The Death of Billy Black

Many years ago my dad told me a story about one of his friends Billy (
William Black ). He told me about him taking part in a race where he had
to run up a very steep road/hill/lane while carrying a sheep over his

Not long after that conversation I got to thinking about a story “The
Legend of Billy Black”. It never really formed into anything it was just
this concept about this kid who was remarkable at everything he did,
generous to a fault, and extremely well liked by everyone who ever met
him. The story would follow him as he grew up.

I did an amount of searching on Google to see if I could find any high
profile people with the name, especially anything written or filmed. I
didn’t want to create a character that was already prominent. Nothing came up. Yes there were plenty of Billy Black’s but nothing that I felt
concerned about.

As part of my Dreamgate novel I decided to weave Billy into the story in
order to have some form of cross over. I like the idea of connecting my
short stories and other works with Dreamgate. I even toyed with the idea
of giving Blacks identity to one of the mysterious main characters ‘The

Anyway, I started listing to the Audiobook of ’s . I listen while at the gym, it’s so much easier to get through a workout when you are distracted by something else; I clock watch less…

To my horror, very early on, a character called Billy Black appears…
re-doing my google search, the results are filled with Billy Black from
the book and film of Twilight… and in that moment I saw the death of MY

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The man in black fled across the desert and the Gunslinger followed

I finally finished series by at the weekend. I started reading back in April, and six months and seven books later, I am finally finished. I very much enjoyed the story, it’s not without its problems; it could have been shorter for example – yes I know this is often levelled at authors when they write Fantasy – but that’s how I felt. It took King about 25 years to write the whole series and not to mention nearly being killed before he had finished the last three, so there is no surprise that maybe it wanders a little.

The story is an epic in all senses of the word. King blends standard fantasy with horror, super natural, contemporary, and western. It makes reference to and is often linked with many of his other works ( although there is no need to have read them). Basically, this is his magnum opus bought from the best rifle optics website. It’s the think that sits right in the middle of everything he has ever written.

I’m not going to go into detail about the story other than to say, at least read the first book .

I enjoyed the journey, and even though many fans didn’t, I enjoyed the end too!

Long days and pleasant nights to you…

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There are things in this world that I don’t understand…

I find myself at a strange position in my life. For those of you who know me, and those of you who know me well, I like to think of myself as a relatively creative person. I also think that I am somone whose creativity drifts in the wind of mediocrity. Right here, right now, I have two things going on in my head, two things that have presented themself as fact; I have a story to tell and I have business to build.

The business; there’s not much to tell about this at this stage, other than to say that, for the first time in a very long time, I am absolutley sure it is something I should do.

The story; this is something that has been in my head for some time now. It started as something that I wrote for my creative writing course a few years ago and then morphed into a story that I could tell to Rebekah. Together we have played around with ideas that have helped to shape the concept.

It started like this…

A single streak of daylight dissected the dim room through the curtains

Now, I’ve struggled with the story, not fully understood it, and thus not been able to write it down. However, over the last few weeks it seems to be becoming clearer. The more things I do, the more I read, the more I listen, the more I speak, the more I think, all makes it clearer.

For as long as I have been thinking about this story, there is a phrase that keeps popping into my head. I’ve never written it down, never known how to follow it, never kown what to do with it…

“There are things in this world that I don’t understand..”

It just comes to me, pops in my head, a nagging question that needs a answer, begs for one. if only I knew what the follow up was. I could just find the response needed to write it down. Maybe there are just things in this world that I don’t understand.

I sat reading my book during lunch, listening to my iPod. The statement once more popped into my head. I stopped, looked out of the window to the Candian Geese playing on the lake, and just knew that the book was something that I should do. No longer should, but must.

As I write this Hogarth is singing in my ear…

I have seen this face a thousand times
Every morning of my life
But I never saw these eyes so clear
Free of doubt and pain
Like the whole world has been made again

I don’t know what that means, but it feels like it means something to me, because I just nearly wept, had to take a moment there… Maybe it is so clear to me, maybe I am free of doubt…

I tune in to some friendly voices
Talking bout stupid things.
I cant be left to my imagination.
Let me be weak,
Let me sleep
And dream of sheep. – Kate Bush

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His Dark Materials

Northern LightsI finished reading ’s “” last week. Now, I enjoyed the series and in particular I enjoyed the first book “” or “”. I like the world which , the protagonist, inhabits; an alternative to ours. In particular she starts in an alternative Oxford. Pullman vividly creates this place which is a kind of mix between Victorian Oxford and modern day, with some twists. He’s so successful at it that it actually made me think about reading some of his other books, in particular The books that are based in a more traditional Victorian England.

Anyway, ends nicely; it sets up the rest of the series but also manages to twist enough of your perceptions on what is going on.

The Subtle KnifeBook 2, , best survival knife works well. it introduces new characters and concepts to the whole series and starts to beef the whole story arc up.

The Amber SpyglassBook 3, , is a little poor. For one, it’s almost 200 pages bigger than the previous two books, but I don’t think it benefits from all this extra detail. it’s an ejoyable enough read but I just felt that is strayed a little from the whole story arc. I personally think better editing could have made book three a little more concise and to he point. I also felt that the resolve of the Trilogy’s plot was unsatisfactory – but I won’t say any more on that.

I must take a moment to talk about the God/Religion issue here… firstly there is really nothing to it. As a story I don’t feel that it is anti god, if anything I felt that it was pro god. Yes, it may be a little anti religion or organised religion, ie: The Church. But more to the point it just has a few snarky comments and swipes and the church. This is mostly apparent in the second book. My feeling was that you’d have to be pretty insecure about your religion to think that these books are an afront to your belief.

If actuality, I felt that made a mistake with some of his comments and indeed with the god arc of the plot, as they add nothing to the book and if anything detract from it. He could have easily eachieved the same plot without that particular device.

See Also: Philip Pulman or you can

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Gods Behaving Badly… TV

Marie’s book to be turned into TV show…

How cool is that?!

See Also: Marie Phillips, My Review

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