Monthly Archives: March 2021

Gardening & writing plans & books – oh my!

I have only written about one page towards a novel this week, because of sickness, but also because I am reading a little more than normal – mainly magazines based on gardening and permaculture.  I have no energy to garden yet and it is actually quite unlikely I will do much in the garden this year, but I am learning as much as I can whilst I am out of sorts.  I have reinjured my leg twice in the past two weeks and so mobility is now getting affected, I have an old break that never healed properly and the two separate injuries were heavily on this old break.

I have written approximately 5 pages towards the plans of a new novel for April’s NaNoWriMo as I do intend to participate this year.

I have also started writing a non-fiction book based on my current knowledge of gardening and self-sufficiency, hence the extra research too, I want to be thorough as I realised there is not enough of the kinds of information I want out there readily available and I wanted to make it easier for others like me to find.  So far I have written approximately 10 pages towards that.

All of this whilst sick with a chest infection, injured leg, ear infection and the extreme depression caused by the harassment I am getting from my neighbour, which is actually making me scared to go into my own back garden these days.

I am planning to start selling my artwork around the end of the year; there is a local opportunity for me to take up positions in the local art gallery and I am going to snap those up.  I won’t be ready until autumn.

I have also done four half done pieces of artwork this week, there are plans for 6 more, I am trying to do them fast, but they require a lot of layers and drying time so that can be frustrating!

I am also starting a junk journal for the first time.

Whilst I am updating you all, I may as well tell you about some of the books I have read this month.  I have read “Conversations with God” as a non-believer in mainstream religions; I found it refreshing, because to me, it proves all the instincts I had about God growing up are true and valid.  But I had all those ideas beaten out of me because my family can be quite radical about this sort of thing.

I have also read “The library of the dead by T.L Huchu” which I absolutely loved, it was about ghosts and it is a mystery, a sort of detective for the dead sort of supernatural thriller/fantasy.  I found some parts of the story very gory, but it was a fun read and I look forward to reading more from this series – as I think I heard it is a series now?

I read “The Spooks Apprentice” by Joseph Delaney, which I felt was not really suitable for children under the age of 14.  I found it too disturbing in some parts and my son and his entire classroom had this read to him during school lockdown online and most of the children were asking the teacher not to read it to them because of nightmares!  So there you go!  I enjoyed it, but I found it too quick paced.

I am currently reading two other books I got from the library, so I will update you all on those soon.  The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey and Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor!

So this is a condensed down and short as possible update for you all, hope you all are well and I will hope to post again in a few days’ time.

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Update 16th March 2021

I have managed to do around 5k words this week despite not updating on Sunday, sorry about that!  But I have had a really bad week and it is getting a bit worse for me, the migraines I usually get seem to be doubled over on top of the chest infection, so this is just a quick update.

Once again, sorry for delays!

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My week of writing 4 and updates

I have not had a good week regarding my immune system this week.  Everything has decided to play up again, my ears, my throat, ache in my bones, my cough is getting bad again and before you all start to panic, no it is not the corona virus!  Though I’m scared to go anywhere near a doctors surgery right now, despite a bad chest infection brewing. 

Talking of which I have had the news of 12 individuals I personally know dying of this damned disease this week!  One of which has left a family of 6 children under the age of 19 without a father, it is very sad.

Also recently my mother wrote me a letter trying to get back into contact with me again but failed to mention my uncle (one which raised me off and on a lot throughout my childhood) had also died of the corona virus just three weeks ago, after being admitting to hospital shortly after Christmas.  So that’s how much she cares about re-establishing contact with me where it actually matters; You see, people don’t matter to her, they never have – I mentioned in a previous post about how cold towards sentimentality she is with people and how people can be as easily discarded as items by her.  This proves it; even with her favourite sibling she is indifferent.  I don’t know how people can be that way?

Although I am very disappointed with my word count for the week, the whole fact I did anything at all is amazing, considering it has mostly been a bed bound week for me again. 

I have also had a brand new idea for a horror novel which I am excited about because I think it isn’t something that has been done before, but what will I know?  Anyway, the idea came at me whilst I was reading World War Z which is amazing really because the idea is not zombie based at all.

I am thinking about going into the planning stages for that book between now and April, because I am thinking about perhaps, health permitting, I may join NaNoWriMo.  I found out NaNoWriMo does an April and a July thing too, so I may do the April one this year, whilst this new idea is very fresh in my mind!  I am going to name the project “Bones” whenever I talk about it, so you know what I am on about from time to time. 

I have also decided against a YouTube channel because I have heard rumours than an average 10 minute video can take 7 hours of editing and I hate technology so I won’t enjoy that editing process at all.  Sorry for the disappointment guys!  On the bright-side, I may start posting pics on Instagram finally, well, soon, anyway. 

My word count has been very small this week.  It is as below…

Words towards blog posts           –             1334

Words towards novels                   –              6240

Words towards plans for novels –             647

Words towards poetry or songs –              79

Words towards essays                   –              0

Words towards other                     –              678

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Plotting vs planning & minimalism vs chaos

I am usually a plotter type writer and I do not like reading in first person and outside of poetry and my blog posts, I rarely write it.  Yet there is something going on in the throes of my imagination recently that I don’t quite understand.

The series I am working on here on my blog “Shadowlands” is not plotted; I have no idea what is going to happen from one week to the next in this story.  It is as much of a surprise to me as it is for you.  As soon as I have written each post, it is put here on the blog without redrafting – yes you are reading first drafts, I am sure you can tell? 

I am also astonished that I am writing this in first person; I usually hate reading stories that are written in first person.

I don’t know if this is a fantasy, a horror or a dark fantasy yet either.  I suspect horror.  But I can’t really say, for I do not know.

I don’t think about the series until I am ready to write more.  I am doing this to see if I can become a Pantzer – if I can and if this series turns out to become good and popular, I may try to pants my way through other stories in the future.

I have no idea what started this, but I have learned to live by impulse regarding all creative matters recently and not to try and make everything perfect like I usually do.  It doesn’t have to be perfect if you are having fun and you are creating something.  So far, it is a good rule to live by in my opinion.  I have started doing things in art, journaling and writing that I have never done before because I felt that there was a certain system and order you had to do things – systems and organisation are innovation killers.

I used to think it would be lovely to pour coffee over a crumpled piece of paper and stick it in a journal purely for aesthetic reasons with a few pretty buttons, ribbons and cut out vintage faeries – but then I thought, HOARDER ALERT!  Who’d think that was artistic?  But I recently discovering a whole host of people on YouTube who are junk journal creators and they are selling those very ideas I often secretly coveted for myself over the years.  I was surprised that most of my unique but ignored ideas were actually a cultural thing in certain bohemian creative circles and I then I became sad as I realised how much fun I have been missing out on in life.

I was raised by a scrupulous mother.  White walls, beige carpets, glass tables, clinical house stinking of bleach and spring cleaning happened monthly!  No room for cutting and pasting pretty things into makeshift little booklets and journals.  No room for saving buttons off the shirt you are throwing out and keeping cinema tickets as memorabilia, that is dirty hoarding, it’s not creative, it’s not nice and it is not art!  This is what I was raised to believe, this is what was brainwashed into my mind and I often dreamt of freedom.  I often dreamt of keeping all the pretty things, because most things I had growing up were often thrown away within less than a year – nothing lasted.  My mother was often proud of her “throw away” cultural ideologies.  She even bragged that she wasn’t the sentimental type too – often throwing away family photos of people who she had recently disowned and never saving anything just because of emotional value.

She tried to make me like her.  For a time it nearly worked, until I literally had the second nervous breakdown I ever had in my whole life.  She was making my home like hers, though a little more dowdy because she knew I liked natural colours.  So magnolia walls with brown carpets and curtains, she winced at my liking for oak furniture (the most sensible normal choice she could accept) and I hated it.

I felt my home was cold and uninviting and very old fashioned, it never represented my personality at all.  Not the true me anyway.

As soon as I decided I couldn’t take contact with her anymore, my house dramatically changed and it is slowly becoming a warm, fun and cosy place for me.

My living room side walls are green with wallpaper on the chimney wall that looks like trees from the Lorax.  My sofa cushions are a mix of all my favourite things, bees, marvel comics, quotes I love, kittens, rabbits and butterflies.  I have faeries and dragons lining the bookshelves as guards to the world of my imagination that are my favourite books. 

My window ledge is festooned with herbs and a lemon tree, which my mother would probably find dirty to have potted plants indoors like that.

It’s lovely and it is my home.

I know I am 39 on my next birthday, as things progress to how I want for my life, the more I am starting to believe that for me, life might really begin at forty as they say it does!

Let’s see!

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The shadowlands part 2

To me the shadows blanket me from the woes of mortality

I can watch, but I won’t feel

It is a blessing to be what I am

A creature of the shadows

I sit and watch in anticipation as the shadowlands cover the world to sleep

Babies cry in their mothers arms, cradled by helplessness

I could almost pity them

But I do not

The city falls slowly to sleep

As the shadowlands bite its way to my door

I open the door eagerly awaiting an embrace

The vines of darkness coil around my body mind and soul almost crushing me

But they know their own

Their grasp loosen and I feel kissed

Come play with us the shadowlands call

And I heed them

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March reading pile

Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson – as I didn’t finish reading this last month!

Entangled by Merlin Sheldrake – for the same reason as above!

Little Book of Wonder by Bernadette Russell – again for the same reason as the above!

The Spooks Apprentice (book 1) By Joseph DeLaney

World War Z by Max Brooks

The Library of The Dead by T.L Huchu

I am trying to read more fiction than I am known for; because I tend towards non-fiction more than fiction.  I am trying to broaden my horizons.

Since becoming ill I have become a very slow reader; but I am blessed with bouts of OK days and therefore my reading can speed up again to how I used to be.  This happened around January, but health has meant that I have slowed painfully down again.  It is frustrating because I get a sense of achievement for every book I persevere with and read to the end and I feel great about it when it’s finished!  But instead of finishing more than one book per week, when I am ill, I am lucky to finish one book a fortnight!

Will the above list be shown again for April’s list?  Probably, because my glands are getting swollen again and that usually means six weeks of health hell!

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