Truth

Here are some wise words to reflect upon

Pearls Before Swine

Truth is not debatable

for integrity defends itself

it is not held captive to the dogma of religion

or held bondage within the framework of theology

it is not trapped inside the walls of College classrooms,

or oppressed by the lips of Baptist ministers,

It wears no stars of David

Sings no Islamic melodies

Truth is not religious

And yet is no atheist

Truth has always been

And always will be

It is neither canonized

nor done away with

not stolen away

or traded amidst the bowels of slave ships

truth is not lynched,

nor shackled against the cages of fear

it refuses to shake hands with deception,

and will never embrace the arms of uncertainty

because truth is always certain

It is sure to be like nothing you can ever imagine

but be everything you’ve ever hoped for

Truth is limitless

And humble

Needs no acknowledgement

And yet wears…

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Never, Ever Give Up. If it hurts, you have a soul.

Manchester 22 dead

Refuge Craft in the Mediterranean 1st reports 22 dead

School bus in Syria  30 dead.

Bus with Coptic Christians 25 dead

Oregan  2 heroes dead

Mississippi 8 dead

Manilla- Botched robbery in a Casino 36 dead

Kahbul 90 dead

London 6 dead

And this does not include the injured, the scars of the survivors, the grief of the relatives and friends; the terror ground into the witnesses.

And these are the ones which have recently made the main news, they do not include the ongoing victims of wars in to name but a few- Syria, Kashmir, South Sudan, Yemen, Philippines. Our the constant seeping away of your lives in the pointless urban gang wars ( 7 kids stabbed to death in London, this year, so far)

The shock  is numbed by the feeling of helplessness and the natural wish that it would all stop.

Let us at least hang onto our Humanity , our Respect, our Tolerance and our Compassion.

When you hear or read of such a tragedy, if you have a religion offer up a prayer for the victims, if you do not take a brief pause for silent reflection. All join together, mourn then strive in your own ways to ensure the weeds of Hate and Ignorance wither. Your ways may be small, but be persistent, and together you will be part of a mighty force.

Take care one and all

Once Again … We Have Met The Enemy …

Jill is no friend of the current president.
She maintains admirable and astute standards of common and equitable decency in this post..

Filosofa's Word

Those of us who write, who share our words, thoughts and ideas with the public, have a responsibility.  That responsibility is to get our message out with respect, without crossing certain lines of integrity.  In 2009, a picture spread across the internet depicting President Obama taking the oath of office seen through a rifle scope with the President in the crosshairs.  That crossed the line.  Many, many other disturbing, disgusting and downright grotesque memes have been created, pictures shared, and articles written that crossed the line.  That is one of the downsides of free speech, but since we cherish and protect our right to free speech, we must also use good judgement.  We must police ourselves so we do not open a door for somebody else to do so.

I’m sure you have all seen the photo of Kathy Griffin holding a prop that is supposed to represent the bloodied…

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A Trip Into a Writer’s Head

Firstly apologies to all whose blogs I used to read regularly- you see it’s happened to me, falling in love with My Re-Write…..Explanation to follow-

I really should have attended more to my blog posts, I promised myself I would; surely there are minutes and hours enough for a retired fellow to fit in a post or two in 3.25 days a week, but Ah Me….there was a re-write and as is the case where inevitably the writer becomes very attached to the work AND the urge to finish became overwhelming.

Well the FIRST re-write is done, and naturally there has to be the subsequent one where the tweaks have to be inserted, more of those sneaky typos are winkled out, long sentences ironed out into something which is comprehensible and of course not forgetting continuity.

Now, I don’t know how it is with you, but these days I find my writing mindset separates into three, dare I say identities. This is not quite as alarming as it sounds. This has evolved as a process to make the work more rational and readable; the stream of consciousness approach has to be set aside when writing Fantasy with multiple characters, lest they all get mixed up with each other and are not sure who they are.

Thus there is I, the Writer, the one who comes up with the plots and suchwhich and sort of orbits The World. I think Reality is overrated and an inclined to a singular approach which assumes folk will be more than happy to spend time they would usually devote to crosswords or puzzle games working out just what I am writing about.  The creations are passed onto ME a fellow in touch with both this reality and those of the writing worlds, experience has taught ME that creations need to be unjumbled, set out on the allegorical table and sorted out into a rational set of consequences which will make sense to a reader and provide them with hopefully a satisfying read, and not expect them to work out was I was on about. Then finally standing there with noble fatality and some stern strength of character is THE ARBITER. I am certainly not sure how The ARBITER managed to work into the process, I suspect it was when there was an excess of reading of Advice on how to be published or at least write with a sense of maturity. This makes perfectly good sense to ME; it’s all well and good mumbling about Dada-esque and assuming one will be looked about by future generations as the Frank Zappa or Moondog of the Fantasy genre, but I will be disappointed because it is obvious to ME no one will ever read such stuff, unless I become famous first, which it seems to ME is not going to happen unless I take things seriously. But when I am told that I go all sulky, and it’s left up to ME to sort it out.

It occurs to ME how best to explain the problem is for you Dear Reader to read an imagined phone conversation between ME and THE ARBITER. Consider if you will the style of the Legend that is Bob Newhart- The Narration being carried out by THE ARBITER (who naturally has the final say):

 

ARBITER (to himself): Oh boy. This Patchwork project. The blurbs. They always leave the blurbs up to yours truly.

Phone Rings

ARBITER:  Oh hi there! Thanks for returning the call…Uh-huh….Uh-huh..Uh-huh. Oh that’s OK. Y’know what they say -Half a draft is better than none!….Uh-huh….So what’s he done now? (laughs)… Not speaking to anyone again…Yea, yea. Well they do that y’know. You try and make it a viable and readable book and they just don’t appreciate it…oh I know…My grandfather had the same problem with Gore Vidal! Not that that guy ever wanted to write rom-com. Uh-uh…No that was the good stance for you to take, y’know, I mean who’s going to take Vol 1 of a Fantasy trilogy seriously if the three principal characters ended that volume each with a boyfriend!..Yeh… agreed!.. Who wants to read a re-write Seven Brides For Seven Brothers? (laughs)…And then….Uh-uh.Huh-Uh….Quivering over your alteration to the romance aspect is he?….He asked ‘What’s the character with the wooden leg going to do now?’….and you said…uh-UH!! ‘Well, y’see that might have been a bit harsh of you, because that character doesn’t read as the sort of guy who’d get his kicks that way….BUT, we got three volumes at least, someone else will turn up or he can die heroically with a few wise or ironic words on his lips…..So what else?….Mmm….yeh…..Well he will have to wait. Y’know you’ve got the major re-write to do….No kiddin’ (laugh)…no, no not at you, with you. Yeh, get to this stage and you fall in love with the book. It happens. You want those crowd of crazy kids out there to be read about. He’ll have to wait. Tell you what..I’ll get him a writing pad and tell him to use it and stop looking at Amazon….No problem. That’s what I’m here for….

Puts the Phone down:

ARBITER (to himself)….And there was that gig with Brandon Sanderson, but no, I had to go for the unknown (sighs). Now, blurb or check the launch budget again…..

You will not prosper Evil

Light of Writing 2

Manchester: 22 dead. Maybe 60 injured. This was a concert which would have attracted children. The perpetrator had been consumed by Evil. Only Evil would make this calculation.

Evil which feeds on Hate. Hate which is the spawn of ignorance and intolerance.

All this toxicity thrives in the hot emotions of fury. Anyone who rages against the community this fool came from joins hands with their Brothers and Sisters in Hate; they are being consumed in the sewer. There is no room for this.

Think then on the dead innocents, but think also of those who turned up to offer lifts, help, food and drink, comfort; came from their beds, switched off their taxi metres did what they could to help folk in peril.

Then sit somewhere quiet, think, ponder or pray for the dead, injured their families and friends, for the communities who are now living in dread from the Brothers and Sisters in Hate who will be prowling looking to vomit their bile.

Resolve never to look at a person and because of their community, orientation, religion, politics or whatever and point the finger of judgement and emotion. Smile, hold open a door, if you don’t agree, shrug and say ‘I don’t see it that way,’ help.

We owe it to the thousands of dead, injured and damaged of these past tragic decades.

Friends, Brothers, Sisters, Neighbours. Hold strong. Compassion. Respect and Tolerance

A Sum of Wyrds on Motivations, Inspirations, and Justifications (and probably a bunch of other ‘tions’)

 So this time (sometime in early 2016) I said to myself: ‘OK, you are going to approach this project in a serious, mature and planned approach. You will consider plot, you will reduce the number of words in a sentence, you will make sure the paragraph makes sense, you will watch out for those spelling mistookes that are beyond the capacities of Word Spullchuck. You will learn just what is meant by syntax and do something about it and above all you will read the wise words of the WP bloggers who have books published and sold them.’

To which I replied ‘By crimminy you are write! I will attend accordingly, honour the art, respect the words of other bloggers, and learn. I will place aside money for Editors and professional Covers. I will figure out how best to use Social Media and build up a potential reader base. And have more than one re-write and by sometime in 2017 the First Volume of The Patchwork Warriors will be launched as a sober and sensible venture!’

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I meant it folks, I truly did. As Brandon Sanderson and Joe Abercrombie are my witnesses! The was going to be the start of a series of Serious (with an underlying sardonic humour) Fantasy Novels (Albeit with a lite touch). The target was to reach a THREE figure sales number on Volume One. This was to be a reversal of the previous venture which was Three Volumes with a total combined sales of One.      

 

 

Thus, so it; the work began. Some of you who have been reading this blog for a while will be familiar with announcements, sort of progress reports and extracts all from The Patchwork Warriors. Ah there was in truth, much effort and there were several starts ditched, lots of promising chapters & extracts consigned to Copy & Paste- In A Holding File for Possible Future Use (Useful tip there folks when editing always keep the bits- you never know)

But then, gentle reader, across the great ocean of The Writers’ Muse   came the siren songs of The Anarchical (“chaotic, without order or rule,” from Greek anarkhos “without head or chief”). For they did ride along on Brexit Winds and thus did tempt and so draw me to start upon A True History of The Isles (CurrentlyforsalesonAmazonKindle-termsandconditionsapply). 51vnj7ZqupL__SY346_

Actually this project by my standards was a roaring success, not only was it well received in blog posts so that folk knew about it, but I managed to get it into on book format and upload as a Kindle- now there it looked odd as the chapters did break up but ran into each other. But, BUT to date FOUR! Yes FOUR copies have been sold, and only that but a 5***** review from one Nancy3333!…..Yea team WBH!!!!(well sort of, because it was still sloppy with typos and a few long obtuse sentences).solilqy

Despite this I then forged ahead and by Jan 2017 (or was it Feb?) I had completed the first draft of TPW, and not pausing for breath or even breadth ploughed on with the re-write. In this case not only referring to notes made to ensure continuity but also writing up a diary of the passage of time passing within the narrative (and having to cheat a lot to make all events match up, but you can do that in a Fantasy novel). Yes this would be the big break through By Jove!

Yeah, about that…

The budget for Editing and Cover…without going into ‘family business’ in detail; it’s gone, and quite frankly I would do it all again and again and again without a second thought, just ‘Because’. Hey, Life eh?2nd Dec 15 Blog

But was that a stumbling block? Heavens T’Betsy no! The most important feature of the whole business was to put the story together and to get this out in some sort of form. Its fate would be left to the whims of fortune and circumstance, as usual, and of course now belong to the ages (in so far as the memories of the computers are to be trusted). Thus onwards and ever forwards to completion!!

One facet of this sort of mindset does lead me to a type of free-form which for better or for worse does save me having to worry too much about structure. Some folk will quite rightly make an argument against this approach, and I would not attempt to take issue with them, only to say this is the fate I have chosen for my work. Nor would I urge anyone to make a distinct choice for this option, only to say: ‘It is there’. Working with Fantasy does give me a certain leeway in this, particularly in a world where the conventional laws of physics as we know them are prone to elaborations which none of the characters if they are honest truly grasp. This may seem again like cheating to some, but when you have your time fixed on a multi-volume work there will be other opportunities to sort this out later down the line.

crazy-lime-cartoon-jumping-happy-35166861

The question:

But why in the Name of Tolkien do you progress upon such an anarchical path with little hope of success, recognition or return?William Shakespeare

Is a perfectly valid one; if asked by a person who leads Word Press blogs as opposed to the insufferable professional who insists that all authors should idly crawl upon hands and knees on the path of being selected by the correct editors or agents and do as they are told.

The answer if my case is. Because I have created something which is mine; this world has been crafted by my hands; these characters have had live breathed into them, this plot has been fashioned by imagination. This is all my work. This is enough. I need no more.

The last three sentences are the only part which I actually commend as basic advice.

But if you are looking to make a certain level of income or career out of your writing, please dear reader find some other worthier blog

In the meantime, sometime in the possibly late summer will appear ‘The Patchwork Warriors’ as Volume I of ‘The…….. (errr I’ve not worked that bit out yet) or maybe ‘…………….’ as Volume I of ‘The Patchwork Warriors’- I’ll get back to you on that!b85885aa0fd01f0cbebaa2798639b472

Meanwhile keep writing folks….make me proud!

Let’s Talk: Grit as a Writer

On this blog you’ve been told often enough how not to do things….Now here’s how you do it.

Fiction by Rachael Ritchey

Grit. This word keeps popping up all around me lately. The idea has been around a looooong time, but for some reason grit has become the little bell dinging in my ear like a wake up alarm.

What is grit? Well, Merriam-Webster says:

: firmness of mind or spirit :  unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger

Or dictionary.com

firmnessofcharacter;indomitablespirit;pluck:

Here’s what Angela Lee Duckworth has to say about grit:

Have you ever bought a car and suddenly you see the same exact car everywhere? Well, grit is like that car. It piqued my interest one day, and now I keep hearing it and seeing it everywhere.

Grit, in my mind, is a component of perseverance, defined at dictionary.com:

steadypersistenceinacourseofaction,apurpose,astate,etc.,especiallyinspiteofdifficulties,obstacles,ordiscouragement.

Do we have…

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The Patchwork Warriors…. The Dairy I should have been keeping. (Or how to milk a fallow spell) (or well How dee-doo-doo-Da-Da, this fine day?)

12th May 2017.

If you have been reading this blog for a while you’ll be used to this sort of diversion…..If you are new, don’t worry it’s not you…..It’s me that’s tilted …….

Ah me. Would that the scales of distraction fall from this eye of my mind. Oh to feel the fresh breezes of inspiration upon this torpid soul sunk deep in the mire of this field of lassitude. Dear sweet muses alight upon me and transport me from this place of discordant voices with their bitter and sterile litanies of hate and discord…..trilby

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Oh hi there! Err….. you caught me there in one of my proto-Shakespeare modes. If I had a gloomy stage with view props I would be stalking up and down with a troubled expression, and handful of meaningful pauses, a vocal range from low baritone, and making the audience feel I had a nasty cold to high tenor which would wake them or wonder I had stubbed my toe. I should also have at least one gaze into middle distance.

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Oh no gentle reader, do not take concern or trouble yourself, I am just in between re-righting the re-write.

This has been quite an interesting journey because I reached the stage where the plot lurched sideways in a storm caused by the sudden perception that the book was going to be too long. You see one of the challenges when you are writing fantasy is to see if you can encapsulate at least one major plot, a few sub-plots, say three or four major characters, a dozen or so minor characters at least three separate nations or other notions and a whole world of your making into less than 150,000 words. Not easy y’know, not when you are not an A NAME, or when you’ve NOT been doing all that sensible spade work on various social media sites encouraging folk to look forward to the final book OR working on a cover OR….oh I dunno…whatever mature and focused authors do. Anyway I broke through that barrier, sort of as I commit the possible cardinal sin of fantasy writing and try and fit in a feel-good ending.

(Pause to switch on the lights, illuminating the stage, and kicking away the ostentatiously sparse props)

I mean, what is wrong with a feel-good ending? Don’t we have enough misery and unhappiness out there being force fed to us in a sensational way? Are there not enough folk on both sides of the political divide who are screaming that those opposing (or deemed to be opposing) them should be cast(eth) out into the Darkness, in the name of Free Speech, while not ‘digging’ the fact that they are both actually on the same page?….Oh frib’ now I durn lost m’way with a distraction…..so where wuz I?

Oh yeh. So what was really wrong with ‘The Ridiculous 6’? So the critics didn’t like it, well boo-hooo! I mean I know it’s not High Wit and…..

Errr…???..No..ummm…………….. that wasn’t what I was talking about was it???

Hold on folks, just check that thing on Wikipedia you’ve been meaning to, I’ll be back in a minute or so…..

pogo.stick.10

Ah-ha, yes! The Feel-Good Factor. That’s what we were talking about wasn’t it? Yes, whereas I tip my hat to the various Giants of Fantasy, is it necessary to have a ripping  good tale without a high body count (ignoring background folk who haven’t got a line much less a name and some of the lesser villains who really don’t deserve a free-ride out). So it’s down to working out the final escape and the reasonably happy end of this episode, and then it’s down to the next re-write, which will have to be the last one too; ‘because I will be safe in the knowledge that no professional critic will ever get to know about the book, which of course will belong to History and to be discovered by later generations- I play the long game. 

(This has been a lesson in one possible strategy in filling up a blog space when you are not really focused but feel you have to say something. AND as always in the keeping of the spirit of this blog, here is another lesson in how you SHOULD NOT be doing things; unless of course you are over 65 and don’t really give a frib’*)

(shameless plugAdverts: Read how to use this* and other alternative words in the upcoming fantasy novel…… THE PATCHWORK WARRIORS…..impress your friends with a whole new range of profanities and odd sayings )

Detachment…?

Here is a post with much food for thought.

the otherhood of one

The clock on the wall keeps ticking, but the hands no longer move…

Because Time no longer motivates me.

Voices argue down the street, louder and louder, but the words no longer mean…

Because language never truly captured or communicated what was real.

Sadness, sorrow, grief wash over me, but tears no longer fall…

Because acceptance of what is, is, and my heart does not resist.

Peace wraps itself around me, as my eyes begin to lose their focus…

Because clarity comes to the Observer, relieved of earthly pleasures.

And I see…

That I am not alone, nor disconnected here from Others; rather we are joined in spirit, thought, and understanding.  Holding “hands” as all we’ve known drops out beneath us.  Free floating in a place without gravity to hold us, without severity to sink us.  Gently holding on to what is real for each of us… in a space…

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Calamity At Corbyn HQ

Be fair folks; Lucy has got this marketing thing all sewn up!!
(And I’m a crusty old socialist!!)

Secret Diary Of PorterGirl

Up and down the country, Tories are rubbing their hands together with glee whilst Labour MPs (increasingly becoming an endangered species) are standing precariously on railway bridges, wondering where it all went wrong. Meanwhile, their brave and fearless leader, Jeremy Corbyn, sits at home cheerfully weaving a basket whilst mumbling incoherently at a papier mache bust of Ken Livingstone. His exasperated wife pops her head round the door.

“Jeremy!”

“Sshh, dear, I am conversing with Ken.” Jeremy looks up from his basket only briefly. “Please excuse Laura, Ken.”

“Jeremy, you’ve been weaving all morning,” says Laura. “Will you at least have a little something to eat?”

“Is there any of my homemade jam left?” inquires Jezza. “Perhaps some jam and scones.”

“That jam has gone off,” Laura replies. “It’ll give you the trots.”

“Oh, but we love the Trots!” Jezza turns to the bust on his desk. “Don’t we, Ken?”

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