And Another Thing Concerning Odd Motivations

This is subsequent to the post

From Unexpected Places (Something Concerning Odd Motivations)

Concerning the throw away ending “And I do believe I have inadvertently created a template for a book cover.”, this comment related to the image I had created for the post:

Inspiration and Themes

Occasionally one of the Muses nudges me off to Canva https://www.canva.com/en_gb/ to see what can be created from its free images and various tools. Of late when manoeuvring multiple images, I decided to experiment with its ‘Transparency’ facility (top right of the horizontal menu bar, look out for the square made up of squares, fading left to right). This allows you to click onto an image placed on top of another, then drawing the cursor from right to left reducing the depth of the image from 100%, until you have a suitable transparent effect. This allows you create a montage, as you will see above. With some careful twiddling (excuse the technological language) you can click from image to image nuancing the depths of each. Because Canva tends to give you geometric borders to each image using Transparency allows you to diminish or accentuate the borders as you see fit. And you can spend a quite fun-filled creative interlude exploring possibilities.

So, to elaborate on the theme of the previous post I called in Canva. Because the tale in question takes elements of SF with ten dimensions involved and one of those ‘palace’ plots beloved of High Fantasy, there are bound to twists and oddities in all direction, plus some mischief. I therefore wanted a montage, chaotic yet with some geometry involved (Quantum influence). The first image was paradoxically a fantasy castle but overlaid with a galactic scene to set the theme of drifting through realities. After this some pastoral, a smidge of steampunk, over on the top left the faint outline of a pixie/fairy and diagonally opposite another piece of starscape, for contrast. Then eyesEyes are always good to add ‘that air’. Finally in the bottom left corner the faint hint of mischief. I have to admit I was pleased.  There may be a little bit of tinkering, only a smidge though.

The great benefit being the influence images, physical, musical or mental have on my writing. It would not be the first time the book cover influenced my final draft. On this occasion the cover nearly preceded the plot, and now firmly set in my mind, the cover draws me on. For The Cover must have a book worthy of the image. Maybe not the most secure or highly recommended of approaches to drafting a novel, and yet one which is proving worthwhile for dragging me out of a bit of a ditch.  

Inspiration. You just have to love the unpredictability of Inspiration.  

Inspiration at this Time of Woe and Challenge

Arrived on my Face Book ‘Home’ page.

Message accompanying:

‘This song is from Italy’s most famous band in the 70’s. They have donated the copyrights to Bergamo Hospital. Every click on the video means a gift, because YouTube pays the owner of those copyrights per click. In Bergamo hospital, 800 people died yesterday alone. So share this video as much as possible.’

 

 

Musings on Writing- Don’t You Love It When….1

Don’t you love it when…

Happy

There you were fully aware you have to do this piece of dialogue linking one part of the narrative with another while adding depth to the relationship of two characters, and  you only have a slender thread of an idea to work with.

2

Yet, when you sit down and start….hesitantly at first

Hesitant writer

however the words begin to appear

Inspiration

Thence dialogue, description and development floweth forth, interludes from brief chapters start to slot into place in bountiful continuity

author-busy-work-author-busy-writing-his-book-115410909

And suddenly…..all is well.

In your writing world.

Treasure these moments.

 

 

 

 

Virus Post. Walls down. Emotions on Display.

OK. It has arrived THE PANDEMIC, the one The Medical Community knew would happen-Fact.

Sour observations: The one survivalists have been just praying to happen.The one you read about in SF/Dystopian Fiction but never thought would happen in your lifetimes and now those books don’t seem quite so ‘entertaining’ do they?

Personal Commentary (No self-pity. No ‘Oh that this too, too solid flesh would melt’ soliloquy). Just facts, brief. Like about 50% of the population in affluent West, our Lives have their buckets of problems. For many reasons we can’t get to see our three children and five grandchildren- no personal rifts just those ‘Circumstances’ that dog many a life. We were planning to visit our son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons- Pandemic arrives. How many other folk have seen plans pulled down I would not like to say.

We have health issues of one sort or another which limit our getting out as a couple to ‘go places’, ‘do things’. Pandemic puts the lid on the few opportunities. Life wasn’t much fun before, now? Do the allegorical maths. So us and a few tens of millions around the world. Didn’t need this, but we got it. It happens folks, it happens. Compare this to what is happening in Syria, Yemen or too a host of minority communities around the world and what’s happening to you, me, us in The West…..Just a scratch…At present almost a walk in the park. Of course it could get worse.

My Own strategy

So what do I do? Try and adapt, obviously.

But what else?

Write, of course.

In this we are fortunate. My wife writes poetry, is in contact with other poets, gets work published, gets good feedback and has a collection she sells privately. I am so proud of her and every time she gets a poem published I am so damn happy. Gives me the fuel to carry on.

Me?

Well, to summarise….. there’s R J Llewellyn on Kindle. Of late I’ve been working away on a fantasy series, self-published (still with those typos)

Precipice Dominion series

Y’know what, folks? Here I am stepping out of my normal British character here, but overall, typos and syntax aside I-am-so-very-pleased with these…There I said it! The characters are alive (so much so they nag me all the time) and the plot is chaotic as it was meant to be. (If you read some military history you will get to appreciate wars are won on the basis of the other side making more mistakes than yours- there are no perfect plans, no villain is always ahead of the game until the last few improbable chapters)

Vol III was having a re-write for typos, continuity etc, when I thought

‘Heck (or words to that effect) we can do better than this’

Learning to Live with ‘The First Draft’ and its Consequences.

And now it’s undergoing a whole re-work. This will be finished, virus or not. I will have my Three Volume Series (was supposed to be four but reflection suggested the narrative and plot would be getting thin in Vol IV and a lot of repetition would take place–too slow). I have an upbeat ending, because I like positive endings, it is a quirkly good one….There I said it (again). Three Volumes completed, I will be content, pleased, at rest.

Now this is how I personally tackle a Life-Threatening, Life-Changing  Pandemic. This is my way of minimising the effects.

I-WILL-WRITE.

I WILL BELIEVE IN MY WRITING

Let this be your pledge to yourself in these uncertain times

Seriously folks… The Joys of Writing

 

 

PS. Explanation. Some regular readers might by wondering about the amount of unusual and aggressive affirmation regrading my personal opinion on my own writing. This is due to a severe case of Full Metal Jacket haranguing at me by one of my characters Arketre Beritt, a solider, of an elite unit. If you are new to writing be prepared when the characters take over, it happens)

Seriously folks… The Joys of Writing

Understandably those who write and (A)  Hope to make some income from their efforts or (B) Have received more rejection slips than is Just or (C) Cannot get their characters to do exactly as they would wish or (D) Are presently engaged in yet another re-write or (E) Staring at the blank page or half-finished paragraph OR any combination of the aforementioned will have looked at this title either screamed……  ‘Are you insane!’ Overreacting

OR ‘Oooh !…You smug, complacent…..(deleted)…..

Big Raspberry….… to You!!

Which is understandable….(If I wasn’t writing this I know I would resort to such). And yet even the most tormented, frustrated and wretched of us have to admit that from time to time during our journey on putting words from mind into a readable format we must have felt a small secret thrill of joy when engaged in the whole tortuous exercise.

Why? Oh Evasive and Yet Persistent Muse Why?

Gefühle-Die-Leiden-des-jungen-Werthers-676x884

For art there not many more rewarding and easier tasks?

Whimsey 2

No, we will not turn away to these delightful pleasures. We will carry on writing….

Just…Because.

And there within us lies the unknown factor, irrespective of whatever may come of it. Therein lies the sheer joy of seeing thoughts coalesced into ideas which in turn settle down upon paper or the electronic equivalent. The bright warm thrill of witnessing the finished work. To know this is something ***I ***created of my own volition and effort. My art, my striving, this is a gift which lies there’s quietly whispering away even in the most fallow of times.

Take it, embrace the warmth and the strength, let the feeling flow throughout you, see you through.

For you are a writer by choice or by design.

Uplifting

Support the impeachment process — musingsofanoldfart

Quote

I have followed Keith’s magisterially mature and dignified blog for some time now and have consistently been impressed by his ability to deliver a strong point in restrained tones.

I, therefore, am passing details of this recent post to all my American followers. To those in other nations share this that your American followers make take up the cause to win their nation back from hysteria, excess, bigotry and incompetence.

Thank you

The following is a variation of a letter I forwarded to my US legislators. Please feel free to adapt and use. ************** Seeing the parade of diplomats and senior staff members testifying under oath regarding their consistent concerns over the president’s abuse of power is telling. They are exhibiting political courage with the knowledge they […]

via Support the impeachment process — musingsofanoldfart

Thank You Mr. Shakespeare

In my previous blog (Declared a danger to public health & well being by High Priests of Akismet….sometimes you gotta love a cheap-shot). I put this out along the themes of encouraging Writers when the going gets not so much tough, but as Arid. I thought it might be worth putting out again…..

Annnd Take 2!

Sometimes I indulge in a Shakespeare play session in my DVD collection, and there are effects on my writing which insist on being displayed….

Stage directions:

A group of folk are sitting.

Enter:

The Commentator:

They Speak:  

Good-day to you my fellow Wordsmiths

Why these sombre faces?

What halts or confounds your pens?

Have you fallen out to dispute of

Those five particular sisters

Calliope of the wondrous images

Euterpe entrancing with the lyrical dance

Thalia ever humorous and irreverent

Erato sweet purveyor of heart’s feelings

Polyhymnia, solemn in her honouring of the divine

 

Spokesperson:

Well for you friend

That you should still be light of heart

Feel all is worth the business

For us, we see no sign of reward

No one beckons us

And heartily cries

‘Come! We would read your words!’

We sit in small dark corners

And none notice, or care

For our efforts.

 

Commentator:

My brothers and sisters in authorship

This grieves me greatly

To witness you, victims to the Sly Mischief Maker

Comparison,

The ever-willing herald of The Drudge, Doubt.

This pair delight in stifling any bloom

Would grind the first shoots down

Ere they peer hopeful through the soil.

This ill-duo and their carping squadrons of dullards

Would have everyone slothful, save in their complaining.

 

Spokesperson:

Were you an alchemist of literature,

Were you able to turn your words deftly

And display them as nuggets of good news

Then we would cry ‘Hail Our Captain!

‘Lead and we shall follow’

(group nod and murmur)

But friend you are companion to Delusion

For many have travelled by our sorry group

And assailed us with words of good cheer,

Then been on their merry and fortunate way,

While we sit and watch the words

As leaves, blown this way and that, and lost.

 

Commentator:  

Friends! Friends! You think I the hapless simpleton?

Then more fool me for brining this false mask to you.

For I am as battered and bruised as any of you.

The silence and the emptiness of no response

This I have passed in many a dreary day.

The careless rejection back so fast as to best Mercury

Has been a common visitor to my desk.

Bearing witness to folk who by deft means and insincere crafting

Have found easy fame and wealth,

A regular event so bothersome and mocking

I at times would have plucked out my eyes

And cried ‘No more! No more. Let me blunder away!’

Yet, the soft and steady the precious call continues,

Awakes within my forlorn breast the urge.

Once more do I walk with unsteady tread

To sit, and with trembling pen or battered device

Willing to answer the far off persisting, yet sweet songs

Which are the very life-milk to inspiration.

From what distant shore or forgotten manse

These hymns of summoning arise I cannot say.

And yet must follow with increasing pace

Made light by the sudden dance in my heart,

As once more the words begin to leave my head

To find form and juncture upon paper or screen.

 

Thus, Friends I do not give you any bright promises.

I would not insult you with happy quips about success

No, I do call you to a more daunting task

To bid you to arise from these sloughs in which you lie.

To stagger once more unto the field

Answering to the barely heard music.

Readying to forge on across unhelpful lands

Giving flight to the words which sit restless

Ever eager to spring forth through the despondency.

 

For you dear Friends. You the many small candles,

Would light dark places with your myriad words

Could raise a spirit or two with your images and messages

Might bring forth another to take up the sane road.

And would that not be worth more than easy coin

Come by shallow capering and tawdry lines overused?

Your acts and your endeavours though mayhap seeming small

Are as valuable as any roaring efforts of Titans

When truth be revealed, when all bluster is gone

The victories were won by the small individuals

Who in serried ranks forced the issue.

 

Now, guided by those ephemeral strains you know well,

Reach for your ever-present flints

Strike upon the stones of resolution,

Light those blessed candles, raise them higher.

Stride out once more, not seeking reward,

But to bring form unto thought and depth to your dreams.

For you are as valuable as any who claims the prize.

For you are of the very lifeblood which is Humanity’s Hope.

You are creators, you are bringers of songs and tales

You fill up the world with wonders and colours.

You have been chosen. You have been summoned.

And I will ever be glad of your company.

Be that in rags and in places where the Great do not go.

And I would be proud of your efforts, though they trample mine.

For you, each and every one- The Writers. The Artists.

Badges which none can tear from your jackets and coats.

 

Ah, but I have spoken far too long, have been a distraction!

Away with you now to your favour’d places, steel your resolve.

For you have a World to Enrich and thus save.

Go you warriors.

Heedless of rewards.

The Muses are beckoning you.

And when you stand upon your summit

You will look down into the vale

Being able to say, with determination

‘I created! I did achieve!’

Commentator exits….

 

Epilogue

The ending dear reader is in your hands.

Good fortune to you.

Never, ever give up with your writing.

Inspiration…The “Wow! Where Did THAT Come From” factor

Warning:

18862009-3d-people-man-person-with-warning-sign

This post contains comments and statements which some people may find offensive, even shocking.

Whimsey 5

“How dare he?”

“Wot?”

“Don’t complicate the issue my darling,”

Disclaimer:

Sorry to disappoint but that does not mean obscenities or remarks concerning or describing intimate Human physical interactions.

170816142101-john-kelly-reaction-president-trump-speech-orig-alee-00000110 Hmmphh…cop-out

(Nor a guest appearance by Miss Flirty Singles).

Flirty Singles

Introducing Miss Singles

 

Willya  with Topic already!!Portrait Angry older man screaming on white background

 

OK then.

Inspiration.

Overview

There are many forms, some we know will fire us up and we use them, although we should use them in moderation lest we wear them out as a source. Not that a walk in Nature’s bounty will ever wear old, but sometimes can be a beautiful distraction and totally destroy the grim mood you were setting yourself into the right ‘that challenging’ piece.

And there are times when some just do not work. The new ones you wish to try out. The ones you think will be certainties to get you in a mood.

One of the ten thousand which did work.

Working on the third in the series ‘The Precipice Dominions’     Website

The Precipice Dominions

 

in which the politics of various major players (but minor characters) are to play a big part. I thought to myself. ‘I need to get into the vibe here. I need to subsume myself in the literary way this is done. Yes I’ve read factual histories political and military and know how things can go but translating that into a fictional narrative which is interesting to read…..Errrrrr….not so much’

I know what I need, says I need to check out ‘Game of Thrones’ again, all that actions and dirty double dealing. Not to try and imitate the style but just get the sniff of the atmosphere. And there was the problem.

Warning…warning…warning…..

horror

I don’t like the books. I find them……

Dull.

GOT 1

Hear him the *%’&! out!!

Sgt.Hartman

I have tried to read them, I have tried to listen to them on audio book and still end up muttering ‘Get on with it!’

Yeah. OK. So complain to someone. Contact WP and state there’s someone out there who is definitely wired all wrong. Either that or he is little read, hardly known writer and as such as sour a month old lemon left out in a damp summer (thought of that one myself)….

Don’t care. Can’t help it. Not my scene.

BUT…says I…

Watch the TV series says I, maybe you need to see moving images (NO! Not the naked ladies, already. I’m 68 fer pity’s sake! Nothing new there and hormones an’t what they used to be! Anyway it’s all like….clump-clump onto centre stage- pause take off clothes-flaunt-flaunt-flaunt….Yeah-yeah). Now where wuz I? Oh yeah watch the series….I started. Then the DVD player broke. I got a new one. I started watching something else. Never felt the need to find out exactly how Sean Bean got shoved off the mortal coil. Nor what his sons, daughters (did he have daughters?) and other folk got up to. And another DVD set gets put to one side for another day…..

Like Zero-Inspiration.

Back at The BOOK.

Writing. You know when you get into the muddy part. When the fertile ground of your muse gets inundated with a downpour of Life which turns all that creativity into a sludge you find yourself plodding through. There I was, plod, plod, plod. Necessary back-story. That blasted polly-tiks bit…..Oh yeah and get the villains into three dimensional beings…..Pfffffffff-fFFFFIT like all that hard slog man!!

Then whilst in a supermarket I chanced upon a stock of the Supergirl/Arrow/Flash series 1 sets brand new and at reduced prices. Someone in marketing somewhere had a wheeze. Marvel films were doing so well, so let’s get on the bandwagon with the very successful ‘Arrowverse’ collection of series Arrowverse An Explanation

I’d tried all three before, didn’t click and thus sold them. This time, maybe because they were cheap (£7 in UK money), give Supergirl a second chance; my older daughter and her two liked it…Ah what the frib!Supergirl

This is not stellar TV in terms of drama. You couldn’t truly say it is spectacle. There’s not the grit of the lamented Netflix ‘Daredevil’ ‘Luke Cage’ or ‘Jessica Jones’ series. If you watched ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ or ‘Smallville’, you’ll get the idea what these are about. However at this stage in my writing and general viewing habits, there was action, clever lines, lots of personal interaction, in fact just the sort of ingredients I had been forgetting. My own narrative, plots, and characters were nothing like those encountered in ‘Supergirl’, mine do not stop off in mid-fight to discuss moral issues with a villain, and yet the whole layout did jog my muse, and anyway when riled Supergirl is quite vicious in a set to.(like Arketre Beritt…..see ‘Precipice Dominions’ )

It occurred to me, I had been looking in the wrong direction, instead of ploughing through stuff I thought I should have been producing I should have been concentrating on the themes the other books worked with. Basically ‘How does the person down the ladder deals with all of this?’ and ‘How do the actions of a few small folk affect things at the top?’. A quite unrelated TV series brought me back on track. And set in line a whole new train of thought about the three central characters and the world they live in. Suddenly I was thinking, ‘Think of The Heroes here’; ‘think of the air they breathe’ ‘think of their world’……’Just how dangerous is that environment to the supposed villains who are invading it’.’Turn the usual theme of the evil stoppable hordes, sweeping all before them on its head’……Hey! I’m out of the sludge. The sunshine of Inspiration is warming up the ground again. I can move.

Conclusion

Never mind the fact that this writer can’t get on with the ‘Game of Thrones’ world in any shape or form. Don’t reflect on a guy in his late 60s watching super-hero TV series. That’s not the point here. The issue we are dealing with, is:

You never know where, when or how inspiration will come along and fire you up. When it does grab the feeling and hold it tight and close.

Keep on writing people. Make me proud.