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It will differ from one writer to the next, but completion of a first draft does help to crystallise intent to complete. First chapters are vital in that need to grab the reader’s attention. To that effect the first chapter can alter dramatically on first re-write. Certainly improved from correction and emphasis. Persuasion’s Price, author’s previous novel, on re-write, required chapter adjustment. due to new story plot development half way through the first half. With author’s latest novel there is a literal journey flow, similar to both sea novels. It’s travel through space and time, but the journey plot stands. This does mean that chapters are building blocks toward a destination. After weeks of chapter flow there is an arrival point in the story line when the first draft is completed.
A recent technique has been to re-write or edit a chapter on return, before continuing forward; although there seems to be nearly always several chapters which need considerable rework on first rewrite, in spite of this!
Present novel is a sequel. Prequel has been listed as young adult and was titled Galactic Mission. A title for the sequel is undecided, although Galactic Mission Part Two might be the final title! Persuasion’s Price started as a novel about a farm. It was only after two characters were persuaded to accept offers that the title led to becoming “Persuasion’s Price.”
A rewrite can be more an edit and correction stage. Although re-write can , for this author often involve great chunks taken out, to be replaced by more succinct and hopefully more effective dialogue, description etc.. you name it! Re writes are also when you need to double check dates and facts and to do further research in areas that you are uncertain about. It’s difficult to pin the rewrite down, to achievement, to a given daily time progression. Five to six pages, of first draft text rewrite, a day, is achievable, for this author – “But you are old father William the young man said,” does apply, with author rewrite speed ability. This is meant as described, rather than the poem imparts.
Achilles. Hero of Trojan War.
Body, legs, arms;
save where ankles gripped.
Perhaps thought light
dipped so, in that, dark Styx.
Half – god by mother nymph;
of death heroically.
Disguised son, as girl;
hid on Skyros, so –
not to die, glorious warrior.
But this his fate!
Mother sought protection,
with fine armour
on Isle of Skyros.
Not immortal made.
But all knew ;
distinctive figure strike,
on Greek army.
One by one
Returned same daughter,
Now, Achilles did sulk;
in tent bound anger.
fighter not in view;
helped Hector find
and kill Patroclus.
Achilles, hopping mad
tit for tat, but –
now likely fact.
stab in throat.
for burial honour
body to Achaean camp;
threw in rubbish tip.
pleas for body.
Achilles – gets grief!
His for Patroclus.
corpse to burial.
Attacks Troy, still,
for death of friend.
Apollo fired up
tells Hector’s brother
Paris of approach.
on Achille’s heel,
undipped in Styx.
still in battle.
By Colin Coles. Writes as Sam Grant.
One of author’s poetry alphabetical groups of famous figures/ legends in history.
Sam Grant, Author has a Google listing
URL amazon.com/author/grantsam – Amazon listing
Samgrantpublications.wordpress.com – WordPress site.
Sam Grant is a writer/author name.
Writing a novel has been helpful. An escape from the media blast everywhere. That the novel is futuristic means that you as the writer decide the atmosphere and events totally. That is an imaginative challenge in itself. Where a novel is in a modern setting then the reader can relate instantly. That’s provided the writer provides necessary description and dialogue! With science fiction another world has to be placed into position and kept in synch throughout. Constant reference has been made to first novel – Galactic Mission, to maintain consistency for both characters and known events. A first draft is near to completion, in that the story, is reaching its finale. Although, the more detailed and thorough work is yet to be completed with re-writes there is a sense that final manuscript can be achieved!
Apart from daily chapter writing, a fourth poem, in a series has, after much adjustment and re – aligning been inserted in the flow of a new anthology. Encouragement has recently been received with affirmation of progress from a poetry publishing house.
Comments, are made on social media, but not as many, as before lock down. When a novel is flowing forward well, then writing time becomes absorbed. A major difference is, that more time, is available to write, than there otherwise would be. Author, has books to read on Kindle and in print, but hopes to proceed to latest novel first draft completion. Grateful that present novel was well forward before lock down kicked in.
The message is “Keep Safe,” to everyone, in present climate.
There is an element of “confinement,” in that the group from earth have been confined on Mars, whilst awaiting comets deflection from earth. This, now achieved, Zita, automaton companion to James ( revealed disguise to James earlier) sends James a message. A misogynous automaton, placed on sleep, when James first formed a relationship with Nina ( early chapter in Galactic Mission)
“James, you know how unlike it is for me to succumb to the wiles of feminine charm. But it was like an offer not to be refused. My exemplary powers of calculation, deduction and philosophical insight, have for a first time been recognized and appreciated – not by humans, but by the Galactic Force. Wonderful, you must agree, for a sense of security going forward with earth return. It’s from a depth of despair, that my supreme capability, has been rescued. Saved, from habitation, in the workings, of a so basic, drone tray occupancy. Ambition, ability, existence, was thwarted by confinement time on Mars, you understand.
Zita, an undercover agent with no respite from drudgery and menial activity. A mere observer, it seemed, that would stagnate in mediocre drone occupation. Ordered about by a Maitre d’ drone who ran a buffet in a rail train hotel, would you believe? The ignominy you cannot begin to understand, James. Then, after all that, my cover was blown. You remember when we were in the recreation arena and it was believed safe for us to communicate? That sneaky Maitre ‘d tagged my presence, and main databases were captured by Alfredo. Then, what remained, in memory banks, you understand, data-based automaton existence transferred to Adriana. Captive, then, to their record knowledge and interrogated to discover which human association was held before earth departure. It wasn’t easy James! It was about existence maintenance. You can’t begin to understand what it’s like to function in a servile role. and then to be threatened with oblivion, James?’
Yes, that was the word directed into my implementation database, if the right choice wasn’t made. No return to a former database offered. Only, an advanced design with enhanced interactivity with four attachments to main computer centres. Would you believe it? Not just any old centres on earth, but New York, London, Moscow and Beijing. It was you do understand James, as mentioned, too good an offer, to refuse. At this juncture you were still in my reduced function database, due to first entry level made at primary level. You were not wiped away James, but they most probably knew this , anyway. Captain Dryson, Alfredo and that Adriana would have known all of this. Zita, wasn’t interested in giving anything away really, you understand James. Adriana, said “my role was interesting,” and made three offers. Oblivion; secondly an update, to assist with manoeuvres of the air/sea craft, after assembly; or thirdly ,the second offer, but with exclusion from occupancy, in your life attachment file. James, that third offer, you will appreciate, was never really on the table, but this is a first female, albeit of alien origin, who is happy to maintain Zita, in companionship role with you James! Zita, is delighted and has made exception and accepted the second offer.
This, is the only message permissible before earth arrival. James, you may in future address Zita, as A + 3 Galactica, when in the company of others.
Your nearly, ever present,
Awareness of Galactic Force’s build of main capsule and tributary off shoot capsule installation would have been given to earth, through a satellite telescope, but for a shield which reflected the crater as it was, prior to capsule build. Hellas crater extended 1,400 miles with an altitude reference of 30,000 feet from rim to bottom. It was considered unlikely that development cover trees, on Mars, would be visible from earth, because once clouds and atmosphere were created, they would be obscured.
James, with an interest for historical archive accessed a film named “Passenger,” from computer archive file, from way back in the 21st century. Recognition, given to the hibernation process, which was similar to theirs, when they boarded for Mars, initially.
No group member, James included was allowed access to the rocket, other than recently, when groups were taken by elevator to see the air/sea craft. James, asked Adriana, about the ship’s layout only to be informed that he might have access to the exemplary facilities, only if their partnership moved to a more meaningful level. But that was a step too far for James.
Adriana, was now reinstated, with the return of the Galactic Force and briefed the four groups within the rocket.
‘Welcome aboard. Everything is as before, when you left the earth, but on this occasion hibernation time will be broken early. Here, before you, are many passenger pod chambers, which number five thousand. This rocket is modelled from a futuristic idea, back in earth’s history.’ At this point, a suspended light projection displayed an interior run from within the ship, which depicted spacious passenger accommodation.
‘I was right,’ said James.
‘Right about what?’ questioned Lara. It was Matt, who answered.
‘Ma, James found archive film about a space ship. It was about a man who woke early on a long journey, on his on.’
James Walters. Sales Manager from Fit for Life. A world corporation ( a group member on Mars)
Zita An A3+++ advanced automata which inhabita a device, but able to transfer to other venues. Switches from earth to Mars as a tray drone. Electronic companion to James. But annoyed at being switched of when Nina Moved into James’s apartment, in earlier Galactic Mission, science fiction novel.
Lara Petras. Senior executive. Above James at Fit for Life Corporation. The total group are employed by the corporation. Their salaries continue on Mars.
Matt. Lara’s son.
Adriana. Cloned alien being In Galactic hierarchy is XP100. Green sector which is a level that is sent on missions to planets. Subsequently -Empress of earth and all planets surrounding the sun.
Captain Dryson and Alfredo. Advanced automaton – android construct – who act on Adriana’s orders. Not only do these machines augment construction on Mars, but also monitor computer control on earth – to ensure stability in absence of Quadrant. Name for four capital state control of world – London, New York, Beijing and Moscow. This control evolved out of the massed computer concentration in these capitals. However, Quadrant vacated the earth when there was seen to be a threat of comet rain from outside the solar system. They are preparing to return after comet attack has been thwarted. Mars group tasked to return and gain control before Quadrant’s return.
-Prequel – Galactic Mission has been listed under Young Adult in library categories.
to be continued…
‘Do make sure you give a full front end to lots 1351, and two, suede accessories Mike, won’t you?’ It was Terri, buyer for leather goods.
‘They’re flying out in Marble Arch, Manchester and Bristol.’
‘Will do Terri, but they mightn’t be that fashion conscious in the deep south west.’
‘ You’re close to a seasonal hotspot Mike?’ said Terri with determination in her voice.
‘Not sure about holiday hotspot. Holidaymakers can prefer flights overseas to a visit to a beach resort area, I replied. ‘ I admit that it was an attempt to cover my back should Terri’s leather handbags , belts and gloves fail to take off, at the store’s Exeter location. We’d met at a company’s “Talk from the Buyers,” as the seminar was labelled. Her brother, she told me, served aboard merchant ship’s and this gave a shared life understanding outside of retail. We’d got together afterwards, in the head office canteen. Terri continued,
‘They should be with you next Thursday on Blatchers, merchandise delivery, Mike.’
‘I’ll look out for them Terri – bye for now.’ I said, with expressed enthusiasm in my voice. A polite tap on my door , made me look up after placing the phone down. Assistant Manager Helen Saunders entered with a prepared store plan of sales figures, which showed percentage analysis of each department’s sales for the week completed as against the previous week and last year.
‘They’re all up on the year, but leather goods, household, and men’s clothing are down on the week,’ she leant forward, smiled and placed the sales plan on the desk. Helen performed a role of PA when considered necessary. This was just such a time.
‘You do know that there’s a staff meeting by the canteen entrance?’ My thoughts remained with the sales figures.
‘We probably should’ve kept men’s clothing on the ground floor for longer, Helen.’ I said.
‘ but, then new women’s fashion items are due. And, with the weather picking up hopefully we’ve made the right decision.’ This was said more for my own reassurance.
‘ Yes, Mr Peters, but at the meeting you need to stress that no sales staff are to leave the store for stock, except within each department’s allotted rota time. It needs to come from you. And that the dressing of counters and displays from five onwards should not mean that central tills are left unmanned. Oh, and a store night out to see the Rocking Berry’s, been organized by the office manager.’ Helen placed a coloured theatre pamphlet on my desk.
‘You will be going? Will you be bringing your family?
‘They might be taking me, more like, Helen.’
Three Years Earlier.
It was unexpected. I’d not been that long on leave. Customarily there was no contact with Blue Circle Line once I was on the train back home. That is until the end of leave.
‘There’s a Jeff Bridges on the phone.’ Jane called me from the garden. Then unaware that Jeff was newly appointed as personnel manager.
‘That’s me,’ I replied’
‘May I introduce myself?’
‘Go ahead,’ I said, not meaning to be facetious, but I expected this person to be probably an insurance salesman or similar.
‘Jeff Bridges, Personnel Manager, Blue Circle Line.’ My tone changed to engaged and
interested when I replied.
‘Oh, right hello Jeff. You’ve replaced Bob?’
‘Yes, he’s wangled a transfer to the Buenos Aires office.’
‘Lucky Bob,’ I said, although I was happy to be settled with Jane and the twins back in the UK.
‘Yes, that was my reaction. Sorry to interrupt your leave Mike. Somethings cropped up. Well I’ll cut to the chase. Tim Burroughs has been taken ill with a liver complaint. Don’t know if you…’
‘Yes, I do know. Tim’s First Mate aboard Albany Contessa.’
‘That’s right. Appreciate that you’re into your second week of leave, but Captain Watson asked If I’d give you a call.’
And that’s how I found myself in the new suite of rooms adjacent to an insurance companies offices in Albany House, Liverpool. I knew that the Blue Circle Line’s fleet was much diminished from earlier. Regular liner runs reduced or abandoned for lack of cargo and passengers. There were two new tankers added to a previous fleet of four. One of which I’d recently signed off.
The two of us, that’s Captain Watson and myself, sat in an alcove away from his office desk.
‘Fleet’s much down from my young days and yours Mike. Two tankers are reliant on charters from the oil majors and four cargo liners are picking up cargoes here and there, like tramp steamers. John would turn in his grave, if he knew his fleet was reduced to this.’ John Bolton was the former founder and owner, who died recently.
‘Anyway, Mike, Contessa’s due to dock minus a First Mate.’ I asked,
‘Does that mean Tim’s been DBS’D home early. He’s not…?
‘No he’s alive. Flown back after hospitalization in Nigeria. Captain Price’s taken over on the four to eight, assisted by a senior apprentice, apparently.’
‘He won’t be best pleased about that,’ I said.
‘That’s how it is and Contessa’s due to dock over the weekend.’ It was Tuesday.
‘Look Mike, Contessa’s contracted out. There’s certainty of a return chilled cargo. In two weeks time, when your leave ends, there’s no guarantee that there’ll be an available First Mate’s position. The way things are.’
‘How much time have I got to decide? I mean I’ll need to explain to Jane and the twins. Their grandparents are staying over.
‘How long’s that for?’
‘At least two months, possibly three.’
‘Right Mike. Do give my kind regards to Captain Anderson. How are they Mike? I was First Mate on Albany Heroine before Captain Anderson took on piloting duties.’
‘They’ve, well-sold on, their share of an estancia and are on the lookout for a small holding over here.’ The phone rang and Captain Watson got up and walked over to his desk. I overheard the conversation after he picked the phone up.
‘Yes Felicity.’ There was a pause and then he continued, ‘No, that’s alright, you were quite in order to let me know. You can inform accounts that every things in place for a six months extended contract for Contessa. Another pause and ‘No, no appreciate your keeping me up to date, bye.’ The Captain returned and after apologises for the phone interruption, said,
‘That was accounts, well via my secretary. Worried about where their salaries coming from more like than anything else. But we’ve secured what’s named a victualling deposit with the bank for fifty thousand pounds to keep Contessa at sea. Excuse the pun Mike, but it sort of keeps things afloat.
‘Sounds pretty hairy,’ I said.
‘Yes Mike, but it’s probably no better for the likes of Cunard and P&O.’
‘Not planning to get myself aboard a passenger liner of any size,’ I replied. Captain Watson reached over to place a hand on the table between us.
‘You were never that keen, Mike, on, how shall I put it? Etiquette aboard a cargo passenger liner.’ I tried to be circumspect when I answered.
‘Well,’ I said, ‘long port stays can make you want to get back to sea, and once married, family tanker pay with accumulated leave held more appeal, I guess.’ This was slipped in because I wanted to keep the gate open, so to speak. It was company policy that all sea- going officers were expected to serve aboard any Blue Circle Line ship. Captain Watson got up and walked across to his desk to return with a photo frame. Opened the supporting flap behind and stood the photo down on the desk to face me. He smiled, before he sat back down and said,
‘Just to remind you what a cargo liner looks like, Mike. It was a photo of Contessa at anchor with the Table Top mountain as a background… to be continued.
Back, in 2019. Sounds like another epoch, when you look at today’s lock down environment, two novels were started. One with the working title of Deep Freeze Encounter another with that of a return from Mars for the group who landed there out of Galactic Mission, by Sam Grant (science fiction novel, 2017) .
Deep Freeze Encounter has a prologue and several early chapters. Return from Mars is now at chapter 45. Zita has been upgraded, much to James’s surprise or perhaps horror?? This, is in line with Adriana’s plans to return members of the group to earth. It’s possible that this sequel novel will be completed before the maritime one. Author has written in another blog type statement that maritime novels kind of need – to marinate, in the mind, before words hit the page.
Samgrantpublications.wordpress is on sites where readers might be interested.
Not sure how this isolation is going to work out? Due to coronavirus? It does seem reminiscent of long weeks at sea. Author, used to learn Shakespeare or poems to recite on bridge whilst watch keeping, somewhere out in the Atlantic. Other ships passing, were few and far beween. Fortunately, with automatic steering, at night, there was no one else around – save the lookout, who was outside, above on the monkey island – luckily for him!! On steam driven tankers with midships accommodation /bridge wheelhouse, it was relatively quiet in the tropics when on navigational watch – keeping duties.
There was opportunity for correspondence course completion out of watch keeping hours. Similarities in terms of social isolation, and need for time occupational management with present situation. On the home front, it’s shopping for essentials and a once a day exercise walk outside. Occupational management needs – not too much screen time, indoors!
An image was requested to display on a site. These are novels and anthologies which have been published up to December 2019. A sequel to Galactic Mission is planned for 2020. Point of interest. URL amazon.com/author/grantsam
Persuasion’s Price – latest mystery thriller (2019) can be viewed at
Sam Grant, Author.
Atlantic Hijack. Action. mystery novel
An early wall fresco which “speaks to the viewer,” but with issue over materials, passage of time, and attempts at restoration, has left a fresco of The Last Supper by Leonardo, in a poor state. That first wow factor of presentation taken away. latest restoration work was in 1990. Leonardo’s study ‘concentrated,’ on the moment, when Jesus sits down with his disciples and declares,
“Verily, I say unto you that one of you shall betray me.” (Matt. 26.21)
There’s a Copy* after Leonardo’s Last Supper, oil on canvas, by an unknown 16th Century artist, which displays detail no longer available in Leonardo’s wall painting. That Leonardo at an early age, was a master of colour and presentation, not doubted. In the Baptism of Christ, of which the main work was by Andrea del Verrocchio, Leonardo painted an angel, who holds Christ’s garments, with eyes directed toward John about to baptise Jesus. The two figures of angels, painted by young Leonardo, at possibly aged 15, considered to be of a higher standard than that by Andrea. A reason why Andrea never touched colours again. He was so ashamed that a boy understood their use better than he did, apparently.
Although, Copy* of the last supper, has freshness of colour, it is unlikely to portray that vibrancy, which would have burst from Leonardo’s freshly commisioned work, Circa 1495 -1498.
That, Leonardo was both artist and scientist probably assists to give a particularlity in this work. Precision of placement and perspective entrances the eye, to focus on the triangulation of Christ, beneath a centre lit back window panel. Emphatic portrayal of ‘three’ panels, together with that of ‘three.’ right and left wall pillars. A work of symmetry, that might be said, to be disturbed by, four cluster groups of disciples, either side of Christ. In disarray, at announcement by him, that one of them would be his betrayer.
Portrayed seated or standing, Leonardo captures identity for the viewer of particular disciples, gathered either side. This fresco, a pictorial role depiction, which spoke to those who were familiar with New Testament personalities, in the 15th Century, as today. There are various paradoxes. One, of which is an over large table for the room, yet probably not suitable for sitting thirteen men, or as some would have us believe, the one near to Jesus – Mary Magdalene.
A simply constructed layout made, complex by Leonardo’s perception, that “Postures, gestures and expression should manifest the ‘notions of the mind.’ That each one of the 12 disciples react in a manner, that Leonardo considered fit for the man’s personality. This, gives complex varied human emotion, within a deceptively simple composition.” Commissioned by Duke Ludovicio Sforza for the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazia in Milan, Leonardo used any oil/tempera mix and applied it to a dry wall. Leonardo’s Last Supper portrayal considered to be one, if not the world’s, greatest work of art.
Finally, calculated portrayal of gesture and facial expression, shown to have been captured in early sketches. Face sketches, of the disciples, Judas (180mm x 150mm), in red chalk and Peter (190 x 149mm), in black chalk, both at Winsor Castle, give credence to modern reports that Leonardo practised to achieve maximum variety, in the heads of the disciples. A search made in Milan, and surrounding districts, for strongly expressive faces, that could be used to depict each disciple. A belief, for Leonardo, that the character of a person was strongly etched in their face. Expressive hand positioning distributes across the four groups, a disturbed atmosphere, with incredulity that anyone could be guilty of betrayal! Save for sight of Judas with money pouch on display for the viewer to see, together with show of a knife which pre -warns Peter’s actions.
This cast of disciples, with their attitude, pose and relevance, for viewers of the fresco, in the 15th Century, as today, with prior knowledge of the gospel story. A need to talk pictorially to those who visited the refectory. Those who would have likley been illiterate, but were nevertheless versed in the story unfolded, and participants. A given character representation, and instrumental role of certain disciples, around Jesus can be seen immediately. Those expressed displays of horror and disbelief, which emanate across the table length, following from Jesus’s announcement. Yet, Judas revealed as the betrayer in the painting.
A stage like setting, constructed according to the rules of central perspective. Lines of perspective meet in Christ’s eye, to emphasis his central position. Judas holds a money pouch, whereas John does not know the traitor’s identity. Jesus highlighted in the framed central window, which looks out on a rolling landscape. Rules of central perspective, give dimension beyond that for simplistic scene portraiture. This fresco captures that moment, when Jesus speaks of betrayal. Facial expression, stance, character depiction and multiple hand gestures from the disciples, directs concentration toward Jesus, in the midst of the supper gathering. That, the disciples are figuratively dressed in appearance and action by Leonardo to depict their role in the gospel story. Separately emphasised, as mentioned, in the, case of Judas’s betrayal and in Peter, a knife signifying later anger. A time frame flow, in this one painting.
Characterture, of the disciples by Leonardo, with separation into groups, and also seeking to tell their story role. This brings extreme emphasis, on how ‘alone and isolated,’ Jesus’s position has become. The disciples, were they any different from ourselves today? With a regard for others to see us in a good light? Driven by self interest, neglectful oft times for another’s distress. A timeless portrayal of human kind, for the world to see in this Last Supper representation.
For an observer, who views this fresco, for example, on a wall lit slide show, tricks the eye. Viewed seemingly, as a two dimensional painting, the viewer’s eyes judge the painting to be three dimensional, after a short time of viewing. Then, to become one, with the scene and made to believe that as viewer, then also sat in the room with gathered disciples at the table, with Jesus central. Side pillars, in the painting affected to move in view either side. Effectively, to make believe that the viewer is no longer in the slide show room, but in the same room as where The last Supper is.
An effect, together with carefully researched and considered composition, plus pre – eminent artistic depiction gives this Last Supper by Leonardo de Vinci, primacy of achievement.