Andrew Girle's Blog

Crime and Speculative Fiction Blooking

Posts Tagged ‘blook’

Still writing!

Posted by Andrew Girle on January 6, 2013

My apologies – I have not posted on here since my dismal failure at Not-No-Wri-Mo.
I was stuck at the car dealership on Wednesday, waiting for the diagnosis of a ‘funny squeak’ in my 6 month old car, so I used the five hours to stamp out 1200 words in the Fireballs’n’45’s storyline.

And came up with an idea for a t-shirt… line drawing of a fedora pulled low over a canine muzzle, with the caption “Pitt, Detective. When it’s time to see a dog about a man.”


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Pseudo NaNoWriMo – looks like I’m Mister Ten Percent

Posted by Andrew Girle on November 29, 2012

Ten percent is great when you’re on commission.

Not so good when you’re shooting for 50,000 words and manage 5000 or so in 30 days.


On the plus side, I doubled the number of words in my current Minim Opus (see what I did there?)

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Site tidy up

Posted by Andrew Girle on October 9, 2011

I have begun a rewrite of No Working Title and so have removed it from view on here. I have also deleted some other pdf material, so if you go to click through and find a dead link, please notify me and I will do my best to sort things out.


Happy writing!

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The Talking Sword – hiatus

Posted by Andrew Girle on August 17, 2011

I have smashed against a brick wall in my development of the talking sword stories. That wall is an inability to avoid preaching morality when I come to the culminating scene of the current storyline; as a result I have put it to one side to pull out and ponder. The story is still there in the back of my head, but (as they say on Writing Excuses) the voices are just not yammering to have their story told.

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The Talking Sword – Sword of Justice, post 14

Posted by Andrew Girle on June 23, 2011

As winter drew to a close a plan began to take shape in Lucca’s head. Firstly, she reasoned, she had to get close to
Auric to seek her revenge. But to do so, she would have to adopt a disguise – no Celt would be granted an audience. But if she disguised herself as a Roman woman she would not be able to carry the sword. It was too bulky to disguise, and worse, if she was captured with it her life would be forfeit, it being an
ancient rule in Roman lands that women were not to bear a soldiers arms.

This left the option of disguising herself as a Roman man, or more precisely youth. Lucca was tall for a Roman born woman, making her about average height for a Roman teenage male. She was about the right age for a foot messenger, one of those in the employ of wealthy merchants whose task was to run from place to place with packets of documents.

While technically they too were not supposed to carry weapons as large as swords, everyone knew the borders were dangerous places and the sight of a
messenger openly bearing a sword was not unusual. Of course, there was also the possibility that the sword could be disguised, but that could come later in the

The other advantage was the loose tunic that messengers wore. Lucca was quite distinctly a young woman, and to make her disguise work she would have to bind her breasts with cloth strips. Even so, she would need the extra concealment of her figure that the tunic would provide.

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The Talking Sword – Sword of Justice, post 12

Posted by Andrew Girle on May 21, 2011

“Battle practise, commence!” The sword spoke
sharply, it was an order not a suggestion.

With that, Lucca felt herself dragged through slashes
and stabs and recovers, her left hand moving an imaginary shield about.

“Alright, I believe you, I believe you!” gasped
Lucca after a minute of furious swordplay with an imaginary opponent. “I
recognise those moves; they are Roman soldier sword practise!”

“Oh? Where have you seen them before?”

“When I was little, before Auric murdered my father,
the guards at the house used to teach me. They thought it was funny, watching a
little girl waving a kitchen knife around because she couldn’t lift a sword.”

“There is nothing funny about swordplay.”

“I don’t laugh about it anymore, not now that I have
been in battle. You did miss something that they showed me.”

“And what would that be?”

Lucca shoved the sword forward at belly height,
twisted it, then took a pace forward and stamped her feet savagely. She let out
a small cry and lurched sideways, hopping on one foot.

“I must say I cannot imagine how hopping on one leg
would be a fearsome fighting skill.” The sword said. If it had been a person,
their top lip would have been curled in a sneer.

“Ow! I stamped on a rock in the dark; I think I
broke my foot!”

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The Talking Sword – Sword of Justice, post 11

Posted by Andrew Girle on May 16, 2011

***back after a couple of weeks delay, here is the next installment***

“I shay, dooth youth mind thtaking me out of thish cloth?” The voice was muffled.

Feet crunching on the dirt made crisp by the evening frost, Lucca didn’t pause as she lifted the wrapped sword. Carefully she took the corner of the cloth in the tips of her fingers and pulled it aside.

“Thank you. Much better. Can’t see a thing with that over me. Rather disconcerting, although I imagine it would be a nice way to get some peace and quiet if I need a nap.”

“So not only can you talk, you also need to sleep?”

“Actually, I don’t know. Only got created a little while ago, remember? Although there are some things I do know. Fighting, for instance.”

“I hoped you would know about fighting. But tell me, how do you fight? Do you need someone to hold you?”

“So it would appear. If there is a hand on my hilt, I can guide it. Like this…”

The cloth dropped to the ground as Lucca, her hand on the grip of the sword, struck a pose.

“First position,” said the sword, and involuntarily Lucca’s left hand formed a fist at waist level to her front, her sword hand also at waist level but with the sword forwards and a little bit up.

“Battle practise, commence!” The sword spoke sharply, it was an order not a suggestion.

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The Talking Sword – Sword of Justice, post 9

Posted by Andrew Girle on April 23, 2011

“Choose your words carefully in this place child,” the druid lowered his voice, “the preparations have been made, the bargains with the gods struck. Already the bindings of the spell begin to settle. This sword is already partly magical, being as it was a gift imbued with the thanks of a kingdom. Your words now will mould the bindings laid upon the sword, shaping both your destinies.”

“For ten years I have lived among your people, druid. I have grown from a frightened child to a shield maiden. I have stood in battle and shed blood, both mine and that of our enemies, to prove my worth. Now, I wish to repay the kindness shown me. Auric has become Governor, and he is no friend of our people.”

The druid arched an eyebrow at Lucca’s change in the use of the term from ‘your people’ to ‘our people’, she was by birth a Roman after all, but he made no comment.

“I would have this,” Lucca went on, “that I may bring Auric to justice.”

“And so it is done,” whispered the druid. “I felt the spell settle into place. It holds you both now, the way a mother holds her baby.”

Lucca glanced at the sword. It seemed no different than it had always been. “What now?” she asked.

“Now? Now you must grow up. Justice is not simple revenge, girl. Justice is about choices, and they can be difficult.”

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The Talking Sword – Sword of Justice post 8

Posted by Andrew Girle on April 18, 2011

Ten years passed quickly. Lucca rapidly transformed from the sheltered daughter of a provincial official, privileged and cultured, to the adopted daughter of a king, a man considered a barbarian in the eyes of Romans yet the wisest amongst the war leaders in the eyes of his fellow clansmen. Francesca never came to claim her, and no news came from the traders that went back and forth of what happened to her. The pain of losing her parents gradually became walled behind a tough exterior, even if Lucca would still cry herself to sleep some nights. Some wounds never heal.

The midwinter eve of her eighteenth year, Lucca found herself in the company of an elderly druid. The sword that had killed her father lay on the table between them, a dozen sputtering tallow candles did their best to provide enough light to see by and a billet of log lay in the hearth giving barely enough heat to fend off the winter chill.

“You are determined that this is what you truly want?” The druid’s voice was oddly high pitched for a man.

“Yes,” replied Lucca firmly. “I want you to enchant the sword to help me bring my father’s murderer to justice.”

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The Talking Sword – Sword of Justice, post 7

Posted by Andrew Girle on April 16, 2011

**a slightly longer post today, mainly because it doesn’t make sense to make it shorter!**

The next night the sword resumed the story.

The next few days were ones that Lucca never wanted to remember, but could not forget. With Quintus she made her was as quickly to the border as she could, travelling on foot so as to not attract attention. Occasionally approaching hoof beats warned them to hide, and they watched with fearful eyes as groups of ragged men rode past on horses they could never afford to buy. Horses they must have stolen. Men whose eyes stared all around, peering into shadows, obviously searching for them. Then there was a frightening crossing of the swift flowing river that formed the border between Rome and the barbarians. There was no bridge, and they had to pay in gold to be ferried across in a small boat that had barely enough room for the two of them and the ferryman, who used no oars but instead heaved on a heavy rope strung between the banks. Every lurch of the boat caused rushing water to slop over the sides and swirl around their feet in chilly puddles.

Eventually, tired and hungry, they came to a small village, a group of half a dozen houses surrounded by a fence just high enough to keep out wolves. Quintus made Lucca hide while he approached with his hands well away from his dagger. A huge red headed man bearing a spear met Quintus at the gate, towering over the stocky Roman soldier. The two exchanged words, too quietly for Lucca to hear, and then she was waved forwards.

The red headed man looked straight at Lucca and asked, “Is this true? You are the daughter of Governor Mikel?” He spoke slowly and carefully in thickly accented Latin.

Through her weary legs Lucca felt a tremble begin. It started in her calf, and spread to her thighs and without passing through her body it jumped to her hands. She opened her mouth to speak, but no sound emerged.

“Well child?” The barbarian narrowed his eyes.

“Don’t expect much,” said Quintus, “you must remember she only saw her father murdered just four days ago, and we have been fleeing ever since. She is scared out of her wits.”

“Hmph. True enough,” replied the barbarian, “see how she trembles like a leaf before the storm.” He turned and shouted back into the village, words Lucca could not understand, and within seconds she was surrounded by a knot of women fussing and worried. None of them spoke Latin, and Lucca knew no Gallic, yet she felt safer than she had at any time in the last few days.

“And once again Dawn, this bed time story is finished for tonight.” Dawn’s grandfather smiled as she yawned and carried her hot chocolate mug over to the sink and filled it with water.

“Why didn’t Dad ever tell me this story? He told me lots of other ones. Lucca is amazing.”

“This is a special story, not just told to anyone.” Her grandfather said.

“But… but… what if someone forgets it?”

The sword replied, “I’ll never forget.”

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