Colony Island

Colony Island will never be great again The meme, “America will never be great again until . . .”, has been floating around Facebook for a few years. Accordingly, we decided to post our own take on it as a bit of Monday morning humour.

The image itself is of the Neptune statute on the boardwalk in Virginia Beach, VA. Neptune was the Roman god of the sea, but was eventually conflated with the Greek god, Poseidon.

The residents of Colony Island use the names Poseidon and Neptune interchangeably. There is a decided preference for Poseidon, however.

For additional information on the subject of Roman vs Greek gods, please visit DecodedPast.com.

Colony Island will never be great again

The god Neptune was one of many Roman sea gods until he was cast in the equivalent role as the Greek god Poseidon. Image by Habib M’henni.

IMG_0926A week ago, this morning, I joined the ranks of retired Americans. (Re-tyred is a play on the British spelling of “tire”. Brits & Canadians will get the humour. The rest of you probably won’t.)

The contractor position which had occupied my time for over 18 months, ended sooner than expected. Since I had planned for this job to carry me at least to retirement age, I was faced with a bit of a dilemma. I could return to the soul-crushing task of trying to find another job – age discrimination at 58 would be a walk in the park compared to that at age 64 – or I could simply call time on my career and follow my hallucination dream of becoming a writer.

It wasn’t even close! Retirement won, hands down. Of course, I did carry out due diligence by checking my company’s current openings for positions which matched my skill-set. Those positions I did find, all required me to relocate. With three houses to manage – my late mother’s, my late mother-in-law’s, and my own – the prospects of wrapping up 3 properties and disposing of  a combined 100+ years of accumulated stuff, the chances of being able to complete my relocation anytime soon were slim and none. What’s more, I’d have to report for work at where-ever and my wife would be left with most of the work AND her own full-time job as well.

Like I said, it wasn’t even close.

So, after taking a week off to attend the 2016 Virginia Festival of the Book – more on that in a subsequent post – I’m back at my desk here in Hopewell, trying to sort out a book give-away, get going on my second novel, pay some bills, and establish some sort of daily routine.

So, what does this mean for The Parsons’ Rant?

Well, I’ve got two blog sites to deal with, now. There’s the Tails From Colony Island site (ColonyIsland.com) that deals with my series of novels. And then, there’s this one as well. I plan to limit posts on the Colony Island site to topics dealing directly with the series and to use this one for the usual ranting and raving.

The Parsons’ Rant has been neglected for the past couple of years. There are a number of things which no longer work and will require repair, replacement, or elimination. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. So, if you’re one of the loyal few who have followed The Parsons Rant through the lean times, thanks.

Now, to edit Chapter 1 of novel # 2 and also figure out why I can’t get any sound out of my PC this morning.

I’ve just republished a short story called ‘Dear Mom . . .’ on ColonyIsland.com. This story was originally published on Goodreads.com and was done as part of a contest. I won, but only because there were just 2 or 3 entrants. The story concerns Penelope’s cousin, Lindsey Tench, and will be expanded to be half of the third book in the Tails From Colony Island series.

There is another short story with a merfolk theme which I will republish in a few days or a few weeks. It has nothing to do with Colony Island and everything to do with S.K. Munt’s Fairytail Saga. Ms. Munt held a fan fiction contest following the publication of Heads or Tails, the third novel in the series. My entry sort of violated the parameters for the contest and I really didn’t mean it as a contest entry. It was more a writing exercise dealing with a person in a very dark emotional state. In Urban Mermaid, the title character starts off in a dark emotional state and I felt that this would be good practice for me.

Nonetheless, I sent it in, more curious as to what Ms Munt would say about it than as an actual entry in the contest. S.K. Munt is a very gracious lady. The story took first prize and was published at the end of Stained Glass, the concluding story in the series.

Dear Mom may be found as a menu item under the  Writing Urban Mermaid tab on Colony Island.com. You can also cut to the chase by going to http://colonyisland.com/dear-mom/. I hope that you’ll enjoy the story.

It has finally started to sink in; this idea that I’ve actually written a novel and it’s actually going to be published in less than five months’ time and I’m going to have a launch party and will probably have to sign four or five copies. The final blow on my noggin’ came Sunday evening when my brother congratulated me and told me how proud he was that I had done this.

My (kid) brother; the one who has made his living as a writer for the past twenty years and has earned more professional awards than one can shake the proverbial stick at. I know that my mother was proud of his accomplishments – Mom always liked him best, anyway – while she was, more often than not, a bit befuddled about what I did for a living.

Mom, see? This is the programming language I invented and it lets us publish law books from a database!

Do what? A data . . . what? Have mercy!

My only regret is that I didn’t do this six years ago when she would have been able to hold a printed copy of Urban Mermaid in her hands. I doubt that she would have ever made it past the prologue – much less understood what an “urban fantasy” was – Anne of Green Gables was more her speed.

“People laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas, you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?” ― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables

The biggest thing that I’m just starting to realise is the fact that I have to all of this all over again – five or six more times – before the story of Colony Island and its inhabitants is finally told. While I really don’t have to do anything after this, I’ve seen too many authors complete their first book with promises of more to come and then you never hear from them again except for having babies and getting tattoos – I mean tattoos on the author, not on the baby.

All that being said, it’s time to stop writing about ‘me’ and get back to writing Sirena, the second book in the Colony Island series.

Exciting, to say the least!

Exciting, to say the least!

Urban Mermaid will be published under GGP’s Moonlight Gardens imprint.

I’ve been getting a number of inquiries concerning my progress with Urban Mermaid so I thought I would bring one and all up to speed.

  1. I’ve finished my first complete chapter which includes one of the pivotal moments in the story. By the term “Finished” I mean that it’s out of my head and on to paper, so to speak. I’ve still got plenty of tweaking, massaging, Rolfing, etc. before I’m ready to show it to my publisher.
  2. Today, I will continue on the “warm-up” chapter that was set aside when everyone started asking to see samples of the story. The warm-up chapter was intended to be one of those that connects point A with point B and still is to some degree. Mostly minor things involved here. I may have this finished on Friday.
  3. After that, I want to go back and expand the fragment entitled “The Art of Choosing A Mate” into a full-blown chapter with scenes before and after the fragment.
  4. Once that’s done, I’m going to start on the two-part Prologue consisting of “In the Beginning . . .” and “A Brief and True History of Colony Island”. Parts of both already appear in the “bible” for the series so it’s not  a total “from scratch” effort.
  5. Once that’s done, the saga begins with chapter one.

There’s also an administrative task in the offing and that’s moving the “bible” into Microsoft OneNote for better organisation and indexing.

All the while, I’m going to be reading and reviewing books. Wish I got paid for all this!

For more day-to-day details, follow my writing blog on Goodreads.com.

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