I don’t care what you think….much

I’m not blogging about any of this Valentine’s day claptrap! Just kiddin’, but seriously, I’m not….I’m going to blog about something intrinsic to the majority of human beings –

It is interesting that we all care what people think isn’t it? ….scratch that…..It’s ANNOYING!

Why is it that we are exactly what Mumford & Sons sing in this song ‘You Liar’? –

I’ve come to realise that everyone cares what others think, even those who pretend they don’t. I had this epiphany while blow drying my hair the other day and finding the perfect vantage point from which my thighs looked the smallest by systematically taking mental pictures of them as I gradually bent over…….Yes…. I did that….

Goodness I am strange…A loser, if you will (and here I am caring what you think).

It makes me laugh when I ‘people-watch’ (note to self: laughing alone in public makes me look insane), and I see people who are clearly wild cards, dressing a little crazy in a voice that mentally shouts ‘I don’t give a fiddlesticks what you think.’ :

I don't care what you think - Philippa Keyworth - Author
HAHAHA – This was the least offensive picture I could find….Lady GaGa in Madam Tussuads

And you know what? They ARE caring what people think, because they want you to think they don’t care – GET IT? How funny is that?!?

So maybe the person who blends into the crowd is the one who really doesn’t care? :

Doubt it, I reckon they want people to think their normal and they’re worried that if they wear or say anything too outlandish people will think they’re weird (like me)…

The reason I say all this is because my characters, the ones I write, my ultimate heroines, the heroine I want to be; simply doesn’t care what other people think. It would make life SOOO much easier, less complicated because I could still be nice but without the constant mental worrying about what others are thinking. Isn’t it amazing that the person I most want to be – the heroine I always write, is someone who cares nought for other’s opinions?

Well that’s writing for you I guess – Writing a ‘better’ version of reality…

[Blog Ends Here]
Here’s the next instalment of the story series as requested (last instalment can be found here:

ONE MONTH Later – Where the story really gets started…

“Look I don’t know what you’re talking about man.”

Ice water was poured over my head again. I tried to struggled free of the bonds that bound me but if I really tried to get free I would morph and that’d be it. Caught.

“Go on struggle, show me what else you can do.” the dark man ground out through his teeth. How did he know so much? I pretended the weak girl thing and went limp, helpless. Man I hated playing this role and I wouldn’t have had to if only I hadn’t morphed for another coffee. I mean come on! All for the drink that I didn’t even need, I just fancied one morning, and needed to morph to fly somewhere I could get one. What an idiot!

“I know what you are, I know your disgusting true form.” The professed cop was really ticking me off now, daggers of icy pain were stabbing into my fingers and nose from the cold, I wasn’t intending to stand much more of this. I swear if he called me a name again I’d really lose my temper. I looked up to the ceiling of the underground metal room. Hmm, this room would heat up nicely if I decided to morph, breath fire and roast this sucker. No, no, patience Zee. Don’t get caught by this guy.

“Dude seriously where do you get off with this disgusting crap? I’m a pretty girl, you’re the ugly bad cop man trying to hurt my innocent self.” I said it with as much sincerity as I could though the sarcasm slipped through slightly. I was angry, how could I help it? “All you cop men are so mean.” My brow twitched a little as a thought fell into my head. The plural I used, where were the other cops? He was the only one I’d seen since I woke up in this hell-hole. He’d knocked me out at the back of that stupid café. At least he must have, I just remember it happening from behind.  Suddenly my mind was full of doubt, possibilities and confusion. What was going on here?

I think he saw my bewilderment, damn it. Poker face! Poker face! Too late.

“What do you mean cop men?” Was he professing now that he was on his lonesome? Fool. But I didn’t take the bait. Just in case.

“Come on you ugly creature what did you mean men?”

That was it, the last straw. The clever thought that perhaps he was provoking me on purpose didn’t enter my head yet. I was furious. The flash of light made him stagger back. The leather restraints that held me snapped as my serrated scales caught them mid-morph. My head elongated and I snapped my teeth together, I wanted to scare him as much as possible. He shouldn’t have made me mad. My wings came out next and I used them to flip me over, off the table and able to face him.

I hissed and allowed little flames to escape my mouth. My wings were extended high above my head — I was making sure I looked as fearsome as possible.

Now, let’s just say, his reaction wasn’t what I wanted.

HAHAHAHAHAHA! Jade! Jade! Come here, she’s a beauty, you were right about this one. Lovely.”

My yellow eyes blinked confused but I kept my battle stance. When a door clicked open my head snapped sideways, a woman entered. She was pretty, long dark hair and glasses, like a receptionist, a good-looking young one. She clapped her hands and squealed in an annoyingly girly way. That wasn’t a pleasant sound for my sensitive ears, even if they were hidden behind horns on my head.

“Careful Jade, you know how sensitive your hearing is when you morph, hers is probably worse.” He must have seen my head pull away. Why was I so transparent? But the bigger question was; why wasn’t I killing them?

I drew breath, my glittering scaled chest expanded, my claws spreading, ready to eject the flames at my captors.

“SHIELD!” the weird cop yelled at Jade. She slammed her hand on a button and a slatted clear shield shot across the massive hall-like room. I was separated from them, but I was sure my flames could get through this thing. I shot them out, all fifty burning tons of them. They shot straight back at me. Boy was I happy that I’m impervious to heat!

Once the flames and smoke cleared Jade and the guy could see me pacing the ‘fence’. I looked like some angry wild cat, not allowed dinner. I roared with all my might in my frustration. It rattled the shield but didn’t move it. The deep throttly growl that erupted from my chest didn’t seem to scare them at all. I obviously wasn’t the first dragon they’d caught.

I finally tried a last ditch effort to run the shield down.

Embarrassing.

I slammed into it and was thrown back by the electric pulse it emitted. I was thrown, wings, beak, claws and all into the back wall, knocking tables and instruments in every direction.

I saw the man say something to the girl. Well that explained why they didn’t hold their ears when I roared, the screen was sound proof. The girl nodded and left, but annoyingly the bloke stayed. He pulled a lab chair out from a desk and sat down facing me. His tall frame was bent over his legs, his large hands clasped between his knees. Well he couldn’t outstare me. I began pacing again so frustrated. I watched him with every lap of the shielded I made. It was only three of my dragon strides to reach the other side of my pen.

Who was this guy? Where was I? What had I let myself in for? I was a little worried, but as long as I stayed morphed then at least I had a chance of fighting whoever they were if they tried anything.

I paused crouching low in front of the man; I turned my gold eyes on his face and stared into his own. Perhaps I could scare him, or at least figure him out a little more. Because of all that water before I morphed I hadn’t seen his face clearly. It was sharp, dark, and his eyes almost black, no, I think they were black. His hair was rough black curls cropped short, and he had a short shaped beard running from side burn to side burn and going into a thin clipped moustache on his top lip. He would have looked pretty hot, but the main feature that dominated his face wasn’t pretty.

He had a large moon shaped scar on the right side of his face. It started in the middle of his forehead and ran the length of his face, slightly changing the shape of his beard on that side. Maybe that’s why he grew one — to over it up. That one big scar line wasn’t all of it though, it split off into millions of little lines, like tree roots across his cheek and chin. Horrible. Painful.

He black eyes were unrelenting on mine. I blinked my large scaly lids, my gold eyes flicked back and forth over the rest of him. He was wearing a strange black suit, probably custom because I hadn’t seen anything like it before. It had a high collar and to my surprise the scar on his face went down onto his body underneath the collar. I wondered what had happened to him. The black covered him totally, even down to his western boots, this guy was weird. I mean, what was with the outfit? Then again I’d been wearing the same tank top and combats for the last four years, that was pretty gross.

Damn it! Clothes, I bet they hadn’t had a chance to morph with me this time; I had done it so quickly in anger. So ignore that last part, I would no longer be wearing the same tank top, combats and boots. That was part of the reason my scales were blue on the top half and green on the bottom with sandy claws, all the colour of my clothes. I looked at my reflection quickly in the shield, yep sure enough I was one icy blue dragon – how irritating. The glitter however just came with the morph, so annoyingly girly.

I wish this guy would stop staring. I started pacing again.

Rifles, Honour and, ah yes, a Couple of Wenches!

So, researching history (and I use the term as loosely as verbally possible) is SUCH FUN!

Well it is when you get to look at Sean Bean in Sharpe. He’s a real life version of these guys:

Sharpe - Philippa Keyworth - Author

Be all heroic, gruffly chivalrous and mmmm….

Of course, I do have to turn my head sideways and blur my eyes a little and slightly block my ears at times thanks to the appallingly low budget of this series. Yes, Sean Bean manages to wear the tightest and not best fitting costume, yes, they are supposed to be at the battle of Talavera but actually look as though they are mucking about on the Yorkshire moores and yes, when there is supposed to be a panarama shot of Wellington’s army camped out it actually looks like a small gathering of girl guides tents with about three extras milling around covered in mud.

Am I selling it to you?

Well I damn well should be! It’s, despite those rather minor set backs, pretty well acted and I really quite enjoy the rough and ready Private, then Sergeant, then Captain, then Sergeant again, then Captain again, then Major Sharpe who has risen through the ranks in a series of unbelievable events. Him and his band of ‘chosen men’ are all great shots and create a ‘merry men’ feel the way they look out for each other while serving in the Napoleonic wars…and finding a few wenches…

I can imagine my friend Bennetts tutting at me right now – Satirical eyes giving me that,

Seriously? You are basing your research on a DVD series? No hope for you.

Look.

And it’s true, I am a bit of a sham when it comes to historical research but you know what you say when everyone thinks you a sham?

I’m not a sham! I’m just different from everyone else — I’m unique

And that my friends is the poxy-est excuse in this day and age which is far to prevalent for my liking – Yes, it’s back to the books for me…

p.s. I’ll be carrying that series from previous blogs shortly thanks to the wonderful comments from a particular friend of mine 😉

6048 Hours

Thanks to the idea in my last post, in 6048 Hours = 252 Days = 36 weeks = 9 months…
Writing Book Deadlines - Philippa Keyworth - Author

Well actually, seeing as it’s February already I’m giving myself 8 months = 32 weeks = 224 days = 5376 hours to write a minimum of 3 books but hopefully more….

Impressive? Well, only if I actually do it….

‘I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.’ Stephen Wright

HILARIOUS, and so totally how I feel right now. My husband said to me, “No, don’t put that pressure on yourself. Why don’t you just try to enjoy it?”

So very true. Then he added, “You know you won’t do it.”

RED RAG TO A BULL I TELL YA!

When I was discussing one of my stories (it was October 2010 I think) and said, “I want to get the rest of the revisions done by the end of the year.”

He replied, “You won’t be able to do that.”

I replied by doing it over the following seven days.

However, that could well NOT happen with regards to my above challenge. But you know what? I think I can do it (and I am counting half finished books which I will go back to and finish as it’s even harder to go back and finish them then start a new one and also revising ones I’ve completed….yeeeees), but rather than putting pressure on myself by having to account for my writing here I’m going to ‘keep you posted‘ (so ironic as this is a blog) if and when I do actually do it.

See what I did there? I win both ways because if I don’t do it I don’t have to admit to it. If I do do it, I can lord it over everyone in blog land and become nationally acclaimed — Well……maybe not…..the likelihood is I shall write absolute tosh………………..

p.s. Does anyone want me to continue posting up that story in a series like a started here and here before Christmas? If I receive no positive answers I shall not do it…I live to serve….

I Killed a Basil Plant

I bought a basil plant from the supermarket the other day….

Healthy Basil Plant - Philippa Keyworth - Author
Basil -Author Fastily (Talk)

….and managed within a few days to kill the poor thing. Yes, your right, I am a murderer. I over watered it, kept it warm and in the sun and guess what I got back? Shrivelled leaves….

hmmmm….not ideal for the Italian dish.

I think it’s easy to do that to your writing (or at least mine). You can kill off that bit of passion for that specific bit of writing by sitting on it for too long and thinking about it too much – yep, that’s right – Stop thinking!

I guess the perception of writers is that they are thinkers that put what they are thinking about down on paper. Well in my case that’s not me (perhaps that’s why I’m no published yet ;-). I consider being a writer is more of being a feeler. If I was to write what was I was thinking I swear it would come out in a tumble jumble of words without much structure because it’s not really thoughts but more feelings about what I want to write.

You know that motto – ‘Stop, Look, Listen, Cross’ ?

Well, my writing motto is – ‘Don’t stop, Don’t look for too long, Don’t listen to others and Most certainly cross out all the rubbish you write but only after you’ve got to the end.’

Like it?

The BEST Blog Ever…..Oh, wait, that was someone elses

I am not eloquent. I dislike syrupy blogs which drip with niceties. I am not particularly well-read. I have an inability to stay in a consistent blogging mood or style. I am not full of fluffy bunny stories about my life – I prefer comedy and grumpiness. I make no promises to transform your thinking. I make no promises to better you life through this writing. Some people don’t like me….nor my blogging. And I am sarcastic.

And oh, yes – I AM BACK!

HAAALLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I have missed you all (That was not a syrupy nicety….I promise). It’s been a long time since I was blogging and I have taken the time to reflect….better my life….become a new person……PAH! What rubbish! Though I did do a little reflection on blogging and writing and such which was rather good for me I think.

I came out with a few main points (yeah, I like lists…want to fight over it? ….me neither):

  1. I want to write a little less words in the blogs so I don’t bore you lot to death or some other incapacitated state.
  2. I want more pictures! Pictures make things ‘Such Fun!’ As Miranda’s mum would say.
  3. I want to only write stuff that is hopefully at least mildly interesting (not all guaranteed).
  4. And have fun 😉

So, that sound good? Oh! And how rude of me – How are you lot? Anyone still there? I may well have driven you all away with my hermitising…I shall stop this rambling now.

Yeah, I thought that one was funny too, I can’t believe what I look like with no make-up on…..

Peace

(I said peace because I’m cool……..)

I have an unusual attachment to my loo

Now, it’s not some weird type of gross problem. Honestly. If anything that title should make you chuckle and hopefully, if you’ve had a pants day, it’s brought a smile to your face.

But I am totally serious. I have a weird type of attachment to my bathroom (notice I changed from loo…I’m not telling you about my loo habits so let’s nip that idea of yours in the bud). My routine coming home from work goes pretty much the same:

I put my bike away and realise how hot I am as I walk to my front door. I get the post from my little outside box and struggle with that frustratingly heavy outside door. When I get in I always note how annoyingly hot this over-insulated flat is and kick off my shoes, overlayers and pashmina as quickly as possible. I click the clasp on my watch, slide it from my wrist and lay it gently on the glass top of our bedroom draws. Then, I take either a book, or in this case my laptop and sit in my bathroom. The sound of the traffic outside is somewhat soothing and it seems like I’m in a little cucoon of calm before I have to tackle this evenings events and to do list.

Think of me what you will but this is my little space of calm at the end of a busy (or not so busy day). It’s where I come to chill my ‘little grey cells’ and unwind before the evening. This is something every writer should do (and every human being as well, of course). A friend reminded me of that recently, that it’s important to just chill your beans and feed yourself as a writer. I am having a chilling and feeding session at the moment – mine just happens to be in my bathroom.

Don’t be afraid to stop. I used to be and sometimes, if I don’t catch myself, I still am. If your a to-do list, tick-list, organised sort of person you can find it hard to switch of but do me a favour and do this – ‘Take five minutes and chill your beans’.

[The Blog Ends Here – Below – Next Installment of ‘Do I Look Like I Give a Crap’]

(This weeks has not been proof-read – apologies, this is my bare, raw writing = bad)

‘“How’d you find me Danny?” And what the hell was he doing here? I’d been gone for almost three months; I hadn’t been human in that time, so how the hell had he managed to track me? I’d only just morphed back to the weak girly version of me to get a coffee this morning and here he was, just happening to be in the same diner.

“It wasn’t exactly hard, you’re leaving a pretty heavy path of destruction behind you. You’re lucky the cops aren’t on to you yet.” He stretched in his checked cotton shirt. Rubbing the back of his neck with his tough hand. He didn’t look like he’d shaved in about a week. It seemed to be the day of examining, he was checking me out pretty thoroughly too,

“You look like hell girl.”

“You don’t look that great yourself, how long’ve you been on the road?” I put the coffee to my lips and took a sip, it was hot, and the smell was so rich and bitter, pretty good for Diner coffee.

“Pretty much as long as you.” So his beard was older than a week, man it took him a while to grow that thing, like three months and it wasn’t even that long.

“So it wasn’t that easy to find me then?” I said a little smug, it was more of a statement than a question but typical Danny, he had to ruin my moment.

“Well it takes a little longer to travel when you’re human all the time, especially when you’re trying to scrounge lifts. It’s amazing how far some truck drivers will take you for just telling them stories about the wild animal packs around.” His eyes twinkled as he referred to himself and me. He loved the fact that humans were so fascinated with us, I think he liked the power of fear it gave him over them. What a guy.

“What do you want then?”

“Just thought you might like the company is all.” I didn’t buy it. He hadn’t travelled this far for a little bit of banter. I frowned but let it go. I couldn’t exactly cause a scene in here, I don’t think they liked it when you yelled and were violent in public places. Humans were so weird.

“So how’s the gang doin?” I asked, so wanting to hear that the cops had caught them all and put them in jail, or better some lab.

“Alright I suppose.” Danny didn’t really look at me when he said it. What was going on? He answered so vaguely, why had the boss man sent him? It couldn’t be to kill me. As much as the boss man wanted to have me done, he wouldn’t send Danny to do it, too much history.

Danny looked like he was reading my mind, he was looking at me all sort of misty like. He must have been reminiscing in his head. We’d been together since we realised our, shall I say, capabilities. Being able to morph into a wonderful fantasy creature seemed pretty cool on the surface. But when you were being hunted by the humans because you were seen as some dinosaur resurrected it kinda sucked the fun out of all of it. Though Danny and I have always had a laugh. Even when we were nearly caught by the cops a couple years ago he’d laughed about it, broken leg and all. That was when we thought it would probably be a brainy thing to join one of these gangs. Groups of our type did it quite often for protection, problem was they were often some kind of military fanatic group, bent on human destruction. Just like the jolly family we’d joined. We’d gone along with it before, but when it came to killing all those humans in the valley, well that was too far. I stayed back for that one, and Danny ran off for a bit so he didn’t have to join in either. I got a beating for that rebellion. It was right about then that Boss man decided to tell me his grand (but insane) plan for our gang. It was breeding season apparently, alpha male with female and all that, so we could strengthen our pack with pure genes. Boss man was definitely related to Hitler I think. Well after I rejected his romantic dragon advances, it seemed I needed to be coerced into accepting him. Like that was gonna happen. I morphed back to human and that’s about when I picked up the crowbar to beat his ass. Sweet life eh?

Well perhaps Danny was like one of those ancient courtly flirter people that monarchs used to send to other monarchs to chat them up for themselves. That was a bit stupid, seeing as me and Danny were pretty much brother and sister.  And he knew that if decided to use any sweet lines on me I would break his arm, simple.

“Don’t get so tense Zee. Man I’m not here to try persuade you or anything.” He always read my mind. Annoying or what! I really needed to work on my poker face. But problem was with a temper like mine I didn’t usually have time to put on a fake face.

“Well then why are you here? I mean seriously do I look like I want company?”

“Wanna go for a walk sweet one?” he always did ignore my moods, to many years of hearing them. He knew exactly what his chilled mood did to me. It infected me. What an ass.

“Alright then sweetie.” I smiled sarcastically and stood up, pulling my tank top back down to meet the top of my combats. I left money for the coffee and walked my big cat boots out of there. Danny was right behind me and when we got outside I felt his vice like arms around me,

“It’s good to see you Zeezee.” He said, burying his head in my hair. I probably didn’t smell good.

“Geez man! You’ve gone all soppy since I’ve been away. Who’s the girl now?” I said but couldn’t help smiling. He heard it in my voice,

“See, knew you were happy to see me, even if you wanted to flame throw my head off at first!”

“Mmm did tempt me.” I giggled, “Seriously Danny, why are you here? Aren’t you missing your family by now?”

“Yeah, I’ve been missing you.” He shrugged, letting go of me, “Come’on Zee, did you really think I was gonna stay there. I just wish you had told me where you were going. I mean flip, I didn’t want to get caught, that’s why I stayed human, but you decided to parade to the world that you existed and now a huge dragon hunt is on.”

“Yeah, I do like to cut a dash,” I danced merrily, shirking the responsibility for the forest fire’s I’d caused while hunting. I couldn’t help but be happy he was here though, I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed him.

“You can say that again. Do you wanna come back to the hotel seeing as we’re back together again?”

“Hold on a sec, we’re not back together in a group way. No I’m flying solo from now on.”

“But Zee…”

“Nu uh man! Not after what happened back there.” I gestured south, “Fat chance, I’m alone now, even you didn’t try saving me, you think I’m trusting you again. Look we had a good run as friends, but let’s face it, you made you’re choices.”

His face crumpled, and I felt bad about that. But I wasn’t about to trust anyone.

“See ya Danny.” I stood on tip toes and gave him a peck on the cheek. I turned and ran for the forest at the back of the Diner.

“Zeeee!” He yelled and I could hear him running behind me, but he knew that when I morphed he couldn’t keep up, never could.

Once I reached the forest boundary I jumped off the ground, about ten foot from the forest floor I burst out a flash of light and I felt the shimmer go down my body. Skin particles turned over to display scales and my body stretched, large wings emerging from my back. Soon the air currents lifted me higher and higher. I was soaring before you knew it. I was escaping Danny, and this time I wasn’t gonna leave a trail.’

 

The First In A Series

Hey, so I’ve realised that writing a book is hard. It’s really quite hard. Now I’m not exactly talking about scrawling a few lines down that you happened to think sound nice. Or even writing half a book before getting side-tracked or bored. I’m talking about writing a whole entire novel, reading, re-reading, revising, re-revising again and again, increasing word count and polishing it until it is the best book it can be.

I think, that if you really want it, and you’ve spent the man hours on it, you can be so surprised by the results. Though, I have to admit, I’ve been surprised in two completely different sorts of ways. I’ve been surprised that my writing is so awful, my grammar appalling and my plot-lines so holey….at first. And then I have been surprised by how much it can change.

Last week, I have to admit, I was a writing hermit and the best part is, I have a story I wrote at the beginning of the year and I have to go back and double it’s length and begin the revisions and…..I also have an idea for another….HA! It’s a joke. Those of you who write, or even have some sort of passion or hobby you will know how it feels to have just done something with it and already be looking to the next!

Anyway, what I like to do when I’ve been working hard on an MS or finishing a serious book, is write something just for funsies. So, if you will reserve your judgement for something which I actually want to get published, I thought I’d post in sections one of these stories just incase you fancy a random read.

[Warning: This is a Fantasy-like story]

Title: Do I Look Like I Give A Crap?

A Little Background…

I clenched my hand into a fist, this was the last laugh he was gonna have at my expense. I threw my weight into that punch and my fist caught his chin so perfectly, like a chisel on a stone.

He fell back slightly, letting go of his harsh grip on my arm. You would have thought he wouldn’t hit a girl, but let’s be honest, you’re a fool, and you thought wrong. His rough knuckles hit my face, catching my nose. I coughed and spluttered over the blood that ran from it. I came back to crouch in a predatory stance.

By this time the whole of the gang had stopped to watch the girl take on the big boss. I didn’t care if I died, I was gonna take him with me, or at least a little of his pride. I wasn’t stupid, and I was completely aware that I was a weak little girl and he was a heavily built man.

His boot came up and hit me in the ribs. I heard a snap and man did I feel it. That son of a…he’d broken one of my ribs. I clasped my side and looked around the circle of men, for anything to hit him with.

Danny stood his mouth open and his face rigid. Yeah, well if he was so worried he should get in here and save me. Then I saw it, my salvation in the shape of a crow bar. Bring it on boss-man, your ass is mine. I threw myself at the object, hitting the floor and sliding towards it, arms outstretched. My rib hurt so much, I couldn’t move for a couple of seconds. But, forcing myself, I got up and staggered round. I wouldn’t let him get the advantage of me.

The crowbar was clutched in one of my small hands. Let him come near me now. I’d smack that smile off his face, even if I had to break his jaw to do it. When he backed away and tried to bargain with me I felt the power rush through me. The coarse fire rip through my finger tips. That’s right, cower, noone’s gonna mess with me again.

“Boss, she’s snapped. You can’t reason with her, for crap’s sake!”

Boss-man ground his teeth, would he risk a broken jaw for his pride? Nah, I didn’t think so. He backed away and I swung round, protecting my back from his cronies. Not one of them would touch me. I was outta here.

They parted like some royal ceremony and it didn’t take another bidding. I pegged it to the exit. No one would get in my way again, no one.

 

p.s. This is my favourite writing song at the moment:

3D Writing

Isn’t it interesting that we associate different smells with different things? The other day I was cycling home and, weirdly, I could suddenly smell coconut. It was like the coconut that you have in a moisturiser but for me, it reminded me of sun-cream. It reminded me of that coconut sun-cream you used to get and squirt out in great dollops onto your pale back while you were at the beach. Logically my mind went from coconut to sun-cream, and then from sun-cream it went to holidays.

I could remember distinctly the first holiday my family had abroad when we went to the Greek Island of Corfu. We must have used a ton of sun-cream there, it was so hot and lovely, we spent everyday on the white pebble beaches and in the crystal clear sea. Then my mind wanders forward to happy moments we’ve had while on holiday and I find myself cycling along smiling! Isn’t the human mind marvellous that it can wander over so many different memories and connections just from a smell, (obviously nice smells…..well not always……mmmmm).
I was thinking how crucial this is in writing, and my good friend, M.M. Bennetts, reminded me of this as well and it changed my approach to writing descriptive prose. When describing, many writers get caught up with describing what we see and not any of what the other four senses ‘see’.
  • Take this –  ‘The carnival was full of bright colours, there was a silk cover lying over a strangely made wire cage and there was a huge grey elephant taking up most of the tent.’
  • Compared to this – ‘The carnival was full of bright colours and the scent of animals mixed with stage make-up. The soft silk brushed past my hand and I could hear the squawk of a bird from the cage beneath. Suddenly I felt cold as the elephant’s huge shadow enveloped me.’
Obviously that’s not class A writing but I hope you get the jist of what I’m saying.
I also hope this helps, it certainly helped me take a leap forward with my writing. People always moan that writers describe too much, and yeah, sometimes they do, but I get angry when they don’t paint the blinkin’ picture! How am I supposed to imagine I’m in the middle of the Arabian desert being chased by nomads when I’m reading if they don’t give me a little help. Like getting a leg-up onto a horse, sometimes the reader’s mind needs a little…..push…..
Remember – Writing is a 3D subject and if you are describing what a person is feeling, they should feel EVERYTHING – So get on it writers and remember, as humans we have allorra lorra senses!

Kindle Versus Books

Kindle Versus Books
Kindle Versus Books

The Kindle has been a contentious subject ever since it’s arrival on Amazon’s online store shelves (metaphorical shelves obviously). Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Are we saying goodbye to age old traditions that should be preserved or is it a positive step forward for the world of literature?

I personally love books. I love the smell of a book shop. The idea of all the different individual books resting on the shelves like doorways into other worlds. I love buying a £00.99 book and reading the publishing date which says 1938 and then opening the covers and pages so they are split right down the middle, then diving my nose in and smelling that delightful musty old smell.

But then I am weird.

My husband, the other day when I was busy nattering to my Mum, Dad and Sister consecutively on the phone, came into the house and unbeknownst to me placed a Kindle on my pillow. Needless to say I was surprised and thrilled, leaping about and immediately downloading a free copy of Jane Eyre and Wives and Daughters as well as the novel my new bookclub is reading in it’s first month!

And so I am torn as I have now been given what I was not sure of and do not want to leave my books behind. So, as I always do in times of confusion, I wrote, mentally, a pros and cons list as follows:

Kindle:

  1. You can download the Classics (which are out of copywriting date) for FREE!
  2. It is much smaller than a library
  3. It won’t clog up you handbag……or manbag
  4. It can hold up to 3,500 something books (or so I’m told)
  5. Whenever you fancy reading something new you can just connect to the internet and download within 30 seconds.
Books
  1. They look altogether better, especially the old ones with gold lettering.
  2. They are a tradition I don’t want to say goodbye to
  3. Holding a Kindle is not like holding your battered old copy of your favourite novel that you dropped in the bath that one time.
  4. You can gather a whole library which will look lovely in that manor house you will one day own….not.
  5. You can tell exactly where you are in the book by judging the width of what you’ve read.
  6. They have that wonderful booky smell.
Kindle Cons –
  1. It’s nothing like holding a real book in your hands.
  2. You can’t throw it in the bottom of your bag without a care.
  3. Kindles have batteries, which granted last long, but do run out.
Book Cons –
  1. They’re bulky and soon fill up your bag (or manbag).
Now I have written and reviewed this list I have decided….on a compromise….I shall buy new books on my kindle because I prefer the old canvas and leather covers of ancient books, and I shall still collect books for my shelves but only old books that look good and contain those classic words from some of literature’s greatest artists (obviously I’ll not read most of these books as I am a heathen and find the majority of them boring! Hahahaha).