Fretensis by Dennis Villelmi

Evening lovely readers 🙂

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Today I get to talk you about the pure indulgent creativeness that is Fretensis by Dennis Villelmi. I have to begin by apologising however; this review should have been released a while ago. Naughty, naughty Andrea. Be that as it may I will say that this book drew me in and caught my attention to the end.

Fretensis is a collection of prose that strikes the reader as dark and almost eccentric in it’s train of narrative. The imagery used is creative and thick like ooey gooey caramel poured seductively over velvet. I particularly liked the author’s use of a curious merging of Roman history, mythology, Christianity and everything in between; and of course the Legio X Fretensis.

For those who ask, the Legio X Fretensis is a legion of warriors that fought and were predominant in the period that saw the dissolution of the Roman Republic. They were, perhaps unsurprisingly, founded by Caesar. As many will know the Roman empire was full of dictators, Gods and debauchery anyway. I enjoy how the author ties all of this together.

There were particular highlights for me, where I felt everything tied together perfectly. For example, this juicy tidbit from the beginning really succeeds in setting the darker tone of the entire piece,

‘ But I am the one in whom reveries perish. I am the cemetery of dreams. Yet, between the east and the west of Caesar & Redeemer I can see the Leaden course of the mission flowing towards me. I can almost hear Jeudayn’s mother weep’

Here the imagery is steeped in a penultimate feeling referencing death and sorrow yet at the same time has a feeling of unjustified decadence, of Lords just out of reach of their peons.

Another section I particularly liked was one that struck very close for me. It’s one that resounds with such empathic emotion. It also signifies a theoretic movement in time from ancient Rome to more modern views. Who wouldn’t enjoy such a celestial comparison?

‘-I see the angel, hiding behind your eyes; I can see heaven, every time you cry.’

I know this could be taken many ways but I choose to see this in a heartfelt almost positive way. It shows that there is perhaps power behind everyone, the ability to make choices, and knowing how to make the right ones will bring happiness to all.

So, buy this book; you need it, you want it. The literary genius of the author, a wonderful friend of mine, shines through on every page from the imagery to language use, heck even to punctuation. Once you start this book you’ll need to finish it. You get drawn into a wonderfully dark World from which there’s no escape, not that you’d ever want to 🙂

Thank you 🙂

Oh My God, Super Writer Fan Girl Overload *Explode*

Evening lovely readers 🙂

Well today has been a great day I have to say. As quite a few of you will know the fabulous J. S. Collyer launched her début novel at Fantasticon last weekend in Hull. ‘Zero‘ is a fantastic slice of space pirate rompage mixed with intrigue and adventure, tears and happiness… Suffice it to say Fantasticon went very well and J. S. sold quite a few of her copies, signed of course, while enjoying so many other things. She had her own Q and A session as well as a reading from the stellar novel, a scene from Star Wars to be snapped in, all encompassing VR and oh so very much more 🙂 Here she is below with her Zero table among fellow authors;

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Well today I was thrilled to be able to attend her book signing in our home town of Lancaster (Hull was a little too far for me to attend 🙂 ). It was in the Novel Cafe (I kid you not; go for the cake, stay for the books) which was just the perfect setting in my own humble opinion. As some will know J. S is not only a great friend of mine but also my writing hero and I felt so happy by being able to attend alone. Look at the perdy lady with her best seller 🙂

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Perhaps the best part of today was that J.S took time out of her schedule to talk to you personally; she exhibited both an in-depth love and knowledge of literature while also proving to have a friendly, approachable attitude and personality to any and all. She took her time to write personal messages to each of her readers and conversed greatly with them. Any objective observer of the atmosphere (so not me) could see that J.S is the embodiment of the exceptional writer and will be successful in everything she does. I personally can’t wait for her next publication. I was speechless and honoured at the message she left in my hard copy (you can’t sign an e-book 🙂 );

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Thank you J.S for the wonderful day and also for the wonderful book, it will be on my multiple re-read list for a long time. Good readers, go and buy this book, you will in no way be disappointed!!!

On another smaller insignificant note I just want to say there is no flash fiction this week as I’m working on my second novel as we speak.

Thank you 🙂

We Have a Release Date…

Evening lovely readers 🙂

Well I’m very excited to say that my great friend J.S Collyer now has a release date for her super début novel Zero 🙂

 

Do you like science fiction? Do you like adventure? Do you like space pirates with lasers? I hear you all cry “What a daft question, of course we do.” Well then you won’t be disappointed with this excellent package of literary magnificence. The official book launch will be on the 16th August 2014 at the epic Fantasticon where J S Collyer will be signing copies, talking sci fi and just generally being quite frankly awesome. Luckily the eBook and paperback will be available on Amazon on the same day. I personally cannot wait. I do in fact have an advance copy for the purposes of reviewing it but there’s nothing like having a book written by one of your best friends officially on your Kindle. In having an advance copy I can in fact tell you that the novel is proving to be as fabulous as I expected and was it not that real life keeps interjecting I would be constantly reading this 🙂 Please keep your peepers peeled for my official review as I can promise it won’t disappoint: an awesome review for an awesome book I say 😉

In other news I can officially say that I have started my second novel while my first is being edited. As a bit of a difference I am not writing the sequel to my first novel, though I have that firmly ensconced in my mind, but another novel that I posted on here a while back. Then it was called Frozen due to it being about a blind winter fae archer but given the recent Disney outing I felt a title change was in order so soon there will be a post on my new Tears of Ice.

Thank you 🙂

*INCOMING* Excitement, Intrigue and Space Pirates

Evening lovely readers 🙂

I’m so excited for this post. Many who have read my posts before will know I mention one of my best friends J. S. Collyer quite a bit 🙂 She is an exceptional writer and loves to create fantastical Worlds of science and adventure. You can get little titbits of her creativity in the brilliant releases by the epic Dagda Publishers in the form of Tuned to a Dead Channel and All Hail the New Flesh. Her writing is known to be intricate with lovely velvety language use which draws you into her Worlds and refuses to let go. Her story in All Hail entitled Isaac Heights was particularly thrilling in my own opinion. You really don’t expect the ending and you’re left reeling desperate for more.

Anyway, I went off on a tangent there… The aim of this post today was to reveal that there has been a cover release for her forthcoming début novel. Zero is set to be released in August and promises to be an action packed space pirate romp full of explosions and LAZORSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! You know anything that J. S writes will be bordering on the epic with aspects of intrigue set to attract anyone. I for one am excited to read it and believe me when I say there will be a book review before you know it 🙂

Anyway, thank you for listening to me go on. Here’s the cover. Enjoy 🙂

The Pustoy by Phillipe Blenkiron

 

Evening lovely readers 🙂

Today I am thrilled to be able to bring you a review of the excellent The Pustoy written by Phillipe Blenkinron and released by the epic Dagda Publishers. Within the intriguing cover, as pictured above, is a poetic journey of dark dystopia, paranoia and the stark rule of the dictatorial upper echelons. We are treat to some intriguing prose depicting various emotions using wonderfully detailed aspects and language. You will not be disappointed by this collection.

The book begins much as a novel does, setting the stage for a diverse narrative to follow. The beginning prose ‘Lev Solokov’ gives you a view of events from the point of view of a child. There seems to be an innocence flowing throughout the beginning, only interlaced with others cynicism but again said with innocence. You are introduced to the protagonist sat on a counter top watching the parents work in the kitchen. The parents indifference to the World around them:

“Dad put down the buttering-knife and strode

in to my Mum Lev Solokov, the new PM,

he read from the telly Well, he can’t be any worse

than the rest of ‘em

shows a fault present within most societies nowadays: they can be worse than the rest, you only need to wait and see. This early insight into a sinister World is only confounded by the belief that science has cured the economic crisis: it shows what amounts to a witch hunt neatly dressed in political niceties. They claim to have developed a way to detect who had a soul and:

“Not only that, they had found a means

of detecting who didn’t have one.

These people became known as the Pustoy.”

Wham bang, thank you mam… Lets not feed certain people, lets hunt down those who are different… this fantastically written slice of prose pie seems to be the beginning of a dressed up murderer seeking their kicks within legal means. No one will miss those that they fear, those that are perceived to be different.

Now, I picked the beginning prose to go into because it is a wonderful example of setting the scene. You don’t know what is to follow as the very nature of prose poetry is to be as abstract as you like; one moment you could be explaining the environment, the next it could be going into the personal thoughts of a character; but you know that was is to follow will be a wonderfully descriptive dark World of fear, intrigue and misguided politics. The Pustoy will not disappoint in this respect. You are treat to an atmosphere full of literary delights to immerse in and given from many aspects, in depth characters attained while not a lot of personal history given and a protagonist that is questionable in his beliefs and undeniably human.

The thing that really blew me away about this book; aside from the cracking story, the passion written into every line and the ooey gooey language use (anyone that uses the line “They only ever ‘et tu, Brute’ you in the end” is an automatic favourite of mine): was the lay out of each individual prose. Mr Blenkiron had an ingenious moment when he decided to set out each individual prose in an abstract way. There seems to be chaos in each set reflecting admirably the chaos of the World the protagonist now finds himself in. For example,

“Think of nothing.
                                     A box holds empty.

Depthless space –

                          Transcendental blind,

                                                       the 1D implosion.”

Tell me truthfully, how fabulous is that single section? The language use is so exquisite it sends shivers down your spine and makes you feel like you’re rolling in golden caramel… AND is a great example of the previously mentioned chaos. The lines don’t follow the generic set out of a book, they’re almost like scattered thoughts of a person broken by society. This fantastic level of writing is never broken through the book so the intense World never fades. It continues and will stay within your psyche for a very long time.

Please trust me when I say that if you’re a fan of prose poetry, or even if you like a bloody good read, you need to pick up a copy of this book. You’ll be left reeling from its intensity alone and will wish that there was simply more to sink your literary teeth into. You won’t be disappointed.

Thank you 🙂

You NEED This Writer and a New #FlashForFriday

J. S. Collyer

Evening lovely readers 🙂

Today I am able to write this post with a sense of excitement and wonder. Those of you that have read my previous posts will know that I mention one of my best friends and writing hero, J. S. Collyer, quite frequently (yes this is the perdy lady just above 🙂 ). Well today I’m thrilled to be able to say that her first novel is due to be released in August entitled ‘Zero.’ I can’t say enough good things about her writing (and not only because she’s my friend 🙂 ) and don’t really know where to start but I’ll give it a jolly good shot 🙂

In such inspirational writing there isn’t just one set genre that can be used to describe the diversity within. I hear cries of ‘SCI FI, YOU KNOW IT’S SCI FI, SCI FI, SCI FI, SCI FI…’ Well this would be where you’re wrong. The utter genius and creativity within her writing suggests many intricate nuances that combine to make such yummy creativity emerge. Yes, some of her stories are set in the future but from my personal experience alone there has been thrillers, dystopian futures, dark horror and more evident in the Worlds she creates. She has such a mastery of language that really helps you to picture the story as if it were playing out in front of you. I can promise you are drawn into these Worlds and you will struggle to put her novel down until you have read the entire thing. Please, check out her blog with the link above, I can promise you won’t be disappointed. You can also find the synopsis for her novel here. As some will notice, it is being published by the epic Dagda Publishing. I have mentioned them a lot in previous posts too so please take a look at their catalogue of books to get even more literary goodies to wet your appetite. Neither will disappoint 🙂

And now on to my flash fiction. Today I decided to write a flash fiction that is set in one of the Worlds from my novel. I know this won’t make much sense as my novel isn’t out (yet 😉 ) but hopefully it will be understandable and enjoyable at the same time. Please enjoy 🙂

Gifted

Aria took a deep and steadying breath. She should be used to this by now but by the Lady it still made her skin crawl. She had too much flesh on show to begin with but this had never seemed to bother any but her. She adjusted her bard ‘robes’ as the great silver doors to the throne room opened. The fact they were referred to as robes was laughable; there were thin slivers of silver scales covering her nipples and very little else with almost translucent silver lace descending from her silver belt. Honestly, it would make little difference if they entered naked. Now Aria sighed. She was surrounded by her sister bards but only a few of them in the group were true seers and unfortunately Aria was the most powerful; this could be both a gift and a curse. She knew things about the others that she was not sure that even they knew.

The sultry music began and all started to sway towards the throne, their hips swinging in time to the seductive beat. Each had determination in their eye as one could be picked to marry the crown prince and have dominion over all the rest. It was not really a choice, more what was expected of you in this life. She almost wanted to laugh; of all the roles that Fate could have tasked her with within the realm of Death why did it have to be that of a Seer? Aria looked up to see piercing chocolate eyes staring at her. The King was sat atop the silver gem encrusted throne, a handsome man himself with only a few silver hairs adorning his ebony beauty but he was nothing compared to the prince. He had the softest rose coloured lips in creation, soft brown hair that looked tousled by the fragrant wind of Ollania, a strong chiselled nose and an intelligence in his eyes that called to the deepest part of her being. She could feel her heart begin to accelerate to almost painful levels and shockingly the large decadent hall, aristocratic revellers and even the King disappeared. Only she and the prince remained. She felt that he was looking deep into her soul to discover all of her secrets but she would willingly tell him them all for just one smile from his soft lips. Eventually however even he disappeared and Aria realised she was having a vision.

A silver haze overtook her sight and Aria was dumbfounded at the timing of this particular vision. Perhaps the prince had triggered it? Clarity was soon to appear however as the haze cleared to reveal the temple of the seers, her home since she was a small child, however everything remained in the black, white and shades of grey instead of the multifaceted hues she was used to. An older version of herself was stood in the centre of the spacious marble hall arguing with the prince, only now he wore the crown of the King and there seemed to be an evil blood red aura that shone in the monotone of his surroundings. Finally the prince withdrew a shining silver dagger and plunged it into the older Aria again and again. There had been no sound to begin with but the scream the older Aria emitted echoed throughout the temple and through her own soul. She knew that there were tears streaming along her cheeks at the sight of her own Death and she longed to look away but her vision was drawn to a presence in the corner. Stood there was a beautiful woman that looked hauntingly like the Lady, the creator of Aria’s universe. Alethea, the Angel of Death, had created their Universe after she Fell and had needed to bring those humans affected by her fall to a sanctuary. How did this woman look like her? She even had the beautiful ebony wings and the scythe. She too seemed frozen as if she were watching the scene in a vision, crystal tears streaming over her ivory skin, but as she did not seem to see Aria then she must be seeing it as a past vision far into Aria’s future. What could this mean?

Gradually the scene receded from her sight and she found herself back in the middle of the bards, her eyes still locked to those of the prince. More crystalline tears fell over her soft skin. She now knew that this man, this prince with so much authority, was both her salvation and her damnation and she knew there was not a thing she could do about it…

All Hail the New Flesh by Dagda Publishing

 Where to even begin with this book? As previously mentioned this is the new anthology from the epic Dagda Publishers. It contains within thirteen futuristic tales of dystopian Worlds and technology gone mad; and my God it’s a cavalcade of creative goodness that has your mind soaring from a mix of imaginative stories and language so delectable you feel full just from the one reading.

I had initially intended to speak of only one or two of the stories within but I now know that is a distinct impossibility. Many of the stories called out to me in various ways that has my mind returning to each tale again and again. You may think I am going overboard with my description but believe me, pick up a copy, you’ll be in my mind set before you know it.

I must begin with the story from one of my best friends and my writing hero. Isaac Heights by J S Collyer is such a fantastical journey of science and emotion that it’s hard to tell where one leaves off and the other begins. A perfect image of a young moralistic Dr, Jasper, struggling to establish himself in a mental institute for androids is painted before your eyes in such a way that you can almost physically see the moral dilemmas he finds himself in. In retrospect, his almost fateful meeting with one of the inmates perhaps was not best for his career. Would his morals be tested? Would his belief in equality be heard? Would the ultimate freedom for all be achieved? One aspect of this story I loved was that the language use, while detailed, didn’t serve to alienate the reader from the subject matter; the language was so well written that alienation from the narrative was in no way a possibility. If I take, for example, this description ‘She was one of the most early models before they’d refined the iris spectrum. Instead of the delicate sky-blue of the newer makes he’d worked with at college, her eyes were the colour of burnished bronze,’ how wonderful is that combination of language? You have the cold description of models and spectrums expertly meshed with the almost reverent description of colours. In turn, the story flows in such a creative way that you find yourself ensconced in the narrative and eager to find out the climax; and I can promise you in that you won’t be disappointed either. This is a wonderful story of technology, suffering, conflict and perhaps, in the end, misplaced trust.

I now have to move onto the exceptionally written At the End of the World, My Daughter Wept Metal by Eric Robert Nolan. Now first off, how great is that title? I am absolutely in love with concepts of literature that sound to be idealistic but turn out to be a wonderful description of the narrative itself. It reminds me greatly of the novel that the film Blade Runner was based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, another brilliant title. But sojourn into the random aside, I have to say this story perfectly establishes for you the struggles of genius when striving to cure the World of all ills. The protagonist represents said genius in the form of Jacob Farmer, a scientist determined to advance past his research into artificial hearts to create something that would cause Human kind to heal itself of all ills. Little did he know that essentially he was catalyst to a certain type of apocalypse… but I won’t give up any spoilers here. I strongly suggest that you pick up a copy as there are twists and turns here to fully engulf you and leave you literately sated afterwards. The language use here is also exceptional; for example look at the description the protagonist uses for himself ‘The point is this – I created thinking organs. I have a genius for mechanics that rival’s Strasburg’s own. (I am not a modest man.)’ How fabulous is that? The personality of Jacob really shines here through expert language use, from his belief in his abilities to the knowledge that one day he would do something great, all portrayed in a few sentences. The effects of this wonderful narrative are one of a well written story filled with achievement, love and inevitably sadness.

My third choice is one of the stories that really had an effect on me; one of emotion and I will admit, almost a kind of fear. Taking direction by Samuel Barker is an effectual tale of loneliness, begrudging friendship and reliance on technology that borders on the extreme. We are introduced to the protagonist Ben, in his dark grey World of loneliness, and Derek his almost absent minded neighbour and occasional friend. He goes over to Derek’s house sometimes so that they can share coffee and Derek can talk of some of his inventions; at the moment he is intent on finishing a highly intellectual sat nav like device. They both make believe that Ben understands what he talks of as it relieves Derek of some of his loneliness too. What would happen if one was so lonely they were extremely susceptible to any power of persuasion? What follows is a tail of loss, obsession and at moments we are led to believe that there are aspects of the occult. Such wonderfully descriptive language is used that I am certain it will have individual effects on each and every reader; I personally was chilled after the climax, that kind of I-just-watched-a-horror-movie chilled but it may be different for other readers. I loved this descriptive section ‘”Ben.” I heard it again, so familiar, like a sheep’s bleat. But I was awake. I felt my body going rigid. Cold sweat formed under my arms… “Ben.” My heart seized up. It was Derek’s voice and it wasn’t outside; it was in the room, somewhere to my right. Close.’ Placed where it is in the narrative this served to begin that aforementioned fearful feeling and had my mind racing at the possibilities of the ending. What followed was highly intuitive, extremely creative and very thought provoking; a great story.

I have to now move onto the wonderfully written The Best Medicine by Jessica B. Bell. Again I will admit that this too started to provoke in me that same fearful feeling but this was quickly overridden by my sense of enjoyment at the well thought out story, brilliant language use and, much as the previous mentioned tales, fantastic character development. What would the World be like if it were ravaged by a disease so virulent that even loved ones became horrendously deformed, mindless enemies? Where would the search for a cure lead? This story expertly delves into the recesses of such a narrative that even from the beginning you are presented with a World left with no hope but only desperation and the will to survive. I felt that in a way I really connected with the story as the protagonist is a mother Hell bent on protecting her daughter at all costs. Having recently become a mother myself, and having the rampant imagination necessary for the survival of us writers, I could really project myself into this narrative and could easily feel the emotions that character felt as if they were my own. The part of the text that really stuck with me was ‘”Shhh!” Judy hushed her, holding a hand firmly over Helena’s mouth. The older woman’s heart was trembling in her chest, and her mouth was dry and cottony. She licked her lips and whispered: “We’ve got to get out of this house.”‘ This was just the beginning of some excellent descriptive language and I myself could feel the panic rising in me as if it were tangible. It only goes on to get better and you are ultimately left feeling satisfied with the excellent ending; one that presents sadness, loss and a twist so well written you are actually left smiling.

And lastly I want to mention the excellent Retrograde written by Seppo Kukri. This is one narrative that quite expertly melted my brain through twists, turns and language use so good you follow the story without being aware that you do; your brain is still five pages behind trying to gather up all the different detail. Now I can’t say much about this story in all without giving too much away. You are presented with a forgetful protagonist that knows he has to do something important, it’s why he is on the train, but he can’t remember what. You are eventually treat to his past and this part does actually flow so well it’s like water, even though there is literally a narrative twist on each page. A military operation left him as the sole survivor, having witnessed the gruesome deaths of his colleagues and experiencing a madness so deep no one believed him. A botched experiment on the operation had far reaching consequences that would last the rest of his life. You read and you start to think that perhaps the author missed something as a certain integral detail was different two pages before but they haven’t; this is an expertly written piece designed to leave your mind reeling while efficiently describing the unstable state the protagonist is in. I can’t even tell you much about the language without giving spoilers away. Just trust this is an exceptional piece.

Sorry for going on so long, I do tend to ramble a bit, but I just had so much to say about this wonderful book; and hopefully in a coherent manner. I have attempted to leave major plot points out while telling you of the stories so you can find out yourself about the brilliance of these new authors and what they can contribute to the literary World. Buy this book, you won’t be disappointed 🙂

And yes I too am published in here but it’s bad taste to write about my own work, especially when the genius of these above authors, not to mention the others in the anthology, is so plain to see 🙂

Thank you 🙂

New Creative Yumminess

helenahannbasquiat.wordpress.com

Good evening lovely readers 🙂

First I would like to apologise as I am currently typing this one-handed. My baby girl is going through a phase of refusing to be put down. So please forgive me if there are any typos 🙂

Next I am so excited to say that the new anthology from the epic Dagda Publishers is out tomorrow. That’s right, the 25th of January. All Hail the New Flesh is a collection of thirteen futuristic short stories with the general theme of ‘technology gone mad.’ I am so thrilled to say that my best friend and writing hero Jex has had one of her short stories accepted for publication. Isaac Heights is a thrilling bout of creativity about a newly qualified doctor trying to make it in a psychiatric hospital for androids. I myself have also been lucky enough to have my short story Requiem accepted for publication. The story follows my character Ana and her fight against the infestation of ‘Bots,’ a race of self-righteous machines bent on destroying Humanity. I can already tell you that you need to pick up a copy of this; it’s a must read and you may start liking some new authors along the way. A full review will be posted as soon as I have the book to read 🙂

Have you had a stab at flash fiction? As some of you may know I have had a couple of attempts so far entitled #FlashForFriday but now I have come across an exciting challenge that I am eager to write 🙂 This Flash Fiction Challenge requires you to rewrite a fairy tale but the twist is you must add a sub genre not originally contained within the story. The website gives you options of said genre and I hope I get sword and sorcery with my random number generator. Can you see why I’m excited? It will be a fine chance for me to flex my fantastical muscle 😉 The result of this challenge will be posted on here next Friday 🙂

I’ll leave you now as I really must get the little one to bed but I will finish off by saying check out the Dagda Publishing website. They’ve started a new feature on flash fiction and Jex’s ‘Caffeine Low’ is their first pick. It’s a great read 🙂

Thank you 🙂

Requiem

Hello lovely bloggers 🙂

I am so pleased to finally be able to say that I finished my short story to submit to the epic Dagda Publishing. They have a new anthology, much like the wonderful Tuned To A Dead Channel, coming out with the theme of technology gone mad and I found an idea flowing straight out of me. Hopefully it will be good enough to make the book; I truly enjoyed writing it. This is an excerpt from the beginning. I hope you enjoy 🙂

Requiem

 

They say pride cometh before a fall. They weren’t wrong, Ana grimaced.

 

Why was she thinking of scripture now? She had a lot better things to do than think of mythology. She wobbled slightly on the support beam and had to refocus to centre herself. She had a job to do and she couldn’t afford to screw it up. This hinged on her actions.

 

She waited and she watched, checking her dual pistols as she went. They’d seen better days and were now the older model of the MK34’s but Ana loved them. They’d never let her down. Her longsword, made of hypersilver, shimmered at her back. Hypersilver was incredibly hard to get hold of on the Earthen black market but Ana had her ways; not to mention so many Eupounds it made them drool with delight.

 

She sighed. Where was the target? She knew she was no saint when it came to punctuality but tardiness in a Bot was beyond a joke. They were supposed to be the be all and end all of Humanity weren’t they? She sighed again as her patience wore even thinner.

 

Eventually there was movement below her and the target came into sight. She had chosen a deserted corridor of the station as she needed no questions. Yes her actions were sanctified, but not to the uninformed.

 

She dropped silently behind him and waited for the usual revulsion to surface. How could someone, anyone, willingly submit themselves to the Cleansing? They were taken up to the Bot home and never seen again. Soon the remnants of their previous lives would appear among the stagnant buildings left on the surface and each time Ana felt sick. She shook herself. This was no time to think of that. She drew her pistols and pointed them at his back.

 

Nice to see you again Chancellor.” She watched as he slowly turned round and had to smile at the dispassionate shine on his robotic face. He too had once been human and submitted to the Cleansing. Not one shred of humanity seemed to be left.

 

Be gone, pest” he replied in his metallic voice. It would have shredded the hearing of normal humans. Luckily Ana wasn’t normal.

 

Now Chancellor, you know that’s not going to happen,” Ana began, resting one pistol on her shoulder. “The Order has sent me to collect payment and that’s what they’ll get.”

 

You will get no currency from me,” he replied, and his monotone mechanical voice grated on her already stretched nerves.

 

Ah Chancellor, the time has passed that you could buy us off. Payment is now in what’s left of your life.” She could tell the Chancellor wasn’t impressed with her threat. She wasn’t sure Bots were even left with any sort of emotion. Next time she would ask.

 

Slowly she cocked her pistols and allowed the threat of them to hang between them. He seemed as unimpressed as he had always been and moved to charge her. Ana quickly rolled backwards, shooting as she went, allowing her momentum to increase the lethality of the lasers. Unfortunately they merely bounced off the shining metal that passed as his skin. Evidently the Chancellor could afford a better Cleansing than most. She sighed as she landed back on her feet and drew her sword. At this point she didn’t even bother to move but allowed the Chancellors momentum to carry him forward. She watched in only minor satisfaction as what was his neck connected firmly with her blade, followed by the thud of his head unit hitting the cold floor. No true emotion surfaced at the act, but then it never did.

 

She sighed as she turned to survey her work. The Chancellor lay in two neat pieces with not a single drop of blood flowing. She hadn’t expected any really. Everything organic was discarded in the Cleansing. Still, she moved to crush the head. If left to it another Bot could come along and reassemble the pieces making the Chancellor whole once again.

 

It was a strange sort of immortality that Ana loathed. For some reason, the central personality core was stored in the head unit, so the best way to ultimately kill them was to crush the head.

 

Job done, she turned to leave. The constant death and conflict seemed to be weighing on her more of late. She sighed and made her way back to her entry point. She was used to jump ships, transportation, hell – even an old fashioned aeroplane drop off. This time was different.

 

This time she had been bundled into a cargo box with one air hole and had ended up on this Bot Hell. She was then told that after she was successful; she almost liked her superiors confidence; then she would have to jump from the platform, blessedly still in Earth’s atmosphere, with only a parachute as support. Suffice to say she wasn’t optimistic about her chances of surviving. Then again, she never was…

 

Writing, Working and the Trials of Pregnancy

Recently I have come to realise that separating your attention three ways can be exhausting. In my eyes writing should always be your main focus when you are a writer; think of story ideas while you’re working, editing ideas while you’re cooking, heck even think of detailing ideas when you’re sleeping. Recently however my writing has suffered and I am actually ashamed to admit that.

As previously mentioned in both a post and a brand sparkly new page I am expecting my first child and I have gotten to twenty-seven weeks, that lovely time when tiredness REALLY smacks you round the chops and doesn’t go away 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I am thoroughly excited to have my baby but the symptoms of it definitely interfere with your writing time 🙂

Next I have just accepted and started a part-time job. Yes it is only part-time totalling twenty-five hours a week but that is time I could be dedicating to writing lol. Added to that the tiredness from work then you just don’t feel like doing anything apart from climbing into bed and watching questionable tv 🙂 I shouldn’t complain though, I am lucky to have a job and can now finance more things for the baby.

I became painfully aware of this predicament just recently when I decided to work on my short story Requiem for an up and coming deadline for the epic Dagda Publishers. When I was sat with my laptop on in front of me I felt like I couldn’t be stopped; the story just seemed to flow from me like water. Sit me down after a shift, or distract me with something like shopping and there was no hope. I feel bad about it now as I have only just sent the story to my wonderful beta reader Jex, I am painfully aware that it still needs work and I have nine days before the deadline. Eeeekkkkkk O.o

So all I am trying to say I think is ignore my thinly veiled excuse for a whine 😉 and if you find yourself in my position, or a similar position, don’t give in to the tiredness like I did. Plow ahead and you will be left with writing you can be proud of and know you put your all into. Don’t be left with the panic and stretching deadlines like I obviously have 🙂 Trust me, the stress isn’t worth it lol. Although don’t get me wrong, you better believe the next nine days will be dedicated solely to making sure my short story is worthy of Dagda 🙂 I love writing 🙂

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