Sunday, 30 October 2011

halloween witches

Halloween again. I love it the darkness, the pumpkins, children dressed up in scary costumes and the fun that it brings. The tradition of laughing at the evil spirits thought to be in the ether is an old one. Laughter dissipates fear and what better way to take away someone's power than to laugh at them?
I expect that there will be the usual witches dancing their ceremonies at Alderley Edge, Clumber Park, The New Forest and other beauty spots of the country. Let's hope it's not too chilly for their sake. I did once see some naked witches dancing around a fire in Clumber Park one evening. It was dark, their hair long and wild swaying around their bare skins as they danced, holding hands, singing and whooping as the fire crackled and spat its way through forest branches. They scared me at first but as I drove by I watched them and saw the joy of freedom on their faces. Eight women, dancing as they wished, naked, in the night air, flames at their feet and a song on their lips. I was just curious after that, to understand their beliefs and then to learn about other faiths.

Friday, 21 October 2011

luxury health care - for dogs

I've had my dog to the vet's this week, a thorn stuck in her paw caused an infection. I can't help comparing her experience to that of my recent trips to A&E.
I made a phone call, the vet said "bring her in right away." A quick car journey.
My husband's broken collar bone took us to A&E one evening.
The vet saw my dog within 3 minutes of signing in.
He waited 4 hours on a plastic bum numbing chair, to be seen.
The dog had a private consultation room.
He was seen in a draughty cubicle with many eyes watching.
The dog was treated with shots then scheduled for surgery the very next day.
Husband had to wait a further 2 hours for an x-ray. Then a further 1 hour 30 minutes for the result.
Dog was given a drink and a couple of treats.
He had nothing, not even pain relief, unless he used the vending machine full of unhealthy snacks.
No surgery required, luckily, but I wonder how long the wait would have been for something non urgent.
Is it me or do our pets get premium medical care while we languish in waiting rooms with people who come along in their slippers, empty the vending machines of chocolate and coke and settle down to watch the telly? Apparently it saves them putting a coin in the electric meter and they don't have to have their heating on at home.
I'm told the NHS is the pride of Britain. We all know it's in severe trouble. It will go the way of America, the rot has already set in, and we will have to pay a premium for private health care. It's only a matter of time before there are ambulances for the insured as in the US. Will we then be able to opt out of paying taxes into the NHS?

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Clever Creation

Despite what people may think it is hard to sit down and think of something to write about that is interesting. It pulls a writer up short when they find they have no fabulous anecdotes or weird experiences to share - 'what a boring life I must have,' they cry.
So what? I say. We all have mundane tasks to do, we all have household admin and tedium in our lives. We do not live in a soap (although if you watch Jezza Kyle some people clearly do) with dramatic twists and turns. That's why people buy and read fiction, sci fi, fantasy, horror and all the other genres - for escapism.
Without the multitude of fabulous imaginations and clever authors that bring us things that we would never have thought of, life would be dull indeed. All the films you watch, all the programs on TV, all games you play are all devised by writers and put together as a team or solely. When you think of your favourite films and books you have to admire the human capacity for fantastic thought and creation.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Psychic Wind

A psychic wind or breeze describes the rush of cold air when a spirit or ghost is present. They are a common phenomena in spiritual circles and anyone who has been on a ghost hunt will be familiar with the term. However it could apply in different circumstances such as a psychic or medium who is simply full of their own hot air. I'm not naming names but I know of several who love to blow their own trumpets about their experiences, their knowledge, how great they are, how accurate and so on.
Remember though that just because someone is in the public eye it doesn't always mean that they are a great medium or psychic, it makes them lucky or good at promoting themselves.
Some of the best mediums and psychics are still to be found in spiritualist churches the length and breadth of the UK and their messages are free of charge.

Monday, 17 October 2011

A Synapse Lapse

I have been away from my manuscript for Angelica's Promise for a few days and what a difference it makes to my progress. It brings me to a complete stop because I can't remember the details of what has gone before. I have to sit and read it all and review my notes to get back up to speed.
I'm sure when I was younger this didn't happen - don't get me wrong - I'm not old - but I don't think I'm firing on all my synapses.
I'm told by a brain expert I know that the trick to great brain function and quick wits is to drink lots of water to enable the electrical charges in the brain to jump the gap between one synapse and the next, can't be done without hydration she tells me. I wonder if vodka works in the same way....?

An Ill Wind

Today is windy and cold with the threat of rain drowning our little country. I do wish the weather people would be more cheerful because they set the day up for us all. We know the weather in our country is terrible, we know there's a high chance that we'll get wet no matter what the month and we know that in October we need to wear a coat.
Everyone I have met today is grumpy, they are unwell and know that there is a long slog of weeks at work before a christmas break. The weather people can lie to us, cheer us up a bit, do a little song and dance, tell jokes, wear their clothes back to front - but don't predict the weather - we know!!

Friday, 14 October 2011

a bit of a blockage

Does writers' block exist? For some thinking of what to write next is hard work. For others, endless scenarios jump out at them and they are able to grab them with ease and translate them into constructive sentences.
I don't suffer with writers' block because it is so simple to overcome. You can write a dozen opening lines to a novel and see which one takes you on an interesting thought process, you can read the newspapers - plenty of outrageous behaviour in their pages. You can watch (God forbid) Jezza Kyle or Big Brother or any number of low brow shows on TV. (I'm not a snob - far from it - but you have to admit that the dumbing down of TV has gone too far, even the evening news is read to me as though I am a simpleton.)
Pick up a magazine and it will give inspiration too. Talk to people, remember something from your past and take it in another direction to your own experience. Use your imagination. You see writers' block doesn't exist.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

the first few lines of Angelica's Promise

The Sun's brightest rays penetrate the apple juice in my tall glass and reflect myriad patterns onto my hand. The gold light, refracted by the liquid and its container are a strange comfort to me, kind of like God's light dancing over my soul.
Everything around me has a deeper significance since my diagnosis. I notice now the beauty of life and reprimand myself for not seeing it sooner. Don't get me wrong, I always saw life as precious but I hadn't recognised the detail, precision or strength in every living thing. Even rain is beautiful and death more so, although I'm not ready for it yet.

writing and reading

One of the biggest mistakes a writer can make is not reading other authors' works. Reading is an education, we learn to spell and construct sentences from reading, we learn new words to add to our vocabulary and another way of speaking perhaps. It doesn't matter what you read, a picture book, a comic strip, a tabloid paper or literary works as long as you read something. People love to escape in fantasy, science fiction and romance and others prefer an autobiography or factual reading,  it's all out there to be enjoyed.
For the writer, reading is essential to avoid becoming stale. But what of the writers' who say "I'm too busy writing to read!?" You have to study your craft, improve all the time, stay on trend if you write commercially and the best way to do all of these things is to read varied material.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

I'm in the mood...

Although I'm not a moody person by nature I notice that these days I do get grumpy if I don't get to write. I suppose that's a sign of a writer who is serious about doing something with their (hopeful) talent and someone who writes as a hobby or for pleasure.
It's as though there is creative energy inside of me and if I don't let it out it leads to constipation - you know what I mean.
You will have heard advice in the past which told you to write down things that were making you unhappy and then throw the note on the fire or write a ranting letter to your other half to vent your frustrations, but then rip it up. It's a release of pent up emotions and ideas and writing creatively is the same.
My brain is like a busy airport runway. Ideas landing and taking off at all times of the day and night. Some ideas stick around longer than others and it's these that I need to type up asap. Trouble is when you have a family and you are wanted in three places at once. I'm good but I'm not that good.....

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Writers Tip

From the great George Orwell comes some solid writing advice.

1. "What am I trying to say?"
2. "What words express it?"
3. "What image or idiom will make it clearer?"
4. "Is the image fresh enough to have any effect?"
5. "Could I put it more simply?"
6. "Have I written anything unavoidably ugly?"

These questions should apply to every sentence you write to stand a chance of being published in the traditional manner. The lesson I learned during my creative writing course = writing is much harder than it looks.

A Blogger Is Born

I've done it - at last. I've never been aftraid of technology, quite the opposite, I embrace it as long as it's easy to use and functional, but I have always been wary of putting myself in the public arena. However, today it seems that almost everyone lives their lives in the spotlight - so why shouldn't I? Afterall I am trying to build a career as a writer, if I don't tell people how will they know?
Right now I am unpublished but I'm working on that.
My first novel is called Inside The Light and the second is in progress and growing fast.
I try to write every day even if just a little. Rainy days are the best for writing; cosy up, wood burner on, dog at feet - bliss. Oh, and there might be a little stack of chocolate by my side too.