Sunday, August 25, 2019

Fifteen Years

I just realized I'd passed the Fifteenth Anniversary of The Lucky Lad this past spring. So a belated 'Yay!' That's pretty old for a blog, I know. Most die out from lack of interest but I've kept sharing the trivialities of my existence. Yeah, there were a few stretches when I didn't post much for one reason or another (mostly having to do with real life obligations, including being a care-giver) but I've been pretty active in recent times. Too active, maybe!

As long as I write or do anything else that seems vaguely interesting, The Lucky Lad lives on.

A Warrior Rests

Another novel is finished. More or less; there will be some editing, although I do edit and revise as I go along. This would be “Warrior of the Moon,” a fantasy piece set in my world of the Mora (the seventh one) and the beginning of a new series, the Sleeping Sky Trilogy.

Yes, I know it will be a trilogy. I planned it as one, I’ll write it as one. The sequell may or may not be titled “Lake of the Goddess.” We’ll see about that. It definitely takes off where “Warrior” ends — I’m going with a continuing story on this trilogy.

The novel weighs in at 69,550 words. That’s a tad longer than any previous Mora novels but not by all that much. Most would still consider it a fairly short novel. As with its predecessors, it is divided into four sections. I aim for fifteen chapters per section and sometimes that happens. It did for the first three sections here but section four was a teensy shorter. That is entirely okay. The story takes as many words and as many chapters as is needed.

There may be more words when I sit down and thoroughly edit in a couple weeks (or so). I do have a tendency to underwrite, to leave things out that might better explain what is happening. An extra few hundred words, maybe. Maybe not. I edited and revised a good bit as I went so there might be even less to change than usual. As as result of revising and, to some degree, feeling my way, “Warrior of the Moon” required about ten weeks of writing. Not every day writing. I have no qualms about skipping days, taking days to concentrate on editing or researching, whatever. I turn the books out quickly enough anyway, I reckon.

So what now? Aside from many non-writing projects clamoring for my attention, I have varied novels in development (not to mention short stories and stuff). I decided some time back not to write two fantasy novels in a row but to slip in some other genre between. Maybe mainstream, maybe mystery, maybe who knows what. Another ‘Wilk’ action tale maybe?

Whatever, I’ll settle down to it in a while. For now, time to take a breath and just think about my direction.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Surface Tension, a poem

Surface Tension

With each slow breath I wonder when
this boundary might collapse and I
sink into you, our surface tension
broken. Fixed between the depths

and sky, I spar with my reflection,
certain it grows slower, merges
into liquid, formless, dark
beneath me. Will some breeze-born ripple,

errant breath, disturb our balance,
and I disappear at last?
This shimmering of surfaces,
illusion of solidity,

disintegrates beneath my feet.
Step forward; step and do not sink.

Stephen Brooke ©2019

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.