Are writers getting Love wrong?

Love is a gift

It holds no judgement

and is yours, to give freely. 
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Without a working laptop, I have done very little writing recently. This does have it’s advantages, as I have managed to catch up on some great reading. I have also had the poor luck of reading some not so great writing.
When I started writing Evelyn and The Shadowman, the idea was very, very different to what it now currently is. I had previously envisioned writing a novel in which the reader is never quite sure if Evelyn, is hallucinating the Shadowman as a means to process and deal with the abuse she suffers. As I began my first draft, with a very haphazard plan in my head, it soon took upon a life of it’s own. Evelyn and The Shadowman is a story about love. Now, when I say love, I do not mean romance and this is my problem with some of the fiction in which is filling up the supernatural genre. The love has gone.
Evelyn and The Shadowman is a story about a little girl, who has never known love and the friendship she forms with a creature which had been tasked with eating her soul. The love of a good friendship, the love of a parent, what is expected, what happens when it is not there. Love.tumblr_n741nuzjHQ1s8hh46o1_500
Love is not sex. Love is not just romance between two adults. Love is a family. love is a little girl who preferred to sleep downstairs with her pet dogs, love is the cat that follows it’s owner everywhere. Love is the stranger who risks their life for another, with no motive, other than compassion and empathy.
I worry, with the recent influx in the supernatural genre, that it is shown, a woman or man is only happy when they are in a relationship. Not only that, but a flawed, damaging and sexually obsessed relationship. That they need looking after, only being in a relationship are they complete. No, that’s fucking bollocks. You can not love, another human being, until you, yourself are already comfortable with who and what you are.
Love is genderless, ageless and without race or species.
Love is not an 18 year old girl giving up on life because her undead boyfriend pissed off.
Love is not misery.
Love should not complete you, it should make you realise you were already whole, and make you aspire to be the best version of yourself. It really is common sense. So why is it getting portrayed in such a perverse, crass and emotionally damaging manner? Give me a good novel about two best friends, or a mother overcoming everything for her child. Maybe it’s my age, maybe because I know love (being a mother and being in a very healthy relationship), that I just find myself rolling my eyes at some of the things I read.
Thankfully, great writers and great storytellers exist, fighting the good fight for the true portrayal of love within fiction. In the meantime, Disney, You’re doing good… don’t fuck things up by going back to the whole “Girl needs prince blah de blah.”

Passwords

Do you ever go to type in your password and your fingers go, “No, fuck this, we’ll type some random gibberish.” Fingers…how you betray me.

Evelyn and The Shadowman snippet

A snippet from the first chapter of Evelyn and The Shadowman. This is the first draft, which for me is all about telling myself the story before editing it for the reader.

She could not move. No matter how she tried, even her bare feet could not wiggle a single toe. She was frozen beneath the immense power of the shadow man, sinking further against the mattress as he pushed her down. She felt his shadowing cold hands snake up her body and was sure they had long talons for nails. Then, his breath her he cold cheek and she clenched her jaw, biting the inside of her cheek to still her fearful moan. There are no such things as monsters. There are no such things, no such things…
His tongue snaked out and she felt its wetness upon her cheek, and through tightly closed eyes tears began to spill until suddenly-
“You’d best be in bed you little shit! Don’t want that teacher telling me you gone and fallen asleep in class again!”
As soon as her mothers slurred and billowing voice carried up the stairs, the weight vanished from on top of her. She heard the soft creek of her bedroom door open and close before the air cleared and she opened her eyes,
“I’m in bed!” She managed to call out, fighting back the growing lump in her throat as she wiped away her tears. Her mother did not answer, nor come up the stairs to check and she heard footsteps below return to the kitchen . Now, alone once more in her bedroom, Evelyn frantically scanned around her stark room and pulled the threadbare blankets to beneath her chin. The Shadow Man was gone. For now.

Self doubt

I have accomplished so little this week. I feel guilty just blogging about it rather than working on my first draft. I have such self doubt, the story is in my head, yet when it comes to getting it down my brain starts bitching.

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It will get easier. I know, any day now the groove with come back. Just need to keep typing. Keep typing. Keep typing….oooo look….Skyrim….

Time… Or lack of it. Day in the Life.

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I struggle sometimes with finding time to write, especially the past week. The free time I have found, I have used for my other hobbies, being playing xbox or catching up on reading. It was my daughter’s 10th birthday on Wednesday, and the past week has been filled with plans and present wrapping. Thursday was her birthday party in which she invited 4 friends over and I was left in a numb state of audio shock. Who would have thought 4 small, dainty little creatures could create so much noise? Think their sonic screaming and giggling episode left me with a burst ear drum lol. So, come Friday in typical family fashion, myself and my daughter both came down with a throat/chest cold thing.

I feel guilty for not writing, so today I managed 400 words while heavily medicated and with several cups of coffee down me.  So, as a reward am blogging. I told myself I would not post a blog until I had done some writing, so if a blog is not posted one day, you know why.

Someone asked me the other day how I fill my day up, they had visions of me doing very little, lounging around with little responsibilities. So, below I will explain the life of a stay at home writing mother 🙂

7am: Get up. Drink coffee. Drink more coffee. Contemplate the possibility of building a teleport machine to teleport daughter to school. Still half asleep, stub toe on door frame.

7:15 am: Awaken daughter. Five minutes later wake her up again. Last resort pick ten year old up, carry into front room. Place cup of tea and breakfast infront of her. Watch for signs of life.

7:30 am converse with Partner about how mornings suck. Drink more coffee. Make packed lunches. Get myself washed, dressed and semi-presentable.

8am: Tell daughter to get dressed. Help her with her hair, pack school bag.

8.30am: Leave for school. Walk daughter the 1.8 mile walk to school, vacantly stand in school playground along side other zombie-like mothers and fathers. Wave goodbye to child. Walk home.

9.30 am. Return home after saying hello to every cat I met on the walk back.  Tell partner all about the cats I met. Become quite passionate about cats. Think about creating a cat character for a story.

9.40am Make all beds, open curtains. Put washing machine one. Tidy kitchen. Drink coffee.

10 am Open lap top. Stare at laptop. Go and harass partner. Move from coffee onto tea.

11 am Settle down to write, partner starts playing x-box. Begin backseat gaming and giving “helpful” advice.

12 noon : walk around house listening to music, Write whole novel in my head. Triumphantly sit down before laptop to write. Manage one word.

1pm Say goodbye to Partner as he goes to work. Get vacuum cleaner out. Dust and clean whole house.

2pm, Get a few more pages down of novel down.

2:45 Head out to collect daughter from school. Say hello to every cat I see.

3:30 Return home after cat spotting with daughter. Discuss how we should get a cat. Help daughter with homework and school book reading.

4pm: Begin preparing dinner.

5pm Have dinner

6pm Do a little more writing.

7pm Help daughter have a shower and do some reading.

8pm Get daughter into bed. Tidy house up. Look at dishes. Contemplate doing dishes. Spend several minutes eyeing up dishes before finally doing them.

8:30 pm knuckle down with some serious writing.

9:30 pm Have bath.

10:15 pm Welcome partner home, tell him all about cats, school playgrounds and usually end up having a major giggle fit due to him always managing to make me laugh. Nurse pulled rib muscles from laughing so much and head to bed.

I would write allot more, but I enjoy spending time with my family. I am not sure if it counts as procrastination, maybe I should harden up and just knuckle down but I find, I write more in the short moments I have, surrounded by love, hugs and laughter, than I ever did when alone 🙂

Quotes you are aching to use

Every now and again one of my characters comes up with a quote and I frantically try to find a way to have them say it. Currently, I am nursing a rather loud voice in my head, a favoured character of mine who I have allowed to partake in Evelyn and The Shadowman. Raphael, archangel and possibly my most favourite character. Like children, we are not supposed to say we have favourites. I do, perhaps it’s a downfall of mine, perhaps it is why I find myself frantically battering characters away with a baseball bat as they try to make cameo’s in my stories. Regardless, Raphael does and always will have a soft spot in my heart. Sadly, he often comes up with some amazing sayings which currently I have no way of inserting into my novel and they are as follows:

“God exists in the split second before the bullet hits your brain.”

“I have watched a great many people, but none as annoying and idiotic as you.”

“No one told me you were supposed to remove the egg from the shell before you microwaved it.”

“I have an awkward relationship with socks.”

“I have spoken to God, and even God does not know where the socks vanish once they are placed in the washing machine. We suspect Demons. Small, laundry living demons.”

“Can we buy some new socks?”

“I like your socks.”

“I have watched, man, woman and child stumble and fall. I have watched death and famine surround mankind and never interfered. However, if you insists on playing Justin Bieber one more time, I shall unleash Gods fury onto you and watch as your ears bleed, your skin melts and your body crumbles away over aeons. We listen to the Beachboys here. Nothing else.”

“Never. Ever, insult The Beach Boys.”

“If you desire honest answers, ask a child. Adults slip too easily into deceit.”

Music and Tumblr

Just-Want-To-Lay-In-Bed-Listen-To-Sad-Music-All-Day-LongI can’t write silently. Perhaps because I am a parent I become very uneasy when sitting in silence, my mind instantly presuming something bad is about to, or has, happened. I am pretty sure my partner, and probably my child think I am insane. I will sit and write, then pop on my ipod and wander around the house, listening to music, while doing exaggerated hand gestures as I lose myself in a scene I am creating in my head. Some of my best scenes, the most natural scenes have come from musical inspiration. I don’t seek out a song to listen to, I just hit shuffle and wait until my brain does the work for me.

Yesterday, I wrote what will become the climax of Evelyn and The Shadowman, and all with the help of Matthew Mayfield. One of my favourite artists, his music is my go-to when I am suffering a block. He invokes such raw emotion, my mind naturally falls into it, creating heart wrenching and heightened emotional scenes which I can’t write quick enough.

I also have a great love, and appreciation for Tumblr. I find it a great way to people watch, without actually having to venture outside. It’s cold at the moment. Online interactions are great to watch, to gain insight into how people talk as more often than not, people do not censor themselves, and many of my characters have awkward moments of potty mouth laced with an inability to shut up.

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Music and tumblr, comical gifs and online interaction fill my mind with countless possibilities and ideas. Now, I must go, I have to put on my ipod and walk around my house.