And here we are again, another Saturday and another ‘Islands of Hope’ update. Despite my hectic life I am still managing to keep the updates going on the schedule I said I would keep. This week sees me part way through Chapter 5 and leaves with Kira waiting for the introduction of a new character. Who will it be? What will they be like? Like I said I am running this story a bit different, I am tackling it like a panster so even I am unsure who it will be. I have three possibilities for the character. You will need to wait till next week to see who they are. For now you can read Chapter 5 on wattpad by clicking here or start from the beginning here.
It’s here and this time I saw it coming! I often miss National Poetry Day as I am working and focusing on other projects. This year I have planned a poetry competition at the school I teach in so I thought I better actually write a poem myself as well. This year’s theme is freedom. I found it hard to come up with an idea that did not sound a little generic or follow the obvious tropes of freedom such as flying high or having the shackles taken off. One day the idea of doing an acrostic poem popped into my head but, again, using the word freedom felt a little too obvious. I settled on the idea of doing a poem on how having a smart phone makes us feel free but we are really a slave to technology. I hope it is as clever as I planned. So here it is, a poem entitled ‘Freedom.’ Oh yeah, you can also read it in my poetry collection, ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read,’ as well.
Searching through all the information at my fingertips
Like a human encyclopedia, nothing a surprise any more
Apps to connect, apps to play, apps to teach, I can do it all
Virtual worlds becoming my school and my playground
Enlightened by knowledge, I stare at this device, consuming all its power
Every writer knows that some days you can’t get anything down and other days your work just flows. This also happens when constructing novels, different sections take different amounts of time. There are parts where you cannot think of a first line and others where whole chapters just flow out of your fingers. For me this week has, I am happy to say, been the latter. I have been writing ‘Islands of Hope’ section by section, concerned that I would soon run out of material. This week, however, my brain exploded with ideas like a new year’s fireworks display. I quickly got about a thousand words down and completed the whole of Chapter 4. Rather than rush off and write even more, I focused on editing it earlier in the week so I could write some other stuff. More importantly my poem for National Poetry Day is done, it is short and sweet but I have mulled over it in my head for hours. You will have to wait till the actual day to read it. Anyway, back to ‘Islands of Hope.’ You will be happy to know that something is now actually happening, there is a tiny bit of action and the story feels like it is moving in a good direction. I hope you enjoy it and feel free to give me any feedback, both positive and/or negative.
As usual it has been uploaded to wattpad. You can read Chapter 4 here or start from the beginning here. Oh yeah, I even thought about a cover this week. But yeah, I didn’t do any more than that. A cover will come I promise.
Just a small update this week due to two reasons; firstly I have been really busy and secondly I wanted to finish on a section that makes people want more. I hope I have done that. I have therefore only finished off Chapter 3. This also gives me some time to work on my poem for National Poetry Day. I know that is a little way off but I am already getting ideas together.
Saturday is here once more and that means an ‘Islands of Hope’ update. Bit more of a confusing one this week as I managed to finish Chapter 2 and start Chapter 3. I was going to hold back the start of Chapter 3 but felt that was not in the spirit of the project so it is all there for you. I also feel the story is starting to get moving so it might be a good time to get into it if you have not read it yet.
Now my son is a bit older I have been reading him longer books, or as he calls them ‘Chapter Books.’ The standard of young children’s fiction these days is a lot better than I remember as a child. Gone are all the twee stories about brothers and sisters or adventurous pets (well there are still some of those) and in come ones with jokes about farts, silly bad guys and lots of action. We have read the likes of Captain Underpants, Billy Bonkers and Dirty Bertie but the one that has really stood out is ‘King Flashypants and the Evil Emperor’. It is a little longer than the others but it really has some good humour in. I can only really liken it to Monty Python for kids. Silly sections where they need to stick their toes up their nose, peasants having a discussion about the pros and cons of revolting, the youngest seeing through the Evil Emperor’s plans but no-one listening to them, and no one wanting to go to a place on holiday because the name is too long to pronounce all add to what I could sum up as very British humour. Maybe it is because I am British that I get it, maybe it is because I find these things silly. All I know is that the main critic is my son and he loved it. He liked the previous books mentioned and would tell me about bits of the story and say, “that’s funny,” but with King Flashypants he was actually laughing. The drawings are great as well, I love the way they are annotated in places to give a bit more humour. I also like the fact Andy Riley laughs at the stereotypical by using it in such silly ways such as explaining the difference between King Edwin and Emperor Nurbison’s castles. I think I felt a connection between this work and Super Lizard, reading it almost made me feel like I had done something right with my series as I could see many of the jokes working in both books. Maybe then it was that more emotional connection, something that made me think that this was the sort of book I would write if writing for that age range, in fact I have one planned and if it is even half as good as ‘King Flashypants and the Evil Emperor’ I will be happy. Let’s move away from my works, you can look at them if you want but you really need to read ‘King Flashypants and the Evil Emperor’ because it shows how children’s literature should be done, both accessible to children and the adults who may read to them. If you are not sold yet just think of it this way, I am a 34-year-old man and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series! So all I have to end with is this, “what is a King without a crown?” As my son puts it, “just a normal person!”
Well I said I would update ‘Islands of Hope’ every Saturday and my promise has lasted for at least the first week. Unfortunately I have not been able to complete the whole of Chapter 2 but I have uploaded about 700 more words. It is not getting too exciting at the moment as it is more world building really. I had hoped to end on a bit of a cliff hanger but life got in the way. I will endeavour to complete Chapter 2 for next Saturday’s update. I also still don’t have a cover but I am getting a few ideas. So here’s to next weeks update.