Sunday, 10 December 2017

Demon's Story

Demon’s Story

    It’s 7 am, and JoJo transmutes from her serpent appearance into that of her human form. She dresses quickly into her canteen assistant’s uniform and makes her way into the kitchen at the back of her house. The sun is rising, causing the cacti in her backyard to imitate shadowy figures, which move
desultorily across the ground.

    A transient shadow makes her stop what she’s doing. She lifts up the net curtain, to take a second look out of the window. She can’t see anything incongruous and she drops the window covering back into place.

    She goes into the utility room to get her white leather clogs from the shoe rack. An indistinguishable figure flashes across the opaque glass of the door that leads to the yard. JoJo turns the key in the lock clockwise and then opens the door with some caution. There are no obvious visible signs of her having
uninvited company. But nevertheless, she steps out onto the paved path that circles the house and calls out,
    “Hello, is there someone there?”
    Only the crickets chirp a reply. She laughs raucously and turns to go back inside. Bang, the clatter of a garbage can comes from the side of the house. She moves towards the location of the noise gingerly.

    “Grrr, grrr, grrr.” A male black bear appears from around the corner, causing JoJo to jump back in surprise. The bear stands upright on its long hind legs and begins to walk towards JoJo. Its broad skull and large jaws seem disproportionate to its three and a half foot stature. The curved claws of its leathery soled forepaws gouge at the air, forcing JoJo to backtrack her steps speedily.

    She goes back into the utility room, but she has no time to close the door as the bear is close behind. The black omnivore swipes at her, but misses his target. JoJo commences her mutation, but doing so lessens her ability to stay out of the bears reach. He catches hold of her shoulder, she squeals as the
razor-sharp claws dig deep into her flesh.

    She frees herself from his clutches, she has only partially changed into her demon state. The bear aims a blow at JoJo’s twisting serpent like head. His sharp nails meet with their objective once again.
This time tearing at the scaly skin on top of her head.

    The demon is using up all her energy to fight for her existence, meaning that her full metamorphosis is being delayed. The black bear has the upper hand and JoJo’s powers are all but depleted. She has nowhere to go and nowhere to hide. She can only hope that her master can forgive her for her weakness.


This was first published on this here Dec/19/2016


Friday, 8 December 2017


A secret is something never to be shared
Told to another because you believe they cared

A little matter that worries you
Or, a hide-away that you want to remain special to just you two

Embracing your hopes, dreams and even fears
Intimate knowledge to remain hidden over the days, months and years

 You find out suddenly your world is no longer a private matter
For a moment you feel your life might tear apart and shatter

Choose carefully in whom you trust
Their loyalty and reliability is a must

This post was first published August/18/2016

Sunday, 3 December 2017

What a Wonderful World it Could be

    In the early 19th-century in the UK, many of the poorest population were employed in some way or another in the textile mills. The work was not restricted to adults, but children as young as the age of five worked alongside their mothers, as well as orphans. There were no infant schools or creches for the children, just sweat shops and a life of hard labour, working in excess of 12 hours per day.

The Institution for the Formation of Character (School)

    Robert Owen, a mill manager from Wales knew that the use of children in the mills was wrong and believing that the future of society evolved around them he wanted to change this cruel practice.

    After marrying a Scottish girl, Owen moved to New Lanark, Scotland, where he became the manager of his father-in-law's mill. This is where he put his beliefs into action, he removed the children from the factory floor into schools he had built for the worker's children.
    Schools were a rarity, his nursery and infant schools were the first of its kind, a place where the children could learn and play and their mother's could go to work knowing that their children were out of harms way.

Falls of the Clyde, New Lanark

    His vision didn't stop at schools, he envisaged a community where all were treated as equals and he went about building a model village in New Lanark. Social housing was provided for the mill workers, a shop where they could buy reasonably priced food, and a fund set-up for health-care. It was a place where families could work, live in safety and generally enjoy life together.

Cotton Mill, New Lanark
    Robert Owen, who some saw as an idealist, set about trying to make it a perfect world to live in and he took his ambitious plans to Indiana, US. Here he purchased the town of Harmonie, renaming it New Harmony, however, he returned to the UK, having failed to develop his plan successfully there.

Robert Owen's Home, New Lanark

    He wrote essays on the 'New View of Society' and the 'Principle of the Formation of the Human Character' on which his ideals were based and his conception of what a wonderful world it could be.

Plan of New Lanark

Robert Owen 1771-1858     #UniversalChildrenDay

This post was first published November/19/2015

Friday, 1 December 2017

Book Week Scotland

John Buchan heritage Museum, Peebles
    We know that if an adventure book is well  written the characters come alive on the page and we the reader, are transported into the author's, thrilling world. There are of course writers who do it much better than others and one such author was John Buchan.

Tweed Bridge, Peebles

    The protagonist, Richard Hannay, features in Buchan's books, The 39 Steps, Greenmantle, The Island of Sheep, The Three Hostages and Mr Standfast. The unlikely, action hero has been and still is a favourite in film and on stage, one hundred years after he was created.

Plaques to both John Buchan and sister Anna also a novelist

    Born in Perth, Central Scotland and spending his child-hood-years in Pathhead, Kirkcaldy, Buchan took his fictional character Hannay on his thrilling journey into the Galloway Hills. These hills, surround Peebles a town in the Scottish Borders, where the author holidayed and a plaque can be seen on the wall of the Bank House, in which he stayed along with the other members of his family.

Peebles High Street, Galloway Hills in background

 A couple of weeks ago I went to the Royal Burgh of Peebles, where Buchan is still a local hero and I snapped some photographs so you too, could get a feel of his  charming world. A great place to visit virtually or in reality, Book Week Scotland.

The town of Perth, Central Scotland

This post was first published November /21 /2015 #archive

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Meet Author J Edward Neill

     Today it's an honor to introduce you to the gifted J Edward Neill in my, Author Spotlight, post. Jeremy is a US based indie author of fiction, sci-fi, philosophy and has published short stories for Kindle's galaxy-wide.
    If that's not enough to be going on with, he is also a talented painter, bringing canvas alive with his imagination and use of color. He has been writing for the last sixteen years and has an extensive catalogue of titles to his name including a series of dark fiction of which he is the co-author. His first book Down the Dark Path was published in 2013 and he has agreed to giving us a look into his world.

Q & A
  • What came first, the writing, or the painting? 

        Definitely the painting. As a much younger man, I attended art school, which admittedly I enjoyed far more than any other classes. After graduation, I started a t-shirt business and painted huge banners for local music acts. My crowning achievement: a banner I created for the heavy metal band, Slayer. Nowadays, hardly a night goes by without painting being involved in my life. It’s just so very relaxing.

A snapshot from my studio, aka my kitchen

  • What made you decide to write solely for the adult market?
        Good question! When I began my writing journey, the market lay smack in the center of the Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games era. Everything seemed to be for young adults, and little of it appealed to me. I decided I’d do my best to offer alternatives to the prevailing popular themes of the day. To make my rebellion a reality, I went straight for epic dark fantasy. And by ‘dark’ I don’t mean sexual. I mean adult themes such as war, sacrifice, betrayal, et cetera. These are central to my most popular fantasy novel, Dark Moon Daughter

  • Have you faced any particular challenges writing multi-genre?
        Yes. And I embrace them all. I recently jumped straight out of a sci-fi series and into a pair of philosophical memoirs. I think I threw my audience a curveball with the leap from ‘star-destroying space vampires’ to ‘an author drinks wine and writes about his childhood.’ And that’s OK. Bouncing from genre to genre has proven to be more fun than I’d ever hoped. I encourage everyone to try it. Just be careful not alienate your readers.

  • What age group would you say your work is likely to appeal to?
    I’ve got a two-part answer…
        My fantasy, sci-fi, and horror books will likely appeal to the 18-35 crowd. These works contain enough action, character development, and plot twists to engage readers looking for a straightforward good time.
        For older readers, I recommend my Coffee Table Philosophy series. Questions about science, philosophy, and morality tend to appeal to those of us already drowning in fiction books.

  • How do you decide on your titles?
    I hear plenty of authors talk about the challenges of deciding on book titles (and blurbs.) As for me, I enjoy the process. I usually design the title and blurb long before getting into the meat of writing the book. I try to nail down the central themes of whatever I’m working on, and then I make a list of potential titles. For my latest sci-fi book, Shadow Forever, I allowed my readers to decide the name. It was fun to hear their feedback!

  • 101 Reasons to Breakup, was the last title to be released in your series of coffee table philosophy books. This was book number thirteen, will you be adding another title? Or, do you have a new WIP that you want to share with us?

        I'll definitely keep adding to the Coffee Table series. 101 Reasons to Break Up has been a big success (selling to book stores in England, of all places) and so I’ll likely pen a Part 2 before 2017 ends. I’ll need more stories to do it…since all the break ups are real.

        As for my current WIP, I'm about 30% finished with, Eaters of the Light. It'll be the last book in my big sci-fi series. I'm having a riot working on it.

  • Most authors have favorite characters, can you introduce us to one of yours?
    You asked for one. I’ll give you two.
        My first is Mia from the short story, Let the Bodies. She’s just a little kid living in a dangerous city, but her bravery is unique. Some of my readers might not realize it, but she makes a cameo in another book, The Circle Macabre. Poor little Mia. She doesn’t know how doomed she is.
        My second is Archmyr from the, Tyrants of the Dead series. He’s about as bad as an antagonist can be, and yet he’s still very human. He makes the best of a bad situation…and then makes the worst of a perfectly good one. SO fun to write.

  • Jeremy, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to let us into your creative world. But, my readers would never forgive me if I didn't ask you to tell us a little about your journey into the world of writing?
        It all started on a dark and stormy…
    Actually, now that I think about it, the desire to tell stories has always been with me. As a little kid, I recall inventing worlds with characters to populate them. I suppose my creative spark was stoked to a flame when my Uncle John presented me with a full set of Dungeons & Dragons books for Christmas (the full story appears here.) At that very moment, I knew I needed to tell stories for the rest of my life. Big stories. Epic stories. Tales of our world and every dimension in-between.
    And here I am many years later, still at it. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to stop.

    Also, I’m inspired by my son, who made me wear this sombrero!

Reach J Edward at his website – Down the Dark Path

…or at any of these fine locations: