Archive | July 2013

A cup of coffee or a work of art?

And i drink lots of coffee!

Street of Dreams

Indie AuthorshipI ran across this image a few weeks ago, and won’t lie the impact was remarkable. Maybe it’s my frame of mind, as I am about to endeavor into the unknown abyss of indie authorship,or maybe it is the sinking realization that I, as an author, am awful at supporting my fellow authors, either way I find myself pondering how I spend my money.

Everyday I  piddle away tiny amounts of change, a candy bar at the store or an ugly blazer at Goodwill, that I’m pretty sure I have to have…but what does it really buy me? Bigger hips and less space in my closet.

And yet, when I explore my Nook,  I find a book that I want to buy, but talk myself out of it because I don’t need to waste the money…..

Imagine, instead if I bought a book for my Nook. I buy (hopefully) hours…

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More tales of Michael the spurred (part four)

Being hit by Boris caused the mast to fall down on Michael‘s boat, but Princess saved herself (her claws were very sharp) so that was all right. The giant squid agreed to tow them back to the harbour, providing Michael untied his arms, which of course he did. On the way to the harbour they passed close to the racing-green turtle (leaving it to starboard, as you do) with the Siren sitting on its back.
The Siren made a small snorting noise when she looked at Michael, followed by a weak almost-giggle, followed by a burst of unmistakable SINGING! Her face became red, animated and totally un-Siren like for a moment at the sight of Michael’s squid-ink splattered countenance. (whew that was close, she was nearly turned into a Goldfish!) Michael thought she sang quite nicely, but was too worried about his boat to pay much heed.
At the harbour entrance there was panic at the sight of the giant squid with its arms wrapped around a boat and it took Michael some time to convince the Mayor that all was well. (the locals were rather deaf as they stuffed wax into their ears to guard against the Siren) When all was explained, and they understood that the giant squid wanted to get away from the singing Siren (and motorboats) and would live with Michael and Princess everyone was overjoyed. (and the Mayor declared a Fiesta!)
Some weeks later, when Michael had set up as a specialist Olive Bread Baker in a little house just out of town, (with a grotto in the garden for the squid) the Mayor sent one of his daughters to see the house was kept neat and tidy. Now it must be admitted that Michael the spurred had a particular problem with holes in his socks, so he was grateful for her help. Also the mayor’s daughter had this habit of lifting up her waist length hair, when the day was hot, revealing a perfect nape to her neck! So, what with the abundance of fresh fish for Princes and the endless supply of delicious olives, they all lived happily ever after. (even Boris) THE END

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Chill fingers fumble
Finding port cold sailors sleep
Through east wind starlight.

Small red light between
Intermittent black waves to
Forbid returning.

Abandoned nets
Reported drifting Southwest
Engine running hot.

Night passage

Night Passage

Listen to the engine beat, whisper of the wake
strain the eye and black of night
deny, a vision of the sea or sky.

Rush with sail aloft to catch each breath,
the creak of rope and block, all other sounds
disguise, except the angry rock and waves demise.

Blinded by the rain, mesmerised by lights
seen red or green, sometimes they fade
yet seem, to guide us through an endless shade.

Dawn shall come, and sleeping gulls arise
take wing, to skim the waves and
bring, a message to the naked land.

Pity the Landsman in his crumpled bed
of down, he does not know the nature of the
sound, that freshly minted sky and sea, compound.

From ‘Water’ Rising at,

More tales of Michael the spurred (part three)

Michael and the Siren, part three 

When Michael the spurred asked about olives they all waved their hands about and pointed in different directions, shouting all the louder! One thing seemed clear however; nearby there was a damsel sitting on a rock (or something like that?) who had a long tale. Back home in the dark winter months all the Knights would gather in the great hall of the castle and listen to the Story Teller (for there was not much else to do) so Michael was keen on hearing long tales. (he was also a bad speller!)
All was going well, and the intrepid olive hunters were nearing the rock when a Giant Squid with a headache started to climb aboard their boat. Now dragons were something Michael could deal with and sea dragons were no different, so after some slight problem getting his helmet on (it was rusty) battle commenced. The fight was hot and furious (Princess climbed the mast and twitched her tail) and the squid had this frightful habit of spitting black ink, as well as having too many arms. But eventually Michael remembered his evening classes on how to tie sailors knots and began to rolling-hitch the squid’s arms together.
“I say, said the squid, that’s a tad unfair”
“Sorry, said Michael, but so is spitting, just look at the state of my sword!”
“Well all right, said the squid, I suppose I can see your point, lets stop this anyhow my headache is getting worse.”
“Oh dear, said Michael, what caused it?”
“It’s that idiot in a powerboat, said the squid, him and the Siren singing.” (it is not very well known, but squids are musically challenged)
Just then the roaring noise which had been getting louder became ear-splitting and a fast silver powerboat careened into the side of their craft.
It was Boris!
He had been doing so well, showing off to the Siren and taking her for a ride. Now squinting at his instruments with his right eye (wrong one!) he could just make out a gratifying speed of 22 knots! Then looking ahead with his left eye there seemed to be something in the water?

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SWORD OF ICTIS (After the Fall, book 2 )

On the Southern borders of the Great Marsh, life moves at its accustomed pace. Twice in every day the slow implacable fingers of brackish water reach far inland over the drowned farms and villages.
To the West, at the mouths of the many tributaries that drain into the delta, razor-leafed reeds higher than a man sing their metallic song in the fresh sea breezes. Further offshore the seas break and endless wave-scoured beaches guard the shoreline from trespass, with quicksand and riptide.
Away from the coast the landscape waxes benevolent under a ripening sun. It is a fertile and beautiful land, full of plump wildfowl on mirrored pools and murmurous with birdsong and the lazy hum of insects.

Hallivick Baddon patted the sweating neck of his midnight-black stallion and gazed over the salt marsh. Screwing up his hooded eyes against the unseasonable heat-haze that danced and shimmered he tried to get a hint of detail in those far blue hills. The humid air twisted and distorted the images, beguiling his imagination, but nothing was certain.
A cold rivulet trickled down Hal’s spine, despite the sticky heat of the day and with an inward shudder he turned his grim mount away from the deceptive landscape and back toward the cluster of crude huts that was the summer camp of the marsh-men.

Hal rode brooding and erect, clad in a loose fitting shirt and trousers with his killing sword hung across his back. The black and grey cloak, trademark of a temple swordsman, lay in folds behind his saddle.
While the horse moved easily, soundless except for the muffled creak of leather and occasional spatter of iron shod hooves in the mire, Hal dwelt on the dream that had plagued him these past months since the massacre at Truda.
In the dream that increasingly fretted his self-disciplined mind it was evening. Stagnant pools reflected the pink and blue of sunset on their still waters. A pale shape drifted close to the surface, surrounded by weed and straggles of hair. The face of the drowned man looked indignant, surprised at its fate. A bubble of gas burst from the parted lips and the body sank quietly into the turbid depths, the delicate ripples fading away to pink and blue stillness once more.
In the faint blue distance, hills seemed to float like islands out of the trackless marsh. Behind those indistinct outlying fingers, a more distant line of hills formed the first ramparts that even in a dream state Hallivick had recognised as the Northlands. This was where his mission for Abbot Veryan must take him. What troubled him was that the face under water in his dream was his own.

More tales of Micheal the spurred, part two

Michael and the Siren (part two)

Her expression was a combination of smug and haughty , as befits a Siren. (It is not well known but any Siren who is seen to grin, laugh, pull silly faces and so on, is banished at once and can only come back as a goldfish)
Now on that day, a tall Knight with a trim beard and flowing golden locks came by, mounted on his silver powerboat. (the low thruuum of the turbocharged engines made the Sirens tummy go delightfully squiggly, but of course the expression on her face didn’t change)
The Knight, who’s name was Boris, drove with great flair and a certain difficulty as his gratuitously long foredeck was almost out of sight. It must be admitted that Boris was short-sighted and so vain he refused to wear anything but ‘Raybans’ but he did have some new contact lenses. A long range one for his right eye and a short range one for his left! (remember that, it’s important!)
However, what with the delicious noise of the engine and the giant foaming waves of the wake as Boris drove around the turtle in extravagant circles, the Siren was quite enchanted and agreed to go for a ride.

Now Michael the spurred had not been idle and unknown to his friends he had been taking sailing lessons. (unfortunately these didn’t include navigation, but this was not to matter as we shall see) He had saved up enough from chocolate muffin sales to buy a small boat. So, one fine day, when the wind was in the right direction Michael and Princess, who had agreed to come because of all the fish, (but not the Dragon who was now too fat and sleepy) set off to find the perfect olive. After some small problems, the type of which effect all sailors (chain mail rusting and sword getting in the way while sail changing) they arrived at the Mediterranean and asked some locals the way to the perfect olive. Now it happened that these friendly people were difficult to understand, for reasons that will become clear. They spent a lot of time standing very close to each other and shouting, although seemingly with good humour.

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