The 1337 Notification and a subsequent journey.

Yesterday, or maybe the day before yesterday (that’s the quirk with blogging to a potentially world-wide audience- time difference and when a person reads your post ,you never truly know ‘When’ you are talking to someone). WP announced I had 1337 likes. Total likes for the entire blog are not my interest, singular numbers themselves are. Going through my head was ‘Yeah 50, 100, 250 and various signature numbers, but 1337? What’s the reason. What is someone in WP trying to tell this less than enthusiastic about Social Media fellow?’ Time to delve into something which countless thousands probably already know.

The first place I was drawn to was Numerology. When I was a moody 19 going on 20 and looking for a suitable façade to construct, there was some dabbling. It appealed to the scientific side of me. After all you had to admit there was a great deal of maths in the way the Universe is arranged from top to bottom. Thus it could be argued Numerology had a stronger case than say Astrology, but since I didn’t want to get into a fight with any astrologists I was friendly with that thought was kept unto myself. Anyway the practicalities of married life and parenthood shoved the subject into Filed Away memories. However 1337 as a WP stat. Now that simply begged for a checking out in a Numerological significance.

As suspected putting ‘Numerology’ and ‘1337’ together in search, recorded a swift number of hits. Basically in Numerological terms. 1337 is one of the Angel Numbers. It is a message from your angels that you are being commended and applauded for your efforts as your successes are inspiring. Now I am not going to pass any mocking or sardonic comments, that would be tacky, cheap and pretty mean, we all have our beliefs. Anyway my response in the context of my search was ‘Ah. Interesting. Is someone at WP tuned into this belief system and thought it an inspiring way for bloggers to Keep on Keeping on?’  Frankly I could think of worse ways for WP to spend its time (but that’s for another post). When you analyse that possibility in relation to the basic nature of ‘Likes’ on a WP post, achieving 1337 ‘Likes’ is quite encouraging. A ‘keeper. then? 

But in our frenetic Social Media world are there other meanings to 1337?  Another scroll down and yes, though in this case I suggest the numerological term has seeped into a more common usage. Thus 1337 in slang means “extremely skilled ” at gaming or computing or, more generally, “awesome.”, which let’s be brutal has not the same universal appeal as having a message from angels. Now if this blog were visited by a vast audience I would not dare use those last words because it would only start a furious debate between at least two viewpoints over validity of use and origin. Someone would also point out that ‘1337’ as ‘awesome’ is not the sole preserve of computer/gaming aces, and can be used in any field of human interaction. You’ve seen this sort of event played out on Social Media over and over again. 

Any whoever within WP decided to use 1337 as a number to congratulate a person on a measure of attainment, well ‘sort of Mission Accomplished’. Whereas I cannot be any stretch claim to have broken ‘The Code’ at least I learned something.

Double plus good, I reckon.

 

 

And in other news…..

Of Patchwork Warriors      Skirmishers    the-gilrs-in-yermetz-in-finality

The Three Volumes of the Precipice Dominions Trilogy currently free with Kindle Amazon until 31st October.

For those New Around Here or Simply Passing Through. Something about The ‘Precipice Dominions Trilogy’

#Information4PublicGood: Global Media & Information Literacy Week

An important initiative indeed

The Human Lens

This Sunday kicks off the special campaign for Global Media and Information Literacy Week, that is commemorated annually, and is a major occasion for stakeholders to review and celebrate the progress achieved towards “Media and Information Literacyfor All.”

The annual event will be a week long commemoration during 24 to 31 October.

The 2021 Global Media and Information Literacy Week is hosted by South Africa and marks the 10 years anniversary since the seeds of Global Media and Information Literacy Week were planted in 2011 in Fez, Morocco.

It is a result of the United Nations Resolution that recognizes that the substantial digital divide and data inequalities that exist among different countries and within them, can be addressed in part by improving people’s competencies to seek, receive and impart information in the digital realm.

There is no doubt that wide gaps exist in access to internet and information availability in…

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For those New Around Here or Simply Passing Through. Something about The ‘Precipice Dominions Trilogy’

Whereas I had tremendous fun with Marketing earlier on this year, it seemed more appropriate to be serious now that the full trilogy will be up and running in the next few days. Apologies to those who have read previous posts on the subject, this is for visitors and potential readers

The Precipice Dominions Currently available on Kindle. Free from 27th October to 31st October

The Gilrs in Yermetz in Finality Will be on Kindle in the coming week. (No thanks to Amazon’s unhelpful ‘error’ message on cover…sorted by human effort)…Free from 27th October to 31st October.

Overview

Fantasy. Not in the style of George R R Martin or Joe Abercrombie. By Fantasy standards- overall theme ‘Lite’ . Complex interplays, adventure, battles, some graphic violence, snatches of satire, some comic interludes, romance ( with adult themes). Warning for those who read Fantasy: overall up-beat theme throughout, to repeat you’ve been warned; don’t moan to me if you read them and don’t find them ‘gritty’ enough.

Introductions 

The trilogy charts the progress of three women caught up in a series of events which are part of the long history of The Oakhostian Empire; this has lasted not because of the iron grip of one family, or a dreaded back ground administration, but for the simple reason no one has come up with a workable alternative. There are agencies which keep the whole thing running with the usual smatterings of rivalries aided or sometimes encumbered by the composite of princedoms and city states. There is religion which at this stage is usually nodded to but generally not very influential in the ruling process.

What everyone does pay attention to is The Stommigheid or Ethereal or Astatheia, depending which agency or preference you work for. This is an elemental which manifests itself in various ways, physical, mental or spiritual by a combination of these it has given rise to Realms which are linked to The World Physical and thus can be utilised as a means of travel. Those who have managed to gain some deeper knowledge of this enigmatic manifestation appreciate no one has control over its potentials at best only having an accommodation; there is dispute over whether it influences people or the other way around. How or when this arrived upon The World no one is wholly sure of, there are records of great disruptions and the appearance of the demonic apparitions The Lords of The Land and the Lords of The Deeper; later The Lords of The Air, collectively called The Zerstorung.

Against this backdrop the three major characters move:

Trelli (later known as Trelyvana Waywanderer). Once satisfied to be a dutiful and responsible housemaid with an eye on becoming a Housekeeper to a general respectable merchant family. However thanks to the meddling in the The Stommigheid by the younger son Wigran, she has been inadvertently suffused with some of its abilities; the process and manifestation making her a source of interest amongst various folk. She has to struggle with keeping a perspective and responsibility with this ‘new gift’

Arketre Beritt  Initially a medician (medic) in the military  LifeGuard. A state within a state in The Oakhostian, charged with security and specific military actions. Beritt is chosen as part of a file (unit) charged with seeking out Trelli. Seemingly easy going, friendly and skilled at her task, Beritt has a mixed at times roguish past, while can be chillingly brutal against foes, either physically or mentally.

Karlyn Nahtinee Seeming to have originated from Elinid a city of dubious reputation and possessed of a peripatetic mind. Karlyn discourses with animals and plants, has a singular sense of smell and direction which includes the Stommigheid, a talent for arson and an acrobatic prowess. Despite all evidence to the contrary she is initially recruited by a Custodian (think Inquisitor) to seek out Trelli. At the onset her true background is a mystery, even to her.    

Volume One: Of Patchwork Warriors (As spoiler free as possible)

This introduces the three major characters and something of the world(s) they inhabit. Karlyn and Arketre as part of separate missions to find out ‘what is going’ in a port town (The ‘what’ being Trelli). The ‘what’ has attracted others. In the confusion it is Karlyn and Arketre who find themselves responsible for Trelli. They start to bond, Arketre begins to have doubts over handing Trelli over to her LifeGuard commanders. Karlyn, literally sniffs out other issues and leads the party off track on what she sees as more important a cause. In another realm they have their first conflict with The Zerstorung and an inefficient group known as The Obsidian Council.  It is here the three start to demonstrate their differing potentials . This volume also brings in other characters and groupings relevant to the whole narrative and sets the backdrop for complexities in the following volumes.

Volume Two: Our Skirmishers of Lace, Steel and Fire

In this volume more is written of Elinid and its crime family The Silcs, The LifeGuard, The Devoteds, the once legendary and assumed powerful race of The Shadow Lords and the Oakhostian. Karlyn learns more of her previous life, Arketre faces the conflicted demands of her medician training and her instinct to take on the harder role and demands of battle, Trelli’s relationship and skill with The Ethereal grows as she begins to appreciate the full and possibly dangerous potential.     

Following on from the events in ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’. Karlyn and Arketre are in the North East of the Oakhostian in the Princedom of Terasonia, content with being snatched there and have an opportunity to explore their love. However they are despatched by the LifeGuard to investigate a rebellion by the local Grand Dukes against their prince. Trelli is in the South under the care of  The Devoteds, an ambitious member Coltello  wishes to utilise Trelli’s abilities to ‘harvest’ a source of Ethereal in a nearby land. Through the bond the three had forged in the previous volume, their paths cross. Karlyn assisting Trelli, leaving Arketre to be the Officer on the Ground trying to broker between Prince and Grand Dukes. The situation is complicated by an incursion from the domain of a Shadow Lords Prince with ideas of starting his own empire. The theme of conflict is based on the history of many a seemingly superior force being bested by a local opposition familiar with the terrain, particularly when the sophisticated weaponry of the former is found wanting. Again there is the presence of the Zerstorung in manifold forms.

Volume Three: Daughters of Circumstances. Arbiters of Consequences.

This is the volume where the full potentials of the three women are realised in various and some unexpected ways. And here is the book blurb:

Nothing is simple in the aftermath of Our Skirmishers of Lace, Steel and Fire. Wars, conflicting agendas, calls to fealties. All these range across The Oakhostian empire and the Realms beyond the World Physical. Ever present the enigma known as The Ethereal, Stommigheid,  or Astatheia  is no one’s to control, though maybe the opposite is so.  As Officer of one small LifeGuard outpost Arketre Beritt’s initial attention is on the invasion of her jurisdiction, Valeneg, by neighbouring Krenderenberg’s opportunistic prince. Trelli, is drawn to investigating the  possibility of dangerous and nefarious activities by the Silc Clan in their home city of Elinid. Both women however are swept up by concerns of Karlyn Nahintee, spouse of the former, best friend of the latter and assumed to be of Custodian rank by most, she believes all troubles can be laid at the feet of one of the Zerstorung demonics The Lords of The Air. A surprise request to aid in a rescue of a previous opponent enthuses her belief  to the point of dragging (in Arketre’s case, literally) the other two off to confront these Lords. This pitches the trio into or back again across the complex relationships between groups within the Oakhostian empire and those dwelling beyond the World Physical. The three women must face, individually, in pairs or together conflicts, avoiding conflicts and demands of duty while struggling to hold fast to their own personal ties. Seemingly ever fated never to start anything but constantly to be drawn in; their skills, judgements and courage are constantly tested at a juncture which threatens to tear beyond one empire into other entireties, as some dare to believe they can control not only events but the evasive elements of The Ethereal. Conceits which neither Arketre, Karlyn or Trelli subscribe to, nor intend to leave flourish.

(Not blurb just additional information: The Battle for Yermetz takes some of its influences from German/Italian/Romanian/Hungarian conflict with the USSR at The Battle of Stalingrad in 1942/43)

That’s it folks

The Sheer Joy of Achievement (A trilogy is completed)

Nearly one year ago I posted up that Part III of the Precipice Dominions, being Daughters of Circumstances. Arbiters of Consequences’ initial draft had been completed and the fun part of editing, re-writing and so forth would be begin. When the volume is around 250,000 words this tends to encourage the urge to make sure everything melds together and continuity of the previous volumes Of Patchwork Warriors and Our Skirmishers of Lace, Steel and Fire runs smoothly. Since neither had sold well, there was the luxury of yet another re-edit of those works. Thus the past year has been an epic of not just rooting out persistent typos, but straightening syntax and a modest adjustment here and there. In addition along came the bonus of having tremendous fun in two less than serious marketing campaigns:

Just for Marketing and Giggles- The British Approach

Just for Marketing and Giggles II (The team conference)

There was some worrying or to be precise reflection over the length. Though in setting out a backdrop which involved several seemingly separate conflicts; being military, political and one of obligation which actually all overlay and interlock; to give each their fair due the narrative would have to be long. I also have this need (Flaw? Some might say) to go into depth on how events and their own subsequent actions affect a character; this comes from reading much military history; some of my writing is thus a dedication to those who have been there at ‘The Sharp End’. Having worked in the UK Civil Service for most of my life there was also the need to illustrate some of the complexities, frictions and downright follies which go on. Combining personal experience with reading military history convinced me there are no perfect or cunning plans by a villain or group of villains which nearly go right. A great number of the decisions are made on the hoof as it were. Hence witness blundering, hasty reactions, indecision and being wrong-footed by the unexpected. Heroics combined with astute tactics and strategies are valuable, but for them to work they require the foe to display error and sometimes stupidity which must be seized upon. 

In these days of worrying news and illustrations that the ‘bad guys’ do not get their neatly served up just deserts, something which is common in fiction too, there was a tendency to kick back. My intention was for the reader to enjoy the journey (a lot of differing ‘scenery’ out there folks)  and indulge the feel-good factors…… Which didn’t stop me stretching credibility, after all this is a Fantasy Novel with many different things happening in the greater environment; reading cosmology and trying to understand the basics of quantum mechanics / physics while including spirituality and some might say nods to ‘Gaia’ tended to also add to the mix.

A mash-up some might accuse me of. A Complete hodgepodge of themes untidily mixed together. A wandering series of confused elements.  My response is a shrug and to reply ‘Have to you looked around the messy world, read the confusions recorded in history and seen the questions arising in the sciences these days? Arguably these books are as close to A Reality as anything out there in your world,’  

And, so there it is:

The Gilrs in Yermetz in Finality   

Sometime in the next week there will be an announcement of the launch on Kindle….a few days free of course. Now all that’s left on My List being:

The blurb

Worrying whether Amazon will upload the whole lot.

And musing on how to correctly and seriously interest folks in the whole trilogy. For this Volume would be a hard slog, if not incomprehensible without reading the previous two. Therefore there will be another post giving an Overview of the entire Trilogy; intentions, themes and commentary on the narrative.   

About 5 to 6 years reaching this point. And I admit to feeling very durn good about the whole business. Sales would be nice, but ‘High Holy‘ (as they say in the books) seeing the project completed and out there….well, Satisfied and Content don’t come close.

Revision Revisited

More wise words and detailed information from Audrey, read and learn folks

Audrey Driscoll's Blog

I’m at the stage of my work in progress that follows finishing the first draft. That draft was a 6-month sprint compared to the rewrite, which right now feels like it’s not even a marathon, but a journey.

Several months ago, I heard a talk by a writer and editor about the psychological state of the writer while revising a piece of writing. I will not name that person here because I’ll be mixing their ideas with my interpretations and extrapolations.

The talk began with a writer’s inherent resistance to revision. There are several reasons for it, but the ones I related to most were the fear that making changes to a piece of writing might unravel it entirely, and the fear of being overwhelmed by the possibilities for changes. The first is like pulling on a thread in a sweater, and the second like looking at a map with…

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#InternationalGirlChildDay: Pakistan – Ehsaas Education Stipends

A worthy date to remember

The Human Lens

Each year on October 11, the special initiative of International Day of the Girl celebrates the importance, power, and potential of girls around the world, and focuses attention on the particular problems they can face.

There is no doubt that gender gaps and prevalent poverty structures impede girls rights issues as they are ignored in many societies. This day brings together stake holders private and public and people from all walks of life that combine their efforts to assist bridging the gaps for girls to have better access to equal opportunities of education, learning and health.

In the efforts for improving the girls education rights in the country, the Ehsaas Education Stipends programme has been amended to provide more possibilities to underage and young girls in Pakistan.

What is Ehsaas? Its the biggest and boldest programme ever launched in Pakistan to uplift its marginalized citizens and people.

At Ehsaas 50%+…

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Promotion Paradoxes

Another very valuable post from Audrey. Read and consider in depth.

Audrey Driscoll's Blog

Unlike advice about how to write, I have no desire to quibble with advice on how to market or promote books. Social media, paid advertising, giveaways, email lists, etc. I have nothing to say about any of them.

BUT: must every indie author even worry about marketing? Consider the following questions:

  • Do you see marketing as part of the same exciting creative process as writing?
  • Do you think of marketing as a tough challenge to whet your mettle?
  • Is marketing a kind of hair shirt you have to wear to expiate your writing habit?
  • Maybe marketing is a form of torture you wouldn’t inflict on your worst enemy?
  • Or perhaps you see marketing as a waste of valuable writing time.

Just about every author who says they love writing, just have to write, will stop writing only when they die, also says they hate marketing, but they have to do…

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