Wednesday, 29 June 2011

For those who are too gentle to live among wolves

I've  been so busy with my writing, life and arranging a new project (which I'll hopefully tell you about next month) that I haven't had time to write any new articles for this blog. So until I can sit down and give you the quality time you deserve, I thought I'd share a favourite piece of writing with you. It's by the writer James Kavanaugh. I found this written down in an old journal of mine so apologies if it is laid out wrongly.

For those who are too gentle to live among wolves

I am one of the searchers. There are I believe millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motions, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know - unless it be to share our laughter.

We searchers are ambitious for only life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we want to love and be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls. That will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or to compete for love.

This is a book for wanderers, dreamers and lovers: for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, whatever you do.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

More Potter?

Today J K Rowling has announced 'Pottermore'. I could explain but I think the author herself can do that much better than me.

Interested? It's good to see an author going beyond the usual reader-writer exchange and offering a more rounded experience. The site itself isn't fully functional until October although if you visit on 31st July, you may be able to get an early peak at what is to come.

In the meantime, here are some images of what Pottermore will look like.

The Gateway
Hogwarts Express
The Chessboard Chamber
Christmas at Hogwarts

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Don't rain on my Summer Solstice

This is supposed to be the day when we throw off our winter layers, lash on the sun tan lotion and open our arms to the embrace of summer. What happened? I'm getting wet. My sun tan lotion is being washed away and  the puddle I've found myself standing in is seeping through my flip flops.

Still, it isn't so bad, I suppose. I can still celebrate the sun. I'll just do it from the dry safety of my sofa.

The summer solstice has always been about one thing for me - balance. It marks the balance between day and night (both the same length on this date before the nights begin to lengthen again). It reminds me to question my own life balance, be that work and home balance, me-time and them-time balance or even my nutritional balance. What about you? Is your life gracefully balanced or teetering on the edge?

Happy Summer Solstice, however you spend it.

May the sun always shine in your life and the fire remain bright in your hearth.

Monday, 20 June 2011

We're in the Wiccaman Daily

 One of the benefits of being part of the Twitter community, is that people not only read what you write (on occasion) but that they then pass it on. Today I found out that yesterday's blog post 'Father's Day' has been included in the Wiccaman Daily. Have a look.

Thank you @thewiccaman.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Father's Day

Back in April, I wrote about missing my mum on Mother's Day. Today is Father's Day. My husband is enjoying a well deserved lie in and my children are busy so I'm taking this time to be quiet and get some writing done. My dad died two days after my daughter was born. It was unexpected and more numbing than shocking. One came in and another went out - joy and sadness in equal measures.

I miss my father, especially our conversations. We would happily talk the world to rights. We'd disagree sometimes, even argue, but my father never let the sun go down on a row. He would always make sure we were friends before we went to bed - even when we lived at different ends of the country.

Not long after we'd moved to our new life in Wales, I was attempting to get my children into the car for school one morning. "No, don't do that to your brother. And you leave her alone as well. Please sit down. Seat belts people!"  I had my 'get on with it' goggles on, head down, mission in mind. Having successfully secured my offspring, I turned back towards the house and in a shower of sunlight at the front door of our new home, I could have sworn I saw my father standing there smiling. I blinked and the image was gone. A few minutes later as we drove along the country road to the school, movement in the hedges to my left grabbed my attention and a hawk, larger than any I'd ever seen, took flight and flew out ahead of us. We trailed it along our route for a couple of minutes before it disappeared. Make of this what you will, but I've always found reassurance in what happened that morning.

I'd like to wish all the fathers out there the best of days, including my own. As it says on one of the cards my children will give to their father later today, "Everyone thinks they have the best dad in the world but I know that I'm right".

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Saturday, 11 June 2011

Having a ball

This weekend I'm taking part in another blog hop. I've donned my gown to join the She Writes Blogger Ball again. The first one I took part in was a great success for me personally, introducing me to many more fabulous bloggers. If you have the time, dance over to the 1st Books blog and join in.

As a writer and blogger, life can be a near solitary path. Our creativity starts as a spark of sunlight in our minds, a personal glint that signifies our unique perception. We can spend so much time observing those around us for storylines and what if inspiration, polishing our imagined worlds and celebrating in the richness of our inner kingdoms, that we forget to reach out.

Here's my challenge to you for the next week - reach out. Hop some fellow writers' blogs (and don't forget to leave a comment), visit a writing forum such as She Writes, or find a local writing class or group. I'm sure you can think of other ways to share your writing. Don't forget to let me know about your adventures too.

In the meantime, I'm going to hop a few blogs. Now where did I put my dancing shoes?

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Have a nice day

It was just another mundane week day. Get up. Get ready. Get children up. Get children ready. Shout at husband to get up. Ensure everyone is in the car. Deliver children to school. Deliver husband to work. Join the throng of mums and pensioners buying food at  the supermarket. 

Flicking through the radio channels on the drive home (whilst collating a mental to do list for the rest of the day), I landed on this.

It's an easy, singalong song that pulled me from my head-down attitude this morning. The grass seemed greener, the neighbours more friendly and my face even managed a smile. Sometimes it's the little things, the incidental things that fall into our life that make the difference.

Here's another 'nice day', this time from Bon Jovi.

Have a wonderful Wednesday. Hope it turns out nice.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Jerry Haven has arrived

When I began writing murder mystery plays, I had the massive advantage of writing for a cast of actors whom I had worked with for several years. I knew their voice patterns, what they looked like and just as importantly, what they were capable of portraying on stage. For me, that was an incredible luxury.

When it came to my novel, I knew that I would find it easier to write if I had an idea of what my characters looked like, what they sounded like, how they moved and so on. I'm a visual person - that is my main way of perceiving the world - and as such I 'see' my stories, either as plays on a stage or as films on a big screen. I decided that alongside my storyline, character list and chapter plan, I would also put together a cast.

Each character in my novel is based loosely around the thought of a particular actor playing the role of Hartley or Isabelle or some other person from my created world. Note I don't say the characters are based 'on' those actors. They are not. I am simply using their appearances and acting skills as a template to start from.

One character whom I have never been able to cast definitely is Jerry Haven. I knew what I wanted (and for the purpose of the novel needed) him to look like and the more I write his character, the more I get a taste for his speech patterns, but I could never truly create a tight focus on him. He was always a blurry image, like a runner caught in movement. 

Today, I finally found him. Tall, usually dark, with a dramatic presence that lends itself equally to a smile or anger, the actor Michael Fassbender is my Jerry. He's currently starring in the new X-men film, X-Men: First Class as Erik/Magneto. He has dropped into my cast perfectly and with a satisfying 'click'. I can now return to his 'scenes' and fine tune his dialogue. 

Picture this - a barefoot Michael Fassbender dressed in white trousers and an open white shirt. That's how we first see Jerry, looking like 'a cross between a messiah and a rock star'.  What do you think? Would you watch this film?