NOTICE

NOTICE

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Most of my books

Happy festive season...

You might have heard that I write.   It is true.  I even get published now and then.  I am a writer in as much as I am someone who gets poems that happen in my mind and I cannot do anything else well until I birth it.  When I write the poem it might not be perfect in original form, but the initial burst is important.  And, then I will work on poem, but, generally, the longer it has formed in my head, the more complete it arrives on the page.

I have an Amazon page that features many of my books.  If you wish to visit it...


KING ARTHUR

If you have been a supporter of my work you'll know that I write a lot about King Arthur and the mythic and legendary cycles of the Round Table and Grail.  I love it, I love the historical search for the real Arthur, and think I could write more about, in fact, I have.  Lancelot is out of print, but Arthur Rex Eternus, Quest of Arthur, and King of Ages are all available. 



MYTHIC AND LEGENDARY LIVES AND EVENTS

This is a category with my fictionalized autobiography, a cool comic, illustrated prose and illustrated epic poem story about Romans versus the Celts, a love story, Samurai, and the Faeries.  I loved writing these all.  I have very little to say other than contact me for more info if you are interested.



FANTASY AND HEROISM

A Life of Ravens is my first book with my name on the cover.  It has my words illustrated by 27 artists.   I am pleased with four of these, play the shell game and try to guess the one that the publisher messed up by accident.  Hint, it isn't book 1, 3,4 or 5.  All of these are filled with things I love to write, and I'd recommend them if you like elves, dwarves, battle, and even the book I am frustrated by was good for the poems, the problem was in the submission of the wrong book proof for the printer, which was not my job.  Book two is also out of print.  The others can be bought through me or on Amazon.



CRIME AND HORROR

Sasquatch was my first real credit.  I'd had two works that I'd submitted stolen and slightly changed and published by a couple of shysters, but, I really don't care because if I had my name on them now, I'd disavow them.  So, I have copies of all of these books except for Mysterious excretions... no no, Visions, Mysterious Visions.  Contact me for more info or to order.



VIKINGS

I am 50% German, 25% Swedish and likely 25% Jewish according to adoption birth records and records searches and best guesses.  For some reason I have always been moved by Vikings.  My good friend Guy Morey said he believed I had blood of the Rus in me, and others thought me to be Asian some how.  But, I aspired only to know much about the Vikings and I don't think I would have been much of a Viking.  More like a guy who gets womped by them.

Anyway, The Savage Past is long out of print, but I have copies of both Ravens of Odin and Mythic Memories for sale.


CONTACT

http://alexnesspoetry.blogspot.com  
https://www.amazon.com/author/alexness
http://memoirsofalexness.blogspot.com/
http://cargokultmodernday.blogspot.com/
http://catastrophicmemories.blogspot.com/  

Me at Twitter:  https://twitter.com/alexnesspoetry


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hunger and Death

Give to others this Holiday season.  I am not suggesting I know better than others.  Just suggesting that the season could be even better helping those who are without hope.













Wednesday, December 9, 2015

We forget, so we tell small lies to remember

My Amazon page

Along with writing all the time I am trained as a historian.  In the US there is very little respect for most higher education, and the least respect is reserved for academic work that doesn't result directly in high paying labor.  I was/am a believer in the education of the universal being, and so, my work was meant to educate my mind, stimulate my creative soul, and perhaps lead me to a career.  I did attempt to work in various jobs, finding enjoyment in perhaps one.  But, when I was a stay at home father, I had time and a computer, and the internet which allowed me the opportunity to write, for print and for my own development.  At first I thought I would be a restaurant and movie reviewer, but, I found out that honest reviews of restaurants get you fired from reviewing, and your archive deleted.  Then came the realization that movie reviews never work unless you matter to people, since with the internet there are now millions, not exaggerating, millions of reviewers.  And whatever I wrote got lost in the miasma of the internet.  Then I began to formulate a plan, to write for businesses, regarding the products they sell.  This worked, somewhat.  It also led me to write for more venues.  I mention all of this not to make anything I've done more important or better than it is, just to point out, that my path to being a poet/historian has been long, and arduous.

I have come to believe in a number of theories of time, and human development that cannot be proven, and have very little evidence for their existence.  While I live in a world that is rapidly losing its mind, it seems, there are two different groups informing us how we should think.  Those who trust only in logic and evidence, and those who believe in what might be known as faith, and mythology.  What I am about to say will not satisfy either group, because their is no established story wherein the myth will jump out and demand to be told.  But what I will say will have no evidence to prove that it has happened or could have been the path that history followed.

I believe that humans have been intelligent and lived within "cities" or "villages" and farmed for far longer than the last 5-10 thousand years.  I believe that humans have been intelligent for nearly the length of their existence, having various peaks of culture, and disasters and wars wiping out the evidence of their high points.  The loss of evidence is not through secret conspiracies, but rather, catastrophes that wipe out all evidence of existence. 

But something does remain in the few survivors.  The legends of the great warriors, the epic events, the facts of the important cultural collisions, are kept alive in stories.  In the Bible the story of the Nephilim seems out of place, but it is a memory of a past age of men.  Humanity is far more ancient than can be proven, and the various myths that are shared in each culture are evidence of memories of the past, and not a recent past.

Yes, there is no evidence of this.  But I believe this is how we create our stories of myth.  And in those myths we can see some very interesting things.  Some point to pyramids in Asia, Africa and Central America proving some connection of cultures.  Perhaps it does.  I am not suggesting such.  All I am saying is that legends of giants, of monsters, of great warriors and their feats, are all explained when you place them in a context of million years of shared stories.

The stories of King Arthur capture something similar.  When Rome left the British isles a Roman trained Briton rose up, at first he was simply a war king, but he ascended to King of all the Britons.  The presence of Gwynifer, Lancelot, and so many other portions of the legend came so much later, that the story is not one that has been cast in solid metal.  It is flexible, because of the manner in which it was first compiled, and then added unto.  Legends are like that.


LANCELOT by Geoff Evrard and myself took two looks at the character Lancelot, from different angles.  I included the betrayal of Arthur by wife/queen Gwynifer and Lancelot but not the later portions of the Malory legends of Lancelot fighting against Arthur.  I didn't find it persuasive in the original, and less so if you include Lancelot, as he was, in the Grail quest.  I very much enjoyed writing my portions, and dealing with both sides of the book.  The publisher was not much to behold, but I am happy to have done the work I did, with the people associated with the book.


“Somewhere in the world there is a defeat for everyone. Some are destroyed by defeat, and some made small and mean by victory. Greatness lives in one who triumphs equally over defeat and victory.”  ― John Steinbeck, The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights



Arthur, Rex Eternus was a work to consider the many legends of the king. The Britons had been abandoned by the Romans, and the Saxons were crowding their lands.  One king stood up and led the remnants of the Roman Britain and reforged Britain, as Camelot, under the rule of Arthur and Excaliber.


On a lonely sword leaned he,
Like Arthur on Excalibur
In the battle by the sea.

G. K. Chesterton in The Ballad of the White Horse (1911)




The Quest of Arthur: The Holy Chalice is a book about love, and the quest for the Grail, which was a symbol of two things, the presence of Christ in us, and between two people, a bond of communion.  It is blessed by a beautiful cover by Jason Moser.


Why is all around us here
As if some lesser god had made the world,
But had not force to shape it as he would,
Till the High God behold it from beyond,
And enter it, and make it beautiful?
--Arthur, in The Passing of Arthur by Alfred, Lord Tennyson



King of Ages is an Anthology that follows a theme: If Merlyn and Arthur are eternal, and never die, what can you imagine outside of Arthurian times, where they might appear.

"At that time, the Saxons grew strong by virtue of their large number and increased in power in Britain. Hengist having died, however, his son Octha crossed from the northern part of Britain to the kingdom of Kent and from him are descended the kings of Kent. Then Arthur along with the kings of Britain fought against them in those days, but Arthur himself was the military commander [dux bellorum]. His first battle was at the mouth of the river which is called Glein. His second, third, fourth, and fifth battles were above another river which is called Dubglas and is in the region of Linnuis. The sixth battle was above the river which is called Bassas. The seventh battle was in the forest of Celidon, that is Cat Coit Celidon. The eighth battle was at the fortress of Guinnion, in which Arthur carried the image of holy Mary ever virgin on his shoulders; and the pagans were put to flight on that day. And through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and through the power of the blessed Virgin Mary his mother there was great slaughter among them. The ninth battle was waged in the City of the Legion. The tenth battle was waged on the banks of a river which is called Tribruit. The eleventh battle was fought on the mountain which is called Agnet. The twelfth battle was on Mount Badon in which there fell in one day 960 men from one charge by Arthur; and no one struck them down except Arthur himself, and in all the wars he emerged as victor. "

Anonymous author 
First historical mention of Arthur
From the  Historia Brittonum

Saturday, December 5, 2015

My Christianity, Planned Parenthood, Abortion with Caveats, and being the child of Rape

Continuing my commentary about Christianity in my world.

As a child of rape I am well aware that being adopted in 1963 might mean aborted in 1973.  My life, like many others in my situation were only allowed because of a blockage of all abortions.  When Roe v Wade happened, the gates opened for most abortions.   People speak about their views about rights to abortions, and rights of the unborn.  I am one person who considers the burden my existence placed upon my birth mother, and I realize it was a merciful act that she allowed me to live.  I am anti-abortion, but more pro-choice than pro-life in politics because I think when government makes moral decisions for people, people will choose to take underground their moral choices, and feel vindicated, however vulgar an act.  Allowing such an act gives credit for the moral development of the mother, and also, gives people the freedom to be confronted with their act.  I am not, however, a one issue voter, nor am I political about this issue.  The reason for that is I am aware of the choice, and if I had not existed, would anyone be the less?

Having said all that, I've seen hyperbole regarding Abortion center shootings and bombings.  People seek to call it terrorism, or Christian Terrorism.  Well, let me address that, because it is false.  The great majority of Christians I've spoken with, read the views of, watched, been aware of, consider abortion to kill life.  Therefore, if you allow abortion you are killing children.  So if you wish to call Abortion center bombings or shootings Terrorism, go ahead.  Abortion centers and Roe V Wade then is responsible for 54 million dead babies.  If you wish to go hard, you need to see both sides have a view.  No one is bombing the f'ing planned parenthood clinics because they get a boner from it.  Some are insane.  But many are morally troubled by a country allowing the murder and possible harvest of the unborn.

So for those who are able to understand my point, I offer a hyperbole poem, responding to being labeled with the Terrorism title, because I am a Christian.  No, I've not bombed, shot or even entered a Planned Parenthood office.  I've not had sex before marriage or outside of it.  I never had any sort of STD and I've had a single partner, my wife.  But, by virtue of the desire of some, I am painted with their wide paint brush and am included in their brush stroke saying White Christian Terrorist.








I am a Christian.  I believe in allowing people to choose.  Because I believe that making choices for people is a worse sin, than allowing people to make the wrong choice.  I believe that one does not cause people to live morally by legislating the choices people get to make.  Let me be crystal clear:  I believe the world would be better off without my having existed.  If you are reading this, and thinking this guy is nucking futz, I am not.  I wish so many things were different. But my words, ideas, and hope will change not one thing.  I resist the flow, and the tide is sweeping in wiping the land clean of all standing objects.  I won't be standing long.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Great writing, in Sword and Magic Fantasy Fiction

I write about Lord Dunsany and Robert E. Howard, but there are many many more great writers to find, and likely have.  But, since I've received a few emails asking me to discuss authors other than Dunsany and Howard, regarding Fantasy as a genre, here are a few others to consider.


George R.R. Martin is the creative talent who is responsible for the enormous tale, A GAME OF THRONES.  He is meticulous, cunning, and eloquent in his creation of a violent power struggle among factions and forces in a fantasy setting.  The television series has brought the books more popularity, but the books were enormously successful prior to the tv series.





You cannot mention the fantasy genre in literature without mentioning J.R.R. Tolkien.  His work is popular, considered the work from which many others flow, and the first work many writers in the genre had read.  The film years of the 2000s were dominated by the adaptations of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy by Tolkien.  And the 2010s saw further adaptations of his works.  The written works of Tolkien haven't been forgotten but, there are likely many who have seen the movies but never read the books.  That is a shame because Tolkien's depth comes from a knowledge of human language and an understanding of human history and interactions.  Such foundations makes his works beyond compare for readability and originality.




Robert Jordan wrote some works for other writers, some for creative talents as a ghostwriter, and some under a different name for review purposes, to establish a creative distance from his own name.  He wrote The Wheel of Time as an envisioned six book epic story that involved perceptions of God and the enemy, Shaytan, in an violent conflict that determines the fate of the world.  It is called high fantasy, as it involves displays of magic, characters who can wield forces, and more that goes beyond use of swords and wizards chanting a couple spells.  Sadly, Jordan died before the end of the saga.  It was completed with the assistance of another writer, using notes.  The saga envisioned as a 6 book work, ended up as a 14 book saga.  If you like enormous tales, here is your work to read.



SOME OF THE OTHERS WORTHY OF YOUR ATTENTION


Alan Dean Foster is a favorite author of mine.  His Spellsinger saga is funny, fun and heroic.  It is not hardcore blood and battle, but it is fantasy, and fun to read.  His website



Ursula K. Le Guin is recognized for her magnificent use of language and depth of cultural investigation.  Her Earthsea books are among my very favorites.  Her website


The work of Karl Edward Wagner is dark, well written and mystical.  Kane, his character is powerful, beyond measure, with magic, martial skills, and abilities that are nearly god-like.  He is however, still appealing. While this is not uplifting, and some have called it amoral, but it remains interesting at the same time.   His estate's website


Michael Moorcock is as much of a great writer and famous fantasy personage as Tolkien, Martin, Jordan, Howard or Dunsany, but he is here because I don't read him as much as I study his words.  He is a great writer, but writes characters who I rarely like.  So I find his writing to be great, but his style rather stunning.  Who'd have thought making a character unlovable could make him interesting?
His website


Fritz Leiber wrote many tales, in more than just Fantasy, but through out the genres of Speculative Fiction.  His characters Fafhrd & Gray Mouser and tales of Lankhmar were highly respected and thought of, by critics of his day.  Taken as works for the day, they entertain well.  A website devoted to his works...


















Saturday, November 7, 2015

A Look back at a magnificent artist

 JEFFREY CATHERINE JONES

Yes you read that name right.  And I am not
going to try to dance around any facts about
my friend Jeffrey Catherine Jones.  I knew her
as Catherine.  But she was born Jeffrey.




Artist Jeffrey Catherine Jones was a kind, gentle soul.  I interviewed her after a year of exchanging emails, and while the answers given to my question were rather evasive, and not particularly clear, they were by far more than I should have expected.  Life had in many ways hurt her.  She'd grown up as a male, and while always attracted to women, did not feel like her body reflected her thoughts, and her vision of her gender.  At a later age in life she had surgery, and hormone therapy.  And she went through a number of issues dealing with stress, depression and other issues I wasn't aware of and do not know now.   But, as I was beginning my public career as a creative person, she was beginning to end her own.  She wasn't planning an end, but rather, the cigarettes and various other momentary forms of distraction, had in fact ruined her lungs.  She died of pneumonia and other issues, with many great works still ready to birth.  I wasn't a close friend, but rather, someone who admired her courage, was awed by her talents, and found some great encouragement from her words.  And I miss her.   She was among the best artists of modern times.  And she is remembered for her skills and talents as a painter.

Her paintings  all rights copyright JCJones estate


Saturday, October 31, 2015

ENTER DREAMLAND

 

Happy Halloween.  I had intended to write a book filled with nightmares of a Cthulhu/HP Lovecraft variety.  I might still, but I have so much going on I decided to edit this one entry into a short piece of fiction, as a Halloween treat for my readers and friends.  Copyright Alex Ness 2015, enjoy.  All images are from the public domain.

"Slumber, watcher, till the spheres, 
Six and twenty thousand years 
Have revolv'd, and I return 
To the spot where now I burn. 
Other stars anon shall rise 
To the axis of the skies; 
Stars that soothe and stars that bless 
With a sweet forgetfulness: 
Only when my round is o'er 
Shall the past disturb thy door." 
H.P. Lovecraft
 
“We are weighed down, every moment, by the conception and the sensation of time. And there are but two means of escaping and forgetting this nightmare: pleasure and work. Pleasure consumes us. Work strengthens us. Let us choose.” 



Charles Baudelaire

The day for Louis Jardon was long, laborious and mindnumbing. He arrived home at a late hour, fed his cat, drank a brief bottle of beer, bit into a left over sausage, and decided that he’d feel better and deal with things with a relaxing bath, and then a night of sleep.  He was filled with dreams there.  Perhaps stirred by the sausage.  Perhaps the sausage had gone bad.

Dream 1

A beast approached me upon the street, where I had been walking.  It stood upright, as a man, but was covered in hair, had protruding tusks, and smelled of sweat, and the smell of fecund fur, never washed.  I was too stunned to move to avoid his approach.  My gaze, well, call it a stare, never stopped, however rude it might seem.  I didn’t fear for my safety, it was night, but I was not alone, surrounded upon the walk by dozens of pedestrians.  They didn’t seem to notice me, though.  And the beast walked past them, without alarm or regard. 

The beast returned my gaze.  And too, it stared, intently.  The moon was out, the city lights shone, and my heart beat rapidly.  The closer it came the more I dread.  I was unable to move at all now.  I stared, locked in place, expecting my death, sometime soon.  But my fear was worse than my thoughts of death.  I might die, but the fashion of which I might die was the worst thing to consider.

It continued until I could feel the beast’s breath upon my face.  It smelled of death, and it was hot.  I couldn’t move.  The beast’s eyes burned holes in my own.  And then I felt the beast’s claws clutch my throat.  I could no longer breathe, and I felt as if my heart stopped.  And my body fell to the cobblestone.  And while I imagine it was horribly painfully painful, I felt nothing.

And yet, the world I knew changed permanently at that moment.  I had no wounds that I could see, nor injuries that I might feel, but I was wide awake in a world that I did not recognize.

I heard a voice speaking to me. It spoke in a language I couldn’t understand by the sound, but, knew by my heart what it was saying…

“You are now alive for the first time.  Do not lose your opportunity.  The land you are in accepts everyone, but here you are lord.  You are awake here but you are asleep in your waking world.  This is the land of dreams so, tear off your cloak of flesh and become one with your nightmare. Here you are what you are not in life. The beast has freed you from your fears. You and your minutia and crisis filled years are over; there is no sorrow. Here there is only hunger, lust, joy, and the becoming fulfilled of them.  Your ego will reign here, you are your own hero, you are the master, do nothing less than be yourself.”

I began to shiver.  I could feel my body in the waking world being cold, but in the dream world I was poised to make a choice.  Might I be a lord of an amoral world of choices, or should I wake and return to a land of limited choices, morality, and physical aging and sorrows?




Dream 2

In the depths of the distant lands, there is a watcher.  Atop the tallest hill, there is a wall, from a fortress built many generations past.  From his vantage point the watcher gazes out, knowing which way to look.  The walls have only once been breached, when the unmen of the Death Cult poured over the land in numbers no one could stop.  Like ants in a group frenzy they accepted death, in order to let the others climb forward and get across the wall.  Some were stopped, but most continued on, in their primal thrust, flooding the land with violence, and death, that would only stop with the last unman dead.   But even with that, the watcher just watched.  Whether the people on the other side were ready, did not matter, his job was to make sure to raise the call, when these mindless beasts who formerly were men came, he would respond with the horn, and let his people know the final days were here.

Dream 3

I am sleep
Darkness
Enter the light
Mind Eye’s open
But my throat
Closing
I bleed
I breathe
But for long?
Have I purpose?
Do I matter?
Behold my friends
Do I deserve life
Or am I dead
To this world
Am I alive
Can I be heard
Am I screaming?
I’ve been blinded
To the flaws
I have hoarded
Jealously
Miserly
Without a single
care
Seconds are my own
I refuse to share
This life is my own
I might as well be king
As I sit
Upon my bone cast throne



Dream 4



Coming back from the shores, we took our Model T and my small family and new member of the family on a direct track home.  We were excited.  The day was beautiful, the sun was shining, and with the news that our business sold for far more than we had ever hoped, it was a celebration.  The boardwalk was built up, and we enjoyed it.  1921 Atlantic City’s Boardwalk sold postcards that said "The World's Playground" and it surely was.  I enjoyed the weekend with my wife and my three year old boy, and we had a surprise at the end.

It was a rough looking mutt, but it followed along with us, and wanted all of our attention.  It was a lonely creature, and we took it into our heart.  With every step we saw that the new addition to our family was not what we thought.  A trail behind it was forming, and a dog that had seemed so attentive and loving to us, now had become a beast of indeterminate species.

And then, when he ate our child, we knew he wasn’t what we thought, but, we still could not release him.  We watched him, even despised him, yet, became strangely attached to him.

WAKING

How could Louis Jardon have known, his dreams became alive in the world known as the Dreamlands.  And there, all that he dreamed existed, and he and his living world were myths and memories.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

I didn't think so before, but, I found that I dig Bram Stoker


"I heard a heavy step approaching behind the great door, and saw through the chinks the gleam of a coming light. Then there was the sound of rattling chains and the clanking of massive bolts drawn back. A key was turned with the loud grating noise of long disuse, and the great door swung back.  Within, stood a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache, and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere. He held in his hand an antique silver lamp, in which the flame burned without a chimney or globe of any kind, throwing long quivering shadows as it flickered in the draught of the open door. The old man motioned me in with his right hand with a courtly gesture, saying in excellent English, but with a strange intonation.
"Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own free will!""  Bram Stoker from Dracula


An Irishman, Bram Stoker was a talented fellow.  He had begun his adult career as a office worker for a local government.  But finding that mind numbing, he strove for more creative freedom.  So, his creative fire burned in the fashion of a writer.  His many tales came out and were perhaps less beloved as mostly respected.  Movies have been made of his works, and deservedly.

Born in Clontarf, Ireland
Died in London, England


Dracula his most famous tale is perhaps one of the most excitingly dark tales he wrote.  The movies made from his literary creations never quite arrived at his achievement, until Bram Stoker's Dracula, which is a shade off of perfect.  In book, comic and movie form you can pursue this work.

“Friend John, forgive me if I pain. I showed not my feeling to others when it would wound, but only to you, my old friend, whom I can trust. If you could have looked into my very heart then when I want to laugh; if you could have done so when the laugh arrived; if you could do so now, when King Laugh have pack up his crown, and all that is to him — for he go far, far away from me, and for a long, long time — maybe you would perhaps pity me the most of all.”   I was touched by the tenderness of his tone, and asked why.
“Because I know!”  Bram Stoker

 

 

Of course Bram Stoker wrote more than Dracula, so search for all of his works.  Some have more quality than others.  I've really found a deep affection for the narrative voice in his works, so that even when I am not moved, I still find worth and entertainment.