I’ve been meaning to post this for ages, but [excuse here]. Mark Lawrence is the author of Prince of Thorns, which I have yet to read, and will as as soon as [explain here]. But no, I will. It’s in my Amazon cart, just waiting for my VISA card to roll over. Needless to say it’s getting raves. But wait. Read Mark’s guest post on Clarion Blog first. Now. And tell me if you didn’t cry, give god the finger, and then effing get back to work.

With a vengeance. For all the needy sons and daughters out there, and all the Mister and Ms Marks jotting, and sketching, and notating, and humming at 4 am in hospital waiting rooms everywhere.

I’ve been inspired by a few people lately. Mark is one of them. I don’t want to resort to the old, ‘if he can do it, then anyone can.’ Because anyone can’t. Being up against it does not make you a good writer. But if you are already amazing—as Mark is, and if you don’t believe me, then check out some of his stories, here—AND you’re up against it, and still manage to be amazing, then you are an inspiration to the rest of us. So thanks Mark, for sharing, and for actually caring enough about art, along with all your other cares—to take the time to inspire us. Yeah.

Dad, and Mam, and me. We made a trio, there in our borrowed black, him cursing God for the taking of a baby, me with the laughing gas and the tears rolling down my cheeks, and Mam twisting so slow on an invisible wrack, every muscle at war with every other, and no sound escaping past her teeth.

Mark Lawrence, from ‘During the Dance’