Now that the new ebook is up and the paperback is in formatting, perhaps I will need to change the heading of this blog from only Marriage, A Journey, and A Dog.
In the meantime, there are some questions from the end of the book,
Can money make for happiness in a marriage?
Is there such a thing as a midlife crisis for men and women?
Could Des have a point when he says he feels unhappy that he’s no longer in control of family finances and he doesn’t like it?
Would you marry for money?
How will floods affect the way we live in the future?
These are set up as book club questions at the end of the story and I would like to ask my word press readers what they think. If you like, please share the questions with your friends and enter a group response.
One question at a time and the answers can be shared with book clubs.
When staying at home in the UK I am #reading more books.
The ones that have been waiting on the bookshelf accusing me of not reading them when I promised I would, or bought because they sounded interesting. Where I have spent the most money on books and failed to read them is on my kindle. My Goodreads account has many ‘reading’ books listed but that ‘read’ has not been registered even if I have read them. Shamefully for an author, my reviews for books ‘read’ are not up to date. Now is the time.
Many #bookclubs are continuing online through apps like zoom and Whatsapp.
Sadly my bookclub in Sri Lanka has stopped. Now I have returned to the UK we share our recommendations by email. Will book club there ever start again? I hope so. Many of the ex-pats have returned to their home countries for the foreseeable future and can only hope to return. Unfortunately, foreigners and Sri Lankan returnees are blamed for taking the virus by some of the population who are scared. Inevitably our travelling way of life has helped spread the Covid19 virus and many other diseases but the blame can be badly misdirected.
Amazon isn’t sending out books and reserving their deliveries for more essential work and who can blame them. For now, it is downloads or swapping books with friends and neighbours without touching the books for a day or two and keeping a distance from the person bringing the book.
I miss the discussion groups that go side by side with book clubs in the UK and Sri Lanka. Also film-club with lunch and a discussion afterwards.
Here are some questions from the back of The #Trinket Wife. The book can be downloaded from Amazon, but the questions can be ‘food for thought’ without reading the text. Here they are:
Would you marry for money? This is the first thought-provoking question at the end of The Trinket Wife. Reading the novel isn’t necessary, although you might like to. You can submit a personal or group response.
My personal answer: Not only for money, but people do tend to marry in social groups and I guess I have. People know they don’t want to live in poverty with children if avoidable. They may not marry for heaps of money, more for a steady job and prospects for both partners. Having hope for the future when making plans depends on some financial security.
The more I think about this question the more possibilities there are for answers. Please add your comments in less than 100 words. All comments will be moderated to avoid offence.
I am pleased to be back after taking time out to write The Trinket Wife and do all the other things that add up to a full life.
November to March is the time I spend in Sri Lanka and an opportunity to spend days when writing is a priority.
Today The Trinket Wife started its journey from upload to download availability. There is a lot more work to do. Getting the paperback version available. Marketing and reconnecting with my blog and more.
For any writer, taking control of a book is a huge task. It takes many hours of preparation. There are the times when the computer goes down at the wrong moment. and numerous interruptions. For all my fellow writers I send my admiration.
Also to all those who keep on writing because they enjoy it and don’t want the hassle of publishing.
I have joined a writing group here in Kandy, Sri Lanka, and take pleasure in listening to what others have written, over a cup of coffee. It is because of them that I have found the spirit to go through the task of publishing and marketing for a second time.
This is a blog to reconnect, now each week I will be in touch and read your blogs too.
I have been MIA for a while. Now I’m back with another wonderful author I have discovered- Brenda H. Sedgwick. I’ve been sharing my reviews of books by Indie authors on my blog. And I must say, I love to share the good ones. This is an enjoyable story about life; and let’s not forget the travel. The title is just right for this book. In the beginning, Natalie comes across as a scatter brain with little confidence. But as the story progresses, I begin to admire her and her journey. Let’s be clear here- she is on more than one journey and they make for an interesting story telling experience. I loved spending time with her new friends and the travel spots. As Natalie’s story was drawing to a close I felt a little sad at how things had ended at her 40th birthday. But you know what? I never liked Gerry anyway. I was lifted by her handling of the situation and I have to say, pretty proud. You go Natalie.
I love independent reviews, that’s why I don’t ask for them, and I love to know that people enjoy my book. http://tinyurl.com/l23v994
Happy writing to all those following the writing blogs.
I read this on the internet and it reminded me of the time I spent working with Mental Health patients an experience I think it might be worth blogging about:
How often do you sit at home and wish someone would ring you and suggest, well anything rather than these 4 walls? How many of you have had a night out planned, or arranged coffee with friends and suddenly “these 4 walls” seem the only safe haven because it’s the only place you don’t have to pretend you are ok, so you cancel. Or when you are invited out you tell them how terribly sorry you are but you’re already booked up that weekend, when you are actually just really busy holding it together in your safe box. And so the first problem starts, all by itself , people stop asking you and the isolation that at first wasn’t true becomes your only truth.
Mental Health Awareness!! ❤❤❤
20 years ago Easleigh mental health unit got in touch and asked if I would run a writing class there. Happy to take on a challenge and with nothing to lose I started classes that continued for three years.
Moving, clever, sad and funny, the students turned up every week. I lacked understanding of mental illness so I went in with ideas and the group set the pace .
The results ranged from an apparent cure for agoraphobia to the sad loss of two students through suicide. Somewhere in the middle was a great sense of achievement and a lot of laughter. These wonderful, brave, people gave a performance, reading their work at a local theatre,
Writing is more recognised as a therapeutic tool than it used to be, but there is lots more that can and is being done. If you have the opportunity to help someone by suggesting they write and share, is there anything to lose?
I greatly believe that life’s problems that affect us all can benefit from writing things down. Please read my earlier six blogs on Writing for Therapy.
I’ll write blogs about the other groups I worked with – in prison and with the homeless.
Writing two novels the second to come out in June, has provided a means of escaping into characters’ lives. Poetry is a means of expressing myself and the main goal with my writing is to entertain myself and other people. Perhaps you can do the same. If you teach Creative Writing in mental health areas, please do link up to this blog and share your experiences.
I loved writing this. It gave me so much pleasure to share it with so many people around the world.
If you want to write creatively don’t underestimate the importance of writing poetry. Whether you are good at it or not there are benefits to be had from experimenting with this language skill regularly. People who write a poem every week, but are not recognised poets, do so because they know the advantage it gives them with all aspects of their writing.
This is why.
A poem should not waste words. It should not tell the reader everything, but leave them space to think. It is a medium to communicate a lot with a few words.
A poem is a place a writer can play with language skills and experiment with the use of words and punctuation.
Google ‘what is a poem’ and ‘how to write a poem’. There is no point in going over what is readily available online.
Find a small group to work on your words and improve your language skills with. When people critisise poetry or your writing it can feel like a personal insult – it isn’t, it is holding your hand on the stepping stones across a river of learning about how to write well.
Writing a novel is an enormous challenge. Don’t believe the sites that tell you ‘you can be a writer’ without experience and years of hard work. You can write whatever you like and everybody should, but to be a writer is a profession that comes with a huge learning curve.
Writing can be enjoyed at many levels and as your written language skills get better you find it is a process that gives you self confidence.
Try reading ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King. One reference book on grammar and writing isn’t enough, read lots, ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’ by Lynne Truss, is useful to keep on a shelf and refer to. Make grammar books your bedtime reading unless you’re a genius.
Read poetry, set a goal of at least one poem a week. Take a line or a word out of the poem and write your own.
Writing and not getting paid isn’t a waste of time. It helps life along like reading does. The more you do it the better you become.
Poetic skills that spill over into language skills;
Metaphors and similes
Assonance and alliteration
Use of unusual words
No wasted words
No unnecessary repetition only if it adds something
Show don’t tell
Get rid of those ‘ly’ words (carefully, happily, really etc, etc).
Write for a reader not always yourself
Write and rewrite, however many times it takes to get your words to the best they can be.
Don’t be in a hurry to finish a poem – it might take months or years to find just the right word or rhythm.
This is National Story Telling Week – a good time to write a new story?
Stories have entertained humans since communication began, and spread throughout the world before writing and the printing press. Stories were told on street corners and in plays, they were drawn in pictures and written on stones and in sand.
Now we listen or watch stories every day. Stories entertain, but are also reflections of life and a necessary part of the human thinking process. A story can try to make sense of something that we don’t understand.
There is no evidence of fiction in the animal kingdom except to mislead in the pursuit of food. Imagination – the ‘what if ?’ question is a part of the human brain. Storytelling and understanding sets us apart from the animal kingdom. We tell true stories to mirror an event, exaggerated stories to make them interesting and stories which are the product of pure imagination.
This blog is a precursor or opposite of Shed Loads of Money (3 of 6). It’s about making up stories and taking pleasure in the experience and in sharing what you’ve written if you want to.
Great works of literature have come about and stories have been made up just for the pleasure of doing so. Some have hung around in notebooks and others been consigned to waste bins. Sometimes they exist by word-of-mouth, like a children’s story made up in families. Let’s look at some of the reasons to write, dance, act or paint stories.
A Fun Hobby
Keeping the brain active
Communicate a message
Can you add more reasons? (To tell a truth, to impart an idea)
Have you read fiction thinking ‘I could do that’? Well, give it a go. It isn’t as easy as it may seem but none the less a lot of fun.
The pleasure of story creation comes in the freedom and opportunity to do so.
Use triggers – focusing on a creative outcome improves with practice.
Stories can be reworked many times to improve them or develop new ideas within the structure.
If you would like to write a story about A Story Teller add it your blog and enter a link with the title and a 100 word synopsis in the comments so that other people can read it.
Blog 5 Next – Enjoy writing poetry and playing with language skills.
Let’s start with a question. Why do you want to learn about Creative Writing? Here are some reasons that might be you.
A tool to learn English or another language.
To communicate a message in a creative and interesting way.
To make shed loads of money.
The pleasure of making up stories.
Enjoying writing poetry and playing with language skills.
Writing to feel better.
All of the above are possible, but what suits you? Today I am going to cover ‘To learn English or another language’, and follow through on the other topics in the coming weeks.
Why is Creative Writing different from a normal language lesson?
For Creative Writing your ideas and creativity are paramount – for a straight forward English lesson, you must learn facts about grammar and punctuation.
A Creative Writing project can give confidence with another language and you learn grammatical facts by the questions you ask as you go along. There isn’t a set pattern to the learning. A language lesson comes from books and teachers. Students learn better if they want to know the answers. For me, textbooks and teaching by instruction alone are secondary to a project that is student based.
If you are wanting to do Creative Writing start and keep going, don’t look for failures, but for achievements. You can do it alone, made so much easier with a computer to correct you on your way.
Groups work well with a creative project. A mixture of skills is of value. A student who is useless at grammar may have the best ideas. A team can feel the need to do their best to produce a worthwhile end product ready for presentation.
The spoken word is as important as the written word. If you are not good at writing try remembering and making things up on the spot.
Read plays, poetry, novels, short stories, news items, advertisements, read anything you can lay your hands on, not just a set book. Read aloud. Rewrite what you read in a style of your own.
Bring items to prompt stories. Students are preparing for the class before they get there. If you train yourself to look for prompts to write about, you will find them everywhere.
Warning – Writing is addictive.
Groups work well with both children and adults. Find a writers’ group near you or join one online. You shouldn’t be asked to pay to join. Be aware of false promises.
My classrooms are noisy places unlike the straight English lessons. Students are encouraged to butt in and contribute. There is a listening and sharing time at the end when mistakes are corrected as a sharing experience, criticism is not encouraged. I might ask a question like ‘how do you think this would work?’ I make notes of general mistakes and we go over them. Vocabulary is ongoing.
You can work alone on your writing, it is good to have a time goal, i.e. use a prompt and write ‘something’ in 5 minutes. Write a short story in a week.
Students go home with a sense of achievement not only a list of corrections. Exploring an idea from your imagination is a goal in itself.
If you are starting to write creatively, a reminder that in some cultures it is a lonely place to be. I would never encourage anyone to disrespect their culture and matching this with an unleashing of ideas can be tricky. Novelists, poets, journalists etc. have paid a big price for expressing their thoughts. If you live in a free society or a family that is open to discussing ideas from imagination, count yourself very lucky.
Here’s a thought for you today, What is a story?
Share your answers and don’t worry about mistakes unless it causes misunderstanding.
Writing and using our imaginations keeps our brains alive. If you don’t write for a long time you can lose your imagination and your language skills. It is important for young and old to write creatively.
Please feel free to share your poem in the comment box. I will check it out and put it up. You don’t have to be a great poet, but have something you want to say in verse. Lots of interesting poems are written, but never get shared or read. There is much talk about copyright, but what is the point of copyright on something that never gets read? This is an opportunity to share what you have written, for only the satisfaction of knowing that someone else has read it.If you want to put a link to your poetry publication you can.