#BlogBattle. September Entry: Ghost Shock.

“The trick with dimensional coexistence is that time runs differently between planes. A traveller might thus appear out of chronological order…” The Book of Chronomancy: Jeremiah DeLalande.


September already and this months word is “Shield.”

This is another tester for a sequel to an unpublished book called The Assent of Rose Marie Gray. This means it’s more of a scene rather than an actual short story drifting rapidly from beginning to end. I’m not even sure it belongs here or not, but does draw on shields quite a bit.

For those wondering what or who Jeremiah DeLalande is, then he’s established in another WIP as a historical figure with many books on subjects of magical lore. A lecturer and conjuror belonging in another realm inhabited by Yish, Naz, The Amanuensis and A Prison of Ice. Many have featured as previous blog battle short scenes.

Why is that excerpt necessary? Dave is unmarried here and has never had children…





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Rain fell upon a man kneeling before a tiny grave. It dripped from the rim of his cap as he replaced old flowers with new. From a distance he looked older than his years. Not by looks, as these were hidden behind a Council bomber jacket, but by the trembling of hands as they went about their work.

“Does he always do this every Saturday morning?”

“He does now. Ever since we moved house.”

“But why Emily?”

The girl stared at Dave. Watching every move. Riveted by his actions even though she’d seen them many times.

Rose sat next to her. Wiper blades crossing the windscreen on intermittent. Engine idling to keep the heater running and screen de-misted. An earlier conversation about Rebecca lingering unspoken. A later nightmare haunting fresh from last night. Something about a baby and teeth in the night. Another reality bleeding through. There were too many of those in Houghton Fengrave.

Emily sighed. “He continues to blame himself for the accident. Heck, I did for two years.” She paused. “Then things changed. When we went to live at grans everything changed. David promised me he’d keep an eye on my,” the word stuck in her throat, “sister.”

Rose felt tears close to falling. Years don’t stop hurt, they just manage it better. How long had it been since she’d carried Emily away from the van and the mess in the road?”

“It’s OK Rose.” Emily took Rose’s left hand in hers. A comfort gesture that wasn’t missed. Unlike the tear that had decided to fall.

“I’m sorry, she was your sister…not mine, but it’s him.”

“I know, I think it’s part of his shield.”

Rose looked away from Dave, “His what?”

“You know, something that protects you from hurting or guilt. A wall in the mind that gets put up brick by brick until the hurt is manageable.”

Rose knew about those. Her own had collapsed not so long ago. Crumbling a tower that had locked her up in a safe zone while everyday life went by at a distance. That was where she’d found the impossible teenager. The coma girl. Rebecca again.

“Is that what he’s doing? But why such attention to detail in this weather? He works here, so could do this anytime he likes.”

Emily looked back at the grave tender. “It’s more than that with him. It’s a promise and a schedule. He talks to her too.”

Rose thought she understood that. Talking to an imaginary person from the past often had a therapeutic value. Kept them alive and not consigned to distant memory where images faded. Then again Whitaker used to say that wasn’t very mindful for a healing mind that had lost its path. So much for therapy.

“He’s very sensitive behind the facade.”

Emily glanced sideways. A wry smile crossed her face briefly. “I’d forgotten you knew him better than most.”

Rose wiped her cheek. “Nothing stays private in Houghton does it?” It drew a brief pang of a different pain. “It was never serious. He always seemed to belong to someone else.”

“I know that too.”

A quip, or poking fun? Rose wasn’t quite sure “Its stopped raining, shall we go retrieve him?”

“No, lets go to his cabin and put the kettle on. He’ll go there once he’s finished.

“Are you…”

Emily interrupted, “Yes, it’s not the first time I’ve chewed the fat with him in there.”


Another window, this time from inside the lodge. The view of graveside was even better than from the car.

Emily stood beside her. “He arranged that plot deliberately to coincide with the view from here.”

“Isn’t that bordering obsessive or even macabre?”

“You mean like this?” Emily took her hand away from a mug. On it was printed her name. The coaster underneath it was printed with a kingfisher. “He even has one with Chloe’s name in the cupboard.”

Symbolism wasn’t lost. “Kingfishers, that was the school class name you two were in before…”

Emily nodded. “He bought the mugs just after. At first I found it creepy. A man I didn’t know outside of the school lollipop man. Whacked in guilt, not knowing quite why. A grave set so you can sit here and watch it, mugs with our names on and coasters of our school class.”

This was all new to Rose. Creepy didn’t do it justice. This was something else. “And you are OK with it?”

“A lot happened to change my mind.”

“Such as?”

“It’s complicated.”

It would have to be. Then again the Dave she knew was a haunted man on a good day.

“How complicated?” Something stirred in her mind. Rebecca again. What was it she had said in the cafe? “I believe you know my friend…” The unspoken conversation lost in trivia. Ghost shock as she was want to say. Twins for you. One stuck in time in a plot outside, the other here beside her. Something inside was saying “Stay away from all this.”

The door opened. A soggy groundsman walked in. “Ladies.”

The smile was back. Rose felt it spread unconsciously across her face. Despite the new intel she still held him in high esteem from before.

He held his arms out. Rose almost moved into them, but was beaten by Emily. Dave wrapped his arms round her and kissed her cheek.

Rose felt the smile fade. Creepy was back. No wonder she wasn’t phased by the mugs. Did her parents know?

The embrace broke and Emily saw the look on Rose’s face. So did her former paramour.

“I told you it was complicated.” Emily was close to laughing.

“You were supposed to tell her…” he glared at Emily. “Rose, it’s so not what you’re thinking.”

“And what, pray tell, am I thinking David?”

“The obvious and the worst by the looks of it. Sit down and give us five minutes.”

“But it will only take one word.” Emily glanced from one to the other.

“Do go on then Emily.”

“Like I said, it’s very complicated, highly unlikely and requires an open mind.”

Dave interrupted. He’d seen the Rose look before and knew trouble was close. “Rose, this is one of my grand-daughters.”



Blog References


Ghosts of the Past. The first trial with Rose meeting Emily.



















88 thoughts on “#BlogBattle. September Entry: Ghost Shock.

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  1. Dearest Gary,
    Another great read. Please tell me you are getting closer to publishing one of your fabulous books?!?!
    Hope all is well across the pond and you’re still thriving.
    Warm regards,

    1. Patty! So nice to hear from you during my lack of presence these past few months. I won’t say I’m actually closer as such, but mentally better prepared. I’m stuck because I keep pondering this blog layout…yes STILL!! I have settled on a theme, but life has thrown two swerve balls that are impacting mojo. Hopefully all will resolve sooner rather than later!

      I really must catch up on your blog post haste x

      1. Haven’t been around myself a lot either 😉
        Starting to adjust to a new normal, always good to know my international friends are still here in blogland 🙂
        Try some reverse psychology…what do you NOT want your blog to be like? May find the answer to what you do want….

        1. Ha, ha! I’ve done that and even found a theme to fit the bill! It just seems a task and a half setting it up when hours for serious concentration seem short. Maybe the answer rests with time management and that procrastination complex I’m doomed with 🙄

          Definitely still here Patty and if I wasn’t I’d let you know on Facebook 😉

          1. You were to find me, should you require a coach 😉
            Enjoy the rest of evening/week and weekend, dear Gary. I will be taking a short holiday with my hubby and back next week.
            Big hug! XxX

  2. Ah, I like the description. Rainy scenes are always fun to write. The twist was great. Did not see that coming.

    1. Thanks Rakayle! You’re so right about rain scenes too. There’s something about them that draws the scenery into the tale with a touch of, in this case, sadness at the grave. The end twist was sort of insinuated at the starting ramble with another character muse from a totally different story!

  3. Whoa! That ending blew my mind! Even though you gave a warning at the beginning about Jeremiah’s part in this, I wasn’t prepared for the time twister. Very nicely done, and may I also add I caught the nightmare reference to Joshua’s work, in case you’re keeping a tally. 😉 There’s definitely mystery here that keeps me intrigued, and I read wondering what’s going to happen next. The line “Keep them alive and not consigned to distant memory….” really waxes poetic. Very nice job!

    1. Thanks Abe! Wasn’t quite sure who’d make the connection from the start prologue. These characters are well established in two books (unpublished as yet) with the fuller reveals of Dave and his journey. Well, all of them really. Figured here it might be fun to see who realised there’s no way Dave could have a granddaughter in this timeline. Obviously you now know why he tends the grave so diligently too. That was Emily’s twin sister. I’m likely to pitch these a bit more too as I’m working out a full continuation book. The line you mentioned is one that made me think hard too as it appeared. Sometimes it’s the little things that remind us (me at least) that we’re still alive and should really appreciate that way more!

  4. Great story, Gary! This piece just oozes long-forgotten memories and repressed emotions. I could practically feel the creeping condensation inside the car as they sat and watched David tending the grave in the rain. I also really liked the description of Dave’s shield being like a wall — very Pink Floyd-esque. Oh, and thanks for the nod to my story — it was a nice little line that gave me a chuckle! 😀

    1. Thanks Joshua, there are little clues to the grand daughter oddity too. More in the preamble at the beginning under the quote from DeLalande. Talk about blending worlds together from different books! In truth drafts already exist on Dave, Emily and Rebecca. Likewise there is one done with Rose that’s separate, but down the timeline of the other one. Can’t knock back anything to do with Pink Floyd though! I was only listening to Brain Damage just before writing it!

      Also couldn’t resist the nod either. Originally it had an Ed note pointing it out, but I figured after our chat on your story I’d see if it leapt out! Be interesting now to see if anyone else that’s read yours first spots it!

      I don’t think I’ve done any horror yet for these prompts. Funny how I’m digressing. That said inside the books a pretty nasty antagonist. Hmm, spoiler alert!

      1. Sorry for the slow response, Gary, I’ve been on my brother’s stag party… I hope my liver wil eventually forgive me.

        Yes, I thought that granddaughter twist was excellent, I really didn’t see it coming! I liked the curveball you threw the reader, with the implication of a romantic relationship — it felt a bit sinister until the revelation. I felt guilty having suspected Dave of any wrongdoing!

        The line jumped out immediately — you wove it into the fabric of the story quite deftly!

        I’d really like to read some of your horror pieces at some point, Gary. Maybe at some point in the future of BB… Who knows where these prompts will take us?

        1. Ahh, the beer has teeth yes 😂 really hope you all had a good time though, rich in many an idea for a short story embellishment!

          That’s actually quite a compliment too. Rose and Dave have had a fling that resolved amicably enough, but left her with a soft spot. I had intended to write it with her hugging Dave, but matters were out of my hands before I knew what was going on. I was inside Rose’s head watching and putting two and two together with a real potential sinister edge from her perspective. I guess now you’ve encountered the twist the prologue parts probably make way more sense.

          I might give horror a go soon. I feel a tad out of practice there! That said much of my stuff does have elements of psychological twists and turns. I’ll give it some thought on the next one.

          Oh, speaking of prompts, we got ahead of the game last week and set up all next years too! Next phase is to try and get the word to a wider audience and attract more writers.

          1. The beer certainly does have teeth… It was a great few days, though, thanks! 🙂

            I think that’s an excellent skill in storytelling — one that I’m actually trying to get better at. Don’t be entirely factual, tell it from a character’s perspective, with biases and skewed perspectives. You handled it brilliantly. I can sometimes be a bit too “honest” with the reader, but I hope this will come with practice!

            Yes, the few that I’ve read of yours certainly have psychological horror elements to them. As a massive horror nerd, I really hope I can read some full blown horror from you soon. Although, I’ve found myself writing quite a few non-horror pieces, recently — I think that we don’t get a choice in the matter, the stories just come to us when inspiration strikes!

            Oh, wow! That’s very proactive! I have to say, I’m really excited to know the next prompt. Like a child waiting to unwrap a gift at Christmas. I’ve been trying to spread the word to my (admittedly rather small) following.

            1. That’s the unfailing beauty of beer…the morning after grades the night before, unless it was bad beer or dubious food ingested as a mop up exercise. Hangover excuses being legion lol.

              Back in the day I was into D&D. The big dungeon master referee zone was asking “Does your character know that, or are you using out of character knowledge to facilitate your characters influence?” I use that in writing a lot. Get inside the characters mind and see the world from their perspective. Offer too much and depth gets lost. Readers (I think…well I’m a reader too) need to see things unlocking as they go. If things are too obvious things don’t sit well. In this one Rose had no knowledge of the history with Emily and Dave. Only what she knew. The accident that killed Chloe and her relationship with Dave as a single unmarried man with no children. Her obvious conclusion was very wrong…but not through any logic flaw on her behalf. Emily has (in the book) already had her emotional blast at Dave. The outcome with Rebecca from before (BB piece) was the book ending where it left her in a coma after an assault by my antagonist. I try and blend information but keep it in the now, rather than going over factual as that tends to unveil good twist before it happens.

              I’ve actually done similar to you too! I was horror and have been distracted quite a bit with all sorts in the BB. Then again writing out of genre can’t do anything but improve skills surely???

              Thanks for helping share too. It’s one aspect I’ll have to try and up the game on too!

              1. My partner and I have actually started getting into D&D recently! We’ve joined a party — we’re really enjoying it! Our DM says the same thing — don’t use what you know, use what your character knows. That’s really good advice for writing, too — thanks for the tip!

                I think exploration is never a bad thing. I always come back to the scary stuff in the end… I’ve found playing in other genres has helped me improve my world building and character development, and all of that important stuff. All useful tools for making better horror stories!

                1. Kudos Joshua! It’s great mental fun for sure. Always referred to as IC (In character) and OOC (out of character) in my old circles. Never the two meet in game. With writers we are OOC. We see the larger picture, but when inside characters that mustn’t show through. It’s easy to wreck a scene by sticking things in that shouldn’t be there because the character shouldn’t know about things until they happen.

                  As for exploration…very true indeed. Whilst these scenes for BB are not horror as such, the longer tale itself does contain a few elements of it. More than a few in some cases lol. But you’re right about other genres helping develop skills. I think it’s the same with reading too. Lately I’ve tried loads of things I’d not normally read. Different writing styles and narrative voices. As King says, reading is an essential tool that empowers the writer to become better.

                  Best get practicing methinks!

                  1. Yes, that is very good advice for writing — it really makes or breaks a scene! I must practice, practice, and practice this.

                    I’ve also been reading lots of other genres. My partner and I have reading lists, in which we alternate between books of our own choosing, and books recommended by the other. I’ve found it’s a great way to find new things I wouldn’t have ordinarily chosen for myself! Great advice — King has lots of good tips for writers; he’s one of my absolute favourites. Pet Sematary and Salem’s Lot are tied for my no. 1 book of all time.

                    Read. Write. Repeat!

                    1. Have you read his book On Writing? It’s not an instruction manual as such, but more his journey from nothing to uber writer. I’d say all writers should read it.

                      As for practice… that’s where the prompts come in! I’ve got a GoodReads account that people often chuck recommendations from. Also let’s me tally my books on their annual reading challenge. That said I quite like your method too. Maybe we need a blogging book club!!!

                    2. Not yet! But it’s on my list of things to read (an ever growing list that is spiralling out of control). I’ll have to read it soon.

                      I do like the idea of a blogging book club — maybe something for in the future? I’d certainly enjoy that!

                    3. Dear lord….escalate that one to the top ASAP. It’s a must read for any writer! Especially the bit about needing a larger nail to hold the growing list of rejections prior to Carrie getting accepted!!!

                      Definitely a future idea…maybe New Year… which, at this rate…will be next week 🤔

                    4. Speaking of October already…. I’m just preparing my follow up word prompt post for this month here this Thursday…. 85 days to Christmas too…. not that that’s relevant, but tempus fugit and all that!!!

                      Then again how about dropping hints for On Writing as a present???

                    5. I swear I only just wrote the story for the last prompt a day or two ago. I’ve only just gotten my brain in the habit of writing 2019 instead of 2018 on my files… Before we know it, 2020!

                      That sounds like a marvelous gift! (I’ve gone ahead and ordered On Writing, but I’ve got a couple of books to finish before I can allow myself to start another! If only I could win the lottery, then I’d spend all day reading and writing. Alas…)

                    6. Good show Joshua. I struggled with the conventional lectures on how to write, do this, do that. When I read this one it was clear I approach things in the same way as the master. Huge bonus and boost for me personally. Fascinating to see him from nothing to present too.

                      Next prompt is up by the way “Clone.” I’m back with Lydia et al as they were clone iterations by Corona 🙄

                    7. Yes, I’ve read a few guides, and I disagree with multiple ideas (although I’m sure there are creative writing teachers who’d pull their hair out, trying to teach me!). If you’re doing similar things to King, there’s a very good chance you’re doing something right!

                      Yes, I’ve just posted my story to BB! Slightly sci-fi, this time! Quite experimental.

                    8. You what?? Just published it already?? Good grief that was quick! I’ll be over tomorrow to read it and, most likely, strike up more discourse lol.

                      I used to post loads on writing and how I go about it. Might be time to return to those posts. In fact Rachael and I have considered doing some on the BB site too. Giving it back as encouragement and such like.

                    9. I was in the park when I saw the new prompt was up. Had a sudden fit of inspiration, and wrote the story in phone’s notes app!

                      It would certainly be interesting to see how other storytellers go about their craft. I think it would work quite well on BB!

                    10. I’ll pass that on to Rachael too. Well, the last bit…not you writing it on an app in the park!

                    11. Most generous Joshua. I don’t normally do these sort of things as a rule. When I did loads kept dropping in and I never had time to keep up. In fact I’ve probably left more than I’ve actually done!!

                      That said, I might just have a bash at this for a change of scene!

                    12. Absolutely no pressure to make a response post, Gary! I’d never done these before, so I thought I’d have a go. Trying to spread awareness, and all that!

                    13. I’m toying with doing it as a response or… getting a blog feature post on yours as a writer. As in me doing one on you! I could use the BB as part of a question about meeting people and how it helps find bloggers and, if I do say so, friends!

                    14. Yes, that could be really interesting too! I must admit, I’m not terribly sure how to go about doing featured posts here on WP… I’ve got the basics down, but there’s lots I still haven’t played with. Learning more each day!

                    15. I’ve got a formula for author spotlights. I’ve run a few of those and want to get back to them. I stopped as I’m procrastinating about a theme change (upgrade) and wanted to get that sorted first. The natural addition is to do something similar for writers that blog too. Helps everyone network better and gives folk a shout out. Doing one for you might help give you a flavour too…maybe help develop a method?

                    16. Yes, I do like the sense of community we’ve got here on WP — I’m all for propping up other people’s work. Shining the spotlight on bloggers that might otherwise fly under the radar, and such. I’d love to work it out! How would be best to go about doing such a thing?

                    17. First I’d work out the general template of how you want to showcase them. That makes things quicker to put together and more focussed. Of course the easy way is me to do you and then you get a general idea.

                      After that things can get promoted on Facebook groups. I’m in one and really need to get back into it. I’ve met loads of bloggers there and some are even on my friends list now too. We could get started in November…unless I’m doing NaNoWriMo again 😱

                    18. Sounds brilliant, Gary! Yes, I should look more into FB. I’ve just recently started using Twitter. I must take full advantage of the technology available!

                      I’m also considering NaNoWriMo — haven’t decided yet! Tried it once, and came away with my tail between my legs…

                    19. I’m in a group on FB that’s not too bad. Probably much better if I was active mind. I’ll try and get going on it again then invite you into it if you like. Of course I’d have to find you on FB first lol.

                      Twitter I’m good with too. I’ve written a post on hashtag usage already for there. Also written a fair few on NaNo too. All trying to point out failure is not a valid interpretation. Stories work or don’t. Better to find out early than half a book in. Time is also an enemy and NaNo is very unforgiving when you get behind. Camp NaNo’s are better if time is n issue mind. Maybe we should hook up on FB and use that for such conversations?

                    20. Camps Joshua, how about we hook up in one or all three NaNo Camps next year? They run exactly the same except the writer sets their own word count. Way more manageable and less likely to fall away. 50k is a massive endeavour. I’ve done it twice mind, but mental fallout after was eek! I think the camps help develop a writing habit too. Without that NANo proper is really hard.

                      I’ll hook up on FB now then mingle in the group a bit before sending an invite. I’d feel better about being more active in it before inviting folk. More so as I know the admin and have to catch up with her ASAP re guest posts on her blog…my bad!

                    21. I’d be up for doing that, Gary! If there’s other writers I know who are participating, I’m sure it’ll be good encouragement to keep going! Healthy competition, etc. (at least, in terms of quantity and consistency!).

                      That’s great, Gary, absolutely no rush. 🙂

                    22. First one is around April I think. I normally do a post about a month before if I’m up for it to try and rally troops for a camp cabin. I missed all of them this year so next year I’m aiming to try and get a proper writing habit going again. Any words versus none has to be a definite step forwards 😳

                    23. That’s the one advantage of buddy systems too. Peer pressure and motivation to ensure the habit fixes properly. Heck there must be at least an hour a day to actually write consistently surely 🤔

                    24. You and me both! I’ve just commented on another reply saying my time management sucks! I’ve cut back some social media and filled that time with other jibber jabber.

                      Really struggling with the idea this time too with BB. I wanted something new and the germ of concept is there, but instinct is saying chase down Lydia and Tully again. It’s creating a tug of war that’s locked in stalemate…. terrible state of affairs!

                    25. Yes, I should really cut back on such wasteful activities. I keep saying I don’t have enough time, but I don’t think that’s entirely truthful!

                      I hope you manage to break the stalemate soon — I’m rather looking forward to reading where you take the word ‘clone’! Whether it’s a new idea or revisiting Lydia, I know it’ll be fantastic!

                    26. That’s the exact phrase I use. Lately I’ve tried returning to something I picked up on a mindfulness course. Step back, list what you want to achieve each day then record how long it takes to do AND the dead spaces where you can find time. Then reduce to list down and insert me things as a balance. Alternatively I go to the pub lol.

                      I think the issue I’m having is something we discussed about me writing horror. I’ve a concept, but my WIPS are the ones returning saying back story. Some of them include horror but I’m trying not to stick my antagonist into any as it may give the book away before it’s out!

                      The other WIP is huge though…world building like Joy. Most of my short stories have been linked to one or the other of those. Except Lydia et al. That’s new and could grow too. Rock…me…hard place.

                      I should take a leaf from your chase scenes…quit fighting intuition and just hit it with words 🙄

                    27. That’s a very good idea, I may do that myself, when I’m feeling motivated!

                      When is the book out? Once released, will you feel the freedom to stick your antagonist here there and everywhere? 😀 I think I’d love to meet this villain at some point.

                      I love those huge, sprawling universes — like King’s Dark Tower world(s). When a story is that good, I want to consume every bit of info imaginable.

                      Haha, maybe a chase scene of your own might kick-start things? 😉

                    28. It’s more books now! The slush pile is now at 4 with several WIP ideas to chase up. I got sidetracked by last years A to Z which inspired something of a sprawling multiverse that threaded through the whole challenge. Said Antagonist was interviewed during that if I recall right. Oh, Kings DT is one of my top reads too!! I’m even collecting the graphic comics too lol.

                      Hmm… maybe a chase scene might do it… the weekend looms and I promised myself I’d tackle it!

                    29. Wow, that sounds like an incredible fertile idea! And that whole A -Z thing is brilliantly original — very cool! When I get the chance, I’ll have to have a read of it.

                      I’ve seen pictures of the DT comics, but I’ve yet to get my hands on a copy. Maybe I should remedy that… (Thinking of DT just makes me want to re-read it again… So good!)

                      Haha, looking forward to reading it, Gary, chase scene or no. 😉

                    30. It wasn’t supposed to turn out that way! As you probably know I’ve got several WIP’s so I figured I’d use a narrator to interview characters and visit places across all books. By the fourth day (E) he’d forged a niche as a character exploring why he was trapped in a sorcerers bubble in a prison of ice. In doing that he actually cross linked everything I’ve ever flipping written! Nightmare lol.

                      The DT comics are starting to become collectible now…especially the early ones. Probably best suited to DT nerds like me…oh and you 😂😂

                      Just catching up and then I have no excuse to clone something 🤔

                    31. Haha, sometimes our characters have minds of their own, and seemingly forge their own paths. I sometimes think that I don’t make up any stories, I just scribble down what I get told by *gestures vaguely* them.

                      I definitely think I qualify as a DT nerd, and an SK nerd in general! I’ve got my partner reading his books now; she’s currently on DT7!

                    32. One reason I’m not really an author or writer….I feel more like a biographer! More so when collective mind chattering is going on. I swear the only time it goes quiet is when the antagonist pops up for a “chat.”

                      Me too, although I struggled with the movie. To me it didn’t quite work….well “quite“ is a bit of an opinion understatement. Two great actors, but neither I felt matched the characters properly. Then again I’m stuck with Clint Eastward and Lee Van Cleef from the spaghetti westerns lol

                    33. Haha, I think biographer is an accurate description. When the chat goes quiet — do they scamper away, fleeing from the villain?

                      I haven’t actually seen the movie — I heard it wasn’t fantastic, so I avoided it. I love the actors in it, as you mentioned. Elba and McConaughey are terrific, but it just didn’t seem right… Yes, I always had Clint in my mind as I read the stories, too!

                    34. Actually no, they just go quiet…. fleeing doesn’t really work as once it knows you it can find you…even in death…. hmm, might be why it’s started haunting my dreams lately…bit like Roland and the Ka-tet going to find King and getting him to work on the last novels!

                      I believe the concept of gunslingers had huge influence from Spaghetti Westerns. That’s followed in the comic books too. I’ve seen the movie several times now. I can defend some of it, but I just don’t see either Roland or Walter in the actor choice or script. Not to mention he leaves the tower with the mystical Horn of Eld. I have that that’s really important in achieving the Tower goal. The film flips to deva tet and actually “kills” Walter and destroys the breaker centre. To me that’s way too dilute for an epic. Apart from seeing said horn in Elba’s gunna there’s no reference to it at all. Real shame because, as you say, fine actors…just not here IMO.

                    35. Wow, that sounds like quite a haunting character — if even death no longer provides a sweet release! Ha, that’d be great if you wrote yourself into your work. I loved it when King did that!

                      Yes, I remember reading a foreword about King wanting to blend Westerns and LotR. I definitely have to check out the comics, I’m sure the art work will be brilliant. Yeah, I think I’ll stay away from it — I like the mental images I’ve got of the movie. I do like that we’re entering a renaissance of King movies, though! IT, Gerald’s Game, Pet Sematary, DT movies and TV show, Tall Grass, etc. etc.

                    36. Now there’s a thought! Might be the only way my characters can get me to get on with it! My antagonist is something of a Necromancer. Have you read anything by Brian Lumley in the Necroscope series? That has had some influence on my antagonists imprint.

                      Dr Sleep is out this month too I think. I read that earlier this year and found it a good follow up to The Shining. I think that might well be the next cinema trip!

                    37. I haven’t — I know nothing about that series. Do you recommend? I’m always happy to add books to my constantly growing TBR pile!

                      As a sidenote, my character in D&D is a “good” necromancer — a scholar led down a dark path following the loss of his family. 😉

                      I read Dr Sleep back when it came it (feels like it was a few years ago?) and I rather enjoyed it. I really like McGregor as an actor, so I’ll also have a watch! I adored Kubrick’s The Shining (even though King reportedly didn’t!).

                    38. Definitely recommend if you like dark horror. It’s a fairly large series, but tails off toward the latter few (my opinion), but the first three are really good. Different take on vampires, or should I say Wamphyrie.

                      I can see a good Necromancer, but a Necromancer aligned good is almost an oxymoron! 😂

                      The Shining is a good movie I agree. Thing with many King film conversions is they often don’t quite capture the psychology that draws readers in. It might be some directors don’t properly understand the books. It leaves the films flat as a result, bit like the DT film. I thought the use of Elba might have been a politically correct move and yet that aspect is so part of the story from Wasteland onwards through The Drawing of the Three.

                    39. I’ll have to pick up book one and give it a go! I’m always up for different takes and spins on the classic horror/monster fare.

                      He’s quite a complex character to play, to say the least. I’ve grown rather attached to him and his reanimated brother! 😉

                      Yes, King can be hard to translate to the big screen. As you said, much of his work is psychological, and that’s quite a hard thing to really pin down in film. A recent one I thought was fantastic was The Mist! That
                      ending… wow. Yeah, I was wondering how the film would tackle the whole Detta/Odetta and Roland interactions, as that was quite a prominent thing…

                    40. Apologies for the delays Joshua. Been a bit under the weather with seasonal colds floating round here. Pegged me back a bit!

                      Definitely give book one a go. It’s called Necroscope. It has, perhaps, one of my favourite vampires Thibor Ferensky. Dead and trapped underground reaching out to the unseasoned Necroscope. I shall say no more…spoilers and all that!

                      Is his reanimated brother the “same” as before…just thinking King and Pet Semetary… just saying 😂

                      The Detta/Odetta thing created quite a storm amongst die hard DT fans when Elba was cast. The whole race thing in the ka tet was tackled really well as part of the story….except they completely bypassed everything on the basis he never dropped Jake at the way station. There were parallels there as he held Jake over a cliff, but for the life of me I have no idea why the film didn’t follow the Gunslinger to said way station and just not let him drop Jake there. That would mean immediate divergence and Roland would not have caught up with The Man in Black for the palaver. Seemed a really basic error of judgement in my opinion!

                    41. No apology necessary, lord knows how I’m often a bit slow in my responses! I hope you’re feeling better now though, Gary. 🙂 Those seasonal colds can be nasty.

                      It’s added to my TBR list! I’ll hold off on purchasing until I’ve made my way through the stack of books beside my bed (I’m a fiend for purchasing more books than I can read in a year!).

                      Eh… Not quite Pet Semetary, but almost there! 😀 The story is still developing, and I’m sure my DM has a few things up his sleeve regarding the storyline!

                      Yes, that seems like they really didn’t think it through that much… But then again, wasn’t King involved in the project? I’m not sure. Maybe it was just a creative gamble that didn’t pay off…

                    42. Getting there Joshua, this ones made reality seem a long way in the distance. Seems to be on the mend now though….or maybe I should not have said that 😳

                      I hear you re TBR lists. Last year I made a conscious effort to reduce mine by not looking for more until there were only four left to read. Kind of worked lol.

                      If I were your DM I’d be really challenging the alignment of your resurrection! Little tests and quest lines that might create deep thinking to get out of. Then again Necromancer being my own forte there gives me added value if I deploy chaotic tactics lol.

                      I’m not sure if King was physically involved or more a silent partner saying OK. It was certainly a gamble yes, but ill conceived given the expanse of the novels. Heck the logical start would coming out of the tower at the very end of the final book and chasing down the man in black across the dessert. Finding Jake at the derelict pumping station, facing the demon there then NOT dropping him at the Waystation. That totally removes the book line and casts it into a new turn of the wheel. He never catches Walter, doesn’t hold the palaver, 500 years doesn’t pass there and Jake is onboard from the get go. Why that wasn’t done is beyond me just as a plot arc coming up of the Tower and briefly realising he’s done it many many times before.

                    43. I had something in late Sept, and it took me almost a fortnight to shift it… Glad you’re feeling a bit better, hope it’s gone completely soon!

                      Ha! He does that quite a bit! And there’s some doubts as to whether I am in control of my brother, or if he is developing his own mind… It’s quite a dark little tale we’re spinning!

                      Yes, that would have been an excellent start! I could be totally on-board with that idea. See, the filmmakers should have consulted us fans. 😉

                    44. Definitely on the mend methinks and feeling much less foggy in the head. So much so I logged into NaNaWriMo and stuck in a project…rash methinks. Blasted thing has purged my buddy list though!

                      Now there’s a thing to ponder…how much energy is required to control the reanimated? If you stop, wane or lose concentration does it expire or allow its “new” mind to start resting control? Will he be happy to go against “God” and return through an art forbidden in Deuteronomy… you may ask why that cropped up…blame the rash step into NaNo lol

                      Too right. A start like that would have been natural and true to the multiple turns of the wheel that he remembers only briefly before starting again. It’s not that they had to consult the fans as such, but reading the books in full first and being a fan themselves might have helped 🙄

                    45. Ah, that’s brilliant to hear, Gary! Also great to hear you’re participating in NaNo! My profile is here: https://www.nanowrimo.org/participants/joshuainsole

                      That is a good question! At the moment, we’ve been treating it as a passive draining on my character’s energy — not something you have to actively focus on, but it’s always there, like a leech! Without that energy… I guess we’ll find out as our campaign progresses! 😉

                      Yes, I agree. You can definitely tell when a filmmaker is a fan of the material they are putting on the big screen, and when they’re not… Bit of a shame. There’s a TV series coming, I heard, so maybe that’ll fix the mistakes?

                    46. I’ve set up a project yes! Still have to actually register it in my head to participate!! That said I’ve book covered it and added an excerpt, but the UI is very different to how I remember it!

                      Passive draining like a leech… oh my, that’s asking for trouble ha,ha. What if the connections not enough to ensure it’s safe? Could the leeching be actually draining your own character thereby weakening your stats in combat? You might up having to do two saving throws…one against your brother in energy drain with a multiplayer added from that to the enemy throws 😂😂😂

                      I’m not sure if the series is still going ahead. If the movies aim was to big that up they killed Walter. The series would have to be stand alone and nothing to do with the movie otherwise it’ll bomb. However, it does lend itself to a tv series more than GOT. I say that because the books are in fact written already with the backdrop of multiple turns of the wheel. I’d like to see King write the last turn though, with Roland getting to the tower with the horn.

                    47. How’s the writing going for your project so far? I’ve had a good start, now to just maintain it!

                      My constitution and physical strength and defense are remarkably poor — I think owed to constant stream of energy loss! Oh wow, that’d make things increasingly difficult! I shall hide this conversation from my DM, so as not to give him wicked ideas! 😂

                      Hmm, I’ve not actually heard anything in a while. Maybe they were waiting to see if the movies was a success? Bit of a shame if it’s been halted due to the poor reception. I would be happy with a standalone series, as opposed to a tie-in, but we’d have to see. I agree with both of those points — I can certainly see it in a GoT kind of vein, and I’d definitely like King to be the series writer. Maybe dreaming too much, but it could turn out very cool!

                    48. As per other thread. Disorganised. Words are there, but because I’m flirting between files in an effort to put cohesion into an older idea it all needs collating where I actually do the writing. It’s on target though so must update NaNo!

                      Ha, ha… I must find out who this DM is and swap tips 😂😂

                      After the movie it would have to be stand alone and not following it. Heck alive, how could you if Walter O Dim himself is deceased and Deva Toi in bits? I found all that rather odd. To me Roland must get to the Tower itself and banish the Crimson King. It all about the horn in my opinion. I’ve never been entirely convinced Walter is fully under the auspices of said King either. He could have killed Roland a few times, but seems (to me) to be manipulating him. I’m wondering if there’s a deeper, as yet unwritten agenda. More so as he, in various guises, appears in many other books, not least The Stand as Randall Flag.

                      So with you on King as a series writer too! That would be awesome, if a shade of wishful thinking!

                    49. Well, as long as we’re hitting that word count the stats page on NaNo will be happy! But getting things into order will certainly help!

                      Haha, he’s always on the lookout for new ways to torture us…

                      I’ve looked it up, and it appears that the TV series is still going ahead — coming out next year. Apparently it’ll be a prequel to the movie, and will focus on Wizard and Glass! I may have to check it out, as and when it hits our screens.

                      As a sidenote, I adored the villain of the walking dude in The Stand. Such a good book, it’s been an age since I’ve read it… At some point, I intend to go back and re-read the classics — been over a decade since I’ve touched some of them!

                    50. There’s a huge spike in my stats as I forgot to add to the word count there for two days! Now it looks like I’m slacking in the dip after that…even though I’m actually plotting along the target line!

                      Excellent…I’ve not looked for a while so if it is then I’m willing to give it a try. That said another friend pointed out that the series Castle Rock also is set in Kings world of books. She recommended I watch it based on me being a King nerd 😂

                      Same here. DT is in that zone too. I really ought to read them again now too!

                    51. My stats will look the same, once I return home! Can’t get the NaNo site to work properly on mobile devices, so updating the stats will have to wait…

                      Ah, yes! I’ve heard Castle Rock is very good! I need to give that a go, when I can find the time!

                      My partner is currently catching up on King, and looking over her shoulder at whatever she’s reading makes me want to go through King’s entire collection again. I kind of envy those who haven’t read his books yet, as they get to discover his work for the first time! Such a magical feeling.

                    52. Same here! I’ve no idea when I last updated it. I know I spiked over the line last time though.

                      I’ve stuck Castle Rock on a festive wish list. Might need post NaNo relaxation!

                      Good show too. Educating folk upon Kings works. I agree though. First run through DT was a real buzz. That said I know more about that world now so maybe I might find subtle nuances next turn of the wheel…ye ken it?

                    53. That sounds like a good idea — I might copy you on that. A reward for early December! Although my partner and I have enough TV shows going on at the moment. I’m just as bad for starting new shows as I am for beginning new WIPs 😂

                      Absolutely! I’m sure there are many things I missed the first two times around I read the series. Such wonderfully rich books. If I won the lottery and didn’t have to work, I think I’d spend most of my time nose-deep in books again, like when I was a kid! “The mild, spicy smell of old books hit him, and the smell was somehow like coming home.”

                    54. Ha, ha! New shows tend to demand time to see through. I don’t actually follow many anymore as I don’t want to commit hours to tv. That said, if it’s a King related one then it’s rude not to!

                      Ditto…a win there would get me the library and writing room I’ve envisioned in my head. I’m sure part of my problem is lack of a true dedicated space. One where I can just set up and leave stuff I’m working on out with no fear of it being moved or shuffled! Hopefully one day I can realise that dream!

                    55. I know, some shows are a real commitment! There are some great shows on at the moment, though — I like to think I’m learning a bit about storytelling from some of the better ones. I’ve definitely learned that a story can be dragged on for too long, beyond the point that it should have ended (I’m looking at you, The Walking Dead).

                      Ah, that would be lovely. I’m picturing a large oak desk, a stack of papers from a completed draft, overflowing bookshelves, the spicy smell of old books, and a warm cup of coffee/tea. Maybe an old typewriter for aesthetics and inspiration! Maybe it’ll be a reality at some point… Got to have a dream to chase!

                    56. My other half watches Walking Dead and I remember the start series…now it’s gone a bit offbeat. Might be I look at them differently now though…from writers eyes rather than just viewing. You’re dead right about learning from story telling too. Once you start looking with an open mind you see tales everywhere, even people watching is a dialogue assist!

                      Ha, ha…you’ve nailed the dreamscape writing room. So right about dreams to chase too. Without those life becomes rather sullied!

                    57. At one point TWD was one of my favourite shows. From the end of S2 to about a third of the way into S6 the show was absolutely marvelous. Some things should definitely have an end, though. Breaking Bad, Bojack Horseman etc. all ended at the top of their game — I think that’s the best way to go out!

                      My dream at the moment is to completely finish this WIP, to the point where it’s publishable. 😉 Might be a while off yet, but that’s the goal for the future!

                    58. My OH watches it still, but I’m not sure that’s just liking it or endurance. My son left it way back though and I dropped it as soon as I felt the story was losing its mojo. I find writing has me really looking deeper than I used to now too. Same with films and plot holes 😳

                      I’d say that’s a fabulous goal. The journey starts with the first draft and not a blank page waiting. You could use camps to finish or edit it too. They advertise the April one as a finish or edit that draft one. A lot of November folk conclude novels in it or start the drediting. I know that’s not a word, but it’s not my favourite part lol

                    59. Yeah, I catch up with the new season every now and then. There’s occasional moments where it shines, and you remember why you fell in love with it, but those are few and far between, nowadays…

                      I know what you mean. I find I’m getting better at spotting ‘dodgy’ writing, and really appreciating the stellar writing even more. My partner and I watched ’12 Angry Men’ — I was astounded at how well the story was maintained, for being set in a single room. Bloody brilliant.

                      I aim to finish my draft around NYE ish. Maybe around Jan, if I don’t get lazy. I think the camps would be great for editing! Although, I fear we share the same dread… 😀

                    60. Ha, that’s exactly it. Spotting really good stories and, in my case, finding better enjoyment of the film or series as a result. It’s one reason I balked at The Dark Tower film. It just felt wrong.

                      Go you too. January would be excellent to get that draft finished. Trouble with the lazy edge is it self feeds and is fertilised by procrastinating. My biggest issue there is piling up first drafts and stalling on what to do with them. Flipping missed PitMad too. I trialled that last time and did get a publisher like, but didn’t feel they were a good match.

                      As for editing…. definitely not as exciting as the first draft journey itself…more an essential evil. Mind you I know loads that actually enjoy that bit more!!

                    61. Yes, if I had maintained the pace I set in Nov, I would have finished well before NYE, but now I’m thinking it’ll probably be after, what with family gatherings and festivities, and whatnot. I know, it can be a bit of a negative cycle — a bit of guilt at not writing then feeds into a fear of opening up the document… But I’m still trickling the story out, even if it’s not the torrent that Nov was. As long as I don’t ignore it completely, a few hundred words here and there everyday should be okay.

                      I’m not familiar with this PitMad — does it link writers with publishers?

                      I’ve found that I really like editing for short stories — I’ve noticed if I run through it 3-4 times, I can elevate an “okay” story to being something half decent. I’m a bit scared of tackling an entire novel, however…

                    62. Lol, if that pace was maintained you’d do several books a year! It’s a shame NaNo is November in that respect…you get the mojo cooking and then it’s other responsibilities kicking in over Christmas. Still, if it gets stuck that’s the camps yes!

                      PitMad is a Twitter event. Three a year, might be four. You tweet a pitch for your book to #PitMad. Agents scan it and if they like your pitch then it means look them up and submit. I got a like last time, but didn’t think the match was right for mine. Intended doing it again, but NaNo dropped in.

                      Dead right. Short stories are much easier to edit because of what they are. Novels require much deeper concentration as it’s over the entire book. From silly mistakes, to story arc and cutting out gibber jabber that’s not contributing anything. No simple fix though alas!

                    63. 50k a month every month… Then you’d really be cooking with gas! If I can hit half that in Jan, my first draft will be done.

                      Ah, that sounds very interesting! I’ll have to investigate, the next time PitMad comes around! Could be useful.

                      Yes, as I’m writing this current draft, I’ve got a never ending checklist of things I want to fix or alter in my next pass through… From a complete rehaul of some sections to simply improving flow of language…

                    64. Imagine turning that amount on a monthly basis. That’s a book every two months! Half it and it’s still a book every two!

                      I’ll keep you posted on the PitMad thing. Ought to do a proper post on it really. It’s one you know about or don’t. Always worth a go just for a boost, even if nothing comes from it it’s good experience pitching and seeing how others do it too.

                      Good idea to have a rolling list of corrections too. By the end it’s hard to remember everything and easier to forget to fix them. Then there’s the new lists created out of those too lol

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