To be a writer you have to LOVE to read!

To be a writer you have to love to read?s king

As I set out on this mission to finally put my notes and scribbles and stories into something more real, I have become more analytical in things I do, say, even achieve. I guess it must be the same process for any of the arts, to become a painter you must start to notice everything around you in a lot more detail. For example I’m sure if you paint a field then return to that field in a months’ time and you would begin to notice subtle differences that could completely change your painting, more flowers have bloomed, the river alongside the field is running higher, or some kids have created a rope swing on the only tree in the field. Each of these things could add to your painting or would you use this new view to create another?

As I try to put more words to the page I notice I am reading in a different manner. Although I still love to read, and will read anything and everything I can get my hands on, I am now analysing more details from the book rather than just staying immersed in the story. I have now found myself reading an alternative story immersing myself in things such as character/location/storyline creation and analysing details I hadn’t previously noticed (or indeed cared) about, the collection of tiny details enhancing the experience even more. Is there too much/not enough dialogue? Do the locations fit the story (and again are there too many described distracting the reader from the storyline)? How many characters do we meet, do they all serve a purpose?

Chinua Achebe

Each of these attributes I hope to bring to my own writing, hopefully expanding on my skills by learning from those that have already made the great achievement of getting published and of course through blogging too. There are so many wonderful sites and writers out there that you can’t help taking enjoyment out of reading their stories and getting that little understanding of the story of their life they have woven. Enjoyment can be found in the smallest of tales to the largest of adventures… it is a gift to treasure.

So yes, I do believe to be a writer you have to love to read.

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Just Jot It January 17th – collection Just Jot It January – 2016

The “Collection” prompt is brought to you by Deborah at Container Chronicles.

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Fall down seven times, Stand up eight

There is a Japanese Proverb that says:

“Fall down seven times, Stand up eight.”

I love this statement and think it is so true to life. Life can be incredibly shitty crap at times and it will throw some stuff at you! Stuff that at times it feels impossible to handle, but these situations seem to motivate people into becoming stronger, stronger than they ever knew they could be. There are a few blogs I follow that I am amazed and astounded at how strong the writers are and the situations they have overcome.

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I recently visited a beautiful ruins in Scotland called “Sweetheart Abbey” – “The last Cistercian abbey established on Scottish Soil” and the story of it truly amazed me. Dervogilla Balliol lost her husband in 1268 and window - Sweetheart Abbeyeven though she would have been in a state of grief she found strength and founded an Abbey in his memory. I lost my hamster when I was nine and had to have a day of school as I was so heartbroken!!

The story of her love continues, (although in a manner possibly a little bit creepy by today’s standards), she had her husband’s heart embalmed so she could keep it with her in a casket! Dervogilla was eventually laid to rest in the abbey – still with her treasured heart.

While I was absorbed in the romance of the Abbey my darling OH loved this sign and suggested we instate this in our house, I said there was no point it would just mean I nagged all in one go – haha!

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Just Jot It January 14th – MotivationJust Jot It January – 2016

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Strong Females

J.K Rowling made the following statement: j.k.rowling - feminism

(source of quote – http://www.theatozreview.com/2013/06/23/jk-rowlings-20-quotes-on-writing/)

It made me wonder about selecting your characters and deciding which ones to be strong and which are weak. I am writing a historical fiction based novel which has a duel storyline.

In the historical storyline a woman is rejected from her husband (as he has taken up with a new mistress), blocked from seeing her children, forced from her home, her friends and the society she had once been part of. Her story plays a lot on the trauma her husband puts her through, (but she is not totally without sin!) in some cases she leads to her own downfall, threatening her husband, drinking excessively, even scaring the children. She is by no means a weak female despite what society throws at her and goes through a wide variety of emotions.

In the modern storyline my main female character challenges some traditional female stereotypes. She is a divorced single mother, who has recently been promoted, but she already works at a busy hospital a variety of hours. She is quite envious of her ex’s relationship with their daughter built because he works from home. As it is a modern divorce they both get 50/50 access. Meanwhile she has recently lost her mother, and is trying to support her grieving father. She is struggling to keep on top of everything but there is nothing she wants to sacrifice.cs lewis quote - hardships

Both females are strong but in different ways, they both ultimately just want a happy family life. I never intended to write these things in either a male or a female perspective, the characters drove themselves and the circumstances drove their stories. The characters faced hardships and have to overcome them, as C.S. Lewis put it. I think the modern story could even have been written as a male character I chose female as I felt it fit better with the historical timeline.

Is this something other writers do, openly decide whether their character should be male or female? Does gender of a character make a difference in todays society? What helps them decide that and do you ever change your mind?

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There was a Google+ thread in which a writer asked, “how do you write female characters?” and someone answered:

1) I think of a character. 2) I make them female.

I love this answer, because I think gender plays very little part in what makes a good or strong character.

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Part of #BeWoW and Writer’s Quote Wednesday. #Writer’s Quote Wednesday & #BeWoWClick HERE for more Quotes on SilverThreading.com hosted by Colleen Chesebro or HERE for RonovanWrites.WordPress.com hosted by Ronovan Hester. Sorry guys, I might have cheated a little having two quotes in here but I liked them both. KL

Make sure to share a song, poem, or a quote, by a writer that inspired you in your own life!

Also entered into Just Jot It January to the Just Jot It January – 2016prompt – sacrifice. To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your #Jusjojan post.

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Quote in full (just in case the image isn’t readable)

“Very early on in writing the series, I remember a female journalist saying to me that Mrs Weasley, ‘Well, you know, she’s just a mother.’ And I was absolutely incensed by that comment. Now, I consider myself to be a feminist, and I’d always wanted to show that just because a woman has made a choice, a free choice to say, ‘Well, I’m going to raise my family and that’s going to be my choice. I may go back to a career, I may have a career part time, but that’s my choice.’ Doesn’t mean that that’s all she can do. And as we proved there in that little battle, Molly Weasley comes out and proves herself the equal of any warrior on that battlefield.”

Stretch It Out

Effortless was once the case
But now everything just aches
Each stretch causes multiple cracks
From my joints and now my back!

I used to jump around with glee
At Boyzone, Limp Biscuit then Tenacious D
But now my body groans with pain
It has given up and can’t stand the strain

My other half stretches with enjoyment
Fitness daft! It’s just annoying
Running and jumping with plenty of ease
While I’m on the floor desperately trying to breathe

I got complacent, my body rebelled
Now to get fit, it’s putting me through hell
But I’ll persevere, I’m not yet deflated!
When I lose those final pounds I know I’ll be elated

run funny

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Just Jot It January 11th – effortless

This “Effortless” prompt is brought to you by Dan Antion at No Facilities. Please click on the link to visit his blog.

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Back In The Day

I read an article recently which was talking about the development of mankind over the last 100 years. It was basically saying that if you go back 100 years, which isn’t that long, in fact it is 1 lifetime nowadays, literally everything will be different. This vast growth and change is not really seen through the rest of human history, even in the great renaissance period not everything changed quite as dramatically as the last 100 years. Bring someone into our lifetime and they would truly not believe the world we live in, and would question their very sanity. Just your average Joe Blogs in Britain would see all of the following for example:

Food – 100 years ago food was a luxury, people had a make do attitude and made food go as far as possible, nowadays we have an obesity crisis, regular dieting is required by many to maintain a healthy weight and there are actual campaigns to reduce food waste!

Money – currency in Britain has completely changed over the last 100 years with the introduction of decimilisation.

Kids – If a child had a bicycle they were very fortunate. This years “must have” Christmas present was a hoverboard! Now kids can get to school just by balancing. Speaking of school, 100 years ago it wasn’t uncommon for children to be pulled from school to help with harvesting and other activities required by families, nowadays if a child misses 1 day of school a parent can risk being fined.

EvolutionAdd in changes such as; TV, travel, holidays, jobs, NHS healthcare, clothing, housing, bathrooms, roads, female rights, gay rights, just about everything you can think of has changed over the last 100 years. It really makes you wonder what the next 100 years will bring, doesn’t it?

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Post prompted by: – Just Jot January – 10th – Sane. To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 9th post.

 

 

Grandma’s Night Out

A few months ago my mother arranged a visit down to stay with me for a few days and brought my grandma with her. I have glorious memories from my upbringing are of my mother taking myself (and sometimes my grandma) to the theatre, so I decided it would be a lovely surprise to book a night at the theatre for us. What was on at the theatre?

The Full Monty!”

This was a stage production of the actual movie so not just some sleazy stripping, but let’s face it, it’s still a movie about stripping! What to do? My wonderful plans were already going of course, so I thought sod it! And booked them anyway.

I had a discussion with my best friend and we decided in for a penny in for a pound and her and her mother joined us. Worst case scenario my grandma would hate it and if so my OH happily agreed he would pick her up and take her back home. My mum and grandma arrived and after exchanging greetings and news we sat down to a lovely dinner Darling OH had prepared, I decided this was the moment to unveil my surprise and passed the envelope with the tickets. On opening, my mother thought they were for the pantomime (the theatre company had included an advertisement on the back of the tickets), when I told her to read it again. She burst out laughing and I explained I thought it would be a nice treat and we’d make a girly evening of it.

We got ready, OH dropped us off and we full montymade our way inside. The seats I booked were the cheapest and literally the back row of the theatre, practically in the rafters (I hadn’t thought this through as I have a disabled mother and a grandma with me!) but we got to our seats and waited for the show to start – the small theatre was packed out. Half an hour, my mum and my grandma were giggling along with the rest of us. Nothing to worry about at all. In fact the funniest bit of the evening was my grandma rolling her eyes and saying “yeah right” at one of the scenes, this made my mother and I laugh even harder!..

We now have even more treasured memories of the theatre, although entirely different from those previously.

I wonder if I can book magic mike for next year?…

—————————————–Just Jot It January – 2016——————–Post prompted by: – Just Jot January – 9th & #SoCS – Title. To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 9th post.

Lessons Learnt from a Tray of Eggs

My OH paid a short visit to the grandparents today, not something we get to do nearly as often as we’d like. His Grandma is one of my favourite people on earth, she is really short and probably as round as she is tall but she’s an amazing tower of strength. She’s is a proper matriarch of the family, that always wants to know how all the family are doing all the time (with 8 children, 19 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren it’s not an easy task!), but she just wants to know everyone is doing well, healthy and happy.

She’s never had a lot of money, with 8 children to raise and feed and granddad working as a farm labourer you learn to make do, yet all the kids and grandkids and great grandkids adore her and no-one ever feels they missed out. Even now in her older years she was telling my OH that she managed to purchase a second hand 3-piece suite for £30. My husband realised we had paid more than that for our dog bed! In a world that is based on keeping up with the Jones’, it is easy to forget that these things will not matter in the long run. We may feel at the time that we are missing out on something but six months, a year, 5 years down the line will we still feel like that?Lewis Carroll_Alice in Wonderland_different yesterday

My OH took something away from the visit (quite literally) and it seemed appropriate to share it. Grandma and Granddad are pensioners without a lot of money, yet as my OH left the house grandma thrust a tray of eggs into his hands. Granddad still keeps an allotment with a few chickens and ducks on it, so we got given some eggs. We have enough to buy these things, and they didn’t take anything for them they just wanted to share what they had with the ones they love. I think that is a beautiful, touching, honourable thing.

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
– George Bernard Shaw

——————————-—————————- Just Jot It January 8th – HonourableThe Just Jot It January – 2016“Honorable” prompt is brought to you by Tasha at Corner Of Confessions. Please click on the link to visit her blog, and follow her if you aren’t already!

To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 8th post.#WeeklySmile

Updated to add to Trents #WeeklySmile to find the rules visit here.