A bright turquoise sky Shone with dissonance Tension, like a too tight string on a guitar, broke Easy blew the breeze with one great Shh Was felt across the globe A female voice whispered, stay with me Old Father Time rode the current across the Thames Release sailed past Parliament House Sparks flew as new thoughts penetrated the old walls The MP’S would never work the same way again… © AnitaDawes 2021
The red squirrel froze, scared of the whispers on the wind People walk the park, their collars turned against the cold Finding it hard to settle No time to stroke a passing dog The mind finding it impossible to compete with redundant thoughts Pedal on, don’t complain, keep yourself fit Something awesome may be around the corner No time to be sad when faced with those Christmas mince pies Family on the way, carrying Christmas greetings Smiles to warm the coldest night… © AnitaDawes 2021
Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery?
It is supposed to be, but I think not. Not the way most people do it, anyway.
I have always hated imitation of any kind, for it always seems to take something away from the original. Why do we need to have substitutions when we already have the original? Why can’t they leave well enough alone?
It doesn’t seem to matter where you go, whatever field you are interested in, there will always be someone trying to copy or improve something.
My pet hate is the remakes of all my favourite films. I watched the new (and supposedly improved) Ben Hur with my family, (it was either that or revising!) But even with all of today’s wonderful new technology, it wasn’t a patch on the original film with Charlton Heston.
I love to watch all kinds of people at work. Artists, sculptors, craftspeople, even plumbers and mechanics. I think this is because my nosy brain just wants to know how things work. My favourite programme at the moment is Artist of the Year and I love watching how all the different artists go about creating original and unique pieces of artwork.
What I cannot stand about these programmes, are the so-called experts who try to tell the artists that what they have done is wrong and how they should have done it. Sometimes the thoughtless and callous way they pull the work apart is so cruel it makes me cringe.
To my mind, no one has the right to condemn or criticise a work of art. Either you like it, or you don’t, but don’t presume to know better than the artist.
As a writer, I subject my work to beta readers and editors so that errors can be pointed out and corrected. This is normally done in a constructive, helpful manner and not in a condescending “I know better” attitude.
Critics always sound so false, their remarks too self-serving and the damage they can do to any fledgeling artistic genius should carry a health warning.
I personally have had at least one scathing critique of my writing; one so bad I wanted to shred every page and then crawl away and hide in a cupboard. It is only when you realise that it is only an opinion and probably not meant to kill the tiny shoots of creativity in your soul that you can pick yourself up and move on.
I may not be a great writer or even a particularly good one, but I am trying my best. At the end of the day, that’s all we can ever do. But what we do produce, whether it is good, bad or indifferent, it is original and not some cocked up imitation…
(And before you all reach for your keyboard, I know I have just criticised quite a lot of people… my bad!)
This week’s Story Starter teaser is:
When I first moved here a few months back, I couldn’t believe that…
…the vicar couldn’t be trusted, according to the network of gossip with the womenfolk. That the butcher will short change you and the pub landlord waters down his booze.
That if there is nothing to gossip about, they will make it up.
It seems we need to watch our backs.
The curtains twitch whenever I leave the house. I feel their eyes on me, fishing for something to gossip about. My wife and I have turned it into a game, letting out small morsels of information, to see how large the return. By the time it has gone around the village like Chinese whispers, it is too large to contain.
We decided to move, leave a letter for the new tenants. If they like gossip, they’re well in. What happens when there is nothing left to gossip about?
They wait until someone dies and someone new moves in…
© Anita Dawes 2021
Yesterday you could have called me adroit Today I am more vestige Someone has taken a large eraser Now a part of my mind no longer exists I walk the streets; tug my hat tighter on my head If my nose runs now, I swear it would freeze My hands cupped to keep warm A few yards down the street I step into the gallery, art on canvas I feel my gruff exterior slipping away I realised the desire to paint Hasn’t vanished completely A small piece whispers in the hollow space Where old skill lived I thank the universe for cold weather I might never have stepped inside Suddenly my fingers itch for the feel of a paintbrush…
© Anita Dawes 2021
I have my ticket for the First passenger flight into space Not until next year will I be able to take my seat To sit in that sacred space Will bring comfort to me This may sound lame to most In my mind I avenge myself On all those who said I will amount to nothing Here I am the cat with the cream I know for most folk, life gets in the way Dreams die by some evil desire Life pulls you in the wrong direction Could be we walk the path of second-hand dreams Old, used parts of life A mishmash of leftovers that never amount to much I count myself lucky that my dream has been paid for…
© Anita Dawes 2021
I have always enjoyed reading books. Mostly for the sense of escapism involved. Somewhere you can forget all about your own life and live someone else’s, albeit vicariously.
It has been a blessing, sometimes more than at other times, depending on how my own life was going at that moment.
I honestly believe that reading books has kept me sane. They have taught me practically everything I know, for if I need or want to know how to do something, I turn to books to find out. Nowadays of course, we have the internet, but in my youth all we had were books.
These days, something else has been added to my enduring love affair with the printed word. Putting it quite simply, they have inspired me to write. You could say that the art of reading could do this anyway, to anyone. But up until recently, I was not aware of this. They were my retreat, my sanctuary. Nothing else.
But everything has changed.
I was a compulsive reader, consuming anything I could get my hands on. I didn’t discriminate and read everything. Asked to list my favourite authors, I would have been hard pushed, for I loved them all.
Somewhere along the way, I seem to have developed a ‘criterion’. I no longer just read a book. My brain seems intent on sifting the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Who knew it could have that kind of opinion?
Two pages into a book, and if it is not talking to me by then, I discard it and try another. These days I love the kind of books that inspire me and make my fingers want to pick up a pen. Not to copy or emulate, but to write down the way the author has made me feel. Sometimes I find myself with a book in one hand and a notebook in the other.
It’s as if a doorway has been opened in my mind. Artists say colours work for them, for me it’s the power of the words and the way they are used.
Something else has changed in me. I have always considered myself reasonably adept with the English language. It was my favourite lesson at school and over the years as I have said before, it has saved my sanity on many an occasion.
For the first time in my life, I have doubts, and they are growing all the time. I have helped other people edit and proofread their books and been totally convinced I was good at it. Many people (including an agent) said that I was. I have also reviewed dozens of books along the way.
But then I picked up a pen and wrote a story of my own. I never expected it to be as hard as it turned out to be, as words usually came easily to me. But I discovered a very important fact about writing a book. Not only must it have a beginning, middle and end, it must flow, make perfect sense and be interesting to read.
It also had to have a structure and sub plots; the list was endless. I discovered to my horror that I was not as clever as I thought when the pen was in my own hand! Words tend to come at me in a rush, short spasms of prose that seem quite eloquent at the time but appear quite truncated when you attempt to join them all together. So much so, I nearly gave up on Nine Lives several times.
I began to seriously doubt I could ever be a writer, that this wasn’t something I could simply learn how to do.
But I persevered, did my absolute best, and after my edits and even more soul searching, I uploaded it onto Amazon, thinking my work was done.
But I was wrong.
In my haste to achieve something that will hopefully out last me, I forgot the most important step of all. Someone else should have read it first. Someone objective, who would come to it afresh, with no desire or agenda to bin it at the first error.
I learned that it is impossible for me to see my manuscript with a subjective eye. You cannot possibly hope to really because you have lived with it for so long. I wrongly assumed the reverse would be true, that the fact you created every word would make you more than qualified.
This was so long ago and I have learned so much more since then…
Friday seems to come around faster than ever these days, but we hope life has been kind to each and every one of you.
Today, we offer two of Anita’s poems and a brand new episode of Teagan Geneviene’s Dead of Winter for your enjoyment.
Journey Nine and it sounds even more exciting!
Not so many reblogs today, but a specially chosen flower to wish you all a peaceful and happy weekend…