Tag Archives: research

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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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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Family tree research

So I unwittingly took the week off from writing, this wasn’t planned; I tend to go into fazes of genealogical research.  I have a family tree which I take great care of; especially for my father’s side of the family, nan told me as much as she could before she died and it helped me very much but she focused on her side of the family and didn’t tell me anything at all of granddad’s family.  I’ve neither idea what granddad’s mother’s name was, nor how many siblings he had other than great auntie Florence.

I’ve discovered many things about my paternal grandmother’s ancestors though, such as we can date one part of the family down to 1450 and another side is supposedly an old Roman family, who have been aristocrats for nearly two thousand years in Europe; I say supposedly because there was an Italian migrant in my family in 1480 to the UK who had the surname Senex and was an aristocrat who married a barons daughter and he had to anglicize the name to Maude when he bought some land; Senex is supposed to be an off shoot of a Roman family name Caesilius who are directly linked to Scipii and Secundus (that means there’s a possibility I am related to Pliny), though I can’t be sure and I doubt there’s going to be much information on it, though there might be records in Rome about Roman families, unsure.

This is all pure speculation because I found a website that can follow Pliny’s line to the present day, but I am skeptical because a lot of people just add any old connection to their surname without being sure if they’re true blood or not.

My paternal grandmother’s side of the family are both Italian and Dutch migrants who were aristocratic right up until 1840 when a lot of them started to migrate to Australia, America or marry beneath themselves, there was also an incident where a member of the family was heavily fined because they owned cottages and his people were found to have poached on a neighboring lords lands and was a little too sentimental about evicting them – also he gave a lot of money to the society of friends as he was apparently, very pious and found money a detriment to society, which is quite odd.

There’s information I’ve researched about my mother’s family, though some of mum’s cousins demand that my lead is wrong, because there’s a lot of tales of grandeur on that side; but I’ve bought records directly linking mum’s lineage from Kew itself when I’ve had some spare money and they’re wrong, I have proper recorded proof.  Such as my grandmother was raised in Enfield in farm cottages and her grandmother originates from Crawley as a dairy maid to a manor house, in fact all her family does and they even have the surname Crawley as they didn’t move from the area for hundreds of years.  My granddad’s family are half Jewish who converted to Catholicism for love which in those days was apparently sinful to marry outside of your religion; they owned a dressmaking boarding school and a tailor business in Soho, they were the original Jewish tailor business migrants of Victorian England, these days they have a chain of restaurants and don’t communicate with this side much and some have kept to their Jewish roots.

Mum’s cousins are very upset with my findings that great granddad was a foundling child – that’s similar but not as horrible as being a workhouse child; they insist he wasn’t a foundling, though they admit they never knew of his past as he never told anyone anything and was always evasive about it. 

Foundling children are different to work house children because they don’t remain working in the foundling hospital all the time, like workhouse children – when the children are 14 the boys are expecting to join the navy or army and live their lives as soldiers that are their fate, nothing else.  Girls tend to be trained in all domestic work so that they can be literally, sold into servitude for manor houses and wealthier people from the age of 14, though they can choose to leave as soon as they were an adult though life for them would usually be hard and terrible if they left their positions.  But all in all it was much better being a foundling child than a workhouse child.

Anyway, now you know what’s been keeping me from you, I am still involved with doing my tree, almost 2000 people in there now, but it does tend to gobble my time up as I get so involved with it all.  I want to get things right for my kids to sit back and look at where they’re from and how we’re likely to progress or digress as a family in the future, how the wheels of fortune constantly turn.

 

 

 

 

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Read before Aug 15

My current reading list or books which are to be read before August 15th are;

The lady’s maid (my life in service) by Rosina Harrison – I’ve read 66 pages so far

Sociology; themes and perspectives (second edition) by M Haralambos – I’ve read 34 pages so far

The adventure of English (the biography of a language) by Melvyn Bragg – I haven’t even started this book yet and that’s very bad of me as I always wanted this book and it was given to me as a 16th Christmas present by my cousin Shane that was 14yrs ago.  To think I wanted that book so badly and I’ve never even read the introduction, naughty, naughty!

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole – I’ve been reading a lot of historical books lately that focuses on either horror, cult fiction, gothic history and literature and this book crops up several times as a re-commendatory read; so maybe I should pick it up?  I downloaded it as it’s completely free on kindle.

Dragon-lance chronicles (books 1 – 3) by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (though personally I think it will take me 3 months to read this particular book). – I’ve read 24 pages so far, but it is going to be cast aside a few weeks whilst I read other books; because I am getting into non-fiction history lately as research material for my stories; hence the servant biographies that are appearing.

Nutmeg by Maria Goodin – I did read about 10 pages but then I put it down as it was hilarious but I was already very nearly finished reading some other compelling book – this book made such a good impression on me I sent it back to the library and purchased it on amazon; I did this because I want to take my time reading it and soaking up its fantastical imagery and comedy.  I am looking forward to re-reading those 10 pages and reading more at a later date, hopefully before August.

Lucky by Alice Sebold – I’ve read 38 pages so far and I have to admit the author has made me paranoid about making and keeping my hair short these days, though they do say that it’s rare to be raped more than once in a life time!

Parallel worlds by Michio Kaku – I’ve read 293 pages so far, though I’ve been reading this since last year and I am unsure if I will start reading the rest of this for at least another month or two, there’s something about me where I become more scientific in the autumn.  Don’t ask why, I don’t know ha-ha.

Whatever you think by Richard Gentle – I personally know the author of this book, I was supposed to of read it about 2 months ago but I got involved in other books, I really owe it to him to read it and give my opinion.  I am not a very persistent reader at the best of times and its shockingly rude behavior not to have given a special effort to this book.  So far I have read 18% of this kindle book and it was very interesting so there was no reason for me to of put it aside all this time.

The art of happiness by the Dalai Lama – I’ve read 51 pages of this so far and I am looking forward to reading more as it’s really eye opening. 

The goddess experience by Gisele Scanlon – I started this book last summer, I’ve read 137 pages so far, a lot of information in it is out of date as some of the recommended stores and websites have closed down which is such a shame. 

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King – I started this book just after Christmas 2012, I’ve read the first story of this anthology and I’ve read to read more; that’s 156 pages so far.  I think the reason why I didn’t continue the anthology was because the first story sent me into a state of shock about how horrific it was.

 

 

 

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Filed under My inspirations

Research

My writing will be on hold for a few days whilst I add links to my family tree that have just been discovered; also I am doing some historical research in order to help me with the history parts of my stories.  This means I have lost interest in poetry for the time being, but I may or may not write more poetry during the next couple of weeks, unsure.

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Filed under About my work

Sorry Kithara

I’m having doubts that Kithara was a good idea, I’ve had doubts from the moment I clicked publish, actually.  I know what I want to write, but it feels familiar to me, like maybe it’s a rip off of something, there’s that nagging feeling.  I know no book is truly original work, it’s really hard to be 100% original, I understand that, I strive to be original and I feel like a cheat at times.

With the story Kithara, I also felt as though it started rather slap dashed and in a way it did, I wrote it and immediately published it on here, no edits.  A big mistake?

I think it was a big mistake, I was very eager in getting a short story started on here and I didn’t want to put any of my previous stories up because I wanted to save them for approaching actual publishers.  I’ve always been told I rush in where angels fear to tread, I am always rushing what I do and too eager to please everybody all of the time.  So, I got into a habit after reading “Stephen King On Writing” to write my stories and put them away for a few months then read them and edit them accordingly, but I guess I was too excited by this blog that I forgot my new rule.

I want to abandon this story and never do more to it personally; but I do too, because this has been idea that’s been floating around for nine years as an actual novel, I thought it would be a good idea to put it up as short story chunks online.  Although I want to stop this story right now and ignore it ever happened, maybe even delete it from site and start re-arranging it as a novel again. I feel I am ripping off my readers, though Kithara hasn’t had any comments or likes, so maybe it’s not something to worry about?

But worry I do, it’s my nature, that’s why I never get anything done.  I suppose, though everybody who knows me say they never see me resting, they never see me do absolutely nothing.  I am always writing or have my nose stuck in a book, gardening or cooking/baking, playing with my son, tidying up, and doing stuff for charity.

I feel like a secret procrastinator, I actually do very little, it’s just other people see me doing something all the time that they don’t see me for what I really am… lazy.

When I write it’s always as short as a poem each time, then I move onto another story or another poem or song, then I research a little, then I get up and tidy, then I bake a cake to avoid working more, then I go back to typing really slowly my stories, reading, re-reading, editing as I  go along, deleting a lot, and as I mentioned in other posts, burning a lot.

I think the only thing I do a lot is, post online, I do a lot of non-fiction posting of a lot of things in various places.  I’ve been told I should write non-fiction as I seem to do a lot of posts based on it, but I can’t do that, I did an Open University course in 2010 and I got very low scores because I can’t reference for the life of me, I know all these great things but forget where I learned it from and I forget to make the important notes, I make lots and lots of notes, but nothing important; so I gave up that course for a while, mainly because my son was starting to crawl and cause chaos.

The course was “Introducing the social sciences”, these days I am thinking about switching to literature or something, that should be easy because I am still signed up with the OU but as a non-participating student and it is an open degree, means I can shift around a bit.

I doubt Kithara will continue for several months actually.  I think any story posted up here will be a touch and go for finishing.  So please don’t get your hopes up with me, the worst thing anyone can do for me is to have any expectations of me, I always let people down.  Just sit back and hope you’ll actually read an ending some day.

Sorry xx

 

 

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