Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Social Contract

The Social Contract
(an Anarchist’s drinking song)

I never signed the social contract
nor agreed the majority ruled;
and those who thoughtlessly scribbled their names
I consider well fooled!
Yes, fooled they were, fooled they are,
and rightfully ridiculed;
but not me, no, never me,
for I’ve been too well schooled!

I never signed the social contract,
someone forged my name —
it was my parents, I’ve no doubt,
and their parents did the same!
And though I’m fond of the dear old folks,
it would be to my shame,
to let them sign my life away
and so I’ve quit the game!

I never signed the social contract,
with government I’m through;
it doesn’t matter who climbs to the top,
they bring us nothing new!
Democracy and majority rule,
you surely know it’s true,
is still one group of people telling
everyone else what to do!

I never signed the social contract,
instead I stole the pen;
and if they hand me another one
I’ll steal it again!
Refuse to sign, I urge you all,
and the day comes when
we can live as is our right —
as free women and free men!

Stephen Brooke ©2019

I create these characters and give them life and then they go off and write stuff like this. :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Ripe, a poem

Ripe

The last ripe peach will go
unpicked. Let it fall as fall
the days, one after the other,
fall into the heat of August.

Haze fills these mornings, too thin
to claim the name of fog.
There is no chill to it.
The sluggish sun hides, bides,

blurs the bounds I have set
on work and sleep and rest,
and I too must fall
into another August day.

I have seen the last fruit
tumble to the grass,
all its sweetness untasted.
The day will carry it away.

Stephen Brooke ©2019

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Locus, a poem

Locus

A wizard needs the proper locus
if he is to fully focus
on his spells and hocus-pocus.

He must have his place of power,
a lonely room high in a tower,
to call up demons that bow and cower!

They obey his every command —
at least those they understand —
they are his left and right hand.

So look away on a moonless night
when you spy the wizard light,
high and distant — a frightening sight!

Stephen Brooke ©2019

after the supposedly 'serious' poem in my last post, something silly

Drink, a poem

Drink

We are handed this wonderful poison.
Drink deeply, knowing. Drink deeply of life.
It courses, singing of beginnings

and of ends. It burns. Relief
and pain must mingle in that draught.
Let it work its way into you,

through you, finding some tomorrow
to finish its task. Drink deeply, slowly.
Drink knowing time has time enough.

Stephen Brooke ©2019

World-Building and the Mora: Some Notes

I was a ‘world-builder’ as a kid, not in the sense of writing anything out (for the most part) but in creating exotic scenarios for my playmates to enact my imaginings. Westerns and mountain men early on, knights later, cavemen eventually — many of those ideas have stayed with me, to some degree, as I continue to world build and now create characters to inhabit those worlds. Those prehistoric men have definitely carried over to appear here and there but I’ve not written any cowboys yet!

One scenario that did stay with me and grow, I created when I was about fourteen. That is the one that grew into the world of the Mora. Originally it was a castaway tale, somewhat of an amalgam of Defoe and Burroughs (his whole ‘lost world’ bit). I dabbled with the concept over the years but never seriously developed it until I wrote the first book of the Malvern Trilogy, COAST OF SPEARS, five years ago. I am currently working at the seventh novel set in that world, to be titled WARRIOR OF THE MOON. Expect it next year and feel free to purchase and read the six previous titles.

~

I describe my Mora people as ‘quasi-Polynesian’ because they are descended from Polynesians of uncertain origin (Tahiti? the Marquesas?) who mixed with an earlier Proto-Malay population to create a unique nation and culture. Were I writing about a truly Polynesian people, Hawaiians, Tahitians, Maori, I would have much less room for leeway and creativity.

~

For any who might wonder, the title taona which is bestowed on Marareta (Michael Malvern) early on in my series of Mora novels is a variant on the individual known as a kahuna in Hawaiian and a tohunga in Maori. However, I referred to one of its meanings as being ‘healer’ early in the texts, to suggest a possible conflation with the word hahona. You are free to accept or reject that theory. :)

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Farewell to Qala

My fantasy novel ‘The Crocodile God,’ officially out in less than a month, will be (or should be) the last starring Qala, the former Queen of Pirates. She has previously been the central character of ‘The Crocodile’s Son’ and a secondary character in ‘The Eyes of the Wind.’ Does this mean goodbye to her altogether?

It shouldn’t. However, any future Crocodile Chronicles novels will shift focus to her son Zedos. As the progeny of the Crocodile God (aka Xido the Trickster), there are plenty of paths to explore with that character. Not soon, though, I think. There are many other projects to take on first.

There is a slight chance I might write something about the younger Qala someday, before she rose to rule the pirates. We’ll see about that. But I have wrapped up things satisfactorily in ‘The Crocodile God’ so her personal journey slows down now. She might even live happily ever after.

THE CROCODILE GOD has an official release date of September 7, 2019, in print and ebook, from Arachis Press.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Payment, a poem

Payment

Alas for we who were once counted bold!
Can our forgotten truths be found among
the words now whispered, then more loudly sung,
those fires that burnt hot, now ashes cold?
Why is it men and women must grow old?
It is our payment for once being young.

Stephen Brooke ©2019

This was to be the second half of a sonnet but I finally decided it was a complete thought in and of itself.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Boats and Planes and Mystic Portals

Although my work-in-progress, the seventh Mora novel (to be titled Warrior of the Moon), is a fantasy set in another world it returns to the premise of the very first in the series (Coast of Spears), that is people from our world passing through a ‘gate’ to another. It is set some twenty-two years after the first story (in 1936) so the technology has changed some. Lots of small things are different, of course, weapons and such. These are details that can be dropped in when appropriate, or ignored if not important to the plot.

What is important are the means of transportation that got them there. As our portal is located in the South Pacific, this means boat or airplane. Malvern and his fellows from the first books came through on a fairly large private yacht sailing from Panama (the Canal had just opened) to Tahiti. Before their time, canoes or rafts of varying sorts had brought through Polynesians, Proto-Malays, Australian Aborginals, etc. for millennia.

My first concern was Lady Lydia Viney, an Amelia Earhart want-to-be who takes it into her head to fly across the Pacific solo. For this journey she chooses a Fairchild Eighty-two single-engine float plane, modified for extra range. This is in part her choice because it is Canadian-made; Lady Lydia would rather not use something from America or Germany, and found nothing quite satisfactory made in Great Britain. Attempting such a crossing in such a machine is entirely plausible, even if a bit foolhardy. Of course, she was hopping from island to island, not flying nonstop. So I am good with that choice.

Then there is the more complicated subject of the Japanese submarine that comes through — the last visitor ever, most likely, as part of the plot concerns the blocking of the gate. One concern here is that the fate of most ships in the Japanese submarine fleet is known. How to get around that?

I have chosen to make it a vessel of the Kaichu class, a medium-sized submarine, and an older one, possibly built as early as World War One or shortly thereafter. I did toy with the idea of making it one of the German subs received as repatriations at the close of the war but decided against (though probably only I will know this — there is no need to go into any of its history in the story). Officially, this submarine will have been decommissioned and broken up; in fact, it has been secretly refitted for long-range spy missions. That is why it is cruising the South Pacific at that time. The Japanese military got wind of the research in Soviet Russia at the other gate located there (and also closed now — that happened in my non-Mora novel, Tsar of the Empty Lands) and are carrying out investigations of their own.

So I can have my submarine. To be sure, I needed (and may still need) to research it thoroughly even though the vessel itself does not play a big role (I think. Things could always change.) Perhaps some of this research can pay off in other books yet to be written. It definitely gave me some ideas to explore that might pop up in a future Wilk (non-fantasy adventures) novel. We’ll see about that.

Nothing, a poem

Nothing

I have learned much about nothing
and wish to know even more;
to stuff my head full till it’s empty—
more so than it was before!
Creating the finest of vacuums,
one nature will surely abhor,
perfect to pack with the nothing
I’ll have even more space to store!

Stephen Brooke ©2019

Friday, July 26, 2019

Changes

A new look here at The Lucky Lad, after years of the rather customized theme we had been using. This completely new theme should be more user friendly both for us and for our readers. Yes, it looks a little bland compared to the old one, but that's not entirely a bad thing.

Some of this has to do with the demise of Google Plus a few months ago. Suddenly our traffic dropped way off without our sharing posts there. The hope is to link more to Twitter and FaceBook—which was a bit tedious to do with the old theme—as we post. And have no fear, after all these years The Lucky Lad has been around, we have every intention of continuing to post!