Sitting in the garden

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As the title indicates I am writing this as I sit my garden.

I am sat at the large table on the raised decking which is, at this time, bathed in dappled sunlight. I can hear the water from the falls melodically splashing into the ponds, and the heady scent from the mass of blooms is gently wafting around me, carried by the light breeze.

It is, in my opinion, the perfect place and atmosphere for a writer to work.

Since coming into the garden a short while ago I have furthered a piece, which is destined to be a jointly written story with another writer, one who I adore and respect. Written a poem, which by the time you read this will be in my book Teardrops & White Doves (Available via Amazon)! and I am now attempting to write something of interest for you in this Rambling of mine.

As with many of my Ramblings I do not have a particular subject or topic in mind when I begin to write, I just start to tap away at the keys and hope that something evolves that is informative, interesting and enjoyable to read.

In fact, if I achieve any any two of these three things then I shall consider this Rambling a success!

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I have, in past Ramblings, spoken of Writers Block, Inspiration, Creativity, Imagery and a whole plethora of various subjects, many which have absolutely nothing to do with actually writing at all. but of the common tasks and problems we writers face in our daily lives.

However, it seems that as my Rambling have developed, from very short notes about whatever was at the forefront of my mind, to my later posts (which have unconsciously, and almost subliminally from my point of view, strayed into the theme of the techniques of writing), I have won the minds, if not the hearts of so many of you, so many friends, that I now feel so very humbled indeed.

I mean that in all honesty and with my hand firmly placed on my heart.

I read each and every comment you post in reply and try my best to answer them all.

So this is a thank you, a big thank you to all of you who read my irrelevant scribbling’s regularly, and a welcome to those of you who may be reading a Rambling for the first time.

   I hope it will not be the last time you do so!

As for the subject of this particular Rambling, there really isn’t one!

Except to say that for a writer, as with so many artistic vocations, the stimulus needed to create are many and varied. For me the atmosphere of my garden right now is an absolutely perfect environment to get those creative juices flowing.

I hope I have not squandered nature’s gift of a beautiful day, but have, in some respect, justified her benevolence.

Thank you all for reading this Rambling.

Bless you, Paul.

   To see more of my work, or to find out more about me, visit my website

http://fluffybunnypj.wix.com/paul-white

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Amassing the Arsenal.

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Once again I have been motivated to write by something I heard on the radio, a passing comment made during a documentary about playing bass guitar.

While on the surface one might ask what has a guitar, or playing music, got to do with writing fiction, or writing anything for that matter?

I agree that it is a valid question because when you play music you usually play in front of an audience. You may practice alone, or with a small group of musicians, but when it comes to getting your art ‘out there’ you seek an audience. It is a public performance.

Whereas, for us writers, we have a rather insular art form in comparison. We write alone, proofread alone, edit and re-write alone. Sometimes we may ask someone to read our work, to give feedback or to help proof it. But generally writing is a reclusive business. When our work is complete and published, it is read by one person at a time.

Well, that is generally the case. The author may give sample readings, a few paragraphs, chapters, or a selected portion of their latest novel during a promotional tour, or at a book signing. Reading or writing clubs may share a session, as may students, to analyse and critique your work. But these are rare examples. It is not customary for authors to perform on stage, reading aloud to an audience.

So where and how, I hear you ask, do I associate the comments in that radio broadcast about playing the bass guitar to writing.

It is quite simple. The remarks were about perfecting one’s art. The presenter spoke of how nice it is, and I quote,

‘To hear someone who knows what they are doing, doing the thing they do so well’.

The presenter then said that when a musician

let’s rip in one mad burst, it is a magnificent thing to behold’.

I shall not argue or decry those observations because I wholeheartedly agree. When a well-practised artist performs to the height of their ability it is a truly wonderful thing indeed.

But it is getting to that peek, reaching the level of talent and knowing when to use it to perform. That is the key to becoming excellent in your chosen field.

Before we can even consider getting up onto that stage and baring our artistic soul to the world at large, we must have ascertained the required skills and built up the confidence to stand there and strut our stuff, without the slightest doubt, without the possibility of making total fools out of ourselves.

To reach that objective we must practice and all practice is, is building up your creative arsenal, amassing the skills and techniques which will make you a creative force to be reckoned with.

If you are new, or relatively new, to the world of writing and publishing it is wise to remember that it is a very lonely and frustrating world at times, at most times.

If you are planning or writing a novel, you are biting off a huge chunk of optimistic expectation and while I do not want you to stop, or for these words to put you off writing, I do ask you this. Have you built up your arsenal of skills and talent to the level which you feel confident of standing before a crowd reading your work out aloud? Could you perform your work to an audience?

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I have been writing for some time, and I am working on another novel. Yet at this moment I do not have enough of it written to the standard so I would feel comfortable reading it out aloud, reading it to a critical group of spectators.

So, I carry on writing other works at the same time. I write poetry because that hones one’s skills at manipulating words to create imagery.

I also write Flash Fiction. I find it focuses the mind to explanation with the fewest words possible, challenges me to build quick twists and plots into a short paragraph or two.

I write Short Stories, sometimes these are expanded versions of my Flash Fictions or taken from the inspiration of a poem, either mine or someone else’s.

I also write Articles and Essays, which I suppose this ‘Rambling‘ is. They also present their own ordeals and criteria. So everything and anything I write is practice. I am still amassing my techniques. I am continually building my own arsenal of experience and skill.

Watch out, because one day I shall unleash it all in that mad burst of artistic showmanship. But not just yet, because the whole point of a skill is knowing when to use it and when not to.

I am not yet quite ready to get up on that stage………. not quite, yet!

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Thank you for reading this Rambling.

Note:

Since writing this, back in 2015, I now frequently read short stories to audiences in theatres in and around my home county. I have read my poetry on the local radio station.

Perhaps, tomorrow or the next day, maybe next week I’ll be ready to go national? who knows?

For now, I am happy practising on the local community.

For now, I am happily amassing my arsenal.


Have you read any of my short stories? I  have published several as

Electric Eclectic books which you can find HERE

EEpwbooks

Subject Matter

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I have written, in the past, about things that have inspired me as a writer, places, artworks, the weather, and many experiences, both good and bad.

Often ones inspiration comes from a collective of various and seemingly unconnected sources, which the writer mixes and melds into a single work.

Frequently the ingredients of this creativeness have fermented in the mind of the writer over assorted periods of time, before gelling into any particular form.

Yet inspiration alone is not the key to creating a good specimen of work, or even a mediocre scribbling.

We all collect ideas, notions and have basic concepts. We all hold beliefs and opinions which lend themselves to our own mindset regarding personal viewpoints, even philosophies.

All and any combination of these can form outlines or sketches for future efforts, they can be the précises and plans for the next chapter, a new novel, or a poetic masterpiece.

They can, but are often not!

I hear that writers get something called ‘block’. I have never understood this term, except as a feeble excuse to dillydally.

To write one must write.

That is to sit and jot down any and every word that comes to mind, string your thoughts out onto paper. It is totally irrelevant if there is anything remotely cohesive or comprehensible as a result. The fact is that you are writing and by doing so you will inevitably start to create something tangible.

In all probability, it will need to be re-worked, re-written and edited. But then what efforts do not?

Now, disregarding the incohesive jottings from a stagnant mind, what of your subject? What, you ponder, shall you write about today?

This should not be that difficult really, you already have a wealth of ideas, many rough outlines and frameworks to choose from, and yet nothing feels acceptable to you at this moment. You could do as I advised above and just scrawl, but you have sat down today with intent and purpose so you are, come what may, going to write something worthwhile, Aren’t you?

Taking the above on-board, it is clear that inspiration from whatever foundation, may not be enough on its own to germinate that much-needed seed of for selecting a subject to write about, because your inspirational suggestive is not necessarily that of any particular matter, it could be used within the text, as a plot, or a description of a place.

So even with all those wonderful conceptions and tasty ideas floating on the bouillabaisse of your creative mind, not one single word will you write until you have a topic to adhere to.

I shall let you into a little secret of mine, a way that on a daily basis I collect a whole host of subjects to write about.

  I read and I listen.

I read the papers, not the daily comic style rags, but the more serious broadsheets. I read about business and stock markets, science and medicine. I am not reading these just for the reports, I am looking for the human factors involved.

The same is with the radio, I listen to the interviews and the plays, the documentary productions, literary and theatre reviews. Once again it is the social and personal aspects that I seek for subject matter in my own writings.

Allow me to give a couple of examples by way of explanation.

A few days ago while driving home I tuned into a programme that was delving into the issue of female autism. This report was enlightening enough regarding the subject itself and was full of stimulating information which I could, and still can use in the future.

However, one particular statement touched me to such a degree that I knew I had found a wonderful gem which I shall use in the near future.

One of the experts told of an interview with a young sufferer who, upon being diagnosed, said with much relief. ‘It felt as if I had a black spot inside of me. I thought it would never go away’.

That one simple sentence was, for me, like finding a pot of gold at the bottom of the rainbow. Those of you who are artistically minded will for certain understand the enormity of such a stimulus.

Another example, which I have already taken advantage of by writing a poem I called ‘My heart’, and posted on the 26th of June 2014, was during a play where one of the lines was about skeletons ‘kissing with their skulls’. I wrote the poem shortly after arriving home that evening.

(I have included that poem at the end of this post, as I am sure you would have some problem scouring the net for a single piece of poetry posted on a social network several months ago. You see how good I am to you)!

These are one way I find my subject matter for the day, or project, or book. It is also why my posts are quite wide and varied, and often seem to be associated or themed for a period of time.

Once I have decided on my subject, I then draw on my inspiration and experiences to create a unique, personal and original piece of work, which I hope that you will enjoy reading.

I also hope that my writings, my blog’s, the flash fiction, poetry, (and very soon), my new novel, does and will continue to connect with your own inner person, much in the way I was touched by the stimulus that enabled me to create my work in the first instance.

Here is that poem I promised you earlier.

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My Heart

My heart is a grave for lovers

Where skeletons embrace ever crumbling lust,

And skulls kiss in breathless anguish.

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Scarlet blood long soaked into the ashes,

Forgotten passions abandon, the cast off flesh,

Sensuous agonies of the soul

Haunt faded moments embezzled by time.

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Rise up from the earth,

Stand upon your tombstone,

Seek your absent self, your withered spirit

Wandering aimlessly in immortal eternity.

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But look not within my heart,

For it is but a grave for lovers.

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This poem and many others can be found in my book ‘Shadows of Emotion’

SHADOWS of EMOTION is available for Kindle / eBook or as a Paperback

UK. 

Paperback http://amzn.to/2ARTthy

Kindle http://amzn.to/2hKrpc8

USA. 

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=shadows+of+emotion 

OR simply paste this  ISBN-13: 978-1500510312 into your search bar

shadows

 

Showcasing your work to the world

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I do not know why you write.

I am uncertain most of the time why I write.

Oh, I do not mean the writing I do as a job, My books, my novels and such. I know why I do that, it pays the bills  and keeps the wolf from the door… at least for now.

The writing I’m speaking of is this type, these Ramblings, my ‘Wild Geese’ travel blog, social media posts….all that hoo-ha. I certainly do not make any money from writing this stuff.

Sometimes, I think my posts simply evaporate into the ether of the net, floating around in cyberspace, like an errant satellite never to been seen again. That is, until twelve years in the future, some lost soul in Outer Mongolia ‘likes’ the post.

Hey… that’s two ‘likes’ in twelve years, for an absolutely brilliantly written essay regarding a major social event which touched everybody’s life at the time.

But don’t worry, because at the same time I posted a snapshot of my cat licking its tail, that got ten thousand ‘likes’ and half a million ‘shares’ in three days.

Does that mean I am now going to join in with the massed hordes of cat picture posters and give up writing constructive and entertaining articles?Dead cat 2

 

Not on your life. (Besides, my cat died last month

 

That lost soul in Outer Mongolia may have be the Dalai Lama on a pilgrimage, or a young American backpacker, one who is destined to become the president of the United States at some point.

Who knows?

What I am trying to say in my usual rambling manner, is I am a firm believer in the quality of those who ‘like’, ‘plus’ and ‘follow’ my writings.

I do not write purely to amass great numbers of ‘followers’ or ‘subscribers’ to my Blog’s or other media posts.

Yes, it is nice to see your numbers growing, it shows your work is appreciated. Which is one reason I use social media.

Yet, I would rather my work is respected by those who value the content and not just because the accompanying image caught their eye.

Another reason I write, is to introduce my books to those who may not know of them.

You see it takes a long, long time to take an idea of a story and turn it into a published book.

That is many months, if not years of hard graft. After which, it is an absolute shame to see it languishing on a shelf collecting dust, or hanging in cyberspace waiting to be downloaded by the Dalai Lama after his pilgramage and meeting that nice American chap.

Therefore, I mention my books on many occasions during my writings. I think it is the right thing to do, knowing when you, yes YOU, read them you will enjoy them, (so what are you waiting for….go buy one now.)

Then of course, there are the other reasons for writing. The main reasons for writing. 

Some find it a form of catharsis, allowing them to expel worries and anxieties. Some see it as sharing, a social form of interaction. For others it becomes a need, almost an addiction. Often it is a combination of all and more. The overwhelming must though, is the need to share, to have someone, somewhere to be reading our words.

Right now, it is possible that my novel, ‘The Abduction of Rupert DeVille is being read by someone lazing on a hot tropical beach in a faraway land, where the azure blue sea laps the golden sands of paradise, or by your sister as she sits, legs tucked beneath her, on her favourite chair sipping a hot chocolate and nibbling on digestive biscuits.

Who knows?

The main thing is that someone, somewhere is reading something I have written at some time.

Even if it is on a mountainside in Outer Mongolia.

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The Potala Palace

 

The point which I am attempting to convey, is to get the quality and quantity of people we, the writers and authors, need to read our work, we have to reach out and show our writing to the world.

With that in mind, I want to introduce to you to CQ International Magazine.

Okay, so many of you will know about the magazine, many however do not, while others have seen, but not looked, not read it and difinitley not showcased their work in it.

To keep it simple, CQ Magazine is a global, online periodical which is free, yes I said FREE, to read. It has built up a regular, loyal readership base in eighty countries.

CQ International Magazine is dedicated to promoting the indie world, that’s writers, authors, poets, artists, cover designers, ilustrators, musicians, designers, modlers, artisans, painters, sculptors, just about every artistic medium you can think of… and then some.

Recently, CQ International Magazine has launced the C-club, a simple, annual membership, which gives its members the opportunity for free promotion and marketing of their work in CQ International Magazine and to benifit from associated marketing.

Find out more by visiting the CQ Blog at, https://cqmagazineblog.wordpress.com/

Read the current edition of CQ International Magazine Here 

CQ SummerFantasy

 

 

 

Dumbing down

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     The term dumbing down describes a ‘deliberate diminution of the intellectual level of education, literature, cinema, news, and culture’.


The term dumbing down originated in 1933 as slang used by motion picture screenplay writers to mean:  ‘revise so as to appeal to those of little education or intelligence’.

I have also heard the phrase that information should be designed for ‘the lowest common denominator’ of intelligence.

The nature of dumbing down varies according to the subject matter and the reason for the dumbing down, but it usually involves the over-simplification of critical thought to the degree of undermining the intellectual standards of language and of learning; thus tending to trivialise cultural, artistic, and academic standards, as in the case of popular culture.

Here is simple example, television advertising no longer use the word ‘Twice’ as in ‘Twice as many’ or ‘Twice as fast’, preferring to use the term ‘two times faster’!

Researchers at the Institute for Studies have warned that it will soon be impossible to dumb down news and entertainment media any further.

Professor Henry Brubaker said: “Most television is about cooking, the paranormal or poor people having arguments. The news is just opinions and conjecture punctuated with pictures of ‘extreme weather’.

‘The only books being published are ghost-written celebrity biographies or thrillers about serial killers called things like ‘The Face Collector’. Apart from that people just read lists of ’10 facts about muscle growth’ off websites.

‘The problem is that if the mass media continue to further dumb down information human intelligence will continue on its downward trajectory. (thedailymash.co.uk)

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In the latest instance, a research team from universities in Sweden, Holland and Ireland found “a pronounced decline in IQ since the Victorian era, three times bigger than previous theoretical estimates would have us believe.”

Yes, those repressed prudes – notoriously obsessed with keeping table legs covered up in case they gave men sexy thoughts about finely-turned ankles – were actually substantially smarter than the free-wheeling techno-nerds of today. The scientists compared reaction times – regarded as a key indicator of general intelligence, productivity and creativity – from the late-19th century to the present and discovered that our brains are definitely slowing down. The Victorians were positively whizzy: the average man in 1889 had a reaction time of 183 milliseconds, while the present-day Mr Dopey can only manage a sluggish 253 milliseconds.

I’m not surprised. We don’t need studies and statistics to tell us this stuff, the evidence is staring us in the face every day.

Last year, I made a radio programme about the Belfast writer and poet Helen Waddell, who became one of the biggest literary stars of the 1920s and 1930s.

Her historical novel, Peter Abelard, was a runaway success, praised by everyone from Queen Mary to factory workers and prisoners. It was the must-read novel of 1933, reprinted an incredible nine times in the first year of its publication.

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    But Waddell’s breakthrough novel would never, ever make the bestseller lists today. Why? Because the writing, while beautiful and resonant, is simply far too challenging. Reading it takes a certain effort of concentration, not to mention a passing knowledge of medieval theology. With Fifty Shades of Grey, today’s popular publishing miracle, all you need is some basic literacy and a sick, prurient interest in getting lashed with a whip for pleasure.

In culture, in politics, in everyday life, superficial froth and twaddle regularly triumphs over substantial, thought-through ideas. Attention spans attenuated by the 140 character demands of Twitter, we often behave more like bored toddlers than sentient adults, expecting to be continually indulged and entertained.  (Fionola Meridith)

Sadly, our country has been hijacked by a compulsion to homogenise society, to control individualism and turn us all into one classless soup.

In Bog-Standard Britain, defenders of crisply enunciated English are told they are ‘toffs’. This class neurosis lowers standards. It spreads mediocrity. It permits pre-Victorian levels of coarseness to pollute our streets.

Intervene? No, that would be an act of class prejudice. Opprobrium has been driven from our public life. Shame and propriety and judgments of right and wrong are replaced by whispered orthodoxies about what is ‘appropriate’, codes which can be understood only by sociology graduates.

Manners have disappeared, to be replaced by strict ‘ guidelines’ about sexism and racism. Classy people once knew instinctively how to behave. Now manners have to be taught in rehabilitation classes. They have lost their humanity and become ‘codes of conduct’.

Commissions, working parties, think tanks, steering committees, conferences, charities, consultancies: egalitarianism has become an industry for the self-righteous.

From university admissions to unisex hospital wards, tokenistic equality runs like bindweed, strangling common sense. Officialdom towers over us, wagging its disapproving finger, instructing us to observe equality codes or face the withdrawal of public funds.

Despite all this, equality has not achieved its aims. Social mobility is dropping. The wealth divide broadens.  ‘Equality practitioners’, as they call themselves, have simply become brahmins amid the beggars, sixth-form monitors of thought who draw their salaries from the pockets of the very poor they profess to help.

Clearly, as with most topics that affect mass populations, there are those who believe in conspiracy. The following paragraph is an extract taken from the vigilantcitizen.com

Is a dumber population something that is desired by the elite? Hitler once said “How fortunate for the leaders that men do not think.” An educated population knows its rights, understands the issues and takes action when it does not approve of what is going on. Judging by the incredible amount of data available on the subject, it seems that the elite want the exact opposite: an unhealthy, frightened, confused and sedated population. We will look at the effects of medication, pesticides, fluoride and aspartame on the human body and how those products are being pushed by people from inside the power structure.

To end this post I have included the following, which is supposed to be a rant against Dumbing Down, but actually is an extremely good example of dumb media in action.

This, as you will see, also supports the Goebbels view on propagandaDr__Joseph_Goebbels_by_tree27

‘From the minute you get up its trashy soap and Celebrity and Hollywood gossip and programming aimed at bored housewives. Dumbed down breakfast TVs followed by This Morning which is obsessed with soap and reality TV chit-chat and z list guests, sex change couples and fashion tips like what’s the latest handbag or which nail file should I buy and general couch potato crap aimed at people who read National Enquirer and Heat magazine. Nothing of any actual intellect at all.

Then its Jeremy Kyle interspersed with ads for online bingo and debt management and quick cash adverts. Afternoons are dominated by more gobshatting by Loose Women or other such drivel. Dumbed down quiz shows for thickies, dumbed down news for the less intelligent, and soaps’.

Thank you for reading, your comments and feedback welcome as always.

Please follow this blog, as I have many more Ramblings I should like to share with you,

You may also like to read Further Ramblings http://wp.me/5njAU

Down by the Dockside

  I am not usually taken to reviewing books, or recommending those from well-established mainstream authors, instead I like to support and promote the hard working, inspiring and enthusiastic Indie Author.

However, I am often asked which books I read, what novels inspire me personally, which Authors I like and lots of stuff like that. So I have broken my usual reserve and for once shall reveal a book which had a profound effect on me as a writer, albeit the young, and not very good writer, I was at the time!

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Down by the Dockside by ‘Criena Rohan’

A review by Paul White.

Sometimes and for some unknown reason a book resonates within your soul, this is one such book that did, and still does resonate within me.

Down by the Dockside is a too long unrecognised Australian urban classic. Compassionate and sympathetic to the working class in post war Australia.

I first read this years ago, (circa 1975). It is about a plucky, literate girl who grows up in poverty in Port Melbourne during the Depression, marries a sailor during the war and loses him in a fight at Christmas in 1946, teaches dance and consorts with the criminals her childhood pals have become, it’s a lively and endearing tale of Australia in the 1930s and 1940s.

You may encounter problems when searching for biography on Criena Rohan, because this was her Irish pseudonym. Her real name was Deirdre Cash (1924-1963), novelist, was born on 16 July 1924 at Albert Park, Melbourne.

Criena’s first book was The Delinquents (1962). A compassionate tale, set in the 1950s, of defiant, street-wise, ‘bodgie-5767203widgie’ teenagers oppressed by their elders and the welfare state, it was dubbed ‘a back-street Tristan and Isolde’ by London’s Daily Mail. The Times Literary Supplement called the characterization of the heroine Lola ‘a triumph’. In 1989 The Delinquents became a teenage cult film with Kylie Minogue as Lola.

As poignant and harsh as the life and stories of her characters, so was Deirdre’s own life.

Deirdre was pregnant when, on 4 February 1948, she married a law student Michael Damien Blackall at St Augustine’s Church, Melbourne, but she was also lunging at a gentility she could not sustain. Leaving her husband and son, she earned a living as a torch-singer and ballroom-dancing teacher, occasionally on the fringe of the demi-monde. Although the autobiographical glow of her novels suggests otherwise, she was teetotal, earthy but not indecent in speech, and never in trouble with the police. Similarly, her fictional, family-based portraits are sometimes romanticized, sometimes cruel. In 1954 she met her true inamorato, a coastal seaman Otto Ole Distler Olsen, whom she followed to various ports. Her divorce having been granted on 18 October 1956, she married him eleven days later in the office of the government statist, Melbourne.

Cash was dying from a now correctly diagnosed colonic carcinoma when she finalized her second novel, Down by the Dockside (London, 1963), which attempted a more complex characterization of alienated, working-class people in wartime Melbourne. While her often sentimental and melodramatic social realism lacks literary polish and form, this weakness is offset by Dickensian humour, sharp dialogue, throwaway gibes and a gutsy narrative style. She allegedly wrote a third novel, ‘The House with the Golden Door’, but, if so, the manuscript mysteriously disappeared. Survived by her husband and their daughter, and by the son of her first marriage, Cash died on 11 March 1963 at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, and was buried in Fawkner cemetery.

This is not a literary masterpiece in the common sense, even being rejected by several Australian publishers whom she subsequently scorned as jingoistic. But it is haunting and touching and should be on every ones ‘Must Read’ list.

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Thank you for taking your time to read this. Should you ever get yourself a copy I would love to know your thoughts on it.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Down-Dockside-Criena-Rohan/dp/1863401032/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419354395&sr=1-8&keywords=Down+by+the+Dockside

In the Darkness of Illusion

 

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It is two thirty in the morning.

I should be sleeping.

But like many writers, it is in these ‘wee hours’ that our minds race, that our thoughts begin to gel into some recognisable form of understanding. Thoughts that we must ‘get down on paper’ NOW.

Not later. Later is no good.

By later the concepts, the feelings, the ideas will have shrivelled like the skin of a rotting fruit. No longer will these ideas have the shiny skin of freshness. No longer will each sentence be sweet with the flowing fructose of conception. So now is the time to allow our words to freely spill onto those blank pages, pages of lingering anticipation.

By sunrise, sleep has yet again passed us by. Another coffee and a cool shower invigorates, just enough to face the daylight hours which queue before us, clambering for our attention, calling us to deal with the mundane tasks of reality, the chores of daily living.

Distracted our thoughts, our fantasies and whimsies sink into the subconscious. Some hide in the darker shadows, others play truant, while many are lost forever. Those dark hours, the late nights and early mornings are the vampiric lairs of the writer.

Sunrise brings only loss of procession, a stilling of conscious reasoning, a slowing of creativity. Staggering along throughout the day we long for the sun to set, look towards the dusk with wistful eyes, longing for the darkness to envelop once us once more, to fold us in its soft cloak of imagination.

Because here in the quiet, in the still of the night, is where the bats of illusion flit freely in the caverns of our minds. All that is witnessed, touched, seen, tasted and heard during the day is fired in the cauldron of concept and fantastical prophecy. This is the time when mystical worlds are created from a scattering of magical runes and symbols we call letters.

Twenty Six7f3f9ede89ac78685ce79af4fbeffb18 tiny marks which have the power to enter the mind and take control of whoever is reading, whisking reality away and replacing it with netherworld where all is possible and perception an illusion.

Yet it takes a mighty wizard of the quill to cast such formidable spells from so few tiny symbols. The craft of wordsmithing is often a lonely and long journey through the forests of despair and foreboding.

Yet when the daylight of publication looms bright, the rewards of satisfaction bring the cost of toiling through those darkest of late nights, the journey of self-doubt and inner loathing, well worth the pain and agony’s suffered.

The price can be high, but the rewards glorious.

Thank you for walking through the forests with me tonight, Paul.

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While you are here why not grab a copy of the award-winning Dark Words, You can find it on Amazon UK https://amzn.to/2GOuHq0

or in the USA at,  https://goo.gl/X8Q1dX

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Masterpiece

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  I find myself sitting here with the compulsion to write an amazing Rambling for you today.

You see, I am in the mood to write. I do not mean I just fancy a writing session; I mean I have an urge, a compulsion to splatter letters and characters across the page in some deeply meaningful and creative form.

I want to write something that will draw you in and amaze you with its relevance and connection to your own life.

Yet there is where it stops.

I have the will and the desire, a deep craving, the lustful wanting for the feel of words dripping from my pen onto this page.

But that yearning is, as yet, unrequited.

I shall stand, literarily unclothed, bare my all to you in saying that I am flummoxed as what to actually say.

Please do not get me wrong. I am not suffering from that mythical condition referred to as writers block, far from it in fact.

Yet I cannot gather my flock of random thoughts and round them into a single heard of consistency. Today my mind is like the wilderness of a Welsh hillside scattered with evasive lambs, bleating at me with distain.

So I shall write as this day affects me, and as the title of this blog suggests…..Randomly!

I know that many of you, the artistic and creative folk, the writers and poets, painters and singers, will at some point have struggled with a situation similar to this; where your heart and soul are committed, but your mind is playing truant, playing football in the park or still snuggling into the soft down of your pillow.

Today, (so far), that is where I am.

I have projects to complete, or at least progress. Poems & short stories I wish to write, and this Rambling, this classic tome of astute wisdom and intelligent acumen…..I think not.

But I do think that what my mind is telling me, is that it needs to rest. That it needs time to itself to mull over all that I have perceived and observed recently.

My concentration has been to keenly focused for too long on one basic set of tasks. Like any athlete we all must make rest and relaxation part of our training regime.

We must also understand the need for ‘recovery time’ as do sportsmen, say after running, or in my case, writing a great amount. While we writers may not always be physically regarded as god like bronzed Adonis’s, or indeed lithe and sensual Venuses, our minds are often far more agile and supple than many others might be.

Therefor we too can overwork and strain ourselves, so take time to ‘chill-out’, meditate, or simplynothing do something as energetic as you can which will make you concentrate purely on that activity, thereby giving your brain a rest from the exertion of consistent creativeness.

You shall then return refreshed and renewed, with the vigour and clarity to create a masterpiece; the like of which has escaped from me today!

I do hope you enjoyed this latest ‘Rambling’ of mine. To read more irreverent irrelevance take a look at my blog, Further Ramblings  http://wp.me/5njAU 

Thank you, Paul.

Guest Blog – Shawn Jones

Shawn Jones

Today I hand my Rambling’s blog over to Shawn Jones, He may like his dog better than he likes you or I but I can forgive him for that, so long as he continues to write superb sci-fi like The Warrior Chronicles, a science fiction series available exclusively from Amazon .(http://www.amazon.com/Shawn-Jones/e/B00I3JJFYW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1)

I read a poem by Jessika O’Sullivan recently.

The day you no longer remember your childhood dreams.

How the world blurs when you are on a swing.

The smell of your classroom.

Your best friend’s eyes.

Your teenage confusion.

How your first love made you feel.

The hours in the dark, listening to music.

The taste of beer and snow in someone’s breath.

When you no longer remember.

You might blame adulthood.

But the truth is you lost something.

Jessika’s word are the difference between everyone else and a fiction writer. Those memories… the smells… the tastes… fiction writers never forget them. The rest of world grows up and moves on, but not us. We never forget the bump on our bicycle handlebar grip that was the trigger stud for a laser that protected the girl we had a crush on, hoping to be rewarded with a kiss. We remember climbing into our treehouse and ‘targeting’ the top of the round apartment building down by the river, because in our minds, it’s not a building. It’s a rocket. A starship filled with aliens about to overtake the Earth. We were, no I was, on a simple wooden platform in an old fruitless mulberry tree, the only thing standing between those aliens and the end of humanity.

The vinegar I smelled when I walked into the house when Mom was canning pickles… No, it wasn’t vinegar. It was toxic gas, and I had just seconds to make it to my bedroom before I would be overcome by them and breathe my last breath, never knowing the feel of Debbie Koffman’s kiss on my cheek.

We had an old wood pile in our back yard behind the garage. When we were having a cookout, Dad would build the fire and leave me to monitor it while he did whatever dads do while the fire died down to a nice bed of coals. I would see ants start to pour out of an old log, which was my cue to get to work. I’d run behind the garage and grab some branches from that old mulberry tree and hurry back to the fire, where I’d carefully place the fresh limbs to give the ants a way to escape. Then I’d use another branch to gently guide some of the ants to the escape route. Once they were moving across the sticks and away from certain doom, I would rest on my laurels knowing I’d saved lives. Because that’s what heroes did.

People who don’t write do have memories like mine. But I remember the texture of the handlebar grip. The curl in Debbie’s coarse, black hair. The shape of that apartment building’s roof. The smell of the fire coming from our old, square fire pit. Dad made it with concrete and flint rock, so the first few years it would get really hot once in a while and a rock would shatter, sending shards of flint at one of us unsuspecting boys. There was a cool aspect to it as well. If you hit one of those flint rocks with a hammer just right, you didn’t need a match to light the fire.

Writers never grow up. Even when we write about adult things like crime and physics and politics, we are still kids. In every other aspect of our lives, we are told that we are immature and have overactive imaginations. But when you put a real (or digital) piece of paper in front of us, we become gods. It’s not because we are smarter, or even more imaginative. It’s because we never stopped being kids.

My wife rolls her eyes at me when I come up with some new idea for an alien. One of my brothers thinks I have something loose in my head. My sister is amazed at my memories of our childhood. They aren’t always a blessing, though.

I remember the eyes of Lady, my first dog, just before she died. I remember a bitter, evil woman’s hatred of me because I was adopted. I remember the sting of getting swats in elementary school. I remember the smell of Mom’s cigarette-laced breath as she gave me mouth-to-mouth because of my asthma. I also remember the smell of her hospital room as she slipped away from this realm.

And Debbie Koffman? I remember getting her a necklace at the state fair. She loved it. For a week anyway. Then it broke, and she thought it was a sign that we weren’t supposed to be sweethearts anymore. I never got that kiss.

Think about this moment. This one right now, as you read these words. Look around you. As surely as you can see the things in front of your face, a writer can see the past. We can see the future. We can see into the mind of a killer, or the soul of a dog.

You live your life in this moment. Writers live theirs in every moment. Every single one. Past, present, and future, they are as vivid to us as the screen you are reading this on. Speaking of the future, I have a universe to build. I’ll see you there.

Footnote. Why not check out Shawn’s Sci fi blog at http://shawnjonesscifi.blogspot.co.uk/

Do not cry for us

writers-block

It is another late night. I have taken myself off to bed once, but to no avail; sleep evades me, scurrying away into the darkness the moment my eyelids become heavy.

So I return to the keyboard and start tapping away, to see what devils play within my mind tonight. Only it is no longer night, it is two thirty in the morning.

Sometimes this is when all the indiscriminate arbitrary concepts and vague notions I have considered during the days previous, formulate themselves into a cohesive interrelated and reasonably logical order, thus forming a coherent chain of words, which when read back, actually convey my original inspiration and intention to the reader.

This period, at least for myself, generally occurs at arbitrary times. It is haphazard, irregular and unselective. Although these late nights, these solitary, unsocial and introverted hours are those that commonly prove the most creatively productive.

In the morning, (read later today), after and eventually, I have achieved some sleep, I shall present myself to the world in a fashion that shall cause the observer to regard me as introverted and unsociable.

Although this would not be my elected preference, I cannot chastise those who would consider me as such, because I know I shall be ruminating and deliberating over the words that I have written tonight, and as such my demeanour shall convey such meditation as distant and antisocial.

This is a burden that is carried upon the shoulders of many, if not all, creative writers.

The creativity ingenuity required to conjure fictional lives from the rawness of neural pathways, to weave nether worlds from mere suggestion, or pen flowing poetry that stirs passions and excites emotion, thrives best when it is born from the isolated world of the solitary writer.

Distraction is a temporary remedy, a partial relief of this symptomatic characteristic trait. However, there is no cure. This is the writer’s curse.

Do not cry for us.

This is our choice, our drug of life which brings its own highs, begets its rewards in other forms of alternate kinds.

Satisfaction and stimulation of your mind, your heart, and your soul is our reward. To tease and toy with your emotions until you lose for those moments your sense of the world around you and escape into ours, into our fictitious realm, our domain of narrative legend.

That is our reward, our incentive and our recompense.

   Thank you for reading, Paul White.