Tag Archives: life

Art, Life, Goals and Disability

It is not just writing that has gripped me as a creative person; over the years I have tried to practise art, but never seriously and I also have an interest in wildlife photography – again, I have never taken this seriously. 

I am a self-taught artist who practises a few days every few months, so I do not practise daily and I have been doing this for the first time in my adult life since around 2012.  I have decided to change this.

I have decided after watching a video on YouTube by Love Life Drawing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzhVOU47aSo  to practise art daily for just one hour per day because it is said that if you practise doing something for 1000 hours you will become quite good at it, so an hour a day will make it approximately 3yrs before I become a much better artist and to me that is enough to prompt me into action.  Three years is really such a little time.

I have never stopped learning something daily, so therefore I have the ability to continue learning new skills, some people when they get to a certain age give up learning altogether as they feel it is not necessary for them to be learning new things or because they feel that they are too old to change radically which I personally think is (excuse the language) bullshit; I am going to be thirty seven on my next birthday and I am already making radical changes in my life.

The changes are to learn how to become a better writer, learning grammar and punctuation, something ironically I have never bothered to learn before, shocking I know!  Learning math, because I was mostly home-educated and math was a weak point for my main teacher (mum) so therefore after the age of eight I hardly learned math at all.  Practising art, which is something my adult self never took seriously as well as wildlife photography – Paul is a former photographer so he is thrilled I want to take this up!  Also I have a life-long goal that I have never taken seriously and that is to learn five languages before I die, I know enough French and Japanese to survive as a tourist in those countries if I ever go on holiday abroad, but I also started to learn Italian last November.  So my five chosen languages to learn in life fluently are French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and German.  I am on the cusp of level 2 Italian right now. 

So those are my goals, also my goal is to try and find some way in defeating my auto-immune problem or at least trying to work my way around it so I can actually get a life, a life I want as I am tired of merely existing to keep doctors in their jobs. 

I am also determined to offer myself up to medical science whilst still alive, to find a way in repairing lost hearing, because I am nearly completely deaf and I am scared of losing the tiny bit of hearing I currently have.  Recently I have lost enough hearing that I no longer hear certain beats and rhythms in music that I knew existed before and it really makes me depressed as I lived my life in music before the left ear started to fade away too.  I learned the piano by ear (no pun intended) I can’t read music; I started to learn the guitar just months before my left ear started to play up.  Music composure is another goal I always had and I have done some composing in the past; but when I learned I could be completely deaf by the time I am fifty and I was told I should learn British sign language, I decided to give up music and I don’t care about how Beethoven did just fine with his hearing loss, to me, I love hearing, I love language, I love music and it is hard for me to know I will hear less and less over the years.

I should really add a sixth language goal, to learn British Sign Language but I am afraid that the universe will take this as a resolution that I will go deaf and would make it happen faster.  Stupid I know, I suppose I should give up Italian to learn BSL but I am denying things will get that bad… idiotically no doubt.

So I have decided to post up some art whenever I make it, I will try daily, but you know me, Procrastinator Extraordinaire.  Well here is what I have done today and I want to tell you quite honestly, this is my second attempt at drawing a hand, my hand.  Paul says that hands are notoriously difficult for artists to draw and he insists I have a natural talent for hands, I don’t know what to think about that, but O-K that’s amazing!  I think my hand looks hideous on paper drawn by me, but the hand in itself is deformed slightly, my left hand has a tendon problems that leads up through the forearm and it is twisting more than just my baby finger these days and its becoming painful, something the doctor needs to be alerted on soon as Paul is terrified that if I fall over or support myself the wrong way the baby finger is just going to snap, seriously it is getting that bad!

Sorry for being so graphically cringe worthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under About my work

You are not going to blow my dreams away

I’m not going to be what you want me to be anymore

I never was that person

The person who’d never go out and was a bore

I am not going to live the life that you always wanted me to

Not anymore

I am going to be me and do whatever I want to do

I am going to have a full and happy life

A life and person of which you wouldn’t let me become or do

You are out of my life right now and that way you will stay

Because I don’t want you to come back and blow all my dreams away

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Filed under Poems V - Z

Falling into the jigsaw of life

I am going to fall off the edge of the world and I will not scream out your name.

I will not give you that attention, you are so very vain!

I am falling for me, because as I fall I am free

As I get to ignore you and your ways

As I keep falling into place

My fall is part of the jigsaw of life

I ignore you and your drama and strife

Because I have to take care of me

Because I can and you will see!

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Filed under Poems D - F

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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Filed under About my work

Words and people grow like flowers in manure.

I am disgusted with myself today but my partner Paul ensures me that it isn’t my fault.  I worked out last night how much I used to write compared with how much I write these days.  Prior to 2013 I wrote an average of two million words per year, now I struggle to get fifty thousand a year.  I decided this has to change and I have to get the old me back, primarily because I am going insane with the many ideas I have floating in my head – my brain is literally about to burst with literacy.  My brain will soon be splattered all over the internet and in books, so look out world, because I think I’ve been ignited.

The question is, the last time I felt like this was in 2006 and I wrote no less than thirty articles, poems and short stories a day on one site, of course I can’t post that many here on my blog, as this will make me lose subscribers, I mean, come on – who will want thirty notifications a day?  So I am debating about spreading myself onto two other blogs, so my subscribers don’t feel so bombarded – a cunning trick, but it might be worthwhile?  Because once I am on the go, I am on the go – I used to be such a workaholic, totally addicted to writing and then for some reason, I lost it.

I believe confidence has a lot to do with the lack of writing as well as health issues – I have had chronic bronchitis off and on since Christmas!  My confidence has been bashed by two people in particular, those people are held bent on ruining my reputation by any means necessary and has vocalised how they look forward to the day I become world famous, as they will be waiting.

Well there is nothing truly sinister about me but I still worry.  Because it is the story of my life that whenever I do anything to better myself the world seems to contrive a way to embarrass me out of it and make me go back into my insular hole of hopes and dreams.

I have been chronically bullied as I have been ill, most of my life and I have the types of bullies in my life who are no longer present, but always comes back once they think I have started to grow, they treat me like a weed in an abandoned garden.  Once a year someone comes along with a mower and cuts me down again, just in case I start to become too strong.  I think this weed is going to need to use their shit as manure and grow rapidly into a man eating plant!

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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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Filed under About my work

The fates rhyme

As the midnight hour approaches

All the evil things encroaches

On all the living and the dozy

As they sleep in bed all nice and cosy

Weaving magic above their heads

Some will wake in the morning

Some will not

Some will awaken before then, in shock!

As nightmares are woven above their heads

Spinning yarns of fate on fine threads

No one knows what waits for them

In the morning, an evil fate or a shining gem

It is always a new dawning

And the fates never give a warning

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Filed under Poems S - U

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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Filed under About my work

Life is sometimes…

My life, sore as it may be, is still a blessing to me

There are things I don’t often see, happy things, miracles and a certain ease

I try not to be blind for the things I have

I try not to be ungrateful

I know that life could be much worse, it is sometimes inescapable

But I count my blessings as often as I can

So I can make a stand and say

It isn’t always this way

There are happy days and there are sad

There are good days and there are bad

But one thing that we can always be sure of

Is that life is changeable and we all know this – sort of

So when times are hard and difficult – remember it will also change

That life will lighten up and the suffering will ease and good times you will gain

But remember too that goodness, will also fade away

Be prepared for the bad times, as they sometimes come to play

But live for the moment is the most important of all

Something you don’t learn at school

So when you’re down and thinking silly things

Remember this message and let your heart sing

That times won’t always be bright and gay, but times aren’t always shades of grey

You will someday, find your peace, be happy again and pain will cease

Trust me, all things eventually decrease

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Filed under Poems J - L

If you can’t cope then don’t make me

If you can’t cope with life and you enter my life, you will sail in troubled waters

If you can’t swim you’ll sink, perhaps our relationship you should rethink?

I am not going to be easy, when I’ve had a hard life

You’ve got to walk with me, or turn away to your light

I have bright days, good days too, I have than more often than you have a clue

I know I suffer and I shout it loud, but I have overcome things and for that I am proud

I am not disillusioned, I am not speaking lies, I have worked hard to live and to thrive

So when I don’t handle your bullshit, think why should I?  Then you should quit, because if the load is too heavy for you, then you don’t have the right to make me carry it too

I have my own baggage, I don’t want yours

I want a new life, with golden calm warm shores

I don’t want to dig another person’s grave; I don’t want to be your emotional slave

I want a life where things go smooth, where life is lived, not thought through

I want a life where action is key, a life where I am happy and ultimately free

So don’t bring me down because you can’t cope, because you think you know me when in fact you don’t

So don’t sit there and whine and moan, when I am out working things out and leaving you alone

I don’t wallow for long my friend, I work it out, I learn how to mend

So should you

You really should

Because living this way, is very good

Don’t offload your baggage to others if you want to be happy, if you want to live happily, change this habit snappily

It’s in your hands, not some chosen saviours, it’s in your hands and in your behaviours

So learn to ride alone in your emotional rides, learn it now and you will rise

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Filed under Poems G - I