Listening to Seals dance


Last night as dusk closed in, I was sitting out on the deck with Angie.  Not talking, but just listening to the night sounds.  From down in the narrows came the splashing slapping sound I now understand to be a Seal mating display.  A male Seal, in order to attract a mate, dives deep, then rockets three quarters of its body length out of the water before falling back with flippers outstretched to bellyflop on the water.  Makes a heck of a racket.  The sound carries for miles.  There were three I was sure of coming from distinct locations.  One half way down Mudge Island.  One between Round Island and Cedar shore, and another further down towards Boat ramp.  All making a racket.  All clamouring for attention.  Splash-bang!  Splash-bang!  Me, me, me!

What with one thing and another I should have been doing something similar with regards to the Stars Trilogy and my other work.  The only problem is that I’ve been busy doing other things, or there have been too many distractions.  My writing has been effectively dead in the water for six months, and my self imposed deadline for completing “Darkness” has simply whooshed on by.  It has stalled.  I have a beginning and an end, but the middle, the meat in the sandwich, is sparse and unsatisfying.

My problem is that my work is viewed by my family as some kind of bizarre and unproductive hobby, and in some ways I suppose it is.  Yet every time I revisit the previous two volumes, the more they grow on me.  There is nothing wrong with the stories or the writing, apart from being just shy of 150,000 words apiece.  The mini universe my narrative inhabits does not fall into what I refer to as the ‘Unicorns and fairies’ stuff of hyperintelligent pan dimensional beings (Who all look surprisingly human), just an isolated and querulous humanity, wrapped up in their own agendas, and struggling to get by on their brave new worlds. 

Angie has been nudging me to do some more promotional events to publicise my works, but to be honest I haven’t a clue where to start.  Nor the funds.  I’m revisiting my artwork (Which still looks good, even in poster sizes) and have written to the organisers of next years Vancouver Science Fiction convention, asking how it works, and what an author has to do in order to make an appearance. Despite my occasional stammer, I’m a reasonable public speaker with, from my attempts at stand up comedy back in the 90’s, a decent sense of humour.  I can get a laugh out of a crowd, and if I can get ten words out, I can get a thousand or more, and make it entertaining to boot.  The issue is, finding the crowd.

The thought occurs that if a lonely seal needs to leap out of the water and slap down hard to get attention, perhaps I should follow his example.

 

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Martyn K Jones

A writer who first trained as an Electrical Engineer, then fulfilled various roles within the computing industry. First published in 'SuperBike' magazine, 1978 under the pseudonym Harry Matthews. Since then has written and had published a wide variety of work; from PR copy in trade magazines to supernatural short stories and the occasional satirical article. Emigrated to Canada in 2007. Became a Canadian Citizen December 2014. Now branching out as a serious science fiction novelist.

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