13 November 2014

Inspiration is everywhere….

I am reading a book at the Moment by Elizabeth Chadwick, called Daughters of the Grail

This is a sort of mystical love story set in the 12th Century between Law Lords at War in France and the Cathars, with a spot of Knights Templar bunged in for good measure.

It is a riveting read and I would recommend it, lots of interwoven plot details, good, clean sharp characters drawn on a landscape which is so captivatingly depicted I feel myself almost drawn there.  I certainly wouldn’t mind living in some of the quieter areas – in between the bouts of fighting.

Anyway – that is the reason I woke up at 3am to read for four hours, and why at 8pm this evening I feel like death warmed up !

Where was I?

Okay, so now I am nearing the end of the book, I decided to research the next book, so I have one to go onto (I like reading Elizabeth’s work in the correct sequence, as some of the characters tend to re-emerge – even though this is a standalone one – don’t want to take a chance !)

So having ended up at Elizabeth’s website, I find she has a blog where she posts details of the Soundtracks to her novels.  I do this as well – soundtracks whilst I write, not blog about them !! and in there I randomly found The Family – The Weaver’s Answer.

It was too early for me – even though I was 10 and into singing and creating music – it wasn’t the kind of stuff I would have been able to access. 

But the lyrics – and the rawness of the music – links in with something I am writing now….

Funny how fate takes a hand – inspiration really is everywhere.

10 November 2014

Random Brush Strokes

… or the work of genius?

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I never really understood paintings which consisted of random brush strokes.  My eyes and brain would take over and look for patterns or familial landscape shapes.  Then I went to Art College, and the confusion became worse, as I started daubing my beautiful colours and textures all over the place, in a happy playful enthusiasm, only to be told what I was doing wasn’t making sense.  But hang on there – what you have done – doesn’t either? 

Lesson learned: Doesn’t pay to argue with the tutor – but great fun though.

Then moving on life I discovered Grecian philosophy and found that there are whole areas dedicated to the confusion and randomness of life and living, not just colour play. 

Living my life has been a little like that lately.  I am not able to just accept the illogical decision making process of bureaucracy, my brain spends a lot of time trying to make sense of random information.  I try to interact and understand – but some things have been so random it has made me ill.

Finally, though I think I have cracked the conundrum.  I ain’t going to even bother Winking smile 

I am best off going about life the way I have for over 50 years now, and let others get in step with me for a change. 

I have switched off my email for about three or four weeks now, and finally I am starting to find the silence is paying dividends.  My mind – instead of randomly trying to work out answers to problems which aren’t even known to me,  is allowing me to start sorting out my immediate problems, which are important and impact into my day2day life and peace of mind.

Hardly earth shattering - What on earth was I going to do with this ball of wool…?  How am I going to work that sketch painting into a canvas? what am I going to make for tea on Friday? 

Minutiae to some – incredibly important to the smooth running of my world though.

So this morning I spent an hour sorting out my knitting pile – well on paper anyway.  Doesn’t make pleasant reading – so much half done, ideas still randomly floating around my head, patterns and shapes half worked up into samples. 

I have some stories half-written, and worked on a loose script of a play a couple of weeks ago – destined for nowhere at present, but some of it written up for another task, and the randomness of the words and characters attracted  me.  A little like an abstract painting, which starts of being a random collection of daubs and textures, meaning something to the artist, and then released into the world, gives pleasure to an audience – or at least is a talking point?    In my case the working title is “A Cast of Clowns” – which should give you some idea of where I am. 

Writing the draft synopsis and Cast List (or Greek Chorus) – I found myself unconsciously delving into the pot of people I have “collected” over the last nine years.  Some of these characters are sympathetic, some funny and others – well you wouldn’t go out of your way to meet them in an ideal world.  There again, my world isn’t ideal by any stretch of anybody’s imagination !

I found when I finished writing that none of my friends’ characters and foibles are in it.  What does that say?  A world of two halves – my friends and family (not forgetting the adorable contacts at the Women’s Institute) in one half, the rest of the “enforced” contact in the other.

When I go to bed and finally dream, I have a recurring one.  I am desperately trying to remember a phone number of someone I knew when I was 13, so I can ring him.  I still know this person in real life, now, today, – but am searching for the relationship I had then.   So I think that is something I ought to take on board.  Instead of searching for the life I did have – best find some fun in the one I have now.

So my task for this month is to somehow get back into fiction writing, without being concerned that truth will somehow find a way in – even subconsciously.  That should be fun !

Oh and getting on with this knitting – which is even coming to the pub with me nowadays – I wonder what they will think if I turned up with a spinning wheel… ?!!

21 December 2013

When the façade crumbles

Newspaper

My thoughts this morning are with the injured audience of the Apollo theatre.  I am not going to link to anything, because quite frankly I am disgusted by the blandness of the media coverage regarding this. 

On one hand, it is to the media’s credit that injured people haven’t been targeted and forcibly interviewed and paraded across the TV, along with their personal life exposed for all.  That injured pregnant woman – was she with her lover?  (no I am not speculating or starting a rumour – that is the fiction writer within me…)

Cynically, could be though that the legal class action that will inevitably follow from this has already kicked in, and those ambulances which arrived on the scene so quickly – along with a film crew (who were coincidentally filming the ambulances) also contained paralegals.

On the other hand though, I don’t know at a very basic level whether it is safe to attend any West End Production, or even a local panto. The Apollo was the first Edwardian Theatre to be built in 1901, the Bristol Hippodrome was built in 1912 influenced by the same style and building techniques.

If newspaper reports (interestingly enough from Ireland(!) are to be believed, when the property was sold in 2005, the previous owner – our beloved and sainted Andrew Lloyd Webber - notified everybody and everything – including English Heritage that the building was not fit for purpose (along with others), and one of the descriptions used today was that it had suffered for years from “benign neglect”.1

If so – why were the paying public even in it?  What other public buildings are suffering the same fate?  AM I SAFE if I go to the museum, the rail station?

I know they look good and are iconic structures – but when I attend these public buildings, it is because I want to look at their exhibits or catch a train – I need to be able to do this knowing I am not going to be killed because the structures have been neglected. Benignly or otherwise. I am pretty sure that you do to.

This is newsworthy and of interest to me, as it affects the safety and influences the decision making of me and mine.

Unlike one of the predominate leading stories of the week – the snorting habits of Nigella Lawson seem to have preoccupied one and all.  I really don’t care what on earth the poor woman got up to in the privacy of her own home, and I am pretty sure I am speaking for quite a few people here. It does not affect me and mine “not a jot” as Billy Connelly would say. 

So what on earth is the point of the “News”? 

What are we trying to achieve with this quite nasty witch-hunt, and who is behind it? Who is influencing and censoring the information which is being filtered out to us?  Everyone has someone who is paying their wage in the News Rooms, and therefore they have to do what they are told to get paid.  Who is censoring what I am told? 

Has Saatchi got shares in theatre world? Is he behind the press – he sells advertising – doesn’t he?  These are now questions winging around in my head.  I am sorting of hoping/assuming that others are also asking this, so I don’t need to. 

I am not going to drift off into a pointless philosophical rant here, but News along with Seasonal Advertising on the main TV is basically destroying my sanity and peace of mind at the moment.  It isn’t good enough to say you can switch it off, or switch over.  You still lose an hour of your life when watching a really brilliant film, which is interspersed every 15 minutes with a smattering of pointless messages.

We were warned… this was predicted… did we listen?   “Not a jot”

But closer to home, affecting me and mine – what other things are we not told about that affect us?

Even closer still, over the last 24 hours or so I have watched – mesmerised –  as a very carefully created, and totally believable, façade has crumbled.

I am sorry to be enigmatic about this – I cannot explain more, but the reason I am mentioning it is that pragmatically I can now deal with the information that has now come to light, keep the good stuff, discard the crap and now rebuild some external relationships from the foundations up. 

I am going to be able to put some of the very upsetting events, discussions and half-truths of the last six months of 2013 well behind me when the year changes - without even looking back. 

The peace of mind that gives me is incredible.  I had thought at the start of last week that it was me going mad, and the subconscious writer within had taken over…as he (yes I did say he…) does every now and again…Some times the subject matter is too gorgeous and sumptuous to ignore Devil

Now, thankfully, having the correct information, will make some seemingly impossible decisions, very straightforward. 

Google Knitting Doodle alerted me this morning to the Winter Solstice – appropriate then it was an animated knitter !  Shortest day, longest night – and then we start getting back to normal.  All I have to do now is to survive Xmas Day without throttling someone – no change there then, some traditions endure !

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Writers Note:

I have received over the past few months, quite a few requests for sharing some of my “behind the scenes” practical writing tips.  I really haven’t had the peace of mind to do so, but will do my best when I can, and I will put them at the end of the blog under Writer’s Note, until I have thought what to do with them. .  If you aren’t interested, then you can just scroll away.

1. I have highlighted that phrase, because I will most probably revisit it at a latter date. That is what I do with my notebooks, and my Kindle reading – I highlight phrases that interests or intrigue me.

It is difficult to describe the feeling that finding “something” – a picture, a word, a phrase,smell or a piece of music – creates within me.

For me, it is like the self-satisfaction you achieve over finding the lost piece of a puzzle,

05 June 2012

Just Chatting

Hi – back…. had some interesting responses to my blog(s) yesterday and thank you.  It was not meant though to shame and expose people – the intention was merely to let friends/family and my larger circle understand what is happening and why I am so distracted.  Difficult line I know to travel… I do my best…

I recently watched Housewife 49 written and starring Victoria Wood, who has developed into an incredible all round artist and I enjoy watching her “bio-dramas” very much.  Nella – the main character – was involved in a mass observation project during the wartime years and it struck me when she folded some pencil written scraps of paper – joined together with a scrap of wool – that that was something my mum used to do.

This led to all sorts of conversations with DH who was a war baby (can’t you tell from the fridge !! – nothing will be thrown away until it walks out or surrenders !and the house is a tribute to the make do and mend era– everything will come in handy sometime! ) and it then occurred to me what we had and have lost in the way of the “written” word.  Blogging seems to have replaced the written diary.  Whilst I think blogging is brilliant and I am a great fan – I am fearful that there are so many “words” that they will be lost to future generations.

I have kept an informal diary over the last 20 years – a series of notebooks with thoughts, scribbles and general items which attract my eye  rather than any serious prose.  I stopped this in about the middle of last year due to the sheer nature of the grief I was encountering, time constraints and just general depression – what on earth would I have to say which would be of interest to anybody in the future?. 

When I was going through them on Saturday this week – they fell off the shelf in the sitting room so I had to do something – I realised that actually the “me” of the future was missing out – I use them as source books for ideas, and also my children would probably get to know me a lot better than I know myself.

When my mum died it sounds silly as I was 15 so I did “know” her.  But actually it was only in my thirties and forties and having children I realised there was so much more I never had a chance to know.  My mum left poetry behind – which have been a great solace to me.  Also raised so many questions – who is that dark haired man with brown eyes she talks about?  He was never in my life – and she obviously loved him deeply and painfully…

So back to the notebooks and blogging I shall go….On my writing journal programme I have the facility to write to myself in the future.  I shall use that.

Now it is just not the act of blogging that I enjoy – but the reading of blogs..

Here are a couple of excellent links of the many that I read regularly:-

Buttons and Beeswax

Araignee's Tangled Web

Cally Booker

I am going to make it a new week’s resolution to try to comment more – as I love reading blogs so much.

21 March 2012

Judgment has been delivered…

Court Judgment

This is the landmark day for us.  A FINAL decision – well that is what is says on the tin - or so we hope.

The Defendant’s Appeal has been dismissed by the Three highly qualified Judges of the Appellant Court.  There is still some dispute going on in the background..

I won’t reprise my rant here – but if you wish to read my comments please feel free to drift over to www.dyeverse.org.

In the meantime, today – the first day of the rest of my life – I am concentrating on and considering what on earth I am going to do about resurrecting my dyeing, spinning, weaving, writing, and the rest of the things that I could do for a living – apart from arguing that is !!!

They have now all gone onto the back burner for as many months as I can remember and I am almost at the point of forgetting how to write fiction when all I can think about is fact.  Actually thinking about it, most of the facts I am dealing with could be distorted to become fiction quite easily – oohps, forgot they had – by the Defendants – ooh bitchy…

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So here is some drop-spindling to wet your craft appetite… and

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With some creative writing underway – oh and some course work…

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and a sign spotted a couple of weeks ago – which I thought a little sexist – but the point will not be lost on any one who sees it on my door in the near future..!!