Monthly Archives: May 2012

Some good brief advice on self-publishing. Still hard work, but you are in control.

From Robert David MacNeil

(To read this in a black-on-white format, click here.)


BY ROBERT DAVID MACNEIL – I’m not a newbie at writing.  I’ve been writing books for 20 years—two through a major publishing house and three self-published.  All have sold well.

For my first book I went through the traditional publication process, partly because I thought that was what you were supposed to do, but largely because I believed the “myth.”

That myth, propagated through the media, pictures an author’s life like this… you sit at your computer, composing your latest book, occasionally taking a break to go to the mailbox and pick up your next royalty check.  The myth says once you’ve published a book, life will be easy.  You will be rich and famous.  You can live anywhere and have lots of free time.  All your problems will be…

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Discussing the Werdstone – Book 2 Three Stones of Destiny

English: One of the round stones

English: One of the round stones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The erfin felt a rising sense of fear. He did not want the maja-tak to enter into the privacy of his own thoughts but he could already feel her mind pressing at the edge of his awareness. Suddenly, there was a sharp snapping sound, or so it seemed, and he was instantly asleep. When he awoke again, the *maja-tak was standing across from him, hardly discernable except for the dim outline of shadow. He shivered despite the warmth. Swarg came to him when she noticed he was conscious again.

‘Never have I faced such a task as this discerning.’ The maja-tak’s tone sounded weary. ‘Your memories carry visions which I would fear to find in my dreams let alone in the real world. I found many of the ways barred to me though I had spelled you to sleep … all passages should have been open. You are bound with spells unknown in Yidrogh. You told Aghfa that you were a holy one – a maja-tak such as I, yet I know no such maja-tak of Eol, or the erfins.’

Swarg appeared to be shivering herself as she bent closer, and it wasn’t until her face was almost next to his that he could see that she was actually afraid. A strained whisper urged up from her throat. ‘Who are you, Mirrortac? What do you want with us?’

‘Have you heard of the **Werdstone?’ he asked simply.

Swarg shrugged with surprise. ‘Who has not heard of it? It is the Eye of Yidu … the Most Sacred … stone of wisdom and knowledge. Why do you ask me such a thing?’

‘I have come to venerate it. News came of it in Eol. I have been searching for it to ask for answers,’ the erfin lied.

‘Then you have found it, holy warrior. How is it that you came to our clan just at the time when the Maja-tak of the Werd brings the Werdstone to us?’ There was an edge of excitement in her tone, but fear still lurked in her eyes.

‘You are not the only one to discern the truth from others, holy Swarg.’

Swarg stood up stiffly. ‘I shall have to discuss your request with the elders. We must know if your intentions are as you say. The Eye of Yidu can see everything.’

‘Then bring me to the stone, so that you will know that I speak the truth.’ Mirrortac had no idea about the power of the Werdstone, but whatever the outcome, he had to access it.

Swarg left the room, leaving the erfin alone with the snoring hyfnuk. The erfin had drifted off to sleep by the time Swarg had returned, wearing a resigned and solemn expression. When he was awakened, he already guessed at the decision of the elders. Swarg remained standing as she addressed his mind.

‘Mirrortac, holy warrior. I have discussed your request with the elders, and we are of the mind that you hail from clans that left here long before the rise of Yidu, and I could not reassure them that you were nought in league with the renegades. The demons you fought may have possessed you, I can nought be sure. The Eye of Yidu must nought look upon you.’

*a maja-tak is a like a priestess in this tribe

**The Werdstone is a sacred stone that is venerated by the roznogh people. It has many powers. It is the controlling stone for the Three Stones of Destiny

Meeting the first Roznogh (The Three Stones of Destiny)

Edge of the danger area on Murton Fell Even in...

Edge of the danger area on Murton Fell Even in summer this is a bleak and inhospitable area but in this weather it can be like Arctic tundra. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was not long after that Mirrortac found himself back in the physical world in a freezing wasteland of bogs and strange moving lights in the sky. He was searching one such bog for any semblance of food when he met the first of this land’s inhabitants. It emerged out of the centre of the bog like some slimy monster, carrying on its back a heap of stinking weed. As the creature materialised out of the pond, Mirrortac was struck by its likeness to the tall seeker-erfins of Eol. The male being was large and covered in a thick coarse black fur, with shorter ears than an erfin. A tuft of dark beard fell down over his face and his large eyes protruded under a bushy brow. He was particularly muscular and thickset. The two stood facing each other for several moments as the being adjusted the weight of the column of weed upon his back, which was half bent over to accommodate it. What happened next was even more startling ― the being spoke in his head!

‘The noise of your thinking is confusing, strange one. Who are you and from what clan do you drag yourself here?’ came the gruff remark.

‘Wha … did you speak in my head? How …? Mirrortac said aloud.

The being grimaced at him as though the question was plain silliness. Then with a sigh he spoke. ‘You must hail from an ancient clan. I have nought seen such as you in all my seasons of the veil.’

He speaks the tongue of Eol!’ The erfin observed with surprise.

‘Eol … is that your clan, strange one?’

Another surprise. ‘I said nought yet you knew what I thought. Only the spirits do such things!’

The being shrugged. ‘Why should it be otherwise? All have the same tongue here. You vex me with your talk of spirits. Go back to your clan. I must return to Erga before the White Veil has claimed Yidrogh.’ At that he turned and began to move away.

‘Wait!’ Mirrortac shouted. ‘My clan is too far from here. I wish to meet your clan. My name is Mirrortac. And yours?’

I am a hyfnuk and all our people are roznoghs. Follow if you will, but expect no welcome in Erga.

‘Perhaps I can help you carry some of that weed. You are bent over with the weight of it,’ the erfin suggested.

The hyfnuk halted and swung around, his face suddenly contorted with near rage. ‘Help ME carry the hyfnu!’ boomed the voice in the erfin’s head. ‘You will nought take any of my hyfnu. I will nought be deceived into giving up my task. I would carry more hyfnu for Yidu if there were need. I would crawl upon my belly with the heaviness of it.’

You can have your task then, and I mine,’ Mirrortac thought back.

The roznogh snorted and sent his thoughts as he started to walk ahead, rolling under the weight of the hyfnu weed. ‘It is my task under Yidu to collect the hyfnu. This is every hyfnuk’s task. You are not a hyfnuk. What is your task, short one?’

‘My task is sacred. I can say nothing more about it.’

‘Sacred. You are a holy one? I don’t know of such a holy one.’


Fellow bloggers: If you write your own fantasy or spec-fic based blog, I invite you to submit a guest blog to be printed here, along with a link back to your blog and any book you may have available for readers. Drop me a note in the comments box with your email or twitter or Facebook link for me to contact you direct with my contact details. 

Those Fabulous Realms

I must say that I learn from the presentation of other blogs, and one such enviously beautiful blog is the one created by a fantasy colleague who goes by the name of Ash Silverlock. I have to confess that as yet I haven’t read his novel,  but if his blog site is anything to go by, then I will certainly work my way to doing just that (After getting through the backlog of books to read!).

The title of his blog – Fabulous Realms – says a lot about his subject matter. Like myself, he likes to explore the realms of myths and legends, delving into the overflowing cup of English, Norse and Celtic mythology (just to name a few) that provides a rich source of inspiration for imagination.

The top of his blog draws your attention immediately with a mystical picture depicting a wizard-like person in a robe and holding a crook, looking out at a misty landscape with turrets in the background. Ash has cleverly included a photo link to his book that is always available.

To quote Ash himself: “I’m a fantasy writer and on this site you’ll not only find samples of my work but also articles concerning folklore, myth and legend, reviews of movies, books and graphic novels and much else besides (including the occasional short story – you lucky people!).”

If you love fantasy as I do, it would be worth checking out his blog, and his book. The link is:

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