I am participating in the Orangeberry Summer Splash blog tour to promote The Spiral Tattoo, which is somewhat funny for me being in winter. Anyway this guest post will be appearing on a number of blogs soon…
Tradition is the cord that binds the fabric of society…
“What are you writing Elanore?” I asked as I flew into her kitchen through the window.
“A short treatise on tradition,” Elanore replied.
“Why?” I asked setting down on the table and glancing at the neat handwriting on the page before her.
“The answer to that my friend as that he requires it.” Elanore carefully dipped the quill in the ink pot, the feather held firmly in her clawed hand.
“Who requires it?”
“Him,” she said and arched her great bushy black eyebrow at me.
“O Him,” I said and sat down next to the page. “What does he want?”
“He requires that I write what tradition means to me.”
“How far have you got then?”
“Tradition is the cord that binds the fabric of society together as a homogenous whole,” she read from the page.
“That’s an interesting point of view for a Troll to have,” I said. “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather play a game of dice.”
“I would rather be sewing my new dress however needs must,” Elanore said. “Now if will excuse me I need to finish this.”
“All right don’t get your leathers in a twist,” I said leaping from the table and darted out the window as behind me the sound of quill scribbling on paper filled the kitchen.
Tradition is the cord that binds the fabric of society together in a homogeneous whole. All cultures and folk within the lands have strong traditions that they hold to. Even my more simple cousins amongst the Trolls hold strongly to tradition. Otherwise the clans would fracture into anarchy.
That being said, there is room to challenge traditions. Tradition would have had me killed as a young cub, my body left to feed the vultures. I cannot say that I am upset my grandfather chose to overturn and ignore that tradition. Yet he instilled in me a strong respect for tradition. This conflict had formed a great part of the conflict that has informed my formative years.
Now, as I sit here, tradition means strength and cohesion, it also means restrictions and bondage and fear. The battle in the mind and within society is to respect those traditions that can still have meaning and help hold us together, while challenging those that are wrong without upsetting the balance of society.
Elanore Fursk, Corporal, Delvenport Guard.
It has been a while since I last updated everyone.
Mainly I have been struck by a case of writers block. Nothing has been working and progress on stories has been very slow.
The third Elanore and Gurt is way behind on where it should be, and I have started a Steampunk novel which has promise if I could get beyond chapter one.
On a positive note The Oaks Grove, Elanore and Gurt two has arrived in my inbox after being edited. I am now busy editing and taking on board the suggestions. I have high hopes that the process will kick start the writing again
My plan is to get the edits back to the publisher by the end of the week. It should mean that the story should be available on AMazon by the end of May. Almost a year since The Spiral Tattoo came out. That’s a lot later than I hoped but these things happen.
I received the following email spam. It is the best spam ever. I mean ignore the really bad English just enjoy the movie plot story!
Greetings! After reading your profile you left in a penpal site I decided to write you to seek for your hand in marriage arrangement, so I request that you give me your humble audience and response after reading my message.
I am Miss Monalisa Wahgan, I’m 20 yrs old, I am a medical student my father DR. WAHGAN FESCO is a very wealthy man but he has no son to inherite his wealth, so he took it as fate and love me with passion.
Two years ago my father told me to get married so that he can entrust his wealth and empire to my husband before he die but I told him not to speak of death now and beside that I want to further my education and graduate as a medical doctor before I get married, but he kept persuading me with the topic, the pressure gets too much that I decided to stay away from home for a whole year; when I came back he still raised the topic but this time there’s a son of a minister whom they had arranged for me but I told him that love is all that matters in marriage so I bluntantly refused because I don’t love the guy though I don’t know his reasons for me getting married.
So, one friday morning after having breakfast with our parents they drove out to see a family friend and to my utmost surprise I was contacted an hour later by a doctor telling me that our parents were involved in a car accident and were hospitalised, I couldn’t believe my ear but I managed to go, getting there I found my dear parents on the hospital bed, my mother died instantly while my father was lying helplessly bearly to speak, it was the begining of our tragedy.
I was dumb founded, couldn’t say a word, but my father held my hand and told me that our uncle was behind the accident that he has been trying to kill him to claim his wealth since has no son, that’s why he has been asking me to get married, it was then that I understood. He also said that we should not quarrel over his empire with our uncle else he will kill us, but that he has already secured our future through some shares he bought with a finance firm on our behalf two years ago during the financial crises.
Therefore, he adviced me to be strong and take good care of my sister and he also said that the share worth thousands of dollars and that before the finance firm can release the shares to us that I must get married, that it is only my husband that can claim it on our behalf because that was his instruction to the firm.
After the statement he breathed his last and died too, leaving me and my sister in this wicked world, and just two months after their burial our uncle took over the whole empire that our parents left behind, as if that is not enough he sent some guys to kill us but they had pity on us and ask us to run away never to return back, that is how we left our country.
Now, since I don’t have any man in my life and I will also want to marry for love and respect I am requesting that you help me claim the share by marrying me then after claiming the shares we will divorce and everybody will go his and her own way, I will also compensate you with 15% of the total shares when everything is over.
Note: If you want to help us I want you to do it willingly from your heart if it so pleases you. I expect your immediate response. Thanks for taking your time, Miss Monalisa Wahgan
What I wanted to send in reply but didn’t
I am greatly moved by the tragedy of your tale. Indeed I would give up any claim of the 15% of your wealth just so you can be free of your evil uncle.
Unfortunately I am already married. While I would divorce my wife so as to help you I can’t. You see she keeps me locked in a cupboard and only lets me out for good behaviour. When not chained to the kitchen stove I must clean the floor with my tongue and then iron her giant underwear which can take up to two hours due to its vast volume.
As you can see I am dire straights, but perhaps you could see it in your heart to send me a picture and maybe a small cash donation to help me escape the vile clutches of the wicked wife of the west.
(The Wicked Wife of the West wishes to claim editorial rights over and creative copyright especially with regards to her giant undies)
I have had a couple of reviews placed on Amazon for The Spiral Tattoo suggesting that I need a map of the city. Now I would have happily obliged and I have at various points hand drawn maps, and looked for some free piece of software to help me draw a map. But nothing has worked well enough for me to put up here or pass to the publishers to include in the story.
My lovely partner has suggested that I run a competition. Send me your best map of Delvenport and I will, ummm, get it included in the next version? Include your name in the next book? Send you a free copy of The Oaks Grove when it comes out?
So I need advice. What can I use on no budget to produce a good map? Or what would be a good prize for a competition?
While I am putting this out as the first in a series of book reviews, in many ways it is more a reflection than a review. So in one sense I must apologise in advance if I segue from the matter at hand to my own writing.
There are many motivations for writing a review. Mostly people like a story and want to share what they like with others. My motivation is partially this, but also to reflect on what I liked in the writing and how I can use that to better my own writing.
So, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The movie is coming out and is touted as the “Franchise” for the next couple of years to replace Harry Potter and Twilight. I can certainly see why they would be saying that. The trailer looks good and after reading the first book I can see why it has caught many people’s attention.
The central thesis of the story is not entirely new. In a dystopian world a game is played in front of a TV audience where the contestants fight to the death to be the victor. Two others that spring to mind are both stories written by Stephen King under his Richard Bachman pseudonym; The Running Man and The Long Walk.
In The Hunger Games our central Character is Katniss Everdeen who along with Peeta are selected from their district to fight in the Hunger Games, the mechanism that the Capitol keeps control of their subject districts.
I thought the writing was in the most part very well done. I read the book quickly and was reluctant to put it down. There were a couple of jarring notes. The ease with which the children killed each other jarred a little for me. I am not sure the full impact was really felt. It is something to bear in mind about motivations and reactions.
That being said the scene where Rue is killed and Katniss’s response had me snivelling and getting strange looks from the kids. It was an emotionally strong scene, which is something I have difficulty writing. It is difficult to achieve that without it being forced.
I also found some of the flashbacks a bit disjointed. I was jolted out of the books at points where I suddenly realised I was in flashback without knowing it. I don’t use flashbacks much in my writing , but if I do that is something I must watch.
One thing that I did like, and which I try for in my own writing, is that the story could be self contained. At the end, while there are questions that need answering, and you want to know what happens next, you can still have a sense of completion. It has confirmed for me, that if I write a trilogy, I want each story in it to be complete in itself. I am beginning to dislike series where you have to read all three to get a sense of completion. I blame Robert Jordan for that.
I would give The Hunger Games a rating of four out of five. Which means for me I would re-read, I will read the others in the series, and I would buy if I saw it and it was a good deal. It is not a compulsory addition to my shelves.
Last Friday, for one day only, we gave away copies of The Spiral Tattoo for free on Amazon. This was a big success with over 850 copies being downloaded. Not only that, but there has been an onflow to sales with The Spiral Tattoo consistently sitting at its highest ranking in the Amazon Charts for several days now.
Thank you to everyone who spread the word, and I hope all of you who downloaded the story enjoy it!
This year I want to have more content up on this site. I have a plan, but it isn’t a cunning plan.
I have decided to write two regular posts; a book review and a discussion on writing.
Every week I will be posting a book review. The idea is not only to discuss books that I like, but in an effort to improve my craft, to look and what works in that book so I can apply that to my own writing. I will be rating books out of five, with five being “must have on shelf, comfort reading, will re-read often”, four being “will re-read but not a go to book”, and three being “good, will read others by author but won’t hunt out”. I won’t review books I would rate as one or two, as if I don’t like them enough to give a three, I don’t want to waste my time reviewing. Harsh but there you go.
A little less regularly I will post on some aspect of writing. Not that I will be saying I am a font of wisdom or knowledge, rather this will be a me putting my thinking down as I work through various aspects of the writing craft. I could do that internally but as a writer it would benefit me to write it down.