And the Tower is Back, Baby!

Well, the rewrite of “A Beginning” has not only been completed, but is also published and available to buy again!
There’s a sneak peek from the second book in the end matter as well as the rewritten main story, so I’ve tried to pack a lot into a little book…

The rewrite of Book 2 – “A Party at Castle Grof” is underway, as is the writing of “The Quargard Chronicles” (as mentioned in my last post) – a collection of stories and poetry based in the world of Quargard. That’s going to take me a while to put together, but hopefully it will have illustrations as well.

I’m also planning a limited edition hardback of twenty of each of the series books. The first ten of “A Beginning” will be numbered and will only available as a Goal on My Patreon Page, as a thank you to anyone who chooses to support me.
Again, this edition will have illustrations and maps of the dungeon that the book takes place in, and will take me a while to put together, so keep your eyes peeled!

Places to buy:

Smashwords –

Amazon e-Book –

Amazon Print Book –

Also available via Kobo, Apple and Barnes & Noble

I’d better get on and write now… before my kids interrupt me again!


Thoughts and Ramblings: Respect

Respect. It’s an odd word.

There’s so many people using it and sometimes I wonder if they know what it means. Hell, sometimes I don’t even know what it means, and I’m a writer. I should know what words mean… but sometimes the English Language stumps me and I have to turn to the old faithful, the dictionary.

Definition of respect


  • 1) [mass noun] a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements:the director had a lot of respect for Douglas as an actor
  • the state of being admired or respected:his first chance in over fifteen years to regain respect in the business
  • (respects) a person’s polite greetings:give my respects to their Excellencies
  • informal used to express the speaker’s approval of someone or something:respect to Hill for a truly non-superficial piece on the techno scene
  • 2) due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others:young people’s lack of respect for their parents
  • 3) a particular aspect, point, or detail:the government’s record in this respect is a mixed one


[with object]

  • 1) admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements:she was respected by everyone she worked with(as adjective respected)a respected academic
  • 2) have due regard for (someone’s feelings, wishes, or rights):I respected his views
  • avoid harming or interfering with:it is incumbent upon all hill users to respect the environment
  • agree to recognize and abide by (a legal requirement):the crown and its ministers ought to respect the ordinary law
Taken from entry in; 30/11/2012

Ignoring the other meanings for a moment, let’s look at the first:

a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements

How many people can you truly say that you respect? Can you actually say to yourself, while looking in your eyes in the mirror, that you respect someone that you have professed to hate?

Taking a personal example; I hate my Grandfather.

It might be a bit of a shocking example for many reasons, the very least of which is the fact that he passed on to the Summerlands a while back and one should never speak ill of the dead, but I have some very personal, very deep seated reasons for hating him. Some people that know what I am talking about may actually understand why I hate him.

Can I respect him?

I don’t know. I honestly, truly and with deep feeling in my bones do not know if I can respect him.

Why? Mostly because I barely knew him. Possibly if he hadn’t have done what he did to me, I might have been able to get to know him and I might have been able to respect him. However as things stand, I didn’t know him and I am unable to decide if I can respect him.

Can any of you say the same about the person that you hate?

Anyway, back to the main subject, why is it important to be respected?

Believe it or not, Wikipedia gives us a very good definition of the emotion of respect which may shed some more light on the question:

Respect gives a positive feeling of esteem or deference for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities of the one respected (e.g., “I have great respect for her judgment”).

It can also be conduct in accord with a specific ethic of respect.

Rude conduct is usually considered to indicate a lack of respect, disrespect, whereas actions that honor somebody or something indicate respect. Specific ethics of respect are of fundamental importance to various cultures.

Respect for tradition and legitimate authority is identified by Jonathan Haidt as one of five fundamental moral values shared to a greater or lesser degree by different societies and individuals.[1]

Respect should not be confused with tolerance, since tolerance doesn’t necessarily imply subordination to one’s qualities but means treating as equal.

The antonym and opposite of respect is contempt.

Taken from entry in; 30/11/2012

Respect is important because it defines civilisation. Everyone in this world is trying to gain respect in one form or another. And it has so many different forms… Self Respect; Environmental Respect; Cultural Respect; Societal Respect… and these are just the big ones.

Putting it simply, respect is the glue that ties civilisation together and when it is lost, differences become arguments, arguments become fights, fights become wars… and we all know what war does to civilisation.

Want an example? Okay. Let’s look at Israel and Palestine.

Going to the root of the problems in the geographical area of the world that these two countries claim is their land would probably be a whole article in itself.

Actually, thinking about it, the whole conflict could have a hundred different people analyse it and write weighty tomes about what they think is the problem and still not solve anything.

So I am going to tell you what my opinion on the matter is. Feel free to disagree; we’re all human after all and that is a big part of our nature, but I promise you I will respect your opinion (see #2 under Verb in the dictionary extract to see what I mean by that use of the word) and we shall remain on friendly terms.

Israel is the country that Judaism calls home. It is the place that their records tell them they come from and the birthplace of their religion.

Palestine is the geographical name for the area. When the news talks about the Israel /Palestine war what they are actually going on about is the State of Palestine…

Again, Wikipedia does a damn fine job of explaining this one, so I’ll let them enlighten you:

Palestine[i] (Arabic: فلسطين‎ Filasīn / Falasīn / Filisīn), officially declared as the State of Palestine (Arabic: دولة فلسطين‎Dawlat Filasin),[1][2][3] is a state that was proclaimed in exile in Algiers on 15 November 1988, when the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO’s) National Council (PNC) adopted the unilateral Palestinian Declaration of Independence.

Taken from entry in; 30/11/2012

So here we have two separate countries claiming the same piece of land.

Why did the war start? I don’t actually know why (that’s an article for someone more interested in the subject), but I do know that they could have lived together quite happily had they just respected each other’s differences and agreed to share the physical space. The World is quite a big place… even if the piece of land they are fighting over is pretty small in comparison

Historical region of Palestine (as defined by Palestinian Nationalism) showing Israel's 1948 and 1967 borders

Historical region of Palestine (as defined by Palestinian Nationalism) showing Israel’s 1948 and 1967 borders

See? Surely it’s big enough to be divided equably between the two countries? Especially if they were to respect each other’s wishes and religious places.

Obviously they couldn’t come to a respectful conclusion. Look what happened next:

Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip) showing Israel's 1948 and 1967 borders

Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip) showing Israel’s 1948 and 1967 borders

Surely both sides would be happy now? Well we all know from the news that neither side is happy. Look at how it stands now:

Palestinian National Authority showing Israel's 1948 and 1967 borders

Palestinian National Authority showing Israel’s 1948 and 1967 borders

Will they ever be able to respect each other enough to live together without fighting? That’s a question that only time can tell.

Why on earth are you maundering on about this? Is there an actual point to this article?

Um, yes, actually there is a point. And believe it or not it’s about people…

Think of the geographical location of Palestine as a single person. What do you get?

One very messed up disturbed person! Schizophrenic even…

Definition of schizophrenia


[mass noun]

  • a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behaviour, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.
  • (in general use) a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements:Gibraltar’s schizophrenia continues to be fed by colonial pride




 /-ˈfrɛnɪk/ adjective & noun


early 20th century: modern Latin, from Greek skhizein ‘to split’ + phrēn ‘mind’

Taken from: 30/12/2012

And the way that Palestine is looking, I’d say that there was almost no hope left of curing them… I could be wrong; I hope I’m wrong. As a Person, Palestine  lost it’s self respect  a long time ago.

In a person when you lose respect for yourself it starts you on a gentle downward slope. A lot of different things can cause that initial loss of self respect, but it’s what happens if you don’t recover that feeling of admiration for yourself that concerns me.

Why it concerns me is that I had an Eureka moment today.  And yes, it actually happened in the bath. All the best things happen in the bath; half my best story ideas occurred to me in the bath… as well as a few other things. This particular eureka moment is a bit more serious… And this is where what I said about my Grandfather comes in as well.

What my Grandfather did to me (no, I won’t tell you exactly what it was, just that it should never ever happen to an eight year old girl) stopped me from developing my own self respect properly. Then I went through the whole growing up thing, hit teenage years and what little self respect I had managed to regain disappeared into being a teenager.

When you’re a teenager, you are looking to be treated as an adult, but still want to act like a child. So you do some very stupid things to gain respect from your peer group.

In my case, that included getting completely and utterly blotto on red wine and throwing up in other people’s gardens on the way home, as my long suffering little sister did her best to get me home (did I ever say thank you to her for that? I can’t remember, but I’m saying it now – THANK YOU, CHRISSIE!)

You mistake the respect and tolerance that adults give each other as self respect… and in the process you lose what little self respect you actually have.

Now most people climb back out of that particular pit and redevelop their self respect. I did too, pulled myself back out, went to uni and met my fiance… then I had kids.

One of the things that they don’t warn you about having children is that if you aren’t careful, you can lose your self respect. I did. I mistook the love I had for my children as self respect and submerged myself in their needs. I forgot about my needs. There’s a fine balance between loving your children so much you give yourself over to them totally and loving them while you love and respect yourself.

In the bath, I realised that I had done the former.

It’s time to get myself and my self respect back…again.

And that revelation and realisation makes me happy. It’s going to be tough, but I’m going to do it.

NaNoWriMo, Not Enough Sleep and Odd Dreams…

I’m doing NaNoWriMo again. This is my fifth year and I’m working on the fourth book in “The Secret of Arking Down” series. This doesn’t mean that the other books are finished of course. Of all of them, Book One is the only one that has been Published.

“Angel’s Crown” was the first book that I wrote for NaNo and was my first ‘win’ in 2009.

If you fancy finding out about it, check out the amazon page –

UK Readers:

US Readers:

and maybe even buy a copy…  *Smiles and flutters eyelashes.*

Of course, I headed straight back to NaNo in 2010. By this time, I had come up with enough ideas, all interlinked, for a series, so for that year, I wrote “The Dragon’s Pendant”.

This was another win, but it almost wasn’t because I scraped in under the wire with just over fifty thousand words at midnight on November 30th. This one needs serious editing and isn’t scheduled for release until early summer next year.

Last year, I attempted NaNo again. I took book three in the series, “The Second Door” and tried to juggle writing, art & design coursework and family all at the same time.

Needless to say, it wasn’t a year which I won. I’d completed about thirty thousand words when I was forced to choose between homework and writing. Homework and family won and I let go of the writing for the moment.

I’m still trying to complete this book and it is almost finished, but there’s no way it will be ready for release until late next year.

This year it is the turn of “Daemon’s Will”. Things are going quite well at the moment, considering that we’re six days in and I’m just over twelve thousand words into the story.

I’m currently a full time carer for my Son who has Aspergers and is going through a rite of passage by going to High school for the first time. So I have plenty of time for writing.  I should be happy.

But something is obviously bothering me, because I’ve been having odd dreams. They aren’t nightmares, but they all seem to be about one thing: Sex.

Get your minds out of the gutter…

If you know anything about psychology and /or dream interpretation, sex in dreams isn’t actually about wanting more of it (well sometimes it is), more often there are other reasons for dreaming about sex.  Sex is about human intimacy, true and often that can be what you are trying to work out in your mind, but there are other reasons for it as well, depending on what you dream about.

For example dreaming of being raped can be as much to do with a violation of person space than it is to do with the act. It mostly about power issues between male and female sides of the psyche.

Feeling desire for someone else, most often of the opposite gender, is a basic urge for closeness. We are looking for a part of ourself that we have lost and the other character represents the closest we can get to it. If it’s a purely physical desire, then it comes from the selfish side of ourselves.

Now, I’m not going to recount the dream to you – for a start it involves a celebrity that I have a major crush on and I don’t want him to suffer from any rumours because I’m dreaming about him! I’ve never met him, I’m never likely to meet him, he’s a fantasy crush from the TV.

I will however say that he’s a dancer…

Now everyone who knows me will be running through what I’ve been talking about recently and will probably come up with the right person…

When I analysed my dream, I realised that what this dancer represents to me, isn’t him as a man, but the side of myself which I have never fully developed.

I’m fascinated with dancers and dancing. I find them sexy and exciting, which is the complete opposite of how I see myself. They are flamboyant and sensual; the female dancers are feminine in a way that I have never associated with myself and they have a confidence that I can only envy.

Dance is very controlled, especially ballroom, you have to learn the movements correctly and add them to the music in the right places for the dance to look flowing and effortless when performed. This dancer is also very masculine. He looks like the sort of man that would look after his partner, love and admire her with everything he does.

Right now, I feel very much feeling like a middle aged mum. I’m frumpy, flumpy and boring. The house is a state and I feel very much like I’m not in control of my life.

I’m having to live from moment to moment on not a lot of money (only what the government deems I am allowed to have to look after the children) and my partner isn’t helping a lot because he is currently an Art Student, which means he isn’t bringing any money into the house, but also means he doesn’t have enough time to help around the house. He’s always tired and when he isn’t sleeping, watching TV or playing on his games console, he’s working on his coursework.

So our relationship is at a bit of a low at the moment as well.

So when I’d finished analysing this dream, I came up with the following.

  1. I need to get in control of the things that I can control.
  2. I need to find the feminine, flamboyant side of me again.
  3. I need to take responsibility for my own actions to get what I want.

Add these three things to the fact that I can write all I want to at the moment, and I’ll be happy. Hopefully, realising these things will stop these dreams from bothering me, I’ll be able to gets some sleep and write properly again!