Tag Archives: rock

Worrying about probably nonsense!

Other than the time back in 2003 I have never approached a publisher or an author’s agent, nor have I ever entered any kind of creative competition, whether it be for art or writing; I have never joined a writers circle either.  I have never had any real formal education on writing and not much schooling throughout my childhood.  Everything about me and my creativity is 100% self-taught and badly taught too in my opinion!

I have no idea where all these punctuation marks really should be, I have no idea about my grammar or where a paragraph should start and end, really it is all either dumb luck or a right mess, I don’t know which it is.

I don’t have much confidence in the idea of becoming a successful writer, I have said before and it is very true, I am scared that I will let people down a lot because of my health issues.  In my personal life, I let people down almost all the time.  I am afraid that I will have people wanting to publish my work but will have second thoughts about it because the writer will be a no show for at least 50% of the promotions, book signings and interviews.  In my personal life my health is so bad that a simple two hour shopping spree can set me physically back by three days.  I have more than one auto-immunity problem working against me.

I know in my heart of hearts it is unrealistic for me to have what many people would call a “real job”, writing is a real job if you get published isn’t it?  Despite publishers and agents alike stating they are working towards having more underrepresented writers, how ready are they for those who are bed bound for 10 – 16 weeks of the year?  How patient would they be in dealing with such a writer who is also deaf, too deaf to use a phone and relies heavily on face to face lip-reading, text messages or a representative to take telephone calls?

This is what holds me back in approaching publishers.  My own realism. 

I really don’t want to be told “you have a lot of talent but you are not working hard enough to promote yourself or take yourself seriously, it is a shame you are so sick, you could have gone far”.  This has happened before to me, not in the writing industry, but other forms of work, which is why I rely on benefits.

Is this something I should even put in my covering letter to an agent?  I mean, come on, if it really is like any other job, then who the blazes would ever look at my work twice if they knew that I am that sick most of the time?

Am I being too defeatist as well as a pragmatist, maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel – who knows?  Maybe there is an agent out there who can push someone like me into the limelight and support me in spite of the health problems?

I am writing this for two reasons today.  One is the fact that there has been quite a few people contacting me in the past five years in my email and on private messages on twitter and other social media, who support my work with all their heart and has asked me to send them some of the work and I have not done this.  Many have become active cheerleaders in trying to get me to write regularly and to state how my poetry amongst other things has helped them and other people through hard times in their lives.  The thing is I am too polite to verbally let people down and I don’t like dragging up my health as an excuse all the time, even though that is the primary thing.    So I let it all slide.  I don’t want to do this, I really don’t.  I really want my books out there, I really want people to enjoy my worlds, because I have put my heart and soul into my worlds for a very long time, in some of the series I have written, two decades of blood, sweat and tears have gone into them!  I need to see my characters come to life through actors and actresses on the television as this is the main motivation for me writing.  I have always written the things I have because I have always wanted to see them on TV.  They are things I want to watch.  I am a huge supporter for acting and have always wanted to get into theatre and television myself, as a writer/screenwriter and eventually producer and I know with my health problems that may never happen.  When I was younger I loved going to the drama classes during lunch break and playing with my friends various roles.  I love playing and I believe acting is the only way an adult can still play pretend with their peers and not be considered insane or childish.  The course I was doing back then was after I had a breakdown, my mother was really worried about me so signed me up for a general vocational skills course to boost what she thought was my confidence.  It wasn’t a confidence issue I had, it was severe depression due to something that had happened to me which was nasty and as usual swept under the carpet by her and never spoken about to the family.

When I went to those drama classes, my creativity ran riot.  I became a writer for short plays that we would do at the college together, I also wrote rap songs for my beat boxing friends and joined what was known as a rock choir with my gothic friends, I was a Goth back then too.

I find it really easy to write songs and poetry, it comes very quickly to me and this amazed my friends in the creative scene.  I would literally sit on the table with my legs up, write on my knees a song of any subject they chose and give it to them to sing within ten minutes max, never revised either.  I do this with all poetry even now.  It comes and in a few minutes it is posted or printed and ignored.

If I had someone tell me that I am now a full time poet, I would freak out about the ink and paper I would use daily, because I literally could throw out 5 to 10 poems an hour.

Similar things happening too since I took up my recorder practise; I can play by ear and I have composed several tunes since first starting out.  I can compose a new tune in around 90 minutes and lyrics to go with that within 10 minutes.  I am learning well in how to read and write the recorder music now.  It’s winter now and my chest is playing up, so it’s likely the recorder is going to be put away until April now, which is a shame.

The second reason I posted this, is that I am considering entering a writing competition for the first time in my life.  The Writing Magazine (which I am subscribed to) has a competition which has sparked six story ideas in my head – however, I can only afford one entry.  The competitions requires an opening line which is this “They weren’t like me”, closing date February 15th 2020.  It is a subscriber’s only competition. 

I am running short of money and I hope there is enough ink in the printer, as it is unlikely I can afford more ink before Christmas.  I know me, the story I will choose will be done and dusted within a weekend, then it will rest a week, then I will redo it and it will be sent a month in advance.

Thousands of people will be entering this contest so I know that my chances are slim, but though I am a pragmatist I am also an optimist and I have as good a chance as anyone.  But what I want to know is… is this the sort of thing I put into a writer’s CV when approaching an agent?  If I win, I mean?

Anyway, just some food for thought!

Merry Christmas everybody if I don’t post again beforehand!

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Daily Prompt 10

Daily Prompt for today is – An electric guitar – Blood – Stag – An Aquarium – A drowning.

Now believe it or not, this was actually randomly selected, it is so strange how they all seem to interconnect in some bizarre way, well in my mind they do.

There is a lot we can make of these prompts. 

Go and have fun with yours.

 

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Writers block and brain food

A debate today on twitter has been whether or not “Writers Block” exists or not?  My two cents on the matter is that writers block does not exist, I used to believe it did but then as I grew as a writer I learned that it was purely laziness on my part and the simple fact that I rarely thought outside of The Box.  I was also very nervous about how much of what I wanted to write has been done before and how little my stories represented “Original” ideas. 

The latter is laughable to me nowadays, because every idea in the present and the future has already been done somewhere, nothing is unique, but you need to understand that every human being is unique and therefore will have a unique take on a story already written.  For example, if a hundred writers had to write a story based on Alice in Wonderland every one of them would have a different stance to it.  Some would suggest that Alice was a drug addict hallucinating everything that had happened to her, another writer would believe that she had multiple personality disorder and that every other character who was not Alice was in fact her alter egos.  Another, would write the story as close to the original as possible, but even then there will be differences, some will make it dark humour, some will make it serious, some will throw in too much drama and one might make Alice a man from a rock band who got kidnapped and taken to an alien world and so on and so on. 

Now that has me thinking, wouldn’t that last idea be great?  Aliens kidnapping Alice Cooper, taking him to Wonderland another planet, but you see I can’t do that because of so many copyright laws, but it is a fun idea to play with in my mind or as a fan fic.

I can play with ideas like this all day long in any situation.  The problem for me is that I have too many ideas and I can struggle to decide which one to play with at the time.  I have got to the stage where I have selected five current novels I am working on and having to use random.org to help me choose which one to work on today?  I literally list and number my ideas like a maniac.  I even have a random scene list which is also numbered to help me fill in boring bits of my story or to prevent boring bits from occurring.  If I don’t know what I should do in the next scene, I use random.org and my lists to help me.  Each list is categorised.  It doesn’t sound very artistic, usually artists and writers are disorganised and free thinking, but I do organise my stuff like this a lot.  Granted I lose lists a lot, but I am getting better at keeping them in their place lately.

The idea of writers block is unfathomable to me in recent years.  I have learned if you constantly read and learn and if you make yourself look for art of what you are looking for, poetry etc, you will become inspired and if you do this daily as part of your routine, your mind will eventually throw things out at you.  Don’t ignore “brain farts” as I call them either – things such as…

I was reading a book about ancient Sumerian beliefs and I came across the title chapter called “The creation of man” I misread it as “The Cremation of man”.  This can spark interesting ideas if you don’t ignore it.

You’ve got to constantly stuff things into your brain daily, furiously, eventually your mind can switch into creator mode with little or no effort.  Try it.

Do this… 

Think of silver dragons and go to deviant art, flick through the pictures you first see in their search bar that says “Silver Dragons”, do this for 5 minutes, then go to pinterest and do that there again for around 5 minutes, just flick through pictures quickly, you don’t have to look at anything individually, just literally look them over, notice each different scene and do it at quick speed, you are not there for research, you are not there to steal, you are there to feed your mind and it is a hungry monster than doesn’t stop!  No idea is stupid, no idea is pathetic, if you get an idea whilst flowing like this, write it down because you’d be amazed how quickly these things pass through, it can be like being on a high speed train and you are trying to keep focused on a particular field you’ve just gone past!  Then search silver dragon poetry in google, or silver dragon songs, or silver dragon art in your search engines or snap chat or tumblr or anywhere that is likely to have a search option!

Do this with scenes or creatures or events you want to write about.  Writers block is just an excuse for lazy writers.  Don’t be a lazy writer.  If you don’t love playing with your mind and feeding it like this and you find writing hard work, then you can’t be a writer.  Because writers don’t work, they play and they do this every single day.  Some scenes are hard but the writing is never stressful or hard work because you love it and if you love something, it can’t ever be hard work!  Don’t keep chasing the money either by looking for things that are trending, because trends change exceedingly fast, as soon as you write about what is trending now you are already out of date by 30k words.  Play and write for you and read a lot of books; not just fiction books on the genres you like, read broadly, especially non-fiction because that can help you world build.

 

 

 

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Tale of a magic daffodil

Fragaria, a little red haired fairy likes to live in gardens, particularly rose gardens, particularly in spring.   She especially loves attending the spring ball even though she never had a date to go with; she’s always with the shrinking violet fays, the shy retiring fays.

One day, just at the beginning of winter this all changed, or so she thought.  A fine young fairy swain zoomed into her life from the snow, or so it seemed.

“Greetings fair maiden” said the white haired gent, taking off his ice capped hat and bowing courteously to her.

She instantly shied away behind a sleeping lilac bush and hoped she would sink into the soil beneath, but she couldn’t, for the ground was frozen solid, so she had to grin and bare this strange newcomer to the garden.

“Hope I didn’t alarm you, there” said the brazen character.

All Fragaria could do was giggle and skip across the garden behind an ash tree.

“Ah, I see, you’d like a game of chase?” asked the stranger.

He quickly ran after her, this frightened Fragaria and she ran across the garden and hid behind flower pots, sleeping rose bushes, garden gnomes and various other objects in order to keep away from this strange, but handsome stalker, but he still wouldn’t quit.  Poor Fragaria tried hard to do away with his advances, she quickly hopped over a large rock but tumbled the wrong way and fell into the half frozen pond and went down with an almighty splash into the icy depths.

The young swain leapt in after her and pulled her out after cutting away some of the algae that tied itself around her legs. 

He wrapped her up in his rabbit skin coat and carried her off to a little clearing in the ivy where he lit up a small fire for her to warm herself up and dry.

The whole time she never spoke to him, both of them were looking at each other apologetically, Fragaria with shy sideways glances and slowly sipping hot cups of rosehip tea.

“What kind of fay are you”?  He eventually asked.

“I was thinking the same of you, but since you asked first, I’m part rose and strawberry fay, strawberry on my father’s side, I’m Fragaria Fraise”.  She proudly announced.

“I’m Hail, I’m a winter fairy” He said, as though she should have known that.

From then onwards their meets were regular and Fragaria became ever more attached to this gentleman, her heart grew light and fluffy with the love that started to grow.

She started planning in her head the ball gown she’ll make for the spring ball, she planned it all completely and she began to quiver with excitement, until the day the snow started to melt.

“I have some bad news for you Fragaria”. Hail reluctantly said.

“In the next few days I’ll have to leave this place and I am not sure when I’ll return, I hope you understand?” said Hail, with all sincerity.

Fragaria immediately felt shattered into a million pieces, she found someone to go to the spring ball with, yet now he has to leave and the spring ball is only a month away she thought.

“I’ll come and fetch you late this afternoon; the sun will be in the perfect spot to start melting those long icicles I told you about and I don’t want you to miss a thing”.  He said, and he skipped away merrily, unknowing of what he had done to poor Fragaria.

Fragaria ran home to her mother in tears. 

“What’s the matter with you dear child?” said Fragaria’s mother. 

“Hail said he is leaving me, now I won’t have anyone to go to the ball with” she wailed.

“Hail? You never mentioned Hai… oh no!” stopped her mother suddenly, she knew what a name like Hail meant; she was a fairy of the world, she knew winter fairies came and went like rain, well, during the winter that is and sometimes late spring snow showers bring them back and hail storms in random times of the year, generally a winter fairy was bad news to the likes of other fairy’s in fact all seasonal fairies were:

“I can’t bare the pain mother; I can’t bare it I tell you”, whimpered Fragaria.

“There, there, I know what we can do if you want this pain to stop and if you’re sure he won’t come back to you” said Fragaria’s mother.

“What? What is it?  I’ll do anything to stop this hurt”. Fragaria begged.

“Luckily I noticed one in full bloom this morning, where the snow melted a few days ago because it gets a lot of sunlight there by the lawn, well anyway there I found it, a DAFFODIL, all you have to do is go and crawl right in and it will sense your pain and it will set things to rights!” said Fragaria’s mother in excitement.

Fragaria looked up at her mother and without a word dashed tearfully through the garden to where her mother had directed her and climbed up into the daffodil and cried herself to sleep.

Fragaria had the most peculiar dream; she dreamt the flower sprayed perfume at her and told her that to put all her woes behind her and that friendship is immortal.

When she woke up, she felt no more pain, but had sunny memories of Hail and her sharing fun in the snow like happy children.

She went home and had a lovely supper, of nettle soup, followed by spiced beetroot salad, when suddenly there was a knock on the door of their little tree house, Fragaria’s mother opened the door to find a crestfallen Hail standing there.

“Are you Hail?” asked Fragaria’s mother. 

“Yes Mrs Fraise, do you know where she is?  I was due to meet with her late this afternoon to look at some icicles melting in the sundown and I noticed a fox going under the garden shed and I got worried for her because she didn’t turn up”.  He said dolefully.

“Don’t worry about a thing, Fragaria is here with us, eating a lovely beetroot salad, but I thought you should know, she’s been to the daffodil about you.” said Mrs Fraise, warningly.

“Oh no, she thought… oh dear no, then I’ll go there myself presently” he said dejectedly. 

Mrs Fraise just stood and nodded.

“That is the best you can do, she’ll never leave the gardens, you know that, it’s in our blood, it’s in all our blood to stay with who we belong, and it’s only fair”.  She said.

Hail agreed and went to the daffodil, where he too had memories of friendship and child games in the snow with Fragaria, and every winter there on in, they met up and played in the snow together, never ever falling in love with each other again… but that was for the best, for they both knew they loved their birth right too much to lose and each found love in their own way eventually.

© Tina Cousins 2013

This story was influenced by the poem I wrote earlier called “The magic daffodil”, it is also semi-influenced by a novel I read last month called “The Snow Child” By Eowyn Ivey.

This idea happened completely at random.  I wrote a poem, the poem sounded like a story and I sat back all day thinking, wow, this needs to become a short story and there it is, right up there, winking at you, my story.

I feel the story was slap dashed, I don’t think it’s well written.  I hoped for it to come across like an old fairy tale, but I am unsure if my voice/style is any good.  But anyway, critics are most welcomed to comment.

I am here to hone my skills, not flaunt them… well, partly so.

 

 

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