A Visit from Roland, ROW80, and A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal!

Guest post from Roland Yeomans today.

Welcome Roland!


Yes, it is another port of call for "Don't You Hate Book Tours?" Book Tour!

Deniz Bevan graciously let me slip into her blog harbor to rant, ah, talk about my book, THE NOT-SO-INNOCENTS ABROAD.

Lately, she has done a series of photos for her blog entries.

"Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen."
--Leonardo da Vinci

In like manner, music is prose that is felt rather than read.

Behold the first Air-Steamship, Xanadu. Its paint, its very fabric, its very metal has been impregnated with bits of aluminum and stardust. When the first rays of the yawning sun hit the vessel, it burns like a miniature nova in the night. And the inhabitants of whatever land over which the Xanadu is sailing know hope. The McCord is coming with his mysterious alien wife to bring justice and wrath to their oppressors.

Strange fires burn within McCord's blood, for it has mingled with the blood of the Angel of Death. He has been ordered by President Grant to shepherd the peace treaty between the Lakota, Cheyenne, Crow, and Apache at Ft. Laramie. The government thinks to ambush the rebellious Texas Ranger. McCord vows that this is one treaty that the White Government will not break. He has asked the Angel of Death to seal it with her strange power. And as Union soldiers kneel to open fire on McCord and his friend, Mark Twain, the Host of the Seraphim begin to sing in the bruised skies as if their vocal cords were bleeding.

McCord's theme. Samuel McCord, haunted, cursed Texas Ranger. Forever seeking the peace that will always elude him even with his marriage to the mysterious alien, Meilori Shinseen -- for to be alone in the presence of one you love is to be truly alone. Across deadly Indian territory no other white man will ride, up desolate mountain peaks and alongside cascading waterfalls, McCord has never found the forgiveness for his dark past. Nor will he ever.

There are nights when the wolves are silent, and only the moon howls. The evening of the first Ball aboard the Xanadu is such a night. Egyptian statues ring the deck as the wheeling dancers spin intoxicated with the stirring waltz, Masquerade, in the air. Slowly, one by one, the eyes of the statues begin to open, warning Empress Shinseen that danger is near. Then, the Nautilus silently rises from the Atlantic to spit death at the Xanadu.

Meilori Shinseen, ageless, eternal -- she ruled Cathy when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, destroying the Republic he was trying to save. She smiled as screaming sacrifices were dragged to her up the blood-stained steps of Aztec pyramids. Will McCord lose his soul following his love for this Alien goddess?

Samuel McCord has ridden a crooked trail, always trying to protect the helpless to futilely make up for not being there when his own family needed him. On that trail, he found his blood mixed with the essence of Gaia, herself. She often speaks to him. Seldom is he happy to hear what she says.

I envision the books I write as movies. Listen to the music I hear in the opening credits as the Xanadu sails over the Atlantic at the start of a voyage that will transform every passage on board.

Don’t miss the adventure of a lifetime. Board the Xanadu. Cost of Passage only $9.99!

Thak you, Roland -- I love musical posts!

The first round of A Round of Words in 80 Days for this year is ending.

Of course, I should be editing. But round about the middle of January, I changed my goal to reading all the books that we already own. There are about 180 books in storage that we own but I haven't read, and thanks to four library book sales since we've been here (not counting online book orders...) we already have close to 100 unread books on our shelves! I intend to read about 60 of those (the rest either don't interest me at the moment or shouldn't even be in the house, for one reason or another (for instance a German economic textbook that I received by accident, when I ordered a Paddington Bear book!)). As of the middle of January, I've read about 50 books and poems and short stories -- I see now that 10 of those were novels from the Unread Books to Read pile. Is that good? Is that enough? That means it would take me about six more months to read all 60 of the Unread Books. Longer, evidently, since new publications or books I've volunteered to review, and so on, always crop up.

But the next library book sale is at the end of April...

We'll see what happens. I'll keep the same goal for the second round of ROW80 (starting on the first Monday in April!) and, also as part of my goals (setting aside editing and keeping up with book reviews), I hope to make it through the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge!

Speaking of which, the time has come... A little early, actually, as the theme reveal blogfest is on the 21st. I'm deliberately not signing up for that as I know I'll never have time to visit all the names on the linky list (I used to, whenever I joined a blogfest!). Instead, I'm slipping mine in a bit early, to keep to my one day a week blogging schedule, and I will try to visit everyone I can!... The time has come for the reveal:

My theme for this year's A to Z Challenge is the Inklings!

It's hard to find proper, labelled photos of the Inklings.
Two of the group photos that repeat here feature C. S. Lewis, but neither include Tolkien.
And that bottom centre right photo is certainly not the Inklings!

The Inklings were a shifting group of authors, poets, professors, doctors, students, and their friends that, throughout the 1930s and 1940s (roughly), met on Thursday evenings in C. S. Lewis' rooms, and on Tuesday mornings at the Eagle and Child pub in Oxford. I hope to have posts on the main participants (Tolkien, Lewis, Lewis' brother, Hugo Dyson, Dr. Havard and Charles Williams) as well as some of the other occasional participants (I just learned that there's a link through Neville Coghill to Richard Burton (whose former house is just up the road -- photos to come!)), and some of the locations as well, especially the main pubs and hotels...

If you're taking part in A to Z -- or even if you're not -- do you prefer blogging to a theme or two,
or do you prefer to write about whatever comes to mind each day?

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