Ramblings of a Young Aussie Writer

A writer lost in her own imagination

Maybe I Was Wrong — October 9, 2014

Maybe I Was Wrong

I hard an overwhelming urge to write so here’s a paragraph of writing. My emotions take over and I’m compelled to write them out. This is a darker side of my writing but hopefully you enjoy it.

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The photo stares at me haunting my thoughts, leading them to places I don’t want to go anymore. The tears have run dry and even as my throat chokes up I know there will be no more tears, I promised myself. I miss you like hell but I’m not going let that consume me. Hating you is unnatural, it tears my soul apart. I like to live in my fantasy world where we’re still so close, where you don’t hate me and where my heart doesn’t ache all the time. I’m sorry, I was wrong. They’re the words you want me to say to you to fix things but it will never go back to the way it was. One stupid fight and now there’s a gaping tear that’s ripped us apart. If or maybe when that tear heals over there will always be that scar that will never fade enough for us to forget. I’ve never been good at being stubborn, it’s not in my nature but this time is different. It goes against every fibre in my body but I’m not surrendering this time, not yet. The ball is in your court but your stubbornness is controlling you. You’re older so why aren’t you wiser? If nothing is stronger than the love a parent has for their child then why the hell hasn’t that taken over yet? What happened to the days when you were humble enough to admit your wrongs? I expected better, I expected so much more. You were my hero, we’ve always been close but it’s scary how a single fight has broken our seemingly unbreakable bond. When did your pride take over your love for your family? When did you turn into everything that you’ve always hated? How could all of the noble morals you taught me just slip away? All eyes are on me to apologise, I’m the one in the wrong, right? And you’re pitied by everyone because of how wonderful you used to be. I’ll take my share of the responsibility but you know I had every right to lose it with you. You should’ve known I could only take so much yet you kept pushing. Although it’s like acid eating away at me I will stand my ground, for once.

Maybe I was wrong. No, this time YOU were wrong!

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Looking In The Mirror – My Imperfections Are Showing — October 4, 2014

Looking In The Mirror – My Imperfections Are Showing

If I look in the mirror for long enough I will always find some flaw, some terrible imperfection that still isn’t hidden by my carefully applied make-up. I thought I’d covered them all up but there they are, tainting my reflection that seemed acceptable only a few moments ago. I feel like the imperfections in my personality, my soul are somehow showing on the outside for all to see. I don’t know what I want to look at when I stand in front of the mirror, maybe some strange illusion of perfection – whatever that is.

Just when my demons threaten to consume me my husband wraps his arms around my waist, lightly kisses me on the cheek and smiles as he tells me ‘You look beautiful.” And just like that, he has silenced my demons. He is my strength. He is the one thing that will forever remind me that I am beautiful to him and that’s really all that matters.

Love is never to be underestimated. It has the power to show us beauty in places we thought there was none. It gives us the strength to battle our demons and reminds us we will always have someone on our ‘team.’

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I pray that everyone finds their soulmate and feel the love that it brings.

Thank you John for showing me how glorious love can be.

Australia – The lonely island where dreams have limits — September 29, 2014

Australia – The lonely island where dreams have limits

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This blog isn’t just about me loving and being proud of my country but also of the struggles Australian Artist/Writers face by living here.

Australia – The lonely island with beautiful landscapes that harbour all kinds of deadly creatures. It’s the ‘land of the free’ where pretty much everyone is descended from criminals. Our home is usually summed up as ‘beautiful but deadly’ and I love that.

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I’ve travelled to a few place over the globe (nowhere near as many as I would like to) but Australia truly is unique. I’m a born and bred Aussie and love my home land. I lived in Japan for a few months and loved the experience but upon arrival home I realised I missed it much more than I had thought. It’s not just because my life and family are here either. We can boast some of the most beautiful beaches while adding in the multiple animals that want to kill you all in the same sentence. The centre of this land is filled with a landscape that will kill you in a matter of days and you’ll be lost forever. Stray of the lonely road and death isn’t a chance but a reality. There’s no shade for miles, water is a distant memory and if you happen to come across any animal (cattle, dingoes, eagles, camels) they’ll probably kill you before you can kill them so food is a forgotten luxury as well. Moral of the story – maybe just stick to the bigger highways with lots of traffic. I love my country but there are some big disadvantages especially in industry I want to break into.

Artists including writers have learnt sine they were a child that gaining success, even fame in this country for their talents usually means that that’s where it will end. We all know that it’s near impossible to take our talents to the next level and become known worldwide. The most recent perfect example of this is Iggy Azalea. Amethyst Amelia Kelly was a country town Aussie girl who knew all too well that to be someone in this world you had to go to ‘the land of the famous,’ on the other side of the globe.

Unfortunately Iggy Azalea seems to have disassociated herself from her birth country as well as gaining a very natural American accent in a very short amount of time. We all have a reasons for the decisions we make but I can’t help but think that her reasoning may have stemmed from the belief that being known as a foreigner might hamper her chances to be ‘big.’

As a writer who has manuscripts that I dream will be loved worldwide, I know that the chances of that whilst living in Australia and committing to Aus publishers are probably very slim.

There’s so much talent in this beautiful harsh country that hopefully, one day the world will look to us for the latest crazes, music, books, movies and much more. There is endless inspiration here and I hope the world sees that sooner rather than later. So why not check out Aus origanted works of art such as music, books, movies, etc, I promise you won’t be disappointed 🙂

I’d love to know what everyone thinks of when they think of Australia?

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Writing The Taboo Subjects — July 24, 2014

Writing The Taboo Subjects

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I’ve had many ideas come to me for my next book where the protagonist is a young female (cliche I know). Not all of these ideas are “PG” rated. It left me wondering about the writing of taboo subjects. Is there a line? Will my book be shunned if I include these subjects? How much of a risk is it adding these subjects in? Will I be significantly limiting my readership because of this?

I’ve decided that the areas in the book that I add in these subject which I feel strongly about, will be written twice – both with and without those subjects included. Cowardly? Probably but that’s my solution.

So for curiosity’s sake my subjects that are so taboo? Well no it’s nothing to do with homosexuality (although I have considered adding it in briefly to one of my manuscripts eventually); Sex isn’t much of a taboo subject any more in our society which is a little disheartening; What’s left? First subject – Eating disorders. I went to an all girls college my whole life and if you didn’t know of or were a girl with an eating disorder then you must’ve had your eyes closed. There wasn’t much bullying in my grade but without a way to get to know any males you only had the odd social event where your looks were what got you attention or didn’t. It was so important to what seemed like everything in your life at school that you had a boyfriend yet now looking back it shouldn’t have even mattered.

High school is the perfect environment to breed insecurities in adolescents that are so susceptible to any kind of criticism. Young teenagers that are always desperate to be the perfect female that media has depicted for that point in time.

Unless you’e been there then you won’t understand the mind-set that comes with an eating disorder. I guess that is a lot of the motivation for me to add this in. I want young teens to read my book and maybe find that their outlook on food isn’t healthy. I would love to help just one teenager with my books. One teenager that may be heading down a toxic path that has found the strength by reading my words to break free of that terrible cycle.

Subject number two – drink spiking leading to date rape. I don’t want my protagonist to get raped but to be in a dangerous situation although she will of course be lucky enough to get away/be saved. I want to raise awareness to the dangers of under-age drinking, the importance of always watching your drink and the consequences that can follow from trusting ANYONE with your drink.

The things are very real in today’s society and yet we brush it aside. Ignorance ISN’T bliss!

Fingers crossed my work can get published without having to tear the parts that include the subjects I feel passionate about. Granted I should stick by my work but there sometimes comes a time when we need to concede defeat and move on.

Are my subjects too much for our current society or is it time we included the harsh realities into our writing?

Writing A Great Antagonist – Nature Vs Nurture — June 13, 2014

Writing A Great Antagonist – Nature Vs Nurture

When I read a book, see a movie, watch a TV series I’m very picky when it comes to the characters. Yes I love fiction but if a main character seems to have personality inconsistencies it can be very off-putting and ruins the illusion throwing you back into your life and not the fictional world you were lost in. I’m not a published author nor have I any fantastic writing achievements to my name (yet haha) but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what I like as a reader/audience.

My family always makes jokes about me watching the crime channel on pay tv and until I really sat down and thought about it, I didn’t really understand why I liked to. And here it is –

I’m going to relate this to books and writing rather than anything else as this applies to me. Most of the time the protagonists in a book are relatable and their motives are something we can relate to or even just understand. I feel that this is because most people we associate with are, for lack of a better word, good. Their intentions usually lack any kind of malice. Everyone does something bad in their life, the severity varies but it’s usually not bad enough to be classified as evil. There are some who have a sick, evil streak through them which I believe puts them on the border of evil.

I talk about evil as a high percentage of antagonists can be described as evil. This leads the reader to question the reasoning for this evil. It comes down to the simple statement – Nature verses Nurture. The age old saying is what every author needs to ask themselves when creating their antagonists. Because in our social circle there usually isn’t a person who is evil. This is where shows that are on the Crime Channel become an invaluable learning tool. I watch them to try and get a better understand of these people’s motives but sometimes there aren’t any. I’ve found that although there may be events in their past that could help trigger their violence, most seem to almost be at peace with what they have done, want to do and the urges that drive them. There was one many who killed over 25 women and his story got me thinking. He was raised on a meat farm and grew up slaughtering animals, his mother was violent and he lost both parents close together when he was an adult but he lived with and cared for them. I won’t go into detail but I was left wondering – in a different situation, with a different family and a different upbringing but the same DNA would this man have become a killer? This man had two siblings but both moved out of home early and never looked back. I keep wondering do these two (male and female) have any violent tendencies? Do they have a suppressed urge to inflict pain? Do they have pets, a family and how do they treat them? They aren’t killers (as far as anyone knows) but is it because they ‘got out early’ of a horrible situation overwhelmed by death albeit it be animals? Was this killer born or raised to be what he became?

I feel that to create that perfect antagonist, a writer should know without a doubt whether that character’s actions come down to Nature or Nurture. 

When Words Elude You — May 29, 2014

When Words Elude You

 I’m lucky enough that words rarely elude me (yes I may talk a bit too much sometimes). I find ideas randomly pop into my head and once they are there, there’s no going back. With laptop comfortably placed in front of me I start typing. I marvel at my brain’s ability to generate a story without even a second thought. I know the basics of what my story or scene will be but until I’m sitting there with my fingers on the key I’m really not sure where these ideas will take me. Rationality and overthinking are bypassed as my imagination takes control and tells my fingers what to do. To read back through what you have written and feel the emotions you wanted to the reader to feel brings a real sense of pride. I did this, I create a piece of work that stirs the emotions of the reader. I want to enthral my readers to the point where they unknowingly allow their emotional journey to show on their faces. To smile without realising that the fruits of my imagination have transported them to such a realistic world that they have been emotionally moved by the story’s journey.

 

I’ve currently almost finished editing my manuscript (working title – Surrender). The crazy thing though is that I haven’t written the very last few pages/chapter. I’ve come to a halt, realising that I haven’t quite finished writing it. It’s the part I guess you could call the epilogue, just to finish things off. I don’t want to end it without leaving the reader with a few questions that they will find themselves dreaming about what might happen after the words have stopped. Sometimes I think that happily ever after finishes things off with too much finality and the reader doesn’t get the chance to use their own imagination, thinking about what might happen next in the character’s lives.

 

I was having a conversation the other day with one of my friends who is an avid reader. She brought up how amazing it was that I had written so much and created manuscripts that are “an awesome read” as she put it. Of course I was completely flattered. She went on to say how there was no way she would ever be able to create something like that. I was surprised that someone who had reader so many books would not be able to create her own story. It might just be because words and ideas come to me so easy but I was confused, didn’t that happen to everyone? Doesn’t everyone have those moments where their imagination clouds their reality? Those fantastical stories, ideas come flooding in and play out in front of you as you go on autopilot for the rest of the world.

 

Unfortunately though right now my imagination is having a communication problem with my fingers as the words they are spitting out on the screen in front of me aren’t good enough to describe the scene in my mind. I can see the end, I can picture exactly what I want and how it plays out as though it were a movie but the words to describe it elude me. Words worthy of the story, worthy to spread across the pages. Those last few pages could completely ruin the whole story if I can’t find the right words to describe exactly what’s in my head. I have written this part many times but none of those seem to fit properly. I’ll keep preserving because it’s worth it and because I love writing. I know the words will fall into place eventually and I’ll wonder why I ever stressed about it.

 

So here’s to gathering those perfect words and writing an ending befitting of my characters.

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Your Characters are Influenced By Your Life – Like It Or Not — April 15, 2014

Your Characters are Influenced By Your Life – Like It Or Not

This blog entry isn’t just for writers but for readers and writers alike.

What makes your favourite character? Favourite villain? Favourite hero? And why? It all comes down to your own personality and life experiences. Every single one of us will have different answers and hundreds of different reasons too. In a love triangle in a book I always fall in love with the guy who has loved her from the beginning. The unwavering love that will always be there is the one that will always triumph over the rest. True pure love doesn’t die. There is no end to it so for me a character who posses that kind of love will always win my heart. But that’s just me and I’m a true romantic.If you take your favourite book and look at the characters you connected with most. Are those characters the same ones that the writer has promoted to those roles? Not always but that’s a good thing.

Every author, whether they know it or not, bases their characters on what they love and hate and their life experiences. I attended an all girls college for the whole of my schooling. When you’ve got 1000+ girls together there is a lot of bitchiness and always an unspoken competition over whose parents have the most money. Unfortunately I was near the bottom and although I harboured a lot of resentment toward those girls with exceedingly wealthy parents, I am now appreciative that my parents taught my the value of money. We always had to budget and I was very grateful for everything I was given. My sister and I were spoilt by our parents as much as they could afford (and so much than that) but we were respectful. Manners were a huge thing in my house and we weren’t even allowed to say bum. All of those things have shaped me to unknowingly create antagonists that are usually female, mostly bratty and impolite. My protagonists are usually relatable to me – regardless of how much money their family has they are polite, respectful and many nice things but not EVERYTHING. Of course I refuse to allow my life thus far dictate all of my writing but it is nice to create a few characters that bring out strong feelings within you whether it be positive or negative. That is something that I feel is paramount to writing. You need to feel passionate about all of your characters (main ones especially) in order to portray them in a way that people can also relate to. So next time you read or write maybe stop for a moment to consider why you love/hate certain characters and you might find you learn something about yourself. It’s important to never been ashamed of the things in life that have shaped you as a person because sometimes they can inspire you to write something incredible.

Better get back to editing I guess…..

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Writing a Relatable Character — March 27, 2014

Writing a Relatable Character

Whenever I write I write with the aim to create all my characters with some aspect of relatability. It doesn’t matter how major nor minor they are, I think it’s paramount for a writer to make their characters believable. It’s our duty to our readers. To write in a weak, unbelievable character into a piece of work is an insult to your loyal readers. I feel like it is insulting their intelligence. I’ve read many things with character that are ‘groan worthy’ and it ruins the mood of the book. No matter how good a piece of writing is, if there is an unbelievable character in it you’re going to be dragged back to reality with the realisation that this is only after all just a book. What a let down….. 

I have come to a shocking realisation this morning, I’m a female creating male characters and oh my gosh I think I’ve created feminine, unrealistic male characters. I’m lucky to have a very romantic husband but he is not the type to try and stay clean or neat – ever! The main male protagonists in my manuscripts (that thankfully are still in the editing process) are too romantic, good looking, clean and neat, emotional and over all too perfect. Every female wants the perfect male and by creating that kind of protagonist I feel that we are reminding our readers that this piece of writing is just fiction and guys like that don’t exist. I’m scared now that my male characters would fit nicely into a Mills & Boon book. I have nothing against Mills & Boon books but they are notoriously known for having these unbelievable, overly emotional male characters. These are the characters that give the current male population an unfairly high standard that they almost always cannot reach. 

To all those lovely ladies who enjoy a good fantasy with the perfect male in it who ‘sweeps the girl off of her feet’ please remember that back here in real life like every other human being you must take the good with the bad. Love your partner for their amazing traits, traits that make you laugh and smile and don’t dwell on the things that may irritate or annoy you. To concentrate on the negatives in anything in life will always lead to hurt and disaster.

Back to my feminine characters. Maybe all manuscripts with the ‘perfect male’ in them should be read by a male to ensure that you haven’t created something so unrealistic your readers actually cringe whilst reading. I’ll try and give an example and I apologise if my writing isn’t at a high standard.

She stood there staring at him, the tears welling in her eyes as her heart was breaking. She needed him to love her, accept her for who she was. A tear spilled over slowly making its down her cheek. He stepped forward closing the gap between them, raised his hand and with the softest touch caught her tear and wiped it away. His hand slowly wrapped around her own and guided it up, placing it over where his heart is.

“My heart will always only beat for you my darling. I could never live without your love. I’ve spent my whole life searching for you, for this love.” His hand proceeded to caress her face and he stared deep into her eyes.

“You’re the most perfect creature I’ve ever seen and every time I see you, your beauty takes my breathe away.” He enfolded her in his strong muscular arms chasing away all of her fears.

Ok so that was even hard for me to write as I just wanted to say to the male character to ‘man up’ so to speak. I personally got a bit annoyed at how he acted more how a woman would want than how a man would actually act. Don’t get me wrong there may be times where writing like this makes sense or is appropriate but not in my writing that’s for sure. 

To write a relatable character in my experience is to combine the fantasy man (as above) with the experiences you have lived through. Those moments when you needed someone to say something that would make it all better but even though they try the words aren’t as perfect as you had imagined. Most males don’t always have the exact words you need to hear but nevertheless they try and usual try hard. Their love shouldn’t be measured by the words they say. When I cry my husband just pulls me into a hug, there’s none of this wiping away my tears stuff haha yet a hug always helps make it all better. 

Always remember the emotional moments in your life when writing about such things. It will help you and the readers relate to the characters and situation. Life and those in it aren’t always perfect – so why make all your characters and scenes perfect?