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A Loud Noise and Chief D. Shabuni [Part 4]

A Loud Noise and Chief D. Shabani [Part 4]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Chief Dimoso Shabani

Tobey presses his face against the glass pane of the attic’s window.  He watches with interest, as a very tall man, wearing tinted goggles, and a dark violet stovepipe hat with a badge, walks towards his house.  

The man dwarves everyone he passes.  Few reach the shoulders of his storm blue overcoat.  The man’s pale, albino face is accentuated by the stiff uniform collar that hides his neck.

Chief Dimoso Shabuni is one of Tobey’s favourite people.  Huge, like himself, Chief Shabuni is also contemplative, and has the ability to pounce at any moment; just like him.

As he watches out the attack window the entire house shakes.  Tobey has to claw onto the frame not to fall off the windowsill.  Once the shaking subsides, he dashes downstairs.  The bronze faced man is still standing with his clamp hand reaching for one of the special books.  Mom is holding onto a chair gasping, but seems fine. He glances around.  A few vases are knocked over, and pictures hang at a slight angle but nothing seems to be missing.  He dashes around the rest of the house until he gets to the basement.  Where the slab of ice used to be, is now only a small, ornate box.  Tobey hisses.

***

Chief Shabuni blinks behind his goggles.  The Claw’s house just shook before his eyes.  He sees four figures wearing black body suits and green tinted goggles race towards a running steam engine truck.  He also notices that each one has a katana belted to their waists, and another along their backs.  On their shoulders they carry a rectangular object with two, two-by-six planks. 

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Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer [Part 3]

Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer [Part 2]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer [Part 2] (Books by Authors Who Never Existed: A Steampunk Hybrid story) By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Tobey scurries over to his adopted mother.  All four feet of him leaps onto her lap so that he’s staring eye-to-eye with her.  He swats her sewing needle towards the inanimate, brass man.

“Oh, Mr. TLC,” she chastises him with a mixture of her Mexicoterra and Irishterra accent.  Then she goes completely still.

Tobey sees her mouth open in shock as she notices the man with the clamp hand.  For a moment nothing happens.  Then his mom shoos him off her lap and fists her sewing needle.  He follows her as she cautiously walks towards the strange man. 

With her free hand she pokes the shoulder of the brass man.  Nothing happens. 

Tobey swipes the man’s left calve.  Still, there’s no reaction.  He jumps on the Silas desk in front of the man and sits there staring.  Out of the corner of his eye, he sees mom grab her ear horn, and head towards the brass and lacquer candlestick phone. 

He whacks the brass man again and waits.  Nothing happens.  He can hear mom talking to Chief Dimoso Shabani.  The Chief’s tiny voice says he will be over shortly. 

Tobey leaps off the desk and rushes up the stairs to the attic window to watch for the Chief.  His ears twitch constantly, so he can hear what mom is doing on the main floor; and if the brass man starts to move.

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Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer [Part 2]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer [Part 2]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Tobey dashes down the rest of the stairs and jumps onto the Salinas desk with the bookcase of special books that mother keeps as a reminder of father.  Through the arched entranceway to the living room, he sees mother reclining with a knitting needle and yarn.  She seems very complacent.  He yells at her in human but her brass ear horn is inconveniently lying on top of a night table.  One of the doorknobs of the front door creaks open.  There’s no time to physically warn her.  He hisses at the door.

The door opens and the man walks with determined and heavy steps directly towards the books.  Tobey waits atop the Silas desk because it’s directly across from the front doors.  He notices an hourglass attached to the belt on the man’s top hat.  The grains in the upper section are almost all gone.  The man’s clamp hand reaches towards one of the books.  Tobey swats it away.

Again, the man raises the clamp hand, and again, Tobey swats at it.  The steam coming out of a pipe in the man’s top hat is wispier now.  The clamp hand shakes as it tries to raise as the last grains of sand settle on the bottom of the hour glass.  The mechanical arm of the clamp hand drops to the man’s side.

Tobey swats the man’s face as a reminder of his supremacy.

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Books by Authors Who Never Existed–Steampunk Hybrid Story Blog 2

Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer     Part 1

Concept artwork

As he scans the steeple roofed houses across the street, a long vehicle with a steam tank engine, dark windows, and copper green roof, pulls onto the curb in front of his house.  He peers closer as a man steps out the rear left door.  His shoulder muscles bunch up as the vehicle takes off.

The man’s black top hat has a spout that spews out steam.  As the man gets closer, Tobey leaps towards the stairs.  He dashes down to the landing so he can see through the lower windows of the front door.  The man has a gasmask on a brass face with bolts.  The top hat has a large clock, and the belt an hour glass that slowly trickles.  The collar of a brown overcoat hides most of the man’s face.  A little lower, a necklace made of thin coils holds a pressure gauge against the man’s white shirt.  The man keeps his hands in his pocket until he steps up to the door.

Tobey peers closer.  The man removes one of his hands from a deep pocket.  Tobey recoils.  The hand is a brass clamp with a metal swivel wrist.

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Books by Authors Who Never Existed

Books by Authors Who Never Existed

A Steampunk Hybrid Story

By Dan Watt: author of BARD

Tobey Lawrence Claws

Mr. TLC

Tobey, or as most humans prefer to call him, Mr. T.L.C., stares out the half radio window in the attic of his townhouse.  The monocular goggle over his left eye allows him to see clearly the townhouses across Nigel Street.  Like his own home, in the front of the other townhouses have about ten leaps of lawn and sidewalks.  However, his backyard is significantly longer.  Enough space for a workshop to build a model blimp.  That brings a moment of sadness.

When he thinks of Siku, his adopted human father, he feels a slight ache.  Moreso, he misses Ulysses, the father of Avonlea.  Ulysses and his slobbering joyful demeanor.  Tobey was just a kitten when Ulysses also adopted her.  His huge Newfoundland head and long thick nose; always sniffing for food.  That both Ulysses and Siku may be lost or worse, dead, bothers him endlessly.

With the monocular goggle, his human brother Toklo made him for his nearsighted left eye, Tobey can see interesting things.  He often gazes into the vertical slab of ice in the basement.  Strange ice.  He licked it once.  The surface is wet but no moisture ever stays on his tongue.

Occasionally, he would see movement within the ice.  Toklo believes that their father found a portal near the slab.  However, Toklo couldn’t explore any longer because of the harsh weather.  Now Toklo, and Avonlea are on an airship to rediscover the place.  Tobey isn’t keen on this adventure.  That’s where Tolko found the books, and the note left by their father.

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An Interview with Laura Suen, CEO of Fire and Steel

An Interview with Laura Suen, CEO of Fire and Steel

By Dan Watt

I met Laura Suen, CEO of Fire and Steel, at the 2018 Kitchener Comic Con.  She was extremely busy but gracious enough to let me take a few pictures.  I’ve wanted to interview her ever since…

Where did the creative idea to start Fire and Steel come from?

Well firstly, I always loved geeky things! My family didn’t have that much money growing up, so I remember taking so long to save up to go to Fan Expo – a comic convention — as soon as I could afford it.

My older sister is a huge geek and I really looked up to her as a kid. We would spend so much time gaming, reading fantasy novels, and watching sci fi TV shows. I of course was the generation that was raised on Saturday morning cartoons too, which included a lot of Japanese anime. Personally I also loved martial arts and do kung fu on the side, so Fire and Steel was just the perfect way to combine my love of martial arts with geeky things.

For legal reasons I can only use weapons designed or created by Fire and Steel on covers, such as the one for the weekly blogged story A Motley Sisterhood Of Pirates! However, Fire and Steel has a large assortment of weapons from a variety of styles and sources. Could you tell us about Fire and Steel’s own weapons?

So I use to work as a physicist and from that, I learned how to 3D model. It’s funny how programs that would be used to design laser ion traps can be used to design swords too. Not everything we carry is modelled by myself of course, but there are a few things that we’ve designed in house! I feel so honoured you’ve featured several of them on your book covers.

Fire and Steel has all sorts of weapons including ones we see in cosplay, magna, comics, TV shows, movies, and traditional. Could you talk about the Japanese katana?

We sell Japanese katanas of all types and quality levels, so we hope you will be able to find something that suits your needs! We sell wooden training swords called bokken and bamboo practice swords called shinai. These are traditionally used to train with and you’ll see those items showing up in anime all the time. From there, we have carbon steel katanas, which can take some light impact but are more made for display purposes because it is a softer blade. Beyond that, we also carry high carbon steel katanas, which are typically sharp (battle ready) in several different grades. The higher the number, the harder the blade. These blades can typically take a lot of impact and are what you see in a lot of our “Will It Cut” YouTube videos.

YouTube channel

I was watching some of the video clips on Instagram and Facebook and saw something very intriguing.

You have the exact same weapons in different grades from metal to foam. This would be perfect for making a movie or TV show. Have any of your weapons been used in movies or TV shows?

Yes! Actually I’m so honoured to say you can see some of our stuff in the background of shows like American Vandals, In the Dark, The 100 and Power Rangers just to name a few.

Your foam weapons look like they’re made of metal. Great for cosplay, LARP, or if a young person wants one of the weapons. Could you tell us more about the foam weapons and their uses?

Foam weapons are great as safer alternatives for people who want to train with swords but don’t want to hurt themselves. In addition, they’re great for cosplay since many conventions and festivals, for safety reasons, do not allow steel swords to be carried around as a part of a costume, even if they’re blunted. For this reason, many people see foam as a great alternative and it saves people a lot of time since you don’t have to make your own sword anymore for your outfit!

Fire and Steel can also design specific weapons for customers. How would a customer go about ordering one of these weapons?

We do take custom requests normally, but COVID has thrown a bit of wrench in schedules and timelines. Please feel free to send us an email at support@fireandsteel.ca for a quote if you want something made – but who knows? We might already have it made and you don’t even realize it!

Fire and Steel is on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Are there are any other links you want to mention?

Our social media handle is @RealFireNSteel for TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We also are active on TikTok as @RealFireandSteel too! Find us there. Also of course, check out our website for updates:

www.fireandsteel.ca

Fire and Steel will be at the

Ottawa Comic Con

November 19-21  2021

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Fifteen: Blog Seventy-One):  The End, For A While…

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Fifteen: Blog Seventy-One):  The End, For A While…

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Helmswomen “Wheel Turner” Sadie goes below deck on the Nagua,possibly for the last time.  

Walking past the half-shut cannon ports, she sees extra light from hanging lanterns near the centre of the Hull.  She reaches up and touches Canneta’s shoulder first, then Areso’s.  The surgeons are looking over two of the girls, badly maimed in the battle for “One Eye’s” Freya. 

Imani lies in a hammock, her left forearm bandaged over the stump, where her hand used to be.  Her hair is pleated and covered in beads and seashells. 

Sadie can’t fathom how Imani loops her hair over her forehead without it untangling.  “I’ll be missing you,” she says to Imani with unabashed tears.  The girl’s normally lustrous dark skin, now has a sickly grey tinge.

“Don’t cry for me,” Imani says with her Angolan accent.  “The “Ship Builder” promised to make me something special.  “Lose a hand, gain a hook,” she quips, causing Sadie to smile through her tears.

In the hammock beside Imani’s, she sees Niamh.  Niamh’s strawberry blonde hair sticks to her glistening skin.  Normally her skin is light but now it’s almost translucent.  Her right, bottom leg, is missing. 

She hears Imani shift over and sees her staring at Niamh.  “I and the “Ship Builder” will take care of her, sir,” Imani assures her.  “I reckon she’ll be a right, proper pirate, once she has a peg.”

The ship rocks hard.  She realizes the wind is getting rough up above.

Sadie bites down on her lower lip and nods.  She daren’t try to speak right now.  

“That she will,” she finally manages to rasp out.

She’s furious.  Storming up to the main deck she feels she has a singular purpose now.  Putting on a fake smile, she nods at the crew of the Nagua and crosses a boarding ladder to the Freya.  She heads directly to the Helm.

Getting the feel of the new helms wheel, she shouts, “Ready Captain,” to Olanis.

“Remember crew,” she hears Olanis say, as the boarding plank is pulled onto the Nagua, “It is a woman’s obligation to scorn.  We sail now to prepare.  But our memories are long.  We will have our vengeance, for all our fallen sisters!”

Sadie turns the helms wheel so the Freya moves away from the Nagua.  “Aye, Captain,” she says with the others, into the strengthening wind.  “Vengeance, we will have!”

The Nagua and Freya will be traveling towards their next destination for awhile now.  While they do, I will soon be introducing an as yet unnamed, Steampunk hybrid story…

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

El Cid Rapier held by Helmswoman “Wheel Turner” Sadie:  http://www.Blades-UK.com

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Fourteen: Blog Seventy)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Fourteen: Blog Seventy)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

A science fiction, action adventure, story-time, tale about mostly female pirates on the Nagua galleon helping others fight the Monstrous Captain Barthadrow and his vile crew.

Captain Olanis sits across from Admiral Alejandra in the Nagua’s Admiral’s room.  Lifting up a pewter mug half full of very limited Macieira Royal Spirit, she takes a sip as the Admiral talks.

“”Ship Builder” is distraught,” the Admiral says take a sips from her own pewter mug. 

Olanis will miss Alejandra’s sing-song accent. 

“He was searching for,” Alejandra says as she takes a gulp of brandy, “The Witch.”

“No luck?” Olanis asks, but she believes she already knows the answer.

“No, and he mentioned the bilge gives off a horrible reek.”

“Men,” Olanis says, and she and Alejandra laugh.

“It will be at least three weeks to get to the Deathly Shallows,” Alejandra tells her.  “We’ll need to careen both ships before we travel to Barthadrow’s Island.”  The Admiral makes a spitting sound and so does Olanis.

“Not the Pregnancy Ship?”  Olanis is aching to be with her man again, even if it was only a short while.  “Oh, well,” she says with a shrug, “what’s a while longer before the loins roar again?”  She’s a captain now, and responsibilities come before desires.  “I’ll make sure the girls keep up their weapons practice. and when we get to shallower water, they can collect reeds for bows and arrows.”  Captain Olanis smiles wanly at the Admiral.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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A Thank You to Everyone Involved in A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!

Soon the crew of the Nague and Freya from A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! will be sailing towards a new adventure. When that happens I’ll be starting a new blog story. This time it will be a Steampunk Adaption/Hybrid weekly blog.

A Thank You to everyone who helped out with A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! Letting everyone know I’ll be working on a Steampunk adaption/hybrid weekly blog story soon.

steampunk #pirates #fireandsteel #blog #writing

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Fourteen: Blog Sixty-Nine)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Fourteen: Blog Sixty-Nine)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Captain Olanis listens as First Mate Zala calls out to all the girls.

“Our new sister ship, Freya, will be sailing near to the Nagua,” Zala shouts out.  “And thus, Captain Olanis has named Captain Alejandra, Admiral.  All those in agreement to naming our Captain, Admiral, say yea!”

Olanis peers at all those gathered and hears “Yea!” shouted out.

“All those not in favour yell nay,” Zala shouts.

Olanis sees Alejandra stand proudly on the fo’c’sle as the ship goes quiet.  She steadies her feet as the wind begins to pick up.

The Admiral steps up to the fo’c’sle railing.  Olanis watches as the Admiral gazes around the gathering.  “We are all sister,” the Admiral says in her strong, Dominican accent.  “And the wind is strengthening so we must sail.  Be fearless and wise, our sisters who leave for the Freya now.  For we follow in the path of Cannibals,” Olanis sees the Admiral glance at Melinda, “the Sames, the Real Talls, and our brothers in the Unbroken.  May the Surprise catch up to us, at the Deathly Shallows.”

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Thirteen: Blog Sixty-Eight)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Thirteen: Blog Sixty-Eight)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Amelie scowls as she is lowered down the side of the ship and into the sea.  The water is clear under the waves and she can see to the keel of the Nagua.  There is normally a large space between the stern and the rudder of the ship.  And sure enough, the Dixopus has made that it’s home.  She wonders if it is male or female but has no idea how to find out.  Well, I can only hold my breath so long, she thinks angrily.  She swims to the rudder and pokes the Dixopus.

Tentacles move away from the body so two giant eyes stare out from a long, oblong head at her.  The tip of one of the Dixopus’s tentacles taps her on the chest.

Amelie nods her head and swims back to the rope.  She yanks on the rope twice and feels herself being pulled up.  When her head breaks surface she gulps in air.  “I have to go back down,” she shouts up to Captain Olanis, “She-him-it won’t—” she starts to say when a tentacle wraps around her leg.  She kicks the tentacle off her leg.

“Pull her all the way up,” she hears Captain Olanis says with a chuckle.

Once she’s over the gunwale of the Poop Deck, Amelie bends over with her hands on her thighs and focuses on catching her breath before saying, “I’ll have to go back.”  When no one replies she stares up.  Captain Olanis, “Wheel Turner” and “Storm Caller” are looking beyond her.

With an amused stare Captain Olanis looks down at her.  “Now you can breathe while explaining to the Dixopus what you want.”

“Quelle!  What!”  Amelie exclaims as she stands and jerks her head around.

“Where were you!” she shouts out at the dixopus.  “Nous avons cinq soeurs!  Five sisters!” she says spreading the fingers of her left hand at the dixopus.

In reply the dixopus rears back, its head turning dark blue.  In one tentacle it raises a rusty sword, and in another a wooden sword.  It points its wooden sword at Amelie.

“Non,” she says wearily.  She slips on her shirt and other clothes, and points at the Freya.  “Domicile,” she says buckling in and sheathing her weapons.   “Home,” she repeats in case the dixopus doesn’t understand the better language.  Without waiting she starts to walk cautiously across the boarding ladder between the two ships.  An added weight to the ladder nearly sends her over the side.  Snarling she glances back.  The dixopus is behind her, standing on all ten of its tentacles.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Seven)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Seven)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

The rain doesn’t last and the sun shines through wisps of clouds.  Olanis rocks back and forth as Admiral Alejandra tells all the girls that Zala is now her First Mate.  Zala in turn calls for all the girls to line up.

“You have first choice, Captain Olanis,” Admiral Alejandra says with her feet apart and hands clasped behind her back. 

“After being asked, stand forward, only if you are willing,” Zala says.

Olanis gazes along the line of female pirates.  The two components she desperately needs are surgeons and cooks.  She stops before a tall girl with auburn hair that blows freely across a brown, lean face with freckles.  Her large, sharp green eyes are dazzling.  “Daktari,” she says.  She has seen Daktari often assisting Canneta and Areso.

Daktari steps forward and so does the girl beside her.    Raphaela is also tall.  Her determined blue eyes stare straight ahead as her own blonde hair whips about.  Her long, pale face is determined.

Olanis purses her lips and smiles.  She had wondered if Daktari and Raphaela were together the same way Canneta and Areso are.  “Raphaela,” she says with a nod.

She stops before Mesi and Arsema, who are standing beside each other.  It amuses her that two sworn enemies could function so well together.  Both girls often helped “Unibrow” and Janice in the Galley.  Surprising they excelled at cooking.  “Mesi,” she calls first.  Mesi steps forward.  This should be interesting she thinks as she says, “Arsema.”  Arsema steps forward.

“Pourquoi?” she hears Amelie complain behind her causing her to chuckle as she moves down the line.

“She picked me first,” she hears Mesi whisper.

“Because you’re needy,” she hears Arsema reply.

At the end of the line, she turns to Admiral Alejandra.  “Only one more Admiral,” she shouts out with mirth in her voice.

Admiral Alejandra nods her head with a smile and says, “Master-at-arms of Freya, Amelie, please strip down.”

“Aye, aye Capt…Admiral,” Amelie corrects herself.  Olanis hears her shoot off numerous curse words as she strips.  “Zut Dixopus,” she says as she’s lowered near the stern of the Nagua.

“Make sure your Dixopus doesn’t hurt my new ship,” Olanis shouts down at Amelie as her Master-at-arms sinks under the waves with a scowl on her face.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Seven)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Seven)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

The rain doesn’t last and the sun shines through wisps of clouds.  Olanis rocks back and forth as Admiral Alejandra tells all the girls that Zala is now her First Mate.  Zala in turn calls for all the girls to line up.

“You have first choice, Captain Olanis,” Admiral Alejandra says with her feet apart and hands clasped behind her back. 

“After being asked, stand forward, only if you are willing, lasses,” Zala says.

Olanis gazes along the line of female pirates.  The two components she desperately needs are surgeons and cooks.  She stops before a tall girl with auburn hair that blows freely across a brown, lean face with freckles.  Her large, sharp green eyes are dazzling.  “Daktari,” she says.  She has seen Daktari often assisting Canneta and Areso.

Daktari steps forward and so does the girl beside her.    Raphaela is also tall.  Her determined blue eyes stare straight ahead as her own blonde hair whips about.  Her long, pale face is emotionless.

Olanis purses her lips and smiles.  She had wondered if Daktari and Raphaela were together the same way Canneta and Areso are.  “Raphaela,” she says with a nod.

She stops before Mesi and Arsema, who are standing beside each other.  It amuses her that two sworn enemies could function so well together.  Both girls often helped “Unibrow” and Janice in the Galley.  Surprising they excelled at cooking.  “Mesi,” she calls first.  Mesi steps forward.  This should be interesting she thinks as she says, “Arsema.”  Arsema steps forward.

“Pourquoi?” she hears Amelie complain behind her causing her to chuckle as she moves down the line.

“She picked me first,” she hears Mesi whisper.

“Because you’re needy,” she hears Arsema reply.

At the end of the line, she turns to Admiral Alejandra.  “Only one more Admiral,” she shouts out with mirth in her voice.

Admiral Alejandra nods her head with a smile and says, “Master-at-arms Amelie, please strip down.”

“Aye, aye Capt…Admiral,” Amelie replies.  Olanis hears her shoot off numerous curse words as she strips.  “Zut Dixopus,” she says as she’s lowered near the stern of the Nagua.

“Make sure your Dixopus doesn’t hurt my new ship,” Olanis shouts down at Amelie as her Master-at-arms sinks under the waves.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Six)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Six)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

“Captain Olanis, if you would,” she hears Admiral Alejandra call out.  The first body is lowered to inside a hammock by three ropes.  Two ropes at either end and one through a grommet on the edge in the centre.

Olanis swipes her hand down the strings of her mandolin and sings:

Femi of Egypt, fallen but not forgotten

The wind is blowing harder now forcing her to sing louder.  As the first hammock touches the water the centre rope is pulled causing the hammock to flip.

Guilia of Italy, fallen but not forgotten

She continues as the next body is lowered.  There’s wetness in the wind now and the sky is darkening with angry clouds.

Toma of the Cheyenne, fallen but not forgotten

Lightning flashes through the sky and the air goes still.

Panambi of Guarani, fallen but not forgotten

The last body is pounded by the strengthening rain as its lowered and tipped into the ocean.

Belinda of Spain, killed by her own countrymen, fallen but not forgotten

She stops strumming her mandolin and closes her eyes as she lifts her face to the rain to wash away the pain.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Five)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Five)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Captain Olanis waits silently by the Mizzen mast.  She glances back at the Helms Wheel where “Wheel Turner” stands beside Aarini, quietly giving the new Helmswoman of the Nagua instructions on when to ring the bell. 

“Ship Builder” is on her ship, Freya, checking it for leaks and making any other necessary repairs.  She’s glad for him.  For Alejandra the other girls are like sisters.  But for “Ship Builder” they are his daughters and she knows the saying, a parent should never have to outlive their children.

The wind is getting stronger and her hair blows in strands where her new-used tricorn captain hat rests loosely on her head.  When and if they get “Flag Weaver” Thelma back, she’ll ask her to make a proper fitting tricorn hat.  Currently she’s wearing the hat of the former captain of the enemy ship, now the Freya, over a durag full of stuffing.  

Through her brimming tears she gazes down at the five bodies wrapped and tied in old sail.  However, she’s less a weeper and more an avenger.  She gently caresses her mandolin as Admiral Alejandra recites the burial rights of the Sisterhood of Pirates.

Farewell ye, sisters of the sea

Ye fought well, and ye fought true!

Now the life is out of yer eyes

But your memories live on…

Along with all the other girls, Olanis makes a fist and beats it against her chest.

Farewell ye, sisters of the sea

If your life was short or long

You lived it fully!

Wherever death takes you

Live like you did with us

Full of vengeance for the wrong doers

And full of honour and glory for your sisters!

Olanis thunks her chest with her fist again and shouts with the others, “And full of honour and glory for your sisters!”

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Four)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Four)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

“A word, Captain Olanis,” Captain Alejandra says after Olanis hugs each of the others.

Once they are gone Captain Alejandra waves her over to a map on the table.  “You don’t have enough stores on the Freya to make it to the Pregnancy Ship, and there’s not enough on the Nagua to compensate.  We need to get here,” Captain Alejandra stabs her index finger at an island with an inlet called Deathly Shallows.

“We’d have to anchor the ships in the mouth,” Olanis says as she squeezes her chin thoughtfully.

“Rumours are, lobster people roam there.”

“I thought that was a Peg Leg tale.” Olanis says in disbelief.

“Crazy Bumbee also spoke of it,” Captain Alejandra says with a shallow smirk, “before he tried to touch me without permission.”

Olanis nods her head.  “He might have been inappropriate but he did always tell the truth.”

“We lost five girls this battle, Olanis,” Captain Alejandra says, and Olanis can see the Captain struggling not to break.  “The Nagua and Freya must stay close enough so we can support each other.”

“Aye, aye, Admiral,” Olanis says with complete support in her tone.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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International Women’s Day

  • 3rd book of the Children of the Myth Machine

Thank You to all the women I have worked. Those on the slideshow and those who are not.

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Three)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Three)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Inside the Captain’s quarters on the Nagua, Olanis sits across from the Captain, who is leaning to one side because of her wounds.  “Wheel Turner” sits beside her, sitting up anxiously.  On her other side is “Storm Caller” rolling a scrying ball in her hands.  Around the rest of the table are “Dizzying Blade” dancing a throwing knife between her fingers; “Ship Protector” sipping sake from a bottle found from the other ship; and “Ship Builder” sitting mutely staring at the interior of the room.

“What name have you chosen for your ship Captain Olanis?” the Captain asks with a wan smile.

“Ulfhild,” she replies feeling her heart beating rapidly with excitement.

The Captain smirks and leans forward with a grimace.  “Before the burials we need to divide the crew.”  “There has been some agreed upon changes.  Zala will stay with me as First Mate.  So will Navigator Jo Anne, “Ship Protector” Umi, “Ship Builder”, Master-at-Arms Sadie, and….”   She sees the Captain glance at “Storm Caller”.  “Aarini will stay on as Helmswoman.”

Oanis is shocked.  She turns to “Wheel Turner”.

“We’ve argued, and laughed together since we were wee bits,” “Wheel Turner” tells her with moisture wetting her eyes.  “You’re my best mate.”

Olanis’ lips tremble as she nods.

“Nippi,” the Captain continues, “Janice, and the “Cannibal” will stay.  So will Canneta and Areso.  You’ll need to pick cooks and surgeons from the older girls.  However, Arsema and Amelie will be joining you.”  Olanis hears the Captain murmur with gritted teeth, “and hopefully Amelie’s ever growing ten legged friend.”

Olanis bursts into laughter.

“I recommend Arsema’s as your First Mate to replace Aarini and Amelie as your Master-at-Arms.”

“Worthy choices,” Olanis says.

“Now we need to bury our dead at sea,” the Captain says.

Olanis peers around the table.  There are no smiling faces now.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Two)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Two)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

With Zala, Amelie, and Ship Protector in toll, First Mate “One Eye” Olanis goes through each room and section of the enemy’s ship–her ship.

On the deck Canneta and Areso with the help of Janice and “Unibrow” are bandaging and stitching the wounds of the injured, including the Captain.  “Dizzying Blade” and “Storm Caller” are asleep against the Main Mast from exhaustion.  “Ship Protector” is swimming around the Nagua to see if there is any damage.  Arsema will do the same to the new ship as soon as it’s confirmed no enemy remain alive.  The Cannibal Melinda looks deathly pale but not from wounds.

The outlay of the ship is nearly identical to the Nagua’s.  As they enter the Galley, Olanis notices the enemy cook is bleeding out by the stove.  He has a beautifully crafted espada ropera laying beside him.  She picks up the rapier.  “ “Dizzying Blade” will appreciate this she says with a grin.  Next, she undoes the sheath and grimaces as the cook’s blood drips off it.  At least she doesn’t need to kill him—he’s already expired.

With a grunt Ship Builder pulls the heavyset body towards the doorway to the deck.  “Let’s check out the rest of the ship she says, deftly stepping over the bloody streak left by the dragged body.

They open the hatch to the Hold.  “Ready?” she asks Amelie who is holding a short cross-bow found on one of the enemy sailor’s corpses.

“Oui—yes,” Amelie answers tiredly.

Olanis steps down the stairs.  There’s enough light coming through the open cannon windows to see.  “Dizzying Blade” had been down here.  The corpses of male sailors are everywhere.  She sees a few female pirates.  Belinda, a Spanish girl lies still near Karidia, a girl from the Ivory Coast.  She has to keep her composure.  As the captain of this ship, she must high her true feelings in front of the crew.  She gently brushes away the damp bangs that cover Belinda’s eyes.  The eyes stare lifelessly back.  “Rest love,” Olanis whispers as she pulls the girl’s eyelids down.  She goes over to Karidia.  The girl is still breathing. 

Olanis waves for Zala and Amelie to come down.  She carefully feels around Karidia until she her fingers touch sticky dampness.  “A belly wound just above her navel,” she whispers. 

Amelie passes her crossbow to Zala.  “I will get the Ship Builder,” she says quietly.

Zala stands by the stairs. 

“You’re going to make it,” Olanis assures Karidia as she cuts the sleeve off one of the dead enemy sailors.  She makes sure it is fairly clean before she wraps it around Karidia’s waist.

“Belinda?” Karidia asks in her Ivory Coast accent.

“No, but the two of you helped win the day,” Olanis says with as much enthusiasm as she can muster.  Belinda’s death and that Karidia may survive have brought her closer to the feeling of motherhood then she ever thought possible.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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Book Review of King Of Battle And Blood by Scarlett St. Clair

Book Review of King Of Battle And Blood by Scarlett St. Clair

By Dan Watt

Scarlett St. Clair’s
“King Of Battle And Blood”

My brother Andrew gave me The Witcher: The Last Wish by Andrzei Sapkowski book because he wanted to discuss it.  He also gave me King Of Battle And Blood: Adrain & Isolde by Scarlett St. Clair.  When I first saw the cover of King Of Battle And Blood, romance novel came to mind.  I wondered why my brother would give me a romance novel.  Years ago, I was looking for something different to read so one of my clients recommended Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.  As I was looking through a Chapters Indigo store a girl I knew from the gym I was working at, asked me what I was looking for.  I told her An Interview with a Vampire.  She gave me a quizzical stare and asked, “In the romance section?”  I realized than that the Horror and Romance section flowed into one another. 

King Of Battle And Blood is a Romance novel, it’s also a Horror novel.  St. Clair writes in first person and we see and learn through the main character Isolde a medieval world where vampires and other “monsters” exist.

While I was reading King Of Battle And Blood.  I kept envisioning Renée Elise Goldsberry, who plays Quellcrist Falconer in the series, as Isolde.  But there is a significant age difference.  Isolde is a young woman, while Renée Elise Goldsberry is ageless.  Who would play the mysterious Adrian?  Back to The Witcher, perhaps Henry Cavill could pull it off.  Eric Bana, Chris Hemsworth might also work.  But we’ll leave Adrian as a mystery.

What I really enjoyed about the book is the honesty.  Isolde acts upon her emotions, which reminds me of the main character in Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death, Onyesonwu.  Both are strong and determined characters who express what they think.  Isolde is a princess and a warrior, and behaves as such.

St. Clair fills the story with exotic scenery and erotic description.  She tells the reader the truth, how Isolde really feels.  She has written a gripping Romance Horror story that will intrigue and scare you one moment while arousing you the next.

To learn more about Scarlett St. Clair:

Scarlettstclair.com

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-One)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-One)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Olanis is surprised to see The Cannibal in combat.  Melinda is using one of “Dizzying Blade’s” halberds.  Swinging the shaft to strike with the axe head one moment and thrusting with the spear tip the next.  There’s an arrow jutting out of her left thigh.  A short distance away she sees “Dizzying Blade”, nearly a blur as she fights two or more of the much larger foes.  Near the main mast of the ship “Storm Caller” is in combat with a very large sailor.  Olanis jumps back as the axe head of a much larger halberd swings at her neck.

She cocks her head as she looks up into the massive head of a bear sized enemy. He’s wearing boiled leather on most of his body and his gloves are covered in chain link.  In his hands he holds a much bigger version of the Cannibal’s halberd.

“Te partiré en dos con mi polla gigante,” the giants says down at her with a toothy grin.

She knows Spanish and French much better than she lets on but purposely mistranslates.  “Te partiré en dos con mi polla gigante?”

The giant roars with rage and stabs at her chest with the spear end of his halberd.

As she deeks away from the shaft of the halberd she recalls the wonderful fighting lessons she’s learned.  “Dizzying Blade” would tap her unkindly on different parts of her anatomy whenever she attacked and halted.  ‘Attack, attack, attack!’ “Dizzying Blade would admonish her.  ‘You hesitate you die, or worse, are captured.  Remember what they did to Janice.’

She spins along the shaft of the giant’s halberd, making it impossible for him to fight back.  The second spin allows her to stab into his elbow.  It’s not a good wound because the cloth he’s wearing there gives some protection.  On her third spin she’s behind him stabbing into the backs of his knees.  ‘Always the softest parts, the most tender areas.’  “Dizzying Blade” had repeated so many times it became a mantra she’s never forgotten.  She wanted to stab the giant under the armpit but he’s just too tall. 

His one hand reaches back to grab her.  He’s not wearing a helmet so she leaps out of the way and slices into the side of his neck.  He grabs the wound but the chainmail on his gloves won’t hinder the blood flow.  She stabs and stabs into his lower back and the back of his knees until he falls to his knees.  Without stopping she slices at his neck until he falls forward.

Gasping she throws up and smells the distinct sweet and strong odour of laudanum.  So that’s how they put her and the other girls out.  Well, now she feels much better.  A short distance away, near the capstan of the ship, she sees the Captain fending off two of the enemy sailors.  There’s a slash across the Captain’s right forearm.  Gritting her teeth she sheaths her daggers and grasps the thick shaft of the giant’s halberd.  “Time to even the odds,” she says to herself with a grin, and charges.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

First Mate “One Eye” Olanis hears the faint ringing of a bell.  As her head clears from whatever “Unibrow” and Janice mixed into their rum, the dinging of the bell sounds more desperate.

She’s squints at her surroundings.  She’s in the Hold of the ship and not in her room.  Down the rows of hammocks she sees Amelie sit up.  “Get ye up lasses!” she shouts out groggily.  “The Captain and the rest need our assistance.  Now!”

“À présent! Il est temps de tuer ou de mourir avec la joie d’essayer ! ” she hears Amelie shout out.  “Ah,” Amelie says slapping her own forehead.  “English Amelie, they do not understand the most beautiful language of all.  Kill or die with joy,” she translates, much to Olanis’s amusement.

Up on deck she hears “Storm Caller” hollering from the helm’s wheel, “Get your Anne Bonnies across them ladders!  We’ll not be Princess Selas this day!”  Olanis notices a clay jug of rum tied around “Storm Caller’s” waste.

“Have to, lasses,” Olanis shouts out with mirth as she draws out two daggers.  She notices Amelie is already crossing a ladder.  A worrying sight catches her attention.  Mesi and Althea are at the section of gunwale closest to Amelie’s ladder with knocked arrows.

“When should we shoot?” Mesi asks.

“Remember what I taught you,” she hears Amelie call back.  “If you want to hit something aim at whatever’s beside it.

“Because of our superior eyesight, especially mine?” Althea asks.

“Oui–yes,” Amelie replies.  “Don’t shoot that stupid dixopus if it shows up.”

“Sister,” Olanis hears Arsema call to Amelie from the enemy’s ship.  “Come and let’s dance as a duet.”

Olanis grins as she scampers across her own ladder.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Eleven: Blog Fifty-Nine)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Eleven: Blog Fifty-Nine)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Master Jo Anne sees the glint of a telescope from the enemy ship.  The holder of the telescope shouts out and points in the direction of the Cannibal.  “Caníbal!  Caníbal!” a number of enemy sailors cry out.

Arrows fly towards Melinda.  The Cannibal shows that she’s more than percieved, when she dances away from the onslaught.

“Ready!” Master Jo Anne hears Alejandra shout out.

The girls with bows fire as the stronger girls toss grappling hooks.  Other girls get ready the boarding ladders.

Holding a knife in her right hand Master Jo Anne hands her bow to the nearest girl.  As the girls with bows continue to fire, she climbs across the ladder and leaps onto the deck of the enemy ship.

“Dizzying Blade” is already there.  Master Jo Anne sees her erupt into a blur of movement.  As “Dizzying Blade” twirls, stabs, and slashes, with a katana in one hand and a dagger in the other, Master Jo Anne decides to stay out of her way.  Unfortunately, that sends her into the path of a much larger opponent.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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Book Review of Chris Hadfield’s:  The Apollo Murders

Book Review of Chris Hadfield’s:  The Apollo Murders

By Dan Watt

The Apollo Murders is fiction, sort of.  As with writer’s such as Tom Clancy (Red October), Clive Cussler (numerous books with his recurring hero Dirk Pitt) and other writers of non-fiction and fiction, Hadfield’s new book is full of real information. 

As the crew of the Apollo 18 are preparing to visit the moon during the Cold War era, an additional task is added onto their already complex mission. In order to complete their new task the crew must be ready within a given time. Then a terrible accident occurs that creates even more stress. 

Hadfield, a Canadian was a fighter pilot in the United States before becoming an astronaut. He also trained in Russia where he went into space with cosmonauts. So he has real insight into how both space programs work.  He also has an interesting perspective on both countries politics during the late 1960s and early 1970s when Nixon was president and Brezhnev was First Secretary. 

Many of the characters in his book are real people.  Those he created are likely based on people he has known or a conglomeration of their characteristics.  Each character has their own nuances that make them feel real.  Whether the characters are American or Russian we get their personal view of why they behave the way the do.  Who’s right or wrong, good or bad is a matter of perspective.

This is a great read for anyone who likes the turns and twists of a murder mystery while learning about the life of an astronaut and how space ships worked in the Cold War Era.

There are leaps of faith in places but that’s what we expect in fiction.  Most of us want to be engrossed in the story while learning interesting facts.  Hadfield has successfully filled both needs.

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Eleven: Blog Fifty-Eight)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Eleven: Blog Fifty-Eight)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Master Jo Anne moves beside the Captain. 

From somewhere hidden on the enemy’s ship she hears a voice boom in Spanish.  “Te capturaremos cosas dulces,” the Deep voice shouts out in a sarcastic tone.  “A las guapas las mantendremos descalzas y embarazadas. A las feas les cortamos las pechugas para que no puedan aparearse. Y a los muy jóvenes les pondremos el túmulo de Barthadrow.”

“What’s he saying?” she hears Alejandra ask the girl beside her.

“He’s saying,” the girl replies with a Spanish accent, “that they’ll keep the beautiful in bare feet and pregnant.  The ugly ones they’ll cut the breasts off so they can’t feed their babies.”  The girl hesitates in her translation.

“Go on and say it loud so everyone can hear,” she hears Alejandra say patting the girl on the shoulder while keeping an eye on the enemy ship. 

As the girl continues talking, more enemy arrows fly.

“The youngest,” the girl says with trembling lips, “they’ll put in Barthadrow’s barrel.”

“Repeat this back, and loud,” Alejandra says with a hiss in her voice.  “Spanish is the most romantic language but your voice makes it ugly.  We’re all ugly and beautiful, we’re female pirates!”

Master Jo Anne keeps an arrow knocked as the Nagua sails almost close enough to use the grappling hooks.  To the Nagua’s advantage the enemy ship is lower.  She sees Alejandra signal to “Ship Builder”.  “Ship Builder” relinquishes his long bow to her.  She sees Alejandra draw the string back and listen.

“Te inclinaremos sobre la borda y sonreiremos mientras te hacemos gritar,” the voice booms again.  “Te cojearemos los pies para que no puedas escapar….”  The voice starts to say when she sees Alejandra let loose an arrow.

Panicked shouting erupts out of the enemy ship.  Arrows start to fly erratically towards the Captain and others.  One of the girls near the gunwale cries out as enemy sailors appear along the gunwale of the other ship.

From behind her she hears, “What is going on?” from Melinda the Cannibal with a groggy voice.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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Review of Enola Holmes

Review of Enola Holmes

By Dan Watt

Enola Holmes has a great deal to offer: smart writing, excellent cast, and wonderful visuals and presentations of Victorian life.

Enola (Millie Bobby Brown) is the sister of Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft Holmes (Sam Claflin).  The story begins with the disappearance of the sibling’s mother Eudoria Holmes (Helena Bonham Carter).

By searching for her mother Enola takes on a journey of understanding.  We, as viewers, will see through her perspective, what Victorian England’s attitude was towards women, and learn about class distinction.  To lighten things up Enola often breaks the fourth wall to talk to us conversely in a tongue-in-cheek, wink-of-the-eye manner.

As the story progresses we see Enola evolve into a female version that is more akin to her older brother Sherlock, and less like her eldest brother Mycroft.

I would say the whole family can watch this movie, though some eye covering might be needed for the really young during one scene of violence.

An interesting side note:  Not only does Millie Bobby Brown demonstrate her acting chops here but she and her sister Paige are also producers. #EnolaHolmes #Moviereview #MillieBobbyBrown #HelenaBonhamCarter #Familyviewing

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Eleven: Blog Fifty-Seven)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Eleven: Blog Fifty-Seven)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Model:  Joanne Gosling: Joannegosling22@gmail.com ;  Medieval Rapier:  fireandsteel.ca; Background:  Daiana Duca

Three of the enemy’s cannon windows open.  Cannons don’t pop out of the windows.  Instead she sees miniature ballistas.  The “Ship Builder” dips his arrow in the flaming bowl the “Ship Protector” is holding, and shoots it through one of the open windows.  In the blink of an eye he’s dipped another arrow into the fiery bowl.     “Unibrow’s” arrow strikes true.  She hears men cursing from out of one of the windows.  There’s a shout from the deck of the enemy ship.  She sees enemy sailors stand all along the starboard gunwale of their ship with bows and crossbows.

She knocks her bow and waits.  The only range weapons she hears are the twang from the two ships.  “Ship Builder” and “Unibrow’s” on the Nagua, and a few of the enemy sailors with their own long bows.  It irks her but she knows that the male enemy has the physical advantage for range.  Originally she thought the same for melee attacks but “Dizzying Blade” taught her differently. 

‘It’s a dance’ “Dizzying Blade” had explained to her wearing a deadly smirk.  ‘Stab or slash at the soft points.  Retreat.  Duck, twirl, avoid attack.  Stab or slash at the soft points.  Dance to the movement of the enemy’s attack.  It’s a dance of giving and taking.  Use the power of attack to spin and counter-attack.  Eyes, arteries, wrists, and privates are wonderful places to jab.  Don’t hit the back, hit the spine.

She snarls and shoots at an enemy sailor wearing a blue skullcap, a frayed blue hip-length jacket, and matching pants in the groin.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Andrew Watt for “Ship Builder” pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

(All uncredited pictures by Dan Watt)

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Eleven: Blog Fifty-Six)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Eleven: Blog Fifty-Six)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Navigator “Storm Caller” Master Jo Anne puts away the scrying sphere.  The Nagua is so close enough to the other ship now there are waves pushing back and forth between them.  She glances back at “Unibrow”.   Janet is beside Nippi holding a lit bowl of oil.  Standing up she can see “Ship Builder” with “Ship Protector” holding another bowl with burning oil.  Even further back “Wheel Turner” is straining to keep the Helm’s wheel steady.  Beside her is one of the girls who will remain on deck during the fighting.  In the girl’s hand is a large cowbell.

“Dizzying Blade” is standing against the starboard gunwale with a grappling hook.  Other crew also have grappling hooks.  Intermittently between them are some of the stronger girls with short bows at the ready. 

Alejandra is also at the gunwale with a telescope, searching the enemy ship for any crew with ranged weapons.

Master Jo Anne readies her own bow, a medium range one, and watches the enemy ship’s cannon windows.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  Book 2  (Part Ten: Blog Fifty-Five)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Ten: Blog Fifty-FIve)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

“This is one of the English Longbows we worked on,” Sadie tells him as she shoves it, two strings, and a quiver at him.  “And a leather wrist wrap in case you forgot.”

“Thank you,” the Ship Builder says glancing her way.  “Dizzying Blade” as the others call her has menacing eyes.  Her body is always taut and her voice towards him always curt.  He’s never sure if she hates him or not.

“There are twelve arrows,” Sadie continues while squinting at him.  “And here,” she passes him a jar.  “That’s got the flammable goo “Unibrow” and Janice extracted from a plant.”

He notices she has a katana hanging from her left hip.  She also has a dagger sheathed on either side.  The sheaths are tilted back with a loop around one side of the crossguards.  If an enemy tries to take the dagger the string loop will hinder them.  It also means she must draw the daggers with the same side hand.  He allows himself a sad smirk.  There’s a reason Alejandra picked her to be Master-at-arms.

For a moment Sadie just glares at him.  “Very well,” she says, “don’t miss.”  He watches wearily as she heads towards Nippi with the only other longbow they have.

Alejandra wants the other ship damaged as little as possible but if the cannon windows open he and Nippi will shoot flaming arrows into the opening.  He grabs a hold of the longbow and strings it.  His missing finger will affect his range and aim so he needs to make adjustments now.  He wraps the leather around his left wrist while keeping an eye on the cannon windows of the nearing enemy ship.  Once the leather is tight he steps forward with his left foot and practices drawing the string back.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Ten: Blog Fifty-Four)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Ten: Blog Fifty-Four)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

He stands on the fo’c’sle’s starboard side.  Very close now is the Spanish galleon Alejandra intends to capture for Olanis.  He glances back and towards the bowsprit where Master Jo Anne is shouting directions back to Umi who in turn shouts to Synthia.  For him Alejandra and Master Jo Anne are his daughters.  They were with him at the beginning of this adventure when the whirlpools sucked them into this other planet.  He sees Master Jo Anne grasping the scrying ball she says the Lanira gave her.  He smiles wanly as he observers the presently closed cannon windows of the enemy ship.  Lanira never gave them her real name.  She just let them call her Witch.  He blinks away spray and perhaps something else.  He mistakenly glances down at his missing finger.  Alejandra was so brave that day.  The last day he saw his love; the last day he felt whole.

They were sailing on a small sloop with fourteen others aboard.  A mix of all the nationalities pulled in by the giant whirlpools.  Desperate for fresh water they had entered an inlet under the protection of heavy mist.  His job was to do the sounding while Lanira steered with little Master Jo Anne beside her. 

He had shifted the satchel full of his tools that he always wore to the side and grabbed a hold of a spool of rope.   Next he lowered an ancient cow bell attached to the rope with marked lengths, over the port side.  Alejandra, who was standing beside him, whispered out the number of marks that went into the water.   The inlet was so deep he didn’t have enough rope to find the bottom.  That meant a larger galleon could have traveled this way.

   Some of the crew became afraid of the mist and coming night.  Their silence became whispers that got louder and more frantic with every passing moment.  He heard Alejandra hush them and tell them to be quiet.  But she was maybe fourteen by then.  A short distance away he heard the familiar splash of a pinnace dropping into the water.  Distorted glows from a lantern or torch appeared.  The light got larger as the pinnace drew closer.  There was no choice but to go forward—without refilling they’re water supply they wouldn’t last more than a few days.

The crew was made up of mostly non-sailors; something he and Lanira lamented after they boarded.   Although they quickly took control and the girls showed their adeptness at tying knots and raising sails, most of the crew felt entitled, doing little more than bickering.  Exactly what he heard them doing now as they leaned against the starboard gunwale, shouting and pointing out the oncoming lights.

“Is it from one of the Queen of Pirates’ ships?” a woman asked with much hope in her voice.

“Never mind the sounding,” he told Alejandra.  “Let’s get to the helm’s wheel and collect mother and little Master Jo Anne.”

“They’re going to get us killed,” Alejandra had said with an adult’s wisdom.

“Yes,” he replied.  “We’ll drop the rowboat and flee.”

That’s when he heard the screaming and the near inaudible sound of cross-bows mixed with the loud bang of a cannon.

He had dashed to the helm’s wheel.  A cannon ball had destroyed it and it lay across Lanira’s legs.  Dumbfounded, it was only his sense of survival that told him the enemy were throwing grappling hooks over the starboard gunwale’s railing.

As he and Alejandra heaved at the wheel to move it he saw Lanira pass something to little Master Jo Anne.  “Go she whispered.”  Her eyes met his and she cried out, “You promised me your heart!”

He shoved harder at the wheel but the casing it turned in kept it down.

“It’s no use my whole heart,” she whispered towards him.  “Take them.  You know what they’ll do to them if you don’t,” she said with knowing horror on her face.

Helplessness filled him and he fell to his knees.

“Give me your heart,” she said once again.

With a growing hollow spot in his chest he pulled out a chisel and mallet.  He stared at Alejandra hopelessly.  She nodded her head and took the mallet. 

“Hurry!” his love cried out.

Just as he held the chisel blade below the silver ring of his finger,
Alejandra slammed the mallet down.  In excruciating pain, he gasped, “Again.”

This time the finger came off.  Alejandra gave him a handkerchief to hold to the wound.

“Poke one of the fishing hooks you keep through it,” he barely heard Lanira say to Alejandra.  “And tie a string through and place it over my head.”  Finally Lanira said, “Your love will protect me,” or he believes she did. 

He was so dizzy with pain and disbelief that he remembers lowering the sloop’s rowboat and nothing more of that night.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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Book Review of BARD by Darren Joy

REVIEW:
Four stars.
BARD is a dark fantasy tale of a young man’s quest to return a gemstone
to a girl he saved from ghouls. Along the way, as Bran studies to become
a bard, he encounters terrible dangers as he enters the land of the
immortal emperor. With war looming, Bran attempts to return the
gemstone, while trying to become a Bard Master.
Along the way, he both discovers and loses friends, encounters all
manner of odd creatures, dark magics, and is forced to confront both his
own bias and fears. All the while, he never gives up on his search for
the girl who has stolen his heart.
Dan Watt’s novel is a fantasy tale with a raw dark fairy-tale feel to
it, which I very much enjoyed, and it contains some beautiful lyrical
interludes. After all, it is the story of a bard. It is told in the
present tense, which gives the story a sense of imminence, and which I
found captivating. I was reading David Gemmell, but set it aside once
BARD got hold of me. This is a unique world filled with a plethora of
fantastical and wonderful characters from demons to elves, dwarves,
goblins and orcs, warlocks, and dark experiments gone very wrong.
Throughout it all, is the ever-looming presence of an immortal and
insane emperor, and perhaps some secrets, which are best left
undiscovered.
A very enjoyable read, which I highly recommend.

By Darren Joy, author of A Viral Imperium and A Malignant Fetch from his Plagueborn series

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Nine: Blog Fifty-Three)–Will continue in New Year!

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Nine: Blog Fifty-Three)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Synthia hears “Storm Caller” saying something to “Ship Protector” Umi.

“Ship ahead!”  “Ship Protector” calls out.

“I’ll be right back,” the Captain tells her. 

From now on the “Ship Protector” will use only flags to signal her.  However, when night comes the “Ship Protector” will use a hooded lantern to let her know which direction.

While using one hand to steer she uses the other to coat her bare skin with the foul smelling plant oil the Cannibal assured her would keep the night insects away.

The ship they want knows they’re after it.  It’s all about tacking and stealing wind now.  That’s the Captain’s job.  All she has to do is, steer and make sure the Nagua speeds up while not tipping over.  That means all the girls on deck will need to know whether to run portside or starboard, or in the rare case keep under the Crow’s Nest. Normally that would be “One Eye’s” job but today it will be the “Ship Protector” who calls out the Captain’s directions.

She sees “Ship Protector” raise a baby blue flag to the portside and turns the helm’s wheel slightly to the left.  The flag dips a bit lower and she turns the wheel even further.  A few moments pass and the flag is raised and lowered starboard.  The Nagua starts to pick up speed.

With each movement of the flag she hears Umi shout to the girls which way to move.  The Nagua becomes alive under her feet as the girls try to increase the lean or use their weight against it.

“Raise the jib!” she hears Umi shout out.  The Nagua seems to fly through the water.  Umi lowers the flag starboard again.  She knows the Captain will try to keep them in the wind to overtake the other galleon.

She can see the enemy ship now and estimates its beam between twenty-five to thirty feet.  It’s a smaller galleon with a length of between one hundred to one hundred and forty feet.  As she turns the wheel she continues to glance at the enemy galleon.  The Nagua is tacking towards it at a forty-five degree angle.  That will make it hard for the enemy to use cannon’s affectively; if they still have any gunpowder.

“Bows at the ready!” the “Ship Protector” shouts out. 

Synthia removes one hand from the wheel and checks that her Kris sword is on her left.  It was her father’s.  She feels an ache in her chest.  He tossed it to her as their fishing boat got pulled into the whirlpool.   As she strapped it on he told her it came from a Javanese friend he met when he was a sailor on a British warship during the Seven Years War between Britain and France.   That was the last time she saw her father. 

She pats the newly received dirk hanging on her right.  The one the Captain gave her on the behest of “One Eye” after the last battle; the one she missed.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Nine: Blog Fifty-Two)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Nine: Blog Fifty-Two)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

“Are they sleeping,” the Captain asks Helmswoman “Wheel Turner” Synthia as she gently turns the helm’s wheel.

“Aye, Captain,” Helmswoman “Wheel Turner” Synthia replies with serious wrinkles at the corner of her eyes.  “The rum mixed with laudanum did the trick but we don’t have much left.”

“It’s otherworldly I suppose,” the Captain says with a sigh.  Synthia sees her stare up into the sky.  “”One Eye” will make an excellent captain.”

“She will,” Synthia replies as she blinks away tears.

“I know she’s your best friend,” the Captain says patting her arm as it gently turns the spoked wheel.  “But you’re the strongest of us, and we desperately need another ship.”  She watches as the Captain grounds her teeth.  “Janice and “Unibrow” figure there were sixteen in the first pinnace and “One Eye” estimates about the same on the other.”

“So how many are left on the ship we’re taking, is the question,” Synthia’s says thoughtfully.

“Aye, and that might mean crew members full of laudanum will have to help us take it.”

“That would be interesting, and dangerous,” she says thoughtfully.

“The Nagua is as much your ship as it is mine and “Storm Callers”,” the Captain says and Synthia realizes it’s not a question but a statement—and a true one.  “”One Eye” Olanis is captain material Synthia.  And there can only be one captain on a ship.  We need to take that galleon.”

“I realize its best,” she says trying to hold back a sob, realizing she would rarely see much of First Mate “One Eye” Olanis soon.  “We need to get to the Pregnancy Ship and help the Queen of Pirates,” she adds to change the subject.

“She’s more than that,” the Captain says with a fond smile in the dim twilight, “she’s Mother of Pirates.”

“I think that holds more meaning,” Sadie says with a grin.  “A mother is for all her children.”

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Eight: Blog Fifty-One)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Eight: Blog Fifty-One)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

“I was too busy to hear tales,” “Dizzying Blade” says with shake of her mane.  “After demonstrating and defeating many of the girls and some of the boy horsies in sparring matches with different weapons I said I should win a prize each time I win.  They are a very competitive bunch so they agreed.  I told them for each match I win they must give me a bow and quiver and some of their spears.  Unfortunately, most of the girls would not be able to pull the horsies’ bowstrings, nor hold the thick shafts of their spears.  So, I said we would take their children’s.  A lot of little ones broke out in tears as I was given their play weapons.”  “Dizzying Blade” laughs and out of habit everyone including Olanis follow suite.

“Haven’t seen the “Harlot””, Olanis says glancing about.

“We’re to call her “Flag Weaver” now that she’s a proper woman with a single man,” “Wheel Turner” says.  “She and her lover are staying indefinitely with the Horse People.  She’s an ambassador now.  I’m going to miss her little sarcastic replies.”                       

“And where is the “Ship Builder”?” Olanis asks.

“Down below,” “Wheel Turner” replies.  “We’re going to get you your own ship as soon as the anchors are aboard,” she continues with a grin.

Standing beside the Captain on the fo’c’sle without her eyepatch Olanis sings loudly, “Grab the handles of the capstan ladies

Get the anchor to its place at the stern

Heave the ropes to raise the sails

We’re off

We’re off to the sea

Early in the day the Captain asked her to sing a song to rouse the crew.  She changed a few words to bows and arrows because they rarely used cannons now.

Prepare the bows and arrows

Sharpen whatever blades you carry

And drink up your share of rum

We’re off

We’re off to war!

As she sings Olanis sees “Unibrow”, Janice, and the Cannibal fill up the pewter mugs that the crew has attached to their capris with leather string.

“I’m on first watch,” the Captain tells her.  “Dizzying Blade”, “Wheel Turner”, “Storm Bringer”, “Ship Protector” Umi are with me.  You’ll have Zala as First Mate, Aarini as Helmswoman, Janice as Navigator, Arsema as “Ship Protector”, and Amelie as Master-of-Arms.”

“Aye,” Captain Olanis says with a grin.  “And Mesi and Althea?”

“Best let them sleep through it all,” the Captain says with a wink.

“Aye again,” Olanis says with a gleam in her eyes.  She tingles all over at the idea of playing captain.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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Book Review of Nnedi Okorafor’s WHO FEARS DEATH

Book Review of Nnedi Okorafor’s

Who Fears Death

by Dan Watt

Nnedi Okorafor, PhD. is a multi-award winning author including a Wole Soyinka Prize, The World Fantasy Award, Nebula Award, Hugo Award, and more.

Her current book: NOOR was released late November

However, this is about a book published eleven years ago by Daw Books, Inc. called:

WHO FEARS DEATH

Okorafor’s description of sand reminded me of Barry Lopez’s description of the many types of snow and ice in his Arctic Dreams (Vintage Publ. 1986, 2001).  Always shifting and changing.  Something to hide within during the night, or run from when the wind is so strong the granules tear gashes like tiny knives. 

Her writing felt so real it brought back memories of reading Elenore Smith Bowen and Laura Bohannan’s: Return to Laughter: An Anthropological Novel (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1965).  Both Return to Laughter and Okorafor’s: Who Fears Death creates natural interactions that could happen anywhere in the world.  Throughout Who Fears Death, Okorafor deals with the very real emotions of desire, fear, jealousy, and misunderstanding. 

Where Okorafor’s Who Fears Death becomes more mythological is her use of JuJu for both violence and healing and her very realistic description of physical transformation.

The main character is written in first person.  Her name is Onyesonwa, a girl born of rape between a Nuru and Okeke.  The child of a Nuru and Okeke is called an Ewu.  Here, Okorafor includes in her narrative, the conversation of how humans treat children of rape, and biases based on appearance and gender that can lead to slavery, war, and perhaps genocide.

Eventually Onyesonwa will head into the desert to fulfill what she believes is her destiny with a group of friends.  While journeying through the desert, we as readers, will learn that camels and other creatures are much wiser than most of us realize.

The natural way Okorafor writes the spiritual connection both the Nuru and Okeke have to the goddess Ani; her use of ju ju; and the connection Onyesonwa has with the animal kingdom in such a clear way, has me wondering.  Did she sleep to wake in the Wilderness, and upon returning, remember what happened?

This is a story that will pull you in so that the soles of your feet press against the warm sand.  You will feel, hear, and smell what Onyesonwu and the other main characters do; until the very end.

I won’t say more because I want you to experience Nnedi Okorafor’s: Who Fears Death for yourself.

To learn more about Nnedi Okorafor and her books:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nnedi_Okorafor

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Eight: Blog Fifty)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Eight: Blog Fifty)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Olanis wakes to the tinging sound of a cowbell Nippi keeps in the Galley.  It’s the single the Captain and the others have returned.  She groans as she pulls off her covers and dresses.  The first thing she sees is the Captain with “Storm Caller” heading down below deck.  She knows Alejandra will congratulate all the girls who battled last night and check on Gazala.  “Dizzying Blade” is already giving Arsema instructions.  She saunters over to greet those who returned.

“I want the Cannibal and Janet out of my room,” “Dizzying Blade” is saying in a tone that will tolerate no retorts.  “And I want all of my weapons placed back where they were but–,” she says as she rubs her chin in thought, “first get Amelie so she can be congratulated.”

“Aye, Master-at-arms,” Arsema says and dashes off.

“Greetings Master-at-arms,” Olanis says with a tired grin.  “And to you Helmswoman, and you Umi.” 

“Greetings,” each officer replies in turn.

As a completely exhausted looking Amelie steps up to the group, Olanis sees Arsema head towards “Dizzying Blade’s” room.

“You did a valiant job of defending our ship, Amelie,” “Dizzying Blade” says with pride until her eyes squint with suspicion.  “That dagger you have looks very familiar.”

Olanis watches with intrigue as Amelie very humbly holds out the dagger, with both hands palms up.

“You were exceptional, I heard,” “Dizzying Blade” says biting her lower lip.  “I have taught you well.  Hold onto it for now for soon we will be fighting a much bigger battle.”

Amelie’s eyes sparkle as she nods, flips the dagger so the handle is in her hand and disappears down the hatch, Olanis assumes to her hammock.

Following Arsema out of “Dizzying Blade’s” room is a disheveled Cannibal. 

“What happened to your neck?” Olanis asks Melinda.  There’s a thin red line in the centre and side of the Cannibal’s neck.

“Janet put her hammock too close to my bed,” Melinda says touching her wound.  “I got up to use the pottie and my head hit the rope of her hammock.  In a flash she cut me with a tiny blade.  I put one hand to keep the wound closed and the other up so she knew I meant no harm.  She never apologized but she did give me a cloth to cover the wound.  She’s a strange and deadly one.”

“That’s our Janet,” Olanis says with a grin.

“The Horse People have cannibals too,” “Wheel Turner” says.  “In some of their tribes they tie captured enemy male warriors between two trees.  The women bite off and eat their manly parts to improve fertility, and the men cut out their still beating hearts and devour them to gain their power.”

“That’s horrible,” Melinda says, and from the horrified expression on her face, Olanis believes she means it.

“The Horse People told you this?” “Dizzying Blade” asks.  “I heard nothing of it and I was there with you.”

“No.  Peg-leg told me,” “Wheel Turner” says knowingly.   “He also told me in some tribes the women cut off whichever breast is on the side they aim their bows with.”

“Perhaps,” Olanis says thoughtfully, “he is imposing other stories he’s heard on the Horse People.”

“Maybe,” “Wheel Turner” says with consternation.  “But it sure sounded real.”  Olanis sees “Wheel Turner” turn towards Melinda.  “He’s got a hooked hand where you ate most of his hand now.  And he’s called it Melinda in honour of you.”

The Cannibals face goes beat red.  “That’s so kind of him,” she says shyly.

“Peg-leg told me something as well,” The “Ship Protector” pipes in.  “as he looked at me with a sad ‘look at poor me’ expression and shuffled closer to me.”

“Come to think of it, he tried the same thing with me,” “Wheel Turner” interrupts.

“That’s when I pulled out my dagger and pretended to clean my nails with it,” The “Ship Protector” says.  “He told me when some of the Horse Peoples tribes capture enemy tribe women the women are given a choice.  They can become wives or be placed in a giant wicker like structure and burnt alive.  That their ashes are poured over the ground to make it more futile.”

“Fertile,” Olanis corrects her.

Where most of the weapons come from “Interview with Laura Suen, CEO of Fire and Steel”

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (part eight: blog forty-nine)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Eight: Blog Forty-Nine)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Very little shocks Oli but Amelie’s both daring and simultaneously stupid attack, has.  She unsheathes her dragon claw katana and peers over the gunwale.  Well, that’s amazing she thinks.  Amelie is standing atop the body of one of the attackers, cursing the few still alive.  Meanwhile, Amelie’s friend, the dixopus, is fighting one sailor with the wooden practice sword and another with a steel sword; probably taken from one of the corpses.  She squints to see through the thinning mist and finds what she’s looking for.  There’s a pile of bodies.  And lucky be it, one of the corpses is holding a Miquelet pistol. 

“Hold the ship lasses,” she says before leaping down onto the pile of corpses.

She slips the pistol through her sword belt and joins the remaining fray.  She has no qualms about killing these men.  She doesn’t do it with quite the aplomb Amelie is.  Slashing, dodging with both her ninjato and dagger that looks vaguely familiar, while screaming out insults in French.  The dagger definitely looks like the one “Dizzying Blade” wears sometimes.  She leans back as a wooden trident with stone tips flies through the air piercing one of the male sailors.  The distraction is good enough to let her slit the throat of a sailor staring dumbfounded at the trident sticking out of his comrade’s chest.  

With a quick scan of the pinnace she realizes there are no enemy remaining alive.  “Let’s take what goods they have and heave them overboard,” she says when Amelie starts arguing with someone.  Oli squints into the dispersing mist and sees Amelie yelling at a very bright red dixopus.

“Leave the steel sword,” Ameilie is admonishing.  “It will rust in the salt water.”  Oli is quite intrigued when she sees the dixopus raise a central limb in Amelie’s direction and invert it so the suckers face up.  The dixopus slides into the water almost causing her to lose balance.  Once in the water one tentacle slaps the surface causing a spray to cover Amelie.

“Idiote dixopus!” Amelie screams at it.  Amelie starts picking through the corpses’ bodies, dropping anything worthwhile on the floor of the pinnace.  She notices that if Amelie doesn’t find anything worthwhile she kicks the corpse.  Oli finds this so amusing she sits on her own pile of corpses and watches.

Amelie finally notices her.  “How did you get here First Mate? Should we just toss the useless ones over?”

“Let’s make sure we thoroughly check them for goodies first,” Oli says jumping to her feet.

After they search each corpse they throw the corpse into the ocean.

“Do you know which girl?” Amelie asks her.

“Gazala,” she replies with a heavy sigh.

“Dead?”

“Not so far,” she replies with a weak smile.  “If Canneta and Areso can get the bullet out and sterilize the wound in time she has a chance.”

“Where?”

Oli can see the expression of failure on Amelie’s face.  If Gazala dies, and that breaks Amelie, Amelie will never become a full commander in the sisterhood.  “The forehead, to the left side.  Our amazing surgeons believe it’s lodged in the bone of her forehead.”

“I hope she lives,” Amelie says and continues searching.

“Good news,” Oli says.  “”Unibrow’s” arrow struck true and we can pull the other pinnace in.

“We did good,” Amelie says with a beaming smile.

“We did extraordinarily good,” Oli says, her own smile widening as she pockets a pewter jar full of gunpowder, and a leather bag containing ball bearings.  

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

An Interview with Laura Suen, CEO of Fire and Steel

An Interview with Laura Suen, CEO of Fire and Steel

By Dan Watt

I met Laura Suen, CEO of Fire and Steel, at the 2018 Kitchener Comic Con.  She was extremely busy but gracious enough to let me take a few pictures.  I’ve wanted to interview her ever since…

Where did the creative idea to start Fire and Steel come from?

Well firstly, I always loved geeky things! My family didn’t have that much money growing up, so I remember taking so long to save up to go to Fan Expo – a comic convention — as soon as I could afford it.

My older sister is a huge geek and I really looked up to her as a kid. We would spend so much time gaming, reading fantasy novels, and watching sci fi TV shows. I of course was the generation that was raised on Saturday morning cartoons too, which included a lot of Japanese anime. Personally I also loved martial arts and do kung fu on the side, so Fire and Steel was just the perfect way to combine my love of martial arts with geeky things.

For legal reasons I can only use weapons designed or created by Fire and Steel on covers, such as the one for the weekly blogged story A Motley Sisterhood Of Pirates! However, Fire and Steel has a large assortment of weapons from a variety of styles and sources. Could you tell us about Fire and Steel’s own weapons?

So I use to work as a physicist and from that, I learned how to 3D model. It’s funny how programs that would be used to design laser ion traps can be used to design swords too. Not everything we carry is modelled by myself of course, but there are a few things that we’ve designed in house! I feel so honoured you’ve featured several of them on your book covers.

Fire and Steel has all sorts of weapons including ones we see in cosplay, magna, comics, TV shows, movies, and traditional. Could you talk about the Japanese katana?

We sell Japanese katanas of all types and quality levels, so we hope you will be able to find something that suits your needs! We sell wooden training swords called bokken and bamboo practice swords called shinai. These are traditionally used to train with and you’ll see those items showing up in anime all the time. From there, we have carbon steel katanas, which can take some light impact but are more made for display purposes because it is a softer blade. Beyond that, we also carry high carbon steel katanas, which are typically sharp (battle ready) in several different grades. The higher the number, the harder the blade. These blades can typically take a lot of impact and are what you see in a lot of our “Will It Cut” YouTube videos.

YouTube channel

I was watching some of the video clips on Instagram and Facebook and saw something very intriguing.

You have the exact same weapons in different grades from metal to foam. This would be perfect for making a movie or TV show. Have any of your weapons been used in movies or TV shows?

Yes! Actually I’m so honoured to say you can see some of our stuff in the background of shows like American Vandals, In the Dark, The 100 and Power Rangers just to name a few.

Your foam weapons look like they’re made of metal. Great for cosplay, LARP, or if a young person wants one of the weapons. Could you tell us more about the foam weapons and their uses?

Foam weapons are great as safer alternatives for people who want to train with swords but don’t want to hurt themselves. In addition, they’re great for cosplay since many conventions and festivals, for safety reasons, do not allow steel swords to be carried around as a part of a costume, even if they’re blunted. For this reason, many people see foam as a great alternative and it saves people a lot of time since you don’t have to make your own sword anymore for your outfit!

Fire and Steel can also design specific weapons for customers. How would a customer go about ordering one of these weapons?

We do take custom requests normally, but COVID has thrown a bit of wrench in schedules and timelines. Please feel free to send us an email at support@fireandsteel.ca for a quote if you want something made – but who knows? We might already have it made and you don’t even realize it!

Fire and Steel is on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Are there are any other links you want to mention?

Our social media handle is @RealFireNSteel for TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We also are active on TikTok as @RealFireandSteel too! Find us there. Also of course, check out our website for updates:

www.fireandsteel.ca

Fire and Steel will be at the

Ottawa Comic Con

November 19-21  2021

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Seven: Blog Forty-Eight)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Seven: Blog Forty-Eight)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

*Interview with Laura Suen, CEO of FireandSteel.ca will be posted this week!*

As soon as she sees “Unibrow” beside Janet, dipping arrow heads into the flammable plant oil, she turns to the others.  “Keep low and prepare your arrows,” she reminds them in a tense whisper.  “Remember, we are used to the movement of the boat but you’ll have to adjust when you let the string go.  First nock the arrow, then hold until you get a feel for the movement of the boat, and know which way the wind blows and how strong.  Ready.  Today we show,” she spits into the air, “Barthodrow what our Sisterhood can do.”

When the girls are arranged along the starboard gunwale she turns to the fo’c’sle and holds an inhaled breath as “Unibrow” nocks her bow.

“Ready,” Amelie whispers.  She raises her own bow and nocks an arrow.  She nods at “Unibrow”.

“Wait,” she whispers as the heavy arrow with its burning tip flies.

There are shots in both Spanish and English coming from the pinnace now.  “Wait until you can see,” she says.

There’s a bang followed by a cry from one of the girls near her.  “Steady,” she says not taking her eyes off the ocean.  Cannetta and Areso will do the best they can for the girl.  “Unibrows” flaming arrow drops right towards the centre of the pinnace.  “Shoot!” Amelie shouts not caring if the men on the pinnace can hear.  “Vengeance for the fallen!” she shouts nocking her second arrow.  This time she waits until “Unibrow” shoots her second flaming arrow before she shoots again.  Now in a rage she stands up and shouts in English but as her rage increases in French, “Good luck trying to shoot anyone else with arrows raining down on tu, vous connard!”

The other girls follow suit; screaming out as they stand and shoot arrow after arrow into the pinnace.  The only ones who are silent are “Unibrow” and Janet.  When her arrows are all gone Amelie glances up at the fo’c’sle.  She sees “Unibrow” and Janet hugging each other.

“It’s done,” she says to the others with a croak in her voice.  Exhausted she turns to “Unibrow” and nods.  She sees “Unibrow” discussing something with Janet.  Janet points into the distance.  She watches as “Unibrow” launches another arrow followed by an even heavier arrow with a fish eyehook at its end.  Attached through the eyehook is a strong string.  Janet continues to stare starboard and talk as “Unibrow’s” arm quivers from adjusting her aim.  Finally “Unibrow” shoots.  Amelie feels like her heart has stopped as she waits.  If “Unibrows” arrow doesn’t stick someone will have to swim out to the pinnace.

As she waits she feels a bump from the portside of the Nague.   She didn’t think the Captain and others were arriving quite yet.  She hurries over to the portside.  As she glances over the gunwale her instinct tells her to turn to the side.  A bolt whizzes by her.  “Nous sommes attaqués—we attacked!” she shouts.  She pulls out a throwing knife from her bandana and is about to throw it when a grappling hook nearly hits her.

Furious now, she simultaneously pokes her head over the gunwale throws the knife.  This time there’s a bang and where her head was a moment ago there’s now a chunk of wood missing from the gunwale.  Her heart is pounding so hard it feels like it will erupt out of her chest.  She draws out her ninjato and starts sawing away at the grappling hook’s rope.  A few feet away from her there is another thunk and another grappling hook latches onto the gunwale.  “One Eye” and some of the others are near her. 

“Nippi and Janet are on the portside of the fo’c’sle now,” “One Eye” tells her.

“You three,” Amelie whispers to the girls with bows.  Step back ten paces and take aim.  You are too close here.  The rest of you draw your stabbing weapons.  Cut the other hook’s rope,” she says to “One Eye”.

“Good thinking,” “One Eye” says with an encouraging wink.

“Que es eso!” she hears one of the sailors shout in Spanish.

“Kraken!”  Another sailor shouts in English.

“My friend is aboard,” she says to the others with a smirk on her face.  “I always wanted to do this.”

“No Amelie!” she hears her sisters cry out.  Some try to grab her but she is too fast. 

“La mort arrive!” she bellows out as she leaps overboard with her ninjato grasped in both hands with the tip pointed down.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

Interview with Personal Fitness Instructor – Dan Watt by Marianna

I was contacted by Bethany Wright, Communication Director of Subkit to do an interview for Go Solo on my online personal training business.

You can check out the interview below:

Interview

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Seven: Blog Forty-Seven)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Seven: Blog Forty-Seven)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Amelie feels a hand gently pushing her shoulder.  She grabs the wrist of the hand.  Unlike “Dizzying Blade” she isn’t inclined to stab anyone who awakes her.  “Get up Amelie,” “One Eye” is whispering in her ear.

“Dixopus is here now?” she asks groggily.  She can see light through her eyelids.

“No, but a Dolphin Tail just threw some stones up onto deck.”

“A warning?” she asks.

“It’s night now lass, and the mist is dense,” continues in a whisper.  ““Storm Caller” isn’t here to look, so Janet is, and she thinks she sees a pinnace heading our way starboard side.”

“Why would the Captain be returning that way?” she asks.

“With men aboard,” “One Eye” says with a hiss.

“Barthadrow!” Amelie exclaims.  She makes a spitting sound, as does “One Eye”.  She gets dressed as quickly as she can in the light from the lantern “One Eye” is holding.  “Are you going to wake the others?” she asks glancing at the other occupied hammocks below deck?”

“Not yet.  Too much chaos will let the enemy we know we know they are coming.  We’ll wake only those who know how to use a bow and arrow for now.  Especially Nippi, for distance she’s strongest after “Wheel Turner”.  I’ll wake Canneta and Areso.  If any girls get wounded I want them attended to immediately.”

Amelie walks with stealth past all the hammocks.  She only gently nudges awake the girls who can use a bow and arrow.  She realizes there are not many with the strength or knowledge to shoot the needed distance.

Up on deck she glances at the few gathered and let’s out a long sigh. 

Amelie notices that “One Eye” keeps the lantern hooded and at hip level with just enough light for the others to see each other.  “We want the pinnace to get as close as possible,” “One Eye says with a stern voice uncommon for her.  “All the men aboard are to be killed silently.  We want that pinnace intact.”  With a glimmer in her unpatched eye “One Eye” says with great want, “And we want to capture the ship she came from.”  She sees “One Eye” glance her way.  “Amelie.”

“Aim for the chest, and if you hit the neck all the better,” she whispers with urgency to the others.  She has killed before but most of the girls on deck have never had to fight.  “You do this to protect yourself.”  She knows the pirate code is generally about self-preservation.  “And your sisters.  Each of you shall set five arrows within hand reach.  Shoot until you have no more arrows left.  And if you shoot with a killer shot into the same man more than once—good.”  Accuracy and thoroughness wins ranged battles “Dizzying Blade” had explained to her and Arsema numerous time until it became a mantra. 

“Nippi,” she says to “Unibrow”, “you will be shooting the flaming arrows.  Janet will give you direction.”  Turning to the other girls she says, “Wait for the arrow’s light to guide you to a target.”

Amelie stands silently as she watches with racked nerves as “Unibrow” crouches low before ascending the steps to the fo’c’sle where Janet is peering over the railing.  They can’t afford to use a telescope.  The glass of the lens might reflect off the light of the stars and two moons.  All the lessons the Captain, “Dizzying Blade”, “Wheel Turner”, and “One Eye” taught her are coming to use in this one desperate moment.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

Movie review of DUNE (2021)

Movie review of DUNE (2021)

By Dan Watt

I read the original Frank Herbert, Dune series, before high school.  And like many others felt an immediate familiarity to Maud’Dib, enough so that I named a Dungeons and Dragons character after him.

In the original David Lynch movie two things stuck out as noteworthy to me: the worms and Baron Harkonen.

Before watching the Denis Villeneuve version I watched the trailers (Denis Villeneuve directed the amazing sci-fi/thriller movie Arrival (2016)).

Dune, as Frank Herbert admitted and tried to do, was next to impossible to write a script for.

As Stellan Skarsgard (who plays Vladimir Harkonnen) said in an interview (paraphrasing): To make a book work on screen you have to remove 90% of it.  I would say Villeneuve succeeded!

Is Dune important, yes!  The first book was published August 1965 by Chilton Books.  Eleven years after J.R.R. Tolkien’s first Lord of the Rings book:  The Fellowship of the Ring.  And it came out nearly twelve years before George Lucas’s: Star Wars.  The use of politics, greed, and the devastating effects on nature are comparable.  The Lord of the Rings trilogy, to me, spoke of the damage done by industry, and there was evil brought about by the eye of Sauron.  In Star Wars, entire planets are eliminated through the use of technology; and there is the light and dark of the Force.  In between is Frank Herbert’s Dune; where technology has turned a living world into a desert in the name of greed and addiction; and there is the spice that allows for space travel and foresight along with other special abilities.

Political comparisons could be made between the Dune books and George R.R. Martin’s series:  A Song of Ice and Fire (August 1, 1996).  In both, families war against each other in both physical and mental battles in order to rule all.

Before I saw the movie a friend told me the effects and soundtracks are amazing.  I mentioned this in an Instagram message to Tina Guo who plays on the Dune soundtrack (she has also played on other soundtracks by Hans Zimmer.  You can see more of her at:  tinaguo.com).

The movie introduces a number of families and groups worth looking up on the internet if you aren’t familiar with the story:  Fremen (original Arrakis dwellers); Bene Gesserit (witches who have many secrets); The Atreides (you’ll have to watch to see what happens to them); The Harkonnens; and House Corrino.  There is of course the gigantic sandworms who produce the spice that allows rapid space travel.  There are others you will likely meet in the upcoming films.

My recommendation is see Dune on the biggest screen you can. 

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Seven: Blog Forty-Six)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Seven: Blog Forty-Six)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

“Master-at-arms,” she hears Sasha shout.  Then someone else saying something to Sasha, maybe “One Eye”.  “Assistant Master-at-arms,” Sasha corrects herself.  Groggily she slides out of her hammock and starts dressing.  She hurries when Sasha starts screaming out: “Amelie!  Amelie!”  “The octopus—dice-opus, is back!”

“Dixopus!” Amelie admonishes as she tugs on her boots.  “Learn how to speak French, Sasha,” she continues as she belts on her Ninjato.  She grabs the wooden practice sword—just in case.

Up on deck she sees “One Eye” staring down from the fo’c’sle with an amused expression.  On the deck, near the helm is the dixopus wielding the wooden sword back and forth as Sasha runs from stern to port trying to get away from the tentacled limb and its weapon.

“Are the Captain and others not here?” Amelie shouts up to “One Eye”.

“They signaled it will be another day,” “One Eye” shouts down to her with a grin.  “This situation is all yours Assistant Master-at-arms.”

Amelie raises her chin and lowers her upper eyelids giving her eyes a confident, half lidded appearance.  “Come for a lesson dixopus?” she asks with a twirl of the wooden sword.  She charges forward, wielding the sword.  The dixopus brings its sword down on her.  She easily side steps the attack and with a circular movement of her sword hand disarms the dixopus.  Stepping back she tells the very large mollusk, “You’re attacks are wild and clumsy.”

The dixopus grabs the sword with the same tentacled arm.  This time, holding it out and waiting. 

Amelie steps in moves with the graceful movements of a dancer; just as “Dizzying Sword” taught her and Arsema.  She taps the dixopus’s sword on one side then the other.  Next she holds her sword arms still.  The dixopus reproduces the same tapping on her sword.

Time seems to stand still as she teaches the dixopus to lunge, but not over extend; to side step while attacking and parlaying; and the unique style of overhead, mid body, and lower body attacks.  These including jabs, thrusts, parlays, and slices.  Soon the dixopus is looking grey and its siphons are straining for air.  So Amelie makes a low sweeping bow to it then points her sword towards the gunwale.  As the dixopus disappears over the rail, Amelie shouts, “Same time tomorrow!”

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Seven: Blog Forty-Five)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Seven: Blog Forty-Five)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

That night, with the two moons shining overhead, Amelie leans against the main mast.  The Captain sent a fire signal that the rest of the crew would be returning on the ‘morn.  The girls, who will be up throughout the night, are sitting or lying on the deck, wrapped in blankets around “One Eye”.  The First Mate is sitting on a chest full of adapted brooms and mops, singing while playing her mandolin.

“We are heading back to sea, back to sea,” she hears “One Eye” sing.

“May a strong wind fill the sails

To carry us to our destination

But not a gale, not a gale….”

As “One Eye” continues to sing Amelie sees “Dizzying Blade’s” door open.  Wrapped in a blanket, her hair disheveled, steps out Melinda.  The Cannibal’s canine teeth glint in the dual moonlight.  There is a sensuous movement to the Cannibal’s steps that reminds her of a large cat.  She sees Melinda sit with the other girls.  Amelie thought the girls would be terrified by the Cannibal but they seem drawn to her.

Amelie, along with the others gasp as Janet jumps to her feet and lets her blanket fall to the deck.  She’s only wearing a loose night gown; nearly see through in the light of the two moons.  Shaking she points a finger at the Cannibal and shouts in a shaky voice, “Eat me and no one else!”

“That’s not for me dear,” Melinda replies with a look of shock on her face.  “There are some others I think here who would be most happy to oblige, and some on my ship.”

Amelie notices “One Eye” has stopped playing and now has a mischievous grin.  “I think she means, literally,” “One Eye” says to the Cannibal.

“Oh no,” Melinda says with a shake of her head towards Janet.  “I detest that, and only do it when one moon covers the other.  That will be a long time from now dear.”

“Well,” Janet replies raising her chin and squinting at the Cannibal, “I will stay with you until you return to your own ship.”  As Janet is talking Amelie notices Janet is wearing a thin string around her waist with a hardly noticeable sheath hanging from it.  She glances closer and believes Janet has a fish skinning knife in the sheath.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

Book Review of Darren Joy’s upcoming novel “A Malignant Fetch”, book two of the Plagueborn novels

By Dan Watt

Available Nov. 8

Book Review of Darren Joy’s upcoming novel “A Malignant Fetch”, book two of the Plagueborn novels

By Dan Watt

Joy’s second book in the Plagueborn series: A Malignant Fetch, is just as exciting and engrossing as his first novel: A Viral Imperium.

A Malignant Fetch flows like a great movie.  The writing is engrossing; the cinematography vivid; with knowledgeable actors portraying fallible and real characters; all coming together under Joy’s superb direction. 

The story focuses on the unwitting growth of Threadfin Todder into a viral mage.  We also learn more about the history of the High Mage, Rasnal Nalrost; the former Aidari, Wither; and why Lorn Larthuz stole something that could change worlds.

As the story progresses we become familiar with the role of Shraeds and Torments and what they are.  However, it’s Threadfin Todder and his connection to the Fetch that have us riding on a raft down rapids we don’t want to escape. 

Joy hasn’t just written another epic fantasy story but one that swirls with dark fantasy and dark humour.  It’s a story that is both physical and simultaneously metaphysical.

A Malignant Fetch is available on November 8th

Darren Joy can be reached at:  darrenjoy.com

You can also learn more about the first book in the Plagueborn series “A Viral Imperium” at this website.

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Seven: Blog Forty-Four)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Seven: Blog Forty-Four)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Without thinking she pulls on her capris, wraps her hair in her bandana and slides her tiny throwing knives inside the cloth near her ears.  She’s barefooted and only wearing a night gown.  Oh well, if death greets her above she won’t have to worry whether she combed her hair or not.

She hurries up to the deck with her Ninjato in her right hand and a Spanish Stiletto dagger she borrowed from “Dizzying Blade’s” horde of weapons, in her left.  She never, thought much, of fighting with two swords; too much movement from the waist.  On the deck she gapes up at something towering over two girls and falls to her rump.  Once she recovers from the shock she rolls back onto her feet, and brandishing both weapons moves towards the giant—she tries to remember the name—octopus!    But—an octopus has eight legs and—she counts ten on this tentacle limbed creature with the really big oblong head and gruesomely large eyes.  Though, she admits to herself, the vibrant red of its skin with the fascinating orange dots is appealing.  However, this—this dixopus—will regret boarding the Nague.

The dixopus rears its head back and its red and orange flesh turns darker, almost black like oil.

“Maybe don’t attack it,” she hears “One Eye” shout in a non aggressive voice from the fo’c’sle.  “Might be reading to cover you in oil, which would also get on the Nague, and that would be bad.”

“Nice dixopus,” Amelie says, lowering her weapons.  She stands proudly with her chest out, her chin up, and her eyelids half closed.  There is still tenseness throughout her body.  Prepared to dodge or attack any sudden movement made by the dixopus’s.

She’s sees one of the forward most tentacles gingerly raise up and ever so slowly touch the tip of the pommel of her lowered ninjato.  Amelie does not move.  The end of the tentacle smoothly caresses her hand around the hilt and slides down to the blade.  The tentacle releases the ninjato and pulls back.

There is utter silence as she contemplates what this is about.  But then she believes she understands.  “Thupeltha,” she calls to one of the girls who was screaming.  “Ask our First Mate to give you two practice swords from our First Mate and slide them towards the dixopus.”

Thupeltha is one of the younger girls, perhaps ten or eleven.  She is tiny with dark hair and eyes, and her skin is olive coloured.  Amelie tries to remember where Thupeltha came from.  Life had taught numerous times that, unlike appearance, an individual’s attitude is from their upbringing, and a reflection of where they grew up.

“A what?” Thupeltha asks as she hurries towards “One Eye”.  The First Mate is already heading towards “Wheel Turner’s” room to retrieve the wooden swords.

“Dixopus,” Amelie says with irritation.  “That,” she adds, pointing at the dixopus.

As she waits for the wooden swords Amelie notices fleshy siphons at the sides of the dixopus’s head sucking in and out.  The dixopus is starting to look asphyxiated.  Its vibrant red skin with its orange circles is paling quickly.  Thupeltha slides the two wooden swords, one to Amelie and the other to the dixopus.  Hurriedly the dixopus grabs the wooden sword and walks rapidly with nine legs to the gunwale.  Amelie blinks and the dixopus is gone over the side.

“I am too superior of a fighter for her, him—it,” she says with a grin.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures of Saugeen Shores

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Seven: Blog Forty-Three)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Seven: Blog Forty-Three)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Once the throats of the kept fish are slit in kindness with a thank you for giving themselves up for sustenance Amelie takes her time in the hold to rest.  She knows the corpses of the fish will be thrown into barrels to be rolled into the gallery where ‘Unibrow’ Nippie and Janice will skin them and hang them and coat them with brine to dry out for storage.  That means the crew will be eating fried fish skin with seaweed soup for the next while.

Amelie closes her eyes with a sigh.  All of ‘Dizzying Blade’s’ weapons are now stored in the Captain’s and ‘Wheel Turner’s’ rooms.  Such an interesting assortment of fighting utensils, and of course, Arsema is away.  She already misses sparring with Arsema under ‘Dizzying Blades’ caustic tutelage.  As she falls asleep she envisions her and Arsema practicing deeks and ducks, spins, switching weapons from one hand to the other, and fighting with a weapon in each hand.  As they practice she hears girls screaming.

She opens her eyes and listens.  Starlight filters through the partially open windows that were once for the now never used cannons.  She realizes the screams are not coming from her dream, but are real, and happening. 

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

Book Review of Nandita Khandelwal’s “Climate Change – Health Connection”

By Dan Watt

Available as an ebook on Amazon

Nandita Khandelwal’s “Climate Change – Health Connection” explains everything you want to know about climate change and how it affects Earth’s: water, land, and every species.  She also explains how it affects our overall health and the nutrition value of our foods.

“Climate Change – Health Connection” is an enjoyable and thought provoking read.  At the end of each chapter Khandelwal asks questions that encourage all of us to make a difference.   This is the perfect book for the general public, and as an educational resource for schools, from junior high, to college and university.

Khandelwal writes in understandable language, backed up by scientific research. The structure of the book, and its chapters, are a great template for further books on climate change, and for other environmental subjects.

This is a positive book.  Khandelwal explains what climate change is, how it affects every aspect of our life, and offers suggestions on what we can do to alleviate the situation.  She encourages us to work with the government as well as special interest groups.

“Climate Change – Health Connection” is available through Amazon at:

India

Canada

United States

United Kingdom

For other countries try typing amazon (followed by your countries name)

Nandita Khandelwal has a Master’s degree in Geology from Rajasthan University, and is a certified Nutritionist through ISSA.

Nandita can be reached at:

@nanditakhandelwal

YouTube channel:  Nandita Khandelwal

Stay tuned for our Zoom interview…   

Random Thoughts: Writing and Censorship

Its hard to talk about reality “academically” while still conscious of how others may feel about it. An honest commentary on race in Africa and elsewhere.

The Amateur's Quill

I have a roundabout confession to make.

I am one of those people who censors themselves quite a bit. Even though I’m aware that I’m an amateur writer, a hobbyist, I do feel a need to check myself in public. Why? At first, it was because I’m my mother’s daughter and didn’t want to say anything that would embarrass the family. Saving face and all that. It’s big in our culture. I got over that a while ago, though, and no longer mind what my family may read here or wherever I publish my thoughts.

Why, then, do I continue to censor myself? It’s not as if my words could sway a generation or start a war. That’s the blessing of anonymity, really. You get away with so much because you’re an ordinary person. You can be a little more straight forward. And so I’ve always been particularly happy to…

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The Missing Block of Ice [Part 5]

The Missing Block of Ice [Part 5]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

He’ll have to look into the mysterious ninjas later.  “Mrs. Claws!” he shouts as he opens the unlocked front door and ducks under the lintel.

“Here,” he hears her shout back in her fascinating accent.

“Here,” the wispy and tinny voice of Mr. TLC also says.

He smiles fondly at the giant Maine Coon cat.  Mr. TLC is perched on the desk in front of a man standing perfectly still.  “Anything, other than,” Chief Shabuni begins to say when he glances down at the still man’s face, and grimaces, and says with a groan, “A steam automaton.”

“A what?” Mrs. Claws asks.  She has her brass hearing horn firmly in her right ear.

“Missing,” Tobey says.

“Can you show me?” he asks.

The Maine Coon cat leaps down from the desk and heads towards the end of the hall.

“I hate the basement,” Mrs. Claw says with a groan.  She sniffs.  “That’s where Mr. Claws kept the things, he discovered in Arcticterra.  Like that creepy ice pane.

In the basement, Chief Shabuni stares at a large rectangular area on the cement floor that looks cleaner than the rest of the cluttered floor.  Very similar in size to what the ninjas were carrying.  He notices Mr. TLC also staring down at the spot.

“Ice that not melt,” Tobey says.

“Ice that won’t melt?” Chief Shabuni asks.

“My husband brought back a pane of what looked like ice,” Mrs. Claws says.  She glances around furtively.  “If you touched it, it felt wet, but once you took your hand away, there was no moisture.” She places her left hand against her chest and gasps for breath.  “Sometimes.  Sometimes you could see something in the ice.  That’s why Siku went back.  He wanted to find out where the books came from.  Something about a portal.”

Chief Shabuni knew Mr. Claws did a lot of exploring after he retired from the navy.  Now he wondered exactly what Mrs. Claws meant by, a portal.  He would have to ask her, right after he calls for backup. 

He takes out his quarts phone and connects a thin hose attached to a bladder of water in his overcoat’s pocket.  Next, he flips open the brass lid.  He spins its tiny crank until steams pours out of a tiny exhaust pipe on the top of the phone.   After a while, a greenlight shines where the quartz crystals form a star shape in the centre of the phone.

He taps out four numbers on the copper keypad.

“Yes,” a very precise, tenor voice answers.

“Justin, I need you and Linda to meet me at the Claws house.”  He hangs up.  The two Inspectors make a strange team.  Justin Harper and Linda Campbell are physically opposites.  Justin has skin so dark it has a blue hue.  Combined with his aquamarine eyes, people tend to stare at him.  A benefit for an inspector, because people also tend to never lie to him.  Justin also has a lean face with an aristocratic nose.  Linda in contrast is short, squat, and buxom, with a flat nose and flaring nostrils.  Her dark brown eyes make her skin look even paler.  Her skin is nearly as pale as his own.  Almost, but no one has ever tried to eat her for the magical properties a true albino supposedly has. 

Mini demonstration of proper posture and body mechanics for the lat pulldown machine.


dwpersonaltraining

Mini demonstration of proper posture and body mechanics for the lat pulldown machine.



Taylor Norris, RMT and I are designing an exercise video course. We went to Fetter’s Fitness to video a bunch of instructional video clips. https://www.fetterfitness.ca/
(519) 502-4511
Soon the gym will be relocating to:
41 River Rd. East, Kitchener, Ontario
#fitness #exercise #exercisecourse #latpulldown

Risk

Hope in a bubble.

The Amateur's Quill

There could be a sequel…
an elaborate improvement on the now.
But we’re hiding within that feeling
of twisting limbs ’round each other
while sipping soothing beverages,
of running fingers through braided hair,
pretending tomorrow will never come.

There could be candid conversations
starring in A Tense Evening.
Yet the setting sun lulls us
into the cocoon of leaving things unsaid.

There could be honesty,
vulnerability,
all the gore of what keeps things good.
But the long day says goodbye right after let’s wait,
’til we gather strength to face truth.

… and we don’t mind if that’s never.

After all, it’s not too late to save Us

-yet.

All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2022 Tebogo Ndlovu

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