Tag Archives: dragon

Learn to improvise tried and tested themes

There is one thing I dislike about reading stories and that is, I get confused about whether it was a movie or a book years later.  Sometimes there is a movie and a book out and I get confused because the actors are different to when I visualised it when reading. 

I also have the same problem about my own novels I write; were those my ideas or did I see the movie somewhere before?   Sometimes I have to actually make notes about where I have seen other things that I am imagining for my own stories, because I am paranoid about coming across as a copycat, I often google even characters and fantasy creatures, just to be sure.

Funnily enough, doing this has shown me how unoriginal many seemingly original stories are by other people.  At least I have learned how not to be cliché.  For example, I had an idea about a giant spider in a forest for one of my dragon novels, but then this has been done many times before, not just Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings! 

Let me tell you the others;

Conan the barbarian – the tower of the elephant

Arachne in Greek mythology

Arachnos from Dr Who

The Cthulu mythos

The wonderful wizard of Oz

Arachnophobia

There is a whole lot more – in fact giant spiders are overdone in three genres, horror, fantasy and sci-fi.

It is reasonable to think that it would be a popular choice along with rats, wasps, snakes, being buried alive because all of these are mankind’s greatest fears, so it can be a useful if overdone tool for creative writing.

But does that mean that you can’t include these overworked themes in your own writing?  Maybe not, but no one is going to write it like you, you can put a unique stance to the story, something that certainly hasn’t been done.  Maybe instead your spiders are friendly, vegan, mages, aquatic, who knows the options are many!

For your information, there is such a thing as aquatic arachnids, spiders that can live both on the land and in water, they can breathe under water, now your nightmares can really begin to grow!  What will you do with it?

So, although it is good for me to be paranoid about originality, originality in fact does not exist.  Only your stance of what already exists can feel unique to those who may never have come across something like that before and the likelihood of finding people like that is at least 33%, well I am not mathematician, so I wouldn’t really know, but the chances are, people will like your perspective on the subject or theme.  So get at it, but always be aware that you are not as original as you think – this shouldn’t stunt you, in fact, it should help teach you to think outside the box, improvise or innovate, you know?

Happy reading!

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thought of the day 1

I will admit that sometimes I preschedule my posts, especially those of poetry. 

I had a very ecologically aware and poetic day on the 20th May. 

Sometimes the themes of my poetry come in bursts of phases and waves; much like my story writing does too.  I get days where it is more of a vampire day or a dystopian day and my art or stories or poems reflect this, I can’t force myself outside of the theme I feel for the day; that is my major fault.

Today I feel artistic, I want to practise art, for me it is one of the dreaded mixed days, where I have more than one theme; today I feel like practising dragon art, writing towards a dragon story but also dystopian, I also feel like shopping but that is not a creative theme for me, that’s just me!

At the point of writing this post, it is the 21st May.  This post has been prescheduled because my body is giving me warnings that my auto-immunity issues are preparing themselves for yet another hit of something that will knock me off my feet for a couple of weeks.  I hope it gets over and done with before Midsummer night, because around that week I have minor surgery.

Happy reading

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A tardiness update

Hello everyone, long time no writes, I know, sorry about that!

I want to say that I have been having a lot more infections than usual and a lot more chest and breathing problems which are not Covid related; I have not been infected with Covid luckily.  I have completely self-isolated since March 2020, I have only left the house twice in that time for dental appointments – I have been scared of Covid especially as I have a history for chest infections and pneumonia anyway!

Other than dental appointments I must admit I have steered clear of all doctor clinics and hospitals because I think that if I go, I am more likely to get infections – now this is frustrating because before Covid the doctor could care less for my health problems and whilst Covid has been a factor I have had to turn down huge amounts of appointments because the doctor is now ready to try and solve them… it is like the world is conspiring to trap me to get Covid lol!

I think there is one good thing about the fact I was isolated all of my life by my mother, that is, Covid19 isolation is literally a doddle for me as I have always learned to cope with what I have and make the best of being at home.  But it is also deeply depressing that again, I feel like the world is conspiring to keep me cooped up for all of my life!

I have mental health issues because of my past and so many people have been concerned for how Covid isolation may be affecting me mentally.  But they don’t understand that it is normal for me, I have been so used to it for so long that it is second nature.  So unlike the rest of the world that has always had some kind of freedom, I don’t go stir crazy just because I can’t leave the house for a time.

Staying at home or even cooped up for prolonged periods inside a single room really doesn’t bother me as long as there are things I can do.  If the room was empty, that could be a completely different matter, I may go crazy after a few days, but I would make do with meditations, visualisations and if I were not causing trouble to do so, singing and reciting poetry etc. 

The thing with me is, imagination is easy.  Imagination is my friend and I have learned to harness it on command for any situation.  I do meditation and visualisation so well, that there has been times I have been hungry and I have visualised eating a meal and I have come out of meditation not feeling hungry anymore!

It’s amusing really that I am overweight; when I consider that I can do this.  But I will be completely honest with you; I am overweight for only three reasons.  As part of the abuse I have been victim of, a large part of that was being fed constantly, my abusers were feeders.  I have lost a huge amount of weight since being away from them, but not enough to be of healthy weight.  Secondly, I am addicted to caffeinated sodas such as cherry cola and Pepsi, but still, not as bad as I used to be.  I have gone from a 5 litre a day habit to only 1 litre now -still trying to fight the addiction.  Third reason – the biggest one of them all is.  I lost a majority of the weight I had because when I moved in with Paul and got away from the abuse, I started to religiously walk 9 miles per day and I that was doing the trick with normal eating.  Since becoming sick back in 2012 I then walked only twice a week for about 2 miles and since Covid I walk nowhere at all, except around the house.

In my humble opinion I need to lose a lot more.  I have tried to go on a diet, but diet alone is not working at all.  I have stuck religiously to a diet for 3 months and I haven’t lost a pound!  It’s only going to go via exercise, which this body just can’t cope with right now.  Every time I try to exercise I get weird symptoms of lower back shakes and unsteady shaking legs and hands.  I am residing myself to the fact I can’t garden anymore, not for longer than 15 minutes a time.

I have to make do with trying to think about what I want to do versus what I can realistically do these days.

I love gardening, but short of sitting at table with pots, that is something I can no longer do the exact way I love the most – which is to kneel down with my hands in the dirt, pulling and pruning and chipping and replanting from ground to ground in true food forest garden fashion.

I have to reside myself to the idea that someday, if I get a little money, I can get someone in to pull my whole garden out for  me and make me hip high raised beds with seating around them, so I can sit and garden the lame man’s way.  Sorry, but to say I don’t feel bitter about not being able to do it the usual way, would be a lie!

My disabilities are affecting my creative crafts too sometimes.  Hand shakiness (presumably not Parkinson’s) are sometimes affecting me using utensils when eating as often as once a week, as well as hand cramps and so therefore drawing and painting on those days is a no go. 

My writing can sometimes be affected on bad pain days; sometimes pain is so bad I misread things, miss-type things, mispronounce things and even have spoonerisms coming out of my ears!  Hand shakiness and pain can affect how much I read in a day too as well as depression.  On a good week without much pain or shakes I can read about three books, if the depression isn’t there.  I think I mentioned this before.  You can more or less tell how I am doing by how much I am reading on Goodreads.com

But don’t be overwhelmed with sympathy for me not getting down to my art and writing however!  There are other factors besides health which leads to my tardiness – the phases I go through.  I tend to find it hard to narrow down precisely who I want to be.  So I go through weeks at a time being so involved in one thing or two and then move on again. 

For example; Between October and April, I have got into the phase of watching around 3 hours a day of YouTube videos from people who are homesteaders and food forest permaculture gardeners, as well as food preservers and artists.  February and April 2021 I have gone through another spiritual soul searching phase.  I have read books based on spirituality and cosmic ordering and I have been thinking about my self-definition a lot.  Since the start of April I have re-established my love for The Sims 4 and have been playing that daily for literally 6 hours a time.  Disgusting I know.  But I have still been practising my art approximately 3 days a week for an hour a time, which is becoming a record now, because that too, used to come in phases!  If this is an unusually long phase, then I have been in this once since last summer!

Writing is on a severe back burner, I am writing about 90 minutes three times a week since March, whereas I wrote a lot more, before then.

On a very positive note however; my art practises are for the very reason that I have decided to make a children’s picture book series and I am practising my art to get the same characters right in several different poses.  Now I know, you are all thinking that I am not a children’s author and that would be very true!  But something happened in my mind, where I just have to have this children’s series about a dragon in true infant picture book form.  I don’t know why this is happening, but I am going with the flow!

But I will tell you now; my main genres are dark fantasy and dystopia that will never change!

Until next time, thank you for reading.

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Other hobbies

What do I do when I am not writing?

Quite a lot actually, because I don’t write much at all these days; I have lots of ideas for things to write but I think illness has made me lose focus and passion for it.  I was a lot more passionate about writing than I am nowadays.  It is simply because pain distracts me and makes me lose where I am heading – coughing fits and a severely runny nose are the biggest contributors for throwing me off course, yanking me out of the zone, as it were.  As I have said before in many posts, I live with a perpetual chronic cold, with ear, nose and throat infections thrown in.  It isn’t just a sniffle, I wish it were, but I can get through five hundred individual tissues on a bad day, two hundred being the norm for me.

Since the 21st December 2019 the only things I have written are what are on the blog and approximately 5000 words of non-posted works of other things, but nothing contributing to my novels.  Hand written notes of other ideas are not included in this, I am spending more and more time in bed these days as I can barely move.  All these problems are giving me severe insomnia and hypersomnia.  What do I mean by that?  Well I don’t sleep at night, I seem to sleep better during the day, for some reason my chest and sinus is worse at night.  When I do eventually sleep during the day I sleep between 7 and 16 hours in a stretch, to wake up for 2 hours in a choking fit with a dry crusted mouth.  Not a pretty visual I know.  I can go 30 to 40 hours without sleeping, purely because I am too busy clearing mucus from my system.

So it isn’t any wonder why I lack focus and concentration really.

Basically, everything I do when I am not writing, are things I can do at home, in the bedroom.  Primarily with my desktop computer, as I have recently had it moved to the bedroom due to the fact I am often too sick to get downstairs these days and I have moved my laptop downstairs for the rare occasion I am down there for more than an hour.  Because my legs swell a lot sitting at the computer desk, I can only sit here for an hour before I have to rest with legs up for thirty minutes, to get the swelling down, so even if I am on a roll, my ankles start burning and that throws me off course and I have to go and put my feet up.

I read approximately 30 to 80 pages of a book per day and about half a magazine too.  The types of things I read the most are fantasy, sci-fi and comedy fiction with a lot of non-fiction thrown in; the non-fiction I enjoy are self-help books, nutrition books, history books, theological research, mythology, folklore and cultural studies.  My current reading list is Time Song by Julia Blackburn, The Toll by Neal Shusterman and Roy Vickery’s folk flora. 

I do puzzles such as codebreakers, arrow words and gardening magazine crosswords – before my chest got too bad I used to love doing 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles, but it is frustrating having a coughing fit and losing pieces across the room all the time!

If I am not too busy fighting mucus, I get to knit, crochet, sew or practise my recorder and keyboard. 

I watch TV only if there are documentaries I am interested in, I mostly watch Smithsonian and BBC four with some Drama channel thrown in.  I will watch anything with Lucy Worsley, anything about the history of jazz, soul and classical music, nature and wildlife documentaries, documentaries about farming and country life.  I like science too, so I will watch sky at night and space science programs as well as things in the past such as time commanders, gladiators and the occasional wrestling show.  I love comedies, I only watch the comedies on the Drama Channel, but I am picky about which ones to watch.  I like only connect and some quiz and puzzle shows like Countdown, but I don’t watch them all the time.  I have to be in the mood to watch TV and before I was sick I watched around three hours of TV a week, these days it’s about two hours a day.  We never miss Michael McIntyre’s Big Show if we can help it, nor do we tend to like missing gardeners world or shows such as the RHS show, cruft’s and BBC Proms.  I’m pretty old fashioned I suppose for someone who is thirty seven.  I dislike soap operas and drama llama stuff – yes I mentioned the drama channel, but there are three hours a day where it is strictly comedy and I tend to only watch that channel (at the comedy times) or food network when there is nothing else on.  Sometimes I put on a DVD and I will often choose vampires or family animations and comedies. 

The main things I do these days are play games online.  I don’t even socialise that much online anymore, because I lose concentration and people who know me are starting to think I have memory problems.  Because a coughing fit will make me forget what I have said or what I was on about.

The online games that grip me are… Roblox, yes Henry got me onto it and to be honest, Roblox has saved my relationship with my son!  Because I find his kind of games hard to do since becoming sick – Roblox has opened a whole new world for us and we play hide and seek and various other games together.  When Henry is at school, I still sneak onto the site and play bee swarm simulator, Ripull mini games and fairy simulator.  Bee Swarm simulator especially!

Other online games I play are ovipets it is a cute breeding game on facebook and I have been addicted to that for nearly 5yrs. 

Flightrising is another breeding game, but I go in and out of phases with that.  Primarily I have played this for a whole eight months without a break, purely because Henry wants to see what dragons I breed and he loves to name them and do what we call “Dragon Lottery”.  Dragon Lottery is where I look through the offspring possibilities scrying menu to see what will happen if I pair certain dragons up, sometimes I can’t decide, so I make a list of all the best ones that go with my chosen female that day and I number them, then Henry, Paul and I will choose a number from the list and put it through random.org and sometimes someone gets the number right, in which case that person must get a treat of some kind or get to choose to do something; I breed five pairs of dragons every five days, because that is how long it takes for the eggs to hatch and we have a limit of five breeding nests on this game. 

I used to play online scrabble but I have got accused of cheating because I know too many unusual words.  I don’t cheat on that game, I don’t see what purpose that serves other than the joy of creating misery on another person who loses and I am not a vindictive person like that.  I really do have a broad vocabulary, though I rarely use it outside of scrabble and I love doing anagrams for fun, so I see a lot of seven letter words and I am a dictionary and language addict, so I know words that are weird to normal people.  Here is a list of words I know for high scoring on scrabble, which have got me accused of cheating when used previously – plus, I have read books written by scrabble champions.

ZEBU – QAT –  QUARE – SEQUIN – AWK – EUOI – AIA – QI – KIMCHI – VEX – VAV – TAV – EAU – UVEA – AEON – OXIDE – POXY – QIN – QINTAR – FATWA – QABALA – QADI – SJOE – KHAKI – EUOUAE to name but a few.  I have to admit I was shocked when SEQUIN was considered a questionable word, the others I can understand, but I was sure almost everyone knew what sequins were?

I love words and word play so much I have considered about having a word of the week thing, but I am unreliable with keeping to things like that, as you can clearly see from past efforts or lack of.

Other than sketching with pencils or sharpies in bed and/or colouring in and story planning, I don’t do much else on a bad day.  On a good day I can add about an hour of light gardening to the list but not much else anymore.

I’m pretty boring I suppose, by my peers.  I can’t even cuddle the rabbit lately because I cough too much it terrifies the poor thing!  I suppose I sound like some big barking bear or something to the poor creature.

I have gone out to the doctors and walked past dogs when I am like this and the dogs think I am barking at them, they react accordingly, it is embarrassing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The kelp dragons and the fairy coronation

In the land of the kelp dragons all mossy and green

The creatures are preparing a coronation for a new fairy queen

Her dress is green felt embroidered with ferns and her crown is gold apricots that won’t spoil or turn

She rides to the scene with an elegant mare, that’s decorated with blueberries, apples and pears

The dragons sit around protecting the queen

Nothing can harm them, they are too supreme

The fairies all gather around in the fen

As the dragons give their blessings to the queen and them

Before the dawn comes all have fun at the ball

The royal procession is fun time for all

Before the sunrises, the queen kisses goodbye, to all the kelp dragons and tries not to cry

Because she won’t ever see them again, as they only come to fairies if its coronation time again

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Inktober Day 4

Nearly forgot to post this…

 

My giraffe done with sharpies for Inktober Day 4

 

Henry’s autumn day with autumn leaves for Inktober Day 4

 

My dragon coloured in from yesterday.

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Inktober 2019 – Day 3

Dragon guarding treasure Inktober Day 3

It is currently not coloured because today is my 37th birthday and I am spending the rest of the evening playing board games with my family; tomorrow I will colour it in and it will be available to be seen at my DeviantArt gallery, FFGallery.

 

Henry did the following picture for me as a birthday present, he also made me a lovely box to put my recorder cleaning cloths in, sort of like a washing basket for the recorder cloths, he made out of an old tissue box and painted beautiful butterflies on it.

 

Gift for mama

 

 

 

 

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Sunday Word Count 4

Sunday word count four – I’m not on The Wall of Shame huzzah!

This week’s word total is…

12382

And possibly more as I have written approximately six pages of stuff by hand and haven’t typed them up on the computer yet!

It is good but I have written nothing at all for three of the days this week and my only excuse for that is I was exhausted and had gastric flu.  Yes, sorry for the TMI (too much information).

The days break up as this;

11th August – nothing and that’s because our internet is still tetchy, in fact it has been tetchy again today too. 

12th August – 1584 words, which is usually considered a low average for me.

13th August – 7483 words, that is amazing and I wish most days were like this!  Especially as it is still the school summer holiday!

14th August – 637 words, quite low and not at all good in my opinion!

15th August – nothing, because I was busy with other things, mostly reading and calming Henry down and having what seems to be gastric flu.

16th August – nothing again because of the gastric flu!

17th August – 2678 words, which is my good average amount for daily writing.  It is something I would do usually when Henry is at school; it is still the summer holidays so it is amazing I did my average word count for the day whilst he was home!

The writing I have done this week has been mostly notes towards my leprechaun fantasy, including a title change and rewriting certain weak characters to make them have more of a part in the plot of the story, because there was a lot of weak characters, some of which I will be deleting entirely once this fourth or fifth draft is complete. 

I have not included the words towards new story ideas I have had this week, there has been three new novel ideas I have had, but I can’t start work on them until all this other work is finished.  I am not bragging or anything but I really do have a huge backlog of ideas piled up in a corner of this room and it is getting ridiculous because I know that more than half will never ever be started, let alone finished as there is just too many!  I think I must be the only writer in the history of the world who has her own slush pile for what ideas might work and what are weak!

I am also weighing up something in my mind a lot recently.  I love reading and writing fantasy, horror, sci-fi and dystopian stories – I especially love and am addicted to my vampire stories, my saga I am doing.  But I am reading a lot about how a writer shouldn’t really have too many genres under their belt and this is disheartening to me because I love them all.  I can’t release my vampires or my fantasy in particular and there are at least four dystopian stories I really want to write; it seems to me that there are only really two horrors I have planned, so I can release the horror I guess?  Though I have been told by so many people that horror is more of my strength than other types of fiction I write.

I thought I could just write anything and be appreciated just as much, but the more I research the more I am finding that this isn’t the case, I could be found unprofessional and disloyal to my original fan base.  Even to have just the three genres could be too many.  I don’t really know what genre vampires can be put into, because I have found them in so many different sections at the bookstore and in the libraries that they have confused me – they are put into the dark romance, dark fantasy, horror, gothic and erotica sections – so which is it?  Dystopian novels can be put into science fiction, horror or thriller sections too.  Fantasy also has about three sections, dark fantasy, adult fantasy, family fantasy. 

I am struggling to decide which ones to say goodbye to.  My fantasies tend to be comedy family fantasies and some of them are dark, very dark and borderline horror again sometimes with small interjections of dark comedy. 

My Dystopian stories have links with science fiction ideas, new fictional type sciences and leans towards some religious or mythological ideologies or prophecies. 

My vampires are more complexed as the sagas cross into so many genres, science-fiction, horror, romance and fantasy as even my vampires mingle with fairies and so forth.

It is apparently great to be different, but not so different that you can’t define your genre.

If I can’t define my genre right now, how can any of my future agents and publishers?

It is both a depressing and eye opening reality of being a writer.

It makes me feel so caged.

I really love and adore my vampire novels so much and they are a huge part of who I am, but I am not ready to kiss goodbye my leprechauns, mermaids, giants and dragons either.  Nor am I willing to kiss goodbye my ripped up worlds full of warlords and surviving citizens and their struggle for salvation and freedom.

So who is going to take me seriously when I post out my stories to agents in a year or two?

Do you think I worry too much?  Please post what you think in comments below.

Thank you for reading.

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Daily Prompt 5

Today’s prompt – Dragon – Clarinet – Alien – Fear – Pineapple

I had an interesting passing thought with this one today, but I am trying to ignore it as I am too busy with other writing projects at the moment.

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Writers block and brain food

A debate today on twitter has been whether or not “Writers Block” exists or not?  My two cents on the matter is that writers block does not exist, I used to believe it did but then as I grew as a writer I learned that it was purely laziness on my part and the simple fact that I rarely thought outside of The Box.  I was also very nervous about how much of what I wanted to write has been done before and how little my stories represented “Original” ideas. 

The latter is laughable to me nowadays, because every idea in the present and the future has already been done somewhere, nothing is unique, but you need to understand that every human being is unique and therefore will have a unique take on a story already written.  For example, if a hundred writers had to write a story based on Alice in Wonderland every one of them would have a different stance to it.  Some would suggest that Alice was a drug addict hallucinating everything that had happened to her, another writer would believe that she had multiple personality disorder and that every other character who was not Alice was in fact her alter egos.  Another, would write the story as close to the original as possible, but even then there will be differences, some will make it dark humour, some will make it serious, some will throw in too much drama and one might make Alice a man from a rock band who got kidnapped and taken to an alien world and so on and so on. 

Now that has me thinking, wouldn’t that last idea be great?  Aliens kidnapping Alice Cooper, taking him to Wonderland another planet, but you see I can’t do that because of so many copyright laws, but it is a fun idea to play with in my mind or as a fan fic.

I can play with ideas like this all day long in any situation.  The problem for me is that I have too many ideas and I can struggle to decide which one to play with at the time.  I have got to the stage where I have selected five current novels I am working on and having to use random.org to help me choose which one to work on today?  I literally list and number my ideas like a maniac.  I even have a random scene list which is also numbered to help me fill in boring bits of my story or to prevent boring bits from occurring.  If I don’t know what I should do in the next scene, I use random.org and my lists to help me.  Each list is categorised.  It doesn’t sound very artistic, usually artists and writers are disorganised and free thinking, but I do organise my stuff like this a lot.  Granted I lose lists a lot, but I am getting better at keeping them in their place lately.

The idea of writers block is unfathomable to me in recent years.  I have learned if you constantly read and learn and if you make yourself look for art of what you are looking for, poetry etc, you will become inspired and if you do this daily as part of your routine, your mind will eventually throw things out at you.  Don’t ignore “brain farts” as I call them either – things such as…

I was reading a book about ancient Sumerian beliefs and I came across the title chapter called “The creation of man” I misread it as “The Cremation of man”.  This can spark interesting ideas if you don’t ignore it.

You’ve got to constantly stuff things into your brain daily, furiously, eventually your mind can switch into creator mode with little or no effort.  Try it.

Do this… 

Think of silver dragons and go to deviant art, flick through the pictures you first see in their search bar that says “Silver Dragons”, do this for 5 minutes, then go to pinterest and do that there again for around 5 minutes, just flick through pictures quickly, you don’t have to look at anything individually, just literally look them over, notice each different scene and do it at quick speed, you are not there for research, you are not there to steal, you are there to feed your mind and it is a hungry monster than doesn’t stop!  No idea is stupid, no idea is pathetic, if you get an idea whilst flowing like this, write it down because you’d be amazed how quickly these things pass through, it can be like being on a high speed train and you are trying to keep focused on a particular field you’ve just gone past!  Then search silver dragon poetry in google, or silver dragon songs, or silver dragon art in your search engines or snap chat or tumblr or anywhere that is likely to have a search option!

Do this with scenes or creatures or events you want to write about.  Writers block is just an excuse for lazy writers.  Don’t be a lazy writer.  If you don’t love playing with your mind and feeding it like this and you find writing hard work, then you can’t be a writer.  Because writers don’t work, they play and they do this every single day.  Some scenes are hard but the writing is never stressful or hard work because you love it and if you love something, it can’t ever be hard work!  Don’t keep chasing the money either by looking for things that are trending, because trends change exceedingly fast, as soon as you write about what is trending now you are already out of date by 30k words.  Play and write for you and read a lot of books; not just fiction books on the genres you like, read broadly, especially non-fiction because that can help you world build.

 

 

 

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