Tag Archives: fiction

Vampire Loyalty

I have been watching Vampire Diaries season one this week, I have just finished episode fourteen and I have to say, I am a little disappointed with the lack of vampire loyalty in the plot.  Vampires seem to kill more vampires than they do people in this show and I have to ask, what is that all about?  From what I know of vampires if they are not solitary creatures they are pack animals and I think that the writers here had a hard time trying to decide which type of vampire they wanted to write about.  It is like they cannot decide whether they want a solitary vampire, a vampire twosome that has run away from the pack, or a pack style vampire story.

That’s my observation so far with the series.

Another observation is this, when are we going to get a TV series that concentrates purely on vampires rather than mortal/vampire romances and also throwing in werewolves, witches and other things into the equation too?  When is this going to happen?  When are we going to get a TV series where vampires have vampire relationships and there are no other supernatural beings but them?

I am waiting on that…

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snippet 2

It was midnight and Sophie was brushing her lush brown hair that she had just taken out of her beautiful bun and her eyes became heavy, ready for sleep, when she caught a glimpse of a little girl in a cobalt blue dress at the corner of her eye reflected in the mirror in front of her.

Sophie started for a moment and looked behind her, but the little girl had gone.  She shrugged this off as a sleepy hallucination and continued brushing her hair.

Crash went the vase at the other end of the bedroom, smashing into pieces on the floor making Sophia stand up in a start.

What on earth caused that?  She thought.  She started to become anxious, alone in the house with no children of her own and no pets for the cause.  She decided to get downstairs fast to phone her husband who was on his nightshift at Donaldi’s a restaurant in town.

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Shortest story ever written by me

The fog was seen rolling over the city like some predatory animal swallowing up thousands of people in one fair scoop at a time like some giant anteater.  Within five minutes the city was bare.

Everyone had gone, dead, eaten by this thing, this cloud and I could only watch in horror from a safe distance, sitting on a hill.

 

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Conversation with a tree

copyright 2016 Tina Cousins

copyright 2016 Tina Cousins

I had a conversation with a tree today.
The tree told me about the deforestation that his friends were experiencing in some parts of the forest.
He told me that this didn’t bother him much, you see, you have to see the positives of life; that even in death, there is everlastingness.
I asked him what he meant and he explained that nothing that dies is wasted, not truly. Even in death you have your uses, you are needed, and you still exist.
I asked about spirits and reincarnation to him, but he simply replied, perhaps, but there is more to it than that.
Take me, for instance, said the tree. When the woodcutters come to claim my life, I may still have my roots to keep me alive, but if that isn’t to be the case, you must think. What do the woodcutters make from me? Wood to burn to enhance their life for a few hours so they do not freeze to death in winter? Then I become ashes and what becomes of those ashes? Those ashes are still a part of the wonderful circle of life; I become potash for various floras, bringing life into this world, simply by my dying.
I sat fascinated and watched the wind rustle his leaves, too in awe to speak.
The tree continued on with his explanation, with patience and love. I am made into paper, for your journal, enriching the lives of humans by whatever the pages contain within, a store of knowledge, a canvas for art, a visual guide to places you may never have a chance to go to if it weren’t for me.
If not a book then shelves to put them on or I might become the chair that you sit in to read those books, or the bed that you lie in to dream about those books and art pieces.
I may become part of the tools that cut my friends down, giving them a new lease of life and usefulness.
When I am gone and I am cut down, homes may be built in place of where I stood. Perhaps farms will develop here and feed the world? Or perhaps my offspring will grow in my place?
Death is not the end, but it is the beginning of new things.
As to the subject raised earlier, yes, I do believe in spirit and I believe that with the spirit of nature everything is eternal; it just depends on your perception of it; of course, most people’s perceptions about it are wrong.
They cloud themselves up in the dark negativity of everything, which they don’t allow themselves to see the light and what a positive thing it can be.
I thanked the tree for his insight and went home to write this for you.

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Vlad Dracula III

Since the 2nd January I have been slowly reading a history book with a fine comb called “Dracula, Prince of many faces; his life and his times”. I am reading this because I have never sat down at length and read an autobiography of the real legendary hero of Romania outside of short documentaries, articles and mentions in other history books.
So, because a lot of the things I knew about Vlad Dracula before I read this book seem to come from so many other sources, I feel that they are perhaps more accurate than this book. I know you probably think I am wrong to state that because the person who wrote the book was a historian, though I dispute it nonetheless; on the ground that according to my research the Florescu family were well known to be enemies of the Dracula’s and this book was no less written by Radu Florescu, possibly a descendant from those enemies.
I found the historian to be a sympathiser of the Turks and the Ottoman empire despite his apparent heritage; he also doesn’t view Dracula in the same light as other historians and other sources that I have read and he seems to have altered certain facts of major events within his life to make Dracula come across as an unstable tyrant who was unpopular from the start; quite the contrary to the fact. OK, I grant you it is tyrannical to go around killing people in the manner that he did, but by and large he is a much loved hero in Romanian culture, not something a lot of tyrants can proclaim.
So, it makes me wonder, if a lot of Romanians hold Dracula up in a favourable light, whether or not Dracula was as bad as this historian claims he was?
Obviously taking his executions into account they were evil and sadistic, but then again the same could be said for a lot of other cultures in the world at those times. He especially learned his techniques in every manner from the decade or so he was held prisoner and educated by the Turks themselves, so, he is as he was nurtured and the Turks certainly did nurture him ultimately for their own gain. They wanted money, horses, food and a certain amount of young boys integrated into the Ottoman empire to form part of their expanding armies as a sort of security against any Wallachian response and allowed Dracula to govern Wallachia for them, something of which didn’t last long once Vlad Dracula established himself back on his home soil; Dracula rightfully denied the payment and tried to juggle diplomacy between the Turks and the Hungarians for a long time, though eventually it was decided that the Turks were taking too much advantage of their supposed alliance and Dracula dealt with them promptly and harshly as would any other good ruler of the times.
The attack on German immigrants however, is a new thing that I’ve learned about him from this book. Because it is the first I have heard of these events, I cannot dispute it as a legitimate fact.
Many of the things I have learned about Vlad Dracula have made me feel in awe of his cleverness in these very tricky treaties and wars. He was very canny and wasn’t easily duped.
His reactions against the Turks taking possession of his land was by poisoning everything valuable such as wells and damaging his own crops and livestock; he also built dams to mire the edges of the Danube to protect his people from the canon fire from the Turks and then ensuring that his own people moved to safer places away from the invaders leading up to the famous “night of attack” was a very admirable feat, and showed how benevolent he was towards his people despite claims from German sources; He was also incredibly lucky, as six years before this event he was in a war where only 8000 Romanian peasants armed with only pitchforks and scythes, ousted 24000 Turkish professional troops, how he mustered that I have no idea, but to me it shows me how great he actually was, I am very taken by the history of this great and unappreciated man!
I am not taking for granted that things within this book are fact – due to the other sources I’ve learned from. I cannot vouch for whom or where those other sources came from, but I do know one of them was about the legend of Dracula in both media, fiction and fact in one of Jonathan Ross’s specials where a baroness spoke of how great a hero Vlad Dracula actually was and how rightfully offended she was of various inaccuracies and the fact that this great man was turned into a successful horror story.
Some of the events in Draculas life seems more altered in this book than from the other sources too, for example, the incident where he killed a man’s wife and replaced her – from other sources it was said that she didn’t iron his clothes properly and that he was a soldier in Dracula’s army, this book claims he was a normal peasant and his wife got the length of the shirt wrong – so there are some questions about who is right or not.
I have no formal qualifications in anything of which I am saying, but I have read a lot and watched a lot of documentaries over the years about this great prince; I am also an amateur genealogist. I like reading books about wars and royal classes from the 11th to the 17th century and all over the world not just limited to Europe. I read and study these independently to assist me to write such things accurately in any fiction I write, I write a lot containing feudalism generally in many of my fantasy works.
I also educate myself on all kinds of superstitions around the world and so-called heathen beliefs, to again, make my worlds seem more real. I have studied the social sciences to help me further, though I gave up my undergraduate qualification when I found my illness and having a toddler very difficult to juggle with university studies.
By and large I try hard to learn about all things cultural and I think if you are making worlds that aren’t based on Earth or are based on an earlier time on Earth, you need to do the same thing too, otherwise everything will seem unreal to the reader.

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Filed under About my work, Cultural Stuff, My inspirations, My life, reviews

Chivalry by Neil Gaiman

Chivalry by Neil Gaiman
The first short story from the Neil Gaiman anthology “Smoke and Mirrors”, “chivalry” was enchanting in that it bought medieval fairy-tale to the modern world and included as a main character a person who is rarely considered for a main protagonist role in literature – an old lady browsing the shelves of a charity shop for some hidden gem; and what she found was a chalice that had unknowingly to her special links to the knights of the round table. A clever tale of bartering and cunning, knights and old ladies, wishes coming true and a taste of real history all rolled into one, made this story, for me, delightful.

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Daily Pages 1 2015

Daily pages are just that, to be written daily.
If I for whatever reason have forgotten to do so, some day, please email me at misstcousins@hotmail.com and tell me to pull my finger out and write them, if you are a fellow author or artist, because I need some motivation and support in my creativity at times; being lonely and without creative friends makes me lethargic and lazy.
Usually it is required to write three pages per day in your daily pages alone until you have built a habit of writing again; I start these and do it well for about seven weeks but then I lose interest and then I do not write for three or four months at a time; this is not because I have no interest in writing or because I am forcing myself to write because I am interested in the money prospect once published – but because I get lazy, I get ill, I get side-tracked by new games online or 1000 piece puzzles and painting.
I am 32yrs old, I have only one friend offline and I see her less than once a month because I live an isolated life, because of my sickness. I am trying to see her more often, especially as she is only four doors away from my house and her name is Alona, she is Latvian and we became friends because my son and her daughter goes to school together and are in the same class and are best friends.
Alona seems to me to be the perfect friend, one that is there for you during your ups and downs and though I personally don’t see her often, she helps a lot. My husband and my son see her daily and occasionally she looks after Henry for me if I have appointments that are at the times where we should pick him up from school – he enjoys going there and playing with his best friend Alice.
I just wish I could do more for Alona, as I am sorry to say it all seems too one-sided this friendship and I feel like I am taking advantage of her good nature.
Alona’s husband is a builder and has often offered to do our house up for us for free, I couldn’t possibly allow it, he works too much as it is.
I am reading a lot more lately too, I am getting through two to three books a week now, particularly books based on art and how to paint and cosmic ordering.
I must say however, that the more I read, the less I want to write fiction because I feel that I am stealing from someone all the time or many people, I don’t think there are original ideas anymore and I don’t want to come across as a cheating fraud; I have been on numerous writers groups online and they’ve all said that I shouldn’t worry about it and just simply write and get things published as a lot of people have confidence in me that I have natural talent not only in writing but also art. I still feel fraudulent though.
Today is a Saturday when I am writing these daily pages and they won’t be published until tomorrow, daily pages will be published on my blog the day after I have written them because I am trying to get ahead in my writing of this blog.
I am a little confused by myself, I created this blog to be based mostly around fantasy short stories and it has become a personal life and poetry blog instead, fully unintentionally, I am actually disappointed in myself for allowing it to be side-tracked, but it will be side-tracked a lot from now onwards because I do plan to talk about a great number of things, from food, to culture, as well as fiction and poetry.
Horror will be present on this blog too, so if you’re going to be too squeamish it might not be for you.
I am also very spiritual and will talk about various things in regards to spirituality and the occult.
Something random, today I went the hospital for an appointment with my consultant, yes a Saturday morning, no lie ins today; and on the bus I saw a lovely site, sitting on the fence in the beautiful English countryside just outside the East side of Coventry city, between Pailton and there, was a buzzard watching some sheep and it turned its head and looked directly at me, it was amazing.
I was also confused by some hedgehogs which seemed to be up and about at midday, two in fact, in half a mile distance to one and other, I thought they were strictly nocturnal.
I am unhappy with the fur I found outside my house today too, lots of it, looks like some animal had had it ripped right out of them in the night, I was a little unsettled, because I got myself involved a few years ago online with some witch friends and I got myself an American boyfriend who turned nasty and jealous with my offline friendships in the UK and he turned my friends against me and when they hate someone they do curse them and stalk them and tend not to forget them. It makes me wonder, you know?
Though Paul my husband reckons he heard a very aggressive cat fight last night around 3am, I take his word for it because I am nearly totally deaf these days without both my hearing aids in and when I am asleep the only way I can wake up from day to day is to be patted on the rump, I can’t even hear an alarm clock!
It is weird you know to think that it is cheaper to travel 120 miles away to visit a friend to a free entry fete in Sheffield than it is to go to a local adventure playground park, I bought this up because soon it is half-term and I am thinking about doing something with my son Henry; I was hoping to take him to The Conkers Discovery Center near Ashby-De-La-Zouch and it would cost us for the whole day around £90 – 110, whereas a trip to Sheffield to visit my friend at a free classic car show will be £18 return ticket via coach, it’s a mad world.
I then looked into taking him to the nearest zoo, all costs included; train fayre, food, tickets etc. will set us back £250.
We have a leaking roof which will cost us £3000 to replace as we’ve bought this house outright now, we have a new boiler system being put in next week and we are in dire need for a skip that will cost £150 for what we need.
My health is getting really crap now, excuse my French and so, I thought enough is enough and it’s time for a change – so I decided to re-enter my interest in cosmic ordering and ho’oponoopono to get my life back to where I want it to go and not where other people are forcing it to go.
I was told for cosmic ordering to be truly beneficial to you and your life, you must not set yourself limits or be humble in what you want, you’ve got to be completely honest with yourself about what you want from life or else it will feel you are trying to cheat the system and you won’t get exactly what you want – or if you do, there will be things you will still be unhappy about – so I have made a list of the things I really truly want, to the maximum and greediest of my dreams for a perfect life.
My wants and needs are thus;
I want a garden bigger than 1.5 acres not sure how big I am willing to go, but the garden must be able to contain a large area for guinea pigs and guinea breeding and rearing (breeding to keep and show, not sell or give away). The area should contain several pens to separate males and females for selective breeding and each pen should contain 20 individuals with lots of space for toys, and a little tunnel that leads outside in the garden for fresh air. My husband Paul used to breed guinea pigs in the past, so he has the necessary experience to do this.
The garden must also be big enough for me to have an agility training area for my dogs, Paul and I have agreed we must have at least 4; one pair will breed a litter where we will keep at least 1 pup and keep that line in our family for generations if possible. Again I will show my breeding pair of dogs, the other two dogs I won’t because we plan on having a giant breed and a lapdog, the breeding pair will be some kind of spaniel or collie. I have the necessary experience to train dogs, in fact I very nearly got a job as a police dog trainer, but because the job involved me bringing home two pups to live with me during their training my mum wouldn’t let me take the job (I lived with her at the time).
The garden must also be big enough for 50 fruit trees, particularly apples and hazelnuts, as we want to hire dormice to help them breed and work with the national wildlife trust.
We also want a vegetable and fruit patch at least 50ft square.
We want a large patio area with potted herbs that’s approximately 30 by 30ft and a large BBQ area; this patio area might be extended to an outdoor swimming pool that will have a pull enclosure that’s attached to the house so we aren’t limited to using it only in the summer.
We also want a little meadow flower patch to attract bees, we want to hire a beehive, and we also want a pond big enough to take 6 Aylesbury ducks.
We also need an area to put chickens, up to 30 of them.
And a little flower garden, a football field for the kids, another field with several adventure playground apparatus for the kids and finally a little moss garden retreat for me.
Ideally this house will contain a brook or a stream flowing through the garden somewhere.
As for the house we need a lounge for visitors, a family lounge, and a large shared office for me and Paul, a huge kitchen with a dining area and room for a sofa and an island and a walk in larder, as I am Ina Garten in this family.
We also want a separate formal dining room as we will host dinners.
We also need a large art and music studio as I do compose music as well as paint and write.
A play room for the kids downstairs would be an added bonus, a downstairs toilet, an outside toilet, a three car garage, an annexe for a housekeeper, and a minimum of 5 bedrooms because I want more kids and I have relatives that travel down from Manchester a lot who needs a place to stay at Christmas time.
My life will involve painting, writing, composing, and voluntary work, prop making for theatres and going to auction houses.
Ideally I would want for nothing, never to be in the situation again of deciding between going to the hospital via bus or having £8 less in the food budget that week, which is a lot, considering the current food budget, is £50 a week.
I do not want to drive, but Paul wants a large garage for two cars, one that’s large for day trips with the kids and friends, and another little run around for us to do shopping in when the kids are at school, he also wants a RV as we’ll take regular trips to Great Yarmouth and Dorset and the peak district for photography and rock pool reasons.
We’d also like to drive across Europe from time to time.
I would love to go to the fantasycon every year; I would love to go shopping in New York at Christmas time. I would love my health to get better so I can start living now I am away from forced isolation.
I want to be able to be a Goth again (though not a strict one as I get rainbow moments, hippy moments, sexy jazzy moments, steampunk moments and middle eastern harem belly dancer moments) and to afford their plus sizes as I am not a lightweight, I can barely afford normal types of clothes, let alone alternative fashions.
I want to say to my son, yes I can buy you those Disney Cars pyjamas that are £25, there you go – I want to be able to buy things off the rack in shops and not have a buy now and pay later account in some catalogue.
I want to surrender to my urges that one day I wake up and I say to myself, I want to go by bus to town, just to go to the library and sit about for a couple of hours and then come back home without second thoughts that this will cost me £7 out of our weekly food budget.
I don’t want to sit around for 3 months waiting for me to save enough to get more brushes or paints to finish a painting I’ve started, which is a regular occurrence.
I want to make friends that are so at home with me they think they’re family – I don’t want friends that are there just for fun or just to rant about life, I want positive, creative, spiritual and family oriented people who want friends because they want emotional support, they love people, they crave being with others and sharing food and homes with them.
That’s the dream life for me.
This is what I am working towards with my cosmic ordering ideas.
Wish me luck xx

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Droid Pox

In a previous post last year, I mentioned that I play scrabble to rev up my brain for writing each day and also to assist me in writers block; some games take on a life of their own and bring about themes or stories unwittingly.
This happened to me again on my last game.

The theme seemed to be robots, technology and disease; it gave me a wonderful idea for a story that I don’t think I can pull off because it’s too technical and I am not a very technologically minded person.

The words played were “Droid”, “Pox”, “Robot”, “Death”, “Fail” and the idea these words gave me were…

A futuristic tale based on robotic advancements that are so great, robots take on a life of their own and a new computer virus is designed by outcast Eco-warrior type people who live rurally around the cities, specifically designed to kill off the new robotic race; quite similar to the idea behind the cyber-men in doctor who; this made me think of a droid pox that affects metals, electric and robots irreparably as it sort of corrodes the metal, this will also affect the infrastructure of the world – basically things that aren’t robot specific.

Obviously such a thing will cause a collapse of buildings, bridges, transportation, trade, importation, and society, as humans will have to start relying on their own manual labor as they did centuries before the collapse and they can’t cope – some can’t cope emotionally because some of the droids affected were disabled relatives that were given lifesaving or life enhancing robotic organs and limbs etc.

I really have no idea how to pull this off as I am not scientific or technologically minded at all and I really want to write this, but I think this will be an abandoned idea.

Shame really.

I am willing to discuss this with people who are science/technology savvy on this subject and perhaps we can work together on this story?

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A peach

A ball of burnt orange and red felt is clasped within my hands, I can smell its fragrance it taunts me to take a bite, I feel obliged. Slowly I bite the over ripe fruit and the juice trickles down my chin, drenching my white blouse but I do not care, for the moment and those moments after is sheer heavenly bliss.

The ball of felt has teased all of my senses, the furriness caresses my lips, and the fruit is tangy, watery and cool on my tongue and in my mouth, the fragrance appetizing, alluring, and enveloping and the sight soul clenching.

A slight embarrassment takes me over as I hear the lapping of the juices around my mouth, a little laughter of my friends who’ve noted my secret pleasure with the summer snack, abashed I take a napkin and wipe myself clean, that fruit was simply, perfectly supreme.

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Filed under Writers block results

home to paradise

I was floating above my shell last night

About to travel to the world of my dreams

But then I stopped

I don’t know why

It’s frustrating that I do not fly into that other realm

Maybe it’s because the idea overwhelms?

Oh is it real?  I can’t tell

But I know it’s a place that’s put me under its spell

Maybe they’ll call me tonight or maybe not?

I hope so; to me it means a lot

Though I worry that it’s not all real

That a game is being played

I sometimes think that way and I shouldn’t

But I think I’m mentally frayed

Well one day I shall know

And if it’s real my happiness will overflow

But if it’s not, then my soul will die

Because for many years this place has made me cry

For I want to go home

I want to go home to my paradise

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