Tag Archives: Stephen King

Rewrites and steampunk animals

I am eager to get my desk up and stuff put into organised areas again, because I am desperate to get a start on writing towards six projects.

The idea of doing NaNoWriMo may go out of the window because I am working on remastering an old project to go into an entirely different direction altogether. 

My old project is known as Dragon 1 to some and Maud to others; so I will start calling it Maud here, because that’s the title I give it, even though I feel the title will change with the rewrite.

Why am I completely remastering the story? 

I have learned that my characters seem to lack soul, vibe, if you get what I mean?  They are bland in my opinion, well most of them, and only around six seem to have any real spirit for the storyline.  I learned that my main character is someone I do not know as well as her mentor.

Therefore the stance of the story is changing to not focus too much on her (Maud that is) but to concentrate on events unfolding and the mentor’s journey with Maud.  Because this story is about a teenager who is being mentored into understanding a certain culture and to prepare her for integration in that culture; this story is a fantasy setting where dragons and witches are a huge part of their cultural heritage.  I like to think of my story as a mix of Princess Diaries and Lord of the Rings, but the few people I have shared the old parts of the story with, believe I am not being fair to my story as in their opinion it is nothing like it, but certainly moreish!

The story has comedy elements which were slightly supressed, but now I am more confident in adding humour into my fantasy stories, the comedy scenes will be less choked as it were.

I never wrote the story from a first person narrative, which will make the rewrite easier; this story is written in a third person narrative – I rarely write in first person.

Originally the story was focused on what Maud could see and hear and what she immediately interacted with but within the confines of a third person narrative.  Now it is not like that, it is more chopped, flowing to and from characters, building atmosphere, tension and mysteries which weren’t present in the old manuscripts. 

I know it is an unpopular idea, but it is crucial to the plot that there will be two chapters or large scenes of flash-backs, because there was a murder in the plot – so, saying that, it is understandable, especially as the murder does not happen in the story, but is part of the past of the story, if that makes sense?

So this is the project I am writing towards as soon as my desktop computer is set up on my new desk.  This story has nearly been sent to publishers twice since starting it and I am so glad I held back until now; because I have put the story away for a year without reading it and went back to it with fresh eyes and saw zombie like characters and characters who personally should no longer exist in the rewrite because they did nothing but follow Maud around like lost puppies and the only exciting thing those characters did was sacrifice their lives to save the group!

“Kill your darlings” as Stephen King says, I think it was him anyway…

The second project is something I will be working on long-term and it has interest already from some comic fans I personally know.  This is going to be a long-winded project because I am trying to hone in on my art skills, which are still in the baby stages if I am honest.  So not only am I writing the series of stories this will become, I am trying my best to do anthropomorphic steam punk art that goes with it!

Yes you read right, anthropomorphic steam punk art – exciting stuff, eh?

In fact it is this second projects fault, that I have not published anywhere online at all any new inktober art for this year!  I am focusing too much on practising art for this project that I haven’t really practised much else.

Being the overprotective little creator that I am, I am scared to share my current artwork with anyone online, in case it gives too much away to the plot as a whole!

But there are steam punk anthropomorphic animals, running around a dystopian horror world, that’s all I am going to say!

Happy reading everyone, hope you are as excited to see what I am doing as I am!

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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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Stephen King’s Dark Tower Multiverse?

I am planning a long reading project specifically focusing on Stephen King’s Dark Tower series; however, there is more to the Dark Tower series than meets the eye, so it seems.

When it comes to Stephen King I am a slow reader, because I find his books very long most of the time, it takes me an average of 3 to 6 weeks to finish a King novel, yet here I am, planning to read approximately 19, could be more!

Because I know my attention span is almost non-existent in almost every context of my life, I know that this reading project will probably span over 5yrs for me – that is realistic, because knowing me, as I do, I know that I will not just focus 100% on these books, there will be other books thrown into it as well as I have a heavy penchant for non-fiction and anthologies and my goodreads current reading list has 13 books in it, some are non-fiction reference books I started two years ago.

There is a YouTube video I watched the other day which tells you in order to better understand the Dark Tower series you should really do further reading between books of the series to understand the novel more; why?  Because a lot of the characters and things within the Dark Tower books can be found in other non-Dark Tower books by Stephen King.  What I find strange is in my opinion this is not a comprehensive list, because according to the YouTuber they mention that “The Shining” is mentioned in these books as well as Carrie White, yet these books are not part of the list he gave.

Here is the video if you are interested… https://youtu.be/4pmxpfPfzOw

Now before I jump in and read his recommended list I will be researching other people’s suggestions as well before making my decision where I will start.  No doubts at the end of this project I will have created my own list of recommendations because personally I think I know Stephen King novels like the back of my hand, I have been watching most of his movies and reading his stuff since I was 8yrs old, I have just got slow with reading altogether since 2006.

Also I was extremely hasty in 2009 when I wanted to run away from my parents’ house, I gave away half of my unread Stephen King collection to charity, because I was downsizing to the point I could take almost everything with me if needed.  However, I never had to do that and if I had known that before I gave away the 200 books I had from other people as well, I would never have truly given them up willingly and the DVDs too for that matter!

This memory makes me extremely sad because I had almost completed the collection for the Green Mile at the time too!

Anyway the above list was shown as this, to be read in this order;

  1. Salem’s Lot (seen the movie)
  2. The Stand (owned read to page 40 on average before weirdly getting the flu, this happened on 4 separate occasions I read the book – spooky!)
  3. Dark Tower – gunslinger (owned never read)
  4. Dark Tower – Drawing of the 3 (owned never read)
  5. Eyes of the dragon
  6. The Talisman
  7. Black House
  8. Everything’s eventual (not the title story yet but everything else)
  9. Dark Tower Wastelands
  10. The Dark Tower Wizard of Glass (owned never read)
  11. Insomnia (owned never read)
  12. Bag of bones
  13. Dark Tower wind through the keyhole
  14. Dark Tower the wolves of calla
  15. Dark Tower song of Susannah
  16. Everything’s eventual (the title story)
  17. Hearts in Atlantis (the 1st story)
  18. I.t (owned, read halfway before mastoid surgery made me forger to finish it, seen the movie too)
  19. Dark Tower

As you can see there are at least three books missing from this list if we were to include other mentioned characters from the Dark Tower.  There is no recommendation to read Carrie, The Shining or Doctor Sleep.  So those who are not au fait with Stephen King but want to read this epic fantasy series, really would not get the idea behind the mention of “The Shining” or Carrie White, how much more has this YouTuber left out I wonder?

So until I have watched a few more videos and viewed a few more blogs based on other reader recommendations, I will have to keep this project on hold, because I don’t like to miss a trick wherever possible and no, I don’t like spoilers!

Happy Reading!

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5 movies that made me cry

Bambi

I think most people would put this one down in their list, if they are sensitive to animals and loving nature etc.  So this just speaks for itself really.

Paulie

I love the movie Paulie it is in my top 100 all-time favourite movies, but it is emotionally hard going for me.  The poor little blue crowned parakeet, had a tough little life, but initially his life was good, he loved a little girl with severe speech impediment and helped her along.  But then one day her father came home from the army and demanded the bird be sent away, because he was getting the girl into dangerous trouble. 

The bird goes from person to person over many years and always, his personal goal was to go back and find his little Marie, the little girl he always loved.  The movie has all sorts of drama and adventures in it for the little parakeet; some are hard going for an animal lover like me.  But I loved this movie nonetheless, but if you are like me, you must expect a whole host of different emotions throughout the movie consistently and it is a big rollercoaster ride, let me tell you! 

Marley and Me

This is the most recent movie I have watched that made me cry, I watched it only a few days ago, it was the first movie I had watched in four months.  Again, an animal made me cry!  I just can’t stand sad movies where animals die!  But I keep watching them anyway, because my most favourite kind of movies is those with animals as main characters, children or vampires.  So, yeah, quite contrasted mixes!

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Look, I know you are confused here right now, but you really have to know me, in order to know why this cuts me up big time!  I just find some vampire movies very romantic, with this whole, reincarnation and love re-discovered concept and how people are willing to literally sell their souls for love.  I know, it’s screwy, but stop being judgemental here, we’re all different right? 

I cried when Dracula died and she was clasping at him broken hearted and in a catch 22 situation where she was literally torn between the dark and the light side; the best for her and the worst for her.  Being wholly human and experiencing as many emotions as a person can possibly handle all at once, all the for the sake of having to choose which love to love and which love to let go.  Yeah, I’m weird, who cares?

I.T (1990)

I can’t even watch this one for five minutes before my tears start!  Little baby Georgie, that was so gruesome and I have to admit, I very nearly didn’t watch the rest of the movie because of it.  I just hate that scene, yes; I watched the movie before I read the book when I was 15.  If I could magically jump into the TV and save the kid I would have… violently!  But I am sucker for being shocked and disgusted and for pushing my own boundaries in an oftentimes vain attempt to try and harden myself up to the worst aspects of humanity.

The amount of times I have often gone back to the scene in my head and it is me who is mind fucking the clown to death, not him getting away with it!

This is what I love about Stephen King though; he knows how dark reality really is and he doesn’t shelter his readers from it like some other more (supposedly) considerate horror authors.  There is no nannying when he writes.  Sometimes the vocabulary is vulgar as is in life, people are vulgar as in life, things get twisted, as in life, it is all real, it is brutally real his stuff, despite it being fictional, the general concepts are real things.  Death, brutality and murder, war, disease is not a pretty thing and should not be romanticised at all, he does this wonderfully, he takes the poetry out of death and that is good, because it shouldn’t be glamorised!

You get authors who write about TB for example and they gentle tell you about the coughing of blood in the tissue like they are dying elegantly; But if Stephen King were to write it, he would talk about the ear hacking coughs, the phlegm and the retching of the patient and the dribble down their chin stained with coarse dark blood and their loved ones, scared for their relative, recoiling and choking on the smell oozing from their loved one.  That sort of thing and that is good writing, it is realistic! Who wants TB glamorised gently?  Aren’t books supposed to be educational?  Stephen King definitely gives you an education!

But yeah, generally, my heart breaks when a kid or an animal dies in movies.  I even cry for some monsters because they are misunderstood, not Pennywise though, but I have cried for a couple of King’s monsters.  Lol.

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Learning about prose, poetry and verse

I am an almost entirely self-taught writer and artist, I have never received proper formal training in my creative endeavours; the closest I believe would be the English Literature GCSE I did in distance learning college when I was twenty one; I am never sure if my grammar or punctuation is correct and I have little confidence in how professional I come across.  I am confounded when I hear that many writers will edit and reedit their work even before they blog it, to me, every blog post, every blog poem and story is a first draft – is this really so bad to confess?

I never really had proper schooling as a child either; my time within the educational system was sparse with long bouts of home education where my very dyslexic and sheltered mother would be my only teacher.  Even as a home educated child, I was mostly self-taught via books from the library or videos and magazines – I never got my hands on the internet until my seventeenth birthday and I only got it because my mother was pushed into it by both my brother and society as a whole – because when I reached college age, most things I needed were online and hard to find offline.  My pleads with my mum for the internet were only heard when several times we entered stores inquiring about college books and other things I needed for my studies and was told to go to the web – which for several weeks my mother thought was some new brand of shop and she kept looking for it everywhere, until my teacher explained to us both the web was actually the internet.

I never learned, even to this day the difference between poetry, prose, rhyme, haiku and song.  But I am starting to learn – better late than never, eh?

Rhyme and poetry, are they the same?  I don’t know yet – but it is prose that throws me.

Haiku explanation is the simplest of the lot – but what makes a song?  Is a song really a long poem that repeats itself?  I think it is, but not clear.

This is why I lump all those things together in tags – most of my things are rhyme or poetry I believe, though I am not sure I quite understand how to create a stanza – what is a stanza?  Is it just a paragraph?  I don’t know, I am still learning.

This blog is as much about my learning of the craft as it is my doing of the craft.

I must admit, other than just doing the craft, I don’t do much learning of it.  I never actually went out of my way to read books about how to hone my craft and understand the terminologies – the only exception to the rule are the books I read on how to write fiction and how to write generally – such as Stephen King’s On Writing and Julia Cameron’s the artist way and that sort of thing.

It is only recently that I learned to try and not to write numbers down like this, I was 21yrs old and I ate 5 mouthful of peas – instead I know that I should write I was twenty one years old and ate five mouthful of peas – it seems rather basic, but they are important things to learn.

I consider myself an artist, though I have never sold a piece of work purely on the base that I never know if my work is finished properly enough to sell – for example, do I have to varnish a painting or preserve it in some way and if so how and what do I do?  I have researched this online and I don’t find the kind of help I need.

So this post is just letting you know that I am still on a learning curve about what a poem is and what is prose?

 

 

 

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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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Sunday Word Count 2

Sunday word count time!  Drum roll please…

14987

This is what I have accomplished since last Sunday, getting better, much better.

Here is how it has been broken down, day by day, with excuses in tow, even though there are no excuses really for bad days!

28th July – 2437 – good

29th July – 1456 – better than bad

30th July – 3039 – writing like my old self again

31st July – 3100 – Oh yes, I am back in the flow, just like my old self again for sure

1st August – 160 – what the blazes happened here?  4 hours sleep and a migraine, darlings.

2nd August – 4329 – Making up for lost time huh?  No, just an excellent day!

3rd August – 466 – what happened here?  Tired and was distracted by library books!

Notes for the week –

I am writing towards three novels at once because I get twitchy if I am forced to work on the same thing over and over, variety is the spice of life right?  I am going to name them for you as subject and number with main characters name because I don’t really know what the titles should be and I tend to write about the same subject a lot.  So my current projects are…

Vampire story 1 – Rhea

Fantasy adventure 1 – Maud

Horror 1 – Johnny

But in February I had a dream and you know what they say about authors who dream their story plots don’t you?  Well neither do I actually, but the ones who had written stories based on a dream tend to become classics – I doubt mine will, but I was surprised when the dream came to me.  The dream left me until Thursday night, when it came back with more details and then again last night, it doesn’t want to leave me alone, so I have been trying to fight the urge to add a fourth book to the list of working projects, but I am fighting a losing battle, I am going to have to include a fourth book in the works.

This book will be known as werewolf story 1.

I have put a mermaid story on the back bench as I have to fall in love with it again.

I am trying so hard to stick with three ideas, but if you want me to be completely honest with you, it is so hard, because I have too many ideas and sticking to just three is literally torture, so I do sometimes sneak in titbits of other stories.

Maud and Rhea are very nearly finished actually, so around Christmas they shouldn’t be a problem anymore, well Maud should be done in the least.  

Once a first draft is written I do what Stephen King suggests in his book “On Writing”, I put the story away for about three months and then come back to it with fresh eyes, it works wonders because you tend to forget what you’ve done – seriously, you do!  You get to read it as a reader, not the creator and you see more mistakes and weaknesses in your story if you do this.

Maud though is not a first draft, the draft I am working on is the fourth attempt and there will be probably be a fifth as I had noticed quite recently two characters which are following the main character around are adding literally nothing to the plot, so I have to write in more interesting stuff for them or just wipe them out from existence; which would be a shame because I really want those characters to work.

I must admit, all blog posts, poetry included are first drafts, I don’t bother polishing my work here, it is not that I don’t care about my blog, it is that I care more about my novels and stuff I want to send to publishers more.  If I became persnickety about my blog, the other stuff would never be done.

Further word count scores will be posted up every Sunday, I noticed it does motivate me to write as I don’t want to go the wall of shame like I should have last week – I will actually start doing that I think, if I write less than 10,000 words in a week, I will wall of shame myself. 

Could I bare the humiliation of another last week?

Good luck with your own writing!  But more importantly, make sure it is fun, if it is not fun for you it won’t be fun for your readers.

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NaNoWriMo Day 5

NaNoWriMo word count so far… 12667 and writing first draft without revising each paragraph like I usually do, is coming up with some surprising results.  The results are similar to brainstorming and brain drain, similar to the things I tend to get on my morning pages with the Artist Way. 

So far my novel contains talking animals and several magical items I had never planned on.  The journey is cut short by a weird mode of transport and I have added a supporting character I had never planned to add, the supporting characters I had planned to add aren’t as important to the story after all; I am sensing a death coming up any time soon for those!

Yes I know death to one of the least supporting characters is callous, but it is necessary, as Stephen King always says “Kill your darlings” and I have to say, I am not uncomfortable with it.

 

 

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You can survive NaNoWriMo

 

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, this is going to be my first proper attempt at NaNoWriMo this year.  I have researched this a lot and I have been preparing for it a lot in the last three weeks, so I am more than raring to go!

I have a whole novel mapped out and planned to precision, so hopefully there shouldn’t be too many blocked moments.

The aim of NaNoWriMo is that from the 1st of November to the end of November (the 30th) you aim to write 50,000 towards your first draft – it encourages you to actually complete your work.  You will receive lots of help and make lots of new friends that help encourage your on you way to completing your 50,000 words.  The concept is that this is how a successful best-selling working writer lives, they accomplish on an average around 50,000 words of something a month.  It’s to get you realising what life as a best-selling author is going to be like, if you wish to be someone as prolific as say Stephen King.  Now to accomplish 50,000 words in just one month, you will need to write 1,670 words per day.  Stephen King claims he doesn’t leave his writing den before he has finished writing six pages in any one day – that equates to about the same length we’re expected to write at NaNoWriMo and I must also say, his minimum is just six pages, it’s not what he does every day, he admits sometimes he writes more, but six pages is his daily goal.

Now for someone who is new to the idea of becoming a writer, or for someone who struggles putting pen to paper and is intimidated by that fearsome blank page, this idea can be very daunting – but hang in there!  NaNoWriMo members are there to talk you through it, give you tips on how to survive this and what’s more, it will help make you feel like you’ve achieved something.  Your first draft isn’t meant to be perfect, some authors have to redraft their work twenty times before it’s prime enough for publication – don’t be too hard on yourself, or your first draft or baby you won’t survive.

Simple tip for getting 50,000 words at NaNoWriMo, just write, forget editing, just write – it’s your first draft, it’s not meant to be perfect!

 

 

 

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Rabbit Cage

The package had finally arrived and I opened it with excitement – I was so happy for my bunny, the cage he had was too small for the so-called dwarf, he’d outgrown it so much it was almost bordering cruel to keep him in the damn thing. That’s the thing with pet shops isn’t it? You can never trust what they say; our female dwarf rabbit became as big as a cat and turned out to be a male.
Moshi was his name, a big fat white rabbit with big floppy lop ears and despite what they say about rabbits and carrots he hated them! Couldn’t coax him to eat a carrot for his life!
Poor thing…
I got my husband to open the package with his craft knife as I didn’t want to slice myself to pieces, it was perfect, but we wasn’t quite ready just yet to get the rabbit to move into his new home, so we propped the cage up against the wall of the utility room until we had the time.
Later on, just before bed-time I decided to move the laundry from the washing machine to the dryer when I saw a shadow moving near the cage. The cage rocked slightly, but I shrugged it off as a breeze that was getting in through the backdoor as it was picking up a wind outside.
I continued to move the clothes and then I heard the cat shriek and run off the washing machine and out the cat flap into the garden. Odd, she never goes out after dark, I thought. I decided to open the backdoor and ask Lissy (our cat) what was wrong? Then I heard a loud crash, looked behind me and saw that the cage gate had opened wide and seemed to have moved slightly out of place. Wearily I went back in the house through the backdoor, constantly keeping my eye on the cage, I saw more shadows around the cage and on in the inside, but I thought perhaps it was my imagination? Perhaps it was only my shadow and the holly tree outside in the moonlight reflecting?
I locked the backdoor and left Lissy outside, she could always come in the way she went out if she wanted to. I heard the sound of a low growl as I went past the cage, it weirded me out. I straightened the cage the best I could, but decided to turn the cage gate towards the wall to prevent it popping open again. As I did this, I felt a cold icy mist around me, but there was nothing there. I also felt something touch my arm as I shut the cage, like something was stopping me. Terrified I half ran out of the utility room to bed and told my husband what had happened.
“No more horror stories for you tonight I think” he said, and took my Stephen King novel away from me and turned the light out, kissed me and laid down to sleep.
Needless to say I couldn’t rest, but eventually I drifted off into a sleep.
I dreamed and in this dream I was compelled to go back to the utility room and when I did, I saw that the backdoor had been opened and the cat was mewling outside crazily and the rabbit hutch shredded on one side and ripped open on the other. I saw blood everywhere, I walked closer and closer to the hutch to see what had happened, but just as I opened the lid of the hutch to peer down, I woke up!
It was morning and I was greeted with a kiss by my husband as always. I told him I had a nightmare and he said to me he wasn’t surprised with all those horror stories and what happened before I went to bed last night.
I said to him “I’ll go and make coffee then”. He simply replied “that would be great”.
I went to the kitchen as usual and saw I had left the utility room door opened. I went to shut it, but noticed the cage was wide opened again and had turned around to face the back door, the door of which was opened!
As I gasped at the sight, I saw another shadow and low laughs, then the cage shut itself.
I stood stunned at the cage and my husband came down and saw me. He kissed me again and said that he would feed the rabbit this morning as I am working myself up about this cage.
I couldn’t move, I had a deep grinding sick feeling low down in my abdomen and an ache of concern at what could have happened? Was my dream real in some surreal way?
My husband came into the kitchen, his face unchanged, he directed me to a chair and sat down next to me and said “Moshi’s dead”. I instantly stood up and started crying.
My hands were in my face and I was marching on the spot with tears streaming down my face. “Oh no, my poor baby, he has been ripped to shreds, it’s the cage, the cage has killed my rabbit, oh I can’t bear to see the blood”.
My husband took me in his arms and tried his best to comfort me.
“Hey, hey, hey, don’t be silly, the cage didn’t do this, there was no blood. Looked like he died peacefully in his sleep”; He said, stroking my hair.
“He did”? I asked, looking for more reassurance.
He nodded.
“I have to go see him, it’s so strange he is too young and showed no signs of being ill”. Just as I went to go and see for myself, my husband pulled me back and looked at me firmly and with a voice of stern seriousness said; “That would not be a good idea”.
Quizzically I looked at him. “Why? You said there was no blood”?
“He is in that stereotypical watership down pose, love; I don’t want you seeing that”. From the expression on my husband’s face, I didn’t want to find out whether he was telling the truth or not. So I sat back down, stunned.
“I am going to destroy that cage, May”. He said and I just nodded.
The cage was smashed in and sent to the landfill, on the way back my husband had an accident. Nothing fatal, but it was like they were saying…
“We’ll be back”…
Story inspired by true events but with a fantasy twist.
Because I felt guilty about the new rabbit cage and then two days after buying it the rabbit died, I felt something bad about the cage before he died. I sense something uneasy about it – I have some kind of clairvoyance skills, I have very spiritual leanings and I just sensed something bad about the package when I opened it. My imagination ran riot about the cage, particularly when the rabbit died two days later and the rabbit was meant to have been moved into the cage (he never was, I started to imagine that there was a portal in the cage and that some kind of demon came out and harmed my rabbit – but that’s the mind of a writer isn’t it? We are often irrational creatures.

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