Taking Time…

DSC02525Talking to a Japanese friend in January, she spoke about taking time and not rushing things. I do tend to rush and what she said made sense and also came as a relief. Sometimes, we don’t know what we need and when we realise what it is, it’s a massive sigh of ‘Thank you!’

In writing, Plot is my downfall and so I am slowing down with my writing and I’m reading more to help me. I’ve read the Elena Ferrante Neopolitan novels and lat night, finished The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. They take their time. So, in writing The Boys, I’m taking my time. They both build the status quo to breaking point. So today, it’s back to Hawksmoor and building Dee’s life so that the reader knows her and her environment and what happens in this moorland village so close to the sea.
Taking time….

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The Sigh

William Blake for Cloud PlayI’ve taken a few weeks off from writing following a break up from Agent Jane. Listening to Radio 4 yesterday, I had my first spark. The discussion was about the Sigh. How we probably used sighing before language. Even now, when we are supposedly so eloquent, it can say more than words. Animals sigh. Babies sigh. It is not only about showing an emotion it is also about health. People believed sighing could get rid of illness. It was thought that melancholia was an illness and that by sighing, it rid the body of the ‘badness’ and so you felt better. Sadness could be a killer, much better to sigh your way out of it!
People who did die from sadness, when cut open, had a heart like a withered leaf.
Sigh.
There is a connection between the heart and the ear, so it is believed, so when you hear another person sighing, you take on their sigh and become one with their emotion.
There is also the sigh of pleasure and that says more than words too.
Sighing resets the breath. If you’re panicking, a long sigh can calm that rapid breathing.
So, it is a survival technique too, a release that we can hear echoed in the trees, in the wind and the sea.
I feel something has shifted. Maybe the sigh will start me writing again.

Talk by a Crime Writer

Last night I went to a talk at our local library given as part of our local Book Festival. The Manchester born crime writer, Rachel Abbott answered questions from the engaging Marie Basting followed by questions from the audience.

Due to Marie’s relaxed, encompassing humour, Rachel’s warm, interesting and honest responses, plus hospitable library and festival staff, it was a massively enjoyable evening. And I learnt something too!

Crime writers are generally happy people because they expect the worst and when something good happens it’s a bonus.

As opposed to Romance writers who expect the best and life often doesn’t come up with the goods.

Made me wonder what Picture book writers are generally like, and Middle Grade and Young Adult writers. Then there is Fantasy and Mystery, Historical….

Interesting too because I’ve been talking with my husband about this subject over the last few days. He heard an interview on the radio about Negative people being generally happier than Positive, echoing what Rachel said. Guess which is which between us.

Hmmm.

Digressing slightly there. Authors often wonder whether festival talks are worth it for book sales, finding new readers, for the time and effort spent. Well, it made me want to read crime/mystery novels and I don’t usually. A point of note, Rachel’s stories are about what people do in a dilemma, the choices they make and crimes they may therefore commit. They aren’t focused on the detective solving the murder. And this makes them more attractive to me. As Rachel said, a detective generally solves the crime, coming from the other angle, you never know what will happen.

If I hadn’t been to last night’s event, I wouldn’t have known this and wouldn’t have been tempted to buy one of her books, which I did, her latest, ‘Kill Me Again.’

Twisty and complex, apparently.

Another interesting point, Rachel is self-published. She is the number one independent author on Amazon Kindle and fourteenth in the Amazon chart of all authors. She writes full time and has an Agent who deals with translations. Germany is a good market to get into as Germans read a great deal. And Marketing is the key. Get yourself a plan. As a control freak, this works for her.

A great evening. Another reason we need our libraries and local book festivals.

Mystery Review on Amazon!!

meeting-cotyJust had a mystery review on Amazon of ‘Meeting Coty’ Goes to show that the unexpected can happen when we least expect it. Note to self to remember this.

5.0 out of 5 starsA beautifully crafted period novel
By Amazon Customer on 27 Oct. 2016
Format: Paperback

I loved this book!
From the first page the reader is plunged into Tessa’s totally believable world. The novel is full of the apprehensions of the times, coupled with Tessa’s emotionally difficult decision making which could alter the family dynamics forever should she choose to follow her dreams.
Can she take that risk?
The setting, historical references, descriptions of family politics and the fleetingness of life in this era all read like a period feature film, such are the book’s many coloured layers.
Tessa’s decision making is as relevant now as it was then. We feel for her every step of the way; she could be me or you. A wonderful book with intertwined characters and a storyline that has you urging Tess on at every stage.
Miss Estevez is obviously in love with her many well rounded and observed characters.This certainly shines through the prose, which in itself, is
effortless and what makes this book so enjoyable to read.
An absolute pleasure.

Bringing The Orishas Home

dsc07281Bringing the Orishas Home.

I loved this August’s Key2Cuba holiday, incorporating body work with the dances of the Cuban Orishas, so much I want a reminder of it every day. Dancing the different Orishas made me feel strong and reminded me of the warrior I am and I want a daily reminder of that…so I spent the weekend painting our stairs in the colours of Oya. A holiday as good as Kerry Ribchester’s awakens parts other dance holidays cannot reach and earned its place in our home. How can a holiday be better than this?
P.S. Shango is already in the kitchen!

And what next I wonder….