv ‘im for a year now..right?…If we push the lad too much, ‘ee’ll jus’ go and panic an’ take one of them Amazon stock photos an’ claim everyone will get the Hi-roh-nee!’ Now that put ‘em all in line!

Then our brave author finally gets the whole thing on Amazon on the Kindly only to think that is the end of it! So we have to tell the boy all ‘bout marketing an’ raising profiles. Then ‘e does ‘is annoying ‘Yes. Of course. I’ll get on with it’ and puts some stuff out on the Wordly Press an’ reckons job’s a good ‘un! SO we have to good back an’ ask him wot ‘bout Twitter, Tumbly (or sum fing) an’ that Face Book. He tries to sneak out of that by getting on a box an’ going on ‘bout the tox-i-city of Social Media, whatever that means!

Then he starts giving books away (or downlumps, I dunno) an’ that gets The Guv’Nor (That’s MR. Silc to you lot!) cross, him bein’ all for for money in the bank, but you’ll be readin’ from MR Silc soon, so watch out!

Anyways, I’d luv to stay an’ chat a lot more ‘bout all the good stuff we got up to, an’ answer yer questions but ‘is Sproggleness is workin’ on the second book an’ ‘e’s getting’it all wrong again, so I gotta go an’ do some allegorical ‘ead-smacking, if y’ know wot I mean.

There’ll be some more folk along wiv’ their piece to say, probably more ‘bout marketing and making everything know more…. I reckon it’s a b it of an’ opeless task and we gotta play the long game an’ maybe in like a ‘undred years it’ll all get discovered…. Well a ‘undred of your years, not ours ‘cause we’s different.

See ya!

PS: Don’t ferget to tell everyone one ‘bout us! Y’ can tell we’re more lively than ‘e made out!

Book Cover 9An’ this is the book…. ‘Of Patchwork Warriors!’ S’ on Kindly. An’ it don’t cost that much, so wot you gotta loose I says….And if anyone says in that snotty sorta voice ‘Oh five How-Wars of my Life which Hi shall nevah get back’ an’ then think they’ve been clever, I’ll be ’round to talk wiv’ em if y’ get MY MEANING…. I can y’know, being Eeefereal an’ all.

An’ I gotta a body-count too.

Bye-bye

An Author’s Concerns

An Author’s Concerns

Dear fellow writers, this day you find me a troubled person…..

 Me

There is much discussed about how characters develop and how they should be utilised, be they major or minor.

One aspect which is not given that much time and space, because it is an arguable and moot point is where the author finds they have tuned into another part of the vast Reality which in The Universe in all its manifold manifestation in what we humans’ clumsily call the Past, Present, and Future.

This effect should have a name or title, or something, but I am fribbed if I can think of one! True it is beneficial as it allows the author to surf along the narrative, translating it into our everyday language and thus be understandable (sort of). However, as we all know and as the actresses so succinctly to the bishop nothing comes without its price. (that’s an old British-style musical hall joke by the way…can be used in all sorts of ways, as the actress said…oh never mind, you get the idea).

But I digress.

The problem arises is when the sentient beings which are the characters perceive you are there and you are turning their lives into a tale for others. By good fortune, the ones I have encountered have actually been quite co-operative, nay even enthusiastic (at times). However, once they know just what is going on they start to become intrusive, telling you how things should be going, and expecting you do more than you might feel inclined to do, and at times impatient with a writer who has, shall we say, indolent tendencies.

I say this in advance for anything which might turn up on my blog in the days ahead, for I fear some of them may have stole in with the intention of making their feelings known and being so clever are keeping things hidden from me.

Sorry about that, but they are a very enterprising bunch.

Book Cover 9

???

Oh Fribbin’ First Hell, he’s not told ya has he?

S’called  ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ and he writers under the name of R J Llewellyn (which is supposed to sound more Fantasy like, or so he says. I said he should have used Gret Sandstone, because it sounds more strong, but he just whined on about people would laugh at him. An’ I says, ‘they’s laughing at you already mate!’ an’ he says ‘That’s not a  very nice thing to say Karlyn’ an’ I say back ‘Droppin’ me out of the sky into a little lake-or was it a big pond?- on a chilly day wasn’t very kindly neither!’ Then he goes and sulks…. That’s authors for you. Get all of a sproggle, they do.

Anyways, I’ll be back tomorrow, wiv a LOT more to say, I can tell y’!!‘Of Patchwork Warriors’- The 2nd Launch!*

*(An’ I ‘ad to do that for ‘I’m too!!)

The Smidge: Walking The Walk

A while ago I blogged a viewpoint arguing the notion for every writer to embrace a smidge (just a pinch of the smidge mind you) of arrogance.

Just a Smidge

This, I suggested was necessary to fire up self-belief when starting a project, when the times get rough when starting out on the marketing part or all the other aspects which torment most writers.
Once the post was posted a thought cropped into my mind. Now most of us have a store of quotes from films which we use on all sorts of occasions, and my thought was encapsulated in the line from Full Metal Jacket;
‘You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?’

In short, there I was going on about how you should be arrogant (just a smidge), and leaving myself wide open to the criticism…..’Oh yeh. That’s fine for you to say! I mean SAY, but how does it WORK for you? Uh?’

Sssssoo, I thought maybe there should be a walk-through with this book of mine just to demonstrate how this arrogance approach works. The business is not without risk when I have completed this post some might say:
‘He’s delusional if he thought his book was working’
‘Ha! Cheap marketing-central!’
‘I wonder what’s new on Netflix?’
Lesson 1: “So what do I care? I’m going to say what I am going to say”. This is a fundamental of the Smidge approach.
(At this stage, dear reader you are entering my world. Do not worry. You are only experiencing diagrammatical commentary on the subject matter. Take notes if you feel these are necessary)

As stated in the previous post my writing usually focuses on Fantasy. It is the area I am most comfortable in mostly because the world of Reality does not suit me. To be able to make up my own and make sure things go my way (with the consent of the characters of course) is my idea of rewarding effort, if the known Laws of Nature need to be extended or circumvented, so much the better.
Lesson 2: “I will work my story on the ground I am most comfortable with, (or I am intent on carving out my own way)”. Familiarity and Intention breed confidence. Confidence is the dry tinder for the Smidge, which in turn gives fire to more confidence.

A writer will, of course, encounter successful writers. They might inspire. They might also inadvertently stifle the new writer. A new writer might think: How can I ever reach this standard? Fair enough, however in any book you have read, would you say the whole work was perfect. Were you happy with every aspect of the narrative? Open your mind to the small whisper of doubt, the slight nagging of unhappiness at one aspect; dwell on just why you skipped quickly through those few pages.
Lesson 3: “I think I could have done that theme better if given the chance…. I will give myself that chance!” There is nothing wrong with having your own opinion. It’s only those play at being kritks and whine about anyone new without having lifted a pen/tapped a keyboard to write their own stuff who should shut the frib up.

A writer will encounter much worthy advice often contradictory, which is nothing new under this particular sun. However, there will also be the subtle and pernicious beyond the realms of these blogs which will suggest that certain themes, styles, and even conclusions lack the zest or punch. Says who? More to the point…. Don’t’ care.
I happen to like a tale which has well-meaning folk of approachable personalities as central to the tale. When I start out the intention is to have if not a happy ending have one which suggests hope and that the bad folk have not triumphed. My book ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’* was always going to be a feel-good tale, with mild triumphal action, some romance, a running theme of humour and an upbeat ending. There are many good books which don’t give the reader as easy time and have stark endings. I don’t do them. Enjoyment was my intention.
Lesson 4: “I am no one’s Imitator. I will not follow What Sells. Only What Spurs Me”

Lesson 5: “Balance & Credibility. Never forget The Balance & Credibility of the Characters”
The theme I wanted to explore would involve three young women, from different backgrounds. This was not going to be easy, hence using a style which was comfortable. If I as a man in his late 60s was going to write a credible tale without prurient interludes, lacking ‘female’ stereotypes but sufficient reality and trying to concentrate on believable people in a fantasy world I did not need to have to be looking over my shoulder or at my feet (in allegorical ways that is) with the narrative construction.
I wanted to avoid an ‘Alpha Female’ of greater than average height, folk who grumbled, made mistakes, squabbled, didn’t have a smooth answer for everything and at times lost control of a situation. Although there is a nominal leader in the form of the soldier Arketre, she is at times failing to impose her will and making bad decisions. Whereas Karlyn is somewhat appearing to be crazy, she does not have a thick hide and blind confidence. Trelli is the newbie, but has her feet on the ground; she is the one who has to grow up quickly and has the biggest struggle, it’s a challenge for her.
With these three occupying centre ground in essentially a male world, the next problem was to make sure many of the men were their equals or at best not in awe of them. This required a deal of attention, honing of words, and re-writing to spreading strength of purpose all around the place, so we just had People.
Going back to the humour, there was some slap-stick, being set in a Middle Age/Renaissance era a lot of bawdiness and observational comments. The effort was trying to keep in context, putting humour into situations which themselves are not comic but can seem funny at the time in the stress of the situation, trying to think what one person might say in a pithy or sardonic way, when they are fretful, just plain ticked off or giving way to mischief. Karlyn being the loose cannon allowed for leeway in some of her more outrageous actions, after reading a few chapters of her no one would be surprised at her behaviour.
Then came the very, very tricky part. Since anything I write being feel-good will end up with a romantic interlude (I’m sentimental. So sue me!), this was going to find a way in. One conclusion was written, then read and the response was ‘What The Frib, were you thinking about when you wrote that? It’s worse than bad; it’s verging on the ridiculous straight-to-DVD-in-a-supermarket bargain-bin-terrible. It wouldn’t even qualify for a tenth-rate fan-fiction/slasher site!’. Well, Trelli and Wigran the young son of the Household she worked in who got her involved with ‘powers’ were always going to be in a will-they, won’t-they? But there was more traction and potential in nothing being concluded, particularly as Wigran was out of his depth in most things and their last meeting went badly.
It was the other which caught me by surprise. Originally Arketre, the soldier was being loved at a distance by a captain of the same outfit, forbidden by regulations romance. Didn’t work, like went you try and fit a jig-saw bit in the wrong place. Then as I re-wrote something occurred to me, Karlyn and Arketre were scraping a lot and yes, Karlyn was definitely flirting, what was more she was getting very upset when they truly argued; while Arketre was comfortable with Trelli, she was edgy around Karlyn. ‘Are you sure?’ I asked myself ‘Read the damn narrative willya!’ the pair told me…Yes, you should always listen to the characters. Well, Arketre, the soldier had been around a lot, seen the world, and once the crisis had passed, she made the first move. Gay romance. Well, it hadn’t been the original intention, but the jigsaw piece fitted., as long as there was romance within in the situation, yes it worked. I was not worried about any reaction or analysis, it made sense in this context.

The above ‘lessons’ were my guidelines. I don’t know if the book will ever become visible to the public at large because I am a terrible marketer, but when I read it for continuity as the second volume gets underway, it doesn’t seem too bad. (even if despite Grammarly a spelling error has still slipped in!).

So be your own person when you write, don’t seek the invisible and intangible ‘approval’ as you craft each word. Not going to happen. Write for your sake and its own sake. Just that smidge. Just that smidge is all you need.

  • The book in question….

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Sleeping Beauty. The Foot-Soldiers’ Side (All Tale in II Parts) (Part II)

Hey, not a bad watering hole this. Nice to have ale which tastes like before it’s been drunk and not afterwards…..

Now, back to the story.

Maleficent doesn’t see why she should go tracing around for the kid, I mean a curse is a curse right? She goes over a border, her sights on another of those widowed kings, I mean what do they do to their poor wives? Maleficent gets her hooks in and in a year he’s dead! Yep! NO doubt abut it, screwed him to death! Wadda way to go uh? But he’s got this teenage daughter, and like all of ‘em at that age she’s get spikey. Next thing you know she’s slipped the castle and shacked up with seven guys running an illegal mining operation. No wonder Maleficent tried to have the little monster put down! The story gets messy after that, some young noble getting involved, the kid nearly chokes on something…what I don’t care to know. But that was they’re problem.

Now there’s us. Fifteen years of putting down spinning wheel riots, hunting out Conspiracy Kooks who claim the kid is actually a boy half-elf and the king an’t his dad, and border patrol for smugglers AND the next door kingdom.

Next door? Yeh, well y’know how it goes, any instability and your neighbours are leaning over the fence. Kingdom to the east, that guy, he’s sharp. He’s heard things an’t so good back in Our royal boudoir, that the king is elsewhere looking for his royal happy-times. He knows he can’t take us on in a full-out invasion, so he nudges a bit. We’re on to him. He’s send these regular large patrols out, we ‘bump’ into them. And it always goes;

‘Hey you guys’ we say, ‘How ya doin?’

‘Ahhnn, not so bad. How’s yerselves?’

‘OK. Say, do ya know you’re on our side of the border?’

And they go, like

‘No shit?

And the corporal…it was always the corporal, he says

‘See sarge. I toldya that map wuz out of date,’

And their sarge says to our sarge.

‘Gee sorry ‘bout that guys. Ah, we’ll be on our way. Some weather uh?’

Then we report back and they report back and the officers report up the line that they doin’ all that is necessary and everyone is happy. As the years rolled on and I stuck with it I moved up corporal to sergeant and we’d play the game back to them. When we sneak over to see what they were up to and encounters happened I’d open my arms an’ go.

‘Aww heck boys! I’m sorry. It’s our l’tenant. He’s the biggest asshole ever! I told him this way was the border, but he says in his squeaky voice ‘No sur-jent! I have the latest map! Now obey your orders.’ Do you see him here? I mean Honest-To-Stars! He could no more find his way around a map that he could a brothel!’

Yeh, you had to get some fun somewhere.

An’ let me tell you if we’d been patrolling that forest where the old biddies had kept the princess none of what I’m about to tell you would have happened. But that’s what you get when a king kits out a bunch of youngest sons of second-class nobles and call ‘em the LifeGuard. It was only a money-scheme anyway!  Them having to pay for their outfits and ‘special’ training. Then wander about in groups of five making enough noise than even a deaf man could hear them! No surprise then, when next door nation gets into that forest. Led by none other than the heir to their throne himself. What was he doing there? Who knows? Maybe the kid was bored sitting at home, maybe he was running his own side-line in the smuggling racket? Maybe he’d got intel on who was in the forest. Anyways he finds her, she apparently being a girl who likes to sing, loudly.

And that’s just what we reckoned happened! Him being royal and young, just like a buck rabbit on aphrodisiacs! And she not knowing much about men. Dunno what it’s like up here, but down there, they got laws about girls under sixteen! Uh-uh. Must have been something to it because next thing we know she’s being scooted back to the palace, and an entire regiment put on guard around it. LifeGuard? Huh! They got theirs! Sent on patrol duty in one of the stinkest swamps you smelt, sewer outlet for a nearby town.

Now there’s a lot of toing and froing between kingdoms and a wedding is being put together pretty dam’ quickly, if you ask me. Some meeting between Aurora and her parents that must have been! Of course, we were up north at the time, chasing…yep you guessed it right…spinning wheel smugglers! Then check the irony, while we’re up there, the kid is nosing about the castle ‘cas it’s her first time, and wouldja believe it? She finds one dam wheel! Can you believe that after fifteen years of us poor dogs smashing and burning ‘em , some winner in the village-idiot contest five years running has left one in the castle. And, yeh the kid stuck her finger on the needle, ya saw that comin’ didn’t ya?

Well the curse kicks in and it is a doozey!

Not only does she fall asleep but so do the whole dam’ castle staff and her folks. Not just that but a big mess of thorns grow up around the place, scattering that regiment all over the place, them that were awake that is!

King Next Door makes his move! Says everyone needs to be rescued and over the border he comes with troops to help us, naturally his son is there, all noble and upright to save his bride! For solidarity show we get called back and we all trudge off the scene of the crime.

Man! And those were no regular thorn bushes like the ones veterans throw bare-naked recruits into to harden them up. These were like branch thick and castle high with thorns that would double as swords. The lad must have really had the hots for the girl, for he’s off his horse and calling for us all to join him in hacking his way through. And us and his troops are looking at each other and sharing ‘What’s with this lad! Do we look like we’re combat engineers? Do you see any siege weaponry here?’. No use trying to complain to royalty though… Yeh you got that right!…And we had to hack and dig. Chop and cut. Seven days and half the army down with sprains, cuts and hay fever and only five feet in. Someone has a bright idea and has sent for some of those new-fangled cannons to blast our way through.

With the curse going off, it’s bound to attract Maleficent. Must have got fed up of that step-daughter and the eight-in-a-bed scandal. She flies in smooth as a hawk and stand all haughty and grand demanding everyone to back off, because a curse is a curse! Us lot, it’s not the kind of thing we’re paid for right? Even the officers are a bit leery. Sonny, though he notices his father looking Maleficent up and down. The lad must have brains, no doubt reckons with her as step-mother his chances of getting hitched to Aurora and his own throne are slim no thing! The boy ups at her with his fancy sword and get this! She turns into a dragon! Wings, fire! The whole deal!

The king. He’s backing off, hiding up and half his army ready to protect him. You got it! There’s always some ready to get back to the rear area out of the front line. MY squad and me, we get stuck at the front, and we’re ducking, dodging and diving, flames, flying thorns, you name it! The lad and some of his buddies go for the dragon, y’ know what nobles are like. No surprise, a few get barbecued. The lad is carrying some good hardware though, his shield is beating off the flames. Right then up rolls one of those cannons, while the witch an’t looking, the crew get a shot off and..pow! Right where we’d be looking if she were a woman and down she goes. Of course, the lad gets his sword in her neck so as he can claim credit and since he’s about that business a lot of us pile in with our own steel and hack off a few souvenirs to impress the yokels.

Since she’s dead the curse goes and all the thorns fall away. Off goes the prince, up the castle steps, finds Aurora gives her a magic kiss or something and she wakes up, then so does everyone else. If you ask me the lad knew too much about the business!

With all the fuss dying down and everyone active again and the girl past her sixteenth there’s a wedding. In just about nine months, there’s a little Aurora! Yeh! We reckoned we wuz right all along. The kicker is though, her old man. He dies in a riding accident, or so it’s said. And his widow swift to be consoled by her daughter’s father-in-law and they are wed and the two kingdoms joined! An’t that neat?

The three old biddies? There was scandal about security and upbringing, the Church got involved and they had to flee the kingdom. Spinning wheels were allowed again, and suddenly there’s no need for so many soldiers they say, peace and happiness ever after, they say. And no severance pay, only some crappy bits of land and a few skinny hogs! I ask ya!

So here I am? Whadda ya reckon sarge? Sign on sure! What’s the deal around here? Uh-uh. Security sweep, hunt and search. Yeh-yeh. Your prince is looking for one girl. Don’t they all. He met her at a ball…..Oh that kinda ball! She was wearing glass shoes, then lost one? And last seen riding off on a…pumpkin? You did do a narcotics sweep of the guests did you??….Just the usual sunk-drunk…Hmm…..

I tell ya what there sarge. You tell your officers we gotta look out for three old biddies…they’ll have the dope of this for sure!

Sleeping Beauty. One Foot Soldier’s Account (A Tale in II Parts)

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’- The 2nd Launch!

Book Cover 9

Firstly, the …errr….First Edition sold some copies. And despite what I thought was a thorough self-editing process was so full of typos, bad grammar & other stuff that didn’t work I was somewhat horrified. Thus I set to….errrr…to put it right (write?). And so the 2nd Edition now digitally sits in Amazon’s Kindle Store. With my very own ‘garage-approach-cover

Because some folk purchased a flawed copy, I’m putting this edition out on a free promotion from Friday 12th January to Sunday 14th January. So, to those out there with their flawed copy- please get yourself a free copy. Anyone else you can join in too. (It’ll be 0.99p or $0.99 from Monday 15th onwards). In a perfect world I would know everyone who purchased a copy and e-mail them a pdf, but I realise folk might not want to hand out e-mail addresses, etc. So it’s a bit of a ‘fudge’ as we say in the UK.

Anyways, for those of you who have not come across this book.

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ is a fantasy work with heavy sf overtones (or undertones- decide for yourself). When comparing it with many fantasy works it is Fantasy-Lite, an easy-going (sort of) work charting the adventures of three young women pushed together by a powerful force. They face quirks of Nature, monsters, evil folk, crooked folk, grim sincere folk, well-meaning but inept explorers ‘bastions’ of the Empire seeking stability and of course each other. There are fights with sufficient blood & gore. There are discourses of varying sorts, one being long and technical just to prove what goes through some folks’ minds. Intrigues, badly thought out schemes, cunning strategies, half-baked ideas and hope-for-the-best actions abound. Humour is on the bawdy side, although satire and parody take place. Romance and scenes of an adult nature occur. Swearing is covered by mostly made-up words. Overall it is hoped the word ‘fun’ permeates the reading. The first drafts were hard work; the later ones and the editing were actually ‘fun’

Shameless Plug warning35fe5d2718a60f4046d53bdc1e2bd495

…. If you’ve never read fantasy or sf, or read one and not the other. You could start here.

And it’s Part I of a trilogy or more…no sure yet.

Thanks to Audrey for a generous review and Sha’ Tara for hounding me over errors

OK,

en_greekphilosophersI’m done……

A True History of The Isles Vol.II Chap 11- The Scottish Way of Managing Things

Forewarned

As previous chapters have covered much of the activities of the Scots and how they upset or distracted the kings and northern nobility of England, there will be some brevity hereabouts

Initial Overview

In the previous volume it was annotated, recorded and generally written about, over the long history of these Isles the folk who lived in the part we call Scotland were wont to march south to raid, enslave, loot or conquer folk in places we now call Northern England. If we go even farther back to about half way through Volume I they did the same to those who were what we would call Welsh, only they were Britons and lived in a place called Strathclyde. Being a fair-minded folk The Scots of the lowlands of Scotland did the same to those who lived in the Highlands or the Islands (as opposed to Ireland, which is another matter). Thus, the Scots in general were a busy and industrious folk who when they had no particularly serious issue with outsides (or Highlanders or Islanders) fought amongst themselves for land, heritage and if they were ambitious enough the Scots throne.

The Perceived Wisdom of the Scots of the Middle Ages

It was an acknowledged fact of Scottish politics that no matter what had been done by whom and when, if the fighting involved the English (or to be precise the Norman Kings and nobles), at least one side was fighting for Scottish Independence, even if they had started it by invading England. As we will see this was used to good effect.

The problem facing those who survived long enough to be a king of Scotland was the number of other folk who wanted to be king and kept on asking some of those Norman lords (aka English) to the south if they could lend them a retinue to bolster the campaign. This became very irritating and Alexander III last of the Dunkeld had some very strong words with Edward I but did not invade, preferring to visit nuns, widows, virgins and in fact any women and as recorded previously died 1286 in a hurry to meet his new bride.

The Rise of The Bruces

Not happy with the other twelve or fifty candidates for the throne or people asking what an English king thought about it, The Bruce family acted. The Bruces from 1306 started by killing John III of Comyn who was Scots but might have wanted to be English

As John had been killed in a church Robert Bruce was quick to say this was only done to protect Scotland from being taken over by the English. In the confusion he then said that all his wars were against the Kings of England and various rouges bought by English Gold and so everything was a war of Independence which gave him the rite to invade not just England but Ireland as well. This worked quite well in Scotland but as noted previously did not do so well for Robert’s brother Edward who died of unconvinced Irish. Robert however defeated the English and their Norman kings, nobles etc at Bannockburn in 1324 on the 23rd June. A peace treaty was signed in which it was clearly stated that only scots nobles could massacre other scots nobles but that Robert could not be held responsible for cattle raiders. He then ruled Scotland but made a hobby of acquiring various ailments and so died in 1329, but the pope at the time said Robert could be buried, so all ended well.

A Time of Turbulence and Then Stability and then Not So Much

Because there was no Son The Bruce, matters were somewhat tempestuous between 1329 & 1356 when David (The II and a Bruce) and Edward (Not a Norman one but a Balliol) disputed who should be king. A lot of time was wasted with small battles, one king escaping from or imprisoning the other until Edward noticed no one was supporting him anymore and he retired.

With all this practice David (The II and no one arguing about it) set to massacring or just punishing disagreeable nobles and inventing a Treasury by which means he was able to prove that Scotland was very wealthy. Thus ahead of the game he cannily died in 1371.

Regrettably there was no David to be the III, so a nephew named Robert but who was really A Stewart was crowned The II. England and France at the time were having peace talks and Robert (The II) wanted to join in. This did not go well with his sons or other nobles and he spent the rest of his life losing his throne to various claimants until 1390 when he expired of coups.

In this unhappy situation Robert (the II)’s son, John said it was in order that he should now be king, because he had had experience at trying to depose David II and/or Edward and also rebel against his father. Although he convinced the Scots parliament to allow him to be called Robert and thus be The III, the nobles were not convinced. Considering some of these had splendid names such as Black Douglas, Red Douglas (possibly an early socialist) or Archibald The Grim it is easy to see why. He was also blamed for failing the pacify the west and north of Scotland where folk were wont Gaelic and opposed to Scots. It is likely he would have been deposed or slewed but for the king of England being Richard The II, The Hopeless and The Deposed. This allowed the nobles in the south of Scotland to raid, pillage, slaughter etc the north of England and not really care who might call themselves King of Scotland. He was to eventually die in 1406 0f ill-health possibly bought on by a series of Douglases.

The Church in Scotland    

Whereas the Scots had been properly Christian, they had to put up with the Archbishop of York telling them what to do. What with Scottish nobles raiding across the border this was not always an effective means of religious leadership. The Papacy in 1192 attempted to sort this out by telling Scottish bishops they didn’t have to speak to the Archbishop of York anymore. Regrettably due to a clerical oversight no Scots’ Archbishop was appointed even though the Scots’ church was titled Ecclesia Scoticana which sounded very important. For some obscure reason they were known as The Special Daughter of Rome even though they were more than one and naturally men. Thus, somewhat confused and not a little depressed the church in Scotland generally restricted itself to religious matters.

The Scottish Parliamentary Experience  

As was fashionable in parts of Europe various knights, local important un-nobles and folk with money felt the nobles were having far too much say in the running of things and so grumbled together. Kings liking the idea of having folk who were not nobles around the place allowed them to form parliaments. The idea unravelled a bit when these folk stopped just talking and gained powers.

In Scotland to avoid the attentions of nobles disagreeable or otherwise, these used never to meet in the same place but in various towns, then tell the king what they thought of things. By deft manoeuvring they even managed to gain some powers of taxation and telling the king what his name should be (See Robert III).

Unlike later commoners (see Oliver Cromwell) they were never able to gain an army and so their role was often marginal.

Clans

In the not uncommon circumstance of the various Middle Ages there was no shortage of folk to fight, the Scots very cannily invented the Clan. This was based around the family of a chief. However not only his family, but followers etc could join and all use the same name. This made raids, squabbles and wars a much neater affair as everyone knew which side they were on. Something not always shared in England and Ireland (Wales being in a bit of a sulk). Because the ordinary person gave loyalty to the Clan they did not have to listen to The King. Whereas this seemed a smidge democratic it meant that kings of Scotland developed aggressive tendencies, or went into a sulk neither of which boded well for stable or healthy long-term government. However, as the Clans survive to this day, theirs, it must be argued, was the better arrangement.

France

Because English Kings felt obliged, for many reasons, to fight both Scotland and France it was understandable the latter two should form an alliance. In Scotland, this was called The Auld Alliance, and to ensure everyone Scottish knew who was who The English were titled The Auld Enemy. This arrangement allowed the French and Scots to be very sentimental about each other and when it suited kings of either nation they could join with the other in wars with England without footling about with new treaties.

Conclusion of The 14th Century.

Although far from united, The Scots were able to maintain the argument that whatever they did was to ensure they remained independent from England. This enabled Scottish History to be Romantic so more socially attractive than England’s which was deemed only to be Eventful and Turbulent.

A True History of the Isles Vol II Chap 9 – The Celts A Necessary(Socialist) Overview

Shameless Advertising One ( A Sorta Link)

If you have been following this series and would like to know more then Volume I is available through Kindle 51vnj7ZqupL__SY346_ (Impress your friends, make controversial statements at parties, defy established historians, get sort of educated on the cheap, select your own quotes to use on any occasion, put things in context- throughout history there have been even bigger idiots than the current batch in charge!)

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Read of heroes, villains, powers beyond the normal, battles, plots, comic interludes, romances (whichwillcontainscenesofanadultnature-terms and conditions apply) and the triumph of sort of good over sort of bad and the just plain evil. All packaged in a relatively lite format. AsBook Cover 9

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