I have mentioned in several posts that there are certain themes I am writing in my novels and there has been a question of just how many novels are you working on at the moment? Personally, I don’t know! I know that sounds really funny to some, but I have been writing loads of stories almost my whole life and I have never really sat back and wondered how many I am working on, because I just write what I feel like at the time. Yes, there are many novels which are 100% finished now, but to me they could still be in redrafting stages and many have been redrafted umpteempth times since two years ago. I only started redrafting my 30yrs of work two years ago, simply because I never thought it would be necessary and also because I was never sure if I could cope with writing as a career.
I think I am ready to say, I am now ready for this career, hence why a lot of my writing habits have changed recently.
I am totally self-taught, I have no formal education and I was home educated by a dyslexic parent throughout most of my childhood and pretty much neglected by social services to get on with it without too much interference. As an adult I have been kept too busy to take up education, but even now, I am trying to teach myself. I can’t afford even the cheapest monthly fee on skillshare yet, but I am hoping by the end of the year that I can do some of their courses to learn how to punctuate properly and use grammar and anything else I need to improve my writing for both my blog and my novels, before finally approaching that agent I want to. I have found an agent I like, but whether or not they will like me this time next year is another matter!
This post is going to tell you the types of novels I am working on or that have been finished, without revealing too much of the plot; but the list is not conclusive, these are just stories I am willing to throw out into the world in the next couple of years, with any luck!
You all know how much I love my vampires; so it shouldn’t be a shock to tell you that I have twenty seven different stories already completed in both my mind and on paper, along with full encyclopaedias and fictional historical booklets based on that world. I have been working on this massive project since I was ten years old, yes ten years old! That’s a whopping twenty eight years! However, there is a list of seventy eight other stories I haven’t even finished yet, not even once that has been on the go for years, some are new.
Recently you have learned my second favourite creature to write about are dragons and there are approximately five books I have been writing, three of which are near completion with hopefully their final drafts.
Pirates are another fantasy thing I like to write about regularly and there are three separate pirate books to date. One of which is near its final draft and another is an off-shoot book to one of the dragon novels.
Gargoyles also have their own books with this author, I have six novels with those and in two of them they are the main characters.
I have written two novels with phoenixes as the main theme too.
I have a whole series based on a character that lives in a hot air balloon, this is currently five books long, but there are more being planned.
There are seven books based on robots. Half of which are fantasy more than sci-fi.
There is a big series about giants, that is almost ten books strong and again, they are off-shoots of a dragon novel I have.
There are loads of mermaid novels I have and various other new sea creatures, I haven’t actually counted those, but I do know that there are at least six finished. These are standalone novels, not a series.
I have four separate series of werewolves, one of which I am very passionate about and spend a lot of time on.
There is a demon erotica series I have been working on for the past eight years; the series is actually nearly complete now.
There are three zombie books that are both standalone novels, too, two of which are more fantasy than horror and very comedic.
There are five separate afterlife series I am working on, some are fantasy, some are horror and some are dystopian.
There are fourteen dystopian series I am working on too, two of which are based on religious ideologies.
There is a series of fairy stories for children too, which is approximately seven books and I regard as novellas.
There are four Christmas themed books I have written too.
There are four comics too, or, I think one of them is actually graphic novel rather than comic – this is dystopian and steam punk in style.
I also have two ghost stories.
I have a selection of horror too, which could be considered a series, but they are all standalones really.
I know I have 777 poems on this blog, but there are at least 5000 off the blog that have never been published online anywhere.
I have nine musical compositions as well, that has never been published anywhere.
I have six operas written too as well as musicals for theatre, but I am so not confident about those right now.
I have a series about little people that were inspired by Land of the giants and the borrowers.
There are probably more I haven’t mentioned yet, but these are the only things that come to mind right now for me. I do have a lot of work here, but I just haven’t had the confidence about really throwing myself out there. I am terrified of the consequences. I don’t want fame, I want my work to be enjoyed and I really want to see them as movies, but I don’t want to have a famous face. But I am getting used to the idea that maybe I will have no choice someday? I can’t keep my work hidden forever, I didn’t write it for it to be hidden and forgotten – those novels are like little people to me, they are like creatures that need to be nurtured and their only food is recognition. Their only source of nourishment is to be enjoyed and read, it keeps them alive! I believe in BIG MAGIC, I believe ideas are alive!
I used my pendulum today to ask which piece of writing I should send off to the publishers first. I asked about the seven vampire novels I have written, about the fantasy story based on leprechauns, the horror based on a demon down a well, the pirate fantasy, the two giant fantasy novels or the comic/graphic novel idea based on a post-apocalyptic world. Strangely enough after asking these and knowing there was at least four more ideas I wanted to ask about, the pendulum surprised me with the comic/graphic novel.
The one I was least confident about, the pendulum picked.
Such is the way of the world, huh?
Because the pendulum chose this option, I am now expanding the story idea to make more than just one comic, just in case it told the truth that this idea would be successful enough to warrant publication.
Crazy I know, but the pendulum has never let me down before on major life decisions – in fact, when I have ignored the pendulum, I ignored it at great peril and bad things happened. Best to just stick with what the pendulum says, for safety sake!
This pendulum has also saved me a tremendous amount of time with potentially stupid ideas. If I have a new idea, I run it with the pendulum and if it doesn’t think it would do anything in the future, I simply don’t write it and sometimes that can be heart breaking, because I think some of those ideas were absolutely wonderful! But then again, as the writer, I have no right to the opinion of what is going to be great or not – because as the creator of stories and art, it is quite usual that the things you lack confidence in are popular with the world and those you are most proud of are shunned by it – according to my own experience and the experiences of other writer and artists I have known that is.
P.S I have noted that wordpress has snuck in a way to colour in cut and pasted words now, yay!
I am giving myself my own #Readathon challenge. Between now and the 23rd of August, I hope to have finished 10 books and they are as follows;
Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton
Cabin at the end of the world by Paul Tremblay
Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi
Social butterflies by Michael Sanders & Susannah Hume
Riders by Jilly Cooper
Hanging out with the dream King – Neil Gaiman by Joseph McCabe
On Editing by Helen Bryant
Be your own literary agent by Martin Levin
Fantastic Fashion by Barbara Cox
Mad Love by Paul Dini
I am probably being unrealistic about this challenge because I usually read three book of three hundred pages a week, on a good week and some of these books are beyond the three hundred page limit; Jilly Cooper’s ‘Riders’ alone is 919 pages long, for me that is an entire weeks’ worth of reading!
But the challenge is set and I am going to try my hardest to complete it with flying colours, because I really need to read a lot more than I do. There is a massive backlog of ‘to read’ books in my Goodreads.com list, approximately ten thousand and it will take me fifty years to get to them all and by then I would have added another fifty thousand no doubt!
I love reading and I don’t do it enough to be honest. I think online gaming has to end and reading and writing should consume me more than it ever has, because I don’t actually enjoy the gaming and I don’t find it very productive to be honest and I don’t like thinking of myself as unproductive, which is a great irony considering I have been like this for five years – ever since I got much worse with my health.
So this readathon is going to become the start of a new me – a new productive me. I am determined to change my life.
Come with me on the ride if you like!
Set your own reading challenge or tackle the same books as I am in the same time frame, or decide that you are going to game less and read or write more. Only you can change your life and make the decision to do productive things!
I have always wanted to be a writer since I was ten years old when Mr Alistair a therapist/teacher told me that I had a gory imagination and extraordinary talent; back then my specialism was horror and it has only been in the past seventeen years that my writing has moved onto fantasy, comedy and poetry. I started writing stories about alien invasions, vampires and alarmist ideas about climate change, El Niño and the end of the world. I have for most of my life been a dedicated environmentalist, but since I talked so much in a spiritual forum about my concerns I lost confidence to continue writing this journalistically (is that a word? if not why not?), because I was accused of being a doom-sayer and me being a very uplifting positive person this accusation hurt me enough to stop me.
My first ever short story of any real length was based on Persephone in the underworld that I wrote when I was eleven. I imagined how life must have felt like living in the underworld and even when I was that young I had a good clear understanding that not everyone is 100% evil or good, so I wrote about Hades in a positive form and it was very much influenced by my passion for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. This is a theme that has followed me through my writing life; if there is a misunderstanding in something, I am always willing to show another side to it – determined to prove to everyone that nothing is just black or white; it is a multitude of colours. I can do this to the most indigestible of subjects too, according to a few people who have seen my handwritten work – thus I am sometimes known as an excellent mediator and diplomat, as long as the subject doesn’t get me too personally hot under the collar.
One friend recently told me that they see me as society’s apologist, whatever that means. I looked it up and I am not really that religious enough to be considered an apologist, though I suppose if you were to watch me answering questions whilst I am watching many quiz shows on religion, you’d say I seem to know an awful lot about religion for someone who isn’t interested in being religious. You see I think this is where people misunderstand me – it is not that I am not religious, I am more humanist because I think that religion by and by causes division and I am all for world unity. However I am a deeply spiritual person who literally believes in anything until it is absolutely solidly proven not to exist – hence why I leave milk and honey next to the stove at night for the house spirit (Nisse/elf) and ask permission to the tree itself before I prune it and honestly believe in various ancient customs and ideas – though I am still soul searching, but I will make this abundantly clear now, this is not an invitation to be converted to anything. My ancestry history is so mixed, whenever I feel I should dedicate myself one way or another, I feel like I am upsetting some ancestor on the other side, so I don’t bother myself with dedication of that sort.
Anyway, this post was going to be about how I started writing and what I started with and where I have ended up. I have written a lot of comedy and comic themes recently that I have noticed I have more and more of the fantasy and sci-fi comedy genre, if that is a genre. I told Paul the other day that I feel like I am being possessed by the spirits of the deceased members of the Monty Python gang and Terry Pratchett, I try and write serious high fantasy and I can’t help putting in some silliness into it and I am seeing corny puns in everything! The more I fight it, the funnier I get.
Unfortunately the comedy themes are rarely if ever posted on here, because I have made this mostly into a life update and poetry blog, rather than the intended fantasy blog, because I worry that my worst writing might be my best and my best my worse in the eyes of the world. So I never really know which short stories and snippets to risk posting here.
I have decided to make this blog more of a writing diary, but again I have fears that I might reveal too much of my plans. Fear is a major factor for me not posting much lately.
I have a handwritten diary I update about once a week on average because I keep forgetting to add to it – this diary is purely about my writing, my plans and any strange themes I have noticed that day or week. For example, I have noticed I get a story idea in my head, then a book falls off the shelf in the library of a similar theme I was thinking about – weird coincidences like this happen a lot to me. Then whilst television flicking, subjects of things I have been thinking about or themes of the day seem to be found everywhere, even on my sons chocolate wrappers as adverts at times!
I was thinking about sharing these day to day themes and the weird occurrences they have been discovered as part of my day to day blogging, as these things often develop into story ideas for me as I sit back and wonder what the universe wants me to do with these supposed signs? What story is she prodding me towards and I believe this is why I have more ideas than actual work – I am never without a new idea, the problem for me is writing them down fast enough and concentrating on less than three at a time. This is extra difficult for me because I am an attention deficit sufferer, I get bored doing the same thing or thinking about the same thing for longer than twenty minute bursts – hence why my current reading list on Goodreads usually has around twelve current books on the go! It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a book, it just means I really can’t concentrate for more than twenty minutes.
Thinking about my reading list on Goodreads has actually just reminded me to make a point here on a matter a friend recently said to me the other day – she noticed that I have all these books on Goodreads I am currently reading but I only manage to read between ten and forty pages a day of maybe two or three books and she said that as far as she understands I am always reading but the Goodreads activities doesn’t prove it. I said it is simple really when you consider that Goodreads is not designed to update magazines and newspapers and out of print books that are not listed on their site at all as well as local pamphlets and guides, game back stories, research websites, other people’s blogs and so forth.
Here is a list of my magazine subscriptions and I do mean, I read them every time they are published either weekly or monthly;
Pets @ home
Total TV Guide
Lego club magazine
WWF membership news and stuff
When I pick up a new magazine, that is the only thing I can read from beginning to end and it takes me around an hour to two hours – the reason why I can do that with a magazine rather than a novel is simple, the subject changes every few minutes.
Honestly, I am addicted to reading, I am addicted to downloading new information into my mind on a constant basis and I am a person who doesn’t enjoy sleep – I see it as a waste of time, but being ill, I have to sleep more than most and it literally drives me crazy! All I want to do is think learn and do.
So there you have it!
Hello, I am Tina Cousins and I am a reading and writing addict and I don’t intend to cure myself of it, goodbye.
I drew a skeleton but it came out as a cartoon style skeleton, wasn’t my intention, I had hoped for it to look like some serious gothic artwork, but no, it’s comical instead. Then a few days later I drew a cartoon style hedgehog and the expression on its face is more sinister than my attempt at the gothic skeleton, funnily enough I put both of these into a drawer and forgot about them for several months, then when I was sorting through my drawers I came across the two pictures and put them into the art pile I made, both were cut out and around. I didn’t realise it until I walked away and came back with a drink, that they both, together looked rather comical. The hedgehog was between the legs of the skeleton looking upwards at it, the skeleton looking nervous and the hedgehog sinister, made me think of a silly idea for a short story about a demon hedgehog gynaecologist and this skeleton being its patient – however, this idea is too dumb; I am not going to do it.
My son is getting quite excited about a new movie coming out called ‘Dr Strange’ he is a huge Marvel fan. I was shocked to discover that Benedict Cumberbatch will be taking the lead role, because I would have thought he’d be too busy for it, but also thrilled at the same time, he is a very talented actor.
He is looking forward to the prospect that other characters from Marvel will be having their own movies in the future that would be suitable for his age; he is six years old. He wants Elektra, Blade and Dr Octopus.
I will say however, he has never seen Elektra or Blade the current movies, but he knows them from his Trump card collection. He also knows Elektra from DareDevil the movie, which he watched only last week.
Procrastination is a part of a creative person’s life; something they get comfortable with and sometimes it seems that procrastination is an essential part of who we are and where we get out ideas from. For me, I am constantly procrastinating; this blog is a fine example because I often do not post a thing for weeks on end! However, as procrastinating I can be, I am always doing what I consider to be “constructive procrastination” because whatever I am doing when it is not writing regularly for my blog, I am in fact, building myself up for other creative activities – usually writing things that aren’t meant for my blog, reading books, researching, filling my mind up with wacky art and images etc. What have I done since the last post on my blog? I’ve started and completed two jigsaw puzzles, one of them was a 1000 piece Ravensburger “Santa Express” Limited Edition 2013, the other was Christmas Quarter 500 piece puzzle, I have since started another one of those Christmas Quarter puzzles, despite it being mid-February. Now this seems like procrastination at its finest, but for me this closes my mind to everyday worries and opens my mind for new ideas – a type of meditation. I have sketched several pieces of clothing that my characters like wearing in a fantasy story that is in planning stage. I have also read two adult sized novels “The Light Fantastic” by Terry Pratchett and “Occupy Me” by Tricia Sullivan, I am a slow reader – an adult novel of approximately 300 pages will take me about five to eight days to complete because my brain insists on showing me everything that’s going on in fine details like a movie. I have also read snippets of other books too, as I am a multi-reader, I can have about twelve books on the go at any one time and not get confused! I have researched the history of the Cathars, Japanese folklore and Hammer movies. I have done one or two pictures from an adult colouring in book, another form of meditation for me. I have sorted out my much overdue papers into organised piles and backed my computer up. I have watched online videos and looked at online images in regards to natural history, local nature, religious history, philosophy, Cosmic Ordering and been a member of some online Goth, geek and fantasy groups at Facebook. I have researched to the best of my ability as to how I can get into comic book writing and how to sell my art. My son has come down sick twice since the last post, so I had to take care of him. I have watched the rugby and I have written the synopses of several stories I am about to write as novels. Actual writing I have accomplished as part of a/or several novels – approximately 800 words – not a lot. But that’s fine when you consider I am actually writing an average of 800 to 3000 words per day, even if it is just a diary entry or my 750 words from 750words.com – I am actually writing a whole lot more than I used to! I am writing in depths about the dreams I have at night. I have been writing down my ideas behind ethical behaviour and the changes that needs to happen to society for a better world. I have written how I feel about my family and circumstances. I have been making business plans and life plans. I have sat down for several hours in the last few weeks with my husband lulling over ideas about our life and even brainstorming my stories with him! I have also helped my son start writing his own stories and he is nearly 6yrs old! A lot of what I am writing is not actually story based or for the blog. I have written several posts since the last time I have posted on this website, but the situation has been that I found it unsuitable for my readers here because I am either ranting about things or I am giving too many of my ideas away. I have written notes on historical facts that I feel will help me with my stories. I am a self-student of the social sciences, since leaving the OU course for social sciences because I couldn’t cope with the demands in math and stats as well as having a teething baby on hand. I have finally decided how one of the novels I am writing is going to end, so now I know this and have written the bullet points; it should be finished by April 20th, and yes, I am going to approach someone with it. The story is a horror with some Japanese folklore element to it, because I have studied the Japanese culture and language a lot in the last eight years as I love their comics and their sense of humour and horror; if and when I get published, I hope this opens a doorway to Japanese media, because I would love to travel to Japan and use the language skills I’ve developed. I should get on quite well in Japan speaking Japanese, as I have learned enough to get me by as someone who speaks the language a little better than the average tourist, though learning their script is near impossible for me at this stage! I have also discovered through an ESA examination that I might have a neurological disorder I should discuss with my doctor, because I have been blacking out, phasing out, getting shaking hands and been getting a lot of problems with my upper body mobility. I have noticed that this is slowing my writing down a lot, because I am making huge errors such as forgetting how to use punctuation – writing different words than I originally wanted to and generally not making much sense at times, so if you come across this, please note it and let me know, thanks! I write descriptions in depth or comedy scenes, but none of this is embodied into a story yet. I don’t know if I am a proper writer and I don’t know if proper writers do exactly what I’ve been doing, but I am curious to find out. Is there more to being a writer than just sitting down writing poems and stories? Do we essentially write mostly about anything but those two main ideas society have about us? I have never joined a writers group so I wouldn’t know. I would like to join my local writers group but the bus time tables make this difficult for me as the classes are twice a month at 7:30pm and the last bus to my village is at 8pm and I can’t walk that far home these days – I can’t drive either and have been advised not to with my medical conditions, such a shame really as I would have enjoyed it. So that’s me since the New Year in a nutshell.
Over the last couple of days I’ve been reading like a maniac ergo not written very much, I’ve been fortunate enough to have won two goodreads.com giveaways which has kept me busy; Also I have been watching funny rap take outs from ERB. It’s a recommended watch because you’ve got Darth Vader VS Adolf Hitler and Thor VS Zeus that type of thing. You can find ERB on youtube
Having only 2.5 hours sleep last night, I am quite surprised at how my brain is on top form this morning; something that’s been a struggle for over eighteen months now. I scored 821 points in online scrabble and I’ve written over one thousand words before noon that’s going to be published on my blog, this is a record for me as I tend to linger over one thousand words in a whole day that’s usually utter rubbish and will never be published anywhere.
The post I wrote for my blog will be published on the 8th August so keep an eye out for it as there is something in this post that will be the main theme for that day.
As a writer I procrastinate profusely because I am overloaded with more ideas that actually knuckling down to work. I get an average of two novel or short story ideas a day and I have over seven large files containing just ideas, some of these ideas have been with me since I was ten years old and they are so vast (as in an epic series) that I can’t actually believe that anyone would actually want to publish all that drivel without severely abridging my work (insert pained expression here).
One of the main reasons why I have been afraid of professional success has been that an editor will come along and say to me; “cut this out and this and this and this” and I will be standing there agape and aghast that they dare think that they are gods of my worlds! Demons of apocalypse, back away from my creations you heinous, cruel, heartless reapers of my poor innocent imaginary friends, BACK AWAY NOW! (Holds up baseball bat in defence of my many worlds). Oh, OK, maybe I can kill a few darlings as Stephen King would suggest in his book “On Writing”, but it will be painful and they will be mourned by no one else except for me. Damn being a writer is depressing.
Anyway, focusing back onto this subject – I’ve tried to force myself to concentrate on one main story for the last few years and you know what? I don’t think my brain can work that way. I think I need to have many stories on the go at once, I know when I used to be like that I was more productive as a whole and I was told by a college lecturer (of GCSE English Literature) that if I want to be a writer I should focus on one story at a time or else I will become confused and so will my readers. Actually thinking back I think this is bullshit because as a writer I do more than just write my work, I actually read my own work too and edit to the best of my ability – so what utter tosh.
Since 2002 I’ve been working on a fantasy comedy based around some drunk leprechauns, I have the beginning, middle and end, but I have got bored with it seven chapters on because of computer faults deleting most of it with corrupt files etc., after four occasions where this happens and you have no hard copies you get a little disheartened with the story and start to wonder if the story is bad luck, don’t you? Well I do.
Anyway, between writing the leprechaun comedy, I’ve been writing snippets for an epic vampire series – something I’ve been working on since I was ten years old, god I love vampires.
The vampire stories will never be neglected, they are always added to at least once a week, even if it’s just a sentence, they will never be forgotten, because to me, they are my family and I will defend these stories the most if I ever feel brave enough to trust them with a publisher.
Over the years, before I started to concentrate on just one or two, I had started two dystopian stories, a comedy about a female wrestler, a comic about a cat, a comic about a sex crazed astronaut nun, a comic about dominant women invading a planet for mates, a crazy millionaire woman who kills herself after committing murder, a novel about a plague survivor, cowboy vampires, and a console addict sucked into a computer world – to name but a few.
Some of those ideas I gave up because I found similar books or movies during the writing of them by accident and was concerned of plagiarism, but having original ideas is difficult – so therefore I may start some of them up again and do them anyway soon.
No matter what genre I write, I don’t think I can help but have some humour in my stories – I would not be at all surprised if I eventually get coined as a crossover author for horror, fantasy and comedy.
I am starting a horror novel today, based on the advice of my husband and the fact that I am enthusiastic about it and it’s fresh in my mind – so, here I go…
A lot of my work comes about because of the thoughts that come to my mind when I listen to certain music; my inspiration changes with each kind of music I listen to, this is why I love instrumental music, particularly that from Nox Arcana. I have all of their albums, they are essential for me to work effectively. Never before has a band affected me in such a way as Nox Arcana. Their music is exactly the kind of atmosphere I need to set my brain into for my work in fantasy and horror writing and art.
I might very well review each album or song separately someday, but the most listened to album for me is this one – Carnival of Lost Souls.
The amount of fantasy horror I’ve thought of. I have even thought about a comic series because of this music, this along with (sorry, something not Nox Arcana related) = The Honky Tonk Merry-go-round by Patsy Cline. Oh the things I have dreamt, thank you Nox Arcana, very much for this one. Johnny Depp is going to love you all the more if he ever reads my stuff and found out his new nightmares were inspired by you. *insert evil laugh here*.
Since I lost Cubase many moons ago, my computer isn’t hooked up with music composing software anymore (and I can’t read or write music, but I can play by ear and compose – with the software). My music was similar to Nox Arcana, that’s why I love it so much. I think the band must be within my soul group or something? Anyway, once I figured out how to configure my old Microsoft XP files onto my new computer (perhaps in Neverwhere) I will load up my old music and share it. Otherwise, if I really am in Neverwhere with that then my old music has been lost in the ethers of time forever. *Insert forlorn pierrot here*.
My creativity really is controlled by the type of music that’s around me at the time. In the times of no music, I tend to write flatly and that’s only suitable when I am writing non-fiction or essays.
Now being deaf, I rely heavily on vibrations, lip-reading and my two hearing aids and I am not looking forward to the day that my consultant said is in the near future, that I will lose my hearing altogether. Unfortunately at the time this was said to me, the consultant in question told me that there is nothing they can do to repair my hearing if the worst case scenario crops up, thankfully I know someone in the ENT department abroad who says that’s utter tosh. So fingers crossed that I will never lose my hearing completely.
I don’t know what I would do without my Nox Arcana!