The Shadowlands part 1

The shadowlands swamp the world with its biting shadowy glaze

Covering the mortal realm like a blanket with a cold sharp wind

Frozen to the bone the mortal men pray for the darkness to be vanquished by sunlight

But the darkness just keeps biting

Biting the tears of the mortal men as the tears drop onto the cheeks of the men and groan

Will the darkness ever cease?

I hope not, for I call it home

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The Gnome Mobile By Walt Disney

The following review contains spoilers.

The gnome mobile

I loved this ever since I was tiny – I don’t know how old I was when I first watched this movie but I do know that it was before I was five years old and I watched it a lot!

The gnome mobile is unfortunately one of the Disney movies I talk about a lot to people who ask me about my favourite Disney movies and I get the response of “never heard of it”.  I am always stunned but I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but I am every time I get that response!  Why?  Because it’s super magical that’s why!

If you are like most people I have told about Gnome Mobile then allow me to enlighten you to what the movie is about! 

The movie is based on a lumber tycoon of Irish descent harvesting wood from an (unbeknownst to him) special magical woodland where a community of gnomes live; Because of the deforestation the gnomes are developing a disease called “fading” which is killing the community off and the whole race is in dire straits and at risk of extinction. 

So Jasper (a young gnome man) and his grandfather (Knobby) set out to track down the man responsible for cutting down the forest that is their home!  Knobby has caught the disease “fading” and his last and dying wish is to see that his grandson Jasper marries a nice young gnome girl before he dies, so he is sure his line continues!

The storyline is much more than this and there are many funny twists and turns in the movie; my favourite scene is the scene near the end where Jasper is presented with several eligible and beautiful gnome young ladies to choose from – but it is not as simple as that, because as per the tradition of gnome culture, the marriage is determined by what happens during a special kind of sporting event that helps determine who Jasper is fated to marry.  Jasper has to run away and find the one he wants and hopes that she can pin him down without being wrestled off him for a count so that they can marry; but there are many other gnome girls all fighting for the handsome catch which is Jasper and Jasper has to literally run for his life to get the shy Violet he wants! 

It’s very beautiful and I love stories where they show massive ecological concern and so forth, especially with magical twists like this one.

The tycoon as it happens learns what he is doing and turns the forest into a reservation.  Sorry for the spoiler, but he is encouraged to do so by his grandchildren who had befriended the gnomes at a picnic.

This is a very inspiring movie and I have always loved it, as a child I watched this more than once a week and it was my biggest pacifier.  Unfortunately when I was around eight years old, my mother gave this movie to a childminder of mine so I could watch it during the day when I was with her and the childminder kept it as payment after an argument they had where my mother fired her.

My parents never could find this movie again throughout my whole childhood, so I was absolutely thrilled when I moved in with Paul in 2009 to find it as a DVD on amazon and yes!  I bought it!

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My week of writing 2

Words towards blog posts – 4930

Words towards novels – 12856

Words towards plans for novels – 3181

Words towards poetry or songs – 57

Words towards essays – 0

Words towards other – 886

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Reality is hitting home

Paul and I have agreed that I can’t write like how I used to anymore because I am just too tired and ill a lot lately, especially with sleeping problems occurring. 

So, it has been agreed to cut my usual word count down by a thousand words per day.  Making my word goals 2k a day, because I am struggling to get past 2500 words and I am finding myself in consistent writing debt of 400 to 1350 words on a bad day. 

Like today, I was meant to write no less than 4458 words before tomorrow, because yesterday I was lagging behind as my auto-immune condition has decided to step up its game.  So today I am even worse and needing to go to bed again at any minute (it is nearly 6pm) and I am only just at 2300 words today – so the debt tomorrow would be even greater. 

Before all this crappy ill-health stuff started to happen I would easily vomit out 3k to 10k words per day, depending on how much time I had spare to write.  I felt that I could force myself to fart out 3k a day as an average but I think I have to sit back and realise I am not as healthy as I used to be and I have to learn to manage my health and disabilities better, instead of literally flogging myself to death, just so I don’t – whatever… You know, right? 

I am exhausted emotionally and physically a lot of the time.  I think I have to reside myself to finally realising that I am never going to be how I used to be anymore and I should just learn to make do with what I can do.  Stop pushing myself as hard, especially as stress can make your health worse, I already have enough stress I can’t control, and I may as well cut out the bits that I can.

Not only this, but I am starting to resent my writing today, because it is taking me around three to five hours to do my goals and that meant that my time for other things, such as reading, playing games and just chilling with my family was getting less and less.  So I can’t start resenting work I love doing, because that is not good.  I need to always stay in love with my writing and art, since I found out I have fell in love with it again.  Writing should be a pleasure, not a bind.

I have just got to manage myself better around my illness, better than I have been doing.  I have to start being kinder to myself; as I have been a right bully to myself recently.

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My vampires love has rekindled ten fold!

My vampires have taken up a lot of my time this week; they have been pretty much neglected in the past seven years, only having me dib in at writing about them about once a month for half an hour on average – but I seem to be rediscovering my former passion for them.  I believe this rekindled passion for my vampires have come about because I have found a handful of author agents who are trying to revive the vampire craze with new fresh ideas and I feel that there may be hope for me yet!

A lot of my old vampire stuff has to be updated due to copyright theft from a family member who literally tore my heart to shreds when they sold my work behind my back for a few holidays and new extreme sport equipment!  You can’t trust even your own family regarding this matter but I won’t get into that here right now.  But I am in the process of gathering my old stuff for some legal poking around soon.

Meanwhile I have fresh ideas and new stories and new characters in the works – nothing will keep my love for my undead babies for too long.  I will always find a way.

I always suspected that relative from stealing my ideas from me – but it wasn’t proven entirely until I had a strange email from someone who asked me if I was related to such and such and I confirmed it and so… a new chapter in my life might be beginning.

Anyway – it was so exciting to find that there are some agents who have vampires on their MSWL (Manuscript wish lists).

So, I am aiming to produce my new work and get it off to one of these agents before the end of the year – I hope they still want it by then, but I won’t worry too much right now – it will get in the way of the work!

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WIP 19th February 2021

Gah!  I have struggled with a writers debt I caused yesterday by not completing my 3k words yesterday, so today I had to force myself to write 4193 words by the end of the day!  But I am having a really bad day with my health and a big immunity relapse!  I am in pain, I am tired, I managed to do some writing, but I have to stop now as I am too tired!

I have writers debt tomorrow of 4458 words… I can wake up earlier and do more; this is getting out of hand!

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Paul’s promise

At some point this year I have been promised by Paul that he will get me a new computer so I can work both upstairs and downstairs at ease.  Also this new computer will have a webcam and microphone so I can record videos to upload onto YouTube, I can’t wait!

I am struggling to decide what kind of YouTube video to have; because I have such varied interests and then I found out I can have more than one channel. 

I want to have a creative writing journey channel, which will have me reciting my own poetry and short stories.  I will also give writing advice on that channel.

The next channel will be regarding my love for self-sufficiency – I love gardening and making things from scratch, anything from homemade wool felt to jam and chutney making.

The third channel will be about my art and my art journey and art journals.

I can’t wait to get started, I should technically say that I will have 5 YouTube channels, because my son wants to have a gaming channel and I will be on some of those videos and his other channel will be based on his art or cooking journey too; because he can’t decide if he wants to be an artist or a chef just yet.

My son will also be seen on some of my videos too, because he often helps me with various projects.  It is pretty much a family thing.

It is not considered that I will get this new computer, mobile phone and YouTube channel for the spring as I initially thought – so it will be later on in the year, but definitely before Christmas 2021!  Paul has promised!

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Gardening is creative too

Some of my favourite YouTubers and some of my online friends seem to garden all year around and for much of the winter I have been learning about what they have been doing; because I want to be an all year round gardener too!

For my American readers I live in the UK and my zone is approximately a zone 7 – gardening zones are determined by your climate and can determine what plants will do well for you and also soil is important too, but the zones do not tell you what kind of soil you have!  I have heavy clay with the acidity of 7 and I live on a valley edge in East Warwickshire.

For the first time in my life I have decided to sow some plants now; I usually do no sowing at all until the end of March, weather permitting, but after seeing an inspiring Swedish gardener called Sara Backmo sowing things a month ago which I thought were too cold sensitive, I felt that maybe I will have a chance too as it is a little warmer in the UK at the moment than it is in Sweden.

The Late Bloomer, Kaye has also set up a large homestead all on her lonesome in Tennessee and she is very inspiring to me because she shows me that women can be independent. That’s important to me because I was raised that a woman really needs a man around for that kind of life to work and she proves that’s just not so! What’s more, you are never too old to try something new!

LongMeiMei lives in the mountains of China and she does everything herself from smoking meats and butchery and fishing and she does it seemingly tirelessly, I am rather jealous of her life if I am honest. I know its bad to confess that, but it looks like a really good life.

I have just sown some yellow delight tomatoes, ridge cucumbers, basil and Brussel sprouts.  We never had the tradition here to eat Brussel sprouts at Christmas purely because I don’t like Brussel sprouts unless they have been harvested within 3 days of cooking – there is a significant taste you can’t buy from the supermarket!  Paul hates Brussel Sprouts regardless of when they have been harvested at all, but funnily enough my son Henry, who is nearly eleven years old, loves them – so does our rabbit Ray!

I feel that being a creative person can extend to gardening as there is a creation process there!  You sow, you grow, you design, it becomes beautiful and often inspiring for others and it is a productive thing to get into as it can often feed you.  I have a huge interest in paleo lifestyle; I don’t think you can get more paleo than growing your own organically and making your own jams, chutneys and so forth with what you have grown yourselves! 

Until recently, my season was like any other normal gardener, between the end of March if the weather was good, until mid-September, but now things are going to change!

Many people online are inspiring me, friends, but also YouTubers such as Sara Backmo, LongMeiMei and The Late Bloomer, Kaye Kittrall.

I hope my journey into self-sufficiency will grow into allowing me to do things more independently (health permitting) and hopefully I will get my longstanding dream of moving to a home that is large enough to call a homestead.  I have always fantasized about owning a homestead and being self-sufficient, with a large family – well, maybe the large family might never happen now – but I hope the other dreams will come about!

In a few days’ time, if it doesn’t snow anymore, I will take some photographs of what a big mess my gardens are in right now and then update this blog once a month with how I am working towards getting it better.  I will be working mostly single-handedly because Paul hates gardening and Henry is too addicted to making robots and fantasy wrestling matches with his toys to help me as often as he used to.  I am no fool, I know it will be physically tough on me, because I have been sick for too long, but this new diet is giving me more days out of bed lately and I am happy for it.

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What I hate reading

From my previous post of the other day I should mention that there are certain subjects I just can’t read in literature and I will list them here;

I cannot bear to read dogs and horses being killed, or seeing this on movies – it was one of the reasons why I never got past the first 5 minutes of the movie Hulk 2003.

I cannot read about revenge killing of children – It’s strange because I can read horror where revenge killing of children is not a factor – they are just senselessly killed as part of the story and I read those. 

I cannot tolerate vivid descriptions of eye removal etc.

I cannot read sappy romances.

Also recently I have found with much amusement that there is only so much masturbation in a book I can read before I think it’s a bit much – thanks Caitlin Moran, for opening my eyes to just how prudent I think I might be!  I would never have thought that about myself until reading two of your books!  Lol

I struggle with historical fiction as it makes me think that those things happened and it confuses the hell out of me – which is funny because a lot of my dark fantasy is loaded with historical fiction!  So yes, I am a contradicting myself on that part.

But other than that I am pretty much open to reading anything.

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Writers debt and credits

I have recently rekindled my love for writing, like I used to a few years back – I was losing it to be honest but now I think I have my mojo back!  I lost my love for writing back in 2017 after I burned myself out doing 50k towards NaNoWriMo by the 21st of November and ignored all other writing projects and art projects as I did so!

I read in a book somewhere a couple of weeks ago – forgot which one, it may have been a YouTube video now I come to think about it, that when you are a creator and you force yourself to work on one large project for a prolonged period of time, it can burn you out and make you resent creating in the future – I think that happened to me.  The way to ensure that never happens is to work harder for shorter periods of time or have more than one project on the go, or at least some other creative outlet such as painting or woodworking or even music.

During NaNoWriMo of 2017 I ignored everything else but that one main novel for the entire duration – the novel was a novel I had been ten years in planning!  After NaNoWriMo had finished, I hated the book and have never revised it since.

I didn’t draw, paint, write poetry, write anything new towards my blog other than WIP progresses and I didn’t practise any music, language learning or read any new books – just so I could focus on that one novel that I began to hate by November 17th.

To be honest, I have noticed this is a theme for a lot of writers who do that – they never want to write again sometimes after doing this and others can’t bring themselves to write that particular novel ever again or revise it – I am one of those.  But I am trying to get back into revising that novel, because it was a great idea and I loved it before that challenge and I really would love to have this published.  But I do feel that it will be hard in the first few days to revise.  I am planning to revise that book by the end of May.

I have a writing goal of 3k words per day, whether those words are towards a novel, towards the blog, towards an art journal or a poem – I don’t mind, I am just not committing myself to one project ever again like that.  I simply can’t!  I had to stop myself from doing it again the other day based on a suggestion an online friend gave me, but I just can’t do that again.

I am happily working on three novels at once, skipping between works whenever I feel myself getting lethargic on one, just so I get the word count I want by the end of the day.  Today for example, I am near the 4k words mark, seven times I have skipped between writing posts for my blog to schedule for later on in the week in between concentrating on just one of my vampire novels.  It is working so far.

I am also starting something new to spur me on to keeping to my own word count deadlines and that is doing something I call “Writers debt” and “writers credits”.  I make myself write 3k words per day, if I only did 2800 words today, then tomorrow I will have a writers debt and must aim for 3200 words before I finish tomorrow.  However, if tomorrow I write 4200 words, I am in credit by 1000 words the next day, so I don’t have to work as hard because I will only need to pump out 2000 words that day.

I feel it helps because it makes me accountable for my writing and it gets me used to potential publisher deadlines in the future!

Yesterday I was 965 words short of my daily goal, so today my goal has been 3965 words!  I am over that now and I will be in credit of approximately 300 words tomorrow!

Try it, it works great!

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