As the year draws to a close it would be easy for me to think of the pain and heartache that it has dished out to me and my family, but then I look at my fiancé and stepchildren and I am reminded of how lucky I am and of all the wonderful memories that we made this year.
My two eldest stepchildren achieved great things with exam results and have now begun the next chapter in their lives and to top it my eldest stepson became Head Boy. Photographs remind me of the days out and happy times we shared as a couple and as a family.
My fiancé’s perfect and magical proposal in the Highlands of Scotland, I still look at my ring and smile at the memories.
My parents’ 60th wedding anniversary and the feeling of love and pride I have for them.
Having my dad celebrate this Christmas and New Year, something that, for a while, we thought might not happen.
These are the things that I am grateful for and as Big Ben rings in 2017 I’ll be focusing on the good times and the wonderful memories that we’ll make in the coming year.
So yesterday I was complaining that I couldn’t come up with any ideas for a piece of flash fiction that I want to write, I wracked my brain for ideas but there was nothing there…Well during the night one of my characters began to appear, they are still a bit transparent but they are getting there.
I want this character to be a cleaner either in an office building or for a wealthy family, a situation where they would be almost invisible to the people around them…
But that’s where my ideas have run out (for the time being) I need to develop the problem that this character helps with and I haven’t thought of anything that grabs my attention. I’m hoping that I’ll have another eureka moment during the night…BECAUSE
So I’ve a deadline, got about 4 days to submit a piece of flash fiction. Shouldn’t be too difficult, it’s only 500 words and needs to be loosely based around a particular Aesop fable, so why am I not celebrating its completion this evening?
My characters have decided to send me to Coventry and refuse to talk to me, that’s why!! I have come up against a brick wall and am void of ideas.
I wanted to map out some ideas today, I have been carrying my notebook around with me all day, but I’ve been too exhausted to even lift the pen. My poor fiancé was awake at 1am with severe toothache, by 2am he was downstairs because the pain was so bad that he didn’t know what to do with himself and at 3:30am I went down to sit with him, so it was a night of broken sleep which has made us both lethargic and unfortunately my creative juices have hit a dam…
I’m really keen to get something down on paper but the lightbulb just won’t turn on and I’m struggling to develop a storyline…
So here is where I’m going to leave you for tonight, we have an early dental appointment and my poor fiancé is a bit scared about what they might do, last time he went (4 years ago) he had to have a coronectomy, look it up on Wiki, it doesn’t sound good.
So I’ll be there to hold his hand and you never know I may get a snippet of inspiration and my invisible friends may just decide that they want to come out and play again.
So earlier this evening my fiancé sees a spider crawling across the wall, said spider was about an inch in size, legs included, we are not talking about a tarantula, just a small spider. Now what you need to know about my fiancé is that he hates spiders, cannot stand them, so much so that he trained our dog to catch them…
We have a small Jackchi called Phoebe, she is adorable, kind, loving and very affectionate, unless you are a spider (or worm). When she sees a spider she nudges it with her nose, tosses it in the air and then rolls on it, occasionally, like this evening, she will even eat it. However; so small was this spider that it must have slid quickly down her throat without touching the sides because she spent a couple of minutes looking for it.
As you can see from those soft, brown eyes, she’s a real cutie and you would never think her a spider killer…
So if you have a spider problem and you hate arachnids then maybe you should call Phoebe, she will always save the day.
I read an article earlier where a writer was debating the ‘show don’t tell’ school of thought, they felt that ‘telling’ the story was the right way because we are ‘storytellers’, a reasonable argument I felt.
As a teacher I am always trying to get my students to think about this within their own writing, how something is (possibly) more interesting when someone’s fear or sadness, for example, is described rather than being told how they are feeling. I love the anticipation that this type of writing provides the reader, to me it is more satisfying.
However I recently wrote a ‘dialogue only’ short story and I found it incredibly difficult and at times frustrating to keep the momentum of the story and the development of the two characters going, I became more of a ‘storyteller’ then ‘shower’.
Because I couldn’t say how the characters were speaking or describe their movements or facial expressions I had to think of other creative ways to ‘show’this. At one point my main protagonist is sitting in front if a dressing table mirror, a key part to the story, and I had to think of a way to include this in the dialogue and still create a 3 dimensional scene. In another scene she looses her balance and the other character helps her, but we know this not by how the characters move but by what is said.
Do I think that my story lacked something because of this? No, I don’t.
As a writer it made me think more creatively, I ‘showed’ when I could and ‘told’ when I had to, my story was a collaboration of both. It certainly made me realise that there is room for both within my own writing and I’m going to have some fun experimenting with it. Now where did I put that notepad?
This was me after lunch today, could I have squeezed in another ‘pig in blanket’? Probably not. There comes a point when you have to come to terms with the fact that you need to stop eating…
But it was lovely to be with family, especially as we only see some of them every 2 years because they live in Australia. There’s nothing better then spending quality time with the people you love. Through the power of technology we were able to FaceTime my family (100 miles away) and share their Christmas too.
Now it’s time to relax so we can do it all again tomorrow…
It’s almost 11:30pm, the stockings have been hung, the presents wrapped and children all over England are waiting eagerly for Santa to arrive. For my two eldest step-children their stockings are already full and waiting. This year my two youngest step-children are celebrating Christmas with their mum, by now they would have prepared the goodies for Santa and his reindeer and they will be safely tucked up in bed dreaming expectantly about what presents they will receive. In our house I am the only one still awake, even Phoebe (our dog) is curled up asleep on the bed next to me.
For me this Christmas will be a time of reflection, a realisation of what could have been and of what was not destined to be. A time to be thankful that my family are safe and well and an opportunity to remember all of the good times we have shared.
No mater how you choose to spend the holidays make it memorable and tell at least one person that you love them ❤