Writing journey

Going on a Dragon Hunt

Following on from my last post, a cake was baked. Not strictly parkin, a Yorkshire ginger cake because of the lack of oatmeal in the house (I don’t think rice crispies would have been a good substitute)  but a ginger cake made to my Mum-in-laws recipe. It hit the spot creatively so the scene is written and my main character, Amber is happily going on a dragon hunt armed with a cake to Filey.

Filey Brigg drawn by D. Backhouse

Filey Brigg is a long, narrow, rocky peninsula in Filey on the East coast of Yorkshire. Until recently, I just saw it as part of the scenery to enjoy while drinking hot Horlicks overlooking the bay but then I discovered it was supposed to be a parkin-loving dragon turned to stone after his death. This fits perfectly with Amber’s story and gave me the opportunity to introduce Iggy, a very floppy toy fabric dragon who played a large part in her early childhood.

Iggy; A beloved friend or a judgmental fiend depending who you ask

He may or may not play a pivotal role in the book depending on where the twists take me. It always amazes me how something you read followed by a prompt of a sketch can inspire you to write scenes you would never have thought of otherwise.

 

 

 

More of the folk tale of Filey’s dragon can be read in a delightful book called East Yorkshire Folk Tales by Ingrid Barton as well as here.

July has arrived so Camp NaNoWriMo has begun so it is time to put the kettle on and get this draft done.

Happy July!

 

Writing journey

The Joy of Illustrations

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I love art and adore illustrated books. Maybe it is a throwback from being a child holding a picture book in my chubby hands, in awe of the story coming alive in the drawings next to the words. The relationship between the author’s words and the artist’s imagery, when they compliment each other is sublime. They become so entwined that you can not think of one without the other. If you see the drawings of Quentin Blake, you automatically think Roald Dahl or if you read the wisdom of Winnie the Pooh, the sketches of E.H Shepherd form in your mind. When I read the words of Tolkien I see the art of Alan Lee followed by scenes from the Lord of the Rings films; a rare case where the producer manages to capture the essence of the novel in its cinematic splendour.

 

20161119_114844 (2)I grew up immersed in several books by Brian Froud and my treasured possession is the illustrated version of The Lord of the Rings and these have heavily influenced how I see my current novel in my mind. As a wannabe writer, I always had images of how I would like my book to look like. Forget planning wedding dresses in idle times in class at school, I was planning my book. I wanted illustrations to bring compliment my story, art to make my book become more than a tale to be read but an object that calls to be placed on the bookcase. My artistic skills are not up to bringing my images alive but luckily a close friend Debra McFarlane has, so we spent our time on wet, cold break times huddled in the art room discussing stories and sketching characters. Maybe one day, I will write a novel worthy of illustrating.

An artist I have come across recently who I love and has the style I envisaged as a teenager is Emily Hare. The world of unique creatures she has created is a wonderful example of how the alchemy of words, drawings and imagination can form magic on the page. Her Kickstarter campaign ends shortly but it is worth looking at. It is already successful and I eagerly wait to hold her book in my not so chubby hands and immerse myself in the world of Strangehollow just as I did with Froud’s Labyrinth.

 

Writing journey

A New Year, a new page

2016 with all its surprises, turmoil and heartache is over and a fresh year has begun. Yesterday, flying around social media was this message.

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It is true and I hope to fill every page, every day this year with something, however small. A calendar to track my progress, a new notebook and stationary has been purchased*  so this years adventure can begin.

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My to-do list for 2017

  • complete the course I have signed up to A Novel Idea and have a first draft of my WIP (The Hollow) written by 2018.
  • Write for 10 minutes at least everyday
  • Read 10 minutes everyday – not a hardship for an avid reader who needs books like she needs to breathe
  • Take photos
  • Connect with others with similar interests in writing in cyberworld and locally
  • Learn the craft of writing
  • Write short stories
  • Enjoy the process of researching the facts my stories need.
  • Visit places for research with the added bonus of a cup of tea if I am lucky.
  • And the one I am most looking forward too is release my imagination and allow it to go wild.

I hope you all have a wonderful 2017 with lots of books, inspiration and happiness.

*no writer can resist a new notebook with crisp clean pages full of promise and potential. It is the only time an empty page is a positive rather than the daunting sign of the dreaded writer’s block.