Willow – the fantasy movie, Val Kilmer

MV5BMTQxNjkzODUyMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjM3OTEwMjE@._V1_UY100_CR39,0,100,100_AL_

Do you remember the movie ‘Willow’, from Ron Howard and George Lucas? It stars Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley, a fantasy story about dwarves and swordfights.

I first watched it with my children years ago and now when some youngster comes to the house, we sometimes trot it out. Kids love it, partly because they seem to identify with the dwarves who win the day in the end against the army of the wicked witch. There is lots of magic and action.

I love it. It’s cute, gutsy, clever and vastly entertaining. What movie do you like to watch now and then?

Cruise to Spain via Portugal

Our cruise to Spain was exactly what we wanted — kind of like the slow boat to China. We left Fort Lauderdale, Florida on a Sunday and spent twelve days at sea. It was eight days from departure for our first stop – the Portuguese island of Madeira. By then we had begun to unwind and felt like we were finally on vacation.

P1040170The ancient barricade wall at Funchal

P1040159Painted on the barricade

The capital of Madeira is Funchal and that is where our ship docked. What a beautiful place. The trip up to the peak of the mountain in a taxi allowed us to stop at some spectacular gardens.

P1040213
Then we rode the cable-car back down to the city. It was hair-raising but worth it for the fabulous views. Old buildings, beautiful churches, tiny gardens clinging to minute spaces on the steep hillside. Definitely a must see.

P1040219A resident of the gardens

Save

Travel to Florida

We had a fabulous trip, starting out from Vancouver airport. We had a stop in Montreal, then straight down to Fort Lauderdale. We were lucky enough to stay in Florida for five days. It was lovely, we visited friends in Fort Myers on the western side of the state, who live in a gated community — quite different from our sprawling landscape. Then we travelled over to Cayo Costa which is west of Fort Myers to visit some Canadian friends who spend the winter down there on their boat — again very different from our ability to take up as much room as we need. It was beautiful, we saw manatees, a gorgeous lagoon and were fed a delicious lunch.

P1040133The ferry taking us to Cayo Costa

P1040145The bay of Cayo Costa

When we sadly left our friends to return to Fort Lauderdale, we were ready to board our cruise ship for a trip across the Atlantic. Never imagined we would ever do this, but it was fascinating. More to come. 🙂

The Last War – a new map

Map

I’ve just received a new map for my Last War series of fantasy fiction. My daughter drew it for me and between us we located the details of where Khandarken lies along the Catastrophic Ocean. Adar Silva is to the south, also along the ocean and a strong ally for Khandarken. To the north is Legitamia, a country ruled by its own dictator, Barrington the Benevolent. Relations are frosty, especially after the conference in the capital, Gilsigg, resulted in the death of Khandarken’s Leader in Book Three. This is on top of the invasion across the border in Book Two.

To the west is Jiran, a loose affiliation of tribal areas dominated by the Penrhy and Shafoneur families. No one is on great terms with Jiran.

Truth and Treachery, The Last War: Book Three is now out in print, with ebook soon to follow. Come with me on this exciting ride into a sci fi world where nothing is as it seems!

Visit Amazon to have a look –  http://tinyurl.com/hw748dz

Ways to Sabotage Your Writing Career

There are lots of ways to do it, of course. We all have our favourite. But the lists out there are interesting to study.

One of the best ways is to write in a vacuum. I was part of a writer’s group that took a table at a market fair in downtown Victoria last summer to sell our books. I swear that every second person who stopped at our booth was a writer who was partway through their first book. Would I look at it and perhaps give an edit? Could I sell their book at our booth once it was finished? How did you get a book up for sale on Amazon?

Most of these people were writing in a vacuum and had been for years. They had failed to find themselves a support group for critiques, a party of authors who shared their experiences and information with each other. It can be difficult to do. Showing someone else your work is high tension stuff– what if they hate it? What if they tell you it’s great when it isn’t? Or the other way around – tell you it isn’t great when it really is?

But in reality, it’s the best step you can take as a budding author. Get out there and show someone else your work. Ask for honest feedback, and give the same in return. Your writing will only get better with the exposure.

Have a look at – Don’t Derail Your Writing Career Before It Starts, blog by Anne R Allen at annerallen.com