Sometimes a story just gets a life of its own!

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I’ve never been one to plan stories, it just doesn’t work that way for me (and it’s definitely no fun). Rather stories seem to grow and develop a life of their own. It’s as if the story is already out there somewhere and I’m just opening the window to set it free onto the page.

Don’t get me wrong I also suffer the inevitable “writer’s block” sometimes when the damn catch on the window seems jammed and the weather’s too dark and cloudy to even catch a glimpse through the pane. But then, sooner or later, it always loosens, the glass swings open and I’m invaded by the most inspiring scenes and ideas and I just can’t wait to get to my laptop.

My present book seems to be the most “revelatory” yet. New characters introduce themselves in my head as I wake, parading their own personal diversity. I ponder and realise how well they weave into the plot, adding depth and emotion, so that later I sit, tissues in hand when a plot twist reveals their demesne.  Research (tedious as it tends to be) brings to light plot options, small details, and opens me up to places I’ve not been before in my writing. I wake each morning as if seeking to continue reading a book I’m wrapped up in, but it isn’t written yet! Reading and writing become one, with an irresistible urge to turn the next page, start the next chapter. My “overactive imagination” as my teachers called it has found it’s niche.

I’ll miss it when it’s finished (except that when the real work begins, editing, revising, condensing etc.) However I already have a tittle for a possible sequel lol! Meanwhile I’m in danger of becoming a recluse!

When stories take wings.

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Micheal Angelo said there was a sculpture in every block of marble just waiting to be released. As a sculptor in my youth I felt that was a great way to express it.
Now I write rather than sculpt (more practical with no studio) but I sometimes feel it’s the same with stories. It’s like you just turn a key, the door opens and it becomes like dictation, the stories reveal themselves to you.
My present book has been even more extreme of late. I wake with ideas popping
that seem to enlarge themselves on the page, interlocking like a layered jigsaw, creating deeper characters, more intricate plot and getting me so excited I don’t want to stop writing (hence the aforementioned timer lol.)
My other two books were also somewhat like taking dictation, but this one seems to just burst upon me in multicolored fireworks, like watching a movie unfold with my merely taking effortless notes for the script.
They used to talk of a “muse” that gave writers inspiration. That idea is not so common these days, but I could well imagine some heavenly force showing clips, pictures, and flowing script which I, a mere scribe, jot down for others to partake of.
I’m having so much joy in this other things are getting a little neglected. So please excuse my sporadic blogging of late, I’m in love with writing this story! lol!
(Much love to my fellow authors, long may we write!)

Full of the joys of spring (in autumn?)

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Yes, I’m a happy bunny! After months of waiting, referrals etc. I finally got to see a specialist who could give me a clear diagnosis of the pains I’ve been having for the last year or so in my left thigh. Not only that but the cure is great!
It seems the nerve has become inflamed, causing the muscle to contract to protect it. The cure he prescribed?
1)Yoga, which I already found tends to ease it. He loved that I was doing that as apparently it’s the best thing,gently stretching the muscle while it relaxes the nerves.
2)Taking a walk around break every 20 mins while sitting (OK not great for my writing but still pleasant)
3)Chilling, relaxing and avoiding stress. He explained the mind and nerves are closely related so a chilled mind relaxes the nerve so it can heal(just how good can it get?)
He was very good at explaining and took time to do so, explaining why the former ultrasound treatment would have irritated it (you don’t want to overstimulate a nerve!!!) He’d also studied acupuncture and holistic medicine (unusual for an NHS doctor)and was happy I didn’t feel I needed any medication(The pain isn’t bad.)
He left me feeling great.I had been concerned not knowing what was causing it, especially when it got a lot worse after “treatment” So I’m celebrating – relieved to know it’s very minor, and I can sure live with the cure! lol!

My convalescence project.

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(A new book – rough draft of the first chapter – feed back welcome!)

THE CHILD. (An apocalyptic tale.)

Light spring rain drummed its rhythm on the forest leaves. It was oddly silent, both felt it. The camp lay ahead swallowed in the camouflage of its protective gully. Their eyes met.
“I…” her voice was stifled by a sturdy hand as he pushed her against the trunk, long finger on taunt lips – warning! Eyes wide with fear she watched as he shrank beneath the ferns. She stood pressed hard against the concealing bark as if drawing strength from the forest giant. Had they come!
With urgent motions he beckoned her to follow. Rustling through unfurling stems they crawled their way back. She was shaking, hands trembling as they sought perchance, her enlarging belly catching on the stems. Sinking into the shadows they gained their feet.
“Can you run?” he hissed, eyes flaring.
“The others,” she whispered.
“Too late! Can you run!”
“Yes.” Grasping hands they careened through the trees, whispering branches concealing their passage. On and on they ran till she began to stumble. With laboured breath they paused against the gnarled side of an oak.
“The children,” she gasped.
“I could only save ours,” he ran a hand protectively over the curve of her belly. “The woods are full of men, hundreds of them. They won’t stand a chance.” Tears coursed down her face. “We need to move,” he urged, “after they’re finished they’ll come looking.”
As if in confirmation the sound of guns rent the stillness, screams echoed through the silent groves. He wiped a soiled sleeve across his eyes.
“We have to go…”
She nodded. Stumbling on over roots and shrubs, pursued by screams and gunfire echoes they melted into the ancient refuge of man. Tall sentinels guarded their way; ferns muffled their footsteps as gentle rain washed away all traces of their path.
*
“Did they have dogs?”
“Didn’t see any… Hope not. The stream at least should delay them even if they pick up our scent.”
“Sleep now. I’ll keep watch.”
Bathed in tears she surrendered to exhaustion. He looked out over the forest. He’d chosen high ground. He’d see them coming. The bush and scrub concealed them well enough. The forest was their home, their refuge, and had been for the past two years. The forest where he’d met her, where they’d managed to survive all this time, hidden away from prying eyes. Till, now… now it was all over, his friends, companions, closer than brothers, even their families, all dead… He brushed the tears away, but they kept coming, here in the darkness of the forest with none to see but the trees. Why could they not let them be, what harm had they been to anyone, simple folk most of them, farmers, travellers, working with their hands, living off the land. There was nowhere to go, no place was safe, only in the forests, in the wilderness of the mountains could they hide, for how long he didn’t know. There was no real escape only the constant game of cat and mouse he’d been playing for the last five years, the five years since he’d left it all behind to flee into the wilderness. It had just been internment camps back then, people disappearing silently, one day there, the next gone, never to return. Now they had no need of subterfuge, they killed openly, the last voices of protest silenced in those last Easter raids. He’d not been near civilisation since; some did, bartering for food, for the necessities of life, but he’d not. He’d grown hard, his frame lean, but strong, nourished on roots and herbs, fish, and meat from the traps. The wilderness had sustained him. He was thankful now for his grandfather’s obsession with the “outdoor life”. He’d groaned at the time, but some of those things had saved his life. Gramp’s rifle lay still looped across his back, loaded, the few remaining bullets carried in his backpack. There’d be no more, the camp munitions such as they’d been, (a couple more hunting rifles and two or three boxes of amo.) were gone now. He pulled out the wrapper – four, plus the three in the rifle. What good would that be if they found them? How would he get meat for the winter if he used them? Head bent in his hands, his lips murmured restlessly… “God, don’t let them find us, don’t let them find us!” Empty words…
He had to pull himself together, be strong for her and the child. There had to be an end to this… pictures flashed before his eyes, blood mottled skin, life draining, how could it end any other way?
Morning broke clear and sunny, birdsong celebrating the dawn, in denial of atrocities beneath the unfurling fern stems – nature reclaiming her own. He’d fallen asleep she noticed, his back to the tree, rifle across his lap. She watched as dappled sunlight traced patterns on his skin catching the chestnut fire in his hair. How she loved him. She remembered the first she saw him when they brought her to the camp bedraggled and malnourished, a haggard shadow of her former self. She’d wanted him even then, the smile, the bright eyes, the life in him…
He stirred. There was no food she realised, nothing… only what he carried in his pack. She’d teased him for taking it along, but now she saw the wisdom. He was never parted from the pack, now she knew why…
His eyes opened, a smile glimpsed, then faded. “We’ll need food and water,” he muttered glancing round. Young nettles swarmed in abundance, but they couldn’t risk a fire…
“We’ll head towards the river,” he announced, water was the most urgent need and fish could be eaten raw if you had to…
*
The ground became marshy as they trudged along, fallen saplings, resigned to fate, crisscrossed their path. Easy foraging here, frogs, fish and all manner of plants, fresh water and timber, hopefully far enough away from the assault force for safety…
*
Days turned to weeks, new blooms decked the river bank and raised their heads where sunlight traced the forest floor, the vast swathes of bluebells had relinquished their office to myriad hued cousins. Summer was on its way bringing plenty in its wake. He was a good provider yet it had been hard, enough to survive, but not enough to fill the belly.
He’d that morning set off to the old camp in hopes of gleaning all they’d need for her delivery and for the child. It should be safe enough now, he’d said, the soldiers would not stay that long, they had other things to do, other “nests of traitors” to destroy. He’d left the pack with her taking only his rifle and pocket knife. He said he didn’t want to be loaded down, but he couldn’t fool her…
Crawling face down among the forest’s carpet he edged towards the gully. All seemed quiet, the right kind of quiet. Birds flew hither and yon in their perpetual search to placate their growing young, insects hummed. The forest had resumed its quiet cacophony of sound, proclaiming the departure of the hunters. Relieved but still cautious he edged forward. The smell became intense. They could have at least buried the bodies… they were unrecognizable now, gnawed by forest inhabitants, decaying back from whence they came, nature reclaimed its own. He tried not to look.
He was surprised they’d not torched the huts, they usually did. Perhaps they were in a hurry. No matter. Their old lean to still stood only a few beams fallen. He ran his hands over the bullet holes that riddled the frame. If they’d not gone foraging, if he’d not taken her along…
Pull yourself together man, get what you need and get out of here. Rummaging through the debris he found what he was looking for, the big pot, the blankets. They’d need washing again now… Thread, he must have thread, to tie the cord. Thank God he knew the basics; there were no doctors in the forest. Glancing around he grabbed their tumbled winter coats, stuffing them into one of the blankets and tying it. That was all he could carry. It would have to do for now, he’d get more later, he told himself, but in his heart he knew he’d never venture back.
His hands full, view obscured, he never noticed the wire his foot nudged as he strode out of the hut.

(It is a deliberate ploy that no names are used – I have a reason lol!)

Time is a gift. How will you use yours?

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Having to spend a lot of time sitting with my foot propped up, while being frustrating (I’m an active type), is slowly bringing me to realise I need to evaluate my time. My goal on retiring was to write.
In my youth I was given a message, in a mysterious encounter, that my destiny was to write. At the time I was an artist and thought they must have got it wrong, but as I’ve grown older the idea of using what I’d learnt in a very full and diverse life to help inspire others has grown.
Other goals have been slowly added, studying health, growing my own vegetables, yoga, exercise etc. Then there’s helping others, my children and grand-kids, and sailing with the disabled, for a while I even added being part of a local “green” group but that proved to be too much lol.
All these are good things, but a bit from an Andrew Womack audio kept ringing in my head. He said, if you have more than one goal your efforts get too diffused. He recalled many good causes he could have gotten involved with and had encouraged others in, but how he had to stick to that he felt he was ordained to do.
I pondered this at the time recalling another old saying, “don’t let doing what is good keep you from doing what is best.” but then I shrugged it off – mistake maybe?
Now apart from watching movies writing is the only thing I can do and I’m realising how unfocused I’d become, just fitting in a bit here and there between all the other stuff. Not that I can’t do these other things but that they should revolve around my writing not vise versa.
Maybe my temporary injury has a silver lining.
Much love to all you fellow writers and thank you all so much for all your concern and continuous encouragement! It’s so good to find so many others like me.

Life’s boomerangs.

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I’ve found it true, what we send out, good or bad, tends to come back. I’m once more experiencing this. As some of my readers may know I cut back on my blogging, publishing research, writer’s club meetings etc. in order to help my daughter and her sweet 3 year old relocate here whist her husband was in Germany.

To keep it short it’s been a long battle with many hurdles. My writing did suffer for a while, but amazingly a great blessing has come from it. You see my daughter is also an aspiring writer. Her strong point (but my weakness) is characterization. She’s recently been using her lunch hour to go over my book (Crystal Portal) and has been giving me lots of terrific in put. Things I just didn’t get before dropped into place and I’m presently recreating my characters in multiple, much needed, layers.

I’m so thankful I didn’t try to publish before as I can see how this is adding so much depth to the book (plus making it more relatable – thus marketable). Far from my writing suffering from her stay , it’s taken a huge leap forward. The boomerang came back again!