Writing Update

Hey everyone. I missed Monday this week but will post you a song at the end of this. As you might have guessed, I like music that is a bit off the beaten track most of the time. (There is plenty of mainstream stuff I like as well, but it gets enough help that I will only occasionally post it.)

At the moment, I am working on 4 pieces. Since my last update, I have finished a couple of short stories that will be published soon.

I should be finished the first book in a series I have been serializing soon. The book will be called ‘Footsteps,’ and the series is Hunter’s Apprentice.

I am also closing in on finishing the first prequel book to a new series, ‘Fang and Fury,’ with the book ‘First Flight.’

I have been working on the third Breed Matter’s book ‘Fury’s Child.’

In the Good Deeds and Bad Company, ‘Training Pains’ is almost finished editing, and I hope to release it sometime in October or November. As I have completed several short stories over the last few months, it depends somewhat on the release schedule of the anthologies I am in and the collection of Mongrelverse stories, ‘Starter Pack.’

I am doing my best to make sure there are no less than two weeks and no more than three weeks between new releases of my work. There may be exceptions I make for holiday-themed short stories. I hope to give everyone who likes my books regular opportunities to get them, but I don’t want to feel like I am throwing too much out there too fast.

I also hope to start posting weekly or even more frequent snippets of my work. I just suck at time management, especially if I am focusing on finishing a single book. I kinda get a bit lost in work.

I hope this helps you, and I hope you are looking forward to my upcoming releases.

Thank you all for your support.

P.S. There are links to the serialization of Footprints in earlier posts.
And here is the promised music.

Music Monday – I actually remembered two weeks in a row!

I was sitting at my desk, looking for a wall to ram my head into to dull the pain my writer’s block was causing when it suddenly struck me.

It is Monday, right now, somewhere in the world. And I have not posted a Monday Music post yet.

I should fix that. This will be easy and might be more effective pain relief than bouncing my head against a brick wall. Definitely less damaging (to the wall) than hitting it against a plaster wall.

Effective pain relief? Yes. Less damaging? Yes. Easy? Err… Why do I have so many songs in that bookmark folder? I have a music bookmarks folder? I don’t remember most of these. I am going to need to listen to them until I find the right one for the week. NOOO!

I ended up going with The Dead South, In Hell I’ll be in Good Company. The lyrics make about as much sense to me as the world has in the last week.

A Random Thought from Thursday

I thought I should launch into a description of Australians in general. Now don’t get me wrong, there are Aussies of many types, and some will disagree with what I say here. We have our uptight few, we have our tree huggers, corporatists, and everything in between.

But in my experience, if you want to understand Aussies, portray them successfully, or get along with them, you need to understand one thing. At the core, we can’t take anything too seriously. We need to find a funny side or do something to break overwrought tension.

Not to the point where it becomes dangerous, at least usually. (There is always that one guy who takes it too far, am I right?) But to the point where people can relax.

There is a part of us that revels in irreverence and what we call ‘Shit-stirring.’ This is not bullying in most cases. (See the comment above.) It is something we do to raise everyone on our side’s spirits.

An excellent example of this can be found in two stories from World War Two. They are probably apocryphal, but they speak to Aussies. Note – some people may not want to read either of these stories, especially the second one. The first one is more on the line of a practical joke mixed with psychological warfare. The second is more bloody and bloodthirsty. This was war, after all.

Both start with Aussie units at Tobruk. It sometimes starts or ends with, ‘the patrol leaders would go on to help form the Australian SAS.’

On deep patrol, within enemy siege line, the unit encountered an Italian Army camp. Slipping past the guards, they found no one else in the camp awake. Rather than cause chaos by attacking the supply dump, they did something more subtle. One of the soldiers spoke, read, and wrote Italian.

The CO knew eliminating a single company or battalion would do little to relieve the siege. He took out a field notebook and pencil and told the trooper to write ‘You’re dead’ on the top and bottom of the page for the back half of the notebook.

After tearing them out carefully, he distributed them to his men and had them sneak into each tent. The men were to leave them on every second Italian trooper. Then they were to steal the left boot from the foot of the camp bed of every Italian soldier who did not receive a note.

The patrol retreated before dawn and waited, hidden, but close enough to the Italian camp to observe it through binoculars. Pandemonium erupted from within when the soldiers awoke and discovered the notes, accusations thrown at soldiers who seemed to think it was a prank from one of the guards. Then they found the missing left boots…

The next one, also at Tobruk, is about a unit of Australian Combat Engineers, and may actually be true. Shifting enemy mines was a priority for the commander at Tobruk, an Australian, Leslie Morehead, then a Brigadier. The Germans in WW2 were well known for laying out mines in a set pattern. This was so they could raid across their own minefields and retreat safely behind them.

The Australians had captured a German officer who had on him a copy of the standard mine layout. The CO of this unit had memorized it, and when his unit discovered a German minefield, he decided to do something about it. He and his men lifted all but four mines – the ones at the edges of the fields. Rearranging them randomly, they then pulled back and waited.

That night, a German unit moved through the minefield. Several of their men were blown up by mines where they should not have been. Trying to retreat, they encountered more mines.

One German soldier, perhaps a bit smarter than the others, saw a rock nearby. Jumping onto it, he found safety. Seeing another rock he could leap to that was close to the German side of the minefield, he jumped for it.

The rock and the man who landed on it were blown up by a booby trap. In addition to shifting the mines, the combat engineers had rigged several rocks in the minefield with explosive booby traps.

The Aussie units in Tobruk were given the nickname ‘The Rats of Tobruk.’ To have been a Rat became, and still is, in my opinion, a badge of honor. They even have a Veteran’s Association, complete with commemorative insignia.

Perhaps a more modern and less military example will be helpful.

Let us take ARSE. This is a parody space agency. The initials stand for Australian Research and Space Exploration. Yet a part of me, and of many Australians, I am sure, sorta wish our government had the balls to name the space agency this.

(They went with the boring, and often lost in the noise, ASA, ‘Australian Space Agency.’ It sounds disappointingly like a sub-section of NASA.)

While ARSE would not have been respected as a name outside the country, I reckon many locals would have been getting behind it and pushing hard. It would also be a reminder that in any serious project, you need to have a little fun. You need to enjoy the work you are doing, no matter how serious. Laughter and humor are always important.

Even with a name like that, it would have attracted people with talent. Maybe some of them would be a little off the wall. Who cares? Another word for people who are a bit unusual is innovators.

A bit of larrikinism that doesn’t hurt anyone should always be enjoyed.

If you enjoyed the military stories in this post, you may well enjoy The Pandora Solution HERE

If you enjoy both you may also enjoy Mage and Mate, co-written with Taki Drake, HERE

Music Monday Returns, Take Two: Curse My Name by Blind Guardian

Hi all.

I found this band while listening to another on Youtube. Then I discovered that another of my favorite bands had covered one of their songs. So I decided to take a good long listen to them while writing.

Usually, I write through music. It takes either an awful song, or a great song, to pull me out while I write. This is, in my opinion, an example of the latter. I have had to remove it from my Writing playlist and put it into one (okay, several) of my others. I would call this song Folk Metal, although Blind Guardian’s music crosses a lot of territory in Metal sub-genres.

Hope you enjoy!

 

New Chapter – No votes this week

Hello Everyone

Just dropping by to inform you that despite everything, I did manage to finish the next chapters of Hunter’s Apprentice.

You can find chapter 10 HERE (or click on the cover, I linked it too.)

I hope you enjoy them, and any other story that people have posted.

Have a good day, everyone.

Paul C. Middleton

P.S.

Here are the links to past chapters for you to enjoy.

Chapter 1 – Here

Chapter 2 & 3 – Here

Chapter 4 & 5 – Here

Chapter 6 & 7 – Here

Chapter 8 & 9 – Here

Look forward to more chapters in the Hunter’s Apprentice serial every fortnight!

I will try and re-start my Music Monday posts as well. I also hope to soon have regular snippets for you all, and to update you on my works in progress.

Sorry about being so scatterbrained. Sorry about the delays everywhere. Life got in the way. Hopefully I have clearer skies going forward.

Thanks again

Paul C. Middleton.

Cover Reveal and link to Hunter’s Apprentice Ch 8 and 9 on Inanna’s Game. Please vote for one of the entries!

Hello Everyone

Just dropping by to inform you that despite everything, I did manage to finish the next two chapters of Hunter’s Apprentice.

You can find them HERE (or click on the cover, I linked it too.)

I hope you enjoy them, and any other story that people have posted.

Have a good day, everyone.

Signing off for a day of writing,

Paul C. Middleton

 

Apologies… It has been a rough week.

I am sorry that my ‘plan’ to start posting regularly has failed for the time being.

This week has been a perfect example of how 2020 has felt for many people out there.

On Sunday night, I broke a tooth, but that got fixed Tuesday. I had planned to post this yesterday as a short and whiny piece about dentists. Perhaps something a little serious and a little funny.

Then I found out that a friend of mine passed in his sleep two nights ago. I feel so powerless, hundreds of kilometers away, and unable to help his family if they asked or if they need it.

He was a great friend and someone who did his best to be a good person. He died in his sleep. He was only a few years older than I am.

I apologize to all of you, but it will be a week or more before I can pull myself together enough to have a chance at posting regularly.

I hope you understand.

Thank you.

Paul C. Middleton.

Music Monday Returns

Welcome back to Music Monday after a hiatus.

I figure people could use a pick me up. I certainly needed one, so I looked through my older playlists and found this gem.

I hope you find it just as uplifting.

Hope you have a good day!

Signing out,
Paul C. Middleton.

Whoops. Here are the links for my serial, sorry I forgot to keep updating

Hi all. Sorry I have forgotten to keep you updated on the Serial I have been writing.

I hope to make up for that today.

Chapter 1 – Here

Chapter 2 & 3 – Here

Chapter 4 & 5 – Here

Chapter 6 & 7 – Here

Look forward to more chapters in the Hunter’s Apprentice serial every fortnight!

I will try and re-start my Music Monday posts as well. I also hope to soon have regular snippets for you all, and to update you on my works in progress.

Sorry about being so scatterbrained.

Oh, and please try to read all the stories in the last link and vote for the one you think is best!

Hunters Apprentice Serial: Chapter 2 and 3 Released


I have started to release a new story – outside of the Mongrelverse – in a serialized form as part of the Inanna’s Game cycles.
Called Hunter’s Apprentice, I am aiming for an adventure sorta story that is more appropriate for my younger readers than my existing works.
You can find the first chapter HERE
The second and third chapters are HERE (This is the one with voting still open)
Don’t forget to read the other stories authors are posting, and vote on whoever you find wrote the best one! no need to vote for me if you think another story is better!