And Books 5 Came

As always, meant to do this sooner. As always, claim to myself I will get back into blogging properly. But hey, new year ahead. I can make the lie to myself all over again 🙂

Anyway, Book 5 and Book 5.1 of Treading Twisted Lines happened during my absence from doll thermometer. I’ve updated the Treading Twisted section on here, anyway, so there’s stuff up about them there. Hope you have a look, a read, add on Goodreads, review, and all the nice things, should you choose. Thought I should say something, as I plan to have Book 6 out in January 🙂

Book 5 is Trials of the Gods’ Hands – here’s it’s lovely cover. I about flipped out when Nathan Cover Designer first showed me 🙂

Trials of the Gods Hands 01

Gifted mind reader Samson prays for some way to aid his blessed, but ailing friend. His prayers at last answered, the young priest struggles to combat the near inevitable: but for a miracle, Kai will be hospitalised, or ordered into his abusive father’s care, by a court bound to act in his best interests. His own prospects so slim, Samson offers all he is for Kai. But even that may not save him.

Book 5.1 is Trials of the Gods’ Hands: The Grid. You will note both name and cover are quite similar. Book 5.1 was the original Book 5, but it didn’t quite work in my head on its own. Still, I wanted to share everything that happened with Kai during this time, so decided to release an extension to the book. This is hopefully the one instance where it’s best to read both to get a full idea of what’s going on.

Trials of the Gods Hands The Grid 01

Never self-assured in his life and forced before a panel of doctors, Kai struggles to save himself from a future worse than death. But though the court-appointed experts mean him no harm, Kai’s father has sneaked an antagonist into the private interview. And that antagonist has teeth.

As always, available for US$0.99 from all the nice book places – Amazon, Smashwords, Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo eBooks and so on. Links are on the Treading Twisted Lines page if you’d like to click. Mean to do a general 2015 updates post soon. But may wind up getting distracted – I often do. But this isn’t as hard as I always seem to make myself think. So maybe I’ll have the motivation in 2016 to get more into it – I’m marginally more active over at Tumblr, if anyone’s interested in having a look there. And by active, I mean reblogging pictures of books, tea and flowers. That’s pretty much it. I’m not very good at internet-ing anywhere. But here’s to slogging on!

The False Angel and the White Knife: a novel excerpt in an Inkitt contest

Greetings lovely people 🙂

Not expecting many to lift their hand at this salutation – I’ve been gone too long for that, unable to keep up with blogging here at my faithful doll thermometer, attempting other forms of blogging/social media, etcetera. Nevertheless, I hope to still pop things up from time to time – when I put Book #4 of the Treading Twisted Lines series up for pre-release, for one. Should be reasonably soon, I hope. Almost through the last trudge of the final edit. Can’t bring myself to work on it right now, though – just finished Den Patrick’s “The Boy Who Wept Blood”, and I’m having trouble maintaining my composure. Needless to say, difficult to focus with tears streaming. However, there is something I’ve done recently I’d like to share … otherwise I probably wouldn’t be here 🙂 I suppose that’s so with blogging in general, whether long absent or not.

I recently followed the Twitter account of a writing community called Inkitt, and soon after received an invitation to participate in the contest they’re currently holding. It’s called Echo of Another World, held in honour of Terry Pratchett. I wondered a while if I could finish and enter a short story/novelette I’ve had in mind, but concluded I would not have the time to do the story justice. However, the rules indicate that novel excerpts are welcome. So, after a little thought, I spent a few days editing/reworking two chapters from my first novel – the ridiculously long one that no unpublished writer could ever hope to traditionally publish. I nervously popped it up on the site yesterday.

The cover image is awful – text over a Paint-adjusted free image. I am so far from an artist it’s sad.

The excerpt is called “The False Angel and the White Knife”, chapters eight and nine of the presently fourty-four chapter novel, and comes in at roughly 12,000 words. So, roughly, you’d probably estimate the whole thing might be around 264,000 words. Sadly, you’d be wrong – I know for a fact it’s over 400,000.

Sigh.

In any case, I’d love it if anyone wanted to read my work and let me know what they think. Also, it’s community voting to determine the finalists, so, if you do like it, a vote would be very much appreciated. Vaguely hoping someone with their foot in publishing’s door might magically spot it and see potential. Aren’t hopes lovely 🙂

You can have a look at “The False Angel and the White Knife” at http://www.inkitt.com/stories/13054.

And now, here’s the 200-character or less summary that I hope entices you to have a look:

“A scorned leader of a zealously religious and racist people, the Mirror-to-be uncertainly performs a brutal ceremony on capture of a hated False Angel, whose soul is fused with another’s, far away.”

A New Look and Hopefully a New Attempt to Create Some Kind of Schedule Here

Lookit – pretty new theme. Nice and simple. Took a long time to choose…

In addition to this visual remodel, this blog’s content needs a bit of a remodel, as well. And, when I say remodel, I mean actually release content in a vaguely consistent and predictable manner as once used to be the case.

So, current plan:

Sundays: post a randomly generated scene, a picture in 100 words or a Balderdash (or any other format I can think of – been tossing around an idea for a while tentatively titled the other-other archetypes)

Tuesdays: post some meek attempt at poetry or a six-word story

Thursdays: post the next album piece

Any days (if at all): post random, chatty, observational posts

I don’t think I’ve explained the album pieces at all… I meant to get right into it last year with Genesis, but, as you might have seen, I only wound up writing the next one, Salt In The Wounds, the other day. Basically, I choose an album – I’ve started with Pendulum’s Immersion – really good album; you should have a listen, if you’ve not heard it. For each song on that album, in order, I shall create a short piece written while listening to that song on repeat, the word count taken from the length of the song – for example, Salt In The Wounds is six minutes 39 seconds on the album, therefore, I wrote a piece 639 words long.

I think these will have to be considered a little like art pieces… all in the name of writing practice. I’m trying to link the songs on the album with similar ideas (a bit like an ultra-short story cycle, I suppose) and by ending them the same way, however silly it may seem. I may try something different with the next album – the current plan is to write for The Jezabels’ album Prisoner next.

So let’s see if I can stick to this proposed scheduled. Most likely not… at least, not at the rate I’ve been blogging recently. I should probably try to use transport time for planning instead of just staring into space…

Still Very Little Of The Blogginess

Excepting when I’ve been far away from any computer for an extended period of time, I think this has been the longest time I’ve been so seriously without the blogginess. At least on other writing fronts things are starting to look a bit better.

The other day while riding the bus and walking the rest of the way to work, I planned an entire Treading Twisted Lines story – shall probably be number 6 or 7. I had to stop in the middle of the path and just stand there for 10 minutes or so to record as much as I could on my smaller iDevice.  This story came from wanting to give the Four Free Areas its own dominant fast food chain and the observation that there were a lot more bugs around than usual that morning. I’m liking how it flowed so easily – much more like how I wrote the first three, not like how I’m still struggling with number 4. The day after that, I expanded on the basic idea of another Treading Twisted Lines story – I’m not sure whereabouts it’ll be in the series. Probably not too far away. I should probably write the ones that I actually know, first.

On another note, as this year’s NaNoWriMo approaches – I’m probably not going to participate, with work playing havoc with my writing as it is – I’ve dug out last year’s effort – Pulp Runner, if you remember – and am putting it through a harsh, split-screen, re-type edit. It needs it, unfortunately. I need to re-work the ending and thread more references to it and the villain character (if he can be called that – a rather pathetic villain, really) throughout, not to mention simplify the protagonist’s internal dilemmas. Well, not simplify as such. Just convey them more simply. Or better. Just better.

Will probably have to put the first novel through a similar split-screen, re-type edit, but decided to do Pulp Runner first – it’s much shorter and I’m a coward. Been putting stuff together in bits and pieces for Behind Glass, as well, and a story I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned on the doll thermometer, before. I’ll call it Leonard, here. Originally he was being entirely handwritten as something to keep me occupied at school in Japan when I wasn’t given any work, but I’ve just about decided to shift back to typing and use the rest of his notebook for planning.

Shall aim to write a randomly generated scene in the next week – it’ll be my first free weekend in what probably isn’t forever, but quite feels like it, at the moment.

Most exciting news that I think I forgot to mention in the gloom of upcoming elections and the misery of the aftermath:  I sent inquiry letters re Missing Exhibit to a few literary agents and one of them requested to see the first 30 pages. She’s had them for a few weeks, now. I’m keeping as many phalanges crossed as I can and freaking out every time I check my phone for emails during work, hoping that she asks to see the rest. But I’m feeling pretty good, even if she decides she doesn’t want to represent me 🙂 If I got past the first stage once, I can do it again.

So. There’s a good, long waffle on about not really very much. I’ll try to do better. I don’t know if I’ll be able to blog again the way I did in the beginning, though. I could just go on about anything, hopefully in a vaguely interesting fashion. Sadly, I don’t think I’ve grown particularly as a blogger as of yet, unless it’s more lazy. I’ll try to figure out a new posting routine. Soon. Maybe that’ll help.

If anyone has any tips for keeping their blogs going strong when feeling quite swamped, feel free to instruct me in your wise ways 🙂

A Say in Politics/Pressure

And now, a randomly generated scene …

The first, in fact, not generated by random words, but by actual events. Yesterday was weird.

I feel a disclaimer might be in order for those who know something about Australian politics:  I like the outgoing PM; I like the incoming PM. I don’t really know how to feel about the situation, apart from the mildly nauseating anger as to certain issues that were involved, however distantly (some might claim) in the outgoing PM’s departure. This scene did not spring directly from their drama. Rather, it developed from the general focus on politics.

I’ve definitely gone with a certain style here and made a few grammatical choices; I’m not sure how it’ll come across. Suggestions always welcome.

And before vanishing below the picture, I’d like to throw out a bit of admiration and respect to two incredible political women:  the one in Canberra and the one in Texas.

Phone

‘Are you going to do something? You have to!’

The numbers counted up, skewing to the right – far too much skew. The pie charts and bar graphs grew more and more complicated, the experts more excited. The ticker was in a frenzy trying to keep up; results from across the state poured into election offices to be frantically compiled and conveyed to stressed news producers. Supporters chanted and waved on respective screen quarters, cheering whenever another seat was snatched. And MacGyver’s deceitful smile on the right grew steadily more smug. On the left was Tellman, unwavering in her values and as stoic as a wronged rhinoceros, defiant to the end.

‘You are going to do something, aren’t you?’

Shannon asked again, thinking Casey too absorbed to have heard; Casey’s chair was pulled close to the screen, the volume turned high. But Casey had heard.

‘What can I do? I’ve had my say. We all have.’

For all it had been worth.

‘We are not smart enough to weed twisted creeds and falsehoods from pretty speeches. Either that or we benefit from and fund the lies. And you can do something.’

Raucous applause and self-righteous screams from five thousand voices and ten thousand hands to the right. Another seat was theirs.

‘Come on,’ Shannon urged. Shannon’s knuckles were white and cold as though touched by winter. Shannon gripped a phone tight, encouraging Tellman’s troops and firing barbed messages through the fray at MacGyver’s. It was war across the state. ‘You could take control of this. You must have thought about it.’

‘Not my call.’

‘He’ll make that same call on a million people if you don’t do it to him.’

Casey repeated listlessly. ‘Not my call.’

Shannon tried to reason with Casey. ‘It’s not like it’d take an explosion. Just one little aneurysm. No one will ever know. He deserves it.’

Casey had thought about it, of course. It was impossible not to when Casey wanted so badly to act. But what would an aneurysm solve? Tellman was still losing; she would lose. If Casey stepped up on MacGyver’s imminent victory, though the mourning period would be long, the right-hand successor would step in before MacGyver was even in the ground. Those millions souls would still suffer.

It was too late.

‘No one will know,’ Shannon was still saying, the screen focused on pasty faces at Tellman’s community headquarters, their shoulders slumped, signs dangling by their sides and lips long-since drooped and morose. ‘People will think the pressure got to him.’

The pressure. That would certainly be what got to him, if Casey had a real say.

The numbers were now skewed so far it was a wonder the television studio hadn’t toppled.

‘She’s going to congratulate him!’ Tellman took up a phone even as Shannon and a million more sent message after useless message imploring she stop. ‘Casey, please!’

But it was too late. Too late to solve this mess. Too late to save a million souls from the man who had campaigned for and by their fate.

No, not a man. It was evil who sat to the right of the television screen, whose phone now rang.

Casey’s eyes blurred with pixels, so near the television. Casey’s gut wrenched, stomach acids boiled, lungs blew cyclones into being. Casey’s heart burned.

Even as he lifted the phone to his ear and greeted his opponent with courtesy so insincere, MacGyver’s eyes widened. He winced, and touched two tentative fingers to his left temple.

He wasn’t the only one feeling the pressure.

P.T.O.S: Syndrome, Outreach Service or Patent Society?

This is winter in Brisbane. Why is it so cold in my house in the mornings?

Time for Balderdash 🙂 Remember, no Googling until you’ve had a good guess at the answer. This one might be a little easier than some others, I think.

And now, let’s play Balderdash…

Category: Acronyms

P.T.O.S.

a) Post Trauma Oscillating Syndrome

b) Perplexed Teenagers’ Outreach Service

c) Patent and Trademark Office Society