Tag Archives: imagination

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Reading his books gave me the confidence to realise that the way he wrote the stories is not outdated and it has a certain charm that contemporary readers still enjoy, I always liked this style of storytelling.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

I wish my brain could make my body work in the same pace as its imaginations; I’d be prolific, drowning in art work and stories and it would be amazing – but no, it is never going to happen!

I think about too much and so little actually gets physically manifested because my daydreams are lightning fast.

I really meant it when I have said in previous posts, I don’t suffer from artist or writers block, I suffer from artist and writers overload!

You have no idea that in every poem I write and post on the blog, there are three or more pieces of art that are not being produced to go with it, because I can’t paint that fast!

Every painting I have done in the past takes an average of three hours, but anywhere between ninety minutes and six maybe even seven hours a time!  That’s just one piece of art!

You have no idea how much I wish everything I think of would physically manifest, the exacting art ideas I have, the exact stories, the exact movies, the exact music and the exact songs – but I manage to physically manifest so little of it, because of lack of time and speed ability, in fact I don’t even believe I produce a whole 1%.

You have no idea how I am obsessed with my imagination and how it consumes my daily life to the extent that I often forget to live in reality!

Paul is both a blessing and a curse for this, because he will happily allow me to be consumed by it all, whilst feeding me and keeping me as comfortable as he can – but he doesn’t like to interfere with my daydreams AT ALL!  It scares me when he dies someday, it scares me because I am so consumed by it all that if he were to die tomorrow, I might die a few weeks later because I will forget to feed myself, I will forget to live and he doesn’t shake me out of it, like others have done in the past and I have told him – that could be dangerous, but he doesn’t take it seriously.

I wish he would, because I am quite serious – I would forget to live when he dies, especially when he dies, because the more I grieve or the more stressed I am, the more I lock myself away and go into what I call an “astral travelling adventure” where I am quite literally channelling through my body to write or paint, and often I don’t hear or feel anything in that state, once in it. 

It is hard to get into that state initially if there is discord around the house, but if I go into it before the arguments and ructions start, I can’t hear it… its weird and I doubt I am making sense to those who don’t experience the same as I do.

There are times when Paul wants to feed me, where he knows I can’t hear him or see him, no matter what he does, but he touches me and like a sleepwalker I am literally shocked back into reality and have a little panic attack and calm down and then he tells me that dinner is ready.

It really is like that for me.

Sometimes I thought I should cheat.  I should write my poems and then explain what the art should have been, but probably would never get done by me.  Just so I can show you more.  But then I thought; you wouldn’t understand what I am trying to achieve or understand why I would do that, so should I bother?

I’d really like to paint at least one poem a week, for my YouTube channel that will start at the end of the year.  I could paint a picture a day, anything up to seven pictures in time for the vlog, but that is probably all I could do.  I couldn’t do anymore art, if I did that without it affecting my stories and sleep time.

Paul likes the idea but also he is a realist and he believes that it would hugely affect how much writing I will produce.

He knows I love art more than writing, but he loves my writing more than my art.  He hasn’t experienced much of my music, so he has no opinion on that.

 I really do wish that I could physically produce all that I think about at the same speed as my thoughts.

Happy reading!

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What do I do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you enjoyed an insight to my weird little life!

Thanks for reading! 

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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! 

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Open honesty and healing

Henry is my inspiration to keep on going despite the depression, Henry is my son and he turned twelve on Sunday.

Other than him, the other things which keep me going are things I have to work hard to find and think about – it can take some training to learn how to remove yourself from your present state and look at yourself as though you are a stranger or a friend. 

Most people can’t bear to look at themselves in a positive light, because most of them feel too attached to who they are, that they forget that everyone and everything is changeable and that if you just forget that you are you, for just a few moments, you can then see clearly and work things out in yourself. 

For me, I stand back and pretend I am as perfect as I want to be – I imagine seeing the imperfect me right in front of me (easier to do in front of a mirror) but instead of judging who I see, I imagine that I love this person tremendously, because they have potential that they do not see – that they are in effect = my child!  A child who is very sensitive and a child who has been treated badly by others, a child who you have rescued and adopted!

You have to see yourself this way, so that you act cautiously and lovingly towards this frightened, abused and mislead creature; because you are going to be the one who rescues it wholly, changes it for the better and you are going to be the one who will make it happy and healthy!

Don’t see this person as the adult it might be, see it as a very young child, because that will trick your brain, a good method in making it more believable would be to make yourself look more childish, dress the part and put a mirror at a lower level than you, so you are looking down (effectively making yourself look smaller).

This works for me at times, when I have the opportunity to be alone. 

For me, one of the biggest healing methods is the “inner child nurturing therapy” I have kind of learned about in dribs and drabs over the years.  Your parents were either good or not, but now you are an adult, you have to parent yourself and you must do it with the kindness of a good parent!

As a good parent, if something happens in your life that makes you uncomfortable or someone says or does things to you that makes you uncomfortable it is your responsibility to take it into hand and to tell the person that you don’t like it and to please stop.  You need to think in your mind, that this child needs someone to stand up for it and you are the only one who can do that, because this child needs to be saved from anymore turmoil.

In order to do this, you need to start understanding that you need to heal, you need to acknowledge the fact that you need change and that you and only you, can speak up about how things make you feel and to explain that this bad thing another person has done to you, is a trigger – so please stop.  If the person is a true out and out bully and they find amusement in this and continue their behaviour or it gets worse, then you need to remove yourself from this person or seek professional help via the police, because no one has the right to make you feel like a laughing stock for your sensitivities – no one has the right to do this to another person, so please stop taking their shit!

Would you tolerate a bully doing this to your adopted badly neglected and abused child?  If not, then why are you tolerating it for yourself?  What makes you different from that child?

Nothing, nothing at all!

You only believe you are worthless and you deserve it, because for so many years you have allowed other people to dictate to you how you should or shouldn’t think about yourself, instead of understanding that it is just lies to control you  in order to inflate their own egotistical needs!

So stop it, stop it now – stop feeding their egos – stop making them feel good, when you feel so awful!

Consider this…

What wonderful changes have you done to the world simply because you exist right now?

STOP THINKING TOO BIG ABOUT THIS ANSWER!

The little things count too!

I remember things I have done in my life that have helped others, without me, they would never have got through certain things – everyone on this planet has done this!  Only you were so busy abusing yourself that you didn’t realise and remember you did it.

I will give a few examples from my own life, which make me feel better about existing…

When I was 6yrs old a new girl came to join my class late in the year, she had muscular dystrophy and couldn’t make friends because other children saw her as very different, she was also mixed race and at the time this was still considered rather strange in the community I was raised in.  I was very popular in this school and I had a lot of friends, I didn’t like how people treated her and I told them all how I felt about what they are doing to her.

I told them I was very sad that people find enjoyment in hurting another person, especially a person who is so sick and very scared because she is new, that because they are mean to her I will sit with her and I will play only with her until they feel that they can be kind to her.

This changed and the girl became very popular too by the end of the week.  This young girl has always remembered me and she found me some years later to let me know that she is working towards a career in fashion now and she insists that this one day, changed her own opinion about herself and that it was because of me!  I never thought anything about it, because I left the school a few weeks later and literally thought everyone there would have forgotten me – but she didn’t!  She recognised me when we were in college, I didn’t recognise her, yet she still had her walking frame and though she did kind of stand out, I didn’t specifically associate this girl as her!

I have helped several complete strangers, one of which was an old lady in her eighties, she had her shopping bag on wheels caught in a drain and I was walking past and pulled it out without thinking.  She stopped me for a moment to thank me, and I said think nothing of it and walked off.  The old lady tried to call me back but I was late for work at the time and told her so – she eventually found me, it was easy because I was in uniform and she came to my workplace to seek me out and told my manager how nice I was to her and that she wanted to do something for me.  But I wouldn’t let her, she was so surprised at my kindness and said it was so rare these days that she tried to work something out with my boss.  But I wouldn’t let her reward me, she always remembered me as after this day, whenever we passed each other she’d say something friendly.

This same job place, there was a woman who was having a heart attack in store, she was frightened and the company said that in first aid situations like this, if you are late for your duties forego your humanity and get to your post – but I couldn’t leave this woman who was scared for her life.  I was reprimanded by the manager for being fifteen minutes late for the checkout services, but I wanted to go with the woman on the ambulance like she requested, but I was told I would lose my job.  She died, but later on in the week her daughter sought me out and told me what her mother said about what I tried to do for her and she gave me a gift.  Meanwhile, they spoke harshly to the manager about their mistreatment of me.

I also found a lost child, a young boy around ten years of age who couldn’t speak English, his mother couldn’t speak English either, when she found I was comforting her little boy and trying to find her, but her actions spoke louder than words.  Because she gripped my arm and bowed her head several times to my arm and I presume was thanking me wholeheartedly.  I think they were Chinese but I am unsure.  But that little boy could have come to great harm where he was, because he was so frightened he was curled up in a ball crying when I found him in a place where a car could have parked and hit him as in that area, cars often parked up onto the pavements without thinking.

I have also rescued a handful of people from suicide, spoke them through their hard time online (people I never met, but had online friendships with). 

A few people have also turned away from a life of crime because of comforting words I supposedly had said to them which changed their ways and even gave a child a father.  What I mean is, I had a friend who fathered a child and his instant response was to run away and pretend she didn’t exist because he wasn’t ready to be a father.  I told him to speak this through with his girlfriend and work something out together about it, because running away will only cause both his girlfriend and daughter to hate him potentially.  He told me he was brutally honest to her about how he can’t commit to the child but he will do whatever he can to help her as long as he doesn’t have to live with them.  This worked out fine for them and in as little as eight months down the line he felt he had value as a father and eventually moved in and married her and now he is a happy present father.

A lot of people mess up their lives because they are afraid of being honest, because they think that their honesty is going to make things worse… how ironic, it is usually always the opposite!

Whenever someone has difficulties in their lives and they need a loved one to fully understand, they normally choose not to communicate it and things blow out of proportion.  I often suggest, well just tell them, but the answer is always – “I can’t, because (insert irrational fear here).  Those who have felt confident to do so, come back to me a few days later, thanking me, because, literally – their fear was worse than the reality of it!

My attitude is this… if a person hates you for your honesty and mistreats you for your honesty, then they don’t love you enough to be worthy of sharing your life!

Believe me when I say, there are more than enough people in the world who will share your beliefs, your traditions, your ways and ideas, you have just got to make the effort in looking for them and the only way you can do this, is by living your life as honestly and as openly as you can!

That is the key to good relationships – open honesty.

Thanks for reading!

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My brain takes me here…

They say that the books you love to read, the movies you love to watch and the things that stick with you the most can be seen in your own writing. 

What you love is often reflected in your writing and once you know yourself well enough you write better.  Once you throw yourself into all of your passions and are writing things based on your passions or similar to your passions unashamedly, you will develop your style and you will therefore come across as unique and fresh in the genres you write.

As long as you stay true only to yourself, do not write for the market, write for you!

I hope this is true.  If it is, then you can more or less guess from my likes and dislikes what could end up being in my novels.

I don’t like to be predictable though, but it is true that there is a little of what I love in everything that I do

Below is a list of stories, books or movies in which I mentally visit and live in a lot, for some reason or another, I am dragged back there to relive scenes or add new ones in my mind.  However, I never write those reimagining’s down through fear of becoming a fraud!  Though I have sometimes thought about doing fanfiction!

1922 By Stephen king – this story in particular has actually influenced a horror I am writing, which is based around a well in a garden too, funnily enough.  But the story concept is poles apart besides the setting of a well. 

Spider By Hanns Heinz Ewers – Every time I see a spider I remember the story.  Every time I see a woman working at a loom or spinning yarn, I think of this story.  You would think that wouldn’t be very often then, but I know a lot of prepper, homesteading type ladies who do this regularly.  I have wanted to do this myself; I have always wanted to make my own felt too. 

The complete collection of The Wizard of Oz By Frank L Baum – So many imaginative things in all the stories, living china dolls, servant monkeys, it’s absolute joy!  The landscape descriptions, oh my word, they are divine, I just can’t help but bring myself back to those scenes. 

Smoke and Mirrors By Neil Gaiman – So many lovely stories and poems in this book, I presume they are poems in any case?  I see them as such, I love the prose, I just love the way he writes!  It is very soulful writing. 

The man in the picture By Susan Hill – This is the only book in my entire reading history, of such length, that I have read and could not put down even for a toilet break!  It is just so gripping and I loved it, it had a similar air to Dorian Grey, but in my opinion much better executed.  I love Venice, never been, but still, always wanted to, love with a passion masquerades and carnival life. 

Matilda By Roald Dahl – Ever since I was little, since Victoria Wood read this on TV I have loved this story and nagged my mum in buying me the book, but she never did.  I must have borrowed this book a hundred times from the library before I became an adult and bought it as part of a trilogy compilation.  How I wished that my soul got angry enough with the people in my life that I could play with the supernatural like she did!  It may have solved a lot of my childhood problems, or created worse ones, who knows? 

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – Very alike to Wizard of Oz, the scenes are great, but I also like crazy characters, madness or at least the descent into it ideas.  I love kooky takes on animal and plant life and this was such a joy to behold.  The artwork etc, I love everything about Alice in Wonderland and I have an addiction to collecting Alice in Wonderland novelties.  There were times I pranced around in life hoping I fell down a hole where things were very different too. 

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – If you can actually manage to read the whole book and get past the awful main scene, you will actually find this book very deep on an emotional level that is not just traumatic, but beautiful too.  If you read deeply, push past the horrible stuff, it is very meaningful.  How the dead view the living, how the living cannot move on until the dead does, what dead children do in the heavens.  Living out their wildest imaginations; yes, a lot of it is weird and sickening, but I urge you to try and edit those horrible bits out of your mind and read it without those bits.  It takes strong stuff to do that, I know!  But honestly, it is a lovely book besides. Try to skim the nasties.   

Confessions of an ugly step-sister by Gregory Maguire – I love Cinderella anyway, but this plot was good and more to the way that I thought it was behind the scenes.  I love how I learned real history in this book too, the bit about the tulips in Holland.  By the way, that’s another addiction I have – tulips.

I.T By Stephen King – I used to be scared of clowns, big time, before I even learned about Pennywise, but it is funny to actually say that I loved the character Pennywise so much it lessened my fear of them.  Weird I know!  In the past two years in particular, I have lost my fear of clowns entirely and now enjoy them, in fact, they are becoming the main projects for my art!  I just hate the scene of little Georgie.

The Mad Max Movies – I have a thing for life on the road, roguish living, post-apocalyptic tribal societies and the general chaos of survival as whole societies descend into madness.  For this reason too, I think I like the next movie;

Reign of fire movie – I love subterranean settings and when you throw in dragons in a post-apocalyptic world I am in my element. 

Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins is another subterranean setting I love, full of gothic elements such as bats, rats, roaches and gore with an edge of the apocalypse feel to it. 

The Blue Bird starring Shirley Temple – this has been in my mind since I was a very small child, a lot of things about this movie can be seen in small snippets of some of my work.  I have mentioned Old father time and I have cats and dogs which can take on a human form, children trapped in dream time in a couple of my stories to date so far.  No Spoilers, because they were just passing things in the plot, not the actual plot at all.

The Karnstein Trilogy – I love this much more than Dracula, I love the movies and the books they were based on.  I loved it so much that I had been heavily influenced by this trilogy my whole life; I have had to be careful when writing my vampires in fear of coming off as a plagiarist.  You may see what I mean with what I mentioned in “The Blue Bird” paragraph.  I have had to learn to chop up everything I love and move them around genres and different stories, like some experimental stir fries. 

I shall write about the tropes and scenes and types of characters I like in future posts – keep eye out for those!

Happy reading! 

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Imagination from the shadows

The shadow world surrounds me and inspires my heart

Stories to tell and wondrous art

Fantasy, horror, I love them all

They dance in my head in their raucous ball

I sit and I write about courageous fights and dragons protecting their nest

I write about angels betraying God and I think I like those the best

But the thing I love more than all of these things

Is the fantasy that someday I may inspiration bring

To other writers and artists like me

To help and set their imagination free

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Plotting vs planning & minimalism vs chaos

I am usually a plotter type writer and I do not like reading in first person and outside of poetry and my blog posts, I rarely write it.  Yet there is something going on in the throes of my imagination recently that I don’t quite understand.

The series I am working on here on my blog “Shadowlands” is not plotted; I have no idea what is going to happen from one week to the next in this story.  It is as much of a surprise to me as it is for you.  As soon as I have written each post, it is put here on the blog without redrafting – yes you are reading first drafts, I am sure you can tell? 

I am also astonished that I am writing this in first person; I usually hate reading stories that are written in first person.

I don’t know if this is a fantasy, a horror or a dark fantasy yet either.  I suspect horror.  But I can’t really say, for I do not know.

I don’t think about the series until I am ready to write more.  I am doing this to see if I can become a Pantzer – if I can and if this series turns out to become good and popular, I may try to pants my way through other stories in the future.

I have no idea what started this, but I have learned to live by impulse regarding all creative matters recently and not to try and make everything perfect like I usually do.  It doesn’t have to be perfect if you are having fun and you are creating something.  So far, it is a good rule to live by in my opinion.  I have started doing things in art, journaling and writing that I have never done before because I felt that there was a certain system and order you had to do things – systems and organisation are innovation killers.

I used to think it would be lovely to pour coffee over a crumpled piece of paper and stick it in a journal purely for aesthetic reasons with a few pretty buttons, ribbons and cut out vintage faeries – but then I thought, HOARDER ALERT!  Who’d think that was artistic?  But I recently discovering a whole host of people on YouTube who are junk journal creators and they are selling those very ideas I often secretly coveted for myself over the years.  I was surprised that most of my unique but ignored ideas were actually a cultural thing in certain bohemian creative circles and I then I became sad as I realised how much fun I have been missing out on in life.

I was raised by a scrupulous mother.  White walls, beige carpets, glass tables, clinical house stinking of bleach and spring cleaning happened monthly!  No room for cutting and pasting pretty things into makeshift little booklets and journals.  No room for saving buttons off the shirt you are throwing out and keeping cinema tickets as memorabilia, that is dirty hoarding, it’s not creative, it’s not nice and it is not art!  This is what I was raised to believe, this is what was brainwashed into my mind and I often dreamt of freedom.  I often dreamt of keeping all the pretty things, because most things I had growing up were often thrown away within less than a year – nothing lasted.  My mother was often proud of her “throw away” cultural ideologies.  She even bragged that she wasn’t the sentimental type too – often throwing away family photos of people who she had recently disowned and never saving anything just because of emotional value.

She tried to make me like her.  For a time it nearly worked, until I literally had the second nervous breakdown I ever had in my whole life.  She was making my home like hers, though a little more dowdy because she knew I liked natural colours.  So magnolia walls with brown carpets and curtains, she winced at my liking for oak furniture (the most sensible normal choice she could accept) and I hated it.

I felt my home was cold and uninviting and very old fashioned, it never represented my personality at all.  Not the true me anyway.

As soon as I decided I couldn’t take contact with her anymore, my house dramatically changed and it is slowly becoming a warm, fun and cosy place for me.

My living room side walls are green with wallpaper on the chimney wall that looks like trees from the Lorax.  My sofa cushions are a mix of all my favourite things, bees, marvel comics, quotes I love, kittens, rabbits and butterflies.  I have faeries and dragons lining the bookshelves as guards to the world of my imagination that are my favourite books. 

My window ledge is festooned with herbs and a lemon tree, which my mother would probably find dirty to have potted plants indoors like that.

It’s lovely and it is my home.

I know I am 39 on my next birthday, as things progress to how I want for my life, the more I am starting to believe that for me, life might really begin at forty as they say it does!

Let’s see!

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characterising real people

Sometimes people ask me about my past and what my family was like growing up and there are very simple ways to describe some of the people from that past.  The best way to describe people I have always found was to think of movies and TV series which might be familiar to the person and tell them exactly how I would portray that person based on characters from them, how in ways they are alike to that character and how in ways that they are not.  I have noticed that people relate better to the concept of using known characters rather than telling them about a fresh real person as their traits, it is a strange thing to me.

I am going to discuss today how I would portray my parents and myself and Paul as parents based on known television characters.  I will also tell you how Henry portrays me himself, because it is very interesting to look at other viewpoints rather than always concentrating on the bias opinion – mine.

First up is me, I like to think of myself as this kind of mother…

  1. Daniel Hilliard from Mrs Doubtfire and yes, I know this first one is not a female character, it is male, but I don’t think the media portrays mums as fun and flimsy like they do some dad characters and there are mums like him in the world, I know, I believe I am one of them!  I believe it because I am the kind of mother who would throw a party for Henry just for the sake of it; For example, we are planning that the next time we get any spare money to throw an unbirthday Alice in Wonderland themed party for Henry around late autumn some time, not sure if it will be this year, but it is on the cards and we have been making lists for it! I throw caution to the wind if it means fun and making that child happy!  I would indeed hire a city zoo to come onto my property on his birthday if I had the money.  I am very well-known as well to forget the bedtime regime entirely by two hours because we are having too much fun together.  Some people will call this irresponsible; I call it creating happy memories!
  2. Kirsty Allsop, I know she isn’t a character, she is a real life person herself, but to me that counts. I am a very creative person who loves nothing better than to just simply make things, just because.  Anything from homemade felt making to sugar craft animals, sewing, knitting and more.  I am also addicted to carboot sales, markets and country fairs.  Every special occasion deserves new handmade decorations and baked from scratch goods and this is something Henry and I try to do on my good days.  Any reason whatsoever to make crafts, bake cakes or trying new recipes and yes, my Henry will sit down and embroider and knit with me, he loves it and often insists we do it!  We often invent our own board games too.  We once created a Harry Potter board game based on the spells from the movies and made a good game out of it – Henry wants us to sell it, but I said we can’t because of copyright issues.  We also have a different version of beetle we play, it is teddy bears.
  3. Third person I would consider myself to be perhaps, Aunt Adelaide from Nanny McPhee. I can be very (in some people’s opinions) too strict about certain rules of etiquette and traditions.  There is a certain manner people must uphold and if my child is slack there are usually ramifications and readjustments!  I am a stickler for pronunciation which is similar to Aunt Adelaide and I am also country hardy and so you can imagine how it drives me around the twist being in bed so much and ill.  I would never call myself posh and I am not too bothered by loose vowels as she would call it, but I do get rather irked if water and other mispronounced words are misused.  Henry deliberately mispronounced words because he likes riling me up a lot!  He will purposely over emphasise war-ah when he asks for water and if he is not doing that, then he is licking his knife and using the knife as a spoon.

Henry views me differently but not much.  He believes I am like these characters…

 

  1. Mrs Mason from Grandpa in my pocket, a mother who is always starting a new hobby, a new language lesson, a new craft project and so forth and a mother who always smiles even when she is in pain and poorly.
  2. He believes I am also like Mary Berry, a mother who bakes nice things occasionally, speaks well, dresses nicely and is glamorous and friendly.
  3. He also thinks I am a lot like Rosemary Shrager, a country woman who cooks, talks nicely, a little on the large side and tolerates no funny business! He also believes she is a traditional lady who tries to uphold traditions as much as possible; he enjoys watching both her and Mary.  Upon reflection I suppose I am like Rosemary Shrager because I like countryside living, I am often abrupt and assertive and quite aggressive in the kitchen and just like Rosemary I will sometimes gesticulate with the knife I am using which often worries people!  Paul would even add I am a lot like Fanny Cradock in the kitchen too!  I am quite proud of that actually because I would love nothing better than to be an amalgam of Fanny Cradock, Penelope Keith and Rosemary Shrager. 

I can almost hear my grandmother saying “Hoity Toity” in the background at this confession.

How I view Paul as a father. 

  1. A Ray Mears sort of person, he often takes Henry on long walks and discusses certain survival techniques and so forth, what wild things are to eat, such as identifying dock and complaining about the rubbish he finds in hedge groves, teaching (and rightfully so) about being environmentally aware, how rubbish harms nature and us and how it is all a big cycle.
  2. He is also a lot like Gordon Ramsey; as much as he would hate me say it. No, Paul doesn’t swear at all, never heard him do it – but what is similar in my opinion is how he spends time teaching Henry how to cook and will often teach Henry how to complain about things when he is out and about to get things done or corrected.  He doesn’t like being taken advantage of when money is concerned and Paul is a very health and safety conscious person who will complain if he feels a company has something about them which is unsafe to the public, Paul has earned a lot of local respect for this.
  3. Despite the walks and the cooking and moral lessons, there is also a lot of Abraham Simpson in him too. Grandpa Simpson from the Simpsons, I say this only because Paul can be overly critical with Henry, often ignores the best things about Henry and because he is too busy with chores and caring for me, Henry can sometimes get side-lined and doesn’t get to have too much personal time with Paul outside of the kitchen and walks.  He complains a lot about most things too. In general.

How I view my own mother as characters.

  1. She is very much like two similar characters in one, Carrie’s mother from the novel Carrie by Stephen King and The mother from The People under the Stairs. My mother uses religion to justify how she treats me.  She gets very aggressive about her religion a lot of the time and talking about her roots.  (I suppose it is because she really does believe she lives in sin because she is the result of a mixed religion marriage).  My mother’s ancestry on her side alone means she is born of three religions.  My grandfather was considered a sinner by the catholic school he went to, because his mother was Jewish and converted to Catholicism when she married my great grandfather.  My grandfather from this marriage married an Anglican Christian to make matters worse and my mother often spoke of how the church viewed the family.  Because of the mix of religions in my family, I often asked questions which apparently I shouldn’t have.  For example, why do you hate and blame the Jews for killing Jesus when Jesus himself was a Jew?  I never got a proper answer only that it is absolutely correct that they killed Jesus and my questions could send forth the wrath of God and I was told to shut up lest I curse the house we are in with Gods temper.  Social isolation was also another factor, though not as severe as Alice from People under the stairs, but it was still very difficult to live shut away a lot of the time.  Ironically in the past few months, I have shut myself away because of illness; I just can’t even get downstairs these days let alone go out and to think, I ran away from my mother aged 27yrs to get a life and socialise only for fate to be as cruel as her and make me bedbound.  She is also a closet/hypocritical racist, I say hypocritical because she will socialise with other races but behind closed doors she is vicious in her criticisms of them and their races.  Which again is hypocrisy as I found out last year that my great grandmothers, grandmother from 1840 was an American mixed race black/white lady from Boston from nans side of the family.  Nan had always said we aren’t all as white as we seem, I haven’t found the evidence of the Hindu great grandfather yet though, like Nan claimed we have. 
  2. Second character she is like is Jane Fonda from Monster in Law.  She really does struggle giving any of her children, to another person that they may love.  She does everything in her power to stop them from creating and maintaining a relationship.  She isn’t like this with Robbie because when a relationship broke down when he was very young he was extremely distressed and Robbie being her favourite child, she couldn’t cope with that, but to hell with the rest of us.  Robbie has to be happy, us others however, well, not unless she agrees first and my mother has always let it be known to me, she will never agree to any relationship that I want and any grandchildren I may give her are unwanted because she feels that I am a foolish person to have children as they will ruin my life!  So that’s what she thinks about us deep down huh?  Yes, people have seen my mother supposedly dolt on Henry and spoil him when he was born, but it wasn’t without its venom behind closed doors with me.  The things she said were evil, such as when I said I am too sick to have more children she practically threw a party and said great, I don’t want you having more, I hope you do have that problem!  When I announced my pregnancy with Henry, my dad congratulated us happily and he was admonished by her and she turned to me and called me a stupid girl and gave me a long rant about how much I have damaged any future I may want.  She often opened cupboards to accidentally on purpose hurt Paul in the early days of our relationship and tried to scare him and several other boyfriends before him off by mentioning the time I was in a children’s asylum failing by the way, to tell them she was the reason I was in it.
  3. The next character is another male character which really does represent my mother a lot and that is Robert De Niro in Meet the parents. She would stalk and investigate anyone in my life, she must approve of anyone in my life for any relationship to work and she will send spies (friends) to watch where I go occasionally.  She would also text me around 30 times a day if I am out all day.  She has even lied to people who regard her highly in order to bring me back into submission to her, by claiming all sorts of outlandish things about me in order to get them to go and do her dirty work and go and fetch me or watch me or have long discussions about how I am making her ill with worry.  She also will take anyone aside, a platonic friend or a boyfriend and talk in private with them without me hearing a thing.  Often I find out they are threats, warnings and so forth or little snippets of information she is passing to them about my mental problems as she would refer to them as.  She would also remind them of how many brothers and close male cousins I have and how they don’t like anyone upsetting the family.

How I view my father.

  1. He is a very shy and quiet country sort of person. Very much like a more obedient and housebound Howard from Last of the Summer Wine.  He is despite how he comes across very nervous of my mother and displeasing her.  I remember times when he was sent on an errand to buy groceries or a take away without her accompanying him and I would go with him to help him as sometimes he would get nervous and forget things, that if the shop didn’t have what she wanted or the take away was closed at that specific time; my poor dad would literally be on the verge of tears and would often say to me he doesn’t know what to do as she will be upset if he doesn’t go home with it.  Paul has also witnessed this behaviour.  My dad cooks, gardens and cleans much more than is traditional for a man to do so and I remember often that if he didn’t do it on time, mum would remind him that she doesn’t have to keep him and he would get scared and get up and do it immediately.
  2. Despite this my father is also a bit of a Victor Meldrew. He complains a lot about things but I often believe it is because it is something he thinks my mother would like to hear, she is an avid complainer.  Because when she isn’t around he is quite a cheerful tolerant person.  He is also extremely nosy about the neighbourhood and any gossip going around and often worries about anything negative he has heard that has gone on locally.
  3. He also reminds me of Travers Goff from Saving Mr Banks. He was a daydreamer and often liked to play with me imaginatively, we would re-enact our favourite stories, rhymes and television shows and it would be very realistic.  My father loved comedy and often had a comical stance to most games we played.  He often recited funny limericks and songs which are mostly for an adult audience but it made me laugh none-the-less.  He could sometimes be over the top playful and often had to be calmed down by the energy sapping atmosphere of my mother and her harsh words.  He was also a betting man and a man who loved the countryside a lot that he often dreamt of going rural again someday, but my mother would never hear of it.

 

This is how I view myself, Paul and my parents by using character descriptions.  I know there will be a handful of people reading this which will not approve, but it is my opinion of what I believe these people are like and I don’t have to ask your permission to verbalise anything anymore.  It is my truth and that is all that matters.

 

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New stuff to come

I had the notion that I didn’t want to put too much non-fiction in my blog and I really didn’t intend for as much poetry that I have either; it was supposed to be focusing on little snippets of practise writing and short stories of a fantasy theme only, well since the blog has started that hasn’t been the case has it?  So, I decided last night that it doesn’t matter what I post on my blog anymore, people love it for what it is and therefore there will be more posts coming in the future; particularly of new and different from current themes.  I have many interests in life other than writing and some of those things include writing, but they are usually personal snippets or parts of my personal diaries, thoughts, hopes and dream journals and that sort of thing.

So the blog may become a more active place that will include themes of positivity, spirituality, dreams, research papers and so forth.  A lot of the research papers will include mythologies from around the world and superstitions, as well as historical research.

Other than writing, my other hobbies include watercolour painting, wildlife photography, and organic/no-dig gardening (on good days), puzzles, word games, hypothetical discussions with people, reading, knitting, cosmic ordering and studying cultures, superstitions, mythologies and personal genealogy.  I also love learning languages and how they developed, the history of certain words and allergen free lifestyles.

So the future of this blog could be random, who knows?  But I have decided to write whatever I fancy and share it, because I want to be a more active writer that actually proves I really am an active writer!

I keep a lot of stuff I write to myself.  Little snippets about a person enjoying an apple, or peacefully sewing fat quarters to make a quilt, or sitting in a meadow watching clouds fly by; to things I have watched on television and have an opinion about, books I have read and how I felt about them and simple little daydreams of things I would love to do, but realistically may never do.  I have often thought about writing a book purely based on my daydreaming adventures and I did call this idea “The wandering in my mind” book.  But I have thought, the wandering in my mind could become blog posts called “The Wandering in my mind adventures part 1” and so on.  This idea is not a new one, I have had it since I was a teenager and it is not wholly new on this blog either.  I just didn’t take it as seriously for online media as much as I do now.

So yes, I think I will start that today.  The wandering in my mind adventures part one will be posted later on this evening.

I must warn you, it is always random and there are thousands of situations and people I imagine most of the time.  Living such an isolated life, sometimes the only way I can feel alive is by deep and long daydreaming sessions.

A sample of what you can expect would be…

Me mingling with vampires at a palace court, usually the same characters as I have built a sort of relationship with them in my mind.

Me wandering through various landscapes and coming across various wonderful plants and animals or situations;

Floating through space and seeing amazing things there.

Arguing with people about certain subjects and giving my side of the argument in full – these are fictional arguments that usually have a real life basis to them, such as climate change, current affairs, certain things going on worldwide, but there will always be a fantasy or horror twist to these daydreams.  For example, a few months ago, I personally demanded that the universe repairs Notre Dame immediately and proclaim a miracle, because it was a place I always wanted to see and the story of the Hunchback of Notre Dame always made me cry; particularly now he is homeless in my mind and all those poor little gargoyles.

I also travel in time arguing with Henry the VIII about various things and personally beating ten bells out of the Emperor Nero for what he did to Poppaea.

In other daydreams I am a whole new character in other writer’s books, where I am the personal pet owner of a Bandersnatch and a tyrannical next door neighbour to the Queen of Hearts, whilst eating jam sandwiches with the Duchess in the veranda of my garden, shouting insults over the rose bushes that divide our lands.

As I said the other day, it is scary in my mind.

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