Monthly Archives: February 2009

Definitely Distracted.

The past days have been busy. There have been cruise ships arriving in port, which is expensive in terms of both time and energy, and last week I had the Town Crier of Royal Tunbridge Wells in Kent come to visit. It was indeed a pleasure to meet the gentleman and his wife, and to stroll around the town in regalia, but again this takes up time and energy.

The main preoccupation at present, however, is the forthcoming trip to Britain, and the six nights that we intend to stay in Rome. I have been surfing the internet to build up a little compendium of the ancient monuments that we might visit, so that we have a guide book when we stop to look. I have collected more than fifty items so far, including not simply the Colosseum and the Forum Romanum,  but also the Temple of Portunus, the Saepta Iulia and others less well known. This, I intend, will be a reference for us when we stroll along the ancient pathways from our hotel in the Via Bixio.

What this means, of course, is that my mind is full of Rome, the Republic, and the Empire. I am focussed on the Domus Aurea and the Forum Boarium, my mind running over the lives of Claudius, Furius Camillus, Flaminius and Clodius Pulcher, not to mention Caesar, Augustus, Vespasian and Constantine. I am quite surprised at how much of this stuff I actually know, and how deeply I feel about it, and once more I feel myself sinking into the fascinating waters of historical enquiry. The Journey to Rome has quite eclipsed the Journey in Winter for the moment.

But in the meantime, Talivan and Ma-Ethad are asleep together in a comfortable room in the Senate House at Barbatika, guests of Farein Romelial. But what will Lulu make of this? Are her feelings for Ma-Ethad coalescing sufficiently to do anything about it? And if so, what will be the ultimate effect of her actions. Besides this, there is another side to the tale of the Romelial occupation of the lands around Barbatika and her sister towns. Will that be explained by Farein? Or will it have to wait for the Priest of Valdis?

I cannot wait to find out, but it may be a little time before I do at the rate that I am going. 

Time Passes.

My word, how time does go by. Here we are in February and much has come and gone. ‘A Journey in Winter’ is proving to be much more complex than I first thought and may well occupy me for some time yet. I am presently at the beginning of Chapter Thirty, and I am not even half way. The 1000-word rule has broken down somewhat and I have been most remiss, but it cannot be helped. Inspiration is not like turning on a tap, and while it is all there inside me and the outline grows longer and more complex with each week, I cannot always summon the energy to start writing. I have had lots of cruise ships to welcome, which is a drain on time and the creative process, and the forthcoming trip to Britain also focusses the mind elsewhere. And January to March is the busiest time of my year, what with Christmas, birthdays,  Summertimes, cruise ships, flower festival etc etc.

Over and above all this is a looming crisis of confidence in my agents. It is over a year now since I signed up, so I am now out of contract, but I am having grave doubts about the company. I have read some quite disturbing material on the internet after googling key names and while I do believe that there are many disgruntled people who are ready to blame anyone but themselves, yet the sheer mass and consistency of the evidence is compelling. I have asked them to set me up with a further five contacts on their ‘aggressive agent programme’, and I have paid $NZ160 for the privilege [$US90] but I think that I shall leave it at that. It is not that they have done anything wrong per se, but I now question whether they have in fact done anything at all except collect money. When we return from Britain I might start looking for alernative representation.

But that is in the future. In the meantime I have so much to put into words, and I should start putting them into hard form rather than let it all swirl around in my head where it will inevitably get lost. Talivan, Marad and Lulu are now in Barbatika and are about to run across Sharaidis Romelial. Marad is going to discover just how grateful Lulu really is, and Farein is going to be put in a very awkward position strategically.


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