Monday, October 16, 2017

A Rather Round Contest!

The Kindle version of my Rather Round Alphabet book will be available for free download at Amazon.com from October 16th to October 20th. Go there now and download your FREE copy. While you are there you can also order a copy of the Print-On-Demand version, if you are so inclined. Then come back here and leave a comment saying you have downloaded your copy and be entered to win any number of Rather Round items. I'll be giving away:
Buttons


Stickers


A Set of Flash/Game Cards


A Copy of  the Print-On-Demand Book


To get extra chances, friend me on Twitter, follow my F.S. Poesy Instagram, and my personal Instagram, and tell me that you did in your comment. I'll add an extra chance for each account you follow. I'll also add chances if you share this post on social media and if you follow this page using the button on the right. Just let me know in your comment. I trust you! :)

Also, I'd love it if you checked out my SCBWI BookStop page and maybe left a like and signed the guestbook I'll be picking a winner from those who sign the questbook. And soon I'll be doing a Print On Demand book giveaway on Goodreads if you want to follow me there.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Remembrance of Moon Day and Slipshod Island

For many, today is Moon Day, the day in 1969 that Neil Armstrong and "Buzz" Aldrin took one giant step for mankind by being the first humans to walk on the moon. But for my good friend, and children's book author, Francis S. Poesy, it is the day that no one remembers. Because while the entire world was focused on the amazing achievement of the moon landing, no one remembers how his home off the northwest coast of Ireland, Slipshod Island, slid back into the ocean after a microseismic event shook it to pieces.


The approximate original location of the now lost Slipshod Island.

Luckily, most occupants of the island were on the mainland to watch the moon landing at a local pub or through the windows of Gilmartin's TV repair shop. But those left on the island were lost to the sea in the geologic convulsions. And this would have been a great tragedy worthy of news headlines except for the fact that all those who stayed behind were selkies and simply transformed back into seals and swam off into the encroaching waters to be with their brethren. But that does not soften the loss of what had been Francis' family's home for centuries.

Francis' mother, Frances Slipshod-Poesy, was the last descendant of the original tribe of Celtic people who settled the island in the 9th century. The Slipshods came from the mainland seeking respite from marauding Vikings. They came with a contingent of monks who built an abbey surrounded by a rough fortress next to the small settlement. The island of Slipshod was virtually a wasteland. However, through hard work, suffering, and reciprocal cooperative relationships with selkies and mudstone sprites, the Slipshod people tugged a living out of the desolate land and the savage waters, while the monks spent their days as scribes, copying ancient texts and histories which they sold on the mainland for profit.

The smartest of the Slipshod children were educated in the abbey where many became monks or nuns. Over the centuries Slipshod Island became known for it scribes, its manuscripts, and its highly educated writers. Francis was educated in the Abbey School until that day in 1969 and he hails from a long line of proud Slipshod writers.

But, to be true, Slipshod was a little and little-known island in the modern space age, where classical learning was no longer valued. By the time the newspapers and reporters found out about Slipshod Island's disappearance, the world had moved on and it was not considered newsworthy. Francis is one of a dwindling few who know, or care, about what happened that day. So, if you raise a glass today to the moon men, please also raise it again in remembrance of the lost island of Slipshod.

Or you could also go to Amazon.com and buy Francis' Kindle book, A Rather Round Alphabet.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Queen Aramina, the Wede Wicche

I'm a big fan of author/illustrator/graphic novelist Ben Hatke. He's the creator of the Zita the Spacegirl and Mighty Jack graphic novels from 01:First Second publishing, as well as author/illustrator of a number of storybooks, etc. This May, Ben has been participating in the #MerMay drawing challenge on Instagram (he's @heybenhatke on IG. Go follow him). His merfolk are amazing and the details beg that a story be told about each one. His latest tattooed mermaid, seen below, caught my eye and I  couldn't stop thinking about what her background was. So I decided to venture into the realm of fan fiction by writing out a brief sketch of what this mermaid was all about. It's not a story. It is more of a guess on my part about what her basic story is. Read it below and let me know what you think of my take on Ben's amazing work. I present a background sketch of Queen Aramina, the Wede Wicche.

   


This is Queen Aramina. She is a wede wicche. She is the queen of her domain which encompasses a large portion of the northern Atlantic close to the British Isles. She is of royal blood and is a wede wicche as her aunt was before her. Queen Aramina is a benevolent monarch and is loved by her subjects, although they still tell stories of her misspent youth. Tattoos are not forbidden for the merfolk, however they are not a mer-art so those who display them are known to have consorted with humans, and usually humans of questionable character. Only her own strong will, bravery, and kind heart kept her from being ostracized for what many thought was too close a connection to pirates and whalers. It also didn't hurt that she was a princess.

A wede wicche, (pronounced ewheade ewitchae in mer tongue but pronounced weed witch in modern day English), is a mermaid with special powers over the plants of the seas. Many think the appearance of the wede wicche is the reason for her name, as she can easily camoflage herself as seaweed if needed. Others think the skill of botanical pharmacology is the extent of the wede wicche's power, but that is not so. While every wede wicche is sure to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the plants of the sea - their potency and their uses - it is a supernatural power that allows her to control plant life, from plankton to all forms of sea weed.

An angered wede wicche can cause an algae bloom that creates toxins, killing fish throughout a large swath of ocean. This may be done to punish treaty breaking fishermen by destroying their catch as they can't sell fish that will poison those who eat it. Or she can cause kelp beds to clog the propellers of boats keeping them trapped in harbor or worse, trapped at sea.

 A benevolent or happy wede wicche might save a fisherman washed overboard in a storm by encapsulating him in a ball of seaweed and floating it to the surface where he can be pulled back aboard by his shipmates. Usually those sailors will then toss a gift overboard to thank the wede wicche. Stories are told of an angry wede wicche sinking a fishing vessel and drowning all aboard when she did not receive a gift for saving one of the fishermen. Some say it is an old wife's tale, and that the storm took the vessel down, but all the fishermen's wives and mothers make sure to send their men to sea with a jewel or other precious gift to please a wede wicche, just in case.

While mermaids do not generally seek out social interaction with humans, it is not unheard of. Most limit their contact to small farming communities or fishing villages. Some wede wicches have been known to help seaside farmers to harvest seaweed for fertilizer, with little or no recompense other than a song on the fiddle or a dinner of boiled potato, root vegetables, and roasted hare. It is believed that their interest in plants sometimes extends to land plants and they enlist the help of humans to learn more about the plants they cannot reach.

Queen Aramina's proclivity for pirates and whalers in her youth caused much consternation in the royal court. She did not limit her contact to a single community. Not all is known of her contacts with humans however it is said that every tattoo tells a story of her adventures before she returned home, saved her kingdom, and assumed her throne.

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Rather Round Airport?


This could be a good idea for a "What If" picture book about the future. What if an airport was round? What if you could vacation on the moon? What if...what if...what if!

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-39284294

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Rather Round Alphabet is free for a day!


I apologize for such short notice but my Kindle ebook "A Rather Round Alphabet" is available for free download for the rest of today (March 18, 2017), here: https://www.amazon.com/Rather-Round-Alphabet-Francis-Poesy-ebook/dp/B06XFSKV1D/ref=sr_1_1

Please download it and give it a run through. Feel free to review it if you like it. Also, share it with your friends and family. I can only offer the book for free for a limited time but I hope to make it free again, some time soon.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017