Tag Archives: environmentalism

Technology and specie inclusivity

I like to read from time to time cyberpunk books, so how comes up until recently I have been a luddite?

Although I have read cyberpunk books, bio-punk books and such the likes, I read them with a dim view.  I enjoy those books, but I lived in fear of technology taking over, like it has in many of those books!

I saw those books as a warning sign!

A flag up for society a shout out of do and doom!

Dramatic I know!

But forearmed is forewarned, that was my philosophy anyhow!

You are beginning to see now that I am a frightened creature, a creature that is easily made tensed and living with a sense of perpetual panic… about mostly everything!

You’d be right in thinking I a prepper, because I was a girl guide “be prepared” was our motto too you know!

But just because I read books, doesn’t mean I am very smart in everything.  My intelligence lies with literature in general, languages, the environment, animal welfare and social sciences – not technology!

You can’t learn much from the average cyberpunk and bio-punk novel, other than developing a sense of fear or excitement over it.  It doesn’t tell you how to use twitter set up an YT channel and upload pictures on Instagram.  I wish it did, but there you go!

But I still stand with how deeply concerned I am that as society is progressing to becoming more and more cyber oriented, we are not increasing our understanding of nature and working designs out to be more wildlife inclusive.

Really, you’d think that as we’re now so technologically and scientifically advanced these days that we’d have developed cities akin to the Venus Project and that more cities, especially in the 2020’s would look like Singapore or better versions of it!

But lo and behold… no!

We’re still making concrete coffins to cover the land, it’s spreading like a virus and I don’t like it!  It’s not pretty and it’s certainly not healthy!

You know this technology is amazing and it really can be a much more amazing thing if we think outside the box and thought more inclusively about nature.  Never before has humanity bragged its sense of inclusiveness so dramatically as it has now, but failed to include other species within the spectrum of inclusivity.

Until we do so, maybe then, we will find alien life as they will know that humanity isn’t speciesist!  That should be a new word in the dictionary – speciesist, meaning disrespect of other species and anti-biomutualist. 

It’s something to consider.

It’s something also that is mentioned a lot in my books!

Specie inclusivity, bio-mutualism and so forth; why not?  Hardly anyone has touched on the subject to the degree I have.  Except of course, our precious David Attenborough, and to me he is a precious member of human society that if bio-technology needs to save one human in the world from death, it is him!  Forever may he live!

Thanks for reading!

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles

Truth of a luddite

Where the blazes have you been woman?  I suppose that is something you all have been thinking since learning about my forays into technology?

Truth is, I rebelled against my much older brother for years as he demanded that I learn everything about technology and be a techno-head like him.  I pushed against the idea that technology really will drown the old world out and replace it to such an extent that money will eventually become extinct for cyber points instead etc.

We’re close to that kind of society now and it is a sobering thought, because as much as I pushed against it, I am being dragged in by the tidal wave of millions of people who are going in for all of that!

I really believed that more and more people will think like me, drag themselves away from the zombie mind-sets of technology and run for the hills to save the environment from the onslaught of iron, plastic and wires and being pounded by invisible waves of energy because they’ll see the damage it is doing.

I’m sad to say they haven’t and it’s been a long time.

Where have I been indeed?

The honest answer is curled up with a book in the corner of a room, until the bad neighbour came, I would venture into my garden growing everything organically and in permaculture style and trying my best to stick to traditional life.

But I want a writing career and I am not going to be that successful in it, without all the technological stuff. 

Though learning it is fun, I still learn it with pangs of guilt that I am not being true to myself – my nature – my environment and beliefs.

I just wished that technological advancement was more environmentally friendly, healthy and inclusive with nature; instead of drowning out the sounds of nature to the extent the birds are going deaf to each other because of human noise and infrasound.

I want to be trendy like other people, knowing all the new gadgetry off by heart and going with the flow, but I also crave the old ways – the self-sufficiency, the living at one with nature, not fighting with it for space and resources.

This is what I have been struggling with for nearly two decades and I am giving in, I am giving in like all the other millions of people around the world have – but I hope that I still hold true to some traditional ways in spite of this.

I’m not an Amish, but for years I have come close to being like one.  Gardening in traditional ways, no electrical tools, no poisons like pesticides and herbicides, walking barefoot in the garden, knee deep in soil and eating fruit straight from the bushes and trees without thought;  I don’t really want to change that much and I am likely not to.

But I like having a social media presence.

I know I am quiet, but I am one of these strange people in the world who don’t like to talk unless I have something to say or that I feel the words that come out of my mouth have to have some kind of meaning… I don’t like engaging in very negative conversations or gossip, so this makes me an anomaly to many.

I don’t follow people just because they’ve followed me, I have to like what they have to say, I have to connect somehow – if I don’t, I won’t follow, because I don’t believe in boosting a person’s ego and presence, unless there is something about them I like. 

Why?  Because I am old fashioned, I believe your connections represent who you are as a person and if I connect with the wrong kind of person, because I don’t really know who they are, then that could be damaging to me.

I think this is something that is wrong with social media; people don’t understand that association can affect your own reputation.  It might not be like that these days, but to me it still stands.

These are what have made me hold back with technology a bit.

But I am open to change; I am not that stubborn or stupid.

But I do have a big hang up on my looks, I believe I am hideous and I struggle on an emotional level to share photographs of myself.

But I have to get used to it.

It’s the way of the world now.

I am not happy in my own skin and I would appreciate some love as I have had way too much abuse and negativity in my life, that it’s darkened me as a person, my light is almost going out – I need to regain my spark.  It went years ago.

I am very apprehensive online and I make loads of mistakes when trying to chat with people, by sending posts before they’ve finished etc.

Thanks for reading!

Leave a comment

Filed under About Me

Steampunk 2

Steampunk 2

This project started at around 2014 and I have been procrastinating a lot with continuing this, I have bursts of wanting to add things to it about once every four or five months, but those only last a couple of days.

I feel it’s a complicated project because I believe the believability of this fantasy steampunk may not be believable enough to its readers as I think this idea is very out-there…

I think it is only a matter of confidence really.

This idea is a family collaboration, including ideas from both Henry my son, and Paul my partner. Mostly the idea came from Christmas morning in 2014 I had such a bad chest infection we had to celebrate Christmas in bed. This meant, Henry enjoyed carrying up his presents to me on the bed to open them so I didn’t miss anything! In Henry’s eyes, it was the best Christmas ever, because it was so different! But then he says that every year! He had this idea my body under the duvet was a mountain for his cars to drive over and this started our game, which built this story!

That was a bad year for my chest, I was admitted to A&E (ER) the next day as it went into pneumonia, at this point I had had the infection since Halloween!

Below is what you may find in this standalone novel!

Giants

Inventors

Religious figures

Philosophy

A coming of age hero

A close grandfather and grandson relationship

Steampunk themes

Environmentalism

Existential crisis

Corny humour

Gross humour

Family friendly

Poetical interjections

Climate change

Trolls

Bio mutualism

Debunking sciences

Debunking mythology

This story has been influenced by many things, primarily throughout my childhood rather than adulthood!  This story wasn’t decided upon entirely until 2014, but I had little thoughts here and there since I was about eight years of age!  So maybe the origin of this idea is much older than I originally said?

Here are my influences below for this particular story;

The never-ending story movies (never read the book)

The princess bride (the movie)

Are all the giants dead?  By Mary Norton

The BFG by Roald Dahl

The Matrix movies

Land of the giants (TV series)

The borrower’s books, TV series and movies

Gulliver’s travel and the movies

Innerspace movie starring Martin Short and Dennis Quaid

Noah’s ark from the bible

The shrinking scene in Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory movie starring Gene Wilder

I am pretty slow with this novel, because I don’t really have much of middle, unlike most of my other stories I do actually have a beginning and an end, but the middle is rather bland and needs a lot of work right now to make it more fleshed out and exciting!

I don’t suppose this work will actually be done within the next five years, but it is one of my top ten favourites to think about.

I haven’t completed draft one in all of this time!

The novel is hollow at the centre, because it has a beginning and it has a definite finale, but I just haven’t got much in the middle yet.

Thanks for reading!

Leave a comment

Filed under Current Projects

Gods ravens

You killed a lookalike

There are 32 more

How many failures to win this war?

Ravens aren’t happy

The eagles should hide

Why kill a raven

Is it for your pride?

The devil looks on and smiles in glee

Because you will never let those ravens go and fly free!

God watches too and he knows what to do

He will send the angels to come and get you!

Eagles are white

Eagles are bad

Eagles make the true god, very, very mad!

Eagles kill his ravens

His ravens aren’t bad

The ravens rescue nature, that is so, so sad!

But eagles they glow white

And the eagles, they fight

They don’t care about the earth’s horrid plight!

Eagles are cruel

Eagles are unkind

They are the ones who will ruin mankind!

God watches close

God knows it all

God is coming soon to rule us all!

The eagles should know that their time is running out

They are the devils most devout

But they think we’re wrong

And they don’t know

That Gods truest people don’t have a white glow!

God’s truest people their glow is so bright

So bright that is blinds you like the darkest night

They know that light burns like a flame

They know its evil, drives people insane!

We know that the eagles are moths to a flame

Because they believe the ultimate shame

So little ravens, who know much better

Don’t seek the eagles, heed this letter

The eagles are bad and we are not

God is coming to stir the pot

Soon all will be seen by bird and man

For God have had enough of the deceiver clans!

Leave a comment

Filed under poetry

Mother nature reclaims

My dream is that nature, wins this horrid war

That mankind has raged upon it, because they want more and more

My dream is Mother Nature

Will have enough of it

She’ll raise an army of flowers

To smother the human shit

She’ll wake up the goblins

Deep down in the earth’s bowels

She’ll make them fight the humans

With a solemn vow

That they can’t treat her planet

The ways they’ve always have

Because mother nature

Has reclaimed her pad

Leave a comment

Filed under poetry

Tropes and scenes loved and hated

Some writer friends have asked me to list what I definitely will not include in my stories and what I am likely to include in my stories in regards to themes and tropes and just general stuff.

Apparently it is a thing that’s going around where writers are starting to share that sort of thing?  Ok, here goes…

Too many romance scenes (sex scenes in my adult works possibly but not romance, gooey eye rolling load of old trollop nah huh ) – this is not for me and won’t be in my stories much if at all!  But do expect sex scenes frequenting some of my adult works! 

Unless the story has historical scenes, it is unlikely there will be silly gossiping women, I hate gossip!  The only time this is acceptable in my works is at the ladies cream tea afternoons in a Victoriana setting, but I do find writing these things cringe worthy, being a gossip is generally cringe worthy as it is! 

Technological explanations and scientific terminologies – I don’t have the brain for it – it will be basic stuff!  Oh this big blue square button does that and this round yellow one does this, character pushes said button and hey presto, that’s as nerdy as I get! 

Helpless women who lose their mind over men and forget to defend themselves because their love is in danger – the women in my stories generally have their heads together!  I mean I know for sure if I was a character in some of these books I have read, my reaction would be “I have my own problems, wait you wuss”!

Stereotypical monsters that just do evil because… hey… they’re monsters!  So overdone and totally unfair!  Not to mention, highly discriminating and endorsing discrimination… just saying! 

Emotionally bland or emotionally devoid scripts – I have read hundreds of pages of emotionally dead characters who keep on telling me about why they need to do something and get somewhere, but there is no real descriptive emotional output at all – it’s like, it’s their duty to have to think this way because it is expected, but generally there is no real feeling behind the words… you get me?  If you get me, you’ll see that I mean to say, that the character makes you feel like they are lying to both themselves and you as a reader! 

Mindless barbarians bonking heads for no other reason than they’re simply bored or want to be barbaric.  There is always a motive behind an action, tell me about it… not just the mindless violence! 

Slow paced stories, there has been books I have read where nothing at all moves the plot forward more than six pages at a time and that’s being optimistic!  I need something to happen on every page, it’s not hard to do!  No one wants the second scene to happen fifteen minutes later!

Repeating scenes already seen in the story or having characters lull over past memories again and again – yawns, boring!

Constantly reminding the readers how emotionally affected the person is about so and so, it is OK to mention it around three maybe four times in the whole book but please don’t take us back there in every single chapter!  We know, we read and understood it – doing this makes your readers feel like you think they are idiots who just do not understand – don’t do that to them!

Other than generalising height as short, tall etc and the build of the person as well as the colour of the hair or skin, please leave other things to the imagination unless those other features deeply affect the story in some way – like an eye patch or a scar on the chin which is why there is a revenge plot or something – but generally, let people use their own imaginations about who they want to play the part in their heads based on who they know with general outlines.

I love to write very descriptive body horror scenes because I love grossing people out, I understand this is not everyone’s cup of tea – but it’s what I do in my adult horror stories!

I love found family tropes and close family tropes, I love tropes where there is a small team working together towards the same goal!

I like write historical scenes and be descriptive about the environment and landscape around the character!

I write a lot about isolation and abuse, because it is something I have experienced a lot over the years, therefore I feel it is easy to write in a believable way.

I am very good at understanding the hidden aspects of society, the things that people can hide from others, the secrets, the lies, the behind closed doors of Mr and Mrs Ideal-Citizen, the underground stuff, the dirty nitty gritty aspects of life.

I am very good at writing different points of view because I have had a very rich life regards to socialising with different classes and types of people just by being moved from relative to relative.  I have lived with rich aunts and certain members of the aristocracy because on one side of my family we have a very old family – on another side of my family they are gypsies and farmers – another side were refugees, lots of different religions and class systems.  The list goes on! 

I find it easy to write from the perspective of a social worker and a teacher who is worried about their abused pupil/client and then write from the perspective of a junkie about to lose their child – I have seen these things unfold right before my eyes time and time again growing up!

One thing I have experienced time and time again from lots of different people and classes is suicide and sudden loss due to murder.

I have a huge interest in environmentalism, so pollution and innovation is something I like to put in most of my books.

Because I love comedy and prefer books and movies with comedy aspects, I do tend to like to throw in humour whenever I can, including in my darkest horror stories – I can’t help it; it always gets in there somehow!

I do love vampires and I have to say at least a third of my work will have some kind of vampire in there!

I love animal companions and so that will be a thing – particularly fond of anthropomorphic animals pretending to be human or whatever.

I like over the top comic hero and villain tropes, so that is another thing that will be seen a bit in my works.

There is likely to be someone who is rather off key in my stories, a batty old aunt, a batty young aunt, the green juice hippy weirdo and the generally bonkers type of person – or the harsh out of touch with their emotions type who is learning to soften themselves down a bit.

There will be women who save themselves and maybe even male characters! 

There will be lots of free range children living independently and causing chaos or massive changes in their communities.

There will be a lot of subterranean places too; in fact this is something that is seen in half of my stories so far!

People who are incredibly lucky when things aren’t really going for them!

Also, I will always end up being just ever so slightly corny…

So that’s what you can expect from me… I won’t say anything else on the matter, so please stop poking around…

Thanks for reading! 

Leave a comment

Filed under About my work

Don’t kiss nature goodbye

Running through the dewdrops of the grass

My legs are soaked right to my arse

I prance and wonder about the place

How can humans destroy it, it’s a disgrace

How man can be so selfish, to reap and never sow

To build up coffined cities where nature cannot grow

I sit and pity the capitalists who really haven’t got the gist

That to survive you need the grass even if it soaks your arse

That you need the trees and bumblebees

You need all nature so

Because if you destroy it, where else is there to go?

You will starve and you will die

And all you will utter and cry is… why?

Because you have let nature die

What will you do when you starve?

Drink your oil and eat gold bars?

It’s a thing you need to think

Because what you’re doing really stinks

It’s so thoughtless and dangerous too

I hope my words breakthrough to you

You can change this barren world

To make a better future world

Where things thrive, not just us

Stop the deserts and the dust

Learn to build around nature

Only then you can feel nurtured

You can do it, if you try

You need to learn to apply

Nature around you from ground to sky

Maybe then nature won’t be kissed goodbye

Leave a comment

Filed under poetry

Drowning in oil

We are drowning in a world of oil that pollutes our air and skies

Though they say we’re running out of it, the residue dictates its lies

We see that oil has never gone; it’s left its mark everywhere

We are drowning in the remnants of our pasts despair

Leave a comment

Filed under poetry

Anthropomorphised animals

Since a child I have loved anything that anthropomorphised animals, I got into this after seriously becoming a mega fan of “The animals of Farthing Wood” TV series and being an avid collector of their magazine and other merchandise; it wasn’t until I was an adult that I discovered that “The animals of Farthing Wood” was actually and originally a novel. 

I think I was one of the first children in this country to fully understand the impact humanity has on the environment and the animal kingdom, because I remember being commended in one of my schools for a poem I did about pollution and its effects on animals when I was just seven (that’s 1989).  I was a child, who was raised in the suburbs of North London, but I was often shipped out to other relatives around the country who lived rurally and on farms, so being a natures child in every sense of the word, I saw the massive changes humanity did to the world.

Every other month as I grew up my heart broke time and time again as more and more of my favourite outdoor places became new housing estates or had a railway track inserted through it and the dead animals that lined the tracks were heart wrenchingly numerous.

As a mostly isolated child who was ignored unless needed, I was often made to play in the large gardens with the pets I had, usually dogs and a rabbit, but squirrels and various birds became very tame around me as I was growing up that they became extended outdoor living pets.  I grew to empathise more with animals than with people.

To me, the animals seem to speak to me and we had an understanding, I learned their habits as much as they learned mine and we respected each other and each other’s ways.  This is why I found it easy to fall into shamanism, because it wasn’t so much as I wanted to be a shaman, rather than, I flowed into it without realising and it wasn’t until a high school friend said to me she thinks I am a shaman because of my ways, that I accepted that maybe she was right and I am that. 

So I read some books on the subject and I was laughing at how basic the training was in it, been there, done that was my response to a lot of it.  It was just so natural to me, that it seemed ludicrous to think people need courses on these things – whereas if they weren’t so involved in being human and doing modern human things, they’d all be like this too – it’s natural.

I know as I was growing up, cousins and even my own mother would be frustrated at how the squirrels and the crows won’t go near them, when they wanted to pet them right then and there like I could… I would tell them, you need to do this and do that before they come to you, you need to respect them and do it like this because they see it as impolite if you don’t – “you’re mad” was often the response as they grumpily slump off back inside, hating nature for rejecting them!

“The Animals of Farthing Wood” were not the only inspirations however, there were many others such as “Blinky Bill”, various Disney movies, “Rude dog and the dweebs” and so much more! 

So animals in some way or another are a regular feature in my stories.

Happy reading!

Leave a comment

Filed under What inspired me?

Reading and writing past and present

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;

Writing Magazine

Garden News

Sci-Fi Now

Gardeners World

Tesco

Yours

Pets @ home

Total TV Guide

Amateur Garden

Kitchen Garden

Lego club magazine

WWF membership news and stuff

Bibliophile

BBC History

New Scientist

Focus

Classic Rock

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under About my work