Preorders Are Scary

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I’ve been working on Reclamation for some time, to say the least. Years, on and off; for a while, it was the book I didn’t want to write for fear I couldn’t do it justice. But for whatever reason, these past few months I’ve felt up to it.

Which is why I decided that I could aim to get it finished well before the end of the year.

And I can — that’s not really in doubt. I can write fast, and I can write well, and while I can’t always do both at the same time, I can certainly overlap them well enough. I’ve got months to go and very little else to do in them, since my chance of summer employment appears to have lost my records down the back of the sofa and refuses to respond to my emails. All is set very fair indeed.

But it’s still rather more scary the longer it goes on. For once I’ve actually promised something, with a certain specific date and deadline, something that I can let people down on. And I really don’t want to do that. But who knows if I will? The future isn’t certain, even when I pretend it is. And I have other responsibilities I’m determined to fulfill.

Still, nothing doing — it’s done, and whether or not it’s intimidating, I won’t back out now!

Coming Soon!

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The exam period is just about over, and with it I am freed to go back to writing! (I’d have written an explanatory post, but I didn’t realise quite how busy I’d end up until it was already too late!) Which means… that I am now ready to promise you all a new book! Preorders are now open for Erithenia: Reclamation, the first in a new series that will bring us to the world of Thenia, a modern technological society built in part around a power — sharren — as fundamental to Thenians as gravity. Old tales of gods and monsters are a myth — until the day that a cruise liner runs aground, a seemingly reasonless event that heralds the return of the heroes and villains long since thought to be no more than fable.

Reclamation will be out on the 1st of December, but register your interest now to be sure you get it as soon as it’s released!

And in other writing news… there’s about to be a big sale at Smashwords, and for the whole month of July, the ebook of Before the Sun Fades will be absolutely free! So why not pick it up?

Ambulances and Atrocities

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I came home to find an ambulance parked outside my house the other day. It scared the living daylights out of me.

Ambulances on my road always do. Not anywhere else, mind. Anywhere else, I’m just mildly aware of them and feel a bit sorry for whatever stranger they’re either rushing to help or transporting away. But on my street, they scare me.

This goes back a long, long way. Back to when I was single-digit little, and trying to work out why recent history was the way it was. Why bad things happen and people don’t stop them.

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Venturing Deep

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I wanted to explain what it feels like to me when I go caving. This was my best shot: (actually finished 13/12/2016)

Venturing Deep

The path ahead is cloaked in shadow
Total stillness of the air;
If I speak, my words will echo.
To venture onwards still I dare.
The rock is worn of every edge,
And coming close above my head:
Rushing water carved this path,
But long ago that water fled.
Sinking deep inside the earth
Along the paths I follow now;
Somewhere still that river runs
Its lightless course beneath the ground.

This edge was once a waterfall
Now down its empty side I climb
Wire ladder anchored into rock –
Other hands were here before mine.
Yet in my mind I’m first to walk
Along these silent hidden roads
Though other people stand beside me,
In my head I’m still alone.
Far away from sun and wind,
Beyond the easy reach of man
In these all but untouched wilds
A lone adventurer I can stand.

The rock is not my enemy,
Its cool dark shapes a kind of friend;
Its challenge something deep within me
As I explore to journey’s end.
And round each corner marvels wait
Sometimes subtle or unseen
Sometimes obvious and plain:
Rock veils in hanging filigree.
A sinkhole like an inverse tower,
Water falling from above,
Daylight shining brightly down –
Places like this, too, I love.

Climb down towards the pool below
One last look, then back again,
Upwards to the light above;
Below, this untouched world remains.
The water’s risen in the caves,
Yet still I feel no fear at all.
Retrace my route: I know the way.
In my skills I feel secure.
I test each step on hidden ground,
Or climbing up a steep incline,
As careful on the journey out
As I was when I stepped inside.

I have mastered this dark world;
I have seen the great unknown
And when, in time, I might return,
‘Twill be a new quest all its own.
For now I breathe the open air
And see the sky so high above.
Out to horizons vast I stare
And can’t say what I’m dreaming of.
My journey done, my quest complete,
Adventures new another day.
New memories now mine to keep
Wherever next my path may stray.

Cloud Spaceship

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(*Post backdated to the date I actually wrote the poem. Post posted on 19/04/2017.)

Riding back on a bus from work, I saw this amazing cloud covering the sun and looking for all the world like a plume of smoke streaming from something coming down fast through the atmosphere. Well, apparently I just can’t let something so glorious go unremarked, so I got out my phone, took some photographs, and set my thoughts to, if not exactly paper, then certainly pixel.

CloudSpaceship

Like a plume of smoke, the cloud wisps
Up from the sinking sun
Like a spaceship sinking, burning:
A battle lost or a battle won.
Blazing down through the atmosphere,
Reentry or retreat
Fusion reactor meltdown
An alien or human defeat?
Or maybe just a chance disaster:
Malfunctions are nothing new,
The captain giving orders
As she fights to save her crew.
The sun is slowly setting
And the cloud drifts further away –
Will the crash site be forgotten?
Did the engineers save the day?
The sky has cleared, the cloud is gone
Whether for good or ill
End the story how you want
And imagine what you will.

Sporadic Reappearances

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I’m probably not going to be posting with any great regularity for some time. All for good reasons, but I’m afraid I’m not quite going to promise a regular schedule again just yet. I am, however, ready to announce being at least vaguely back. 🙂

All this absence has been because I’ve been working on the most important story I can create — my own. And it’s all going absolutely wonderfully… but that fact is also keeping me busy!

Tales from the Gossamer Relic II

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This might look awfully fast, but it has been a few months since I wrote the first one. I just didn’t post it for quite some time!


Serene in space, the gossamer relic hangs about the star at its heart, draped like a crystal cobweb. Who built it, what it even really is, no-one knows. Its interior is all but fractal, here graceful and soaring, there blocky and compact. Gravity changes smoothly or sharply, so that people might be seen walking at all angles. And though the relic has never been fully mapped, it is full of people — for explorers come from all over the galaxy to seek out its secrets.

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