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Author Archive: isabel1

Head All Over The Place

scatterbrainThis an apt description when waking this morning. Two clear dreams, each seemingly with a message to decode. Each line of thought leading to others, etc – you know how it goes. Still in bed and with each decision to think about what is on the agenda for the day producing yet another line of thought more and more notions. Maybe the best idea is to get out of bed and sleepwalk through the basic routine – open blinds, turn on computer, water in kettle, kettle on stove, bathroom and start thinking there?

I wonder how many also find being sat on that seat to be a moment of mental clarity? 

On with the day. Doctors, library, shopping, take cheque to eye specialist and consider whether time and energy enough to join the gym.

What are your first moves on waking?

Restyled

Before

Before

After

After

 

 

 

The difference is down to Kathy’s visit and sorting through my disorganised wardrobe and being a dab hand with my hair styling wand.kathy-text01

Find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kathystylistpersonalshopper

 

That’s enough for one day!

Trialing Time Shift

steps-to-nowhereTo see where it takes me.  Evenings are usually spent laid back in recliner and nodding off in front of the television but now, with the end of year programming it is difficult to find anything worth watching yet another time. QI episodes now showing (again) were recorded in 2003.

Today has been a bit of a waste. Some shopping but Central Market closed on Mondays so early tomorrow morning will have me traipsing with my trolley and stocking the cupboards. Have a stylist visiting tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon to share her wisdom on what I need to do to my wardrobe to preclude being mistaken for a bag lady in the making.  Think my morning mood sufficiently cleared to go back to the novel for a few hundred words at least. Then to read a novel made available from within FB’s Scrivener Group. OMG That was a yawn. Best step outside and see if there is a breeze ….

Creative or Cranky

me-and-my-ever-changing-moods-red-gold-20121Went to bed with today planned. I knew where next my characters meet and what will happen, but this morning woke with thoughts racing and mood definitely cranky. Maybe it is a reaction to feeling so good about the progress made in the novel – usual ‘paying the price’ for feeling more cheerful than usual. These days the swings are minor by comparison but up is still balanced by the down.

But then I realised I had gone to sleep less than pleased with the author of the book being read before sleeping. An Australian author, prolific writer, mainstream publisher, new book. Not far into the story I read that the Nullarbor is a desert and one of the passengers on the train crossing the Nullarbor Plain – lots of low lying scrub – is Chinese – in 1943. If the author was a younger person it could be possible he/she (no more clues) would be unaware of the White Australia Policy. Only someone who had not travelled out of Australia while the legislation  was in force would have been sheltered from the disgust directed by the outside world at that racist policy. There were many times I was held to account for the policy when trying to enjoy a quiet drink in a London pub. I shudder to think of the contempt Australians will face overseas in light of Australia’s current refugee policy and racist procedures.

Do I write to the author to voice my disappointment? It is one thing to suspend belief when reading fantasy or sci-fi but when a story is anchored in so much that is  real – as is the book in question – then failure by author and publishing team is disheartening.  This is the first time I have picked up one of this author’s many books. Is it enough to put me off? How much forgiveness do I have in my heart? Am I such a pickety-pickety person? Yes.

My memory goes back to feedback given after a vocational guidance test when I was 16 years of age. Seems my mind is structured to focus on very fine detail and for this a career as a pharmaceutical chemist would be my best fit. I mentioned I would like to be a writer and was told they were not able to forecast success in that field, but any where I positioned myself to meet people while maintaining a ‘shop counter’ relationship would be the next best thing. Barmaid fitted that and filled pints and gave change exercising great precision. And that is how I regard facts when writing my story.

Aware of how moods can creep out between lines written, I am not about to return to the novel this morning. As I am confident very few, if any, will read this post down this far, any such gloom as I am now experiencing will be limited. (If you have read this far, please chide me in a comment.)

Plot Hole Prevention

blue-snailHaving yesterday reached a point  which opens the curtain on many sudden changes for so many of my characters, I rested. Then pondered on their futures – much of which, but not all,  I have laid out as the paving stones you see in this picture. A pathway with gaps along which I proceed at my own pace, in my own time.  (With the discovery of faecal blood I have to face the possibility that my personal time-line may be up for change. If not the length, then what I could be free to do within that space. )

Many changes of name have affected my focus on the story. Very early on, I had given it the name  They Shoot Eagles and had even reserved the domain name. (I wish my writing was as far advanced as my planning the production of it.) Then, further into the story, another name change; Three Shawls which allude to a gift from an old woman to three babies.  These shawls to be handed down to succeeding generations. I recall having a brilliant idea as to the third of these which resulted in the name change. I recall looking up at my walls and seeing the shawls I had hanging there. Three on three walls. Seemed serendipitous.  Then I discovered Scrivener and was able to bring the total concept out of the abstract realm of my imagination and plant it  more firmly on the page, but not, at that time, knowing where to start. In the process I have  now forgotten the notion behind the third shawl. Today’s task will be to pick the planned plot apart into far finer detail before I start to write. I know I am looking at a plot-hole and must pack the space with pebbles before proceeding so logic and credibility are retained. This is one huge advantage of omniscience while proceeding chronologically and writing in the present tense.

When not writing, I am reading randomly selected novels written by authors previously unknown to me. Some do not get beyond first page despite the blurb and cover. Others have me engrossed until bleary-eyed, only moments away from deep sleep. (According to my Garmin bracelet.) It would be fifty years since I submersed myself in Agatha Christie novels. I stopped reading when I found the answer before it was revealed. I know from many of the poems I have written that I absorb an essence of the writings read. I never analyse a text. I would regard that as murder.  Last night I finished reading Lia Mills beautifully told story Fallen. Reality set in the past. My kind of space. It is on loan from the local library and one I am going to have to buy for the rereading at a later time. I am her kind of reader. Then I ask myself, who is mine? That is an exploration for another day.

For my Kindle and recommending:

https://www.amazon.com/Fallen-Lia-Mills-ebook/dp/B00H7O87W0

Have a great day.

 

 

A Quick Pat on the Back

Not lingering now. Only to share the effect of the new routine which2015-04-01-19-05-38 has produced 2,000 words today. I must do this more often. Feels good. Draining. Nap. Now back to reading a good book in the hope I am on the way to writing one.

Restart and Research

paper-and-pencilWhen not busy doing something else, the back of my mind has been worrying over the next requirement of my novel. (Now titled The Trusts).

Not so much writer’s block as stumbling block. The direction of the plot requires events xyz. How to manage that without going off on a tangent?  The main belief underlying my writing is that everyone has a story. My characters appear when, where and how they contribute to the ongoing development of the tale which threads them together.

I have now overcome the stumbling block – not by killing a darling but by allowing them (in this case, him) a brief,  appearance which permits a more central character far greater scope within the story-telling when he arrives at a later plot point. So, that’s that fixed and I can get on with the novel this morning. Just checked my calendar and the next four days are clear of any anticipated distraction. All my darlings can wait in the wings in case they are called upon for another appearance in another book.

As to the research; my shelves and boxes are filled with books and printouts of more than I can ever need for the South African components of the overall story. I now regret the dogged way I had planned my three weeks visit there – was it only last year?. I went in with a plan and came out with tantalising leads in another direction. Much the same, but a bit more fruitful, the three weeks in the UK back in 2009. There again, I went in armed with information I wanted to confirm to come out with a new, tangential understanding.

Another belief, nothing is ever wasted. There will be space and time for more telling, the direction of which may or may not rest on the reaction of readers. I know from reactions to how I left the characters in The Trustees there was a strong demand to know what happens next.  At the moment, the story has reached 1899 and inching forward into the millennium.  1922 is going to be a huge year. As for answering ‘what happens next’, that begins where that story left off and will take the tale up to 1965 – a century of four families, four cultures, four countries, four generations.

Whoops, back to this screen. was wearing my book-reading glasses which produces a blur here. Now I have the screen reading glasses and have dragged myself back here from Scrivener. Finally, I am writing every day. If not here, then in my book. Trick is, allow only curtains, computer on button, kettle, bathroom, first coffee to kick off the day.

Have a good one.

Who is Doing the Rethinking? (ME)

colon-readyWell, not quite ready yet. Told my doctor that I had stated in here that I would tell her to think again. She accepted that and then allowed me the silence to think again myself as she wrote up some notes.  Including a prescription for iron tablets which was not needed when I went to the chemist; also picking up a new COPD puffer stuff.  Smart lady, my doctor. and I get a hug on leaving.

Am not going to linger here as I have a book which has kept me awake until after two this morning – and I have a meeting at the Writer’s Centre this morning – the one I had the dream about a couple of days ago. Settling back now for first coffee. And better check blood pressure. I bet underlying anxiety is going to have it through the roof. What are the symbols ???***!!! for BUGGER.

Dragged out of Bed

kick-n-screamKicking and screaming – metaphorically of course as there is no-one here to take any notice. This new habit forming lark goes quite against the grain. Opened blind, turned this laptop on, kettle, bathroom, empty dishwasher, refill coffee and sugar containers then sit down and search for an image to describe my feeling. And in the doing so, calmed down. Sister Serendipity must be busy as the image comes from http://securestart.com.au/tantrums-and-meltdowns-part-one/ which, for those familiar with Adelaide will realise is quite close to home. Almost as good as a visit.

Today will have me return library books, including The Upright Thinker.  Am wondering what it is about the Jewish culture or faith which produces so many brilliant thinkers. Could it be their minds are not occupied with the concept of an after-life? That they are tuned to dealing with reality? They have well-established rituals for dealing with the important events in a life? I don’t know. Just a notion.

Also off to the doctors again.  What started out as a visit to have her complete my Driving Licence Renewal form (now I am over 70 with existing conditions) turned into some testing which shows me short of iron. Given the pack of little poo pick up sticks – and back this morning for the result. She says if it shows blood she will send me off for a colonoscopy. She can think again! About time I gave more thought to filling out the Advanced Care Directives Form.

Well, that’s me out of bed and writing – even if only blogging – as good as talking to myself? Now I know how to calm down the racing thoughts which held me in bed. First time I have ever admitted to ‘racing thoughts’. Perhaps the paths along bipolar may have been different had I realised how to label some things. Also understand that looking at pictures is calming. Produces thought of creating a slideshow of of zen-type images? To music? Why not meditate before I even start the day? I know why. I would be SO relaxed nothing else would get done and above all, I am a do-er.

If you have the kind of patient curiosity which has got you this far into this post all I can say is – have a great day!

(Back tomorrow?) Will see how the habit sticks. I may even get to do some work on the novel.

 

Testing the New Routine

habits By breaking it this morning. For the last three mornings I have been at this keyboard and typing in here first thing. This morning I read emails, Facebook, Google+, turned on the TV for news of the Japanese earthquake – came through my email from RT video so had to check it out in Australian main media. True.

Tried out a new (to me) word processing app – Zoho – which I can see some instances to use.

Other words, complete distraction as advised by so many gurus, but being a bit of a contrarian I just have to find out for myself. Now I know. Back here tomorrow – very first thing!

 

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