Why I love Writer Meetings.

One of my favourite things to do is either run a meeting or just go to one. With my monthly meetings up and running, and being a part of Gold Coast Writers’ Association, makes me want to reflect on my experiences.

Why do I go to these things? Or even run these writing groups? This can be a simple thing to answer, although I do have some selfish reasons as well. The simple answer is because I love being around over clever artistic people. Just being in the room of authors can be astounding!

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On the 18th of February, such a beautiful day. Ocean Reeve did his 10x step marketing program (which you can download for free at his site, just click on his name) and the buzz in the room, wow! During this day I meet eight new authors, and they were fan-bloody-tastic! Just a shout out to Elena P Ornig, Emma Zeta Skinner, Julian St Aubyn Green Jan Muir, Gold Coast Writers’ Association, and Kathrine Doyle. Just have to show my love for my fellow authors!

Each time I go to an adventure like the above pictures, you can see my beaming face as I am brimming with wonder and excitement being around this hive mind of creativity. I wouldn’t be publishing a book if it wasn’t for writing groups. Not much else I can say if you are looking to become an author, check your local area to see if there is any group. Your writing will develop, a thousand-fold as you have that support and creative spirit of other to move you forward.

Enter to Win For a chance to win a signed copy of ‘The Halfling’ by Melissa H North

Here is an author to watch! Her book, Halfling is something special. Keep an eye out, early review to come!

The Blog of Blogs

The Halfling Fling

Enter by subscribing to my website or the link above!

The winner will be announced LIVE on Fb on the 31st March at 7pm.

Good luck everyone.

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Lake Merrin: Chapter One.

Twenty-third of Harvest, 1007FK

Within two weeks I will be on the front line. How has it come to this? I have made a name for myself in the Hall, and now we are heading to war to end all wars. Looking back at my life, it would be best for me to write it down, as it could help people understand. I regret so many things: friends dying, losing the love of my life, and most of all, meeting that bitch Zlata!

Well , the best thing to do is start when it all began , just two years ago, when I came to Lake Merrin. Back then I was a nobody and all I cared about was money, women , and grog. How things change …

Five years as a conscript, five years of patrols, five years of marching, five years of beans and gruel. Now I am free to live my life, free to live how I want. Oh crap, what am I going to do?

My real dilemma is that I am being cornered on a daily basis by a large local gang, demanding my money. Then they turn around and lend me money so I can survive. Not much I can do. Unless you are a knight, in the military, or a registered Adventurer, the law doesn’t protect you. They are the only ones allowed to carry arms or wear armour.

What are my options? Become a registered Adventurer? Then I could head west to the Western City States, or I could find work with the University of Engineers or even the College of Magi—that’s where the real money is. I could make a name for myself and have a reputation as good as one of those famous bands, like the Travellers of the Road or the Thief-takers.

My mind is made up—off to the Hall!

I move down Dock Street, which leads onto Fish Lane. Love the imagination of this town. Being right one the docks, and then it is called Dock Street. At least this morning there is no rotten fish smell. That is what you get when you live in Lake Merrin.

As I turn into Fish Lane, there was Malik and his Dock Boys. Damn it, I still owe him

money. When you fantasise about making soup out of your boots, any money from any source is acceptable. You accept ‘help’ and damn the consequences.

If I make a run for Route Street, they might not notice me. “Look what we have here, boys.”

Malik, that son of a bitch! Even with his steel grey hair, and stubble face he is still a young looking man.

“Where you be going, me boyo? Don’t you owe me boys some money, and interest to boot? Jimmy, how many slips does this fine gentleman owe us?”

Jimmy is Malik’s second, as black hearted as his rotting teeth. I’m not sure what sewage pipe he spawned from but he smells like he looks.

Jimmy starts to speak and I am nearly knocked out by his putrid breath. “Boss-man, this half-breed bastard owes you three gold slips, eight silver, and five copper, plus forty percent,” he says, smiling at Malik.

Damn, damn, damn! That’s everything I have on me. Most of it was going to pay for my registration in the Hall today.

“Come on, boyo, cough up now or … well, I don’t need to tell you what will happen.” Surrounded by these grinning fools, my stomach rebels at the rancid smell of their tightly

packed bodies. Need room to think. Wish I was a more quick-witted person. Just need some more breathing room. Where, where?

Looking around, I see a Watch patrol walking towards me. Oh, what luck! The Trinity smiles upon me today!

Starting to slowly move toward the patrol. “Malik, I understand that you might have felt that I have been giving you the slip on paying my dues, but as you can see I am a poor man and do not wish for any trouble—”

With that, I do what army men call a ‘tactical retreat’, which in layman’s terms is running away.

The closer I am to the patrol, the quicker Malik isn’t a problem. Now they come into sight. Oh no, it was Zlata Madyson! Such a corrupt bitch! She would pin me down, allow these lads to kick me within an inch of my life, then throw me in jail and call me a public nuisance.

Being a half-breed like Zlata, I can understand what it feels like to be hated by your non- Elven parent. My father was a merc who knocked up my mother during those magical two weeks of fertility with Elves—and voila, me.

Zlata is a half-breed I don’t easily recognise. She is broad, tall, and tanned, with a ‘cute’ upturned nose. I wish she wouldn’t take her aggression out on me all the time—we are both half-breeds!

Saying a quick prayer to the Trinity, bloody people in the way! I turn left, jump a fence, run down an alley, turn right, and cross another street into—damn it—a dead end. Should this be called Dead-End Place?

When will it be my lucky day?

Three Dock Boys have been close on my tail. I am not sure of their names. They run down the side street and corner me. The grinning brute in the middle is first to speak. “It seems you took a wrong turn!” This gets a laugh out of the other two.

“Come on, shit-head, give us your money and we’ll let you off with just a beating!” A beating? “And if I don’t?”

I leave the question hanging. Another of the Dock Boys responds, with a warbling voice to match his pinched rat-like face, “Well, you see, we might just kill you a bit.”

Another laugh.

Help me, Trinity, these thugs are some sort of street jesters.

“So you are saying that if I give you money, I get a beating. If I don’t, you are going to kill me a little bit. I know this is a stupid question, but how do you kill someone a bit?”

They look at me and draw their knives. Lucky me, they will just go ahead and show me. Such a fortuitous day!

“Okay, okay, let’s slow this down. I really don’t need to see what being killed a little bit looks like,” I laugh nervously. “I have some of the money. I’m heading off—”

The last one interrupts. He is about as pretty as my morning movement. (Yes, now they have all spoken. I wonder if I win a prize … I hope it’s not a stabbing.) “Well, shit-head, I don’t think Malik would be happy with a part payment. We will have to bring him your ear, nose, and … say, one of your hands as well. How does that sound?”

With the other two drawing knives, I think to myself, I’m such a dead man! This dead end is hopefully not my end.

A glint of metal—I sense it more than I see it. Throwing myself out of the way, the brute still manages to stab me! Not feeling the trickle of blood or light of head, I realise it must have been blocked by the Jack of Plate—my wonderful armour!

The brute boasts, “See, boys, he is quaking in his boots! Shit-head, you got lucky that time—”

Seeing an opening, I lunge, smashing the side of his head with a hammer-like strike. He falls to the ground in a stunned heap. Seeing the other two, I growl at them, hoping to scare them off. They counter my growl with more intimidating noises, akin to alley cats fighting over a five-day-old fish.

Drawing my knife. No time to think. It is time for me to go on the attack. Foolish. Ratface jumps over his comrade at me! Foolish. Something the Sergeant taught me flashes in my mind: Always have your feet on the ground!

Moving forward, I take his attack on my forearm and return a straight stab to his gut. That’s right, piggy, squeal!

Standing over the two fallen foes, I point my knife at the last. Heart racing but my knife hand is steady. I show no apparent weakness. I ask him, “So, are you going to use that or just stand there pissing yourself?” I see his raw anger. I don’t care, as long as he accepts the bluff!

Backing off, he says, “Okay, shit-head, you win this one. But next time I won’t go easy on you!” He quickly turns and runs away.

That was close. So this is what luck feels like. I assess the cut on my forearm. Need to patch this up. It’s not too deep, that’s good. Just a piece of cloth to tie it off.

Looking at the two on the ground, I wonder what they have on their persons. Rubbing my hands together. Spoils of war and all. Two good knives and some slips. Such a lucky day. Enough to pay off Malik and a little more to get a room so I’m not stabbed while I sleep. Just have to figure out a way to pay Malik without being killed in the process.

At least I’m not too far away from Route Street, so I can get back onto Market. My heart is racing too much for me to go into my face slapping of the names of the streets. I mean, really! Market to Route, then Fish, and finally Dock. Oh well.

An Account from Carey Park’s Disgraceful Scene.

Last Sunday was my writing and sharing meeting at the Southport Library. It was incredible! We went through a character workshop. Going over how to create a fully fleshed out person in your novel, and how to make them memorable. We introduce each other, and I was amazed by the different creative individuals in this group.

An author talking about a memoir of her weight loss, a writer who is writing a crime book on a famous first female detective in Australia, fellow fantasy storyteller who is creating a fantastic world, a published author and finally another writer who is also writing a memoir.

It is this last writer who rocked our collective worlds. Told us a story about something that she witnessed on Monday night at Carey Park, Southport (only minutes away from my unit, walking). Here is the article from the Gold Coast Bulletin.

A HOMELESS man was allegedly viciously bashed by a group of eight people in Southport yesterday evening.

Witnesses phoned police about 5.30pm to alert them to the incident at Carey Park on Marine Pde, Southport.

Officers arrived to find the man, who has been living on the streets since August, with severe facial injuries and in the care of three witnesses.

Paramedics also attended the incident and treated the man for multiple injuries before taking him to Gold Coast University Hospital.

A middle-aged man who witnessed the alleged bashing described it as “disgraceful” and “horrific” and said his wife was left in tears after witnessing the incident.

Police were last night searching for suspects in the case after viewing footage taken by a witness.”

by Kristy Muir.

I heard this account from the witness, and there are a few facts left out. One is police response, from the initial call to them arriving was 42 minutes. I cannot understand why it took them so long as it would only take a 5-10 minute walk from the Southport Police Station. Because of this, the brave middle-aged couple went down to protect this man from his attackers. Joining them was an intrepid young reporter from the Gold Coast Bulletin, Kristy Muir. Armed with only her camera and gumption, she confronted these men and women who were taking turns, kicking and beating this man and his dog directed by a ring leader. This man’s dog was running back and forth to protect his master but received a severe kicking for its trouble.

When these young hoodlums surrounded all three. Kristy called the police and said she was a reporter and surrounded by these men who attacked the homeless man. Cop cars, police dogs, seven uniformed, two detectives and Paramedics arrived on the scene 5 minutes later.

So the man was saved. Did his attackers, who were still on the scene, were arrested? No. They got away with it, and are now being sort after by police. The witness has not been asked for a statement.

When I heard this account, all I could think, where were the police? Was this not important enough for them? If eight men were bashing me and someone called the police, hopefully, they would help me a little quicker. If it weren’t for these three brave people, this man would be dead. Would people miss him as he was homeless? Should he not get the same treatment as an employed person? Things to think about. If I saw this, I would protect him because that is the right thing to do!

If this did happen to me, I would be overjoyed that this couple care enough to save me.

Review of Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings

There is a little history with David and Leigh Eddings’ books, and me. In 2010, I thought to myself, when is David’s next book coming out? So, I did what every good fantasy reader does nowadays, stalk the internet for any crumbs. What happens that day, sadden me beyond belief. David died one year ago and his wife three. Where were the articles, where was the public outcry on social media? Not saying that there was none but when a celebrity dies, like the great Joker quote says ‘Everyone loses their minds’. A world renown best seller, and not a peep. I miss your creative spirit, David and Leigh.

Back to the review.

Reading another one of Eddings books, Rivan Codex it explained how he created and pitch his novels and world. The Pawn of Prophecy is a throwback to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table but written in a way that is fresh and new. It the first third, you have an inkling that the main character Garion has something special about him, and over the course of the book and series you find out what. One thing that I like but I now skip over each time I pick up the book is the Prologue, Edding wrote a history lesson in this, and in each of his books, he does the same thing. But once you have read them, all ten books and three sequels you really don’t need that insight as you have a genuine understanding what the book is about.

One thing that I like but I now skip over each time I pick up the book is the Prologue, Edding wrote a history lesson in this, and in each of his books, he does the same thing. But once you have read them, all ten books and three sequels you really don’t need that insight as you have a genuine understanding what the book is about.

One thing I notice is the strength of his female characters. Being a male author, you can overlook that you women in the story need to be more three dimensional. Not just eye candy or a damsel in distress. Each is fully fleshed out like they are human and not just thought as a token female character. This has a lot to do with his wife Leigh giving input, as in future stories they both are the credited authors.

This is a fantastic book to start with when you want to be exposed to the fantasy landscape. It gives you the wonder and fantastical stories but doesn’t overwhelm you. Highly recommended, unless you have read it. How awesome is this book?

Review on Battleaxe by Sara Douglass.

If you have read my The Authors that Have Inspired Me: Part One, then you would know how this book came into my life. A book that I hated the sight of became one of my favourite books of all time!

With my reviews, I like to discuss character development and story arcs without major spoilers.

Start off with the characters; they are a little troupe-y, but Ms Douglass flips that right on its head. Prophecy, dic… arrogant hero, damsel in distress, evil half-brother, scary monsters, so on. But what Sara Douglass does is turn these troupe on their collective heads. The Damsel, Faraday is such a great character, starts off as a spoiled naive child-noble and then become formidable! Borneheld, half-brother of not so nice, is human and all that he does, you can’t help relate to him. Finally Axis, he is a dick but is the hero. His growth throughout this book is fantastic. He is in my top twenty favourite characters of all time.

The premise itself can be viewed as a little simple, but that is nothing compared to the brilliantly written book of Sara Douglass. The world is so vast and rich, you can feel different from the capital of Achar, Carlon to frigid waste of Gorkenfort. The imagine religion that was created was amazing, Artor the Ploughman is such a disturbing but great god. As you open the book, you read a prophecy that is the outline of the book but Ms Douglass drip by drip reviews the meaning of this prophesied events.

This is a fantastic book, and I am glad my mother made a mistake and bought me this book.

The World of Lake Merrin.

As I am coming up to my first stage of pre-sales, I thought it was time to journey into my creation. Here is a brief description of the world my book is set in.

Lake Merrin is the first book of five, called Journal of an Adventurer. It shall be established in a country which is on the brink of an industrial revolution. The nation is called Favinonia and is home to 100 million people. Dwarves, gnomes, halflings, humans, elves and the half -breeds (mix races between elves and other races) make up this vast sea of individuals. The country itself is about the size of Russia.
It is an Imperial Bureaucratic Society ruled by King Otto Favinon the IX, with a State Religion that controls the law of the land, heart and souls of all it people as well.


The book is set in the Western Duchy, also known as Iron Dukedom. Duke Trahern Isenhart III is the ruler of Iron Dukedom, and his third cousin Count Darel Isenhart is the ruler of Lake Merrin, and it’s county.


Lake Merrin is home to twenty thousand people, and it has the second oldest Adventuring Hall in Favinonia; nearly nine hundred years old.

 

The Protagonist is a half-human, average guy looking for work and a roof over his head and food on the table. And of course, something happens that could rock the Duchy. As there are Adventurers/heroes everywhere, he has to ask ‘should he stand up to be a hero? And would it matter?’