Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Through the eyes of children

When adults look at a patch of dandelions, they see a bunch of weeds about to take over the yard.
Kids see flowers for mom and blowing white fluff to wish upon.

When adults look at an old drunk and he smiles at them, they see a smelly, dirty person who probably wants money and they look away.
Kids see someone smiling at them and smile back.

When adults hear music they love, they know they can’t carry a tune and don’t have much rhythm and thus sit self-consciously and listen.
Kids feel the beat and move to it. They sing the words, if they don’t know them, they make up their own.

When adults feel the wind on their faces, they brace against it. They feel it messing up their hair and pulling them back as they walk.
Kids close their eyes, spread their arms and fly with it until they fall to the ground laughing.

When adults see a puddle they step around it. They see muddy shoes and dirty carpets.
Kids sit in it. They see dams to build, rivers to cross and worms to play with.

Are we given kids to learn from? Enjoy the little things in life!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Last day, hurry now...!

Final day of ebook week, final day of specials across all my books. Come on grab your copies now. And then take time out somewhere quiet...and enjoy!
All book links here


Friday, March 9, 2012

Flash Friday: 'They're coming...'

Varelie screamed and bolted from her warm bed into her father’s lap. He was snatched from sleep in the armchair nearby first by her scream and then awakened fully by her frantic struggles.
‘Varelie, hush, love,’ he murmured, wrapping her into his warmth. ‘A dream, sweet...’
‘It’s burning!’ she shouted in her high-pitched tones, squirming away from the embrace. ‘Daddy, it will all burn!’
Dante stared at his daughter.
‘They’re coming!’ she screamed.
There was a crash in the outer chamber...and a loud cackle. Every atom of Dante’s blood froze in terror.
‘Hide,’ Varelie whispered in his ear.
It was already too late for that. He rose swiftly and set her down. Pushing her back towards the bed, he said: ‘You must hide, Varelie, right now. Quick, under!’ He drew his sword as she slid out of sight. ‘Quiet now, hear?’ Dante drew breath. ‘Sweetheart, when you can do so safely, run...’
And then it was too late for that also.
They came.

From Gathering of Rain, available free right now! Find it here on Smashwords 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The journey is different for all of us

Imagine a room in an old house converted into a classroom for two pupils and their teacher. Imagine a makeshift bookshelf (had to be makeshift- too many books!), maps on the walls, a huge green chalkboard. See ‘A for Apple’ ‘B for Ball’ etc above the board, and know how it was. In this environment of learning and teaching (I homeschooled my two youngest), with a view over green lawns at my back, a apple orchard beyond that and the mountains that hemmed our valley, I one afternoon pulled a book closer...flipped it open.

It was a dictionary of terms and the subject was Alchemy (personal interest, not a subject for teaching). Came across a list, the requirements for enlightenment, transcendence, the journey to the ultimate elixir...and the proverbial light bulb flashed on in my head. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. Here, something whispered, is your tale. This is how you launch it. (Understand, the story was already there, a prompt received from another source, but not the launching of know how it is- you know what to say but not how to start.)

In those days we had no computer, not even a typewriter. Didn’t matter. On the back of old documents, on various colours, lined and unlined, using cheap pen after cheap pen (and crayon, pencil, whatever) the concept for Tales from the Path of Shades was born. The first novel was massive (maybe it just appeared massive, given the different paper!).

Not long after someone gifted me a manual typewriter. Had to learn typing fast (wanted to get it looking more ‘professional’)...two fingers, though, because the machine didn’t allow for subtle touch- no, it was a banger! The only way to get a key to make a mark on the paper was to bang it in- thus one finger each hand. (A habit I’m still trying to unlearn. No longer bang keys, but most often use only two fingers, especially when typing according to thought, not edit) Strangely, despite a pile of neat paper forming on my desk, a massive novel got bigger! More went in, the nuances overlooked when scribbling by hand.

And then the computer entered. And Word. And that changed all. After the learning process (um, how do you witch this thing on?) the massive novel that had grown a fair bit entered digital format...and, boy, got even bigger! However, digital is great, isn’t it? Could take bits out and put them elsewhere. Could cut, trim, add, reduce, flesh out...amazing.

Still the book was too big. A doorstopper no one would publish. It had a name by then, but that didn’t make it marketable. Never mind, I told myself, go on writing, the tale is not yet finished. And thus the second novel...and another...and another....


Anyhow, folks, that’s how it began. The original and massive first novel has morphed into four volumes. For the full experience read them as a set: Gathering of Rain, House of Valla, Darak Fallen and Ancient Fire: to discover how Rain (our complicated MC) is gathered by forces weird and wonderful to become Torrullin, a man approaching something akin to godhood...but a ‘god’ with many faults....

And then delve into Glittering Darkness to discover what happens next...don’t stop there!

And drop me a note, comment, line with your thoughts. Writers thrive on feedback after all!

Tales from the Path of Shades:

5.       Glittering Darkness
6.       Lumin Kindred
7.       Walker of Realms
8.       Animated Spirit – coming soon to Smashwords
9.       Sacred Space
10.   Avior’s Door
11.   Time’s Timekeeper
12.   Sirens in Stone –currently working on volumes 11 & 12, bringing all threads together.

March 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

EBook Week - here's where to find me...

My Smashwords profile page:

Shadow and Sage - ALWAYS FREE

Shadow and Sage I & II free as ever! Check them out here:

Gathering of Rain FREE during ebook week!

Gathering of Rain Free during eBook Week (4-10 March) on Smashwords! Your code is REW75 and your links is

Volume I of Tales from the Path of Shades

House of Valla for this week's special!

House of Valla (Vol2  Tales from the Path of Shades) available for 50% off! Your code is REW50

Darak Fallen for 50off!

Darak Fallen (Vol3 Tales from the Path of Shades) available for 50% less. Your code is REW50

Ancient Fire discounted for ebook week!

Ancient Fire (Vol4 Tales from the Path of Shades) available at 50% less. Your code is REW50

Glittering Darkness for ebook week...

Glittering Darkness (Vol5 Tales from the Path of Shades) now available for 25% off. This a big book, folks! Your code is REW25 and your link is

Lumin Kindred (EBook Week!)

Lumin Kindred (Vol6 Tales from the Path of Shades) at 25off. Code for checkout is REW25

Walker of Realms (Ebook Week's special)

Walker of Realms (Vol7 Tales from the Path of Shades) at 50% less. Opinion is that this volume could be the best so far...but you’d have to read the others to agree or disagree! Your code is REW50

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Of paths

Let It Go

Let it go,
Let it out,
Let it all unravel:
Let it free
And it will be
A path on which to travel.

The Path to Your Door

The path to your door
Is the path within,
Is made by animals,
Is lined by thorns,
Is stained with wine,
Is lit by the lamp of sorrowful dreams,
Is washed with joy,
Is swept by grief,
Is blessed by the lonely traffic of art,
Is known by heart,
Is known by prayer,
Is always strange,
The path to your door.

How to Get There 

Go to the end of the path until you get to the gate.

Go through the gate and head straight out towards the horizon.

Keep going towards the horizon.

Sit down and have a rest every now and again,
But keep going, just keep with it.

Keep on going as far as you can.

That’s how you get there.

CURLY VERSE – Michael Leunig