Tag Archives: fiction

Hyper-thoughts a mental illness?

I think one of the biggest reasons why I dislike reading novels are because they feed my imagination and make me think of new stories and I am not in any shortage of story ideas as it is.  I think reading fiction can add to my insanity at times, overflowing me with too many ideas that sometimes it literally does feel like my creativity really is driving me insane!

I am the same if I am overloaded with looking at other people’s art, new movies and playing new games.

I do all these things with caution but not matter how cautious I am in doing these things, reading, watching movies and looking at art etc, I can’t help but become over exposed to stimulus that feeds my imagination at least three new story plots at a time!

There are times I have actually bought on strained wrists or my carpal tunnel syndrome to just write the ideas down fast, I can never do so fast enough and I have even had people buy me Dictaphones to try and help me but again, I can never speak fast enough!  It is actually quite horrible, people say it sounds like you are blessed, but in my head it is utter chaos, I can’t focus at times and this is a huge part of my procrastination in general, because I can’t seem to focus on one idea, my brain thinks about multiple things at once.  I am sure this is actually a mental illness, but I don’t think there is a known mental illness out there for people who can literally think about several subjects and problems all at once and then get confused when they have to try and focus to explain to others what those ideas and thoughts are!

I wish telepathy was a thing, it would solve a lot, I could have a room filled with people who would be writing separately all of my ideas for me and help me organise the chaos and bring it into reality as fiction or art.

I have been suffering from this strange mental problem even more in the past few weeks; I am inspired by almost everything I have access to lately.

 I suffer from migraines frequently and it could be my auto-immune inner ear disease doing it some of the time, but most of the time I think it’s the hyper-thoughts as I like to call them. 

I have been told I can’t be a very good writer unless I read a lot of fiction and I don’t generally.  I read more non-fiction than fiction, so I feel lately I have to throw myself into some more novels by other people.  I am finding it hard to fit into creative circles because of two major flaws I have, the lack of fiction reading and the lack of social media I indulge in.

Ugh, I don’t know what to do.

But I do know this; it is affecting productivity lately at a major scale.  Whenever I sit down to write stories these days I don’t enjoy them as much as I used to, I sit there sometimes and cry, because my thoughts can’t seem to align themselves.  I am confused and often confounded by the goings on in my head that I stare at my previous words in awe that I finished those at least, but I can’t seem to move on and I can be like this for over an hour before giving up.

I am trying to do what other people recommend that I do, that is focus on one to three novels and finish those before doing others.  This is not working for me and I am so out of focus these days I find it hard to go back to my old way of writing – which is to literally write towards one idea until the others call me and so on.    This has meant in the past I once had as many as 27 separate novels on the go at once and the average time it took to complete just one of those stories was around 5yrs.

What has put the pressure on me the most I think is the notion that I have been told that some of my words in progress will be of out of date or over used themes by the time I get it to publishers that they won’t be interested in it when I get around to it.  That is so very demotivating.

I don’t really know what to do right now because of it.

Happy reading

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February’s reading pile

  1. Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson
  2. How to build a girl by Caitlin Moran
  3. Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
  4. The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr
  5. The little book of Wonder by Bernadette Russell

I very rarely read fiction in comparison to my friends from goodreads.com; I consume mostly non-fiction books and self-help, so my monthly updates will rarely show that I have fiction on the list.

I am fascinated by the structure of language and its origins, all languages worldwide, not just the development of the English language.  I definitely consider myself a philologist, hence why Mother Tongue is on this month’s list. 

I have a life goal to become fluent in 5 contemporary languages and one ancient by the time I am eighty years old – hopefully I’ll live that long!

I am not yet fluent in anything other than English at the moment, but I can understand small bits of French and Italian.  If I were able to travel, I suspect that I could feed myself and ask very basic questions in France and Italy, I would say my Italian skills are better than my French skills at the moment.  I would also say that the main problem would be hearing conversations if they are spoken fast because I am deaf – totally deaf in my right ear and with only a half working left ear.  People ask me why bother learning then if you know that eventually you will lose all hearing altogether?  Because I believe that tomorrow there will be a cure for me – I believe that science will provide, so why not live with what I have and make the most of it now?  Basically – why give up on something I love, just in case I can’t?

I’m not really sure how I got spoken into reading Caitlin Moran’s books this month either, this is the second book I have read in the last couple of weeks by her and I can see a consistent theme, a theme which is getting eye-rollingly boring to be honest.  I shan’t be reading anymore from her, there is only so much masturbation you can read about!

Entangled Life is on my list because I have a weird fascination for microbiomes, fungi, bryophytes and subterranean lifeforms in all its forms.  I have no idea where the fascination came from but I can say, that if I lived my life again, I would run away from home, tell social services everything that ever happened to me and study maths and biology hard, because if I could live my life again I would like to be a microbiologist or something along those lines.

The prophets look really refreshing and I was just lured to it, I have no idea why, but at the moment I am enjoying the read.  I love learning about Afro American culture ever since I found out my nan was right about her great grandmother being mixed race and from Boston USA.  I believe this is fiction, but not sure to be honest. 

The little book of wonder is being re-read with fresh eyes and new perspectives; I am redoing all of the tasks in there and enjoying it again – especially as I have different ideas these days about things. 

So with any luck, all of these books in particular will have been finished by the 1st March and I might write up the reviews of how I feel about them all.

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The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!

The last fiction book I read was “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. 

I’m not sure if I have ever mentioned this before, but I rarely read much fiction at all in comparison.  So when I find a piece of fiction I like, I like to talk about it.

I’m not anti-fiction, because I write fiction, but I often worry that sometimes fiction from other authors can scramble themselves up into my mind and confuse me about what I have read and what I have thought of myself.  Some authors will say that is the yumminess of reading fiction, it adds to your uniqueness, your reading experiences can become new tales, fresh in the way that only you can tell.

But that is where the imposter syndrome drives me insane the most.  Just how unique would I be in my own writing, if I have read lots and lots of fiction rather than non-fiction?  Well anyway, that is just me and it is probably way too complicated to talk about further, so let’s get on with this review!

As much as I loved this novel for its very insightful paragraphs and pep talks for life, there were many flaws to the plot I found and that made me itchy, irritated somewhat.  Let me explain;

Nora feels that she is a failure at life, that she isn’t needed, she is desperate to have something to do, people to take care of and one day she wakes up to find that hardly anyone needs her anymore and her cat died to top it all.  So she decides that it is best for everybody that she kills herself, so she tries to and when she tries, she wakes up inside a library staring at her old school librarian Mrs Elm. 

She discovers that every book in the library are books of lives that could have been if only… Mrs Elm invites Nora to take a glance at the book of regrets and choose which regret she would like to work on – when she does so, she gets to experience that life and if that life is too disappointing for her, she then comes back to library to try again, but as long as the clock remains at midnight and not a minute past it, she can try as many times as she likes, fail to choose a life in time and she may lose her chance at life altogether!

What irritates me about this plot is this… each life she enters, she enters with complete amnesia about her past between that past regret and the years that lead to her current time span now, meaning she doesn’t know these new people that entered her life between now and then nor has any memories of any events that lead to where she is now.  This only gets better after several weeks in those lives IF and only IF she feels happy with that life and she seldom does!  So basically most of the plot of the book is a story about the main character going around in a permanent state of confusion, fear and amnesia and seeking out what the blazes happened to her, but is usually side-tracked by the busyness of life!  Very irritating, this book could have been a lot more better and gripping if it weren’t for that major flaw.

To then put icing on the cake of disappointment, Nora finds a life she is happy in, yay, you think and you are happy for her, because she went through a lot to get to that happy state, but that life wasn’t meant to be, because just as she decided she wanted that particular life, the library goes into wreck and ruin and she has to choose to live the life she left originally or die.

So for me, it was a lovely book, full of life quotes I loved enough to stick in my art journals and a promising all round plot, but lots and lots of irritation and disappointments – especially when you never get to see how she actually lived her life after this event.

Pfft basically.

But that’s my two cents.

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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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Fan Fiction, Alice in Wonderland scene 1

I often like writing things in my own style and image which are already published; I suppose this is called fan fiction?  I prefer to do this with old classic fantasy and horror rather than anything else, particularly my many versions of various scenes from Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz, of which I am entirely devoted to as a fan to the extent of being a collector of anything about those wonderful creations.  I even quote from them a lot.

Alice was leaning against the big oak tree in her parents stately garden, it was a warm summers day with bright blue skies above and no clouds to be seen, she was thinking about life and pondering strange and wonderful things, when her eye caught a movement in the blue hyacinth bed. 

Through all the commotion of rustling leaves and flowers bobbing around like they were coming alive, out popped a little white rabbit who rushed across the garden at full speed. Alice was amazed and excited there was a white rabbit in the garden that was very unusual as wild rabbits are usually brown and drab, but this rabbit was even more astonishing than that. Taking a quick second glance Alice realised she had saw right.  The rabbit was wearing a silk embroidered waistcoat and holding a golden pocket watch, running about on two legs as though it was human.  She shot up and ran after the rabbit that seemed to be muttering something to him-self.

“Oh, no, no, no, this can’t be, it can’t be” groaned the rabbit as he was running towards the bluebell wood. 

“What can’t be Mr Rabbit”? Asked Alice, hoping she could help the poor creature.

He turned around instantly stopping for a moment looking as shocked as Alice did when she first saw him.

“I am too late to explain, please go away, no time for socialising, goodbye, I am late, late, late, late, late” and he ran off again.

Alice ran after him again, wondering what on Earth a rabbit could be late for?  She ran and ran after him so fast that she tripped over a branch that was on the floor and fell with an almighty thud onto the ground.  This made the rabbit stop once again and turned around and he frowned with irritation at Alice and took a few steps towards her.

“I am too late for all this funny business you know!  If you follow me one more time, I shall have to get the law onto you, you know?  It is not seemly to stalk strangers.” He said.

“I do apologise” said Alice.  “But I was eager to find out what you were late for”?

“Mind your own business” said the rabbit and with that he was off again.

 

 

 

 

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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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The Thumbprint Thief (multi-source combo)

You really should read how Sarah has handled the prompts I wrote out a few days ago, she has meshed them really well with other word prompters too, it is amazing! So clever!

via The Thumbprint Thief (multi-source combo)

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August 18, 2019 · 15:25

Daily Prompt 10

Daily Prompt for today is – An electric guitar – Blood – Stag – An Aquarium – A drowning.

Now believe it or not, this was actually randomly selected, it is so strange how they all seem to interconnect in some bizarre way, well in my mind they do.

There is a lot we can make of these prompts. 

Go and have fun with yours.

 

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Daily Prompt 6

Today’s prompts are – Cobalt – Sultana (title) – Fork Lift – Archaeologist –  an engagement

These are some lovely prompts, giving me a few ideas again.  Now remember to look up images of these things to help you come up with story ideas if you are struggling to think of anything.

Now you are probably thinking how can these word prompts be lovely?  What kind of a story can I make there?  Well, though the other day I said I didn’t like to think too much on these prompts as I am overloaded with writing projects already, I will tell you a couple of things that have come to my mind with these words.

Don’t always think of the Sultana (the wife of a Sultan) is always young, no!  With these prompts I am getting a much more mature Sultana image and she is concerned about giving her son a wonderful engagement present.  She knows that an archaeologist nearby is digging near an old cobalt mine and she comes to an agreement with him to find the best quality cobalt and cobalt workers to make a gift for her to give to her son; or perhaps steal a beautiful item from their ancestral graves? She will pay him handsomely after all. But in Story Land that never happens easily does it?  Now how can you make something like this more exciting?

Another idea is that an archaeologist finds the burial site of a dead Sultana and it is beautifully decorated with lots of cobalt jewellery, pots and designs.  But a drunken assistant causes a lot of problems when he accidentally sets off his fork lift truck full speed ahead and smashes the lot, causing huge troubles for the archaeologist in not just being likely to lose his job, but also by upsetting the spirit of the Sultana herself.

See, there is a lot to play with here.

Now go and have fun.

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Myths of the tailless four arm mers

Every mermaid is expected to drown in her own tears

For the dreams she’s had for years, of walking on hot sands like a lady for a man

A thousand myths and legends tear at the mermaid’s heart

Myths of the tailless four arm mers

She has seen them in her people’s art

How she wished to be an explorer of their sands

Witnessing the dry green scape and touch them with her hands

How she wished she knew, what it meant to be dry

Dry from all her tears

 

The foregoing poem was written rather quickly and the quality has surprised me, usually I think everything I do is useless, but I like this piece.  In fact I like it so much, I feel a story coming on, whether it will be short enough for me to want to post that eventually on this blog, I don’t know, but it is inspiring me to do more and there are other poems creeping into my head of a similar theme too!

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