Monthly Archives: August 2019

Music and Me

I apologise for not posting my word prompts before noon, I got a little too excited today with a delivery I had of a new musical instrument I am attempting to play – something I can hear on bad days and doesn’t require difficult fingering for my left hand – a recorder.   

I have always been musically inclined, since a small child I would visit my grandmother and play on her piano in her dining room whilst she prepared lunch, we often visited her on Sundays, usually just my dad and I.  I would play all the notes and eventually started to learn some tunes by ear.  I never learned to read music even now I have never learned to read and understand music fully or professionally or with professional help. 

The piano was my first attempt at music, always perfect righthandedly and terrible with my left hand due to my disability.  When I was around seven years old my dad talked mum into buying me a keyboard so I can practise at home whenever I liked and ever since my house has never been without a keyboard in it.  I have never personally owned a piano and I never learned to use a pianos foot pedals or learn the proper terminologies for anything regarding music, except for one word I learned listening to classic FM radio as a teenager = Adagio means to play slowly.

I was then upgraded to a more professional style keyboard aged seventeen as a birthday present, this had digitisation to it (I think that’s what people call it), where I could hook up the keyboard to the internet and download new songs to learn, because this particular keyboard had a function where it taught you how to place your hands and how to keep time.  When I was about nineteen my brother gave me an old copy of Cubase that a friend of his owned and I learned I could compose music by using this, without ever knowing how to actually write the music.  I had saved the music I composed onto an MP3 floppy disk and I still have it to this day and the keyboard too actually!  Unfortunately that Cubase I had is years out of date and I have never been able to finance a replacement, so until I can replace Cubase, my composing days are over!

Pianos and keyboards were never my only dip into the music world; I have in fact learned to play a paper and comb, some notes on a harmonica, belly dancing cymbals, some tunes on my dad’s bugle, an xylophone at a day centre for children when I was around thirteen, some notes on a guitar but again my left hand failed me and I never did get around to replacing my guitar with a left handed version, I also played quite well an accordion, but my parents sold it at a car boot sale once, they claimed they were having a hard time and I never did get it back, I was doing better on that than the keyboard and I had rather of given up the keyboard instead. The fact I did better with an accordion stands to reason as it was a right handed instrument and the fingers I needed on my left hand could do the job properly.

I haven’t played music for nearly six years because I was ill, but also because the house got a little too crowded and messy and I couldn’t set up my keyboard in a permanent position anymore; afraid it would get damaged I had it boxed up and stored safely under the bed in the spare room and I feel that a neglected and unplayed musical instrument is sacrilege. 

Funnily enough my depression started around the same time I boxed up the keyboard.  I came to this realisation a few days ago but I knew my left hand is worse these days and I can’t improve my left handed playing at all now.  I nearly got into a deeper form of depression with this realisation but then I watched a YouTube video to stop the negative thoughts in their tracks, I stumbled across a TedTalk by a woman named Barbara Sher and the title of the video was “Isolation is the dream-killer”; I have been thinking so much about how isolated I am despite my battle to escape from it because of the struggles I had with certain people in my life a few years ago.  I thought maybe loneliness was one of the main reasons I am depressed, how can I be sure it is missing a musical instrument? 

Well anyway, here is a link to see the video for yourselves – https://youtu.be/H2rG4Dg6xyI

She put out a question that I had to think about for myself and that is “What is your dream and what are your obstacle/obstacles”? 

My first thought I don’t exactly remember, but I do remember that I had several dreams I have that are still unaccomplished and most of the those dreams boil down to financial insecurity where I have to think twice about buying a bottle of Pepsi and of course, isolation.

I browsed a book by my bedside, I think it was called “The Little Book of Wonder” and the lady who had written it said that you have to remain curious throughout your life, if you don’t know something, don’t shrug and think that it doesn’t matter and it isn’t important, if you had that question in your head, go and find the answer as it might lead you into an entirely different path in life.   

So I absorbed those words and thought about stuff and then I browsed more YouTube videos and I found a doctor of psychology called Guy Winch in another TedTalk; He said that loneliness can knock significant number of years off our life and cause us to become ill, it can affect our immune system greatly because our emotional wellbeing determines whether we are healthy or not.  This explained a lot to me, because since living in my own home with my husband and having a baby I have ironically became more isolated than I ever was before I left my parents’ house (ironic because my main form of abuse and neglect was social isolation growing up, even as an adult it was very coercive and controlling the relationship between my mother and I).  But because I had a baby and fell ill just a few weeks shy from his third birthday, I became drastically isolated after being free from true isolation for nearly three years!  In fact for the first eight months of my illness I couldn’t get out of bed to go and talk to a doctor about what was wrong! 

It was around this time I decided to never talk to my parents again too, so the only guaranteed socialising I could have done when I became sick, I cut off.  I was getting five or more phone calls per day from my mum and once a week visits that lasted six hours a time, to having no phone calls with anyone and only annual visits from my adult nephews, to then having just the annual visits ONLY for the next six years.

That isn’t good for anybody!

So I had a long hard look at my life and realised that depression and loneliness is killing me, literally.  It must be, because around six years ago I was diagnosed with a handful of different types of auto-immunity diseases and recently doctors are suspecting MS and/or neurological problems as well. 

One thing I have always been frightened of is Motor-Neurone disease, it runs rife on my dad’s side of the family and my dad’s family as a whole are very close within family, extensive family (we still talk to our cousins four times removed) but don’t socialise much outside of family and church friends or salvation army duties. 

I wondered if illness due to isolation or loneliness could be genetic on my father’s side.

Anyway, Dr Guy Winch’s video can be found here – https://youtu.be/F2hc2FLOdhI

Worrying about being isolated, too sick to socialise and the expense of joining college or a social club (because I have to rely on public transport), I asked some questions to the universe.  I asked the universe what you want me to do?  What do I have to do to change things being there are more obstacles for me than anyone else I know?  I got no answers.

Then I asked the universe that if my life was supposed to be to help motivate others, or be as creative as I can be in all creative interests I have then send me money somehow – if my life isn’t meant to be like this, then make something else happen to blatantly show me what it is I was made to do! 

So, knowing that money doesn’t just fall onto the doorstep when you implore the universe to give it to you – I tried to make receiving it easy.  I decided to (and this is no exaggeration) I decided to take a risk, I had just £15 left for my own personal treats (not the families, my own, I get around £40 a month just for me it is Paul’s rule that I treat myself each month) – I took that £15 and I spent it on 888ladies.com and I won £200, for me that is like winning 5k, I was so happy it paid off my overdraft and I could have a little to spend on a new bra and some new trousers as my clothes are getting too big on me lately.  But I thought that doesn’t change anything; it just helps my current situation without improving it so I took another risk – I said the universe, if I am supposed to learn a musical instrument and buy art supplies I will need this again or a bit more please.  So I rolled the slots again and I instantly won another £250 that is enough I thought, that is enough to get some art supplies and buy a cheap instrument – but I didn’t know what instrument to get?

This made me very happy and I decided to “Be Curious” as the book said earlier that night. 

I asked myself some questions.

What does all these musical instruments I hear on the BBC Proms sound like as solo instruments?  I didn’t know a majority of them singularly.  So I again, went onto YouTube and I searched through every musical instrument I could think of to find solo samples. 

I made a list of my favourite sounds.

Piano

Harpsichord

Jazz Piano

Bass

Trombone

French horn

Piccolo

Recorder

Saxophone

Crystallaphone

Glockenspiel

An apprehension engine

Xylophone

Harp

Lute

Cello

Accordion

Violin

And trumpet

There were others but I don’t remember them. 

Then I asked…

What musical instrument can I learn that has limited mobility to the hand?

Perhaps go back to the accordion and this time learn to read music?

A recorder doesn’t require the left pinkie to play.

A trombone

A xylophone – crystallaphone or a glockenspiel

I then thought about the types of classical music I love the most and I know that I love folk, medieval and baroque above all others! 

So I decided on the recorder first and foremost and eventually the glockenspiel. 

So I bought this recorder for me and Henry (because whenever I do something new Henry nags us to get him the same so he can share practise time with me, which is sweet and expensive sometimes)!

 

 

It was pretty cheap £16.37 each from Amazon.co.uk

It is a Yamaha YRS302BIII Soprano, plastic.  When I had decided it would be the recorder I discovered a wonderful lady on YouTube called Sarah Jeffrey who teaches you practically everything about being a recorder player, she is very enthusiastic and passionate about the instrument and makes learning about it fun!

She can be found here, this is the first lesson https://youtu.be/-d6uVjIEkMY

Until I found her videos I never knew how many different types of recorders there are and that they can all be played the same way, because they are the same instrument.  Different woods and plastic and lengths can make different sounds.  A true and passionate recorder player will have a large collection of different recorders to choose from.  I am getting a baroque alto before Christmas as I am taking to this instrument remarkably and yes, I am trying to learn how to read music now.

I have practised for three hours today and I am very tired now.  I know it is likely I will have two months a year off from practise because I am prone to very nasty chest infections in the winter that usually always lead to pneumonia for some reason.

So, there you have it.  The reason behind why I was late today.

Let me know in the comments below whether or not you are also musically inclined and share with me what you play and what you are passionate about, I would love to know!

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Weekly prompt 2

This week’s word prompts are – London – An Emperor – Easter – Windstorm – Rocket

Interesting and remember to think outside of the box with these prompts; an emperor for example might not be a ruler, but an emperor penguin or a tarot card or an emperor butterfly.  A rocket might be a spaceship, a firework or the English name for a spicy lettuce leaf known as arugula – but also consider this, Easter is also a girl’s name and a variant of an ancient goddess which is more commonly known as Ishtar.

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Sunday Word Count 5

I have hit the wall of shame again.

The word count this week is…

4447

The above picture was taken by me and manipulated by me.  I took this image around 2yrs ago in the Summer when I went for a walk by the canal near Newbold Quarry, Warwickshire.  The daisy like flower was actually growing out of the crack in the wall just like that, sticking out of the wall about 8 inches on a single stalk.  It was strange because the whole area had just grass and dock leaves and there was no other little white flowers like this anywhere else!  

A huge slump, but then again, this week I have had a hard time with my immunity issues and other medical problems including a huge bout of unexplained depression, usually I can identify what causes the depression but for the past few days I cant.

I only wrote on three days, which were Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

My body also hasn’t been working properly either, making me feel extra sleepy and my arms aren’t working properly for some reason.

Sorry this is a lazy post because I am so tired still.  Sorry if it looks like I really can’t be bothered, I want to be, but I just can’t think at the moment, too drowsy.

I get bouts like this that happen on and off at irregular and without a pattern times and it can last for just a day or several days, I had a bout once that lasted for nearly 4 months, doctors aren’t too helpful in trying to find out what the blazes is wrong with me.

I accidentally posted something that I had second mind to delete too, sorry about that.  I didn’t want to post it as it was a first draft and there were certain things I missed out or didn’t explain properly.  It was written on a very bad day, I get huge brain fogs and concentration problems where things come out wrong or half formed.  

Anyway, hope next week will be different.

Have fun with your writing folks!

P.S I apologise if this is at all incoherent, I am really struggling right now.  

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Weekly Prompt 1

Because daily prompts were getting a bit much for both me and my readers, I have decided to only do a once a week prompt.  It is still based on the same idea; I give you five words or themes and you can either use your own imagination to make something out of it or you can go and use the prompts to look at pictures at websites, such as DeviantArt.com or Pinterest to help spur on ideas of your own.

The new weekly prompts will now start on Wednesdays and today is the first. 

This week’s prompts are – Hunting – A Prisoner – Jury Duties – A Businessman – Under the Stairs

Strange how these prompts have blended well together, a prisoner and jury duties, that weirdly matches and these are truly randomly generated words!  Especially bizarre is the fact that another word in this prompt is “Hunting” so obviously someone is hunting an escaped prisoner?  Or something along those lines or maybe someone is going to be imprisoned due to illegal hunting (poaching)?  There is so much to think about and play with on these prompts because again you can think about fraudulent activities from the businessman who may go to jail and escape and therefore is hunted?  A bounty hunter chases down a wanted criminal and imprisons him as that is the business of a bounty hunter isn’t it?  Maybe as a way to incarcerate him for the police to pick him up the bounty hunter keeps him locked in a makeshift prison under the stairs of his home?  Who knows?

This is an exciting prompt I must say.

This is going to be really fun to do; I hope you do have fun with it!

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The King Of Heaven

I am the king of heaven watching you all below me

I see your tears your loneliness and grief and it woes me

I send a chariot down to meet you all

I wipe your tears and catch you when you fall

You always doubt me, but I do care

I will protect you, this I swear

I am here now, saving you

But you’re not aware, you don’t have a clue

But I am here with you now

The King Heaven

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Sunday Word Count 4

Sunday word count four – I’m not on The Wall of Shame huzzah!

This week’s word total is…

12382

And possibly more as I have written approximately six pages of stuff by hand and haven’t typed them up on the computer yet!

It is good but I have written nothing at all for three of the days this week and my only excuse for that is I was exhausted and had gastric flu.  Yes, sorry for the TMI (too much information).

The days break up as this;

11th August – nothing and that’s because our internet is still tetchy, in fact it has been tetchy again today too. 

12th August – 1584 words, which is usually considered a low average for me.

13th August – 7483 words, that is amazing and I wish most days were like this!  Especially as it is still the school summer holiday!

14th August – 637 words, quite low and not at all good in my opinion!

15th August – nothing, because I was busy with other things, mostly reading and calming Henry down and having what seems to be gastric flu.

16th August – nothing again because of the gastric flu!

17th August – 2678 words, which is my good average amount for daily writing.  It is something I would do usually when Henry is at school; it is still the summer holidays so it is amazing I did my average word count for the day whilst he was home!

The writing I have done this week has been mostly notes towards my leprechaun fantasy, including a title change and rewriting certain weak characters to make them have more of a part in the plot of the story, because there was a lot of weak characters, some of which I will be deleting entirely once this fourth or fifth draft is complete. 

I have not included the words towards new story ideas I have had this week, there has been three new novel ideas I have had, but I can’t start work on them until all this other work is finished.  I am not bragging or anything but I really do have a huge backlog of ideas piled up in a corner of this room and it is getting ridiculous because I know that more than half will never ever be started, let alone finished as there is just too many!  I think I must be the only writer in the history of the world who has her own slush pile for what ideas might work and what are weak!

I am also weighing up something in my mind a lot recently.  I love reading and writing fantasy, horror, sci-fi and dystopian stories – I especially love and am addicted to my vampire stories, my saga I am doing.  But I am reading a lot about how a writer shouldn’t really have too many genres under their belt and this is disheartening to me because I love them all.  I can’t release my vampires or my fantasy in particular and there are at least four dystopian stories I really want to write; it seems to me that there are only really two horrors I have planned, so I can release the horror I guess?  Though I have been told by so many people that horror is more of my strength than other types of fiction I write.

I thought I could just write anything and be appreciated just as much, but the more I research the more I am finding that this isn’t the case, I could be found unprofessional and disloyal to my original fan base.  Even to have just the three genres could be too many.  I don’t really know what genre vampires can be put into, because I have found them in so many different sections at the bookstore and in the libraries that they have confused me – they are put into the dark romance, dark fantasy, horror, gothic and erotica sections – so which is it?  Dystopian novels can be put into science fiction, horror or thriller sections too.  Fantasy also has about three sections, dark fantasy, adult fantasy, family fantasy. 

I am struggling to decide which ones to say goodbye to.  My fantasies tend to be comedy family fantasies and some of them are dark, very dark and borderline horror again sometimes with small interjections of dark comedy. 

My Dystopian stories have links with science fiction ideas, new fictional type sciences and leans towards some religious or mythological ideologies or prophecies. 

My vampires are more complexed as the sagas cross into so many genres, science-fiction, horror, romance and fantasy as even my vampires mingle with fairies and so forth.

It is apparently great to be different, but not so different that you can’t define your genre.

If I can’t define my genre right now, how can any of my future agents and publishers?

It is both a depressing and eye opening reality of being a writer.

It makes me feel so caged.

I really love and adore my vampire novels so much and they are a huge part of who I am, but I am not ready to kiss goodbye my leprechauns, mermaids, giants and dragons either.  Nor am I willing to kiss goodbye my ripped up worlds full of warlords and surviving citizens and their struggle for salvation and freedom.

So who is going to take me seriously when I post out my stories to agents in a year or two?

Do you think I worry too much?  Please post what you think in comments below.

Thank you for reading.

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Mother Goddesses Lullaby

I wipe away all your tears

That humanity have wept for a thousand years

I take you into my arms and say

That things were never meant to be this way

I sing a song and it lulls you to sleep

I hold you tight when you weep

I give you love and I give you hope

I take away the pain and dope

I love you dear and I love you all

All the big ones and the small

I hold you close in my arms

I protect you all from all the harm

Everyone is cherished and they are loved

I can’t hold you when I’m above

So this is why I am in your arms

To keep you warm and safe with my charms

Nothing bad and nothing evil

Is going to get near you

For a mothers love is a precious thing

Especially when you are crumbling

So in my arms you are safe and warm

The goddess loves her precious swarm

She holds you close and wipes your tears

And promises to stay always near

 

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The Thumbprint Thief (multi-source combo)

You really should read how Sarah has handled the prompts I wrote out a few days ago, she has meshed them really well with other word prompters too, it is amazing! So clever!

via The Thumbprint Thief (multi-source combo)

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August 18, 2019 · 15:25

Daily Prompt 24

Today’s daily prompts are – Treasure – A Panda – Power – Dragon and A Rocket Ship.

As from the 30th daily prompt I will be reducing the prompts to once a week to help give people time to produce something to share.

 

 

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Apologies there will be some changes here

Once a week I will post up my practise pictures for the week, committing to something daily for just the blog is becoming a bit of a struggle, sorry about this.  I am also going to be reducing my daily prompts to becoming weekly prompts instead; this will help you to be able to produce something to share as you’ll have more time to think about it.  I would really like to see how people are using the prompts I give.

Also I want to try and concentrate on posting more, especially poetry as I have had quite a few private messages telling me how some of my poetry is helping people with depression, broadening their minds and motivating them; so I feel I owe my readers some more poetry than I have been producing of late.

I would also like to start posting a short story at least once a week myself, but I can’t fully commit to the fact that I will actually post a short story a week, just yet.

I am really trying to concentrate hard on producing full length novels and practising art.

I apologise for any disappointments this may have caused.

Thank you for reading and hopefully understanding ❤

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