Rise Above, Be Reborn

Here I am, running freely through Ilimoskus Valley. It is my hope to talk openly about much to do with Ilimoskus this year, for previously I had done so rather sparingly, as though I did not want to bother others with the mention of it. But, I realise now that the Ilimoskus story – the Ilimoskus world – is as much a part of me as my very breath, and to hold it in denies my heart of all its core values. So, here’s hoping for wonderful things to come out of this year!

*

And nor will I stay quiet about my mental health. I have a mental health problem. I am ill. And I have been for far too long, in honesty. Eight years too long. Modern society still sneers down on mental health as not being much of a problem (certainly in the UK, anyway), but truly I tell you to know that it is. It really is. Nobody asks to become ill. Do you think anyone asks for a mental illness? It is hideous, for you are trapped within your own mind, and every new step you take somehow leads you back into darkness, back into the eternal loop from which it seems impossible to escape. It is tough to get over an illness. I believe it is probably tougher to get over a mental one. The mind is a complex thing. Still! I am undergoing ‘treatment’, if you will, and I am sure I will be free eventually.

Fellow sufferers, to you I say: Please do not give up, please do not be overwhelmed. I know it is so, so hard, and there are some days you wake up and think, I cannot do this anymore, I cannot go on this way, and I know it can be tempting to do something about those feelings, but that is not the way. I know how lonely it feels. I know how forsaken life seems. But please do not give up. There is a way out of the darkness, and you find the light by seeking help, by forever seeking your inner strength. You will pull through. You can and you will.

Of course, finding your inner strength and clambering out of the darkness does not dig up roses, but rather it churns up thick mud and thorns spit in your face. But those thorns can only blind you if you let them, and the mud can only suck you under if you stand still. I don’t claim to have all the answers, of course I don’t – no one does – but I do know that finding the beauty and wonder in the world, in the tiny little things, allows the sun to shine upon you, and that is precious. I don’t know why bad things happen to good people, but I do know that the most beautiful people in the world are the ones who rise above their gloom and grab the sun for their own, shining its light – as well as theirs – upon the rest of us. A special grace and power comes to those who rise above the darkness. And their hearts, once so scarred and hopeless, turn into diamonds. Unbreakable and so, so beautiful.

But anyway… Enough of such sober matters. (Just don’t give up. Mental illness or no.)

*

I am here to talk about my precioussssssssss **gollum!-gollum!** That is, Ilimoskus. Lots to tell, lots to tell!

ONE) This is the most important, and so it comes first. I should have blurted this out ages ago, but, you know, I’ve been busy planting flowers in my mud. THIS POST <<- announced that my book, Ilimoskus: Times of Old, was no longer available for purchase, due a blumin’ publishing nightmare. BUT!! No more is this so! Back at the beginning of December (or maybe even the end of November, actually, I can’t remember) I was told that the book had been picked up by another company, and, thusly, it is back for the world to read. Hoorah, eh? So. If you would like to read the story, know now that you can. Jolly times.

TWO) I say ‘jolly times’, and indeed it is, but I was actually slightly miffed by this because I wanted to re-edit the manuscript before I put it back out to the world. Obviously that has not happened. Never mind. I’ll do it at some point. I am still re-editing Times of Old at the moment; I’ve cut some bits out, and I’ve made some alterations, such as the school uniform design for Anglarne Hill Independent School in the human world (which includes altering the colour of the house of Danebury, if anyone has read it and cares… It is now green, not red). I have also changed the little ‘dedication’ bit right at the beginning of the book… In my work-in-progress Book 2, the ‘dedication’ page is not a dedication at all, but rather a poem, and I have re-done Book 1’s to be of the same nature, and telling the same ‘story’, I guess. Because it might be a century before the new version is out, I shall share the new poem/dedication for Times of Old with you now:

‘A fire flares within a heart

as stone shields around;

in stormy skies it falls apart

into a sea where dreams so drown.

Can it see in the dark?

How does it stay so strong?

From where does its new life spark?

Do the depths help it belong?

The darkness beckons, olden one,

but you can see the dawn;

let these times go by – be done! –

for you will be reborn.’

THREE) The last thing to mention is a little something I have planned, which should be a treat for those who like the story. I had previously done this little sketch of the four ilyorz (or, in English, the four elements: fire, earth, air, water):

fourilyorz

But, long have I wanted to do more sketches of the Ilimoskus world and the characters in the story. And so, whenever I find the time, I have been trying to work on my drawing skills to do all my elemental friends justice (as within my artistic capabilities). My plan is to draw the most significant characters in the trilogy (which is a ridiculous number, I’ll have you know) and share them with the world on a new page on my website, in a gallery of some sort, with a sentence or two describing them. I thought it would be a nice thing to do! It will obviously take some time to draw them all, so I’ll upload the images as and when and subsequently announce it on my Facebook page and/or Twitter. Or maybe on here, actually. Who knows. But, given I haven’t even started creating the new page on my website yet, it’ll take a while until it’s sorted. I’ll keep you updated.

But, I also thought – assuming I find my sketches of the Ilimoskus at least tolerable – that I might create another page for them specifically, going into more depth about the four ilyorz (elements) and their clothing style. Because why not, I think you’ll find. It’s interesting, honestly 😉 You can see it slightly in the sketch above, but that isn’t really showing it very well. And, not only do they have different clothing styles depending on their ilyor, but they also have different clothing styles depending on their leoges (another strange word, yes: see here for clarification). There is great depth to the Ilimoskus world indeed!

And hey, maybe if I get really carried anyway, I’ll draw all the Ilimoskus creatures, too 😉 (which I’ve actually already done, just not very well since they are all in my rough notebooks).

So, yes! New things, new times, new hope. It is my aim this year to be kinder to the Ilimoskus story, and to be kinder to myself regarding it. I am telling you, I have been vicious to myself – and kind of vicious to my elementals as well (sorry, my friends) – over the past four years or whatever. Ilimoskus is a labour of love, not some hideous punishment I must endure, and so I have come to realise that this kind attitude is the one I must keep, despite external pressures or what have you. And, in being kinder, my love for it will ever soar, and I will travel to great heights with it, I am sure.

But I shall leave you now with two sketches I have already done of some characters within the Ilimoskus story. The main human characters!

Ana_Liz

This is Anastasia (right) and Elizabeth (left) Gott. They are sisters – Anastasia being the eldest. Here they are modelling the newly designed Anglarne Hill school uniform. Elizabeth (or ‘Lizzie’) is the main, main human protagonist within the story.

Dem_Leon

This is Demetri (left) and Leon (right) Carter. They are non-identical twins! They too are modelling the newly designed Anglarne Hill school uniform (don’t you just love the trousers?). These two are lovely characters, if I may say so 😉 – especially Demetri (or ‘Dem’, as he is often called)!

***

Fun, pointless fact for you all: Within this post, I have said that ilyorz means ‘elements’ in English. This is not actually true. That is just the easiest translation. The Ilimoskus word for the four elements of nature is rather ilimoss.


Thank you for reading, everyone. I know my posts can often be quite lengthy, and so I deeply appreciate anyone who takes the time out of their day to read my words.

Be well and true,

and rise above the beckoning darkness

to be reborn with your diamond heart

so to dwell amongst the stars

for evermore.

~~

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10 responses to “Rise Above, Be Reborn

  1. To all the mental health stuff, I raise my cricket bat. Keep on swinging.

    I love all these drawings that are showing up. i finally see the sma- young (!) girl who discovers the Ilimoskus 😉

    I had a dream last night where I was back in my high school and everyone was talking about Ilimoskus. Literally everyone had a copy, and was going on and on and on and on about it to the extent that “…until one small girl accidentally discovers the race of elemental beings…” etc was ringing in my ears. “CAN I NOT GET AWAY FROM THAT BLASTED BOOK?” I thought. Perhaps I was you in this dream? 😉 I don’t remember being insulated by Medusa mane, so maybe not.. but either way, it seems that even travelling back in time cannot get me away from Bloody Ilimoskus. I must be such a super-fan without even realising.

    • Now I’ve just got this image in my head of the cricket bat being the WAS initiation device, like knighting an individual with a sword (or, in this instance, a cricket bat). “I hereby declare you an official member of the Winter Appreciation Society, and you will uphold the honourable traditions of this order, Ser Winter-Knight, by forever complaining about the lack of snow and frost and defending the chill on all your travels. *taps shoulders with cricket bad* ARISE, Ser Winter-Knight.”

      But ALL RISE the cricket bats in union! *waves cricket bat wildly*

      Hahaha, what a dream! You are undoubtedly a super-mega-fan on the sly. Although, clearly, not so sly. When they are made into blockbuster films, you shall be there at all the premiers squealing and swooning in a homemade Ilimoskus outfit. You love Bloody Ilimoskus. Don’t deny it any longer 😉

      Speaking of dreams, I had one last night where Gandalf had a loverladylass and she died… and he was sad. Hahaha. WHAT?? Still, I dreamt of Lord of the Rings. This can never be a bad thing.

      • I like that idea, mate. And then after the initiation, they have to play cricket. KWIK CRICKET. I should totally send you a cricket bat for your birthday. Imagine that turning up at your door.

        Now we just need to design a WAS logo. Maybe a snow leopard wielding said cricket bat?

        It was quite a nightmare, wasn’t it 😉 I forgot about the bit where someone asked me if I’d read it, and I panicked because I hadn’t. I’ve a feeling there may have been an exam on it coming up, hence everyone reading it quite feverishly.

        I would most definitely turn up at the film premiere dressed as an Ilimoskus. Haha, I would genuinely squeal like mad if this was made into a film, and so go see it even if I haven’t read it. Mind you, I’d obviously be IN the film itself, right? In one of the better roles, I’d hope – I nearly said in the lead, but I guess that would mean I’d have to be a sma-YOUNG girl.

        Dreaming of LotR. Poor poor you. (Consoling tap on the back with cricket bat)

      • I always chuckle when you call me ‘mate’. I always imagine it sounding quite moody, you know? Spoken through gritted teeth. Hahaha, a cricket bat turning up at my door would be hilarious. I knew it was a bad idea divulging my address to you.

        A snow leopard wearing a crown (representing that winter is the king of all seasons, of course) wielding a cricket bat, and with that creepy snowman from Chiquitita lurking in the background.

        Imagine an exam on Ilimoskus. Hahaha. All questions in Kurpian, of course, just to add to the turmoil.

        I’d get you a VIP ticket for the viewing at the premiere, for old time’s sake 😉 Well, actually, the LEAD lead would be Fii’dezrhu, who is the main Ilimoskus character. If you could pull off being a spirited rapscallion… Hmm, maybe this role was made for you.

        DON’T START THAT, MATEY. Dreaming of LotR is perfection, I’ll have you know.

      • Then you imagine correctly, mate. You won’t hear me use it any other way. It irritates me when people call you ‘mate’ at every turn.

        Hahahahaha, that snowman. I forgot about that. Of course he must feature somewhere.

        Oh dear, an exam in Kurpian. That sounds awful. I wouldn’t like to be a student of the future, when this trilogy is no doubt celebrated as a literary classic, and part of the curriculum. 😉

        Ha! I could make that role my own, no question… I shall start practicing my lines.

      • Indeed, ‘mate’ thrown casually about can get a little annoying.

        Haha, a literary classic. Well, obviously 😉 (but really no). Perhaps you would be better at the role if you actually read the book, MATE 😉 Is that not what actors do? Study the role from the book.

  2. Good news on Times of Old, Jennifer… things are moving forwards!
    Good also to see some of the characters from your stories! And yes, I like the trousers, although I don’t have the correct-shaped legs for them myself! 😉

"What does your heart tell you?" - ToO, chpt. 32

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