On Deciding Which Place To Be

I suppose it may have been the Summer again. Or to be more objective my attitude to the summer season. The heat, the bright sunlight, long daylight, activity even muted by Covid; these do not suit me. Of course at 70 one should not wish life away, years, months even days should not be squandered and yet winter draws me ever on.

Summer brings out the worst in me, particularly this one had me in a very combative mood and willing to engage in arguments on social media, on all manner of topics, just because. All very undignified and not the least bit profitable  There was an effort not to smear this mood all over WP and keep it where it belonged – FaceBook. Hence my general absence from WP

Happily there was a smidge of constructive dignity still working within. This, of course being attention to my own writing project. If you have followed my blog you will know about my ragged progress and less than serious approach to marketing 

Another Launch (Persistence Doesn’t Always Pay, But It’s Satisfying)

Just for Marketing and Giggles- The British Approach

Just for Marketing and Giggles II (The team conference)

Although the last volume of the trilogy was in theory completed one year ago, the re-write process beckoned. This, personally is an enjoyable stage, aside from the obvious corrections, tinkerings and checking continuity in all its manifold ways, there is the joy of realising the overall intentions were surviving the necessities of a narrative. On this particular jaunt there was an urge within to re-visit the previous two volumes and work through them one last time to ensure they led in a sort of cohesive manner unto the third. Thus 2021 has been a year in which three large (If you are doing epic fantasy ‘large/long’ is something of a requirement) volumes were aligned. Yet another series of re-writes, I like to muse over the situation that should these books ever achieve noticeable sales status how early purchasers could brag they have ‘first editions’ and argue the case for the writing or narrative of those. A writer whose history does not contain even the words ‘some modest success’ should always keep an element of whimsey in their head (either that or take marketing and allied disciplines seriously)

On the whole the process has been yet another enjoyable and enlightening process. AS WE all know Word has many failings. Yet Read Aloud along with the ability to shift entire chapters around like chess pieces do carry their own particular appeals, also a sense of The Unexpected. In the case of the former this would be the sudden lurch into another gender’s voice, like some intrusive boor blundering into a conversation you are having with a friend, while Word throws up a frantic yellow bar warning in a woefully inadequate attempt to deny all culpability. When it comes to the latter shifting portions of the narrative might look fine at a particular juncture, but they could have a tectonic effect in The Continuity much further on down; by then the original revision is so embedded into the narrative it is necessary to give way to the impetus set in place back at at Chapter Fifteen and amend with much vigour to the events laid out in the first (or second) draft at Chapter Fifty-One. These are something of a melding of the Artistic, Imaginative and above all Inventive in the business. Some folk enjoy crosswords, siduko, chess or card game puzzles. for me the challenge of the re-write is the thing.   

The Third Volume nears final (only three re-writes) completion, the artist who did such stunning work on Volume Two’s cover is on the case.  Skirmishers  So maybe the final work will see the light of Kindle by the end of the year.

Ah me, this is where I should have been spending more time than was spent. Three volumes completed, a joy in itself. But soft, I have tarried long enough. Time to break camp and set forth on the final clime up the last 35,000 words.

Daughters of Circumstances. Arbiters of Consequences.   (Being Volume 3 of The Precipice Dominions)

I do love this happy burden.

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Another Launch (Persistence Doesn’t Always Pay, But It’s Satisfying)

4th EDITION

Yes, all sorted, tidied (as much as any book a writer wants to display in public can be tidied) the finalisation of the processing through the Amazon Kindle System completed 30th January 2021 at 9.35am GMT UK, and thence to sit back remembering to check later on to see when Amazon has made it public so the promotion via free books can be allowed (please, please Amazon co-operate and don’t do something ‘interesting’). Of course try as you might as a humble self-publisher you cannot guarantee that Kindle will (1) Align the word ‘Chapter’ at the centre of every single heading, no matter how hard you slaved over the business on WORD (also not the most dependable instrument for a writer of fiction) (2) Adhere to the same page breaks as WORD for much the same reason. But for the price I am settling either ‘Free’ (Don’t let me down Amazon) or 0.99 (whatevers) one should not make too much fuss over such matters; it shows a lack of taste. Thus sometime in the next 72 hours the 4th Edition will be in the Amazonverse. And those are the mechanics of the situation.

For those readers who are new to the saga of my own journey here (and there) and have not seen the dedicated site. The outlines of the categories / genres sub-genres / themes are as follows:

Fantasy: Epic (ie very long and lots of characters)

Feel-Good & Upbeat endings (Not fashionable in Epic Fantasy)

Action & Adventure: (Heroic, of course)

Humour: Various – Acerbic, Bawdy, Observational and some Satire

(Did I mention Feel-Good?)

Convoluted Events: Based on Reality- No perfect plots, no cunning villains always one step ahead, basically a Real World environment- If it can go wrong, it will. No one, like no one is every in control. If you want Illuminate stuff, go elsewhere.

Characters: Three main. Building through the experience. Bonding through trials.

The Special Power?: Oh yes, but no one really know how it works, so don’t expect any enigmatic folk of unspecified age turning up with an ancient mystic staff and talking at great length about the historical back story as if that was The Only Fact. That sort of thing doesn’t happen in this world and it certainly doesn’t happen in these books.

Controversial Aspects or Things That Might Annoy Some Readers (apart from typos, syntax and grammar that is): (A) In case I forgot to mention there is a Feel-Good Factor- a possible heresy in Epic Fantasy. (B) Then there is the portrayal of religion as simply institutionalised, generally only nodded to by the population, and also somewhat inefficiently run. So no sinister Bishops plotting in dark corners (C) Strong female leads, who are not particularly alpha, a positioning which might annoy all sides (D) LGBTQ female romance- potential minefield for a male writer. Don’t you shudder when the characters take over the narrative? (E) Just to repeat, no very all powerful, very all-seeing, darkly ruthless person or group who have minions who laugh a lot when someone can’t pierce their armour (Man! That is so boring) (F) Introspection- Not the brooding sort, more the ‘What the heck do I do next?’ sort or a lot of general grumbling (you know you do it too, so don’t complain). (G) A lot of folk and organisations- that’s the way History works, so that’s the way I wrote.

Reason for Writing: To hopeful produce a work which is there to entertain and provide a distraction from the Day around you. (Oh yeah, Annnddd I because I wanted to!)

That’s all then

For anymore information on the books, characters, lands, peoples, motivations, environments as an introduction please visit:

The Precipice Dominions… (A Fantasy Trilogy) — WordPress.com

And as I was about to close this down Amazon has notified me the revised volume is up and available. Please note this will free on Kindle from Sunday 31st January 2021 to Thursday 4th February 2021.

When You Get There

There it is. This time. Finished. Honest. The final edition

It is common knowledge that the overwhelming majority of writers are never quite, truly satisfied with whatever they have written. Ignoring the ever persistent typos which cunningly ignore even the most dogged scanning or those fiendish tricks which all writing programmes keep hidden until after you have sent the completed work off, there is invariably something nagging at the recesses of the creative spirit.

Be it description of scenes, character development, pace of narrative, plot development or the conclusion, there always one aspect which remains ever out of reach; drifting through the indefinable borders between inspiration, creativity and physical presentation.

This can be something of a mire, dragging a writer down into a place of continued dissatisfaction which pollutes true creativity. There should always be a point when a writer says ‘Enough. There can never be perfection. This is as far as it goes,’

However in counterpoint we should not forget the feeling that maybe there is room for improvement.

In this I was fortunate to have two folk review my earlier endeavours on this book:

Audrey Driscoll at https://audreydriscoll.com/

Berthold Grambel at https://ruinedchapel.com/

My thanks to both for their support and taking the time to read and review the book AND most importantly to point out the flaws which kept on flitting about my mind this way and that for some time, while I was forging ahead with Vol. III (Daughters of Circumstances. Arbiters of Consequences). All the while there was this tip-taping ‘You are going to have to go back to Vol I & Vol II (Our Skirmishers of Lace, Steel, and Fire) and tie everything up. Continuity is all shot to bits,’

So I proceeded; thanks to my very good friend (and major character) Trelli, who as you may recall recently explained the situation and process….

Sometimes, We Characters Need to Explain The Position

Trelli was, as always, invaluable (along with the grudging assistance of Word’s ‘Review’ & ‘Read Aloud’ facility), in that she continued to supply the correct information on the events and point out my errors in interpretation. Of course sometimes it was left up to me to use my own perception to illustrate the bare facts with some lyrical elaboration and reach a far smoother narrative. Therefore although the story and the major events remain the same I do believe the account has a better flow and truth be known shorn of some inconsistencies a more logical read.

And gosh! If the whole exercise wasn’t a great deal of fun seeing what was a strung together kind of effort, evolve. It may still never be a widely read, or successful work. To me that does not matter. What does count is that the volume is finally where it ought to be and does the characters more justice.

The next part of the plan is to try this time to make some attempt at marketing, publicising or whatever, then on either the 1st February or 1st March release the final edition via Kindle. It will be free for the first week (or was that 10 days?). Therefore, you good folk who purchased a copy will have the chance to get an updated copy for free.

And then onto Volume II.

While Volume III awaits a cover (That’s quite another story)