Writing can be a strange business. You think you have everything “done proper”, as Gyrtza would say, and then comes the e-book draft 1 proofreading… and another after that; hopefully it is now as perfect as it can be.
Afterwards, there’s Book4 to prepare, though I don’t expect that to happen this year. I’m also busy learning to build my author platform through a course with Australian Writers College, which I recommend to anyone wanting to develop their writing skills and presence; I’ve done two online writing courses with them, which helped me enormously. I also did an Editing and Proofreading course, which has saved me a fortune in those areas as it means I can do that work myself. A writer friend, who chose to use a professional editor, learned the hard way that not all editors are good editors, so be careful to choose wisely if you need to use one; always remember that your book is your book, not the editor’s!
Book5 has been set aside during this preparation process for Book3 but, suddenly, a central character for Book6 walked through the door of my brain without waiting for an invitation; he’s arrived and all sorts of ideas have begun flowing. I shall introduce him casually, secretly almost, in Book5, which I’ll return to as soon as Rogan and his adamadas.com page are ready.
Life is peaceful, otherwise. Autumn has come though the weather remains mild, even warm when the wind blows from the north. I’ve begun feeding the rosellas and king parrots, as I do when Queenie and the King make it known that it’s time for hand-outs again; with that comes the young kangaroo and her first joey to nibble on the dropped seed (the birds don’t like the corn niblets but the kangaroos enjoy them). My small potted garden is winding down – just a few herbs and tomatoes left now. I like autumn.
Ano7749 Mon10 Day6: Received commission from R/Magenta. Range said it was a vital, intriguing job that will demand all my skills. Notified Kanan and arranged O’bronnee overseer to manage stables under guidance of T’sholpan until my shuz’ha can be taken to new stables. Packed. Fitted out Scout.
Ano7749 Mon10 Day7: Temple. Said my goodbyes to K/Daffeed and Q/Coryl, Alluff and others; also advised Blue – Hunter said we’ll still be neighbours and Asha said Lake of the Land is perfect for me. Everyone offered help whenever I need it. Good friends, all of them.
Ano7750 Mon1 Day1: Dawn. I leave Ob’ronn in a few sha’as. A new ano, a new season, a new life. The initial shock when Magenta turned my life upside down has been replaced by feelings of intense curiosity and a deep desire to make this work! Feelings I haven’t felt since The Triangle; Zhrebat was different – didn’t care what happened to me then. I wanted only to strike back. Suddenly, now, I am out of my comfort zone and totally alive again. Is this to be my real tal’qut, El’b’ith? Zhrebat wasn’t, not fully.
Reached Lake of the Land around midday. Hovering now over the lake (beautiful, blue, two boats in the distance) looking at southern end of Estate. Not many people about – an old woman asleep in a chair in her dusty yard, a few workers planting seedlings on the hillside – surely it’s too early? Patches of snow still on the heights. Dramatic setting but the land looks tired. Above the village just below me is the Estate mansion – huge but dark and set in unkempt grounds – not a good look.
Evening: What a day this has been. I saw many villagers gathered in the grounds of the mansion, obviously waiting for something. Orders from Gaelu’un, perhaps. I made a point of arriving a day earlier than Magenta had advised the old sharath (now deposed and disentitled), as a sort of pre-emptive strike, anticipating resistance.
Landed in the back area where other craft were docked and stock were running loose and approached a terrified sakir named Altha. She was afraid of the overseers even more than Gaelu’un but showed me to their door. The Kalbans are a hard pair. Siblings. I’ve ordered them to face Judge Kerul. A lot of noise came from the room they were standing guard over and when I opened the door I felt as though I’d stepped back in time, several thousand anos, to an age when ‘lords’ indulged their lusts and their friends with huge banquets and harlots. The men were shouting to be heard, slobbering over squealing girls young enough to be their daughters, and enormous meals and jugs of elp. The worst part, though, was six very young boys in ridiculous costumes lined up along one wall, just waiting. They noticed me first, but their only reaction was in their eyes. Finally someone noticed that and turned to see what they were looking at.
Gaelu’un was caught totally off-guard and attempted to flatter me, which didn’t work, then ordered his men to take me. Yhat didn’t work, either…. I told him to present himself to his Ruler and I would deal with the others in due time. The men blustered, the girls ran off and the boys reacted uneasily but didn’t move – though they had no idea what sort of man I am; or maybe the fact that I used a stunner on Gaelu’un impressed them… These boys were the focus of the bootmaker’s concerns, even more than the other abuses he reported to Magenta, instigating my mission. Gaelu’un demanded that the boys go with him, claiming them as his personal property, which sickened and infuriated me, as it would any true man. I told the boys to find two strong men to send Gaelu’un on his way. They had some influence apparently, as the two sakirs they chose followed their direction immediately; Gaelu’un had recovered from the stun and flew away, but not to The Edj as ordered. I will deal with him soon.
I sent the boys to dress normally and return. I told them they would be my aides. They came back wearing white tunics and bright sashes, still bizarre in that setting but at least they weren’t near-naked and shivering anymore. They seemed eager to please and followed my instructions quickly; they were a big help and the locals did not mock them, although they obviously regarded them as very strange.
The people in general seemed dispirited. I introduced myself and the change of authority and asked the cook to prepare luch for everyone from the left-overs of Gaelu’un’s feast. That had a good effect. The boys set up an interview space on the verandah for me, discreet but in sight of everyone. I wanted them to understand that things will be done openly now.
The interviews (all recorded in the Estate Diary) began with the agriculture overseer, Benn. It’s no wonder that the land looks tired. It is tired. I paid out overdue wages to the overseer and his workers, plus extra to bring them up to the national standard – that brought some joy to the crowd when he handed it out to his men. Everyone has a lot of change and hard work ahead of them but their reward will be theirs, not stolen by Gaelu’un any more. There is a lot to be done.
The boy, Kyle, my note-taker, understood quickly what I wished to record. All the boys are very bright. They are my wards now. I desire to restore what childhood they have left but they need healing. When Magenta brings my supplies, she will see it and do it. Then they will grow into strong young men and they will achieve greatness.
The youngest, Danael, has no child left in his eyes. Albyn, the blond one, has a quick smile but Kyle told me that today was the first day he’d seen him smile so often; Albyn is keen on art. Ky’yl and Ez’zha are the middle pair. Ky’yl is quick-witted, with a strength that seems at odds with his prettiness. Ez’zha has a stillness about him that tells me he thinks before acting and afterwards, too – an unusual attribute. Mez’tha and Shadron are the oldest, though there is only an ano between them and the youngest pair. Mez’thah, the redhead, is a natural encourager and Shadron has been their rock, a born leader. He’s kept them focussed on helping each other through this terrible time in their short lives.
I must teach them that adults are not monsters although they have witnessed little else these past few anos. They will never see their despicable ‘parents’ again. Gyrtza, the cook, told me, with tears, in a brief moment I had with her, that those betrayers had little time to enjoy Gaelu’un’s favors – he’d killed them and sold their lotls to recoup his ‘losses’, claiming the boys were ‘overpriced’. She told me she did what she could for them whenever they were here, but Gaelu’un made it impossible for anyone to contact the outside world about those abuses or anything else. Still, when she confided in the bootmaker, a newcomer, he managed to send an impassioned plea to Ruler Magenta – and I was sent here to fix things. The boys are what I shall fix first and always. We will start with proper clothes and Qataq – the training and discipline will be good for them.
It is late and I am more weary than I’ve ever been, since I lost my beloved Tha’ya.
I have never had a career as such – not the sort that gives you stability and a steady climb to a comfortable retirement; but I have used my talents and I’m still using them and the experiences that both developed them and developed from them, still growing them; and that is better.
Talents must be used. They must also be grown. Their growing never really ends until we ourselves ‘end’. After that is another state of being, in real time, not this transitional one, when all that we become now becomes more in what we will truly be.
Too often the talents shown in childhood become lost in the process of ‘growing up’. The child who painted with remarkable imagination turns into a successful replica of what is expected or perhaps chooses things of the moment, never succeeding at anything and leaves the gift behind, a loss that never returns. The inventive youngster whose curiosity was never encouraged, grows up bound in submission to the Concept of Can’t.
Does success (as the world deems success) really matter? It does not. Give me an Audrey Hepburn over all the Kardashians together any time! Let success be that which makes us more real, more unique, more creative and just more – more that is good and true, not more that is merely acceptable in our so very limited social orders. Which memories stick with us long after the accolades given for performance are gone? Some will be wonderful, some inspiring, some will be bittersweet, and some will be heart-breaking but they will all be real. As we must be real.
Our world is Orwellian. We are told what to think and what to say and are given endless instruction on every aspect of our lives by people who do not even know us. This happens whether we bow to the pressures of society or street gangs, or politics, media or militias. Et cetera. Yet those that endure, those who are remembered beyond their particular time and space are not built on a marketing strategy or extruded from some boring, repetitive mould nor promoted by the movers and shakers of their time, but are products of their own uniqueness and their belief in something greater than themselves, something beyond mere want, something of worth. And some may be evil, true, but we can choose good over evil – a good which lasts forever while evil fades and dies in time, becoming little more than a tattered, muddy banner fallen in the wrong path.
Let nothing – particularly ‘fashion’ – dictate the way we use our talents, our gifts. They were given to us to benefit the world. They are like a downpayment on our future – our real future. Do not squander them, binding others to narrow ways of seeing but encourage everyone to see their own uniqueness and wonder, releasing them from the bondage of commonality.
Why should anyone suffer humiliation and pain for the privilege of admission to a coterie of clowns? What club, or gang, is worth that abasement? Make friends through giving and good friends will come to you. On January 26, 2016, most of us celebrated Australia Day in this country. The honours list was lengthy and filled with many high achievers, but the ones that will stay in my memory are the two young men named as ‘Young Australian of the Year’ – Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett. They have been helping the homeless since 2014 with a free laundry service, a world-first innovation that has grown into a much larger voluntary effort to become far more than simply washing clothes.
Talent is not just a skill. Talent is a gift with empathy. Talent takes strength of character.
I was not able to publish the next book in the Adamadas Chronicles in 2015 but plan to do so in the new year. Book3 is titled Rogan and follows the story of the Redlander, Rogan, whom readers first met in Blue and who also appears in the prologue to North of Himal.
Rogan is one of my favourite characters. A strong man who uses his strength well, he also makes mistakes – but learns from them. He recovers from his hurts, though sometimes his recovery takes a long time.
Rogan’s story begins as he enters his teno anos (teenage years to Earthlings). His parents are gifted, successful people, highly esteemed among their social set, who want Rogan to be as much like them as he can be; they do not expect much of their only child, but hope only that he does well in the course they have chosen for him. Rogan has no intention of burying his talents in their pretentions. As a teno, he rebels cautiously, appreciating their provision for him but impatient to be his own man. His opportunity comes before he expects it; suddenly, at seventeen anos, Rogan must find his own way in life.
Rogan has two talents that help him through many trials. One is the ability to see emanations emitted by precious metals and minerals; the other is the wisdom to choose good friends. His first real friend is an old woodcarver who gifts Rogan with his final work, completed just before his death. At university in The Edj, capital of Redlands, Rogan meets Range deBarq’at and so begins a lifelong friendship that benefits the entire nation. Readers will have met Range in Blue, when Asha and Kanan attend the Decannoal Conference at the Redlands Palace, just before the LastWar.
Rogan also believes that real success lies in helping others to prosper, rather than prospering oneself – this is the real basis of his estrangement from his parents. In this, he and Range are fully at one purpose in their lives. Rogan works his way through university and grows into a decisive man who refuses to compromise his beliefs for the sake of gain or expediency. In so doing, he collects scars, both outwardly and inwardly. Sometimes, these scars result from his one great weakness – in taking his ability to win against all odds for granted, a sort of pride that must be overcome before it kills him.
I will not give a synopsis of the story here; it is better to read the book. There will be new characters to meet, new situations, new trials to overcome, and a few new creatures and inventions. This story continues the theme of giving and sustainable living that seems to have become standard fare in the Chronicles, but more than that it is about friendship and integrity. The Adamadas Chronicles website (adamadas.com) will be updated to add a Rogan page when the book is published, with new illustrations and maps and a synopsis.
I intended writing about Asha of Blue last time but Kanan grabbed my attention, as he often does, and I was sidetracked. I apologise. So let me tell you, now, about the lead character in Book1 of the Adamadas Chronicles.
Asha was born in a cave, it is true (as her rival, Shuga Banz, liked to tell anyone would would listen) but it was the King’s Cavern and she was born a princess, third in line to the Servant’s Chair of the nation of Blue. Her father, King Jaz’n, was not xenophobic like his ancestors and was bringing his nation into the open, into friendship with the rest of The Land and the rest of the world, when he was murdered (along with his wife and their two older children) by his brother, Endor.
Asha’s Uncle Endor had spared Asha, hoping that one day she would love him but his cruelty and darkness of spirit ensured that she never would. When the child was three anos and already avoiding him, and realising that while the child lived he could never be more than a mere regent, he ordered her death. By then Endor was completely consumed by malice and the desire to control everyone around him. The King’s Cavern had deteriorated to little more than a huge cave for enslaved BlueOnes, although Endor lived in relative comfort.
Born with an intuition that both warned and terrified the little princess, Asha sensed that her uncle’s order for her to go with his vile First Officer, Helyan, was not for her good. She escaped through the bars of the cavern gates, only to be trapped on a beach fronting the Great Lake. From there she was rescued from Helyan and her evil klebs by the Blue dwarf, WindRider, and Wolgan, a gold-skinned explorer from neighbouring Ob’ronn. BlueOnes, of course, are blue – not a soft, gentle blue but vibrant like the blue ni’it, small anafa found throughout The Land.
Wolgan carried Asha to his leader, King Taran, who immediately took the tiny blue child into his care. This action dismayed his counsellor, Arll Banz, who had his own agenda concerning both his king and the nation of Blue. Banz’ only daughter, Shuga, relished any opportunity to humiliate Asha, a rival in her eyes for the affections of Queen Ithara and the princes, Daffeed and Kanan. Ithara was under the control of Banz and had little empathy for the orphan but Taran and the princes were her friends and Wolgan continued to look out for her. As well as Shuga’s endless provocation and her father’s disparagement and the Queen’s indifference, Asha was haunted by Endor’s spirit as he searched for her, seeking her death; for him to retain the Servant’s Chair she could not be allowed to see her seventeenth ano, when she would be entitled to reclaim the throne.
Asha, while blessed with good friends, was tormented by her fear of the wizard, Endor, and hurt by the tactics of Shuga and her father. Then one day King Taran realised that Asha needed a mentor who was also a guardian and he brought Tabbi the Minder into Asha’s orbit (and the orbit of his son Kanan who needed reining in at times). So the children grew strong and Asha learned to overcome her fear; it took rather longer for her to recognise manipulation and overcome that.
Shortly after her seventeenth birthday she became a queen without a throne, but a queen nevertheless. As such she stepped into a much larger world. Taran’s training had prepared her well and her own nature and belief in El’s part in both her destiny and her life gave her the strength to take up the new challenges that faced her. Some of these were much the same as any seventeen ano would face – falling in love, losing love, always pushing herself to succeed – but queens must also retain their poise if they are to have dignity in authority. The Banz duo and Endor strove to prevent her ever returning to Blue as its Queen. The LastWar broke out. Tabbi died protecting her and she knew both grief and anger but she used these emotions positively, overcame her enemies and won her true place among her peers; and, yes, she found love again.
Asha’s story is filled with diverse characters, with vibrant cultures, wonderful places and adventure. She appears now and then in subsequent Books of the Adamadas Chronicles because her greatest asset, her finest trait, is her ability to be a good friend and her friends are friends forever. On this site, adamadas.com, you will find a glossary and several maps and illustrations to expand your knowledge of The Land and its people – better still, read the book; the website provides links to several e-book outlets carrying ‘Blue’ on their e-shelves.
Kanan features, in Blue, as Asha’s best friend. Their friendship becomes, as sometimes happens, their ‘first love’. Teenage love is a soft and malleable thing that rarely develops into the harder and more defined emotions of adulthood and this is true of the young heros’ feelings, but they remain good friends throughout their lives.
With his character dramatically forged in the LastWar, Kanan realises that what he feels for Asha is not the love of a life-partner but simply deep affection and that he must move on; he must find his own true role in life. As Second Prince of Ob’ronn he will not inherit the Servant’s Chair. His nature is such that he cannot walk in his brother’s shadow for the rest of his life but must make his own impact on the world. And he finds real, grown-up love with Tashiqa of The Zhrebat.
Asha, who won her place among her own people after ousting the corrupt regent, Endor the Wizard, is established in Blue and her primary focus is defined by the needs of the BlueOnes, to protect and support them, and help them reach their true potential. She knows Kanan is right when he tells her it’s over, although she is sad, but her love is big enough to wrap around both Kanan and Tashiqa and wish them well; Asha also finds her own soulmate in Hunter, the lost Prince of Blue, who served on the Zhrebat rescue mission with Kanan.
The impulsive, impatient, thoughtless youth that we met in Blue no longer floats through life. He knows what he has to do and he does it. Tradgedy and overcoming the odds, the example of his friends and the compassion he feels for those who have lost far more than he has, work together to bring the boy to manhood in a way that mere upbringing never could — though his upbringing has a big effect on his response to change. He is fully focussed on attaining his personal destiny. His desire is to marry Tashiqa, whom he cannot marry because the Zhyarta Code demands that the Zhrebatan Servant must always marry a Zhrebatan. Kanan appeals to El. He serves Tashiqa and The Zhrebat far beyond duty and becomes her right-hand man. Kanan puts his whole being into pleasing El while doing everything he can to help The Zhrebat recover from its devastation in the LastWar; he is not the sort to drown his heartache in ong or elp or futile, self-indulgent rage; he was never weak, even as a child.
After a period of intense study, Kanan and Tashiqa return to the Zhrebat with the other refugees and with many otherlander men because the male population of Zhrebat was decimated in the war. The enemy, though defeated internationally, has not given up its lust for power and plans to defeat the upstart Zhyr who won’t be corrupted by them, the Bur, as the old Zhar, her father, had been. Kanan lauds and supports her swift action to remove every influence and identity that promotes the return of BurWay to her nation.
Book2 of the Adamadas Chronicles, North of Himal, follows Kanan’s part in the epic spiritual and physical battles that result. Kanan’s nature is such that he attracts strong friends (as well as powerful enemies) and he is not alone in his efforts to help Tashiqa rid The Zhrebat of the Bur. He is aided by two devoted Zhrebatans delivered from slave labour by the Zhyr, a loyal old Ch’if in a forest t’shan, a Bal’bur st’waif and rebels in MoGol itself, homeland of the BurConclave. In North of Himal, where people can talk to anafa and amalfa, ‘friends’ includes the furred and feathered kinds — and others beyond those categories. Together against great odds, against evil devices, savage men and deadly weapons, Kanan’s band confronts the Bur on all fronts and wins.
But North of Himal is not all about blaster battles. Kanan is not just a warrior; he is a builder. His exploits include the construction of new towns and opportunities for development that lesser minds would claim to be impossible. His ability to make friends across many borders, to give more than he gets, and his pure devotion to ElWay change the face of The Zhrebat forever. Instead of inefficient land use, he brings sustainable production. Instead of ugly, rapacious cities he creates beautiful, viable ones that work in harmony with all Zhrebat. Whether he is supporting the nation’s leader, Zhyr Tashiqa, or aiding a trapped and destitute plainsman, Kanan acts with zeal and integrity to make all things very good, not just better. And yes, his love story does have a happy, unexpected and spectacular conclusion.
NOTE: For those readers having difficulty understanding some of the terms used here, check them out in the Glossary at https://www.adamadas.com
In the far distant future and far beyond this solar system but not beyond this galaxy, spins a planet somewhat like our own. It is larger than Earth, its lands and seas more evenly distributed, with both poles formed of ice-capped island continents; its tropical and temperate zones are very much like those on our own planet. There are mountains and plains, deserts and forests and grasslands, fresh water and salty. Its name is Adamadas; its sun, the star Myk’l, brings the day and at night its two moons, Neos and Oanta, race across the sky. So there is much that is similar. Earth (which is known as Old Erth on this other planet), after all, was the prototype, the template, the first to be given life that would in turn help bring life to other planets and star systems. Like its people, who began life as physical beings, Old Erth became a spirit-place, beautiful beyond description and wonderful beyond imagination: it set the pattern for all. The physical seems ageless to the physical but it is the spiritual that attains eternity.
Not all spirits live forever. But spirits, even the doomed, certainly live trillennia longer than physical beings. There are only two ways of life; whichever is chosen belongs either to El or to Chaya (aka Tcha’a). El is true, Chaya is deception. It’s all very simple. In our world, now, the same ways apply though we know them under different names; in our world, for now, ChayaWay dominates but on Adamadas, at the time when its chronicles were being compiled, it is ElWay that rules. Still, there must be testing and so El allows a remnant of ChayaWay to be an agent for proving who will walk in ElWay and who will not. Creation, after all, belongs to its creator, not to the usurper.
After the EndWar when the evil spirit, Chaya, was destroyed and his followers with him, Adamadas was given a millennium to walk in ElWay. After six millennia of ChayaWay the results were profound; but still there must be testing. Ancient writings had been preserved and from these a foul remnant of ChayaWay was re-established in hidden places to emerge around two hundred years – or anos, as they are known there – before the culmination of the physical phase of the planet. The evil began in secret, as evil does until it feels strong enough to show itself, corrupting those susceptible to lust, greed and flattery. Some advocates followed the ‘new’ way to reclaim Chaya, other declared they were free of any loyalties, obligations and responsibilities, that they were responsible only to and for themselves; all were deceived, and most were deceived willingly.
This is the underlying theme of the Adamadas Chronicles, as compiled by LynMiller, utilising the research and resources of RellimNyl, historian exemplar of the famed Alkebula University in the land of K’nyika-Zamb’we. The next post will outline some aspects of the story of the refugee orphan, Asha, who overcame her fears to become Queen of Blue, as related in the First Book of the Adamadas Chronicles.
I love to travel. I love to savour other cultures, especially those that retain some tribal purity — they’re the ones largely uncontaminated by globalism. They are unique and very precious. These pockets of tradition, like heritage seeds, have long been in danger of extinction. Like all of us now. War has come to destroy civilisation.
This world is being violently swept of its history and the integrity, not only of nations and their cultures, but of individual rights. Frenzied broom-wielders demand that all people conform to their insane ideas of ‘harmony’ and ‘sustainability’, ideas which are neither harmonious nor sustainable. Concepts of right and wrong, of good and evil, are denounced and defamed by the broom-wielders, although these same concepts have kept nations from extinguishing themselves for millennia; the insane broom-wielders have no such record — indeed, history proves that their ways have never worked.
“It’s polluted!” scream the broom-wielders as they raise clouds of dust and debris. “We must change the world! The sky is falling!” But they themselves do not change.
This is war. In every war there are battles for territory and for hearts and minds. In every war soldiers die to protect either their territory or their broom-wielders, whole cultures are imprisoned or murdered, and the masses believe the propaganda or simply surrender to the warmonger for the sake of a false peace. But in every war there are also those who resist the broom-wielders, those who help others survive, those who refuse to bow to the broom.
Not all resistance takes place in occupied territory; indeed, the bravest resistance occurs in the territory of the aggressors. And when war ends the broom-wielders are executed, the soldiers are either honoured or condemned, the masses rejoice or cry for their loss, and the Resistance become heros.
In our war, whether it’s fought in the Middle East, once ‘the cradle of civilisation’, once fertile but now filled with savagery and ruin, or in The West, once renowned for its freedom and endeavour but now corrupted by carnality and greed, or in the interests of ‘global ethics’, which are not ethical at all, soldiers will still die, the broom-wielders will still reign, the masses will still accept the lie — and still the Resistance will refuse to bow before the broom; but this war, too, will end.
So, when it does, where will we stand in history? If we stand at all, where do we stand now?