Well, the VBT is underway at http://somuchtowritesolittletime.com/ with my thanks to the host already up and one nice comment. But past guest blogs, reviews, previews and whatnot, its left me with nothing to blog about this week that won't pop up in the next few weeks.
That leaves me with a conundrum, since I don't want to blog about the book, or writing the second book, or the pratfalls of taking certain comments in a bad review badly, or doing another History of Talbadas post.
Maybe you'd like the views on when the 21st Century will actually get here. Well, we have ski goggles with a HUD that takes photos and posts to Facebook and after 20 years Virtual Reality has finally been figured out. In true Idiocracy standards, those photos have been close ups of trees that the wearers ran into because they weren't used to the whole HUD idea. But there's been no tangible advances in the flying car, the hoverboard or replicants; just the laceless Nike's from Back to the Future.
Maybe you'd like to hear my political view, but I'd rather not get started on minimising tax deductions, dropping welfare from those who can afford it, building more public transport and that High Speed Train we've needed for the past 40 years, and plugging budget gaps with fat, rich, loudmouth miners. Frankly, like I do with politicians on TV, I'd mute myself and have a groan.
Maybe you'd like to hear the one about how one-legged waiters work at IHOP. Better yet, maybe you'd like to hear my plans to import IHOP and Culvers into Australia.
But before I forget, today is Anzac Day, where we commemorate not only the Gallipoli landings in 1915, or the loss of Australian and New Zealander "Diggers" in this campaign, but remember the lives lost in many wars. And while steeped in no small degree of mythicism and glorification, sometimes flippantly ignoring the horrific reality of conflict (look up Wilfred Owen for some honesty and what he really thought of Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori), I'd like to remember ALL who fought and died in any war, no matter the legitimacy, no matter the reason.
Why we have to go to such lengths, I simply do not understand. What we need are heroes to stop hatred and cruel ambition.
Don't forget the your chance to win one of five review copies of The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart.
My thanks to BK Walker for setting all this up. Hope to catch you there!
In other news, I've made my next update to the History of Talbadas. I know it's been a long time coming, but I'm getting back on track with this and Volume 2 of The Hero of Talbadas. Check out the update at http://historyoftalbadas.blogspot.com.au.
I tried to be kind, and constructive. All I've had in response is snide blog posts and whining comments. I have no desire to work with someone like this, and I wash my hands of this title.
I deeply regret the time and attention spent reviewing it.
The Indie Fantastic
Well, I messed up good and proper, which isn't the way to go with reviews. Not only did I forget not to take comments personally, but also my Milton: "He that studieth revenge keepeth his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well." That festering rot cost me a the review, I managed to put my foot in my mouth, wasted someone's time (freely given, too).
I'm not going to explain the background behind my over-defensiveness. So I'm a first timer, not used to it, not much of an excuse. I still stand by my book, and will defend it as necessary... just not with misplaced attitude as I did. Like everybody who stuffs up when they mean well, it will become a point for me to improve in future; for now, I feel like a p****, and its my own fault for it.
The reviewer told me, before offering a new review service, was their intention to write a book. I certainly applaud this, and wish all the best; but having published myself, the book is a part of the person. There's passion in the art, which goes further than imaginable - the story is a part of the author. At least, I hear it's easier to deal with the pain of a rough review (or its portions) the second time around.
For now, I apologise for my responses and posting. Clearly I was ill-equipped to deal with the one part of the criticism that saw me lose my cool. Hopefully the reviewer can take light in the fact the bulk of the review has seen me adjust the review copy to lighten the watermark I employed to the hilt, minimise my italics (but not remove them altogether), and see to the proofing errors (which are an ongoing project). Next step will be an editor to see to my content, and bring the narrative up to speed, so again.
Somehow, I don't feel the thanks is welcomed, and the apology brushed aside. So be it, it's not my place to force the outcome. I can only begin to beg for forgiveness.
As for the question of fandom, you should never give up what you enjoy or what you love; its like religion. But as a fan, one shouldn't forget the merits of opposing fan-bases, or people who don't agree with your fandom. Me getting snarky about it isn't going to help matters, but for me its not the end of the world. Yet if I don't learn from this, there'll be trouble in the waters ahead.
So for all you newbies, don't be surprised if your bad review really gets your goat. Just don't lose sleep over it, and try not to reply up front like I did. If in doubt, just don't reply to it. Now if only I could have viewed my destiny as hindsight; sorry, no sword and fire dreams for me.
A little sombre today, I know; and if the apology isn't accepted I certainly understand.
I went and messed up big time, taking a comment in a review too personally when I should have let it slide. Well, the review has been pulled, and I feel like a right little so-and-so for getting petty. A lesson learned in my next post, due on Wednesday.
I have added a "Work Update" page to keep you updated with my progress through my writing (excluding the History of Talbadas).
This will feature proofing updates of TSH, as they are made to correct the second edition.
If you happen to find a proofing error, jump a comment here or on the Facebook page and let me know about it - you will be awarded with a Like and a +1. I stand by my product, but without an editor at present, it makes proofing difficult.
I have also added the Where to Buy page, featuring links to my buying pages. While I post Amazon links and my CreateSpace eStores, you can find The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart at your favourite online book store.
I have also updated the Sample My Work (formerly Samples of My Works) page with an excerpt of the chapter, Metallurgy. Lamented (along with the following A Crude Homage) as "page after page" of swordmaking, you'll also come across some world building, character development, and a spot of romance that was overlooked.
For now, I'm back to Volume Two of The Hero of Talbadas, and my other projects.
This review has been pulled by the reveiwer after I had more than a bit of a brain snap over one tiny point. My own fault, nobody esle to blame in this matter. All future reviewers can be assured this isn't a mistake to be made twice, it was my first constructively "bad" review and I guess I wasn't ready to receive it.
After a bit of a momentous decision today, I have taken it upon myself to close off sales of The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart in it's first edition. But that isn't because my book isn't selling (okay, TSH kind-of ISN'T selling, but that's fine by me).
Rather, I made some changes, as I made known in another of my posts. Firstly I have completely edited TSH, streamlining its delivery - sort of a directors cut where all the fluff was cut out, to bring you, the reader, closer to the narrative. A massive undertaking, it has since involved a lot of proofing (which I'll make another run through in the coming months, but only for errors), and finally means I can release my second edition.
Secondly, I've gone ahead and split the book back into its acts, as I had before releasing the first edition. Namely removed due to a formatting issue, I have re-instated it to better split the narrative with these breaks, bringing it closer to my initial, "episodic" vision of TSH.
So without further ado, in the coming days you'll find TSH back with a vengeance, both in paperback and kindle editions. I intend to release on Kindle at 99c until the end of May (and will join this with the Smashwords edition when my Amazon exclusivity ends on the 12th); afterwards TSH will be made available at $5.99, discounts pending.
The paperback edition will continue at 50% off for those who kick it Old School, code will be provided as necessary!
Anyway that's it from me this week. Coming soon (and I know I've promised it for a while now) will be the long-awaited History of Talbadas updates, and I'll resume my other projects in the coming weeks. Not only does TSH need its sequel, but I have a lot of other story ideas!
As the Talhoffer does teach, In the sword you shall have
trust and belief, so that blood runs not over the eyes...
Hans Talhoffer, 1459 Fechtbuch
Fail: "recreationists" attempt to demonstrate longsword fighting.
In my news travels today, I came across this picture from England, of two "recreationists" demonstrating their efforts at longsword fighting. Besides the fact that these two gentlemen aren't actually wielding lonswords (these weapons have been shortened, as a safety measure), there are a few notable errors.
Now while I love "active history" - people bringing the past to life as close as can be to the reality - I can tell that from this picture, these two have failed trying to bring medieval combat to life. Here are three things wrong with this image.
1) Look at the eyes.
The knight in yellow/blue is looking at the incoming weapon, not his opponent. This shows you his absolute intention to strike for the sword. A quick look at Manuscript Ms 3227 and the narrator (teaching Johan Liechtenauer directly) teaches that one should strike to the opponent's body, not to his weapon.
To be fair, this is a safety thing. But if these two practiced, used wider spacing, they could better represent true fighting.
2) Body positioning
If you look at the picture, you'll notice that both fighters are leaning back, away from the contact of weapons. Again likely used here for safety, both of these men are striking weakly (and woefully so!), a clear failure in what one might consider a judicial duel.
There is a saying presented in Mark Rector's Medieval Combat, I can't remember the source, but in a discussion of fighting it states that if one is afraid, they should not fight, because "a despondent heart will always be defeated, no matter the skill" (I may be paraphrasing incorrectly, apologies)
3) Nice head protection... NOT!
This is the one that annoys me the most. Look at the neck of the knight in black and white checks, and you'll see a rough bundle of "chain" (might only be imitation chain mail). That is his hauberk's coif, the hood of chain usually worn over the scalp for protection (sometimes under a helmet).
These two combatants are more worried about their hair than the realism - and are asking for a blow to the unprotected head.
So, here teaches a person who pays attention to details. These guys are so safety conscious that they bash their swords together (which would deliberately damage them), lean back from one another to avoid their weapon's swinging through to the face ... but don't know how to use a hauberk's coif to save their lives.
Come on, guys, strap on a pair and show it right. I'm not saying pull of a skuller and split one another's heads open from crown to jaw (what Robert the Bruce did to some English knight to earn the moniker, "the Warrior King") - but read your fight manuals, play out the "intention," and give us a proper show.
At present, the Black Knight fight from Monty Python and The Holy Grail looks more serious than this (and despite its slow swinging presents binding, winding, pummeling, knave wrestling, and using an unconventional kick to the groin)!
Anyway that's my realism beef for the day. Back to my proofing!
I promised there would be good news coming soon, and here it is.
On the 24th of this month, my Virtual Book Tour begins!
Run through Virtual Book Tour Cafe (http://www.virtualbooktourcafe.com), the tour is expected to run until the 20th of May. With ten stops total, I am also giving away 5 copies overall, with the possibility of one giveaway per stop if the hosts deem fit.
Now that I've got the good news out of the way, the bad news is my schedule, which is as follows:
April 22 - Introduction at VBT Cafe' Blog
April 24 -
April 26 -
April 29 -
May 2 -
May 7 -
May 9 -
May 13 -
May 15 -
May 17 -
May 20 -
Empty, huh? Don't worry, the schedule only came out a day ago, and should start filling very soon - will keep you posted on developments as they come, and look forward to reaching out to my potential audience!
Now that you know this, I have A Big Announcement:
Within the next four weeks, I will be releasing the second edition of The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart!
After some early critique, I took a long, hard look at my narrative and decided to improve it, clearing up descriptions and dialogue, removing most of the passive sentences and the "fluff" - the extraneous description I could do without.
What I ended up with is a book that, including the addition of the sample chapter from The Fear, The Sundering, The Journey, is 20 pages shorter than the initial release.
Following its release, my eBook exclusivity through Kindle Select ends on the 13th of May. Get ready, because The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart will soon be available in more than just one format!
I'll keep you posted on all developments. In the meantime, I'm going back to fixing The Fear, The Sundering, The Journey, ready for its intended October release.