A personal thank you to all my wonderful followers…see you in 2013 for bigger and better blogging and sharing of our writing journeys.The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.
One of the sweetest compliments a writer can hear is ‘I loved your book, please write the sequel’. And we live in a sequel-minded world. If there are any sure-fire ways to build a readership, a series is one of them.
So if people are asking for a sequel and you hadn’t planned one, should you consider it?
Certainly, a lot of hard work has already been done. You know the characters. Indeed, you may have had trouble shutting them away once edits were done. The chance to shake them awake again may be hard to resist.
You might have plenty of material. Outtakes that you pruned from the original novel, back story you wanted to work in but, mindful of pace or the reader’s attention, you cut. They could all be used, couldn’t they?
These are strong temptations, but they do not mean your novel should have a…
This blog subject started as a ‘tweet’ back in October, I had not thought about exploring it until one of my followers – Melissa McPhail replied with ‘I love that idea, Mandy! Do you expound on it in a blog anywhere?’ To be honest I meant to get to it much sooner than this but as we all know life has a habit of throwing stuff at us and changing our direction. So on this Christmas Eve with a little time on my hands – at last – I will expound as Melissa kindly asked.
Firstly, I looked at what the definition of fantasy was:
The faculty or activity of imaging things that are, impossible or improbable.
The creative imagination; unrestrained fancy.
A capricious or fantastic idea.
Fiction characterized by highly fanciful or supernatural elements.
Each of these definitions gives us the perceived idea of fantasy in a nicely tailored clarification putting it into a neat genre box. However, I have a personal interpretation one that looks deeper than the surface and trite pigeon holed explanations.
I believe that fantasy is our alter ego expanding our consciousness.
Just think of your dreams – they are fantastical in nature with obscure meanings and imagery. We have tried for decades to interpret them and give them meaning. Every vision has been given a ‘symbolic’ implication or significance in an attempt to harness them into something easier to understand, but what if these visions are something else entirely? What if it is another part of ourselves struggling to be acknowledged, a part of us that uses our subconscious mind to explore beyond the normal daily perceptions?
There are numerous theories about spiritual memory, trace elements of ancient wisdom and reincarnation and all of them are fascinating. What links them together though? All of them are the result of a deep seated belief that there is something more within us. There are few of us who can say ‘what you see is what I am through and through’ because we all have an alter ego. As humans we are subjected to pigeon holing ourselves – parent, manual laborer, manager or celebrity – the list is long. But the ‘badge’ does not define the whole person. You will have come across people in your lifetime, who have surprised you with an aspect of their personality, which was totally astonishing. A case in point, a surgeon I knew. He was a huge man with massive hands but his surgical technique was excellent. He came to visit me after my operation and watched in total fascination as I carefully French knitted with an old cotton reel. He asked if he could have a go…yes I was shocked but I let him. As he looped the wool over the pins he told me he would have to get one, it was so much better than his normal knitting or crochet. He explained that the intricate movements helped keep his fingers nimble. To look at this man crochet would have been the furthest image of him you could imagine.
All of us are multi-faceted not just with the experiences our lives have given us and the roads we have followed but also another part hidden deep within us. The only way I can describe it is, as if we all have an inner twin, one that wants to be heard, and one that can enrich our lives if we let it. There is so much to imagine and experience so let your ‘twin’ loose. Imagination doesn’t have to be only a child’s prerogative. There are depths within us all that truly can expand our consciousness.
This quote by Albert Einstein give us food for thought: ‘When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.” If such a great man can see the advantages of fantasy shouldn’t we?
Hello to you all and firstly I must say a very grateful thank you to Vikki from http://the-view-outside.com/
She was kind enough to nominate me for this wonderful award and I would recommend you visiting her blog in a nano-second.
The rules are fairly easy – you can find them here
I had a dental appointment today – boo! Once back home and waiting for the feeling to return to my mouth a short story began to form. I used some writing prompt words from my circle’s newsletter and this is the result. Inspiration truly comes from anywhere at anytime and in any form. I may use Jennifer’s character in another piece of work or her situation but even if I don’t she was fun to create.
November and December Magazine Words. Clichés, tree, bus, school, detention, roadside
Hasty Trip to the Dentist
A quick glance at her watch confirmed Jennifer was pushed for time. She said a silent prayer that all the traffic lights would be green along her route to the dentist. She should have left that last phone call to go to answer phone but it was an automatic action to pick up the receiver. It had been a frustrated customer wanting printed details of their account – immediately. Jennifer had rushed to their account screen, clicked print and then tore the sheet out of the printer, quickly placing it on the fax machine to send it. She swore when she realized the customer’s fax number was on her computer screen not the print out. Back to her desk and after quickly making a note back to the fax machine where Sandy was busily piling in a thick pile of paper.
“I was using that, it’s just one page, please can I send mine first?”
“Well, really Jennifer why didn’t you do it before?”
“The fax number wasn’t on the print out, I had to go back to my desk to get it. Please Sandy.”
“Well as you have asked so nicely, go ahead.”
Jennifer sighed with relief but kept her thoughts tightly behind her teeth. Sandy could be such a jobs-worth, her attitude made Jennifer feel like a school kid again summoned to detention. With the fax sent Jennifer grabbed her purse and ran down the stairs and out into the parking lot. With all the rushing she had forgotten to start her vehicle and now she sat in a frozen seat with frost covering the windshield.
“Damn, damn, damn.”
A quick flick of the key had the car start. Jennifer got back out to scrape the screen, well at least a small hole to peer through. Shivering Jennifer cranked up the heater in an attempt to warm up the interior. She pulled out of the lot and waited impatiently at the roadside for a gap in the on-coming traffic. She saw her opportunity and pushed the accelerator to the floor, her tires squealed as the vehicle swerved in front of a bus. The driver showed his anger with a prolonged sounding of his horn.
“Yeh, yeh, yeh, whatever…”
Tension gripped Jennifer’s shoulders as she drove over the speed limit, hoping there were no police cars on route. As she approached the first set of traffic lights they turned amber. Should she chance it? Jennifer looked left and right both sides of the junction were full, no she would stop the way her day was going she was bound to have no luck. Fingers tapping on the wheel in anticipation, she waited for the lights to change. At last they turned green and Jennifer floored the pedal. Wheels spinning Jennifer’s main focus on getting to her appointment changed in the blink of an eye as the back end of her car swung to the right and then overtook the front end. The vehicle spun in a full circle, jumped the curb and hit a tree.
All thoughts of the dentist disappeared as fear gripped Jennifer. The sound of sirens broke her dazed thoughts.
“Now, Miss let’s take it easy.”
“I was on my way to the dentist, the tires didn’t grip.”
“In a bit of a rush were we? Maybe next time less speed and more haste but also driving to the road conditions would help.”
Jennifer ignored the cliché she really wasn’t in the mood.
Please feel free to comment or share a short piece of inspiration.