Unfinished NaNoWriMo Chapter 2

Chapter 2 of my unfinished NaNoWriMo story
If you fancy reading Chapter 1 first, it is here.

2 Heaven

He had died. He laid back on the clouds, with St. Peter standing over him, clipboard in hand, accompanied by angels in white or blue robes. The light was bright, it was warm, not the freezing cold of Earth in winter. He blinked. The light of the Lord was too much, and he would be found unworthy. He tried to shield his eyes, but there was a wire in his hand, and it hurt to move.

St Peter took out a pen, and made a note on the clipboard, as he said, “Don’t try to move just yet, Mr …?”

John didn’t answer. He was confused. Why would St Peter not know his name?

“Where am I?”

“St Luke’s hospital. You passed out in the subway station. We couldn’t find any identifying documents, so we don’t really know much about you. Rather difficult to treat you without medical records.”

John’s head slumped back on the soft pillow. Not a cloud, but a bed. It wasn’t St. Peter, but St Luke. No, not St. Luke, but a doctor. He wasn’t dead. He felt … what did he feel? Everything and nothing. If he had been dead, and this were heaven, it was pretty much alright. Clean sheets, warm enough, and presumably, there would be regular meals. But would he have made the cut. He tried to weigh up his own life without bias. He half laughed at himself for the audacity of such a thing. How could he possibly remain unbiased while deciding if he should be allowed into heaven? He couldn’t even be certain of writing an honest review about his latest song.

St Peter was speaking to one of the other angels, “See if you can find out some details about him. If we can’t I suppose we’ll just have to do the best we can, and then discharge him as soon as he’s fit enough to go home. Assuming he has a home.”

‘Home! Star!’ John remembered he needed to feed the cat. He sensed he was thinking more lucidly again. He could see he was in a hospital, but he felt fine. No broken bones, no cuts or burns, no infection or neoplasm, his heart was beating normally now, and he had no breathing difficulties. He was in fine physical shape. He didn’t need their help. Star, on the other hand couldn’t feed himself. Star was the cat, his name short for Astaroth. Ok, naming your cat after a demon might be a black mark on St Peter’s clipboard, he had to admit. But taking good care of the cat, when he often forgot to look after himself, that was a big plus mark, right? That must be like, fifty heaven points right there. Anyway, it was just a name, and Star could be a right little devil sometimes.

“Nurse.” The word came out as a feeble, almost inaudible, croak; as though a very sleepy frog was trying to get someone to lift a heavy log off their back.

‘Nope, that’s not how my voice is supposed to sound.’ He thought.

He coughed, experimentally, and did the shortest vocal exercise in the history of music. “NURSE!”

‘Oops, bit loud.’

He hid under the bedsheet as a nurse bustled over, looking aggrieved.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to shout. Errm, when can I go home?”

“The doctor will need to see you before you can be discharged.”

“I really need to feed the cat.”

She consulted the little fob watch on her pocket absently as she said, “Doctor will be doing his rounds later this afternoon.”

“This afternoon? What time is it?”

The nurse looked again at her watch and said, “Eleven thirty-two.”

John enjoyed, fleetingly, the fact that she had literally just looked at her watch, and then had to look at it again the moment he asked the time. Then he recalled that it had been early evening when he had been chased by the barbarian horsemen; sorry, correction, biker gang. So he had been in hospital overnight? Which meant that the need to get back and feed Star was even greater now.

The nurse bustled away. He looked at the line in his wrist. It wasn’t actually connected to anything. Just there in case they needed it. He gently peeled the retaining tape away and slid the thin metal needle out of the vein. It hurt. John wasn’t brave or tough. He was a musician not a fighter. But this was too important. He replaced the tape with the little wad of lint, and held it in place as it felt like the stickiness was worn away. His jeans and tee shirt were in a bag in the bedside table. His coat, which wasn’t warm enough hung on the chair.


Same rule applies. If you want to read more you just have to ask, and I will post up chapter 3.

I don’t want to bore people.

My unfinished NaNoWriMo story

I stopped writing my NaNoWriMo at 17,796 words on day 8

I only started it for a giggle, I was well on target, but the story just didn’t have the legs for 50,ooo words, in my humble opinion.

Actually, perhaps with time or sufficient motivation I could have done it, but I really do have better things to do.

Anyway, I thought I may as well offer up my efforts so you can have a giggle, at my unpolished pantsing.

Chapter 1
John

‘Don’t look back,’ John thought, ‘just keep running’. He crossed the street and a cab screeched to a halt, the driver waving a fist. John looked back. They were gaining. Crowds; crowds were useful, he was small, with a low centre of gravity. He could twist and turn, disappear into crowds, invisible among tall people in heavy cloaks. A marketplace would be great; redolent of spices from the farthest corners of the empire, or a port! Ports were a good place to lose oneself among travellers. There was the entrance to the underground up ahead. People were entering and leaving in large numbers. He focussed his thoughts on reaching the safety of the crowd and put on an extra spurt. A gust of warm stale air rushed up the stairs as he dived among the harried commuters.

“Hey, watch where you’re goin’ asshole!”

A woman crossed his path dragging a bright red case on wheels. He hurdled it like he was a youth, jumping a bonfire. ‘The onlookers roared with approval as John the minstrel leapt the flames to purify his soul…’ his thoughts were interrupted by a man carrying two bags of groceries clasped to his chest between outstretched arms. There was no way to avoid a collision. He was a big man, the look in his eyes spelled murder, but somehow, despite the speed of the collision, nothing was spilled. John cradled the bags as though he was the saviour and not the cause of the whirlwind of chaos that had briefly engulfed the big man. Smiling cheekily, he said, “My lord, you dance divinely, but I must not tarry, I bid you good-day sir.”

And then after a brief involuntary tango, the two men parted, no better acquainted than when they had met, and John sprinted down into the cavernous dungeon where metal serpents roared through tunnels, spewing sparks. The barriers ahead were no obstacle. He slid under them. Timing was everything. He chanced another glance back, he couldn’t see them, but they would surely follow. Another sprint took him onto the train, and then moving along the carriage, between surly teenagers and elderly couples. A man with a bushy red beard, and amateurish tattoos, looked like he might be a Pictish warrior, although the MP3 player and the little earbuds suggested otherwise.

‘Come on doors. CLOSE!’

The background music was fast and intense in his mind, snare drums featured heavily in the mix, power chords, and… was that mandolin? The rhythm was intensifying, it was keeping time with his heartbeat, which was already too fast, but seemed to be getting fasterer. And there they were, sprinting towards the train where he was either a rat in a trap, or safe and sound. It all depended on the doors closing. ‘NOW!’

There were three of them. Warriors of the Eastern steppes, in leather and high boots, he couldn’t see weapons, but of course, they would be sheathed until combat, the blade sharp enough to cut through chain mail. The doors closed; the barbarians were defeated. The serpent moved forwards, slowly at first, then gaining speed, it roared into the labyrinthine tunnels towards the next valley. He fingered the item in his pocket. It seemed alien, a palm sized rectangle of smooth black obsidian. He touched a raised area on the side and the obsidian surface lit up. He slid his finger across the smooth stone and revealed the news that he had no internet connection. John put the phone back in his pocket and tried to focus on what was real and what was not.

The subway train slowed, and John stepped out onto the platform. In his haste, he had gone in the wrong direction. It didn’t matter, he had nowhere special he needed to be. The barriers were attended though. That was awkward, he would need a diversion. He looked around. The platform was deserted. His heart was beating faster again. He could feel it, bursting from his chest.

‘Run into him. The shock will give you time to escape. There’s nobody else around,’ the internal monologue said.

John shook his head. He had already spent most of the day running away from those other guys. He didn’t need to kick their horses, err, bikes. He didn’t need to call them hairy barbarian scum. But he had done it anyway. There was a rushing noise like another train coming into the station. But there was no train, no serpent, no magical sparks, and there was the royal guard, waiting at the gates to the city. He was an outsider, an interloper, outlawed. There was a price on his head, the King himself would surely oversee the torture, unless he could get past un-noticed.

He ran, only he wasn’t running, he was moving as though through treacle, the rushing noise was deafening now. Another metal serpent curved into the station spitting fire, but the sound was drowned out by the waterfall, the roaring screaming noise of water, falling and slowing him down, and then, there was nothing.


It only takes ONE comment from a reader who wants to read chapter 2, and I will post it up for you.

I gave up on NaNoWriMo

In case anyone is wondering first of all what it is, here’s a link https://nanowrimo.org/

If you don’t want to follow the link, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, and it is now an international event every November when writers take on the challenge of finishing a 50k + word novel in 30 days.

Pros and Cons

First off, I should say that I wasn’t really that fussed about doing it in the first place, but I fancied having a go after deriding the whole idea.

Actually, I seriously don’t know what I feel about this idea. In one way, I can see it is a great way to focus writers’ minds on a deadline, and getting them all to work together and encourage each other; but in another way, I don’t think great novels are written in a month. I’d go so far as to suggest that NO worthwhile novel was EVER written in a month.

Now, I can almost hear you screaming, “But that’s not the point!” 

A lot of writers will have plotted aspects of their novel in the months leading up to NaNoWriMo, and anyone who has written anything they want to publish will no doubt put their manuscript through a full editing process before it reaches the market.

Another thing I don’t much like is the constant badgering you to contribute to their “non-profit”. What exactly does my money go to?

Well, it goes towards running the site, and funding educational programs, but at this stage in my writing career, I am the one who needs funding. I think a lot of us probably feel that way too.

OK, so fair enough, nobody forces you to donate, and they do good work with it, but it was a bit incessant; a bit “American”, if I am honest. Anyway, that’s not why I stopped.

Here’s why I stopped.

I decided to be a total purist. I had no need or reason to do NaNoWriMo apart from the curiosity to see if I could write a 50,ooo word novel in a month. So there was no point in using an idea that I was already working on.

I set out with nothing more than a few suggestions from Facebook friends on November the 1st, and I ‘pantsed’* it the whole way.

*New word; “pantsed” verb “to pants” – from the noun “pantser” one who writes by the seat of their pants; as opposed to a “plotter” one who plots the story beforehand.

I got as as far as 17,796 words in the first 8 days when I decided that there was simply not enough meat in the idea for 50,ooo words.

Since it did not matter to me, I stopped. Simple as that.

The Story.

It was a fairly daft idea, but maybe fun.

Possibly someone might enjoy it, or possibly someone might even want to take it over and make it work. I don’t care. I have too many book ideas, and nothing like enough time.

I am going to post it up on the blog, and even if just one person wants to read it, they can.

Chris Mouse time is nearly here

Special Agent Felix Whiter returns in a brand new adventure.

Ok, now I know there will be more people saying “Who?” than “Yay!” about this, but that is going to change over time until everyone knows all about Felix Whiter. If you have already read “For Cats’ Eyes Only” you can scroll down, or click here.

Who is Felix Whiter?

Created to coincide with the 2017 Summer Reading Challenge, with the theme “Animal Agents” Felix is a special agent at A.I.S. (Animal Intelligence Services) based in Beech House. He’s a cool cat who always gets his man, although Swifty the Tortoise often gives him the slip.

His boss is a white mouse called M, and her assistant is a white stag called Jonathan Hart. There is also an owl called Olli who is a few feathers short of a nest.

The series is illustrated by Amii James, an art student currently at Petroc college and going on from there to university to study illustration with a view to becoming a children’s book illustrator.

Chris Mouse

The sequel “Dr. Gnaw” is set in winter, and the animals have a tradition that dates back to one very cold winter, when the animals were all cold and hungry. One brave mouse called Chris set off to find food, accompanied by Old Father Squirrel. They were gone for 7 days and nights, but on their return they brought sacks of cheese, and nuts.

Every winter, the animals remember, by exchanging gifts, and eating good food, and they all wish each other a Happy Chris-Mouse and dress up as old father squirrel in his acorn hat; although Felix isn’t really all that keen on it.

Felix has a new partner; a spaniel called Holly, and he has to get over his dislike of dogs. He and Holly get invited to a posh party at the Akita-Shibu Bank. Felix goes under an assumed name; John McClaw, but soon he is fighting for his life, and Holly’s too when a gang of villains, led by Hans the Rat, take everyone hostage, and try to rob the bank.

If the plot sounds familiar, you should see some of the jokes! Blue Poppy Publishing would like any film companies, or 1970s comedy double acts to send writs, in the first instance, to our contact email. We don’t have any money, but the publicity of a court case could well change that.

Funding a new book by a new author

Teeny Tiny Witch, by Sheila Golding.

Teeny Tiny Witch is, as her name suggests, is quite small. She also prefers the colour red, to black, and in addition, her spells often go catastrophically wrong.

As a result she is banished from Witch Island, and has to leave her mother, and all her friends.

Cold and alone, she befriends a dragon, named Quanga, and his mother, who works for a grumpy old wizard.

While Teeny Tiny Witch may be able to help the wizard to cheer up, but what she really wants is to go back home; and that requires not only all her courage, and strength; but she must to defy the odds, and get a spell right for a change.

Gloriously illustrated by North Devon graphic artist Colin Rowe (Corvus Design) this is a story that will charm younger readers, or make a perfect bedtime story for ages 4-7.

We are crowdfunding to cover the cost of printing and need to raise at least £1,000 Here’s the link to the Kickstarter project. It finishes on the 8th of October, and every pledge and share will help.

 

 

Pronunciation and Glossary for ‘Children of the Wise Oak’

Pronunciation

Some of the Celtic names in the book are made up from proto-Celtic, proto-Indo-European (PIE) or existing languages like Welsh and Breton. Others are actual names. Nobody really knows exactly how the Iron-age Celts spoke, but I have assumed a similarity to Welsh. In my mind, ‘R’ is usually rolled as in Italian, but if you have trouble with that don’t worry. In fact, please pronounce any name as you wish and if anyone tells you it’s wrong, point to this sentence.

  • Blodwyth – Blod-uith
  • Blyth – Rhymes with scythe
  • Cuilleana – Quill-e-aa-na
  • Darruwen – Long ‘a’
  • Durgal – Long ‘u’ rolled ‘r’
  • Elarch – Ell-ark – roll the ‘r’, ‘ch’ as in ‘loch’
  • Kaito – Kay-toe
  • Kyndyrn – Kin-d’yi-rn
  • Ruthgem – Roll the ‘r’ – the ‘g’ is not soft like the English ‘gem’ nor hard like ‘get’ it is more in the back of the throat like a cross between ‘g’ and ‘h’ I’m really sorry, even I don’t know why, but it is.
  • Teague – Teeg
  • Trethiwr – Treth-yewerr (hard ‘th’)
  • Urien – You-rr-i-en

 

Glossary

A few terms in the text may not make sense immediately. So here’s a handy guide to some of the more obscure names.

Gods and historical characters

  • Bellenos – sun god, equivalent to Apollo.
  • Brynno – my imagined Celtic spelling of Brennus.
  • Brigantia – Brighid or Bride, the Celtic goddess who releases spring from the grip of winter.
  • Cernunnos – a horned god.
  • Govanno – a god of alcohol.
  • Poeninos – god of a specific mountain in the Alps.
  • Leucetios – a god of lightning.
  • Taranis – a god of thunder.
  • Lenus – a god of healing.
  • Deus Pater – also spelled Dis-Fater when pronounced by the Germanic Celts of Entwalen-Dun (equivalent to Jupiter/Zeus).

 

 

Places and tribes

  • Armorica – an area equivalent to modern day Brittany.
  • Ba-dun – a hill fort not far from modern day Dorchester.
  • Bibracte – Gaulish town.
  • Boii – a Celtic tribe.
  • Carnuti – a Gaulish tribe.
  • Catuvellauni, Trinovantes, Belgae, Atrebates, and the Cantiaci – some Celtic tribes of Britain.
  • Cosedia – a port in northern Gaul, now modern day Coutances in Normandy.
  • Dumnoreix – a Gaulish chieftain.
  • Dwr-y-tryges – tribal name for the people who lived in Dorset and parts of Somerset.
  • Eceni Mawr – the Iceni (hard ‘c’).
  • Eiru – Ireland.
  • Entwalen-Dun – hill-fort between two lakes.
  • Eryri – Eagle people (fictional name of a tribe from a mythical era in the distant past).
  • Genabo – a Gaulish town, Cenabum in Latin, equivalent to modern day Orléans.
  • Helleni – Greeks.
  • Keltoi – the Greek name for all the Celtic peoples.
  • Lingones and Morini – Gaulish tribes around modern Belgium.
  • Lugh-Dun – Lugdunum, another Gaulish town. Modern-day Lyons.
  • Massalia – modern day Marseilles. Founded by Greeks but under Roman protection/control by the period of the story.
  • Maywr-dun – a larger hillfort. Maywr means big or great.
  • Narbo – Roman garrison town – modern day Narbonne.
  • Nevez-Dun – a Gaulish town. The name is back- imagined from the Latin Noviodunum.
  • Pretan – the island we now call Britain.
  • Pretani – the people of Pretan – a general term and not a tribal name.
  • Roma – Rome.
  • Romani – Romans.
  • Sennoni – a Celtic tribe usually written as the Senones.
  • Silures and Ordovici – Celtic tribes of Wales.
  • Suindinum – chief town of the Cenomanni – modern day Le Mans.
  • Unelli – Gaulish tribe in modern day Normandy.
  • Unellia – land of the Unelli.
  • Ynis-Mona – Anglesey (modern day Ynis Mon in Welsh).
  • Y-Trwsgani – an imagined Celtic rendering of Etruscans.

 

Other

  • Belotonios – Beltane, the start of summer and the second most important festival in the Celtic year after Samhain. The Celts celebrated the cross quarter festivals, between the solstices and equinoxes. Theirs was emphatically a lunar calendar and it is likely that feasts were held at a significant point on the lunar cycle, not on a fixed date in the solar year. In other words, much more like Easter than May Day.
  • Brachae – trousers. The Celts appear to have invented trousers, instead of wearing tunics and togas as the Romans and Greeks did.
  • Contubernium – a small unit of Roman soldiers consisting of eight legionaries and two supporting servants.
  • Decanus – leader of the ten men in the contubernium.
  • Deru-Weidi – Druids – the name is a back creation based on an ancient word for the oak tree, ‘Deru’, and the root of our modern word Wise, ‘Weido/i’.
  • Deru-Weido – a Druid.
  • Imbolc – the end of winter when the ewes start to come into milk and lambing season begins. Around the end of February.
  • Lugunasath – Lughnasadh – the end of summer. Harvest time.
  • Retiarius – a type of gladiator who used a fishing net and trident
  • Riurios – a month according to the Coligny calendar, approximately equivalent to December.
  • Samonios – Samhain (pronounced ‘Sow-een’) – the origin of our modern Halloween festival and the Celtic New Year. The most important feast in the Celtic year, when the veil between this world and the next is thinnest, allowing for the possibility of communication with the dead.
  • Thermopolia – (singular Thermopolium) a kind of café, not to be confused with Thermopylae, the famous battle.

For Cats’ Eyes Only Author Visit Read and Craft session

The launch of “For Cats’ Eyes Only draws ever nearer and for any libraries in Devon, or beyond for that matter, who would like an author visit, here’s what to expect.

  • Ideal for kids aged 6 – 10 years but with a bit of leeway either side.
  • Suggested max 30 children per session.
  • Olli will talk briefly about how the book came about and answer any questions.
  • Reading passages from the story which is packed with terrible puns, with a fair bit of silliness, and a smattering of fart humour.
  • Everyone (who wants to) gets to make their own personalised secret agent I.D. card which can be disguised as a credit card.
The craft activity
Step 1 : Take pre-printed template.
Step 2 : Fold along the vertical divide
Step 3 : Glue the inside and stick firmly down
Step 4 : You now have the credit card on one side and ID card on the other
Step 5 : Fold in half again, with the credit card facing outside
Do not glue this time. Write your name on the front of the card, and sign the back.
Step 6 : Add your thumb or fingerprint to the ID card. You can stick a passport photograph of yourself, or a picture of an animal in the photo space
Step 7 : For the finishing touch, stick the special holographic sticker on the card, to give it an authentic look.

For a poster to promote this activity right click and “save as”

PDF file (716kb not easily edited) 

Word 2016 DOCX (960kb editable file)

JPG file (5mb editable image)

 

Olli Tooley Author visits

Just a quick blog post to list the dates booked so far for my author visits this summer.

Saturday 15th July 10:00 – 15:00 is the official launch of the Summer Reading Challenge and I will be at Barnstaple library North Devon for that, although I won’t be selling For Cats’ Eyes Only because it is being launched at Ilfracombe library’s event.

Wed 19th July 15:30 – 18:00 is the launch of the Summer Reading Challenge at Ilfracombe Library. I will be there with copies of “For Cats’ Eyes Only” to give to all children who sign up for the challenge. Amii James will be there too, doing a related art/craft activity as well as face painting, balloon animals, and more.

For Cats’ Eyes Only reading and craft session
  • Mon, 24 July 10:30–12:00 Tavistock Library, The Quay, Plymouth Rd, Tavistock PL19 8AB
  • Tue, 25 July 10:30 – 12:00 Ilfracombe Library, The Candar, Ilfracombe EX34 9DS
  • Fri, 28 July 10:30 – 12:00 Dawlish Library, 1 Lawn Hill, Dawlish EX7 9PY
  • Fri, 28 July 14:30 – 16:00 Newton Abbot library, Passmore Edwards centre, Market St, Newton Abbot TQ12 2RJ
  • Tue, 1 August 10:30-12:00 Crediton Library, Belle Parade, Crediton
  • Tue, 1 August 14:30-16:00 Lynton Library, 17 Queen St. Lynton EX35 6AA

Week commencing 7th August, I have to visit beautiful Suffolk. Never one to waste an opportunity…

  • Sat, 12 August 11:00-14:00 Chantry Library Summer Fair T.B.C.
  • Tue, 8 August 14:00-15:30 Gainsborough library, Clapgate Ln. IP3 0RL
  • Wed, 9 August 10:30-12:00 Hadleigh library, 29 High St, IP7 5AG
  • Thu, 10 August 10:30-12:00 Haverhill library Camps Road, CB9 8HB
  • Thu, 10 August 14:00-15:30 Glemsford library, Tye Green, CO10 7RH
  • Fri, 11 August 14:00-15:30 Ipswich County Library, Northgate Street, IP1 3DE

And then back to Devon…

  • Mon, 14 August 10:30 – 12:00 Barnstaple library, Castle Walk, Barnstaple
  • Wed, 16 August 10:30 – 12:00 Combe Martin library
  • Wed, 16 August 14:00 – 15:00 Okehampton Library, 4 North St, Okehampton EX20 1AR
Finishers’ events

I’m thrilled to be able to add, that I am at two finishers’ events.

  • Sat 16 September 10:30-12:00 Ilfracombe Library finishers event
  • Sat 16 September 14:00-15:30 Braunton Library finishers event

 

For Cats’ Eyes Only – Preview

Launching soon

For Cats’ Eyes Only was commissioned to coincide with this year’s Big Summer Reading Challenge 2017 (n.b. it is NOT an official BSRC book)

If you are aged 4 – 11 yrs and live in Ilfracombe, you can get a FREE copy just by coming along to Ilfracombe library and signing up for the challenge on Wednesday 19th July

Otherwise, you can still get a copy shortly after that date from all good bookshops, as well as online here or on Amazon.

Young readers in Devon can also come along to their local library and meet the author, as well as do a fun craft session related to the book. See here for confirmed dates. If your local library isn’t on the list, then be sure to ask them why not.

Here’s a sneak preview of the prologue of the book.

Prologue

The End … Or is it?

“Not one more step, Swifty!”

Special Agent Felix Whiter sighted down the barrel of his Buckthorn and Beech .22 pistol at the tortoise, who had thought he was getting away. Swifty knew he could hide in his shell but, either way, there was no escape this time.

“Felix! I wish I could say I’ve been expecting you but, alas, it seems you have the upper hand.”

“Did you really think you could get away with it, Swifty?”

“Well, I guess I didn’t expect that you would be assigned to the investigation. You’re a cool cat, I’ll give you that.”

“My team are already rounding up your minions, and the lettuces are safely back in our warehouse. Now I just have to bring you in to make this a purrfect day.”

As the secret agent spoke, Swifty looked past him with a worried expression.

“I’m not falling for that old trick, Swifty. There’s nothing behind me.”

“Wanna bet?”

Felix swung round and sure enough, a little girl was coming towards them across the grass. She must have seen everything. Desperately he tried to hide the gun behind his back and dropped down onto all fours, purring and flicking his tail, but it was no use. He’d been caught.

The little girl looked at the cat, and then at the tortoise which was trying to look innocent and slowly sidling away towards a large oak stump.

“Did I just see you talking to that tortoise, puss-cat?” the little girl asked.

“Meow?”

“It’s no use pretending, I know I saw you standing up and pointing a stick at the tortoise, and you’re wearing clothes, and you were definitely talking, although I didn’t hear what you were saying.”

“Purr?”

Felix stalked over to the little girl and rubbed hard against her legs with his sides, purring and meowing for all he was worth.

‘Just a few minutes of this and she’s going to forget all about it,’ thought Felix.

Sure enough, the girl began to doubt herself. “I must have imagined it,” she said to herself as she scratched behind the cat’s ears. “I suppose some people do like to dress their cats in clothes as well,” she added.

At that moment, the cat turned its head to look at the point where the tortoise had been, only moments before. It was nowhere to be seen.

‘Drat!’ Felix thought.

Women of the Wise Oak artwork progress update

First pencil sketch

I posted about it earlier, but I’ll just add the first sketch here as well to complete the story.

Preliminary Sketch for “Women of the Wise Oak” cover design.

I’ve just had the latest progress update from Iver Klingenberg who is painting the cover art for Women of the Wise Oak and I have to say, it is going to be absolutely breathtaking.

It features a golden eagle flying over an alpine lake, and Iver is particularly adept at painting water. I don’t know whether to share the half finished painting with you or not. Will it spoil the surprise of seeing the fully finished artwork? Would anyone like to see it? Does anyone even care?

Leave a comment, and if we get enough (let’s say five) then I will post it here. If not then I will send an image to the few who want to see it via email.

Update 27/5/17

O.K. so, we only managed three comments. I guess, that is actually pretty good going for a small and not yet widely followed blog.

Here’s the work in progress. FANFARE!

Isn’t that lush? Can’t wait to see the finished thing.

Finished painting reveal.

Well, I have got a photograph of the finished painting now from Iver Klingenberg and, yes, it is every bit as amazing as I expected it to be.

So, d’ya wanna see it? Do ya? Do ya?

I know you do.

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Cover artwork for “Women of the Wise Oak” by Iver Klingenberg.