Skating on Thin Ice!

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I have been playing hooky from the housework and my writing, and I don’t feel at all guilty. After the week I’ve just had, I deserve some time out.

How many of you know that the Winter Olympics are going on somewhere in the world? Or that this includes ice skating?

I heard about it last weekend and resolved to try to catch some of it. Not that this easy to do, for they never show enough of it on UK channels. You have to track it down on these weird foreign sports channels and put up with some peculiar screening methods. But for me, a lifelong fan, any inconvenience is worth it for just 30 minutes viewing.

In my youth, I used to skate. First on roller skates and then ice skates. As I watched Yuzuru Hanyu, a brilliant young Japanese skater perform one of the best routines I have ever seen last night, I was transported right back to when I first ventured out onto the ice. I could feel again the distinctive chill that permeates through any amount of your clothing and the sound of the blades as they slice across the ice. Along with the terrifying knowledge that if you fall over, it will hurt.  A lot.

I was never very good at it, but in my heart, I would still like to be. The way I still want to be able to play the piano. These things, these desires have not diminished with age. They live inside me and somewhere in there, it feels as though I can actually do it.

Some professional skaters, in their search for excellence and faultless programmes, end up like robots, devoid of any style and character, and quite boring to watch.

But every now and then, one will rise above them, bringing joy to their devoted followers.

The young Japanese skater I was watching was absolutely brilliant, graceful, elegant, and so exciting to watch. The elation on his face when he came to the end of his programme was clear to see, along with his emotion at knowing he had surpassed everyone’s expectations, including his own.

There were tears in my eyes by then and also in his. It was as though we had shared the moment, and in a way, I suppose we had.

Next week, with a bit of luck, I will be watching the female skaters as they strive for perfection too…

 

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We are Thrilled to Bits!

Just had to tell the world about this wonderful review we have just received from Georgia Rose!

Georgia won a copy of A Midnight Clear on our Book Tour Quiz last month, and must have enjoyed the read, to post this on Amazon… You just have to read it!

 

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#bookreview for “A Midnight Clear” and other stories by Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie @jaydawes2 #shortstories #TuesdayBookBlog

Posted on February 13, 2018 by Georgia Rose

Don’t know if I am doing this right, but I think you can click on Georgia’s name to read the review. Or, you could click on this link :  www.georgiarosebooks.com/bookreview-midnight-clear-stories-anita-dawes-jaye-marie-jaydawes2-shortstories-tuesdaybookblog/

Sending huge thank you’s to Georgia for not only enjoying our stories, but telling everyone too!

 

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…

 

Creating Lives

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Looking back at the books I have written, it suddenly struck me just how powerful being a writer really is. Not only do we create complex characters and their lives, we control everything that happens to them. And we seem to do all of this without compulsion or regard for their feelings.

This is what I understood when I started out. The first time I had a stand up fight with one of my characters, it literally blew me away. She had a valid argument too, and I was forced to listen and then to change my plans for her. This character continued to be demanding through two more books. Even now, she fully expects to be in my next book.

It is tempting too, but I think I have used up all her potential and have declined. It is quite special, I think, when a character does this, proof positive if you like, that you have successfully created a living, breathing and believable person.

The reverse of this coin is more complex. Antagonists, or the less than savoury characters, are harder to make real, mainly because you want them to be larger than life, worse than anyone you ever met. Keeping them believable isn’t easy at all. I always imagined they could cause me trouble, if I made them too bad.

But so far they have behaved themselves, so maybe I didn’t make them bad enough.

Right now, I am in the process of creating a new bunch of people, and I love every minute of it. The genre is yet undecided. I like to find my people first, and then we learn what their story could be.

The people I create tend to be composites’ of people I know, and that goes for the bad as well as the good. It helps, I think, to know how a person behaved in certain circumstances, especially when you have personally witnessed all the mistake they made!