Tag Archives: writing

Suzy Snowflake review

I love Christmas for more reasons than just the family time, presents and food. I love Christmas for some of the songs and tunes that are available at yuletide.
Songs that feed the imagination of the fantasy writer and artist such as; “Suzy Snowflake” written by Sid Tepper and Roy C Bennett in the 1950s and sung by Rosemary Clooney. Suzy Snowflake is a little snow fairy that beckons children to go out and play in the snow, though the song isn’t exactly about Christmas per se, snow intrinsically is associated with Christmastime. Though some will argue that Suzy Snowflake is nothing more than just a little girl dressed in a snow white gown, there is a video however that shows otherwise. In the video Suzy taps at the windowpanes of little houses with a magical wand that frosts the panes over. In my opinion, that’s not to the ability of a mere mortal child.
I like to think of Suzy Snowflake as being the female counterpart or wife of Jack Frost, another Christmas/Winter hero.
I am aim to write about a Christmas song at least once a week leading up to Christmas, all of them are secular Christmas songs and could be considered food for the imagination.

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Half way through the challenge

I am over the half way mark in NaNoWriMo, not much over it though I just finished for the night at 25,066 words.

I slumped behind on the words for a few days because I was worrying too much about NaNoWriMo technicalities rather than just worrying about my novel. 

For example, I wasn’t sure that I liked what I had written and didn’t want to delete it because I didn’t want to affect my word count for this challenge.  I went onto the forums tonight for the first time since taking up the challenge and found out that other people know that they have written crap on their first draft, so go back to the draft later on and write underneath the former crap that you want to change the above and here is the newer version of that event.  I didn’t know this was allowed but apparently it is.

I also didn’t know whether or not I had to stop writing my novel 50k willy nilly, I am so glad I don’t because I think my novel is going to be approximately 150k when I have finished, so again another fear has been allayed.

Now I know this, I think I will finish the challenge much, much quicker than I had originally thought and I am personally starting to write again, how I used to write before NaNo, which is an ace for me!

 

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NaNoWriMo is making my writing terrible

I appear to be losing the plot 17k into my NaNoWriMo novel, it seems to be going against my plans and I am getting to the point where I need some sort of support and though my region is lovely, it is a very quiet and unsocial group.  There is usually no one but the bot in the chatroom, the forum isn’t very active and people are generally slow in my region to respond to E-mails.  There doesn’t seem to be a region group for people who are in Warwickshire, UK, so I have chosen to be in the region UK other group, I had thought of leaving the group to join the West Midland Birmingham group which is near me, but I don’t know if I can swap regions in the middle of NaNoWriMo month or not?

I feel that although I am working faster on my novel than I usually do, I think it is my worse work so far.  I know first drafts are notoriously shitty, but I think mine is getting to the state of time wasting and the point of no return.

The novel I am writing was planned to a t before the month started, during the month lots of new things and scenes have been added and I have forgotten to include some of the original detail, it’s just a mess and I am not sure if I want to carry on till the end and then clean up the mess at the end of the month or just ditch it now and say I failed NaNo this year.

It’s all full of dialogue, very little action and descriptions and I can’t just write a novel based on dialogue, it’s more or less like a film script, in fact I think that’s what it is!  I want it to be a novel, not a film script.

I don’t really want to fail this year, I don’t want to ditch the story per se, but it is a terrible, terrible mess and I just wish I had people to talk to about this who are also participating in NaNoWriMo and who are veterans of it, so to speak.

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NaNoWriMo Day 5

NaNoWriMo word count so far… 12667 and writing first draft without revising each paragraph like I usually do, is coming up with some surprising results.  The results are similar to brainstorming and brain drain, similar to the things I tend to get on my morning pages with the Artist Way. 

So far my novel contains talking animals and several magical items I had never planned on.  The journey is cut short by a weird mode of transport and I have added a supporting character I had never planned to add, the supporting characters I had planned to add aren’t as important to the story after all; I am sensing a death coming up any time soon for those!

Yes I know death to one of the least supporting characters is callous, but it is necessary, as Stephen King always says “Kill your darlings” and I have to say, I am not uncomfortable with it.

 

 

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NaNoWriMo November 2nd update

Today I have so far completed 5,594 words towards my 50,000 word goal at NaNoWriMo!

 

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NaNoWriMo day 1

NaNoWriMo has kicked off today and I am on a roll!  I have so far written 2148 words towards my daily goal, my daily goal has been 1670 words.  So WOO!

I have chosen to write a fantasy story based around a teenage girl who discovers another world.  I leave the rest to your imagination. 

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The wrong time

For the last two days I have posted later in the day, not the morning like I usually do because I have been busy with my son.  It is the October half term, I am still getting over what was now discovered to be a mild case of pneumonia, and thankfully they caught it with strong drugs on time.  I luckily had a doctor with the savvy to take a swab from me, something that’s getting rarer these days – intelligent and compassionate doctors.

I never heard of pneumonia of the ear, but it explains why my infection has lasted a solid 5 weeks this time around.

Anyway, I have tried to work hard and make various posts for scheduled posting to stick to my promise of a post a day, but for some reason or other the posts I have chosen to write aren’t time compatible.  I have been thinking about Christmas and New Year a lot, so a lot of the poetry and discussions I’ve written are schedule for 6 to 9 weeks’ time.

In those discussions I’ve spoken about how I feel about various festive traditions and songs, such as “Marshmallow World” by Bing Crosby and “Susie Snowflake” and the idea of the Krampas etc.

I don’t know why my mind is set in mid-winter but I find it very enchanting, however, it is not time compatible just yet.

Stick with me

 

 

 

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elusive inspiration

I will be talking more about what inspires me in the future of this blog, because there are a lot of wonderful things out there that fills this creative mind of mine right up.  A lot of things that take my interest seem to be almost unheard of, music, artists, fashion experts etc.  It seems to me that I like the obscure or the famous that aren’t that famous enough to be a known household name.

I think it’s a shame that some people who inspire me aren’t known more.  I think it’s a shame that even I find it hard to find their works.  Also, not all people who inspire me are famous – not all people who inspire me have say – published a book yet, or sold a piece of art.  But there are some who have made it into their local newspaper for producing good art at big social events, but aren’t well known in any other form.

I like the elusive people, but I wish they weren’t so elusive.

 

 

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The Artist Way & The Cosmos

I believe a lot in cosmic ordering and I have been trying to learn myself how to use cosmic ordering to my own advantage for the last two years, by reading various books on the subject to get a wide view point from many individuals who use it.

Julia Cameron uses some of the techniques of cosmic ordering in her book “The Artist Way”.  I have been reading the artist way for a while now, because I think it helps with my creative recovery, despite some of the tasks she sets before me, being brushed under the carpet as for me; they are impractical for my way of life.  Such as the artist break, I never go anywhere on my own, let alone go on holiday by myself, I wouldn’t want to; however, the occasional trip to a local café or the library with a note pad in tow, is something that I do enjoy from time to time, so the artist date isn’t ignored entirely.

Another thing I ignore in the Artist Way is the week in which she says that we should avoid all kinds of reading, do anything but read.  I am sorry, but I don’t do reading deprivation.  If I am not reading stuff online, I am reading magazines, newspapers or books.  I have never ever experienced doing without reading – for me, like silence, it would kill me.

I can live with a rule such as – internet deprivation, but reading deprivation, dream on baby.

Also, by using the rule of reading deprivation, I can’t do those precious morning pages she wants me to, I can’t do my art, because in order to do my main form of art, I need to write and with writing comes editing and what is essential when editing a writer’s work?  You’ve got it, reading!

I won’t stop writing any more than I would stop reading.  I wanted this book to help me write more, not encourage me to stop what I feel are essential habits for me to work.

Anyway, getting away from my point a bit; The Artist Way contains many techniques similar to other books for cosmic ordering.  In my opinion she assists in that she helps us identify why we are not as successful in our chosen artistic careers as we would have liked to have been.  She delves deep in our sub consciousness, digging up long forgotten memories that helps answer how we’ve lost our path.

I found out that I lost my original creative path by using her techniques, by remembering that as a child I had a huge interest in fashion and drawing, but I was pushed away from this and put into writing.  Everyone had agreed for me that writing was my talent and to Hell with any other talent I might have.

I have trained in psychology and social sciences in the past and I have used some of the techniques learned there, with various self-help books, cosmic ordering stuff and I have realised that a lot of my current pitfalls as an adult, is not self-inflicted but are actually reactions against something happening that I didn’t like when I was younger.  When I was little I loved fashion and loved drawing dresses and playing with Barbie.  However, I didn’t get my own Barbie doll until I was around 11yrs old.  I wasn’t encouraged because my mother was a tom boy and wanted me to be the same as she was.  I noticed by the time I reached around 8yrs old I became a very obese child, but I didn’t give up on the whole idea of fashion and drawing until I was around 10yrs old and each year I was getting bigger and bigger.  Then it finally happened – when I was around 12 I told my mum that I would love to go into fashion when I am older and she simply said to me “with your weight, you’d be eaten alive in the fashion industry, you won’t survive”; so with that I thought lose weight or lose the dream, I tried to lose weight but every time I had an interest in fashion again, she’d bring out the doughnuts and McDonalds and remind me that it’s a foolhardy dream for someone so large.  Every time she gave me a treat and I ate it, she said it was my fault I wasn’t thinking about my dream, that I should have more self-discipline.

So by the time I was 14 I had literally totally forgot my dream.  I remembered it because in The Artist Way, Julia asks us to think about people we are jealous of and identify why.  I happen to be jealous of a lot of young girls I know who are professional dancers and are in the fashion industry.

When I realised the reason for the jealousy, I was then asked to search deep as to why that would affect me.  I remembered it all lead to fashion.  I also realised this because my favourite non-fantasy and non-horror movies and TV shows, happen to be focused around fashion.  “The Devil Wears Prada”, “Mean Girls”, “Are you being served”? “101 Dalmatians” any shows featuring Gok Wan, and so on!

I am not someone who follows fashion though, don’t get me wrong.  I am someone who likes to start off the trends and I usually succeed.  I don’t like to fall into a normal fashion concept, I like to develop my own, I believe in having a bespoke fashion sense and a bespoke home, to match who you are, I believe people should show the world exactly who they are as much as possible.  I think it attracts more genuine people to you.  I am more comfortable with speaking to someone who dresses in alternative fashions, whether they are punk, Goth, witch, or Hell’s Angel, than someone who seems very conservative.  Because to me, those conservative people are hiding themselves for some reason, or have a narrow concept of what’s acceptable and what’s not; I don’t do shallow people.

I am learning about the true me through doing all of this.  I am happier for it and luckier too.  In the Artist Way, Julia Cameron has asked me to do another task recently that is to make a collage of everything I love and everything I want to attain in life. 

This for me is something that I used to do and those things did come to me very quickly.  I got out of the habit of having a collage when I moved in with Paul as I could never work out where to put one in the house that I would see regularly and that wouldn’t raise questions with Paul’s family and our friends.  Recently Paul has suggested that I forget other people’s opinions and do what I want around the house.  So I will.

I am going to enjoy pinning things up on my collage, I am also making a scrapbook collage as well of more personal, secret things.

But the main impersonal things will be put into two locations around the house, so my sub consciousness can soak it all up, and help make it happen through the cosmos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Music & Art October 2016

I cannot work in silence when I am writing; I need music all the time.  For me, silence can be painful and headache inducing, as much as having television on in the background is also another disturbance and headache waiting to happen.

There are only two times when silence suits me without invoking a headache; when I am walking in nature, woodlands, pathways next to canals and fields etc., or being driven somewhere by car.  I dislike conversations in cars, I don’t like talking, and I like to zone out and forget I am in the car because I tend to feel sick when I acknowledge I am in a car.  I can imagine other places quite easily when I am not spoken to and in a car, this therefore makes it difficult for my body to realise it should be sick.  I also cannot read in a moving car, but I am perfectly relaxed at reading on trains and in busy cafes.

Travelling on buses and in cars makes me tired as well as daydreamy and any more than an hour in either and I am asleep, unless I am very tired or woke up early on the day, I tend not to sleep on trains, I love trains, I have a passion for them which has certainly rubbed off on my son Henry.

We take regular trips on trains just because; we are trying to get into a habit of going on the Severn Trent valley steam railway every couple of months.  I like to look at the scenery around there, the river Severn is the most beautiful river I’ve ever seen, which doesn’t say much because I’ve only ever seen three rivers personally up close.

Music therefore is a very important tool for my writing.  I like listening to instrumental music mostly, such as that found from Nox Arcana, Apocalyptica, classical music, but sometimes I will listen to lyrical music from all styles and eras, such as Patsy Cline’s Honky Tonk Merry-Go-Round, Movie Soundtracks, Kesha and many others. 

If it weren’t for music I don’t think I could be as emotional in my writing as I am with it. 

When I was little I had no imagination, seriously.  I didn’t find my imagination until I was around 9yrs old, I remember teachers from the couple of schools I was allowed to go to complaining that my stories were too realistic and that I lacked imagination.  I was browbeaten by them to develop an imagination and my mum helped with that – by the time she was finished with me my life was destined to be a writer from the age of 11.  It was decided for me and I have to admit I fell into it.

I am not saying for one moment that I don’t enjoy writing, I do.  But a writer’s life was chosen for me, not something I found I wanted, it was literally thrusted upon me.

When I look back through my therapy and my creative recoveries, I have noticed that when I was a child I had planned to be a mother or a teacher and that I had a huge interest in art and fashion.  I had quite vain thoughts as a child, but all of this was discouraged out of me and by the time I was 16 I had forgotten the art life I had wanted for myself and writing took its place.  I know writing is an art form in itself, but I meant painting, sculpture etc., all those other art forms were discouraged simply because my talent lies in writing, not drawing my mum often told me.

I was thrilled when my cousin Shane bought me oil paints for Christmas one year, my mum dreaded it and didn’t encourage me to continue, despite the good painting I did of some obscure Aztec ancient god.  My dad was proud of it, but she looked at it as an expensive past time that she wasn’t looking forward to smelling.

Since living with Paul, he believes I have talents in both but my main skill is writing simply because I don’t practise art enough.  In fact he is right, because I practise less than two hours a time approximately once every couple of months.  Whereas writing, I am practising almost every day for over an hour.

A lot of the time I just draw with pencils or a biro and never colour it in.  When I do really good drawings I am scared to paint them, because I tend to ruin good sketches with painting them wrong.  I have done excellent work that was ruined by paint.  A large African elephant in the Sahara, when painted, all the excellent detail was destroyed and it became cartoonlike, yet it was coloured in with watercolours, watercolour is my main medium. 

I do chalk pastel art too, but again, I am frightened to preserve it, as I tend to over spray and my work is literally washed away.

I am self-taught in both art and writing. 

Music is vital for me to work, this is the primary reason why I can’t work when my son is awake or at home, his noises drown out my music a lot.  He also wants the TV on all the time and that drowns out the music too.  Unlike most writers and artists I don’t like isolating myself in a room alone, I like to be around people, particularly people who respect music and respect the fact that I am working – a child can never do those things, they don’t understand; So, reluctantly I have to work around him and this is something I am dreading when I become professionally published – my time then has to work around the editors I am appeasing and for me, that’s going to be a nightmare.

 

 

 

 

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