Tag Archives: creative

Visuals & symbolism

Passions are what makes people succeed, a lot of people make presumptions about my passions because they observe things that I allow them to see, but ultimately they are wrong.

I am mostly stimulated by visuals, it is agonising to write, but I have no confidence in my art and drawings. 

People think that being a writer I write because writing is my passion – not so, what drives me to write is the prospect of the art whether in movies or paintings.  I like visuals a lot.  I often speak with Paul about how I wish I was a better artist and a faster one, so that I can draw the scenes I see in my head and then just write snippets of what those images are about.

But in my opinion my art is naff, but my writing is good.

I really want to be the artist behind my graphic novels I am working on, but I just can’t make the grade I have set for myself, for that to make me feel yes it is complete and it is wonderful… you know?

You should know that a lot of people are confident in my ability as an artist, but I am not.  Because my art is not exactly how I see it in my head; my art is too cartoon and manga like, when I want my art to reflect more realism or at least CGI quality.  Talking of which, I don’t do digital art – which would make the CGI concept actually happen, but I am trying to create CGI quality artwork manually! 

I have never learned to do digital art; I wouldn’t even know where to start other than Photoshop.

So yeah, laugh at me, because I laugh at myself regarding this too!  So why not!  Haha!

The writing is wonderful, I don’t fault it much and I am not being cocky either, I am proud of what I have written so far – but I am disappointed in my artistic ability to provide the visuals for it.

For me, writing is a painful and often stressful experience when piecing ideas together – but when I am researching and brainstorming it’s one of the best things ever! 

Writing for fifteen to twenty five minutes stretches, feels like two hours and I often feel drained after doing it, I often need exercise or something to wake me up from it! 

Doing art on the other hand is the only thing in my life where my attention span hasn’t got in the way – for some reason or another I can paint for six hours and then feel that I’ve only done it for half an hour and I always come away from the work feeling happy and energised – the same with music!

Unfortunately I can’t afford my supplies, so I can’t work on art every single day like I really want to!  I just can’t afford it!  I don’t think you really realise just how bad things are for me here, we often rely on charity support and it’s going to get worse between now and November.

Other than visual stimulus my other stimulus used to be sound – but around seven or eight years ago I caught an infection which had permanently reduced the hearing in my only functioning ear, which means there are many sounds I can no longer hear, including certain beats and instruments in my favorite songs on the radio!

I have reduced ability for scent too and poor eyesight without spectacles or contact lenses.  Quite literally I am slowly losing my senses.  Mostly due to the NHS not being able to support maintaining my treatment, which would slow this down!

This is why making a life for myself now is very important, my main goal for trying to earn money via affiliate programs, a YouTube channel, my art etc by the end of this year is to help finance me for private care; where I can have my ear rebuilt, because I need an ossicleplasty to regain hearing from one of my ears as the mastoid infection destroyed two ossicles completely. 

I also need my nose fixed because the hospital didn’t bother to repair the cartilage I broke when I broke my nose three or four years ago and it often shifts out of place and causes pain – but it’s not life threatening so they felt it can wait!  Also I have enlarged adenoids which affect my breathing and sense of smell.

Since I was a kid I wanted to do art movies based on my ideas, songs and poems, but I was lead to believe that you need to be rich to do it. 

I have made online friends through twitter recently which has taught me that it is nonsense, you don’t need to have a single penny to do it and they are showing me how.  I have asked for the course to be paused until September 7th, because I want to concentrate on it thoroughly and it is hard to do so when Paul and Henry are having screaming matches in front of me every five minutes.

It’s exciting to think I can go back to my childhood dreams.

It is also rather a strange coincidence that I am getting a lot of “inner child” symbolism and cues around me a lot lately, including with a YouTube pick a pile tarot reading, which connected the pile chooser to the arts and two decision paths whilst healing the inner child; but also, I am having a lot of bizarre dreams that I am four years old again and I am decorating my house with all the things my childhood self ever wanted, care bears, kawaii stuff – you name it, it’s so weird how this is all connecting together!

I am having a lot of dreams that I am packing boxes ready to move house and that when I get to the new house, I am unpacking things I don’t have, pretty things, things that make me happy, things that a child would want!  It’s like a prediction of abundance and joy!

I hope it is a prediction, because I really need to find my happy place, a place to play.

Happy reading everyone! 

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Lonely and tardy confession

I dither a lot.

I mean a lot!

Perhaps that’s why I am called TardyCreative.com?

But I am not like this in most things – in most things I am very decisive in life generally, but when it comes to creative pursuits, it’s more challenging to make a firm hard decision!

I fear choosing one idea for a particular story, because then I can’t play with that idea anymore – because nobody wants multiple stories of the same thing happening with several endings, or do they?

Let’s give an example of what I might think about, by using an already known piece of work by someone else – let’s say, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley!

If I was writing this and it was my masterpiece (which it isn’t – we’re just hypothesizing here) these things would flow to my mind;

The monster decides to stand and fight the mob and so piece by piece the mob pulls him apart!

The monster runs away to the North Pole and survives!

The monster falls in love with the doctor who made him and they have an awkward existence together!

The monster runs off with a local and attempts to have children with her and the result of that!

Or the monster decides he is too lonely in this world that he will build himself a wife and he will become a doctor himself and try to keep his creator alive forever, whether he liked it or not.

Loads of ideas could come into play and this is me all over!

Which one do I do?  Ok, I won’t be rewriting Frankenstein anytime soon, but you get my point don’t you?

This is where my confession is about to reveal itself…

I hate writing.

There!  I have said it!

I loathe writing, especially when I have to make that final decision!

I love brainstorming that is fun, the research is fun too and sharing my ideas is fun – but sitting down in the solitude of writing is boring!  The writing process and the editing is boring!  All I want to do is play with ideas and make visuals.

This is why I will say I have no confidence in becoming a published author.  I will try, but I know me… I know it won’t happen because I have trouble finalising!

It’s especially problematic when I am doing this alone.

I have no one who truly loves brainstorming with me, to share my ideas with, to hear their ideas and to feed off of each other’s energies and enthusiasm!

I am in it by myself and it is boring!

Not only this, but I am surrounded by people who think so highly of my work that they believe I will become a multi-millionaire sensation within a year of approaching an agent… I’m a realist; I know it’s not going to happen!

Too many things will get in the way of that – one major thing is my accessibility to be contacted outside of email.  I am deaf, profoundly deaf and I have no technology available to me to get around that.  I rely on Paul to take all my phone-calls for me – we have never sought help because we don’t know how to do that in Warwickshire, also I rely on Paul to have the energy to phone these places on my behalf.

Yeah, so, I am stuck.

So, I have decided to do things the hard way… the way I usually do things anyway, I am weird like that, one of these people who finds simplicity in difficulty; like I burn eggs on toast, but I can make a soufflé, however I digress!

I am going to get around this, though I am certain I will fail the October 21st deadline, no matter how much I am writing towards that!  Based on the idea that I don’t think I’d find representation! So, what am I going to do?

I have never done this before, surprise, shock, horror!  I have never had beta readers outside of friends of family, I have never joined a writers group – but I am going to do that.  Not yet though, because I really can’t afford the £10 a week bus fare at the moment, but our finances is improving in November because Paul officially retires!  So until then I am pretty much stuck in the house.

This particular group I have occasionally spoken to online are really super, because at least half of the members of the group are also into amateur dramatics, something I am keen to get back into!  I want to write a play as well as books, I want to screen write, so they will help me gain the experience I need for that as well as making much needed friends!

Gosh, I sound so sad!

Also I have found a friend that has given me access to a free course in learning how to make my own short films and get into film making; hopefully my new friends in this writing group will take a part in that, I hate doing things alone!

I am also keen to get back into music, because musical theatre is particularly interesting to me and I miss singing and playing my instruments tremendously!  Most of my poems were meant to be songs as I think about composing music for the lyrics as much as I think about writing stories! 

I don’t think you realise that I am a lyricist, composer and performer as much as I am a writer?

My dad and my aunts got me into almost all of this, because they played the piano, bugle, trumpet and the harmonica, they were always singing and they were into amateur theatre as well, mostly as comedians and worked with cockney performers for monthly specials for local nursing homes!

Also they were members of the Salvation Army and played musical instruments in bands around malls and markets at Christmas and my own grandmother was also a majorette and taught me some of the moves, though I am not very good at it like she was!  She also told me that her own mother was a cancan dancer in America before marrying her dad – imagine that, because I can’t! 

So, I think I found the group I want to be part of.

I have to admit, I don’t have much support about it from my immediate family.

They only want the writing done, because I think they believe there is money in it!  Insert eye roll here!

Nobody is happy that I am planning some kind of social life and independence that doesn’t include them in every tiny detail, because they are so used to be being home all day and doing nothing!  As I said before, it’s like they resent I am getting better in most things!

So this time next year, I hope to be a part of this local writing group and maybe starting amateur dramatics again?

I need something to be excited about, since my main thing has fallen flat on its face lately.  I won’t go into that here; it’s a bit too personal.  But let’s just say, I really need to find something to look forward to that won’t disappoint again, because the dark thoughts are creeping back again.

I’d rather brainstorm with people than anything else, do art or motivate others or make others happy or entertained. 

I will write books, though I find the process boring, because I have too many good ideas to waste them.  I’ve always been motivated to write because of movies, not because I love writing.  Let’s be very clear and honest about that.  It’s not the writing I love, but the process of thinking about ideas and sharing them with others.

Maybe I am a shallow needy person?  But that’s what makes me happy and I can’t help that!

So, yeah, that’s what I wanted to say.

Sorry to disappoint anyone.

But the work will get done, despite what I said.

Happy reading!

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Shove me in a box…

“You can’t have and do everything, you’ve got to narrow yourself down”; Have you ever been told that by anyone in the past?

I have endlessly, particularly by Paul – he has constantly lived in fear since we moved in together that I am overdoing everything, stretching myself too thin and he has tried to endorse a cut version of me. Purely because he fears I will burn myself out!

I never realised until now, just how little by little, I have lost myself.  Around seven years ago I became severely depressed and suicidal; I couldn’t find joy in anything anymore.  I didn’t realise until recently, when I have been soul searching just why this might be the case!

Why am I no longer happy?

Why even when I was being badly abused in a toxic parent/child relationship, I was still happier then, in myself, than I am now that I am free?  Because I realised, although I was isolated and abused, I was allowed to have my hobbies and a lot of them!  I was able to skip from this to that and know that the house was always spotlessly organised and nothing needed to be cleared away and cleaned before I could use it.

Although my life with my parents was terrible, I had the environment perfect for creative growth.

My heart and soul sings when I am able to read books at the drop of a hat, write stories and songs and poems and practise any musical instrument.  I could do art and I always had a dog next to me, I was never without a dog when I lived with my parents.

I could sing anywhere from the hours of 9am to 9pm without being hushed, as long as I isolated myself in my room or in the garden to do so.

I could get the exercise I need without clearing the floor and vacuuming first and have the right music to motivate me to finish the work out all the way through!

I could listen to any music and watch any movie I so desired; although I was isolated, threatened, blackmailed and all the rest, I was free to hone my skills and entertain myself however possible, as long as I just don’t go out and as long as it didn’t interfere with chores or whatever my mother wanted from me, which were minimal anyway because my mother had OCD and everything was perfect all of the time around the house.

But here, I don’t have the same freedom.  In my own house, I don’t have that.

There is always a complaint at how loudly I sing, it’s ok to sing, but do you really have to sing opera or songs that reach a high note in jazz?

It’s ok for you to have these musical instruments, but you can’t have your keyboard constantly set up outside of the box, there is no room for it – let me bring it downstairs for you every time you want to use it and wait until we clear the dining table and you can use it there!

It’s ok for you to do your watercolour painting, but we need to clear your art table up as we’ve had lunch on it today, it will only take fifteen minutes and then you need to fetch it all down from boxes from the spare bedroom before you get going on it… is it any wonder half an hour later especially when I’ve had a bad day with my sickness that I decided after all of that nonsense I don’t want to paint anymore?

Especially when there is never any room to store the art to dry and the work ends up with piles of toys on it and lost for several weeks… there is no respect with my efforts. Nobody cares, but me. I have very little personal space and I am made to feel guilty when I fight for it.

I have a 4ft by 4ft corner in the living room with my desktop computer and a chair; I had to fight for that space and to maintain it as tidy as it is like it’s some kind of ongoing battle… and it is!

They can take anything away from me, but not this space!

And they do.

Sometimes I need to pee, but I get hemmed in this corner by fortresses of lego or robots, then they leave the room abandoning me to try and get out of it, because really, they don’t care.  Or they barricade me in this corner with an ironing board and baskets of laundry and I have to wait a few minutes whilst they rescue me out of it, just so I can go to the toilet.

It’s nice he does the laundry, I really appreciate that – but I need space to do the work and I have been struggling for two years now in getting Paul to help me set up the spare room as an office, because I am too weak to move the huge cabinets up there myself to make room for my desk.

The mess is depressing, the lack of freedom to just up and go anywhere in the house is… if you can understand it’s… it’s just… I don’t know.  It makes me want to give up, stay in bed and rot away.

The only place I can absolutely guarantee a clean and tidy place with the freedom to move un-obstructively is between my side of the bed, my side of the bedroom, the upstairs landing and the bathroom; but lately, the bathroom is getting obstructed as Henry is becoming a teenager and floods the floor, so I can no longer trundle from bed to toilet in fleece socks without seeping into a lake and sitting on a toilet with a wet bottom because for some reason or another, Henry doesn’t just wash himself, but the whole room!

Is it any wonder that I sit back and wish to leave?  That I can’t cope anymore with this kind of life?  Because nobody I live with uphold the same quality control of how the house should be as I do?

Because I was stupid to think I could change a hoarder.

“We’re not obsessed with everything like you are” is the response I get when I complain.  “We don’t have time, we’re tired, we can’t help it” is always the excuse I get and I am drained by the whining and then I don’t want to create – I just want to sink back in bed and hope that I do actually die of whatever is making me sick! It’s probably the black mould, I never had asthma before I moved in here!

I was offered a free writers retreat holiday the other week, I refused to go because I was genuinely afraid that if I went, I’d enjoy the freedom too much and won’t want to come home again.

I am a musician as much as I am a writer, I am a composer and lyricist, I am an artist and photographer – but I can only be a writer whilst I live here, there isn’t any room for the other stuff and I miss my piano and keyboard so much, the glockenspiel, recorder and kalimba are available easily, but the house has eaten my harmonica and portable electronic drum!

Oh I still have it, it’s upstairs in a box, but I can’t get to it, it’s barricaded behind loads of boxes of things we never use and I can’t carry it downstairs to use it, without thirty minutes of tidying up first and then there is the issue that I am disturbing someone.  Or that “they” want to play my keyboard too as though it’s some kind of novelty game;

I am thrilled in particular that Henry has an interest in playing the keyboard, though he never practises, but why is it always when I only just bring it down for me after months of not seeing it? 

Maybe I am just a selfish asshole, but I can’t help feel I am being boxed as much as the junk in the spare room is!

Sometimes I feel I am in the way, that if they could, they would, shove me in a box and put me out of the way.

How I miss my music.

I need to find a way out of all of this, before I grow old and bitter and become a mega bitch; it’s slowly happening, I used to be happy for everyone, never a glum thought crossed my mind – but lately, I am getting envious and I am starting to turn green and have ugly thoughts about things.

I feel like I am losing my soul!

Happy reading everyone!

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Do they resent me?

When you’ve been bedbound sick for a while you learn coping mechanisms, to keep you going; especially when you start to believe you are failing as a mum because you can’t do the things a normal housewife could and should be doing.

You learn to release responsibilities to your husband so that you can heal, so there are less hospital trips due to you collapsing over exhaustion as you try to pretend there is nothing wrong with you!

You learn that there are things you can still do as a bedbound parent, but it doesn’t feel the same.  As a bedbound parent you learn to make the most of a small space, you learn that you don’t have to need a desktop PC and you can use a laptop in bed with an adjustable table.

You start to think that you are a burden, but you can’t help it.  I became this badly sick when Henry was 3yrs old – Henry hasn’t really known a healthy mum, he is twelve now and my health is stabilising slowly.

You start to believe that your rocky relationship with your son who is worried sick about you, will improve as you get better – but that’s a fallacy!

Since Henry was five years old, he learned that the best way to have time with me and play is by sitting with me drawing, reading or playing Roblox games every moment he is out of school.

I was wrong not to set tight boundaries about that, because in all honesty, I never believed I would get better – in fact I thought I was going to die before Henry becomes a teenager!

But now I am getting better, I am trying to make a life for myself – I have lost nine years of freedom from my mum since becoming sick and I want to make it up to myself.

I really thought my immediate family would be pleased I am getting better, but far from it, they resent it.  Paul feels less needed and is dropping things at such a rapid pace nowadays that it is leaving me feeling like he is sabotaging my healing process because he is afraid that my health may mean he’ll lose me.  Because he knows I am unhappy with the state of the house and unhappy with the morose behaviour the people of this house has!

Henry doesn’t understand that I need to drop the games because twenty minutes of fun always ends up with six hours of lost time.

I am trying to hone my skills as a writer, keep this blog alive, learn how to use social media, networking with other creative people, trying to learn how to set up a YouTube channel and how to get into screenwriting professionally and learning Italian because I want to get back to my Italian roots.  I am trying to do this by my own set schedule and goal and time is running out!

Henry’s behaviour has become sour since I seem to be getting better and in the heat of the moment he has screamed that he wished I would get sicker again, just so he’d have someone to play with all the time again!

There is no emotional support from Paul regarding this – as Henry storms off because I won’t play for longer, Paul runs after him telling him he knows how he feels and how mum needs to do this and that, but also how I really should spend more than just half an hour a day with him and he knows its not fair.

Proverbially slapping me in the face in the process!

Paul is tired of updating my friends when I am too busy, sick or absorbed in free courses – he has made his stance very clear to me. I ask him not to be rude to them, because sometimes he can be a bit too terse with people; he isn’t known for tact.

I am in this on my own.

It’s my fault I am getting better and chose to actually pull us out of poverty because I can’t hack just making do anymore, so I have to do it all myself now!

It’s abundantly clear and it’s a lonely place to be.

I have resided myself to the fact that perhaps this family doesn’t want me unless I am in bed all day playing games to keep the boy happy and out of Paul’s hair.  We’ve had this discussion and it’s clear, I might be moving away from them soon – we don’t know when – but it’s something that’s coming.

The prospect of complete independence is stomach churning.

I’ve never been alone before.

I’ve always been dependant on others, can I do it?

Who knows?

Am I being fair to them? I can’t help but feel guilty for wanting this!

Thanks for reading!

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What do I do?

What do I like to do when I am not writing or doing art?  Strange to say, that creativity is such a big part of my life it is actually really hard for me not to be in creative mode in one way or another.

Outside of actually physically writing, I do think about things to write almost on a constant basis I am a chronic daydreamer!  I can’t hold conversations very much travelling in a car because I zone out to daydream and for me, it’s just as well because it is my coping mechanism for car travel sickness – hence why, I have never learned to drive.  I am actually going to try next summer to have my first ever driving lesson, but I don’t think I’ll have more than three before deciding that driving isn’t for me!

I like to talk about sceneries when travelling on trains, I love trains, but again I daydream a lot on trains.  Unless the conversation isn’t specifically towards the scenery I tend to zone out on people.

It’s easy for me to zone out completely and sometimes it takes a person shaking me by the shoulders to come back to reality again!

But outside of this one big daydream of mine, what do I do?

I like tending to the garden, but I am never without my creative quirks there either as I imagine faeries or trolls peeping out at me from behind bushes and dark corners and so forth.  Whenever I garden, I garden with nature and unseen forces in mind; I have to have fruits, herbs and vegetables every few feet, because it helps the fair folk, animals and birds.  It’s either my active imagination or my witchy roots and shamanic past that allows me to see things that others say aren’t there.  I have never decided which is true…

But whatever I grow in the garden to eat, I always ensure that at least a quarter of what I grow is never harvest as because I don’t want to be seen as greedy and because I feel that you should leave things for nature, to go to seed or for the fair folk.  Did you know in actual fact that ancient humans used to always farm and garden like this until humans developed more of the greed gene? 

I am not a tidy gardener, I am a cut and drop type and I have the healthiest soil for miles around because of it; I know that some diseases and weeds should not be cut and dropped and I am wise to those things and they go either in a bucket of water to rot down or they go into a bonfire at the end of the month.  I have a special area for the bad stuff.

I grow with companion planting in mind and bio warfare – I am completely 100% organic and chemical free, what I do is I learn about nature and what feeds on what and I try to mimic the natural balance in my garden by trying to encourage pest killers into a problematic area.  If I grow nasturtiums the nasturtiums tend to encourage caterpillars and they generally leave my cabbages and other things alone, if I have an influx of aphids on my peas I grow sweet peas that are inedible nearby and umbellifers such as dill, fennel and yarrow to attract ladybirds and lacewings which eat aphids, as well as calendulas… no calendulas don’t eat aphids, they attract the things that do!

I am loved by frogs and toads and it used to freak my mother out every summer about how they’d hop or crawl after me if I was near the pond, because I had nurtured them since tadpoles and they became tame enough to be touched (make sure your hands are wet before you touch them as your skin can burn theirs).

I try to ensure a lot of mini ponds around the garden or makeshift ponds in the forms of buckets and ponds half inserted into the ground for them, because they kill slugs and snails and also we have a family of five hedgehogs in our garden most of the time, we’re quite lucky because our garden is small really – but we have so much life here!

My back garden is only 30ft wide and 50ft long, my front garden is 20ft wide and 20ft long, so it really is quite small for what it gives us!  We get a lot of food out of it and there is plenty of nature here – we always get comments from people in our neighbourhood about how we’ve bewitched wildlife and stolen it from their gardens because they don’t get all the bees and butterflies we have and they’ve never seen hedgehogs or woodpeckers in their gardens!  I just simply smile, shrug and say – plant more, get rid of your horrendous decking and fake plastic lawn and grow wildflowers, and then they’ll come to you.  Most snobbily sneer at the idea and look disgusted at my suggestion, but there has been one or two who have listened and nature is spreading, as it does and as it wants to and as it should!

When not gardening, I am bonding with animals, either in the form of pets or those in my garden; I am known to be quite mad by some neighbours because I click at magpies to call them down from the trees and some eat out of my hand and give me presents of egg shell and the prettiest stones they can find!

My magpies are my biggest influence in my writing, they are the main characters of a particular book series I am writing and they are based entirely on magpies I have befriended in reality.

I know it sounds nuts, but my life has been saved by a crow I cared for when it got heat stroke, this crow has long since died, but its family remember me and watches out for me.  I am profoundly deaf with inner ear auto-immune disease, which means a lot of the time because of ear infections I can’t wear my hearing aids at all, so I become completely deaf regularly – but one day I didn’t hear a car coming after I thought the coast was clear, it was one of those young teenage drivers who were racing down the long road and they nearly ran me down, but my crow, the one I saved earlier that year swooped down knocking me off balance just as the car nearly hit me, making me fall out of the way of the hit!

This crow and its family gets upset if they don’t see me for more than three days at a time and will shout their caws loudly and fly around the house until I either open the window so they can see me or go outside for a few minutes just to let them know I am OK – Paul is fascinated by this, but to me it’s normal!  They quieten down once they see me!

See it’s hard to have a “normal life” when I live the life I do.  My life is certainly not normal for everyone out there (points to the world) but it is normal for our ancestors and tribal people.  I consider myself an ancient human trapped in modern times.

I find it hard to have a “normal life” and talk about “normal” things.  I think normal is very suggestible, different to everyone and it hurts me when people feel they have the right to judge someone like me!  Because, in reality, had humans maintained their tribal existence and had maintained living as nature intended, then based on that, my way of life would be considered normal and conservative… it would be strange, not to be like me!

Other than having my head in the clouds and playing with nature like some kind of Disney princess, I do like movies and I do like doing puzzles.  I love 1000 piece puzzles and have a big collection of them and I have a love for word games, scrabble and codebreakers, that sort of thing.

I love feeding people too, I love to cook and I am often accused of making people fat when they stay here for more than a week!  Most people have to go on diets after visiting me, because they grow an addiction to my food!

I make as much as possible from scratch, including various jams, chutneys and sauces.  I am not scared of making pastry and I often cook too much deliberately, just to freeze them for later.  That’s how a home cook can manage their life better, cook and freeze – it’s safe, probably a lot safer than bought produce.

It’s funny but I get comments from people about how unsafe it is to put my lasagne in the freezer if nobody eats it all, but then they go out and buy microwavable frozen lasagne meals… the irony is both sad and laughable.

I find it hard to make friends with regular people; it’s easy for me to make friends with witches and creative people though.  Unfortunately I live in an area that is famed for its culture, but most of the people who live around me are science based workers, unemployed or in catering.  For the creative folk I have to be in the centre of town or a village five miles south from here, that’s where the creative folk are.

Paul is a scientist, he is a little bit creative because he used to be a photographer and he did once become a lecturer for art history in a university; but he is really a doctor of geology and that’s what he has been most of his life.  So he fits in here in our village, because a lot of people who live around us are doctors or nurses.

But he admits, though he loves some of my work he doesn’t love it all and it is hard for him to be enthusiastic in partaking an active role in being creative with me and brainstorming with me or even encouraging me beyond his scientific “get on with it” kind of way.  He is rather picky about what he likes and what he doesn’t like.

It is hard for me, because I am the type of writer that when she writes her stuff for the day she wants to share it with the person she is living with, immediately, because I am a person who likes to brainstorm with others – I like to talk about what I have done, because I am emotionally shallow and needy.    I am easily knocked off my perch if I think someone is disinterested, this is the hardest thing about me being a writer, since moving in with Paul.

My mother on the other hand was very good at feigning interest to buck a person’s creative confidence up, but Paul doesn’t like to even pretend and I appreciate him for that – but it is also frustrating for me.

So, what do I do outside of writing?  Basically play with animals, do puzzles, gardening, fatten people up and just generally connect to my inner being and nature.  I think that’s entirely me… I do love music, I love art, I love practising on my various musical instruments, but when I do that – I tend to go back into creative play again, then write songs and compose music!

So that’s me!  A creative child of nature; surrounded by a multitude of other species; that is spiritually connected to her little world and loves to entertain people with food, story and poetry.

Hope you enjoyed an insight to my weird little life!

Thanks for reading! 

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The vulgar subject

People sometimes ask me if I ever became successful, what would I spend my money on? 

I have answers to that, but first I want to ask why do people believe that just because someone has become rich for whatever reason, that for the rest of their lives all they will ever do is try to spend it and that they must and often do so? 

It’s just puzzling, because for me, I have known rock bottom poverty and the idea of squandering money when I get it, is not something that I am comfortable with!  Though saying that, I do resent having money when I know someone else is suffering and I tend to give generously when I do have it – never privately, I do it through charities and campaigns, because I wasn’t always poor you know?

It’s a weird thing about life and me, my relationship with money has always been boom and bust to both extremes.

Now for what I tend to do when I get lucky.  I tend to gift people I haven’t been generous to for a while, such as close friends and family if it is a special occasion and I tend to splash out on a nice group meal either cooked at home or out.

My next tendency is to buy things to improve my pets quality of life and things for my garden; then books in my “to buy list” and then little curios from spirituality shops, like crystals, mythological ornaments, tarot cards and Feng shui specific things.

I reckon if I won the lottery in life or literally win the lottery, my ideas would be to get myself a bigger menagerie of pets (domestic and small farm ones only) and a property with a lot of land so I can practically live outdoors in my edible forest garden, whilst playing with crystals and tarot cards and making miniature worlds with miniaturisation hobbies, I can never afford to get into currently.  I love miniatures!

I am also with Henry in the idea of all these train sets, purely for the joy of making miniature worlds for the trains to go through and little towns scattered here and there – if I had the room and the money! 

I don’t intend to grow up, I am and always will be childish and playful and for me its bills first, then fun then education then I will contemplate other grown up things like clothing and furniture. 

Weirdly enough, clothing is something that is way down on the list, despite my love for fashion!  I love fashion, but only if it’s not too expensive and only if it’s comfortable and I like it – comfort is essential above everything else, I don’t like to suffer whilst looking good!  I do like big brand names like Moschino and Alexander McQueen, but I look at the price tag and I think… well… don’t be stupid, the amount of beautiful giant crystals I could get with that or a lovely playhouse for the rabbit in the garden for the summer, or Henry a lovely trip at Severn Valley and yet another Hornby trainset special edition I could buy instead!

I’ve never understood the people who say enjoy your life, spend 10k on a dress and get yourself a yacht and go on five holidays a year mind-set!   A yacht would be wasted on me as I get home sick after five days away, after two weeks of being away I have more or less rooted myself elsewhere and don’t want to go back.  It’s the gypsy in me; my maternal grandmother was half Romany, hence the love for crystals and tarot –she taught me when I was 7yrs old – they say don’t teach kids that before that age as they are not strong enough to fend off spirits who may try to make changelings out of them!

This is the same grandma who watched horror movies with me and wrestling, as I was growing up – she was a cool gran, but completely and utterly non-domestic, couldn’t cook to save her life, in fact she’d daren’t cook, it was safer not to!  A complete anomaly to her gypsy roots, where every woman polished their brasses daily and knew umpteen recipes off by heart!

But I think the most lavish thing my money would ever be spent on is lots of temporary homes everywhere I am likely to visit regularly, just so I don’t get home sick, if that makes sense? 

The second elaborate thing would be 5k on giant crystals or getting a new pony or a goat, but other than that – I am pretty simple in my hopes and dreams for life.

All I really want is The Garden Of Eden; a lot of love from lots of close relationships, good food, lots of snuggles with animals and wildlife in the garden, freedom to be myself and peace.

Once I have that, I will feel in paradise and I won’t need to die.

I’m a natures child who is very kooky, playful, childish, sensitive, have too much love to give and who needs a garden of organic edible wonder, an animal enthusiast and a tardy creative, because I get side-tracked in my daydreams.  But I am also fierce and passionate and I hate injustice and ignorance and I was the kid who got beaten up because she saved the other ones who weren’t strong enough by taking the blows for them – that’s me, nothing more and nothing less!

Happy reading!

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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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The fear is lifted

I am glad I have spoken to certain people via DM on twitter recently and I have been taught few things about the writing industry that I was oblivious to before now.

November right through till the second week in January is really not an ideal time to go looking for an agent for representation because it is their busiest time of the year, let’s just get that out there right now!

But the main thing that I was taught is the thing that has given me the most confidence to get on with my work and this little revelation has actually lifted me out of depression by at least 50% since learning of it.

I have been often attacked verbally by people who proclaim that my ideas are not original, in fact in some cases they feel that it is a plagiarism, even though the stories are not actually a direct rip off of other people’s work.  Fan fiction is in fact perfectly fine to write on your blog as long as you haven’t ripped off too much from the originator.  What cannot be copyrighted are the names of characters and ideas.  But don’t let that get to your head, because there is one thing that professional and successful writers have in common and that is a deep respect and understanding for those who wrote before them!

A person is perfectly within their right to include characters from other people’s work, such as Mina from Dracula mingling with the invisible man in the league of extraordinary gentlemen comics, if their story comes across as unique!

This has made me feel a lot better about some of my work, because there were times where I was struggling to find the name of a nightclub that didn’t actually exist to include it in my story, through the sheer fear that I might end up in a lawsuit somewhere down the line.  I was worried that if I named a character something completely different but gave them the exact description and personality of a known character such as Sauron from the lord of the rings, that this would be frowned upon heavily, even though a person like Sauron has been depicted a hundred times in as many novels by as many other authors already!  For some reason or another I believed there was this niche little club where people could only get away with that sort of thing, if they were part of this little club or something – but no! 

You can get away with this, there is no law against creativity and ideas and so therefore, as long as you don’t completely rewrite the lord of the rings with this character and make your own story and stance to a similar idea, you should be fine!

Saying that you need to understand that all readers are smart and they read a genre and they will know it very, very well and if your idea is not fresh and new, you will bore them with what they feel is a repeat story but done in a different style, if this makes sense?

It is impossible to be completely original, but at least try to be as unique as you can and experiment with ideas.

It is vital that if you want to write a genre, you need to first read a lot in that genre or at least the top fifty recommendations of that genre to get a taste of what might have already have been done or overdone in that genre first!

I read mostly horror, fantasy and science fiction.

I read a huge amount of short story anthologies in those genres, and in fact I am more likely to read short stories than lengthy novels; because in my opinion, reading condensed stories like this teaches me how to compose a novel in an interesting fast pace way, without the risk of coming into too many digressions and needless descriptive waffle.

I am now more confident to pursue some of my older ideas, because I was afraid that mentioning Dracula in some of my vampire novels as a passing conversation could get me into a lawsuit, that having a scene where a character collects Hellraiser novelties could be jumped on and that sort of thing and when you live in fear of this sort of thing, you find that your creativity gets crushed.

You find it hard to move on from the scene in your head, because you are sitting there worried that some boogie man lawyer is going to jump out at you from the ether and start suing your poverty ridden pants off!

Well it was like that for me.  I never used to care and when I started to care – because I had so-called helpful people advising me, that I became stunted creatively. 

Funnily enough I had learned that those so-called advisors were not actually successful in their ventures themselves, in fact some of them had no intention of being more than just a hobby writer – so do make sure that whoever you listen to, have had professional experience in the industry first or have spoken to real people that they know in the industry, before you listen to them!

I have learned what I have learned recently through a real literary agent on twitter and a successful writer friend.

I do not currently have a literary agent, because I have no intention of publishing a book until the end of next year, due to personal reasons.  This following year is going to be quite full of hospital appointments for me and I am tired easily because of my illness, so until the appointments wane off a bit, I can’t dedicate myself to the professional side of my craft just yet!

When the medications that I need are assessed properly and decided, perhaps this will help with my problems a lot more and I can function a bit better, but until then, I can’t waste peoples time in the industry until I am sure that – A I am going to be alive this time next year and B that I have a name for the neurological problem that I seem to have.

Until then, happy reading everyone and if you too are a writer, happy writing and write with confidence now you know what I know!

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Oh to Hell with it…

Even though I have said I am not doing NaNoWriMo this year, I have joined it anyway for the community spirit; I have joined the UK, Leicester region there, let me know if you are in that region and maybe we can say hi to each other?

My personal goal is to finish six novels by 1st November 2022 to be sent for the first time ever to a literary agent – this is a goal and it may very well be unrealistic, but I am hoping it can be achieved!  The writing of six books is very realistic for me, because I tend to always be in writing mode anyway – the writing I have shared with my blog, or at least my word counts are not accurate according to Paul, who realised that I have not been sharing my handwritten notes in those word counts and I write more by hand than by computer!

What I meant about being unrealistic was my idea that an agent would take on all six projects in such short notice!

I understand no literary agent will take six books at once, I am not dense, they will be sent with reasonable gaps between each book!

I am a perfectionist and my own worst enemy regarding my writing – I was often told by tutors in my past that I overwork things and rewrite when it is not necessary, this is something I have never really learned to stop doing!

I do have OCD in many things in my life; this is another difficulty I am trying to overcome.  The OCD with my novel writing has got a lot worse since seven years ago it was suggested to me that I need to redraft some work, a notion that was alien to me at the time and now I redraft each novel at least three times a year and when you think I have over ten near complete works, this is nightmarish to some people – who may even find what I say unbelievable!

Paul has told me this is why it is important to send my work out there, so people know just how manically I do write and how it is part of the fibre of who I am!  I am never not thinking about writing, I am constantly in creative mode!

My brain cannot switch off from work of any creative type! 

When I am not writing, I am thinking about writing.

When I am not doing that I am drawing pictures or painting or planning art projects; then when I am not doing any of those things I am crocheting or knitting!  My mind is constantly creating something – it is not work for me, I don’t regard this as work and Paul finds that irritating, because to me, this is a lifestyle!  I can’t feel pressured doing any of this, because it is a lifestyle for me!  What I do feel pressured about is other people’s expectations of me when they know that I am working on something!

I don’t fear the blank page because of lack of ideas; I fear the blank page because my brain will fill it up with unplanned stuff before I can write down what I wanted to in the first place!

I don’t struggle with ideas for new projects, I am drowning in them!

So with that said,  I am now going to get back to my novel which is a steampunk adventure with an adult female main character – a novel of which has caused me to only have fourteen hours sleep in four days!

Happy reading!

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Ideas and the life of them

Having lots of story ideas is an author’s dream, well I guess I have the dream creative life then, because I have more ideas than I can handle!

But it is not nice to be like this, having more ideas than I can reasonably write!  How do I manage being like this?  I have noticed there is not much literature on people who are overloaded with ideas, but there is plenty literature on how to try and get them! 

For me personally, I have learned that I can’t write enough to get every idea down on paper, even writing more than one paragraph about the idea is a challenge at times! 

How I manage the best ideas;

I keep a bullet point journal about the general ideas; usually just one sentence per idea as a trigger to remembering, so that later on in the day, usually just before I go to sleep, I write a further paragraph or two in an ideas folder.

I have to say, I am often brutal with my ideas, ideas come and go quite quickly for me and not all of them are worthy of note!  Weirdly enough most of the ideas come when I am on the toilet, in the bath or at a busy café!

I have ideas that are not even for my favourite genres to write, many times I discard ideas because I feel that their plots are too complicated for me or requires much more research than I am willing to do on a new subject I know nothing about!  Believe me, I am not in any need for further research material, I read mostly non-fiction these days as it is!

This past week alone I have had six entirely new ideas come and so far, only two have survived further summaries.  Those two were of the genre I write, three of the others were not of my genre and one other was way too technological – as we all know technology is not my strong point!

The ideas that remained were another dragon story and a comedy vampire story. 

The ideas I discarded were an Italian romance story, a story based on the life of a rabbit, a story that seemed too similar to the plot of a recent book review I watched on YouTube and the complicated story was a space opera.

You can’t hoard all these ideas if you are sure you are not going to write them!

I firmly believe in Elizabeth Gilbert’s idea in Big Magic; ideas are alive, they have souls, they are like ghosts of stories that want to exist, they flow from person to person seeing who’d write them and if they decide not to write them, they flow onto people they know who might.

This doesn’t mean that a person steals another person’s idea; most of the time people don’t even know that those ideas are in people’s heads – because a lot of creative people are closely guarded by what they merely think about.  Especially if they do not know that they are not going use those ideas. 

But it is strange how many times a person has claimed that a story their friend has wrote, was weirdly an idea that they had had for a long time but didn’t take the plunge.  I too, have found this! 

In fact the more creative friends I make, the more ideas I seem to get and it is not because of a feedback of ideas they talk about (because most of them don’t), it is usually about the ones they don’t talk about!  Elizabeth Gilbert explains this phenomenon in Big Magic, if you haven’t read the book I strongly recommend it!

Because of this book, I have learned not to get so uppity and upset when people write things I wanted to write, but didn’t – it’s not copyright theft if they really genuinely didn’t know that you thought of it first – the ideas just got fed up waiting on you as an agent for their life!

However in the past I have got upset over this, purely because ideas were shared with trusted members of the family and they were literally sold to the highest bidder – usually for a crate of wine or a new computer and then I get to see my books on film after all a couple of years later.  Missing out all of the time, Bitter?  Of course, because it happened a lot through that relative!  Some of those ideas were actually near the point of being sent to agents, it was the last draft when I discovered the damage that happened yet again.

Thankfully those people are out of my life, but unfortunately it has made me afraid to share too much with anyone.  I say only vaguely what my stories are about, but I am not inclined to go to writers clubs anymore, in case strangers do the same thing.  I can’t lose my hard work again and again, it is soul destroying!

My ideas folder is thicker than a dictionary. 

I get ideas flooding me at intervals that happen as frequent as every six months on average, they come for two or three weeks completely disrupting my life like some violent storm and they can come at first in around five the first week and blow up to be as many as twenty near the end of their flow, generally totalling around forty to fifty ideas by the end of the event. 

How many of those ideas do I actually write? 

I write towards approximately six to ten stories a season, but finish them entirely, usually not… I tend to pause for a year or two at chapter seventeen; there is something about chapter seventeen that seems to do that to me.  Because my pauses are lengthy, most stories take an average of three years to write, because pauses like that are necessary for me. 

There was one very rare occasion, I think it was 2017 – 2018 NaNoWriMo, I can’t remember which, where I was approximately five chapters away from finishing a novel in a month, that for me, was record timing!

It is a habit I am trying to get into, have been trying to get into since 2016.  I want to write all of my novels in one month, they need life.

I feel like some sort of literary Dr Frankenstein, these books must have life, life you hear!  LIFE!

I haven’t recounted my unfinished works since 2017, back then my unfinished works were seventy six with a further two hundred un-started, synopsis stage other works.

At present there are four near to finished works and two finished works that are pending an extensive review and potential rewrite. 

I am far more organised than I used to be and funnily enough, I believe that I am becoming a faster writer when I do write. 

I haven’t written much lately because I am beginning to get apathetic about everything regarding life as there are some serious health problems cropping up where I am unsure of my future at present.

I am determined to do NaNoWriMo this year for my sanities sake, but I can’t tell what will happen until those emergency hospital appointments are done and dusted and another health problem is confirmed or denied… hopefully denied, or else, well… let’s just say; I won’t have much of a career in writing if it’s confirmed.

Happy reading everyone!

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