Archive | September 2014

First October Blog. – 1/10/14

Sailing towards years end

First October Blog. -1-10-1.4

Hello dear readers,

My, my, October already! Where has the year flown to?

Well, in my case, I DO know where it has gone. To hospitals, GP surgeries and the like, for my family as well as myself. Seems we were never away from them in the past twelve months. O.k., the pressure is slightly decreasing now, but not by a lot, ha!

Enough of that. Do you garner new contacts much on this good old Internet? I seem to be contacting more and more, all authors, of course because that is my thing – writing. Be it stories, novels, poetry or just gabbing, as I am here and now.

I have been in contact lately with a lot of lady writers in my own country. Good old England, but a few hail from the U.S.. However, one or two of those are also from the old country, or at least, our Islands. Strange that. Thousands of miles across an ocean to be greeted by familiar lingo. Just shows how small this ball of dirt has become.

Do you actually think about the Earth. I mean, do you watch these very inciteful items say, on programmes about how the world began ( or should I say, how it is thought that the world began)? Fascinating! Suppose (like Homer) that just one thing went differently, would it all be changed? The old treading on a bug theory, that would make a total difference to what everything is now. Would we be something totally different? Would we, indeed, be here at all? If what they say IS true, that a catastrophy engulfed the Earth and killed off the dinosaurs, would we now be intelligent rodents scurrying away from the latest dinosaur breed to rule the Earth?

It is a thought, ladies and gents. Something to pass the time on the train, the plane ( not the car – that might be dangeous), indeed, something to think about in the lonely hours of the night when you cannot get to sleep, or get back to sleep, rocking the baby, or other such times where the mind needs to focus on something totally bizarre.

Suppose, just for a second, that the shrew, they say Man originated from, had stayed a shrew. Don’t bear thinking about does it?

OK you Star Trek fans out there, there was an episode in one of the series where dinosaurs did become human-like creatures but still dinosoric just the same (my word). If we also developed space flight, would we then be the space monsters if we travelled to another world (should our technology then get us all the across space to a Galaxy where conditions were right to produce air-breathing creatures), then would we be rulers of another world or castigated on the landng grid?

Some would say it’s strange how everything here has worked out. I kind of lean towards The Origin of the Species. And I know that lots out there have a different view. Each to their own. There are merits for both ways of thinking.

Suffice it to say that, woulda, coulda, shoulda has not happened. We are today, what we are and there ain’t nothin’ we can do but accept the status quo. That is why I like SCIFI, things can be whatever you want them to be, never mind what they might have been. We’re here now and unless some catastrophy occurs, we are going to stay.

Something to think about, something to ponder over and worry our little heads into insanity.

Be good to each other dear people, and to yourselves as well.

Evelyn

Eleventh September Blog

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Eleventh September Blog. – 29-9-14. Still time to get another blog in – just!

How many books have you read, good people, that have been made into films?

Lots more than you think! I also include here, t.v. Films and series. There are those well known ones like the Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings, Blade Runner. And I have not finished there. But there are others where the film/series is better known than the books they come from. And I can be just as ignorant as anyone else on this matter. Some films from books, are actually revelations. There will be more on those later.

There are those films where the books are obvious, or so well known, that most people are aware of what the heritage of the film is. I can quote such films and books as “Gone With the Wind”, “Twilight”, “Macbeth”, ( ok so that was a play rather than a book), “Jane Eyre”, “Silence of the Lambs”, “Bridget Jones”, “Brideshead Revisited”, “Jaws”, “The Color Purple”, “The Godfather”, “The Shining”, and so on.

And then there are films/t,v. Plays etc. that many people do not know come from books, and I may be doing you an injustice here but thus is something of an enlightenment, should you wish it to be. Films like “Bladerunner” which actially comes from a Philip K Dick book called ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’

I have made a very, very short list of books made into films. Problem is, i wanted to list here films where the title does not match up with the book title. Like ‘Rum Punch’ by Elmore Leonard which came out as a Taratino film “Jackie Brown”.
The part novella called ‘The Body’ came out as “Stand by Me”.
’58 Minutes was made as “Diehard 2 “.
‘Addie Pray’. Came out as “Paper Moon”.
‘After Hours’ found screen fame as “Carlito’s Way”.
‘The American Tragedy’ found fame as “A Place in the Sun” and so on, you get my drift.
How many more films mascarading as just. ..films, have been taken from books and are not widely known as osuch???

So you see, when watching a film, it is always interesting to view the credits with a more than usual, ooen eye. You might find its background will take you on a voyage of discovery, to a book that you would never have guessed to be revealed as the heritage of a popular film/t.v. series.

On the films-from-books score, there are some films, made from books, that are popular. For instance, “Planet of the Apes”. Everyone knows P of the Apes, but did many of you know that another famous film was made of a book by the same author. Not unusual, I hear you say, she must be off her trolley. But wait, I say, this second film, possibly made before the other, though I am not positive in that score, is totally different. Different genre, different type of film, but the same author wrote each book. I know, I have read both and seen both films many times. The author I am referring to is a Frenchman called. Pierre Boulle. The other film I refer to is called “Bridge Over the River Kwai!”

I am sure some of you will do your own research which is time-consuming, but a revelation it could be for anyone checking up.

Take care you lovely people,

See you next month. ( alright, in a few days, ha!)

Evelyn

Tenth September Blog

From my back door

From my back door

Tenth September Blog 23-9-14

I have recently read that poetry is not well liked by the mass populace. That people who write poetry, true or false, are wasting their time as no one wants to read their work.
T
Is this a truth?

I have written poetry most of my life. It isn’t all I write, to be sure, but it has equal sway with my other writing. I write poems because, well, because they need to be written. I hope to publish a book of poems one day. If no one wants to read them, then that is their choice. But they will be there on offer, as it were.

Be that as it may, I shall continue to write poems for as long as I want to write them. Are any of you good people out there of a similar mind? Do you feel that, no matter what, you have to write down your poetry? Be it for posterity, to make money (though that is debateable), to just put it out there in the hope that someone will read your poems? Whatever the reason, please keep writing them. I know I shall continue to write poems as often and for as long as I want to, or are able to put pen to paper, finger to keyboard.

Here is one poem to show scope :-

Arrows. – A poem

Arrows are piercing the heart,
Stabbing sharp, as they go.
Coursing through such bright fire,
Launched from the warrior’s bow.

He cares not that you heed him,
Worries little that you are low.
His only concern are straight arrows
And how far a flight will they go.

One is nocked, ready and waiting,
Its trajectory pointed and sure.
The Poison tipped missile is homing,
The beating of heart is its lure.

You weave, you turn, and you hide now.
Like a rocket, hurtling with furore.
It flies true, straight to your aura,
Like a molten outworld meteor.

Flames stream from its metal
As it hones in, beat on beat fast,
Smoke fades into the ether
Silver gliding, right to the last.

The hole in your heart is just bleeding
With anguish, and rage at the blame.
The warrior sees not the innocent,
His mission, to turn you to flame.

The arrow, ejected and lying
As you lay, fading fast, nearly gone.
Its assignment is finished forever.
The warrior’s mission is done.

Copyright. Evelyn J. Steward. September, 2014

And something in a different vein :-

Hedgerow Harvest. -a poem

Down at the edge of the
wheatfield,
Where corn grows tall in
the sun,
The scuttles, the whispers
abounding.
Show little ones having
fun.

Dormice, brought over
by Romans
For food, when meat was
too scarce,
Kept in amphora and fed by
the hand,
To Britains, it was just
a farce.

So domice escaped, found
a nest spot,
In hedges and places
like that,
Out of the way of the
crafty old fox,
Then later, the hungry
wild cat.

There are robins making
nests in the springtime.
Above, the wild hawk spies
the ground,
To see if he can find his
dinner,
His sharp eyes keep looking
around.

The field mouse climbs up
on the wheatear,
So tiny and delicate,
he,
Then scurries away to his
burrow,.
He must not end up
as Hawk’s tea.

Chaffinchs high in the
branches
That grow out
protectively,
They sing, then go gather
the berries
That gleam, orange-coated
you see.

And Misslethrush, singing
so sweetly,
A joy to be heard every
day.
The farmer gathering his
crop in,
Listens whenever he may.

When haymaking time
is all over,
And little ones find places
to sleep,
To sprend a cold winter
just dozing,
Outside, you can hear
not a peep.

Copyright. Evelyn J. Steward. September, 2014

And another :-

Summer’s Slip.

The Solstice points the midway mark,
We joyously sing, like a summer skylark.
We pray the days will endless be
And the sun to shine for eternity.

But over the top of Solstice high,
A few days on, a change in the sky.
Its blue has a different coloured note,
Not cornflower bright, but a greeny throat.
“It’s autumnal already,’ my daughter cries,
‘You know I can tell it from the skies.’

And sure enough, A greeny hue
Bedecks a sunlit sky of blue.
The heat remains, it comforts me
That autumn days have yet to be.

A shortning of the daylight hours,
The disppearing of brilliant flowers
As if to say, well, soon enough,
The wind and rain, a chilly bluff.
All this time, we hold most dear,
When spring is past and summer’s near.

At least that’s how I do behold
A summer day, a dawn of gold.
But as the seasons gently merge,
I fear the coming winter splurge.

The icy tendils, a winter storm,
The frozen patterns in windows, form.
I love the warmth, it cossets me,
Dispelling summer, it has to be.
For living in this temperate clime,
I wish it were summer all the time.

Copywrite. Evelyn Steward. July 2014 .

I tried to find shorter pieces, but these are what came up.

New poem I have just written.

Autumn. Changes – poem. – 25-9-14

End of September,
A weak sun graces trees
Starting to turn,
With the increasing breeze.

Leaves hurtle down
To carpet the earth.
Red/gold and brown,
For all their worth.

Rich chestnut conkers,
Splitting their skins.
Sharp prickles, white inner,
As they fall down and spin.

Squirrels that seek them
Abound at this time,
Racing ‘cross tree boughs,
See how they climb.

Over the forest,
They race in a frency,
Mouths full of acorns,
Their chittering makes you dizzy.

They bury their nuts
For a wintering store,
Forgetting some places
And searching for more.

Blackbirds and thrushes
Seek grubs that are fat,
Or peck at the Feeder,
Listen to their chit-chat.

Robins are spotted
At this time of year.
Their red breasts are gay,
They have little to fear.

So autumn moves on,
Inexorably so.
Down in the forest,
Stands a dappled doe.

Winter will come soon,
A cold icy blast,
And snowflakes will cover
The landscape, at last.

Copyright. Evelyn J. Steward. September, 2014

Sorry, was not a short one after all. Sometimes, poems are like that. You start, then it needs to go on and you are taken along in the flow. Not a lot of people are taken with poetry, but if more gave it a chance, I think their lives would be enriched. Only my humble opinion, of course. But then, what do we have but our opinions on these blogs?

Now to find a suitable picture!

Have a great weekend, good people,

Evelyn

Where Does Frailty Start?

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Ninth September Blog. 22-9-14

Where does frailty start?

We are born. We grow, not knowing where our future lies. Some are unfortunate to fall at the first hurdle. It is not their fault. Nature throws them a curved ball, and they are either tossed by the wayside ( for which most of us are truly sorry though there is little we can do to help, unless we are part of the medical profession. In which case we may be able to shed some light, if not, then comfort if nothing else).

Others come adrift by accident or succomb to diseases that they otherwise would shake off and become immune to. Most of us do the latter. The bodies of some however, are affected by these diseases in their youth. Meningitis, for one, used to attack people and before antibiotics, there was not much of a cure. I contracted this disease at about 19 yrs. i was lucky. Antibiotics were around. When discovered, I was two weeks from death, so a 1920s medical book said and my parents were frightened I would die.

Bed rest, two lumbar punctures, penicillin and streptomycin, copious amounts of water, huge tablets like horse tablets of something I cannot now remember, plus lying flat on a bed for two weeks brought me to a stage where I was allowed to go to the coast to convalesce for another two weeks. Bringing me to mid-December. I was not well enough or allowed to go back to work until the following May. How much of this has changed now, is another story, but in the 1950s, this is how it was at my local hospital. Did that add to my health issues in later years? Possibly!

O.K. There are jobs, that some people have to do, that can affect backs which, in later life, can make a person’s health deteriorate. Road digging, house building and so on. Some people work at strenuous office jobs that eventually become very stressful. Stress is another debilitating illness that often follows through to later life. So it is not just physical work that strains the body, but mental work that can tire the brain. Then there are the ailments we bring upon ourselves. Type 2 Diabetes, for instance. Can be caused by stress but is often our indulgence in food that brings this disease on.

Modern manufactured foods are not what we should be eating, in my humble opinion. Filled full of additives, and untold chemicals which may add to bad health conditions for some. I have found this out the hard way, but am trying to combat it by following a Diabetically heathy food regime. Starting last summer, I removed most of the carbohydrates from my diet. No sugar rich white or wholemeal bread, of any kind. No pasta, no rice, no potatoes, no cereals which, if you scan the ingredients on a packet, you will find sugars quite high on the list. I also changed to lacto free milk, almond milk and sometimes coconut milk. Porridge, at that time, was also off the list but I am now able to have a measured amount of porridge with ground almonds.

Gradually, my very high blood sugar count dropped. As a bonus, so did my weight begin to get lower. What did I eat instead of those high carb. foods? Plenty of ovegetables, vegetable soup, eggs, meat ( and yes, bacon and fried veggie sausages etc.). Not every day, but rotated. Gradually as my sugar levels dropped further, my weight was keeping it partner. As time went on, I reached a level where osome potato was added, also a small amount of porridge, eaten with ground almonds that help disperse the sugars more slowly into my body. For bread, I searched for Low Catb. crispbreads. Months later I was able to have the occasional slice of a special bread with seeds, only 4 carbs. per slice. Again, not every day. I make up a sugar free jelly which I now eat with a couple of strawberries and Greek yoghurt, this is daily, after my early evening meal.

My sugar levels are much lower, sometimes a bit too low. My weight drops slowly now. It has come to a level I may have to stay at for a while. All due to cutting carbohydrates. Many manufacturers fill their products with sugar of one kind or another, often hidden in carbohydrates or badly descriptive words like LOW FAT, NO ADDED SUGAR. You HAVE to read the labels, and understand them. Please do not forget the often lauded FIVE A DAY. FRUIT contains high amounts of sugar, as does fruit juice. Some vegetables have more carbohydrates than others, carrots, root crops and so on. You must be aware!

I have been a Diabetic fior 18 years and it is only in the last year I have learned how the disease works, more, and how to control my diet to control or slow down the effects of the disease. You may be told lots of things about Diabetes. Learn to read about it. You will be told what might, for you, be untruths. I was!

So, getting back to the subject. When does frailty appear? The fact is, it can happen at any time during a person’s life. Luck of the draw for those whose health remains good for the majority of their lives. You are indeed, blessed. For others, life is a bitch and can make you frail at any tine, often through no fault of your own, or perhaps, a fault you did inot intend.

I hope you have not been too bored by a second health blog. Will try for something different next time. Take care people, and watch your backs.

Evelyn

Eighth September Blog

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Eighth September Blog.

Suddenly, out of the blue….. I got sick Monday morning. Very early Monday morning. And when I say sick, I mean very dizzy so I could hardly stand upright. I will not be gross, so suffice it to say that what goes down, sometimes comes up!. In this case, it seemed more than went down.

I was taken to hospital where the early prognosis was gastro enteritis. Though both my relative and I ate the same food and she was fine. I still felt somewhat dizzy two days later, though not as much. You do see a lot of doctors in these cases. Every one of them different. Tuesday afternoon I was visited by a further different doctor who plied me with questions about my 2 year Inner Ear problem. Oh ho, I thought. Maybe it is an ear problem rather than gastro enteritis?

Wednesday, I saw a lady doctor, again, one I had not seen before. She did lots of tests, turning my head from side to side. I am none the wiser, at present, but will be seeing her as an out-patient, though when that will be, I have no idea.

Be that as it may, I was sent home Wednesday evening. I had a bit of a tickly throat. Thursday, my throat became quite sore. So now, it has moved to my chest. Never a dull moment! I am drinking quite a lot of fluids, trying to push on through this.

Hope all you lovely peope are well.

Evelyn

Seventh September Blog

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Seventh September Blog.

Holidays Remembered.

Getting away from writing for the moment, I want to tell you about an old holiday. It was to Spain. Nothing new in that, some of you might say! Well no, not these days but when I decided on a Spanish holiday, it was not quite the norm. Early days in the Spanish (and other European getaway sites), holidays before the flood gates opened and it become the favourite, certainly of British holidaymakers.

The reason I am bringing this up when I have just posted about writing new things, is that never discount previous holidays, events, places you have visited, use them as research for your current and future projects. There may be anecdotes that can be used, in some form or another, to highlight parts of your novel. Something that may make it sound more real. In that regard, you take it from a memory and use it, however much you might change it to fit in with characters and settings. So, never discount these memories, images. They will all disappear when you get very old and leave this world, so if you want to leave lasting impressions for others to enjoy, be a part of, imagine, this could be a way to do it.

So, this was only a Ten day hoiday. Starting off in an aeroplane possibly only used as crop dusting these days. The tail was much closer to the ground, so, in boarding, you walked uphill to your seat. Not only that, but the flight never exceeded much more than eight thousnd feet above sea level. You can see the waves on the Channel, (English Channel , for those not of these islands). Luckily, the weather was good so, I was quite happy to look out of the window. Only about an hour and the aircraft was winging its way towards Southern France. Toulouse, to be precise, in the Languedoc region; Cathar country.

Our hotel was on one of the outer walls that surrounded this part if the town. My bedroom looked out over a steep precipice, overlooking the countryside beyond. The town here had tiny winding streets and was an interesting diversion, exploring the petite shops. We were only there overnight.

The next day we travelled further south into the Pyrenees, staying at another hotel in Perpignan, whose rooms were named after famous cars. Lovely hotel, lovely place. After breakfast, we drove down to the coast. I was glad to get down off the mountains, as the roads were narrow and steep. Finally we arrived at our hotel in the small Spanish town of Lloret de Mar.

Here we were to spend about six days. The beach was golden. But it was not so much sand as a kind of silica. Quite large particles that made it a bit unpleasant to walk on barefoot. The hotel was at the top of the town on a hill that overlooked the town and beach. The sun shone every day and about halfway down the hill was a church, its domed roof was tiled in several colours and a half circle pattern that glinted in the sun.

I had teamed up with another lady and we shared a hotel room where the room floor level was about four feet below the outside ground level facing the sea. This allowed geckos/lizards to enter the room or sunbathe on the wall surrounding our small patio.

I do not remember much about the quisine at the hotel,

One night, there was such a storm over the Mediterranean. A group of us had been to a bar where they had Flamenco dancing. Lots of vino, we enjoyed ourselves so much, it was four a.m. by the time we climbed the hill back to the hotel. This is when the storm came closer to the coast. One of the waiters opened up the small Spanish Bar and we continued drinking. The furniture was classic Spanish, like going back in time. Here we sat, the large doors were open, watching the tremendous lightning arcing over the Med. A little rain, but then it passed on by the time we left the Bar.

I do not remember all I did during that week. A boat trip along the coast to a more famous town called Tossa de Mar. We had an evening meal one day in another hotel/restaurant . It was Spanish Paella. The real deal, not what is served up here as paella. There were mussels, full size langostines on the plate and baby octopus, never had that before or since. This trip was in 1961, and all new.

The big trip was to a bull fight. Yes, I know. Times were different then, I know the folly of it now so I will not go into details. Loved all the colours though.

After that, it was aboard the coach again and head towards Barcelona, arriving in the evening. Some went to see the Fountains. I was too late to catch everyone so stayed at the hotel. We moved on next morning going through a special place of houses built to represent homes all over Spain. Then up through the Pyrenees, crossing the high pass, oh how cold that was. On through Andorra la Vella and back down again. This was the longest, all in one journey, of the holiday, back to Toulouse, and a flight home.

One last ‘treat’. Though some may not think it now, but it was lauded to us travellers then as a treat from the area, French bread with Pate de Foie Gras. I liked it, but it was much later that I realised just how it comes to be. I am not a vegetarian but I am beginning to have doubts about us humans, and what we do to animals just to feed our stomachs.

So, that was that trip. Plenty of fare to use should I ever want to use any of this information as a backdrop, for characterisation or anything really, so search your own memories should you ever be in need.

I am posting the site of a friend here.

http://www.authorerikamszabo.com/links.

Do have a look in.

Be careful out there, people,

Evelyn

Finding Books.

At rest.

At rest.

r

Sixth September Blog…….

Discovering books.

There are a lot of indie authors putting their works on various media, Amazon, Goodreads, Create Space and so on. ( Not only Indies).

If you are like me, you belong to a few well chosen sites and some of these author’s names cross my path from time to time via these groups/ media and often just as advertisements on FB. Authors and their books that I would not come across in the normal run of Internet information are then brought to my attention.

This is a good thing if you are interested in what other people are writing, what other authors are selling, and so on. If the author takes my fancy, and their work is on .Amazon Kindle, then I will first take a look at the particular book mentioned, see if the premis grabs me.

It kind of depends if (a) .. the title ‘speaks’ to me, I look further. (b). .. i read the blurb and see if that grabs my attention. If all so far is calling to me, then (sorry, I only work from Amazon), I take a sample. From then on, at some point in time when my TBR list thins, or if I bump that particular book sample forward! I chebck the blurb. If it then reads well from the first few lines/page or two, and grabs my attention more, then I will read the full sample and give a review. On rare occasions, I will buy the book, but as costs prohibit most buying, i keep the sample until funds increase.

All this takes time, and my reading time is also sparce. I only really read in bed at night, and not for too long at that. But, I do try. This way I have come across many good books, in my humble opinion and to my taste, and put out reviews where I can. Not all of course, but more than not. I have found some very good stories this way and introduced myself to some interesting authors. It spreads the word, for one thing, widens my knowledge of what and who are out there and introduced me to side genres that I was hitherto, unaware of.

We are so used to basic genres, thriller, detective, romance, historical fiction, historical fact, fantasy, science fiction. I am sure I have missed a few out. These badic genres can be restrictive. There are so many offshoot paths for each and every genre, or so I have found out. Not all my cup of tea, not all I can write in, myself. However, it can set me on a path of future resolve, a destiny, if you will, to try genres other than those I already write in via short stories ( and I do delve into quite a few different genres in these short stories, because they do not have to be protracted, as in a full blown novel, which may be beyond my scope in some genres – detective and murder, for instance). Yes, I have written a couple of short stories a murder in London, (cannot remember my title at present) and a police detective short story called, oddly enough. ‘One Leg Short’! So, I think I would be overreaching myself if I tried to write a novel with either a murder or two and a detective.

I have written both a full novel, and a half (same series – unpublished as yet) in science fiction genre. Others too in this general area, just partly written in scifi/fantasy plus several shorts in this genre. I think this is one area I am not bad in. No one has checked these works so I may be fooling myself. It is just that I feel comfortable writing this sort of work. As I said, no one really has looked so I have no bar to aim for or maybe have reached.

Often, an offshoot pathway can lead a writer somewhere that writer never thought was in their scope! Who knows? A change of thought may be just the thing they need to kick-start them into a previously never discovered direction. Some writers become stuck, saying their muse has disappeared, when in actuality, it may just be that they have previously tackled a subject/genre that is not spreading their talent enough, and in so doing, hampers their ingenuity, their storytelling ability.

So, my dear readers, have a think about whether or not you could benefit by reading books by others not in the normal run of things. Spread out! Look around. Call it research, if you will, and, best of luck in the future.

Take care my friends,

Evelyn