Thawing Winter’s Heart by Samuel Colbran

In the deepest depths of Winter,

where the heart lies.

Only with a promise of Spring,

does the frost recline.

Cold and dark.

Forever alone,

Crying out for the anticipation,

Of days to come.

As the sun becomes warmer,

Winter’s frost melts,

from its frigid state.

The passionate warmth,

heats the cockles,

of the slumbering heart.

Awake,

Ready to live.

But as Spring,

moves through its want,

has risen to excess.

Summer’s heat,

boils away the freshness

of Spring.

At the height of Summer,

the reaping of,

Heart-life begins.

As Summer wanes,

the coolness of Autumn

browns the life from the leaves.

The heart feels,

a great weariness.

The hibernation,

of Winter,

Is upon us once more.

As passions modify,

laughter of the deepest part of

the heart’s life.

Comes to an end.

As the ice and cold,

chills and freeze,

the heart in place.

Only the promise of

Spring,

will thaw it again.

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Winter’s Nigh By Samuel Colbran

The North Wind was travelling through the skies, skimming on snowflakes and dusting the mountains. North Wind was jubilant, it saw the world and kissed it with the soul of winter. During its travels, it spied a lonely wanderer moving through the snow. North Wind thought wouldn’t it be fun to talk to the man, become its friend. But how to do it?

Skirting over the valley, it blew past the wanderer. The Traveller hears something “Who is that; I am so cold? It must be my imagination.” he pondered to himself

North Wind marvelled at its new friend; I shall pass him again and speak to him. As it moves back down the rolling hill, the traveller hears a whisper “Why are you so cold?”

As the Wind rushes past bringing more snow, the Traveller grabs his cloak and wraps it around himself “Who is that asking me, why am I cold? It is winter, I am just a lone wanderer who wants to go home and be warm!” He whimpers.

North Wind is confused by this, winter is life to it. It touches all of the world with its icy fingers. It asks again in a raspy voice, rushing past the Traveller “How can I help you be warm?”

The Traveller staggers, dropping to one knee. The chill the Wind blew penetrated his very bones. The Traveller yells at the skies “How can I be warm, with such an icy wind? Leave me be, I need to get home!”

The North Wind is hurt by this strange man. Cold and snow, wind and sleet. These things are what it loves, how can this man not understand?The Wind decides again, if it embraces the man again with its wind, he would be happy. The North Wind cares because he does not know the joy of winter. The cleanliness of the landscape, the stark white of the snow this gives the world its own type of beauty. Each snowflake North Wind births is perfect. If Wind shows him that the delights in a winter storm, the Traveller will appreciate the North Wind.

High up on the mountain, North Wind gathers its snowy children. Clouds plump with sleet and cold. It was sure this would convince that Traveller that winter is the most incredible season. See how it embraces you, penetrates you. You can become part of winter, and be its friend forever.

As the blizzard gathers, the Traveller desperately tries to to find shelter from this horrendous cold. His lips are cracking, his face is flushed. He has started to lose all feeling in his toes and fingers. It was stupid of him to try and travel this day. He screams to North Wind “Leave me be, I only want to..” With that, the cold takes his breath. The Traveller coughs and splutters bringing a wineskin to his lips hoping the brandy inside will warm him again.

The North Wind sees the man clutching at his cloak, stumbling in the snow. It does not understand why the man hates it so. It created this storm, can’t the Traveller see that it is helping him? Maybe It hasn’t sent enough wind and snow, that must be his problem. It asks again “Does this not..” North Wind rushes pass then turns on the Valley slope to finish its question “…please you, Traveller?”

The voice of the Wind chills the very soul of the Wayward Traveller “Who is this on the Wind, asking me whilst I die from this frigid air? I only wish to make it home to my wife and sick child. I have medicine for my son, as he is of need.”He coughs in his cloak takes another swig of brandy “Leave me be! I only want to go home.”

North Wind is bewildered by this Traveller, how can you be angry? See how hard I worked to bring you a perfect storm. North Wind felt hurt by the Traveller, it only wants him to see the wonder and majesty of its passion. Hurt and sad, North Wind cries out “How can I make this man happy?”

Suddenly a strange figure appears and whispers “I might not bring him joy, but I can bring him contentment. All you need to do North Wind is bring more wind and snow.”

The voice is laced with compassion, North Wind knows this Stranger well. If happiness cannot happen, then peace is a better place for the Traveller. North Wind gathers every scrap of cold and ice. With one great rush of exuberance it covers the Traveller in its embrace. “Why have I been forsaken? I just want to go home to my sick child.” the Traveller pleads.

Now a new voice surrounds the man “Do not worry, Traveller. Your child is safe with me.” With that, the Traveller sees a cloaked figure emerging from the snow and wind “If you let go, I can take you to him…Just let go.”

The Traveller staggers and drops, losing all feeling in his arms and legs. His shivers steadily, his teeth chip and crack from his chattering. He reached to the stranger and asks, “Can you bring me home to my child?” Tears drop from his eyes only to freeze on his face. “My son needs this medicine, I need to travel back as quickly as possible. You can help me?”

The North Wind sees this. The Traveller is now pleading to the Stranger. Not understanding how sending more ice and snow will help the Traveller, the Stranger whispers “Just a little more, he nearly wants to come with me. I will make him happy, I have his child that he worries about, and he is safe and happy. Bring more snow and wind, this will make him elated.”

Smiling to itself North Wind gathers one last final blast of winter. The Stranger understands the Traveller, this will make him joyful and he will thank the North Wind bringing him home to his child.

As the last rush of wind comes upon the Traveller, he freezes in his tracks. The Stranger opens his cloak, the Traveller sees his child  playing in the fields and beckons to him. His son is happy but needs his father. With one more step, the Traveller embraces the Stranger.

The North Wind is confused, the Stranger has left, but the Traveller is still here. As It rushes pass, it sees a smile on his face. Content in making the Traveller happy, North Wind continues on its journey to find it’s next friend…

Sweet, new and awesome!

The organisation that I volunteer for is running a short story and poem competition. I am so excited about doing this! Writers Activation is just a fledgeling non-profit, but has some great authors, writers and poets helping others from the very beginning of their writing to the crusty experienced veteran writers.

The final event where people can come in and the vote for the shortlisted entries will be at on our year anniversary at REaD Cafe.

The Event is called A Winter Evening by the Fireside.

 

I will be doing this for sure!

My Book: What has been happening.

It has been a while since I have written a blog, and why not just do one.

Well to first start off, I am proceeding slowly with my book. There has been many ups and downs, but hopefully, it will be finished soon. Writing this book has given me much pleasure,  on the another hand, it has been my great white whale. Will I finish soon or will it be another three months? I can say I don’t know. Sometimes I wonder if I put too much expectation on myself or just a little naive to the fact of writing books. Fingers cross it is neither.

 

With volunteering for a non-profit writing organisation, being the solo carer for my sick mother and trying to have a life. Writing my book is my escape. Immersing myself in Favinonia and the town, Lake Merrin, is marvellous. The characters take a life of their own, and it feels like they just use my mind and body to tell their story. It feels like I little control over the events that unfold. The main characters interaction with each other and the world makes every spectrum of emotion be exposed and laid bare for all to see. This reaction is commonplace with me, just like some of my beta-readers! And  I am writing this book! I do love the fact this world and story are revealing itself before my very eyes.

 

Is it wrong to have favourites characters so early in my draft? One of mine is an oldy but a goody! I created him to be a minor character in one of the previous roleplaying stories. He was just a nobody, but my players grabbed hold and fleshed him out, and then his character snowballed into what he is today. He is my ‘M’aiq the Liar’! (who is a character seen in Elder Scrolls game) He feels like a legendary hero of old, and my players talk about him like they were the old men telling his stories at the local pub ‘Where you there when he did that thing?’. His is not my main protagonist but every scene he is in; it becomes hard to balance with the others as he can steal the show.

Each of my characters, the ‘heroes’ or the ‘villains’ feel like real lives and personalities. I don’t see either side as black and white; they live in that soft fuzzy grey area, where most people live their lives. My world is fantasy but I like to keep it grounded, and the character reflects this. Yes, I have dwarves, elves, gnomes, lizardfolk and ‘hobbits’, but there are not the Tolkien races or other fantasy worlds. Each has a different path in my world. The dwarves are the merchants and traders; they also act like mafioso families. The gnome is the tinkers, the inventors and engineers of Favinonia. My elves and lizardfolk (know just as the Folk) are escaped created slave of an unknown species. The elves are driven to propagate without love or connection, and this is only for two weeks of the year. This lead onto my last race the half races, half elf and half ‘other’, despised as they have caused great turmoil in Favinonia and are the largest growing population. And how can I forget the Hobbit or Halflings they are diplomats, the transporters, with a constant need to travel and meet new and exciting.

I could go on and on about my world and what consists in it, but I think this is the best spot to leave it. When I started to write today, I figured that it was going to have a rant about all the things that is going astray in my life, but I was wrong! This gift is what writing gives to me. Even when I feel the worst, it will pick me up, dust me off, then give my life; joy and happiness. For everyone I hope you have something like this and remember to embrace it, love it and find your ‘perfect’ self in your passion.

My Book: My World, how it came to be

Coming back to my pre-order stage I thought I would choose a blog that represents part of my journey. This one goes into how I created the world that Lake Merrin is set in. One of the first things I realised that it is a Gunpowder Fantasy or an Industrial Fantasy like  Temeraire by Naomi Novik or Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan.

Glimpsing into these author’s books will give me insight into mine.

I think it is about time to start talking about my book, but before I do, I need to take you on the journey of how I created the world of Amsul and mainly the country of Favinonia. As my background begins as a role-player and a gamer. Most of my stories are set in a fantasy setting; this allowed me to connect to creating this realm. Looking back understanding why I created this world is entirely different from how I feel about it now.

Back when Favinonia wasn’t even the name of the country, this story was about a group of Adventurers who had retired to become leaders of a distant land after years of wars, political intrigue and finally a military coup d’état. I thought I’d throw in a fight with a dragon as this was a role-playing game.

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The concept was brought about due to my previous gaming group starting up a new game which I wasn’t invited to, and this is why I created this game/story because I felt slighted. Sad isn’t it? I started to work on the history of their adventuring lives, the treasures they found, injuries they suffered and even families they eventually had. I fully fleshed out the whole concept of the game, and with no players wanting to play the follow the outlined story; I gave up and shelved it.

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Life goes on, and a few years later, I happened to another gaming group. They asked me if I like to run a game. While I thought on this, that old story popped back into my head. Then I stopped, thought and I wasn’t the same slighted person. Where it came from didn’t feel right, but I did like the structure of the thought process. I decided to start them off a different point of the story, this being told to their children by a close friend about how he met them. Then flashback… It was during wartime.

Looking closer at the world, with each completed game, how my players ran their characters and how this influenced me evolving the world to now. Because of the lower magic, it led me to think about a reverse dark age where religion and magic were suppressed, and science and technology were forefronts. How did it happen? As I thought more on this, I created an event called the ‘Massacre of Magic’ which lead to ‘Age of Disbelief ‘ to occur. So I have taken an alternative history of Earth, now what? How would technology evolve without spiritualism?

A book I read was about spiritual quotient, SQ, like IQ and EQ (emotional quotient) influence how our brains work. In this novel, it allowed the connection between IQ and EQ, and we use SQ to bridge the gaps. I don’t want to go into it entirely, but I saw a relation with is theory and my world, without that ‘faith’, ‘belief’ there is a chance to become stagnate, and people will just rehash the same idea over and over again. This can be seen in society today, which the more we move towards technology, we lack spiritualism we have. This blog isn’t about my thoughts on tour world; it is about my book.

A distinctive difference in my world than the other fantasy world I have read. The next thing was to think about the level of technology I had and why it caused the stagnation. I began to write up one thousand years of history, which I still haven’t entirely written down. During the year 500, the first prototype steam engine was created, by this time the printing press, hoisting gear, the horizontal water wheel, and the knitting machine were already invented.

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During its test run, it exploded and caused the deaths of many of the most significant scientists and engineers of the time and the current King as well. The surviving engineers shelve the ideas, and new thoughts were scrutinised a lot more so it could take a lifetime for any design to be approved by your peers. As this impacted the growth in new ideas

So now I could see that my country of Favinonia was priming for an industrial revolution, but guns are uncommon, and steam engines were just dusted off to be reexamined. Something had to kick this next stage of technology, and this reveal will happen in my book series ‘Journal of Adventurer’. This world had such an unworthy beginning, it’s gained a life of its own and becomes the world that I have come to love and embrace.

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Unexpected Discoveries: My Childhood Stories

Last Friday I was revving myself up writing some more blogs. I started to think after I wrote the blog, was this a ‘blog’ or was it more? The more I thought about analysing the language and structure of the blog I realised that it was more an outline of a story than a blog. This made me believe that it would be better to write about my blog than post that one.

I began with something dear to me, my stories that I told as a child. The first one that I thought about was a boy named Pluto. This was about being the planet Pluto coming down to Earth as a kid so I could learn about what it was like not being lonely, as he only talks to his brother Neptune every twenty years, so he is very lonely and is here to find a friend. Then he meets twin boys that he tells the story to and they become friends. Again I am distracted by the things I made up as a child. Back on track, let us talk about the one that I wrote a blog on.

The other which I wrote that blog on was about three tribes of ghosts, one White cloudy Ghosts that hung out in the sun and helped the kids to have fun, the Green studious Ghosts, that spend time at the library learning and watching. And the Grey shady Ghosts, that hung out in the shadows, and they played tricks on the children. As this was based on me re-telling, I was the boy that gave the small children a \magical ideal solution for them to see the World of the Ghosts. Throughout the journey they meet the Great White Ghost King, he was on a throne of clouds watching over the children playing on the oval. Thinking about a unseeing force encouraging kids having fun and playing outside really make me smile. Then that special boy takes the group to meet the Learned Green Ghost King; there he was surrounded by books and stories. Some of the stories were wisps of children’s imagination, he watched and learned how they have fun. As you can guess this story is about children being children, them going out and playing as there were invisible ghosts there to protect them from being hurt which could lead on to not having fun.

There is more that I wrote on the blog, about the story itself but one of the things I noticed was that I reverted back to being six years old. My speech patterns and writing style was more like a six-year-old than myself at thirty-seven. How did I tap into this mindset, I can tell you it was not my intention to do it, but I did and created something wonderful. I have kept this memory of these stories in my head as it represented me as a child. I was lonely, due to being in a new school and some previously bad experiences of being in foster care, also my treatment from the hand of my step-mother. Being able to escape reality was part of the reason I started to tell tales about ghosts, boys being planets and so forth. I do have more, but these two narratives echo to me as a small six-year-old child. It doesn’t matter where you find it, creativity and imagination can hit you at any time.