Tag Archives: writing

World War Z – book review

I finished reading World War Z on Wednesday by Max Brooks and I have to say that it was incredibly thought provoking and the best example of world building I have come across in a long time!

There were things in this novel that I would never ever have dreamed of thinking as possibilities in a zombie infested world that I found very clever.  You understand that zombies are considered undead or dead people reanimated but do you really understand what that would really mean if it were real?

Think about it, what could the dead do that we could not if they happened to have become ravenously hungry reanimated autopilot predators?

Terrifying things actually!

They could survive climates and places that we as living breathing human beings would struggle with!

The story is absolutely amazing and without giving you too many spoilers I can’t really say much more than this… if you want a horror in a dystopian world and you want to be taught near perfect world building and keeping things real, then this is a must read, whether you like zombies or not!

This is how world building is done folks!

Happy reading!

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Hyper-thoughts a mental illness?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ugh, I don’t know what to do.

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

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

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

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

Happy reading

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Update 30th May 2021

I will be adding new content to the blog soon in the form of a handful of series of stories.

I plan to add five possibly six series, I may revive Daisy Chained on here again, but ultimately I want to add other things too.  I want to add some of my vampire work on here, a story based on the journals of two characters in separate stories, a fairy and a witch and I am also going to do some fan works.

I also want to update you all on the fact that I am starting to write a sequel to one of my most favourite musicals, whether or not I will get permission from the originators to ever get the story known is as of yet, unknown to me, but I hope that there is a way that I can get it seen in the world!

So basically I am writing a play, but that is something I have always wanted to do anyway, I have a lot of musical ideas in my head that are original too, not just a fan work of one that already exists.

Happy reading!

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Half term bland content

Writing towards my blog when Henry is home from school because of half term and other holidays etc, is a big task for me because Henry is such an attention seeker, he can’t be without constant attention from me, even if I were to write for less than 20 minutes, he will endeavour to stop me.  I can only usually write when Henry is on holidays when Paul takes him out for me, so my content during this half-term, for the next few days, I am sorry to say that my blog may come across as a little blander than usual.

Though saying that, I am trying to get used to the different fingerings of a laptop, so I can type on my laptop in bed at night, but I am struggling with the finger differences and the brightness of the screen, but I am trying!

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Learn to improvise tried and tested themes

There is one thing I dislike about reading stories and that is, I get confused about whether it was a movie or a book years later.  Sometimes there is a movie and a book out and I get confused because the actors are different to when I visualised it when reading. 

I also have the same problem about my own novels I write; were those my ideas or did I see the movie somewhere before?   Sometimes I have to actually make notes about where I have seen other things that I am imagining for my own stories, because I am paranoid about coming across as a copycat, I often google even characters and fantasy creatures, just to be sure.

Funnily enough, doing this has shown me how unoriginal many seemingly original stories are by other people.  At least I have learned how not to be cliché.  For example, I had an idea about a giant spider in a forest for one of my dragon novels, but then this has been done many times before, not just Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings! 

Let me tell you the others;

Conan the barbarian – the tower of the elephant

Arachne in Greek mythology

Arachnos from Dr Who

The Cthulu mythos

The wonderful wizard of Oz

Arachnophobia

There is a whole lot more – in fact giant spiders are overdone in three genres, horror, fantasy and sci-fi.

It is reasonable to think that it would be a popular choice along with rats, wasps, snakes, being buried alive because all of these are mankind’s greatest fears, so it can be a useful if overdone tool for creative writing.

But does that mean that you can’t include these overworked themes in your own writing?  Maybe not, but no one is going to write it like you, you can put a unique stance to the story, something that certainly hasn’t been done.  Maybe instead your spiders are friendly, vegan, mages, aquatic, who knows the options are many!

For your information, there is such a thing as aquatic arachnids, spiders that can live both on the land and in water, they can breathe under water, now your nightmares can really begin to grow!  What will you do with it?

So, although it is good for me to be paranoid about originality, originality in fact does not exist.  Only your stance of what already exists can feel unique to those who may never have come across something like that before and the likelihood of finding people like that is at least 33%, well I am not mathematician, so I wouldn’t really know, but the chances are, people will like your perspective on the subject or theme.  So get at it, but always be aware that you are not as original as you think – this shouldn’t stunt you, in fact, it should help teach you to think outside the box, improvise or innovate, you know?

Happy reading!

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thought of the day 1

I will admit that sometimes I preschedule my posts, especially those of poetry. 

I had a very ecologically aware and poetic day on the 20th May. 

Sometimes the themes of my poetry come in bursts of phases and waves; much like my story writing does too.  I get days where it is more of a vampire day or a dystopian day and my art or stories or poems reflect this, I can’t force myself outside of the theme I feel for the day; that is my major fault.

Today I feel artistic, I want to practise art, for me it is one of the dreaded mixed days, where I have more than one theme; today I feel like practising dragon art, writing towards a dragon story but also dystopian, I also feel like shopping but that is not a creative theme for me, that’s just me!

At the point of writing this post, it is the 21st May.  This post has been prescheduled because my body is giving me warnings that my auto-immunity issues are preparing themselves for yet another hit of something that will knock me off my feet for a couple of weeks.  I hope it gets over and done with before Midsummer night, because around that week I have minor surgery.

Happy reading

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Reflections of consequence

Upon reflecting at my notes for new stories, I realise that around a third of everything I plan to write is vampire based.  So this is a revelation because I thought I wrote vampires more than any other subject, but no, it is second to fantasy.  Horror is actually not within the top three subjects I write about but is actually fourth, behind dystopia. 

The poetry I write is really just a means to fulfil the frustrated composer and song writer in me.  Poetry is a way in keeping me sane from the loss of composing music via Cubase, I no longer have Cubase and there is a void in my heart because of it.  I can’t read and write music properly but I have been trying to learn recently, so I can try and learn to cope without Cubase, as I miss it a lot.  I have no desire whatsoever to be a singer though; I just love making music and writing lyrics.

I think about music as much as I think about my stories, but I have learned to give up music for various reasons.  Occasionally ignoring it can make me go literally insane enough that I have to blurt out poetry just to shut the thoughts up in my mind, but it is starting to get quite loud in my mind lately.  Not sure how long I have before I will give in and sell stuff just to get another type of music software to help me.  I bought a glockenspiel last year hoping to sate my need for music and around once every eighteen months I notice I buy a new instrument just to try and sate the musician in me, but I think my brain is getting wise to these distractions.

I do believe that if you are creative and you have many outlets, to ignore any one of those outlets for too long can both make you go nuts, but also seep into your other creative works and make you resent the attention you give them, because you are ignoring the other.  All creative outlets are both food and poison for the other ones, depends on whether or not they feel neglected or not, a bit like a polygamous lover, you know?

I am an Artist, Gardener, Musician, Writer; I do sing and I used to like acting in drama classes at college, I do voices too.  It is strange that since I totally gave up practising my voices, that I have been getting a lot of illnesses that affect the throat, some spiritual healers tell me they are not surprised, because it is the throat chakras way in responding to this creative neglect.  I suppose too then, that when I don’t write for a while, the migraines I get in my head are to do with the stories having a civil war in my mind too?

I’m very spiritual, so to me, everything happens for a reason and I believe that sickness can be caused because you are neglecting a spiritual or creative part of you.  I think love and freedom has a lot to do with a person’s overall health and I suppose that it is this reason that I am ill.  I don’t have much love and I never had much freedom, I don’t mean to sound whiny but it is true and therefore, it is unsurprising that I have autoimmunity issues.

I am very unsurprised that a vast majority of my illnesses are ear, throat and stomach related.  Because throughout my life I have heard things I do not like to hear, I have never spoken about what has happened to me and I hold back when trying to stand up for myself verbally, I also ate things I never wanted to.  So when you reflect on things like this, you can plainly see how it can all make you ill in those parts of you.

I find myself a lot, saying to people I don’t want to hear this, it is not kind, I don’t want to hear this, it is too negative.  I am such a sensitive person, I don’t like hearing negative things spoken all the time, I don’t like hearing another person’s distress.  I lost my hearing when I was a teenager in my right ear, because I kept hearing things I didn’t like, now I still hear things I don’t like and gradually I am losing hearing in the left ear too.

I either have to become harder and more tolerant to what I hear, or completely isolate myself from society altogether, lol.  If I chose the latter, it will surely affect the health of my heart due to a lack of connection and love?  So I will have to learn to harden up and become tolerant to the negativity around me, I don’t know how I will do that, but it needs to start happening soon, or I won’t be able to hear music anymore, let alone play it.

Anyway, happy reading and I will post again tomorrow, thank you for being here!

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Push me to be productive

WordPress has updated some features I think?

I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a streak counter before, there is one now and that poses both a solution and a problem to me; I am a sucker for maintaining long streaks on various websites, so this will now mean that I will be obsessing over maintaining this streak of blog posts, because of the streak counter.

I have this same problem on DuoLingo it isn’t the lessons keeping me there as much as it is the streak counter and the same thing too, with 750words.com though saying that, I am very serious about learning Italian to fluency. 

I have been learning Italian on DuoLingo now for 432 days!  I do a minimum of one lesson which is 10 minutes per day, to sometimes 1 hour.

I had to give up my streak on 750.words.com because I can no longer afford to pay a monthly fee.  That really grinds me too.

If I am to be a productive person, I mean really productive. I need streak counters and tight schedules set by others, or I don’t tend to take things seriously.    This is how I know, if I am ever published, I would be addicted to writing more than ever, because of the pressures that my colleagues may or may not impose on me to do things.  I at least hope it to be the case anyway.  I guess it will be so, because I do love schedules and maintaining streaks etc. 

I think this is why I tend to finish NaNoWriMo early on the times I do it undisturbed.  I have been unlucky to get pneumonia one time doing this and very unlucky that my son became extremely sick with gastroenteritis another time. 

One thing about me is that when I have been in work, I have become quite quickly a workaholic.  But it takes me a long time to recover if I am released from positions for whatever reason.

I thrive with work and tasks and I literally wither away without it.

The thing is, Paul can be too liberal with me, he isn’t pushy like other people have been in my past and that is both nice and also in some ways bad too.  Because I need someone to nag me, shouldn’t you be writing now?  I mean you have been on Spore now for 4 hours…

I do lose track of time and sometimes I need that wake up call!

“Gosh 4 hours, you sure? shit I don’t have time to do this other thing too, yes, I should write”.

But no, that doesn’t happen here, I lose days at a time by being consumed by games, books and YouTube videos and nobody brings me back to reality, I am alone in trying to figure that one out for myself.

Paul just seems to think and feel that I need to be left alone, to do whatever I like, like some spoiled child.  He does spoil me, lets me get away with far too much and I am not so sure he should to be honest! Though it is nice he is so liberal, it is also very frustrating that he doesn’t seem to remember to help me get back to reality, you know?

I am not blaming him for my lack of focus far be it, but I do feel I need a personal nag machine.

Maybe this will change when Paul gets the Amazon dot, maybe I can program Alexa to nag me?

Worth a try, I think.

Happy Reading! 

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What I am trying to do as from now…

I am more than a little irked at the concept that my followers could have been scammed or duped by a poser; I had not planned to start writing on my blog or become active on social media for another couple of months, because I am taking a long time to heal from a current chest and ear infection.  I am very ill at the moment to the extent of being permanently exhausted. 

However, I think that I should start again right now, when I am at my worst physically because it seems likely I am having more bad days than not and I am sick and tired of being sick and tired and not doing what I want to do in life, even the most sedentary of things.

I often struggle with the idea that I must always produce a poem or a short story for my blog, because this blog was created with creativity in mind.  I was meant to use this as a portfolio of sorts; for my creative writing, photography and art, instead it has become more of a journal.

I think therefore, that this blog is likely to be 50/50 journal and creative outlet.  Because I am going on a big journey spiritually, physically, mentally and hopefully career wise too.

My blog will show you more of me, my personal life, my art, my thoughts and feelings and I will try not to be too bias when I do so.

A lot of my day to day stuff will probably be talks about how I am trying to manage my mental health and disability whilst trying to be a productive creative and housewife/mother.

I will also talk about my medical journey, because it still is not entirely clear what it is I have, other than it seems to the doctors that I have around 4 different types of auto-immune disease, deafness, PTSD and potentially a serious neurological disorder too, which they are leaning more towards MS on, but irritatingly it has not been thoroughly confirmed yet.  Sometimes they say yes, sometimes it’s again, no, it’s all presumption by my GP because I haven’t been tested yet.

I will talk about my past, if I feel it would be therapeutic at the time to do so.

I will discuss life with my pets and gardening, what little I can do there.

I will discuss most aspects of my life, whilst throwing in my poetry, songs, compositions, short stories, art, snippets and advice.

I am working on far too many stories at once, most of the time.  I am also practising art, because I have an idea for a children’s picture book and I have also two ideas for comics.  I don’t buy the fact that the comic industry is dead, sorry!

I have also learned recently that there are many people who like reading my reviews; I have had so many requests for reviews recently that I have considered to be more proactive in that.  But I tend to review old stuff, because I am pretty slow to reaching out for current social trends.  To me, something is a current social trend if it has been published or bought out within the last decade.  Oh dear, well you see what I mean – non-fiction science aside that is.

I am one of these lame people who love the 50s & 80s and are waiting for a huge retro bash that will last a decade or more in fashion, movies and music.  So you won’t find me any time soon, sporting the latest trend of anything that is currently major, if it is not retro based. 

Personally I feel the best decades for fantasy were 1860s, 1870s, 1890s, 1950s, 1980s and 2000s, 2010s;  I am a huge Lewis Carroll, George MacDonald, Frank L Baum, J.R.R Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Susan Hill, Stan Lee, Tim Burton, Stephen Spielberg, The Frouds, Colleen Doran and Neal Shusterman and oh so many more I better stop listing them=  fan.  This was just fantasy; don’t get me started on horror, Sci-fi and dystopia and lets not be picky between artists, writers and directors either! 

There is a lot of people I have missed on the above list that deserves to be here!  This is how I know; I really can’t sit back and say I have no idea what I post for my blog.  I was just being too picky about what I should put.  I didn’t think I should really put reviews and personal feelings towards other people’s work on my blog, but you know, if it keeps the blog active, then maybe I should start?  At least it will give you an idea of how I became who I become; the kind of things that I devour for my hungry creative soul that made me produce, what I produced.

Until next time, happy reading!

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A tardiness update

Hello everyone, long time no writes, I know, sorry about that!

I want to say that I have been having a lot more infections than usual and a lot more chest and breathing problems which are not Covid related; I have not been infected with Covid luckily.  I have completely self-isolated since March 2020, I have only left the house twice in that time for dental appointments – I have been scared of Covid especially as I have a history for chest infections and pneumonia anyway!

Other than dental appointments I must admit I have steered clear of all doctor clinics and hospitals because I think that if I go, I am more likely to get infections – now this is frustrating because before Covid the doctor could care less for my health problems and whilst Covid has been a factor I have had to turn down huge amounts of appointments because the doctor is now ready to try and solve them… it is like the world is conspiring to trap me to get Covid lol!

I think there is one good thing about the fact I was isolated all of my life by my mother, that is, Covid19 isolation is literally a doddle for me as I have always learned to cope with what I have and make the best of being at home.  But it is also deeply depressing that again, I feel like the world is conspiring to keep me cooped up for all of my life!

I have mental health issues because of my past and so many people have been concerned for how Covid isolation may be affecting me mentally.  But they don’t understand that it is normal for me, I have been so used to it for so long that it is second nature.  So unlike the rest of the world that has always had some kind of freedom, I don’t go stir crazy just because I can’t leave the house for a time.

Staying at home or even cooped up for prolonged periods inside a single room really doesn’t bother me as long as there are things I can do.  If the room was empty, that could be a completely different matter, I may go crazy after a few days, but I would make do with meditations, visualisations and if I were not causing trouble to do so, singing and reciting poetry etc. 

The thing with me is, imagination is easy.  Imagination is my friend and I have learned to harness it on command for any situation.  I do meditation and visualisation so well, that there has been times I have been hungry and I have visualised eating a meal and I have come out of meditation not feeling hungry anymore!

It’s amusing really that I am overweight; when I consider that I can do this.  But I will be completely honest with you; I am overweight for only three reasons.  As part of the abuse I have been victim of, a large part of that was being fed constantly, my abusers were feeders.  I have lost a huge amount of weight since being away from them, but not enough to be of healthy weight.  Secondly, I am addicted to caffeinated sodas such as cherry cola and Pepsi, but still, not as bad as I used to be.  I have gone from a 5 litre a day habit to only 1 litre now -still trying to fight the addiction.  Third reason – the biggest one of them all is.  I lost a majority of the weight I had because when I moved in with Paul and got away from the abuse, I started to religiously walk 9 miles per day and I that was doing the trick with normal eating.  Since becoming sick back in 2012 I then walked only twice a week for about 2 miles and since Covid I walk nowhere at all, except around the house.

In my humble opinion I need to lose a lot more.  I have tried to go on a diet, but diet alone is not working at all.  I have stuck religiously to a diet for 3 months and I haven’t lost a pound!  It’s only going to go via exercise, which this body just can’t cope with right now.  Every time I try to exercise I get weird symptoms of lower back shakes and unsteady shaking legs and hands.  I am residing myself to the fact I can’t garden anymore, not for longer than 15 minutes a time.

I have to make do with trying to think about what I want to do versus what I can realistically do these days.

I love gardening, but short of sitting at table with pots, that is something I can no longer do the exact way I love the most – which is to kneel down with my hands in the dirt, pulling and pruning and chipping and replanting from ground to ground in true food forest garden fashion.

I have to reside myself to the idea that someday, if I get a little money, I can get someone in to pull my whole garden out for  me and make me hip high raised beds with seating around them, so I can sit and garden the lame man’s way.  Sorry, but to say I don’t feel bitter about not being able to do it the usual way, would be a lie!

My disabilities are affecting my creative crafts too sometimes.  Hand shakiness (presumably not Parkinson’s) are sometimes affecting me using utensils when eating as often as once a week, as well as hand cramps and so therefore drawing and painting on those days is a no go. 

My writing can sometimes be affected on bad pain days; sometimes pain is so bad I misread things, miss-type things, mispronounce things and even have spoonerisms coming out of my ears!  Hand shakiness and pain can affect how much I read in a day too as well as depression.  On a good week without much pain or shakes I can read about three books, if the depression isn’t there.  I think I mentioned this before.  You can more or less tell how I am doing by how much I am reading on Goodreads.com

But don’t be overwhelmed with sympathy for me not getting down to my art and writing however!  There are other factors besides health which leads to my tardiness – the phases I go through.  I tend to find it hard to narrow down precisely who I want to be.  So I go through weeks at a time being so involved in one thing or two and then move on again. 

For example; Between October and April, I have got into the phase of watching around 3 hours a day of YouTube videos from people who are homesteaders and food forest permaculture gardeners, as well as food preservers and artists.  February and April 2021 I have gone through another spiritual soul searching phase.  I have read books based on spirituality and cosmic ordering and I have been thinking about my self-definition a lot.  Since the start of April I have re-established my love for The Sims 4 and have been playing that daily for literally 6 hours a time.  Disgusting I know.  But I have still been practising my art approximately 3 days a week for an hour a time, which is becoming a record now, because that too, used to come in phases!  If this is an unusually long phase, then I have been in this once since last summer!

Writing is on a severe back burner, I am writing about 90 minutes three times a week since March, whereas I wrote a lot more, before then.

On a very positive note however; my art practises are for the very reason that I have decided to make a children’s picture book series and I am practising my art to get the same characters right in several different poses.  Now I know, you are all thinking that I am not a children’s author and that would be very true!  But something happened in my mind, where I just have to have this children’s series about a dragon in true infant picture book form.  I don’t know why this is happening, but I am going with the flow!

But I will tell you now; my main genres are dark fantasy and dystopia that will never change!

Until next time, thank you for reading.

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