söndag 23 augusti 2015

First part of new jackalope book

Preview of the next book in the jackalope series:

It had to be repaired; there was no doubt about it. Broken things needed fixing. Nature did not fix things by itself; humans had to do it. That was the way of the world. And if nobody else saw the problem, then it was up to her to do it. All alone...but she had never been weak! She could fix this, she could repair everything. No problem was too big or small for her to solve! She just needed a bigger hammer; the one she was stuck with down here in the fuming darkness was not enough, not by a long shot...
"I accept this challenge, and will not turn back until I have finished my task! I swear it!!" she said to the nothingness all around her.
Something was moving in the shadows, something white and toothy. It thought that this newly arrived lady was very strange indeed.
It was the time of birth.
However, it was just the birth of a legend, not the true birth of things. The rabbit paradise that was Tymor heaved and panted, finally releasing The Silvercrowned One into the world. This being was the paradise of Tymor made manifest and set out to dig out the underworld with its claws and stomping feet. It had been a long time in the making, and a long time poking at cracks to succeed.



Like so many other things it started with a party. Jane and Grey had been made guests of honor at one of The Silvercrowned One´s parties in the midst of the smiling moon. The both of them were trying to look at the audience while both trying to evaluate the number of medals their rivals had been given. Jane had more, although Grey´s were more valuable. The Silvercrowned one was standing near the greatest tree of the moon forest while giving a long speech to their bravery and compassion. It ended, quite surprisingly, with a promotion for the two of them.
And how to describe a party planned by The Silvercrowned One on the smiling moon? The casual drinks are had at Totte and Scriven´s palace at the very edge of the ravine that gives the moon its characteristic smiling shape. Then the guests are invited to jump down the swirling kaleidoscope to the depths of the magical moon. There is a great forest and mountains, and fresh air and burrows and everybody feasts and have a good time the whole night into the early hours of the morning. Some of the more hardy party-goers may then continue at the great tower of Centzon-Tototchin, backbone of The Silvercrowned One.
Adva and Alex had persuaded Jane to go and in hindsight it was obvious that they know about her promotion. John was there as well, awkwardly sitting beside The Silvercrowned One and Permeter who wanted to gossip about the other gods with somebody.

Some time after The Silvercrowned One looked proudly upon the canini standing beside as they both gulped down great breaths of air from the land of the living. It tasted a little more foul than The Silvercrowned One remembered it, but no matter. The Silvercrowned One fully admitted to being worried about the canini. He was growing older and ought to take up some kind of profession. However, all that little Barnum-Sees-Foolsgold wanted to do was keeping playing in the forests of the underworld. The Silvercrowned One loved a game just as the next deity, but not perpetual leisure!
Lady Permeter was currently above ground bringing spring to the planet so The Silvercrowned One had been obliged to have a little chat with young Barnum.
“Mother” the canini said.
“I told you my name is Barney!”
The Silvercrowned One sighed. Such youthful revolt, taking a human name.
The Silvercrowned One had after all been just the same as a young´un, running away while still being created.
“But this is what you want to do?” The Silvercrowned One asked eagerly.
“Yes, mother” Barney grinned eagerly.
While trying to have a chat about a job they had chanced upon a carnival. Barney had instantly forgotten all about it and whined to The Silvercrowned One about going. The Silvercrowned One had sighed heavily and agreed. After casting a spell to make them appear human they had entered the haunted house. It had been one of the most boring experiences in both of their lives.
After a couple of light curses Barney had swore to create a better horror theme park. And just like that, his career had been set. The Silvercrowned One had provided Barney with some money to start with and a aunt of his had given him a piece of forest in Spain. And thus the haunted exhibit of Heredia Forest of Andalusia was created, the great castle of Villa Tenebrosa its dark crown-jewel. The Silvercrowned One had left Barney to go visit Permeter and help her with her work. Both of them were in fact so delighted about their kid that they both felt they could stand to have a few more. They started to work on this project immediately and the happy whooping was heard all around the forest to the consternation of a group of commuters.

“And since my mother is the master of the underworld” Barney told a couple of his human investors.
“We can supply the park with REAL ghosts and hauntings. Just imagine the fierce edge we will have over the competition!”
The investors nodded eagerly. This guy was a little eccentric, sure, but he seemed to have some real neat and original ideas that would undoubtedly bring in the dosh. Twenty years later the biggest park in the world was opened to great success. The tourist industry of Spain boomed and many caninis came to live there to help out with the park (although many of them only came to live in the rivers and ponds and abduct young men and women to live with them forever in the forests of the underworld). The Silvercrowned One and Lady Permeter could not be more proud!

The king was absent-mindedly pulling at his whiskers while looking out at his city-state. It was full of decay and completely unregulated building and commerce, as it had for the last billion years. He sighed happily; at least he was safe. The Silvercrowned One was indeed great for making him eternal king and keeping him away from all danger forever, never to be dethroned.
Suddenly something made him jump. However, it was nothing more than a simple knock on the door. King Mortimer waved for his servants to open the door and letting the two visitors in. AHA!
Just another shade wanting King Mortimer to create a new dish/boat to tickle the whiskers and nose of The Silvercrowned One.
The shade undoubtedly wanted an offering to reach the paradise of Tymor! Personally, Mortimer could not understand sailing over the dangerous Dead Sea to reach paradise, capsizing meant eternally drowning down below! But as The Silvercrowned One demanded this of him in return for being the eternal king of the dead, he had no choice. Still, it would be nice if he did not have to do it anymore...
The other visitor was more intriguing. King Mortimer smiled at the proposal of the stranger. It all made sense to him. Unfortunately King Mortimer is a supremely selfish person (although he cooks very good food) so that sense may not apply to everybody...or indeed anybody else in the entire universe.

Rhosgobella waved at one of the little foxes still cheering over the cauldron. He was dressed in a little green dress made from leaves and branches. On his head he wore a little red hat. The dress covered his entire body except for his big feet and bushy tail. The face of the little fox was tiny, with a big nose and small beady eyes. The most extraordinary feature was his ears which were large and pointy even when compared to most of his kin. His eyes perked and his nose twitched as he heard Rhosgobella´s call for him.
“Hey Nils!” Rhosgobella called.
“Hi Hi Hi!” the little fox called back.
“Can I help you?”
“Indeed” Rhosgobella smiled.
“I have the latest report for you to give to Ray himself! Can you do it?”
“Gladly!” Nils cried back.
To help others AND to speak to Ray was his greatest delight. He grabbed the report and went into the walls of the pylon where the village of the smallfoxes were behind creaky walls and floorboards. Some of the houses were buried in ducts and vents nobody knew about except the gargoyles and Gullet, who were their leader. Some of the smallfoxes were up in the attic, some deep in the cellars. Smallfoxes can make themselves so small that they can pass between dimensions, and now Nils went (using the ancient secret words of Tjillevippen) into the kingdom of Ray.

It may now be prudent to explain a little more about the smallfoxes, their purpose and lifestyle. They were created by the fox-god Ray Firecrowned as a mirror-counterpart to his messengers. Ray´s messengers are divided in several tribes such as Wheels, Shields, Swords, Readers, Scribes, Watchers, Messengers and Chalices (although Ray could design a universe´s planets and celestial bodies to move in such a way as to create a note-sheet showing the celestial music of the soul which makes angels weep he was not very good with names).
They are powerful beings and listens to prayers of world peace and spiritual awakening. Smallpoxes on the other hand is for those small prayers when you just want to find your car-keys or something similar. They run around, tiny and unseen, until they find them and with great labor pushes them into your sight. That is why you always find them in an obvious spot after looking all over the house. Smallfoxes live in a family of siblings until they grow up.
When they are grown (which takes thousand of years) they grow into the size of normal souls and wander away to find a mate with someone from another tribe of smallfoxes. After giving birth to a new tribe they grow old and wise and become the tutor of the caninis, children of The Silvercrowned One and Permeter.

The kingdom of Ray, best friend of The Silvercrowned One, is quite vast and so Nils had to flew on a goose to make it from the Slough of Despond at the very border of the realm to the golden city of Ray. On the way he saw small ponds and markets, little temples and fields where the harvest was reap for picking. When he had arrived at at the crystal palace of Ray a messenger helped him ascend to the seventh heaven where Ray was.
“Lord, Lord!” Nils chirped happily.
“I have a report from the underworld, yes, the underworld, sir!”
“Nils” Ray said with the voice of the spring rain.
“Thank you, my dear friend”

Ray took the report and handed Nils a peach to eat. It was almost as big as Nils and he took out a peculiar tool (looking like a mix between a spade and a scythe) in order to carve out a piece to eat. While Nils feasted on the piece of peach he reflected on the fact that while Ray was one of the most benevolent and enlightened gods he did not look very pretty. He was short and covered in white cloth, almost like he was wrapped in a funeral shroud. His head was burnt with fire and his hands were bleeding from the time he had given his eyes to The Silvercrowned One.
His chest was wrapped open from being shot by evil hunters when he had gone into the world to lead mortals to the one true faith. But his tails...The tails of Ray were a million in numbers and radiated glory and power and warmth and love! Nils was being basked with it as he stood watching his god and creator read the report he had brought.
“You have all done very well” Ray finally said after reading the report.
Nils heart fluttered. Just a word from Ray was pure empowerment and joy. Hearing him saying that you did good was even more so. Ray had placed the best and most brave of his servants in the underworld to help those of Ray´s believers that were stuck there.
But in truth they helped everyone, for the followers of Ray (divided into Rayites, Firecrowners and Raywillers) were more often than not exactly the sort of people that would willingly help others and so make it out of the underworld together.

“Hmm” Ray pondered as he read the report.
Yinok, the scribe of Ray (and another member of Toth and Totte´s chessclub) sat at attention in case he had to write something down for his master. Yinok was an old man dressed in a toga and a long flowing beard. His hair was like molten wool circling his deep blue eyes. Ray was actually a bit jealous; Yinok looked a lot more “godly” than he did.
“Everything has been set right in the underworld after the barrier-crisis and all positions left has been filled up again...More and more people are joining the jackalope troops. Excellent!” Ray read slowly.
“;">Yet Tymor is still walking around, restless”
Often Ray would encounter a problem (political, scientific, religious or magical) that could not be solved by any means known to the gods. If these troubles coincided with one of The Silvercrowned One´s bout of restlessness they would go away together on long journeys into realms unknown to even the gods for a year or four and when they returned Ray would know the solution without fail and the restlessness of The Silvercrowned One would be lifted. During these times the kingdom of Ray was ruled by a stewardess called Denethune (who was a lady of the lake and a sister of Permeter) and the realm of The Silvercrowned One would be ruled by whoever The Silvercrowned One pulled out of a hat.
“It seems...” Ray mused.
“Yes, it seems that we shall go on another journey quite soon. I must admit I have missed it!”
Ray did his best to pretend to find this a little saddening, but in truth he immensely enjoyed these little excursions into the unknown. The last time this had happened was when they were both young. At that time they had visited Hy-Brazil, Hell, The chambers of 32 doors in the Dream Cave, the kingdom of Tomake, where dwelt the master storyteller and reader Dust and a strange country where people had abnormal customs and a language that had the sound of juggling something hot in your mouth (this country was Denmark).

Eight years later, The Silvercrowned One and Ray had not yet returned, but no one was worried. The underworld was safer than ever before.

Adva was taking a shower. It felt pretty weird to do so with the other, larger jackalopes considering that she was not yet actually transformed.
She began to ponder the latest mission. Planting some flowers and tending to a broken fence did not seem like too much work, especially after guiding lost souls near the edge of a exploding volcano and chopping off the hand of her mentor after it had been possessed by demons after they had wandered to close to one of the portals near Hell. Finished and dripping wet Adva dried herself with a shower and watched some of her new jackalope friends shower. Gallinega the lizard was standing completely still under the flowing water. She then stepped out and in one fluid motion shook so that all water ran off her like a goose. 
Danielle Danirsdotter the jotun, however, was just sticking her feet into a pool, keeping the rest of her body outside the pylon to enjoy a nearby waterfall. Nobody said anything, but they all noticed the sudden chill that had entered the room. They all knew what it meant and covered up. Into the showers walked the overseer of the eight pylon and Adva's head supervisor. The icen archer fastened the bow to the back of some robes hanging on the wall and smiled. Nobody knew if this blueskinned and indigo-haired person was an extremely feminine man or a somewhat butch-looking woman. It was rumored among the jackalopes that not even The Silvercrowned One knew. 
The icen archer had this large private bathroom and went into both the ladies and the men's room with impunity. The hand of the archer was in a cast, Adva was still a bit guilty about that. Still, he had suffered for her mistake in securing the are from demons and had had to exorcise no less than fourteen of the little buggers from her body over four gruelling days. And yet not all the shades of the dead had been saved from the attack...some were still lost somewhere in the underworld.
"I need not remind you that repairing the wall that separates the caninis, the children of The Silvercrowned One and Lady Permeter, is a very important task." The icen archer proclaimed sternly.
"They are children, but they are the children of two gods and very powerful. They could kill even a jackalope when playing soldiers!"
"Then why do they not help us here in the underworld!?" a jackalope protested loudly. Adva recognized her, she was a new recruit just like her.
"Because they are just as likely to trample shades and demon alike underfoot while playing race. They are children!" The icen archer said irritable.
"And when they grow up into proper gods their power will diminish in the underworld just as it is for The Silvercrowned One. Seriously, this was in the handbook, you guys!"
Adva shuddered at the thought of all of the hard and dull test one of her instructors, Mrs Wild, had forced her and the other new recruits to take. She put on her clothes and watched Gallinega tie up her loincloth. Danielle, far above them as she had now stretched up to her full lenght outside the pylon, put on a suit of red rusty armor that must have weighed at least several hundred tons. Between Adva taking the lead, Gallinega scouting out the area and Danielle carrying the lumber and tools, they were ready.

Any and all of the secretary´s accomplices had been uprooted and thrown into Hell to save the souls therein who was still willing to repent and walk the long road to paradise. Jane had become the mistress of the fourteenth pylon, beyond the wall between the valley of scissors and the safe path through the underworld. It was said that Jane´s words as she was seated into office was was:

“I have made my way through the dark, I know thee well, and I know thy name, and I know the name of her who will devour and hold thee within. Lady of might I am, who trampleth on the red demons with the Benandanti, who keepeth the festival of Tymor on the day of the hearing of faults!”
But in reality what she had said as Totte, still fierce from the stealing of his book of magic, had appointed her was leader was;
“I have lived in the paradise of Tymor for four thousand years now or something similar. I do not remember. I have done nothing except being the right woman at the right time! Whether it is destiny or whether it is free will I do not know either. I do not care about any of those things. I will take this job although I am sure others deserve it better.”

As for the commentary about the Benandanti, the hounds of God, they were werewolves employed by the god of humans Iiezo Thorncrowned. It was common knowledge (at the time) that they were stationed at the fourteenth pylon and Jane was now the leader of them.

Read the first book here:

lördag 25 juli 2015

Old article about jackalopes

In all stories of the afterlife there are always some unfortunate souls that never find peace. They are stuck in the underworld, limbo, purgatory or what have you. In jackalopes all souls must travel though the underworld to find peace. Some souls, however give up and stays in the underworld forever. They build little cities and settlements, the largest being the city of the dead by the dead sea. We do not visit it in the first book, but it is mentioned and will be quite important. A settlement we do visit is the small village of Oaohnan, between the first and second pylon of the underworld.
Here is how it and its most immediate surroundings is described in the text:

It was a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, but Scrivens told Jane that small settlements like this arose naturally as souls stopped to help each other on their long journey through the underworld. However, some souls gave up and stayed in the village forever. Jane took a closer look.
The middle building was shaped like a K, there was no other way to describe it.
It was like a tall black tower with two supporting pillars made from white oak built haphazardly around it. The rest of the houses were made out of stone and much wider than they were tall. It seemed like everyone lied down when indoors. Redélf had not returned ye, but his scribe gave Scrivens, Jane and Marvin two rooms to spend the night in.

The wood was a collection of trees, growing from thin air near the horizon. Actually it seemed like there was originally only one tree, but it had been broken into several pieces and now floated as a collection of hollow puzzle-pieces. Beyond the forest and the swamps a shadow was moving, seemingly blending into the surrounding fog.

Together, Jane and Scrivens left the rocky surroundings of the first pylon and entered a new part of the underworld. The terrain changed from cold and dark stone to green rocks and red skies. The second pylon was the closest to hell and well protected. Many jackalope guards were stationed on the side of the road and in some places deep trenches and walls were erected.
"The only dangerous part we will actually pass is the crystal caves, due to the acidic pools within. They are a melted form of the metal the valley of scissors up ahead is made out of and they can destroy the soul itself!" Scrivens explained.
Jane shivered. Her most vivid memory when traveling through the underworld for the first time was from the valley of scissors. One of the shades in her group had started to go mad, accusing the others of keeping it down and even selling it out to the demons. The shade had eventually left, and the next day they had found it all cut into tiny wriggling bloody pieces by the giant scissors of the valley.

While helping the village Jane inspires a priest to continue his travels through the underworld. He re-appears near the end in a cameo. Actually the priest is a cameo of Billiam, a minor character from my second and third book (Super Power and The Mushroom-shaped Giga Ship and The Book of Digging Forth Today, respectively). Actually, a lot of my old characters like Billiam, Reynald, Fred, Hermeline, Timothy, James and Angie appear as unnamed cameos (so I guess they all died?). Vincent Wolf makes his contractual cameo as well! The name of the village, Oahnan, is taken from the very first man who according to the bible performed a Coitus interruptus (also known as the pull-out method)! The reason I chose that name is I wanted a ancient sounding name that nevertheless allowed me to do masturbation-jokes about it.

I am classy like that.

Jackalopes chapter 14:

lördag 18 juli 2015

Jackalopes chapter 13

Despite this being an epic tale of fighting for souls lost in the underworld I also want to capture the everyday life of being a jackalope. The scene in one of my old blogposts detailing Jane´s little look into the kitchen of a pylon has already been mentioned. In both Harry Potter and Lord of the Ring we get to see, in between adventuring, the everyday life (such as it is) of our heroes. In The Lord of the Rings it is mainly trudging through dreary landscapes and recite poetry and in Harry Potter it is mostly about surviving bullies, casual racism, really unsafe lodgings and teachers who do not have to show any credentials whatsoever.
In jackalopes everyday life is mainly taken up with studying guarding and getting rid of dangerous creatures. The studying is somewhat based on my own workplace experience. I have the kind of job that you never really fully learn, you always have to stay curious! It is also important to use “dull” moments to bring forth the characters personalities by showing their reactions to the monotony. After a dangerous mission Jane feels simple guard duty to be quite calming, but after a week or so she begins to find it boring and so wanders of and stumbles into some kind of forbidden secret or conversation and finds out new things, like heroes (and heroines) are wont to do.

I want the first jackalope book to be along string of scenes that shows us all aspects of “life” in the underworld while still giving an overarching story. As for cleaning, the underworld is infested with parasites, beside the demons that eat the soul of the dead. One of them are the cirripedias. In one of my favourite scenes Jane and her two mentors cleans the wall of a pylon from an infestation of these large barnacle-like creatures. Jane is thought how to remove them alive and store up their juices. These are later send to the weapon-developer of the underworld (she has a short but sweet scene so I won´t spoil more here). Jane later gets a weapon of her own. It is the fabled Glambling, the pimped out sword of the west!

Link chapter 13:

lördag 4 juli 2015

Tymor performs the Kazotsky Kick!

After enjoying that you can find further ejoyment with the eleventh chapter of jackalopes!

lördag 20 juni 2015

Jackalopes chapter nine, the aftermath of becoming a jackalope!

I tried to put off Jane´s actual transformation into a jackalope for as long as possible. The reason for this is that I wanted to show Jane´s as capable without any help and avoid implying that everything is magically solved as long as you get super-powers. As stated several times now (but I feel it cannot be emphasized enough) I want this book to apply to both spiritual matters and “daily life”. And in daily life, people very rarely develop powers even if they want to help others. They just have to make do with their own strength!

The book of jackalopes spans about 350 pages and is divided into four chapters, with a short introduction and an anppendix. On the website the book will be divided into 15 chapters and three appendixes but the book will streamline it a bit. The chapters of the book is named after the four words the ancient Greeks had for love. These four loves is the affection of family and familiarity. The second is brotherly love and kinship, followed with the bodily and sexual love. The last love is the unconditional love which is unbound by circumstances. Early Christians (and C.S Lewis) identified this love with the love God feels towards humanity.

In other news, I am working on a new series called Tymor ruins Half-Life. People following me from the beginning may remember that I had a series called Tymor ruins Team Fortress 2. Unfortunately my interest in TF2 has taken a backseat lately and thus my interest in continuing the series has weaned. Furthermore, the newer updates and maps are not compatible with Garry's Mod which is what I am using to create this series. However, I have recently played both Half-Life and Portal and I am going to continue the parody series from there. It is a good thing Valve games are so easy to mod and that I am currently learning the Hammer tool (which is Valve´s base map creation tool).

Chapter 9 of jackalopes:

måndag 15 juni 2015

Chapter 2 illustration of jackalopes

Denna bild visar hur Jane mäter Scrivens, som mer eller mindre är kaninernas frälsare utanför den första pelargången i underjorden. Det är ett möte av öde och vördnad, något som kommer att påverka Jane för alltid. Jag gillar hur tecknaren ordnat bakgrunden, precis som att hela världen plötsligt blivit extremt sjösjuk.
Det här, för att ta ett exempel, ser ju exceptionellt obehagligt ut.

Konst gjord av:
Och nytt kapitel av jackalopes:

lördag 6 juni 2015

The map of the underworld

By http://www.grimoeuvre.com/

This is the first part of the underworld, the place where the first jackalope.book takes place in. Dead souls appear in the valley of the shadow of death to the very south of the map and most follow the marked road through the pylons to the wall in the north-east part of the map. From there, they can contain into the city of the dead (not pictured). Furthermore, to the north-west are the mighty mountains that the gods used to mine for the minerals they used in their magic. Now, only the wight lady lives there, looking for the largest ruby in the world. Finally, to the south-west, lies the cursed tower, which even the jackalopes knows nothing about.

I really like how old and dirty the map looks! The safe road is in the middle of Hell (to the left) and the great forest (to the right) where a lot of terrifyng creatures live. Our story have now taken us to page 140 and the second pylon after a little detour to both the left (using "the eye") and right (to defeat a kitsune) of the map. In the following chapter, we will witness Jane´s long overdue transformation into a jackalope:  

söndag 31 maj 2015

Lies, Damn lies and Google Analytics

As a writer and website creator one becomes very eager to see what kind of people reads your stuff and, how many they are and if they return after visiting the page once. In this blog-post I shall study three such tools to find the best one. The  three tools I have chosen is One.coms internal statistics tool, the well known google analytics and wattpad, a community for writer. Naturally, a link to the latest chapter of jackalopes follows below.

One.coms internat statistics tool is a bit hard to read and not very wide in what it studies, but it is useful for seeing if people return after already having visited the site.

Wattpad is very usual for finding out if a reader reads more than the first chapter, which chapter was most liked and so on. The only thing I miss is a function to jump straight to unread comments, as note system is quite cluttered, making new ones easy to overlook.

Google analytics is well known but may be a bit confusing to implement to those that do not know anything about coding. For anybody knowing even a little bit about website making will find it very easy to use. Google analytics measures a lot of thing, but the most useful things not measured on the two other is age and country statistics.

And now for the links!

söndag 24 maj 2015

This week, two chapters of jackalopes!

Jane, the heroine of jackalopes, is bad at magic. The reason for this is twofold. On one side every hero must have a flaw. Jane´s is being bad at magic (and her curiosity making her fiddle around with machinery she knows nothing about and reading every private letter and report she comes across). The second reason is that it prevents the plot from being resolved too easily. By making Jane bad at magic I am forced to come up with more interesting ways for her to handle her problems than just waving her hand. I also dislike putting some ancients law in place that governs the rule of magic, like:

Oh Mr Wizard, a great beast is attacking us! Could you find it in our heart to perchance throw a few fireballs his way?”
Oh, but I am bound by the vague and not to mention ancient laws not to interfere, so have fun being chewed to bits. Maybe I could offer some advice about your destiny as a hero? Oh, guess you are already dead...”

The only series I have seen that has restrictions on magic and makes it come over as natural is the Discworld series, where magic is repeatedly demonstrated as being rather like nuclear power and you really should not overuse it.

When I read a fantasy story I usually like to think about how magic works in the world described. Even if a author´s world is full of wizards and may even have some as main characters the nature and mechanics behind magic is not usually described in detail. The reason for this can vary. Perhaps the author feel silly describing methods that do not work in the real world, thus forcing an unnecessary suspension of disbelief. Perhaps the authors wishes to avoid religious people going crazy about how “the book teaches witchcraft”. Nevertheless I have though a little about it and decided on how magic works in my stories.
While rereading the Harry Potter series as well as my all-time favorite book Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (in anticipation of the upcoming BBC series in May) I came up with a few neat ideas. Magic in Harry Potter seems to come down to innate talent and repetition. You repeat words and motions with your wand and the magic is done. In most cases you must do something special, like imagine something funny to ward of a boggart or something happy to drive off a dementor, but magic seems to come down to training and will. In Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, magic comes down to studying and changing and improving existing spells according to general principals, and anybody can do it. Often the characters have to createe their own spells using magical theory. There are however some spells that simply do not work since there are not enough magic left in England (where the novel takes place) since the magician king and his fairies left. Personally I think, if magic worked and being a magician was a job just like any other, I figure it would be a lot like programming. At first you learn easy things like:


<p>Hello World!</p>


And changing it to:


<p>This is my magical spell!</p>


In my mind, learning magic would be more like sitting with dreary textbooks and learning the multiplication-tables instead of the somewhat colorful magic of both Harry Potter and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and being a magician is rather like being an overworked civil servant. At first you will not be able to do that much, and even then only accomplish things others have created for you, making small changes as you go along. Only after learning the basics can you learn to change the programming (or spell) to create your own stuff.
After enough training, you may even be able to use several languages (or schools of magic, red, blue, grey and so forth) to make your very own website (or spellbook)! I imagine code be like spells, it is easy to make them work but a really talented programmer or mage may streamline the code/spells so that little memory/mana is used. The code must also be tidy so other magicians can use it easily and co-operation for big magical projects made possible.

Hope that made sense...

Link to chapter 4-5:

söndag 17 maj 2015

Jackalope chapter 3


Most of the action in jackalopes takes place in the underworld. The underworld of this story is a very dangerous place that all dead souls must pass on their way to paradise. In my design document I noted that the it should be based on equal measures of Mayan (the monsters and traps), Greek (general dreariness) and particularly Egyptian (the knowledge of protective spells and the one safe path) view of the afterlife. Egyptian mythology is very fascinating to me and the focus on knowing about the one true path is somewhat similar to the Christian view of Jesus as the one true path. As I wrote in the blog-post before this one, I want the main idea of the story (jackalopes leaving paradise to help dead souls to safety) to be relatable to all kind of people. Guarding the soul of the dead can be like being a security guard or police-officer, for example.
As I write in the last post Jackalopes is in essence, a story about giving up or temporarily leave a privileged position. I do not necessarily mean that in the religious sense, either. I also meant this story to be applicable to for example rescue-workers or similar. Even office workers fit into the story as Jane has to go through quite a lot of paperwork, induction and training before becoming a jackalope.

But what of the underworld itself? The first and foremost feeling I want to convey when designing the underworld is confusion. Not only for the shades being stuck in a strange and dangerous place with no hope of returning to life but also for the jackalopes sent to protect them. The main two ways I have used in my writing in order to make the underworld confusion is firstly to make the transition of time and space somewhat dreamlike. Characters and places can move around with no rhyme or reason. For example a character the main heroine met can be sent away on a faraway mission and then reappear quite suddenly from a nearby room without anyone noticing anything weird. Time is also vague, and it is always uncertain how fast the days go by since the underworld is always dark, and characters are always surprised when talking about what time it is.
The second way I have made the underworld confusing is by adding elements from different mythologies, myths and surreal things that simply do not make any sense (exactly what I mean by that you have to read the story to find out). I wanted to imply that people have built cities, towns and temple all over the underworld for times immemorial and as they left everything just crumbled or was reused by people coming after leaving a mix-maxed world of strange architecture and machines that a few, but not all shades know what they are for. The underworld itself has had many rulers leaving their mark on it, its borders changing constantly (the underworld has two neighbouring countries, so to speak, Hell and the borderworld of Xibalba).
Even for the jackalope lot of it is very mystical and weird. The only constant though the underworld is the safe path!

I do plan on making a series of jackalope books (although very slowly since I have several other ideas I wish to explore in-between books) and in this first one we explore just the first third of the underworld. We explore the outer darkness (a term lifted from the bible) the borderworld of Xibalba (lifted from Mayan mythology, Sami dream shamanism and er, Half-Life). Lastly, and most importantly, we explore thirteen of the twenty-three pylons and are dotted along the safe path through the underworld. These pylons are the main base of the jackalopes and there the heroine of the story, Jane, will meet several different friends, mentors and other denizens of the underworld. This story was very interesting to write because the main villain changed three times during me writing this. All three characters are still in the book.

Can YOU guess who were originally the main villain?

I guess I should provide a little of the text or otherwise provide a favourite scenario of mine. Since the whole book will be provided for free on my website I think I will just discuss some of my two favourite scenes. Actually, the two scenes are related. The first is Jane stumbling upon the kitchen of a pylon and conversing with one of the chefs. I wanted to show that work to save others is not all about heroics but also providing for them and feeding them. The hustle and bustle of the kitchen with people running to and fro and small imps pushing down ingredients into the cauldrons and pans below is quite vivid and a scene I am very happy with. The other one is Jane camping with a couple of other jackalopes and a emissary from the religion of Ray, the fox god. It is a nice little example of ecumenism and understanding between religions as Jane and the emissary compares notes between what their gods are like.

Chapter 3:

söndag 10 maj 2015

Jackalope chapter 2 is up!

These series of articles shall discuss Jackalopes, a story I have been working on for the past two years and which is finally coming to its end. Jackalopes concerns Jane, a rabbit living in paradise. This paradise has more to do with the more earthly paradise of celtic mythology than the monotheistic concept of Heaven or the enlightenment of Nirvana. A great inspiration was the Irish Tír na nÓg, the land of the eternally young. This paradise is ruled over by a being called The Silvercrowned One and his wife Permeter.
In this setting, all dead souls must pass through the underworld, a dark and dangerous place where demons or other dangers can destroy or trap your soul forever. Souls that pass the underworld can reach the paradise of The Silvercrowned One or any other realms they chose to go to. After seeing some new arrival walk into paradise for the first time, Jane decides to join the elite guards of the underworld, the eponymous jackalopes. Jackalopes is, in essence, a story about giving up or temporarily leave a privileged position. I do not necessarily mean that in the religious sense, either. I also meant this story to be applicable to for example rescue-workers or similar. Even office workers fit into the story as Jane has to go through quite a lot of paperwork, induction and training before becoming a jackalope.
This article shall discuss designing this paradise, which was quite fun. Places such as the aforementioned Tír na nÓg is usually ruled over by some fey creature whose name must not be spoken. The Silvercrowned One is identical to Tymor the Trickster in my earlier works. This paradise is located over several planets (which the spirits within can jump between freely) but centered on two particular places; the silver city and the smiling moon.
Silver is the metal of magic, purity, the unconscious and the feminine. themes I wish to explore in jackalopes. Magic and the unconscious refers to the underworld and its dreamlike landscapes and buildings (one of the stories stronger points if I do say so myself). The female refers to the fact that most of the main characters of the book, as well as Jane´s companions, are female. As a writer you may regard yourself as a SJW feminist and still make all your characters male and the few females you create passive out of habit and/or genre conventions. (To take an example from my own writings, Super Power and The mushroom-shaped giga ship has ten main character with just ONE being female) In order to force myself to avoid this.
Silver is also a symbol of the moon, which ties nicely into the smiling moon. The smiling moon is the abode of The Silvercrowned One and the symbol of the jackalopes. As you may imagine it is a perpetual crescent moon with thin dark channels dug into it, making it looks like a giant grin hangs in the sky. The moon connotes the subconscious, once again referring to the underworld.

We never visit the smiling moon in this first book but see a little of the silver city. It is described as a abnormally large city with gigantic gates and grand streets with statues of all the mayor players in lapine mythology. There are shops and little restaurants coupled with large white mansions. There are also more traditional dwellings of tunnels just outside the city itself. We hear about two other paradises as well (but do not visit them); the kingdom of Ray Firecrowned and the battlefields of Id on Mars. The first one is vaguely based on the Egyptian afterlife of Aaru and the battlefields are vaguely Valhalla-ish. We do not actually visit these places because I want the story to focus on the underworld (paradise is only briefly seen at the beginning and very end of the book). Naturally we visit a few places along the way, such as the borderworld of Xibalba and even a faraway planet, but more about that later.

For the next article we shall take a closer look at the underworld, the dangerous land Jane will traverse as a jackalope. Until then, enjoy reading the second chapter of jackalopes on my website. Chapter two can be found:


lördag 2 maj 2015

Jackalopes introduction; Lepus Cornutus Invictus

Traditional rabbit song from Smilitass, West Virginia
Where´s the way the shades are walking?
Where´s the feet that crushed the cleavestones?
Are you asking
What´s that thunder
Rolling in the caves and caverns?
I am urged, yes forced to tell you
Of the rivers and the grottos
Of the fierce-proud jackalopes

They are in the deep of cosmos
Under borderworld Xibalba
They are skull-flames in the darkness
Lighters of the smoke and builders
Of the pylons and the great roads
That leads from here into hereafter
By the shores of river Lethe
In the mountains, near the forest
Betwixt the dream cave and the danger
Of the deep-steep walls of fire
In the house of shades and ladies
Horns of fire, ears of heart-smoke
Steps held windward, will-hearts flaring
Teeth to cut the ancient demons
The sound of thunder all beneath us
Is the stomping of their laughter
Rebounding from shaman to scrivener
Of the fierce-proud jackalopes
Hear me sing the song of legends
And the hope of the departed

Chapter zero; the sermon of the mall

Although the man was eager to get home as soon as possible after a frankly terrible day at work he could not help but leaf through the little book somebody had left on the shelf just beside the vegetables. It seemed to be some sort of comic deciphering a man dying. The man in the comic was confidently saying I know there is nothing beyond here; you are DEAD and that is IT. I have always believed that!. It then showed the man awakening in shock in some sort of dark realm, lost and panicking. He fell from a cliff as he blindly stumbled and fell into a flowing river of sharp scissors. WHY did no one warn me of THIS!?” he said with accusation to the reader as he was cut apart. It was so silly, yet so grotesque in its cartoonish simpleness, that the man reading could not help but continue to read out of a sense of morbid curiosity.


It is said that the only place of the underworld mortals can enter is the dream cave. Shamans like to say that only they know the road to that cave and bring back hidden wisdom, but it is not true in the slightest. Like a priest that try to monopolize spirituality, or worse, make it into a general sort of hoppityhop of beliefs where anything goes. You shall avoid them all like the pain of the myxomatosis! Wait, that is a curse fit for a rabbit, and you are a human (I think…you can never be too sure nowadays!) The point I was making is that anybody can access the underworld and the dream cave. You enter them when you dream, of course.
Do not expect to learn anything of value, though. Maybe the shamans and priests were right after all…work experience do pay off, in spiritual as well as mundane matters! And the way to see the underworld is to die, needless to say, so you will definitely enter that place at some point, good for you!


Everything was crooked and strange, and she gasped for breath. What was going on?
Hurry, hurry! Hurry and wake up, get a doctor quick!” he was shaking her violently, making her head crack and her view become even more crooked.
Stop, you fool” she thought.
You are just making it worse!”
Despite her predicament, she smiled up at him and closed her eyes. That a simple after-training walk could go so wrong…And to add insult to injury this had been her chance to finally exchange silver for gold!


Four thousand and four hundred years is a very long time, or at least it is as long as you are alive. But the more time you experience, the less a year seems (especially if those are years of pure bliss and peace). And what is four thousand years, after all? The universe, our universe, is after all about 14 billion years old. Thinking about such great spans of time is like looking into an abyss, giving you both a headache and a fearful sense of vertigo, for such amounts of time are more than we can grasp. Mortals prefer to think about time in smaller measures, but those in the otherworlds do not.
Oh, we study and measure time easily enough, they are after all nothing more than just more big numbers, but we can't truly FEEL them. We all know what a second, a minute, an hour, an week or a year feels like; a million (or 14 billion) years is beyond all human experience. But there are actually beings that have lived for that long, and longer still. One of these beings is Tymor, normally called The Silvercrowned One after the light that emanates from the head of Tymor. Tymor is the deity and creator of the hare and rabbits. If you asked Tymor from where it had come from, Tymor would laugh and claim to have pulled itself out of a hat long ago. This, however, is just a answer stemming from god´s unwillingness to answer the questions that truly matter.
What then, about the demons? Well, nobody seems to know that, exactly. Research has been made, but nothing in the land of mortals, the underworld or the otherworlds seem to be able to explain how they came about. The only one who claims to know is the hell-god Tanas, and he is extremely hard to get a hold of for a little one-on-one talk. The general consensus is that the demons come from somewhere beyond these realms, otherwise known as the borderworld of Xibalba, although even this is uncertain.

Anyway, that is really not what I wanted to talk about. This is not even the true start of the story, but rather an introduction to get you into the mood. The source of all evil, the demons and devils in this world may be inexplicable, but the source of goodness is not! This story is about one of the most selfless and good organizations there are. Every day they put themselves in danger, their very souls being the stake, for the sake of everyone. And this is quite ironic, since you cannot even be saved by them until after you have died! Confused? I am naturally talking about the jackalopes!

Link to chapter one: