After much procrastinating in the form of being a couch potatoe in front our new big telly I finally got some creative stuff done. No wonder I haven't written a post in nearly more than a week!
1) Finally managed to cunningly record myself narrating extracts from my Valkyrian Venture series and to upload them to YouTube (please see right side of the screen to see the latest on my channel via link or Channel display box further down). Apologies for my slight murmerings and mistakes at the end when I'm not reading from a script.
2) Finally finished editing and re-writing my shorter and alternative version to The Old Ways Never Die with its alternative title I Am No Angel. Posted it off to the Huddersfield Literature Festival today. If you're planning on entring you've got till Tuesday at the latest to post it off as the deadline is Wednesday 10th. Visit http://www.litfest.org.uk/ for more details on events and the competition.
3) Started preparing my Battle Raven Shirt and Battle Raven handbag design for myself and a friend to proudly wear at the Jorvik Viking Festival 2010 that begins in a weeks time! Wahooo! Please do visit http://www.jorvik-viking-centre.com/ for more details on all the festival week has to offer. Come along and celebrate our rich heritage together. Vidoes and photos from the events will be uploaded as soon as I get back from it over half term.
4) Discovered Blogger actually has a Pages option in settings! They didn't half keep that quiet! It was one of the reasons why I preferred Wordpress to here as before I had to have everything squashed into one long page but now I can proudly show off various features of my creativity and creative life. Do have a browse around, page tabs are at the top of the blog.
5)Now this is the biggest news in my life at the moment in that I have finally started learning how to drive again! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! It's soooo scary and soooo exciting all at once! I had started to learn to drive before Uni three years ago but life got too hectic so I quit until my life was more stable but now I'm earning and have weekends free from study I've gotten lessons from a driving instructor from the flats next door. Very handy I know. My adrenalin was pumping endlessly during my first lesson last weekend. Only stalled the engine once but I'm finding it soo hard to keep a nice smooth balance between the clutch, the gear stick and the accelorator plus trying not to run into anyone or anything. As I told the guy called Ian, it really is like juggling with your hands and your feet and your eyes in that one small slip and everything staggers to a halt. Ah well - fingers crossed I'm not shaking too much in my second lesson tomorrow.
Well as a special treat to any readers who keep up to date on my crazy and creative life - here is my final edition of the alternative version to The Old Ways Never Die. I've already sent in for the competition so if you reckon it's rubbish - tough luck. I'm happy with it, after seven drafts I had to be seeming the deadline was next week. But regardless of that fact I hope you enjoy this different view into the Valkyries way of life and earning a living in this modern secular world.
I Am No Angel
“Isn’t it a beautiful day?” Kate asked finally joining me at Starbucks for our lunch break.
“It’s pleasant. Have you started filling your quota yet?”
“Yes, half way through already, how about you?”
I nodded, draining the last of my coffee and took out my list of fifty names. “I have a few to visit at the hospital and an old people’s home.”
“Ugh old people. We weren’t created to watch their inglorious death. We need warriors. Men of honour, courage and strength. Men who died by the sword. Not killed by disease, old age and accidents.”
“If we didn’t make exceptions you know our numbers would dwindle into non-existence. There are too many faiths and so few believers.”
“Oh I do miss the old days and our old ways.” She sighed. “Well I have a child to visit in the hospital so why don’t we go together?”
“Fine by me.” We left our seats in the shade and made our way through the throbbing streets of York.
Once at the hospital car park, we casually walked to a quiet corner, away from curious eyes, where we prepared and equipped ourselves for the job.
“Mine is on the second floor where is yours?” Kate asked, checking her own quota.
“Fourth floor. Wait for me here when you are done.”
With a final nod to each other we strode purposefully back round the corner across the car park and into the building. No one gave us a glance and no one got in our way.
I found the man I sought in a room at the end of the ward. He lay still in his bed, his drips and monitor leads hung loose on the floor. The woman who sat beside him was milk white with red eyes from tears.
“Mr Garret?” I said softly, sitting at the end of his bed, watching his eyes flutter open.
“Huh? Yes?” He became wary once he noticed me. “Who are you? What do you want?”
“There’s no easy way of saying this Mr Garret, but you have just died.” It was inevitable that he wouldn’t believe me. After all, a woman in a white feathered cloak against a skirt and blouse and holding a tall spear, promote the signs of a deluded mind.
“Preposterous! I’m sat here talking to you aren’t I? Tell her Laura, you can see I’m quite alive can’t you?” He turned to the pale faced woman sat beside him. She didn’t blink. She didn’t say a word.
“I’m afraid you are, Mr Garret. But if you are alive, give your daughter a hug. Prove me wrong.”
He shot me an angry glare and got out of his bed, unaware yet that his pain had vanished and leaned in towards his daughter. He passed straight through her, landing on all fours on the floor. Panic in his eyes, his breath quickening with fear, disbelief freezing his heart. I stepped towards him and offered him my hand.
“It’s ok, you can touch me. You can even hit me if it makes you feel any better.”
“But how? Why? I...I...was sleeping...only sleeping...I felt so tired...I...”
“I know it’s hard to accept. I went through the same thing. Now can I talk to you about what happens next?”
“Next?” The puzzlement and possible curiosity seemed to calm him down a bit as I walked him slowly towards the window.
“Yes, the small matter of life after death.”
“Oh, I never really believed in that kind of thing.”
“Yes, I know that David. Now, as you are not a follower of any faith for that matter, my Boss has decided to lay claim on your soul.”
“Yes, the deity I work for.”
“Are you an Angel?”
I laughed. “My job is similar to that of Angels but I am not one of them. My Boss is of an older faith. He has many names but you may refer to him as Odin. His followers once ruled this place when it was known as Jorvik, but you know of them as Vikings. Before you begin your afterlife there is a test you must do first.”
“Am I being judged?”
“In a way, it tests the person you have become, not the way you lived.” I gave a comforting smile, opening up a window that looked out across a still and silent city. I pointed my spear downwards and engraved runes onto the floor with its silver tip. A rainbow bridge appeared linking our window to the ground below.
“What do I have to do?” he asked, staring suspiciously at my runes and the rainbow.
“You must simply walk along this bridge. If you are worthy you will reach the other end and live happily in Asgard, if not, well....”
He knew what my silence meant. “Will it hold me?” he asked, shaking as I urged him forward.
“It’s perfectly safe. Trust me, that’s it... steady ...see its fine.” Watching him stand for the first time on his own upon the colours. “Now face forward and walk, reach the end and all will be well. I hope to see you at the other side.”
He was doing well at first, five steps in and it seemed he might make it, but then the true test of his soul began. Visions of those he had wronged in life appeared before him asking for answers, explanations and apologies. All asking for one thing before he departed. David was too set on self preservation to care about appeasing these spirits. He waved them away, pushed past their pleading faces and ignored their words. When he finally got through them the bridge opened up and he fell into the abyss, screaming.
I scratched out my runes with my spear and concealed my spiritual cloak and spear with more magic. I brought out my quota, noting at least twenty souls still to visit.
I sighed. “A Valkyrie’s work is never done.”