Just a Smidge

Average Body Weight 60,000 grms

Average zince 2 gms

Percentage of zinc = 0.00333 per body (one three-thousandth).

Yeh, that’s an estimate of how much zinc your body needs, scientifically the figures might be slightly off, but you get the idea……Not a great amount, but it’s vital, otherwise, things go wrong. Also, too much and things go wrong. You need a smidge…a very, very, very small smidge, but you need it.Shocked-face

Bit like something you add to a meal, if it’s not there, it’s bland maybe, if you put too much it…..Hello waste bin…..

So prithee dear blogger, you ask…..You do not normally post up tips on health or cooking. What the frib goes on here??      200px-Advokat,_Engelsk_advokatdräkt,_Nordisk_familjebok

Bear with me here, hear me out.



A scene at the ‘desk’ (allegorical) of a writer……




“Oh what is the point of it all?”


You know how it goes don’t you? Consider the following:

Sitting there reading someone else’s erudite or inspiring or funny or informative post and even worse when they combine them some or all together, and you wonder….Oh what have I got to offer? I’m like ….blaahh-city!fed_up_woman-620x412

A part way through your book or short story and you start to slow down or notice on a re-read that the continuity is all skewed OR the main character is as fascinating as a small piece of cardboard, in fact you reckon the cardboard is more interesting. You are there thinking ‘why am I bothering, I just don’t have it! I am just less than the dust beneath the chariot wheels of other writers….Oh (you say once more) WOE (or any other word you care to use).

OR you get up OR sit down and think ‘Aww. Why bother! There was no great response to my last effort and I followed all the marketing tips…Let’s face it, I’m a nothing-writer. Who cares! (At this point you may well stick your tongue out at the latest best seller by someone you normally like, but today…..Hufffffffff!!! And foreswear never to read a book again because they only remind you or your own let-downs. You’ll buy boxed DVD sets series 1-15 of something and binge watch)


It happens folks. Doesn’t it?shoulder-shrug

And we all wonder just what can be done about it. Because we do so love to write, we do so want to be read. We have something to offer.Young woman, finger on lips, looking confused surprised

The Arrogance of such a thought…..Really?

This is where in comes the smidge. The very, very small pinch of Arrogance. That little piece of flint which sets off the spark for the writer to try one more time, and the time after that, and after that and just never give up.

“Because I can do as well as others! Because I have something to offer.”

Let me just elaborate on this notion and bear in mind this is to illustrate just where the smidge comes in.

I write fantasy, I read fantasy.

Joe Abercrombie is gritty, this is the world big warts and all. His continuity is superb, a minor character is one book is central to another, the background from one book to another align. Haven’t they got their own swear words in this world Joe? I mean like what’s with this old goat having everything as part of his cunning plan, like not new & squaresville man. Where’s the chaos? Where’s the variety in the language. Uhh I’m gonna give that a shot in my own world….

Brandon Sanderson creates whole worlds with their own science in the Mistborn, and an encyclopaedia of characters who flit in and out, have their own vital part in the plot, no one is wasted. Yeh that was fine Brandon. But Stormlight and the Way of Kings, I’m there saying ‘Get on with the plot, the guy is down a big hole and trying to inspire a bunch of other guys, I get it….What about the pacing!..I can wrap up a tale quicker than that..(note to self- when writing vol II of my trilogy), don’t do a Way of Kings on the readers.

“Frib!”(shameless plug) You say, “That sounds like sour grapes and suchwhich.” I reply…..No, that is the smidge speaking, it is that which drives me on. The danger would be to lambast everything Abercrombie and Sanderson due just because I targeted on a few little facets which jarred with my style. I reckon I can write without those and that what’s what I am going to do…. Patchwork                                                                     see you can*

So say to yourself…..

I…. believe…..I can write……And no one shall stop me. What do they know?

And there you have the explanation dear readers/writers, the smidge is enough, just enough to get the words flowing. Any more and you will be sour, bitter and getting nowhere apart from joining the sad breed who write 1 & 2 star reviews on Amazon just because.

There is one other smidge you should add to Arrogance and that is the wry smile. Do not be angry, be at one with the belief, no writer is 100% perfect you can offer your own take and you are going to show the world. Never mind who says what. You…. ARE…..

Yes..You, YOU ARE A WRITER and let no one take this away from you. You have your own style, your own drive, your own images.

Repeat to yourself, without any doubt…




Just that smidge folks.

Then get to work.

Good luck, and fortune to you all. You are worth it

*(Sorry about the other shameless plug, it was only to prove a point…honest…a snip at Amazon Kindle for not very much)



SF Writing Competition

How’s your preparation for the upcoming Adventure Scifi and Fantasy Contest coming? Do you need any help or extra inspiration? Entries for this Short Story Contest don’t actually open until February 26th, 2018, so you’ve still got more time to write…or procrastinate. Whichever works best for you! My simple dream for this contest goes something like […]

via It’s Almost Time! Adventure Writing Contest — Fiction by Rachael Ritchey

Here’s one you should visit and think about.

There’s always something interesting on Rachael’s site, and all the details on the mechanics of applying are so neatly laid out.

Let you imagination flow!

You, The Writer. Let Your Universe Come into Existence

It’s all very well you going on about letting words flow Let The Words Flow….; suppose they don’t?

A very good question actually. To be sitting there staring at blankness and the longer the staring goes on the less chance there are of any words turning up there, mental log-jam. Panic comes a’knocking- ‘you are never going to write anything’ it intones with grim glee, ‘why are you bothering?’

Let us stop there with the sly whisperings and the toxicity which is the fall out from the media obsession with this week’s latest writing success (poor soul, you know there are folks waiting in the wings to pull them down). Let us concentrate on You

Just turn back a stage or two, or three.

So you want to write. You have these ideas, notions or themes bubbling away in your head or heart. Now there is the starting place. Your very own Big-Bang circumstance.

I’ll just clarify, a smidge. The current general scientific perception informs, everything we know as Time, Space and Matter was all compacted into an infinitesimally small situation, which erupted and the whole Universe began.

Move this analogy to your own writing situation. Your idea and your creativity compacted into one small space within you. Naturally, you ask ‘So where is the spark? I can’t see, nor feel it’

I would suggest to you the spark starts with the first word you write. Exactly what that word will be in relationship to your final narrative is not something which you should trouble yourself with. Embrace the concept that one word will give rise to another. Do not think about the consequences of the breaking of the barrier. Creation has begun, once the words begin the ideas are let loose and thus more words. Words and ideas give rise to other words and ideas.

Now in the early stages of the Universe (we are talking very small slices of time fractions of fractions of seconds), there were changes in states of matter and laws of Physics. Now shift this idea back to your writing. At this early stage you are in a Stream of Consciousness, ideas and words ate tumbling out, again worry not, just keep them coming.

Of course, there is the Stream of Consciousness mode of writing, which is not quite the same as your state you are in. You are in a burst of creativity; heady and free all the melding and the moulding is to come later. Right now, pour out the words, do not be afraid, no one is looking over your shoulder, no one is guiding you, you are The Creator of your own universe. All is yours to create.

Forge on, one word, one idea after another, do not stop to think. Write until the blaze has died down to embers, to which you add the fuel of success at starting, fan the flames with the realisation that the blaze will rise again.

The time for the re-write, the editing, and the polishing will come later, for now, you are in the Epoch of Groundwork, the rest is to follow.

And therein lies another post…

Let The Words Flow….

Firstly, ‘ware those if you are going to spout hatred against people because of their race, religion or social grouping while using use lies, distortions, and hysterical venom. If you are intending to waste precious space and resources on such sinful behaviour and hide behind the tawdry excuse of Freedom of Expression, you are a menace and a fool. You will also be on the receiving end of such treatment. For you have no right to pronounce your filth. 

However, for you dwell in the myriad shades light, then if you wish of course you should write, just whatsoever you have in mind (in spirit and heart). You are entitled to let your imagination flow out onto paper or cyber and no one has any business stopping you.

There used to be this lazy saying masking as wit which went ‘Everyone has a book inside of them. And in most cases, that’s where it should stay,’. This was never about the moral content (see above), this was always about ‘style’. So who appointed anyone the Supreme Arbiter of ‘style’? Yes, I admit there are many books I personally wish had never seen the light of day…however for my one opinion there are many others who say ‘yes’, therefore personal taste of style should not be the judge of anyone’s work.

Of course, nothing which flows out of your pen or keyboard in the first flush of inspiration is going to be the final draft. The world of writing does not work in this fairy tale way. There are revisions for continuity, punctuation, grammar, even for pace. Parts may have to be taken out because at the end of the day they detract from the main theme. You will at some stage seek for outside opinions; take it from me writing in a bubble just does not work, I cannot stress this hard enough, you are reading the words of one who worked thusways for twenty years; being partially delusional at the time had something to do with that strange path. You may even seek out a professional editor. All part of the writing process.

My opinion is never to think too hard about the motivation, on being inside of the characters. In the first instance let the words flow out, even if you know they may be less than final perfect. The important part at this stage is to finish your first draft; there is plenty of time and opportunity to work on self-editing, honing polishing; entire chapters may be re-worked even scythed in the re-working stage. Quite a normal procedure.

There are many good and valuable blogs out there with advice on how to perfect your style, how to go about seeking help and guidance. You will find many as well who can assist on the path of submission, agents, publishing organisations etc. There are many who will guide you through self-publication. Sadly, I am of no help to you here for being a ragged, insolent and rebellious sort when it comes to publication, being more interested in putting work out there than anything else my choice in Amazon Kindle, and so be it. There is much hard work to be done on my marketing skills.

The important facet of this post, which cannot be stressed enough is when bearing in mind the opening paragraph I urge you to write for the initial joy of freeing your muse out into the winds, to soar, glide, dive, skim, bank and soar again. Be above the clouds and worry not where the journey will take you. You have every right.

A True History of These Isles Vol.I- relaunch

There is a somewhat confused picture of the history of ‘These Isles’, no more so than amongst the inhabitants. The intention of this and subsequent volumes is to put the business straight….


As all authoratative works must have good presentation to maintain the veneer of credibility there has been a revision in terms of typing errors, one possibly misleading statement, and an overall tiding up in presentation of Volume I of ‘A True History of These Isles’.

The work covers the history of the Isles currently encompassing in alphabetical order England, Ireland, Mann, Scotland and Wales. This volume leads from the original colonisation up to 1216 AD/BCE (ish)

To make up to the folk buying a faulty copy, the revised edition is being put out on Kindle for free up to and including Thursday 18th January.

Although I am somewhat pleased with the content, as opposed to the quality of presentation I do admit to a certain disappointment that no historian has felt the need to launch a scathing criticism. For it is an acknowledged circumstance of works of history that to have true value someone must call into question their authenticity.

Still, it has only been in ‘Kindle’ since March of 2017 so there is still time

Links to extracts follow:

A True History of The Isles Part 4- The Romans (Part I) time.

A True History of The Isles Part 18- The Rule of William The Conqueror (and also The I)

Publishing … Just a thought (or two)

So I did this re-re-edit of my ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ Book Cover 9and thought ‘Aww what the frib (mild swear word used in the said book), let’s enrol in this Promotion Stuff and try and be professional for once’ so I put it out there free for 3 days, and announced it on WP.

Then I’m updating my ‘A True History of These Isles Vol I’ and put the 2nd edition up and wonder what’s going on with ‘Patchwork’ and there’s that’s little red line which shows someone bought a copy of the 1st edition in December and I’m thinking ‘Sorry ‘bout that’ (so many typos etc), then I notice this blue line.

What’s with the blue line? Maybe it’s a sort of line which indicates that’s as far as the report goes, I mean it’s the kind of thing I’d put up…but hang on, like there’s a guide to all these lines; never noticed that before……and…….Shocked-face

Well, bless my boots! NINE, yeh NINE free copies ‘kindlised’…..like NINE!!

OK so some might say ‘Yeh that’s ‘cause they were free’

And I’m saying ‘So fribbin’ (there’s that word again) what? It’s copies in the hands of the Reading Public! It’s more than I’ve ever, ever, ever achieved. It’s all cool!!’crazy-lime-cartoon-jumping-happy-35166861

So, going back to my original mission statement:

Tip for folks starting out- if you just wish to dip your toe in the water:

Having completed your manuscript:

Firstly: check it and check it for typos etc and if short of cash, use an online editor such as Grammarly (its basic package is for free, although there are other goodies)

Secondly: find yourself a platform to upload on an e-book.

Thirdly: Put it out there free for a short space of time.

Now, none of this is perfect, none of this will turn you into a ‘name’ but it will give you the first taste of self-publishing. You will feel you have taken the first beat of your wings.

Yes, I know, then we all wait on tender hooks waiting for the reviews. (Thanks again Audrey for yours!)  And, that is nerve-racking. I feel your twitchiness. But that is another chapter in your journey.

As the old saying goes:

‘To accumulate you have to speculate’

It can be done, people!

And this is from one of the world’s most hapless marketers ever!

PS: If anyone reading this are one of the NINE……thanks!!

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’- The 2nd Launch!

Book Cover 9

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

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

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

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

Shameless Plug warning35fe5d2718a60f4046d53bdc1e2bd495

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

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

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


en_greekphilosophersI’m done……

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


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

Initial Overview

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

The Perceived Wisdom of the Scots of the Middle Ages

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

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

The Rise of The Bruces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Church in Scotland    

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

The Scottish Parliamentary Experience  

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

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

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


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


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

Conclusion of The 14th Century.

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

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

Shameless Advertising One ( A Sorta Link)

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

Shameless Advertising Two- (Tenuous Plugging of Product)

Has all this reading of legendary figures, heroic historical events and Middle Ages given you a previously unknown taste for Speculative Fiction verging on the Fantasy side?

Well, then look no further (apart from Patchwork Warriors Part 8 a sample), because there is a book out there which make be just the one you are looking for.

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

Both available at $0.99 or £0.99 or whatever else this may translate into on Amazon Kindle!!

Of Patchwork Warriors (The Ragged Jagged Book Launch)

Book Cover 9

I apologise that this will probably cause exasperation to those who have managed a successful and professional launch on more than one occasion. I regret the confusion or puzzlement experienced by readers who are new to me and my ways. There may come a time when I will sneak back and change the whole format then those who have purchased this through Kindle will have a ‘collector’s item’. However, for the present finally after much more post-narrative work than has ever taken place in my small part of Creation ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ is finally onto Kindle and if Computers, Fates and Good Fortune keep the gremlins away should be available for sale in 3-4 days, at 0.99$ or 0.99£…and such low prices world-wide.

It’s my own cover too; with the assistance of www.addtext.com who were so easy to navigate. Now there are those naturally who will think or say ‘Yer whaaa?’ or ‘What the Ffffudge!’ or ‘Oh My God, what was he thinking?’ and such. Yeh, I know, I understand, but if you visited inside my head and watched my tendency after a while to say ‘Arrhhh! So what! Full steam ahead!!’ you would, maybe sigh and say ‘Oh well’

For any reader who is unfamiliar with my blog, this is a Fantasy Work; the 1st Volume of some epic of which I have no inkling where it will go. This is Adult; includes drama, fighting, intrigue, heroics, friendship, humour, villainous deeds, blood and gore (in small buckets), romance (and consequential episodes of an adult nature). And is also quite ‘lite’ in comparison with some of the volumes forged by the best in this genre. This is the ‘blurb’ which hopefully will appear on the Amazon page:

“There came an era when the threat of incursion from the infernal other world realm of the Zerstorung was strong, placing the survival of entire unsettled Oakhostian Empire at risk and thus disparate forces began to marshal, to take up any cause or seize any opportunity.

There in the background The Ethereal, The Stommigheid or The Astatheia just a few names for the force which had arrived upon The World in Ages faded from record. Viewed either as a pernicious creature seeking to control, a power for good, an aspect of Nature to be treated with caution or a means to an end, it remained a constant. With an oft forgotten tendency to engage with the unwilling, the unassuming and the unruly from the rank of lesser folk whose consequential and various struggles would unsettle many a careful plan.

This is the tale of three such, an innocent housemaid, a dutiful soldier and a self-appointed scourge of evil quite unaware the safety of an Empire would soon be resting on them.

They did not take uniformly or conventionally to the task, for that was the way of things, when involved with The Ethereal, The Stommigheid or The Astatheia.”

I wish to thank a lot of folk who in one form or another contributed to the sensible side of this project, but are in no way responsible for my more quirky actions and decisions, so should not be held accountable for any blame- that’s all mine. (Mine! I tell you! All Mine!!….high-pitched laughter): Anyway it could have been very peculiar but for:

In alphabetical order:

Audrey, Dan, Gwin, Jerry, Jill, Lennon, Lisa, Lucy, Rachael, Ron, Sha’Tara & Simon.

All that remains to be said is

I will now return to keeping up to date with other folks’ posts.

Return to the ‘History of These Isles Vol.II’.

Finally read that magazine on how to improve the appearance of my WordPress site.

And of course suffer the attendant horrors which follow self-publishing a book: Such as ‘Did I check everything? What happens if Kindle……? Should I have written ‘that part’ differently? Oh My God what have I done?’ ‘There will be errors I missed, I know there will be’ and other common ailments.

Thank goodness my contact with Reality is tenuous anyhows.

Book Covers Part II. If it was easy, where would the fun be?

A Leap In The Dark (Sort Of) ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’

Book Covers Part II. If it was easy, where would the fun be?

And so to the Book Cover creation processes, thus far…..

In this my intention is three-fold:

  1. A narrative about someone creating a cover, not for self-aggrandisement but addressing those in a similar position to give them ideas such as ‘Hmm. That gives me an idea’ or ‘Well, if he can try it I think I can’ or ‘OK, maybe I can get make my own cover’ or even ‘Oh yeh! I am definitely going to back to those professional sites!’ and especially ’I need to read another blog or six on this subject’ All these reactions and any permutations of them are valid, and you go for it! I’m with you all the way !!

2. Since I now embrace the idea that telling folk about your book before you publish it is important, this is in part giving Of Patchwork Warriors another airing.

3. The case for the defence when the evidence comes under the dispassionate gazed for those better versed in the skill.

Laying Down The Strategy

As previously acknowledged since my skills in this subject are minimal it was essential to include any scrap, sliver or mote of imagery which bore relevance to a central aspect of the narrative while at the same time being very basic. In sticking to simplicity this production would be shorn of any figures or faces, which would place emphasis on the props and the atmosphere. This at one gave a certain freedom of movement while concentrating the mind on the type of items to be placed.

Narrative and Imaging Working In Harmony (Sort of)

Central to ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ are the actions and relationships of three young women set with a task they were not expecting. It is never made truly clear if they were ‘Thrown Together By Chance’ or ‘Manoeuvred By Forces’. What is clear they do not act as others or each other expect them to. This lends an air of the ragged and improvisation which suited my Cover-Work just fine! To reflect this I was relying on these three characters and their backgrounds:

Arketre Beritt– Soldier. Medician in The LifeGuard (medic in an elite regiment). Southern drawl when being intense. Used to roughing it on active duty. Adept at making her own potions.

Karlyn Nahtinee– Mysterious. Self-appointed hunter of evil (aka Whychery). Acrobatic. Uncanny sense of smell and empathy with Nature. Adept killer. Skewed and whimsical. Vulnerable (And a heck of a struggle to stop her being read as a Harley Quinn ‘knock-off’- Frustration was ….I thought of her prototype before I started reading Batman again).

Trelli– Housemaid by profession. Thanks to the incautious effects of the household son’ Infected’ with the ‘power’ aka ‘The Ethereal’. Tracked and rescued/abducted by Arketre and Karlyn (long story). Trying to maintain her composure, control this intrusive power and not be overwhelmed by Arketre and particularly Karlyn.

The dynamics of the trio’s journeying, overcoming tribulations and growing relationships comes to dominate the narrative as they become the effective opposition to destructive powers. Therefore, a cover which illustrated their collective and individual passages upon a landscape would be a valid and importantly an attainable image.

On Taking Holes and Adjusting Them To Fit Pegs Into

So three folk travelling. Campsite. Ideal to scatter items around which should also figure as signatures of the circumstances and maybe the characters. This actually turned into a two-way street, when it struck me that if I bought a cheap, plastic prop sword it would look like a cheap…plastic….prop..sword?  And what was with those cheap fancy dress pirate boots?, They shone like something….cheap. Some thought was required. Back to the Campsite:

Small Fire?-Of course. And naturally some battered mugs-easy we have a surfeit of old mugs, just paint them dingy. These were folk travelling a long road in an uncertain situation so it was all in the rough. Trelli being practical would have the others reasonably clean, so socks and shirt/top drying after a sort of wash. Arketre making potions, one discarded pot would not come amiss. Trelli being bothered by the Ethereal which manifests in Red and Blue, so scatter some red and blue bits. Karlyn what about her? No sword, well I have a wooden stave in the house from the time my son was practicing some martial art stuff. Yes that would fit. Just do a bit of a re-write to include a stave, in her weaponry, which made sense since she liked to sit up trees and a big sword while balanced on a branch does not seem a good idea. And I can build in Trelli’s slippers (my wife discarded a pair recently, I smeared them with some goldish paint). Yeh, that all fits.

Best of all it hopefully it will look odd and make folk wonder…..I hope(d).

That’s All Very Well But Does It Fly?

Well, let’s look shall we……….

And my back garden/yard in its ‘wild’ theme (gardening is not our strong suite)

Cover 4

(This is one of the 30+ shots taken on a damp early autumnal morn…..problem one the events are taking place in the spring. Can’t wait. Karlyn is given the statement that some trees are confused, which is useful, underlines her unearthliness. But green and brown. Does it look interesting enough for Fantasy? My wife said ‘No’ and I trust her implicitly with colour sense. (I kept Karlyn’s lines in anyhow)……..)

Since Reds and Blues figure in the theme I took what was available in the editing process in Word and tried a blue.

Cover 5 

Ok, so everything I wanted to appear is appearing and the atmosphere looks somewhat unusual, and you can’t see anyone., not seeing anyone leaves the appearance up to the reader’s imagination. There’s a bit of a pathway showing; one important chapter does take place in ruins, but is this ruined enough? So I tried to edge it out with some paintbrushing, lines of red and blue (Ethereal or officially titled ‘Stommigheid’)

Cover 2

Yes, so there are these two pronounced patches of red and blue. Question is. Are they too cartoony? Do they look unreal enough?  If I put my author’s name in that corner would that distract? Should I leave the red and blue out and use the previous picture? I’m something of a believer of ‘Leave it settle. Come back in a few days and look at it again with fresh eyes’ Thus the project is left for those few days. I have to admit to a certain degree of satisfaction. Let’s hope to the Good Lord God (that’s a phrase you’ll find in the book, or variations thereupon) this will translate onto an Amazon Kindle format and the title will fit. Anyhow some more tinkering maybe required, that’s assuming this Windows 10 format can handle it 

At least I know how my characters feel, having to make things up as they go along.

Book Covers- Part I The Journey Begins

Of Patchwork Warriors Part 1

“Of Patchwork Warriors” – Let The Book Be Launched