Sunday, 11 May 2014

Saturday night doot doo dooo de doode doo de dum de doo etc

It is 11.27pm. I am tired and should go to bed. I have been learning about scrivener and evernote and my skull feels like it is about to implode with information overload. It is at times like this I wonder where the time to actually write has gone. I have to build my platform on social media, and network, blog hop, promote, name recognition activities, talk, meet up, learn, study, go to literary functions, tweet meet and greet and all of this eats into my writing and creating. It has become a little overwhelming. I have been having nightmares, incredibly vivid dreams with imagery that wakes me up sweating and gasping for air and I am not writing horror this week, only picture books for children. I read and read and read to learn the craft and the amount of conflicting advice and doomsayers, don't do this, don't do that, write like this, only do that, you'll never make it, competition is too high, no rhyme, no poetry, no talking animals, yes talking animals, no kids with parents , yes kids with parents, no yes no yes no arggggghhhh. Several times in the last month i have wondered why I am bothering to write at all.

Then someone will say to me 'I loved your story it made me feel like I was there'  or they say 'you write so vividly I can see the pictures in my head' and I have people asking me when I am going to finish the stories I tell them snippets of because they want to know what has happened to my characters. Then I feel wonderful about my writing and I get a great burst of writing energy and the words pour out of my head into my fingers and onto the page.

I find the same thing happens with art. I start to doubt my ability and compare myself unfavourably to other more skilled artists and I begin to think I am a fraud and kidding myself. Who do I think I am trying to put my work out in the world. It is rubbish, tripe, worthless but then I realise we all feel like that at times. I read other artists in the 52 week challenge who are afraid to put their work online because they find the other work intimidating and I understand we all have to step past our fear barriers and love our work for ourself, how others see it is entirely up to them but how we see our own must be the most important step. Art of any kind is subjective for the creator of it and the recipient of it. One person may hate my stories while others will love it, some may dislike my art and others love it, it is all to do with everything in their life that they bring to the moment when they view it. Totally subjective and nothing to do with me the artist/writer at all.

My sister told me something interesting today which helped me. I sent her five anthologies which contain my stories and art and she said now that she has 'real' hard copy evidence of my writing her kids are more impressed by that than me simply saying I am writing. The hard copies make it real for them in a way that wasn't there before. I have parcelled up a gift of books for someone else who may need hard copy evidence to help them appreciate my new career.

I have written several reviews over the past few days and sadly the biggest problem I am encountering in the novels I am reading is the word GOTTEN. There are a lot of problems with missing words in sentences; small words such as the, an, in, of, that leave the sentence incomplete but would easily be overlooked in a speedy edit. One young woman has some rolicking good yarns set in Victorian London and I was appalled at her constant use of the word 'bloke' since it is a word associated her in Australia with being Aussie. I thougght as she is an Aussie writer she was misusing the word until I did some research ( and found it was in regular use from about 1860s by the lower classes. It has become entrenched in the Aussie vernacular and probably so because of the high number of lower class and criminals sent here. I was glad I looked it up before I wrote my review.  Apparently 'gotten' is a word that Americans have kept alive where it died out everywhere else until recently.  Just as Fairy Floss is the original name for spun sugar and only referred to as fairy floss in Australia now, so too has 'gotten' remained a part of Americanese. Lately it has popped up far too often in novels and it shows a lack of delight in our incredible language with all its nuances and options. A few decades ago, students were urged not to use the word 'nice' and to find much more appropriate descriptions. It's a nice day means what? I urge the young writers who constantly use 'gotten' to purchase a synonym finder or a dictionary or make use of those very things online to fill their prose with more vibrant words.
My last pet peeve and it happens way too often is "YOU" instead of I, me my, mine, us, we, they, him, her, them, or any other pronoun imaginable. When a writer says YOU and means the character I find myself thrown out of the story. Suddenly the whole action is distanced from the character who no longer owns what is going on around them.
"You know when you go to the sink and you put your hands in boiling water and you burned yourself"
"No I didn't do that, you did."
"Yeah but you know when you do that..."
"Why don't you say, when I did that?
"But you didn't do it, you know it was like when you burn your hands in the hot water."

I started sorting out my sewing patterns today. I booked darling daughter into a sewing class next week and I wanted to find simple patterns to get her started on. She loves cosplay but the costumes are so expensive to buy. I felt that she could benefit greatly from knowing how to make her own costumes. I have also parcelled up copies and double ups of doll clothes patterns for a friend who is making clothes for grandkids and their dolls. I hope she loves it when the parcel arrives.I am going to enjoy sewing with my daughter. I used to do a lot of sewing at one time but other creative pursuits took over however it feels like the right time to dust off the quick unpick and a thimble. I was quite good at knitting hats and handbags for fashion dolls at one stage too. My daughter never had an outfit which didn't also have matching outfits for her dolls. How quickly they move into new hobbies and phases.

I am working on day 9 and 10 of story a day and will upload tomorrow. I also have my fish art in progress but that too will have to wait for tomorrow.

I am going out for lunch with a friend and her Mum for mother's day tomorow here in Australia and looking forward to it.

okay it is 12.08 and I need to sleep. Goodnight my friends. Happy Mother's Day.