Soul's Child, the 2012 award-winning spell binder by Dianne Gray, unearthed and explored a love/hate relationship between co-dependent father and daughter after the accident in which Aurora Jones' mother and younger sister died, and left Aurora in a coma for three weeks.
The accident also gave Aurora an insatiable and uncontrollable urge to draw unnaturally realistic scenes she had never experienced.
Treat time! No...it isn’t chocolate (unless a planet on a collision course with Earth is made up of chocolate--please let it be dark, with toffee chunks. I would die happy!).But sorry, this post will not treat you to that kind of news.
Today's treat is an interview with an author who loves chocolate though (next best thing to eating your own Skor bar).
A carpenter, roofer, electrician and writer walk into a kitchen.
The carpenter says, “There’s a snake in the cupboard.”
The roofer says, “We’d better get it out.”
The electrician says, “I’ll get a bag to put it in.”
The writer says, “I’ll grab the camera.”
Then the fun starts.
There’s only one old built-in cupboard that hasn’t been pulled out of the RUC* yet. It’s in the kitchen and because the walls and handrails and flooring are on the ‘important’ list (so I don’t fall and break my neck while I’m sanding doors) it’s been largely ignored.
Yesterday was like any other day at the RUC until the carpenter forgot where he put the bag for his level. He opened the old cupboard in the kitchen and there, staring back at him, was a snake.
Because my camera was in the car I didn’t get back in time to get a good pic of it in the cupboard, but I managed to catch a bit of the fun as it made its escape across my Writer’s Nook before diving into the mud below.
We placed it in a bag for for the following reason
- No one wanted to pet it while it was being carried away to its new home
We took it away for the following reason
- Snakes have a great way of finding their way ‘home’ (and this is MY home, not the snakes)
So for all you animal lovers out there (like me) – our visitor, who may have lived in that kitchen for years and enjoyed a nice ride to our farm with the RUC on the back of a truck, was placed safely in a cane field a l-o-n-g way from the house.
* For those new to this blog – The RUC is the old Rugby Union Club we had shifted to the farm so we could live in it.
For those asking about ‘stumping’ here is a pic below. The steel posts are attached to the house and cemented into the ground. There are long bolts from the roof to the posts which anchor the house for stability in the event of a cyclone. The lower level will be known as the ‘Man Cave’ for any stinky men who want to have a beer after work.
This is where my ‘Writer’s Nook’ will be. The snake is making a quick getaway (obviously not a prolific reader). Note: there is also an electrical lead on the floor not to be confused with the snake).
Then comes the gentle ‘capture’ so the critter can live happily ever after somewhere else.
Oops – it got away. Lets try that again.
To say I’m surrounded by Crocodile Dundees is an understatement
Also note: I was taking these pictures from a safe distance
I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend. Has it been as eventful as mine?
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY
Since I started the laborious and boring job of sanding I’ve had far too much time to think (and this is always a dangerous thing). Everyone knows why I sand doors and windows to fix them up for the RUC (ergo – I don’t want to live in a dump). I feel the same way about taking things that have happened in my life and writing about them. My mind is filled with the good and the bad and once I put pen to paper it’s like sanding and varnishing the doors of my mind.
I have a stack of doors in the (very messy) shed to sand, paint, or varnish as you can see below.
My life hasn’t been an easy road. Things have happened to me that would make your hair curl (and the last thing I want to do is take a hot iron to your hair – you know how clumsy I am!) But when I look back on my life and I open those doors I realise they’re all connected to the bigger picture – the house. Every good, bad, ugly and indifferent thing that has ever happened to me is behind one of those doors in my mind.
One of the doors in the RUC has a bullet hole in the glass – hmmm, there may be a few bullet holes in the glass doors in my mind as well. There is certainly a story behind this bullet hole and it intrigues me, so I might just leave it like that.
There’s a little bit of me in each of my stories (bullet holes included). My mother often asks me where I get my ideas for stories and this question in itself gave me an idea a few years ago.
When I published ‘Manslaughter and Other Tears‘ (a compilation of my short stories) I added some extra pages at the end of the book to explain why I wrote each story and where the idea came from. I’ve had a lot of great feedback about this (okay – so I’ve had great feedback from my mother), but I believe everyone should do this because it puts you behind the doors in the mind of the writer.
An example of this is from my story Unplugged. My explanation for writing this story is as follows:
Excerpt: (Why I wrote this story) – When my grandfather was ill I walked into his bedroom and kissed him on the cheek. I placed my hand on his chest to balance myself and his ribs were so exposed that it felt like I was touching a bird-cage. This scene was very unnerving as a child and I wondered why he was at home in his own bed instead of being ‘made better’ in a hospital. Of course I understand the reasons why now. I had not thought about this until many years later when I was on a bus. A young woman sat next to me (even though there were plenty of spare seats). She was talking to herself as if she was being interviewed. I asked her who she was talking to and she told me that there were cameras everywhere. She said that her life was being filmed. The cameras were invisible and the audience was the entire world. She told me she had just been at the hospital to see her grandfather who was dying and he thought she was a boy. She said the fact that he thought she was a boy was a test by the interviewers to see if she understood her true identity.
I really felt for her and wondered what it would be like to live for a day in her shoes.
I thought about the things that had happened to me in my life and wrote about a girl who thinks her life is being filmed. To put myself in her shoes I gave her ‘Wizard of Oz type’ ruby slippers. Hence the birth of the story Unplugged and a girl called Dorothy Gale.
This thought process seems easy to me and I often wonder if other people do it. When I read a story I sometimes stop and think,‘Where did the author get this idea? Was it through experience, or was it just ‘dropped in their head’ by their muse?
Do your ideas for writing or art or music come from opening the doors in your mind or does your muse just smack them in your face? Or is it a mixture of both?
Told you I was thinking too much…
Strangely enough, I saw this weeks weekly writing challenge is all about doors!
You all know that I'm a Dianne Gray fan, and I just finished reading her 2010 novel Wolf Pear. The reader has no idea whether or not the two main protagonists, JD Cusack and Esther Crooke will ever meet. Both characters mistreated as children, you hope that the something in the story will turn out well for them.
Poor Esther, fat, lonely, and constantly tormented, has worked her way into a very successful business with her best friend, Sandy in spite of having a despicably hateful family.
When I started sanding the doors for the RUC I thought it would be a relatively easy job.
- Prep door
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well it’s not. Why anyone would paint a cedar door is beyond me (as well as painting the glass). Most of my doors are oak and it’s not too difficult to get them ready for varnishing. But cedar? – it’s so soft it actually absorbs paint.
***Grumble, grumble, whinge, whinge***
Okay – whinge over. I feel better now.
Time for the ‘reveal’.
…if not – I’m heading back to the drawing board …
I also scored some free windows and guess what? They have the same glass as the RUC, but it’s green. They’re going in the kitchen.
I should be finished sanding in 2060. Wish me luck
I got home the other night after a hard day at the RUC and poured myself a wine. I looked down and in front of me on the outside table was none other than Tic Tac the gecko! I recognised him immediately (because he’d been so up-close-and-personal on my nose when we first met). I don’t know how he got up on the table (right in front of where I normally sit), but he just hung out there and watched me for a while. I asked him if he was hungry and tried to give him some of my tomato sandwich, but he wouldn’t eat it (go figure).
So I went inside to get the camera to take some pics of him and as I walked into the kitchen something tapped me on the shoulder. I turned to see alien eyes. I squealed and flicked the thing away. Strangely enough it came back and landed on me twice more so I managed to get some pics of it.
WARNING: IF CREEPY CRAWLIES SCARE YOU – RUN AWAY NOW!
What do you think of those ‘alien’ eyes? No wonder it scared the
crap life out of me when I saw it on my shoulder. (PS – that hairy hand isn’t mine)
What’s happening here? Am I turning into some kind of weird creature magnet?
In the past few weeks I’ve been inundated with creatures. A few of you have suggested that it’s because I need to get back to my WIP In the Company of Beasts, so I’m setting some time aside this week to get back into writing (before I’m carried off to some kind of nest somewhere!)