Listen up!

Listening extremely carefully to every word, and gauging the size of the spaces between the words, as I prepare the audio file of my book B’Hemoth, has made my general hearing very much more acute, and my vision more detailed. The regular sounds of everyday are sharper now, and I have discovered richer dialogue in my favourite films.

Singing, which is one of my great loves, has become wonderfully more pleasurable, as the voice can now investigate and more easily interpret musical scores. Can I have been nearly stone deaf most of my life? Very possibly; inattentive, certainly!

Another fascinating fact arose at the same time, namely that the B’Hemoth story, the words that describe the plot, the locations and the characters, have separated from me, as the author, and are following a course in the world in a wholly independent way, with something to say on their own account.
It is a very odd sensation to closely read one’s own words, sweated and toiled over for years, as if they’d been written by someone else. Maybe that is the case; a different version of me! But best not go too deeply into that subject in this blog.

A birthing has taken place; having done all that I could to get the idea ‘born’, I have become, without really knowing when, the passive observer, the looker on, the innocent bystander, the one who peers, with interest, into a shop window.

This process is the heart of quantum mechanics, the observer and the observed. This is what the cosmic dance is all about; the constant shifting without force (or ego), between states of on and off, active and passive.
When this essential aspect of life is fully understood, it is an effortless state to maintain, one that requires no modification, or third party intervention.
It is as life is supposed to be lived. Never take it or leave it, but take it and leave it.

Once, while singing a song, I stopped to say I wasn’t doing it well at all. My teacher said it had been going along perfectly fine, and added, “You sing, I’ll listen”.

There it is again, the reminder not to be caught straddling, not trying to be in two places at the same time, or judging or making assumptions, because if one is the observer, there is no way to acquire the information of being the observed.
Can’t be done, you’re stuck knowing only half the story.

So go with the cosmic flow, accept one’s position in the greater scheme of things, and be open and happy.

Via and ice

ice

As above so below

The first stage began in 2059, and was to take several years, with Jake and the science crew spending much time deep underground mapping out the exact location of every square inch of the place, and doing at the same time, exhaustive tests to determine the strength of the limestone rock for it needed to able to withstand the work of widening and boring.
Playing at being normal tickled Louis’s fancy no end. It was the perfect scheme to move personnel, equipment and supplies quietly underground. Via had offered the Tinklers the use of the barns at Hazelbank Farm before she went, and they became one of the regular staging locations. Gilbert and Stevie, and sometimes Jake’s brother Freddie, came and went from the farm at all hours of the night and day anyway, and their presence around the place occasioned little comment. It was easy, therefore, for people and small goods to take the short track up through the gorse and brambles behind the farm, and then, by way of the reopened natural shaft that Jake had tumbled into years ago, descend unseen into the cave system proper.
Bigger pieces of equipment came in by way of the sea caves the Tinklers had already explored and altered for themselves after they arrived in the valley, and what had been narrow and twisted became straight and penetrated far underground.
The mutual association between Louis and the Tinklers worked like a charm, and slowly, over time, a state-of-the-art experimental space station took its fascinating shape in the quiet depths of the limestone caves. The technicalities of Astar were very modern indeed, but to the casual observer it didn’t have the over-bearing, over-riding sense of being utterly alien. It wasn’t made of brightly gleaming steel or plastics, it didn’t have silky smooth walls with no angles, and instead, Louis and his designers, holding closely to the desires of the Tinklers, had created an environment that was coaxed out of the rock itself. After all, the space station wasn’t going to be orbiting about the Earth, it was a fixture, a permanent place and so it could look like what it actually was, a cave. Equipment expresses no opinions as to where it’s put; people, on the other hand, can think of nothing else, and Louis’s engineers didn’t mind if Astar had a spelunking look, as long as every piece they installed worked as it was supposed to.
So continued a profoundly important relationship between one of the world’s most prestigious, cutting edge aeronautics companies and the independent, and earth-bound, but not so easily duped Tinklers, who lived to hell and gone on the western edge of a Great Prairie.
Louis was deeply pleased by the way Astar developed, and the Tinklers were equally comfortable with the newness and strangeness of such a modern space as it slowly gestated under their feet not far from Hazel Creek.

taken from the Prequel B’Hemoth, Book One of Four Books To Change The Earth.

The audiobook moves forward, a new stage begins tomorrow. There is a plan to make some of the blogs into audio files, a way to test the technology and the interest in the project.

Mark it well

There was an old lady who lived in a shoe; she’d so many children she didn’t know what to do.

Having written multiple books with a story that carries forward characters for many decades, that same sense of not being quite with it, has often settled over me. At first there was panic, but eventually order created itself out of disordered writing habits. Long stories require extensive time-line and character notes. Nonnie drove me to that point, for this little heroine was chosen, one might say, by other interested parties, and having become manifest, there was no way my original ideas for the continuing story could stay as they were, they had to be changed.
I’m glad I took the time to create story notes; bells, yells and knells, who did what and when, enter the extraterrestrial help, that sort of thing. Later I would be so pleased to be able to turn over a few pages and find the information I was looking for, rather than rummage in my memory-banks, which, at times, were not so reliable, particularly by the finish of the second book. I forgot characters’ names, had them married to the wrong person, or dead long in advance of the fact. It seems silly to say all this, but the writer is not wholly supported by the strong desire to write; as in all craft worth doing, there has to be more perspiration than inspiration, story lives grind out slowly as do those in reality.

Taking an objective stance was by far the best thing I ever did.
Nothing to do with me! I only work here, became essential when the text of the Prequel was narrated, and the work to bring the spoken words into first-class shape began. Editing audio files is a long business, exacting in a way that laying words down on a page can never be. Nuance of word and plot which only the writer had in her head until the reading, was now out there, and it was a jolly good idea, I found, not to get too uptight, worried or coy about this ‘new’ edition.
Listening to the words for their own sake was an amazing experience, a vindication, of sorts, for all the time poured into this make-believe world.

Market Day

The open market was held at Threeways every Saturday and Wednesday, no matter what the weather was like, and the stalls were open from dawn till dusk with farmers steadily bringing in more and more of their produce throughout the day.
No money ever changed hands, currency was not used; Preston’s valley had a barter system in place, based on the intrinsic values of the goods being offered for sale. Mario and Via had a great deal of trouble at first, for each barterer used his or her own interpretation of an unwritten formula that had become ingrained over generations, with every possible nuance of it having been learned by heart.
The Market was always very busy, baskets of plump fruits and veggies quickly changed hands, as well as seeds, plant cuttings and roots, tubers, trees and shrubs, each one lovingly grown and indigenous to the valley. It was a serious breach of etiquette and trust between folk to sell anything that hadn’t been grown locally. Genetic engineering, that could only destroy the integrity of wild plant stock, may have been a buzzword and pet project of the world beyond, but in the valley it was considered a dreadful affront to Earth and Mother Nature, and was firmly banned. Genetic alteration wasn’t at all necessary; proper care and attention to growing principles was what was needed, not unholy fiddling with the god-given nature of plants and animals. Profoundly uninterested in doing business at any cost, the farming folk concentrated on solving their own community food needs, and stayed away from the idea of working only to make a profit. They really didn’t understand why people elsewhere didn’t grow what they wanted to eat, and trade away the excess for something else. Surely that would be easy to do and would make the best sense in the long term!
On Tuesdays, in the stockyards on the far side of the rail tracks, another market for the trading of animals took place. There, as before, live animals, or butchered portions of beef, chicken, duck, goose, turkey, trout, salmon, the list was as long as an arm, were bartered away, and the exchanges were conducted with the strangest assortment of hand gestures, winkings and occasional yelling and waving of caps. It was an amazing sight, for those unused to earthy pursuits, as the Constanzas were in the beginning, to watch experts dealing with the equally well-informed. The farmers always knew the value what they had to sell and what they wanted to buy in the finest degree, and in a process as sensitive as this one, no one dared pass off tainted or inferior goods, to do that was as much as their life was worth!
Market days also served as a long-awaited opportunity for prolonged bouts of meaningful and in-depth gossip. These were the times to catch up with distant friends and family, and the Emp Cafè, never empty from sunup to sundown, and ofttimes well into the deep of the night, did a roaring trade, as group after group crowded around the wooden tables, and with laughter and friendly banter, became privy to the latest news.
The Constanzas, when they bought Hazelbank from Mrs. R upaways, had been, not so long ago, the centrepiece of those lively discussions and speculations, and Mario, now easy with this in-depth nosiness, thought it would take a bit of doing to pass off something dubious to these alert people, for by the time the day was over and everything cleared away for the next go round, everyone had had a chat with everyone else, and there were no rips or tears in the information fabric of the valley community.

taken from B’Hemoth, Prequel to The Gatherers Trilogy.

Alain and Michelle

The glass elevator rose like an arrow through the galleries, and as an art museum in the vertical floated enticingly past him, thoughts about last few years of his life came unbidden into his mind. He marvelled at how full and varied the time had been, well aware that it was in the Genève that he’d got his real start. Mario Constanza had been a tough man to work for, but the effort he, Alain, had expended to meet those demands, had helped him understand, very clearly, the commitment Mario had given to his work, and what he’d found so irresistible and addictive about being a journalist.
It was 4.00 o’clock in the afternoon when he arrived on the topmost floor of the hotel, and his timing proved to be fortunate, for there was a temporary lull in the flow and the rooms were not overly crowded. There was space to stroll and look about and one didn’t need to shout at people in passing conversation.
Alain spied the food tables; they were ranged along the long window wall of the sun gallery, which gave a magnificent view down onto the broad stretches of the lake, and he moved purposefully towards them to make his selection before the crowds thickened again.
Someone bumped heavily against him as he stepped forward; his mind and eyes fixed on the prospect of choosing a meal, and sent him staggering off-balance towards a group of people who were standing close by, quietly chatting and drinking.
What to do? In a second’s blink, Alain saw only total and utter disaster. If he couldn’t stop or change his path, he’d crash right into them. Shit!
But surprise, in that same split second someone must have seen what was about to happen and had reacted with incredible speed, and instead of creating havoc and scattering bodies like nine pins, Alain felt himself being lowered to the carpet with commendable grace.
A soft rose perfume? Then a beautiful face was looking down at him in polite concern, the full mouth pulled up at the corners by a hint of amusement. It was the most perfect woman’s face he’d seen in his entire life, but before he could register any emotions or offer thanks, her hand took his and he was on his feet again.
“Are you hurt?” the voice of the goddess asked.
This marvellous countenance was the only thing Alain could focus on in the room.
“Thank you,” he stammered, “I’m fine.” Not sure of what he was saying, or if it had been an appropriate remark. He brushed at his suit, hoping it hadn’t taken any damage.
He then stepped back, flushed and uncertain, his dignity completely bounced out of its usual niche.
He struggled for words, feeling, at the very least, he should bow deeply or tip his hat, if he’d had one.
Instead he muttered rather lamely, “I couldn’t do a thing to prevent … the accident. I don’t know what happened, and, and … how did … did you … manage ….” He tailed off, staring and wondering furiously how a slim slip of a woman, trigged out in a gorgeous blue evening dress, could have so deftly manhandled his considerable size and weight.
“Martial arts,” came the quick intuitive reply, “it’s very handy every once in a while, don’t you think?”
Oh, her voice! French in tone, but perfectly English, threatened to withdraw Alain’s usually reliable senses from him altogether.
“I don’t know what to say,” he tried again to apologise. “Was anyone hurt?” He looked around, remembering that there had been a group of people standing close together.
“No,” said the blue goddess, “everyone’s fine. A waiter backed into you as he came out through the kitchen door, and you were sent flying. I’m glad I was in the right place to be of help. You’re right, though,” she said seriously, “it could have been much worse. Are you here in the Genève as a peace delegate?” The query, begging an answer, floated lightly towards him and he couldn’t resist it, and before he knew what he was doing Alain had told a perfect stranger all there was to tell.
“I’m a news correspondent, over here to cover the conference. My name is Alain Weston … and … as I wasn’t on call, I decided to come up for supper ….” He stuck out his hand in greeting, and to his intense surprise, his rescuer took it, and pulled him closer, slipping her arm through his and leading him over to the banquet tables that had been his intended destination.
“I am Michelle Delacour,” she said, summing up Alain in an instant.
She decided he was twenty-eight years old and an inch or so over six feet tall. She liked the way he was compactly built, not gangly, all arms and legs, and that his hair, a wavy, light brown colour with touches of red gold in it, was cut moderately long. The well-grown beard he was sporting was a few shades darker than his hair and the effect gave him an older, most distinguished look.
His eyes that twinkled at everyone they met, even when recovering from a sudden shock, were set wide apart, and also a deep dark brown colour. His glances were casual, but behind them was a sharp intelligence that begged to be investigated. Smiles, which he often allowed to happen, made strong dimples in his cheeks, and revealed fine, even white teeth. He was a very handsome young man, who knew how to dress very well.
“Please,” she said, her face wreathed with smiles. “Help yourself, the food is marvellous, and then when you’re ready, perhaps you’d like to sit and eat in the sun-room. It’s quieter out there and the view over the lake is gorgeous at this time of day.”
Alan smiled back and nodded his head in acceptance, for some reason he didn’t dare trust his voice. A few minutes later however, with a heavily laden plate, a stein of brown beer, and a little more of his usual composure, he picked his way through the knots of animated guests towards a table by the window where Michelle was sitting.
There must be something about luxury hotels and cruise ships that leads to the willing suspension of reality in the mind of the guests. Is it the splendid magnificence or the fairy castle ambiance? Is it another form of the Love Boat magic? More probably it’s the availability of comfortable beds, fine food and drink that one doesn’t have to get for oneself that relieves the person of his or her limited expectations and constraints born of an ordinary life.
Whatever the larger picture, on the close and personal level, Alain Weston and Michelle Delacour found themselves instantly intrigued with each other.

taken from B’Hemoth, Prequel to The Gatherers Trilogy. Alain and Michelle travel through the story from beginning to end.

Red Letter Day!

Today we finished recording a reading of B’Hemoth, 548 pages, 15 sessions.
Now it is on to doing the edit, after that we will have an Audio Book we plan to get out to the world early in 2012. It was an interesting experience to hear words which I have had in my head for seventeen or so years, being spoken, and the meaning of those words finally standing free, in their own right. I’m just an innocent bystander now. It will take time and a pile of reading to discover how to offer the book for sale, but it’s done everyday, so I expect we will know by and by.

B’HEMOTH

Much to chew on, but B’Hemoth, the title to the Prequel to the Gatherers Trilogy was made clear at the end of the writing, not the beginning; most aptly encapsulating the sense of uncontrolled largeness, top heaviness, apparent mindlessness, that described the force placed against the Earth by the human population during the years 2034 to 2065.

There were also characters in the book who displayed wild, unsocial, uncaring traits, machines too, whose useful power was diverted towards the dark side to almost destroy the planet.

Death comes at the Beginning, not the End; out of the Chaos comes the Creation, and once I realised this was the way the story was going, it was evident the writing of one book would not be enough; the unfolding had to go on, the writer too, was captured, and had to scribe away till it was done.

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