Tag Archives: Christmas

The airheads future

I don’t want my blog to become too predictable, so I thought I would spread out my influence posts over a couple of weeks – Paul felt that perhaps I should do them every day for a week, but I felt that would bore people; let me know if I was wrong, please.

I will be discussing a lot more about how I think and feel about many artists and writers works in the future of this blog, whilst still maintaining poetry, writing updates and maybe the odd short story now and again to entertain you.

I am preparing myself for two things over the next coming months; my deadline of October 21st or thereabouts as my first step into contacting an author’s agent to look for representation for my series project AD and the other thing is learning how to start a YouTube channel for just after Christmas.

I have been planning a YouTube channel for nearly three years now and to be perfectly honest I am more than a little nervous about it, because I am not very body confident.

Paul said there are lots of YouTube channels where you don’t see the person videoing, but I know it wouldn’t work for me in what I want to do though. 

My blog is just about me, my life, my hobbies and my journey into becoming a fulltime successful creative, either as a writer or artist or if I am really lucky – both!  I have even thought about doing an occasional review of the books I like and maybe even shopping hauls once I get a bit more confident.

Why so much for one channel?  I am easily bored and it will help me find out more about what people enjoy about me, then I may open up more channels to be more specific with each different thing.

I am very new to all of this and I am not technologically savvy, I have had a very sheltered and socially isolated life, so one of my main concerns is coming across as an air head who is all over the place… although me being an air head that is all over the place is true, I don’t want to be known for it, if you get me? 

I am laughing at the irony of what I have just said, but there you go, maybe I should just relax and be happy about being an air head, eh?

Happy reading!

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AD project update

I am conflicted with my main project AD (anthropomorphic dystopian idea); I had wanted this to be the one that goes out to agents in October and that might still happen, but I feel I am not ready for that on a personal level.  What I do feel ready to release in October potentially could be another project I am halfway through, which is my Christmas story.

Why am I so conflicted? 

Because I want my AD project to be a graphic novel and I also want to do the art for it too, but my art is not good enough for what I want it to be yet.  So, I am making it something I don’t want it to be – a series of novellas.

I want to stay true to my heart, but some friends who have had big hints about the work want this project out there now!  I feel I owe it to them; so many people are excited for this project.

But do I want to renege on my plans for it to be a graphic novel and make a series of novellas out them at the risk that someday I might re-write it in graphic novel form and get it published again in that format, or should I wait?

My heart tells me two things – hurry up and practise your art work and how to write graphic novels professionally and get the work out there ASAP, but it also says, it’s not realistic just yet, give yourself another year, you can always send out your other works which don’t need so much from you!

The problem comes with the fact that one of my friends is so excited about the idea, that it has stirred a desire in them to make something similar, based on hints I’ve given them about the plot.  They can’t plagiarise it, as it is very vague, but the vague outline I have given is enough that it could be a direct competition.  They have promised not to create their urges just yet, but they have said to me that they may not hold back after spring 2023 if I haven’t sent it anywhere – because they have to presume that I am not really interested in a career by then, if I hold back for a few more months… yet again.

I am serious about starting a writing career at the end of this year.  In October I am going to turn forty and I am determined to get something out there at least.

If an agent doesn’t want to represent whatever work I put out by January 1st, then I will personally publish an anthology of my poems through Amazon and start looking towards writing magazine articles and short stories whilst still on the lookout.

I am very interested in approaching a British gardening magazines because of my in depth knowledge about gardening organically and so on; this is something I have wanted to do for a few years now.

Paul wants to collaborate with me as well for wildlife photography magazines etc.

So all of this starts by the end of this year, I wasn’t ready for it before now, but now I am – particularly as my health is stabilising and I am getting more good days.

Another friend knows my dream is mostly to write for movies, that although I love books and being creative, my dream is for my ideas to be televised in some way.  They’ve put me into contact with someone who has put me on a free screenwriting course and so that’s on the go as well at the moment!  Henry is honing his skills with the computer to create special effects etc., so we can make snazzy YouTube art movies together, based on my ideas and a friend has suggested I start attending short film festivals.

All of the above will be documented here in this blog as it happens, so expect better content in a few months’ time!

So for now, project AD is still being written, but it is in a state of limbo – should I or shan’t I send it to an agent in October?

Who knows what I will do!

Happy reading!

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Snow fairy

With tinsel hair and twinkle toes a little fairy glides

Spreads ice and snow from her wand and wearing rabbit hides

She spreads her wings above us all and snowflakes flutter down

To rain joy upon us all and making smiles from frowns

Each and every winter, the little fairy comes

To paint the world white with snow so you can play in it with your chums

Hip, hip hooray for snow fairy

In her pearly gown

She brings such joy to everyone, when she has come to town!

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Crazy mind

My mind is above a joke lately.

I am getting so many new ideas for writing and art projects that it is affecting productivity in the past few weeks!

I have no idea what has happened to my brain, but today alone I have written down synopsises of nine new stories and I have too many ideas for artwork too!

But one thing is clear; I am becoming predominantly a science fiction and dark fantasy writer; if there is such a thing as dark science fiction, well I think I am that too!

I have only managed to write plans down in the past few weeks, because of intense pain and medical emergencies – the laboratories seem late in the results, I only hope there isn’t another laboratory accident as that would be the fourth one in the last five years, where I had have to have tests redone!

I have never known a hospital that is so accident prone!

Sitting at a desk is agony and the sofa is not that good either, but it is much better than the dining chair or office swivel chair.

I am trying to force myself to work on my writing and this is scaring Paul, because I am pushing myself a lot and I have been near collapse.

I am sedentary and yet I still can’t cope?  I don’t get it, I don’ know why the pain is getting so bad, but all I know is, it is getting worse every few days!

One of the stories came to me at 3:30am on Tuesday; a Christmas fantasy in Christmas tradition and that took me two hours to write by hand, the next day my hand was swollen.

I wrote three chapters since to that project, but I wouldn’t call it hard work, because the chapters are small for me. 

Usually I’d write 3k words in a day towards an interesting subject, this Christmas story is only around 1k at the moment, Paul reckons it looks like it could be a children’s book the way I am writing it, as it is very child friendly so far.

I love the story, but I am worried about how long it should be if it is deemed to be a children’s book?  I don’t know… I am not known for writing specifically for children!

Paul thinks it could be a slightly larger than average children’s picture book, because he would like to see a lot of pictures in this story – I am uncertain personally.

I know the story has the potential to be very popular, but I am not confident on how to market this.

Anyway, thank you for reading and if I don’t post before then, have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Issues with moving things around

Had a lot of problems getting my printer to work lately and internet coming and going at random times, so I have been slack in writing towards my blog.  The new desk still has not been put up yet and so I am still relying on my laptop.

I was scared the other day because a fault happened on my laptop and I thought I was going to lose it, the screen kept flickering on and off and the whole thing kept making beeping noises!

Paul is still very sick with the shingles and I am getting a chest infection again, which is usual for the winter, but it is early this year!

Henry is on half-term this coming week, so this means that I have an extra pair of hands to help me move the stuff around to set up my new work area in the house.  Henry is totally up for it, because it means that soon I will launch my YouTube channel!

The problem with moving my stuff around is there is the case that Paul also wants a desk in the same room, but we also want the rabbit moved back into this room, an exercise bike and the Christmas tree – so far we can’t have two of those things if we have the extra desk.  But oh well, I know something will get sacrificed no doubt and it won’t be the rabbit!

My Rainbow bunny is getting moody and bites since has been moved temporarily out of the room since July, and I don’t like his attitude, when he comes back into the lounge, perhaps he’ll go back to his old self again?  If he doesn’t then he will have to remain caged and not be a free-roaming rabbit like he used to be!  I feel sorry for the old boy – the rabbit that is, but his cage is enormous in comparison to the average rabbit habitat.  I am shocked how anyone can let a small rabbit like Ray live in anything less than 120cm by 63cm, I would never be happy with anything less than that and to be honest, I wish it was double the size for him!

I have seen people with rabbits who only get to do one hop between sides in their cages and can’t fully stretch upwards; my Ray can stretch upwards and can do three and a half hops.  He is quite small for a rabbit in my opinion, the smallest I’ve ever had anyway.

I am not happy about him being cooped up, so I do hope his attitude improves once he goes back to his corner in the lounge.

It is likely my exercise bike will never come in here and it is also likely that I will lose either my art table or the three seater sofa (finally, yay) but Paul and Henry are not keen on seeing that monstrosity go!

I am not happy about most of this, because to me, the new desk etc was meant to make more room, not take it away, but there are… oh never mind.  It’s just messed up that’s all.

I am trying my best.

Happy reading all!

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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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Fear, death and Dracula

Spoilers included of the new BBC Dracula series that was on at Christmas 2019.

I would have written this sooner, as it has been a week now since the BBC’s Dracula was aired on our TVs and I must say, of all the vampire movies and series I have ever watched, this is the only one which had played into four of my most dreaded fears.

Regarding horror and the realms of fear, I am not known to be a sensitive person, but, like all human beings, I do have some sensitivities which make me fear aspects of life and some scenes in this Dracula did affect me badly in some way or another – though saying that, I would watch it all again. 

One thing of the four must have been so pronoun that I have forgotten it entirely, I just remember at the end of episode three that I knew there were four things I had to list about this series here – I did write it down but it must have been amongst the papers where I spilled orange juice when I had a coughing fit the other day.  (I lost a lot of works in progress that evening and I am upset about that, they were hand written in my sick bed).

One of the scenes which upset me was the “something in your eye” moment with Jonathan Harker and Sister Agatha, where sister Agatha paused in her conversation with Mr Harker long enough for him to remark what was wrong?  She pointed out that there was something in his eye and indeed there was a fly crawling on the eyeball of the eye, which is bad enough but then the next thing that happened was he blinked and looked sideways and the fly found itself behind the back of the eye of Jonathan Harker whom at this point was going through what I can only describe as a “Vampire in Brooklyn” body falling apart and dying, ghoul stage.  He had no idea what was happening to himself, and then he asked Sister Agatha if it had gone?  She gulped and said yes, but it was still behind his eye.

Eye scenes unnerve me a lot, anything to do with eyeballs affect me in horror.  Usually the gouging of them or the stabbing or eating of them, such as the scene found in Mrs Peregrines home for peculiar children – that sort of thing really makes me shudder.

The second and third things which played on my mind a lot in Dracula was the two things which scare me most about death and dying.  Since becoming ill around seven or eight years ago, I often have nightmares and thoughts about death and what may or may not happen during or before death.  One repeated nightmare I have had is that my body is rotting away and literally decomposing whilst I am still conscious and that there is nothing I or anyone else can do about it, then because I have rotten sufficiently enough not to move or talk, people presume I am dead and then bury me, whilst I am still alive and conscious and that this never ceases.  There are scenes in this Dracula where anyone bitten by Dracula is immediately a decomposing animated being forever and ever and that they eventually beg to be killed by him so they that no longer have to suffer rotting consciously as they are.  I had thought that I am a weird person for thinking such things and that not many people have done so, I had wanted to write this as a story, but now I feel like it would come across as copying. 

The third thing is another death fear.  My mother had always tried to talk me into accepting the idea of being cremated when I die because graves cause more pain to the visitors than if I was literally turned into dust and thrown away somewhere.  I had always told her that I fear to be cremated, because what if I wasn’t properly dead?  What if someone got it wrong?  There are neurological conditions out there which can render people in a dead like state but are still in fact perfectly alive – how awful it would be to be woken up by being burned to death in a sealed container where no one can hear you scream?  She always called me silly for that, but this was another scene that Dracula portrayed and it did so incredibly well.  Oh and yes, I still hold firm that a burial is a better option for me, I have discussed this with Paul already as I am convinced I am dying of something or another but I just haven’t been told because if doctors commit to diagnosing me they might have to commit their money to try and save me and I really do believe that some doctors won’t tell patients the truth.  I am to be buried in a lovely place on the outskirts of Rugby town, it is a newly planted forest, a tree is planted for everyone who dies and is buried there, the tree will sit on top of a bio-gradable coffin with me in it and you can choose any native species of tree to have on top of you with a plaque on it – yes, I want to be buried in a haunted forest.  I would like anything that helps the most life of the woodland – an oak I have been told is the best, though I had thought of having a berry tree of some sort, like a rowan and then I thought of the avenging spirit of the elder and birch trees, I can see me becoming someone who would help others find justice if I were to become a ghost.  Protecting victims of the forest, the animals, and children, anyone who might need my help, fiercely, like some mythic forest guardian.

It was such a very good adaption to Dracula though I must say in some places it quite lost the plot.  I liked how they portrayed death as unsexy and how it showed the harsh reality of what death could potentially bring to the unwary or to the ignorant young romanticists.  I did not, however, like how it portrayed Dracula as a greedy, untidy eater.  I am pretty sure that drinking blood as a vampire would be similar to indulging in tomato soup, you do so neatly, you don’t just pick up the bowl and pour it into your mouth without a care of how much dribbles down your chin and clothes, especially when you are as well dressed and polite as he was.  Aristocrats are not slobs, vampires or otherwise!  It does seem to be a thing these days, I know Christopher Lee often dribbled when he played Dracula, but this day and age they act like bloody vultures, literally, they may as well tear the stomach in half of their victims and shove their heads into the cavity for what mess they blooming make.

I always imagined vampires to be discrete and clean creatures, you can’t walk down the street in the middle of the night looking like Carrie fresh from the prom – it isn’t done, especially nightly!

Well that’s my two cents on the matter.

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Worrying about probably nonsense!

Other than the time back in 2003 I have never approached a publisher or an author’s agent, nor have I ever entered any kind of creative competition, whether it be for art or writing; I have never joined a writers circle either.  I have never had any real formal education on writing and not much schooling throughout my childhood.  Everything about me and my creativity is 100% self-taught and badly taught too in my opinion!

I have no idea where all these punctuation marks really should be, I have no idea about my grammar or where a paragraph should start and end, really it is all either dumb luck or a right mess, I don’t know which it is.

I don’t have much confidence in the idea of becoming a successful writer, I have said before and it is very true, I am scared that I will let people down a lot because of my health issues.  In my personal life, I let people down almost all the time.  I am afraid that I will have people wanting to publish my work but will have second thoughts about it because the writer will be a no show for at least 50% of the promotions, book signings and interviews.  In my personal life my health is so bad that a simple two hour shopping spree can set me physically back by three days.  I have more than one auto-immunity problem working against me.

I know in my heart of hearts it is unrealistic for me to have what many people would call a “real job”, writing is a real job if you get published isn’t it?  Despite publishers and agents alike stating they are working towards having more underrepresented writers, how ready are they for those who are bed bound for 10 – 16 weeks of the year?  How patient would they be in dealing with such a writer who is also deaf, too deaf to use a phone and relies heavily on face to face lip-reading, text messages or a representative to take telephone calls?

This is what holds me back in approaching publishers.  My own realism. 

I really don’t want to be told “you have a lot of talent but you are not working hard enough to promote yourself or take yourself seriously, it is a shame you are so sick, you could have gone far”.  This has happened before to me, not in the writing industry, but other forms of work, which is why I rely on benefits.

Is this something I should even put in my covering letter to an agent?  I mean, come on, if it really is like any other job, then who the blazes would ever look at my work twice if they knew that I am that sick most of the time?

Am I being too defeatist as well as a pragmatist, maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel – who knows?  Maybe there is an agent out there who can push someone like me into the limelight and support me in spite of the health problems?

I am writing this for two reasons today.  One is the fact that there has been quite a few people contacting me in the past five years in my email and on private messages on twitter and other social media, who support my work with all their heart and has asked me to send them some of the work and I have not done this.  Many have become active cheerleaders in trying to get me to write regularly and to state how my poetry amongst other things has helped them and other people through hard times in their lives.  The thing is I am too polite to verbally let people down and I don’t like dragging up my health as an excuse all the time, even though that is the primary thing.    So I let it all slide.  I don’t want to do this, I really don’t.  I really want my books out there, I really want people to enjoy my worlds, because I have put my heart and soul into my worlds for a very long time, in some of the series I have written, two decades of blood, sweat and tears have gone into them!  I need to see my characters come to life through actors and actresses on the television as this is the main motivation for me writing.  I have always written the things I have because I have always wanted to see them on TV.  They are things I want to watch.  I am a huge supporter for acting and have always wanted to get into theatre and television myself, as a writer/screenwriter and eventually producer and I know with my health problems that may never happen.  When I was younger I loved going to the drama classes during lunch break and playing with my friends various roles.  I love playing and I believe acting is the only way an adult can still play pretend with their peers and not be considered insane or childish.  The course I was doing back then was after I had a breakdown, my mother was really worried about me so signed me up for a general vocational skills course to boost what she thought was my confidence.  It wasn’t a confidence issue I had, it was severe depression due to something that had happened to me which was nasty and as usual swept under the carpet by her and never spoken about to the family.

When I went to those drama classes, my creativity ran riot.  I became a writer for short plays that we would do at the college together, I also wrote rap songs for my beat boxing friends and joined what was known as a rock choir with my gothic friends, I was a Goth back then too.

I find it really easy to write songs and poetry, it comes very quickly to me and this amazed my friends in the creative scene.  I would literally sit on the table with my legs up, write on my knees a song of any subject they chose and give it to them to sing within ten minutes max, never revised either.  I do this with all poetry even now.  It comes and in a few minutes it is posted or printed and ignored.

If I had someone tell me that I am now a full time poet, I would freak out about the ink and paper I would use daily, because I literally could throw out 5 to 10 poems an hour.

Similar things happening too since I took up my recorder practise; I can play by ear and I have composed several tunes since first starting out.  I can compose a new tune in around 90 minutes and lyrics to go with that within 10 minutes.  I am learning well in how to read and write the recorder music now.  It’s winter now and my chest is playing up, so it’s likely the recorder is going to be put away until April now, which is a shame.

The second reason I posted this, is that I am considering entering a writing competition for the first time in my life.  The Writing Magazine (which I am subscribed to) has a competition which has sparked six story ideas in my head – however, I can only afford one entry.  The competitions requires an opening line which is this “They weren’t like me”, closing date February 15th 2020.  It is a subscriber’s only competition. 

I am running short of money and I hope there is enough ink in the printer, as it is unlikely I can afford more ink before Christmas.  I know me, the story I will choose will be done and dusted within a weekend, then it will rest a week, then I will redo it and it will be sent a month in advance.

Thousands of people will be entering this contest so I know that my chances are slim, but though I am a pragmatist I am also an optimist and I have as good a chance as anyone.  But what I want to know is… is this the sort of thing I put into a writer’s CV when approaching an agent?  If I win, I mean?

Anyway, just some food for thought!

Merry Christmas everybody if I don’t post again beforehand!

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Words and people grow like flowers in manure.

I am disgusted with myself today but my partner Paul ensures me that it isn’t my fault.  I worked out last night how much I used to write compared with how much I write these days.  Prior to 2013 I wrote an average of two million words per year, now I struggle to get fifty thousand a year.  I decided this has to change and I have to get the old me back, primarily because I am going insane with the many ideas I have floating in my head – my brain is literally about to burst with literacy.  My brain will soon be splattered all over the internet and in books, so look out world, because I think I’ve been ignited.

The question is, the last time I felt like this was in 2006 and I wrote no less than thirty articles, poems and short stories a day on one site, of course I can’t post that many here on my blog, as this will make me lose subscribers, I mean, come on – who will want thirty notifications a day?  So I am debating about spreading myself onto two other blogs, so my subscribers don’t feel so bombarded – a cunning trick, but it might be worthwhile?  Because once I am on the go, I am on the go – I used to be such a workaholic, totally addicted to writing and then for some reason, I lost it.

I believe confidence has a lot to do with the lack of writing as well as health issues – I have had chronic bronchitis off and on since Christmas!  My confidence has been bashed by two people in particular, those people are held bent on ruining my reputation by any means necessary and has vocalised how they look forward to the day I become world famous, as they will be waiting.

Well there is nothing truly sinister about me but I still worry.  Because it is the story of my life that whenever I do anything to better myself the world seems to contrive a way to embarrass me out of it and make me go back into my insular hole of hopes and dreams.

I have been chronically bullied as I have been ill, most of my life and I have the types of bullies in my life who are no longer present, but always comes back once they think I have started to grow, they treat me like a weed in an abandoned garden.  Once a year someone comes along with a mower and cuts me down again, just in case I start to become too strong.  I think this weed is going to need to use their shit as manure and grow rapidly into a man eating plant!

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Inktober Day 23 – Christmas Tree

Inktober Day 23 – Christmas Tree

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