alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

I’m afraid I had a bit of an evil chuckle over this one. I scared myself writing some of the scenes, so I’m glad to know it was all worthwhile :)

http://meanfatoldbat.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/the-wages-of-sin-by-alex-beecroft-mm.html

It took me three tries to read it. Not because it’s poorly written. Oh, no, it’s just as beautiful, poetic, and immediately engrossing as all her other works have been. I couldn’t go on because my teeth were chattering and the shadows in the corner of the bedroom were moving… it’s very atmospheric. Very. Atmospheric. The book.

Thank you! And I’m sorry!

On the self publishing side, I’ve put my two Loki stories, with a new, longer one, up on Smashwords. So if anyone likes my all-mythology-all-the-time cheerfully amoral trickster version, rather than Marvel’s clearly-up-to-no-good psycho version, you can find that here:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/291064

I like the freedom with self-publishing to write stuff that doesn’t comfortably fit into genre lines. I don’t think I’m going to concentrate on it, but it’s nice to have it there as another string to my bow.

(Violin bow, I presume, because I can’t think why you would want more than one archery bowstring at once, unless you had more than one bow to go with them.)


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

I went to see The Avengers on Saturday. Being a massive fan of the Iron Man, Thor and Captain America movies, and a long-term reader of The Mighty Thor comics (though I’ve switched allegiance now that Loki has his own series) I had EPIC FEELS about this one. I’d been looking forward to it at fever pitch for months.

Marvel Avengers Assemble - Loki

Which makes me rather sad to report that I don’t know what I think, now that I’ve seen it. I’m having a moment of cognitive dissonance here, because I enjoyed it thoroughly for about 90% of the way, and then in the last 10% I found myself getting more and more disenchanted until by the very end I came out feeling profoundly disappointed. I simultaneously thought it was awesome, and hated it.

I’ve spent all day today trying to figure out why.

Recap of the plot and spoilers everywhere below:


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Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

Having tucked The Pilgrims’ Tale away in the airing cupboard, under a damp tea-towel to prove, I’m in between big novel projects at the moment. This is a dangerous position to be in. It means I may suddenly be seized by a desire to write yet another story about Loki, and none of us wants that.

This was the result of a prompt I saw somewhere I can no longer remember, which called for a story uniting these three elements: A campfire, a scream, and a lie that wouldn’t stop growing. Come on, how could I not write a story about Loki and a giant chicken after a prompt like that? I had so much fun, I’m not even ashamed.

 


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Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

To get the writing started again after the enforced break of Christmas, I found myself signing up at the PicFor1000 community on Livejournal. The idea of which is that they give you a picture, and you write a story of 1000 words inspired by that picture.

I was fortunate enough to get this http://www.flickr.com/photos/altamiranopics/4559939756/sizes/m/in/photostream/

which made me laugh. And then it made me wonder why I always laugh at colourfully presented shameless selfishness, when really it’s not funny at all. And that, by degrees of working its way through the obsession I’ve been entertaining for the last six months, became this story, which I thought I would share. Because what’s the point of writing a story at all, if no one gets to read it?

Bad Attitude

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Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

In which it turns out that Freyja added a few bonus warning dreams of her own to the package.  Not that it helped.

For earlier parts check the Loki or Wildfire tags.

Chapter Four.

Priests and Peaceweavers.

Raegn cursed. Aethelbald’s sword had nicked her arm and the slow blood trickled down to her fingertips. She was aware of it’s progress, as irritating as a march of ants. She cursed at herself, for acting like a wife, like a little placid woman who had never handled a sword. Too much thinking, that was the problem. Aethelbald sheathed his sword and said;

"I’m sorry. Is it bad? "

She knocked him down with the flat of her sword against his face. He was lucky he didn’t get it in the eye.

"You don’t apologise for my fault." she said. "If I was of the mettle to be badly hurt by that little scratch I would be using this sword to beat my weaving."

She walked away. Aethelbald rubbed his face, and there was a rueful look on it. Friends laughed at him sitting there in the dust, and his wife walked by and said "You look very well there, husband. You’ve never been more than a fool." Raegn sheathed her sword. She had called it Lufgifu, the love-gift. The men who had tried to get her for wife in the past had found it a sharp bedfellow…

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

(Previous parts available under the ‘Wildfire’ tag.)  I thought I’d wait until LJ was back before carrying on posting this, but – fingers crossed – it seems to be OK this morning.

Moral of the story so far – when a suspicious stranger comes to the door immediately after your aged grandad tells you a story about suspicious strangers coming to the door and taking over his life, take a hint, for goodness sake!  Don’t treat them like your new best friend.  (This moral courtesy of the “Oh, Alfred, you’re far too trusting,” theme.)

~*~

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

In which Freyja is as good as her word.

Chapter Three.

Dreams out of Season .

Alfred looked up, staring out into the darkening air with a vacant stare. Sceldwulf was in his thoughts. The old man had told him once, when he was a small boy and sat rocking in his father’s shield, fancying himself a hero in a war-bound long-ship, that there was more to life than fighting. This was what he had said;

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

By gentle persuasion, a bit of misdirection (and quite a lot of blackmail) Loki has persuaded Freyja to dismiss her loyal elvish maidservant, and agree to do a spot of matchmaking on Midgard:

~

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

Chapter Two.

The sun came up on Sessrumnir, and when the servants had thrown open the glistening doors it glanced through all the rooms and glittered in Freyja’s mirror. She sat before her glass admiring her beautiful face, rouging her lips with a paste of blood and honey. The yellow light shocked glints of red and gold from her auburn hair, and stroked a gentle hand along the twisted amber and gold of the Brisingamen like a lover departing in the morning.

An elvish maidservant came hurrying in silently bearing scented water in a golden dish. The steam rose like a grey blossom as she walked between the silvered pillars and filled the air with the fragrance of forest flowers. Her dark green oblate eyes were wide with anticipation,her face unreadable. As Freyja washed her red-stained fingers she said;

"My Lady, Loki is at the door."

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

Comprising the rest of Chapter One

Previously – Sceldwulf, having lived his three score years and ten, decided to stir up trouble with a story of the old gods, and then commit suicide.  Now that everyone is feeling properly on edge, there comes a knocking at the door…

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

What to do when stuck at home with two ill children – try and catch up on all the comic reading you missed for the last 20 years.  Also brush up on your mythology.

I have been consistently hating on (comic and movie) Loki’s horned helmet for decades, but now, thanks to the evidence of the Loki Stone from Kirby Steven church in Cumbria UK, it’s become clear to me that the ram’s horns are as authentic as you can get.  The Snaptun stone in Denmark, where you can tell it’s him by the scarred lips, also has cute little horns.  So, since horns appear to be obligatory, I shall resign myself to them on the grounds of "love me, love my silly hat." 

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

1st part available here: http://alexbeecroft.com/2011/05/since-there-is-no-lokaday/ in which the elderly Sceldwulf is telling his disapproving kinsfolk about how he once met two gods, when they were being hunted out of England by the new faith.

Chapter 1, Part Two – in which Sceldwulf fulfils an old oath.

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

I will have to post this on a Thursday.  Slightly embarrassing though it is, here is an excerpt of the first ever novel I actually finished.  I hit on the cunning plan of telling lots of short stories – because I knew I could finish a short story – and then linking them together to create one larger tale.  It helped that I set this in the oral culture of early Anglo-Saxon England, where it would (I thought) be quite in character for people to stop whatever they were doing at intervals in order to tell each other illustrative stories.

Nowadays I suspect this is not a great way of maintaining narrative flow, but hey, I was 18 and had never written a novel or read a ‘how to write’ book.  Possibly it shows.

Wildfire.

Chapter One.

The Tale and the Teller

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

The first ever novel I wrote and finished (as opposed to abandoning 5 chapters in) was a historical fantasy that featured Loki interfering with the lives of people in two Anglo-Saxon villages, while simultaneously re-telling some of his adventures from the Norse myths.  It was called “Wildfire (in his own words)” and seeing the film has inspired me to dig it out again and see if anything can be done with it.  I’m thinking that if it’s not too awful, it might be fun as a free serial or something.

Anyway, I’m a big Loki fan, though I’ve forgotten a great deal since the days when I knew a lot about him.  (I do know enough to snort and go “he’s Odin’s blood-brother, not his adopted son!”  But actually that leaves him in a very similar place of not quite belonging, so I don’t mind the change.)

I also have a large box in the attic crammed with The Mighty Thor comics, also left over from 20-odd years ago, when a new issue was the highlight of my week.  So there was never any doubt about whether I would go and see the film.  I went as soon as it opened, and saw it in 3D.  Reactions below:

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