The Piggin' Author has been working hard on the piggery these past few weeks, and with this having been the last day for a spell, I wanted to share what I like most about working with these incredible animals.
First and foremost, each and every one of the pigs I work with have their own character, and it is a wonder to get to learn their individual traits. I love mostly working in the maternity ward, as it were, or better known in the industry as the Farrowings. There I get the chance to see piglets being born, and move them around between sows to ensure their survival, (I essentially play God) and it gives me great satisfaction when I watch them do well with their new mothers, knowing I have saved lives. Added to this, sometimes piglets get sat on by their mother's, it is a sad and sorry part of the job, but there are instances, like just the other day, when I arrive at a sow's hut in time to get her up after the piglet has been laid on a while, and these, after given a few moments will revive themselves. It is always pleasing to see this happen, knowing I've played my role of God well.
One of my personal all time favourite pleasures of this job, no matter where I am placed on the unit, is strawing their pens. It is not so much putting the straw in, but standing back and watching them root around and get excited with their new bedding. They love it, play in it, and love lying under it. (Not merely because it's a cold day).
Generally I can walk around the unit and most sows know, remember, who I am. Whenever I am among them, checking them for the odd lameness, making sure they have good rounded bellies, (meaning they have piglets growing inside), and looking at their general health, I always talk to and pet them wherever I go. Most like the interaction, some a little too much and come to expect a pet whenever I walk their paddock, which can be a nuisance when I have a bundle of straw I want to put in their hut and they nudge my legs on route, and pester me by rub the sides of their necks along the back of my legs when I am trying to put said straw in their hut. They don't leave me alone till they get their way, and I'm always happy to adhere to their demands.
With us being on the brink of warmer weather, most I know will be cheering its coming, but I, like most on the outdoor circuit knows what comes with it. Which is that sows, no matter how presentable we make their huts, will take it upon themselves to make their own bed, outside. Yes, they dig themselves a little pit and drop their litter in it. The digging is good because it ensures their new born don't stray far from her protection, and though I'd love to let them stay this way throughout their lactating period, I must, as all piggers do, put the piglets and mother in the nearest hut. This comes with problems because any new mother will always remember where she farrowed, (gave birth), and will always try and get back there. We counter this by locking her in her new home for a night, but the going is never that simple. She hassles all the way and her jaw is like that of a crocodile's, (something I've been warned about, and, thankfully, never had to experience at first, well, tooth.) Added to this, when other mothers in the same paddock here a piglets cry, or squeal, they all come running. So care must be taken, else face the wrath of up to six sows all at the same time.
Though it saddens me each time I'm away from the piggery, it is time for me to get on with the other side of me, my creative side. I'll be finishing novella 3 of, Beyond Endless Tides, hopefully in the next few weeks, and will be moving on to finishing the first book from Evania, my other fantasy world. I did at some point mention an collection, and though between books I do write short stories, I'm a bit aways from having enough to put into one binding. They will be done, as time goes on.
Have a great April everyone.
-Charles F. Bond
The Gradonzaras (Sea Dragons)
So over the last few months, I’ve been busy writing the third Novella in Beyond Endless Tides. I have written around 40,000 words of Morg and Ethos’s part in the story, near enough to a conclusive end, and so now I’m writing in the story of the White Queen. It will reveal her true path in the story, and a little of how she came to be, though not extensively (this may come out in later books, or a separate one). If you’ve read The White Queen, you will have a picture in your mind of who she is, but reading this her world will open up and you will get an insight into why she has so vehemently implanted in the minds of many that a move to land is imminent, no, essential.
The ending I hope will be a satisfactory one, but will leave it open for me to come back to with novels, either in a series, or as stand alone’s. In essence, Beyond Endless Tides is the beginning of a much larger story, one that I will come back to in the years to come.
Yes they are annoying when on re-reading I come across inconsistencies within a story I'm working on. But they can be funny too. Just today I re-read a story line I worked on yesterday, and I had totally forgotten that the Conzoras the White Queen is using to get around are in fact blind. I put in a nice bit of scenery with the White Queen looking through the eyes of one of her Conzora pets, and though I found this fun to do, I realised this morning that if she were to look through their eyes, all she would see is a blank canvass.
Yes this writing thing is without doubt the most enjoyable, sometimes annoying, but very satisfying job I know.
With the release of The White Queen - English Vernacular Edition tomorrow, I wanted to give you fine readers an update on what's happening and what is to come.
If you've been around my website you will know I made up a few mer-words for Beyond Endless Tides, and the feedback told me how confusing and irritating these words were when read on an e-reader. As a consequence to make the e-reading experience an easier one I rewrote The White Queen and The Mur of Aquithus without the made up vernacular of the merfolk. The third one, as yet untitled, will be in two parts, released with the made up mer-words for print books, and without for e-books.
I'm going to be bold and say these editions will release on 6th March and work hard to make this deadline.
You may be wondering why there was such a huge break between the release of The Mur of Aquithus on 1st Sept 2014, and this coming March for the release of the third novella. The reason for this is that when I started writing the series, I had no job. Just before publishing the second in the series, I was contacted by a pig farm manager in need of a helping hand to allow a member of his team to have a holiday. Since then I've been offered a permanent position to the same end, and this gives me the time I need to write the stories I've been dreaming about for years, and gives me a perfect work/write lifestyle.
Though sometime in the future there will be other merfolk stories in other undersea worlds, and based on the Beyond Endless Tides world, once the third one is finalised I will be concentrating on a fantasy series set in the world of Evania, which is where The Little Miracle novelette is from. How many books will be written in this series remains to be seen. I'm very much a 'write it and see' writer, by which I mean I don't plan ahead. I have an idea for a character, or world, and I simply write as a story unfolds in my mind. This way of writing allows me to get to know my stories as a reader would. Not really knowing what is coming until I get there.
You may or may not know, but once the first draft of a story is complete, there is a time of silence, whereby the writing is forgotten about so when looking at it a second time a more critical eye will pick up on any flaws in the verse. In these times during my writing of the novels I will be writing short stories with a ghost theme, and these will be put into a collection. Buried, still my favourite story, so far, will be among them. When this will be published is very much uncertain, but you'll learn about it here first.
This writing business is a long path, and I hope you will stick with me in the years which follow.
Charles F Bond is writer of fantasy and paranormal fiction. He wishes you much merriment in the pursuit of good reading.
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