A True History of The Isles Vol II Chapter 1 – Henry III (Part A. – The Major Minority)

As it will have been recalled in the previous volume during the 18th to the 19th October 1216 King John had died of peaches, cider, not washing his hands, Barons and taxation. But before and after that some pretty important events took place. (Dying of peaches, cider and not washing your hands would not have been pretty at all)

War with the Barons and French Nobility

John got into a war with many Barons who were angered by his tyrannical decisions to make them liable to tax. The Barons tried to gain the moral ascendancy by trying to claim this was The First Barons’ War; a casual view of English history will prove this was simply the First revolt to be given a title. To help them in their cause rather than hire lawyers and accountants they took the singular step of asking Louis, the son of King Philip (The Two and very astute) to be King of England. He and the Barons pretended that because he was grandson-in-law of Henry (The Two and very colourful) of England this was important.

Because John was generally useless at war Louis and the Barons initially did quite well seizing most of Kent (but not Dover) and also finding London. Here, he, Louis, was acclaimed but not crowned, because John still had the said crown. When John died William Marshal Earl of Pembroke having loyally and nobly served kings since Henry (The Two) rescued both by loyal and noble means John’s son Henry (who was but nine years old).  Even though it was done on the wrong day and in the wrong place Good William had Henry crowned King of England with help of a papal widget, which saved vital time spent trying to find a bishop. As the crown, obviously wouldn’t fit on a nine year old, they used a necklace. So impressed by this act were some of the barons that they recognised Henry (now a Three) even though they’d never met him, so were advised to look out for the little kid wearing a necklace.

As the papacy had been involved in the crowning (see: widget), it was only correct and proper that Louis was excommunicated, which meant priests, bishops etc could ignore or be rude to him without fear of retribution.  These, then became desperate times for Louis. Some Barons were in a sulk because Louis had naturally started to bring in other Frenchmen and not listening to the said Barons (sulking), so they naturally changed sides and his father (that’s Philip) was making fun of him for not subduing a constable who defended Dover. Thus, Louis sent one of his barons somewhere to find the supporters of Henry (The 3 x I) and bring them to battle. Marshal being a noble knight was only to courteous to oblige. This took place at Lincoln in May 1217, but was so poorly organised that neither side could agree on the date, and in the ensuing chaos one important commanding noble on Louis’ side was killed by a not quite as important noble on William Marshal’s side (being nine and not able to wear the crown; the king wasn’t allowed to take part). As was the convention of the day once an important commanding noble was killed, his side gave up and after an obligatory massacre or pardoning of the common soldiers the whole thing was over. By now Louis was in even more desperate circumstances and on learning that a vital supply of sandwiches had been captured by the forces of William (The Marshal) gave up and went back to France, just in time for his father to die, so that Louis could become The VIII, be horrid to the people of the South of France; and subsequently die in 1226 through not washing his hands.

At this juncture many of the nobility and subsequently their knights, lords, common folk etc realised they had nearly been taken over by France and as a resulted decided they should now all be English. This was greeted with much joy and acclimation. The Scots, Welsh and Irish also approved as it gave the Celtic nations someone to blame other than themselves for their mistakes, short-comings and especially in-fighting as one side could now be blamed as traitors, hirlings, rogues, etc.

The Years Of Henry’s Minority (without The French)

With the French, out of the way it became essential that royal authority should be resorted. Marshal (and a council) faced several problems.

Barons (naturally)

Some Barons who saying they had been loyal now felt they could do as they pleased, whereas those Barons who had not been loyal and were still alive, thought they could also do as they pleased because the loyal Barons were doing that, so who was going to stop Barons in general doing as they pleased? Anyway, they all would go scuttling off for their copies of Magna Carta if anyone complained too much.

Law and Order     

The judges were complaining about The Bench and after consulting with The Exchequer enough money was found to make a new one, this was of course The King’s Bench but judges could sit on it for him.

Forests and Rights

Under William (The Conquer of course) and subsequent kings any common people found in forests without the king’s permission would have bits of their bodies removed. Because of the rise of the Common People and the uncertainty of the Crown (which still wasn’t fitting Henry’s head), in 1217 a special Forest Law was enacted which allowed free men to pick up wood, grass, bits of soil, dig holes and make ponds in forests although anyone hunting anything could be fined or imprisoned, unless they could prove they were a king (or a noble with a charter to do such things). Even more controversially Common People could even say what was a forest or not and whether the law applied there or not; as a result, there was much rejoicing by lawyers who once more saw no end of gainful employment.  Some nobles who fell into suspiciously obscure holes or ponds wanted that part rescinded, but the judges who were now seated comfortably on the Bench thought otherwise.

The Welsh

Difficulties

There had always been problems with the Welsh. They did not invade quite so much as the Scots so it was always a surprise and when they did it was only to seize Chester or Shrewsbury or make some careless Marcher lord look ridiculous. Then there was the geography, although only a very small country the Welsh had contrived to huddle up in the north or the south; the latter entering into alliances with English kings whenever it suited them and former being more inclined to seize Chester etc whenever it suited them. This was very confusing for an English king as he never knew who was who and anyway, unlike Scotland which was conveniently in the north, Wales is side on so you never knew where they’d come incursioning or seizing from.

Llewelyn -Impressive

Providentially for those looking after the kingdom for young Henry (and his necklace) at this stage had arisen one Llewelyn ap Iorwerth of the powerful family which ruled the northern kingdom of Gwenydd. For a while he was on good terms with John (The Bad King) and married Joan who was naturally John’s daughter. With this sorted out Llewelyn then proceeded to conquer all the bits of Wales which didn’t see things his way, even in the South. This entitled him to added on ‘The Great’ to his name or to be correct in welsh Fawr. He fell out with John but because of Barons and Frenchmen, John couldn’t do much about it. During post-John, Marshal and some less treacherous fellow nobles entered into an alliance and treaty with Llewelyn. This allowed Llewelyn to keep whatever bits of England he had, do as he fancied in Wales and fight any English nobles on his border (the latter clause was mischievously put in by the council as pay-back for the Barons not obeying the council).

This left Llewelyn looking more impressive than Henry III who was still too young and stuck with a necklace. Sadly for Llewelyn who was watching eastwards (England)  this would all end when some English (cleverly if you were English; treacherously if you were Welsh) invaded across the Irish Sea (from the West) with a lot of Irish Mercenaries.

Scotland  

Annoyed that the English kept calling him Alexander and a ‘II’ at that and not correctly ,Alaxandair mac Uilliam; he son of William (The Lion- as opposed to the Lionheart) claimed he wanted some thiefes back who were in England and marched all the way to Dover to tell Louis (The French) he would make a better king that John. When things didn’t work out he marched back and finding out some of his scots clans were naturally, revolting embarked on the far easier task of fighting and massacring them, so England didn’t have much of a problem with him.

Ireland

Henry II and waves of Anglo, Cambro and High-bernian Normans had rushed into Ireland and  the Irish had been obliged to accept the King of England as their Lord. Because the Kings of England as well as Anglo, Cambro and Hi-bernian Normans couldn’t agree on anything they all slaughtered or deposed each other, until there were only Irish Lords and a few Cambro-Normans (who knew the rules) left. As the Normans on the mainland were busy converting to being English, the Irish Lord were able to take over, but instead claiming to be High Kings they hired themselves and their retinues to any English who were fighting each other, the Scots, Welsh or the French. This would prove to be a bit of a mistake.

The Usual Business

After William Marshal died in 1219 of age and being loyally noble (or nobly loyal- the medical records are not complete), the rest of the council settled down to accusing each other of treason, etc. Fortunately, in 1220 when it was found the crown would fit on Henry’s head The Pope arranged for him to him to have a proper coronation. The Pope then said it was just and right for Henry to be The III and it was a sin not to pay taxes to him AND give him castles.

The End of the Minority  

By 1223 and being a typical surly teenage, Henry took back the bits of England which Llewellyn had and then went around besieging English Barons who had been excommunicated by the Pope on the grounds of not paying their taxes and insisting on keeping their castles. In this he was aided by a loyal noble, Hubert who was famed for modestly accepting the job of being ‘just a clerk’.

With papal backing Henry was also allowed to massacre those who wouldn’t obey him as they were obviously heretics. Some evaded this by hiding in forests and pretending to be common, a few didn’t have to try very hard.

By the time Henry (III) was 16, truly fitted into a crown, he had begun to develop a reputation as being pious on the grounds of killing excommunicants, enabling everyone to be relieved he would not take after his father. Thus, he began to reign in his own shed.

In the next chapter, we shall look at the Reign of Henry III as an adult and what everyone thought about it.

A True History of The Isles (the ones off the west coast of France, that is) Volume 2 (or Vol. II)

 

A True History of The Isles (the ones off the west coast of France, that is) Volume 2 (or Vol. II)

Commentary

Whereas the 2016 vote by the citizenry of the UK to leave the European Union was a pretty spectacular bit of business, it almost pales (sic) into the mediocre when compared with the potential Hoo-Ahh released by the results of the 2017 General Election. Thus, we now have a political party sort of in power, embarking upon a series of complicated negotiations invoking the old political spirit Arthur Mandate is better than none, while not so much in the wings, but idling Stage Left biding his time is the ever constant character on the political scene Mr Hugh Bris.

It was a year ago in the aftermath of the aforementioned referendum that I embarked on my epic intent to write up a true history of these Isles 51vnj7ZqupL__SY346_(shameless plug) in order that we may all gain a better understanding as to how we managed to get in such a singular circumstance. I was quite surprised by the positive reaction, and encouraged by the indication that in the next five years the kindle sales might go into double figures have strode forth upon Vol 2 (or Vol II if you prefer)

So let us, away-

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Introduction & Preface

Whereas it is quite in order that most histories should consider who was who and why; this author considered it quite unnecessary to dwell too much on the business, but to simply supply the reader with the bare facts and let them reach their own conclusions. This premise is possibly the most valid of any as people being people tend to keep changing their minds (or other people’s minds) as to who did what, why, when and just how important whoever it was’ part in it was anyway. Then there are those who wouldn’t know reality if it was wrapped in brick and dropped on their heads but they shouldn’t be reading this or the previous volume in any case. For this is a true and unbiased account of the history of these isles, which strips away all of the romance, preferential treatment, and has no truck with notions of which innocent nations or semi-nations have been hard-done by other nations for apart from aboriginal peoples in remote parts of the world basically; there an’t no such creature.

In the previous volume lay the foundations of how these isles came to be populated, by what types of folk, what they did, or didn’t do; what they should have done, and who had their names recorded and why. Thus, the reader will, by now, have a fairly reasonable idea of the states of the various peoples and nations at the time of the death of King John (currently The Only).

This volume will chart the progress from the aftermath of the death of King John (The Bad by popular consensus) up until the death of Henry the VII who having disposed of Richard The III (maybe not as bad as some folk would have) invented Tudors.

During this era (19th October 1216 to 21st April 1509), many important innovations and inventions took place, many of which have lasted until modern days. Some will be considered in depth, others for the sake of brevity barely mentioned, while some will be mostly ignored by the author who considers them detrimental to the academic flow of the book, and, thus, following the fine tradition of adding an element of controversy to an historical work.

Overall this is the era when English kings decided that the whole demeanour of the isles would be a lot neater if they finally convinced the royalty of Scotland, Ireland and Wales that the King (or if necessary Queen) of England should be the most important king (or worst-case scenario, queen) of the lot. This would enable the King (or if there was no alternative… Queen) of England to concentrate on the very important task of having wars with France otherwise France might become so important as to boss everyone else on the mainland of Europe, which was of course quite unacceptable; this was balanced by the view that the French had the same opinion about English.

In general, these twin policies would be the yardstick by which English kings (and when weedy princes died, queens) were judged by the nobility of England. Irish, Scots and Welsh royalty would counter this by dying heroically, being betrayed (heroically), rebelling and hiding (heroically) or proving they were legally English and should rule anyway.

This era also saw (if the king or queen was careless) the rise of parliaments, councils and the continued insistence of The Church that it was just as important as a king (or whether the church authorities liked it or not – queen). This gave rise an increase in literacy so that nobles could check if there was something sneaky The Church or the king (or-sigh- queen) was up too, or even better if there was something they, the noble(s) could take advantage of.

It was during this era that there was more attention having to be given to The Common People, some of whom had also started to read and so ask awkward questions of The Church; this did so amuse the nobility and royalty until The Common People tried the same thing with them. Matters were to become so turbulent that The Common People started to be bothersome about having rights and despite the best or worse efforts of the ruling classes actually obtained some. The first being during the upsetting times of the Plantagenets (or Angevin if you feel that way) whose colourfulness filtered down to the extent that by the end of the 12th Century the barons found they had lost all their serfs and were stuck with a lot of common people instead.

This era, is therefore possibly one of the most interesting as it is source of much of Shakespeare’s work, gave Cromwell a bit of a surprise when he found a copy of the Magna Carta and gave rise to the Celtic tradition of turning their mistakes into romantic legends and laments.

In conclusion, whereas these volumes are reasonably authoritative works on the history of these Isles the reader is strongly advised to read 1066 and All That by Sellar and Yeatman this being the definitive work on the subject up to the end of the 19th Century.

Thus over the course of the next few weeks the essays will commence and naturally continue.

The first one being a consideration of the state of the Isles during the period after King John (The boo-hiss king) died and it looked as if England might be confirmed as being another bit of France.

A Guide To The Results of an Election

Marketing Day- A True History of The Isles is a Book!!

A True History of the Isles Part 25 -The Era of The King John (Bad or a Bad Press?)

 

 

A True History of the Isles Part 25 -The Era of The King John (Bad or a Bad Press?)

A Guide To The Results of an Election

General Election 2017 (UK that is)

 

 

Dear neighbours in the WP community. The 2017 UK General Election results and implications made simple:

Reason Why We Had A General Election and Why They Were Bad Reasons

Prime Minister Theresa May:

Wanted to show she was The Lady. (Well….that kinda worked out for her…..because at the moment no one else in their right mind wants the lousy job, at present, but the Conservatives are deadly good at fiendish plots against their own leaders)

Wanted to throw out of her cabinet a bunch of folk she’d been stuck with after David Cameron quit. (That might have worked- but the wrong way…some of them didn’t get re-elected and Labour got their seats. She should have realised there are always ‘Shock Results’ and someone big loses their ‘seat’)

Wanted to make things worse for Labour than they already were. (Bad idea! The only ones who are able to make things worse for Labour than they already are, are Labour themselves)

Wanted to grab back all those UKIP voters who now that there was no Brexit voting stuff weren’t too sure what to do with their time (Should have realised that people had begun to ‘think things’ through after Brexit and seen UKIP as a one-trick pony, and would amble away in all political directions this time around)

And finally.

Hoped she might lose Boris Johnson somewhere in the fracas (Good plan. Pity it didn’t work)

On to the next topic:

Reasons Why People Voted The Way They Did.

The Young Vote: For the last few years having been fed a steady stream of ‘You will have to work until you’re 75. We will also pass a law making it illegal for you to die any earlier’ and ‘If you want an education beyond counting up to 20 and learning your ABC you’ll have to borrow £20,000 per year and sell you first born to help pay it back’, there would have been a possible tendency to vote for a party with a more promising outlook to life.

The Elderly Vote: ‘If you start to get ill we’ll either let you starve and let nature take it course, then if you persist in being stubborn we’ll lock you away and recycle you for environmental purposes’ might have been the message they received from the Conservative Manifesto

The Middle Vote: ‘Keep working those two jobs for 50 hours a week and we’ll reduce your income tax by£1.75p a month’ was probably  not the most attractive theme.

Brexit: Everyone is confused anyway. So it didn’t matter to folk this time around. (Unless you were a die-hard UKIP member)

Other Issues:

The train service is still costly and lousy

Unless they get the funding right any government will take a hit on the NHS.

You knew there was something going wrong with the Conservative campaign when Labour and in particular Jeremy Corbyn felt secure enough to challenge the Conservatives on their safe ground of Law & Order and police numbers.

 

Implications

England: The map was turned upside down and conservatives did well(ish) in the north and Labour did well in the south. This will make everyone dizzy.

Wales: Plaid Cymru- The Welsh National Party snatched another seat. The conservatives made the great cultural error of spending more time and effort in North Wales, which naturally nfuriated voters in South Wales who promptly ditched them; North Wales wasn’t that impressed anyhow.

Scotland: No one in the SNP really read their history way back when which shows that not all scots when push comes to shove want to be independent, but since many a true Scot would not want to be led by somebody so obviously southern English as Jeremy Corbyn lots voted Tory, others feeling nostalgic for simpler times voted Labour or Liberal Democrats. Result SNP lost lotsa seats.

Northern Ireland (or Ulster): No one who lives outside of Ulster should ever try to understand why politics is the way it is in Northern Ireland; it will make your head spin. Suffice it to say folk voted along ‘community lines’. This meant the Democratic Unionist Party won the Protestant Unionist vote while Sinn Fein won the Catholic Republican vote so both sides could claim a great victory, even though Sinn Fein don’t actually take up their seats in The House of Commons and the Democratic Unionists Party don’t trust any other party in the, said The House of Commons.

 

What Is Happening:

The SNP (Scotland) – Have to pretend everything is fine, but don’t mention Independence ever again.

The Liberal Democrats- Were supposed to get completely wiped out but actually won 4 seats, thus returning to common the stance of the last 80 years ‘Oh! That’s a nice surprise! It should  have been worse’

Labour- Although Labour lost, ie had less seats than the Conservatives, they actually won, because they ended up with more seats than expected. Which in turn means that although they don’t get to form an government, means they can be seen to maybe be able to form an government next time around. Unless of course they shoot themselves in the feet by starting a traditional venomous internal argument over something which has no bearing on the day-to-day lives of the ordinary folk of this country.

Plaid Cymru and The Green Party- Have not gone away and although only have a total of five seats in such a circumstance are very important. The Green Party plays a very important role by having one seat, in that this presence will cause apoplexy in the USA Whitehouse if any one there should notice.

 

Who Is In Charge Now?

Well at present, and if nothing else happens by the time I finish this post. Prime Minister Theresa May (vocals and tambourine) and the Conservatives Government will still be able to limp along with the aid of the Democratic Unionist Party. How long this will last is anyone’s guess but should keep political pundits, academics, journalists and commentators in steady work for at least the rest of 2017.

When considering this arrangement, it should be born in mind;

That Catholic voters in England and Wales who voted for the Conservatives have now given the Hard-line Protestant Democratic Unionists Party a voice in their affairs.

Conversely;

The Hard-line Protestants of the DUP must now be grateful to the said Catholic voters in England and Wales for given them a voice in UK affairs.

This proves conclusively that God has a sense of humour.

 

This complex result will be difficult to explain to the amateurs currently cluttering up the Whitehouse in Washington USA and is best broken down as follows;

Theresa May is still Prime Minster, ie Big Boss Lady

No socialists are involved in the running of Central Government. Yet

Everything is fine. Except the things which aren’t and they don’t concern you, so keep your noses out of it.

No one cares what you think anyway.

That state visit is so not going to happen for a while.

Stay out of London.

 

Other than that The UK will provide a steady source of entertainment for those wo find politics funny.

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…..

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!

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.

 ?

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 )

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.

puritan-christmas-color

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

About to Rant

 

Polly-Tickle Missage

I really should be concentrating on my writing BUT what with the all the claims, by and arguments for the various groups involved in UK General Election; the USA Presidential Election and the Brexit Referendum I have been thus inspired by their words and antics…whoops..deeds  to take the stage with the launch of the…

UK Socialist Well Not All of Stalinism Was That Bad party.

Stalin

 

Yes, fellow citizens, here we are at the cusp, or edge or launching pad of a great new future and this is your opportunity to embrace the wonderful policies which this new, forward thinking and realistic party has to offer.

Now I know you are all recoiling in horror at the thought of state ownership, invasive state security and the abolition of other political parties but I would ask you to think about this from a positive perspective.

For instance, you are unhappy with your energy supplier, and you complain and they flip you off with some feeble excuse, then you go to the regulatory body charged with their oversight and they don’t help, so you have to find who next to complain to and by then who one cares about you? Well with a single unitary state owned body you have only one place to complain to and if they try and fob you off, all you need to do is denounce the officials as Traitors To the People’s State and we’ll do the rest! Simple isn’t it?

Then there are the train services. Now we all know that in Britain we just love to complain about the state of the railways. With us you are safe in the knowledge that you will only have one source to complain about. Just remember, it’s not the government’s fault, it’s those idle shirkers who have forgotten their responsibilities to the state!!

Of course, there will be those who might get nervous about these financial markets. You should not concern yourselves! After all economics is all made up as we go along, and if those capitalists can sell bits of financial information with no real pecuniary value and make a profit, then there is nothing stopping us selling the UK as a great place to do business with. They give us the money. We do the job. And we give them their money back when we are good and ready. In the meantime, they’ll know it’s a nation where there will be no disruption, no terrorism and no need for bribes because Everyone here will know How To Behave! They’ll want be associated with a winner like that and so the money flows in and that’s right, down goes the taxes!! (And if they’re good and play by our rules the companies might not have to pay…that much)

Now, of course we have to admit that Stalin himself went right over the top over the Purges, The Gulags, The Midnight Arrests and The Transportations of Entire Peoples. That was really over-thinking the problems, and a subtler hand and a series of Soviet wide sporting events would have achieved just as much. But however, you have to order and responsibility. So with us you can be safe in the knowledge that various disruptive factions will be dealt with.: Those who text during live performances at the theatre, TV Presenters who try to do impressions of well-known comics or re-enactments of famous movie or tv scenes, Film Critics, people who wave at cameras during live news broadcasts, loudmouths in general, people who play loud music without having earphones to name but a few will be having a very tough time. Folk who insist on wearing T-shirts with allegedly humorous slogans will be expected to constantly smile in public, and those who have T-Shirts with statements which apparently allude to philosophical or political states will be stopped by the authorities and expected to make an intelligent statement of no less than five minutes in duration supporting that view. Drunks of course will be locked up and when sober be made to clean up the mess. Criminals? Well if you don’t see them around after a few years, you shouldn’t ask. After all, you don’t want to be seen as supporting criminality, do you?

As for all those political parties which have been clouding the issues and bothering you at election times with oblique and vacuous messages, well we’ll be simplifying the process. There’ll only be us! You will of course have a choice of at least five candidates from the party at each election and be honest everyone that’s as much variety as anyone needs.

There will of course be newspapers, tv and radio programmes. And there will be freedom of choice and expression, but we are aware that many people are boggled by the amount of stuff being churned out, so a great deal of unnecessary opinions and misleading statements will no longer be put out, just so you are able to concentrate on the important issues. For instance, you’ll finally be able to get thorough detailed and concise three hours’ worth of information on the care of those potted plants you’ve been worried about!  

Some will be worried about the surveillance issue. There again we can put your minds at rest. Everyone will have no privacy from the state for everyone is equal, and for the vast majority of you, here is the good news; The State Doesn’t Care. Your private business is not important. All those doing the observation will be selected for their total lack of empathy with the subject, a complete disinterest in any human social activities and a strict adherence to the rule book- yes the very dullest of the public servants will be doing the job! And for those of you who for years have been worrying yourselves as to whether you are being watched, well here is the good news! Yes, now you are! Yep! You can dial up your phone or computer content in the knowledge that at last someone is listening to what you have to say, of course we can’t guarantee that you will be taken seriously, but if you want that sort of attention, remember you have to try a little harder. We never stifle initiative!  

One thing we take very seriously is Intolerance. This will not be tolerated. Folk who display intolerance will be arrested, be sentenced to a mandatory 30 years in prison; their properties will be burnt to the ground which itself will then be levelled over and turned into vegetable patches. All relatives will be placed in custody and examined for intolerant views, children will be placed in the care of the state and told how wicked their parent(s) were. Anything in the way of money or goods left over by the time we’re finished will be sold off and the proceeds passed to the state. Any mention of the guilty person’s name will be a criminal offence. This will show how important Tolerance is.

As for Brexit. That will be dealt with. Rest assured. We know best.

Well, those are just a few of the wonderful and exciting policies which we have on offer, but a vote for us will ensure there will be more, a lot more, so much so that you won’t have time to worry about what those media drenched personalities are up to and why they left the UK in such a hurry

Vote for us!

And we’ll make sure you’ll know it makes sense.

(My name is Of No Concern of Yours, but I can assure you my sock and underwear drawers are tidy and I approve this message*)

Now Is The Time For All Good People To….

 

*Hands up all those I thought I was joking………Othell0-8_2-1924-Jago

…. You’ll never know…..muttley_laughing_by_sektor8bit-d7fv6sh

UK- General Election- Irony and Suchwhich

Now here’s a fascinating notion: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39682388

Labour, not a party associated with religious incarnations has proposed four new public holidays. Each of these are a the ‘national day’ of the four principal ‘nations’ in the British Isles. Each holiday is based on the Christian Patron Saint.

1st Match: Wales St. David

17th March: Ireland St. Patrick

23rd April: England St. George

30th November: Scotland St. Andrew.

Of course it can be argued that in this day and age no one actually celebrates them as the relevant Saint’s Day and that these are simply the convenient focus of an identity and to be celebrated as such. As Mr. Corbyn rightly says “the move would celebrate the national cultures of our proud nations”.  Fair enough

However you just have to love the juxtaposition of the irony. Labour and Religion.

(It’s also quite a cool move, the traditionalists of the Conservative Party could hardly argue against traditional values)

Ah, where would they all be without the occasional nod to Religion:happy-face-clipart-12

Now if we could work in public holidays around Jewish, Islamic and Hindu festivals of celebration, we’d be getting somewhere!

 

Ah…..Those Re-writes….Right?

I can understand why some fellow writers dislike or dread the require re-reading or revision of The First Draft. funny-victorian-era-photos-silly-vintage-photography-9-575132ee985f9__700Yes, typos and minor grammatical errors are bound to be encountered. The true misery comes when what you originally remembered as an erudite speech by a principal character now reads like something you’d overhear at a bar late-night time, or you find out that another principal character far from being a reflective and incisive person, when placed in the context of whole book is a stultifying and repetitive boring pedant. And then worse of all; half way through the plot seems to have evaporated. It happens. I feel your pain, I have been there.William Shakespeare

Now personally, not truly being wholly respectful of Reality I tend to enjoy dip into the ones created in my books where everything is mine, mine all mine! Except of course when the characters take over and require me to chase after them and find out just where they have gone.Sprinter

So there was/is Patchwork Warriors First Draft completed and wasn’t that a cool way to end this volume. Well, I says let’s see what is what.

Naturally there was the usual battle with Microsoft Word and the justifiable expletives outrage1-620x350 at it over Reflexive Pronouns and other obscure rules of grammar which might be important in a business presentation but mean nothing in the world of literary endeavour. (I mean, be fair who interrupts your discourse with a cry of ‘You used a reflexive pronoun!’ and claps their hands over their child’ears?…..Really? I must come and stare at them).

The first problem was a usual one for me; I hate villains, blaming ‘successful authors’ for using Cliché Central to meet the deadline. So this really nasty guy had ended up like something out of pulp melodrama, longjohnsilverall that was needed was a moustache and lines like ‘ Har-har! In Me Power’, or one of those dire half-paragraph god-complex asides beloved of serial killers. Well as much as I hate the little toe-rag I had to put some back-bone and originality into him. This had its benefits, this caused me to delve more into the scientific/magic background of the world. So all good.

Next came an issue which sneaked up on the proverbial outside rail. A nick-name used by one character to another; it had seemed to lend a flippant air to their relationship, but after reading it over and over and over I had to admit it was unoriginal and not the sort of thing the one character would have used, anyway there might have been a copyright issue. So recourse to the one useful Word trick ‘Ctrl+F and select ‘Replace’…. Wow 75 replacements…who’d have thought it???happy-face-clipart-12

Then going back to the scientific/magic background, as I footled about, the part of me fascinated by Quantum Physics and Cosmology began to nag away with questions like ‘How do they do that?’ or ‘Yeh, but if that is so..well what about that?’. imagesC0U7V2EDThis started a dispute with my literary imagination which demanded if I was intent on writing an alternative scientific treatise or a fantasy novel, ‘cas if it was the former then the imagination was going to take a walk. So over a coffee and a dish-washing duty it occurred to me this was a fracture society still grasping with fragments of knowledge, so who would know everything….well no one of course. (Naw, one character with encyclopaedic knowledge of the world and massive controlling powers is no fun at all in a fantasy novel, ends up coping -put all over the place).

Then there was the dropping out of bits which were long asides and all fun slowed the pace down, or were now redundant with other changes…..Some were not bad, so Highlight; Ctrl+C, then over to a document I keep for bits I might use again and Ctrl+V and back to the novel and ‘delete’, so nothing really lost.b85885aa0fd01f0cbebaa2798639b472

The book is thus morphing, which is how it should be and it’s good fun, because I do like my central characters and one of the villains and it is nice to speak to them and exchange ideas…..yes you can do that, it’s perfectly alright; don’t worry about that ‘Reality’ thing.

If this sounds very familiar to you, congratulations you are on the Good Road. Rewards yourself as follows

Buy yourself a book, you can never have too many books and anyway it’s all part of the literary process.

Treat yourself to a cup or mug of tea or coffee of your choice.

Have a biscuit or snack of course choice.

(The above are important to maintain your energy levels)

Indulge with 5 mins of 8d8f41c1217d3007621ceda397c48ef6

At your favourite media target.

And strive on writing! cropped-24th-nov-1