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trees

A Loner in the Crowd

Upon the First Day of the Seventh Year of the Reign of King Karpitz Karpikotz

Paknor Stapikos keeps his features impassive as he forces his attention back to the presentation.  The speaker is rambling interminably about the need to balance the needs of Artellosa, a forest goddess who resents her trees being cut down, and those of Walkatokis, a warrior goddess who requires ever more arms, the forging of which require a seemingly limitless supply of charcoal.  Nevertheless, Paknor is angry with himself; tomorrow he will be expected to comment on whatever recommendation this fool makes, and he should be listening attentively. Read more

tandis

Deciphering the Marks

“That’s all, children!  Go home, now; it’s bedtime.”  Ghaldak levered himself to his feet, as if to emphasise that he would tell no more tales.  In spite of their disappointment, most of the youngsters did as they were told, moving apart as they left the circle they had formed close to the fire.  Mothers scooped up the toddlers, and the older ones who lived in the favoured houses around the village green made their own way home, often holding a younger sibling or two by the hand.

As if this movement had been a signal, men started to appear on the green, and to make their way towards the fire.  Tandis, the only child who had not so far moved, got to his feet; he sensed that he would lose his moment unless he spoke now.

But Ghaldak was looking out towards the men, and did not notice the youngster approach.  Greatly daring, Tandis reached up and tugged on his sleeve.  “Excuse me,” he said tentatively.  When there was no response, he pulled harder, and spoke a little louder.  “Excuse me.  Sorry:  I didn’t understand.  How did you know?” Read more

My Writing Life

I’m certainly not one of those writers who always knew that this was the career for them, who had six novels in their desk drawer by the age of ten, who wrote for their infants’ school newspaper, or had winning stories in junior magazines.  Writing was something I did as and when necessary:  essays for my studies, reports and manuals for work, letters to absent family members and shopping lists were the limit of my not so creative writing endeavours.  So what changed?

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