When you ski, you do so on two skis.
We’re skiing on two skis all along; on the one foot, the Music Studio and on the other, our young publishing house, P’kaboo.
Last weekend we updated the studio website. Added a few nice things, slimmed the whole thing down, it is now more user-friendly.
The music studio offers violin and guitar lessons, further, viola, theory, voice training and composition. We put on concerts, house concerts and musical functions that are known as “Ceilidhs” after the traditional Irish “Rambling House”. The main difference between our Ceilidhs and a true Irish Ceilidh is that in Ireland, they provide free-flowing ale. (Have I now put everyone off our Ceilidhs? 😉 ) For the rest, it is much the same thing.
The Studio also helps people through practical music exams; though we definitely use the international exam centres rather than having our own biased system. That way the paper the student receives, is internationally acknowledged. This year we are hoping to put two talented young violinists through Matric.
We’re also updating the book site, P’kaboo; a mammoth task as it is a very differentiated website. The most-used pages are updated, but all the author and book feature pages have not yet seen their refresher.
There are some great news for P’kaboo:
One of our books is now listed with Waterstones, UK.
( The story of a Serbian circus girl in 20th Century Rome, and of a female gladiator in the Circus Maximus in ancient Rome.)
This is thanks to our agent, Paul Thompson, from Bookseeker Agency, Scotland. The project is to get the remaining books listed by Waterstones, too.
Lots happening on the home front but that is material for another blog.
There is also a new Facebook group for discussing books:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/139271869584780/ The P’kaboo Book Club.
EDIT: Somehow half the post got lost…
On the Solar Wind front:
Nearly ready with Solar Wind 4: “Raider!”
A taster: Alien Touchdown!
He stared at the sea, and the Solar Wind that… failed to come into view. “Flying stars, what the hell is that thing?”
“Danaan Battle Maiden,” said Perdita. “They can carry up to three hundred petites. Most vicious soldiers New Dome has. Destroy everything on sight. The bigger carriers can take two or three thousand at a go, but the Battle Maiden is a favourite where Dana travels with an entourage. The ship itself is a weapon.”
Federi stared at the huge black metal ship.
If a giant manta ray had solidified into metal; if a Stealth had been forged to look like the meanest scimitar ever designed; in short, the thing looked as though it, the ship itself, had been designed to hack and slash and rip holes into other vessels. Like a ragged, notched blade. Its top, except for a saurian ridge of barbed hooks, was smooth and black.
The bridge was on the underside. Federi took the Probe lower, dipping and immediately lifting her away again. He veered away, hoping they hadn’t yet been seen.
That was the nastiest design for a warship he had ever seen. Underneath the manta ray-shaped wing hung the body of the ship, ridged with more saurian lines of massive hooks and barbs. The thing looked as though it had been cast in one piece, with no seams at all. The compounding body of the Solar Wind wouldn’t last a second if that metal spaceship should decide to take a jab at her. Not even counting those huge chutes that were clearly for launching missiles or maybe hooks, and those other things that looked like oversized nozzles, for shooting – what? Fire? Burning acid?
And if that monstrosity decided to drop by only a few metres, it would crush the Solar Wind’s rigging. And a few more, and the whole Zephyr would be pushed down under the sea. And run through with those spikes. Ye Gods!
Clearly diplomacy was the only way. Negotiation was in order.
“Does it have any weak points?”
Perdita shook her head. “It wasn’t designed to have any. That’s seamless tempered titanium.”
Federi nodded grimly. “They must have seen us! Why aren’t they shooting?”
“Firstly,” said Perdita with a smug grin, “you’re on one of my jets. They are invisible. The only way the petites can see us is visually. Then, secondly, they don’t have reason to shoot us… they can’t know that we’re connected to the Solar Wind.”
Federi nodded again. “They’ll know in a moment,” he commented and activated the com. “Who’s on the bridge?”
“Johnny Anyhow, sir,” came the sharp answer.
“Ah,” said Federi. “Habla Espagñol?”
“Si, si,” said Johnny.
Perdita grinned. If the petites were listening in, they might understand English, because Dana would have trained them for that; but never Spanish! Full hit for the gypsy!
She kept her hands poised over the console, ready to take a flying leap with the Probe into the upper stratosphere if it needed to be. All deflector shields were up. It should take a few punches before the Danaan could make a dent; but then again she wasn’t sure how much further Dana had advanced her weapons since she had left New Dome.
“The thing above your head,” Federi went on in Spanish, “is a Danaan space shuttle. Don’t ask,” he forestalled. “And Johnny, here’s what you do.”
Perdita watched in fascination how the Solar Wind furled her sails, pulled in her rigging, secured it automatically to her own deck, and then sank away into the depths of the sea.
“Brilliant, Federi! In the ocean, too! They’ll never find them now! The seawater fudges the reading!” She grinned broadly. “Had no idea the Solar Wind could do that!”
“You’ve never been submerged before?” asked the gypsy, surprised. “You didn’t know about it?”
“It’s one of those things about Radomir Lascek,” began Perdita and lapsed into silence. Damn Radomir Lascek!
“Why do you say, seawater fudges the reading?” asked Federi, intrigued. “Doesn’t this craft use sonar?”
“Albitrino tracing,” said Perdita. “Different technology. Renders sonar obsolete.”
Federi nodded. He’d get the details from her! Or better, he’d tell Wolf to get the details. “Perdita – what petites? Little whats?”
“Girls,” said Perdita with a sigh. “Always little girls. None younger than fifteen; none older than nineteen. Dana trains them to a vicious edge.”
Federi grinned. “And they break everything?”
(C) copyright Lyz Russo, 2013