Poet Progressing to Prose

My thoughts on

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:


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!


Monday morning – not as planned. (Amended)

Monday morning. Slow to surface after a warm night. Have had the fan going all night, but withstand the temptation to switch the setting to ‘cool’. Deferring gratification? The more I can save on electricity costs the more I can fritter after the bill comes in. I know what the current account amounts to – after a phone call – which has enabled me to pay off the NBN connection charge levied against new builds – which is refundable from my landlord and the property manager promises a cheque later this week.  Gives me a while to spend it several times over in my head. Why am I waffling on about this? Not my intervention when sat at the desk. No, I had gone back to bed with a book after checking my Google calendar on the phone, thinking about the entry for Thursday – City Writers at the SA Writer’s Centre.  Then, just as I was settling into a read, I recalled the dream clear in my mind this morning.

I dreamt I  was attempting to read to a group; apologising for needing to place the text in context (my inner interpretation = con(text) leaves con which is not on) then scrambled through my memory of all my note books and found nothing, then resurrected the carbon copy of a play I had written during Drama 1 in 1978 and started in to read that.

I still have the copy and decided I could take that should I, on my first attendance, be required to read.  BUT have just done a very quick search on where it should be and it now seems that will be the task for the day. Have hunted through a load of useless notes and not yet found it. Surely, I cannot have thrown it away after all this time?




Will return with, I hope, good news.







Without turning everything upside down. Such a relief.

Dark Matter Matters

This is the title which got me out of bed. Maybe I should have changed it before writing? I will come back to that. I promise. My head was full of discussion until I opened the blinds, turned off the fan, turned on the computer, the kettle, bathroom, coffee and then found I had to reconnect the Kindle to the NBN. (First time that has happened or is it that this is the first time I have tried reading it since moving here in August?) Then laying my hands on two books which inspire this conversation. A conversation I may or may not be having with myself?

The two books are: The Upright Thinkers  Leonard Mlodinow and Leonard’s Brain: Understanding Da Vinci’s Creative Genius Leonard Shlain.  And YES, it is only now as I typed them out, did I realise the commonality. And it brings to mind the recent departure by Leonard Cohen. The only thing giving me confidence to address my thinking in such company is the still clear memory of a day in a locked cell, writhing the pain of my son’s death through every muscle of my body in the absence of tears and in that space was the holding of a single hair which threaded back in time to form a link which transcended time and space. I cannot explain it.  (Get back on track, this is a diversion!)

On track.

I know, when I am reading these and others like them, much of the content is way, way beyond my comprehension let alone my understanding.  I recall being sent for a medical procedure as my GP stated the x-ray report was done by a person renowned for under-reporting. It was then I woke up to the obvious, that everyone in any specialty needs to be trained first to see, then having seen, learn to interpret that which cannot now be unseen. It seems the only reason I torture myself so is the discovery of the blind spots in their fields of knowledge; the assumptions made which allow the confidence to continue further and further down the rabbit-holes of their interests.

coffee-cup-smiley-collection-012Taking a quick break.

Okay. It is axiomatic that no one person can know everything. That the knowledge of each is built on the others past and present. That we now live in a society resting on Newton’s shoulders. (Have to close the patio door and turn on the fan – anemone nearby is cooking something which is, to me, unappetising. ) [Fuck. I will have to deal with my patio being treated like an ashtray by tenants somewhere above. Not the first time.] The annoyance. Calm down.

Shlain‘s assumption that the basis for telepathy and other paranormal fields has yet to be discovered. I nearly wept. He did not realise (according to Isabel) that he had already gone past that turnoff in the road to discovery.  The underlying key to (almost) everything is SURVIVAL. To enable survival, we humans have an inherent pattern recognition system. We use this to apprehend the symbols we use to communicate. Today, we call this ‘literacy’ as if, somehow, the illiterate are deficient in some way.

Even when lacking the capacity to read and write the written word, the illiterate still use the pattern recognition capacity of their brains.  Their patterns, the symbols used for communication, differ from the shape of alphabetical letters. But they have an ‘alphabet’ or ‘dictionary’ of their own. This works well among peoples who share a common heritage and are raised in the belief that this means that.  My fortune or misfortune about this stems from a lengthy episode of having my head in a different space while travelling around the UK. Women were trying to decode my language and tested me out with the language of flowers. Unfortunately my internal language seems to have a base in visual puns on written words or learning my own symbols by experience. An example, following an experience, I now know/believe that should I ‘see’ – have a vision – call it what you like – of someone descending on an elevator, my task is to prevent a suicide by just being there until that moment passes.

Sorry, the cigarettes out on the patio are really beginning to get to me.

Unless some Higher Power intervenes, I will be back tomorrow. And if there is no Higher Power, then ….. who knows what is around the corner?

Whoops. Dark Matter Matters? I think I understand the concept even if I will never be sufficiently literate in the field of physics. The extent of my thinking/beliefs is that humans live within an invisible beehive; that we have in abstract the structure developed by other eusocial beings such as bees and wasps. The plotting process for my books is based on the hexagon. An example:




Almost time for the Insiders.

So, this is (virtual) reality?

Yesterday evening I attended the opening at my local library – virtual reality is here – once the speeches were done those interested had the opportunity to try it out. After signing the piece of paper which I assume was to indicate I would take responsibility for myself, I watched a lad move about as if he were engaged in some physical activity while wearing the headpiece and headphones. When my turn came there seemed to be much fiddling about with the controls, I found it difficult to focus and then selected a language I neither speak nor read. Headpiece taken off while some fiddling was done and I began to wonder whether this was (yet another) an occasion when I should not be allowed near anything electromagnetic? Eventually had me listening to a voice which played the contents of someone’s diary, describing near-by action. Shadowy background and neon like lit persons walking across the screen, the sound of their footsteps being described. BORING. I have enjoyed more entertaining hallucinations.

Then onto a single item – stereo 360 degree vision of the environment of the castle of one’s choice. No movement. An upgraded, enhanced version of the old-fashioned coin in the slot thing on a jetty.

What I really want to try, and will see if it is possible to arrange, is to experience either a parachuting jump or falling off a cliff or high building. One, to see what it was I missed when booked for a parachute jumping weekend which was cancelled as I broke my ankle jumping down from a tree by the pond at Hampstead. The second to see if I can overcome the fear of falling. This used to be a constant element of nightmares until I could no longer conceive – fall pregnant in other words or symbols conveying the same message.

And it is the capacity of symbols to convey messages which is my main fascination. At the presentation last evening, we were shown a dot painting and then an aerial photograph of the location the dot painting represented.  The presenter said the painter had used ‘inner vision’ and later agreed with me that the painting was an accurate, but abstract representation of the reality as seen from the aerial photograph. And it is this ‘inner vision’ which is my beef – and one I aim to treat as normal for some of the characters within my novels. For it is my contention that the area of the brain which we have trained into literacy is the area of the brain employed in symbolic communications which could (and I do) call telepathy. For direct communication, the telephone is more reliable; for clear vision we enjoy less (or no) access to that part of the brain which creates images symbolic of shared cultural experience. The iconoclasts have won. When(if ever) I manage to finish the novels already planned, I might tackle a fantasy entitled “Post Iconoclysm”.

I don’t know how long this desire to get out of bed and blog is going to last. If, as is usual for me, it won’t be long. Unless it forms part of the time my mind is busy working on the next scene in my current book – as I suspect is the case.

So far, I have no evidence anyone has read a full post to the end such as to elicit a response – other than a + sign in Google Plus. Which is fine in a way – it leaves me free to meander through my mind where I might surprise myself. My first coffee will be cold by now, have yet to sync my Garmin. Good news, with an egg-shell layer of foam on my mattress I have woken free of back and hip pain. All good and hey- it’s Saturday. Enjoy.

Just re-reading before I hit the publish button. What-if one could teleport, commit a crime and whip back into the body with a cast iron alibi. Surely this has already been done?

Integrity and Luck Along this Writer’s Path

During a discussion yesterday evening, I was reminded of the time a publisher had agreed to publish The Whens of Wittenoom if I would add a chapter condemning the companies, such as ABA or James Hardie. Having read all the material in the Bibliography, I had formed the opinion the insurance industry was the most reprehensible factor in the whole sorry saga. I did not accept the recommendation and the book was unpublished until being posted on Smashwords. Informally, it had floated around in forgotten groups and my stance was rewarded (my idea of reward) with an email requesting consent to be cited in the senders PhD thesis.

This morning I recalled a meeting with the then (1970) editor of the London Magazine to whom I had submitted three poems for his consideration. He was willing to publish Meekatharra on the condition I removed Roger McGough’s name from a poem I had written, and sent, to Roger in thanks for an evening at the Pentameters at the Freemasons Arms in Hampstead.  This editor told me my work was good enough not to hang onto the coat-tails of the Liverpool poets. As the whole point of the poem was my thanks to Roger and referring to his poem which had me in stitches I was not prepared to do that. None of my poetry was published in print London.

About the same time, the BBC purchased several poems to be used within Playschool. (Under the name of Isabel Reeves). I forget whether I was paid five pounds for seven poems or seven pounds for five poems. Whichever, that thirty-five pounds came in very handy at that time of my life.  I am sure there were many others whose works were sitting on the producer’s desk at that time, but, as luck would have it, her husband’s best friend was my then current lover and, knowing him, she felt a great deal of sympathy for me while, at the same time reassuring me my work could stand on its own merit.

Reggie Smith, of the BBC’s Poetry Now  had booked me to read on his final radio slot. Over a drink, he explained (over a drink in the Rosslyn Arms) he knew I would understand in his replacing me with Stevie Smith who, for some reason, had decided to come out of seclusion. She’s old, I was young, of course I understood. Stevie Smith soon after appeared in basement of the Freemasons Arms for a reading at Pentameters.

My last reading for Pentameters was when heavily pregnant with my third son. It seems I had been invited with the expectation I would produce pregnancy poems. Instead I read a poem I had written in reaction to the Kent University killings. It did not go down well. I have read that poem to both right and left wing audiences and each assumes I speak for the other. When you hit a wall of deadly silence instead of polite applause…?

Anyway, these are my thought on this day. Now time I synced my Garmin bracelet, have another coffee, download emails and jut get on with the day.

Have a great one, whoever you are, wherever and whenever you be.