That blog thing…or, what I’ve been upto (part two)
Welcome back. Did you miss me? You know I missed you.
Anyways, you might remember the blog post a couple of days ago where, amongst other things, I spoke about finding motivation in writing again, revisiting an old short story, and the sheer love I have for the Name of the Wind now that I have finally finished it (the taking six months to do it is a reflection on me, not the book itself.) Seriously, if you haven’t given it a read yet, do so. Now. I’ll wait and put out a third blog post while we wait.
Ok, I’d better not do that. Maybe I will just get on with it quickly so you can go visit your local bookstore a bit quicker. This second half, or blog post part II: Blood and Gold, is all about updating you on the progress of my various Westeros-based projects.
I will take one slight detour (Just one, I swear!). The day is yet to dawn where my wife can’t think up some excellent present to buy me, despite my begging her not to. Amongst the many superb choices of the past holidays were two ASOIAF gifts. Firstly was the Night’s Watch mug with the entire Night’s Watch vow inscribed on the side. I’ve still not used that yet, it surely calls for the grandest of occasions. Next, and far more amazingly, was this illustration by the artist Jeff Murray. It is, of course, the entirety of Westeros and much of Essos drawn out in exquisitely brilliant detail. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Not only are the landscapes and countryside beautiful but you can also make out some extra little details, like an exploding Sept of Baelor, or Meereen being burnt down by dragons. I actually saw it pop up a few times on the Reddit subs over the x-mas period, all from the same artist, all from the city of Bath. I absolutely encourage you to check out Jeff’s other work such a Middle-Earth or Hogwarts on his site here.
But anyway, enough talk of gifts and trips; it’s back to work time. As much as I might like to think anyone comes here to learn about my own fiction writing, there is no denying that if there is anybody reading this (wave your hands in the back row!!), you probably found out about me through my various ramblings on A Song of Ice and Fire.
Not that I’m complaining. I love the Westeros fandom and just about everyone in it, so the thought of even a single person recognising my name from Westerosi writings is enough to flood blood to my cheeks.
It is a very exciting time for ASOIAF/GOT fans. Nearly all of us have one eye glued to the TV screen while the other looks out the window to check if the Winds have picked up. Needless to say, our fandom knows when it’s crunch time, and they are pouring out content and content and more content. Please allow me to tell you how I humbly hope to join in.
Firstly, as I mentioned in the other blog post, I have not one but two episodes of the Isle of Faces podcast just ready to be edited and released. I would like to apologise, formally, to every listener of my first episode with the guys from Davos’ Fingers (or even the Rememberance Day bonus episode), for not following up with episode 2 sooner. It isn’t really excusable on my part. After all, the first episode was released on November 6th. That’s not far off three months.
Pretty shameful, if I’m honest.
You can check back to part 1 if you want to see some hasty excuses about why this has happened. I won’t repeat them here. The outpouring of support and welcome and sharing on social media after episode 1 absolutely toppled me, so I am truly, truly sorry if I have wasted that enthusiasm with any of you. Our fandom, which was my intention to celebrate and show off, deserve better.
Specifically, the two women who gave up their time to record with me, deserve better.
Enough of my self-pity. Let us instead focus on these two episodes that I am now working heavily on again.
Firstly, Episode 2 with the wonderful Jinx Lierre. Jinx not only speaks to me about how she came to know and love the series, but makes a near-uncountable number of superb points and different angles of thinking to certain plot points. She even brought her own in-text evidence. All this plus a beautifully intense description of her pet dragon! Jinx brings so much into this episode (and is such a wonderful speaker that I think you will be able to tell there are times when I forget I am supposed to be talking back instead of just sitting and listening) that its impossible for me to list it all here, so please come and give it a go once I’ve got my ass in gear.
Following Jinx will be episode 3, with the almost-moronically talented Vanessa Cole. Vanessa tells me exactly what part of her soul she had to sell in order to be able to draw so wonderfully, then treads all over that as she reveals she’s also brilliant at everything else too. If that doesn’t interest you, I absolutely recommend coming to listen to perhaps the most unique introduction to the ASOIAF fandom I’ve ever head.
Rest assured I will be hard at work this week getting these two episodes ready, but because I don’t learn my own lessons I also have the recording of episode 4 scheduled this weekend. I’ll be revealing the guests on Twitter at a later point, for now I will just say that yes, that is guests, as in plural, and I am very, very excited!
As I was last week when our lord and ruler Aziz of History of Westeros asked me to get involved with one of their episodes. It had been way too long since I’d last helped out so I was eager to get to it.
The episode in question was their Patreon bonus episode on Gogossus. (If you have no idea what Gogossus is, don't worry you are not alone) ((if you are not yet a Patreon of History of Westeros you might not be alone, but you should be)).
This time around I wasn't researching or writing, Aziz ans Ashaya had already done all the hard work. I was just called in to give it the once over and make sure it all flowed. I was able to give a nudge and a note here and there, and hopefully helped the guys out a bit. In many ways I’m like Hawkeye is to the Avengers.
Definitely check the episode out. I've had a listen to the finished product and it's as brilliant as you'd expect from History of Westeros. I'm willing to bet not many of us are all that caught up on our Sothoryos history so it's definitely refreshing to check out a part of the world that hasn't really been explored yet.
Now, you may have heard, Season 8 is coming on the horizon. Yes, I do want an outpouring of sympathy for me as I battle hard against have to watch any kind of clip or trailer or teaser. But also I wanted to let you know I will absolutely be covering Season 8 in the same way I have the past few years.
I dont know if I will be doing this over at Tower of the Hand as I usually do. Those guys havent reachdd out to me yet but if I hear the horn I will certainly answer its call. And if not thats fine, they have plenty of good stuff going on over there and I will be putting out similar essays kn this here site instead.
I happened to catch some late night reruns of Season 1 this week, a let me tell you this: im already getting emotional. This is the end of far more than an era. Its the culmination of the greatest storytelling television has ever had. Its a bigger event than any of us have ever seen before. So hell yeah, im going balls to the wall for this season, be ready to get really sick of me.
Of course, nothing gets done by jabbering on about it, so I will leave you with one final tidbit. For some time now I have been referring, on and off, to a rather large piece of writing I’ve been working on. I tend to call it LARGE ASOIAF PROJECT and it has been my second largest undertaking (after my own novel) ever. I have been chipping away at it for nearly two years.
Well some day soon, very soon, the name LARGE ASOIAF PROJECT will no longer suffice. It will instead receive its own name. Its true name. And we all know how important that is.
I have only ever spoken about the project to one other person in the fandom, and she's done a super job of keeping my secret for me, but no longer. Maybe this week, maybe when Episode 4 comes, but I will soon be telling you exactly what LARGE ASOIAF PROJECT is, and while that might be small potatoes to you, it's the whole farm to me.
And I can't wait
See you soon, pals!