I'm making this episode available for everyone to access for 24 hours, after which I will close it off for patrons only. If you'd like to become a patron and get this stuff weekly then you can pledge as little as $1.
The Legend of The Altar Stone
The Legend of The Altar Stone is a mythical story in the Young Adult genre. It's inspired in some parts by Tír na nÓg (the land of youth) and other stories of ancient Irish folklore. It's also inspired by Tolkien's The Hobbit and by more modern classics such as Harry Potter.
It tells the tale of Connor Barry, a 13-year-old boy adrift in this mortal world after the tragic loss of his father. His mother is missing, presumed dead. The adults around Connor believe, because of her apparent mental illness, his mother took his father's life and then her own.
But Connor doesn't believe it and is determined to find his mother and prove her innocence. He moves in with his adult sister to her place in the countryside, and here, largely isolated, confused and alone he begins his search for his mother. His only friend is Mr. Tibbs, the two faced cat given to him by his mother before she disappeared.
To escape the dark reality of his existence he begins to find purpose and meaning inside the dream world of his mind. Little does he know that this world is just as real as the material world he occupies. In this land, he meets the mysterious Elizabeth, a young girl who must take him to see the alchemist.
The alchemist has important news for Connor about his father and mother but before he can understand the truth of his ancestry he must visit Danu, Queen of The Lake, high in the mountains at Gougáne Barra. Here he will learn how Balor, the evil one, is also seeking Connor but for entirely different reasons.
Time Ceases To Exist
Time ceases to exist here in this land. As he returns to the mortal world, little of what Conor knows of time has passed. Weeks pass by in the mysterious land only for Connor to appear in his bed just before dawn.
Should he stay any longer than dawn in this place he will never return. The alchemist explains why this is. He explains the nature of time and space for both the mortal world and the world where Conor now finds himself.
He realises under the tutelage of the alchemist, a fundamental geometric structure and co-operation of the finest vibrations of sound and light that lie in and of all things, both good and bad.
This understanding of the nature of fundamental reality may ultimately lead Connor to realisation of who he is.
However, his ever growing rage towards those who took his father may ultimately destroy the land of The Tuatha, himself and the only one he loves.
The Journey To Gougán Barra
Legend says the 1000 year reign of the Balor The Smiter, the one-eyed destroyer of the world is coming to an end. With that a great war will engulf the land.
The armies of the 12 clans of The Tuatha will be led by the fair haired one born upon an Altar Stone to a mortal mother and The Tuatha King.
Accompanied by Mr. Tibbs, Connor and Elizabeth must travel to the monastery in the lake at Gougáne Barra where they will meet Danu, warrior Goddess, Queen of the waters and protector of the monastery.
En route to Gougán Barra they must travel over Na Beanna mountains to the forests at Derravara to collect the rare black dairwood.
On The Altar Stone at Gougán Barra Connor must light the black dairwood in the presence of Danu to reveal his destiny and the fate of the last of The Tuatha.
It is winter and the journey will be treacherous. Around every corner there awaits a dangerous foe hell bent on taking their lives and halting their mission. Day and night they are stealthily followed by the black ravens of The Fomorians, keeping only a day ahead of their dark pursuers.
Will Connor find his mother and discover the truth about his father?
Is Elizabeth someone special or just his guide?
Will Balor succeed in halting Connor & Elizabeth?
A Work In Progress
The story takes many influences and is still very much a work in progress. Even as I write this passage I'm figuring out the characters and events that will unfold.
One thing I am realising is that one book will not cover this story completely. It's likely that I'll write several books in this series, all coming to their individual conclusion but always leaving a fundamental question behind.
Tales of Irish mythology and modern stories will be intertwined with figments of my imagination to create the characters and their experiences. But significantly, I will draw on my own experiences and weave them into the tale.
Really this story is one of a realisation of self and our ultimate place in the universe. It is a voyage of discovery for our protagonist culminating in a significant realisation of truth.
All will be revealed…
My Personal Writing Tutor
Ok so it's time to come clean…
I have a private tutor.
It's James Patterson.
About a year ago when I decided to start taking my writing somewhat seriously I realised I can't just show up and expect to be good.
Even after writing almost 200,000 words I'm way off the 1,000,000 words that Patterson suggests I need to write in order to be good enough to write something worthwhile.
Looks like at my current rate, I have another 4 years of writing to produce a book that's worth a damn.
Or maybe not.
Maybe I'll just up the ante a bit and write 300k words this year.
That's still a long time. But you know if I am to take my own advice on creativity then I have to get comfortable being ordinary.
I must stick to the task and be ok with writing manure, at least until something good grows out of it.
So I'll take James Patterson's advice and keep showing up. In the meantime maybe you guys will consider what I'm making good enough to read and enjoy.
James Patterson Teaches Writing
I'm taking James Patterson's lessons on writing over at Masterclass at the moment. Put very simply, he just knows his stuff – of course he does. After writing 19 consecutive New York Times Bestsellers and having several of his books turned into Hollywood movies you'd have to expect that.
If you're up for sharpening your pencil then I'd recommend you take the class too. There are 22 video and written lessons. Check out the class here…