#Throwback Thursday. Second Tries, or How to make the right decisions the first time?

 

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My brain must be like Emmental cheese these days, soft, spongy and full of holes. I am getting really fed up with trying to think and decide what to do, or even knowing if the final decision is the right one. As they say, if I had half a brain, I would be dangerous!
I can’t decide (or remember) if I have always been like this, or if this state of affairs is yet another symptom of my advancing years.

Time is becoming problematic, far too much of it is spent second-guessing. Wouldn’t life be more efficient if all deliberation could be removed? Easier to pick a winkle out of its shell with a pin, I hear you say. But I am heartily sick of wondering which item to buy, which programme to watch, whether to cut my hair, the list is endless.

Added to my inability to choose anything, is the sure and certain knowledge that whichever one I pick, it will be the wrong one. Always is. I never get anything right on the first try.

Could life be more like plotting a book?

Now, I know that many writers don’t believe in plotting. They believe their characters will do most of the hard work for them, and I have experienced this first hand too. But other writers firmly believe in careful plotting, even using a story board.
All my life, I have been a ‘winger’, hurtling from one idea to the next. Sometimes getting it right, but more often not. Advancing age has changed all that. I no longer have the time for hit and miss. Decisions I make now, have to be right, although how this will happen, remains to be seen.

Now, I am still virtually new to this writing business, and with the idea of getting it right first time (could be a novelty in itself!) I tried plotting. With a lot of practice, I’m getting better. So much so, that the sequel to my fourth book has been thoroughly plotted, storyboard and everything. But this is not something you could really do with your life. Too many decisions, and so many ways of dealing with them.
In addition, other people tend to make your life awkward, sometimes it seems, just to be bloody minded.

Could it be as simple as throwing a dice?

Then I remembered something. (It does still happen sometimes!) I once read about a man who always made every decision with the turn of a dice, and apparently, his life was glorious. Maybe it was worth a try, as my way was getting me nowhere.
On second thoughts though, that sounds worse than ‘winging it’.
But if I were younger…

They say there are ‘two sides to every story’ and ‘everything happens for a reason’, but what if neither of these things is true? What if it is as simple as right or wrong?
Could it be that when life gets too difficult, we are simply trying to force wrong into being right?

Should we blindly follow our instincts?instincts,

Recently, I have been thinking back through my life and all the different choices that I had to make. To that small, persistent voice that nags you, insisting you do this or that. How many times had I ignored it, thinking my own choice was better, usually for all manner of reasons? Would my life have been better if I had obeyed that still, small voice? If I had not always chosen the path of least resistance, the path that always looked inevitable. Maybe the choice that looked the hardest, the most impossible, would have turned out better than what actually happened?

Maybe then, I wouldn’t have so many things to be sorry for, so many people I should apologise to.
If there is such a thing as reincarnation and I get another chance to live a better life, I hope I remember some of the things I have done wrong, all of the people I have hurt, and do it better next time…

God Bless and see you all next week…

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Brainstorming Sisters!

 

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Have you ever noticed that when something stalls in one area of your life, it affects everything else?

This was what had been happening in our house for over a week, so my sister, Anita decided that we should have one of our brainstorming sessions this morning. Something we do now and then which usually benefits either my book or hers.

Only this time, it was me, the writer, that was being brainstormed because I was on the verge of a major meltdown over my current WIP.

Somehow, the conversation became all about how I write. The genre, the characters and the way I think about everything. She knew I had been having trouble and had some definite ideas about improving it.

Now, although I usually hate my work being criticised, I have to bow to her greater ability as a writer. She never struggles with plots or character problems, just gets on with it. Her characters don’t argue with her either, and I have always considered that a good sign! She can write more in one day than I can in a week.

So I allow her to say what’s on her mind, not that I have ever been able to stop her! But, all joking aside, she has been a great help to me over the years. The reason I can call myself a writer has a lot to do with the example she sets.

I think she is a natural writer. She doesn’t have to think about it or worry constantly about the plot. Whereas I do. I don’t find the writing process easy at all and this morning I may have discovered why.

I hadn’t really thought about my protagonist at all, thinking the antagonist, or serial killer was all important. That somehow everything would simply revolve around him, which I now realise is not the way to go about it.

I had been digging myself into a dark hole, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong, so I needed to sort the problem out, and fast!

Brainstorming with Anita can be a dangerous venture, as neither of us accepts criticism well. But when you are wedged between the proverbial rock and a hard place, you have to do something about it…

Sometime later, after harsh words, temper, tears and finally realisation, (all from me, BTW ) it was agreed that I hadn’t lost the magic, it was a temporary lapse, something that could be fixed. Finding another way of approaching the problem may be the way to go, and maybe a rewrite. Or another story all together…

 

If you don’t hear from me again, it means I have walked into the sea…

 

Lazy Days Book Tour Round up…

The last balloon has popped… the last drop of champagne has been drunk…

There is nothing quite like the morning after a good party, is there?

All that remains to be done are to notify the winners of the Book Quiz, and to thank everyone who took part, or came along to enjoy the party over on Facebook.

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We need a day or two to double check we have a list of all of the winners, so we will be in touch in due course. Some of you have wanted to know the answers, so here is the complete list!

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

“It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.”

— Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird

“Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.”

— William Goldman, The Princess Bride

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

—J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

 “Get busy living or get busy dying.”

— Stephen King, The Shawshank Redemption

“My advice is, never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.”

— Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

 “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

― Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth” – Charles Dickens Great Expectations

“I am haunted by humans” – Markus Zusak The Book Thief

“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” – Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland


signing off until tomorrow…

Last Chance for the Book Quiz!

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Today was the last day of the Book Quiz… and it occurred to us that some of you might like another chance to acquire a #free book or two!

Answer as many as you like, leaving your answers in the comments, or over on Facebook!


Here are the ten Quiz Questions…

  1. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

     2.  “It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.”

      3.  “Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.”

      4. “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

     5. “Get busy living or get busy dying.”

     6.  “My advice is, never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.”

    7. “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

    8. “Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth”

   9. “I am haunted by humans” – “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” –

10. “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”


 

And as it’s the last day of the Tour, we thought we should finish with champagne…

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See you tomorrow for the results of the Quiz and the round up of the Tour!