Should I? Shan’t I?

In the bath the other day I had a really funny idea for a new story, but then I had second thoughts because if I become known for say…. Sagas about Vampires, would then making an unconnected single book with vampires done on a purely comical stance, be considered too confusing for my potential fan base?

Or, when doing a more comedic book, should I use an alternative pen name?

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy Reading!

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Why are only aliens nice?

I feel like an alien in this world as I am in a constant state of confusion.

Everything puzzles me. 

I feel lost and very lonely most of the time and before you think, you should know this is not a poem.

This is a post of statements of how I currently feel.

There are days when I feel like I have stepped into a groundhog day, I am sure I have done this day before?  There are days when I wake up and I am sure that it is Friday, but it isn’t it is actually only Wednesday.

I have an understanding of how the world should be, but I am not an oppressive, I love the individuality of everyone I meet, but it can be hard when I think that what I do is right and proper and I have people gawp at me as though I am some kind of purple spotted beast who just farted in their faces!

Yet all I did was, what I thought was any common decent thing to do – please may you pass the salt?  Maybe the people I generally spend time with are not used to manners like that?  I don’t know, but they make me feel like I am a strange and complicated thing.

I dare to be polite to serving staff at cafes and do small talk with them, how dare I… the staff don’t react badly to it, but other customers and those who are with me at my table seem to think there is something odd about that.  “Do you know them”?  They ask almost accusingly – “No”, I reply.  Most strange isn’t it? Apparently so!

I have had some friends who are on the same wavelength as me and they appreciate this personality in me and they have suggested what they call another cropping of my contacts!  I shouldn’t feel alienated by being polite or simply just conversational and friendly – but people like me seem to be a minority and it is getting worse as years go on.

The people at your local supermarket and those who serve you green tea at the café and the teacher at your child’s school are people, they are not machines, you can be nice to them you know?  It would make the world a better place to do so, would change the way humanity progresses… try it!

Be nice, you never know, you might enjoy the outcome!

Happy reading!

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New Look

Let me know if you like the new look in the comments below. I am worried that it is too bright, but I wanted the post titles to be visible and I think this is a lovely new look. But you are the readers and I don’t want to hurt your eyes!

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To pants or not to pants that is the question…

“I don’t think I really want to wait for NaNoWriMo to start this new story idea, but would it be considered cheating if I started this early?”

This was posted on my twitter @CreativeTardy yesterday and I can only imagine my friends sitting there staring at their screens in disbelief shouting “oh, for fucks sake, just start, will you!”

Well, you see, I have never been one for breaking the rules… well… certain rules.

“Bloody Hell, what rules?  Fuck rules! Just get on with it, creativity has no blooming rules”! 

OK, tone down the language please.  No these are not real actual replies on twitter… but, I do know there are friends who talk like this to me from time to time in private.

I frustrate them no end, I can see that it takes a lot for the poor dears not to slap me one when I get like this!

 Usually I plan my stories a little.  I have certain ideas about what I would like to include in the story and the types of characters even if I have no idea of the direction of the book, I usually have some sort of idea about some of the future of the story before I write it – sometimes I don’t know how the stories end, sometimes I don’t know the middle but I know its beginning and end.  I don’t usually pants it, as the NaNoWriMo vernacular goes, I am or was a planner.

I am thinking this new story idea called Dragon 2 will be totally and completely pantsed, but I am fighting against it at the same time.

I am, in my personal life, a little bit of a control freak – I don’t like micromanaging people, I am not that type of control freak, but I like things organised and simplified in my own personal life and I don’t like surprises!  I am prone to panic attacks when surprises jump out at me, my brother often described me to his friends as the “rabbit in headlights”.  I am the sort of annoying person who always asks for reassurance and a reminder of what to expect at certain events and so on and Paul has a lot of patience with me as he tells me for the fifth time that day that it will assuredly be such and such.  I am only like this in certain things, not everything.  I am not constantly like this throughout my life, just things that could potentially… terrify me. 

Funnily enough, I am not somebody who suffers from stage fright or being surrounded by large groups of people, especially people I know even a little bit.  I am not like that.  I am more likely to be jittery around small circles of people I hardly know or never met and I am more likely to be this way around my birthday, Christmas, parties hosted by other people I don’t know well or anything regarding health… occasionally I can be like this when food shopping, I don’t like being around small groups of strangers alone, at all.

Never really understood why – but Paul reckons it has a lot to do with things that have happened in my past with my mother.  My mother is usually antagonistic with strangers especially if she feels there are no witnesses to dispute what happened!  She often dragged me along with her for whatever ride she hoped to have from the event she caused.

I like to be organised – artist friends are astounded at how neat my areas are when they used to visit, how as I painted I would wipe up spills and go back and forth from the kitchen cleaning the water jars I used as I did my work.

Reader friends who note my bookshelves look twice at my shelves and cannot believe that my books are in genre and alphabetical order and that I had at the time eleven bookcases around the house, now I have twelve.

I also have around thirty box files all with different genre story ideas, poems, research files etc., those are not in order at the moment because I am struggling for space and that is damaging my mental health no end, the torment knowing that those are not in order when everything else is – it makes my writing work very hard!

They mostly reside on the upstairs landing balancing on our very wide bannister at the top, that acts like a half wall and guests who use our bathroom sometimes sheepishly quiz us on why there is a box marked vampires and another marked dragons by the bathroom door?

One such visitor joked that they thought perhaps I was some kind of cryptozoologist as a secret life.

No, but it would be interesting…

I know I was a pantser before 2006, but I was told that planning is key, strangely enough my writing habits have been declining slowly ever since! So I became a planner, I know being a pantser should be as easy as it was in the past, but I don’t really know anymore.

Anyway, back to the NaNoWriMo story – I would like to start in a few days’ time, but at the moment I am trying to decide whether I should plan the characters and some of the scenes now or let it flow naturally?

Paul suggests naturally – but I have never worked that way before… I have had a lot of dreams regarding this book; a lot of the dreams suggest it will be very successful if only…

Happy reading!

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Corrupted camera files?

Frustrated that the idea to share everyday my Inktober pictures is cancelled simply because of two things, my camera keeps corrupting the files as it downloads to the laptop and therefore I can’t share those pictures and secondly, some of the pictures are actually practises for characters I am working on, so wouldn’t share them.

I am frustrated about the ones I want to share being corrupted because I am not technologically minded enough to figure out how to solve the problem, but also because I really wanted to share with you my progress in making vintage style Christmas art.

I am useless currently but I am improving.

Happy reading!

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NaNoWriMo fresh idea

I had planned to write towards the giant story 1 for NaNoWriMo but something has occurred in my mind to change that; Instead I have decided to write an a new idea with a remastered old idea combined to make a very different story, which will be called Dragon story 2.

In the old story I wrote as a short story around fifteen years ago, a young farm girl finds a baby flying unicorn and flies off into the clouds into a new magical world at night.  This time it is not going to be a flying unicorn, the story will still exist in how I originally wrote it untouched/undeleted; but this time the farm girl will find a baby dragon and an entirely different story takes place, where the girl this time will not be adventuring alone!

This will be a family fantasy, whether or not there will be funny moments in this story or not, remains to be seen at the present time.  I am in planning mode right now and intend to fully write this story throughout NaNoWriMo simply because it’s very fresh and I do better with fresh new projects than old stale ones.

When doing NaNoWriMo, I force myself to forget all other projects except for the one I am counting words towards for the event. I become completely absorbed in that story alone, so it is vital I choose correctly!

Happy Reading!

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Demonic Orchestra

I miss composing music, but there is no space to set up my equipment amongst other things – I lost Cubase around ten years ago and I can’t afford to replace it.  I have learned in the past two years how to read music, but I am still not au fait with it to the point of any real confidence. 

In the past few weeks I have wanted to compose music more than anything because my mind is literally torturing me with tunes and songs that need to be made – particularly instrumental music.

It’s getting very loud in my mind and there is nothing I can do about it right now.

I love instrumentals and the kind of music that is in my head is tango music, circus waltzes and similar sounds to my biggest musical inspirations Nox Arcana and B&B Project!

I did do composition for rock music and alternative too, but it is mostly classical or instrumental for me really.

I have four tunes that keep repeating themselves in my head and they do so at length and they get excessively loud at times and give me really bad headaches because I am ignoring them.  It is exhausting to hear it, it tires me out and it comes to me mostly when I am in bed trying to get to sleep – that’s when it is their loudest!

What is even more annoying is the visuals I get when this happens – I don’t mean real visuals, nothing like hallucinations or anything like that, no – what I mean is, the scenery in which the music wants to be played.  The music seems to demand being played in my stories, as parts of movies or something, it shows me what must happen for the perfect habitat for my music to reside.

I sometimes wonder if I am crazy…

“A perfect habitat for my music to reside”, that’s crazy talk right?

My compositions are like living breathing demons, well, if you heard the music and saw the imagery, you’d wonder if they were demons too…

The music that wants to be born in recent weeks sound like Halloween background music for Halloween waltzes or tangoes… it’s not something you’d usually hear at say The BBC Proms.  Instruments such as the accordion, bandura and violin lead the music here. 

Some of the music sound like a demonic nursery lullabies or music boxes, instruments such as glockenspiels, glass harps and glass bells lead the orchestra.  This tune in particular has decided to set its scene in my horror story which you’ll know as boat 1, this story is about ghost children.

I need to compose again, I need these tunes to be heard, but it’s difficult right now.  So I guess, I will let the demonic orchestra from Hell send me mad then?

It perhaps would be fun to do collaboration with other horror writers about a musician being sent mad by demonic music that he must compose; a sort of musical Arabian nights meets the devil! 

Stop, no more ideas brain, please, I am drowning in ideas!

Maybe this is the devil’s idea for a certain writer? 

Happy reading!

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It’s my birthday and I hope for better things!

It is my birthday today I am thirty nine and I hope that the saying “life begins at forty” is a true one!  I hope so much that with these emergency appointments I have at the hospital etc. is going to fix something and that I can have a normal life again!

There are so many things I want to do with my life, but when it is a tiring task to just get dressed and maybe vacuum a room in a day at most, it is hard to see past that.

Things I would love to do if only the health was there… obvious one would be study and work outside of the house.  I miss people interaction and I love jobs where I am in the service of others, not just my creative pursuits, of course I love my creativity and it would be lovely to have a job where creativity is a must, but generally I love jobs where I feel I am needed and relied upon for things – particularly hospitality.  I am a lovely meet and greeter, always happy to help, with a bubbly personality, professional manner and experience as head of admin and customer services. 

I often wonder if Sue Holderness remembers me, during my short time as Christmas staff at Marks & Spencer’s she would always gravitate towards my till because she said I was pleasant and she often added points to my services as Marks and Spencer’s have a point system in play for their staff to see who is performing well.  I was only there for a few days over one particular Christmas; I doubt she’d remember me!

I used to love work and if I had been allowed to keep my jobs in the past I would have.  It sounds funny to say that, because it is not a normal thing to say – but it is true, in the past many times I had a lovely job I loved dearly, but I was forced to give it up as it didn’t sit well with my mother.  For those who are new to my blog, I was micro-managed within an inch of my life by my mother who tried to isolate me for years and I only managed to get her out of my life fully in 2013, when I was twenty nine, just shortly after Henry’s 3rd birthday in fact.

Thinking differently these days, I may not go into hospitality if I had the health back though, I have other ideas.  I am not sure if starting university for a science degree and to have a science career would be something someone my age should really consider.  But it is interesting; I have an unnatural curiosity and obsession with microbiomes; but maybe that is more of a hobby thing… like gardening?

I had thought, what I would do if I found out my health problems are actually curable even if it is by 50% – I had thought what would I do with my life now?

Obviously still write and do art, but what else? 

I had thought about the concept that my lungs may allow me to once again do music and singing again and if it did, I have to say musical theatre pulls me;  Particularly writing operas or comedy musicals for the stage.  One of the things I have neglected about myself a lot since becoming ill is my love for music to the extent of practising my instruments and composing becoming non-existent.

I miss musical composition more than I miss the idea of sitting down to write a full length novel, to be honest… well a full length non-vampire or dragon novel that is.

I do know I miss sport a lot too, I was very active before getting sick – walking an average of nine miles per day, just for the fun of it and also because I am a cheapskate and walked everywhere for the sheer economy of it.  I love bowling, basketball, jogging, and cricket and wanted to take up rock climbing, to name but a few.  But one thing I did really want to get back into and that is dog agility training and judo.  I am also a true water baby and twice I nearly got into the commonwealth games in my life, once for swimming and once for judo, but shit happens.

The commonwealth audition was cancelled due to emergency life-saving mastoid surgery, which consequently ended my judo career before it even had a chance!

The swimming for the junior games was cancelled because my mother wouldn’t let me go and stay the night away from home without her and made me decline.

I know I have to think about practical things, but I do like working for charities, at least half of my previous jobs were helping disabled people, particularly those with mental learning difficulties or brain injuries.  I have a passion for helping people and fighting for their rights to lead a dignified life!

I have been in a situation myself where I have been in special needs schools for a few months in between home schooling, I also have a long history of mental health where for four years I had to go to a day care centre at Napsbury hospital for treatment as a child and schooling as well as being in a very physically vulnerable state with sensory deprivation for nearly two whole years!  I have seen two sides of people who are supposed to be “carers, in caring jobs” and it is not all good.

I went through a time as a child where I was absolutely terrified of all men, except male relatives who were close to me, I wouldn’t speak to anyone if they were a stranger for at least ten or more visits and I went into strange bouts of bulimia, anorexia and compulsive eating throughout most of my life – this cooled off a lot when I met Paul.  I was spiralling into food obsession for three years before I met him.

It is totally weird how, now I am away from the stresses which dictated my eating habits, that I have developed a sickness where I can’t eat a bunch of specific foods without pain and vomiting and some people who remember my past, have asked me on the quiet, “it’s not your old thing again is it”?  I still maintain some friendships distantly via facebook and pen palling with some of my day care compatriots, who remembers a the time where I ate half an orange and a quarter of a cheese sandwich without rushing to the bathroom and they celebrated it for me, whilst I just sat there frowning and grimacing at the fuss and the taste.

I will say though, that I am becoming more and more of a picky eater despite the dietary restrictions I am under because of my intolerances.  This does worry Paul, because with our current budget, he is struggling to provide for me.

I must maintain a gluten free and lactose free diet, I cannot eat flax seeds, I can’t have too much sugar in a day, I minimise citrus fruits, I can’t have soy, I can’t have vinegar unless I want pain (who does?), I may have a mustard intolerance as recently I am reacting against mayo and a couple of other sauces which have mustard in, I can’t have pineapple and I can’t have anything too fatty and if it is fatty it has to be because of olive oil, I must be careful with eggs, no more than 3 times a week!  I can’t have too much coconut produce either; I can only eat small amounts of beef and no more than twice a week!  I shouldn’t have tomatoes everyday either, but that one is a hard one to surrender as I like tomatoes almost with everything!  But ideally I should never have them according to doctors.  I can only have two Brazil nuts in one sitting before strange things happen to my mouth! I can only have a beverage with tannin no more than once per day and preferably not at night. So, yes, I am not fussy about all of these, this is just the foods I can’t have because my body will hurt me a lot if I do!  Because of all of this, I have according to the doctor a very low salt diet, because I don’t add salt to my cooking and he told me I need to start, because my levels are too low at times and could account for the cramps I get!

So, as perplexed as you all are, I know you are, because I have seen the faces of offline friends when I mention this to them – what the fuck do you actually eat then Tina?  Food, to put it bluntly, proper, wholesome, mostly unprocessed food, weird isn’t it?

It’s the reason I love sauerkraut so much, the salt my body needs, the cabbage is really good for you too and you get added microbes for your gut!  Ironically, my health is slightly improved for the gherkins (dill pickles) and sauerkraut I eat these days, without that being in my diet three times a week, I would actually be a lot sicker!  I know, I tested it out for a whole month and it thwacked me hard!

I think the unhealthiest thing I eat these days is the local chippy once a fortnight, because I don’t eat their battered fish, I prefer their kebabs without the bread that is!  They have their own oily sauerkraut with gherkins and pickled jalapenos and its sheer heaven with their homemade chilli sauce!  Their meat is also homemade, so they guarantee it has no gluten and lactose and they don’t spice it as much as the places in town, so it’s just like fatty lamb pates really.

My most usual food to eat for dinner is gluten free pasta with homemade chicken arribiata, pan fried salmon stir fry or sausage and bean casserole with mashed potatoes.

My most usual food for lunch is, fried tomatoes and mushrooms with gluten free toast, a smoothie, vegetable frittata, or Ham & lacto free cheddar cheese ploughman’s sandwich with gluten free bread, I know the sweet pickle has a bad product for me, but it is so little my body hardly notices too much.   I don’t have celiac disease apparently, it is an unidentified IBD.

My most usual breakfast is, air, or very rarely cinnamon gluten free porridge or just homemade fruit salad.

My snacks are nuts, celery, carrot sticks, lactose free Nutella with gluten free digestive biscuits or rice cakes, pancakes with said Nutella or lemons or honey or maple syrup or fruit compotes, fruit, or smoothies, rarely jellied pick n mix and crisps purely for the low salt days. 

When finances improve, I am excited to ditch a lot of the above for things I really love!  Such as honey nuts, dark chocolate with fruit in, fruit leathers, chicken legs, kimchi, , king prawns and the expensive fruits and veg like avocadoes, coconuts, pomegranates, figs, chickpeas, mange tout, things someone on my budget consider birthday or Christmas treats!

Well it’s a life I hope that will happen anyhow, I am trying my best to fight through it all and get that life, even if my body does seem held bent on killing me!

Happy reading!

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Preparing for NaNoWriMo

For the past two weeks I am getting used to typing on my laptop on my adjustable table, it is slower than I would usually be however, but it is at least getting things done again.

Paul is not coping very well with shingles, so the move around of the rooms won’t be happening for a few weeks.  He has said come what may by my Birthday, which is the 3rd October, he had hoped to have done the living room at least – but I am not happy that he wants to try and push himself to do that, when he can barely do basic other things.

I may allow him to move things around his own birthday, if he is better, which is six weeks later – the 11th November.

I am planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year, but I may have to tolerate doing most of it on the laptop or by hand.

I have new ideas, which I really didn’t need, but they are dominating my thoughts at a huge scale lately. A subject too, which I ordinarily wouldn’t do… aliens.

The alien story is a comedy and it will be focused as such, as I have said before, I am trying to get out of my comfort zone and embrace the humour that’s within me.

This alien story has now made a total work in process of eleven stories, which will be called these things when referring to them on my blog…

Alien story

Giant story 1

Balloon story

Vampire story 1

Dragon story 1

Cat story

Boat story 1

Ship story 1

Historical fantasy 1

Warrior 1

Apocalypse 1

There are only four stories though that is being worked on more than the others.  Why did I add 1 to the story names?  Because in actuality I have ideas which far exceed the number eleven and many of them have those things as a main theme or character.  I sometimes think that I should name the stories for you; the name of the main character, but that won’t tell you much on the potential theme.

My main passions from the above are the Dragon story 1 – Apocalypse 1 – Warrior 1 and Vampire story 1.

Apocalypse 1 is the main reason for my religious studies. 

Warrior 1 makes me nervous to write when Henry is around because it is based on a character that does wrestling for a living in a war torn kind of world and he often wants to chip in and have more fight scenes than I can cope with!  He also doesn’t like the fact that the main character is female because of course; this story must be based on Henry!  But no, I don’t want to do that.

Dragon story 1 is currently going through its approximate thirtieth draft since it was first thought of in 2003!  Also around twenty original characters have been scrapped since the start of the project entirely and the whole story line has been completely remastered at least six times. 

In this current draft I have completed seventeen chapters and I am near the climax of the story, which I am sort of happy with so far, but the first three chapters may well get remastered again to suit the rest.

Vampire story 1 is the oldest project I have ever had!  This has only been remastered three times and I am struggling to decide if some major cultural aspect is doable or not and have been thinking for the first time in my history as a writer, in looking for beta readers… but not yet!  This idea has been with me since the 90s!

Which story will be the one I choose to focus on in NaNoWriMo this year?  Potentially Giant 1, this story has never got out of the extensive planning stage, so it would be good to give it a proper first draft.  As I am now embracing humour, this will be a fantasy comedy and to be honest, the humour will work well with the landscapes planned.  My main problem with the story is, should I write specifically for everyone and be family friendly?  Or should I have a no holds barred attitude on it? 

Happy reading and let me know your thoughts!

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Ode to plagarism

Did you need to be so obvious?

Did you need to shine so bright?

Did you know that the world knows too?

Do you feel you need to set things right?

You stole the words from my mouth and pen

Will you do it again?

The whole world knows what it is you do

Don’t you know what they think of you?

Why steal the light from others so?

Why not find your own path?

Why don’t you sit down and think more?

Why don’t you play and have a laugh?

I feel sorry for you

Your life must be so sad

Why did you need to steal from others so?

Why did you need to be so bad?

I hope and pray for you every night

That the demons you will fight

That your uniqueness will shine right through

Because you are not afraid of you!

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