Jim Wester, Blog Tour. A Poet Is Always A Gentleman.

I am delighted to welcome Jim Webster once again to my blog as part of his latest Blog Tour.

First off let’s have a look at the time table, so you know when and who to visit.

Sue Vincenthttps://scvincent.com/Friday 8th NovCartographically challenged
MT McGuirehttps://mtmcguire.co.uk/Saturday 9th NovSilent justice
Robbie Cheadlehttps://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/Sunday 10th NovKnowing your profiteroles
Writers Co-ophttps://writercoop.wordpress.com/Monday 11th NovComing clean
Stevie Turnerhttps://steviet3.wordpress.com/Tuesday 12th NovBringing the joys of civilisation
Colleen Chesebrohttps://colleenchesebro.com/Wednesday 13th NovTrite tales for little people
Annette Rochelle Abenhttps://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/Thursday 14th NovA licence to perform
Chris Grahamhttps://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/Friday 15th NovWorking the Crowd
Ashlynn  Waterstonehttps://waterstoneway.wordpress.com/Saturday 16th NovAnd home again
Ken Gierkehttps://rivrvlogr.wordpress.com/Sunday 17th NovNot particularly well liked
Writers Co-ophttps://writercoop.wordpress.com/Monday 18th NovMore trite tales for little people
Willow Willers https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/Tuesday 19thA poet is always a gentleman
Ritu Bhathalhttps://butismileanyway.com/Wednesday 20th Justice of a sort
Jayehttps://jenanita01.com/Thursday 21stGetting to the bottom of it all

A poet is always a gentleman.

There are times when past events catch up with you in a potentially embarrassing manner, and it takes a certain quickness of wit to deal with them satisfactorily. Whilst looking back on my Slipshade expedition with modest satisfaction, I confess I rather consigned it to the past. It had happened, it was done, and whilst the tale of my exploits would doubtless surface, suitably scrubbed and burnished, at some point when I needed material for some future work; I had every confidence that that part of my life was over.
Not only that but I was no longer being blamed for the politically embarrassing actions of cavorting imps and similar. I could walk the streets of my home city with my head held high. I had no more to fear that any other resident who walks the streets alone and after dark. True I still doubtless had creditors, but until you have those you cannot really call yourself a poet.
Thus when Dobart Strun sent me a message suggesting I met with him at the Flensers to discuss the possibility of working together, I set out to enjoy my evening with a clear conscience. I was also accompanied by Shena who has a lot of time for Dobart. Yes he is an artist, but he’s also a sculptor and Shena has managed to sell him all manner of strangely shaped pieces of stone, bizarre lengths of driftwood, and miscellaneous lumps of non-ferrous metals. Not only that but Lancet was also going to be there so she felt that it could well be an interesting evening.
We met at the bar and proceeded to the buffet. Here there was the usual jostling at the entry table where the termagant collecting the money had her lair. Normally we would be finding excuses to get somebody else to pay, but on this occasion we all seemed to genuinely wish to pay for everybody else. I was in funds thanks to Slipshade and felt that it was perhaps my turn to let others take advantage of me. After all I had eaten and drunk at their expense in the past. Dobart wished to pay because he felt he was in some way the host, trying to inveigle us into joining an enterprise, and Lancet wanted to pay mainly because he grows nervous if the rest of us show too much apparently spontaneous generosity. There are times when I feel he can be remarkably cynical. Perhaps that is part of what demarcates the performance artist from the true poet?
Eventually we let Dobart pay, collected our plates and made an opening reconnaissance of the buffet table. As we sat down to devour the prizes taken in our first sally, Dobart put forward his scheme. As I have said, he is a sculptor. Not only that he’s a big man. Tall, broad, and it’s all muscle. He will casually manoeuvre foundry pouring ladles full of molten bronze across his workshop. But for all that, whatever his appearance, he is a genuine artist, and can produce the most delicate work.
His plan was worthy of him. It had occurred to him that the market for bronze sculpture was limited, if only by the cost. So his plan was to produce something in pewter. But rather than just produce large pewter pieces the same size as his bronzes, he was pondering producing pieces where the human figure was not much larger than a man’s middle finger. We listened to him with interest, as to the best of my knowledge one sees only a trifling amount of work in that size. It was Shena who commented that she thought it was an interesting idea but why was he involving Lancet and me.
“I have been thinking, Shena. Once I’ve made the master, I want to be able to leave it to apprentices to cast scores of them. But I need people to be interested in them. That’s where Tallis and Lancet come in. If there is a story behind the piece, perhaps a poem people have heard, then they are going to be more interested. So ideally the poem with sell the sculpture to those who hear the poem and like it. Then perhaps the sculpture will sell the poem to people who see the sculpture, buy it and want to know more.”
Dobart then turned to Lancet. “Now then, pewter can start looking dull and uninteresting, and I remember you painting something to look as if it were made of bronze, it was a prop for a performance you gave. Could your paint work for my figurines?”
Lancet sat and thought. “Not if they clean them. Start rubbing them with a cloth and the bronze will start to come away.”
As he was obviously thinking, we sat in silence, waiting for his next pronouncement. “What you could do is rather than painting with bronze, ‘dry brush’ it.”
Shena and I obviously looked bemused by this comment so Lancet explained. “You put a very little of the paint on the brush, and just brush rapidly over the surface, so the bronze paint would stick to the raised bits. The result can be very effective, and if you varnish it, then the house-proud owner can wash them or whatever they want.”
“And nobody will accuse you of selling pewter figures as bronze,” Shena added.
It has to be confessed that Lancet and I were both quite interested in the idea. One is always trying to reach out to those who are, sadly, unfamiliar with one’s work. One feels duty bound to allow the light of one’s wit to shine into their benighted lives. We had recharged our plates and were pondering potential figurines when I heard a shout, “There you are, Steelyard, you worm.”
I looked up to see Darstep Balstep, previously lord of Slipshade Keep, striding across the room towards me. What really caught my attention was that he was drawing a long bladed knife. It appeared that he hadn’t forgiven me for my, admittedly inadvertent, part in his downfall. Dobart never turned a hair. When Balstep reached our table, Dobart caught the hand holding the knife and squeezed. There was a clatter as it dropped to the floor. Then Dobart caught the other man by the shoulder and propelled him into the empty chair next to Shena.
Shena glared at the new arrival. It must be confessed she has a low threshold of tolerance for those who threaten me with any form of weapon. She then turned to me and asked, in a reasonable voice, “So who is he and why does he hate you.”
I told everybody the full story of the expedition to Slipshade and how others had used us as cover to overthrow Balstep. Feeling that I ought to say something positive about him, I finished by tale by saying, “And actually he’s quite a good poet, he specialises in the rondel form.”
Immediately Lancet said, “Nobody uses that anymore.”
Somewhat hurt by this Balstep said sharply, “I do.”
“Yes and look where it got you.”
I raised my hand to silence the two of them. “I think I have an idea.”
They stopped and both looked at me. I said to Balstep, “What are you, a poet or a Partannese warlord?”
Before he could answer I continued, “Because you’re a fair poet, but frankly you drank too much to be a successful warlord.”
Balstep came right back. “If you’d had to live with that collection of almost mindless thugs, you’d have drunk as well! I could go for days, weeks, without any decent conversation.”
Dobart, who had been listening to this, said simply. “Balstep, you’re a poet.”
I added, “Look, if you can afford to dine here, you’re not penniless.”
Balstep almost looked embarrassed. “Well I did make an effort to stash some of my ill-gotten gains away in Port Naain whilst I was still Lord of Slipshade Keep.”
I asked him, “And if you try to hire fighting men and retake the keep, how long will it last.”
Glumly he replied, “Weeks.”
“And if you live sensibly and become the poet you could be, then how long?”
Balstep sat in silence for a while. “Depends how much I make as a poet, but quite a while I suppose.”
I smiled at him. “So I repeat my question: what are you, a poet or a Partannese warlord?”
He pulled himself up to his full height. “So now, I am a poet.” Then he slumped a bit, “But while I can write poetry a bit, be damned if I know how to be a poet.”
Shena said quietly, “Aea help you, but these two versifying wastrels can teach you that.”
I decided I better say something before Shena gave him the wrong idea about us. “Dobart, I have an idea for your first figurine. How about Balstep here, standing on the improvised stage, declaiming his poetry. Lancet and I can tell his story, you can do the figurine, and of course our patrons will all want to meet the warlord poet.”
Immediately Dobart was all business. He pulled a pencil and a notepad from his pocket. “Balstep, on your feet. Now then, strike a pose.”
Ten minutes later, the initial sketches done he condescended to allow Balstep to go to the buffet and get himself something to eat.

Actually it went rather well. Balstep still had the battered leather armour he performed in, and of course Dobart cast the figurine with him wearing it. Then when we got him an invitation to perform, he would wear the armour. Indeed he managed to cut an almost romantic figure, the warrior bard who had turned his back on the world of power and influence to follow his muse.
The figure Dobart cast of him worked to his advantage as well. The figurine standing on the stage provided a good solid base, and it was cast with a candle holder set off to one side. If the model was on a table next to a wall, when you lit the candle, the shadow of the figurine, combined with a shadow cast by some of the miscellaneous decoration around the candle base, looked as if the figure was a condemned man standing on a scaffold with a noose descending towards him. It gave him a pathos that intrigued people and Balstep rode the wave of interest well. Within a year he was suggesting to his patrons that they invite me.
Indeed such was his reputation, over the years there was a sporadic stream of Partannese villagers who would knock on the door of the house where he was currently performing and offer him an utterly inadequate sum to gather a small party of stalwart companions and travel south to overthrow the lordling who was currently oppressing them.
The audience would witness the play of emotions across his face as he struggled with his desire to throw himself once more into the maelstrom of Partann. I was there when this happened. He would turn to the emissaries and say, “With half a dozen stalwart comrades of mine from the past, I shall do it. I shall summon Rostarin to my side.”
One of the messengers would say, “But Rostarin is dead, he fell at the Dreg Bridge.”
“Rostarin dead! A paladin nonpareil, slain! What of Naltarm?”
Another of the envoys would say sadly, “He died in an ambush on Porta Beg.”
Balstep would go through six names, and would discover that each was now dead. He would sigh deeply. “Then surely it must be my turn to ride south and perish, to join them once more.”
At this point his patron would throw her arms around him and insist he gave up all mad thoughts of venturing south.
So he’d empty his purse into the hands of the leading messenger and suggest they approached Lord Cartin. Other guests would also feel obliged to contribute, and the sturdy peasantry would touch their forelocks and leave.
Later they’d drop round to his lodgings and give him half of what they’d raised.

And now we’d better hear from Jim Webster.

So here I am again with another blog tour. Not one book but three.The first is another of the Port Naain Intelligencer collection. These stories are a bit like the Sherlock Holmes stories. You can read them in any order.

Let’s here some facts about Jim.

Jim Webster is probably fifty something, his tastes in music are eclectic, and his dress sense is rarely discussed in polite society. In spite of this he has a wife and three daughters.
He has managed to make a living from a mixture of agriculture, consultancy, and freelance writing. Previously he has restricted himself to writing about agricultural and rural issues but including enough Ancient Military history to maintain his own sanity. But seemingly he has felt it necessary to branch out into writing SF and fantasy novels.
He lives in South Cumbria.He has even been cozened into writing a blog, available for perusal by the discerning (or indeed by the less than discerning) at http://jandbvwebster.wordpress.com/

On the Mud. The Port Naain Intelligencer

When mages and their suppliers fall out, people tend to die. This becomes a problem when somebody dies before they manage to pass on the important artefact they had stolen. Now a lot of dangerous, violent or merely amoral people are searching, and Benor has got caught up in it all. There are times when you discover that being forced to rely upon a poet for back-up isn’t as reassuring as you might hope.

Then we have a Tallis Steelyard novella.

Tallis Steelyard and the Rustic Idyll

When he is asked to oversee the performance of the celebrated ‘Ten Speeches’, Tallis Steelyard realises that his unique gifts as a poet have finally been recognised. He may now truly call himself the leading poet of his generation.

Then the past comes back to haunt him, and his immediate future involves too much time in the saddle, being asked to die in a blue silk dress, blackmail and the abuse of unregulated intoxicants. All this is set in delightful countryside as he is invited to be poet in residence at a lichen festival.

And finally, for the first time in print we proudly present

Maljie, the episodic memoirs of a lady.

In his own well-chosen words, Tallis Steelyard reveals to us the life of Maljie, a lady of his acquaintance. In no particular order we hear about her bathing with clog dancers, her time as a usurer, pirate, and the difficulties encountered when one tries to sell on a kidnapped orchestra. We enter a world of fish, pet pigs, steam launches, theological disputation, and the use of water under pressure to dispose of foul smelling birds. Oh yes, and we learn how the donkey ended up on the roof.

All a mere 99p each

Jim for the visit it was fun to have you here.

Jim Adams Blog Tour. Tallis Steelyard. A guide for writers, and other stories.Tallis Steelyard. Gentlemen behaving badly and other stories.

Hello everyone. I very honoured to be once again to be able to bring you not only a new story but also news of two new books from our own,our very own Jim Webster.

Here is the timetable for the blog tour .

Chris Graham

https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/

A fine residence.

14thJuly

****

GD Deckard

Writers’ coop

https://writercoop.wordpress.com/

A man who doesn’t pay his bills never lacks for correspondence

15thJuly

****

Ritu Bhathal

https://butismileanyway.com/

Be careful what you pretend to be

16thJuly

****

Willow Willers

https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/

Call yourself a writer

17thJuly

*****

Colleen Chesebro

https://colleenchesebro.com/

Every last penny

18thJuly

*****

Robbie Cheadle

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

It all comes out in the wash

19thJuly

****

Sue Vincent

https://scvincent.com/

noteworthy

20thJuly

****

Stevie Turner

https://steviet3.wordpress.com/

Oblige

21thJuly

****

Annette Rochelle Aben

https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Performance art

22thJuly

****

Lynn Hallbrooks

https://www.authorreadercheerleader.com/arcblog

The alternative career of Dilkerton Thallawell.

23thJuly

****

Jaye

https://jenanita01.com/

The automated caricordia of Darset Dweel.

24thJuly

****

Ashlynn Waterstone

https://waterstoneway.wordpress.com/

The dark machinations of Flontwell Direfountain.

25th July

****

suzanne joshi

https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/

Thoroughly married

26th July

****

Ken Gierke

https://rivrvlogr.wordpress.com/

Water under the bridge

27thJuly

****

MT McGuire

https://mtmcguire.co.uk/

Who you know, not what you know

28thJuly

**************

So now we are back in one of my favourite places Port Naain. Here for our delectation is a great story to kindle our interest.

CALL YOURSELF A WRITER

Call yourself a writer.jpg

Call yourself a writer?
I first met Staffin Plume when he was a student at the University in Port Naain. He attended some of my lectures on poetry and came to my attention largely because he actually did the exercises I set for students to tackle in their own time. Not only that but his answers were thoughtful, well written and in his own handwriting. Even if
he had hired somebody else to do the work for him, he had shown me the consideration of writing it out again in his own hand. Indeed I was so intrigued by this that I engaged him in discussion on his answers over a glass of wine. It was soon
obvious that he had done the work himself and that he had continued to think about
the topic even when the work had been handed in.
Hence when he left the university I rather expected to hear more about him. After all
he had expressed the intention of becoming a writer. Given his general competence and mental acuity I had no doubt that I would soon see his name mentioned in the appropriate places. Indeed I was quite looking forward to reading whatever genre he had decided to grace with his talent.
Thus it was something of a surprise when nothing was forthcoming. So I asked what
had become of him and somebody told me they had seen Staffin labouring down on the wharves. This came as a surprise, because his family, whilst not wealthy, was
adequately well-to-do and they could have got him a well-paid clerk’s job with no trouble.
A fortnight later I saw Staffin in the distance, striding out along Ropewalk, carrying well wrapped bundles like some private courier, and a month after that I was present when he delivered a clay pot bearing dubious markings to Gass Tweel in the Sattir’s Drop. To get out of the bar he had to draw a blade on somebody who tried to block
his path. By blade I’m talking of something which, if it wasn’t a sword, was a passably good approximation of one. It was obvious that he was now acting as a runner for some of Port Naain’s less reputable spice merchants.
Just as there is a wide array of spices, there is an equally wide array of spice enthusiasts. So we now have the spice merchants that will pander to the whims of
well-heeled customers. There are spices which are claimed to be aphrodisiacs, there are spices which sooth digestion, and there are spices which claim to help you sleep.
Indeed there are spices which the vendors claim with help you see the future.
Frankly in some cases the future involves spending most of the next day in a stinking privy. The problem isn’t merely the spice, the problem can be whatever rubbish the vendor has stirred into the spice to increase the profit margin.
I lost track of Staffin for a while and then I saw him slip surreptitiously into a house
where I was performing. The host was not a patron of mine, I was merely hired to give an element of graciousness to an event which otherwise degenerated into farce with a group of third rate musicians brawling with the mime artists. Still I had taken the precaution of taking my honorarium in kind the minute the situation started to degenerate. Thus it was, as I quietly wrapped bottles in sausages (which stops them
clanking together,) before stuffing them into the inside pockets of my jacket; that I
saw Staffin sneak in carrying a crate of spirits. I greeted him in a friendly manner. After all I suspect that in retrospect we would both have preferred not to be there, and asked what was in the bottles. He passed me
one for my inspection and I perused the label. “Stilmoon’s special reserved. Oak aged spirit infused with a dozen subtle herbs and spices. Guaranteed to protect the drinker from distempers caused by contact with diseased parents, night air,sedentary habits, anger, wet feet and abrupt changes of temperature. One small
glass provides protection for the entire day.”
I handed him the bottle back. “Does it work?”
He shrugged. “Given by the amount they’re getting through in this house, one has to assume that the man of the house is a philanthropist providing protection for everybody in the street. And that includes staff living out as well as staff living in.”
With that he quietly departed and I returned to the task of using sausages as a packing material for the bottles. I confess I wasn’t tempted by the Special Reserve, instead restricting myself to the better wines available.
It was perhaps a couple of months later I was walking down Ropewalk and was
stopped by Simony Belltether. She was another student of mine from the University and I remembered that Staffin had been assiduously courting her during that period.
We chatted a little and then, somewhat tentatively, she broached the issue of Staffin.
When their relationship started he was almost endlessly attentive. Marriage seemed
to be an inevitability. Eventually when she took him home to meet her parents, her mother was impressed with him. Indeed she was so vocal singing his praises that Simony almost began to have doubts. After all what young lady wants a gentleman
admirer her mother entirely approves of? Of late Staffin had been far less attentive, and when he was with her had about him a distracted air and seemed nervous.
Simony’s mother had shifted her stance from unmitigated approval to dark suspicion.
Her father on the other hand was no help whatsoever, merely muttering something
about, “Perhaps he’s busy at work?”
Simony was genuinely torn. She wanted me to speak to Staffin and in a roundabout way point out to him that he had one last chance. Either he had to show some commitment or she would break off the engagement. I promised that if I saw him and
got the chance, I’d try speaking to him.
It was three days later that I next saw him. He was walking across Stonecutter’s Wharf and I caught up with him and just fell into conversation. Eventually I started to bring the conversation around to more important topics.
“Whatever happened to your plans to become a writer?”
Staffin just shrugged. “I cannot be a writer until I’ve got some life experience. I’ve got to experience the full gamut of emotions. Then I’ll be able to write.”
I had to bite my tongue at that one. Given my rate of progress I could be in my late fifties before I managed to experience the full gamut of emotions.
“What about Simony?” I asked. “I heard she was thinking of breaking off the engagement because she never sees you.”
His face fell, but then he brightened up a little. “Well I suppose that if she does, the
emotional turmoil I experience will be invaluable. Then I can write about such things.”
That was too much. I pushed him off the wharf into the estuary below. As he foundered through water and mud towards the rope somebody had thrown him I
shouted, “Alternatively you could just make it up like the rest of us do.”

*************

And now we’d better hear from Jim Webster.

So here I am again with another blog tour. I’ve released two collections of
short stories from Tallis and if you’ve enjoyed the one you just read,
you’ll almost certainly enjoy these.
So what have Tallis and I got for you?

Tallis Steelyard, A guide for writers, and other stories.jpg

Well first there’s, ‘Tallis Steelyard. A guide for writers, and other stories.’ The book that all writers who want to know how to promote and sell
their books will have to read. Sit at the feet of the master as Tallis
passes on the techniques which he has tried and perfected over the years. As
well as this you’ll have music and decorum, lessons in the importance of
getting home under your own steam, and brass knuckles for a lady. How can
you resist, all this for a mere 99p.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tallis-Steelyard-guide-writers-stories-ebook/dp/B07
TRXJH8C/
Then we have, ‘Tallis Steelyard. Gentlemen behaving badly, and other stories.

Tallis Steelyard, Gentlemen behaving badly, and other stories.jpg

Now is your chance to see Port Naain by starlight and meet ladies of wit and discernment. There are Philosophical societies, amateur
dramatics, the modern woman, revenge, and the advantages of a good education.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tallis-Steelyard-Gentlemen-behaving-stories-ebook/d
p/B07TRYZV6C/
So come on, treat yourself, because you’re worth it.

Before you go here is what Jim says about himself.

“I live in South Cumbria, which is as nice a part of the world as any to be honest. Too old to play computer games and too young to watch daytime television. I’ve got a wife and three daughters, no dress sense and a liking for good cappuccino.

To make a living I sort of farm, sort of write and sort of help out where I’m wanted. I suppose one day I’ll grow up and do something properly.”

Don’t grow up yet Jim.

Announcing another Jim Webster Blog Tour.

Good Sunday morning everyone I am delighted to announce that Jim Webster is Starting another Tallis steelyard Blog Tour today.

I am publishing the route here, starting with Chris Graham.

**********

Chris Graham

https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/

A fine residence.

14thJuly

****

GD Deckard

Writers’ coop

https://writercoop.wordpress.com/

A man who doesn’t pay his bills never lacks for correspondence

15thJuly

****

Ritu Bhathal

https://butismileanyway.com/

Be careful what you pretend to be

16thJuly

****

Willow Willers

https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/

Call yourself a writer

17thJuly

*****

Colleen Chesebro

https://colleenchesebro.com/

Every last penny

18thJuly

*****

Robbie Cheadle

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

It all comes out in the wash

19thJuly

****

Sue Vincent

https://scvincent.com/

noteworthy

20thJuly

****

Stevie Turner

https://steviet3.wordpress.com/

Oblige

21thJuly

****

Annette Rochelle Aben

https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Performance art

22thJuly

****

Lynn Hallbrooks

https://www.authorreadercheerleader.com/arcblog

The alternative career of Dilkerton Thallawell.

23thJuly

****

Jaye

https://jenanita01.com/

The automated caricordia of Darset Dweel.

24thJuly

****

Ashlynn Waterstone

https://waterstoneway.wordpress.com/

The dark machinations of Flontwell Direfountain.

25th July

****
So jump on and enjoy.

Tallis Steelyard . Deep Waters  And Other  Stories. and .  Tallis Steelyard Playing  The Game  And Other  Stories . 

Hello everyone I am delighted to announce that I have the honour to once again be part of a Jim Webster Blog Tour . This time we are invited to investigate Tallis Steelyard . Deep Waters And Other Stories. and . Tallis Steelyard Playing The Game And Other Stories .

Here is the route of the blog tour.

Stevie Turner

https://steviet3.wordpress.com/

A significant gesture

Monday 8th April

Chris Graham

https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/

An eye to the future

Tuesday 9th April

Robbie Cheadle

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Butterfly net

Wednesday 10th April

Ritu Bhathal

https://butismileanyway.com/

Getting rich moderately rapidly

Thursday 11th April

Willow Willers

https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/

In tune with the Zeitgeist

Friday 12thApril

Colleen Chesebro

https://colleenchesebro.com/https://colleenchesebro.com/

Learning a role

Saturday 13th April

suzanne joshi

https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/

Love letters

Sunday 14th April

Ashlynn Waterstone

https://waterstoneway.wordpress.com/https://waterstoneway.wordpress.com/

Matchmaker

Monday 15th April

Annette Rochelle Aben

https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Mother mine

Tuesday 16th April

Lynn Hallbrooks

https://www.authorreadercheerleader.com/arcbloghttps://www.authorreadercheerleader.com/arcblog

No strutting or fretting

Wednesday 17th April

Jaye

https://jenanita01.com/https://jenanita01.com/

Something of the night?

Thursday 18th April

Ken Gierke

https://rivrvlogr.wordpress.com/https://rivrvlogr.wordpress.com/

The civilising influence of Betta Thrang.

Friday 19thApril

MT McGuire

/https://mtmcguire.co.uk/

Unfashionably tired

Saturday 20th April

Sue Vincent

https://scvincent.com/

Vegetating

Sunday 21st April

In tune with the Zeitgeist.jpg

In tune with the Zeitgeist
I have mentioned musicians in the past, and I apologise for doing so again.
Normally the musicians I deal with are those performers who play their instruments at the events I am brought in to stage manage. They are sadly predictable, drinking anything that isn’t locked up and seducing anybody who isn’t strictly chaperoned.
Yet there is another level of musician; those who compose the music. These individuals probably stand to performing musicians as a great playwright stands to the actors who mangle his words and murder his syntax. This higher class of musician is a far more sophisticated beast than the mere performer.
They’re also far more diverse. Some of them seem to hide away in garrets, almost as if they were novelists, before emerging blinking into the daylight, bearing their next masterpiece before them like a shield. I confess I have some sympathy for these. Unlike novelists they don’t churn out inordinately lengthy works which can waste weeks of one’s life. After all even the longest and most dire opera is unlikely to last more than five hours. A bad novel can apparently last forever.
Then there are those who both write music and perform it. These seem to fall into two subsets. There is the older, more mature performer. They can be male or female and are true masters of their chosen instrument. Sitting through one of their performances can be a humbling experience. One feels vaguely honoured that one who has achieved such mastery has condescended to let you, in some small way, share in it. Often one is left with the feeling that they write their own music because nobody else can create anything
which challenges them.
Then there is the younger performer. For choice these are attractive young women with excellent voices who write and perform pleasant enough songs which suit their age and vocal range. I cannot vouch for their artistic merit but they always elicit enthusiastic applause. If you pick an appropriate audience, an attractive young man with similar accomplishments can do very well.
To be honest, if I manage to inveigle any performer who writes their own music to one of the soirees I oversee, I feel I have done my best for my patron. They can rest assured that the evening will be memorable.
Yet even in music there are rivalries and jealousies. Even worse, there are fashions which inexplicably sweep through society. So this week, a certain attractive young lady with a fine voice singing the pleasant songs she wrote herself will be all the rage. A fortnight later I might suggest booking her only to discover my patron struggles to remember her name. Suddenly the artist has moved from being fashionable to forgotten.
Indeed I have come to the conclusion that for the singer-songwriter things are harder than for poets. Whilst a poet is only ever as good as their last body of work; the work seems to somehow last. For the singer, everything seems to transient.I always felt sorry for Clarisina Errund. A delightful young woman with great charm and a definite gift when it came to playing keyboard and other instruments, she struggled to achieve the recognition she deserved.
Obviously young ladies in her circle were not really expected to have to work, but between ourselves, the money Clarisina earned from the sales of her sheet music were her dress allowance. Her widower father struggled to cope with failing health and a failing business, and whilst he could just about keep his daughter fed and housed, clothing her was beyond him.
She wrote beautiful melodies, but when she was invited to perform, people would listen to the tune and comment that they’d heard somebody else play that a week previously. Indeed on one occasion she sang as she played, only to be told by the hostess that she preferred the other words to the tune.
It was on one of these occasions that she smiled gamely, retired to the next room and burst into tears. I was present at the time and hastened to comfort her and asked her what the problem was. Apparently somebody was stealing her tunes.
This is indeed serious. But what to do about it?It seems that because of the general poverty of her family, they couldn’t afford to own a spinet and so when she was working on a tune she had to do so at the houses of various friends. It appears that others were taking advantage of this, listening to what she was creating, and noting it down and using it. This was a problem, but how to overcome it.
She mentioned that a young gentleman, a Rayand Hublank, had been supportive and had encouraged her in her work. Apparently he’d sat with her as she composed music. It appears that young Rayand was proud owner of a spinet and was quite an accomplished player. Obviously she could work at his house, but given he was a single man living on his own, propriety would be outraged if she were there on her own. Given that she suspected some of her female friends were party to the theft of her tunes she couldn’t invite them to chaperone her. To me the answer was obvious. I would be chaperone and could get on with some of my own work at the same time. Rayand was approached and proved almost embarrassingly enthusiastic to be part of the project. Thus and so, we met together to consider the matter and to come up with a plan of campaign.Things started innocuously enough. Clarisina had in mind a light and frothy little tune. It was a mere nothing really, pleasant, catchy, and adequate.
This she ‘composed’ in the presence of Rayand in the house of a friend, when
numerous other people were coming and going.
But then at Rayand’s house she got down to the serious work. To this first
tune she interwove a second and then a third, producing something of quite amazing complexity and beauty. Then in a moment of pure genius, she
conceived of a fourth melody line which wove in and out of the other three.
Rayand and I listened to all four melodies and we were completely won over.
The problem was that it was impossible for one person to play all four simultaneously on the same instrument. Clarisina tried but although she is accomplished, there is a limit to what she could achieve. Rayand dismissed the problem, told her to sleep on it and to return next day, refreshed, and the problem would solve itself.
I’m not sure she believed him, but she did as he recommended. Next day when the pair of us returned, it was to find workmen carrying a second spinet into the drawing room and placing it next to the first. Hastily Clarisina reworked the piece so it could be played by two people on two instruments and the pair of them set to practicing.
My own part was nominal. Other than being there to ensure decorum (Imagine, bringing in a poet to ensure decorum, you might as well leave a dog to guard your dinner.) I got on with my own work. But after the fifth day of practice the tune was going round and round in my head and finally the words I were writing twisted to fit the music. I stopped my two companions, told them to start from the beginning, and then sang the words as they played. Clarisina announced that this was the way forwards, and the words became part of the whole.
Obviously I was still working at various houses during the evenings and as I rather expected, Clarisina’s little tinkling song was doing the rounds, being quite popular amongst the undiscerning. After hearing it the seventh time, I suggested to my patron, the Widow Handwill, that I could find somebody better. Being the lady she is; she took me up on it immediately.
She and her guests were surprised when we struggled in carrying a second spinet. Still they waited for us to start, and Clarisina did, playing the tune that had started it all, and which had been stolen. One or two people even commented in a derogatory manner about this. The good Widow glared at them, and I halted the performance and said, “Oh, that little piece. Yes, somebody overheard Clarisina working on it and stole it. But this evening you are going to be the first people to hear the entire work.”

That rather silenced them, and I turned to our two performers and signalled
for them to start.
To be fair, I think it went very well. Clarisina played her tinking little piece. Then Rayand added in the second tune. I started to sing, and Clarisina added in the third tune and joined me in song. Finally Rayand brought in the fourth tune and added his voice to ours. We were met with rapturous applause.
Obviously with a success like this on their hands, our young composer and other fellow instrumentalist had to keep practising and performing. Eventually I was forced speak firmly to them.“Clarisina, Rayand, I have to tell you that I cannot keep on being chaperone. I have my own work to do and my own patrons to flatter.”
Clarisina looked worried. “So what can we do?”
I turned to Rayand. “Well if you got down on your knees and begged her to marry you, it would solve any number of issues.”
Fortunately that is a hint even a musician can grasp.

********

And the hard sell.

So welcome back to Port Naain. This blog tour is to celebrate the genius of Tallis Steelyard, and to promote two novella length collections of his
tales.

So meet Tallis Steelyard, the jobbing poet from the city of Port Naain. This great city is situated on the fringes of the Land of the Three Seas. Tallis makes his living as a poet, living with his wife, Shena, on a barge tied to
a wharf in the Paraeba estuary. Tallis scrapes a meagre living giving poetry readings, acting as a master of ceremonies, and helping his patrons run their soirees.
These are his stories, the anecdotes of somebody who knows Port Naain and its denizens like nobody else. With Tallis as a guide you’ll meet petty criminals and criminals so wealthy they’ve become respectable. You’ll meet
musicians, dark mages, condottieri and street children. All human life is here, and perhaps even a little more.

Firstly;-
Tallis Steelyard, Deep waters, and other stories.

Tallis Steelyard, Deep waters, and other stories..jpg

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PTS3FGS

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PTS3FGS

More of the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard. Discover
the damage done by the Bucolic poets, wonder at the commode of Falan Birling, and read the tales better not told. We have squid wrestling, lady writers, and occasions when it probably wasn’t Tallis’s fault. He even asks the great question, who are the innocent anyway?

And then there is;-
Tallis Steelyard. Playing the game, and other stories.

Tallis Steelyard. Playing the Game and other stories.jpg

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PV1N7XZ

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PV1N7XZ

More of the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard. Marvel at the delicate sensitivities of an assassin, wonder at the unexpected revolt
of Callin Dorg. Beware of the dangers of fine dining, and of a Lady in red.
Travel with Tallis as his poetical wanderings have him meandering through
the pretty villages of the north. Who but Tallis Steelyard could cheat death by changing the rules?

If you want to see more of the stories from the Land of the Three Seas, some of them featuring Tallis Steelyard, go to my Amazon page at

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

https://www.amazon.com/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

Tallis even has a blog of his own at

https://tallissteelyard.wordpress.com/

Do check out Tallis Steelyard’s world. That you will find it as captivating as I have, I have no doubt.

Jim Webster Blog Tour. Swimming for profit and pleasure & The Plight of the Lady Gingerlily.

Hi everyone I am so excited today because Jim Webster has asked me to be part of his latest Blog Tour introducing Swimming for profit and pleasure &The Plight of the Lady Gingerlily.

Below is the timetable of the tour so you can follow it and read the chapters.

1, For the want of a knight.

Monday 18th January Chris Graham

2, The eyes have it. Tuesday 19th February. Stevie Turner

3, The miser and the demon Wednesday 20th February. Annette Rochelle Aben.

4,Just one more glass. Thursday 21st February. willow willers

5, Occasionally one has to do the right thing. Friday 22nd February. Colleen Chesebro

6, Consummate Artistry. Saturday 23rd February. Suzanne Joshi

7, Something fishy. Sunday 24th February. Robbie Cheadle

8,The ethical choice. Monday 25th February Anita

9, Delicate work. Tuesday 26th February Ritu Bhathal

10,A cup of wine, a loaf of bread and thou. Wednesday 27th February. Lynn Hallbrooks

11, An appropriate boy. Thursday 28th February Ken Gierke

12 , Embarrassing Friday 1st March M.T. McGuire

13, Everything going swimmingly. 2nd March. Sue Vincent.

Just one more glass

Benor had gone from kicking his heels wondering what to do for work, to being remarkably busy. Whilst Gumption Silvernant might be paying the guild rates, he expected to see a return for his money. To compound the problem, the miser had properties scattered all over Port Naain and Benor and Mutt found themselves in areas neither of them were familiar with. Still after three weeks of frantic activity, it was with some relief that Benor produced a final report and received his final week’s pay.
Benor’s plan had been to spend a couple of days just lazing about and relaxing, but he discovered to his discomfort that other people now had tasks for him. From Shena he got a cheery, ‘Given you’re doing nothing
today, Benor, could you take this scrap metal to Dannal at the end of Chandler’s Way.” Then from Tallis there was a cryptic note carried by a maid so junior she was struggling to cope with her starched white blouse, white
pinafore worn over a calf length black skirt, and clumpy shoes, “Thallton House, Sea View Crescent, Merchant’s Quarter. Soonest.” She delivered the
message and fled, leaving Benor wondering what Tallis had told the girl about him.
Benor made his way to the house at a more sensible pace and upon introducing himself at the tradesman’s entrance, was immediately admitted. The house was obviously newly let, the servants’ quarters were barely furnished and stood
remarkably empty. Benor was ushered into a room where a miscellaneous group of domestics, some in outdoor closes. These latter were probably the servants of the guests Tallis was entertaining. They were all clustered
round a middle aged woman who was having her glass refilled.“Come on, come on, pour with a generous hand, none of your niggardly ways.”
One of the servants detached herself from the group and whispered into Benor’s ear. “Tallis left this note for you.”
Benor accepted the crumpled piece of paper. There, written in Tallis’s fair hand was a brief message.
“Get her home to her husband. Also get her talking about the Chevaleresse of Windcutter Keep.”
Typical Tallis, any normal person writing a hasty note would have
abbreviated the title to ‘Lady of’ but not Tallis. He stuffed the note into his pocket and joined the group, wondering how to proceed. The man pouring
the drink greeted him with the words. “Look Alia, here’s the chap who’s going to escort you home to your husband.”
Alia tore her gaze from her glass. “That pretty boy?” “Yes he’ll get you safely home.”
Alia drained her glass and held it out for a refill. The man ostentatiously removed the jug. “Bastard.” Alia spoke without particular vehemence. “And
abandoning me to this young pup.” She turned to Benor, “You’re not getting your hands in my drawers.”
In the resigned tones of somebody who has had to deal with too many drunks, Benor replied, “I’ve just been asked to get you back to your husband. Where do you live?”
“Not telling you.”
“House with a yellow door at the end of Copper’s Sneak, off Ropewalk,” said the man with the jug. He nodded to two of the women present. They were
obviously well versed in Alia’s little ways because they stood, one each
side of her, and swiftly had her to her feet. Then before she could complain they manoeuvred her to Benor and draped one of Alia’s arms across the young man’s shoulders. “There’ll be a final glass when you’re out of the door.” “Bastards.” Benor made his way to the door; Alia cooperated, clutching her now empty
glass in her free hand. In the doorway she halted abruptly, holding out her glass to be filled. The man with the jug shook his head. “The outside door Alia.”
“Bastard.” Benor set off towards the door and much to his relief Alia came with him. At the outside door he stopped again and waited whilst Alia drank off the last glass. She passed the empty glass back with a dainty gesture and then belched. Finally she turned to Benor. “You going to stand there all night or are we going home?”
They made their way into the street, Benor wondering how to start the conversation. Before he could say anything, Alia said, “They shouldn’t treat me like this, I used to be a housekeeper, in a big house as well.”
“Oh yes, who did you work for?”
“Me, I worked for gentry.”
“You did?” Benor tried to sound interested. “Who?”
“Lots of them.”
“Who recently?”
Alia stopped, nearly causing Benor to stumble. “I’ve worked for the best you know. I worked for the ‘Golden Lady’ of Partann.”
Benor asked, “Is she the one who’s called the Chevaleresse of Windcutter Keep?”
“Yes but I always call her the golden lady on the grounds that the other word’s bad to pronounce when you’ve drunk too much.”
“What was she like?”
“A real lady, not grand, not hoity-toity, she spoke to you like you were a person.”
“Did you work for her in Partann?”
“Get away with you; do I look like one of them savages? I worked for her when she was in Port Naain, she kept house here.”
Benor started walking, and Alia walked with him. Benor asked, “So you liked working for her?”
“Yes. She was a lady.” Alia paused. “Not like the bitch she had working for her?”
“Bitch she had working for her?”
“That fat horrocks Minny she had as a maid.”
“What was up with her?”
“Ha, how long have you got?”
“Well I’m walking you back home,” Benor said, reasonably.
“We’ll have to go by Dilbrook if you want the full list.”
“That bad,” Benor tried to sound sympathetic.
“Worse.”
They walked in silence for a few minutes as Alia obvious contemplated the
awfulness that was Minny.
“She was a scheming, thieving, conniving slut.”
“I can see you didn’t like her,” Benor commented dryly.
“Hated her, the bitch. I mean all domestic staff helps themselves to bits an’ bobs nobody needs anymore, it’s perks, innit. Minny used to go round the room with a sack helping herself.”
“And the Chevaleresse put up with it?”
“Yeah well Minny just blamed everybody else. Then she kept slipping off to meet some fellow.”
“Anybody you knew,” Benor asked, genuinely curious.
“Nah, just some man from Partann. Handsome enough but with an evil look about him. Ulgar-Zare I think he was called.”
They walked on in silence, Benor contemplating what Alia had said, and Alia seething at the unfairness of it all. After perhaps five minutes she almost exploded. “Then she had to go south an’ Minny just disappeared into Port Naain. I had to help the Lady dress and pack on the last day she were here.
She asked me to go back to being a house keeper when she came back.”
“Did she say when that would be?”
Sadly, Alia shook her head. “No, and positions are bad to come by.” Then she brightened up a little. “But she said it would be this year, she’d have business to transact.”
“With a bit of luck eh?”
“Yeah.” With that Alia fell silent and the pair of them walked onwards in an almost companionable manner. Finally they turned into Copper’s Sneak.
“It’s that un, with the yellow door.”
Benor said, “Thank you,” out of habit. They made their way along the road to the door and Benor hammered on it.
A tall man, balding and bearded opened it. He surveyed them in silence. Alia announced, “I’m home, love, an’ he hasn’t been rummaging through my
drawers.” The man reached out and disentangled her from Benor. He winked at the
younger man as he did so. “I’m sure he’s a most respectable young man. Now let’s get you inside. You’re going to regret it all in the morning.”
With that he manoeuvred her through the door and closed it behind him.
Through the door Benor clearly heard Alia’s voice saying, “Bastards.” He thought there was almost a touch of affection in her tone.

===========================

And now the hard sell.

I’ve thought long and hard about blog tours. I often wonder how much somebody reading a book wants to know about the author. After all, I as a writer have gone to a lot of trouble to produce an interesting world for my
characters to frolic in. Hopefully the characters and their story pull the reader into the world with them. So does the reader really want me tampering
with the fourth wall to tell them how wonderful I am? Indeed given the number of film stars and writers who have fallen from grace over the years,
perhaps the less you know about me the better?
Still, ignoring me, you might want to know a bit about the world. Over the years I’ve written four novels and numerous novellas set in the Land of the Three Seas, and a lot of the action has happened in the city of Port Naain.
They’re not a series, they’re written to be a collection, so you can read them in any order, a bit like the Sherlock Holmes stories in that regard.
So I had a new novella I wanted to release. ‘Swimming for profit and pleasure.’ It’s one of the ‘Port Naain Intelligencer’ collection and I decided I’d like to put together a blog tour to promote it. But what sort of tour? Then I had a brainwave. I’d get bloggers who know Port Naain to send
me suitable pictures and I’d do a short story about that picture. It would be an incident in the life of Benor as he gets to know Port Naain.
Except that when the pictures came in it was obvious that they linked together to form a story in their own right, which is how I ended up writing one novella to promote another! In simple terms it’s a chapter with each
picture. So you can read the novella by following the blogs in order. There is an afterword which does appear in the novella that isn’t on the blogs, but it’s more rounding things off and tying up the lose ends.
Given that the largest number of pictures was provided by a lady of my acquaintance, I felt I had to credit her in some way.
So the second novella I’m releasing is ‘The plight of the Lady Gingerlily.’
It too is part of the Port Naain Intelligencer collection.

So we have ‘Swimming for profit and pleasure’

And here too

Benor learns a new craft, joins the second hand book trade, attempts to
rescue a friend and awakens a terror from the deep. Meddling in the affairs of mages is unwise, even if they have been assumed to be dead for centuries. And we have

The Plight of the Lady Gingerlily

And here too for US

No good deed goes unpunished. To help make ends meet, Benor takes on a few
small jobs, to find a lost husband, to vet potential suitors for two young
ladies, and to find a tenant for an empty house. He began to feel that
things were getting out of hand when somebody attempted to drown him.

================

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