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My week of writing 4 and updates

I have not had a good week regarding my immune system this week.  Everything has decided to play up again, my ears, my throat, ache in my bones, my cough is getting bad again and before you all start to panic, no it is not the corona virus!  Though I’m scared to go anywhere near a doctors surgery right now, despite a bad chest infection brewing. 

Talking of which I have had the news of 12 individuals I personally know dying of this damned disease this week!  One of which has left a family of 6 children under the age of 19 without a father, it is very sad.

Also recently my mother wrote me a letter trying to get back into contact with me again but failed to mention my uncle (one which raised me off and on a lot throughout my childhood) had also died of the corona virus just three weeks ago, after being admitting to hospital shortly after Christmas.  So that’s how much she cares about re-establishing contact with me where it actually matters; You see, people don’t matter to her, they never have – I mentioned in a previous post about how cold towards sentimentality she is with people and how people can be as easily discarded as items by her.  This proves it; even with her favourite sibling she is indifferent.  I don’t know how people can be that way?

Although I am very disappointed with my word count for the week, the whole fact I did anything at all is amazing, considering it has mostly been a bed bound week for me again. 

I have also had a brand new idea for a horror novel which I am excited about because I think it isn’t something that has been done before, but what will I know?  Anyway, the idea came at me whilst I was reading World War Z which is amazing really because the idea is not zombie based at all.

I am thinking about going into the planning stages for that book between now and April, because I am thinking about perhaps, health permitting, I may join NaNoWriMo.  I found out NaNoWriMo does an April and a July thing too, so I may do the April one this year, whilst this new idea is very fresh in my mind!  I am going to name the project “Bones” whenever I talk about it, so you know what I am on about from time to time. 

I have also decided against a YouTube channel because I have heard rumours than an average 10 minute video can take 7 hours of editing and I hate technology so I won’t enjoy that editing process at all.  Sorry for the disappointment guys!  On the bright-side, I may start posting pics on Instagram finally, well, soon, anyway. 

My word count has been very small this week.  It is as below…

Words towards blog posts           –             1334

Words towards novels                   –              6240

Words towards plans for novels –             647

Words towards poetry or songs –              79

Words towards essays                   –              0

Words towards other                     –              678

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Reality is hitting home

Paul and I have agreed that I can’t write like how I used to anymore because I am just too tired and ill a lot lately, especially with sleeping problems occurring. 

So, it has been agreed to cut my usual word count down by a thousand words per day.  Making my word goals 2k a day, because I am struggling to get past 2500 words and I am finding myself in consistent writing debt of 400 to 1350 words on a bad day. 

Like today, I was meant to write no less than 4458 words before tomorrow, because yesterday I was lagging behind as my auto-immune condition has decided to step up its game.  So today I am even worse and needing to go to bed again at any minute (it is nearly 6pm) and I am only just at 2300 words today – so the debt tomorrow would be even greater. 

Before all this crappy ill-health stuff started to happen I would easily vomit out 3k to 10k words per day, depending on how much time I had spare to write.  I felt that I could force myself to fart out 3k a day as an average but I think I have to sit back and realise I am not as healthy as I used to be and I have to learn to manage my health and disabilities better, instead of literally flogging myself to death, just so I don’t – whatever… You know, right? 

I am exhausted emotionally and physically a lot of the time.  I think I have to reside myself to finally realising that I am never going to be how I used to be anymore and I should just learn to make do with what I can do.  Stop pushing myself as hard, especially as stress can make your health worse, I already have enough stress I can’t control, and I may as well cut out the bits that I can.

Not only this, but I am starting to resent my writing today, because it is taking me around three to five hours to do my goals and that meant that my time for other things, such as reading, playing games and just chilling with my family was getting less and less.  So I can’t start resenting work I love doing, because that is not good.  I need to always stay in love with my writing and art, since I found out I have fell in love with it again.  Writing should be a pleasure, not a bind.

I have just got to manage myself better around my illness, better than I have been doing.  I have to start being kinder to myself; as I have been a right bully to myself recently.

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My vampires love has rekindled ten fold!

My vampires have taken up a lot of my time this week; they have been pretty much neglected in the past seven years, only having me dib in at writing about them about once a month for half an hour on average – but I seem to be rediscovering my former passion for them.  I believe this rekindled passion for my vampires have come about because I have found a handful of author agents who are trying to revive the vampire craze with new fresh ideas and I feel that there may be hope for me yet!

A lot of my old vampire stuff has to be updated due to copyright theft from a family member who literally tore my heart to shreds when they sold my work behind my back for a few holidays and new extreme sport equipment!  You can’t trust even your own family regarding this matter but I won’t get into that here right now.  But I am in the process of gathering my old stuff for some legal poking around soon.

Meanwhile I have fresh ideas and new stories and new characters in the works – nothing will keep my love for my undead babies for too long.  I will always find a way.

I always suspected that relative from stealing my ideas from me – but it wasn’t proven entirely until I had a strange email from someone who asked me if I was related to such and such and I confirmed it and so… a new chapter in my life might be beginning.

Anyway – it was so exciting to find that there are some agents who have vampires on their MSWL (Manuscript wish lists).

So, I am aiming to produce my new work and get it off to one of these agents before the end of the year – I hope they still want it by then, but I won’t worry too much right now – it will get in the way of the work!

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Writers debt and credits

I have recently rekindled my love for writing, like I used to a few years back – I was losing it to be honest but now I think I have my mojo back!  I lost my love for writing back in 2017 after I burned myself out doing 50k towards NaNoWriMo by the 21st of November and ignored all other writing projects and art projects as I did so!

I read in a book somewhere a couple of weeks ago – forgot which one, it may have been a YouTube video now I come to think about it, that when you are a creator and you force yourself to work on one large project for a prolonged period of time, it can burn you out and make you resent creating in the future – I think that happened to me.  The way to ensure that never happens is to work harder for shorter periods of time or have more than one project on the go, or at least some other creative outlet such as painting or woodworking or even music.

During NaNoWriMo of 2017 I ignored everything else but that one main novel for the entire duration – the novel was a novel I had been ten years in planning!  After NaNoWriMo had finished, I hated the book and have never revised it since.

I didn’t draw, paint, write poetry, write anything new towards my blog other than WIP progresses and I didn’t practise any music, language learning or read any new books – just so I could focus on that one novel that I began to hate by November 17th.

To be honest, I have noticed this is a theme for a lot of writers who do that – they never want to write again sometimes after doing this and others can’t bring themselves to write that particular novel ever again or revise it – I am one of those.  But I am trying to get back into revising that novel, because it was a great idea and I loved it before that challenge and I really would love to have this published.  But I do feel that it will be hard in the first few days to revise.  I am planning to revise that book by the end of May.

I have a writing goal of 3k words per day, whether those words are towards a novel, towards the blog, towards an art journal or a poem – I don’t mind, I am just not committing myself to one project ever again like that.  I simply can’t!  I had to stop myself from doing it again the other day based on a suggestion an online friend gave me, but I just can’t do that again.

I am happily working on three novels at once, skipping between works whenever I feel myself getting lethargic on one, just so I get the word count I want by the end of the day.  Today for example, I am near the 4k words mark, seven times I have skipped between writing posts for my blog to schedule for later on in the week in between concentrating on just one of my vampire novels.  It is working so far.

I am also starting something new to spur me on to keeping to my own word count deadlines and that is doing something I call “Writers debt” and “writers credits”.  I make myself write 3k words per day, if I only did 2800 words today, then tomorrow I will have a writers debt and must aim for 3200 words before I finish tomorrow.  However, if tomorrow I write 4200 words, I am in credit by 1000 words the next day, so I don’t have to work as hard because I will only need to pump out 2000 words that day.

I feel it helps because it makes me accountable for my writing and it gets me used to potential publisher deadlines in the future!

Yesterday I was 965 words short of my daily goal, so today my goal has been 3965 words!  I am over that now and I will be in credit of approximately 300 words tomorrow!

Try it, it works great!

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WIP 1

My week of writing, Sunday to Sunday words in progress report.

Words towards blog posts           6414

Words towards novels                   9390

Words towards plans                     1837

Words towards poetry or songs                                0

Words towards essays                                   0

Words towards other unspecified            1087

Pretty quiet for me, because I have been getting incredibly tired lately.  I have also been very busy with cataloguing my books around the house and trying my best to do other things.  So therefore, this is not a glimpse at my average week, this week is not very productive at all for me.

I have only done one piece of art too; I have only done 1 scrapbooking background picture, which is hardly anything really.

Terrible when you consider how I usually aim for 3k words per day for a novel and at least 3 poems per week. 

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Types of stories I have finished or are working on

Types of work that I am currently doing;

I have mentioned in several posts that there are certain themes I am writing in my novels and there has been a question of just how many novels are you working on at the moment?  Personally, I don’t know!  I know that sounds really funny to some, but I have been writing loads of stories almost my whole life and I have never really sat back and wondered how many I am working on, because I just write what I feel like at the time.  Yes, there are many novels which are 100% finished now, but to me they could still be in redrafting stages and many have been redrafted umpteempth times since two years ago.  I only started redrafting my 30yrs of work two years ago, simply because I never thought it would be necessary and also because I was never sure if I could cope with writing as a career.

I think I am ready to say, I am now ready for this career, hence why a lot of my writing habits have changed recently.

I am totally self-taught, I have no formal education and I was home educated by a dyslexic parent throughout most of my childhood and pretty much neglected by social services to get on with it without too much interference.  As an adult I have been kept too busy to take up education, but even now, I am trying to teach myself.  I can’t afford even the cheapest monthly fee on skillshare yet, but I am hoping by the end of the year that I can do some of their courses to learn how to punctuate properly and use grammar and anything else I need to improve my writing for both my blog and my novels, before finally approaching that agent I want to.  I have found an agent I like, but whether or not they will like me this time next year is another matter!

This post is going to tell you the types of novels I am working on or that have been finished, without revealing too much of the plot; but the list is not conclusive, these are just stories I am willing to throw out into the world in the next couple of years, with any luck!

  1.  You all know how much I love my vampires; so it shouldn’t be a shock to tell you that I have twenty seven different stories already completed in both my mind and on paper, along with full encyclopaedias and fictional historical booklets based on that world.  I have been working on this massive project since I was ten years old, yes ten years old!  That’s a whopping twenty eight years!  However, there is a list of seventy eight other stories I haven’t even finished yet, not even once that has been on the go for years, some are new. 
  2. Recently you have learned my second favourite creature to write about are dragons and there are approximately five books I have been writing, three of which are near completion with hopefully their final drafts. 
  3. Pirates are another fantasy thing I like to write about regularly and there are three separate pirate books to date.  One of which is near its final draft and another is an off-shoot book to one of the dragon novels. 
  4. Gargoyles also have their own books with this author, I have six novels with those and in two of them they are the main characters.
  5. I have written two novels with phoenixes as the main theme too.
  6. I have a whole series based on a character that lives in a hot air balloon, this is currently five books long, but there are more being planned.
  7. There are seven books based on robots. Half of which are fantasy more than sci-fi.
  8. There is a big series about giants, that is almost ten books strong and again, they are off-shoots of a dragon novel I have.
  9. There are loads of mermaid novels I have and various other new sea creatures, I haven’t actually counted those, but I do know that there are at least six finished.  These are standalone novels, not a series.
  10. I have four separate series of werewolves, one of which I am very passionate about and spend a lot of time on.
  11. There is a demon erotica series I have been working on for the past eight years; the series is actually nearly complete now.
  12. There are three zombie books that are both standalone novels, too, two of which are more fantasy than horror and very comedic.
  13. There are five separate afterlife series I am working on, some are fantasy, some are horror and some are dystopian.
  14. There are fourteen dystopian series I am working on too, two of which are based on religious ideologies.
  15. There is a series of fairy stories for children too, which is approximately seven books and I regard as novellas.
  16. There are four Christmas themed books I have written too.
  17. There are four comics too, or, I think one of them is actually graphic novel rather than comic – this is dystopian and steam punk in style.
  18. I also have two ghost stories.
  19. I have a selection of horror too, which could be considered a series, but they are all standalones really.
  20. I know I have 777 poems on this blog, but there are at least 5000 off the blog that have never been published online anywhere.
  21. I have nine musical compositions as well, that has never been published anywhere.
  22. I have six operas written too as well as musicals for theatre, but I am so not confident about those right now.
  23. I have a series about little people that were inspired by Land of the giants and the borrowers. 

There are probably more I haven’t mentioned yet, but these are the only things that come to mind right now for me.  I do have a lot of work here, but I just haven’t had the confidence about really throwing myself out there.  I am terrified of the consequences.  I don’t want fame, I want my work to be enjoyed and I really want to see them as movies, but I don’t want to have a famous face.  But I am getting used to the idea that maybe I will have no choice someday?  I can’t keep my work hidden forever, I didn’t write it for it to be hidden and forgotten – those novels are like little people to me, they are like creatures that need to be nurtured and their only food is recognition.  Their only source of nourishment is to be enjoyed and read, it keeps them alive!  I believe in BIG MAGIC, I believe ideas are alive!

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Top 10 children’s books that influenced me

Top 10 children’s books that influenced my writing and why

Dragon’s dinner by Susannah Corbett

This is a hilarious book I read at least once a month to myself, I know it’s a young child’s picture book, but I adore it!

It is written in rhyme and there is a comedy element on every page, not to mention great illustration too!  I have a love for dragons that almost rivals my love for vampires; this is seen in the novels I write.  In fact, I have nearly finished a dragon novel to the extent that I may be considering sending it off to an agent in 2022.  At the moment I have approximately three more chapters to write of it again, this is the eighth draft, but then I will store it away for a couple of months and look again with fresh eyes and see if it needs a ninth draft – but I doubt it at the moment.

A strange thing for me is that writing the story initially can take just under a month for me to do, but editing and redoing drafts can take me three months, because I find that a boring process, I hate redoing stuff!  I am trying to learn to love doing that.

My dragon novel is potentially YA or adult fantasy, not sure yet, it is definitely bigger than this picture book and does have a lot of comedy elements to it.

Horton hears a who by Dr Seuss

I love most books by Dr Seuss and this is my favourite.  I like books where something unbelievable is eventually proven to the other characters of the book and that is something that is seen in a handful of my own works.  Once again there is a comedy element to the book.

I think I love this story a lot because when I was a child I used to blow bubbles and imagine that every bubble was a planet full of life, like Earth only different with unique creatures on each planet and that the time scale was epically fast.  I never read Horton Hears A Who until I had my son Henry and bought the book for him when he was 2yrs old – so the book resonated with me a lot.

James and the giant peach by Roald Dahl

There would be more than just one book by Roald Dahl on this list, but I wanted to be as broad as possible in my listings; it was difficult trying to narrow down which book to choose for this list by this specific author; I chose the one that I felt was the most unique and the one that literally got my heart pumping with excitement as I read it.

There were so many wonderful things in this book, talking, friendly insects, a comedy element, drama, horror, lots and lots of excellent scenery I just adored it.  I loved the parts where the peach acted like a hot air balloon and was flying above the world.  It is this scene which has influenced me the greatest, because I am working on a fantasy series based on a hot air balloon traveller which is aimed for a YA audience potentially.

Harry Potter and chamber of secrets by J.K Rowling

Much like most people nowadays, it is hard to think of fantasy and children’s books without thinking about Harry Potter, it is a great series and narrowing down to a specific book was very difficult, but this is my favourite because of the living trees and the giant spiders.  Also I found this the funniest of the lot.  I like depictions of forests particularly with living trees mentioned occasionally, such can be found in many books, Lord of the Rings and The Wizard of Oz to name but two.  I have to admit, even I have written a scene with forest spiders in one of my novels, not to copy, but because it just felt so right and almost expected in a manner; in fact it is a scene in my main dragon novel.

Engelbert Sneem and his dream vacuum machine by Daniel Postgate

This had me riveted from the offset, it is amazing.  I love books where you get to dance around in someone else’s dreams and things like this, BFG and a couple of other stories had dreams in them too.  I love writing about dream worlds within my stories from time to time, but they do seem to be more horror based than my usual comedy fantasy.

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

I have loved reading Heidi ever since I was a child and I must admit not only reading it, but also love watching all the movies that come out based on this story too!  Heidi has influenced my imagination a lot over the years.  I love goats and mountain sceneries and books with snow, books that star strong minded children who seem to act as blessings to the adults of their world.  I love miracle stories too and little Clara certainly had a miracle happen to her!

Quite a few of my books do seem to be rather Germanic, Norse or Slavic based, unintentionally, I haven’t really understood why.  I have strong warrior figures in my novels and the landscapes usually end up sounding like Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, the Alps and sometimes even the Carpathians.  I have never travelled outside of the UK; it would be lovely to do so at some point and visit some of those places that influence me and my writing.

Diary of a wimpy vampire by Tim Collins

It is such a funny book and the fact it contains vampires is another reason why I love this book so much; also this book made my son into a reader, because before he saw me reading this book to myself and laughing my head off at it at every page turn, he absolutely hated reading!  But now I have to say, he tries to read a whole large novel once every month.

My vampires have some comedy interjected into the pages from time to time, but it is not deliberately set out to be a comedy series – I just can’t help myself.

Mr Stink by David Walliams

I like books where children change the minds of the adults around them as I have mentioned before and this book does that.  I love books which show the best qualities of humanity, generosity etc.  I also love stories that are riches to rags and back again to riches, I have loved themes like this since I was a kid.  I loved movies such as “The Jerk” with Steven Martin and “Life Stinks” with Mel Brookes amongst others and yes, it is a theme I would like to write someday too.  Once again, there is comedy here.

I will say, that as a child I read a lot, but it was mostly non-fiction and that a majority of the fantasy and stuff I indulged in were movies, I watched a movie every day, without fail, sometimes three times a day, because I was home educated and work fast in my studies and had a lot of spare time to myself, cooped up indoors all day long.  My father had a massive VHS collection over eight hundred which had two or three movies on each he recorded off the TV, so there were always a lot of things to watch!

The tin can band by Margaret Mahy

I love all the poems and songs in this book.  I love the artwork and everything about the book.  The art inspires my art a lot and the poetry knows how to touch several nerves too.  I love the concept of dancing in the shadows and having night time, shadow acrobats dancing around you, causing you to hallucinate and see things that aren’t quite what they seem when the lights are out. 

The poems contain witches and various other creatures, some with comedic ideas and others more serious in tone, such as deforestation and a lovely concept on death too.

I love authors that have a knack in making death less scary and more beautiful or at least more fun.

Wolf by Gillian Cross

I like books about the homeless and hippies and that sort of thing, this book contains squatters and a little girl who tries to live with her mother under extraordinary circumstances.  The child is rather independent and I just love the book, but I can’t say it has influenced anything in particular though.

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Reasons behind lack of posts

Why is this blog not updated regularly?

I am always writing something; researching, taking notes, adding to my worlds and even drawing and painting things that I imagine – it is not that I am not doing the work, because I honestly never really stop doing it.  But I do not constantly concentrate on writing novels or even short stories. I am more focused on the world building and planning. Although that in itself may come across as I am not being very serious in my craft, I beg to differ – I believe that perhaps I take my craft way too seriously!

I make map after map, draw landscape after landscape and scene after scene.  It is sometimes difficult to determine where I will place a scene, because I often do not know, so I store it.  I believe I am more of a hoarder of ideas, a great big vending machine of millions of ideas and I hoard them away in boxes and books all over my house, but I am painfully indecisive.

There are times I sit back and wonder which character in which novel should I get to do such things?  I can never really make up my mind and when I am desperate, I tend to do the most insane things to help me decide.  I go onto random.org sometimes, I arrange each character or novel to a number and I put it on the random generator and it tells me, sometimes, in fact most times, I ignore the generator as I just can’t imagine it being them!  Then, years down the line, a completely new character in a completely new story comes along and that tiny snippet I did on the 5th August 2006, belongs there, with them.  It is weird.

I also sit back and say to myself that surely my readers are not interested in what I get up to day to day?  Surely they are not interested in where I get my inspiration from or who has influenced me?  Surely they do not want to hear me rant about the latest time wasting book I read or the one I just fell in love with and it turns out, you do actually!

So discovering this, I have learned I have more to say on my blog than I actually realised.  I always felt my blog had to have some deep creative meaning behind it.  I had to always be original and concentrate on short stories or poetry to keep it alive and really I don’t.

That’s very liberating because I am a chatterbox by nature and I love talking about what keeps me alive inside.

So therefore, with any luck, this tardy creative will start posting a little more than normal, once a week is something I am aiming for, but there may be more, who knows?

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Bedlam, chaos and disorganisation

Bedlam has taken over my creative space and moved it around the house.  Naughty Bedlam, I shall punish it later.

Bedlam has its way in bringing out The Evil Queen in me. 

Bedlam puts my work both writing and art into strange unconnected folders and boxes then distributes these folders and boxes all around the house in random crevices and nooks, playing hide and seek with my work is not fun!

What is this bedlam of which I speak?  My family, primarily my loving husband who tries to keep house when I am bed bound sick, when I get well again it can take up to two weeks sometimes more to find my work so I can get back to it again.

So far I have found my vampires mingling with my fantasy stories and even my paleo recipe folders.  I guess human blood can be thought of as a paleo food, but still, it’s in the wrong place!

I have found trolls in my box of pagan things hiding underneath packets of patchouli incense and dried agrimony and dragons playing with unicorns in my learning how to read music bag.

I have even found a baby ogre in my knitting kit – and please do not mention the flying octopus!  For some reason I found that partially hiding underneath the chest freezer.

And then there are the eyes, eyes, eyes everywhere!  Hanging on the bedroom wall, hidden on a bookshelf, under the bed, on top of the rabbit cage and in a shoe box!  The eyes have it!  Or rather I have had had enough of the eyes! 

Of course I am talking about my various works, whether it be fiction writing or pieces of art I have done, I am not talking about the imaginary friends I have, not yet anyway – why are you looking at me like that?  Every writer has them.  Imaginary friends that is, how else do you think you get stories?  Though sometimes I wonder if my imaginary friends are all that imaginary as weird things are noted around my house by guests, but we never speak of those, do we?  You could say I am insane and I accept that opinion of yours because what is normal to me is ludicrous to you.  I can stay at home for three months solid and forget that it’s not normal and be quite happy actually and very occupied with various things, whilst Joe Bloggs down the road goes insane after forty eight hours.

The biggest work for me at the moment in gathering all my work back into its former place is the fact that two of my vampire folders have  fallen off a sideboard and behind it and has intermingled with other papers in an attempt to try and gather them for me.  This had meant that the four drafts I have done of one particular story is meshed together and I have to work it out like a jigsaw puzzle because I have done all four drafts to the seventeenth chapter and the novel is not finished.  What makes it worse is I am ever so slightly absent minded as a trait I was born with, so therefore many things have been printed twice and are not noted until an accident like this happens… yes I am a nightmare.  But honestly, when people leave my work alone, I am actually very persnickety about filing and organising, it is really hard living with someone who will store anything anywhere and doesn’t have a system.  It really messes my time and system up – unfortunately I live in circumstances where I don’t have a spare room all to myself and I do not have the funds to organise a heated shed in the garden for work, so I have to fight to work, literally, every day, not only my health, but the flipping disarray in the house and have to blooming accept my work being meddled with on a daily basis!  Because my husband, bless him, is a recovering hoarder. He is recovering because whilst living with me he doesn’t have a bloody choice!

So when I get bed bound sick, I have the added stress of knowing that he will slip back into his hoarder care-free ways and its muggings here that has to clean it all up again, when I get the good days back, rather than working or gardening.  It’s all made worse by the fact that he doesn’t work outside of the house, he is home almost all the time.  Love him, but I wished I had time to sort things out for a few hours a day without him following around me in a panic all the time.

I am desperate to paint, I love to paint as often as I read and write, but again, I have no specific place to paint.  I have to rely on a clean dining table to paint and often it’s cluttered with my husband’s essentials and bottles of condiments and a laptop.  So when I have the energy to leave the bedroom to go and paint, it takes me an average of 45 minutes to tidy away enough space and find my paints and materials in order for me to work, often by that time, if I am still sick, I am too knackered to work immediately after clearing that I need a rest and then by the time the rest is over, its dinner time.  Creative people will know how I feel about living like this and you are right, I do feel that way too!

It’s a battle with my health but it is also a battle with my living arrangements and housemates.  My work productivity suffers greatly because of these things and it isn’t because I don’t try, because I do, even on my sickest days, but you have no idea how hard it is to live with these battles day in and day out, I will admit that I have mental health problems normally anyway, but since having my work affected as a result of this lifestyle (if you can call it that), I have for the first time in my life around five years ago, become suicidal as a result.  It is something I have discussed with my husband and he does acknowledge the cause, but what can you do with someone in their mid-sixties who has never lived any other way?

I am not used to a house like this.  I don’t accept a house like this, but I have to make do.  So when I use the work bedlam I do not use it lightly.

I try to stay light hearted about things, but it is a BIG try.

It is gut wrenching to force yourself, as sick as you are, to cough and choke your way through two rooms to clear and tidy and clean, only for the very next couple of days, for it all to revert back, because your husband is motivated in another room unsupervised and doesn’t understand how to do it, he just moves things from one place to another and undoes your work in just a few hours.  Then you’re in bed exhausted, chest clogged up worse for all the dust and you can’t move for another week.

The thing is, writing this makes me feel guilty.  Because he is my carer, he cares a lot, he does a huge amount, and more than any man would really.  He is twenty seven years my senior, he does everything for Henry, everything for me.  He does the shopping, the laundry, the ironing, he cooks, he shops, he deals with all our problems and I have never known a man like him before.  Complaining like I have done, feels wrong.  But it is a big reason why I struggle to work lately.  I am fighting for a work space, but I have less than 3ft square to arrange things in and my art and writing stuff is much bigger than that little corner, the box room would be an ideal office, but it is Henry’s bedroom, the big bedroom can’t be used at all because we have a leaking roof we can’t afford to fix.  In an ideal situation we would move our bedroom into the big room, Henry into our current bedroom and I would use the box room as an office.  But at the moment I can’t.  We have had a survey on the roof it will cost us 5k to fix it, that is around 15yrs of savings for us currently.  Not feasible, especially with the storms we get up here.

Am I so wrong to need to get this off my chest and explain myself?

Tis bedlam here.

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Perceiving art wrong

Since the dawn of this blogs existence I had intended for this blog to be a journey about my life and progress as a writer as well as an artist; it is quite obvious that I get distracted from this aspect of the blog a lot.

The update for today is that I have decided to take my artist-self more seriously in a less serious manner than before; I have grown in confidence regarding my place in the creative world in general because I have had a huge epiphany and that epiphany slapped me in the face and left me in awe of how simple it all really is.  I used to believe that in writing as well as art that there are certain rules you must follow in order to be a creative person, especially a creative person who is to be taken seriously by the world – but it can’t be further from the truth.  The moment you start to become serious in your creative field, it is the moment you start killing your creative self. 

How did I learn this?

As a means to start learning about art so that I could take it more seriously, I decided that my art looked a lot like three particular genres in the art world, abstract, impressionism and abstract expressionism.  But I wasn’t confident I understood abstract art well enough to dare call myself an artist in that field – perhaps I need to evaluate everything and see a deeper meaning in everything in everybody else’s work in order to appreciate my own and have other people appreciate it first.  In other words, I felt like my lack of knowledge of the art world and lack of experience meant that I felt like a fraud.

So I got reading and researching online a lot about art, particularly abstract art and abstract expressionism to help me to understand it more and perhaps even help me to understand myself more and why I might like that art.  The thing is – I learned that the best way to appreciate this genre of art is to give up all cognitive reasoning and see what you want to see, art is what you like.  Art is what you see.  Art is not about trying to imprint an impression on the observer, it is literally purely about aesthetic and your own feeling toward the art as an individual.  It is an act of freedom, which helped me understand a core thing about art and society’s opinion regarding art and that is that art is seen as an act of rebellion to some cultures.

Learning that one thing about abstract art “give up cognitive reasoning” felt so freeing that it bought about euphoria so to speak.  I understand now that there really are no bounds in art and that means the same for writing and anything else which may be considered creative.

People, who try to define art, assess it and or dissect it, kill it.  They kill it for themselves and not only that, but they unwillingly become a sort of fascist regarding it.  They can’t help it, they haven’t learned that fundamental rule that creative expression in all forms, painting, writing, music, sculpting etc., is all about freedom and your own personal feeling about the piece whatever it is.  They haven’t learned that art means you can be free and express yourself, that you don’t need a meaning, it can just simply be pretty, but usually everything a creator does, does have meaning, because we are all creatures of our subconscious and our dreams or nightmares even.

A simple little thing like this, can keep millions of people both stumped and afraid of the art world.  I believe it is why many people do not go to art galleries, they feel that art is beyond them and yet everybody in this world has indulged themselves in art daily and buy art regularly, they just don’t see those kinds of arts as important as those from the big fancy galleries such as The Tate Modern.

They don’t see the art on a can of beans or on their favourite CD album, they don’t see that they had paid for that art in some way and that some artist somewhere thanks them for their purchases, because all they are interested in is eating those beans and hearing their favourite singer on the stereo.

They see a beautiful painting mass produced at some major store and take it home with them as it is nice above the fireplace and they do not realise the process that that piece of art had undergone, they might not know the name of the artist even – yet there it is, seen by them every day without a thought about it other than “isn’t it pretty”?  These same people sit there drinking their beverages unaware of just how involved they have been throughout their life in art, how you don’t need a degree to understand or appreciate it.  There is no reason to be intimidated by art when you are literally drowning in it everywhere you go.

I think for many – I know this to be true in my family.  We have people, who are great artists in our family, but they are afraid to do it as a living because they believe that in order to be a good artist who can sell their work, they need to have a certain amount of intelligence and understanding for it.  I thought this myself ten years ago and still to a certain extent yesterday, before I read that post.  Wrong.  We are all so wrong.  If you can make shapes on a piece of paper, if you can write words or play a piece of music on an instrument, you are engaging in an art form.  When you daydream and you wish, you are engaging in an art form.  When you shoot photographs from your mobile and duckface with your friends, you are engaging in an art form.  Yes, art can be silly, because it can be anything!

I understand today that mocking art is a form of social suppression; it is an act of coercive bullying to keep someone from expressing themselves in the manner that they wish to express themselves.  The point of art is freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of speech and much more.

Some abstract art can look as though a toddler did it, but so-what?  The best forms of mental health therapy are those which involved releasing your inner child and nurturing it via self-parenting; I should know, I have been there and because no therapist can help me with my mental health I have learned to parent myself and I have learned to play with my inner child a lot.  This has got me through some tough times.  Not only that but random nonsensical splashes of paint on a canvas can be very beautiful and encapsulating.  I remember last year, I spilled rose gold ink on my sketch pad and I dabbed at the spillage with a tissue and when I pulled it off the paper I noticed by sheer dumb luck that the tissue had made a pattern that looked like a bunch of roses, so I dabbed around the whole paper and made a beautiful rose sheet of writing paper.  A happy accident, but art is formed as simply as this.

In fact, a lot of my art never started as a plan, it started as accidents or deliberate accidents.  For example, I will take a spoon of paint and let it drip or splash onto the paper for a couple of seconds, sit back and think about its shape and I let the paint tell me what it is going to be that day, then I select further colours for the piece.  I like to play, I never grew up and it is something I pride myself on.  I will do the strangest things in art and writing in order to come to the conclusions that I do; such as taking a pencil and putting it between my toes and try to draw a decided shape, such as a line or a circle or a triangle, just one thing.  I will say to myself that after ten seconds of trying this, I will stop and see what I have got and then work with it.  I do this with a pencil between the teeth, with my non-dominant hand, with splashes of paint, with a tissue or some other item dipped into paint and the result is always astounding.

I once decided I would create a picture of an ocean with a yacht and I accidentally spilled too much paint onto the ocean and dabbed it away, again with tissue, this time it left a big white imprint on the paper which was shaped like a cosmos flower and to me, all the picture then needed was a green stalk to the flower head and the picture was done.  I never did the picture with the yacht after all.

Little games like this can do wonders for your creativity.  I often play games of hypothetical situations regarding a theme I am interesting in at the time and this often gives me ideas for new projects in writing – the problem is, I do this daily and for hours sometimes and I am more full of ideas than I am actual work!

I am one of these people who can make a picture of a story out of any idea, but I seldom sit down and do it because I enjoy the process of thinking too much!

I often joke that when the technology comes where we can record our imagination and dreams and show it to others, then and only then I will be the hardest worker in the creative world!

Thank you for reading and please remember, art isn’t complicated your perception of it, is.

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