Destitution – definition: a lack of the means to survive or subsist : utter poverty
This is the first image that came to my mind – Oliver Twist begging for more – as I read today’s word. Charles Dickens portrayal of poverty in the English 18th century was personified by Oliver; to my mind anyway. There was of course, Tiny Tim, in A Christmas Carol but Oliver’s endurance through the workhouse and his subsequent escape from the undertaker are more compelling. Once he was enrolled with Fagin and his gang of young pickpockets, Oliver’s life begins to change. There is kindness and friendship shown to him by Nancy and the Artful Dodger and later his salvation comes in the shape of Mr. Brownlow. Oliver’s innocence and inherent goodness shows through every aspect of his story. Charles Dickens created characters so beautifully rounded that you were drawn or repelled by them in equal measure.
Callow – definition: immature : lacking experience or judgment
Life is a steep learning curve. From our first steps to reading and writing to more complicated skills. We are constantly learning something. The secret to an active old age is, more than likely, continuing to explore, investigate and enjoy new experiences and skills. As many of you know I came to writing later in life and learning the ropes has been an enlightening road. It infused me with an energy I had been lacking for a long time. When we are younger everything is an adventure, unfortunately somewhere along the way we lose that feeling, unless we are lucky to find something that triggers it again.
When I observe younger people striving to make their way in the world, I am always surprised how they are perceived and treated. As older adults do we forget how we struggled? How many paths lay before us? What influenced us? How hard life seemed? How any advice given was ‘boring’? How every day was full of new possibilities that were just waiting for us?
So maybe we should give the younger generation some slack and encourage them a bit more? We can all site the ‘bad teenagers’ but they are the minority, most are trying to grow up and understand themselves.
What are your views?
Is growing up harder now? Is peer pressure more violent? Will being an individual automatically ostracize you from inclusion into the group?
Have you found new skills and experiences that have enhanced your life?
Today’s word has me uncertain. It is such an emotive word, that to use it in anyway whatsoever, makes me feel uncomfortable. The word? Crucify – definition: 1) put to death by nailing to a cross 2) to treat with gross injustice.
I do not subject my readers and followers to my religious or political views because I feel we all have the right to our own belief systems. However, I truly believe that no-one should force another person into a particular view or belief. We are individuals and whatever works for us is the way we should follow.
So I will leave you with a thought provoking post today.
My previous postings have been from the modern part of my reincarnation novel. I thought it was time to introduce the 1874 period and its characters. Gabriella’s father is power hungry and has found a match for his daughter who will ensure his rise into high society. The husband is much older and abhorrent to Gabriella. This first scene is her father announcing the match.
“You will marry him, Gabriella and that is the last I will hear of it.”
“Do not question my judgement, girl. It is an excellent match.”
Gabriella ran from her father’s study, up the stairs to her bedroom and flung herself onto her bed. It might be excellent for her father but certainly not for her. Her uncontrollable sobbing persisted throughout the afternoon and into early evening. No-one came to comfort her. Father must have forbidden Mother and the servants to attend her. How could her father be so cruel, marrying her to such an old man? He was ugly and brutish. She hated the way he leered at her, licking his lips. It was disgusting. Father only saw William Folkes’ wealth and the large estate in Hampshire. With the marriage, her father, a trader, would climb the social ladder of high society. He clearly didn’t care about Gabriella’s happiness. She was the sacrificial lamb – totally powerless. She had heard mother try to persuade him that William was not suitable, only to be shouted down.
“I am the man of this house and you will comply with my wishes. William is obviously fervent in his feelings for Gabriella. He will be an excellent provider.”
“But, John, she is so young. Could you not find someone closer to her age, a more suitable husband?”
“How more suitable could he be? William is a wealthy and powerful man, Margaret. I am sure he will lavish many luxuries on the girl. She should think herself lucky I found such a good match. What more could she possibly want from a husband?”
“Why, love and children, of course.”
“William is certainly not too old to give her children. Now stop this complaining, I have made my decision and it is final so I will have no more talk of it.”
Now for the fun part to read everyone else’s snippets…
As writers and authors we have to be aware of how we present ourselves not only on a face to face basis but also on social media. An extreme political or religious view, either on the vast array of media sites or in person, can seriously harm how we are perceived. If we are disrespectful, arrogant or act aloof our prospective and current readers opinion of us will alter negatively and more than likely stop them buying our books, following us in cyber space or attending author readings. Be aware of the links and comments you make and ‘like’. If something is too extreme you may chose not just to hide it but unfriend or block the person responsible.
It is also best to be circumspect on the types of ‘friends’ you are adding. If someone is politically bias, posting foul language, pornography or has extreme religious views, their opinions could be a interpreted as your own. Utilizing the settings on your particular media is a good way to ensure your professional image is not damaged, as is separating personal and professional pages or sites. Try to view your ‘virtual’ presence as a stranger would to make sure it is reflecting you positively.
Of course there are exceptions to every rule and being a member of a particular group could be advantageous for your genre or novel. However, if you are a multi-genre author you have the option to use different sites specific to each one or write under pen names.
Gossip can be a good thing if it is in regard to how wonderful someone found your latest novel or how marvellous you were at a local book signing. Maintain a professional but friendly demeanour whether in the real world or the cyber one. Engaging with your fans, or prospective ones to discuss your novel’s characters, the plot or your creative processes is a great way to entice a greater readership. Nonetheless remember to keep a balance between your professional life and your personal one.
Have you experienced any negative feedback?
negative feedback system (Photo credit: Wikipedia)