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Author Archive: isabel1

Calling for help, assistance, recommendations

Beginning to see a faint glow of light at the end of the tunnel – Big Book drawing closer to completion. Now part of my mind is turning to (a) title and (b) blurb then (c) cover.

I have had several working titles over the years as I have changed my mind back and back again as to whether to split into a series or go with what I have finally decided – one complete book – all the stories contained within one volume. “The Trustees” is now incorporated into the main text with much preceding events in that book (Smashwords) and following on with events up to 1965 which will mean covering 100 years for four families, four cultures, four countries and four generations.

Which of the following would grab your attention?

They Shoot Eagles/ The Three Shawls/ Mixed Fortunes / Trysts and Trusts/ Trust Triumphant

I would very much like to invite people who have ‘liked’ my Facebook page or are connected on Google+ to become beta readers before I finally send it off to Createspace or Ingram for publication. 

The feedback I would be hoping for is to tell me if I have left any character in the lurch and, if so, what more you would like to read about that character.

Also, if you can think of a better title I am all ears and open mind.

A pair of eagle eyes belong to Laurene in Norseman who has the happy knack of identifying typing and copy errors, so I would ask others not to fret about that level of detail but to share what they would recommend I include as ‘blurb’ on the back cover.

I prefer the sepia tone of the Trustees book cover and my author photograph – although very simple, I think it stands out from glossy highly coloured images. Also I would not know which of my classes of characters to include on a cover! So either a title in text/author name or an abstract design. I rather like the idea of the double-barred cross described many times within the book. I cannot find a copy of that image anywhere – google searches/museums/books on symbols – so would need someone with graphic skills for that.

Sorry it has been so long since I posted here. As with most of us, Life gets in the way!

PS I selected the hexagon image as it ties in with the complicated ways I plot my stories. Also, as the notion of a hex runs through much of the story.

If willing, please comment below.  Send an email if you would prefer to read through a shared file on Google Drive.  Current length is approx 108,000 words. Not asking that you read it ALL now (unless you want to) but enough to give you and idea of whether you feel you would like to read it when finally finished, blurbed and covered with apt design.

Your response will be most welcome.

This is what is missing – explaining recent MIA

Recently diagnosed as deficient in B12. One injection and several things changed for the much better – but only for short while – need another hit! Doc’s appointment not until next week so have – on chemist’s recommendation – started spray under my tongue. Doesn’t take much to get me back on board – as witnessed by my catch-ups this morning – but really looking forward to getting this sorted even when it means a monthly injection for the rest of my life. As with both eyes now – not monthly but each depending on how well it is behaving – four to six weeks apart. Next time both eyes. Might just treat myself to a taxi home.

Would be interested to find out how long  ago the B12 situation started as I have been sent off to specialists for symptoms differently diagnosed. As with macular degeneration, the earlier it is identified the better. When one injection can go toward relieving three separate symptoms I could end up being a bit cranky about B12 lack not being picked up sooner.

TAKE A HINT. Check it out with your GP.

Write right the first time.

“Hopefully before the first draft is finished, but otherwise in the editing process when you have a mostly-complete work and just need to fill in the holes.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/02/16/so-you-want-to-write-a-nonfiction-book/?utm_term=.81501a271338#comments

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/how-i-self-edit-my-novels-15-steps-from/

Writing, had a weep, tidied up files to find this


I am closer to 76 (78) than 75 (77).

My first experience of serious depression was at age18 after two people I knew were killed in motor vehicle accidents. My suicidal impulse at the time was held in check on two grounds. If I was not successful I could be prosecuted (attempted suicide against the law). If I was successful I could not know whether the In Memoriam notices in the West Australian would number something between that of one friend (1) and the other (column after column). By the time I stopped worrying, the suicidal mood had passed.

And this is the trick! The mood passes.

Just sit it out. When feeling a danger to myself, I used to go to the nearest hospital and ask to be allowed to just sit in safety. That was all I needed. It also helped when I had a circle of friends who did not need telling, but somehow knew we should sit up all night, putting the world to rights till the sun came up. Also, even when it feels as if alone enough to successfully suicide, my experience was that there was Something Out There which ensured a close, but failed attempt.

But for ordinary, non-suicidal depression, I found the best, the quickest way out of it was to surrender, play some really, really sad music, make yourself as miserable as possible as quickly as possible because, once down there in the pits, the only way is UP. For me, that became the creative writing time.

The death of friends, of a child, of parents. These are all reactive depressions and normal. Hormonal upheavals either monthly or after birth, again part of normal living. Loss of jobs, partners by either death or divorce and all those other events which tally up. Most of us will have experienced same or similar. Top this off with bipolar, genetic predisposition, lying dormant until triggered by stress and then crash and burn and phoenix-like rise again knowing that you know the secret of the Meaning of Life, where it came from and where it is going! Oh, boy. Fun, fun, fun. (But not for those around who strive to make sense I(there is none) of it all.)

My saving grace, inner strength, whatever you want to call it, stemmed from an incident when I was nearly five years old. (Please do NOT visualise). The head of our neighbour’s son was sliced apart by the flying blade of a broken circular saw. His mother came over to our place in great distress. My mother told me to look after the distressed woman, my 23 month old sister and my 8 week old brother. She told me to be a brave little girl while she pedalled off to the post office to call the doctor and police. I know that is what she told me as, when 55, I woke one morning sobbing my heart out with relief that I no longer had to be a brave little girl. (She forgot to stand me down!) So, for fifty years I went through Life with girded loins prepared to take on anything Life threw at me.

Computer Quirks and Conundrums

We all have those days.

Lately mine have been at two extremes.

First things not working = not much gets done.

Second, working so well, I find stuff I had forgotten and get lost in reading or viewing something which caught my attention way back when = not much gets done.

What particularly did not get done was immaculate cleaning of all surfaces prior to inspection yesterday. Must budget for some help = cleaner and window cleaner before next time OR change a habit of a lifetime and look more closely.

Home, Sweet Home

http://www.james-joyce-music.com/song03_lyrics.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbRYEvZVoag

Once, way back in the 70’s I had a clear dream of living in marbled halls – years before I heard any version or read the lyrics.

Just walking into the foyer – then into the mirrored lifts with marble floors – I just KNEW I had come home. The building it titled “Vision on Morphett” and the pub around the corner is called “The Publishers”.

 

Poltergeist solution: Kills a Darling

Character Removal? I have been stuck at an impasse – having pantsed my way to a character development, giving her a life of her own but stuck with what she will do in the four years between arriving in Western Australia in 1924 (as per plot) and returning to the UK in 1928 to die in childbirth.  Her journey, with chaperone, to WA via South Africa, her arrival and stay with aunt and uncle who offer her a continuing role : all that written down, leaving me to ponder whether she goes along that line or what ever interesting things she could be doing. Thought I had it worked out and loaded the project to continue only to find -or rather, not to find – a swathe of text missing. After agonising what happened or where I may have mistakenly deleted/ copied/ pasted/ whatever I have decided to accept the possibility a poltergeist has been at work. Perhaps I have been editing in my sleep although I don’t recall dreaming that I was typing.  Or perhaps one of my darlings has killed herself rather then endure/enjoy my cogitated possibilities.

Within the scope of four generations, this character was to die in childbirth while producing a daughter and transmitting an rH factor. So, in effect, she was easy to kill. But if ever I have time and inclination to write the personal stories of many of the characters, she will be easy enough to resurrect. So, it is bye-bye for now, Lady Belinda. (Already thinking how I can infiltrate her into a back story of character whose future outline already loosely plotted. Hmmm.

All of this leads me to reflect on the wisdom of proceeding slowly and getting things right as one goes along. Using Scrivener’s search I was able to collect every mention of Belinda and able to select that which to keep and that which to remove so as to stay on track with major thread.

 

 

Idling Until Ready to Shift Gears

Though very little posted here lately, the old brain box has been busy. Most active on waking with streams of ideas for posts, for conversations drifting from one topic to the next, but always coming back to the next stage of my novel.

Set in chronological order, written in present tense, each stage/scene/action is bounded within time and space. and am at a stage where I know where I want/need a character to travel in order to progress the story. Spending many moments on exploring the external and internal motivations driving him in the desired direction.

He is now 65 years of age and setting out on a journey which will take him to Cape Town, perhaps Durban and then onto Western Australia before returning to his home in Dumfries, Scotland. His wife is 16 years younger than he, they have two daughters the youngest being 17 years of age.

Am wondering whether to kill off his wife? Or discover the love of his life (his wife) has been unfaithful leading to the possibility the youngest daughter is not his. If I am ti kill her off, I will need to have her either become very ill; be involved as a victim in a fatal accident. Whatever, it has to be traumatic for him.

All suggestions welcome. 

It is not that I am not busy, just pondering over which thread to pick up and pull out onto a page. Looks as if I shall have to pick up one of my many sharpened pencils and tackle the problem on paper and see which flows more freely.

Unless you suggest something I have yet to consider? Which would you rather read?

So Much for Habits (new ones, that is)

The intention to keep posting faltered when I decided to take control of an unpleasant relationship. Since then I have been dealing with the aftermath which, I feel, included psychosomatasising the pain – back on the walker for a day or so, stiff talking with myself!
Since then motivation low, but on bike a few times for a swim at the gym. Then planned on new habit of writing X amount before treating myself to a trip to the pool. Am at a stage in The Book where is is necessary to get a good visual of the age differences between the characters who will play their part. This required a spreadsheet with years of birth and death and how that relates to the year in which the journey takes place. By the time I had done that, looked out the patio doors and found it was raining and didn’t fancy riding on wet road in mid-morning traffic. SO, out with the floor steamer and cleaned the apartment from corner to corner and rearranged this and that – have a thing about matching! Sweat streaming and glad I have bought a bottle of salt tablets. Worn out, everything spic and span and so tidy ex-husbands and children would find it difficult to believe.
Woke, head busy with long conversation I would like to have within an FB post, but would have been too long for that, so I think I will keep for a post here. However, second coffee and breakfast, streched on on recliner and not inclined to do anything when noise, noise, noise!
Was the first down into the foyer, nightdress and towelling robe and on my own long enough could have showered and  dressed and (if used) made u-p by the time anyone else arrived.

Firies everywhere, but turned out to be someone on my floor had been frying without using the extractor fan. Well, that got me out of sloth. Checking budget before going down to Bunnings for some pot plants? Will spending lift the mood?

Myself My Own Worst Enemy

Rode the bike to and from the shop to have the seat permanently fixed in height and swivel. Nerve wracking going there as seat changed height three times and direction once.

Next morning, thinking myself AOK, went shopping and when dragging full trolley  home my right calf seized up as if cramped, but now think more like calf muscle end of Achilles tendon. Slow and painful walk for a couple of hundred metres. Seemed longer.

Did I listen? Did I heck. Arrived home to find a note in my letterbox advising a parcel could be collected after mid-day. Thirty minutes very slow walk there and another back with new keyboard – assisting vision – collected.  then googled and spend the evening with hot water bottles, full and frozen under calf.  Fifteen minutes on and fifteen minutes off. Took myself to bed at some ungodly early hour so have been awake since two this morning. Sat out on the patio, under cover of upstairs balcony and enjoyed the cooling air as the rain started down. Radio (headphones on) said it was going to get worse and there were still a couple of things needed at the shop. So, down to my storage area and resurrected this.

Just as I had been planning on lending it to a friend in need! Got soaking wet despite jacket, but I love walking in the rain – but to be able to prance instead of plod would have been better. All this at a time when my gym subscription has started to be directly deducted. Idiot, idiot, idiot.

I suppose I could get on with the Book? Sigh. Coffee and more rain watching first, methinks.

If you have been patient enough to put up with my moaning – thank you – and may you have a great weekend wherever and whomsoever you are.

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