Archive | February 2015

Author Spotlight no.399 – Alan Place

Thanks Alan, sorry to hear it. Keep me posted.
Evelyn

Morgen 'with an E' Bailey

Today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and ninety-ninth, is of multi-genre author Alan Place. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.

Forgestriker-thumbFrom an early age, Alan found he had a talent for telling stories, but it wasn’t until he read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Silver_Sword did he realise, being a writer may be his calling.

All through his school days, he was never happier than reading, or telling stories; he was more often found in the library than playing sports; in later life he found out this probably saved his life as he suffered from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypertrophic_cardiomyopathy , an inherited illness which kills otherwise healthy athletes suddenly, and for no apparent reason.

In between the dream, and the realisation of a dream, was a little thing called “life,” and it took over 50 years to reach a stage where he had the time to…

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Seventh February Blog.

Distance.

Distance.

Seventh February Blog.

So the old song goes
‘On a Clear Day You Can See Forever..’

The world around, on a bright sunny day, certainly gives an intensity, a perspective of life that does seem to cloud in when the skies are grey and lowering.

Is this built into our psyche? Is there some hidden command in our brains that says cower inside when clouds hunker down upon the earth? Then, a counter command that comes into play when those clouds break apart, revealing vivid blues above. Warmth from that light draws us out into the open, like flower buds bursting forth as the heat and light do their magic!

OK, a fairly modern song quote that says it all in one line. Yes, when the skies are clear, anyone with good eyesight can see a very long way, provided no buildings obscure the view. Think of standing on a hillside, far in the distance, purple-tipped mountains rise on the skyline, creating a vista of beauty, a vision of serenity, a honing point for a journey or journeys end, perhaps. A point on the compass to head for.

Almost forever, not quite though. Gaze out to sea, you cannot see forever but far enough to the horizon. Apparently, it is not as far away as one might think. With water, it is impossible for the eye to tell. This can be for scientists to measure. But on land, much easier to tell. One has to think of sailors, perhaps Vikings, wanting to find out what was over that horizon. Was there more land? Taking life in hand, they ventured and found……well, us, for one. This little island of ours.

In the Pacific, other venturers rowed or set sail for other lands, again with no real knowledge of anything over that watery horizon, except perhaps that possible death awaited them. A freak wave, a chance overbalanced boat, sharks, other sea creatures dangerous to them. They could see no further than their own water horizon but took a chance anyway, hoping……..hoping for what? Food, is often a driving force, if scarce! Space, to house more people? Any and all of these reasons but I wonder if there were those who said “I want to see what is beyond”.
—–

Faraway Viewing.

Crystal gleams
From mountain streams,
Falling from rock high above.
Clear fresh water
Following after,
Down soars the white flying dove.

Purple shading,
Whispy clouds heading
Over the peaks, here and there.
Treetops waving,
Siren wind shaving
Leaves, dancing o’er rocks now bare.

High meadows, sunny,
Woodmouse and bunny
Bask in the heat of the day.
Woods clothe the foothills,
Whilst bird above trills,
Gaily singing to mate far away.

Trees thin out
To farmland route.
Cattle are lowing in field.
Ridges of grain
Down sloping terrain,
Sheep grazing over the Wield.

And so to the barn,
Where spring lambs are born.
Far from the mountain peak.
We see with our eyes,
Life in a disguise,
Distant, we find what we seek.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. February, 2015.

Thank you friends, for visiting. Take care.

Evelyn

Sixth February Blog.

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Sixth February Blog.

Grey Pavement, Between the Cracks.

Those of us who live in towns or cities, played the game when young. On the way to or from school, going shopping with parents, or meeting friends and walking to the park.

The pavement game. Trying not to step on the cracks. It was unlucky, not the done thing, proved we were or were not skilful in jumping from one slab or another, missing the cracks by inches or whiskers.

I cannot even remember what the game was! Too much time and the proverbial water, has slipped under that bridge. But, I cannot help but think that the game was, like any other game we kids played in those bygone years, a standard by which we learnt the rules of life.

Conformity, being a part of the whole, made up of those around us, who in turn, were a part of our lives. Not intimately but on a seismic scale, part of the human condition, part of the ‘group’, a portion of those that made up our local community, its rules and regulations that once conformed to, made living together, that much easier. We knew our place, we knew how to behave because those around us knew exactly the same and abided, to all intents and puposes, in the same way.

We understood the limits we could go to on any given circumstance. OK, so sometimes the rules could be stretched. And sometimes (as quoted in The Matrix) they could be broken, but all within tolerance.

I wonder now, with communities so much changed over the decades, people keeping more to themselves, how much grounding these new young people have in the old ways of learning community ways by this simple route? Are there newer games in this day and age that teach how to abide by community living? Or have such games disappeared vastly, and chaos taken over, changing the patterns forever?

Are we to assume that new patterns will emerge? Are we to accept that groups will react in different ways? Animal groups seem to have set patterns that seldom change, unless we humans interfere with their habitat, food availability. Or weather patterns change, again, affecting environment and food supplies, mating rituals, ratio of male to female, all kinds of problems can develop, bringing about cration or destruction in their wake.

We humans seem to have this planet sewn up, as it were, but only if change die not affect us in any way. However, youthful learning can certainly affect major changes to disorient how our young learn. Or maybe you have other views?

Take care everyone.

Evelyn

With Spring In My Heart And A Pain In My Butt.

Always a laugh with Gail, seeing the funny side of pain, embarassment, hypothemia, whatever. Muck spreading, a tad early but such is life.

jennie orbell

Hi

I’m excited. No, really excited. I think spring is definitely on its way. Yes, OK, I accept that it’s still bitterly cold and we are still having heavy frosts at night BUT …the snowdrops have bravely pushed through the hard icy ground and are standing proud on strong stems, their heads dipping in respect to the stirring of life.

The visitation will soon commence. A dozen or so frogs creeping through the fencing, their expectant little faces heading towards the fish pond, where a mating frenzy will begin. There always appears to be an uneven balance of males to females, with each female having 3 or 4 suitors. Those who can’t get the closest to the female, pile onto the back of the successful male and appear to be just as happy being a part of the gyrating tower.

And the birds have now started to sing in the…

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This entry was posted on February 24, 2015. 2 Comments

Recently Read – How To Market A Book by J. F. Penn

I am reblogging thus ( and others like) as much for my information as for everyone else. Always a good thing to have as much help as possible, never can have too much help. I can always sift through at a later date.

Rebecca Bradley

How to Market a Book by J. F. Penn

Genre: Non-fiction

18135290The first job of an author is, of course, to write great books, but these days, their second job is to market them.

Marketing isn’t a skill that most authors have naturally, and there is little formal training. But when your book hits the shelves, and the sales don’t start rolling in, there’s only two things an author can do. Keep writing more books and … Get to grips with marketing.

This book is for authors who want to sell more books, but it’s also for those writers who want to think more like an entrepreneur. It’s for traditionally published authors who want to take control of their future, and for self-published authors who want to jumpstart a career.

There are some short-term tactics for those who want to kick up immediate sales, but the focus of the book…

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This entry was posted on February 23, 2015. 1 Comment

Ten Top Tips to Instantly Improve Your Writing

Worth keeping this blog close by. Refer to it when editing, if it is not already in your code of work.

Julie Lawford

pencil-sharpener-390609_1280 - 2A ‘Happy Sunday’ quickie – and a chance to catch some old posts too. A few ideas on sharpening up your writing – great tips and snippets of advice I’ve received over the last four years.

  1. Learn how apostrophes work; and semi-colons.
  2. Well, it’s really rather important that you just do this. Run search and delete on every instance of the following words: really, just,quite, rather, very, oh, so, well and suddenly. Check out my post ‘One Word At A Time’ for this and other editing tips.
  3. Practise Show vs Tell the Anton Chekhov way: Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
  4. Take a chunk of back-story or exposition and rewrite it into a dialogue. Then repeat. Then repeat again. Dialogue is much more engaging than flat-text exposition and a page of conversation is…

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Fifth February Blog.

Spring buds imminent.

Spring buds imminent.

Fifth February Blog. 22-2-15

Auspicious Day.

Well yes, many moons ago it was the day of the birth of K. H. S., 6 lbs 9 ozs. Such is the way life goes. Was extremly pleased, as are 99.9% of womem are, to expel this bundle into an unsuspecting world. Do not worry, i am not going to elaborate any longer, it was just that so much has happened since that time, I could not help remark on the day and the date.

Writer. Born in this day.
1900 – Seán Ó Faoláin, Irish author (d. 1991) … 2001); 1913 – Ranko Marinković, Croatian author (d. 2001) …

February 22 Birthday
A Pisces born February 22 is symbolized by the Fish and has a complex personality.

‎February 22 Birthdays of famous people.
K including George Washington, Cole Pendery, Drew Barrymore, Mia Michaels, Rajon Rondo, to name a few.

I am sure there are many more famous people, of one kind or another, not necessasarily writers ( I narrowed my fiield of search for that profession) who were born on 22nd February, of whatever year. Just a matter of wading through with the search button. Probably many, nay most, I have never even heard of.

Do birthdays really make a difference in this day and age ( apart from getting older, I mean). Back in the day, birthdays seemed to be much more important. A day to be proud of, a day that said you had been alive one more year. Events had occurred, taken their course, you had clocked one up.

Now, it seems, that birthdays mean less than they used to. Is there a Social reason for this, I wonder, or is it just my perspective on life in general today? Who knows? Maybe I do not get to talk to people so much at this time that my own perspective has changed and it is I who see things totally differently. Perhaps it is life in general for me that has less meaning than it did?

Have a great day friends.

Evelyn

Period Pieces: How Much History Should be in Your Fiction?

Interestung to know.

Vanessa Couchman

Mantel - Bring Up the Bodies

A fellow author interviewed me recently for a forthcoming slot on her blog. I won’t spill any beans, except to say that she asked me some thought-provoking questions, one of which was about writing historical fiction, my genre of choice. I gave a concise answer, and I still believe what I said, but have been reflecting on it ever since.

Every genre of writing presents problems to overcome. But reading Hilary Mantel’s novels, among others, has made me reflect on the difficulties of writing historical fiction. I hasten to add I don’t have the answers to the questions I raise below. 

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Fourth February Blog

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Fourth February Blog. 16-2-15

Internet Junkeys.

PC Computers have been around for a while now. Not so long, but long enough. However, the Internet has not really been around so long that everyone is a part of its nebulous spirals.

I am, (well in a way) I am talking about older people, two friends of mine who have nothing whatsoever to do with the Internet, or even computers. Both are in their 7th decade. I keep telling them both they should get a Computer.

I keep trying to extoll its virtues, giving them info that I have gleaned from its myriad strands. Like, Important stuff for their health. Information about services they need or can be useful to them both etc. ad infinitum. They laugh at me, being so ‘into it’.

But think what they are missing! OK, so their lives are not my lives, don’t expect them to be. But in this modern world, it is like I am talking into The Dark Ages. I want to take these friends into the LIGHT! One told me that she would have to learn to type first. Who thinks you have to do a typing course before you can use a computer? One friend has a sister who uses a computer of sorts to write poems. Fine, but last I heard she was not on the Internet. What a waste!

There would have been a time when even I would have baulked at the idea, but I myself was led gently into the system, many moons ago, now taking advantage Of
all it has to offer. I need information – I Google. Simple as can be. Yeah, I know. Pinch of salt and all that.

But it is a starting point! Same with WIKI. Corroboration is the name of the game. Look it up on several places, check information against information, corroborate what one site tells you against another. Work out a mean difference to come to a conclusion. More often than not, I already have the glinting of an idea about what I am looking up. I just want to corroborate what I think against what these info sites are telling me.

I understand that age can be a stumbling block, know that only too well. I was frightened of new technology, way back when. But you get to used to it, or someone of it at least.

Wish I could talk them through some of what I know. Would be so nice. Am I wishing on the moon? Probably!

Poem I wrote today.

Untitled. February poem 18-2-15

The bright orb of sunlight, filtering down.
More poeple driving off into town.
So roads are fuller of life’s busy throng,
Glad in the heart, just singing along
As radio waves burst forth with glee,
Songs of the moment. Happy they be.
Spring in the air, bounce in the step,
Full vim and vigour, plenty of pep!
Streets become crowded as people pass by,
Eating a sandwich, shouting to friends ‘Hi’.
Oh for the joy, the warm weather hum,
Gone is the season. No longer humdrum.

Copyright. Evelyn J. Steward February, 18-2-15

Local City Hall, in their infinite wisdom, have been around here planting young trees! Problem is, they have planted one outside my hedge. OK, so it’s base has been planted in the paving stone closest to the road….BUT……..it coincides where my daughter parks her car. One wrong move when parking, and she could smack the car door into the tree or its wooden supports when opening said door. How stupid is that. No forethought about peopk living there. Her car was sat there whilst they planted the tree. They could have knocked on the doir and let us know. But no! The guys planting would never do a thing like that?!!! Sheesh!!!!

Be happy, good people.

Evelyn

This entry was posted on February 19, 2015. 1 Comment