Stay a while..

Beautifully put – how fleeting are those precious moments with our little ones. Our greatest gift is to to raise them to enable them to touch the moon.

Notes from a busy Mum...

Stay a while my little one, my arms will hold you tight.

Stay a while my little one, I’ll watch you sleep all night.

Let’s talk some more about your plans, an Astronaut you say?

Let’s walk some more, across the fields, let’s watch the lambs at play.

Wait a while my precious one, this life moves all too fast.

Wait a while my precious one, how can this moment last?

Give me a moment , one more day, we’ll read your book of Space,

Give me a moment, one more night to kiss your sleeping face.

Stop a while my Angel boy, a story I will read,

Stop a while my Angel boy, you go at such a speed.

Let me have a moment more, before you take your path,

Let me have a moment more to listen to you laugh.

Sit a while, my little boy, tell me…

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A Birthday

My beautiful Grandson. He came to us after a long dark winter of the heart and brought light, love and laughter into our broken hearts. Thank you Amelie, darling child, for this dear boy; your legacy. God bless my brave daughter and her partner for their strength in overcoming one of life’s toughest challenges. You are an inspiration.

an angel mummy

IMG_0974 I Am Max!

This week we prepare for a Birthday. A very special day in the calendar for this family. A day where we not only celebrate a ‘new number’, but a day where we will be forever grateful to be given the privilege to celebrate.

Perhaps a Birthday in your house is all about presents, cake, balloons and ice cream? Well in our house it is indeed about all of these things, but also about a silent ‘thanks’. A silent prayer that we make another happy year. That our dreams aren’t shattered, that our hopes can be realised.

It is on this day, in particular, that I have to give special thanks to our Angel who gave us this gift. Without her we’d never be able to celebrate our Rainbow.

We are nearing four years since our dreams were realised in the shape of our precious Boy. I remember…

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#Writing a Novel: Planning

Alison Williams Writing

jim writing

A little while ago I wrote a blog post about preparing to write a novel. Those of us who write generally approach writing either as a plotter or a pantster. Plotters like to plan out their novel before they write, while pantsters prefer to sit down and just get writing, without a plan – writing by the seat of their pants.

I’m a plotter. I like to plan my novels out. I don’t always end up following the plan, but I like to kind of know where I’m going. And I find that planning helps me to get into the writing – it’s not quite so scary if I have an outline for a chapter, or for a scene. I feel like I’m just filling in the blanks then rather than starting from scratch.

If you, like me, are a plotter, then you might find these tips helpful.

  • Have a…

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Bulls Eye (well, nearly)

At last. I have finally overtaken (just) my self-imposed target of 80,000 words. And what a journey that has been, full of uncertainties, dithering, procrastination (I am particularly skilled in that area), self-doubt, self-loathing, utter terror and blushing embarrassment at the very idea that I should aspire to becoming a proper novelist.

Photo by sattva. Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.netAt last.  I have finally overtaken (just) my self-imposed target of 80,000 words.  And what a journey that has been, full of uncertainties, dithering, procrastination (I am particularly skilled in that area), self-doubt, self-loathing, utter terror and blushing embarrassment at the very idea that I should aspire to becoming a proper novelist.  Just who do I think I am? There was a whole bunch of other defeatist stumblings along the way, but I won’t bore you with those.  However, I’ve made it, well nearly, but with only a chapter, at most, two, to go I feel the need to celebrate and pat myself on the back.

Now the real hard work begins.  Re-writing, editing, re-re-writing, scratching my head and wondering what on earth made me want to do this in the first place. Still, it’s a start and who knows, maybe one day I WILL step out of the door as a published author. Wish me luck.

(Photo by sattva. Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net)

An Ancient ‘New Forest’

After struggling to find my way with’ The Earthlights Saga’  (working title, as ever, subject to change), I was looking for inspiration;  a kick or a nudge that would set the creative juices flowing again, and I found it in the ancient woods and heaths of The New Forest, in Hampshire.

There is a magic there that pre-dates IMG_1022its near thousand-year history as a royal hunting ground.  King William 1st, called the Conqueror, declared these wild acres to be his hunting preserve and woe betide anyone who would presume to take a deer, pheasant or even a wild rabbit.  To be caught was a crime punishable by mutilation.  A harsh price to pay for trying to stay alive. The days when a peasant could be hanged for the taking of the King’s deer, and could only gather fallen wood for their fires, risking punishment should they chop down a tree for fuel, are long since over and the animals and people who now inhabit this lovely place can live in peace, their rights protected by a more benevolent law.

But the magic from pagan times when elementals held sway and the  folks of myth danced in the dappled glades and played in silvery brooks, still lingers for those who would take the time to be still and listen and open their eyes to see the wonders.

Spooky tree in The NEw Forest
Spooky tree in The New Forest

Seek out the mysteries in those dark forest pools, where the swaying trees are reflected in the shivering waters, cradling the dreams of naiads;  in the sleeping ancient trees where dryads sway and delicate deer and their dappled fauns tremble in the shadows as you pass.  Wander the broad sunlit heathlands, dotted with golden gorse and home to wild ponies, and sleek wandering cattle and hear the songs of the Fae in the whispering breeze.  A sensitive soul will soon become aware of the ancient magical folks of legend who dream in another older plane that drifts alongside our rushing, hurrying times.  They are heedless of the tarmacked roads, cars and noisy lives.  They have no need of cell phones, power lines and the trappings of the 21st Century.  They just wait for the curious questing soul to sit quietly and listen, and they will whisper their tales and tease and beguile, and, if they deem you to be worthy, you will be blessed and inspired and gifted with their magic.

IMG_0942

I pray that I have been so blessed.

As I was saying . . .

Ok.  So I’ve done it again.  Another year on and still no published book and pitifully few blog posts.  Why?

Procrastination.

That’s why.

Wretched thing.

It creeps up on me every time I sit down to write and whips the keyboard out from under my eager fingers.  I do want to write.  Honestly, I really do.  But suddenly there’s something else far more pressing, that needs my full attention.  Like emptying the bins, cleaning the sink and folding the tea towels.  You know how it is . . .

You know how it is . . .

Having said all that, regardless of whatever it may be that takes me away from my desk, the tale is continuing to unfold in my head and this ‘procrastination’ can actually work to my advantage – sometimes.

I have found that on occasion some mindless task which does not require my brain to be in attendance,  gives me the mind space to sort out my protagonists’ rather pressing problems.  Or better yet, my busy brain cranks up a gear and creates a crisis for her/him to get themselves out of.  Now that can be a whole lot of fun, for me anyway, even if my weary characters throw dark looks and even darker curses at me.  They just want to go home and lead a quiet life.  But I can’t allow them to do that just yet.  There’s stuff to do out there in fantasy land, and they’re the only ones who can sort out the mess I’ve made of their lives.

Either way, when I do manage to wrestle the ‘p’ word to the ground, I go back to my keyboard with renewed enthusiasm and happily tap away again.

That is until Procrastination gets up off the floor and creeps up behind me again.

Procrastination
Procrastination

It just doesn’t know when to give up.

Shameful!

I cannot, really cannot believe that it is a whole year since I last posted. I am deeply ashamed of myself, and try as I might, I can find no plausible excuse for so neglecting my blog. I promise to be more attentive in the future. So here’s a quick ‘catch-up’ for anyone who might be interested.

I cannot, really cannot believe that it is a whole year since I last posted.  I am deeply ashamed of myself, and try as I might, I can find no plausible excuse for so neglecting my blog.  I promise to be more attentive in the future.

However, I’ve not been totally idle and I have been working on my fantasy novel and have managed to increase my word count to a little over 56 thousand words. Hopefully, some of them at least will survive the editing process if I ever make it to that stage. I have found that even though not all of my time has been taken up with the actual writing process, I have been spending hours on research and to my delight the story is now following a more cohesive course.  I feel my characters and background have far more substance now, and my protagonist(s) have better direction.  They seem a lot happier now too, despite all the problems that beset them. The writing process is a fascinating one for me, as my characters take on a life of their own, developing little quirks and habits that may sometimes irritate me, but make them more believable.  They are becoming scarily independent and frequently make choices that I hadn’t foreseen, or stubbornly refuse to go in the direction I want them to move to.  Or sometimes a new character will introduce him/herself and demand a role in the story.  A debate then ensues regarding their importance or lack of, and do they move the story on or are they just a distraction.  All of which leads to a whole lot more thinking on my behalf.  Do I need them, or do I not? Am I right?  Or are they?  At this stage, it’s often difficult to tell but all of which is leading to rather more interesting (I hope) results.

I did start out in November – as I have done for the past three or four years – with every intention of completing NaNoWriMo. But as usual I fell at the first hurdle after completing only a couple of thousand words.  The fireworks at that time of year caused one of my dogs to go into a complete panic and injure herself rather badly so my attention was on her and her ongoing veterinary treatment, rather than my fantasy world. It has all been rather traumatic, but nobody loves you quite like a dog does, so she has to come first right now. She is my darling fur baby and deserves no less.

* * *

Once again Christmas is creeping up on us at a rapid pace (Creeping?  Galloping, more like!) but for once I have managed to get ahead of myself and have bought and wrapped the gifts, written cards and have started filling the freezer with goodies. This was helped somewhat, by my re-discovering gifts that I had bought a few years ago and had hidden away and forgotten all about. Wonderful!  That meant I was actually 2 years ahead of myself and rather less shopping to fit into my schedule.  All of which leaves me more time than I usually have at this time of year to put fingertip to keyboard and get tapping, although it also indicates that it really is time I sorted out some cupboards.  Who knows what other goodies I might find hidden away?

Anyway, with all that, and Christmas coming too, I’ve been rather busy.  However, that does not excuse my lack of input here over the rest of the year.  I really should keep this up as it does get the creative juices flowing, and I can’t wait to see what is going to happen next.  Even though I would love to be published – as would most people who write, I am thoroughly enjoy the journey my characters are taking me on, so whether a book deal ever happens or not, I’m having the time of my life.

And on that note, I shall now replenish my coffee cup and move over to Scrivener and carry on.