Tag Archives: comedy

Rewrites and steampunk animals

I am eager to get my desk up and stuff put into organised areas again, because I am desperate to get a start on writing towards six projects.

The idea of doing NaNoWriMo may go out of the window because I am working on remastering an old project to go into an entirely different direction altogether. 

My old project is known as Dragon 1 to some and Maud to others; so I will start calling it Maud here, because that’s the title I give it, even though I feel the title will change with the rewrite.

Why am I completely remastering the story? 

I have learned that my characters seem to lack soul, vibe, if you get what I mean?  They are bland in my opinion, well most of them, and only around six seem to have any real spirit for the storyline.  I learned that my main character is someone I do not know as well as her mentor.

Therefore the stance of the story is changing to not focus too much on her (Maud that is) but to concentrate on events unfolding and the mentor’s journey with Maud.  Because this story is about a teenager who is being mentored into understanding a certain culture and to prepare her for integration in that culture; this story is a fantasy setting where dragons and witches are a huge part of their cultural heritage.  I like to think of my story as a mix of Princess Diaries and Lord of the Rings, but the few people I have shared the old parts of the story with, believe I am not being fair to my story as in their opinion it is nothing like it, but certainly moreish!

The story has comedy elements which were slightly supressed, but now I am more confident in adding humour into my fantasy stories, the comedy scenes will be less choked as it were.

I never wrote the story from a first person narrative, which will make the rewrite easier; this story is written in a third person narrative – I rarely write in first person.

Originally the story was focused on what Maud could see and hear and what she immediately interacted with but within the confines of a third person narrative.  Now it is not like that, it is more chopped, flowing to and from characters, building atmosphere, tension and mysteries which weren’t present in the old manuscripts. 

I know it is an unpopular idea, but it is crucial to the plot that there will be two chapters or large scenes of flash-backs, because there was a murder in the plot – so, saying that, it is understandable, especially as the murder does not happen in the story, but is part of the past of the story, if that makes sense?

So this is the project I am writing towards as soon as my desktop computer is set up on my new desk.  This story has nearly been sent to publishers twice since starting it and I am so glad I held back until now; because I have put the story away for a year without reading it and went back to it with fresh eyes and saw zombie like characters and characters who personally should no longer exist in the rewrite because they did nothing but follow Maud around like lost puppies and the only exciting thing those characters did was sacrifice their lives to save the group!

“Kill your darlings” as Stephen King says, I think it was him anyway…

The second project is something I will be working on long-term and it has interest already from some comic fans I personally know.  This is going to be a long-winded project because I am trying to hone in on my art skills, which are still in the baby stages if I am honest.  So not only am I writing the series of stories this will become, I am trying my best to do anthropomorphic steam punk art that goes with it!

Yes you read right, anthropomorphic steam punk art – exciting stuff, eh?

In fact it is this second projects fault, that I have not published anywhere online at all any new inktober art for this year!  I am focusing too much on practising art for this project that I haven’t really practised much else.

Being the overprotective little creator that I am, I am scared to share my current artwork with anyone online, in case it gives too much away to the plot as a whole!

But there are steam punk anthropomorphic animals, running around a dystopian horror world, that’s all I am going to say!

Happy reading everyone, hope you are as excited to see what I am doing as I am!

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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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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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Simplifying my art makes me happier

Yesterday I discussed how I am struggling with what comes to me naturally and what I really wanted to do in my writing; How I wanted to be a serious writer of adult fantasy and horror, but instead I am naturally drawn to corny humour, vampires and comedy fantasy as a natural lean to in my actual first draft writings.

Today I am focusing on the fact that I wanted to be a realist artist, who paints mostly portraits of my characters and some impressionistic landscapes and watercolours, but instead, I am naturally drawn to creating cartoonish characters suitable for children illustration or satire comics.

Increasingly a few of my writing and art ideas are becoming more and more comic ideas, not just funny, but comic as a whole, including the art I do.

My colour palletes are specific and consistent, my doodles are too and I am finding that comedy is punching its way through my art too!

I am creating funny creatures and doodling faces into random splatters and blobs and creating unique characters; with Henry’s help, we have been deciding names and personalities for the beings and progressively Henry is encouraging me to make stories of them.

This is something I have fought against in a professional way and kept to only doing this as a hobby with Henry – but more and more, I am starting to become more inclined in doing art consistently, when I do this, than when I do what I feel I am supposed to be doing!

I have noticed also that I am simplifying my art increasingly instead of refining it to become more detailed and realistic, to such an extent that it is very suitable for many children’s novels.  My style is looking similar to artists such as Quentin Blake, Katie Risor, Dr Suess and the likes.

Yet my aim was to be more detailed and to eventually brave steampunk and to perhaps be of a similar style to, Brian Froud, H.R Giger and Colleen Doran eventually, though my colour palette is very different.  I tend to like pastel primaries or as I call them, candy colours, or my darker palette which concentrates mostly on black, purples, orange and gold.

As I am fighting against my natural inclinations to develop a wanted style, I am finding that I am burning myself out in both art and writing and therefore becoming grossly unproductive.

When I ignore what I really want to become and focus on who I really am, I tend to do more and feel happier in myself doing those things.

But I do worry a lot about how simplistic my art is – I mean, other than children who would really be interested in this kind of art?

Something I did for inktober a couple of years back! See the injected humour… couldn’t help myself!
Pictures originally made to cheer Henry up after a bad day, being bullied at school. But instead, Henry is trying to collaborate a series of stories with me, regarding them.
created via blobbing random water colour paint on paper and drawing details of what my mind saw in those blobs.

Maybe I am a snob – no definitely I know I am a snob, it must be true.  Why else do I fight against the grain?  I must be… up until now a snob in denial?

Happy reading!

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Funny VS Serious

Something has changed in me regarding my creative pursuits. 

I have for many years wanted to write horror as my main genre, focusing primarily on supernatural beings such as vampires with a very serious stance on the subject.  I then wanted to write fantasy as well but for the adult market; However, I have been battling with these ideas for the past five years as I have become more humorous in my writings and more emotional and I have found myself writing much less serious horror and more family oriented fantasy.  The horror I do write is becoming increasingly comedic and I don’t really know why, but I enjoy it.

I have fought against putting in comedy in my books, but I can’t help it, I wanted to write in a manner that depicts the darkness of human nature in a very serious way.

I have learned as I am getting older, I am finding humour in the most unusual of things and I am writing in a light hearted way increasingly.  My books were originally going to be of the seriousness of Anne Rice, Stephen King or Dean Koontz, but as I am developing as a writer I am becoming much more like Christopher Moore, Ransom Riggs and the writers of the league of gentlemen television series.

I have a couple of writer friends who saw this happening to me long before I did!  They often said to me “Tina, you really are a funny woman, you should write comedy it will really take off” but I shunned it moodily and said that I am not really that type of author and I was worried to take such a stance creatively because once you are renown for being funny, isn’t there always a pressure to maintain this personality to everyone?

Well I sought to push out the comedy that was in me, every time I wrote a funny scene I edited it out, until the scenes started getting funnier and the stories were becoming more and more demanding that they should be humorous in form. 

I have to admit I have avoided comedy entirely in my blog because I am scared of it to be honest!  My sense of humour is rather unique I feel and somewhat dark.  I am scared that people will start to think that my humour reflects me as a person, to me; humour and people’s acceptance of different types of humour can be a very touchy subject and should always be stepped into with caution.

Along with all of this, there is also the problem that I am one of these people who are constantly afraid of offending people, I always like to remain as polite as possible and sometimes people can consider humour as impolite or downright rude!

I am terrified of doing this, but I am going to try and get out of my safe comfort zone and attempt to write the humour on my blog occasionally – now please remember, the idea of showing people the funny side of me scares me!  I usually keep my sense of humour to very close friends and family and in general I am looked upon by those who are not close to me as a deadpan sort of woman!

My sense of humour I would describe as sarcastic, ironic, dark, tongue in cheek, warped and very corny.  Sensitive people would call some of my sense of humour as just simply sick and over the top!

Most of the fiction I gravitate towards reading are very dark horror or humour.

Most of the television shows I watch are comedies, costume dramas, horror or fantasy; but looking at my DVD collection it is mostly two thirds comedy!  People who know me, but are not close to me are often puzzled when they look upon my DVD collection; they look back and forth from me to the collection in sheer wonder.  I am not very public about my humour and I am not entirely sure why!

Part of the redefining myself is to bring out the real me in all its raw details to everybody, so this means I have to start getting comfortable being me in public as well as private.  This means people will start to see a new me, those who are not close that is and it may confound them.

My vampires had a lot of corny jokes in their books, but I deleted some of them in the past thinking that humour had no right in being in a serious vampire novel.  

I felt that people would not appreciate a corny joke in a book about vampires unless it was consistent throughout the book and was specifically marketed as a comedy – I felt that my stance in writing a humorous sentence only once every twenty pages or so wasn’t enough and would perhaps irritate hard-core readers of the genre.  Then I found Christopher Moore’s “Bite Me”, though I admit his comedy is very consistent throughout the book, unlike mine.

I will talk also about how my art is affected too in another post as I am also fighting with what I want to do VS what I seem to do most and enjoy!

As stupid as it sounds, this post was meant to be a post about how people need to focus on their natural talent rather than fight against it – instead it is just basically me telling you all how I am struggling to come across as a serious person, but I fail miserably and try to hide my sense of humour from the world!

Hopefully some of you will have read it how it really is – that I am not confident to be myself wholly and that I am trying my best to be so.

Thing is, I don’t want to be funny in everything – some of my work in this blog has proven that I do think very deeply about a lot of things and I can come across as deadly serious in many subjects!  Can an author be appreciated for the two very different takes in their works?  I hope so, but doubt it somewhat.

Happy reading!

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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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Top 10 children’s books that influenced me

Top 10 children’s books that influenced my writing and why

Dragon’s dinner by Susannah Corbett

This is a hilarious book I read at least once a month to myself, I know it’s a young child’s picture book, but I adore it!

It is written in rhyme and there is a comedy element on every page, not to mention great illustration too!  I have a love for dragons that almost rivals my love for vampires; this is seen in the novels I write.  In fact, I have nearly finished a dragon novel to the extent that I may be considering sending it off to an agent in 2022.  At the moment I have approximately three more chapters to write of it again, this is the eighth draft, but then I will store it away for a couple of months and look again with fresh eyes and see if it needs a ninth draft – but I doubt it at the moment.

A strange thing for me is that writing the story initially can take just under a month for me to do, but editing and redoing drafts can take me three months, because I find that a boring process, I hate redoing stuff!  I am trying to learn to love doing that.

My dragon novel is potentially YA or adult fantasy, not sure yet, it is definitely bigger than this picture book and does have a lot of comedy elements to it.

Horton hears a who by Dr Seuss

I love most books by Dr Seuss and this is my favourite.  I like books where something unbelievable is eventually proven to the other characters of the book and that is something that is seen in a handful of my own works.  Once again there is a comedy element to the book.

I think I love this story a lot because when I was a child I used to blow bubbles and imagine that every bubble was a planet full of life, like Earth only different with unique creatures on each planet and that the time scale was epically fast.  I never read Horton Hears A Who until I had my son Henry and bought the book for him when he was 2yrs old – so the book resonated with me a lot.

James and the giant peach by Roald Dahl

There would be more than just one book by Roald Dahl on this list, but I wanted to be as broad as possible in my listings; it was difficult trying to narrow down which book to choose for this list by this specific author; I chose the one that I felt was the most unique and the one that literally got my heart pumping with excitement as I read it.

There were so many wonderful things in this book, talking, friendly insects, a comedy element, drama, horror, lots and lots of excellent scenery I just adored it.  I loved the parts where the peach acted like a hot air balloon and was flying above the world.  It is this scene which has influenced me the greatest, because I am working on a fantasy series based on a hot air balloon traveller which is aimed for a YA audience potentially.

Harry Potter and chamber of secrets by J.K Rowling

Much like most people nowadays, it is hard to think of fantasy and children’s books without thinking about Harry Potter, it is a great series and narrowing down to a specific book was very difficult, but this is my favourite because of the living trees and the giant spiders.  Also I found this the funniest of the lot.  I like depictions of forests particularly with living trees mentioned occasionally, such can be found in many books, Lord of the Rings and The Wizard of Oz to name but two.  I have to admit, even I have written a scene with forest spiders in one of my novels, not to copy, but because it just felt so right and almost expected in a manner; in fact it is a scene in my main dragon novel.

Engelbert Sneem and his dream vacuum machine by Daniel Postgate

This had me riveted from the offset, it is amazing.  I love books where you get to dance around in someone else’s dreams and things like this, BFG and a couple of other stories had dreams in them too.  I love writing about dream worlds within my stories from time to time, but they do seem to be more horror based than my usual comedy fantasy.

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

I have loved reading Heidi ever since I was a child and I must admit not only reading it, but also love watching all the movies that come out based on this story too!  Heidi has influenced my imagination a lot over the years.  I love goats and mountain sceneries and books with snow, books that star strong minded children who seem to act as blessings to the adults of their world.  I love miracle stories too and little Clara certainly had a miracle happen to her!

Quite a few of my books do seem to be rather Germanic, Norse or Slavic based, unintentionally, I haven’t really understood why.  I have strong warrior figures in my novels and the landscapes usually end up sounding like Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, the Alps and sometimes even the Carpathians.  I have never travelled outside of the UK; it would be lovely to do so at some point and visit some of those places that influence me and my writing.

Diary of a wimpy vampire by Tim Collins

It is such a funny book and the fact it contains vampires is another reason why I love this book so much; also this book made my son into a reader, because before he saw me reading this book to myself and laughing my head off at it at every page turn, he absolutely hated reading!  But now I have to say, he tries to read a whole large novel once every month.

My vampires have some comedy interjected into the pages from time to time, but it is not deliberately set out to be a comedy series – I just can’t help myself.

Mr Stink by David Walliams

I like books where children change the minds of the adults around them as I have mentioned before and this book does that.  I love books which show the best qualities of humanity, generosity etc.  I also love stories that are riches to rags and back again to riches, I have loved themes like this since I was a kid.  I loved movies such as “The Jerk” with Steven Martin and “Life Stinks” with Mel Brookes amongst others and yes, it is a theme I would like to write someday too.  Once again, there is comedy here.

I will say, that as a child I read a lot, but it was mostly non-fiction and that a majority of the fantasy and stuff I indulged in were movies, I watched a movie every day, without fail, sometimes three times a day, because I was home educated and work fast in my studies and had a lot of spare time to myself, cooped up indoors all day long.  My father had a massive VHS collection over eight hundred which had two or three movies on each he recorded off the TV, so there were always a lot of things to watch!

The tin can band by Margaret Mahy

I love all the poems and songs in this book.  I love the artwork and everything about the book.  The art inspires my art a lot and the poetry knows how to touch several nerves too.  I love the concept of dancing in the shadows and having night time, shadow acrobats dancing around you, causing you to hallucinate and see things that aren’t quite what they seem when the lights are out. 

The poems contain witches and various other creatures, some with comedic ideas and others more serious in tone, such as deforestation and a lovely concept on death too.

I love authors that have a knack in making death less scary and more beautiful or at least more fun.

Wolf by Gillian Cross

I like books about the homeless and hippies and that sort of thing, this book contains squatters and a little girl who tries to live with her mother under extraordinary circumstances.  The child is rather independent and I just love the book, but I can’t say it has influenced anything in particular though.

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Top 10 fantasy books

Top 10 Fantasy Books that I enjoyed and that influenced me the greatest are;

Alice’s adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

I have always been a big fan of the inane and very abstract.  To me this novel is enchanting to the most profound sense of the word.  I love how it shows us that entertainment and our imaginations do not have to make sense in order to inspire us to do great things and beauty and fantasy doesn’t have to have a defined set of rules. 

This book makes me feel liberated as a creator and much of what I write reflects just how much Carroll has influenced me as a whole, it shows you how to think outside of the box; which is a wonder really, because I have never really been considered by people who know me as someone who thinks outside of the box, regardless how innovative they also say I am! 

The wizard of Oz by Frank L Baum

Very similar to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this novel and the entire fourteen book series has also expressed to me how fantasy and the imagination comes with no rules, that in the throes of your own mind you can do anything – because only you are god to the worlds you are imagining, the only rules that exist are the ones you determine! 

You decided what makes sense or not in your world, but you have to make sense in those worlds and not have contradicting ideas that make the world come across as unbelievable.  It can be as silly as you want it to be, but there must be some kind of order and to me this novel and the previous one I mentioned does that excellently!

Gregor the overlander by Suzanne Collins

Comedy is a big part of my fantasy writing and to me there is a lot of that in this book as well as cute little moments and emotional rollercoasters galore!

This books shows that even the most disgusting things in life can be somewhat endearing if you choose to switch the way you think.  I mean I would never have felt compassion, sympathy and a sense of love for a cockroach for example, but this novel debunked that! 

The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

Once again the comedy aspect is here and that I absolutely love – also it shows that every world needs to have traditions and stories within stories and a sense of belonging and festivities.  I love how there is a familiarity to our reality reflected within this book, our Christmas and their Hogswatch and I try to do this in most of my novels.  Each world has a different ideology, customs and holidays and I think this is the biggest thing I love about story writing!  I love creating absolutely new customs and cultures!  Especially when I have conflicting cultures in the stories, each trying to explain the reason behind the things that they do to each other.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

I love this book because it makes you as a writer think about consequences of the things you choose to do to your characters and it forces you think about being consistent in your actions which precede the characters problem because of it.  It makes for good reading because there is a problem the character wants to resolve – a disability if you like, to overcome.  Also, once again, there is a comedy element to the novel and there are strong female characters, something which is rare in fantasy I have noticed.

Troll Fell by Katherine Languish

I love place descriptions and descriptions of movement, this book does that well.  I love the landscape and flow of the novel and I love the traditional sense of fantasy too – the old style fantasy, based on old folklore.  This novel has Vikings as well as house elves (nisse) and trolls.  I love Scandinavian folklore a lot and that can be reflected in some of the stuff I write, even if the location is not recognisable as Nordic. 

Smoke and mirrors By Neil Gaiman

There are many little gems in this book, lots of lovely prose and I do love novels that have a prose like feel to it; most people find prose hard to digest, but I love it.  I think there is a huge snobbery against prose and I find that hard to understand.  I love “descriptive dribble” as some people call it and I often find it offensive listening to people who put down prose like works. 

A major part of my lack of writing in recent years is due to the snobbery from my readers who dislike the prose that often gets interjected into my stories.  I am not overly descriptive, but I do borderline poetic.

According to my previous beta readers, my work is too old fashioned – it is at best Edwardian in style but, usually Victorian and I have to bring myself more up to date; that is the usual complaint I have ever had as well as having too much of a broadsheet vocabulary.  They felt that my readers would be a niche and narrow in margin purely because a vast majority of readers have more of a tabloid vocabulary and I feel that is actually insulting to readers of the world!  I did allow these comments to dictate my style a lot for a while and it started to kill me as a creator somewhat. 

I love how Neil Gaiman seems to be older than he is in some of the works in this book, some of the stories look as though it has been around since Queen Victoria and I love that about him and this book!  A lot of my stories are based in the Victorian era which is one of the reasons why I could never understand the problem my beta readers had with it – am I to have modern day urban language at a 1850s lord of the manor’s dinner party?  My work is certainly not contemporary usually. 

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

I love the rawness of the novel.  I love how the horrific realities of life are imbedded within its pages; the girl doesn’t merely hunt the deer but straddles it and slices it to a perfect death for her and her fox’s food in the winter time.  Some might say that is overly descriptive and disturbing but life is disturbing anyway, so why shield from it?  It is good writing! 

I have been described by a home school tutor as being a very gory writer so perhaps I share in Ivey’s violent descriptions of life and the world?  Perhaps when I eventually approach the publishing agencies they may want to censor a lot of what I write, but I have seen many books which go beyond what even I think is acceptable, so they might leave me alone on that matter? 

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I can’t talk about this book to many people as they often reject it as being too awful and the subject matter really is!  However, they often overlook the beautiful prose and philosophy that is hidden in the pages which makes it an absolutely delightful read for me!   I love the aspect of the afterlife and how emotionally connected this novel gets to become with its readers.  It makes you feel what the characters feel. 

It is very intense and I can understand why many people cannot tolerate that, but if you can push through the horror of this book and concentrate on Susie’s afterlife you will find that it is incredibly lovely, it is incredibly beautiful the things she does in the “before heaven” as I call it.  I love the pages where the author gets lost within Susie’s playtime in the afterlife, that is my favourite, despite how weird and distasteful I found a couple of the subjects, such as experiencing a kiss whilst possessing her sisters body, that was too strange for me. 

I write a lot of books about the afterlife and ghosts, as well as vampires. 

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

I find it a fun all-rounder – there are comedy elements and basically a little bit of everything from above in the novel too, as well as being a traditional and classic version of epic fantasy.  I love the mix of creatures in this novel and there be dragons too, I love dragons, one of my top five favourite creatures to write about!

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Summer

So very hot and sticky

Unwanted insects at large

Maybe summer isn’t the best season

Maybe it is spring-time that begins in March?

Every year I dread it

Really I do – because I hate the summer, clearly I think it’s poo!

 

 

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Friend for a procrastinating writer

I need a kick up the bum

A good writing chum

Who will nag at me all day!

To sit and write and get on with something

To focus and not to play

I need someone formidable

Who will watch me as I write?

Making sure I do not wander

Making my schedule really tight

I need someone to bother me

Have you done it yet?

Which story do I ask them?

The one I told you pet!

Oh OK you see, I wandered

I did this instead you see

Now haven’t I always told you?

To focus on A first then B?

Ah, yes, sorry dear

I will try my best

Yes you will or I will nag

I need that kind of friend, a person with zest

So where are you friend I need?

The one who will make sure that I will bleed

Every little ounce of my blood

Onto the paper in a creative flood

A story that I’ve started to end

All because of that elusive friend

Where are you friend?

Please come quick, I need these stories to end

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