On Getting Your Work Noticed (Just an Observation)

The end of an edit / re-write beckons; approximately 11.5% of some 248,000+ words left to ‘listen’ to and ponder over. Word is not happy with the weight I have placed upon it, pretending to lose the Dictionary additions, altering margins and spacing at random intervals, changing the Spellcheck to another language, failure to comprehend any literary constructs apart from business speak; the usual protests against an unprofessional artistic use of its programmes. BUT my trusty memory stick is ever at my side reminiscent of a faithful hound, lest Word pulls its most evil of tricks and crashes the whole work (which it dallied with back in July).

Thus this will conclude a work in three parts which will in total tally up 600,000 + words and has taken somewhere around six years to complete. A time in which edits, proof-reading and re-writes were all done within my own bubble. Thanks to Amazon Kindle and the free-book promotions I guess about 30 folk have Volumes I & II downloaded and a big thanks to those kind folk who also purchased copies (probably about 10 sales). If Volume III bumps the totals up by 33% that might be in line with my expectations (based on the previous performances). Sometimes those figures were disheartening but were unlikely to be the sole cause of the low mood, more symptomatic of a general lassitude, my late father used to refer to this as ‘being at the bottom of the wheel’. Outside of the central character of a mid-twentieth century swashbuckling or ‘happy’ musical film, who does not experience these times?

At this stage a writer facing such results will have reached a crossroads of some sort of another. Their outlook will be dependant on amount of the effort they have previously put into their marketing, networking, assistance, outside editing and beta-reading to name but a few of the preparation and research strategies available to them.

For some despite their very best and diligent efforts in these areas, their work still fails to gain recognition and a despondency sets in. This is very understandable. They may well decide writing is not for them and seek other paths. Whether this was the right choice or another promising writer was lost to the caprice of the market, we will never truly know; this sort of judgement belongs as it were ‘to the ages’.

For others there can be an analytical response, they shrug (after a period of flushing out the disappointment) and ‘go back to the drawing board’. Maybe, they think, the work needs some tweaking, nay complete overhauling. Records of advice: friendly, editorial and beta will be consulted, the work re-read (a painful process at times) and the writer returns to the battle carrying out that very delicate balancing act between others input and how they, the writer, wishes the narrative to go.

Some will decide, they do so love writing, but maybe they chose the wrong genre or wrong style of narrative. They start again, maybe using the very bare bones of the first work. This happened to me, twice. First attempt was grim, bloody (and also unreadable). The second attempt, set in the world of my current books at an earlier time was comedic satire, the volumes are now a source of folklore and history in the current works. This third is a mix, one might say real as can be found in Fantasy. 

I stood at the crossroads and looked back over my shoulder. Had I utilised any of those aforementioned strategies and resources in my journey. Yes, but due to the vagaries of life met with three sources whose advice or commentaries were not to my liking, and hereabouts there are some strong opinions retained on their competencies and ability to use perception, but we shall move on. I was glad of the observations and reviews by Audrey Driscoll https://audreydriscoll.com/  Berthold Gambrel  https://ruinedchapel.com/  and Rachael Ritchey https://rachaelritchey.com/ Each gave support, advice incisive and constructive and was taken on board in future efforts. Those who indulge in throwaway criticism would do well to stay away from me, their comments get analysed, critically…yes one is not supposed to indulge so in kicking back at a bad review…. I have nothing to lose, there would be ramifications for the throwaway reviewer.  

And there came the decision. If my work was currently not surfacing into public attention amongst the many thousands of efforts by unknown writers and my approach to all the strategies and resources was idiosyncratic, nay even shambolic and I was using the massively populated medium of Amazon Kindle, then what was there to lose in going my very own way? The books could be recorded for the public to find, there would be some gratification there, and at the same time all creativity, imagination and experimentation could be utilised just for their own collective sakes. Thus I gave vent to all manner of writing about varied circumstances, maybe some had no business being in a book seriously put together with sales in mind as a benefit; some might send editors and beta-readers into much head-shaking or saying ‘WHAT???’ Let it be so. I have enjoyed this veering off at tangents, exploring issues narrative, and it is all mine.

At this juncture let me say this is not an attempt to mask vanity with an air of assumed artistic superiority or the self-indulgent woeful stance of someone ‘suffering’ for their art. No this is just me, writing as I write, for a particular  purpose, and because the whole project will not let me be until it is concluded this way. To put it another way for those starting out or those having doubts:

Writing about my approach as one you should follow is not the reason. It would, quite frankly be irresponsible for me to contend this is worthwhile way of ‘doing things’. Not so, the above words are tailored to illustrate my position and current view of my own work. For advice on the matter of publishing, please, please seek out others. Going Complete Rogue is generally a bad idea. 

As long as the writing does not mask an agenda promoting Hate, Intolerance or questionable politics I wish everyone well with their writing. Published conventional or self-published, the writer’s efforts are to be celebrated, another record in the great endeavour writing, another statement ‘I was here’.

That you strive at your work with the conviction you have as much right as any to do is enough for me.

Meanwhile, nearly a year after the original narrative of Daughters of Circumstance. Arbiters of Consequences was completed, still working on the final ‘publicationable’ document? But of course.  

And Thus Is Completed The Narrative

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

Musings on Writing (Another series). Important Reactions to Use on Suitable Occasions

When ‘The Book’ Ensnares You. (A sort of an apology)

Well there I was starting the first re-write

Victorian writer

And naturally as is the way of things

Overreacting

found it wanting.

Learning to Live with ‘The First Draft’ and its Consequences.

So after the usual crisis of identity and the attendant ‘What Is the Point of It All’ 

Existential crisis

The entire work was dismantled

 

Demolished

And started again

 

 

 

(I love a re-write; the plots are always so much better)

Anyway, this is an apology for tardiness in reading posts, replying and in general being Word Press Sociable

The Book has me in its grasp….

 

 

 

Musings on Writing- Don’t You Hate It When….2

Don’t you hate it when…

Frustration

You have invested time and muse to create this character of whom you are justly proud and feel this might well be the one who will get you noticed, even if a modest way…..

And then…..

You innocently browse what’s going on in new books, or media etc Surfing

Only to find…….

Rage

A successful, well-known, and beloved by many author has created almost the self same character in their latest work……. now on display on many GoodReads, Literary Critic’s Column etc.

OR

Is the central character in a new streaming.

Of course you are entitled to react:

Melodrama Girls

In various ways….

fed_up_woman-620x412

Gefühle-Die-Leiden-des-jungen-Werthers-676x884

Victorian image

Yet take comfort gentle writer

Young woman, finger on lips, looking confused surprised

For if you can come up with something as good as the successful, beloved, etc, etc author, then you must have a pretty cool talent working on there.

Repair thereforeSea Captain

Woman determined

Dear writer

And

Tweak so no one will really notice

Wink

Successful, well-known and beloved by many types of authors do it all the time. 

 

Musings on Writing- Don’t You Hate It When….1

Don’t you hate it when…

famous-writers-of-the-victorian-era-1

In a hurry to finish off one part; just for convenience  you place a character in Location A. Then later on in your eagerness to write THAT very important chapter around which, if not the whole but at least a vital part of the narrative revolves you have them appearing Location B which is many miles distant from Location A and in a circumstance which defies any good reason you can think of to explain that anomaly.

Hamlet 2

If you are very fortunate you will have dropped them off at Location A in such a casual way you can write that smidge out and in retrospect shuffle them into Location B ready for THAT chapter you have ben itching to write.

Meanwhile you look at yourself in the literal or allegorical and say:

‘Seriously?’ 

Confused person on Brexit

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XV

Pt XV… ‘If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well. It were done jollily’ 

Whinsome was hoping things could not get anymore complicated and sardonically was not surprised to find a maid at the apartment door bobbing and saying

‘M’m, Your Highness. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, The High Diplomat and some bishops are here to see you on matters of urgency,’

Aureyborealice looked up from weeping into Whinsome’s morning dress. There was a rather serious expression on her face.

‘Ah. Then this is it. They have come to discuss with you my very credible demise through some convenient malady I didst catch while footling about in the snows of the north,’ she tilted her head up in a noble fashion and sighed ‘What must be, must be. Though Whinsome I do not really bear you any ill-will-‘

‘Oh sush twiddle-head!’ Whinsome said hugging the girl ‘There will be no demises credible or otherwise!’ she grasped one hand, it was slightly slippery because Aureyborealice had been wiping her nose on it but Whinsome was in,  as some of the peasants of Trundlealong would say a  ‘Don’t make no nevermind,’ mood ‘Come let us together face this crisis, as a couple,’

‘Oh Whinsome,’ Aureyborealice said lovingly, pausing to blow her nose on her sleeve (you’d be somewhat relieved to read…. hers that is, not Whinsome’s)

‘No more honking of the shnozer,’ Whinsome commanded and with the maid assisting had Aureyborealice to look presentable  of hair, eyes, face and of course nose.

 

Whinsome frowned, Aureyborealice flinched. Aside from Chancellor and High Diplomat there were bishops Hylorididoda (also known as Old Baldy Pate), Humfelsteffstong (Ol’ Sour Fizzog ) and of course Quirrblelong. Quirrblelong did have his benign expression though. Whinsome noticed the other two did not look particularly censorious, she supposed that was something to do with her releasing them from that tower.

‘My lords temporal and spiritual,’ she said using a general catch-all term, Aureyborealice, slightly behind her squeaking the same greeting, one word late, and then called out.

‘It was not Whinsome’s fault! ‘Twas my vanities, mischiefs, dreams, schemes, plots and silly things!’

‘Please good sirs,’ interposed Whinsome, treading on her companion’s toe ‘Princess Aureyborealice is to be excused. She fell out of bed this morning and knocked her head. I am quite aware the extraordinary actions by Doctrindoss have shown him to be unsuitable to be The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One, thus calling into questioning our,’ squeeze of hand of Aureyborealice ‘Union and since I argued at some length in support of his judgement my right to the throne of Dingledong is also at fault. We must summon the council and-‘

Humfelsteffstong cleared his throat.

‘Your highness,’ and he bowed somewhat ‘Firstly by your actions of releasing both myself and Bishop Hylorididoda and the very sober way you have conducted the,’ lesser clearing of throat ‘Command of the throne and administration of this confused realm you have shown yourself a worthy ruler,’

‘Might we sit down and discuss this over cakes and light wines?’ asked Hylorididoda hopefully.

Whinsome glanced to The Chancellor and the High Diplomat whose individual impassive faces suggested there was, as usual more to this than met the eye. Quirrblelong winked.

‘Not a word,’ Whinsome told Aureyborealice. 

 

‘You see, ‘ explained Humfelsteffstong ‘Doctrindoss in recent years, possibly twenty, had become prey to vanities of the most tedious sort and could talk at great length wearing down anyone of normal sensibilities. As many of us had other duties to attend to, it was, to our chagrin and mortification easier to agree with him rather than spend pointless hours, even days and nights going about in circles, sometimes literal ones as he was want to walk when talking. When the, ahem, event of the wedding took place we hoped this would be the opportunity we needed to have him removed, but then you, your majesty was so stalwart and dignified,’

‘And could thwack opportunistic, greedy cousins with a staff,’ Aureyborealice said with enthusiasm ‘Thus saving the realm from snotty deadbeats,’

‘Quite so,’ said Hylorididoda through a mouthful of cake. ‘And caused Doctrindoss to overstep the mark with trying to marry Strebvest (The Plain) and Clodgrop (The Mundane),’

‘We have just managed to get the joint armies to raise their siege of Turgidan,’ The High Diplomat said ‘Never have the nations of Hasselduff and Moochenmuch demonstrated so much ire. We had to ask your brother Hanselfrendlesten the new king of Grunzelpratz to intervene with a military demonstration. He was very co-operative and by stealth had from under the noses of Strebvest (The Plain) and Clodgrop (The Mundane),’ detained Doctrindoss for his own safety, apparently in a very tall and remote tower in Grunzelpratz. He was allowed to take his tin whistle,’

‘He has always believed himself to be a master of the instrument,’ Hylorididoda said wearily but expunging the many memories of recitals by  taking another cake.

Whinsome held up one hand in a regal gesture best translated as ‘Just wait a turnip choppin’ minute’   

‘This turn of events is one of those types, my dear sirs I am becoming no longer surprised by. So there is to be a new The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One. Now how do we conjuncture this with my abdication and the elevation of,’ tender squeeze of the hand ‘Princess Aureyborealice to the position of Queen. Have a cake dear,’ Whinsome concluded by shoving a piece of confectionary into Aureyborealice’s mouth before she could say anything. 

‘Oh we don’t want that at all,’ said Humfelsteffstong ‘No. You as a couple are not the issue. Woman married unto woman hath led to the end of forced jolliness, gifted us with a sensible regent, then queen, put an end to the insufferable Twoodoodle and my colleagues in Grunzelpratz say rid them of the most singularly useless royal house and a clutch of opportunistic conniving bishops and nobles. As far as we can discern ’tis as good a sign of the Will of The Supreme Being as any,’

‘Ooooh’ squealed Aureyborealice in delight, spraying cake crumbs all over the place and before Whinsome could stop here ‘See Whins, you shall have to grow man bits now!’

Whinsome solved the embarrassment by a slight smile and a brief mime indicating a knock on the noggin’. She rose, everyone else did, brushing off cake crumbs with Whinsome shoving Aureyborealice back to her apartments saying.

‘Interesting news then my good sirs. We shall have to get the council in as well and discuss how to iron out the bumps, tidy the corners and put forward our own candidate for Arch-Priest,’ she concluded by looking very knowingly at Humfelsteffstong.

 

Later that day after Whinsome had managed to get Aureyborealice to calm down and remember just how composed, thoughtful and generally astute she had been back in the early spring. There came another visit from The Chancellor of the Exchequer and The High Diplomat.

‘There are two pretenders to the throne,’ said the latter ‘They may or not be ……ahem….natural…ahem….. children of your father Princess Aureyborealice, they are garnering opportunistic and disaffected folk and a few who claim Doctrindoss’ removal was a conspiracy,’

Aureyborealice frowned and tapped her fingers on one knee, Whinsome was so relieved to see the calculating look back in her eyes.

‘Much money and nobility behind them Chancellor?’ Aureyborealice asked. She did so want Whinsome to see she could be very cool and composed, again. What had happened? Maybe there were indeed naughty elves and mischievous pixies who had influenced her…(Oh MY!)

He handed Aureyborealice a list, The High Diplomat handed her one of outside trouble makers, she examined them.

‘Hmm. I see. Well Chancellor of The Exchequer. Cry Havoc and Release Headless Chickens of The Market,’ she turned to Whinsome ‘It is a code Whins. Something Chancellor was working on as soon as he found out about your parents Lychee venture, when I discovered what he was about I thought it the cleverest thing ever,’

‘As said I would have preferred if you had asked directly Princess Aureyborealice, but never mind. Your Highness?’

‘Will this harm the stupid speculating in Lychees?’

‘Very much so,’ Aureyborealice and the Chancellor said together.

‘Good!’

It did not take long. The first set of rumours were released which suggested the return on the growing of Lychees was a lot less than anyone had believed. Then the Chancellor ordered the sudden selling at a loss of the few stocks his offices still held to another office he had set up, having sold most holdings at the height of the market speculation. Ten already placed agents masquerading  as Lychee merchants made much of panicking in places of trading. The next set of rumours were about a possible fly which caused havoc in the crop. This was the signal for five more agents to set out a panic. By the end of the week the whole Lychee market had collapsed and lots of nobles, including the supporters of two pretenders to the throne of Dingledong were facing financial ruination. The Chancellor and his networks having turned their vast early profits into gold just planned for the next part.

Meanwhile The High Diplomat through his own networks ensured certain chosen and dependable nobles, kings, bishops etc were not affected, too much (the latter bit, just a reminder for them as to who was who and wot wuz wot)

‘So the ordinary folk won’t suffer?’ Whinsome asked for the severaleth time of Aureyborealice.

‘Oh no silly,’ feeling confident enough these taps to tap Whinsome’s nose ‘We have taken away any threatening power bases left since they are now all very poor and are being chased by their soldiers for unpaid wages. We filter capital into the economy, hire up the angry unpaid soldiers and lend them to your brother so he can convince your parents to descend from the throne and he can then set up a whole new kingdom made up of Trundlealong and Grunzelpratz. Your parents will receive a gift of gold to enable them to go far away and retire,’

‘Ah? Why was I not told about this?’

‘Because Wins. The Chancellor and the High Diplomat wanted to see how well you could handle things on your own,’ she sighed ‘And you were so clever, brave, bold and ruthless in a nice sort of way,’ she sighed again ‘Are you sure you wouldn’t like to…..Errr….well…y’know?’

‘Rorie. I have explained to you, severaleth times, I don’t want to….Errr….well…y’know. And it’s no use you leaving that copy of ‘The Adventures of The Bold Princesses Themelene and Louentha’ under my pillow all the time. Why that pair did not hurt their backs or catch chills from their frequent cavortings in woods and fields I knoweth not,’

‘Ah you did read it then!’

‘I flipped through the pages. And every flip revealed the same sort of….ahem…activities. There was a certain element of unimaginative repetition,’

‘Ah. Yeah. I’ll give you that! Now in  ‘The Lustful Revenge of the Scorn(ed) Princess Nyshel’ia of Old Meldanovrava’….. ‘

‘No. Now we have another day’s statecraft ahead of us. Put your busy mind to that,’

‘It’s going to be about legislation to allow women marry women and men marry men. You’ll let every one else go twiddle-wheedle-didlly-doo! But not us. Why?’

‘Rorie,’ Whinsome pleaded getting heated about the collar ‘You say you like…err..men’s….well y’knows. I have to say having seen some of your books I am sure I would too,’

‘I know a place where they make….’

‘I am sure you do! Honestly I do not want to know about your years of nights of sneaking out over garden walls! Look! Did we not admit to each that night of porlonged wine tasting we both wanted to have babies?…And before you ask again, your aunt has told me to tell you to stop being a noodle-hutch about the matter,’ Whinsome began to make expansive gestures with her hands and in exasperation her fingers ‘We cannot make each other pregnant!!’

‘Awwwww……….Pbbbbffffth!’

 

After that particular conversation Aureyborealice did settle down, somewhat, but did not actually stop making enquiries of Whinsome if she had changed her mind, though she did throw herself into the role of being consort, and generally productive in the administration, she and the High Diplomat having frequent conversations concerning certain matters, Aureyborealice reckoning it was the only way she could work off her frustrations. Aside from certain unpleasant characters meeting unpleasant ends, she also was instrumental in having some thought being given to having the land renamed, though no one could agree on what. She also aided her brother in sneaky ways in stopping incursions over his eastern borders from the previously disinterested smallish empire of Zrenzbragh whose emperor Hullibi (The XXth) had decided that the present ruckus to his west was a good opportunity; it was not working out well for him, in fact Frendlehanz was extending his domain, which since his liege lord was Vilfahengo ( The Back To Being Iron, In An Affable Way) made the said king content. She also ensured gold was passed to Prince Hulstorm of Rahsemindia to construct a navy to deal with pesky pirates raiding his coasts, of course he had no difficulty in massacring them on lands, but wanted to get them sorted out for good.

Whinsome felt these activities kept her spouse occupied, most of the time, while she dealt with the daily grindly business, thus giving her excuses to keep out of the way of Aureyborealice, who although would be such a good friend and companion was….well would not let the other business rest.

Meanwhile she was given even more praise by a relieved council, and a bemused public that she had cured Aureyborealice of her fit of noodle-hutchness.

 

To mark her first year as queen Whinsome let her council have its way and arrange a celebration, a modest one she told them! Aureyborealice’s brother Frendlehanz (now Wolf of The North), Prince Hulstorm (The Sternly, Just, Wise, Protective of The People….and that was quite enough he had said) of Rahsemindia, and her own brother King Hanselfrendlesten of Varadin (an old name for the region, and a snootle (a quite vulgar word) to the other names) all attended. There was much celebration and joy and Aureyborealice sneaked some aphrodisiac out of the supply her brother had brought down for ‘a friend’ (customer).

Whinsome to the joy of the crowds of ordinary folk walked amongst them chatting and giggling with children, gave a few folk awards and titles (paid for– Chancellor’s insistence ) and attended a few weddings betwixt men and men and women and women. She also sent a public message of congratulations to the new Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One, Humfelsteffstong.

And was walking along a corridor to change in comfortable clothing, when out leapt a soggy ragged fellow with a knife:

‘Har-har! I Bishop Twoodoodle will cleanse this realm’

And stabbed her and she fell.

He was apprehended, thumped and kicked. Hulstorm said he would take the wretch back with him, he would be towed through a long and muddy river to The Tower where he would be placed with ten other wretches, for soever as long as they might live ( like who cared?)

There was mourning through the realms. Dingledong was renamed Whinslea. Both Queen-in-Being Aureyborealice of Whinslea and King Hanselfrendlesten of Varadin were wretched in their grief thus nudged together by the High Diplomat and the more subtle of his agents. Thus finding comfort with each other by the winter they were married and negotiations were started for a merging of the nations.

Oh he does so look like Whinsome, and he does have very nice man bits’, Aureyborealice reflected one day as she laid flowers on the grave. At the men’s insistence Whinsome had been buried with military honours and her wooden staff )

 

The next spring The High Diplomat on a journey to discuss things with King Hanselfrendlesten‘s council stopped by a small, modest farm to ask if he could have a drink, it being a warmish day. The young lady farmer invited him in, along with three men dressed in black. She poured them all a light wine.

‘How are you then Whinsome?’

‘Quite at peace High Diplomat. Known here as Somiwhen, proficient in farming, arguing jovially with the local cleric and use of a staff with any passing fellow who thinks he has some sort of right over my body. How are Aureyborealice and Hanselfrendlesten?’

‘They rule in a sedate, reflective and measured way. Not quite the frenetic folk of yore,’

‘I am pleased to hear it. Hanselfrendlesten was going to get himself killed one day looking for wars, and as for Aureyborealice, her fixation with us…err….well…y’know was making the dynamic somewhat difficult, the things she left under my pillow! Thus my argument not to execute Twoodoodle when he was washed up at a sewer outlet was useful was it not,’

‘It was a good plan, letting him think he had escaped, having an agent masking as a supporter and giving him the silly bending knife laced with the soporific drug. Getting the balance correct so the scratch would suffice was a trial,’

‘So was lying in state for a day then having to hold my breath during visits by mourners and being smuggled out in a burlap sack of broad beans. Still it was worth it. Please tell the Chancellor of the Exchequer I am being most careful with my gold retirement fund,’

‘I will, but he is a little distracted these days. His office caught out an adventurous widow who had cleverly embezzled a Lychee trust before the collapse. It was love at first sight,’

The pair laughed. The agents were trained not to do so when on duty. The High Diplomat bade Whinsome good fortune and went on his way.

At dusk the local cleric came calling. A fellow of her age who had fled his hopeless royal family of Grunzelpratz. Very sobered by the event he had taken on this new identity. As they grew to know each other he confessed this to her and begged her keep his secret.

There was tenderness. Quite often.

‘Oh Somiwhen, if only we could be married. Yet clerics must not,’

‘I think, dear Kurntool,’ she replied, while brewed an idea involving waylaying the High Diplomat on his return journey and asking one last big favour ‘In view of recent events things might change in our favour,’

And they all lived as well as anyone could reasonably expect. 

 

THE END

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part II

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part III

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IV

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt V

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VI

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VIII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IX

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt X

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XI

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XIII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XIV

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XIV

Pt XIV… ‘To be jolly. Or not to be jolly. That is the question

Meanwhile….

Prince Hulstorm had journeyed far and wide, albeit it in a smallish way, along the North West of Dingledong. He had slew(ed) some who would not see sense; some guilty wretches found skulking were hauled out of their skulking places while others, pitiful folk threw themselves down on their knees and after say ‘Ouch! My knees!’ confessed and beg(ed) forgiveness for their transgressions. With everyone now calling him ‘Great and Dread Sovereign Within Whose Shadow We Seek Sanctuary and Wisdom In Thy Justice and Mercy’.  He hoped that would be the end of the titles, he kept forgetting what he was about to say.

Because there was Lady Rahsemynd always accompanying him there was a lot less slewing. She being ever ready to convince him to show Justice, Mercy and for good measure Clemency. He was a bit conflicted; slaying or slewing was the Chilbinian Way, while showing Justice, Mercy etc, meant there was a danger of him being granted even more titles, these not being suited to his austere and uncomplicated ways (ie slaying). HOWEVER  whenever Faye Lady Rahsemynd spoke in those gentle, kind, yet firm ways how could he argue with her? For did she not ride her horse in a dignified manner? Was she not always uncomplaining over the rigours and discomforts of constant travel? For she was not wont to scratch under her armpits, did not clean out her nose and ears with a finger, nor make noises ill-becoming to a lady after eating. Were not the peasantry constantly praising her with weepingful joys and blessings? And was she not most pleasantly sensible, down-to-earth and practical company, not being liable to suddenly  to dance barefooted or sing to rabbits like one little nut-hutch he could mention? Yes, it was only right and proper he should accede to her pleas, to let her sternly, but fairly lecture those transgressors on the errors of their ways and have them take most solemn oaths to devote themselves to good works for the community at only basic wages and accommodation. Also weeping they did agree.  (and those few mean spirits who did this just for show were aware there was a very grim Chilbinian with a sword standing behind her, so they had best get on board with the new ways).

Thus did the North West plead(eth) for Hulstorm to stay and be their prince and rule them sternly but wisely. He was of an unusual dither over this and pondered in the night; thence did appear, softly Faye Lady Rahsemynd.

‘Prince Hulstorm,’ she said for she was not one for titles and anyway did not want to embarrass the dear boy who was so obviously flustered by them ‘I would ask, for the good of these people that you should accept this offer and help them to repair(eth) the damage wrought over these years past(ed)’

At this instant the moonlight did fall upon her eyes and sparkle most delightfully therein while a gentle breeze did raise strands of her auburn hair into an entrancing dance, some stroking the small mouth, currently bearing the hint of a smile.

Hulstorm thence fell to his knees, but being of soldier upbringing had trousers sufficient to take the impact so suffered upon them no injury. Gently he did take her hand and with unusually soft voice did ask.

‘Only dear lady, if thou wouldst be my wife. For I cannot hope to take on such a task without you beside for me. This I must confess unto thee, within this turbulent heart has grown a love for thee,’

Faye Lady Rahsemynd put one hand to her heart and flustered.

‘Oh my. Dear Hulstorm, though my heart doeth soar and sing to hear these words, what is to be done about this,’ for once she was stuck for words ‘That strange wedding early this spring?’

‘Oh that hoo-hah!’ in other company he would have used more earthy language ‘ Dear gentle Faye Lady Rahsemynd, know ye that since the demise of the unworthy Twoodoodle, the priests of Chilbin have secretly journeyed here to speak with their brothers-in-faith who for years have kept secret loyalty to the northern ways of faith unto the Supreme Being and careth not for any Arch High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One ?’

‘Well, yes my dearest Hulstorm but I thought(eth)…’

Emboldened by the wonderfully persisting moonlight on her eyes, he placed one finger to her lips.

‘Then worryeth not any more Fayre Lady Rahsemynd, for we shall take solemn and biding oaths to follow northern ways of belief, I shall personal and independent make renouncement of that Stupid Wedding (oh the relief to say that!) and we shall be married in plain and simple ceremony,’

Of course the young woman gave out with a small cry of joy, naturally did he kiss her hand and since the moon would not leave those eyes alone did he hold her close and they conducted a small swirl of a dance.

Nearby two rough and common soldiers watched on. One wiped his eyes and blew his nose into his sleeve.

‘I likes a nice romantic interlude,’ he confessed.

‘Yer,’ agreed his comrade, sniffling ‘Makes a pleasant change from all them betrayals, slewings and loud trysting in woods, what keeps you awake at night,’

 

‘Humph,’ commented King Vilfahengo from a bed located in a smallish recently conquered castle on the border betwixt Dingledong and Chilbin ‘This despatch is from my usually worthless son Hulstorm. It appears he has annexed the north-west of Dingledong and by popular acclaim been made prince. Also he is to marry The Fayre and Much Adored By The People Lady Rahsemynd and in her honour by popular acclaim name the land Rahsemindia. Humph,’ he turned the page of the despatch ‘He also says he acknowledges me as Lord Sovereign and renounces anything that Arch High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One said about any wedding as heresy, blasphemy and so forth. Hmmm? I wonder what the Throne of Dingledong thinks of this? I forget who actually sits there,’

‘I can answer that my ever attentive lord,’ said Lady Frastreiayal of The Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng from the depths of the luxurious bedding ‘I have a letter here from Queen Whinsome of Dingledong.  You may recall we have been in correspondence for some time over the question of Princess Aureyborealice who was far too clever, scheming, eforvescent and  know-all for my peace of mind. Queen Whinsome has also received correspondence from your son. She agrees to his wishes and apparently has told any nobles who have complained to go and count their Lychee holdings. It would seem the north-west now known as Rahsemindia and the rest of Dingledong parted cultural ways years ago, most folk, she says do not give a,’ she paused ‘ Snooddlewip…. I assume that must be some vulgarity in common usage in Trundlealong,’

‘Hmmm,’ Vilfahengo (currently The Nearly Affable) said, being steward over lots of barbarians he was not used to having things go along in such an easy manner. ‘Mind you, I wonder how with the flame haired and fiery Magnificalorin; daughter of Gurt Broadsword feels about the business?’

‘I have been notified by this despatch,’ said Lady Frastreiayal of The Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng  (and quite content with matters as they were going) as she waved a rather grubby piece of parchment ‘She has been so busy intent on holding hostage Prince Frendlehanz and despoiling him, that within the next few months there will be evidence of her efforts.He was ceremonially kicked by Vargahona, the girl’s mother, in the ‘Ol’ Synggs’, the traditionally expected response by the parent when they find their unmarried daughter has been put ‘Up The Duff’ by a lad, and then the pair were married with much celebration and slapping on his back. On hearing the news Gurt Broadsword called for a true with Prince Hanselfrendlesten of Trundlealong who has been currently marching up and down Grunzelpratz. The Prince agreed since who was he to stop a fellow celebrating his daughter’s wedding, especially to Good Friend Frendlehanz? And anyway since King Jerbloom, his association of doctrinal bishops, three opportunistic dukes and his three singularly useless sons are reported to have been slain here and there along with their generally not-very bright loyal  supporters someone had to run the land didn’t they? So there he was staying and would  not pursue any barbarians who were going back home. How very nice and tidy. Think you not my ever present lord?’

‘Hmmmmm? So neither boy is paying attention to that old fool of an Arch-Idiot?’

‘It would seem not. The event was been taken as a most useful occurrence which led to constructive thinking,’

‘Hmmmmmmm. That still leaves the problem of Princess Aureyborealice. Hmmmm. Dear Lady,’ he said putting down the papers and taking her hand ‘Let us be married. It will make things much, as you say nice and,’ and rare laugh ‘tidy’

‘My lord. I thought you would never ask,’

Vilfahengo was getting quite used to this jolliness business. In measured doses of course. And he had to admit he and Lady Frastreiayal of The Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng had worked out just the right doses.

 

Even more Meanwhile….

At the abode of Queen Whinsome, in particular the apartments of Princess Aureyborealice 

‘Pbbbbffffth!’

‘Good morning to you too Aureyborealice. Did you sleep well?’

‘As if you cared Whinsome….. The Sneaky! I hope you get fleas in your undergarments at the next ceremony when everyone is watching you and you have to sit still,’

‘My maids, my ladies and I regularly check my undergarments Aureyborealice. Three attempts of your we have foiled. You really should accept how things are. Your father was a hopeless bed-hopper. Your brother is glad to be out of the business and cheerfully progenying. While you,’ Whinsome sighed ‘When everyone found out how adept you were at getting their secrets and manipulating behind the scenes but making the class mistake of boasting once,’ she knelt beside the girl currently in a magnificent sulk on her bed ‘Well no one trusted you to do things properly. You can’t treat the whole thing as a lark Rorie,’

‘Not supposed to call me that anymore,’ snuffled Aureyborealice ‘We’re not best friends. An’ you’re so mean. You let them shoot arrows into my bottom!’

‘That was only once and with a drugged dart when you first tried to escape by climbing over the garden wall. I told the royal guard they would have to find other ways to stop you as that practice would make you too sore and woozily in the head,’

‘Then they dropped a smelly ol’ net on me. And how did you train big sloppy dogs to chase me, catch me and lick my face senseless?’

‘You must stop trying to escape. Accept things as they are until everything settles down and then we can decide what is best. You won’t have to wait long. Vilfahengo has gone back over the border, well I know the border has edged a bit north but like the new nation of Rahsemindia, no one here really wanted those bits and amongst those native there the feeling was mutual,’

‘And my aunt has married Vilfahengo…… The Grumpy! My stupid brother has gone barbarian-‘

‘He merely defended his pregnant wife by correctly slaying usurpers and his Father-in-Law Gurt Broadsword is very pleased with him. He has been given a wedding present of his own tribe, the survivors of the attempted usurpation. They are now engaging in productive agriculture albeit in a trade of aphrodisiacs which the locals have been using for centuries. Very popular in the six kingdoms,’

Aureyborealice considered her slippers, she hated stupid curled up toes, she was sure Whinsome had made it mandatory she could only wear fluffy slippers with bells and curled up toes, you couldn’t sneak in those and there were limits to barefooting. She snuffled again and pouted. Sneaky Whinsome being nice to her.

‘Ohhhhhh Whinsome you are so clever and adapt. An’ folk pay you respect for that and because you can thwack with the staff anyone who attacks you,’ Aureyborealice pout turned to an a skewed hopeful smile ‘I know! I have a plan. You consume lots of those aphrodisiac plants your brother is growing, and I’ll ask my Aunt Frastreiayal if she can use her special powers, which you are bound to know about, to help you grow man bits and then,’ she sighed ‘I could have your babies,’

Whinsome had thought when Frastreiayal had written to her outlining just this very thing Aureyborealice might suggest, Whinsome had assumed the lady was indulging in some sardonic northern living-too-long-in-a-remote-castle-jest. As she massaged her nose between her thumb and finger she mentally apologised.

‘Rorie,’ she began with a sympathetic smile, which was taken the wrong way

‘Ooooh you agree!’

‘You see,’ Whinsome forged on ‘This is why I am queen and you are not. You have all these colourful ideas, some of which work but others are simply wacky-doodle,’

‘But I like man bits,’ protested Aureyborealice.

‘I will not ask for details of how you reached that judgement. Apart from the fact it is a load of goozlestrutzen of an idea, I do not wish to have man bits. I am perfectly content with my body as it is,’

‘But we are married!’ wailed Aureyborealice

Whinsome was beginning to wonder whether the dose of the something in the wine all those weeks ago had been a measure too strong and had lasting effects. There again there could be ‘something in the family’ after all. One had to consider just exactly what was in the crossbow bolt. Or mayhap the strain of keeping all of her plans in that busy head and having some go down the privy had unsettled Aureyborealice’s balance of judgement. And there was the chance it was a combination of the whole lot, for she had been so very astute at the onset, in a breezy ebullient sort of way.

Whinsome sat on the bed taking both of Aureyborealice’s hands in hers.

‘Now. On that subject. I wish you to listen very carefully and be very clever and grown-up as I know you can be,’ Aureyborealice sniffled again and nodded ‘You see there has been this issue between the nations of Hasselduff and Moochenmuch as to which one should ensure the safety and security of Turgidan estate of  The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One and they have been marching back and forth without actually fighting.  Thus The Arch-High Elect Doctrindoss did request them to gather for a solemn discourse. Since neither king, respectively being Strebvest (The Plain) and Clodgrop (The Mundane)  were not really enthusiastic about fighting only about financial gain they did with their nobles, captains, bishops and so forth to see what he had to say. On the field did Doctrindoss appear and,’ she took in a deep breath ‘Declared their current marriages null and void, say they should marry each other and unite the nations, he then declared this to be thus and walked back to his abode,’ she cleared her throat ‘Playing a jaunty tune on a tin whistle,’

‘Does that mean he has been declared not suitable to discern the word of The Supreme Being?’ trembled Aureyborealice, Whinsome nodded ‘And thus the marriages are null, void and never happened,’

‘Uh-huh,’ (must have been wacky-doodle for years- now there’s a lesson for us all- Whinsome thought unto herself)

At which juncture Aureyborealice burst into tears and Whinsome was obliged to hold her, patting her shoulder.

Thus not only was her foundation to rule in question because she had been recorded as supporting Removed Doctrindoss, at great theological length when others would claim he was certainly wacky-whooo-hoo-a-doodle, but she had a tearful and unhinged besotted princess possibly-contender-to-the-throne on her hands.

Whinsome definitely felt she was personally possessed of an uneasy head.

With a stupid crown that did not fit properly.

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VI

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XI

 

 

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XII

Pt XII… The Conflicts of Jolliness

Princess Aureyborealice slipped back behind the tree, softly tittering.

Aureyborealice,’ chided her aunt Lady Frastreiayal  of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng ‘I am sure throwing a soggy snowball at King Vilfahengo (The Iron) of Chilbin is not a move conducive to our enterprise,’

‘Dearest Aunt, he is a sour ol’ fizzog and deserves it. See how he glares about in all directions puzzled by an act of random frivolity. An arrow he would expect, it befits his rank. He will be more unsettled by a soggy snowball. For grim kings are not normally the targets of such missiles. It is when he is unsettled when he will be at his most vulnerable,’

Frastreiayal had to admit when you accepted the unconventional approach, her niece did have a certain point. And since as part of their revised and now joint plan Frastreiayal had caused the wet snow to fall thus delaying the advance of the army out of Chilbin she could not really complain if her niece chose to take an opportunity to spread her own form of planned mischief. What was equally unsettling was her niece’s earlier discernment of and resulting wheedling out an admission of Frastreiayal’s guilty little secret.

Frastreiayal had an attraction for Vilfahengo (Iron, King, Grim), in spite of his sour ol’ fizzog, although she preferred to think of his features as serious, reflective and a little careworn. She, having observed most of the male nobility of the six kingdoms from the vantage of her castle, had grown over the years attracted to his lack of frivolity, strength of purpose, reasonable amount of intelligence and his willingness to bathe his taut, muscular, scarred body regularly and thoroughly. Frastreiayal had had absolutely nothing to do with the death of his wife who used to go out bear hunting to calm down and thus work off the urge to murder her, (as she saw him), infuriating husband (their’s as you will recall was a lively marriage). On one jaunt in her exasperation to get away from the man she had not checked her favourite hunting snack of Chilbinian hard cheese for mould and this had been the cause of her demise.

Thus Frastreiayal‘s true plan had begun to work. With the resulting chaos at the wedding Vilfahengo had indeed marched south, as had the barbarians. The next stage would have been in the guise of Frizgrunstar Wylde Wyfe, Spouse of  Thugnnorran The God of a Thousand Peaks she would have encouraged the barbarians to rebel (in a smallish way) against Vilfahengo, which since he was committed to the south would have left him extended, a bit. She would have then appeared before him (in a revealing dress) in her true identity as The Lady Frastreiayal of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng offering to use her influence to stop the revolt, flip back and forth between identities, win the barbarians back to him while always wearing her revealing dress in his presence. Her niece, the annoyingly astute Aureyborealice, having deduced by the way her aunt went slightly  breathless when ever the subject of Vilfahengo turned up soon found out the plan.

She had said.

‘It has a good strategy dear aunt, but to be frank its execution lacks a certain dignity. You should know by now how the folk of Chilbin are notoriously sniffy and serious; their king being the most sniffiest ever. Flaunting yourself will serve to annoy him and make you look slightly trollopish. You must be your true self of dignity and poise at which you are magnificent. We shall meld our plans together, playing on the distain he has for Dingledong’s historic predilection for being jolly,’

Thus she had explained her ideas

Which was why they lurked on the edge of  snow heavy forest. And Aureyborealice with whispered glee said.

‘Now dear aunt, stalketh forth,’ nudging Frastreiayal out.

So stumbling a little, but recovering, turning to the forest and magnificently raising her cloak about her arms gesturing she cried out.

‘Away thee, fey creatures of mischief, shadow and confusion! Away thee I say!’

‘Ppbbbth!’ said Aureyborealice peeking from behind a tree, then as her aunt feigned a glare did her own feigning of fear and skipped away, squeaking.

For melodrama and stagecraft as an art it lacked a great deal, to a king whose army was held up by damp snow, some of which was dripping down his neck it had the desired effect. He strode over to Frastreiayal.

‘Lady! Art thee of these frivolous lands? What comes to pass(eth) here?’

‘Sir,’ she said, with all due poise and dignity ‘King Vilfahengo (The Iron) of Chilbin. Know ye thus, I am The Lady Frastreiayal of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng, come here to aid thee in thy enterprise and free these benighted lands of fey enchantments and mischiefs,’

Although Vilfahengo’s sole intention had been to march in a no-nonsense manner and knock some sense into these foolish folk then take the throne it had not even occurred to him there were fey enchantments and mischiefs; he did not want to seem unaware as it were, for he was a king of purpose and not a night-pot head like Genially.  Thus with a clearing of the throat and  slight bow, he said.

‘Lady. Thy reputation as scholar and sober possessor of knwoledge precedes thee and I do give thee some small thanks for thy aid. Let me escort thee to my encampment while thee explain unto me the fel grip within this land,’

From the cover of the trees Aureyborealice with hand to mouth stifled a little triumphant giggle and skipped away lightly o’er the snow. She would spread a few more tricks and bits of mischief and then in silly high voices say The Dread Lady Frastreiayal of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng had arrived and everyone had better scatter ‘cas she was mighty and would be fearful cross at them.

The rest would be up to Aunt Frastreiayal

Meanwhile she could get back home. With mother turning her back on the nation; her brother Frendlehanz captured by the flame haired and fiery Magnificalorin- thanks to intelligence of his location delivered from Aureyborealice by one of her messenger hawks; the miserable ol’ northwest now likely falling under Hulstorm’ s stern but dull and fayre rule, again thanks to several hawks to several folk and Whinsome ensconced as a reminder of who of the royal family was was still around she could journey back and take the throne; woe betide any cousins etc who tried to sneak in as she had several plans in those directions!

Though she didn’t quite have a plan for her titular brother-in-law Hanselfrendlesten. But she supposed he was having tremendous fun fighting those barbarians cluttering up the north of his own homelands and also making such a mess in Grunzelpratz so he would not be her problem, not for a while anyway.

It was a bit of a shame about Father, he hadn’t been such a bad old duffer. He should have fled to Trundlealong to garner support as she had intended. Let that be a lesson to all men who get into a severe huff when things do not go their way.

Those ‘natural’ children though, they would have to be told What was What and where to go, gold would help. There was a lot of gold, thanks to The Chancellor of The Exchequer’s activities over the years and of late with the burgeoning Lychee market. He might think she didn’t know just how much gold there was and that was because for all those years everyone had thought when she was not around she was just skipping and dancing in gardens and small woods, as opposed to moving deftly from Here to  There and teaching her many pets how to do her bidding. It had indeed been a very busy childhood, adolescence and of late exceptionally productive couple of years.

And it would be nice to see Whinsome again.

 

Whinsome was pacing. When you had to survey a map which was four times as long as you were tall and three times as wide, pacing was something of a necessity when making decisions which would have an impact on the ordinary folk living within the six kingdoms and if one was fayre also a lot of barbarians whose energies she was sure could be directed in more productive ways.

Upon the were a large number of flag stuck onto little bits of wood, each flag was part of a complex arrangement of kings, nobles, armies, areas of various types of production, religious affiliations, groups of common folk who thought they ought to be heard, and whether she liked it or not specifically Lychee potential.

‘It still looks a complete tangled mess,’ she said to the High Diplomat. ‘ Of course this is a bit old by weeks. Later news may change it. Yet waiting for the replies to sundered despatches is heavy burden,’

‘I fear it is Your Majesty,’ she could not remember when folk had started to call her ‘Your Majesty’, she had been so busy dealing with local matters. Those were on another map on another table. A map which was but twice her height in both length and width; there were less flags. This was because she had made it so. She had required a reputation, by degrees and not so much by planning or conniving but more by circumstance.

The first potentially  great challenge had been the arrival of one of Aureyborealice’s cousin without invite or request. This was Sipulsnoot, a fellow with an expression as if he had nettles up his nose he was followed by a small retinue of fashionable dressed young men all appearing to suffer from similar nasal encumbrances.

‘I am the male heir to the throne. ‘Tis mine,’ he said waving a fashionable sword in her direction. His timing was unfortunate, Whinsome had had little sleep the previous night, having read a box full of urgent papers, then while trying to catch up on other work had eaten her breakfast too quickly, thus had terrible indigestion and a headache.

‘Do you parents know you are here?’ she snapped looking up from a report on the Lychee trade which some clerk had carelessly slipped in. Whinsome had previously made it clear she didn’t care a snootle (a quite vulgar word) about the stupid trade and thus was even more annoyed.

‘Ha!’ he had said, not being one for intelligent replies ‘My presence here is enough,’

At this point she alighted from her throne picking up the clerical staff she had acquired a while back, rapped it on his hand, making him drop his sword, swiftly brought it up betwixt his legs, severely thwacked his knees and when he fell over addressed his hindquarters with several other thwacks which she personally felt should have been administered by his parent long ago.

‘Now go an’ take this wibbler here n’  swithezzle off… The ghunzstat lot of you!’ she told his smallish retinue who were currently picking him up and shocked to hear such language from a young woman of whom they had been told was shy, retiring and of modest speech.

What they did not know and those of her close and trusted were getting used to was that her brother and his friends when she was still of child years had allowed her to join in their boisterous games and taught her how to use stave, sword and knobbly club. She had also picked up the language they had picked up from the soldiers and lads of the stables. Her parents not being the most attentive after two years or so had eventually found out and  had had her partitioned off to be taught by religious folk, which she had accepted, if only to pass the time. She had not forgotten those more rough and tumble lessons though. To stop going insane at being droned at she had also learned how to sew, but having selected matronly types of ladies had missed out on the interesting things which passed between men and women, or men and men or women and women.

After the disposal of Sipulsnoot‘s attempted coup she had found when walking about the place when the staff over her shoulder folk who did  not have much contact with her treated her with respect, and when she smiled at them, they displayed much relief.

Apparently Sipulsnoots parents, the Duke Fusselbritches and Duchess Lacedoylee who had invested heavily in Lychees were so horrified by his actioned they had him placed in a tower to be lectured by the very dullest clerics and lawyers they could find. His retinue’s parents equally concerned over their profits from Lychee investments boxed ears, kicked bottoms and stopped allowances. Some of the lads were placed in smaller towers since their parents could  not afford tall ones and had old wise men from villages to come and ‘talk sense unto ee’. Others were put sent to the army, which didn’t want them and gave them unhappy tasks.

Whinsome was not told of the fate of these lads; she had told her court she couldn’t have cared a bovine hindquarter’s natural digestive produces, although she didn’t quite phrase it that way.

One day after a busy day of listening to and thence discussing with various meetings of common folk the best way to address social matters. and then duelling with the Chancellor of the Exchequer about funding she had just flumped down in a very comfy chair, to congratulate herself she had managed to wheedle three-quarters of what she wanted.

Then there came a cheerful ruckus and in breezed, sunny, smiling and somewhat travel stained Aureyborealice.

‘Hi dearest spouse!’ she trilled ‘I’m home!’

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XI

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IX

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

A Volume Completed. A Re-Write Commences.

Many folk do not like re-writes. For those of you who do not and for those of you on your first work and have heard nightmare stories about re-writes, please read on.

And for some a chance to say ‘Hah! Not Just Me Then’ 

Well I did it by Jove! On the 31st December 2019 at 6.37pm UK GMT I completed Volume 3 of the Precipice Dominions  Working Title ‘Daughters of the Hard Road‘. The work comprises some 200,000+ words.

And did I feel a sense of fulfillment? One of joy and completion?

Of course not! It’s the first draft. A collection of words redolent with plot-holes, inconsistencies and swerves in direction. Something which had started as escapade of rescuing someone from somewhere  then escorting them to somewhere else while battling all sort of assailants and treacheries against a backdrop of a fragmenting empire, ’round about word 75,000 lurched. Or maybe gently slid. I am not sure. Anyway suddenly one major character Karlyn is kidnapped by her own family, her now spouse Arketre is thrown into a military setting which became based on the Battle of Stalingrad with a smattering of betrayals and Trelli is pivoted into something which might have been based on a Greek or Nordic or Celtic adventure saga with attendant message. By word 125,000 (or so) all the attendant supporting cast are engaged in a Game of Thrones; Apocalypse Now; Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy mash-up.

Throughout this Karlyn has to deal with a dual identity, Trelli seems to spend most of her time trying to patch up everyone else’s mistakes while Arketre gathers her own devoted following and is complicit in a lot of deaths. Eventually a conclusion is reached with some measures of justice being dispensed here and there and our trio although safe and reasonably sound definitely not being hailed by a grateful empire, as it’s falling apart. And the whole thing is far too messy.

Yes, I know. 200, 000 words to say that???? Small wonder you say it is messy. Of course the re-write beckons. The re-write was positively screaming to be let lose, even with 30,000 words to go. That was not the time to undo things though. I would assert a writer can re-start a work too many times, eventually they will become discouraged and give up. Far better I reckon to forge ahead to a sort of conclusion, trying out ideas along the way and then….Yes! The re-write!! The blessed, long awaited re-write!!

I like re-writes. Aside from giving me a chance to repair the damage caused by a frenetic churning out of ideas which have nothing to do with the supposed continuity and also do something about the mischievous cyber-pixies who insert typos when you know for certain you typed it correctly…..’cause Microsoft Word is never wrong and always alert to help you out….yeah….write (sic). Then are also these important reasons:

  1. The Plot: Yes, it’s in there somewhere, I can definitely remember seeing somewhere around word 90,000, and it did surface again, briefly around 140,000. Once I find it, straighten it out check for plausibility (even in a fantasy novel some measure is required) then nuance everything around, it should not be too difficult to keep The Plot above water
  2. The Saga Continuity: As anyone writing vast sweeping fantasy series will tell you there is  nothing so embarrassing as finding a great big grating, grinding screech as when something from one book clashes with an interlude from a previous book. And I found one when innocently looking for the name of a very minor character. It is horrendous, like not just a whole princedom but affects an entire region. A veritable seismic event, but noted before publication….ah the blessed re-write.
  3. Opportunities knocks: When repairing other damage or ironing out kinks allows the introduction of little bits I forgot to put in when forging through from one event to another.
  4.  Writing When Not Concentrating:  Those ‘What was I thinking of when  wrote… thatinterludes. I find a great deal of satisfaction in removing those. Mind you, some of the larger ‘chunks’ might have a passage or two worth using later one. Thus before deleting I Copy & Paste them into a folder for future plundering.
  5.  Over use of one word/phrase:. You’ve met it haven’t you? In a book one author I admire had habit of having a principal character ‘chuckle’…..every chapter; since the character was a grim and hard-nosed type his ‘chuckle’ became irritating and I wondered whether it was a nervous thing. In my own work I am aware too many of my folk ‘know’ something or are wont to smile in various ways. There will be a need to Ctrl & F  then type in either ‘know’ or ‘smile’ and see how many entries can be removed and replaced.
  6.  Yessssss!: My wife has become used to me suddenly clutching my left fist and hissing out the word; signifying something worked really well. It has a cousin which is ‘Wow! Did I write that?’. Discovering these interludes are good for the writer’s soul. You all have them, they are sweet to encounter and serve to keep a writer going through those ‘other’ patches.

So, there is much to be done. I started on the 1st January and have been deleting, amended, copying and pasting, shifting chunks of dialogue about and all associated notions. It’s a Necessary, and it’s rather cool. Of course there is a problem, treating those important but very dull bits with the care and attention of all the exciting stuff.

Ahh, writing. Would we have it any other way?

The Song Had It Comin’

OK, this may have gone done ok in the smooth earlier 1960s and a little before….but these days…seriously “Wives And Lovers”

I mean, think on the lyrics

Anyway, in 2nd decade of the 21st century the song just begs new images

Hey, little girl, comb your hair, fix your make-up,Wives and Lovers makeup
soon he will open the door,
Wives and lover husband coming home
Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger, you needn’t try any more.
Wives and lovers exaspirated wife
For wives should always be lovers too,
Wives and lovers sleeping man
Wives and lovers exasperated-11451246
Run to his arms the moment that he comes home to you.Wives and lovers running to him 2
I’m warning you,
Wives and lovers stupid
Day after day, there are girls at the officeWives and lovers gangster girls at office
and the men will always be men,
Wives and lovers gormless men
Don’t stand him up, with your hair still in curlers,
Wives and lovers curlers
you may not see him again.
Wives and lovers happy woman
Wives should always be lovers too,
Wives and lovers housework
Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you.
Wives and lovers running to him
He’s almost here, hey, little girl, better wear something pretty,
Wives and lovers woman clothed
Something you wear to go to the city,
Wives and lovers clothes for the city
Dim all the lights, pour the wine,
Wives and lovers drinking
start the music,
wives and lovers music
time to get ready for love.
Tricycle 1
Time to get ready for love,
Wives and lovers-women-bored-in-bed
yes it’s time to get ready for love,
Sarcastic gif
It’s time to get ready, kick your shoes off, baby….,
Wives and lovers kick your shoes off

Thought For The Day…..

If you are in this state of mind……….

Plot Image 1

“I do like my computer, I trust Microsoft to do the very best for me with its upgrades and I think that every site especially Word Press, FaceBook , Yahoo, Google, and Amazon to name but a few have me, my mental welfare  and my experiences and a trouble free way of working uppermost in their minds.

I am content that in the future I will trust everything they do.”

Either you:

  1. Do not use your Computer very much. But soft
  2. Need to check the contents of those new vitamin pills you are taking. 1
  3.  Should stop using your device for a day or two and let the subliminal messages wear off. Tricycle 2
  4.  Could ask a good friend or near relative to use theirs on your behalf and not to pay attention to the language they use when doing so.sturm_drang3
  5.  Might consider relocating to a log cabin, remote cottage or abandoned lighthouse and living a simpler life.Processed with VSCO with b3 preset

Failing this you should ask someone to empty of bucket of ice-cold water over you so you come to your senses enabling you to do like the rest of us….. scream, swear and threaten physical violence

Melodrama

or

Barbarian Woman Warrior

upon the computer systems and sites sundered & various.

And never forget there is always the good old, dependable

Big Raspberry