Random thoughts and ramblings

I hate the rain…

It’s funny how you can find a video on YouTube for almost anything…
This is exactly how I felt yesterday… and for some reason it’s carried over today, despite the lack of rain. So is it my mood that creates the rain or the rain that creates my mood?

Why am I in a poor mood?
It’s probably something to do with the facts that it’s Monday, the clouds are threatening more rain, my cat decided it would be good to munch on my one and only pepper plant, destroying almost a whole branch of a struggling plant, and lack of money for the Summer Holidays.

Every year I think that there’ll be enough money to actually go out and DO SOMETHING that we all enjoy like swimming, bowling, going to the beach or the cinema… and every year I am confronted with the reality that it’s going to be another summer fielding cries of “I don’t want to stay home again!” ; “I want to go swimming” ; “Can we go to the beach?” ; “I want to do something together!”

Every one I know seems to be able to find the money for a holiday with their kids. Even those who are on the same level of benefits as us and I have no idea how they do it.

I know what would cheer me up – for there to be a sudden surge in my books selling, especially The Tower and The Eye… the problem with relying on that to cheer me up is that it very rarely happens, even when I put one of them on a special offer, like The Heir of The Dragon (which is currently on promotion at 99p) and I know why it is: there are just too many books out there, competing for Readers.

This is a good thing because it means that there’s a choice of books for Readers to buy. I’m one of them (I wouldn’t be a good writer if I didn’t read) so I appreciate it, but at the same time it’s bad because I’m having to promote my books against other writers, people who I like and admire.  And to be honest, it makes me feel a little guilty.

But I have just under six thousand words to write on my Work-in-Progress, The Ballad of Pigsnout the Wanderer,  and it’s almost to the climax of the story so I suppose I had better get on with it…

I’ll be nice and leave you an excerpt:

Andren watched the Pages and Paladins as they broke formation and gathered in front of the temple’s main door. Pigsnout tapped Andren on the shoulder and indicated that the canine should follow him.

A raven swooped down and landed on Pigsnout’s shoulder. “The lady says that it must have a mission. She has watched it through her crystal and while it is defending itself when attacked, it isn’t killing willy nilly.” Geregor’s voice echoed inside both autochthons brains.

“Handy to know.” Pigsnout grunted.

The Balziag raised its head and sniffed the air. The sharp tang of acid rolled out in a cloud as it roared. “Bring slave out and no more die.”

“Looks like the Lady was right.” Andren said in a low voice.

“She’s not often wrong. Stay put for a moment.” Pigsnout said as he stepped forward and called out, “There are no slaves in this compound, creature.”

“I tracked slave from beach to this place. I smell its presence here.” The beast lowered its head again and snuffled at the air in the courtyard. “I smell it now.”

“And I say again that you will not find a single slave in this place. This is the Temple of Varzela, Lady of the Otherworld and she does not suffer her followers to be killed.” Pigsnout waved his hands in a complicated gesture and a large ball of green flame expanded between his palms. “Leave now or you will die.”

The Balziag sniffed the air and peered at Pigsnout. “You slave from four island. You not quarry.”

Pigsnout’s face dropped and his eyes glittered as he growled back. “There. are. no. slaves. here. Leave or be incinerated.” He tossed the ball of fire from palm to palm.

Andren had to hold his jaw still to stop himself laughing. The tableau was ridiculous; against the enormity of the Balziag, Pigsnout looked insignificant and his fireball juggling comical.

The creature sniffed the air again. “I smell target. Give and I go.”

Pigsnout paused in his juggling. “What does your quarry smell like?”

The Balziag growled. “Dog.”

Andren realised with a jolt that it meant him. He began to draw his sword.

“The lady has a pet dog. She loves him dearly and would be wroth with me should I give him to you.” Pigsnout looked at Andren and shook his head.

The Balziag is almost blind. It sees through its sense of smell so there is a very good chance that it may ignore me. Andren realised.

The Balziag made a rusty creaking sound. “You funny, Pig Slave. Dog Slave behind you. I playing. Give dog slave and I leave.”

“Damn it to Nurgle.” The cleric cursed.

“Thank you for trying, Phoibus.” Andren said, drawing his sword and stepping up beside him.

Pigsnout shrugged. “It was worth a go. Shall we?”

“Yes.” Andren nodded. He faced the creature and called out. “You wanted me? Come and get me.”

As the Balziag roared and launched itself into the courtyard at them, the two autochthons split apart. Andren ran to the right and when the creature landed on the paving, he yelled and waved his sword.

Pigsnout took up position opposite Andren. Geregor had shifted perch to a nearby statue, his head cocked so that he could keep an eye on the action.

The Balziag swiped at Andren with one horn. Simultaneously, its tail swept round to try and knock the canine’s feet out from under him. Andren jumped back over the tail and brought his sword down, hitting hard, bare horn and slicing the long blade from the creature’s head.

Pigsnout made a gesture over the ball of green fire with his free hand and as soon as it became blue, threw it at the Balziag. The ball seemed to stick to the creature’s spine plates and it shrieked, arching its back. Tiny bolts of lightning crackled out of the ball and crawled like caterpillars across the Carbonado scales, burrowing into the cracks.

Andren took full advantage of the Balziag’s distraction, first dashing in and slicing off the other horn at the base, dodging the spray of acidic blood; then he shouted “Get clear!” as he reversed his stroke and sliced through the creature’s head, severing it from jaw to ear.

Pigsnout had pulled back at Andren’s shout and watched amused as the segment of the beast’s head clung to the canine’s blade for just long enough to be thrown across the courtyard to splatter in a bubbling froth against the gatehouse wall.

“Interesting combat decision there.” He said to Andren as the autochthon used the rough cloth robe the demonic animal wore to clean his sword.

“What decision? I was trying not to get killed.” Andren shrugged. “I like the lightning ball you used. Made that fight a lot easier.”