living

Three in a world of one

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I am three.

In a world not made for me.

You are just one.

Each of you, just one person within yourself.

You know who you are, what you are, where you are from and where you are going.

I am three.

At one side is she who I try to leave behind.

At the other side is she I yearn to be.

In between, she who struggles to leave one behind but can’t, she who struggles to be the other but can’t.

Trapped between the two, held back by both and being nothing in herself.

A twisting turmoil mix of hate and yearning.

Trying to run away but at the same time chasing, never catching.

There is no me, I have no name and no identity.

I know not who I am nor who I am supposed to be.

I only know that which I yearn to be, and that which I yearn not to be.

Like two old friends who have outstayed their welcome

These two at my side shadow my every move, thought and dream.

It is they who decide what I achieve, not I

And they who steer my course.

To be just one, like you, must be strange and yet serene.

To be secure in who you are, to know yourself and like who you are.

I am three, in a world of ones.

An alien abroad.

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New interview with Vincent Domenico

Vincent Domenico just popped in to give us a third interview.  He tells us of the events told in the fourth volume of The Lilean Chronicles series, Avalanche Effect and how they affected him and his family.

Click here to visit Vincent’s third interview.

The secret ingredient

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This evening I watched Kung Fu Panda for the first time.  There was nothing else on and I was bored; bored enough to sit through a movie I didn’t want to watch but sitting through it was better than sitting here in silence.  Y’know, that kind of bored..?

Without going through the whole plot which is probably a waste of time because I’m likely to be the only person in the known universe who hasn’t seen it, there was a bit in the movie where he had to qualify to get a sacred scroll.  Anyway, he got the scroll and his kung fu master said it contained the secret ingredient to him becoming a true master.  When Panda opened the scroll it was blank; there was nothing on it at all.

It took him a while to get the point that there is no secret ingredient in life; that the secret ingredient is you.  You are what you need for ultimate success.  Belief in yourself is the secret ingredient.  Once he realised this, he was bound to beat the bad guy.

This got me thinking (I do sometimes) about how hard we all look for the secret ‘something’ that will make us more successful and our lives better in whatever way we feel they should be better.  We tend to put all the responsibility for our future happiness onto this abstract ‘something’ and blame our inability to find it or God’s refusal to bring it to us, or other people for keeping it from us or holding us back, or our unhappy childhood, our shit job or our spouse’s recent affair or our kid’s drug habit for the fact that we’re going nowhere.  Anything will do so long as there is something to blame for us not finding ‘it’.

‘It’ is you, me, us.  We are the secret ingredient to our future happiness and success and all we need to do is use it the right way.  For me it means taking responsibility for mistakes and making the choice to induce change.  It means breaking out of whatever cycle we’re stuck in; whether it be a cycle of abuse or social pressures from our peers, emotional baggage or lack of skills.  Break out of that cycle and make changes and start to use your secret ingredient – you, your mind, your innate intelligence and creativity.  Be brave as you turn your life into chaos to break those bad emotional habits and kick the negative influences from your life.  Take a deep breath and head out into the wilderness to see where that road leads, up where the river bends and the mist shrouds the hills.

All it takes is you.  Life won’t bring you that secret something.  Meditating won’t bend the universe and unlock the door for you (although it will calm you tremendously) and following the same old routine because “that’s the way we’ve always done it” won’t show you what’s up where the river bends into the mist.  You have to get off your ass and make the choice to go and see for yourself.

It’s scary, it’s exhilerating, it’s witheringly frightening and mind blowingly liberating.  You’ll be worried, you’ll be anxious and you’ll be fearful but most of all you’ll be so glad you did.

I’m going to do it.  Come on, let’s go see what’s up there, up where the river bends and the mists shroud the hills.

David The Hayemaker Haye and how he punched me in the face (virtually)

I used to be connected to David Haye’s facebook page.  I say used to be, because I’m not anymore.  I unliked his page this morning because something weird and strangely hilarious happened overnight that once again reinforces my somewhat sceptical view of the morals of most celebrities.

David recently brought out an iphone game app and he’s been spamming facebook with ads for it for a couple of weeks now.  I don’t have an iphone (I’m android) so I’ve not taken any interest and I have to admit that the amount of spam he’s been chucking out about it was becoming a tad annoying.  Anyway, a couple of days ago he posted a comment moaning about how few people seem to have downloaded his new game app and asking “why” we all hadn’t rushed to buy it (yes it’s a pay to download one, not free) and telling us that we should borrow an iphone from our friends or family so we can buy his new game.  Loads of people commented, and some of the comments were uncomplimentary about his new business/money making stance he seems to be taking since leaving the jungle.

I commented that as I don’t have an iphone, nor do I have a family and nor do I have friends who will loan me their iphone just so I can buy and play his new game app, I wasn’t interested.  I think I actually used the term “stick it.”  Not very ladylike I agree but it was extremely tame alongside some of the other comments I read (and laughed out loud at).

This morning I log onto facebook to find he’d banned me from commenting on his pics..!

I must admit I was amazed at that but then I laughed and am still giggling about it now (several hours later) and now I just think, what a self important asshole and how glad I am that I didn’t waste too much time being a fan.  Actually it was only the sight of his naked butt in the jungle that made me aware that he even existed as I hate boxing and think it should be banned, but I digress.  This is no loss to me at all and in fact it’s given me an interesting subject to blog about so I reckon I gained from this hilarious experience.

I often wonder whether it’s the money or the fame that turns what may have once been normal nice people into these self important megalomaniacs.  I then wonder if there is a cure.  I then realise I’m thankful I have the insight and self awareness not to ever become like that myself.

At the end of the day, I’ve been proved correct in my views on celebrities yet again.  I haven’t lost anything and my life will continue just as it always does.  He on the other hand, is famous and should be more aware that people talk to one another.  Word gets around and when you’re famous, you really shouldn’t piss off the folks you’re hoping are going to make you even richer.  He says he wants to become “an established actor” within 5 years.

That’s plenty of time for word to get around and bite him on his cute ass.

The end of the year blog

It’s that time of year again.  I don’t just mean Christmas; I mean it’s the end of another year and the start of a new one, which means one thing in the blogging world – the end of the year review blog.  This is something I started way back in the day when I first joined the internet and got myself a myspace page.  I loved myspace in those days and still look back on it with affection and sadness at myspace’s demise.  Anyway, I digress.  I began a tradition of doing an end of the year – looking forward to the next around Christmas each year and even though I’m not a huge fan of senseless tradition, I wish to continue this one.

2012 has been a tremendous year for me.  It began with me being fresh into self publishing, with my debut novel under my belt and the second written and being edited.  Four novels have been born this year and my space opera series, The Lilean Chronicles was completed.  I had my first go at NaNoWriMo and wrote a 75k word novel in 20 days, which will be published in June 2013.  I also began a new series featuring a new main character called Sam Sinclair, the first of which will be published in February 2013.  I also wrote a third of my planned short story anthology and had several shorts published in Schlock Webzine.  I’ve actually sold a few books too..!

Yes, writing wise, this year had been wonderful.  I’ve learned so much about writing and the process of self publishing and am gratified to see my work on sale all over the internet.  The Lilean Chronicles has received wonderful reviews for which I am truly delighted.  Writing a book is one thing but having someone read it and say they loved it, is on another level altogether.  I have the next two books already taking shape in my head; a second Sam Sinclair novel and an epic adventure quest novel that I will start writing in the summer of 2013.

2012 also saw me meet a wonderfully talented artist who now does all my book covers.  His name is JL Stratton and he is an awesomely talented artist who won’t rip you off.  Find him on facebook by clicking here.   I end 2012 not only feeling like a writer, but knowing that I am a writer and I feel happy and comfortable with it.  I may never be a rich writer, but I’m a writer.

On a personal level, nothing much has changed.  I’m still single, still cripplingly autistic and body dysmorphic and still lonely on an emotional level.   I’m still broke but just getting by and I’ve managed to maintain the inner knowledge that I’m destined for great wealth someday.  I’m still crazy about Riddick and fond of Vin Diesel, although I’ve taken a little bit of a mental step back from the crazy infatuation I used to have for Vin and I feel more balanced about him.  I still have a love/hate relationship with Dwayne Johnson but I am trying to take the same mental step back I took from Vin, although I haven’t quite managed it yet.  There’s something about Dwayne that holds me and I can’t quite yet break away from it for long.  It’s one of the things I intend to work on during 2013.

So what of 2013?  Well, the first Sam Sinclair novel will be published in February and my NaNo novel, Acts of Life will be published in June.  The second Sam Sinclair novel should be ready for publication by the end of the year, so maintaining my 3 books a year tradition.  I intend to continue writing content for my short story anthology and hope to finish it and have it published by the end of 2013, which will bring my total to 4 books next year.  I should end the year deep into writing my epic adventure quest novel.

I’ve managed to save a few pounds over this past year and intend to treat myself to an elliptical cross trainer in the January sales, which I will use as part of my annual, lose weight/get fit campaign.  I know I know, but c’mon, what would New Year be without a pledge to lose weight huh?  Another thing I’m doing next year is going it alone work wise.  I’m quitting my cleaning job with the cleaning company I currently work for and intend to try to work for myself.  The company I work for sometimes only give me 3 or 4 hours work a week, which isn’t enough to live on and I can undercut their prices and be much better off financially.  Hell, I can’t be any worse off so why not have a go?

I’d like to be able to say I intend to find a man during the coming year but I don’t feel confident I could deliver on that pledge, so I’m not going to make it.  I would like to meet someone and I know that my heart is ready for love now.  I just have to get my body into better shape first, hence the weight loss/get fit campaign.  2013 might even see me moving house, as the housing benefit system here is changing and because I have an extra bedroom, they want to cut my housing benefit.  One of the ways around it is to downsize to one bedroom, so I may just be packing up and moving  sometime.

Mother is coming to stay for a couple of weeks for my birthday in February, so I have that to look forward to.  She’ll pay for everything while she’s here and she’s a laugh.  She’s very elderly now and I don’t know how much longer she’ll be around and as we’re getting along better now than ever before, I want to make the most of what time we have left.  Next year will be my turn to have her for Christmas, so that will be fun too.  I’m alone this year as she spends every other year with  her other daughter, with whom I’ve had no contact in many years.  I’m the black sheep of the family and was ostracised many years ago for telling the whole family about the sexual abuse I endured at the hands of my father for ten years as a kid.  I didn’t realised that in ‘good’ families one doesn’t tell..!  At least it means Christmas is a cheap time for me, as I don’t have to buy presents for everyone.

Overall, 2012 has been a year of furious movement in a totally new direction – writing.  It’s been exciting and wonderful for my writing career and I’m very happy to have finally found my true calling, my true destined path – as a writer.

I wish everyone who stumbles across here a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Seeds of Inspiration

A friend on facebook asked me not long ago, “where do you get all your ideas from?”  A simple question indeed but one that is almost impossible to answer in a way people who aren’t ‘like me’ will understand.

By ‘like me’ I mean, well like me.  Let me try to explain.  I’m autistic, which means I don’t do the social thing at all well.  I don’t mix with folks effectively and I tend to quickly piss people off and if I do make a friend, I tend to lose it pretty quickly.  This means I’m alone for most of the time, both physically and inside my head.  You know when you have friends but they’re not actually ‘here’ at this moment but you know inside your head that they exist and they’re your friends?  You have an innate knowledge that you’re not emotionally alone don’t you?  Well I don’t have that.  I’m physically alone and alone inside my head too.  Now that’s freaking alone man..!

I also have major emotional baggage left over from an abusive childhood which means I have a trust issue.  Not something you want when you’re trying to make friends.  This also tends to add to my isolation.  I’m also physically unattractive so even if men did happen to overlook my other failings, the sight of me puts them off anway.  This also means I’m destined to remain just as alone as I am now.

All of this isolation takes its toll and not all of the effects are negative, for me as a writer anyhow.  I’ve developed an immense imagination.  Every moment I’m alone I’m living one of my internal fantasies.  People who see me may think I’m just shopping or taking out the trash but really I’m exploring the outer regions of some far flung planet, searching for the ancient truth stone that will save the people and show me my one true love who just happens to be mixed race, hugely muscular, clean shaven and hung like a horse.  I may appear to be driving to the store, or to my day job but really I’m on my way from my Los Angeles mansion to meet with my agent to discuss my latest appearance on the Ellen show and whether we could fit in a spot on Jimmy Kimmel the same day or whether we need to put that one back a week.  I may appear to be doing housework but really I’m searching the cargo bay of the intergalactic freight liner for clues as to the whereabouts of the hand written  notes that would prove that hugely muscular, mixed race, well hung hunk of a prisoner is completely innocent of those murders on Taxos 4.

You see what I’m driving at?  This is me every minute of every day and several hours into each night too as I toss and turn and struggle to switch it all off so I can sleep.  The moment I wake it all starts again.  This is the stuff that fills my mind 24/7 and all of the locations, the conversations and the people are as real to me as anyone I may physically meet.  Being completely alone both physically and emotionally too, allows me to indulge in this fantasy reality to a high degree and I’ve been doing it for so long that I doubt I could stop for long and I couldn’t imagine being able to survive without it.

It’s the easiest thing in the world for me to just write this stuff down.  I’m so tapped in to my creative flow that I can just sit down and switch it on and let the words come tumbling out.  I see it all happening as I write it.  I actually live it as I write it and I feel all of the emotions each time I re read it.  All I have to do is sit down, switch on and step out of the way.  My higher self does the rest, my creativity, my muse, call it what you want.  I always say that I don’t actually write my books; my characters write them and I just take dictation.

Last night I was bored so I sat down and opened a blank word document and then opened my mind.  An hour later I had a full plot synopsis for brand new epic space adventure novel.  No pain, no tears, no agonies of writers block (what the fuck is that anyway?) and no prob laymo.

So in answer to my friend who wanted to know where I get my ideas from.  The answer is, from me.

Brand new interview with Leon Domenico

Just to let everyone know that Leon Domenico stopped by and gave another interview about the upcoming fourth book in The Lilean Chronicles series.

Leon is Vincent’s father and spirit guide to Farra Duncan and he tells us a little about this new adventure.

Take the link below to read his interview.  Scroll down the page, the new interview is right under his first.

 

Click here to read the interview with Leon Domenico

A milestone I didn’t want to reach

Something just happened that I’ve been dreading for years.  I knew it had to happen but somehow you always think that a miracle will occur and it’ll pass you by.  I’ve reached a milestone.  A milestone that all of us reach at some point; some earlier than others.  I’ve been lucky to get to 50 before reaching it; I’ve known people who had to deal with it years earlier than me.  It’s a milestone that not only brings anguish but questions.  I now have an important decision to make and I haven’t a clue what to do.

I found my very first grey hairs today..!

So now I have to decide – to dye or not to dye, that is the question.

The problem with dyeing is that grey hair takes colour in a very different way than naturally coloured hair.  My mother once decided to try a coloured mousse that advertised itself as ‘semi permanent – washes out in 6 washes’ and she went bright orange; I’m talking day glow here.  It didn’t wash out in 6 washes either and she had to go around in a headscarf for months until it faded and grew out and I teased her mecilessly.  In order to dye grey hair well, you need a salon do and they’re expensive.  There’s the roots problem, which entails a continuous expense that I don’t know I can guarantee to afford.  There’s also the hassle of it all; worrying about the roots and looking like a skunk if you let them grow out too much.  At least if you’re all grey it looks better than looking like a skunk with grown out roots.

If I choose not to dye, then I have to get used to looking like an old woman in a world where being young and beautiful is everything.  My problem is I’m neither young nor beautiful.  I’m 50 and physically ugly and being grey as well is going to be too much to bear.

I simply don’t know what to do.  I hate getting old.  It wouldn’t be so bad if I was beautiful to begin with.  Ugh, I wish I was dead…!

World building for fiction – when is enough, enough?

As I mentioned in the previous post, I’m compiling a new page on this site which I call the Intergalactic Guidebook.  I decided a little while ago that it would be fun to create some kind of encyclopaedia of The Lilean Chronicles.  In it I would write a kind of mini wiki all about the worlds and peoples we meet in the series.  This is going to be a herculean task, as I’m finding out but it’s fun to do and I don’t mind it taking a while.  I’m uploading each page when it’s complete and will blog when there’s a new page for you all to peruse.

It’s called world building or rather in my case, galaxy building and I actually did this when I wrote the books.  I built the words, the galaxy as I wrote each volume of the series.  What I’m doing now is putting all that information together in one place, but I’m finding that something interesting is happening as I’m putting it all together.

I know the worlds contained within The Lilean Chronicles very well.  I spent a year writing with my characters and I know all about their worlds, their culture etc so writing it all down again for the guidebook is not hard.  What I’m finding though, is that I’m actually writing stuff I never wrote in the books.  There are things in the guidebook that you won’t read about in the series at all.  The back stories in the guidebook are way more comprehensive and complete than the information in the novels is.  This got me to wondering why I’m feeling the urge to go so much further with these back stories, when some of the information isn’t in the books.

The answer is simple really.  I love doing it.  World building is such huge fun and it’s a total pleasure to invent a whole world, a race of people, their beliefs and culture, even their diseases and sports.   I also feel that the fuller the back story is, the more believable the novel becomes.  When you can find out everything about the world a character comes from, it helps you identify with them more closely and understand them more deeply.  Besides, it’s interesting shit to read..!

So how much is too much?  Should I go so far as to include geological information about the composition of the land masses?  Should I document the changes to air purity over the past thousand years and cross reference this with a graph showing the increase in population perhaps?  Maybe I need to include a political history, complete with list of the last 10 years worth of import and export figures?

No, I think not.  For one thing, it would bore me rigid to write and therefore, probably bore readers too and secondly, it teeters on the edge of OCD.  Readers have enough imagination and sense to know that stuff isn’t necessary for a work of fiction.  Yes it would make it totally comprehensive but it wouldn’t add anything to the story as a whole.

I’d love to one day publish the Intergalactic Guidebook as an actual book to accompany the series but it would involve massive amounts of artwork and I don’t have the money to pay my hugely talented art guys enough to cover the time they would need to devote to such a project.  Who knows what the future holds though; I may win the lotto one day and then I’ll be emailing them..!

After the hiatus, getting back into the groove

I haven’t been able to write for the past 3 weeks.  This wasn’t because of writers block.  It wasn’t because my imaginative flow decided to flow away.  It wasn’t even because my characters went on holiday without me.  The reason is Mother.  My mother visited me for 3 weeks and that means that all writing stops while she is ensconced within my living room.  Oh she likes books and is proud as punch that I’m writing them, it’s not that.  I read her the draft of my upcoming fourth novel, Changing Faces and she loved it.  I read her the 5 chapters of my fifth novel and she loved them too.  I even read her my two flash fiction stories and she positively gushed.

I just feel self conscious when she’s around and I don’t seem to be able to sink myself low enough into the creative flow when I know she’s lurking 5 feet away doing her cross stitch or soduko.  She also has the annoying habit of peering over my shoulder at the computer when she shuffles past on her way to the kitchen to make a cuppa.  That annoys me and makes me self conscious about what I’m writing and gives me a childish urge to wrap my arms around the pc monitor like a kid in school trying to stop the big ginger kid at the next desk from copying my answers on the math test.

I’m one of those writers who needs silence.  I can’t write to music.  I have tried but I find myself concentrating on the music instead of writing.  My mother is great and she would happily sit and do her cross stitch or puzzles for hours (she does anyway) while I write but she can’t stop nattering.  She can’t seem to go for more than a couple of minutes without making some sort of comment or conversation, about anything at all and the interruptions really take me off my stroke.  From the regular “oh there’s another emergency vehicle siren, you get a lot of them here don’t you?” to the occasional “must pop to the loo, my pills are working,” and everything conceivable in between.  Then there’s the coughing, sneezing and farting..!

No, I need silence to write.  I need to be able to focus my entire mind on maintaining that intuitive link with my characters so that I can hear their voices and take dictation from them accurately (yes that’s right, I don’t write my stories, I just take dictation from my characters.  I’m one of ‘those’ writers). Once I get going, hours can go by without me noticing and I ‘awake’ to find myself sitting in complete darkness at 2am, desperate for a pee and horrified that I have to be up at 6am to go to work.  I sometimes think that the ease with which I switch into my alternative fantasy-reality is what enables me to focus so entirely when I’m writing.  I don’t just invent the people, their lives and the situations, I actually know them and experience them with them.  It’s a total and real connection and if time and my bladder allowed, I’d write for days on end without stopping.

So now mother has gone home and I can get back to it.  Book 4 needs another proof read/edit and book 5 needs more chapters.  My characters have had a well deserved holiday; I just hope they’re back and ready to work..!