Sludge Time. Squelch On Through. Revisited

This has a slight political tinge to it, but I will try not to dwell thereupon. The reason why I write ‘political’ is I have encountered directly or from being told by others of folk who have said in all understandable sincerity that because of the turbulent, toxic social and political atmospheres in their countries they are so distressed they cannot write, create. (At this stage I am referring to the USA and The UK, I daresay there are folk in other nations who feel this way). This is a small tragedy for so many people have so many positive contributions within them. And they are being stifled. There are enough barriers to discourage a writer anyhow, this is one extra.

I offer this, originally published in May of this year within my previous blog. It is a message to all those writers who have within them positive words to say, with stories, tales and personal accounts which if read would enrich in reading and writing community; for all contributions devoid of Hate, Ignorance and Intolerance are surely welcome. These words cover all causes of this stifling. If I am guilty of repetition Thank You Mr. Shakespeare then so be it. Writers need to be encouraged. I cannot stress this enough.

I begin.

Some things have to be said. Not in an upbeat way, nor in a method as if lecturing a group of new students. Somethings require airing not as a rallying call or a rousing appeal to follow things’ my way and all will be well’.

Somethings need to be warned about.

If a writer doesn’t go through the following experience they are either very lucky, blessed, not telling the truth, or not writing properly.

Of course I am writing about those dread episodes when everything seems either pointless, hopeless or fearful. (The latter also turns up after success and the writer fears they will never better that last work).

These demons come in various forms; for instance either in a slough of grey despondency when even opening the cover of the laptop seems to be a supreme effort, OR the sharp pain when you happen to spy someone else’s (never mind who) success which appears to you to have come out of thin air (being in this state of mind you are of course not being the least bit rational).

There again the world in general seems such an unhappy, bitter place in which small twisted folk gain more access with their bile and pestilence that an honest writer feels their offerings would be ignored or even worse thought trite, because they have not joined in the debate. The latter is unfair as a writer these days may be fearful of getting publicly involved. Understandable considering the ranks of the cowardly trolls.

Despair can set in

There are of course other variations on this theme. All coalesce into these similar responses.

I can’t write (sometimes this has ‘anymore’ added on)

Why do I bother writing??

In such wretched countries the last things you want to come across would be either

A cheery rallying call to never mind all will be well in time (‘Are we talking centuries here?’ You ask)

A bright and peppy post telling you how to get on and get yourself noticed AND how serious a business marketing is. ( At the first juncture you have a sarcastic image of yourself dancing frenetically on a high building hurling copies of your work at the folk down below while crying out ‘At least read the damn thing!’; at the second juncture you either are so scared at the seemingly hopeless prospect that you hide under an allegorical (or maybe literal)  table OR THIRDLY as snarling at the writer’s post you make it known you have been doing this and do they think you a drivelling idiot???) (by now you usually are drivelling, though in frustrated rage).

By some monumental effort of charity and spirit you do not lower yourself to the gutter by being spiteful at anyone who has posted up their first success, you manage a ‘like’ and maybe if you’ve got your favourite brew just write (sic) you squeeze out a ‘Well done you’ because despite everything you are feeling you actually mean it, only you wish some of that would come your way.

It has to be acknowledged, said, enunciated, lamented and admitted that in general for the vast majority of writers of blogs, tweets, stories, novels, factual works and any permutation the odds are stacked heavily against you. The mixed blessing which is the Internet has enabled many folk to be able to put the electronic version of pen to paper. In fact I wonder if writers out-number those who read but don’t write in any form. Thus amongst this oceans of talent, polluted by sewerage of hack-writers, hate merchants and fabricators is anyone going to notice you little wave or splash?

‘Ah me,’ you say, or something of the general equivalent.(Often with words you might not use in front of children)

At this stage some folk say ‘Writing is not for me. Anyway I have been wanting to do….’ Whatever it might, and away they go to do whatever and feel released of the weight and live happier lives in other directions. Which is a perfectly sensible approach. It’s much better to have tried and say, ‘I have been there’, than to ponder of ‘What might have been’

As for the rest of us. Us who cannot let go of the urge to Write, who feel restless and unsettled unless words are being put to paper or the electronic equivalent. Us who despite all previous past evidence simply will not let go and opt to carry on despite the fact of feeling sorrowful and wondering if there will ever come a day when we can rise at the sunny dawn and with light breakfast and a gladsome heart pen another contribution for a waiting public.

If you count yourself amongst these serried ranks you must evident be A Writer. The creative urge runs deep within your blood, stirs as part of your spirit, roams your restless mind and simply will not let you go. Irrespective of the results or lack of them you will forge on for one more effort. You are determined, in a dogged way. You believe you have something to say and will not be stifled. It is how you are. You are fated to be this way. You will not let go.

There are some lesser mortals who mask their soulless ways by applying what they delude themselves as being wise and witty words such as ‘Every person as a book inside of them and in most cases that is where it should stay’ or ‘Insanity is trying the same thing over again and expecting different results’. These dry and vapid folk know nothing of the ceaseless urge to create and are to be ignored, pitied or simply sneered at. Their cousins ‘Though Who Would Be A Critic’ and have never tried to write anything other than what they may consider ‘harsh truth’ are equally pointless in their efforts. Between them and their professional mentors these have done more to stifle creativity down the ages than even the strictest of authoritarian regimes. Ignore them all. True it is not easy. Ask any writer who has actually broken the barrier you yearn to and sits in the public domain.

So back to do, unknown, doubtful and weary.

You will sigh, you will feel dispirited, you might not produce anything for weeks.

And then the urge starts up again and once more the words started to bubble up, from deep within, the writing begins again. You are drawn out of your unhappy little retreat.

You would wish it could be a lot easier, less painful, more hopeful.

But you cannot, will not stop. For myriad reasons

Not you The Writer.

One day you may break through, even in a small way and for you this would be a happy time.

And I will celebrate for you.

Until then as you must slouch on, movement is progress.

Accept this is the way you are; it makes you an individual.

Never take your pain and frustrations out on other writers, it is beneath you.

Continue to write and never destroy your work for you never know who the Ages will view you.

Always Write. For it is in your nature

A review of a book. And a review of the Reviewer

I wanted to reblog this but as we know WP has ‘issues’ with ordinary folk doing ordinary things.

Book Review: “The Calling of Mother Adelli” by Zoe Keithley

The book comes across as a deep work rich in imagery both of the physical landscape and those within the characters. The efforts of Zoe are to be celebrated and she is to be congratulated for having her work into print.

While I’m about it:

I would draw your attention to the reviewer

Berthold Gambrel

Berthold spends a great deal of time and effort in his reviews, giving the prospective reader as much detail as they would need and with his own incisive comments the proverbial food for thought. His criticisms are of the constructive and positive thought and are bound to leave the author nor deflated but thinking ‘Mmmm…yeah…keep that in mind for the next book, or maybe edition of this one’.

So bear both Zoe and Berthold in mind next time you are looking for a new read.

Thank You Mr. Shakespeare

In my previous blog (Declared a danger to public health & well being by High Priests of Akismet….sometimes you gotta love a cheap-shot). I put this out along the themes of encouraging Writers when the going gets not so much tough, but as Arid. I thought it might be worth putting out again…..

Annnd Take 2!

Sometimes I indulge in a Shakespeare play session in my DVD collection, and there are effects on my writing which insist on being displayed….

Stage directions:

A group of folk are sitting.

Enter:

The Commentator:

They Speak:  

Good-day to you my fellow Wordsmiths

Why these sombre faces?

What halts or confounds your pens?

Have you fallen out to dispute of

Those five particular sisters

Calliope of the wondrous images

Euterpe entrancing with the lyrical dance

Thalia ever humorous and irreverent

Erato sweet purveyor of heart’s feelings

Polyhymnia, solemn in her honouring of the divine

 

Spokesperson:

Well for you friend

That you should still be light of heart

Feel all is worth the business

For us, we see no sign of reward

No one beckons us

And heartily cries

‘Come! We would read your words!’

We sit in small dark corners

And none notice, or care

For our efforts.

 

Commentator:

My brothers and sisters in authorship

This grieves me greatly

To witness you, victims to the Sly Mischief Maker

Comparison,

The ever-willing herald of The Drudge, Doubt.

This pair delight in stifling any bloom

Would grind the first shoots down

Ere they peer hopeful through the soil.

This ill-duo and their carping squadrons of dullards

Would have everyone slothful, save in their complaining.

 

Spokesperson:

Were you an alchemist of literature,

Were you able to turn your words deftly

And display them as nuggets of good news

Then we would cry ‘Hail Our Captain!

‘Lead and we shall follow’

(group nod and murmur)

But friend you are companion to Delusion

For many have travelled by our sorry group

And assailed us with words of good cheer,

Then been on their merry and fortunate way,

While we sit and watch the words

As leaves, blown this way and that, and lost.

 

Commentator:  

Friends! Friends! You think I the hapless simpleton?

Then more fool me for brining this false mask to you.

For I am as battered and bruised as any of you.

The silence and the emptiness of no response

This I have passed in many a dreary day.

The careless rejection back so fast as to best Mercury

Has been a common visitor to my desk.

Bearing witness to folk who by deft means and insincere crafting

Have found easy fame and wealth,

A regular event so bothersome and mocking

I at times would have plucked out my eyes

And cried ‘No more! No more. Let me blunder away!’

Yet, the soft and steady the precious call continues,

Awakes within my forlorn breast the urge.

Once more do I walk with unsteady tread

To sit, and with trembling pen or battered device

Willing to answer the far off persisting, yet sweet songs

Which are the very life-milk to inspiration.

From what distant shore or forgotten manse

These hymns of summoning arise I cannot say.

And yet must follow with increasing pace

Made light by the sudden dance in my heart,

As once more the words begin to leave my head

To find form and juncture upon paper or screen.

 

Thus, Friends I do not give you any bright promises.

I would not insult you with happy quips about success

No, I do call you to a more daunting task

To bid you to arise from these sloughs in which you lie.

To stagger once more unto the field

Answering to the barely heard music.

Readying to forge on across unhelpful lands

Giving flight to the words which sit restless

Ever eager to spring forth through the despondency.

 

For you dear Friends. You the many small candles,

Would light dark places with your myriad words

Could raise a spirit or two with your images and messages

Might bring forth another to take up the sane road.

And would that not be worth more than easy coin

Come by shallow capering and tawdry lines overused?

Your acts and your endeavours though mayhap seeming small

Are as valuable as any roaring efforts of Titans

When truth be revealed, when all bluster is gone

The victories were won by the small individuals

Who in serried ranks forced the issue.

 

Now, guided by those ephemeral strains you know well,

Reach for your ever-present flints

Strike upon the stones of resolution,

Light those blessed candles, raise them higher.

Stride out once more, not seeking reward,

But to bring form unto thought and depth to your dreams.

For you are as valuable as any who claims the prize.

For you are of the very lifeblood which is Humanity’s Hope.

You are creators, you are bringers of songs and tales

You fill up the world with wonders and colours.

You have been chosen. You have been summoned.

And I will ever be glad of your company.

Be that in rags and in places where the Great do not go.

And I would be proud of your efforts, though they trample mine.

For you, each and every one- The Writers. The Artists.

Badges which none can tear from your jackets and coats.

 

Ah, but I have spoken far too long, have been a distraction!

Away with you now to your favour’d places, steel your resolve.

For you have a World to Enrich and thus save.

Go you warriors.

Heedless of rewards.

The Muses are beckoning you.

And when you stand upon your summit

You will look down into the vale

Being able to say, with determination

‘I created! I did achieve!’

Commentator exits….

 

Epilogue

The ending dear reader is in your hands.

Good fortune to you.

Never, ever give up with your writing.

No More Mr. Nice Guy — Blog of the Wolf Boy

Quote

Laying on the ground, with my face in the dirt. I’ve been kicked while I’m down. I’m still strong, but I’m hurt. I could lay here in agony, For what feels like an eternity, But it’s time to pull myself out from this plight. It’s time to find my strength inside, To prepare myself for […]

via No More Mr. Nice Guy — Blog of the Wolf Boy

There was no reblog button but this is a fine example of the thoughtful and incisive work Mathew is producing. (See reblog)

Emotions In Motion

A Little Light Interlude (based on book extracts)

This post is something of a whimsey. Just to confirm this is not a marketing episode only resulting from the urge to share a little fiction lightness around the blogosphere.

These are extracts from’ Skirmishers of Lace, Steel and Fire’ Volume 2 of my Precipice Dominion Series.

The Precipice Dominions

There are three central characters, female Captain Arketre Beritt (soldier-LifeGuard), Custodian Karlyn Nahtinee (a talented but unknown quantity ) and Trelli (aka Trelyvana Waywanderer) unwilling recipient of a power known by various names and trying to come to terms with it. In Volume 1 (Of Patchwork Warriors)  they bonded in various ways. They are friends (Karlyn thinks of Trelli on a BFF basis and also takes a role of a sort of elder sister) while Arketre and Karlyn are lovers (calling each other ‘Flaxi’ and ‘Kitlin’ respectively).

The narrative of Volume 2 is set against the backdrop of a war in the Princedom of Terasonia, resulting from an invasion by peoples from another realm not of this world.

These are lighter themed snippets involving Trelli and a local lord Osavus who share an ‘attraction’ which is now reaching a romantically expected result and the reactions of her friends.

(Note: ‘Yerguh’ is the colloquial term for the foul tasting ‘Arrestation Wine’, a concoction designed to prevent women LifeGuard from becoming pregnant)

Karlyn scampered along the walkway causally ducking the few missiles and resultant bits of stone flying off from impact to reach her lover currently taking shot at the foe.

          ‘Hey Flaxi. You enjoying this then?’

          ‘Gotta do what a LifeGuard has to do Kitlin,’

          ‘Yer, suppose so. Hey. Is that Whychie’s window?’

          ‘Yep,’

          ‘S’pulsing red ‘n blue innit?’

          Beritt smothered a smirk

         ‘Probably at prayer. Y’ know how she is. Puts us to shame,’

          ‘Never seen no pulses before,’

          ‘Aww, we best leave her be. Probably some tuscatalian thing she got taught. C’mon give me a hand to seek out likely useful targets, Have you yet found Hulivera by the way?’

          ‘Nah, They got her hidden somewhere. Last I heard it was even thought she was with Zwiggle, them being in-laws and sharing the loss of a close-one. That would make sense,’

          ‘Hmm. We’ll have to find her sometime. If we get the chance that is,’

      Having deftly changed the subject twice away from Trelli, Beritt grabbed Karlyn’s arm and led her off away from the view of Trelli’s location, winking over her shoulder as she did.

          ‘Y’all better have taken yore yerguh, sweetling,’

Cut to a later stage (OK I edited out the interesting bits for purposes of continuity of the theme of this post….so sue me!)

Having awoken in the afternoon and once more shared each other’s bodies they had long since dressed and had been staring out the window, holding hands.

          ‘They’re back,’ she had said with relief. My friends are back,’

          ‘I’ll be more nervous than ever about meeting them now,’ Osavus confessed.

          ‘Read this,’ she said a little mirthfully handing him a piece of paper which had suffered from being rolled up. ‘Do you remember Arketre pressing a small bag into my hand as you carried me away, for the second time? This was inside,’

          ‘My dear friend Trelli. Here are two twists worth of my famous head pain powders. Only take them when the pain is horrid and then only one a day. The yellow bag also includes two twists, these being of Yerguh, which judging by the handy-holding and big-eyed looks you and Osavus are sharing along with your pretend faintings you should partake of one as this is no time to be made unfortunate. Get your rollings while you can soldier. Your friend Arketre,’

          ‘I did not for the record,’ she said once he had finished ‘Pretend to faint,’ a heaviness of dignity entered her voice ‘I was feeling weak, at the time. Inside her officer performance Arketre is as villainous as any ordinary soldier,’

          Osavus who was now not too sure of whether the captain had herded the pair together still found some humour there.

          ‘Yes, she’s not really suited to her rank, is she? But why is the custodian so hostile to me?’

          Trelli waved a hand vaguely above her head.

          ‘Pooh! She’s a fine one to talk!’

      ‘Really? I’m surprised she has time to indulge in pleasant matters of people,’ he grinned ‘ Can you tell me who is the lucky man?’

          ‘Err…no,’ Trelli said all of a fluster ‘I…that is….’

          ‘Darling Trelli I won’t press you on your confidences,’

          She puffed out relief

        ‘Oh well. There you are then,’ she smirked wickedly ‘Fine for all-grown up Karlyn. I think she might have decided I am some sort of younger sister to be protected,’ Trelli set wide eyes on Osavus ‘Do I need to be protected Osavus?’

          They laughed and he was set to place his arms around her when there came an insistent tapping at her door.

          ‘Trelli? Y’all might be needed sweetling,’

          Because the door flew open the entrance a dark haired shape looking back and addressing Arketre was of no surprise to Trelli

          ‘Wot you all so fussy ‘bout Flaxi. This is our Whychie we’re-‘

          She stopped. Stared. Gawped. Eyes narrowed.

‘That bed is very messy!’ she accused.

          Trelli hopped off of the window sill and stood in front of Karlyn.

          ‘Now you just stop there Karlyn Nahtinee and leave Osavus be,’ she stammered briefly seeking out the words ‘I chose this. I started the, eh proceedings,’

          ‘Like a good soldier,’ Arketre Beritt said, leaning against the wall arms folded ‘Got hers while the going was good,’ she eased up, reached to her back pocket and drew out her Drygnest book, adding ‘And why not ah say,’

          ‘Flaxi!’ Karlyn protested. ‘And you fibbed! Telling me Trelli was at prayer! You knew!’

          ‘I supplied Yerguh,’ Beritt continued

          Karlyn struggled to find the right words and failing resorted to rounding on all three with a cry of.

          ‘Ooooh you soldiers, you!’

          Osavus wisely, as a mere male had not intervened

Cut again…(The subsequent deleted extract is all plot and only makes true sense if reading the whole book)

‘C’mon then Kitlin. Let’s go and see. You best stay behind Trelli and plan whatever you have in mind,’

          ‘Intended to,’ she said hoping she sounded as if she already had half a plan and not a big space where panic bounced around, for something to do she addressed Osavus. ‘My love. You will be expected to be some place. Go,’

          ‘Sadly yes. But first my darling girl,’

      He took hold of her and kissed her firmly.

          ‘I will return.’ He said before kissing her again.

          Beritt shoved an open-mouthed Karlyn out of the door, who in turn voiced her cause

          ‘I was only gonna say I think ‘e might be suited to her after all,’

 

Just a whimsy of a post, that’s all.

 

 

The Heralding of Night

Here is a collection of very evocative melding of words images from Simon

Simon's Space

Nothing can stop it, darkness is coming.

Swallowing the sun like the reapers cloak.

Heralded not by fanfares or glory but by the cry of the owl and the fox. Peace descends as the diurnal creatures find their shelter.

The night hunters begin their prowl, shrouded by the night.

Dying hues are the promise of the light that it will come again and banish the night again.

While we can’t control the rise and fall, balance brings comfort to all.


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#WomenHumanitarians: 19 August 2019

Time out from writing and time to think about these brave women all around the world.

The Human Lens

The day is commemorated each year on 19 August, the date back in 2003 when the UN headquarters in Baghdad was targeted by a large terrorist truck bomb, killing 22 people, including Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN’s top representative in Iraq.

This year’s focus salutes the efforts of women humanitarian workers across the globe who rally to people in need and more than often the first to respond and the last ones to leave the ground.

Across the globe, 250,000 aid workers are women – a figure that amounts to more than 40 per cent of the humanitarian workforce.

However in recent years, aid work is becoming increasingly dangerous and women aid workers are at particularly high risk of robbery, sexual assault and other forms of violence.

#WomenHumanitarians global campaign

The campaign honours the life-saving contribution of women humanitarians throughout the world by raising awareness of and support for women who…

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