Thoughts on entertainment for young people.

 

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This is the fifth Tuesday in the month and so I will be digressing a bit. I think I want to be a bit controversial. Not too much though, and I risk sounding my age, but here goes.

Today, on the radio, I heard something about a group of young people in Cornwall who want to make music. They have been practising in a garage. I assume it’s the garage of one of their parents. Needless to say, there have been complaints about the noise.

The council has told them to cut the noise level. Now in the discussion on the radio the following was said (predictably). ‘There is nowhere for the young people to go and nothing for them to do.’ (This is probably not a direct quote, but that was the essence of it.)

Firstly, why do people think that something should be provided for them? What’s wrong with sorting something out for themselves?

Secondly, this has been the cry for donkey’s years. I heard it when my own children were growing up. It is often an excuse for the bad behaviour of the said young people. I dispute this.
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When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, we had a youth club to go to once a week on a Friday evening. That was IT. Nothing else. We had to find our own entertainment. What did we do? Well, I remember going for bike rides at the weekend and in the school holidays. I expect someone will say that it was different then. The roads are too busy now, but there were no dedicated cycle ways made from old railway lines then. We had to ride on the road.

We also went round to each others’ homes and played records (as they were then). We went into the woods and built camps. We went for walks in the countryside. OK. All young people don’t have access to the countryside, but they have parks. We walked the dog too. Where I live, I rarely see a young person out with the family dog. It’s always the parents.

My own children did many of these things, and my son was in a band too. They rehearsed in our house or the garage of one of his friends. My daughter went to youth club, like me, once a week, and my son was in the scouts. He went camping with them. These things still exist.

So why the constant moaning about ‘nothing to do?’ I argue that there is more for the youngsters nowadays than in the past, and middle class parents seem to think that they must provide something for their kids every day, taking them here there and everywhere–swimming, riding, judo, dancing, etc etc.

The result of this is that youngsters today don’t know how to entertain themselves and can’t cope with boredom. As I said to my own granddaughter the other day,  ‘There’s nothing wrong with being bored.’ It’s from boredom that ideas spring. If we are constantly entertained, we have no time to think for ourselves and to come up with new innovations.

Thank you for putting up with this little rant. Please leave a comment as to what you think.

An Interview with Carthinal

I managed to track down the famous mage, Carthinal, near the mage tower in Hambara. He kindly agreed for me to interview him. This is a transcript of that interview.IMG_2812

Me: Where were you born?
Carthinal:  In Bluehaven on the Middle Sea.

Me: What was you childhood like? Was it happy?
Carthinal:  At first it was very happy, but later, not so.

Me:  Please elaborate.
Carthinal:  My father was an elf from Rindissarillishon. He came to Bluehaven on a diplomatic mission. As you will know, Bluehaven is the port where people leave to go to Asperilla, the capital, on Holy Isle. My mother met him when my grandfather and family went to a banquet in honour of the guests. My grandfather was the president of  the Merchant’s guild. They fell in love, and despite opposition from my grandparents, due to the different life expectancy, they married.
Then they had me. We were well off and had a large house close to my mother’s parents. Both my parents doted on me, as did my grandparents too. My mother was an only child, you see, and since elves have few children they did not expect more.
I had a nanny but my mother was always there whenever she could be, as was my father. They took me out with them whenever possible too.

Me: It sounds ideal. What went wrong? You said  that later it was not so happy.
Carthinal: His face fell:  It was the War of Succession. Do you know about that?

Me: No.
Carthinal: Well. The sister of the elflord had had twin boys. The succession in the elves went to the eldest boy of the sister of the elflord, or nearest other female relative if he had no sister. When the Elflord died, both boys claimed the throne saying that he was the elder. A war broke out between them and my father insisted that he go to fight for the actual elder boy. My mother was upset, and tried to persuade him not to go, but he insisted he do his duty. It was the first time I ever heard them quarrel.

Me: What happened then?
Carthinal: My father was killed. Right at the very end it seems. I was very little and don’t remember much detail. My mother was distraught. She returned to her parents’ house and locked herself in her room. Eventually she killed herself. I was not told this, of course, but I deduced it when I got older.
Here he paused and looked into the distance before once more coming back to the present. I allowed him a few minutes to gather himself.

Me:  Did you continue to live with you grandparents?
Carthinal: Yes. They looked after me for the next few years then, but they were old and first my grandmother and then my grandfather died. I was still very young. They had left the house to me, and the money got from selling my parents’ house, and they arranged for my nanny to continue to look after me. She did her best, but she couldn’t replace those I had lost.

Me: I am sorry for your loss, Carthinal.
Carthinal:  Thank you. It would seem that in spite of everything I was still in a privileged position. I had money and a home, and people to look after me, but those people cheated me.
He beat his fist onto the table and an angry look clouded his indigo eyes.

Me: Please continue.
Carthinal: Somehow the steward and the lawyers managed to gain my property and money. They then turned me out into the street. I was only a little kid, about ten years old. I didn’t know what to do. I wandered about, slept in doorways and stole to eat. One day a girl came up to me and took me to a person she called the leader of her gang. He would not be happy with me stealing on his patch, she told me, and so I joined the gang.
I am not proud of that time of my life. I fought other gangs, stole and maybe even killed during those fights, I don’t know, but it was do that or die. The gangs were ruthless. I even became the leader eventually, and may have ended up on the hangman’s rope.

Me: What changed it?
Carthinal: It was a travelling magician. I now know that he was only very low level, probably a failed apprentice, but to me he was wonderful. I watched him time and time again and began to copy his words and actions when I was alone. One day an archmage called Mabryl saw me. I’d just managed to bring a little flame on my finger; a feat most unusual for one untrained. Mabryl approached me and I thought he was going to arrest me. He asked me to come to his house. I’m afraid that I swore and spat at him. He approached me several times to no avail, then told me that his door was always open for when I decided to learn magic properly.

Me: How long did that take?
Carthinal: Several months. I approached a number of times but lost my nerve, but when I did, Mabryl welcomed me with open arms.

Me: Why did you eventually take up his offer?
Carthinal: I thought that magic would give me more power in the gangs. Perhaps I could become the overall leader of the thieves, but Mabryl changed that. I was difficult. Wild and undisciplined. I gave him a lot of trouble, but he was patient and persevered and eventually I became what he wanted and, as they say, the rest is history.

The first 2 books of The Wolves of Vimar about Carthinal and his friends can be bought in kindle and print format from http://www.amazon.com or http://www.amazon.co.uk Interview with Carthinal

Me: Where were you born?
Carthinal:  In Bluehaven on the Middle Sea.

Me: What was you childhood like? Was it happy?
Carthinal:  At first it was very happy, but later, not so.

Me:  Please elaborate.
Carthinal:  My father was an elf from Rindissarillishon. He came to Bluehaven on a diplomatic mission. As you will know, Bluehaven is the port where people leave to go to Asperilla, the capital, on Holy Isle. My mother met him when my grandfather and family went to a banquet in honour of the guests. My grandfather was the president of  the Merchant’s guild. They fell in love, and despite opposition from my grandparents, due to the different life expectancy, they married.
Then they had me. We were well off and had a large house close to my mother’s parents. Both my parents doted on me, as did my grandparents too. My mother was an only child, you see, and since elves have few children they did not expect more.
I had a nanny but my mother was always there whenever she could be, as was my father. They took me out with them whenever possible too.

Me: It sounds ideal. What went wrong? You said  that later it was not so happy.
Carthinal: His face fell:  It was the War of Succession. Do you know about that?

Me: No.
Carthinal: Well. The sister of the elflord had had twin boys. The succession in the elves went to the eldest boy of the sister of the elflord, or nearest other female relative if he had no sister. When the Elflord died, both boys claimed the throne saying that he was the elder. A war broke out between them and my father insisted that he go to fight for the actual elder boy. My mother was upset, and tried to persuade him not to go, but he insisted he do his duty. It was the first time I ever heard them quarrel.

Me: What happened then?
Carthinal: My father was killed. Right at the very end it seems. I was very little and don’t remember much detail. My mother was distraught. She returned to her parents’ house and locked herself in her room. Eventually she killed herself. I was not told this, of course, but I deduced it when I got older.
Here he paused and looked into the distance before once more coming back to the present. I allowed him a few minutes to gather himself.

Me:  Did you continue to live with you grandparents?
Carthinal: Yes. They looked after me for the next few years then, but they were old and first my grandmother and then my grandfather died. I was still very young. They had left the house to me, and the money got from selling my parents’ house, and they arranged for my nanny to continue to look after me. She did her best, but she couldn’t replace those I had lost.

Me: I am sorry for your loss, Carthinal.
Carthinal:  Thank you. It would seem that in spite of everything I was still in a privileged position. I had money and a home, and people to look after me, but those people cheated me.
He beat his fist onto the table and an angry look clouded his indigo eyes.

Me: Please continue.
Carthinal: Somehow the steward and the lawyers managed to gain my property and money. They then turned me out into the street. I was only a little kid, about ten years old. I didn’t know what to do. I wandered about, slept in doorways and stole to eat. One day a girl came up to me and took me to a person she called the leader of her gang. He would not be happy with me stealing on his patch, she told me, and so I joined the gang.
I am not proud of that time of my life. I fought other gangs, stole and maybe even killed during those fights, I don’t know, but it was do that or die. The gangs were ruthless. I even became the leader eventually, and may have ended up on the hangman’s rope.

Me: What changed it?
Carthinal: It was a travelling magician. I now know that he was only very low level, probably a failed apprentice, but to me he was wonderful. I watched him time and time again and began to copy his words and actions when I was alone. One day an archmage called Mabryl saw me. I’d just managed to bring a little flame on my finger; a feat most unusual for one untrained. Mabryl approached me and I thought he was going to arrest me. He asked me to come to his house. I’m afraid that I swore and spat at him. He approached me several times to no avail, then told me that his door was always open for when I decided to learn magic properly.

Me: How long did that take?
Carthinal: Several months. I approached a number of times but lost my nerve, but when I did, Mabryl welcomed me with open arms.

Me: Why did you eventually take up his offer?
Carthinal: I thought that magic would give me more power in the gangs. Perhaps I could become the overall leader of the thieves, but Mabryl changed that. I was difficult. Wild and undisciplined. I gave him a lot of trouble, but he was patient and persevered and eventually I became what he wanted and, as they say, the rest is history.

The first 2 books of The Wolves of Vimar about Carthinal and his friends can be bought in kindle and print format from http://www.amazon.com or http://www.amazon.co.uk Interview with Carthinal

Me: Where were you born?
Carthinal:  In Bluehaven on the Middle Sea.

Me: What was you childhood like? Was it happy?
Carthinal:  At first it was very happy, but later, not so.

Me:  Please elaborate.
Carthinal:  My father was an elf from Rindissarillishon. He came to Bluehaven on a diplomatic mission. As you will know, Bluehaven is the port where people leave to go to Asperilla, the capital, on Holy Isle. My mother met him when my grandfather and family went to a banquet in honour of the guests. My grandfather was the president of  the Merchant’s guild. They fell in love, and despite opposition from my grandparents, due to the different life expectancy, they married.
Then they had me. We were well off and had a large house close to my mother’s parents. Both my parents doted on me, as did my grandparents too. My mother was an only child, you see, and since elves have few children they did not expect more.
I had a nanny but my mother was always there whenever she could be, as was my father. They took me out with them whenever possible too.

Me: It sounds ideal. What went wrong? You said  that later it was not so happy.
Carthinal: His face fell:  It was the War of Succession. Do you know about that?

Me: No.
Carthinal: Well. The sister of the elflord had had twin boys. The succession in the elves went to the eldest boy of the sister of the elflord, or nearest other female relative if he had no sister. When the Elflord died, both boys claimed the throne saying that he was the elder. A war broke out between them and my father insisted that he go to fight for the actual elder boy. My mother was upset, and tried to persuade him not to go, but he insisted he do his duty. It was the first time I ever heard them quarrel.

Me: What happened then?
Carthinal: My father was killed. Right at the very end it seems. I was very little and don’t remember much detail. My mother was distraught. She returned to her parents’ house and locked herself in her room. Eventually she killed herself. I was not told this, of course, but I deduced it when I got older.
Here he paused and looked into the distance before once more coming back to the present. I allowed him a few minutes to gather himself.

Me:  Did you continue to live with you grandparents?
Carthinal: Yes. They looked after me for the next few years then, but they were old and first my grandmother and then my grandfather died. I was still very young. They had left the house to me, and the money got from selling my parents’ house, and they arranged for my nanny to continue to look after me. She did her best, but she couldn’t replace those I had lost.

Me: I am sorry for your loss, Carthinal.
Carthinal:  Thank you. It would seem that in spite of everything I was still in a privileged position. I had money and a home, and people to look after me, but those people cheated me.
He beat his fist onto the table and an angry look clouded his indigo eyes.

Me: Please continue.
Carthinal: Somehow the steward and the lawyers managed to gain my property and money. They then turned me out into the street. I was only a little kid, about ten years old. I didn’t know what to do. I wandered about, slept in doorways and stole to eat. One day a girl came up to me and took me to a person she called the leader of her gang. He would not be happy with me stealing on his patch, she told me, and so I joined the gang.
I am not proud of that time of my life. I fought other gangs, stole and maybe even killed during those fights, I don’t know, but it was do that or die. The gangs were ruthless. I even became the leader eventually, and may have ended up on the hangman’s rope.

Me: What changed it?
Carthinal: It was a travelling magician. I now know that he was only very low level, probably a failed apprentice, but to me he was wonderful. I watched him time and time again and began to copy his words and actions when I was alone. One day an archmage called Mabryl saw me. I’d just managed to bring a little flame on my finger; a feat most unusual for one untrained. Mabryl approached me and I thought he was going to arrest me. He asked me to come to his house. I’m afraid that I swore and spat at him. He approached me several times to no avail, then told me that his door was always open for when I decided to learn magic properly.

Me: How long did that take?
Carthinal: Several months. I approached a number of times but lost my nerve, but when I did, Mabryl welcomed me with open arms.

Me: Why did you eventually take up his offer?
Carthinal: I thought that magic would give me more power in the gangs. Perhaps I could become the overall leader of the thieves, but Mabryl changed that. I was difficult. Wild and undisciplined. I gave him a lot of trouble, but he was patient and persevered and eventually I became what he wanted and, as they say, the rest is history.

The first 2 books of The Wolves of Vimar about Carthinal and his friends can be bought in kindle and print format from http://www.amazon.com or http://www.amazon.co.uk

Interview with Carthinal

Me: Where were you born?
Carthinal: In Bluehaven on the Middle Sea.

Me: What was you childhood like? Was it happy?
Carthinal: At first it was very happy, but later, not so.

Me: Please elaborate.
Carthinal: My father was an elf from Rindissarillishon. He came to Bluehaven on a diplomatic mission. As you will know, Bluehaven is the port where people leave to go to Asperilla, the capital, on Holy Isle. My mother met him when my grandfather and family went to a banquet in honour of the guests. My grandfather was the president of the Merchant’s guild. They fell in love, and despite opposition from my grandparents, due to the different life expectancy, they married.
Then they had me. We were well off and had a large house close to my mother’s parents. Both my parents doted on me, as did my grandparents too. My mother was an only child, you see, and since elves have few children they did not expect more.
I had a nanny but my mother was always there whenever she could be, as was my father. They took me out with them whenever possible too.

Me: It sounds ideal. What went wrong? You said that later it was not so happy.
Carthinal: His face fell: It was the War of Succession. Do you know about that?

Me: No.
Carthinal: Well. The sister of the elflord had had twin boys. The succession in the elves went to the eldest boy of the sister of the elflord, or nearest other female relative if he had no sister. When the Elflord died, both boys claimed the throne saying that he was the elder. A war broke out between them and my father insisted that he go to fight for the actual elder boy. My mother was upset, and tried to persuade him not to go, but he insisted he do his duty. It was the first time I ever heard them quarrel.

Me: What happened then?
Carthinal: My father was killed. Right at the very end it seems. I was very little and don’t remember much detail. My mother was distraught. She returned to her parents’ house and locked herself in her room. Eventually she killed herself. I was not told this, of course, but I deduced it when I got older.
Here he paused and looked into the distance before once more coming back to the present. I allowed him a few minutes to gather himself.

Me: Did you continue to live with you grandparents?
Carthinal: Yes. They looked after me for the next few years then, but they were old and first my grandmother and then my grandfather died. I was still very young. They had left the house to me, and the money got from selling my parents’ house, and they arranged for my nanny to continue to look after me. She did her best, but she couldn’t replace those I had lost.

Me: I am sorry for your loss, Carthinal.
Carthinal: Thank you. It would seem that in spite of everything I was still in a privileged position. I had money and a home, and people to look after me, but those people cheated me.
He beat his fist onto the table and an angry look clouded his indigo eyes.

Me: Please continue.
Carthinal: Somehow the steward and the lawyers managed to gain my property and money. They then turned me out into the street. I was only a little kid, about ten years old. I didn’t know what to do. I wandered about, slept in doorways and stole to eat. One day a girl came up to me and took me to a person she called the leader of her gang. He would not be happy with me stealing on his patch, she told me, and so I joined the gang.
I am not proud of that time of my life. I fought other gangs, stole and maybe even killed during those fights, I don’t know, but it was do that or die. The gangs were ruthless. I even became the leader eventually, and may have ended up on the hangman’s rope.

Me: What changed it?
Carthinal: It was a travelling magician. I now know that he was only very low level, probably a failed apprentice, but to me he was wonderful. I watched him time and time again and began to copy his words and actions when I was alone. One day an archmage called Mabryl saw me. I’d just managed to bring a little flame on my finger; a feat most unusual for one untrained. Mabryl approached me and I thought he was going to arrest me. He asked me to come to his house. I’m afraid that I swore and spat at him. He approached me several times to no avail, then told me that his door was always open for when I decided to learn magic properly.

Me: How long did that take?
Carthinal: Several months. I approached a number of times but lost my nerve, but when I did, Mabryl welcomed me with open arms.

Me: Why did you eventually take up his offer?
Carthinal: I thought that magic would give me more power in the gangs. Perhaps I could become the overall leader of the thieves, but Mabryl changed that. I was difficult. Wild and undisciplined. I gave him a lot of trouble, but he was patient and persevered and eventually I became what he wanted and, as they say, the rest is history.

The first 2 books of The Wolves of Vimar about Carthinal and his friends can be bought in kindle and print format from http://www.amazon.com or http://www.amazon.co.uk

 

Jovinda and Noni part 3

Here is part 3 of the story of Jovinda and Noni, Carthinal’s parents. Since I missed last week’s post entirely in the end, I am continuing with my normal schedule with the third week of the month.

 

Jovinda went about her chores humming to herself. That afternoon she was going to see Noni again. It had been a week since she had last seen him. It was not always easy for them to arrange their meetings. Noni had his work to do and also they had to keep their meetings secret from their parents.

Salor helped the lovers. She thought it was exciting and romantic. She gave Jovinda alibis whenever the pair were to meet, and if the girls seemed to be meeting more frequently than previously, Jovinda’s parents did not seem to notice.

Noni could not get away as often as he would have liked, but every time he had any time to himself he and Jovinda would meet. Usually they went to the woods out of town. It was quiet there and there were many places they could be totally alone with little fear of discovery. The summer passed and the trees began to put on their autumn colours.

‘What are we going to do when winter is here?’ Jovinda asked one day. ‘It’ll be cold and wet. We won’t be able to sit on the ground then.’

Noni looked at her and stroked her auburn hair. ‘Something will turn up, darling,’ he said. ‘We’re meant to be together. I feel it deep inside my soul. Nothing will part us, not even winter.’

He was right, of course. As the last leaves fell from the trees and the summer warmth left the land, Jovinda came to a terrible realisation. She had missed her monthly bleeding. It was now time for the next one but still nothing happened. She had been in such ecstasy that she had not thought about anything other than Noni. Now she realised she was pregnant.

How could she tell her parents? What would they do? Would they disown her? How would Noni react? Would he stand by her or would he abandon her? Oh why had she been so foolish. She had not thought about possible consequences when they had made love in their glade in the wood. Now she was suffering the results of that lack of forethought.

‘I’m going to see Salor,’ she told her mother after she had finished her chores. She left the house and hurried to her friend’s home. Salor had become engaged to a young man during the months that had passed and was due to be married in the spring. He was the son of a friend of theirs and they were delighted with the engagement. They had been going to suggest the pair get married when the young people themselves said they wanted to get married.

It was so different from Jovinda and Noli’s experience that Jovinda was a little jealous. She would not change Noli in any way, though, even for approval by her parents.

She arrived at Salor’s house and was admitted. Salor took her to her room where she burst into tears.

‘Jovinda, what’s wrong? It’s not a problem with Noli, is it?’

Jovinda dried her eyes and sighed.

‘Well, it is and it isn’t. Oh, Salor, I’m in so much trouble. I’ve missed two monthly bleedings.’

Salor put her hand to her mouth.’That means…’

‘Yes. I’m pregnant.’

Salor looked at her friend with eyes opened wide. ‘I didn’t think you’d be so foolish, Jo,’ she said. ‘How did you not think this might happen?’

Jovinda’s eyes began to leak tears again as she tried to push them back. ‘I didn’t think. Oh, Salor, it seemed so right. We love one another and soon kisses weren’t enough to show our love. What am I to do?’

‘Does he know?’

Jovinda shook her head. ‘I’ve not seen him since I realised.’

‘Will he marry you? Or do you want to go to a witch woman and get rid of it?’

‘I don’t know,’ wailed Jovinda, crying again.

Eventually the girls decided that Jovinda must tell Noli. He was as much to blame as Jovinda for the predicament she was in. Salor privately hoped that Noli was not one of those men who ran away from responsibility. She had seen young women left with an unwanted baby when the father decided he did not want a wife and child. He had his fun then ran. The girl concerned never regained her reputation. It was different if the man married the girl. Oh, there was scandal at first, but later people either forgot the child was born rather early or deliberately forgot when the wedding had been.

Salor helped Jovinda get a message to Noli and the pair met at their usual place the next day.

It was cold. The fallen leaves made a multicoloured carpet on the ground in the glade where Noli waited. He pulled his cloak round him as he wondered what Jovinda wanted to see him about so urgently. He heard a crackle in the leaves and turned to see Jovinda crossing the glade. He opened his arms and she ran into them. They kissed passionately before saying a word.

He looked into his lover’s eyes and saw they were red. She had been crying. Had her parents found out about them? He held her close and waited for her to speak.

‘Noli,’ she said through her tears, ‘I’m pregnant. I am thinking of going to a witch woman to get rid of it though.’

For the first time since they met, Noli became angry.

‘You will not kill this child,’ he said, and he stalked to the opposite side of the glade.

‘It is a new life beginning. Who knows what great deeds it could do, or how important its decendants could be. We elves will never destroy a life, even an unborn one.’

‘But, Noli, what are we to do?’

He came back to her side and put his arms round her again. ‘We’ll get married, sweetheart. It’s what I would like and I hope you would like it too.’

‘Of course I would like that. We can have this baby and then lots more.’

Noli laughed. ‘I hope so. Elves aren’t very fertile as a rule. I suppose it’s because we live so long. If we had too many children we’d soon overrun the world. But an elf and a human…who knows?’

They parted after discussing whether Noli should go with Jovinda when she told her parents. He wanted to be there to support her, but she said she thought it would be better if she told them alone.

Jovinda walked slowly back home having resolved to tell her parents the very next day.

How will Jovinda’s parents react to her news? The next installment will be on the third Tuesday of April.

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CHECK YOUR FACTS! A Warning for Authors

A warning for all authors.

Melissa A. Graham

I don’t normally do this sort of thing, but hopeful (and sometimes desperate) authors should be warned when there is someone out there that will try to take advantage of them or promise them things that they don’t deliver. There are enough scams and half-assers out there, but when someone can stop someone else from making a big mistake, this is exactly what should be done.

I want to talk to you about seriousreading.com and the bullshit I just dealt with. Maybe, once you see for yourselves what it is they *actually* deliver, you can avoid making the DUMB mistake I did.

On Feburary 19, I came across a suggested post on FB. I wish I had taken a screenshot of it so I could relay their pitch word-for-word, but you will just have to go onto their FB and read for yourself because they have blocked me. Basically, it…

View original post 1,307 more words