I used to post a music video every friday, for weekend, when I first started blogging. I thought I might start that again. :-) This one, however, is a saga rather than a song. It's a portion of the story of Beowulf and it is being accompanied by one of my favourite antique musical instruments, a hurdy-gurdy.
Thursday, 25 April 2013
A quick update to that that I'm kind of on chapter 16 at this stage, "kind of" because I've realised I don't write in chronological order. With my first book I had written two chapters out in pencil in a notebook years before I actually wrote the book. They were the first chapter and the climax chapter, roughly chapter 20.
I thought I'd start at the beginning and work till the end his time, but once again I seem to work better if I get the main sections sorted first and then fill in the rest. It's a bit like flower arranging, I think. I put in all the large important features and then fill in with the minor stuff.
As you might guess by that vague description... I rarely arrange flowers! I far prefer to tweak and arrange words.
At the moment I'm managing to write between 1,800 and 2,800 words a day, which is good. I stick on some music and I'm away. I write a lot better (and faster) if I have the right music to inspire me, it sets my fingers on fire. I have entire YouTube folders for
themes like; sad, tense, dramatic and romantic.
The only problem is that when I write that much in a day any energy for writing anything else - emails, blogs, etc, is used up and dried up. My "must reply" email list is alarming and growing. Household chores are suffering as well. I have not dusted in... a long time, but I simply can't do it all and at this stage the book has taken over my brain to such an extent that I'm not much use for anything anyway. Yesterday I left rice in water on the stove for 20 minutes and never turned it on.... ah well, at least I didn't put rice on a hot plate without water - that would have been worse!
At least my brain's on fire... not the house.
I'll leave you with the music I'll be writing to today. It's Citadels, by Galt Aureus. I'm also using another lovely song by them, for ...well, you'll have to wait for me to finish the book to find out about that one. ;-)
Thursday, 4 April 2013
I was reading Guyana Girl's blog yesterday. I sympathised, and laughed, at her latest post about power cuts - Sweet Cuts - Sour Cuts. It brought back lots of memories of those boring, frustrating, or just plain AWFUL moments when the power goes out. I still don't know how the movie, South Pacific, ends, thanks to a storm cutting the power.
But my most annoying, most frustrating, most funny cut off moment actually wasn't a power cut. It was... well, let me tell you the story!It all started in a movie theatre, on a planet, in a galaxy far far away...
The year was somewhere in my teenagedom and the movie was the long-awaited sequel to the first original Star Wars.
I'd been waiting an eternity to find out what happened next. Now, finally, there I was sitting, squashed in with all the other excited new Star Wars fans, to watch the sequel. The movie started, the magic began. Luke Skywalker came bounding back into our reality, riding a wonderfully weird alien critter on a planet of snow. I was hooked, once again.
The action began, Luke, seemingly lost in the snow, sees a vision beginning to form before him. The ghostly figure of Obi-Wan Kenobi appears! Luke stares... shocked. The entire audience held their breath as Obi-Wan lifted a hand and, with a deeply serious look on his face, he pointed at Luke and said... (in a very loud strange man's voice????)
"Will Johnny Smith please call at the front desk.
Your mother wants to talk to you."
What kind of insensitive idiot breaks in with a message at the critical moment of a movie?
Now, you have to remember I was a teen and my finances did not run to seeing a movie a second time purely to hear one or two sentences. And this was long LONG before DVDs or even video tapes. I had to wait about ten years to finally rent the movie out from a video shop and find out what Obi-Wan said.
And you know what's really funny? I can't remember what he actually said! I'll forever remember him humiliating Johnny Smith, and probably bringing about the entire break up of his relationship with his mother, in front of an entire jam-packed Saturday audience.
Tuesday, 26 March 2013
I know I've been very quiet lately.It's partly because winter is a quiet time, but also partly because I am FINALLY writing that second book. The sequel to FIRST LIGHT.
I say "FINALLY" because the first four attempts were all scuttled by unexpected things - my dad went into hospital, then my mum-in-law died, then my computer went a bit crazy and lost half its brain and then I lost the use of my hands for almost a year.
I was beginning to feel a bit jinxed with that book! Then a friends said, "Maybe you can't get to write it yet because the timing is wrong." and I relaxed and stopped fretting.
I'm happy to say that the timing seems to be right - I'm up to chapter six so far and it feels good. :)But it does mean that I have a new reason for missing out on writing, and reading, blogs.I'll try to rectify that, when I can, but at the moment - the book comes first!
Friday, 22 March 2013
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
I don't normally get involved in politics on my blog, but today a news headline caught my attention. It was this...
Really? What on earth could anyone have against stay at home mothers! I went to read, to see what the fuss was about...
'David Cameron has been accused of a slur on stay-at-home mothers after Downing Street suggested that they will be excluded from receiving child care support because they do not want to “work hard and get on”.
When asked if Mr Cameron believed that stay-at-home parents were less in need of state help than working parents, the spokesman would only say that the Prime Minister wanted to support “aspiration”.'
I'm not going to get into the complexities of finance, benefits and taxation. What bothers me way more is the idea that a woman who chooses to stay home to raise her own children is not working hard! I wonder... does this mean we should stop paying nannies and nursery schools? After all, they're doing exactly the same thing as stay at home moms so clearly they must be a bunch of slackers, sitting about without "aspirations", as well!
Did you know that one of the ways scientists gauge the intelligence of animals is by how long the babies stay with their mothers? The smarter the species, and more complex the animal's society, the longer it needs to hang out with its mum in order to learn all the things it needs to know to socially interact.
Chimpanzee babies stay with their mums for about six years and baby gorillas stay with their mums for four to five years.It's so important that some animal rights groups have campaigned to stop pet monkey breeders from taking babies away too young, especially Capuchin monkeys, as it leaves them with emotional and behaviour problems.
So we understand the vital need for a good solid long-lasting mom-baby bond in intelligent animals and yet we don't think we need it for human children? That's beyond stupid!
And the facts support the science. Journalist/novelist Cristina Odone wrote about it last week in Motherhood, The Career that Dare not Speak its Name. She quotes Jonas Himmelstrand's article, Universal daycare leaves Sweden’s children less educated. Here's a quote from that article:
'A full 92% of all children aged 18 months to five years are in daycare.
Then there are the questions about the social toll Sweden’s childcare system is taking. Sweden has offered a comprehensive daycare system since 1975; since the early ‘90s, negative outcomes for children and adolescents are on the rise in areas of health and behaviour. While direct causation has been difficult to prove, many Swedish health-care professionals point to the lack of parent involvement beyond the first 16 months as a primary contributing factor. Psychosomatic disorders and mild psychological problems are escalating among Swedish youth at a faster rate than in any of 11 comparable European countries. Such disorders have tripled among girls over the last 25 years. Education outcomes in Swedish schools have fallen from the top position 30 years ago, to merely average amongst OECD nations today. Behaviour problems in Swedish classrooms are among the worst in Europe.'
I'm not surprised, I'm just surprised that anyone intelligent didn't see this as the obvious result! Whether it's a dad or a mom who chooses to stay home, there's no way any stranger can match the level of care a love bond offers.
What kind of society rates staying home to nurture and create emotionally healthy well-adjusted future adults as being less important (showing less ASPIRATION) than taking any old job just to earn money?
It is truly, in every sense of the word, pathetic.
Sunday, 10 March 2013
Austin's got an amazing talent. Lovely voice and a lovely song. I signed up just to vote. I hope he wins! :)