An old story, or perhaps a new story

It’s late at night and there are twenty other story ideas that are currently running around in my head, instead of the story I should be working on.

These ideas are impinging on the current story, and somehow are finding their way onto the page.

Writing, cursing, deleting, re-writing, deleting, cursing.

I’m working on the latest book and it is not going well, and I think it is more a case of self-doubt.  It’s why I can’t concentrate.

It’s why I’m thinking about the next story and not staying on track.

This leads me to be over critical of what I have written and much pressing of the delete key.  Only to realize that an action taken in haste can be regrettable, and makes me feel even more depressed when I realize the deletions are irrecoverable.

Damn.

I think I’d be happier in a garret somewhere channeling van Gogh’s rage.

Lesson learned – don’t delete, save it to a text file so it can be retrieved when sanity returns.

I was not happy with the previous start.  Funny about that, because until a few weeks ago I thought the start was perfect.

What a difference a week makes or is that politics?

Perhaps I should consider adding some political satire.

But I digress…

It seems it’s been like that for a few weeks now, not being able to stick to the job in hand, doing anything but what I’m supposed to be doing.  I recognize the restlessness, I’m not happy with the story as it is, so rather than getting on with it, I find myself writing words just for the sake of writing words.

Any words are better than none, right?

So I rewrote the start, added about a hundred pages and now I have to do a mass of rewriting of what was basically the whole book.

But here’s the thing.

This morning I woke up and looked at the new start, and it has inspired me.

Perhaps all I needed was several weeks of teeth gnashing, and self-doubt to get myself back on track.

Who would want to be a writer?

Me!  First in line, every time!

Melbourne in winter

I have, when younger, lived through many a cold winter in Melbourne.

Not that you could call it cold in the same sense that people who live in the northern states of the US and in particular, from personal experience, places like Chicago.

It just depends on personal experience.

But, now that I live in a warmer climate, where days in winter often hover above 20 degrees Celcius, coming back to a city where the maximum is going to be 10 degrees Celcius is something of a shock.

I mean, we do have cold weather where I live, but it doesn’t have the wind chill factor.  Melbourne is notorious for having four seasons on one day, but right now, it’s just winter and colder than we’re used to.  Perhaps it has something to do with Victoria’s proximity to Antarctica.

A great day to stay in, light the fire, and read a book.  I’m sure most of us have a large amount of reading we’ve been putting off till the next rainy day.

Well, that’s here, and there’s a lot of reading I’ve been putting off.  And like most modern houses, there’s no fireplace, just reverse cycle airconditioning.  Curling up and reading a book in that scenario isn’t quite the same as the almost mesmerizing flames of a real fire.

And it is, or was about half an hour ago, raining, with a gusty wind that has the element of penetrating even the thickest layers of clothing and chill you to the bone.

The problem is, we’re away, not necessarily on holiday but with a lot of activities in mind so rail, wind chill, miserable weather is just another highlight of traveling.

This morning when we wake up it is pouring with rain, and the wind is howling through the nearby trees and you can feel the cold, as much in your imagination as it is in reality.

I shudder, and it’s hard to say what drives it.  We have to go out so we’ll see what it’s like when we’re ready to leave.  A lot can happen, weather-wise, in a few hours.

But, that pull of the sport, that level of dedication to support your team does not leave you, because it is ingrained in you from the day you are born, and stays with you till the day you die, no matter where you live, anywhere in the world.  Thank God there is the internet.

Remarkably the sun comes out from behind the clouds which are thinning out.  The sunshine does not raise the temperature because the wind, gusty at times, is still very chilling.

This is definitively Melbourne in winter.  And I can tell you, I don’t miss it.

That doesn’t mean I dislike the cold, far from it, it’s just the sustained variations of cold assisted by sheeting rain and blustery wind gusts I can do without.  It’s never just purely cold like it can be in the northern hemisphere.

But the weather is never that bad we don’t go out.  This morning we are heading to the South Melbourne market.  Cold weather doesn’t stop anyone and it’s nigh on impossible to find a parking spot, and in our search, we pass other shoppers being blown about by the wind.

The walk to the market itself is chilling.  In the food aisle street side, it is warmer, with fires burning to keep the customers warm, and the food aromas tempting.  We are here for the spring rolls, the dim sims, and the potato cakes.

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And the wide variety of fresh produce available that would put a supermarket to shame.  I’ve often wondered what it would be like to live nearby and do my shopping at the market.  We probably would be eating a lot healthier.

Furnerals are a time to reflect

Funerals are by definition sad occasions.  It is a time to reflect on the life of the deceased, a time when everyone who knew them to come together to celebrate their life.

It is also usually a time when the whole family comes together, like births and weddings, and can take an interesting turn given the right set of circumstances.

And, depending on how old you are at the time, you could start reflecting on your own mortality, and how much or how little time you have left, and, quite possibly, what it is you have or haven’t done with your life.

Perhaps the question should be, are you going to put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

The sad fact is, we all do.  We all believe we will have plenty of time to get things done, with a motto of, old enough to know better and young enough not to care.

What happens when you die at 44?

It’s one of those questions that we face when attending the funeral of the daughter of one of my in-laws.

It’s a well-known fact that a great many of us look forward to retirement, and having reached that age, generally in the mid to late 60’s, that we will be settled in our life, all major commitments completed, we will be in reasonably good health, our children will be old enough to look after themselves, and we have an adequate retirement plan to see us through to old age.

Until then, we sacrifice a great deal, spending our time either working, or helping our children on their way to an equally successful life.

There never seems to be time for those holidays overseas or doing those things near and dear to us, putting it off till ‘tomorrow’.

No one realizes ‘tomorrow’ never comes.

Plots ripped form newspaper front pages

Sometimes the headlines are ripped from the blurb of an international best-selling novel

Take for instance the latest event generated from the political interference by the Russians scandal in the United States

How would it read?

Take what appears to be an ordinary student in an American University, who has the ability to find and seduce various men with apparent political clout for the purpose of subverting election results. 

This would be rather startling if it was not in the United States because everyone from the national rifle association down knows any politician federal state or local can be bought.  There’s also the fact the femme fatale is not all that good looking, but on the other hand, men can always be seduced

In fact, you would have to question the legitimacy of any elected official in that country because anything to do with politics is susceptible to bribery and corruption, from any number of lobby groups the doyen of which is the NRA.

Just look what they’ve managed to achieve.  Any madman and his dog can now print a gun without restriction and go on a killing rampage.  The Russians are the least of US citizens problems

But I digress.

The blurb reads on.

The president recently elected in what could only have been described as an impossible result realized that the American people are now waking up to the possibility of his election victory was not as impossible or legitimate as originally thought has his closest aides scrambling for anything to grab the people attention away from the truth.

A Russian spy has been dragged out of the shadows and put on display.  Fearing that is not enough a plan is hatched to go to war with the rest of the world on the trade and military alliance front with solutions to coming crises in the bank for when everyone started to be affected by what seems senseless tariffs and endless attacks from those who were once allies.

But what’s really going on.  Has the president been bought by the Russians, or does he have a darker and more sinister plan afoot?  Are his battles with Russia, China, and North Korea merely diversions?

The balance of power is on a knife edge and only one man [or woman] can save a world on the brink of nuclear annihilation.

You have to admit it’s a hell of a plotline.

“What Sets Us Apart”, a mystery with a twist

David is a man troubled by a past he is trying to forget.
Susan is rebelling against a life of privilege and an exasperated mother who holds a secret that will determine her daughter’s destiny.
They are two people brought together by chance. Or was it?
When Susan discovers her mother’s secret, she goes in search of the truth that has been hidden from her since the day she was born.
When David realizes her absence is more than the usual cooling off after another heated argument, he finds himself being slowly drawn back into his former world of deceit and lies.
Then, back with his former employers, David quickly discovers nothing is what it seems as he embarks on a dangerous mission to find Susan before he loses her forever.

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Sunday in New York

“Sunday in New York” is ultimately a story about trust, and what happens when a marriage is stretched to its limits.

When Harry Steele attends a lunch with his manager, Barclay, to discuss a promotion that any junior executive would accept in a heartbeat, it is the fact his wife, Alison, who previously professed her reservations about Barclay, also agreed to attend, that casts a small element of doubt in his mind.

From that moment his life, in the company, in deciding what to do, his marriage, his very life, spirals out of control.

There is no one big factor that can prove Harry’s worst fears, that his marriage is over, just a number of small, interconnecting events, when piled on top of each other, points to a cataclysmic end to everything he had believed in.

Trust is lost firstly in his best friend and mentor, Andy, who only hints of impending disaster, Sasha, a woman whom he saved, and who appears to have motives of her own, and then in his wife, Alison, as he discovered piece by piece damning evidence she is about to leave him for another man.

Can we trust what we see with our eyes or trust what we hear?

Haven’t we all jumped to conclusions at least once in our lives?

Can Alison, a woman whose self-belief and confidence is about to be put to the ultimate test, find a way of proving their relationship is as strong as it has ever been?

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Sunday In New York

Forgive me, for I have …

I’m sitting at my desk surrounded by any number of scraps of paper with more storylines, written excepts, parts of stories, and a number of chapters of a work in progress.

Does this happen to anyone else?

The business of writing requires a talent to keep focused on the one project, and silence all the other screaming voices in your head, pouring out their side of the story.

But it’s not working.

I try to be determined in my efforts to edit my current completed novel, after letting it ‘rest’ in my head for a few months.

I planned to have so time off, but all of those prisoners in my head started clamoring for my attention.  A story I started some time ago needs revising, another story I wrote last year of NANOWRIMO has come back to haunt me, and characters, well, they’re out in the waiting room, pacing up and down, ready to tell me their life stories.

Is the temporary cure coffee or wine?

Now I think I really do need a holiday

Or a trip to the asylum.  Thank God this is not the early 20th century, or I might never return.  And if it’s named Bellview, it would be just another story to be written.

The Author that went Bonkers!

Does it ever end?