Sludge Time. Squelch On Through. Revisited

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

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

I begin.

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

Somethings need to be warned about.

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

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

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

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

Despair can set in

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

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

Why do I bother writing??

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So back to do, unknown, doubtful and weary.

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

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

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

But you cannot, will not stop. For myriad reasons

Not you The Writer.

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

And I will celebrate for you.

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

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

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

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

Always Write. For it is in your nature


You Can Never Predict Your Audience.

Good day to you fellow writers, and bloggers.

Those who write stories are also readers, bloggers and sometimes reviewers. A few very astute ones are also positive mentors and constructive advisors. These are various identities within one person; each slightly different, although sometimes merging. My reviewer identity is generally a sober and reflective person.

Thus they write to you:

Hello everyone. Something about the writer and blogger I share a head with. After living with them for all these 68 years I have to conclude their main influences in writing and blogging is not any other writer but one of the three musicians

Frank Zappa 

Captain Beefheart


I issue this salutary warning for new writers lest you might think the following this is the true and only way. Those who are following this blog are free to shake their heads and smile indulgently.

Here we go then….

Extract from Of Patchwork Warriors. Volume One of The Precipice Dominions

          From her vantage point Trelli had overheard a moving and a whispering in the warehouse. She had the oddest of ideas she was being tracked by two women, which was a surprise, though of what sort females she was not too sure. There were rumours of very merciless Devoteds, kept for special and extraordinary circumstances. However these were not striding vengefully the way she had expected ruthless trackers to behave. She was trying her very best to think of the next move. Stuck hunched and scrunched was very uncomfortable. Yet maybe, just maybe if she stayed ever so still. They just might go away.


          Everything of Trelli firstly jolted, then seemed to spin; but finally, for her own survival and self-respect finally clenched. This episode couldn’t have lasted very long, because when she peered down between her legs and the stairs, there was a face, topped with a brimmed hat and framed in blonde hair was regarding her, moonlight and unsettling firelight revealing a light friendly smile. They were speaking in one of those easy-going hengestatian accents.

          ‘Hello,’ Trelli always felt good manners cost nothing, even when being hunted down ‘Might I ask your business here, please? This is the warehouse of my employer,’

          They both flinched as another projectile screamed overheard; Trelli felt it was a comfort, Beritt winced, she was a soldier fer frib’s sake! She ordered herself to be more composed.

          ‘Truth be known. I think it’s you I may be more concerned about. Y’see I’m in the Imperial LifeGuard. Medician Arketre Beritt,’ she doffed her hat ‘I am engaged in seeking out someone who may be distressed by matters outside of their control. You being all scrunched up in a blanket seem to fit the description,’

She hoped her little speech was sufficient unto the cause; a sort of similar had worked with Bleymore.

          To her relief, the figure sunk back with a sigh.

          ‘You’ve not come to torture and burn me?’ Trellis did feel a bit of goose for blurting out that, but all in all she was not inclined to rational thought. The soldier, let out a soft laugh, shaking her head.

          ‘Good Lord God’s Mercy no!’ she shook the bag at her side ‘Medician, y’see. I heal things. I care for folk,’

          ‘And if that doesn’t work. You got me to contend with girly,’

          Beritt winced and groaned, just when she was starting to get somewhere there came Karlyn crawling up the stairs like a bad-tempered tomcat.

          ‘Karlyn I-‘

          ‘I’m with the custodians see. We got you cornered. Give up now. You’re nicked girly!’

          Trelli looked quickly to Beritt. Although the soldier’s scowl was not directed at her; this was small comfort as the nasty one with the cold elidian accent crept closer, something in a bag dangling from a string in one hand, a fearsome sword in another and the iron staff insignia dangling from her right ear?

          ‘Rein in Karlyn willya!! The girl’s scared out her socks!!’

          ‘They look secure to me Flaxi!!’

          ‘Please excuse my associate,’ Beritt drawled conversationally ‘When her mother was carrying her, the poor lady was bitten by a rabid squirrel,’

          Humour did not help, Trelli began to back up the stairs, Karlyn advanced.

          ‘I got her Flaxi. Now you just sit tight. This is my work. I can smell the whychery so strong!! And you! Lurky pants! Stop dithering! Raise your hands and slither down here all controlled,’ Karlyn waved the bag ‘One sly move and you get a mouthful of this, and it,’ she slavered with relish ‘Burns!!’

          Trelli didn’t see how she had any options left, the little ‘hengy’ was being nice but down there, while the nasty ‘’Lidian was here and getting closer! She had to do something to stop the advance.

          Karlyn was not really surprised the whytchie had suddenly pulled off the gloves and waved her hands about, with all sorts of red and blue colours appearing. She was a bit perplexed at the display being all soft and rather nice-looking, like one of the festival displays. They should be all thunder and lightning stuff. Must be a trick.

          ‘Now you just stop there!!’ Trelli tried to imagine the nasty girl was a sort of Wigran ‘I got powers!! And you just be careful, or you’ll get them!!’

          ‘I wouldn’t do that!’ Beritt called up ‘My associate is not inclined to be reasonable! Whatcha name.’ Beritt hoped those words might calm the girl down; there was a bombardment going on; Karlyn was doing her mad-dog act, and here was a girl waving rainbows. ‘And y’all hold still there Karlyn!!’

          ‘T-Trelli!’ came back the stammering cry to Beritt’s question ‘An’ you get back ‘lidian! You’ve no business crawling in here frightening people who are bothered enough as it is! Why don’t you leave your friend to help me!’

          The colours began to rapidly shift between red and blue, Karlyn was certain she could see sparks dancing between the fingers; this was surely building up to some sort of stormihiggle attack, and poor dear Flaxi would get fried or frazzled if she didn’t act now.

          And thus leapt…..

End of extract…..

On a whim while exiled from WP (I’ve never, ever gonna let that go!) I joined a Facebook group focusing on Fantasy writing. They seemed a generally harmless crew and on another whim I decided to post up the above, just to gauge feedback…..

This is what I got:

          Perhaps it’s just me but it all feels a little bit confusing. Within the first paragraph, I am already utterly lost. The bit about smelling “Whychery so strong” to me makes no sense as something that an actual person would say. The line “She slavered with relish.” actually made me think of a person drooling burger relish and resulted in me saying “What?” outloud. As it continues, it just made me more baffled because the whole thing reads a little like a person who doesn’t really understand the rules of grammar or human speech. Sorry if it sounds rude, I just can’t really make sense of it so it is difficult for me to give balanced feedback with good and bad points. My overall impression is that you tried to write in a similar style to The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll and it didn’t really work out.


Now my first response was ‘are you reading my post?’

But the second was ‘huh-huh’

Someone else also said as I had published this already, they, nay demanded to know what I hope to get out of this…

To which I replied ‘Nothing much. Just putting it out there to see where it floats. Just curious I guess’

An answer guaranteed to infuriate some folk.

Fishing for Sympathy Are We?


Now the reason for my posting this interlude is as an observation or warning, call it what you will. Experienced writers will no doubt have learned this already, but for those of you starting out, this is a certainty:

You can write with all due diligence, you can (as you should) re-write and re-write. You can call in very good beta-readers and even get yourself a recommended editor (make sure they are recommended, anyone can ‘say’ they are an editor). You can get your work published, sell some and even garner good reviews.


There will always be those who

Don’t ‘get it’

Are offended

Are living in a world where they are a ‘kritik’

All will let you know their negative views. And it being a sad fact of human nature you will be inclined to pay more attention to them that the majority of good comments.

The last two you can do nothing about (Unless it happens on Facebook where you annoy them by making a display of not being upset and making bland comments such. ‘If you feel that way’ or ‘Huh-huh’).

As for the ‘I don’t get it’. This is something which you will have to accept is going to happen time and time again. People are different in their tastes and perspectives. Even if they like the genre you are writing in, they will have ideas and notions as to how this should be formulated and if yours doesn’t fit their perspective, they will say so. Your style of writing might not suit them, your formulation of plot, your interaction of characters. And so forth.

This is how it is.

But what do I do? You say.

You write your own way.

If you are looking to make a living from writing you will obviously have to nuance and research a great deal to ensure your creativity can reach the audience you are seeking out. As I have written before I am not the person you should look to for guidance here.

If you are as I am, just writing…because. Then you can do no more than make sure your work is not exceptionally sloppy in presentation, does not contain Hate or Intolerance, and has a capacity to entertain not infuriate the reader. (Confusion is an debateable option, since Life is confusing….Note to self…write a post on Confusion….).

In short write. Write and write again. No two folk are going to interact completely. It is not your responsibility as a writer to try to ensure every possible little niche is filled to every reader…They have to catch up at times…that’s their responsibility. (Works both ways)


Foot note:

I drifted from that FB group. Not because I was in a huff about my post, that was the risk. It was just there were too many folk being intense about telling other folk how in great detail they should write. That’s not their responsibility. Too tightly coiled for my tastes. Writers need freedom to work. The nuancing comes in the pre-publishing time.

Write dear people. Write.


Inspiration…The “Wow! Where Did THAT Come From” factor



This post contains comments and statements which some people may find offensive, even shocking.

Whimsey 5

“How dare he?”


“Don’t complicate the issue my darling,”


Sorry to disappoint but that does not mean obscenities or remarks concerning or describing intimate Human physical interactions.

170816142101-john-kelly-reaction-president-trump-speech-orig-alee-00000110 Hmmphh…cop-out

(Nor a guest appearance by Miss Flirty Singles).

Flirty Singles

Introducing Miss Singles


Willya  with Topic already!!Portrait Angry older man screaming on white background


OK then.



There are many forms, some we know will fire us up and we use them, although we should use them in moderation lest we wear them out as a source. Not that a walk in Nature’s bounty will ever wear old, but sometimes can be a beautiful distraction and totally destroy the grim mood you were setting yourself into the right ‘that challenging’ piece.

And there are times when some just do not work. The new ones you wish to try out. The ones you think will be certainties to get you in a mood.

One of the ten thousand which did work.

Working on the third in the series ‘The Precipice Dominions’     Website

The Precipice Dominions


in which the politics of various major players (but minor characters) are to play a big part. I thought to myself. ‘I need to get into the vibe here. I need to subsume myself in the literary way this is done. Yes I’ve read factual histories political and military and know how things can go but translating that into a fictional narrative which is interesting to read…..Errrrrr….not so much’

I know what I need, says I need to check out ‘Game of Thrones’ again, all that actions and dirty double dealing. Not to try and imitate the style but just get the sniff of the atmosphere. And there was the problem.



I don’t like the books. I find them……



Hear him the *%’&! out!!


I have tried to read them, I have tried to listen to them on audio book and still end up muttering ‘Get on with it!’

Yeah. OK. So complain to someone. Contact WP and state there’s someone out there who is definitely wired all wrong. Either that or he is little read, hardly known writer and as such as sour a month old lemon left out in a damp summer (thought of that one myself)….

Don’t care. Can’t help it. Not my scene.

BUT…says I…

Watch the TV series says I, maybe you need to see moving images (NO! Not the naked ladies, already. I’m 68 fer pity’s sake! Nothing new there and hormones an’t what they used to be! Anyway it’s all like….clump-clump onto centre stage- pause take off clothes-flaunt-flaunt-flaunt….Yeah-yeah). Now where wuz I? Oh yeah watch the series….I started. Then the DVD player broke. I got a new one. I started watching something else. Never felt the need to find out exactly how Sean Bean got shoved off the mortal coil. Nor what his sons, daughters (did he have daughters?) and other folk got up to. And another DVD set gets put to one side for another day…..

Like Zero-Inspiration.

Back at The BOOK.

Writing. You know when you get into the muddy part. When the fertile ground of your muse gets inundated with a downpour of Life which turns all that creativity into a sludge you find yourself plodding through. There I was, plod, plod, plod. Necessary back-story. That blasted polly-tiks bit…..Oh yeah and get the villains into three dimensional beings…..Pfffffffff-fFFFFIT like all that hard slog man!!

Then whilst in a supermarket I chanced upon a stock of the Supergirl/Arrow/Flash series 1 sets brand new and at reduced prices. Someone in marketing somewhere had a wheeze. Marvel films were doing so well, so let’s get on the bandwagon with the very successful ‘Arrowverse’ collection of series Arrowverse An Explanation

I’d tried all three before, didn’t click and thus sold them. This time, maybe because they were cheap (£7 in UK money), give Supergirl a second chance; my older daughter and her two liked it…Ah what the frib!Supergirl

This is not stellar TV in terms of drama. You couldn’t truly say it is spectacle. There’s not the grit of the lamented Netflix ‘Daredevil’ ‘Luke Cage’ or ‘Jessica Jones’ series. If you watched ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ or ‘Smallville’, you’ll get the idea what these are about. However at this stage in my writing and general viewing habits, there was action, clever lines, lots of personal interaction, in fact just the sort of ingredients I had been forgetting. My own narrative, plots, and characters were nothing like those encountered in ‘Supergirl’, mine do not stop off in mid-fight to discuss moral issues with a villain, and yet the whole layout did jog my muse, and anyway when riled Supergirl is quite vicious in a set to.(like Arketre Beritt…..see ‘Precipice Dominions’ )

It occurred to me, I had been looking in the wrong direction, instead of ploughing through stuff I thought I should have been producing I should have been concentrating on the themes the other books worked with. Basically ‘How does the person down the ladder deals with all of this?’ and ‘How do the actions of a few small folk affect things at the top?’. A quite unrelated TV series brought me back on track. And set in line a whole new train of thought about the three central characters and the world they live in. Suddenly I was thinking, ‘Think of The Heroes here’; ‘think of the air they breathe’ ‘think of their world’……’Just how dangerous is that environment to the supposed villains who are invading it’.’Turn the usual theme of the evil stoppable hordes, sweeping all before them on its head’……Hey! I’m out of the sludge. The sunshine of Inspiration is warming up the ground again. I can move.


Never mind the fact that this writer can’t get on with the ‘Game of Thrones’ world in any shape or form. Don’t reflect on a guy in his late 60s watching super-hero TV series. That’s not the point here. The issue we are dealing with, is:

You never know where, when or how inspiration will come along and fire you up. When it does grab the feeling and hold it tight and close.

Keep on writing people. Make me proud.