The first piece in the above mention series is now available as an audio book on YouTube!
The first piece in the above mention series is now available as an audio book on YouTube!
Oh gosh, now is the time i suspect. New year, new horizons and hopefully a Publishing Agent to wrangle. Time to up the game…lets roll out the big guns…
Beholden! The first 3 chapters of my young Adult novella, complete with disclaimer (because I have to) and hastily scribbled illustrations.
Please click the link below to open this tale in PDF:
‘Raaaaagh! Come and die, bastards!’
‘No from your gut, man! Feel it welling up inside you, then let it burst forth in a torrent of rage and spittle. Raaagh! Again.’
‘Grrrr, come and…get it?…I’ve forgotten the words.’
‘This is hopeless’ exasperated, Heldman the Barbarian relented and sat down on a tree stump to finish his beer. ‘How are you going to strike fear into the hearts of your foes if you can’t even make them soil their britches with your ferocious war cry?’
‘I’m sorry, I’m just not that kind of bloke, I…’ started Burr, lowering himself slowly onto the grass.
Heldman continued unheeding, ‘It is as if you’ve never even been in a fist fight before, never stretched your manliness more than reaching for the next tankard. Or lamb shank. What did you do previously, I mean in your own world?’
‘Well, er, I was a gamer…’
‘What like a poacher? But Gretchen said you didn’t know the dangerous end of an arrow let alone which part of the bow shoots it.’
‘True’ said Gretchen materializing out of the woods otherwise entirely silently. She took up a fallen log and helped herself to a wine skin. ‘Closest he ever got to mastering the hunt was when he threw his bow away in frustration and accidentally concussed a hedgehog.’
‘Well, at least you got to eat that night right?’ beamed the Barbarian hopefully.
‘No, the concussed hedgehog managed to out-stagger him before he could summon up enough energy to deliver the death blow.’
The massive, ripped, semi-naked form of the barbarian slumped and generally looked rather glum, as if he had lost empathy with the world. ‘So, what were you, a pie maker or something?’
‘No er, no I just sat about all-day playing games.’
‘You mean like a gambler? A card shark, you can count cards and dice and such?’
‘No, not exactly, I play on, er, I guess a machine. It’s called a, ‘computer’; this ‘computer’ makes all the sounds and the FX and all your little men run around slaying each other…you press buttons…’
The barbarian’s mighty brow furrowed and fixed the fat man with a genuinely concerned and bemused face. The kind of expression a giant might use when being ambushed by a lone goblin armed with a limp lettuce leaf.
‘I don’t understand you or your world at all, Burr. I’m not sure I can help you.’
‘Please help him, Heldman’ breathed the sulky elf, ‘if not for his sake, then for mine – he needs to learn to fight in order to get back to his own world and I’m just plain sick of the sight of him.’ Not used to emulating human expressions Gretchen tried a doe eyed pout to sway the warrior, but gave up and just sneered at the fat man instead.
‘But no-one can be that useless!’ He can’t even hold a sword up for a minute without sweating!’
‘Can we not just fill him up with potions and get him to jog round and round the forest until he loses weight?’
‘Hm, brilliant idea, Elf. But I’m wary that the thunderous plod of his hooves and his thighs slapping together would rouse every orc, Wildhorn and brigand in the area to us. And I don’t think even us two could fend off all that lot all at once. I know I’m the mightiest warrior this land has seen in an age, but I don’t want my last lament on this earth to be remembered as being hacked to death by a hoard of irate forest gnomes whilst babysitting a fat idiot.’
The warrior stroked his square, bristly jaw. ‘Hmmm, we could always fit him out in the thickest plate armour and the biggest shield and just hope he can take the punishment.’
‘Great idea and one to keep for later. But if you hadn’t noticed we’re not exactly flush with coin at present; and besides you’d never meet a smith with enough metal to cover his tits alone. What about if we nab a gutplate from an ogre?’
‘Hmmm, worth a try if we can manage to stand the smell of ‘em.’
‘We have to put up with a similar stink now!’
Burr shrugged his shoulders sullenly as the pair glared at him.
‘Good point.’ Conceded Heldman. ‘Oh look, it’s no use let’s just kill him and bury him in a shallow grave and be done with it. There’s simply no way to help him.’
‘Hey, I am still here you know!’ whined Burr, rocking back and forth on his bottom in order to reach his backpack without having to get up again.
‘Only in body…’ said the Elf coldly and turned back to the barbarian. ‘Look, the wizard said our fate and that of the land is entwined with the Podgling. Either we help him or we’ve doomed ourselves.’
The handsome warrior sighed then straightened his back and set his jaw. ‘Right, fair point. On your feet Burr. And pick up that sword. Gretchen, you’re going to spar with him.’
‘Oh, God…’ huffed the petulant Elf.
Burr eventually made it on to his knees and got up off the grass. Only then did he realise his sword was still laying on the ground. So he therefore had to lower himself back down on to one knee, then use the sword to lever himself back up again. Panting and wheezing he took up position opposite the elf who was gingerly nibbling a pheasant leg.
‘Ok Burr, here we go.’ Said the warrior in his most level and patient tone. ‘Feet wide apart, shoulder to your enemy. Now don’t take your eyes off her…’
‘But she’s not even playing properly, she hasn’t got her sword out yet…’
‘Never mind that Burr, just focus, eyes on her hands; now take the biggest lung full of air you can into the pit of your stomach. Then, run at her screaming and waving your sword about. Go!’
‘Aiiiiee!’ Burr squealed and stumbled towards his unconcerned prey. Unaccustomed to moving all his limbs at the same time he half paused every few steps to swing the blade around.
Eventually he got within striking distance of his target. The elf didn’t even take her eyes of her meal as she side stepped, flicking her sword from its sheath and disarmed Burr as he ambled by. The sword flew off, end over end, in to the undergrowth and landed with a wet thuck!
Burr’s legs couldn’t keep up with the memento his belly had produced and he went down in a big, huffing, blubbery pile amidst an explosion of detritus from the forest floor.
The barbarian’s forehead slapped into his palms and he groaned the low, prolonged groan of someone not used to being defeated.
Gretchen tossed away the remnants of her lunch and beamed, ‘that was fun. Shall we do it again?’
‘Mo!’ Groaned Burr through a mouthful of leaf litter.
A violent thrashing from the forest brought everyone’s head up; even Burr’s as he struggled to turn over onto his back. The barbarian was already in a fighting stance with his broadsword ready and Gretchen had dived for her bow. By the time she’d rolled into cover she had an arrow notched and ready.
A large, sweating, bovine-headed man staggered out of the dense foliage clutching at his chest. At an awkward angle, protruding from his body, was Burr’s sword. The thing looked at the three heroes in astonishment, blood pouring from its gaping mouth and fell face first into the clearing. The sword erupted out of its back as it hit the ground fountaining more blood.
Heldman and Gretchen exchanged a glance, then the Elf roared, ‘Ambush!’ The woods exploded with motion as monstrous ram-horned men burst into the clearing waving crude clubs and other primitive death dealing apparatus. An ugly, malformed, reeking dog-thing attached itself to Burr’s forearm and started trying to wrench it off.
The barbarian took huge strides to meet the charge of three of the grotesque things, swinging his mighty weapon in death dealing patterns.
The elf rolled under the swing of a Wildhorn’s stone axe then shot another in the chest at point blank range. Shouldering her bow and unsheathing her sword in a heartbeat, she rushed through the defence of another slicing its guts open before leaping at a tree and back flipping off into another. Safe on a high limb her bow was again in her hand and fletches started appearing in furry chests.
Luckily for Burr, the evil hound’s fearsome teeth couldn’t penetrate his steel armbraces but doggedly held on. Adrenaline even lent him the initiative to wrestle his dagger from his belt and plunge it into the beast’s eyes and throat.
Around the barbarian bloody limbs and decapitated heads hit the ground and he howled with the glory of battle. His last victim raised its club to block his overhead blow, but the crude thing offered no resistance and the sword thunked down into the creature’s thick skull splitting it to the jaw, horns and all.
Panting, the heroes looked around them warily; it was all mess and blood and foul secretions. Burrs bottom lip was trembling as he pushed the spasming dog corpse off and tried to right himself.
‘Ah!’ said the barbarian brightly, lowering his weapon. ‘Lovely. Oh quick, Burr! On your feet, this is important!’
The barbarian grappled the fat man to his unsteady feet and snatched up a beast-man’s head off the ground. ‘Now then, hold this above your head, beat your chest and shout, RAAAGH!’
Swooning, Burr did as best as he was told. He lifted the dripping horned head as high as he could, about shoulder height, slapped his chest weakly with his palm, murmured raagh and then feinted dead away.
Another extract from the same, similarly titled huge piece that will probably never see the light of day in its entirety.
FANTASY FARCE: On a Pig Hunt
‘Gretchen, it’s still dark outside. Surely I need to be able to see our quarry in order to shoot it.’ Burr stumbled down the rickety tavern steps, ricocheted of a dozing horse’s bottom and landed face down in the muddy and empty street. The elven hunter, who was casually checking her fletches, rolled her eyes and sighed.
‘I told you we were getting up early’ she began, in that slow, monotonous droning Burr had come assume was how all elves spoke. ‘The best hunting is at dawn and dusk. And It is going to take us a while…well, you a while, to waddle out to the forest.’
The fat man lifted his grimy head from a puddle ‘But I’m still half drunk! All the delicious woodland creatures will hear me a mile off!’
‘And smell you…’ said Gretchen, soothing the startled horse. ‘Well it’s your own fault. I told you to get an early night. But instead you squandered the last of your time and coin on filthy rot gut and filthier floozy’s.’
Burr had managed to get a leg up under himself and was just gearing himself for the final heave toward verticality ‘Hey, I am a man!’ he panted. ‘A roguish, alpha-bull! I need to range and strut about my territory hollering and such…’
‘Quite. I am not sure I agree with any part of that statement, however this is precisely one of the reasons why we are out here in the first place. You have never slain anything wilder than a bacon sandwich. From adolescence, pauper or prince, my kin learns to track, kill, clean and cook his or her own food. And nothing goes to waste.’
Exhausted, Burr gave up trying to right himself and elected merely to fall sideways in the foetus position with a wet splat. Wheezingly, he rejoindered ‘Well back where I’m from all a young buck needs in order to provide for himself is a smartphone and the Just Eat app. either that or a conveniently localized fridge and microwave.’
Here’s some twaddle I just hashed up. A hypothetical quandary based on my own non-existent science. Just a theory.
Dedicated to my favourite YouTubers: AlfieAesthetics, Emelie’s Out Door Adventure, Joe Robinet, Haze Outdoors, Hiker in Estonia, My Self Reliance, Stephanie Margeth, Survival Lilly, TA Outdoors, Victoria Lune and Zed Outdoors.
If the great outdoors, hiking, bush craft or survival is your thing, check these wonderful people out. Say I sent you!
Mind Murmur: Ale Survivalist/ Beery Bushcraft
If you were marooned on a desert island or a piece of an artic pole and you had to choose between a huge stockpile of good ale or a huge stockpile of clean water, and that was all that was washed up with you, which would it be?
See believe it or not, it has recently been proven by…er…scientists* that it is infinitely better for you and almost assuredly improves you chances of survival if you choose the ale.
*(I believe the same pocket of folk usually responsible for developing new lines in ladies hair products and gentlemen’s multi-bladed shaving apparatus.)
And I concur. Time for the science bit:
You see real Ale is more fortifying than water, it has more sugar and calories in it, it won’t perish/ dehydrate/ stale/ stagnate or whatever it is that water does. And furthermore, once it’s been left lying about for a bit it won’t give you typhoid or dysentery. Ale will hydrate you to a point but more importantly and beneficially of all it increases moral 10 fold!
Whether you are aware that rescue is on its way or that it is merely a hopeless pipe dream, which would you rather do? Just sit about and bake or freeze to death whilst staring at the horizon praying for a reprieve? Or get drunk as a skunk and have a wander about? Do you dare venture away from that vantage point and miss a potential fleeting reprieve knowing that each moment that passes a ship could be drifiting by on the other side of the island or iceberg? Do you dare wander away from that vantage point and possibly stumble across something that will help you the most in your time of need? Like a kebab.
The extra fortification and everything provided by the Ale will give you this power, strength and assertion to go forth! You can go on reconnaissance, forage, collect firewood and shelter building materials. You could even give hunting a go if you manage to lash together a rudimentary elephant gun and telescopic sight. You would also capable of creating a half decent signalling beacon without having to resort to desperately waving your underpants above your head. Furthermore, the mystical powers of the ale will embolden you to source fresh, clean water. Win, win!
The list goes on, without the reassurance and emboldenment of ale you may not have the courage to seek higher ground, attempt to build a boat with little to no knowledge of seamen ship, or hunt inland beasties with only compacted balls of your own dung. Even attempting to create a flying machine out of nothing more than bamboo twigs and eczema flakes is not beyond you if you are constantly topping yourself up with good, wholesome, reliable ale.
Whilst merrily carving out a basic existence in hostile environments you may need to fend off the odd marauding polar bear, tiger or merekat; but as any David Attenborough will tell you, pinch the nose of the offending beasty and it will simply lay down and play dead rather than risk coming to blows with an inebriated goat-man.
It’s probably also worth noting that water freezes. Warm water is foul and not hydratative (if that’s a word). But we’re British and damn it, we can drink good ale at any temperature and find it revitalizing and rejuvenating (to those observant types I realise those last two verbs mean the same thing but I love them both equally. What are you going to do?).
Ale is like liquid bread. A meal in its self- wheat (possibly) hops, malts, yeast, butter, jam, cheese and onion crisps and alcohol-all the main food groups any growing goat-boy needs to survive adverse heat or cold conditions.
Beer is thicker than water and is so dense and so frothy that its foamy head can be used as a crude sun cream. Beer and water freeze before alcohol does. Try leaving your foamy beverage outside your igloo for an hour or two with a stick in it. Before you know it you will have a clean, tasty, semi hydrating beer-cicle and an easily separable source of raw alcohol.
But of course, woe betide anyone who imbibes alcohol whilst freezing to death. Apparently it restricts the blood flow around body…And your blood flow isn’t already restricted due the onset of hypothermia? All this means is that your heart has less extremities to pump blood to. And what ho? Alcohol thins the blood? Well blow me down with a penguin in pita bread, all of a sudden I’ve got twice as much claret to go around a smaller area. Happy daze.
Drinking water alone gets very, very boring…Good ale will never become boring. Fact! That I base on very little evidence. And it’s not like you’ll be operating any heavy machinery whilst marooned or going out for a nice drive any time soon. And it’s not like you will be able to inadvertently make a drunken phone call to your ex-partner.
So, I put it to you: If it were you, what would you do? Good Ale or clean water?
Suggestions and actual fact based opinions in the comments section below.
Incidentally if there are any real ale companies out there who fancy a spot of sponsorship, hit me up…
A snippet from a much larger work that will probably never see the light of day. Perhaps other than in little titbits like this. An ongoing project started at least one life time ago.
Fantasy Farce – Burr and the Undead.
For Burr, our accidental hero, Bumscrook Castle was a less than welcome sight. Set in the centre of a vast crater full of jagged spikes of black rock in turn surrounded by the twisted mist haunted Forest of Buggerthatforagameofpoachers; it exuded an aura of creeping death, dark madness and horrors unimaginable.
For the surly Dwarf adventurer it was a playground full of hazards, traps, treacherous terrain and rampant monsters to play with.
If the sun had dared to show its face round that disturbing place it almost certainly would have hunkered down on the horizon as low as possible and hoped no one noticed it. As such the clouds were dabbed with pinks, oranges but predominantly blood red. Foreboding is too slight an expression here.
‘Why am I getting the impression that this is the worst possible idea in the history of shitty ideas?’ sighed Burr. His feet ached in the ill-fitting leather boots and his battered patchy armour chaffed in strange places he always assumed were a mythical foreign land.
He was bored of carrying the huge Enchanted Shield and was beginning to suspect it was little more than a disk of tin with coloured glass set in the rim. Furthermore and more pressingly, he was starting to think that his heroic companions were mere lunatics trying to get themselves and he killed in the most idiotic and elaborate fashion imaginable. Their delusions of heroism compounded by the vast quantities of alcohol and their own pedigree of personal madness.
He stared upwards, guppy mouthed at the imposing hand carved mountain. Only an army of lunatic and rather morbid architects could have built it, each with a different macabre masterpiece in mind.
It was dark, even though it was only a quarter past second lunch. The sky was over cast with plump angry clouds and it was terribly cold. Even though it was the height of summer on the outside of this gnarly, twisted and bitter forest.
‘What’s wrong with you Plumpling,’ rumbled Bottkrak in his gravelly voice. “It’s perfectly straight forward. Go in there, find the vampire and kill it. Go back to the pub. Drink. A lot. Sleep. Then do it all over again the next day.
‘Hmmm, interesting idea. But I have a better one: why don’t we ring the bell and very politely ask for lodgings. It’s either that or we kip out here with the wolves.’
‘Bah!’ Snorted the dwarf. ‘Mere pups at play.’
Burr tried to gauge the enormity of the structure, but every time he managed to focus on one dull, crooked spire, more seemed to appear behind it or the roiling sky would spew another where seconds before there was merely blood soaked cloud.
How he wished he could be back in his own world, sat in his dark dingy room playing Sword of Might on Gaymbox, warm, beer-ed and fed. He even missed evil little Kraken his sadistic black and white kitten. Either that or at a push back in the warm tavern with the rest of the Company of the Phoenix. He sighed.
‘Everything’s always straight down the line with you isn’t it?’ Huffed Burr exasperated. ‘Look at this place. If we go in there we are clearly going to die.’
‘It’s just some fancy old house, nothing to get het up about.’
‘It’s the occupants lurking about within I’m worried about.’
‘Well clearly they’re trespassing too and should be taught a lesson. Stop moaning and let’s get on with it I’m starting to get my hang over.’
Bottkrak shoulder his mighty rune-axe, in which crimson inscriptions had suspiciously started to glow. They set off up the crumbling stone steps, out on to the bridge that led out over the chasm up to the front door. The wind threatened to knock them off the bridge, and the horizontal rain made footing treacherous. It was a long journey.
Burr thought back to the evening hence. The whole company of inebriated veteran adventurers had drawn lots to see who had to get up early and continue with Burr’s training in the ways of the hero. Through much slurred and mispronounced scheming they had tried to work out a likely spot to send the luckless pair on a heroic quest. Blast the yokel for mentioning this hell hole. Local rumour had it was the lair of a vampire.
Even as Burr let out his heaviest sigh and made to move off, the stone steps beneath his pudgy feet gave way and tumbled out of site down the jagged cliff side below. Bottkrak manhandled him out of harms way by the scruff of his neck and set him down safely on a more stable spot.
‘This is no time for messing about with the architecture man, I need ale. And you really need to lose weight.’
Burr crawled (Bottkrak practically skipped) up the ancient, crumbling steps to the great door, gargoyled and bedecked liked the entrance to hell. Red splotches of horrible streaked the door; it read, ‘kin within’
Burrs’ many chinned jaw quivered in dumbfounded terror and he turned to the hairy, stunted warrior next to him.
‘What?” rounded the metal clad stunty. “It’s just kids messing with the locals.’
Burr gingerly stroked the surface of the rotting oak door and examined his stubby finger tips. He was unsurprised to note that his last meal of rank, mutated fish and year old biscuit did in fact taste exactly the same on the way out as it had on the way in.
The dwarf’s brow furrowed in disgust. ‘That’s wasting is that, Manling. And this fellow’s going to think we’re right rude now.’
Burr tried to straighten himself out and not look so wan.
‘Look, s’everywhere now’, continued the dwarf almost embarrassed. “Why didn’t you do it over the side of the canyon? That’s what it’s for.’
Wretching again with the back of his hand to his sticky mouth Burr managed, ‘S’blood’
‘Probably just from a rat. Or perhaps the last poor soul that puked on his door step’. Bottkrak beamed wickedly.
A stone skull embellishment, perfectly cued, decide to kamikaze its way down on to the floor in front of them splintering into fragments. Burr danced backwards as only a fat man in armour can.
‘Oh my god, I’m in hell!’ Wailed Burr. He weakly banged the demon-faced door knocker as quietly as he could.
The dwarf huffed him out of the way and practically broke the door down with the butt of his axe.
‘C’mon open up.’ He roared, as a colony of Bats erupted out of the tress, eves and shadows about them. ‘You know we’re down ‘ere.’
Quick to try and quell any hostility in their potential host Burr added shrilly, “erm, I say do you possibly have lodgings for the night?” whilst flapping wildly at the scraps of black horror flitting all around him.
‘And ale’ added the dwarf.
‘Yes, and possibly some food. But no fish’
‘We can pay’
The swirl of bats suddenly disintegrated until there was just one really lucky and oblivious moth trying desperately to ram raid Burrs guttering lantern. They waited in silence listening for foot falls.
The obese man set his shield on the floor and rest it against a fold where his knee might have been and tapped a nervous rhythm on his belt buckle; all the while glancing around expecting an ambush at any second. Bottkrak leant on his axe and rolled on the balls of his feet humming a pleasant tune. Burr was the first to break the silence:
‘Y’know I’m sure I just saw a bloody, great bat flying around up there with a badger in its mouth.’
‘Don’t be idiot Man-thing. That was just a bear.’
‘Er, hate to break this to you Bottkrak but bears don’t fly’
‘No, I mean the thing in its mouth was a bear’
When Burr realised the dwarf wasn’t attempting humour his eyes widened like saucers and he beat pathetically and most urgently upon the door. ‘Oh my god, please, please-open up, open up, open up! Please!’
‘Wait Fatling, look up there’.
‘Nope, not sure I can; because if I see a moth with a dragon in its mouth I will be very upset’.
‘No look, there’s a candle in that window’
‘Yes, well clearly that candle doesn’t want to be disturbed or it would have come down and opened the door to us earlier. Let’s go before the sun’s completely down.’
‘Oi, we know you’re up there. Come and open this bloody door or ill knock it down, your choice’
‘Please try to be a little less rude, we are counting on this person to…’
‘Good idea Bloke-ling; I’m going to count to three and if this door isn’t open by the time I’m done I’m going to come in any way!’
‘God no, if you bash down the door to our only shelter we may as well sleep outside with all the other monsters’
‘Please listen to me, carrying on like this is going to get us killed either way’
‘Oh Christ. Right, hello, er, Sir? Madam? Please come down. My friend is a tad hot tempered; he doesn’t mean to be its just he was dropped on his head as babe…pup…piglet, what ever…’
‘Two and a half’
‘My god you actually know fractions and basic numeracy…no, there’s no time for that. Sir, I beg your pardon but…’
‘Three!’ Bottkrak made a long, heavy, grunt-fuelled swing at the massive door, however he paused mid way through his stroke as the door seemed to just open of its own volition (obviously with an obligatory drawn out creak).
The gruff warrior huffed, ‘works every time’ and stomped on through.
Burr stared after the warrior like a fat, gormless, balding buffoon. A not so distant wolf howled and he immediately snapped round expecting to be pounced on, his shield clattering on the stone floor. After a short fumble for his shield straps a short but burly arm emerged from the darkness of the doorway and dragged him within.
Within the dark interior of the main hall webs parted, dust formed clouds and sort shelter deeper in the castle. Spiders swore at the intruders and fled, a rather clumsy one the size of a dustbin crashed into the hall way then rammed its way out through a rotted wall.
Rotting tapestries and banners shrugged off a skin of dust and grime to replace the cloud that just left. Another shift of hyperactive bats dived down from the rafters to blot out the scene of decay and ruin. Just as quickly they disappeared through a shadow into another part of the cavernous building. An elated moth landed on Burrs helmet and caught its breath.
The fat man hastily bolted the door after him and tried to move a wooden bench to blockade it. However he found he just wasn’t strong enough so merely sat down and sweated on it instead. He stared about the haunting, decrepit hall way wheezing rhythmically, ‘Huh, well now we’re safe’.
‘Oh, d-do you really think so?’ The beardy warrior actually sounded deflated. ‘Well, let’s go and see who’s at home then.’
‘Erm, you go ahead. Ill just rest a while and catch my…’
‘Spine? No time for being a fanny now, Porker. We got some explorin’ to do’
‘Oh I’m sure who ever was up there will be down to greet us shortly’
‘Oh I get it, you keep the vampire busy down here while I scour the place for treasure to plunder and monsters to beat up. Good call. See you in a bit manling’.
A torch sconce beside the door suddenly ignited of its own accord throwing dancing shadows about the hall.
‘Hmmm, actually on second thoughts it would be very rude as a guest not to greet our host together. I’ll be right behind you. Literally.’
‘That’s the spirit Sapling. Very well, let’s go. Chaaaarge!’
‘No no, remember we’re guests’
‘Ok, er…slight jog in the direction of a possible enemy then!’
Gadzooks, behold my office for the day!
The day in question was a yesterday. Stumped. Mind fug. Inspiration much needed. To unclog the writer’s cinder-block in my head-space I opted to go out a-wandering.
I didn’t pay too much attention to my surroundings as I soliloquised trying to work out highly problematic, intellectual and complicated writer’s things: should the little goblin character be nice or nasty. Should Badger prefer worms for dinner or Battenberg cake? That sort of thing.
But before I knew it I’d hiked long and far and left my familiar wooded parts behind. I tumbled out of the tree line and was greeted with this most glorious sight.
After some preliminary reconnaissance and general exploration of the area I sat down to do some actual writing and a bit of reading too. OK so I didn’t actually write anything I was supposed to be writing, or read or research about anything I was supposed to. But I was still productive none the less. And it felt grand.
I have always maintained that as long as you are writing something then you are indeed a writer. And a productive one. Or at worst, as long as you are reading something relevant to some part of your writing, the same goes (as long as it isn’t the TV times or what have you).
Lummy! Observe what else I discovered. Just look at this handsome fellow! Cousin Pan in all his autumnal magnificence.
I was even given the opportunity to have a quick shufty around the grand interior, thanks to a very friendly and sage horticulturist who easily realised my presence was innocuous.
So anyway, to all writers out there struggling with mind fug I say, get out! And walk it off. The fresh air and fresh views may not give you any better ideas but they will certainly clear the noise and reactivate the juices in your creative parts. As long as you are doing something productive with writing in mind then you are doing well.
I did, and look-I got a post out of it!
For further intel on the beautiful place i visited, please proceed hither:
Have a beautiful day.
It was attracted by my food stocks. But now it’s preying on me. The hunter has become the hunted.
Stealth is everything. My weapon of choice is honed and light weight. I need to be swift, precise. A mis-strike here could prove my undoing.
Horrible lurking thing, could be glaring at me right now and I wouldn’t even know. Revolting thing. Smiling away. Rubbing its sticky hairy limbs together with glee. Taunting. Waiting to make its next move.
It’s gone to ground for now. Just be patient. Alert. It could come from anywhere. From behind, from above… Steady your nerve old man. You’ll see this through.
I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. It’s forced me to take extreme countermeasures. I have yet to demonstrate my most lethal and cunning secret weapon yet: Foul language…
God $@%#”£% damn it, I hate flies!
Or– A fine mix to fix writers block. Or-An unlikely combination of inspiration.
A post a week? I can’t make that, it usually takes me a month to write one! It takes even longer to read one!
Stuck for inspiration. Stuck for any kind of thoughts what so ever. Blank screen syndrome. The more I stare at the screen the blanker, whiter and emptier it seems to become. Numbness sets in. A mild tick develops in my caffeine induced left eye (the right eye is strictly a spirits-only sort of chap). Fingers tips become heavy, laden with self-crafted doubt and obstinate lethargy… ‘This is impossible, I’m not smart enough’, ‘there’s not enough time’, e.t.c.
I’m not even motivated enough to get distracted by social media and such like. Or play a time wasting game-app. Or fiddle with a time-saving app. Or try and make sense of a time keeping app.
Nothing else for it, I shall have to go on a wander to clear the rafter and eves. However, I can’t seem to drag my hooves out from under my posterior.
Meanwhile the keyboard is closing in as the right eye shuts of its own accord. Down, down, down into darkness. It feels kind of secure here. I don’t need to be anybody or anything. As far as I’m concerned, the day is finished and in epic failure. A redundant writing day wasted…and it is not even elevenses yet.
…Then a knock at the hut door stirs me from my loathsome languishing. A familiar face is at the door with his childling. Tis’ cousin Didder, Chief Artificer of the Realm and his small-ling consort, Kobi the Barbarian (A.K.A. Kobi One Kanobi). “Come on” beams the smaller of the pair. “We’re going on a bear hunt!”
Well alright! All of a once I am motivated and energized. Small folk have a very calming and reassuring influence on me. They don’t care when I look or feel glum. They don’t even care when I have a keyboard imprinted on my forehead. They only care that I come out to play and chase bears with them.
So off to one of my favourite woods for an adventure. I brought along a keg of coffee and a foraging book. The kiddling equipped us all with sturdy bear-poking sticks. The Artificer brought his welly boots and his Lucky Cap of Tinkering.
There was many a mud lake to cross, but brave Kobi took point and led us all safely through. There were also many snare and pit traps to avoid, possibly set by goblin hunters. However, our Artificer new well their tricks and disarmed them all without issue.
We hunted for huge grizzly bears and we tracked ferocious wolves. Didder the Artificer and I were most concerned about our possible encounter with an omnivorous leviathan, despite our robust bear poking sticks. Kobi however, was unperturbed and gleefully charged into the undergrowth unfazed. He truly is a great hero and leader of men.
There was even a goblin camp or two to be explored; as it was day time all inhabitants scattered as we approached then they kept to the shadows out of sight. Although they had little in the way of plunder it was still an interesting intrusion. Kobi even came into possession of a Goblins’ Luck-Stone!
Later on we spotted a couple of wayward hares and there was even a tiger flying an aeroplane overhead!
We were subject to a curiously brief hail storm, much to the giggling delight of young Kobi the Barbarian and the party had to take refuge in one of my halfway-shelters until it passed us over. Clearly this was some sort of fell sorcery at work by an evil witch nearby. But not to fear, as everybody well knows witches are terrified of the ferocious battle cry of a small boy whirling a stick around his head. So then all was bright and sunny again so we continued on.
We had to skim round the Wishing Well of Eternal Jubilation and Scummy Bits as there was a ghastly troll slumbering nearby, snoring his head off (I believe it must be Conrad the Destroyer of Worlds’ week off otherwise he would have moved the beast along by now).
Sleepily we made our way back to the Didder-Mobile and, after a parting shot or two at the skulking goblins, we set off back home again for tea, biscuits and a big old hunk of cheese (curtesy of the Artificer and his wife).
Now then, this adventure has moved me to post up a sneak preview of an on-going project, a tale regarding the above little chap who rested me from my gloom and withering writers block. So here’s a peek at something I started around about Christmas time-ish. Just about all the pictures are complete, I just need to find a savvy and cunning way to ink and colour them. But more to come. So here you have in all its glory, your first glimpse at a story concerning young Kobrias and his Landover: Bumbles sore Bumper!