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Take a journey of body, mind and spirit where you'll encounter things you won't find anywhere else.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Jeff Healey - 1966 - 2008 R.I.P.

On March 2nd, 2008, Jeff Healey died of cancer at St. Joseph's Health Centre in his home town of Toronto; he was 41.
Healey, died in a Toronto hospital of a rare cancer - retino blastoma - that he had fought since birth and which claimed his eyesight at the age of one.
"Visually, Jeff was an intriguing player to watch, because he played guitar - by any conventional standard - all wrong, with it flat across his lap," his publicist Richard Flohil told broadcaster CTV. "But he was a remarkable, a virtuoso player."
The Jeff Healey Band's 1988 Grammy-nominated album See the Light, which included the hit "Angel Eyes", sold more than 1 million copies in the United States.
He played with blues legends BB King and Stevie Ray Vaughn, and recorded with George Harrison, Mark Knopfler and Jimmy Rogers.
His death came a month before the release of his new album, Mess of Blues, which will be his first rock album in eight years.
Jeff was much too young to be taken from us; another in the line of Rock and Roll tragedies. He will be sadly missed.

The Wizard Of Destiny

Have I mentioned before that I love to write? If not, I probably also didn't pass on this little tidbit: I have had a novel published. It is the historical/fantasy you see pictured below:

Yes, it was published in May 2005 and I was quite happy with the way it turned out. I should have been, because I had a great relationship with my publisher. They were E-BookTime and let me have things the way I wanted them. I designed and created the cover art, did all the artwork inside and they even made sure that the words First Edition were prominent on the copyright page, just like I requested. That was probably the most important thing with me. First editions are always the most valuable!

First off, you have to know that I'm a big fan of the whole fantasy genre. The Lord Of The Rings cycle, by J.R.R. Tolkien, has always been my favorite fantasy books. To me, it holds the perfect recipe for a fine and engrossing fantasy novel - lots of magic, a fabulous quest, colorful characters and poetic writing. When I wrote The Wizard Of Destiny, that's the style I most emulated. Not that it's anything like it, mind you, but it is that type of quest-fantasy that I so adore. Above, you can see the map I drew for it; and like every good fantasy novel must have, I, too, have a map with places and names so you can follow along in your head wherever the characters go.

Seeing as I wanted to have a realistic background as it's setting, I chose medieval England, during some indeterminate year. I left the era vague for the simple reason that I wanted to speak about real people and places, but didn't want to be tied down to a specific year. As to the plot, it's about a young boy who becomes the great Wizard Simon's apprentice. Well, here is the blurb I wrote for the back cover:

Young Alfred doesn’t realize what lay in store for him when he goes to visit his local Wizard. But soon, through a strange quirk of events, he becomes the great Simon’s apprentice. At first, the lad has doubts as to his abilities to learn everything he will be taught. And to compound matters further, their King needs the services of his Wizard just then for a dangerous quest of great importance. With just a Friar to accompany them, they begin a journey that thrusts Alfred into an important and hazardous time in his young life. Does he have what it takes to become the Wizard of Destiny?

And of course I injected some humor into the whole melange. I hate reading those deadly serious and dry fantasy novels with characters who have such complicated names as to be unpronounceable by human tongue. Those kind of books are just so boring. Needless to say, if you want to find out all about how and why the people of Stonehenge lived, how to use a magic spell that will turn someone into a bagel, the beginnings of four lads from Liverpool - long before rock and roll came along, or the further tales of that bandit from Sherwood Forest, then this book is for you! It may not be 100% factual, (wink, wink!), but it will have you smiling as you get pulled into and along with their quest.

Why haven't I said anything about it before? Modesty, I suppose. I never liked pushy people myself, so that's something I try to prevent from happening in me. But.... if you happened to see this little blog and were more interested in my book.... here's a link where you can pick it up from my publisher's website: The Wizard Of Destiny, by Kenneth Dwain Harrelson. By purchasing it from them, I get a higher royalty rate, don't you know. But, you can also find it on any other online bookstore.