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Photos from Death Unto Darkness


Also, do my Odyssey playing Roman chums have room in their group/country/thing for a little me? I'm thinkin of something like an attendant or priestess/anything except a philosopher really. Ta.

What I Done Did at the Weekend

I went to play this http://www.deathuntodarkness.org/ At Consall scout camp http://www.consallscoutcamp.co.uk/ It’s lovely, it’s very hilly, but it’s lovely. Saturday morning I woke up to see frolicking wabits, one of whom was black. (A touch of the Mirkwoods about the place.)

Until I got there I didn’t realise how much I needed a break: The book launch had gone to shit due to a screw up by Kindle (s’ok now though). Initially we didn’t know that the problem was at the Kindle end, and I left with E on the phone to mi publisher as they tried to work out what the blazes had gone wrong. Combined with a couple of other issues, I was not the happiest of bunnies. I was also tired because I still ended up making kit the night before the event. Why Gods of larp? Why must it always be so? *weeps*

I was persuaded to go to DuD by my friend Fi, or the Force of Nature as I like to call her. She got me when I was…*coughs* in my cups. Her dad was in the navy, and she’s from Portsmouth, so I ‘spose I’m lucky I didn’t wake up on a Man-O-War somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

The group background was penal legion, which made me giggle like a child, obvs. (Hur, hur she said penal). I didn't know the chap who came up with it, (Ben) but I thought, what the heck?
Anywho, Shenanigins ensued.

Upshot was that I had a blast. I caught up with peeps I hadn’t seen since Maelstrom, which was lovely, and I met lots of smashing new peeps. The thing that struck me was how friendly the crew and players were, and how everyone worked together to make gud game. I’m not struck on the rules, but there were quite a few moments of seriously awesome rp. In fact, on reflection, pretty much the whole event was ropelay tastic.
I am now physically very broken.
I am told there will be photos, for once and I'm cringing as i write this, I did not hide from t'camera. I think given another 30 or 40 years I might actually get into this 'having your picture taken thing'. I of course reserve the right to cry like a baby when I see my ugly mug on the DuD gallery.

Happy, Sad, Fish...?!

I want an interrobang on my keyboard, not least because it sums up my default setting almost perfectly. We're all born dazed and confused by our surroundings, some of us maintain that state throughout our lives. Anywho.

Went to London to talk word turkey yesterday. The village by the muddy estuary set out to prove my grumpiness unfounded as even the Apple i temple/store couldn't annoy me. Had a nice-ish Thai meal, talked book stuff, then went for a very quick arf in an O'Niells down by Liberty.(We lamented that we lacked time to catch up with Londonites at this point as we could have settled in for a reet good sesh). The pub and surroundings felt very Secret World;) The pub was not thronged, the ale pleasantly cool, the streets not too busy; t'was grand. The train back was packed up until B'ham Intl. Airport, where the Brazillians and their, alas, screaming baby, got off. Tired bunnies staggerted into bed at 3-ish:(

Good news is that a temple of geeky-nerdiness in London is prolly gonna be stocking mi book (hurray!) and I got mi first (possibly last!:) review for The Red Knight. It made me smile. He grokked my book. It's here anyways, http://www.theeloquentpage.co.uk/

I've got a shed load of real work to do:( *And* kit to sort for this weekend when I'm off to Death Unto Darkness. I am rather stoked about this as I have heard gud about the game, and of course, one gets to hang out with lovely peeps. This weekend not only sees the book's Erelease, and larp shinanigins, but also mi Dad's birthday, something that keeps, like now, provoking foolish attacks of eyesnot. He's the only person in my family I would have wanted to tell about my book (and in fairness, the only one who would give a rat's anyway;), and he's not here.

The Red Knight release...thingy

The book is getting its E release on the 27th of this month, print to follow...when it's printed I suppose. Anywho, pretty picture...for a given value there of.

The Red Knight. My novel, by me.

It’s about a knight WHAT IS A CHICK. And a spy WHAT IS A BLOKE. See what I did there? *shrugs* Whatever.

I have used you, my friends. I have used you, and history, and the news, and politics, and those funny thoughts you get at 3 in the morning when sleep just won’t come. I’ve used madness — my own and that of others, I’ve used loss, and I’ve used humour. I’ve smushed all this braindough together over the period of… gods, must be eight years or so. I’ve wrapped feelings in armour, and called a dream a dragon. I’ve turned thoughts into swords and I’ve hacked at beautiful ideas with clumsy prose and uncouth words. Hey, I tried.

And I hate it. And I love it. I won’t lie — I think it could be better, but I initially set myself ridiculous goals: to flip the gender script, (I did this, I am happy with this), to only use certain words, themes, colours, allusions. What a dick! I hear you say. I can’t argue:)

But even after the latest of a million read-throughs and edits, I still got caught up in the story, and here and there are bits of prose that are… *whispers* really quite okay.

Whoa! Steady on now; I’m not about to get all big headed. I got my first big grounding when I sent the great work off to a pro for editing. Man, was I surprised that he didn’t cut his eyes out after reading it (because he’d never see anything as brilliant again, natch). The skin, she thickened. I learned. I'm still learning.

As I’ve said before, it almost, maybe nearly possibly, got published by a mainstream publisher or two. ‘Proper’ pros have said it’s good — better than that sometimes, but what’s an adjective or two between friends, hmm? There is even the possibility that some of you might read it, slim, I know.

All I know for certain is that I tried, and as soon as my brain unscrambles, I’m going to do it again. I’m going to continue the story about a knight and a spy...and pain, and loss, and love, and hope, and rugby...rugby?! — forget that. It’s just part of the DNA; trust me — you won’t even know it’s there.

I won’t judge you if all you see are knights and elfsies and dragons, that’s cool; that’s what it’s about. It’s just not what it’s all, or only about, and, clearly, it will just mean that I haven’t been able to communicate effectively. That’s the real kicker — that I can’t write as well as I want to...yet, if ever! That I can't express my thoughts and feelings exactly as I would like, that I can't paint a Turner with words. Sheesh! it's not too much to ask, is it?;)

Mini FAQ

Apparently, it's epic fantasy, *shrugs*whatever.
No, I haven’t read Game of Thrones.
Yes, I do have a favourite character.
Yes, I am, but then, they’re all me, even the nasty ones…even the nice ones;).
Where? See above.

An End to Interesting Times?

I do hope so, frankly, I'll take boring over interesting any day of the week. Anywho.
I dun got a short story in, Day of Demons, an anthology edited by Colin F. Barnes, and copy edited by non other than a certain Russell Smith. My story is first up, it's called The Deal.

Erm...weird, selfconscious plug over. But it is cool to support, if not me, micro presses, in this case Anachron. (They don't fix high book prices on Amazon;)

http://www.amazon.com/Day-of-Demons-ebook/dp/B007SYEU52/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334255068&sr=8-1 (USA)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Day-of-Demons-ebook/dp/B007SYEU52/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334255068&sr=8-1 (UK)

Here Again

Cross-posted from mi blog.

So, here I am, again. The thing is…I don’t much like this blog. I like my Live Journal, I like Twitter. A stream of friends and interesting peoples’ musings is much more appealing to my sociable soul than being out here, alone on my little data island. I like the connectedness of some social media. I despise Farcebork.

Facebook is like being on a free-for-all PvP server. It’s ugly, mindless and cynical; a morass of mediocrity and monkey hurled shitballs, with the odd pearl gleaming in the sucking mire.

Like the big girl wot I am, I’m going to try to like this blog. I tried Farcebork with an open mind; I can do no less for this, my very own Fortress of Soliptude.

All things end.

Yesterday, in the beautiful, oil-paint bright sunlight, with the smell of tangy daffodil pollen and freshly turned earth perfuming the lazy air; I buried my Dad’s ashes. I carried the remains of the man who used to piggyback me up to bed, down to the plot. I put the little, but surprisingly heavy box in the hole that had been dug beneath an ivy-wreathed old tree and said goodbye to the best person I have ever known.

All things end.

The other day I found out (although forewarned by a kind person), that a major publisher will not be publishing my novel. I felt a little… perturbed, that the means of discovery was Twitter, but I was also relieved. It wasn’t the longest wait by a long chalk, but five months is long enough.

Since Pops died, the process of submitting my MS to agents and publishers has been, not only glacial and arcane, but randomly punctuated by the most ridiculously grim coincidences. The award for worst timing goes to a rejection from an agent on the day of mi Dad’s funeral. It was surreal; one of those situations where, I don’t know about you, but I had to take a step back; detach my emotions as best as I could, and analyse what was going on from a safe distance slightly outside of myself.

Trust me, when you’ve lived in ‘interesting times’ it’s a useful trick to learn. It’s also great for a writer (although I don’t recommend the method of discovery).

Slightly removed, I observed two little pain rhinos charge from different corners of my heart and clash head on. Naturally, bereavement won — plum smushed the rejection rhino into the hard red ground. But for a moment there was balance. For a moment they were eye to eye, straining for dominance.

It was a, thankfully rare coincidence, one that was exquisitely hard to process or deal with in any other way than to laugh (albeit through tears), at the cosmic bully’s wee jest, and pray that an aeroplane didn’t crash through the roof just to finish things off.

So, here I am today: talking to you with my fingers. I have a publishing deal for The Red Knight with the marvellous Anachron Press. They are a small, but perfectly formed indie publisher. They are also bringing out a fantasy anthology called, Day of Demons, which has my story, The Deal in it. You should read it, it’s acebrillotastic.

I’ve decided to jump horses mid race. I’m winding down the prop making work and concentrating on writing, see what I can come up with when I’m not falling asleep at the keyboard. I have the book after The Red Knight to finish, working title: The Golden Hart, and a follow up novel to The Deal to crack on with. Life is short, although love isn’t always over in the morning;) Take care peeps.

50/50 Festivals

Like a lot of ...well everything. There is quite often a gender imbalance on panels at Fantasy and SF Conventions. It's kinda cute,listening to rows of portly, ofen beardy and or bald white men telling everyone how it is in genreland...but it does wear thin. One chap, the very talented and awfully nice, Paul Cornell decided that if panels he was on didn't even try to reflect (given expertise on subject etc, etc, etc) the gender of the world, then he would hop off the panel and invite a chica to take his place. I think his pledge nicely highlights one of the elephants in the room. Anywho. Some peeps: authors, bloggers, reviewers, got together and have started a wee campaign to help further this mission beyond the pledge of one chap. T'would be cool if peeps gave it support. I try to support the cause of my fellow 'notwe'. I think sexism against females (so this includes some trans peeps)is worthy of a bit of love too. Possibly a bit of your love?


How to win friends and influence people.

Clearly, I don't got the knack. Ho hum, such is life. I may not be nice, but I'd like to think I'm "good" for a given value, (mine own) of what good is. Just had to pop a comment on Kyle Cassidy's lj. He made it sound totally woo woo that women in their 40's no less were talented athletes. *Like them darkies who are, you know, so westernised, they use knives and forks and everything!

Poor chap. He's one of the good guys, but it's the unconscious belittling, the making women "Other" and "special" like other minority groups, which ingrains the attitude that women are another species (and inferior to the "norm") that bites my arse so savagely. It's this 'tude that makes it easy to drown, suffocate, abort female offspring, because they are less valuable, those that achieve are somehow freaks, special anomalies that can be ignored. Women who achieve are not "Special" they are normal. Women are the norm. Women are equally as valuable as men. I could put this better but, feck it, read it in the way I intended it to be read. Not to vilify, but to enlighten, albeit from a slightly battle-fatigued perspective.

*He didn't put this, this is my bitter highlighting of why it was not cool.

Sevens and Eights

That's where I am. It's like being at sixes and sevens, only more so. There is GC2 to entertain. GC1 is entertaining herself with friends, as in, doing her own thing! But the little chap needs attention. So we've been doing 'crafts' This involves lots of glitter, lots of glitter. Come to my house you may leave with a little extra sparkle that you didn't bargain for. We have also made or rather, we are in the process of making elf hats for Christmas Day. I fecking hate the crap bits of tissue you must ritually humiliate yourself with after the dubious pleasure of pulling a cracker (that I never win has nothing to do with this bitter diatribe). I spend an extra few bob so that the 'toys' are of some slight use, but the hats are always le grande fail This year, in a bid to kill two first-world, over priviliged birds with one, health and safety inspected stone, I bought a metric F-tonne of felt and we're making elf hats. It's a team effort: GC1 and 2 and Ghatanothoa are on pom-pom duty, I'm doing the other bits. Hand sewn mind you, for I am a Luddite, and can sew by hand with waaay less swearing, than I can with the aid of mechanation.

And there is all the other Christmas stuff. S'okay, we're in the pipe, five-by-five.

Work is looking up. Makey work that is, I've had to book in to do a stall somewhere for I feel I haven't wrecked mi hands, eyes or back anywhere nearly as much as I should have. I'm also a tiny bit inspired to do handymakey stuff, a wave one must make the most of when it hits.

Writing? Well, seeing as you axed. I'm still wrestling with the greasy innards of the second EPIC fantasy novel: Outline done...and changing all the time. Rough prologue, rough C1 done. C2 is the right place, but wrong people. Costume is flying, the cast keeps changing, but the 'bits' the location, rocks. Why I'm doing this when I haven't even found a home for the first is a well documented act of madness, so I shan't bore you with a re-cap.

I've also got a Verne inspired, hawt sexeh thing blowing kisses at me from word.docs, trying to tempt me away from the ovver lover, and a couple of short stories to try and fit in...somewhere, prolly in that 25th hour, or the eigth day. 'Don't know about you, but pretty much every short story I write, I could expand into a novella at the very least. This stops me from writing all that many. Now being lazy, and with the attention span of a gnat, I really enjoy reading novellas. Alas, traditional publishers wont touch them with a rotting bargepole, unless, one imagines, they are by Dan Brown, JK R, GRRM... I think if any of that bunch of worthies wanted to publish their shopping list, someone would write a cheque. One hopes when some kind of rating structure, official or not, tidies up the self publishing market, so you can tell the good from the computer compiled lists, there will be space for the novella to make a comeback.
The Hobbit trailer or 'trail' as they are now called also rocks. This is not a link to the trailer Heheheh http://www-images.theonering.org/torwp/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/kili-aidanturner.jpg . My favorite sulky vampire...and a fine actor to boot *coughs*