In Dreams Awake

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

(Henry David Thoreau)

Monday, 19 May 2014


  I appear to have an infected toe. Sounds like a joke, doesn't it? Bit painful really though, so I'm spending a lot of time either a) sitting in the sunshine in the park, or b) sitting at my PC writing. And playing games, a bit. Not much, honest.

  Life is so hard sometimes.

  Anyway, I've had a crackerjack new idea, which all came from idly reading a history book while something boring was on the TV  (I think it was Avatar - stunning effects, terrible derivative story. It wants to be Dances with Wolves when it grows up). The book mentioned in passing that the star sign Capricorn is the only one remaining of the original Sumerian zodiac, in which it was represented as a "Sea-Goat" - body of a man, tail of a fish and head of a goat. They called it Kaprikornus and thought the Sea-Goats were minor deities. At which the old brain went whiz-bang for a second and there was my idea.

  This reading lark is terrific, isn't it? I don't really know why I had the TV on in the first place, books are way better than the average pap on telly.  Except that I live alone, so sometimes I want to break the quiet with music, or some rubbishy program on the tube. Then as often as not I read a book while something warbles to itself in the background, and quite often I discover something fascinating or read a tremendous new novel, and all's well in the world for a bit.

  (Speaking of which, I recently read Hugh Howey's Wool - an indie book, originally published online and now a big wow in the conventional publishing world. Good novel, too. It shows it can be done, people).

  So I stopped writing Troy II for a couple of days while I jotted down some ideas for Kaprikorn, and now have a finished chapter. I can't do more because I'll come too far out of the Troy story, mentally: I need to stay immersed or I'll get my plot lines terribly tangled. I might post the opening of Kaprikorn on here later, when I get back to it, just to see what you all think. Meanwhile I'm now back in Troy II, where the Greeks are in deep trouble and looking for a hero to pull them out of it. I've got 50,000 words down now, so one more solid push should see me on the home straight.

  I was asked recently if I'd help with another project, something that came from the local Library. There's a decent story in it, but I just have too much in my In-Tray already. My To-Do list includes Kaprikorn, a trilogy called Chained Dragon (one volume complete), a probable duology called The Playground of Fawns (3 chapters finished), and The Spirit Wood, which had half a volume done but which I need to rewrite. In short, if you want to add to my load then call me in about 5 years - by which time I'll have even more piled up, I expect, so if you ask, be prepared for some shouting.

  And yet... someone emailed me recently to say he'd bought Risen King, enjoyed it, and given it to his son to read. The son has now bought both Songs of Sorrow books and is immersed in the first. Just one instance of that every few months is enough to lift my heart a little: I might not be changing the world, but somewhere in that In-Tray is a story that will touch someone, somehow, and that's a pretty encouraging thought.