Tag Archives: History

Considering non-fiction

A common piece of advice in the writing world is “write what you know” and although I do like to write a lot of things for research and so forth I have never really completely considered writing non-fiction before, but now I feel I would like to, for magazines eventually.  I have contemplated writing for a couple of specific hobby magazines because I have extensive knowledge on their main subjects.  I am going to list what I feel I know a lot about here and I may or may not share posts in the future of these subjects just to give you a taste of what I know.

Gardening

More specifically no dig, organic, permaculture, poly-culture style gardening.  This also includes wildlife gardening and creating mini-ecosystems, building a pond and dry stone walling.

I am also very knowledgeable in wild food foraging, where plants originated from and native British species, this also includes an interest in garden ornithology, and I wouldn’t say I am a bird watcher, but I pay too much attention to the wildlife and bird life within my own personal property that I have gotten to know their numbers as well as their habits.

I would also say that regarding garden pests and flora disease I am also a very knowledgeable biological warrior, using only nature against nature, nothing man-made, to benefit my plant-life, this means I will sometimes grow things I don’t specifically want, simply to provide my garden what I call “Sacrificial” plants.

Along with this I have had an avid interest in flora folklore/superstitions and ancient medical uses and my flora Latin is quite good, almost Carol Klein like.  I keep up to date with the gardening world as much as possible and before my health and benefit cuts happened I was a subscriber to four of Britain’s most renowned gardening magazines amongst other magazines I was interested in – bit of a magazine addict I was/am.

I have a huge amount of experience gardening a lot throughout my life (not professionally) but in the past three years specifically it has been only in dribs and drabs and the garden is looking a mess to put it lightly, namely because of health complications.

American professional wrestling between the years 1990 and 2003

I was an addict of watching wrestling when I was 10yrs old right up until I met an ex-boyfriend who didn’t approve of how much I loved wrestling.  I watched every kind of wrestling that was available to me, I bought every VHS and DVD I could afford at the time and I was even planning to go to America to learn how to wrestle – upon reflection it is a good thing I didn’t considering my career would have been over aged 30 because of these health problems!  I read a lot of wrestling magazines and body building magazines because I was so into it, then aged 21 I kind of grew up and loss contact with wrestling almost completely until last year.  I now sparsely watch TNA and AEW.

I am not sure I could write very much about what I knew from that long ago because it would be considered too ancient for anyone to care, I suppose?

Dogs, dog breed histories and dog training and grooming

I have been considered by people who know me as being the female British version of Cesar Milan as I seem to be a dog whisperer and have helped several people understand their dog’s behaviour!

I know it sounds absolutely awful but a few weeks ago on TV there was a show on it called train your baby like a dog and I have to say it is absolutely true – I see no difference whatsoever in training a dog than I do a baby and vice versa, it is very similar!  Every social creature has an innate desire to become dominant within its social circle and this usually is the worst during infancy, every social creature eventually learns through infancy and good guidance from its elders that it has to follow rules or there will be ramifications, it is not different to humans at all.  Humanity has to get over this silly idea that humans are different to animals.

You get a neglected child and they tend to grow up off the rails and they attack authority at all costs in many cases, you get a well nurtured child and they are more likely to fall in line and be a good citizen.  I know from personal experience not every child who is neglected grows up to become an anarchist, because not every child in the world has the desire to control others.  Children like I was simply wanted the world to be a lovely peaceful place and this in turn, made me quite a submissive and quiet individual.  My brother on the other hand was the type to go off the rails and fight authority all his life.  My other brother was nurtured pretty well because he was a love child and was wanted, unlike me and the other brother, consequently he is a neutral person who has a good relationship with his mother and is socially stable with very little emotional problems.

It is the same with dogs in my opinion.  You nurture that dog like it is your personal baby and depending on how much discipline you demand of it, it will either take advantage of you and become a nasty biting little dog, or it will grow up a stable individual who loves his mama and will obey at all costs.  By discipline I don’t mean shout and yell or kick and hit, that is disgusting behaviour which will eventually become a habitual behaviour in whatever creature you are nurturing as it will become a normality for them.

With a dog, like a baby and a toddler you command and teach with as few words as possible that you repeat regularly so not to confuse them, so it sinks in and you give them infinite patience no matter how you feel.

Superstitions and folklore around the world including cryptozoology

I have had a massive interest in all things supernatural and all things strange and unknown since I was around seven years of age.  I have studied extensively as many books on the subject as possible, particularly witchcraft and vampires, but there has been other creatures and situations I have been interested in hugely.  I have also been interested in peasant folklore and their beliefs, such as talking to the bees, bowing and saluting magpies and being aware of what colour and type of flower you bring to a person or a house.  I am interested in the Victorian art of the language of flowers, something I should have mentioned above in the gardening section.  I have been gifted beautiful bunches of flowers and often hide a laugh behind my polite thank you smile, when I notice I have been gifted red and white lilies as in some superstitions around the world red and white denotes death as well as lilies being the flower of death.  I don’t hold with the superstitions myself, but I love learning about them.  For example, I have bought lilacs and hawthorns into my home as part of my cut flower display for the dining table, many superstitious people would say that my health is my own fault then, because those plants bought into the house will make the head of the house sick and even kill them within a couple of months.

World History primarily European and Chinese history

This is another subject that I am interested in, particularly my own personal genetic history and the history of aristocrats, royalty and gypsies, also ancient warfare and combat.  The history I am interested in is vast, I also love reading about architecture too and fashion from the ages.  I have a lot of useless information in my head if I wasn’t a writer, but as I am a writer these so-called useless bits of information that seem to serve no purpose are actually polished gems which will help me create real feeling worlds in my novels.

Food is another interest of mine

I am knowledgeable in vegan and vegetarian dishes (but not a vegetarian or vegan myself), the paleo lifestyle and the diet known as The Wahl’s Protocol, Mediterranean diet, Indian and Chinese diet, as well as desserts and pies and so forth.  I love cooking and baking, sugar crafting and making homemade sweets, cakes etc. you name it, I love it.  Despite my allergies, which adds another skill to my list, all these things above I can do gluten and lactose free!  I don’t just research recipes and share them either, I am so interested in the world around me and how to keep healthy (because let’s face it I need to try and stop being ill) that I can tell you the sorts of vitamins and minerals you will find in each piece of food you eat as well as tell you the best way to grow it and it’s best companion plants in the garden to grow it next to and the type of soil it needs for the highest of nutritional benefit!

I make compotes, jams and chutneys, soups, pies, pastries, cakes, bread, I am just very versatile in the kitchen, but I must warn you… I am one of these strange people in life who can’t do anything simple like omelettes or frying sausages, without burning them or myself, the more complicated the recipe, the better I am!

Chickens too

Yes you heard it; I am knowledgeable about keeping chickens and how to keep them healthy, including any plants you must avoid around them and using their chicken manure as well as making excellent homemade chicken stock and soup.

Gemstone healing

I used to be into this big time, but lately I am so ill with so many things going on that unless I lay down for three hours a day I really don’t benefit much from these anymore, simply because I can’t lay down for more than 3 minutes on a bad day without choking.

But the stuff I know seems to work for others.

Religion and religious history from around the world

Despite being renowned as a person with humanist leanings and having no precise religion, I am actually quite obsessed about learning about religion in all its forms and researching intensively.  I don’t have a religion because I don’t like to commit to something which could actually be what I call a “deceivers religion”, I am paranoid about getting it wrong.  In a lot of my research material I have discovered amazing things that have surprised me so much I have been absolutely stupefied at how little so-called pious people know about their own faith and its origins.

I try not to preach to people when religion is bought up (only inform so they can make their own decisions about things) but I am shocked about how little they know of their own faith, it is hard, but I have made a point that as far as religion and politics are concerned, I can air my beliefs online on social media but I will not engage on any debate about it, because once you commit to something like that, it will become a never ending argument as neither side tends to relent.  For some religious people, when I simply state “each to their own and lets agree to disagree” they simply won’t leave it at that.  I have extensive knowledge of Judaism, Catholicism and Christianity in all its forms as well as Hinduism and Buddhism; I haven’t much knowledge just yet on Islam or Sikhism unfortunately.  But I also know a lot about ancient religions such as Norse, Greek, Roman, Egyptian and especially Sumerian beliefs.

It is interesting to read the origin of Christianity too; a lot of the original beliefs are not upheld in Christian communities of today, a Christian from the time of Christ’s death around the time it first started, would have a problem digesting a lot of what goes on in Christian communities of today.

For me personally God is gender-less, they do not have a name simply as being known as a creator or more specifically the creator, I cannot give them an image nor assume that they are in human form just because I am, I will not presume what he deems is good and evil, but I do believe he will give me the innate instinct of knowing what he thinks about certain things I am pondering before I do them.  If I think I would feel bad or remorseful after doing something, I generally consider that as a sign I must not do it and I have had this belief for nearly 18yrs.  It is naughty to presume anything about God or the creator, no one must think they can speak for him or make laws based on what they believe he wants – because I do also believe there is a deceiver who works against the truth and that is the evil in the world.  If anything hurts or kills or hates or does anything remotely negative, it has been influenced by the evil in the world or the deceiver as I call them.  I will also state that I do believe billions of people can be wrong, because billions of people can be duped, look at the concept of fake new for one thing – fake news is not new.  I must admit I have been planning a book on this, but I am scared I will become the new Salman Rushdie with death threats and so forth.  Paul believes he has never met a more pious person in his life, pious but without religion, pious but without an explanation to the world and he would never dare call me religious in a mainstream sense, because that would be very wrong, there is no religion in the world which is remotely pure enough that it cannot be tainted in some way and I believe I am by far from perfect, no one can be perfect in a world where evil resides so freely.

Some people in the past have considered me to be a Satanist, simply because I quoted something that Satan was reputed to have said once.  I am trying to remember the source where I read it from, but he was quoted in saying “I do not hate God, but I hate the God of man”, which in my opinion tells me a lot, it tells me that the God of man is what man has made for himself either by humanities own design or by the design of a great deceiver, which also shows me that Satan is not someone who is at war with God if I were to believe the Judo-Christian concept – it means there is a different devil at work, someone who has cleverly kept his name unknown and has spread bad media against those of the truth, whilst endeavouring over the centuries to conceal, hide and destroy the truth, to confuse humanity with false knowledge.

It is very deep stuff, but it is worth thinking about.

I believe wholeheartedly that there is a balance in the universe and at present the balance is tipping hither and tither good and evil, there is definitely a power struggle and I have no idea why humanity is key in it all nor whether or not humans are the only creatures on earth who have a religion, because I am not Dr Doolittle.  But we can’t presume that animals don’t have a religion no more than we can presume what the truth is.

You can find the truth in a lot of lies, because a liar can never remember their own lies and will often slip up.  If you read many conflicting religious ideas over the centuries you do begin to see a pattern of both inconsistencies and consistencies.

I know I am religious in my own way because five years ago a person in the street yelled next to me at some Jehovah Witnesses in Birmingham this “God is dead”! and for me, that was a knife through the heart and stomach and it made me feel quite ill, it affected me badly enough that Paul had to stop me ranting at them about how wrong and evil they were to state it.

I know some of my poetry seem to attack God directly, but you have never asked which God I am writing about.  Usually when I write about God so venomously I write about the God of man or the deceptive God and I will tell you something extraordinary and you may not be inclined to believe it.  But when I was 25yrs old I spoke a lot about my beliefs on four religious and spiritual forums and I was researching for the truth, I discovered many things, many so-called secret societies and secrecy in general, I was shocked to find in my private message box, a message from the Vatican telling me that what I say may or may not indeed be true, but I must stop talking about it, lest I have problems from them.  Thinking nothing of it, for a short while in my life I noticed I was stalked, primarily by priests and nuns which is unnerving and a strange coincidence.  When I decided to stop vocalising about it all, they stopped following me.

Now is this a coincidence?  I was never really sure.  But it is food for thought.  Coincidentally, seven people I knew from the forums that refused to be quiet on the same subjects, died in accidents in less than two years after my silence and a further two people were arrested for apparently nothing and was never released, weird enough their families and friends are unable to visit them which has caused big stirs with the authorities.

It is a strange world out there, stranger than you think and more secretive and deceptive than you think.

Arts and crafts

I have a  broad scope of knowledge regarding arts and crafts, from doing 1000 piece puzzles, to knitting, sewing, embroidery, decoupage, greeting card making, scrap-booking, felt making, making Christmas and Halloween decorations, you name it, I have probably done it for a time. 

Learning languages and having an interest in the origins of words and names

For some of my friends I can come across as a bit of a Susie Dent from Countdown to them, I will explain the name and origins of their chosen names for their babies and I will bring up words they’ve never heard of before because they have recently been removed from the English dictionary and I am vainly trying to popularise those words so that they can get back into the dictionary once again.  I had a huge debate three weeks ago with a bunch of online friends about the new username I have on a game site we use, the word was Eventide, a lot of people misunderstood this as being Eve as in Adam and Eve and some others thought what does ide mean?  Because they thought I meant event ide as some thought perhaps I loved fishing!  Well no, eventide is old English for evening and they can’t understand why I just didn’t name myself Evening instead.  How boring.  A lot of people are forgetting the use for the words dawn and dusk and even twilight, you say the word twilight now and they instantly think shitty teen vampire movie.  Twilight by the way is my most favourite time of the day, it is so beautiful sometimes and I have often thought about naming a daughter Twyla because of it, though the meaning of the name Twyla is old English for two or double, usually given to a twin daughter a lot like the name Thomas for boys, which also means twin.  I know quite a bit of Latin, I am currently a level 3 Italian students, fluent in French, tourist ability in Japanese and Spanish and I have learned excellent methods of learning languages at an incredible speed.  If I practise a language an hour a day I am usually fluent within the year at most, regarding languages I am a fast learner, astute, adroit, you name it!  It can be difficult to speak in all the words I know because I still have that working class way inbuilt into me, but I can shift the manner of which I speak very well to whomever I am talking to at the time.  I don’t mean my voice, I don’t mean my personal mannerisms or accent, I am simply talking about going from tabloid to broadsheet whenever the situation needs it!  I often sit there, with my semi-working-class accent talking to people of upper middle or high class talking to me, they think working class, OK, I use some big words here to make myself sound smarter and I sit there and grin because I can use big words too, it is a lovely feeling to have, smarm.

That’s about it really.   That and general literature, but that is mostly useful for quizzes or recommendations rather than being a piece of worthwhile knowledge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy New Year & update

Happy New Year everybody!

This is just an update on what has been going on with me;

Today has been the first day since the 21st December 2019 that I have been able to actually leave my bed for more than an hour, flu hit me hard and fast and without warning and then it turned as it always does into a chest and double ear bacterial infection. (I pre-scheduled some posts for the holidays in anticipation for this) I have been on antibiotics but there are still bubbles in my chest so, I may have to go back to the doctor again on Friday about that.  Thankfully my chest has not been as bad as it usually is this time of year and that could be down to the fact that I am taking care of myself better – I literally did confine myself to my bed all this time and have been drinking something akin to 3 litres of fluids a day to keep myself hydrated.  My vertigo and asthma has been bad though.

I should be much better by the end of next week if all goes well – which makes this illness thankfully short in duration.

There has been a suggestion that my post nasal drip and chest problems could be COPD, a friend is convinced I have to have this looked into.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be that because my mother and other relatives have this condition, though I have never known them to be so severe for so long.

I am also convinced that the lumps I get in various parts of my body are not what my GP calls “folliculitis” at all, because these lumps come up within hours or a day or two before I get hit badly with infections, colds and flus, I told this to them but they seem to be smarmy enough to know more than I do about my bodies reactions!  Whenever I get badly sick, doctors are always surprised at how swollen I am everywhere, but still, the warning lumps as I call them are only folliculitis, not a sign of anything else at all.

Goodreads.com annual reading challenge I set myself for 2019 was 75 books and I managed to read 119 (and a half). 

Goodreads challenge this year for 2020 will be 104 books.  Which, health willing, I should be able to totally smash by August.

This illness is making me go off of food lately.  I am really begin to dislike food, I don’t enjoy it anymore and I don’t think it is just the illness as this has been coming on slowly for the last couple of months – but since this flu started I have virtually not wanted a thing at all.  I think I have lost a lot of weight in the past two weeks, my pyjamas are very big on me and there seems to be gaps in places I haven’t had in a while. 

I don’t normally watch a lot of TV but this illness has dictated that I have watched an average of 10 hours of TV per day since the 21st – watching a lot of stuff that has been giving me a lot of inspiration but unfortunately too tired to write most of them down.  Mostly I have watched Minions and Shrek, fantasy movies and wildlife documentaries.  I like the new BBC Dracula series that’s on this New Year, but then again it is vampires, why am I not surprised?

Over the past few months I have been lulling over two ideas based on the novel Dracula, which is unusual for me, as my vampires are usually unique characters designed purely by me, but these two particular ideas I have are entirely based on the original novel by Bram Stoker.

One idea of which is based on the viewpoint of Dr Van Helsing and it is based on the future rather than the past.  It is based on a post-apocalyptic world.

The other idea I have is based on the viewpoint of the three brides of Dracula, there is a big twist though with one of the brides, based on European history and so forth, so it is more than I let on.

A couple of days before the flu struck me down, I did more genealogical research on my family and found out I am a descendant of someone in history I have always particularly hated – typical isn’t it?  I found out I am descended as a 23rd great granddaughter to Ralph DeNeville through his daughter Philippa.  Since discovering this, I have been getting ideas based on these times as well, with a fantasy twist of course.  I have been thinking about writing alternative historical fantasy fiction.  I am very keen on history so I think I could make it come across very realistic, the thing is, I will not leave fantasy out of the equation, so there will be a lot of strangeness to the stories and quite possibly comedy.

There is a lot of history in my vampire novels, particularly around the Roman, Tudor, Renaissance and Victorian times, so I already have some skill writing about that. 

I don’t want to lose the concept of comic fantasy though, I have recently heard that comedy fantasy is very sought after and hardly anyone is taking the bait for it – so hopefully if I took myself more seriously as a writer, I should have an open market for what I have to offer.  I am not cocky enough to presume that it will be a doddle for me to get published at all, I really don’t believe I am all that great – despite what people have said to me, but the market is appears to be less crowded?

Well I can only hope in the least.  I nearly forgot to write those six stories I wanted to do for the magazine as well, I will get on that in the next couple of days – I have settled on a mermaid story for that as my first entry.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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Wandering in my mind (Wimm) 1

I am watching the mass of people that have gathered here today expecting something new and unique to show them.  They are watching me with patient curiosity as to where I will take them today, the man who is slightly balding in his mid-forties is grinning with anticipation and scratching gently his wrist around his watch and the beautiful auburn young lady in her early twenties beams at me and clasps her hands in front of her.  I shan’t disappoint them, or the many others besides.

There is an icy chill in the air, a large bonfire crackles in the moonlight behind me and I turn to it to add another log to the fire, a scent of lavender fills the air as a beautiful blond lady in blue silks and a medieval gown throws a large bundle of lavender into the fire.  We sit down, this lady and I, upon felled wood and I play upon a pear wood recorder as she begins to recite a poem sang in beautiful Latin about the coming of snow, it is a haunting piece which fills the gathered audience with solemn peace and nostalgia, though they don’t audibly understand the words she is singing, they can understand it by the lilt and chill of her voice along with the biting of the air around them.  The young lady with auburn hair is almost overcome by the power of the ladies voice and others take in deep sighs and close their eyes as they soak in the night air.

Men dressed in blue velvet and silver medieval court clothes pass around toasted vanilla flavoured marshmallows to the audience, a taste of warm sweet snow, a great paradox to the subject of the song.  The marshmallows fill the audience with hope of warmer climes to come, a glimpse that it shan’t be forever cold, that tonight is just an interim and those come and go quickly.

 

 

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New stuff to come

I had the notion that I didn’t want to put too much non-fiction in my blog and I really didn’t intend for as much poetry that I have either; it was supposed to be focusing on little snippets of practise writing and short stories of a fantasy theme only, well since the blog has started that hasn’t been the case has it?  So, I decided last night that it doesn’t matter what I post on my blog anymore, people love it for what it is and therefore there will be more posts coming in the future; particularly of new and different from current themes.  I have many interests in life other than writing and some of those things include writing, but they are usually personal snippets or parts of my personal diaries, thoughts, hopes and dream journals and that sort of thing.

So the blog may become a more active place that will include themes of positivity, spirituality, dreams, research papers and so forth.  A lot of the research papers will include mythologies from around the world and superstitions, as well as historical research.

Other than writing, my other hobbies include watercolour painting, wildlife photography, and organic/no-dig gardening (on good days), puzzles, word games, hypothetical discussions with people, reading, knitting, cosmic ordering and studying cultures, superstitions, mythologies and personal genealogy.  I also love learning languages and how they developed, the history of certain words and allergen free lifestyles.

So the future of this blog could be random, who knows?  But I have decided to write whatever I fancy and share it, because I want to be a more active writer that actually proves I really am an active writer!

I keep a lot of stuff I write to myself.  Little snippets about a person enjoying an apple, or peacefully sewing fat quarters to make a quilt, or sitting in a meadow watching clouds fly by; to things I have watched on television and have an opinion about, books I have read and how I felt about them and simple little daydreams of things I would love to do, but realistically may never do.  I have often thought about writing a book purely based on my daydreaming adventures and I did call this idea “The wandering in my mind” book.  But I have thought, the wandering in my mind could become blog posts called “The Wandering in my mind adventures part 1” and so on.  This idea is not a new one, I have had it since I was a teenager and it is not wholly new on this blog either.  I just didn’t take it as seriously for online media as much as I do now.

So yes, I think I will start that today.  The wandering in my mind adventures part one will be posted later on this evening.

I must warn you, it is always random and there are thousands of situations and people I imagine most of the time.  Living such an isolated life, sometimes the only way I can feel alive is by deep and long daydreaming sessions.

A sample of what you can expect would be…

Me mingling with vampires at a palace court, usually the same characters as I have built a sort of relationship with them in my mind.

Me wandering through various landscapes and coming across various wonderful plants and animals or situations;

Floating through space and seeing amazing things there.

Arguing with people about certain subjects and giving my side of the argument in full – these are fictional arguments that usually have a real life basis to them, such as climate change, current affairs, certain things going on worldwide, but there will always be a fantasy or horror twist to these daydreams.  For example, a few months ago, I personally demanded that the universe repairs Notre Dame immediately and proclaim a miracle, because it was a place I always wanted to see and the story of the Hunchback of Notre Dame always made me cry; particularly now he is homeless in my mind and all those poor little gargoyles.

I also travel in time arguing with Henry the VIII about various things and personally beating ten bells out of the Emperor Nero for what he did to Poppaea.

In other daydreams I am a whole new character in other writer’s books, where I am the personal pet owner of a Bandersnatch and a tyrannical next door neighbour to the Queen of Hearts, whilst eating jam sandwiches with the Duchess in the veranda of my garden, shouting insults over the rose bushes that divide our lands.

As I said the other day, it is scary in my mind.

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Reading and writing past and present

I have always wanted to be a writer since I was ten years old when Mr Alistair a therapist/teacher told me that I had a gory imagination and extraordinary talent; back then my specialism was horror and it has only been in the past seventeen years that my writing has moved onto fantasy, comedy and poetry.  I started writing stories about alien invasions, vampires and alarmist ideas about climate change, El Niño and the end of the world.   I have for most of my life been a dedicated environmentalist, but since I talked so much in a spiritual forum about my concerns I lost confidence to continue writing this journalistically (is that a word? if not why not?), because I was accused of being a doom-sayer and me being a very uplifting positive person this accusation hurt me enough to stop me.

My first ever short story of any real length was based on Persephone in the underworld that I wrote when I was eleven.  I imagined how life must have felt like living in the underworld and even when I was that young I had a good clear understanding that not everyone is 100% evil or good, so I wrote about Hades in a positive form and it was very much influenced by my passion for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  This is a theme that has followed me through my writing life; if there is a misunderstanding in something, I am always willing to show another side to it – determined to prove to everyone that nothing is just black or white; it is a multitude of colours.  I can do this to the most indigestible of subjects too, according to a few people who have seen my handwritten work – thus I am sometimes known as an excellent mediator and diplomat, as long as the subject doesn’t get me too personally hot under the collar. 

One friend recently told me that they see me as society’s apologist, whatever that means.  I looked it up and I am not really that religious enough to be considered an apologist, though I suppose if you were to watch me answering questions whilst I am watching many quiz shows on religion, you’d say I seem to know an awful lot about religion for someone who isn’t interested in being religious.  You see I think this is where people misunderstand me – it is not that I am not religious, I am more humanist because I think that religion by and by causes division and I am all for world unity.  However I am a deeply spiritual person who literally believes in anything until it is absolutely solidly proven not to exist – hence why I leave milk and honey next to the stove at night for the house spirit (Nisse/elf) and ask permission to the tree itself before I prune it and honestly believe in various ancient customs and ideas – though I am still soul searching, but I will make this abundantly clear now, this is not an invitation to be converted to anything.  My ancestry history is so mixed, whenever I feel I should dedicate myself one way or another, I feel like I am upsetting some ancestor on the other side, so I don’t bother myself with dedication of that sort.

Anyway, this post was going to be about how I started writing and what I started with and where I have ended up.  I have written a lot of comedy and comic themes recently that I have noticed I have more and more of the fantasy and sci-fi comedy genre, if that is a genre.  I told Paul the other day that I feel like I am being possessed by the spirits of the deceased members of the Monty Python gang and Terry Pratchett, I try and write serious high fantasy and I can’t help putting in some silliness into it and I am seeing corny puns in everything!  The more I fight it, the funnier I get.

Unfortunately the comedy themes are rarely if ever posted on here, because I have made this mostly into a life update and poetry blog, rather than the intended fantasy blog, because I worry that my worst writing might be my best and my best my worse in the eyes of the world.  So I never really know which short stories and snippets to risk posting here.

I have decided to make this blog more of a writing diary, but again I have fears that I might reveal too much of my plans.  Fear is a major factor for me not posting much lately.

I have a handwritten diary I update about once a week on average because I keep forgetting to add to it – this diary is purely about my writing, my plans and any strange themes I have noticed that day or week.  For example, I have noticed I get a story idea in my head, then a book falls off the shelf in the library of a similar theme I was thinking about – weird coincidences like this happen a lot to me.  Then whilst television flicking, subjects of things I have been thinking about or themes of the day seem to be found everywhere, even on my sons chocolate wrappers as adverts at times!

I was thinking about sharing these day to day themes and the weird occurrences they have been discovered as part of my day to day blogging, as these things often develop into story ideas for me as I sit back and wonder what the universe wants me to do with these supposed signs?  What story is she prodding me towards and I believe this is why I have more ideas than actual work – I am never without a new idea, the problem for me is writing them down fast enough and concentrating on less than three at a time.  This is extra difficult for me because I am an attention deficit sufferer, I get bored doing the same thing or thinking about the same thing for longer than twenty minute bursts – hence why my current reading list on Goodreads usually has around twelve current books on the go!  It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a book, it just means I really can’t concentrate for more than twenty minutes.

Thinking about my reading list on Goodreads has actually just reminded me to make a point here on a matter a friend recently said to me the other day – she noticed that I have all these books on Goodreads I am currently reading but I only manage to read between ten and forty pages a day of maybe two or three books and she said that as far as she understands I am always reading but the Goodreads activities doesn’t prove it.  I said it is simple really when you consider that Goodreads is not designed to update magazines and newspapers and out of print books that are not listed on their site at all as well as local pamphlets and guides, game back stories, research websites, other people’s blogs and so forth. 

Here is a list of my magazine subscriptions and I do mean, I read them every time they are published either weekly or monthly;

Writing Magazine

Garden News

Sci-Fi Now

Gardeners World

Tesco

Yours

Pets @ home

Total TV Guide

Amateur Garden

Kitchen Garden

Lego club magazine

WWF membership news and stuff

Bibliophile

BBC History

New Scientist

Focus

Classic Rock

When I pick up a new magazine, that is the only thing I can read from beginning to end and it takes me around an hour to two hours – the reason why I can do that with a magazine rather than a novel is simple, the subject changes every few minutes.

Honestly, I am addicted to reading, I am addicted to downloading new information into my mind on a constant basis and I am a person who doesn’t enjoy sleep – I see it as a waste of time, but being ill, I have to sleep more than most and it literally drives me crazy!  All I want to do is think learn and do.

So there you have it!

Hello, I am Tina Cousins and I am a reading and writing addict and I don’t intend to cure myself of it, goodbye.

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Things of December

Recently received books and movies via gifts or personal purchase have been;

Clash of the Titans DVD the 2010 version with Liam Neeson

Blue Planet II a hardback book

Paul O’Grady’s “country life” hardback book

Raising the Dead: The Men Who Created Frankenstein by Andy Dougan (gift from nephew to me)

RHS What Plant Where Encyclopaedia by DK Publishing

Hobgoblins–The Secret Histories by Ari Berk (A gift to my son from his best-friend but I read it first)

The Box-set of The Hunger Games DVDs

All of these came into my house in the month of December 2017.

Other purchases or gifts I feel match fantasy or horror are…

Quite a few different types of gemstones, especially hypersthene, a tigers eye pendulum, a lapis lazuli gemstone for Henry, A black onyx pendulum, a Rhodonite pendulum for my Henry, an apatite, a large rose quartz the size of a small hot crossed bun and last but not least a hematite thumb ring. 

I bought incense and a new incense charcoal burner in the shape of a Chinese lotus flower.  The scents were vanilla, cinnamon, patchouli, dragon’s blood, rose and lily.  I can’t burn these things when Henry is at home; I have to do them when he is at school and open all the windows afterwards because he is prone to headaches.

I was gifted a fairy house garden ornament in the shape of a mushroom at Christmas from my husband Paul and Mrs Tiggy Winkle acting as the old woman in the shoe ornament and a wolf trinket box.  I do like weird stuff.  He bought me a good sized wooden box too, the shape and style of a pirates treasure chest and it fits all of my gemstones in perfectly with room for half again!  It really does look like a real pirate’s chest now with all of those gemstones in it.

I am a big kid, anything remotely regarding fantasy or horror and I like it.  Depends what it is however but my house certainly shows what I love in every nook and cranny!  I am not averse to having marvels cushion on my sofa for example!

It is difficult when friends and relatives visit because they presume I allow Henry to rule the roost, but the look on their faces when I say “No, it’s for me, I wanted it there”.  They do ask occasionally whether or not I should put such things in my bedroom?  I can’t put everything there!  Besides, what is wrong with a marvel cushion?  A soft toy of the joker on my PC desk?  3 snow globes on the bookshelves?  Four different types of calendars in the living room, Gothic, minions, marvel, wolves and then there is DC comics in the dining room with an RSPB one.  The first of every month is interesting for me, I like guessing which 1 of the many calendars around the house my husband will forget to change!  Me and Henry take bets with fruit pastilles!

I love the fact that I can be so free to be more me, with Paul lately.  He always wanted me to be me, but I was never confident enough to make it reflect in my home and for the first 5yrs living together it was all cream and browns around the house to make it look more like a normal household – yeurgh.  But now it’s green, yellow, with the occasional quirky wallpaper.  In the living room on just one wall there is wallpaper that looks like pastel version of the trees depicted in the movie The Lorax.  In the bathroom it is mostly white tiled but we are going to buy dolphin and coral wallpaper next month.  The kitchen is kitted out with tiles a harlequin would love, also next month we are buying wallpaper for just one side of the kitchen and that will be in the style of Mediterranean food.  Our bedroom is royal purple and soon I will be adding cerise to the other side of the wall, I also wanted to get door murals to make the doors of the house look like medieval castle doors!

I refuse to grow up.

Anyway, have a HAPPY NEW YEAR all of you ❤

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Vikings & Hob-Goblins

During the last week of December I have been researching mostly by accident Hob-Goblins and by design Vikings and their respective histories, customs and superstitions around the world.

I have had a Viking story brewing in me for decades but with no firm story grasped and I have had some new ideas regarding this, but because I know very little about Vikings as a collective, I felt that some research was necessary.  I found it weird that an idea I had about Odin actually clashed with mythological truth, it must have been something I learned once but had forgotten it.  The bit about the 8 legged horse.

As a teenager I ventured into spirituality first by learning about Norse witchcraft, the runes, the drumming, the festivals etc., but I never learned more about the mortal Viking history, like I am doing now.  I did know about their war traditions and their units, such as the screeching women and the berserkers through a game I used to play called Rome Total War.  Regarding Viking warfare and general ancient warfare, I would fare well in writing about it because of the amount of historical research I’ve done throughout my life regarding the subject as well as coming from a military family background.

By and large though, I know more about Spartan and Roman day to day life than I do the Vikings.  Which is why I am disappointed to find that the books I am finding at the library are mostly mythological.

I know it sounds funny to think about it, but I have learned more from watching “The Hairy Bikers” and “Gordon Buchanan’s” ventures in Scandinavia regarding food and dance than anything I’ve learned in books.

In fact, even more laughable is the fact that it is easier to learn more about the superstitions of the Hob-Goblin or Santa Claus than about the ancient Viking people.

There is one thing I have learned though and that is in Viking times it was a derogatory term to be deemed “A Viking” for it literally means “PIRATE”.  This was very interesting to learn.

I am learning accidentally about Hob-Goblins because of a book my son was gifted by his friend Alice.  This is the fourth calling to learn about Hobs and house folk in the past 18 months, something is pulling me towards them.  I have no idea what it could be, I have no idea of any story interest I might have in writing about them… yet.  But something is definitely trying to get my attention with this little creature.

I am a very spiritual person, so I believe in little folk like these and recently when I have been reading about them more actively and reading snippets out loud for my son Henry to overhear, I have noticed that the whole house is becoming more accident prone with food and drink and according to legend, this is a sign of a hungry or thirsty and very ignored little house hob.

Funnily enough, along with this, my husband has discovered that his tea is going down faster these days.  So now we have started to make an extra cup of tea in the kitchen and it seems to have stopped the accidents and weirdly enough an inch in the cup has gone down!

I have a lot of experience with all kinds of spirits in my life.  I have never done drugs and I rarely drink, if there is anything to wander about it is my sanity I suppose – but why do we shrug such things off and think someone nuts when little jewels like this are revealed?  Why is it so hard to believe in little fair folk and ghosts but it is fine to believe in God?  Really now, what is the difference?  Oh and for those hard-core atheists, just remember you can’t see ultra violet light and infrared without technology but it exists doesn’t it?  I rest my case.

I was told by a friend recently that my little forays into the spirit realm should be a subject for my blog, because it aligns with fantasy and horror for many people.  This is why I am starting to mention such things.  It has always been a part of me; I just never put it in the blog. 

Hob-goblins in particular have always been something I have been nervous of because of the stories of boggarts and trolls, though trolls are very different to boggarts and hob-goblins.  The nervousness stemmed from a horror movie I watched when I was little and it gave me nightmares, but these days I realised the movie was actually a fantasy comedy and I can’t help laughing every time I see it now.  “Troll” where I believe the real first Harry Potter came from!  A young boy’s sister is kidnapped into fairy world by an evil troll who was formerly a wizard who went bad and got turned into a troll as punishment by his former fiancé – the witch known as Eunice of whom the boy known as Harry Potter befriends in order to save his sister and all his neighbours in their apartment from the evils of the troll unleashing fairyland into the mortal world once again.  The movie was made in 1986 and stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Obviously also, hob-goblins are found in the wonderful movie “Labyrinth” starring the late David Bowie, one of my most favourite all time fantasy movies where a young girl called Sara makes a wish she will soon regret, regarding her baby brother Toby.  The King of Goblin City descends upon her and makes a bargain that she has just 13 hours to find her baby brother in his labyrinth of surprises and dangers or else her baby brother will become a goblin forever!  A wonderful story, full of inspiration!

I wonder what my mind will make of these Hob-Goblins someday… I can’t wait to find out!

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Should I make my vampires sleep?

I have had a passion for vampires since I first watched “The Twins of Evil” when I was six years old and by the time I was nine years of age I wanted to write about them.  From the age of eleven I became what I thought was “A Goth”, though not entirely serious, I allowed my mother to dictate to me a lot on how I should portray myself to the world, but in my eye at the time, black slacks and a black polo-neck would suffice for the tag, with black shoes.  I wanted to wear black gypsy skirts but my mother insisted that with my size (as I was very overweight when I lived with her) I looked like I was wearing a tent and so, I didn’t have the confidence to wear them.

The passion I have for vampires is so deep, that it is a strong part of who I am.  When I haven’t read a book about vampires, researched them or watched a movie with them in it for a while, I start to feel a deep hole inside of me.  This hole swallows me up, makes me moody, makes me depressed and ultimately makes me feel alone.  Because I am alone, in regards to this passion for vampires, I know nobody who is in regular physical contact with me, who has the same passion.  A lot of people I know merely tolerate that this obsession is a part of me. 

The people I have who are my friends and are Gothic, weirdly enough do not share the same concept about vampires as I do and nor do they view being Gothic in the same light as me either.  Whenever I talk about vampires to another fan of vampires or Gothic culture online, I come up against a brick wall.  A wall of which I find sleazy and corny, yet despite saying this, I am not the old school romanticist that I’ve often been accused of being!

In my opinion the last decade of vampire movies has either become too soft that it’s another version of “My Little Pony” or too vicious that it makes me think that the so-called vampires in the movie are just another type of vicious intelligent zombies.

Since I was nine years old, I have been writing an extensive series based on vampires, complete with an encyclopaedia about the mythos.  I say series, yet I really mean saga.

There are over 70 stories in this series and I have never once approached a publisher about them and nor do I feel ready.  Not with my vampires, I am very protective of my vampires.  Yet when I have discussed my stories with close vampire loving online friends and gothic culture dudes and dudettes, I have been told that my ideas are too old fashioned and romantic.  That the days of the aristocratic vampires are numbered and this pains me.  I have been told that despite the fact I know the market of vampires really well, I have failed to understand how they have evolved within the media and how the new style of vampires are what publishers and producers want more of.  So therefore, I feel I would waste mine and the publisher’s time in even approaching them.

I spend two thirds of my serious writing time on my vampires.  The rest of my fiction, poetry and songs are left on hold.  This is why I sometimes think that I will never get published, because I won’t put my vampires to sleep.

Because I won’t put my vampires to sleep, I neglect my other stories, I neglect this blog, which is why I have made a difficult decision to try and talk about my vampires in new posts in the future, or vampires in general.

If you would like to discuss with me what you like about vampires, or tell me what you expect from vampires, I would like to hear your thoughts. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Constructive Procrastination

Procrastination is a part of a creative person’s life; something they get comfortable with and sometimes it seems that procrastination is an essential part of who we are and where we get out ideas from. For me, I am constantly procrastinating; this blog is a fine example because I often do not post a thing for weeks on end!
However, as procrastinating I can be, I am always doing what I consider to be “constructive procrastination” because whatever I am doing when it is not writing regularly for my blog, I am in fact, building myself up for other creative activities – usually writing things that aren’t meant for my blog, reading books, researching, filling my mind up with wacky art and images etc.
What have I done since the last post on my blog?
I’ve started and completed two jigsaw puzzles, one of them was a 1000 piece Ravensburger “Santa Express” Limited Edition 2013, the other was Christmas Quarter 500 piece puzzle, I have since started another one of those Christmas Quarter puzzles, despite it being mid-February. Now this seems like procrastination at its finest, but for me this closes my mind to everyday worries and opens my mind for new ideas – a type of meditation.
I have sketched several pieces of clothing that my characters like wearing in a fantasy story that is in planning stage.
I have also read two adult sized novels “The Light Fantastic” by Terry Pratchett and “Occupy Me” by Tricia Sullivan, I am a slow reader – an adult novel of approximately 300 pages will take me about five to eight days to complete because my brain insists on showing me everything that’s going on in fine details like a movie.
I have also read snippets of other books too, as I am a multi-reader, I can have about twelve books on the go at any one time and not get confused!
I have researched the history of the Cathars, Japanese folklore and Hammer movies.
I have done one or two pictures from an adult colouring in book, another form of meditation for me.
I have sorted out my much overdue papers into organised piles and backed my computer up.
I have watched online videos and looked at online images in regards to natural history, local nature, religious history, philosophy, Cosmic Ordering and been a member of some online Goth, geek and fantasy groups at Facebook.
I have researched to the best of my ability as to how I can get into comic book writing and how to sell my art.
My son has come down sick twice since the last post, so I had to take care of him.
I have watched the rugby and I have written the synopses of several stories I am about to write as novels.
Actual writing I have accomplished as part of a/or several novels – approximately 800 words – not a lot. But that’s fine when you consider I am actually writing an average of 800 to 3000 words per day, even if it is just a diary entry or my 750 words from 750words.com – I am actually writing a whole lot more than I used to!
I am writing in depths about the dreams I have at night. I have been writing down my ideas behind ethical behaviour and the changes that needs to happen to society for a better world. I have written how I feel about my family and circumstances. I have been making business plans and life plans. I have sat down for several hours in the last few weeks with my husband lulling over ideas about our life and even brainstorming my stories with him! I have also helped my son start writing his own stories and he is nearly 6yrs old!
A lot of what I am writing is not actually story based or for the blog. I have written several posts since the last time I have posted on this website, but the situation has been that I found it unsuitable for my readers here because I am either ranting about things or I am giving too many of my ideas away.
I have written notes on historical facts that I feel will help me with my stories. I am a self-student of the social sciences, since leaving the OU course for social sciences because I couldn’t cope with the demands in math and stats as well as having a teething baby on hand.
I have finally decided how one of the novels I am writing is going to end, so now I know this and have written the bullet points; it should be finished by April 20th, and yes, I am going to approach someone with it. The story is a horror with some Japanese folklore element to it, because I have studied the Japanese culture and language a lot in the last eight years as I love their comics and their sense of humour and horror; if and when I get published, I hope this opens a doorway to Japanese media, because I would love to travel to Japan and use the language skills I’ve developed. I should get on quite well in Japan speaking Japanese, as I have learned enough to get me by as someone who speaks the language a little better than the average tourist, though learning their script is near impossible for me at this stage!
I have also discovered through an ESA examination that I might have a neurological disorder I should discuss with my doctor, because I have been blacking out, phasing out, getting shaking hands and been getting a lot of problems with my upper body mobility. I have noticed that this is slowing my writing down a lot, because I am making huge errors such as forgetting how to use punctuation – writing different words than I originally wanted to and generally not making much sense at times, so if you come across this, please note it and let me know, thanks!
I write descriptions in depth or comedy scenes, but none of this is embodied into a story yet.
I don’t know if I am a proper writer and I don’t know if proper writers do exactly what I’ve been doing, but I am curious to find out. Is there more to being a writer than just sitting down writing poems and stories? Do we essentially write mostly about anything but those two main ideas society have about us?
I have never joined a writers group so I wouldn’t know. I would like to join my local writers group but the bus time tables make this difficult for me as the classes are twice a month at 7:30pm and the last bus to my village is at 8pm and I can’t walk that far home these days – I can’t drive either and have been advised not to with my medical conditions, such a shame really as I would have enjoyed it.
So that’s me since the New Year in a nutshell.

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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