Waiting For…

Waiting For…

Clock

 

How much of your time do you spend waiting? It occurred to me the other day I spend an awful lot of time waiting for one thing or another.

Waiting for a response to a submission seems interminable. Some writers manage this by a copious output of work that ensures a reasonable number of regular responses. I am in awe of them.

Me, I watch for the postman, I do have a postman, he nervously approaches the door terrified it will be thrown open in a Hyacinth Bucket manner. I also frequently check my emails, and have my mobile within reach at all times.

 It’s an accepted part of writing and subbing.

Staying in to wait for deliveries should offer up a chance to do something more productive. For me though, I find the time drags because I am listening for the arrival of the van or the knock on the door. I try to gauge if I can make a quick run to the loo or will that be the exact moment the bell rings.

I’m not impatient, and do enjoy some of my waiting time. Waiting for the bus is enjoyable when I can pass the time chatting to others at the bus stop. When driving, traffic hold ups offer the opportunity to think of story lines or fix a problem character.

 I’ve had my fair share of waiting for GP or hospital appointments, and attending those appointments. Attending these with a hard of hearing ninety- five year- old somewhat pushes the boundaries of waiting patience.

Recently, I waited for the arrival of an ambulance. I won’t go into all the details other than it involved administering CPR. The emergency operator was marvellous keeping myself and two others calm, and counted with us advising us when to change over until such time as the paramedics could take over.

Waiting we all do it. Whether it is awaiting the birth of a child or the bride to appear at a wedding. Good or bad we mark time waiting.

 I was interested to watch the time out clock on the curling during the Winter Olympics. I’ve decided I want one.

 I want one that stops time, whilst I am awaiting something that is out with my control. Now that would be something worth waiting for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Celebration of a Small Victory

In Celebration of a Small Victory

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In life sometimes we need to remind ourselves of small victories.

In my case my victory has been in fixing my laptop unaided.

Yes, it was the dreaded update that caused the problem, resulting in a total crash on Friday. I have learned from past mistakes and now save everything to an external hard drive. This foresight allowed me to restore everything without bursting into tears and lamenting the loss of precious work.

It does however steal time, which could be better spent elsewhere as the printer and scanner had to be reinstalled.

This incident reminded me how much we depend on technology to store things, that in a time gone by we would keep and record in a more physical way. The joy of opening a box of old photos or notebooks is to some, myself included, a delightful experience. Maybe because of this experience, I still enjoy printing off photos to hold and study in my hand not on a screen, and to write in a variety of notebooks using different inks and pens. Is it virtuous to keep to these traditions?

I wonder if generations to come will experience the same joy from finding old USB sticks, or will they be as obsolete as beta video recorders, and the information on them lost forever.

In a world where technology is constantly changing, we need to rapidly adapt to keep up, and be able to fix it when things go wrong. The world of business gallops at great speed, and the old fashioned way is not always compatible with modern life, save for one advantage… it doesn’t need a restore button.

 

Sing A Long A Story

 

I’m taking a musical trip down memory lane, initiated by a request to borrow my old karaoke machine for a retro night.

Once I found the machine and dusted it off, what a delight to discover the CDs were safely stored with it.

 You know the kind where the screen shows a copy -cat video of musical hits whilst the words flash along the bottom of the screen. The playing of which initiates caterwauling from a variety of people at various stages of sobriety.

At this point I must declare an interest, because I am usually the person “singing” along, not only to the song chosen for me but usually all the others too.

This leads me back to memory lane. There have been various studies showing the benefits of music when dealing with memory loss. You can try this yourself chose a song you loved as a child or teenager and I’m sure you will be word perfect.

 It’s not just about remembering the words though, it’s the memories the music evokes. Some happy some maybe less so, whatever the emotion, we are taken back to a place and time, and reminded of people and places we once knew.

I believe, but don’t quote me, there are strict rules regarding restricting the use of song lyrics in pieces of writing. That doesn’t prevent you using the essence of your memory as a story starter.

I still enjoy singing along when I’m listening to music, and I also like to have music playing in the background as I write.

My hope now is that if I hang around I might get an invite to the retro night, shame to put all that practice to waste.

When Looking Back Hurts

Christmas decorations are appearing everywhere, and the TV is full of Christmas shopping adverts, I guess we must be heading to the festive season.

Like many others this time of year makes me panic, not because of shopping lists, but because I realise maybe I haven’t achieved all I set out to in 2017.

 I am taking time to reflect and congratulate myself for all I have accomplished in an especially difficult year. This reminds me of a conference I once attended, where a woman speaker was holding court, when the man next to me whispered, “She’s going to dislocate her arm by patting her own back.” A justified comment in this case, as the good results she spoke of were not hers. I find this particularly amusing as I’ve suffered from two frozen shoulders for the best part of this year, so no back patting for me it hurts to try.

As writers we learn if we don’t shout our success from the rooftops then no one else will, it’s all part of the PR and marketing, which we need to manage for ourselves.

I have just under two months to finish this year’s projects and I’m getting back on track. The time out to rehabilitate has not been wasted as I’ve caught up on reading, studying and motivation.

Onward and upward is the cry, because looking back is too sore.

Voices

Yes, voices, we all hear them in our head as our brains process past, present and future thoughts or actions.

As I was watching my new fav tv programme with it’s fabulous plots and characters it got me thinking about voices. What was it about their voices that drew me in to them so that I cared or didn’t care about them?

Some programmes do that, the character’s voice can determine whether I like or dislike them. The character has been given the script and is directed on how to deliver the words to make that impact on the viewer.

So, how does that work when reading a novel? I only have the clues in the written word, to determine how the character sounds in my head. As a writer, I need to know how I want my characters to sound in the reader’s head. I guess it comes down to knowing my characters inside out. What tone and words they would use in any given situation.

The best novels are those that you carry in your head even when you’re not reading. Is that plot or character or voice?

Sometimes a character’s voice will grate making it easy to prejudge, which of course is often the writer’s intention. However, a character needs to develop, and the clues to the voice need to be elsewhere in the story. The reader needs to hear that voice to determine whether to invest time in getting to know a character.

 The skill of the written word is to capture the character’s voice on paper even when they’re not speaking.

I’m still working on it.

Hi

Hi,

Thanks for dropping by. I hope you will linger, and be amused or maybe even informed by the ramblings on these pages.

These ramblings, are from a deep seated need to write the millions of thoughts that flutter through my brain on any given day.

Some, may find their way into the short stories or novels I am always working on. Others may be written to provide inspiration or support to myself or others.

 I am not perfect, far from it, so expect the occasional mistake. This is not an excuse or a negative, just a confession, I am only human.

I hope you enjoy this blog, and that it makes you, smile, cry or even take out a big red pen if necessary, but most of all I hope it encourages you to write.