books, Uncategorized

Unofficial Detective merchandise!

My publisher surprised me today by announcing that they’ve designed merchandise for Unofficial Detective, the first book in my Half-Wizard Thordric trilogy. I’m rather chuffed with how they look, and just how many options there are (mugs, t-shirts, cushions, posters).

There are two different designs, one featuring the book cover, and one with just the main image:

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If you would like to order one, you can get a 10% discount by using the code NCHAPTER. You can find them here and here.

As always, thanks for your continued support!

Poetry

Inner Art

Choose your canvas carefully,

not too large it might swamp you,

not too small so your vision spills from the sides.

Measure it, carefully, then study its texture.

Find all the bumps, irregularities

and note them down

so you can take extra care. You may

even wish to make them a feature,

and if not, then certainly don’t let them hinder

your self-worth.

Next, you must sketch out your idea,

adding to it once you’ve gotten used to each part.

Once it’s all clear to you,

you can add colour, add certainty.

Gently layer it on.

When the piece is finished, step back

and know that everyone will view it differently,

with no opinion weighing more than another.

Be proud of it, and let it show.

 

Poetry

The Struggle of Acceptance

His dreams were chaos, the ground maggots

eating one another snap after snap after snap.

A vacuum pulled them in, and he with them,

squashing their soft, wriggling bodies against his skin

until they were pressed together into one.

Discord plucked on a silver harp, played

by her, who he’d never know again.

There was no telling what he was now,

crawling, belly low, through the neatly trimmed grass

attempting to exit the maze of cropped box.

Everywhere were deadlines, corpses of the past

left to rot against them. And he drinks from

the sullied stream where they lie.

Poetry

Sinew

The tin plate is tacked over my mouth before I can even get the words out.

This body is mine, I breathed into it,

I gave it nutrition, trained it, nurtured it

until it grew enough to have my mind accept it.

Now I’m being told it’s only fit to be measured by eyes and instruments

that clinically access its worth.

To me it is lifeblood,

to them it is meat.

Poetry

Body Chant

They’re fleshy lumps,

rounded, wobbly,

muscle showing underneath.

I’m not a doll on a stand

waiting to be turned

and scrutinized from every angle.

I have stretchmarks

mapping out every part of my life,

scars and pockmarks,

bruises, cuts, scrapes,

a papercut from last Thursday.

It carries me well,

I don’t move like a puppet

or a stiff-knee Barbie

(I always preferred rock-climbing Cindy, anyway).

I can twist, turn,

leap, smack that

sharp tongue of yours

so hard you swallow it,

read until my mind is numb.

And live.

Yes, I can certainly do that.

 

 

Poetry

Picture perfect

A lot of ground can be covered in a moment,

ink staining the cells with vibrant pigment;

imprints of days that will never fade

and smiles that will always bring joy to my heart.

You’ve watched me unfold and wash away

the paint that has sunk deep into my pores.

I’m stepping up into who I am,

not hiding away any longer.

There are parts that are blunt, insensitive and uninvolved.

There are parts that are curious, creative and full of love.

Intrigue, sass, laughter, empathy.

Or a void.

You take it all, see it all,

hold it all

because you’re holding me.

At the same time, I’m holding you,

so no matter how we step across the board,

we’re perfectly balanced,

perfectly in place to checkmate

everything that the future might throw at us.

Together. In time.

A dance we take until

the day we vanish.

Until the day we give our final kiss,

if anything about us

and the love that grips us

can even be final.

 

Poetry

Make a Wish

Do you think if I hit the bell,

it’ll open up a portal to you?

That’s what I’d wish for, in this wishing well

that occupies one space

but is in two places at once.

 

I wonder, will you hear the bell ring?

I think you would, and you’d know it was me

because who else

would use up every spare penny in their purse

to try,

on the off chance that you’d be passing by

on your side

and discover its peal?

 

You might not see me,

but you’ll still¬†see¬† me.

My image, try after try,

my pout every time I fail,

my delight when it finally hits.

 

It may not open an actual portal,

but maybe, for now,

this is enough.

Enough for us both to cling to,

until our paths shift indefinitely

onto the same track.

Poetry

Spilt milk

I’ve seen many artists make portraits from coffee foam.

Shaping, contouring, scraping.

Letting the natural colour show underneath all that froth.

But what happens if the cup is spilt

and the liquid runs down the tablecloth

in a race to escape its confines?

Will it travel separately, several long tracks dispersing from everything they were before

yet leaving their mark on the cotton,

or will it pool together again to build up the image once more,

refined, certain, bold

to stand out

against the plain colour of its background?

Poetry

Things that stay

How do we rate our encounters?

What if we were given a stamp for each positive one,

a scar for each negative,

a freckle for those of no consequence?

 

Could we read each other’s lives that way?

Noting all the joy,

regarding all the hardships.

 

Would people want to be displayed like that?

Raw.

Open for discussion, ridicule,

pity, doubt

 

also

 

compassion,

love, trust

and empathy.

 

In a world where everyone wants to hide

while simultaneously

glued to social media

 

sometimes

 

noticing details of another

can build the strongest bonds.