Z for Zaachila

My 2020 Blogging from A to Z Challenge revisits my best posts from the 2014 to 2019 Challenges.

Z for Zaachila 1521 (2017)

From Zephyr to Zoo, I’ve always dug up some Zingers.

Anyway, my interest in history in my teens compelled me along various paths of research, which haven’t abated. At school, I learnt about the Anglo-Saxons and did a project on Sutton Hoo. My specialist subject for A level history was the Portuguese & Spanish Seaborne Empires. So, my alternative history has Norse and Meso-Americans fighting alongside each other.

Before the ‘our timeline’ revelation, how many of the real historical events and characters seem familiar? Or is this event pure fiction?

Although I’m engrossed in my Welsh procedural, I’ll keep tinkering with my Kanata alternative history. The initial trigger, Leif Eriksson’s permanent colonisation of Vinland, inspired me to rewrite other key episodes in history – and there must be more. The legacy forged from Vikings merging with the indigenous people will continue ripple down time. My vision of Kanata and a 21st Century Viking Age isn’t buried.

Links to my other 2020 A to Z posts can be found here: https://rolandclarke.com/blogging-from-a-to-z/blogging-from-a-to-z-challenge-2020/

To visit other participants see The OFFICIAL MASTER LIST: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YphbP47JyH_FuGPIIrFuJfAQiBBzacEkM7iBnq6DGDA/

G for Göta älv

My 2020 Blogging from A to Z Challenge revisits my best posts from the 2014 to 2019 Challenges.

G for Göta älv 1036 (2017)

Rewriting a new Kanata timeline threw up this turning point, which was a chance to solidify the dynastic ties around Northern Europe. Before the ‘our timeline’ revelation, will you recognise the real historical event or which crucial event in British history may never happen?

And all because I couldn’t stop constructing my Kanata alternative history. The initial trigger, Leif Eriksson’s permanent colonisation of Vinland, inspired me to rewrite other key episodes in history. I wanted the legacy forged from Vikings merging with the indigenous people to ripple down time. Kanata evolved into my vision of a 21st Century Viking Age.

Expect more alternative history ahead.  

Links to my other A to Z posts can be found here: https://rolandclarke.com/blogging-from-a-to-z/blogging-from-a-to-z-challenge-2020/

To visit other participants see The OFFICIAL MASTER LIST: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YphbP47JyH_FuGPIIrFuJfAQiBBzacEkM7iBnq6DGDA/

A to Z April Challenge Theme Reveal 2020

As April draws nearer so does the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge and lots of exciting posts on loads of new sites.

I’ve been doing the A to Z Challenge since 2014 and began pondering my 2020 theme sometime last year. But in the last few months, everything has overwhelmed me – emails, regular posts like IWSG and WEP, replying to comments, and my own writing. Plus, my health issues.

So, I’m taking the simpler way out – reposting my best posts from 2014 to 2019 Challenges.

Thanks to Jacqui Murray for triggering that approach with her 2019 solution: ..a genre for every letter of the alphabet, but with one or two posts every month. Her reasoning chimed with my own thoughts about too many posts to write/read/comment on etcetera in April.

She wasn’t alone as others found other solutions to negotiating the A to Z Challenge.

However, I’m still going to post on the official A to Z days, starting with A for Assault on Wednesday April 1st, 2020. If you’re tempted and follow that link, you will discover Part One of Azure Spark, which evolved into a novella featuring my Welsh detective Sparkle Anwyl. I edited the posts into three acts, and all three will be posted during April: on the 1st, 11th, and 23rd.

I suspect not everyone got to read ‘Azure Spark’ so this will be another chance. A chance to to revisit older posts on other themes; like my 2017 History of Kanata or my 2015 The War of 1812. But I’ve yet to decide what posts to choose.

Watch this space.

All I can say is Sparkle Anwyl’s case will be complete, and Azure Spark is referenced in my WIP ‘Fevered Fuse’ – my current priority along with the more imminent and crucial release of the IWSG Anthology, Voyagers: The Third Ghost on May 5th.

V for Voyagers on April 25th?

#IWSG – Confessions about quitting

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

Time for the monthly post as it’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day – well tomorrow is. I’m writing this a day early as I have the energy and my eyes aren’t as bad they have been – more of that below.

The starting point is what is this month’s optional question?

June 7 Question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

That’s a tough one. The simple answer is that when I had a non-writing job then it was simply workload that made me quit and the urge to write down an idea that brought me back. So, in some cases that was months later and in too many cases it was years before I listened to my muse.

Then came multiple sclerosis and by then I was an equestrian journalist. Eventually, the disease forced me to quit. But there was a novel that needed writing and even though I retired as a journalist, I struggled on with the novel. Thirteen years after I was diagnosed with MS, “Spiral of Hooves” was published in December 2013. Sadly, the book is out of print but plans are afoot to re-publish and there is even a cover design by the brilliant Jonathan Temples, as the old one was designed for the original publishers.

What do you think? Does it make you want to read the novel? (Apologies that it’s a PDF link at the moment)

Rolandbook1_5x8BW290V4

The re-release of “Spiral of Hooves” was to be the re-launch of my writing career, but the damn disease disagreed. Followers on Facebook might know that I get tired and my eyes are troubling me so I’m cutting back on what I do. I’ve struggled to expand my A to Z posts into “A Brief History of Kanata” and that is ready for some beta volunteers. Anyone want an alternative history lesson?

Apologies if I hardly visit or comment anymore because that has become one solution. But am I about to quit for good or will the muse that has inspired other draft novels to help me stumble on? I must remember how to touch type as my voice is too glitched to use voice recognition software. Or is there another way not to quit?

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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

The awesome co-hosts for the June 7 posting of the IWSG are JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!

Reflections of 2017 #AtoZChallenge

survivor-atoz [2017] v1

 

The 2017 Blogging from A to Z Challenge didn’t go as planned for me so apologies to my followers and to my fellow bloggers. In previous years, I have written and scheduled all or at least most of my posts by the end of March. That allows me time to write the few missing ones during the early part of April as well as time to visit the A to Z bloggers that I follow and any new ones that catch my attention.

This time things went awry. I chose my theme okay – The History of Kanata – and even got some of the posts done. But I was already a bit behind come April 1st so there was no way that I was taking Sunday, April 2nd off. Then overnight my health took a nose-dive and on Monday April 3rd I collapsed shortly after posting on Facebook, “After a terrible night when Juanita Clarke was luckily tere for me, psting is very hard as mystyping everything. So apologies for siaslence.”

My belated post, “Insecure and Invalid”, explains how I was rushed to hospital and my nights there. Suffice to say that the rest of April was a struggle just to stay on top of my own posts while still feeling poorly. At least, the 500+ emails that I came back to have been reduced to nearer 350 but they keep sneaking back into my Inbox somehow.

I also managed to reply to those people that took the trouble to comment on the posts – you know who you are so my grateful thanks.

When I did the post-event survey I said that I hadn’t visited or commented on any other posts and that answer was inaccurate – I visited two or three that dropped by my site. However, I have a lot of A to Z sites to visit as I get on top of things – if that is possible.

As far as the absence of the Linky links page was concerned I didn’t have a chance to miss it. But I did manage to post most of my daily posts on the Facebook page. That worked brilliantly, just like the Insecure Writers Facebook page does, and on a random visit, I found a fellow MS warrior which made April worthwhile.

I don’t feel my experience was a fair reflection on the team, but I would still like to give the hard-working bunch a shout out, especially founder Arlee Bird.

Time now to point you to the It’s Time to Reflect! page where you can find other A to Z Reflections.

And visit:         Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/atozchallenge/

Twitter handle: @AprilAtoZ

Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

 

What is my coolest research?

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

I’m attempting to ignore the heart-wrenching stuff going on – a family crisis on top of the medical problems that meant I was late posting last month’s post for Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. No real excuse then for evading this post although I’m so depressed I can’t escape to my writing worlds, just into a game world where I can fight spiders and hyenas rather than injustice.

Okay, so what is this month’s optional question?

May 3 Question: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

That got me thinking about all the different bits of research that I had done for my various books from my debut to novels at the first draft stage. My debut was set against the equestrian world that I worked in as a journalist so there were some minor extra questions that I had to ask or facts to check – but I had to research diabetes and sportspeople, plus PTSD. For other books, there have been how online games are produced, shamanism, Romany customs, and policing in a bilingual country. But weird or cool?

 

tech20141125-full

Artist’s concept for a high-altitude, long-duration airship that could be used as a research platform or for commercial purposes. Image credit: Mike Hughes (Eagre Interactive)/Keck Institute for Space Studies

 

Coolest must be researching the latest developments in airships for Eagle’s Passage, my alternative history set in 2020. Here and there are so many great things happening from Air Cushion Landing systems to NASA’s challenge to produce a high-altitude airship. A high-tech airship called Draken Njal Migisi is the main craft in my novel and I got the chance to project many of today’s design ideas, including one for SOLAR-JETS – engines powered by solar kerosene, which I also use in my post-apocalyptic novel Storms Compass. I still use solar cells as a key component.

And for anyone wondering about my airship’s name, the first word is Norwegian for Dragon – as some longships were called – and for Njal Migisi visit my C is for Cristóbal Colón post in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Mind you, researching the History of Kanata has been cool – and at times weird.

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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. We post our thoughts on our own blogs. We talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

Please visit others in the group and connect with my fellow writers.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

And be sure to check out our Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13/

Our revved up IWSG Day question may prompt us to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. If so, we include our answer to the question in our IWSG post or let it inspire our post if we are struggling with something to say.

The awesome co-hosts for the May 3 posting of the IWSG are Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Michelle Wallace, and Feather Stone!