Sunday, 30 August 2015

Writing Inspiration


Almost every author interview, and many many people have asked me what inspires me to write.

Well I read a certain book which sounds like a colour chart. I honestly thought it was dreadful! From the poor plot and characters to the spelling and grammar, it was just bad. “Even I can write better than this!” I said rather arrogantly to myself. So I tried!

Where do I get my stories from? No, it’s not autobiographical. People do like to think books are, don’t they? But no, you are not going to get any wonderful insights about me as a person by reading my books. Hopefully you will get pleasure though. Rekindled Love in particular seems to strike a chord with people.

Nor do I sit for hours, plotting and scheming every last moment before I even begin writing. I’m one of those lucky people that the stories just sort of ‘come to me’.  I recently read ‘September First’ by Hunter S Jones – it’s only on occasional release.  It’s about a complete nut-job who talks to taps and sees poetry everywhere which seems to emanate from a Red Admiral butterfly. Although I don’t go around naked and I hope I’m not quite that bonkers, I did (rather worryingly) identify with the character.

I liken the sensation to having the stories knock on my brain. They bang on the door and demand attention. True’s Love in particular was very persistent. The story was the first thing I thought of in the morning, and the last thing at night, and lots in between. It was almost like a mania; it was in my head and just had to come out before it drove me mad. I remember even locking myself away in the bedroom when the step children were round, just so I could carry on typing all weekend! It was a massive relief to finish that one!

I get a basic idea/outlibe, and then as I start writing bits fall into place.

I do go back over and edit though. And I also have a couple of proof readers check through. One’s own eyes can be a little too accustomed to what has been written and assume correctly spelled words when perhaps you shouldn’t.

I do have very strong female characters in my novels. I suppose they get that from me. I just can’t be doing with the na├»ve prissy type in my books! And I have already pledged that book 7 will feature a plus sized lady. I do try to steer clear of the uber skinny girls; I don’t want to enforce a negative body image/stereotype. But nor have I been brave enough to aim for the proper fulsome girl either.

My next book is already knocking! I had got about halfway through book 5 when it started creeping in. I’m very excited as it’ll be my first vampire book. Up until now I’ve kept one foot in reality, but now I get to play!!

Ooh I just found a great quote I must share with you, and I include it here for my poor husband who knows this to be true. “A writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.”

As always, feel free to comment. Have you any writing styles/methods you’d like to share?

 

Love & light,
TL

Friday, 7 August 2015

Silence!


 
There is a tremendous power in silence!

It can of course be used irresponsibly. Once upon a time I was a sales person, and went on training courses where we were drilled in the use of silence as a negotiation toll (8shudders*). But let me concentrate on the positives:

I was fortunate enough recently to have the opportunity of running away on my own to a retreat. Definitely not a spa, but this was better. As soon as I pulled onto the drive it was as if I travelled through some sort of vortex or force-field. An almost eerie sense of calm instantly wrapped itself around me. Eerie only because it is so unusual in today’s world.

A very polite receptionist showed me to my very lovely room. The little folder on the writing desk included instructions on being quiet; no music in the room, observing the silence of the ‘quiet room’, and generally not causing a noise as you travelled throughout the centre. It felt very odd at first, as if I were intruding, or like I was in a library, “shhh!” But I soon adapted and began to enjoy the peace.

And peace it was. Surrounded in stunning British countryside, with walks through fields and groves of trees. I spotted butterflies, also flittering by on hushed wings. And some sort of falcon type bird swooped over a field, its cry the only thing piercing the tranquillity.

Simon & Garfunkel even wrote about this very phenomenon with their song, “The Sound of Silence”. But maybe we didn’t hear its message. I certainly, in full irony, seemed to have missed the point.

As a holistic therapist I am fully aware of the importance of meditation. You should sit in quiet meditation every day; there’s even scientific studies which show the positive effects of this practice. Do I? No! “I’m too busy!” Oops! Then I should meditate all the more. Must try to make this part of my daily routine.

Why? Well, after all this wonderful peace and stillness which I became fully submerged in, I found inspiration to write and found a bit more of myself. It’s so difficult to see all of me when there’s so much noise.

Honestly, it was a real shock. I drove out of the protection of the centre, and when I got onto the motorway it was immediately obvious how busy we are. I drive a fast car, but people were whizzing by, all trying to vie for the optimum road position, always trying to get to the front of the never-ending queue. I got back home and everything felt loud. My husband turned out one of his children’s piggy banks (long story!), but the sound actually hurt my ears! I had that feeling just before I get a migraine – that one where my hearing gets amplified. But no migraine (happily); it was just the stark contrast. I went outside for fresh air, and the constant noise of the traffic assaulted my senses. I went to our bedroom, but even there I could hear noise all around me.

I was shocked to discover just how much noise we surround ourselves with; it is really quite deafening. Most of the time we manage to zone it out to some extent. But wow, I wished it wasn’t there!

I had a magickal night; it was when there was a Blue Moon. I went outside to get the best view and to give my thanks. Funnily enough, I had to walk some way into the grounds as my view was obscured, not by houses and telegraph poles/wires, but by trees! But what a sight! The moon looked massive and was shining in all its glory. I was transported back to all those years ago, when I stayed on a farm for a while. Those peaceful nights with dog walks done by moonlight. As I stood gazing upon the Blue Moon there was a complete absence of noise, except the distant hooting of an owl. “This is what it should be like!” my heart and soul said to me. My soul voice almost sounded as if it were shouting; I guess it’s not used to not having to speak loudly to get itself heard!?

That night, my heart, body and soul cried out more than ever for my farmhouse retreat. “This is what we’ll have there. This is why people will come,” my higher self told me. A week on and that yearning has not left me. Yes, I want to live there, but I also want to be able to offer that gift to others. The immense healing which happens when the mind is still is immense, and it can be at its most still when all around is silent. Ahhh! (*insert dream sequence harp music here*)

So, here’s my challenge for you. When you finish reading this, take yourself into a quiet space. Ironically you may need to play some soothing music to achieve this if you live in a busy environment like I currently do. But find that quiet space, sit and be still. Observe your breathing and how your body feels. Let yourself relax. And let your mind wander, anywhere it wants to take you. Can you hear your inner voice? Does it tell you anything?

Happy silence everyone!

Love & light,

TL