Category Archives: About my work

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Writer losing her mojo

We all have heard the saying that “writers write as simple as that” and it is really is as simple as that, but most don’t actually do it as regularly as they should or at least believe they should.  For me, I do not write as much as I believe I should because in the last few years I have lost my mojo, I forgot what it meant for me to write and I have done a lot of soul searching in the past year to find out where the passion has gone.

I did something rare for me – I re-read a book, usually I don’t re-read books unless I put them into a reference category but this particular book I re-read and saw it with fresh eyes and read things I didn’t remember were in the book in the first place.  The name of the book was “Big Magic” written by Elizabeth Gilbert.  When I read this book I asked myself a question; “Why do I think I have lost my love for writing”?  It was a simple answer really upon reflection and I would never have gotten this answer if it wasn’t for this book.  My writing became too focused on financial panic, the urge to write as much as I can so I can earn a living because I needed to break out of debts, but instead, this kind of pressure halted everything about my creative mind and I found I couldn’t do anything other than dramatic self-pitying poetry on mass, the stories and the playtime died, literally.

For the word, nothing has been published except for the things that are published on this blog simply because I didn’t want to approach a publisher with such depressing poetical themes, because I still hold to the idea that I am primarily a fantasy and horror story writer, not a poet!  I am also an essayist I suppose, because I like writing and hoarding information I have learned about my favourite subjects, but I am not sure how to become a paid essay writer and I am not really going to approach that as a career until I learn more about it. 

Anyway – getting back to the main subject of this post.  I forgot how to play – yes, even in real life, I have forgotten how to play and to laugh because of my severe depression, breakdown and financial worries.  I became so down in the dumps about my life that I had two years of being carefully guarded by Paul my fiancé because I couldn’t be left alone for fear I’d commit suicide, seriously.  One point it got so bad, Paul had to go out somewhere without me and he needed to ask a neighbour to sit in with me.  To say I am over that now, would be wrong, the slightest thing brings it back, but I am not as bad as I used to be, the self-harming has stopped a little bit and I am more predictable these days; but ultimately, the depression is still there and I am trying hard to find out how to play again, how to feel happy again and how to enjoy life.  I don’t enjoy anything anymore and it is getting increasingly difficult since the doctor is now looking into what they believe to be a very serious neurological problem, either MS or motor neurone disease, but like always there is a long waiting list here in the UK and I won’t really know what’s going on with me for several months apparently.

So, how does one go about trying to find out how to be happy again and learn to play again?  It turns out according to the book “Big Magic” and a couple of other books I have read recently that it is something most adults get out of practise of, that once you start trying to become playful and do things which are generally playful (even if you don’t feel happy doing it or feel that it is playful) you will eventually trick your mind to becoming playful and you will build up a type of momentum.  Once the momentum is built up, you will start to feel a change – well I hope so.

I thought hard about how I write stories now in comparison to how I wrote them ten years ago, was there any notable differences in how I produced work back then than now?

Yes there was a huge fundamental difference in fact. 

A decade ago I wasn’t afraid to be thought of as eccentric or insane, I would play with my imagination and I would share my thoughts and ideas no matter how obscure and strange they were with people around me and then I would write about those ideas.  I used to have a lot more creative friends too, but many of them have creative careers which have made them too busy to socialise even online, some have died, some have decided that they too have lost their playful side and have become super conservative people.

I have also found that my social circle is smaller these days which is amazing because I used to think my social circle couldn’t get any smaller ten years ago, the people who I do talk to these days are very serious people who have a worried look on their faces whenever anybody talks about anything out of the ordinary, even if you were to explain that you are an artist and a writer so it’s not a mental health problem, it’s just my mind playing with ideas and therefore there is a story in this.  You’d be surprise how people like that can dry up your will to be imaginative or to share your ideas.

Some people who have very little imagination tell me that they wished they had more of an imagination and they start to tinker with my story ideas themselves (which I don’t mind) but then they start demanding that they must change my concept on my fantasy worlds because things are just not plausible and that readers are real people who live in the real world and they want something believable, so they start pulling at the threads of my fantasy infrastructure and start literally pulling my fantasy communities apart by the seams.  It turns out that even my perfect all powerful fantasy God is not infallible, that he has other beings that will cause problems he can’t deal with and that even this God ponders who created him and so forth.  I told the person, you are going too deep here buddy, I don’t want to go that way in my story, but they insist that I must.

I became a fantasy writer because I find the real world too boring and predictable for me to want to think about and write, the idea of making a fantasy based novel plausible, to me, is laughable, because fantasy is supposed to be anything BUT normal. 

To cut myself off from such people will almost completely isolate me again, which I don’t want.  But can I really sit through another conversation where my worlds are being shattered write before my eyes?  I often feel like screaming at the top of my voice “Of course this fantasy God has a creator you dumbass, it is me, I am their goddess, I made them, but I am not egotistical enough to put myself in the book as the all-power”, does any other writer go through this?  Or is this situation totally unique to me?

So I am currently on a journey to find “My tribe” as Elizabeth Gilbert puts it and to find my playful imaginative self again and to have the confidence and focus of not listening to those who are dismantling my worlds and to continue with what I had always planned instead.  Which is a shame because these people used to feed me ideas, used to support me, but these days it is just soul destroying.  I have to ignore the world destroyers.

I wanted to join a writers group, but not sure what is involved with those and I am scared to find more people who are like that, once they’ve heard my stories.  I am trying to forget the people who are making me focus on writing purely for financial reasons and try to focus once again on writing for me, for fun, for release and for pleasure; the way it should be for all writers.

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Bog roll, fantasy and talking to rabbits

I have a lot more things to say these days, other than just poetical rants about my life, fantasy short stories and prose and I feel that I would really mess and confuse this blog up if I were to include things here which are not fantasy based – which is a silly concern really when you consider the poetry I’ve done.  But how well will it be received if I were to include my gardening snippets?  Knitting projects, book reviews and random thoughts and conversations I’ve had that I find interesting?  At least with all of the latter there will be more photographs to share on the blog and although it will not entirely be a fantasy blog any-more, it might be more interesting to read?  Particularly as I always have a fantastical stance on life in general – for example – did you know that I am writing this on the 1st May 2019 and that this post shouldn’t really exist because I hadn’t planned on posting anything until September the 1st as I intend to bulk up 4 months in advance some work to make me come across as more active?  That last night was Walpurgisnacht, a night where fairies celebrate fertility and the life of summer coming?

That I sat down with my rabbit Ray (Rainbow) and had a lengthy discussion about the faeries and what they might be doing that night and how he has to refuse any invitation to their wild parties on account of worrying his human mother?  You see, I had to talk to the rabbit about this because it can be a real concern, because in the past my guinea pigs have got sick shortly after Walpurgisnacht and have often looked exhausted on May day and it got me thinking – are the faeries to blame?  I wasn’t taking any chances with Ray, particularly as he is still a baby, only 8 months old.

I was talking to Ray in depth about the faeries and Walpurgisnacht because I am a sad lonely mother  who has been rejected several times from her human (nearly 9yr old) son about anything to do with fantasy, unless of course it is Harry Potter related; So to get it all off my chest and hoping that my son who was sitting 3ft away from me and the rabbit, would overhear something interesting, I told Ray all about it instead, because at least Ray responds to me with nodding his ears for yes and yawning if he agrees it is boring or worrying which is more than can be said for what responses I get when I talk to my Henry!

Yes, becoming a mother has made me eccentrically insane and inventive with my time, but maybe these are the sorts of things I should be putting up here on my blog?

Also I have been thinking about something embarrassing BUT amusing – I often get my weirdest ideas for prose or fantasy writing whilst sitting on the toilet and I had thought, there is such a thing on-line for blogs as the blog roll, but what about a new category on my blog called The Bog Roll?  Where I jot down exactly what I thought whilst on the toilet that day – as I can tell you, something are short and funny and wonderful and are popular being retold to my family and friends.

I am famous for my verbal Bog Roll ideas, why not put them here?  I will also open a new category along with it called “Talks with nature”.  I’d rather call it “Talks with nature” because putting up a category called “Talks with myself” may not be taken as seriously and could land me in an asylum.

Talking of which, I tend to talk out loud when writing and nobody is home with a rabbit that is 6ft away from me (he is a house rabbit) and I thought about having three extra categories but changed my mind to which he stomped his foot about.  You see I was going to have “Rabbit Talks” about my conversations with the rabbit and then do another category called “Talks with nature” but narrowed it down to just Bog Roll and Talks with nature – Ray doesn’t like me skipping the idea about a special category for him and rightfully so!  Good for you Ray for sticking up for yourself and making mummy give you the credit you deserve!

 

 

 

 

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TASKS AND PASTS

I have this book called “365 Ways to get you writing daily, inspiration and advice for creative writers” by Jane Cooper.  I have been thinking about what to post on my blog to keep it active, I am not sure I want to post up my snippets for actual things I am planning as I find it a bit personal, but I thought that perhaps these tasks would help me show you my creative writing so you can critique me, thus help improve my style or enhance my work. 

I don’t lack confidence in my writing, because each to their own and I understand that not everyone is going to like my stuff, but I do want to be more involved with my blog and I do want to know if my writing does need more improvement.

I don’t want to worry about grammar and punctuation at the moment, because the priority for me is to get writing and be more active in the creative community than be a pedant, because being a pedant (and coming across many other pedants) was what made my writing stop for several years.

I have many friends who are artists and not many that are writers and the artists tell me that the worst thing that any artist can do with their creativity is to try and make it too perfect before it’s finished, because then you lose the heart and soul of your work and nobody will like it then; writing is not different, many writers like to look at themselves as a form of artist and visual artists like to consider anyone who is creative as an artist too!  Actors = performance artists, writers are verbal artists, painters are visual artists, singers are music artists, you get the picture – if you are creating something or trying to show something in a new light YOU ARE AN ARTIST!

One big thing I learned recently is that my writing from 2002 is completely different than the writing I did in 2008 and though you would think that I had been writing that time and had obviously improved my craft, you would be wrong!  I became a pedant and people who read my work were also pedants, they were grammar Nazis and they were not interested in my genre and they were going on about honing in on my style of writing before I actually wrote the stories I aimed to write to the extent, I found I lost my heart and soul and so did my stories.  I became a show don’t tell writer who turned into a tell don’t show writer and I didn’t know it until only last month, when I was revising three neglected stories to revive, two of which came from before 2002 and were rewritten in 2008 and 2016 – that is how I could tell that I had lost my way. 

I also sat back and wondered about why I had lost my passion to research, read and write?  I blamed a lot of things and people for it, but ultimately it was because I had lost heart and I was no longer giving momentum to those three things that used to bring me joy every day.

I lost contact with several of my favourite forums and journal sites because of some spiteful bullying I endured at the beginning of 2009 from a scorned ex – that broke my network big time, I had developed decade long relationships which were broken down very quickly with his childish games and I just didn’t want to be anywhere where his energy had been at the time.  This caused me to go into what I call “Creative Isolation”.  I had only two creative friends who stuck by me after that event which spread across thirty websites!

But anyway, the blame still lies with me.  I allowed this to affect me in such a way that I created this creative bubble around myself, thus my writing suffered due to lack of oxygen and lack of oxygen made me lose momentum and once momentum is gone it takes will power and a lot of pushing yourself to get it back again, but you can get it back again. 

This is why I mentioned the above book.  I am going to do tasks in the book and post them on my blog for you to critique, I may not respond for a few days at times, as I often forget to check my mails and comments, but I will get to you in time.  I take my craft very seriously, sometimes too seriously that I forget sometimes that it is supposed to be fun.  I know the book has 365 ways, but I will not do one task per day, I may do many a day or my own random tasks whenever I can.

Another post may follow tonight, dependant on what’s going on with the family tonight; We’ve been pretty busy lately and it’s not just me who appears to be sick either, so bear with me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nano Update 15th Nov 2018

Just a little update on how NaNoWriMo is going on for me, so far so good, I have around 8k more to write and the month is complete for me, though the actual story for me is only half done, the novel is not complete even at 8k more words, I know that and I worry that perhaps I drone on a bit too much with my story?  I don’t know right now and at the moment I don’t care, it’s a good story with twists and turns like no other and I am proud of it; especially as I have been really ill, I mean bed bound for three days ill during this nano event.

Later on I will post something else, keep your eyes peeled.

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Just NaNoWriMo today and 750words.com

1700 words on NaNoWriMo today, that’s all.  Nothing else, except for 750words.com.  Disappointing day really.

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Nano Nano

I have written 12826 words towards my goal all told, today I only added 1764, better than I was expecting considering I am still ill and crawled out of bed just to do these words and 750words.com and the blog posts.

all told today with nanowrimo, poetry, blog post, 750words.com and other things I have written 5261 words today.  Now may I please collapse?

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NaNoWriMo update 5th November

Doing well, despite being in bed most of the day, sick with whatever I’ve got.  I think it’s mostly throat and ear infection rather than flu, but anyway.  Forced myself to do 2592 words towards my novel today and 1717 words towards the nano badge of 750words.com

Not bad considering I feel like passing out, though everything took me four hours longer than it would have been on a normal day to do.

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Ugh, flu season earlier than expected by 2 weeks

Woke up today feeling really ill, yes the flu season is upon us but it hit me earlier than I expected, anyway, I forced myself, literally forced myself to write for NaNoWriMo and 750words.com today, the internet has been tetchy off and on today where I thought for a long time that I won’t be able to add any updates to any website too, so I really did feel the fates were against me today, but I pushed through willy nilly and I managed to do both my 750words and 2191 words towards NaNoWriMo – take that, negative vibes!

According to the NaNoWriMo website, if I continue to write as much as I am doing, I should be finished by the 21st November, now how’s that?

Hope things don’t get worse!

 

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NaNoWriMo Day 3

I have written 2361 words today towards my NaNoWriMo focused novel, I don’t often focus more than two thousand words a fortnight to any one novel usually, but I decided I needed to crack on and put a bit more focus into my writing life or else a book will never get written in my life time.

I have several novels on the go usually and most of them take around fifteen years to complete, which is utterly ridiculous, so I have decided to focus on no more than three books at a time, but during NaNoWriMo month, I have decided that only one novel will be focused on throughout the whole of wrimo month this year.  If it works, then I should be making this a lifestyle change!

So far throughout the whole of 2018’s NaNoWriMo I have accomplished 7393 words for the chosen focused novel – the novel is based on a section of my beloved vampires and may or may not be published someday, unsure.

I know a lot of people will be sitting back and wondering, well why are you bothering to write it then if you are not going to get it published?  Well, I am writing it because I want to write it, because the idea in my head has been nagging at me for over ten years and I am sick of it, it need to get out of my head and onto paper so it can hopefully shut up.

It has been hard to do as much as I have done so far because it was the school half term and I had my 8yr old son around my ankles all week and he has been rather badly behaved in comparison too and the whole family has been under general stress, financial worries, poorliness, new rabbit, bad weather, house falling apart, my ear infections again and a migraine today to boot, but I still got the words done and they aren’t that bad either.

If you are going to wait for a perfect time to get writing, wait forever and decide you aren’t really that serious about writing.  Seriously, stop saying you will if only… because perfect days are rare, very, very rare, so stop lying to yourself and write or just give up lovelies. 

I have chosen to be a word warrior, fight on through all the pain and misery and get these books out of my head, I may or may not be successful if I do, I may or may not get published someday if I do write them, but write them I will and I just wait for the mercy of fate to decide what she’s going to do with the manuscripts I’ve made.

So should you, so get slogging or don’t.

 

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Words, NaNoWriMo and more…

A pixabay image

Despite what I had promised myself last year, I am trying to do NaNoWriMo again this year – why did I make this decision?  Simple, in the past six weeks I have been consistently writing daily my 750 words along with a random two thousand other words (mostly not towards a novel). 

To those who are not in the know, you may be thinking “What are 750 words”?  Well, 750 words should be daily written and is an idea based on Julia Cameron’s activities for helping your inner creativity to flow.  This idea can be found in a book she wrote called “The Artist Way”.  There is a website to help you track these daily words, Julia doesn’t specify 750 words, she specifies three pages of long hand written work to be done in the morning, I don’t do long hand so I decided to join this website called 750words.com which worked out that three pages of long hand writing averages to around 750 words per day.

So every day I try to accomplish 750 words from the website, plus adding to my novel and doing poetry, writing songs and research papers for my novels and short stories.  All in all I average around three to four thousand words a day, not really focused in one area – NaNoWriMo is trying to teach me to focus my efforts on one particular thing – I may be successful this year, who knows?

I have heard of a method which kind of makes wrimo easier for people during the flu season, which is reversed NaNoWriMo, where you do three thousand and odd words on the first day and condense it down every day so that on the last day you only write one word, which I think is a brilliant idea because most people are pumped up for NaNoWriMo in the first ten days and then they kind of get fed up, a bit like a diet.  Not to mention a lot of people quit halfway through wrimo because of the flu, as I said it is flu season, so, do a lot now whilst you’re healthy and you can lose a day or two without affecting your goal.

Anyway, daily updates on NaNoWriMo and other writing activities will be posted on here.  There may be fewer poems this month, who knows?

The words for NaNoWriMo yesterday were 1672 (I know, not the three thousand I said I wanted to do – that’s for today) along with 1711 words for my 750words.com account (sometimes I get carried away ranting about life) and another 495 words elsewhere. 

Today so far I have done 1784 words for 750words.com and nothing towards wrimo and around 500 words with this post and I do have an urge to write a poem right now.

So I am going to get going with that and I shall do my wrimo words when my son is in bed tonight.

Fingers crossed I will accomplish wrimo this month and this year, just for the feel good factor, I am writing about my vampires in a new story, as I said many times before, I am very possessive of my vampires so it is unlikely I will get that book published by the end of it.

Ciao for now.

 

 

 

 

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