Thursday, August 26, 2010


I am posting a rather lengthy synopsis on The Synopsis Page. Would love feedback.

It is a work in progress and I'm also reworking Gathering of Rain into two volumes, each standalone- the synopsis, therefore, will change if I'm happy with what I achieve...will post updates...

The Divergent Path

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost


I have posted about this before, but right now my frame of mind tells me it's time for a good old moan again. And the gripe is: when do writers actually write if they (me) spend so much time on exposure? Log into all the sites we try and maintain in the name of 'exposure', spend some time on each in the hope of a magical solution to the publishing conundrum, and then go away to write? Is that how we do it? NO. We get bogged down! And by the time we sit down to some work, the creative spark is fizzling away.

If anyone out there knows of a way to post in one place and have it appear on all our sites, please let me know. Would love to do it once only!

Moan over...time to click the publish button and get on with writing....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tales from the Path of Shades

This is the current avatar for Tales on Facebook. The link to 'LIKE' and follow updates is in the righthand column. Go on, click!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


And the saga continues with...

...N is for NELLY.

LOL! You know how when you have to spell a word over the phone using other words? Yep, N for Nelly every time!


...just to prove I do know ‘bigger’ words!

...P is for POPPET.

Hello, Poppet! Can’t have a crucible without a Poppet. Never have I known someone so creative, clever and filled with energy and drive. Through everything life can throw at us- thanks for being an inspiration.

...Q is for QUERY.

The bane of writers! Query, query, query...argh, enough said.

...R is for RELAX.

Particularly relevant after sending a query out, ha ha! Have to force a state of relaxation upon the mind when waiting. Does one ever get used to it? I think even the Steven Kings of the world must wonder if the new book is good enough for public consumption...oh, to be a Steven King...

...S is for SPIDER.

Yep, spider, not Steven! Why spider? I don’t know if any of you fellow (ex?) Authonomites remember the Pet Hates thread in the forum- well, Jeff Blackmer (hello Jeff!) revealed an incident in the shower with a spider as watcher...I still laugh about that! (probably because it’s happened to me)

...T is for T.V.



I could get very philosophical here, but won’t bore you. Suffice to say, understanding of self (and therefore our creativity) is of paramount importance.

...V is for VISTA.

No, not the operating system! Great spaces and views, the kind that fit into epics, whether movies, books, poems or, simply, what they eye beholds. Very special, IMHO...

...W is for WIMPLE.

Couldn’t think of another word in my sleep-starved state!

...X is for XYLOPHONE.

Because that’s the one we used in school for X!!!!!!!!!!!!

...Y is for YES.

‘Yes, we would love to publish your book.’

...Z is for ZEBRA.

Again, a blank, and thus relied on that school alphabet! Don’t know if you had something different for Z; I grew up in Africa...and zebra it was and probably still is.

That fills the crucible...and ends a virtual wander in the dark. Hope you had fun reading!

Just to relate this to Path of Shades, here’s a list of ABC’s to whet your appetite:
A is for ARCANA (‘Those who came before’)
B is for BEACON (a city-world)
C is for CALTIAN (a dragon slayer)
D is for DINOR (a race and a world)
E is for EPHNOR (almost sentient birds that make music with their feet)
F is for FUMA (a Deorc mind-delver)
G is for GALILAN (capital city of Valaris)
H is for HALARI (an academic and teacher)
I is for IGNATIUS (member of the Kaval)
J is for JIMINI (member of the Kaval)
K is for KALLANON (the Glittering Darkness, commonly known as Dragons)
L is for LUVANOR (the Valleur sister world)
M is for Margus (the Darak Or)
N is for NATURALISTS (pagan cult on Valaris)
P is for PHORLAN (Valleur word for ‘crossroad’)
Q is for QUILLA (feathered magician)
R is for REDLEF (month of autumn)
S is for SIRLASIN (a Valleur Elder)
U is for ULTRAIN (Torrullin’s innkeeper reincarnation)
V is for VALLORIN (Valleur king)
W is for WIXEL (a site guardian on Beacon)
(if you read carefully, you’ll note there are 3 letters missing...ah, well)

All the best

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Page 100 - Shadowland

Torrullin waved understanding and headed that way.
Coming upon her from different angles, they found Lowen giggling with a bunch of women ranging in age from ten to eighty. Barring the young, the women were fortifying themselves against the cold with some stiff drinks. She saw Elianas first and patted a space beside her. He sat, accepted a drink and was soon the centre of attention and fending off some bold gropes.
Torrullin, watching unobtrusively, smiled. Elianas seemed suddenly younger, more innocent…like the young boy he had once been. Lowen’s, however, was an almost desperate gaiety. His smile slipped, looking at her.
Once he turned his back on Saska for this woman, and now he was doing the same to her for Elianas…then again, the precedent with Elianas existed in a time that was ages old.
Enchanter, where the hell are you?
At the lake, Quilla. We found her.

This place is a madhouse.
Just then a cheer was raised. A team of skaters had taken honours. Lowen looked up and saw him. Leaning over Elianas, she whispered something, and then stood up to make her way unsteadily to him. She virtually fell into his arms, and he was disappointed when she caught her balance in time. A moment later Elianas had laughingly excused himself and followed her over.
‘Lowen, having fun?’
‘Two days ago they just started packing it in,’ she laughed.
Torrullin looked around. ‘Skating competitions, angling, marathons, skiing, hiking, sailing…who’d have thought Valaris would be so popular?’
Elianas had a regretful look. ‘A beautiful world. I’ve never been here as myself.’
‘We could take a tour,’ Torrullin suggested.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Page 100 - Sacred Space

‘It is connected. All intelligence will form a picture that Torrullin will use to pin-point an entrance time.’
She sighed. ‘It just occurred to me how easy it would be for the two of them to stay lost out there.’
‘No. Torrullin has made promises he intends to keep. He’ll be back.’
‘Then I wish she stays lost,’ Saska muttered. She threw her hands in the air in horror. ‘Ignore that. He’ll never return to me if she stays lost…and I don’t wish such a fate on her.’
They walked on in silence.

Eventually they entered a chamber that had the look of a farmhouse kitchen, one used frequently by the aromas. A big central workspace held dishes and fresh vegetables. A woodstove further back had a boiling pot of something extraordinarily aromatic- a meat stew of some kind, said Declan’s nose, and his stomach rumbled. Copper pots and pans hung from hooks, as did bundles of herbs. A large basin and counter contained all manner of clean crockery and cutlery. It was a working kitchen, and welcomed him like a prodigal son.
Saska grinned at his expression. ‘Caballa’s special and there’s bound to be enough.’
‘Thank you, Lady Goddess,’ Declan said fervently.
‘She’s probably through there.’ Saska pointed out a sunny herb garden beyond the kitchen and beyond that a sitting room beckoned with comfort.
Declan frowned, squinting. ‘I thought it was just the two of you.’ He could see far more than one form moving in the sitting room.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010


I’m a restless sleeper. Twitchy leg syndrome (if there is such a thing) tends to keep me awake and aware for a fair while...if hubby’s snoring doesn’t! When I do fall asleep, however, it’s the oblivion of the truly exhausted, truly dead or truly drunk- an ‘event’ of epic proportions would probably completely pass me by!

To get to my point: picture this: in bed, all quiet, can’t sleep, start thinking. Feel familiar? Start ‘writing’ in my mind. Compose whole books that way...and forget most of it in the morning. Also familiar?

The upshot is THE ALPHABET CRUCIBLE...and I thought I’d share it with you. If hubby, kids, friends, neighbours...and the neighbours’ cat...allows enough time to sit down and do so...

Read/like all, some, little or none of it, doesn’t matter- nothing serious here!

Let’s kick the crucible off with A is for ATTENTION.

Attention to detail? Argh, not now, not in this. No edits, no structure, just rambling thoughts. Still, hope I have your attention, because...


Baloney makes me thing of pink lunch meat and Blarney puts me in mind of the Blarney Stone in Ireland. A Scottish friend asked me a while back if I kissed the Blarney Stone on my travels around the Emerald Isle and I have to admit I didn’t. Wonder now if I would have...hanging out from a hole in a castle wall to kiss a place thousands have left their mark on? Not certain, not at all certain, no.

Now, bullshit: one can write epics. From the actual bull’s shit to the great lies folk tell. Best to toss it into...

...C is for CRUCIBLE, that melting pot that transforms something and something into something else.

Have to smile as I write that. Not only does it make little sense, but while laying in bed and ‘writing’ this I almost chose some other succinct words for C (ruder ones!)...not certain how deeply that would shock you, though. Use your imagination and while you’re at it, consider...

...D is for D***...ha ha ha ha ha!

What exactly are you thinking now??? D is for DOLL! (if someone ever dares calling me ‘doll’, be warned). I’m amazed by how many four letter words I can come up with in a few seconds- damn, dirt, dent- so it’s your mind that’s on a tangent, not mine! In keeping with one-track-mind here...

...E is for, no, meant EXOTIC! Did too!

Exotic places, exotic names, exotic foods, exotic flowers...the word ‘exotic’ ever conjures tropical, doesn’t it? Is that continuing bias from history, when ships sailed from cold lands sailed into humid ports to discover something exotic? Or do we still today consider tropical lands as new and strange? Maybe. And maybe not.

Personally I’m not big on the tropics- too many bugs and snakes and stuff. My hair frizzes in humidity...and that is to be avoided at all costs!

...F is for FORMALITY.

We use it all the time. Even here, writing to you. No one really knows another, not in everyday life and not across the spaces between us. We choose our words in much the way we choose the format for a manuscript. Why are we so afraid to be ourselves, honestly, truly ourselves? We believe we can achieve that in our writing, but even there we are bound by certain ‘rules’...and thus something is lost. It can be as innocuous as an editor requesting a certain sentence be removed. This may not be a big thing and may even cause greater flow in the tale, and yet...what if that particular string of words actually revealed the real you? (just saying, as Absolution would say!)

Fine, way too serious...let’s lighten it some...

...G is for GURU.

I’m sorry, but the first image that comes to mind is a crazy monkey dancing in a white skirt...heaven knows why! Next to mind is Ghandi...NO, I’M NOT COMPARING GHANDI TO A MONKEY! If you think that, you’re the one in trouble!

(I know I had something extraordinary to say about the concept ‘guru’, but now, the day after, can’t remember...must have snoozed a bit after G...)


Alliteration out of hand...because it’s...well, because...don’t need a reason.

...I is for INK.

This puts me in mind of the days before I owned a computer. Much longhand on scrap paper because the writing bug had bitten. Lots of coffee, then and now and always!

...J is for JELLYBEANS.

When the coffee gets too much, jellybeans are a great substitute! No one here likes the black ones...and thus I end up with a host of them. Of course, that depends on...

...K is for KLEPTOMANIA...the jellybean thieves!

...L is for LAW...which I cannot seem to lay down to the sweet stealers!

...M is for MUSE.

Laying in the dark, this seemed an obvious choice for M...and now has me stumped. Again (strange how the mind works), I have forgotten my great exposition on the word ‘muse’. Of course, there’s a lot to say, but I want to remain true to the night-time creative spurt and not now attempt to say something I didn’t think then. ( it had something to do with Poppet and her muse...)

And that’s the first 13 in the crucible. Tune in later for part 2!

Having fun with this