While I wait to hear back from Derek Haines and Nicholas Rossis regarding their thoughts about the first fifteen thousand words of my current science fiction work in progress, I now have the time to read one of my copies of The Hobbit – the latest Kindle incarnation.
All my life I have loved Tolkien’s books. Once upon a time when I was a good deal younger, (seven going on eight) my father used to read to me from The Hobbit every night before I had to go to bed. I wish I had that copy. It was a first edition. Unfortunately like a lot of the precious books he had at the time, it was sold for a few pounds when we left England for New Zealand back in 1958.
Beside the Kindle copy, I also have the exquisitely illustrated hard back versions…
What are soul mates? In his Symposium Plato gave a very fascinating answer: a soul originally was a perfect sphere, which was cut in two halves. One half of the soul went to your body, while the other found abode in your soulmate’s body. Since then, we keep searching that missing part for our entire life and if we are lucky enough to find it: BANG! It is like two magnets ‘attraction: strong, irreversible. For Plato any other relationship different from the bond which arouse from that natural attraction could not work, just because it was not meant to be. In fact, if you reverse the polarity of one magnet, they repel. Despite your efforts there is no way to keep together those repelling magnets for long : it is not in the laws of nature. At that point you may choose whether to live hopefully a satisfactory but empty…
I confess I certainly hadn’t until I read an article about his accomplishments recently. Come to that, I doubt many outside his native Belgium have heard of him either. But like me you will be familiar with his lasting legacy; the most famous train the world has ever known – the Orient Express.
Georges was born in Liège into a wealthy banking family in 1845, dieing in 1905. In the 1860’s he travelled extensively in the USA, marvelling at the luxury Pullman carriages, sleeping and restaurant-cars used for long distance railway travel across the vast American continent.
When he returned to Europe, he determined to do something similar to improve the lot of the wealthy European train traveller. In 1874 he founded the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. His company soon became a huge success when he had a fleet of luxuriously appointed carriages built.
Many of my blogging chums across the pond will be gathering together with their families and dear ones today to celebrate thanksgiving and give thanks that they have got safely through this troubled year.
May I give a wave to you all and thank you for the support you show me. It is appreciated more than you can know!
As of yesterday East Wind is uploaded and available for pre-ordering from all Amazon sites. As I hoped, here in the UK its priced at £0.99. Officially it will be available to the general public on the 1st of January 2022. That is the date when your pre-ordered copy will appear on your Kindle. I really hope you enjoy reading East Wind and Arvo’s journey together, and the heart warming love story which they both share in when Arvo (Bill) meets not one but two loving souls that he falls in love with. First Lin Mae who gives him a precious daughter – Tilde. Then his true soul mate Katya who he remains with for the rest of his days.
Kai growled and threw his guitar pick as hard as he could. Then he sighed. It was his last one.
Using considerably more care than he’d shown to the pick, he set his guitar gently in its case, taking a moment to polish the gleaming wood with his shirt sleeve. It had been a gift from his grandmother, and it was hard to believe it was actually his. Although if he didn’t figure out a way to get his fingers to form the chords fast enough to play at some kind of speed, the only beautiful thing would be the guitar. Right now, his playing sucked so hard, nobody would even call it music.
He crawled forward on the grass, his eyes darting from side to side. Practicing in the nearby grove of trees had seemed like a good idea. He’d been sure the cloud-studded sky, grass, and stately oaks…
Now that you’ve read my long short story about four differing aspects of love, the last being ‘the love that shall not speak it’s name’, I’d like to thank those of you who hung in there right to the bitter end, reading each and every chapter. Both myself and my beautiful German muse Sally (below) who I based Katya on, hope you enjoyed the story. BTW – now would be a good time to hear your thoughts about whether or not East Wind appealed to you as my ‘control group’. In short, if after reading it you are indifferent to the story, there is no point in my publishing it on Amazon. However if you did enjoy the read, I will include your reviews (the fair ones that is) as editorial reviews. If you have no plan to buy a copy of the ebook for yourselves, please ensure that at the very least you make a point of recommending it to your friends when it appears alongside my other works. These days it takes more than rave reviews and advertising to get the largely jaded public to buy an ebook, particularly if its indie author is not widely known and accepted. I will be offering it at the lowest price KDP allows (hopefully £0.99 pence). Perhaps you might even consider writing a review and posting it to Amazon?
PS – I was told that I can certainly write a love story. Thank you for the compliment Christine XX
PPS – don’t forget – No reviews, no published ebook entitled East Wind! It’s all down to you.
PPS – I have no intention of disappointing my beautiful muse. Neither should you. Katya’s story needs to be read, if only to make people aware of the LGBT community. I know a handful of Katya’s sisters. Every one of them is to be congratulated for rising above all the hate and prejudice they have endured when they were nought but children. I admire them. Hell if I had met Katya, like Bill I would have fallen for her…
With each passing day, all going well, both boat and master were closer to revealing the reason why they were going home, or rather where. First of all East Wind and Bill must return to Bergen. It was long past time Arvo (Bill) Knudsen handed himself over to the authorities to answer for his crimes.
“What crimes mister Knudsen?” the police sergeant inquired with a bemused look on his face. As far as he was concerned there were none. “As for East Wind, she is yours and yours alone. Welcome home to you both and your crew. Young Tilde will have to be registered for school if your planning on living here in Bergen once again.”
So all this time it was his own guilty conscience that made him leave his homeland. Not that he was complaining. He had the boat he loved, the woman he loved and his darling daughter too. What more could he ask for?
“Poppa don’t cry, please don’t cry!” Tilde whispered in Bill’s ear. Katya held them both in her arms as she began welling up and sobbing in sympathy.
“Why are we crying liebling?” she asked.
“Take no notice of me my darlings. I’m being silly,” Bill replied with a deep sigh. “Lets go and take a look at the Knudsen home, if it still exists.”
There on the highest point of the road leading north out of town stood the house of Bill’s nightmares. Because no one lived in it, it had begun to decay. Apart from the inevitable broken windows courtesy of Bergen’s bored youth, as a whole the building wasn’t beyond repair. Bill decided then and there that after the house had been repainted and re-glazed, he would place it on the market. “I can’t live in it Katya,” he announced as they lay in each other’s arms in their double bunk, back aboard East Wind. “There are too many bad memories for me…”
As the Northern summer arrived, East Wind sailed above the outer limit of the Arctic Circle for only the second time in her long existence, entering harbour in Sortland on the island of Langǿya in the centre of the Lovoten Islands off North Norway’s coast. It didn’t take Bill and Miki l0ng to find the spot where they would build an insulated home for their family. If Bill had had his way, it would be built as a shrine to East Wind with her at its centre. Both men laboured for several months until the day came when Katya, Tilde and Buppha unlocked the front door to their home on land for the first time.
As winter began to bite, all five remained snug in their home. Occasionally Bill and Katya would walk the short distance to East Wind’s sheltered berth and spend time back below deck, making love and plans for where they would go next spring…
Katya screamed when she woke in Bill’s cold arms. He had died of a heart attack after making love. The local coroner ruled he had died of natural causes. For several days Katya, Tilde, Miki and Buppha mourned the larger than life man they all loved. It was Tilde who found her father’s unsigned will. In it were clear instructions for his funeral.
When spring finally arrived the residents of Sortland witnessed a Viking burial with a difference. With Tilde at the helm East Wind left harbour and turned towards the north polar region with Bill’s body visible on top of the cabin skylight. Trimming East Wind’s sails for the last time, Tilde and Miki stepped aboard the fishing boat that had towed her out to sea.
Miki, Buppha and Tilde hugged an inconsolable Katya as they watched East Wind and her master sail away for the last time.
The grand old lady and love of Arvo’s life, East Wind and her skipper soon passed into memory and legend…
Okay. When I wrote THE LAST TEMPLAR, back in the far-distant days of March 1994, not only did I know that this would be the start of a glittering literary career, I also knew that my research had been impeccable, the characterisation superb and the plotting without fault.
Then that blasted man Dan Brown wrote a book which was apparently rather good. I think he took all my money. I’m not alone in thinking this. Other fellows, like Henry Lincoln, Richard Leigh and Michael Baigent, thought Brown had ripped off their own book, THE HOLY BLOOD AND THE HOLY GRAIL, which I personally thought was a dire confection of conspiracy theories and guesswork. I did read it, and it was an interesting read, but there was one point in the book where the authors suggested that if you, the reader, could accept a…
One morning in early spring Bill awoke up with a single thought on his mind,“I need to go back home my darling,“ he said to a still sleepy Katya, who ignoring Bill’s declaration, shifted her position to straddle him. As she brought him to orgasm as only a member of the transgender sisterhood could, she said nothing in reply. This was when their love for one another was reafirmed, whenever East Wind was at anchor. Nothing else mattered at this precise moment in time to her way of thinking.
An hour or so later while she cradled him in her arms she asked, “Why Norway liebling, why now?“
“All I know is I must return home. But I’m not going without you, Tilde, Buppha and Miki. What do you think?“ Even Bill’s first love, East Wind, creaked in agreement. She wanted to go home as well.
After rounding the southern tip of the Spanish Peninsula, East Wind heading north to Vigo in the west of Spain, north of the border with Portugal. While Bill and Miki prepared East Wind for entering the notoriously unpredictable waters of the Bay of Biscay, Katya, Buppha and Tilde went ashore for much needed supplies. When they returned, the girls prepared a sumptuous spread, followed later after Tilde had gone to bed by a sight that delighted both Miki and Bill.
Both women entertained their men by dancing intimately together. Each one taking it in turns to be the submissive, allowing the other to briefly explore parts of her body by peeling back a shoulder strap to briefly expose a breast, or by spinning the submissive around, then after lightly spanking her, raising the hem of her dress with one finger to reveal a tantalisingly brief view of what delights lay hidden beneath. Once again they demonstrated to their men who was really in charge of their relationships…
All aboard breathed a sigh of relief after crossing of the Bay. East Wind’s first port of call was Biarritz in south-western France. From there they sailed north along France’s Atlantic coast to Brest, France’s most westerly port, before rounding the cape that marks the western most point of Brittany and on to Cherbourg. By the beginning of June, East Wind was negotiating her way north via the English Channel and the North Sea.