Tag Archives: fantasy

Writers that influenced me Part 3

Roald Dahl was one of the first two authors I first discovered and loved throughout my childhood and got me into the habit of reading because of how much I enjoyed their works; the other author was Eric Hill, I was a major fan of Spot the dog.  But Roald Dahl really knew how to identify with children and think like them.

Roald Dahl was one of the first authors I experienced who actually understood how children think and how children might behave in certain circumstances and I enjoyed and respected that about him.

All too easily adult authors try to avoid the snotty nose kids covered in mud aspect of childhood and try to portray children as mini adults and it isn’t accurate!  Many people try to show that children can be brave too, but Roald Dahl fully understands that a growing person often feels fear; especially when they are alone in the world dealing with some pretty big stuff going on around them, how often children are disregarded and ignored by their elders, often in reality children are made to feel inconvenient even by those that care and love them.

He did all of this whilst never deviating from the fact that although some children can rebel and do nasty things to their elders, they still have a certain amount of innocence about them and I admire the balance he had in his stories.

Christopher Moore’s books are hilarious and I read them whenever I am having a hard time, because he is just so funny!  I love how he plays with ideas and makes fun of the aspects of society which seem to be the most serious.

Although most of his books is all about humour he never deviates from excellent high quality storytelling and never forgets the real seriousness of the lives he is writing about, because although he is a light hearted absurdist he is also very dark. 

Again I believe his books have shown me how to write in a balanced kind of way.

Ransom Riggs books are absolutely wonderful, when I first read “Tales of the peculiar” my first book I ever read from him, I actually thought he was an old European storyteller from the times of the brothers Grimm or something and was actually genuinely surprised to find out he is a contemporary writer. 

Reading his books gave me the confidence to realise that the way he wrote the stories is not outdated and it has a certain charm that contemporary readers still enjoy, I always liked this style of storytelling. 

Again I loved the darkness in his books and he sometimes portray the ickiest things with light-heartedness, he has an excellent imagination which shows me that anything you can dream up can be accepted by readers, because he has done it.  There has been times where I felt my own works were too light about the dark aspects of my own stories, where I felt I should think about reader sensitivities, but in doing so I lose myself and my readers will lose too as there are many out there who likes this kind of stuff – I am not alone.

Ransom Riggs is very good at showing how different cultures view things, that not everybody thinks and feels the same and that if magic was part of our reality there are many things we must consider about how magical cultures will be so much different to our own, in such fantastic ways.

Happy reading.

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Who influenced my writing Part 2

Susan Hill’s books taught me how to effectively write spooky narrative but also how to convey the fear and the confusion that occurs in people when they are unsure of both their sanity and the reality around them.

She is very good at portraying self-denial of the senses whenever supernatural events occur and is very effective at sudden and fantastic twists in plot.

Susan Hill also taught me through her book “I’m the king of the castle” that you never know what is really going on in a characters mind, that sometimes things are just on the surface and the events that come through her books are often a shock even to the reader.

George MacDonald’s books taught me that you can play with uncomfortable ideas and he can do so in such a gentle way, that readers almost forgets what it is he is writing about subject wise.  I remember reading his book Lilith and was surprised at how well he skirted around the religious sensitivities and turned this character almost into a fairy tale, he wrote about the dream state and life and death as though it was a beautiful journey and in some cases it can be.

Edgar Allen Poe is one of the main reasons why I love horror and poetry.  I really love gothic culture and the macabre and he really explores the depths of human emotion really well, he was beyond his time.  He didn’t portray the human condition in airs and graces, he put down the most rotten of all of humanity down on paper in all its rawness and left you feeling either numb or depressed right after you have read his works – but nonetheless it left you feeling in awe of his creativity.

He really showed me how to reel in my reader’s emotions and play to their hopes, dreams, dreads and fears.

He really knew how to play in the dark.

Happy reading!

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Who influenced my writing? Part 1

Over the next few days I will be choosing three authors who has influenced me the most in writing and why; what did I learn from them by reading their books and so on? There will be eighteen in total and they will be placed in alphabetical order each day. Enjoy my first three;

Suzanne Collins showed me that writing about politics is necessary, particularly fictional politics, because politics is a major factor in every bodies lives whether they are interested in it or not.  Nobody can escape the politics of their country or their culture and their lives are influenced by it more than they realise!

She showed me that the government can eventually become anything and do anything and that it is our job as writers to think of all possibilities that could occur to arm the public with the knowledge to understand political trickeries. 

Her books showed me how to write characters that are trying to survive dense political control and how to overcome them in ways which inspire others, rather than just being a rebel without any real cause outside of themselves. 

She has also taught me through her writing, that even the most disgusting creatures deserve love and respect, because she is certainly the only writer I have ever read that actually made me feel sorry for and cry over the death of a cockroach!

Neil Gaiman showed me that writing has to be fun and you should play with ideas no matter how silly they appear, all ideas are worthy and all ideas will find people who love them! 

He showed me not to be afraid of my own sense of humour or my sense of darkness either and that everything about the worlds you build should have some kind of balance to them. 

He showed me to find sense of humour in dark things and to find dark things in the light!  He is very clever at this in all his works! 

Also no matter who the character is, their position in society, their outward personality, everybody has a hidden side, a fun side and he shows this well in his works too! 

Stephen King showed me not to make my writing too pretty because it doesn’t help your readers identify with your world.  In order to make a realistic world you need to put in some of the bad nitty gritty stuff occasionally.  People aren’t perfect, people falter and have flaws and every character you write about must show their flaws as much as anything else.

If you are writing horror, you have to get over yourself and your own sensitivities in order to write it more effectively, because if you are uncomfortable and squeamish and give yourself nightmares over what you are writing, then congratulations you are a horror writer that is going to succeed!

I’ve learned that you can find the most fearful or disgusting thing about anything if you put your mind to it, even a gentle walk in a flower meadow will have its horrors!  A dead rabbit lying amongst the flora rotting away with maggots and flies, or an earwig hunting aphids on a bellflower:

Thank you for reading! 

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The fool tried

Slimy wet rose upon white bone was held within his hands

Freshly skinned skull staring back at him from his palms with hollowed eyes

The smell of victory abounds

The sounds of mortal screams echoed all around

He stood proud and tall and that wasn’t all

His victims heart had only just stopped – the fool

Fool to think he could do him down

That he could win the war

But he showed this fool he was wrong and his heart is now on the floor

Too many have suffered the same fate

But many believe they are strong

And now they lie in a deathly sleep

And their families mourn their song

A pile of skin by the killer’s feet is a sentiment of his fate

For one should not believe they can burn the devil’s gate

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Big Magic of Roger Zelazny

I have never picked up a book by Roger Zelazny before last week, I wished I had years ago, The Chronicles of Amber is amazing and it is a great learning curve for any writer who wants to learn how to write descriptive battle scenes cohesively.

I at least, learned a new word through this book “parried” which is something I find useful since I am a fantasy and adventure author myself!

I have never found a book that wrote battle and fight scenes as good as this before, I highly recommend it to any author who wishes to write adventure or war stories!

I can see why Neil Gaiman has been inspired by this author, I can see a little bit of Stardust in the book, but I can also see that J.K Rowling might have been influenced by him too, the tarot cards for instance.

Though both might be exactly like me that it seems rather a strange fluke that some parts of these chronicles are so much alike to two of my novels, one finished and the other part finished.  In fact one of them is so much alike to this story, I have to make a few adjustments, because it could almost be a direct copy and what is rather strange about it is that the main character in my novel is called Amber.

I know in the chronicles Amber is a place, rather than a person’s name, but you get my drift? 

It’s weird, I have never read these novels before, nor heard many reviews about it, yet one of my novels is so alike it’s amazing and I have only got one hundred and ten pages into the first novel at the moment, what else will I discover about the chronicles in the next nine books?

This really makes me believe in Elizabeth Gilbert’s concept that ideas are alive, that they have souls and they find people who will bring them to life – you’ll find more about this in her book “Big Magic”, it’s a highly recommended read.

Are the Amber chronicles truly finished?  If ideas are alive and have a soul of their own, then they must have chosen me to continue their story a little – that’s scary and this is why I have to change so much!  Because I honestly was completely unaware about these chronicles until I picked up the book a couple of weeks ago!

Though I loved the story I was writing and though Paul kept pushing me to send it away to an agent, there was something nagging me in my instincts not to send it out, because there was something I needed do or something I needed to learn first.  It’s very strange.

I picked this book up because a friend online who knew a small amount about my plot grew concerned I was copying too much of one of her favourite novels from Roger Zelazny, I told her I have never heard of him nor the chronicles and that was true – I am so grateful to have such kind friends who tell me these things!  Imagine if I had published this book?

It has been an eye opening experience.

I actually though some of my story seemed reminiscent of Highlander by Gregory Widen and perhaps a little bit like the stories of Merlin and Edmund Spenser’s fairy queen with a little bit of time travelling thrown in, but I thought it was original enough. 

It might still be original enough, but I am not sure, hence why I won’t delete what I have done to the story, but I will copy my story and adjust things and keep all of the drafts, so one day, when I make friends I can trust with sharing unpublished works, I will show them and ask them which draft they prefer and see just how much of the Amber chronicles are really in them. 

Because I am a nervous creature and I hate coming across as a fraud, so it’s important to me to try and be unique; see the try there, it’s virtually impossible to be unique anyway as everything has been done, but ultimately it hasn’t been done by me.  So maybe, just maybe my work is far enough removed not to cause eyebrows to become raised?

This isn’t the first time a piece of work has been very close to my own and I found out after I wrote them and I doubt it will be the last.

Happy reading!

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Looking for The Dream World

I’m looking for the dream world, a place where I can play

Whilst I am wide awake and living life that’s grey

I yearn for the dream world; I yearn for its truth

I’m searching for the dream world like a determined sleuth

I slither around corners, looking everywhere

I ride up and down funiculars, I will find it, I swear!

Tirelessly I rummage through boxes big and small

Through ottomans and cabinets, I have been through them all!

I am tired with my searching, my eyes are heavy now

I know that behind my eyes to the dream world I will sail

But that is not the point

My mission was quite clear

To find the dream world when awake, it has to be near

I will start again

Tomorrow when I wake

But right now I’m sleeping; do not wake me with a shake

I am happy in my dream world

Make no mistake

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Woah what have I done?

I have been keeping very quiet about a certain little underground problem; I say it’s underground because it hasn’t actually directly been aimed at me exactly, only through hearsay.

I have the hearsay of online acquaintances that a certain vlogger has been doing her utmost to try and tarnish my reputation behind the scenes by friending anyone connected to me to get any details about me and to basically, lie about me in parts.  These online acquaintances have warned me she is doing this because of jealousy – I don’t know why, because I have never had a book published whilst she has!

I am embarrassed that this is going on behind my back, because I dislike drama llamas and I don’t engage with gossip and things like that generally, unless it gets too out of hand and it is getting out of hand because I am actually becoming concerned of the reputation of the person doing this. They don’t realise it, but they are killing their reputation with their venomous behaviour and though they are being nasty about me, I am concerned for them!

Their YouTube is slowly experiencing a death, because they prefer the quickness of Tik Tok, but they are using Tik Tok wrong.  In fact dangerously so, because they are spouting discrimination and hatefulness at every turn at a quick fire pace without realising of the consequences that this could have on their own personal lives.

Nobody wants to work with someone who is a poisonous, backstabbing, bully – to put it mildly.  I know these are strong words, but I am saying it how people would see it, if they are watching what she is doing.

She doesn’t realise that this is not a reflection of how professional she claims to be in comparison to other people who seem to be less so – it’s a reflection of her as a person and so far she is not projecting a nice persona that endears people to her – basically shooting herself in the foot in the process, when she desires the opposite effect.

She is struggling to maintain her career as far as I can see, yet, she is doing everything that is counterproductive to try and reclaim it.

This is the danger of fast paced vlogging – people can do quick-fire posts about heated discussions, defame, delete, discriminate, delete, as and when they please and they think they can do this without observers, seeing!

An example of this would be, my son, after hearing the rumors about this person decided he will go and see who she is and what she is saying.  He was horrified when she called me a C— and then deleted that comment twenty minutes later.  Why she has singled me out in particular I have no idea.

I wouldn’t have posted this if it weren’t for one major thing – the personal attack on my mixed ancestry and suggesting it’s fake and that everything about me is fake. Also ageist comments; Personal attacks like this is discrimination – it’s illegal! Don’t claim to know things via presumptions when you don’t know someone, as it will come back to bite you some day! If this continues, I will be forced to take legal action.

But because I am a person who doesn’t like to engage in drama and I like to mind my own business and wish the world luck and love – I am not going to mention their name here… why?  Because they’ve contacted enough people who know me, that the people who have been contacted by her, can already guess who the blazes I am on about.

There is only one mega bully online that is making herself famous by her vitriol of many people, not just me.

I do not like to react quickly to things like this and I have said before, that my blog posts are usually written in first draft only.  But because I don’t want to take the bait, I have edited this post six times over the course of ten days!

No doubt she will shoot herself in the foot again by posting multiple tik tok videos screeching about it whilst also having a certain grace in not naming me directly too.

Why she has decided to single me out is beyond me as we have never engaged in a conversation and we are poles apart in the genres of which we write, she is mostly a sci-fi, thriller author, whereas I am mostly a fantasy, steampunk and horror writer.

Because I am concerned for her career and her reputation, I believe it is time for me to broadcast that what she is doing is not only ruining her own future with what she is doing, but she is also engaging in illegal activity whilst doing so.  Ageism and all forms of discrimination is a crime and she can be taken to court for it, just thought she should know.

People, especially this day and age find all forms of hate grotesque and she is emulating so much venom with every post she is doing, that she is going into very dangerous territory on a personal level.

I fell into the trap of people pleasing because some things she was spreading about me was getting to me; I felt the need to try and prove everything I am doing all the time and I felt that my way of writing was wrong – but there is no right or wrong way to write.

I am not going to prove anything to anyone, because I don’t have the time and the energy to do so – whether they believe I am a writer or not, I don’t care, because I know I am one and I write profusely every day, even if I often forget to update what I am doing online to the world. 

I have a son to take care of, a house, myself, my partner, my pets, my garden, generally having a life as well as reading and writing.  Not sitting back like some young lonely sad creature who wants to bully the world because things aren’t going her way.

It is sad when some people feel that the only way to become famous is to become some kind of motor mouth of poison, of hatred, of shocks and taboo!  It’s really sad that there are people out there who have no pride in themselves that they can do this.

I bring nothing but love to people, because this world is a harsh one.  I love everybody, I wear my heart on my sleeve and I will fight for anybody who needs it; however, I am easily hurt and once I am hurt, I don’t forget, but I do tend to forgive eventually. 

I have so much love to give, it’s a shame she didn’t want to try and contact me to make friends and that she chose this route to reach out to me.

People who know me offline have always said I am a very motherly person who would adopt the world if she could; this has been something that has been said to me, even back in high school – which is why I was once nicknamed “The mother raven” I was a goth, but I loved everyone and tried my best to help the world.

The writing community is a lovely one to be a part of, when things aren’t so vicious. It’s a shame there are people out there who wants to spread evil in the world and damage communities as well as personal confidences.

That is all I am going to say now.  For me, this should end things, though I am sure in some way it may have fuelled the fire in her – but I am not responsible for how she chooses to react to the world and what I say.

However, I am responsible for my own words and actions and I take full responsibility of those words and actions and I wish to no longer engage in this vitriol – because I am not going to become one of these writers who have some stupid historical rival with anybody!

For me, I wish that anyone who engages with this person to remain silent about any more things she has to say about me.  I don’t wish to know.

Thank you for reading!

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Witchy roots & faeries

What got me into fantasy and horror as a genre?

My family history is really to blame for me loving fantasy and horror, because my family history is pretty unusual in fact, absolutely overrun with weirdness.

It mostly stems from my maternal line all this weird stuff, my grandmother is half Romany and my grandmother once told me that there are witches within the family; I never really truly believed her though I liked the thought that we had such a weird and diverse family history – but in 2017 I found out the truth when I did my own genetic research.

It turns out that my family had cousins who were victims of the Salem witch trials not only on my grandmother’s side of the family, but also my grandfather’s side of the family as well – her husband. 

My family names which were involved with these trials are Howe, Bishop and Crawley – though Crawley managed to escape from her persecution by running away in the night to a different town, here in the UK, around one hundred years after Salem, because our family fled back to the UK after their cousins were lost to the Salem trials.

My grandmother was rather good at telling me about family traditions and taught me a lot of things, which my mother thought was a load of old tosh and old wives tales; but I followed my grandmothers advice on more than one occasion and things always worked out for me whenever I got stuck in life – so it is something I have learned to live by these days.

Witchcraft and gypsy magick seems to run in my blood and there is a lot of weird things I’ve been taught over the years about what it is to be a true witch, with real witch heritage!

My grandmother held off teaching me anything before I was seven years of age, because a true witch understands that before the age of seven spirits can over take a child and make them act like changelings – non-humans and they will never get back their former child if they allow them to mess around with magick sooner than this!

You can tell if a child is meant to be a witch for several reasons within the family – the most significant thing is having green eyes, which is probably why green eyes are rare, it was common knowledge back in the witch burning days.  The next significant thing is being able to remember their dreams and being a sickly child; because the magick messes up our bodies and because we’re young we’re not strong enough to control it. 

Some people believe that green eyes is a sign we are descendants of the goddess Hera and some say it’s where the word heretic comes from, but I can’t vouch for the truth of this, because I don’t know! 

But what I do know is, there is a section of my mother’s family who believe we are descendants from Dionysus, but again, I can’t vouch for the truth of this either!  I know the Italian side of my family believe we are mixed with Greek and Jewish too, but that’s one of the four lines in the past five generations where I have Italian blood.

But that’s another conversation.

The family name Crawley is linked to the family name Crowley too, as the Crowley’s changed their name to become more distinctive and I’ve yet to find a link to the man himself – you know who I am talking about!  My grandmother is sure however he is a second or third cousin to her as she met him at a family reunion around 12yrs of age – she was born in 1932.  Again, I don’t know whether this is true or not, because I haven’t found a link in my research to him.

Why would this influence my love for fantasy and horror?  Because it was part of my bonding process with my grandmother or nan as I called her!  She taught me that in order to be safe going out you need certain trinkets, her particular favorite is the Cornish pixie, if you have that on you and people cause mischief with you, the pixie will ensure they get into mischief too!

I wasn’t inclined to believe about the pixies too much.  But something strange happened when I was twenty five and I went out to a local woodland with a boyfriend (of whom I was having doubts about) – he was being his general obnoxious self and then there was a big rustle up in the trees above us – acorns fell on his head hurting him, when he complained about it there was cheeky maniacal laughter coming up from the tree and the acorn pellets got worse and worse until he grabbed me by the hands and ran out of the woodlands with me!  I laughed and warned him of my heritage once again and how he shouldn’t be so bloody cheeky with me!  We broke up four months later.

She got me into the habit of leaving an offering out to the spirits of the house; because if they are not fed often enough they’ll make the house fall into disrepair!  They will also protect the house from burglary and other things.  I believe this, because I am paranoid about forgetting to do the offerings and I have had two near burglary’s happen, one occasion a burglar tried to break in and the garden gate fell on them as they ran away – the burglar was someone we knew, because they couldn’t help saying that there are weird freaky things in the window and when he decided to leave – the gate fell on him!  But we noticed the back door of the house looked meddled with and we had to change the locks because of issues with it.

This person also claimed that the joker soft toy in the bedroom window waves at him from time to time, but that’s not a mechanical toy, so it must be the Nisse (my gran never called it Nisse, she always called it the hearth folk) playing about!

There are lots of things like this that happen over and over again in my life and many things I won’t talk about here, because if a witch reveals too much about their actual family spells it makes the spells null and void for all future generations.  This is how you can really tell a true witch from someone who just likes to play about.  It is also the reason why certain famous spell books don’t work for some people, but some people they do, because the spirits can sense the bloodlines, but some spells still don’t work or work as effectively as they did for those who originated them, because they get weaker with corruption outside of true magick circles.

Earlier on in the life of the internet you could tell real magick from fake, because magic, magick and magyck – had different significant meanings, which no longer stand in today’s society, once again, thanks to corruption… usually corruption of the wannabes rather than religious intervention! 

No spirit will hurt a true witch, but they do hurt those who are not pure in heart with their spells or who are not part of spiritual bond that blood gives; they will particularly hurt those who intend to do spells based on selfish reasons and revenge.  Because a true witch has no reason to make revenge spells, because their protective spirits and the spirits of their ancestors would already be enacting a vengeance plan for them, if they feel that the witch truly suffered innocently.

Also witches never charge for their skills in spell making or fortune telling, because the spirits will work against them as their skills are a gift and should not be abused for financial gain – however, a true witch and true fortune teller will ask for a donation, this is better than to outright charge.  A donation is acceptable to the spirits, charging for your ability is not!

This is why you will know a true witch, if she asks you to pay for your own spell ingredients so that she can use them to help you, and then you know she is genuine!

Spells from a true witch work faster than those who are merely wannabes!

Also a true witch knows that if a witch curses another witch, that within twelve years they will feel the nasty effects of what they have done, because witches have a code of protecting each other which must never be broken!  Also a true witch can feel the spells as soon as it is cast on them, though they won’t always know where it came from!  It is rumoured in my family that we were the originators of the idea of witch bottles and four thieves vinegar, but again, whether that’s true or not I don’t know! 

My nan told me that a witch is a witch not because they worship devils, that’s just carnival games to excite the masses for some – they are witches because they are descendants from supernatural beings such as pagan gods, faeries and even dragons – because in the far east they believe dragons can live lives like a human and that they have special magical abilities.

My nan also told me that I had Chinese in my ancestry, she was wrong, I found the link she meant, they were actually Vietnamese.  My grandmother is not very clever or academic, she never read books outside of supernatural or occult memoirs – but she knew a lot of Vietnamese traditions purely by word of mouth through the family.

My grandmother on my father’s side of the family also had some fantastical stories about our family history too – though she is not from witch or gypsy lines.  She is from quite a pronounced aristocratic line, a contrast to my mother’s family entirely!  Though her father was Irish and once spoke of tales of how the family is rumoured to be descended from the Tuath Dé Danann.  At the time I had no idea what that was, but I learned it was fairy folk of Ireland! 

My grandmother from this side of the family also spoke of a family banshee, but I was terrified of those stories and I wouldn’t acknowledge them as true, until my first ever death in that side of the family – when I did, indeed hear a distressed long cry and screech outside all night, the night before I learned that Great auntie Edith died!

I learned over the years that you can talk to the banshee and even comfort her, something I never found in myth as possible – she now only softly whimpers, whenever a death occurs and she gives a longer warning of three days before now.

I love weeping willows, but it is not wise for me to be under them for more than a minute, because of their reaction to me.  I always find myself tangled up in their branches and leaves, like the tree is trying to embrace me – I laughed about it when I went on a picnic with my gran, she panicked and because she was disabled and couldn’t walk over to me, she screeched at my cousins to get me away from the tree quickly!  When I settled back down with her, I told her I was fine, the tree didn’t hurt me.  But she said, no, if I hadn’t of got them to get you out of there, we would have lost you! 

I called her silly, but she looked at me with the most serious and stern look I’ve ever seen in her eyes and she said – never go under a weeping willow if you can help it, not all of them, but some have a spirit in them that can sense where your blood is from and the tree will hold you tight until you go back to that world!

Back to what world?

Fairyland!

I laughed at her, but she hit me with her walking stick and told me not to be foolish about it, because if I had got trapped in fairyland a minute is a century if I were to come back and what will happen to me then?

Amongst my skills of being a writer, musician, gardener and poet, are also skills in clairvoyance, clairsentience, healing and fortune telling!  I don’t like to touch people unless I know them well, because if they are sick and I touch them for more than five minutes at a time, I can sense their illness and take it within myself for a few moments, whilst they get relieved of symptoms.  But I have learned how to alleviate that for me in the past few years.

I remember once when training at work – a method of bonding with our colleagues I was made to hold hands with two people and hold their hands for ten minutes straight as part of the exercise and I fainted within three minutes; it was not apparent until fifteen minutes after I collapsed when I asked the two women I held hands with, if they have any serious health problems?  When they asked why?  I said because if I touch someone over a certain period of time I take on their health problems, she was terrified because she had a heart problem and she couldn’t apologise enough, I calmed her down and told her, she wasn’t to know this sort of thing could happen, it’s highly irregular!

Weirdly enough my dad is the seventh born and my mum had several pregnancies in which she is sure I’d be her seventh child too, so it’s no wonder my powers are more significant than other members of the family who chose to stay true to our heritage!  I know according to the other practising witches in the family they believe I am the strongest of the lot – whether it’s to do with the significance of my birth as a seventh child of a seventh child we’re unsure, but I was also born on a full moon!  3rd October 1982 if you want to check!

With all this in my heritage, all these strange tales and occurrences, how else was I to spend my life but wanting to learn more about the supernatural and absorbing myself into it all?

I have to admit a lot of my family stories and experiences will be found in my novels, but I won’t share too much about the magick, because of those reasons I’ve already explained above.

But as I have said in previous posts, my life has been very spiritually enriched and blessed and I am happy to have such a life, no matter how lonely it makes me!

What bought this post on? 

I was scared of my witchy roots for a few years because there have been one or two discriminating people in my village, so I swept it under the carpet.  But like always the spirits have a way in keeping their own safe; so those discriminating people left the village to go to retirement dream spots away from here and they were replaced by likeminded folk.  It’s a funny old world isn’t it?

If I hadn’t been an absorbed writer, I probably would have followed my cousin and nans encouragement in trying to be a fortune teller, healer and clairvoyant of donation only and struggled on through life trying to make ends meet that way – outside of my normal day job – a history of my former occupations will be another post.

I have restarted my crystal and tarot card collections again recently, you know it’s a myth that you can’t use your own tarot if you buy it, don’t you?  A myth to deter Christian children from partaking in witchy pursuits! 

Thanks for reading!

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Watery writer

I’m going to throw caution to the wind and publicly admit via this blog, that I am not a confident person and I feign intelligence. 

I am a writer but I am uneducated, everything about me is self-taught and I am not a good teacher. 

I blunder my way through life, please take that seriously, because I really do!  Blunder Woman was a character that was in Russ Abbot’s show, but I am pretty sure someone saw into a crystal ball and knew that Blunder Woman might someday be a real person… me!  I think I might look like her when I am eighty; actually, we’re kind of alike!

But anyway, I digress!  So easily distracted like a dog with a… SQUIRREL! 

Right so, now that’s out of the way, I think it has something to do with my Chinese astrological sign – I am a water dog, a poodle or a Labrador I am not sure which, but a water dog nonetheless! 

Water goes with the flow, I always go with the flow, I am always flowing somewhere and even I never know where I end up or what I am about to do; I am true to my element, I am spontaneous, usually best at peace and generally calm but occasionally turbulent and rarely tempestuous!

But generally I am like any water, that if I am not in the right environment I go stagnant – and who wants stagnant water around them?  It’s quite easy for me to flow into stagnation, I am very much affected by those around me and if I choose the wrong sort of people to flow with, I do generally stagnate a lot or become tempestuous.

I am very self-aware, I know it’s my nature to be like this because my astrological element is water and this has helped me a lot to understand myself.  I love Chinese astrology and since I found it, I have found my life has been working more towards what I want from it, rather than just having life happen to me outside of my control.  But as a water element, I don’t like to control too much as I love going with the flow and I am easily dejected when the people I choose to flow to, aren’t good for a water spirit like me!

It’s easy to get me flowing into the right things, with gentle persuasion, love, conversation, I am easily motivated to flow anywhere and that does mean I am occasionally prone to finding manipulators that like to take advantage of my nature.

My main life partner Paul is a fire elemental (fire monkey), you are right to think that this sounds like chaos waiting to happen, because there are many times where I feel that I flow around him and dry up a bit.  Contrariwise he suffers as I can over suffocate him when I try to calm him down and he is easily exhausted by my high energy and my spontaneity.

My Henry, my son, is a metal tiger.  I consider him a huge support but I can’t help but think I am not good for him, as I sometimes feel I corrode him, like water does to metal over time.  Perhaps I am overthinking things, but this is how I feel!

Perhaps I should try and help balance him more by making lemon drizzle cakes and homemade lemonade to help maintain his metal spirit?  Lemons are good with corroding metal restoration!  Thing is, the boy hates lemons, so what is a water mother to do?

You may think I wrote this entry in jest, but it is my life, it is quite serious for me.  An insight to my brain like this can often terrify the sensitive, but at least I am honest!

I am drying up, or becoming stagnant, I am not quite sure which it is yet;

I say this because I am wanting to write more than ever these days and I am – but I am not focusing too much on novels anymore, because I can’t flow how I want to or how I used to, when being creative.

I used to brainstorm with a close circle of family or family friends, before I moved in with Paul and it would be good energy for me to make me want to write so I can tell them what I have done and what I might plan and to see what they have to say about it all!  But Paul just isn’t into my genres or my sense of corny humour.  I have no one where I can do this to, without the worry that they are going to steal my ideas and use them because I am too slow as I am a meticulous planner.

Because I have no one to share my thoughts with, I am being boiled within the inch of my life and becoming despondent with my storytelling, because, well, what’s the point?  If I don’t have someone who wants to share my creative journey with me on a personal level and talk about things as I do them, how else can I get the fuel to want to finish what I started?

I am easily downcast; I am easily demotivated by other people’s disinterest and I am a worry wart, who is fearful of anyone new who wants me to talk about my work – I have trust issues because I have been bitten a lot in the past.

I need a mentor or a friend I can trust, preferably a small group of them – but how can I find them?  I am at a loss… I had thought about joining a critique group, but there is a problem with that… I am a slow reader, I can’t read three or four extra novels in a week as well as my usual two books I need for research and my own pleasure reading, I just can’t read that fast!

So what is a water dog girl like me to do?

Flow into stagnant waters again I guess… I don’t like it there, it’s too murky and stinks and it’s a bit boring to be frank.

My confidence has taken a huge bashing recently; I feel lame in my sense of humour and I feel alone in my creativity because I am overly cautious and don’t trust the internet very much – sorry people!

But recently I am starting to feel a little bit ashamed of the comedy aspects of my work, because it’s too corny, stupid, over the top and it hurts!  It hurts a lot.

The only genre I can openly talk about without boring the only person who will listen to it, is dark humour in my horror or some dystopian works, outside of that, I don’t have any support.  I wrote a list last week of all of my current WIPs, there are nearly two hundred novels and eighty nine are fantasy mostly, half of which are comedy.  There are only thirty seven horrors that are not vampires or dystopian based.  I have to admit, this person is trying to make me refocus mostly on horror and I am more fantasy and family really.

My main project – the anthropomorphic dystopian is really loved by my listener and only one fantasy novel about dragons and magic is loved by them too – the rest gets a meh or a snore, if it’s not traditional horror.

I prefer fantasy because it heals me from remembering the crap in the world; horror was originally written because my life was horrible, I experience intense violence and been in survival situations that were horrid and I was excellent at writing nasty things like that because of experience.  But I don’t like reliving that kind of thing all the time, fantasy is more healing for me.

I need the pretence that life can be utopian and magical and miraculous and lovely, but I also know that leads to a boring story and I know there are always people out there who wants to destroy a perfect thing for someone else because they are jealous of it, so that is seen in my fantasy a lot, but it is more tame than my horror because my fantasy is written for a family audience.

I’ve personally had enough of pandering to ogres and monsters and being submissive to them and their demands – my horror stories have been developing more and more into revenge style plots, where nature gets its own back on humanity for tearing apart paradise bit by bit.

My reader has noticed and he misses the horror I used to do, the gore for the sake of gore, the horror where anything is possible just because it is meant to be horrible!  Although he likes my new take on horror, he doesn’t like it nearly as much as when I used to write descriptive body horror and taboo scenes.

At the moment I feel like my watery self is forming a whirlpool and it is getting scary, because I have never been a whirlpool before and I am not quite sure what’s going to happen if my instinct is right!

Thank you for reading and hopefully understanding *love you all*

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Explaining the codes

I tried my best to stick to one writing project for nearly three weeks now and I have learned that the concept of “The One Thing” cannot be applied to my life as a writer; I tried to focus myself on just the one project – the Anthropomorphic Dystopian project, but I can’t just focus on one thing at a time.

The aim of forcing me to do one thing at a time was to make me more productive, but for my brain, my ADD brain, it made it less productive.  I was writing overall three thousand words a day less than usual just to stick true to the “one” project.

As soon as I decided to give up the “one thing” concept I decided to start immediately and by the end of the day my words had increased by three thousand again.

Five hundred words to the current project and a further 2800 or so words towards a vampire project; this was not including words I wrote in journals, handwritten, poetic form or blog posts – just words towards novels or stories.

Because I have had some DMs suggesting I am a liar about my word count, particularly as I have nothing published yet, I am going back to what I used to do – that is sharing my daily word counts.  I am going to do this primarily on twitter @CreativeTardy and the words are going to be code worded to whatever project I wrote towards that day!

Here are the meanings behind my code words for twitter.

AD – my anthropomorphic dystopian project (the one I want to send out in October)

B1 – blog posts scheduled

CS – my Christmas special novel

D1 – my number 1 dragon novel

DW – Dystopian warrior story

FN – my number 1 fantasy novel

Ho – my number 1 horror project

J – Journal entries and non-fiction work

MP – morning pages (rarely done these days though)

P1 – The play I am writing

P2 – plans and notes towards new work

PS – Poems and songs written

SP – my number 1 steam punk novel

V1 – my number 1 vampire novel

V2 – my number 2 vampire novel

So, I am doing this to show how much I do actually write as a hobbyist – the word count will improve in September because I consider myself taking this on as an actual job by then; so instead of working whenever I feel like it, I will be writing seriously every day an absolute minimum word count.  Because I am deadly serious that my life is going to begin at forty!

If there is one thing that people who know me personally can say about me is that I am stubborn when I have something in mind.

I work better and more frequently when there are a handful of projects on the go at once; I am a rigorous planner and I have been mulling over these ideas for years now, which means that in my mind, they really are ready for release into the wild, as it were.

From September the 1st 2022, I will be making sure I write a minimum of 3k words a day towards any currently writing novel but I will work for around four hours a day so it could be a higher word count upon reflection, as well as the other stuff on top.  For me, that’s an easy goal, because I do write anywhere between 500 and 3500 on writing days as a hobbyist and I never write for more than two hours in a day.  But in September I won’t be a hobbyist anymore!

I am dedicating 3k to a day, so that I know when I am having a tough day (medically speaking) I can stop and take a breather, but I would have the intention on good days to work for the full four hours, which in my experience, could total up to around 7k!

I’ve worked out the best time for me to write based on school holidays and when Henry has sick days off from school – for me, I will write two hours twice a day.  My best times to write where I am less likely to be disturbed when Henry is home are 1pm to 3pm and 1am to 3am every day.  That’s doable for me because most days I don’t sleep until 4am anyway!

This will mean that from September my social media presence will probably start around 3:30pm GMT till maybe 5pm depends on life circumstances and I may also go on half an hour after I write in early hours too.

Just a heads up that I am about to do some serious writing!

Thanks for reading!

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