Simon Hereward

“Growing up on the coast, I have a special affinity with the sea. It seems that dreams or flights of fancy have more scope when not hemmed in by the menial structures we have created for our comfort. The great expanse of ever-changing water allows for these meanderings of the mind to escape our earth-bound perspective, to soar freely, till they find substance and definition, perhaps among the cliffs along the shore, perhaps among the clouds above.
I wander, therefore, among the crags and ravines, in many places far apart, to hear the heartbeat of nature, to find the silence necessary for clarity of thought. And all those moments shape us, broaden the mind, explore the essence of who we are.
Writing gives expression to those qualities we admire, and we shape the circumstances to best illustrate what we believe has true value. I cannot be a disciple of despair, for I believe in hope, in destiny and purpose, the triumph of discovering ultimate meaning for those born to seek for it.”

Simon Hereward currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia. He started work on the Palingenesis Trilogy in 2002, as a part-time author. This lengthy epic fantasy is his first work of fiction.

{or “Advice to those who do not need it.”}

Find a week during the rainy season, and a place where you can see the mountains and the ocean. While the skies are gray and the dune grass bends under the driving wind; while the skies are blue and the weak sun draws the smell of a fresh-washed earth... you will walk the contours of hills and vales unknown, and find an echo to your wild adventure just beyond your windowpanes.

Drag in your supplies, more than enough to sustain you through the electronic siege; bolt the door, turn the key and remove it from the lock. Fire up the kettle for your favorite brew, and while you listen to the dancing of the water, turn off your mobile phone: where you are going, you cannot be reached by such.

Open the windows for a moment to let in the free, cold air. Breathe in the fragrance of the autumn shrubs. Touch the bare stone and wood. Let the silence reach into you.

Arrange everything to your touch... there should be as few interruptions as possible.

Wait for dusk before you start. You may appreciate a pause after your initial contact; your curiosity will soon lead you past the frontiers where you now dwell. Even so, the low ambience of your reading lamp, the unfamiliar darkness of the room, the new strange sounds of night... all will contribute to your ease of passage.

Do not wonder too much as you take your first steps in this world you visit; turn a deaf ear to the demands of your rationality and ordered thought. Accept the laws and customs you have not agreed to or invented.

Do not wear your armor of indifference for too long... love those you like; hate those you dislike. Choose sides.

Pause for reflection and refreshment. Traveling is thirsty work.

And if you can no longer hear the drum and sigh of the rain on your windows and roof, put on an atmospheric tune low enough not to interfere. I will not advise you to be alone, for often it is an added pleasure to read aloud to family or friends, to watch the tension building in their rapt expressions, to roll your eyes at them over the rash folly of some character... Yet, the moments of glory and despair you want to taste, the tears of joy and misery you would like to shed, can sometimes only be adequately experienced in private. And the immediate presence of another human being may detract from the intensity of the emotion. Perhaps you would want to read it to someone else only after living it yourself.

Turn down your pace of reading from the mad rush of browsing on the Internet; every work of fiction is a journey that will end all too soon. Run your fingers over every smooth page; pause to appreciate the solidity of the book, the artistry in its design, the sweet smell of its fresh-bound mystery...

And when you reach the final pages, do not feel too sad, for all journeys, even life, must end. There will be other, higher adventures to have, and worlds to explore without count.

The joy is ever in the telling; the pain in taking leave.

S. H.