Tagged with "writing"
Box of Inspirations
Category: Writing
Tags: inspiration artefacts writing memoir aids

Box of inspirations

 

 

I’m in the process of decluttering. Sorting out a lifetime’s accumulated junk. Wondering why on earth I have held on to so much stuff for so long.

 

But it’s not hard to hang on to the implements with which you’ve written so many words through your life: notes, letters (many many letters), cheques, contracts, shopping lists, thoughts, story ideas - the stories themselves, poems, and reminders. 

 

Rifling through my box of pencils I can remember where I was and what was going on in my life just by holding each one.

 

Do you remember when I used my big bulging button tin as my inspiration for my 2014 nano novel? It wasn’t a personal memoir, but I used it to help my protagonist (with dementia) remember poignant moments in her life. 

 

 

And so it is with these pens and pencils. In just the first handful I see the gold Sheaffer fountain pen I had for signing contracts when I was an IT consultant.  There’s the ICL training pencil from fabulous programming courses at ICL Beaumont near Windsor many years ago (oh those wonderful work colleagues.) And a multitude from hotels across the globe (oh those trips.) So many memories are all buried here in this clutch of pens and pencils.

 

 

Then there is this - the pencil from the Public Record Office in Kew where, in the early 1990s, I researched my mysterious father. This was before access to wartime records via the internet. This was when you had an appointment at the Public Record Office in Kew, were given a pencil (and only a pencil) with which to make notes. When requests were sent to the archives. When you waited for old yellowing original hand written files to be ‘brought up’. This was when I found what happened to my father, Pilot Officer  FJ Roberts RCAF DFM (the medal of courage), when he and fellow crew members were shot down in their Lancaster JB400 (L for La Loupe) of RAF 103 Squadron. It was the 5th Berlin Raid. I was five days old. And he was just 22. 

 

 

And this is why I took up writing again.

 

 

 

Do you have an old pencil box filled with memories?  With inspirations??

 

Ghostwriting about ghosts Tags: paranormal ghostwriting southwest United States

                 

I belong to the Society of Southwestern Authors, Valley of the Sun Chapter.  We meet monthly and today our guest speakers were Dan Baldwin, Rhonda Hull, and Dwight Hull.  They co-authored a book recently released entitled Speaking With the Spirits of the Old Southwest.

Dan is one of our members and a ghostwriter of some renown. He puts out a steady stream of fiction and non-fiction, both as a ghostwriter and as the sole author.

I found out today he is also a dowser.  I only knew this term when used for water witching, a skill my dad was good at, a skill needed for a rancher in the thirsty desert of Arizona.  Apparently it also describes someone who holds a string with a weight at the end, and when the spirits answer “Yes’ or “no”, it circles to the right or to the left.

The Dwights are paranormal researchers and come across as kind and humble.  Low-key and unassuming, they frequently mention that their goal in life is to help both the living and the dead, in whatever way they can. In fact, they do quite a bit of pro bono work, consulting on line and holding classes to help people find their own paranormal talents, to name two.  As for the dead, they pride themselves on helping people too frightened to cross over to wherever they go to do just that.

Rhonda is a “sensitive” whose talents include mediumship and clairvoyance.

 Dwight is an animal communicator.

These three traipsed through the desert and mountains of Arizona to abandoned mining towns and military forts.  There, they invited the spirits to converse with them and share their stories.  Certainly they’ve picked a popular subject.  Dan emailed a proposal to a publisher on a Thursday and got a call on Monday.  They bought the book that week.  Since it’s published the book has done well.  Thanks to a TV feature and a radio interview, it was a top-seller on Amazon.com for three weeks running.

I am familiar with some of the places they’ve gone to, including the famous Bird Cage Theater in Tombstone.  It was fun to read through the book today and visualize their experiences.  But more interesting than that was the simple layout Dan chose.  Each chapter begins with a few pages of the history of the spot or person they encountered, double that number of pages of the conversation’s transcript, a few pictures and a couple paragraphs of summary.

He is a straightforward, concise writer with no pretenses about writing for the upper echelon of readers. I admire that.  His books sell, and he makes a living from writing.

The book is available in soft cover, hard cover, and kindle.

http://website; www.beelieveparanormal.com

 

 

Are You Sitting Comfortably?
Category: Writing
Tags: writers abroad writing audio books audible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I’ll begin…

I’m not sure I should be admitting that I know the programme that started with these words. Do you? It’s Listen with Mother, a radio broadcast which ran in the UK for over thirty years. I remember my mum, with four children all under the age of five, sitting me down to listen to this programme whilst she juggled all the spinning plates she had to deal with. It was a mesmerising experience, I half-believed that the narrator was somehow in the box and would look around the back to see if I could let her out.

Since we’ve been travelling in the motorhome I’ve revisited this method through the Audible app from Amazon. It helped pass the time whilst motoring through wide empty spaces (yes, you guessed right, not in the UK!) and kept us alert enough to keep our eye on the road and our ear listening to the story. I chose thrillers as a genre because, for me, they lend themselves to the audible experience more easily than say a romance. They grip your attention enough to keep up with the story whilst still operating the vehicle in a safe manner. I must admit, the miles (or kilometres) just sped by and both Simon and I were gripped by the tension that each chapter brought. We stopped for comfort breaks, swallowed a quick coffee and were back in the van eager to listen on. The active equivalent of a page turner, I suppose.

When I started to write this blog, I imagined that young people today would not appreciate this form of storytelling, but I’ve since talked myself out of that point of view. Being so intricately attached to their smart phones and tablets, perhaps audio books are their preferred method and if it gets them accessing fiction then that can’t be a bad thing, can it?

It’s not a form I’d use on a regular basis outside of travelling, I don’t think. Luckily, I don’t have a long daily commute to work, I just roll out of bed along with my kindle. However, if I am doing something that’s going to take some time, like decorating, I always search for a drama on the radio to help pass the time with a chore I quite detest.

I know many writers are now choosing this method as an additional alternative for their readers but it’s not something I’ve investigated in any detail. That is perhaps a subject for another blog…

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