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.

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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!

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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.

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…..

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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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Grumpy: The New Sensible?….. It’s Time To Take A Stand!

Very well then, let us set the mood:

Pouring Rain

Nothing like a nice grim downpour I always say

Pouring Rain Wrong

 

 

 

Oh My Sainted Aunt!!! There’s always some idiot, see…this is what I’m talking about! Now we’ll have to get to some serious imaging……Right Picture  Ahhh, my ideal holiday home site!!

Anyway…..You know how it goes, you might be feeling unhappy for some reason, you may have a cold which has upgraded itself to a STUPID Cold, and so forth. Anyway you are not feeling sunny AND you switch on the tv or the radio or laptop

There you encounter one, or even worse a clutch of folk grinning as if they’ve had their common sense surgically removed. And is the cause of this unfettered joy? Oh, they’ve all purchased something, or being seemingly free of the normal responsibilities of life such as family or employment have all gaggled together and set off to a sun drenched place where they can all display their perfectly formed teeth to each other.

Stupid…try mePicture_of_Thomas_Carlyle

Or you hope to glean some news items, instead you are confronted by two or more also perfectly formed human beings who appear to find everything funny, especially each other, unless of course you are in time to view a Weather Presenter who presumably is not near any severe weather themselves because they talk about it like it was a spectator sport.

Then while you think your intelligence has been thoroughly insulted sufficiently for one day, you happen across some LifeStyle pundit who explains to you that if think positive (and have made a fortune out of telling other members of the public this), then everything will be fine.

Once you have escaped this onslaught  you encounter people who appear to have been infected by these inane blights. They display symptoms by wearing T-shirts with puerile statements which they think are funny  or insisting in playing badly organised versions of sports in public places, playing loud noises which they think is music, sounding off car horns for no particularly logical reason or if they are too old for these activities gathering in small social herds in supermarkets and chatting away in of the most widely used aisles oblivious to desperate shoppers.

Then there are of course, Personalities and Politicians and Lesser Entertainers who smile for a living by having their ‘fizz-oggs’ plastered over some pointless tome they’ve just had published. And we have Public Holidays or as they are known now National Eat and Drink Too Much Then Act Like an Idiot Day. And there are those who are just plain annoying…

Annoying1  annoyingpeople

(Although admitting to manslaughter the defendants were let off with a caution)

 

It is time dear readers that us normal folk took a stand against these waves of inanity and shallowness and campaigned for the one true and honest holiday National Grumpy Day!

Now the purpose of this holiday is not to be rude or offensive to people in general. It will simply be an affirmation of a person inalienable right to go around normally not having to caper and smirk as if the world was a funny place to be in. People would be entitled to go about with serious and dour expressions, civility will be encouraged, but no smiling! One would be expected to be polite and acknowledge this with a brief nod of the head ‘You’re welcome ‘being the correct response.

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Folk who go about in frivolous manner will expect to have normal people come up to them and say ‘idiot’ then walk off. Anyone who appears on the media with anything less than a grave expression will be criticised, although abuse will be limited to e-mails, txts or tweet with the simple message ‘What’s so damn funny?’. Adverts which suggest anything can be made wonderful and cause for celebration will be banned for that day. DJs will simply give the name of the artist and title of the song, and play the blasted thing. Being intoxicated or otherwise under an influence in public will result in the person or persons being loaded into trucks and driven off to remote and inhospitable terrain, left with sufficient water and bread and told to make their own way back. Comedians will be allowed only to tell sardonic jokes which cause grim laughter and nods of the head. Other entertainers may perform sombre and reflective works, the more castigating folly the better. Book Shops will be asked to respect the holiday by removing from public display those books having covers of grinning celebrities. Supermarkets will remove all magazines.    Your local politician should be lobbied for possible new legal codes against extreme merriment Solution to Frivolityor……  

Gunner Sargeant Hartman

Of course, families can have picnics, but these will be solemn affairs of basic foods and where folk will read out commentaries extoling the virtues of sobriety and frugality, while children will be encouraged to draw pictures or write essays on who they thought was the stupidest person they saw on TV last week and how they plan not grow up like them.

People should visit museums which should ensure there is nothing trendily happy on display. Theme parks will be closed for the day. Staff of fast food outlets will be allowed to wear non-regulation sober clothing, greeting the customer with ‘Yes sir/madam. You may sit down. Your frugality will be with you shortly,’

Marches will be organised in which people will walk slowly and silently bearing banners will slogans such as:

‘Let’s Face It. Reality Is Unavoidable’

‘You Might Think You’re Funny But You’re Not Looking From Where I Am’

‘Too Much Laughter Suggests Tax Avoidance’

‘Being Cheerful Too Often Is Just Asking For Trouble’

‘With This Lot In Charge You’re Still Happy?’

‘Take That Stupid Mask Off!….What Do Mean You’re not Wearing One?’

‘Restrict Public Joviality To Children and Adults With A Valid Permit’

‘Smiling Once in Morning, Afternoon and Night Time is Quite Enough,’

‘Be Grumpy and Avoid Disappointment’

‘If You Don’t Like Today, What Are You Doing Here?’

‘Hurrrrummmpffff!’

‘Be Honest. What Is The Point of New Year’s Celebrations?’

frowning-puritan-CROP (indeed!!)

If your route should take you past a TV or Radio Station, place of Entertainment or the principal building of Civic Administration marchers may break the silence with a minute’s worth of…. 8d8f41c1217d3007621ceda397c48ef6

All participating in the march should sign a solemn and binding pledge that they will refuse to participate in the public celebration of at least two public holidays every year. (Parents of children will be discouraged from selecting Christmas. Do you really want the poor mites being called weird by their peers?).

Finally, anyone planning to be away on National Grumpy Day will be expected to select very, very remote and windswept places guaranteed to upset the socialable noisy set. Right Picture be fair; it’s worth repeating

In conclusion celebrants should not harass quietly happy people who are just getting on with their own lives and keeping themselves to themselves. If these are identified you should approach them, give a stiff little bow and say ‘Thank you for your sense of proportion,’ And above all a celebrant should never criticise a fellow WP blogger whose themes are ones of happiness and determination. These are folk who have found the right balance and when you visit their site you know what to except and in that there is much value; these sites will probably be places where you can rest your tired and media saturated soul. Cherish them.   

manners

As for the rest of the world.Organise now. You obviously know it makes sense

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