A new week starts, a time when my enthusiasm usually renews itself, but there is a noticeable lack of ‘get up and go’. It was more like, ‘get your arse moving and see what you can muddle through this week!’
Last month’s USB failure, resulting in the loss of three weeks work, has left a sour taste in my soul, leading me to wonder if I should even be doing any of this promotional stuff. I have ended up juggling so many balls; I am in danger of losing sight of the original dream, consumed as I am with the need to find that one magic ingredient that will make it all worthwhile.
It is always possible that I am not destined for greatness, and I am happy to realise that. Relieved, actually, but that will not stop me from trying my best, and improving my work. (At the time of writing, I plan to re-edit my books and update the covers, blurbs and keywords. I have been having a long hard look and not entirely happy with what I see!)
Little by little, I think I am beginning to lose my edge, the ability to juggle everything and still keep my balance. I seem to recall that this has happened to me before, a long time ago. I was in a relationship, and as long as I obeyed the rules and performed as instructed, I was grudgingly allowed to breathe.
Of course, the day eventually came when I needed more than that when I was tired of the constant struggle to be the person that was required. This wasn’t the first time I escaped from tyranny and it wouldn’t be my last, but eventually, I found a better way to live.
My present struggle is beginning to feel the same, and the need to escape is growing again. This presents a problem, for I don’t want to run away from most of it. I have to find a compromise, a way to keep our options open and the dream alive. I have to stop trying everything and anything, looking for the golden goose, who, for all I know, gave up laying eggs a long time ago…
Jaye said I should think of something different to write about.
Short stories or romance, ghosts, hauntings, all of which I think I do.
Unlike Jaye, I am only good at one thing. The work I put out, good or bad, I can’t always tell until there is feedback.
I know that sometimes the pieces I put in front of Jaye have moved her to tears. So maybe there is something to them. Either that or she is just a soft Nellie. Who knows?
I can only do what comes from the pen. Good or bad, it is for others to judge.
I guess I can tell when the web is silent, the likes low.
Maybe Jaye is right, the pen has had its day.
Then again, we don’t always agree from one second to the next.
Unless there is a blue moon, and they don’t come around very often.
My first book, Nine Lives came into being mainly because I became intrigued by the notion that most of us hear voices in our heads at one time or another.
From Pinocchio to Joan of Arc, people have been hearing things and sometimes a little voice can change history, and not always for the best.
Kate Devereau, the ageing artist in my book, has been hearing a voice all her life. Never sure if this is good or evil, she makes a point of ignoring everything it says. Would her life have turned out differently if she hadn’t?
Some people call this the voice of our conscience, a bit like Jiminy Cricket, but how many of us really listen or even obey its commands?
I personally don’t hear any voices, but sometimes I just know I should have done things differently, and have suffered the consequences…
When I researched this topic, I was amazed by just how many famous people have heard voices, going back as far as Moses. Some of these people were convinced they were hearing the voice of God; some thought a heavenly host had visited them. Whereas, on the other side of the scale, if a voice talked you into committing a crime, they usually lock you up and throw away the key.
Personally, I like the idea of a wise voice, advising and helping us with life’s problems. Pointing out the error of our ways would be very handy in our house.
But how many of us would dare to trust it?
Excerpt from Nine Lives
… as the pain rolled on and on, Kate just wanted to die. She knew no one was going to rescue her, they never had before and it was a little late to start believing they would now. For some reason, she knew it was her lot in life to suffer, to be alone and be miserable, no matter how hard she tried to make her life any different. Surely, it was time for the curse on her life to stop? The voice in her head had said otherwise, apparently, there was much worse to come. But what could be worse than this, she thought.
Once the pain started to make her want to push, it all became a little more bearable. At least she felt more in control of the situation, not just lying there helplessly, being tortured.
The baby, a boy, was born that evening and nobody could have been more pleased it was over than Kate herself.
Throughout the ordeal, the voice had kept up a running commentary about her life being ruined. How she had wasted every opportunity and how sorry it was. The last bit surprised her, for she had always thought it disliked her. It had never said anything with any hint of kindness in it before. If it was simply trying to depress her even more than she was already, it had succeeded…
How many times have you moaned about manufacturer’s insistence on changing and improving things?
It’s never for the better, is it?
It has recently dawned on me that I am guilty of the same behaviour, I am ashamed to say.
My problem is that I am never happy with anything I have created. At first, I am, but then the doubts start to creep in. What seemed brilliant in the beginning, starts to look shabby and inadequate, and nay I say it, inferior.
By this time, of course, I just know I can do better.
I do this with most things, but the ones that give me the worst trouble, are our book covers. They are so important to get right, aren’t they?
We have many books under our belts now, and I am not happy with quite a few of their covers. Some of you may have noticed, (and admitting this makes me cringe) just how often I change them.
When a dirty blue car mows Maggie down outside her local supermarket, she becomes trapped in the nightmare world of a coma patient.
In this very different world, she manages to rescue an abused and neglected child. But when it looks as though she will finally wake up, she cannot bear the thought of leaving the child behind.
But is this other world real, or was she just dreaming? And if it is real, can she help this child?
“Maggie is a likeable character who is easy to engage with and I found myself willing her to find the courage to embrace happiness. If you like a story that is more than just your average romance then I thoroughly recommend this one…” Amazon Reviewer
I have just changed the title and cover for Anita’s book, Scarlet Ribbons, mainly because the story is about just the one ribbon. It was only when I realised what else I would have to change, I began to see the enormity of my dissatisfaction.
The cover had to be changed on:
- Our website
- The books trailer
- Book links
- The end matter in several of our other books
New posters had to be made, and replaced on just about every site I ever visit.
All of this took two days, and so far, so good, but I just know there will be other places I haven’t thought of yet, but right now, after doing all of that, I never want to change another cover.
There is one that could be better…
Is there any place on earth that can claim to be untrodden?
The darkest regions of the Amazon would have had creatures crossing back and forth at some time in our history.
It is the same for the oceans, deep and dark, not made for man. Yet something lives there.
I believe it is the same for the planets that man cannot reach.
The cracks, the waterways, could someone have walked there long ago?
Our history goes back further than we can truly know. I have to wonder if there is a virgin untrodden ground anywhere in our universe. Yet give me a patch of untrodden snow, I will stop and think.
No footsteps, untrodden, pristine, white. My mind tells me the snow that has fallen today, made by frozen rain, has been with us since time began. It has fallen many times before and will keep falling, it is not new.
However, this beautiful patch of diamond carpet of fresh snow has no footprints. I will tread there and leave my mark. Just in case there is a chance, some small part is yet untrodden in some distant past…
This morning I had gone upstairs to get dressed and make the beds, the way I do each day. Then I went back down to the kitchen to make us coffee, taking Anita’s into the living room, but she wasn’t there.
I found her sitting in my office chair reading Sue Vincent’s post on the computer. I put my coffee down, thinking she would vacate my chair but to my surprise, she said she wanted to finish reading.
Sue’s post was all about how she hates wearing shoes. Anita has the same problem and has never worn anything with high heels in her life. She was at the bottom of the page now and I thought she would soon give me my chair back.
Turning to me, she said that she wanted to type a comment. Tickled pink, I showed her how to do it and let her loose. I couldn’t help smiling and marvelling at the sight, for in five years Anita has never touched my keyboard. Tell a lie; Anita does clean it for me from time to time, when she insists on removing the dust in the office.
Anita hates computers far more than I do, but maybe curiosity will achieve what I haven’t been able to do, I just hope she isn’t after my swivel chair…