“A Woman’s Heart Is A Deep Ocean Of Secrets”

I learnt something from Rose (you know from Titanic) recently. I learnt that I can keep precious memories and feelings to myself. Like the precious “Heart Of The Ocean”, I can carry them around without anyone knowing the immense treasure I possess. I don’t have to answer every question. I don’t have to explain everything in detail.

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

I have a life rich with memories, experiences, and I carry many many inspiring people in my heart who have impelled me to make some extraordinary decisions. Occasionally, when I have shared something of why I have made these choices with a person, it has been rather like “casting pearls before swine”.

My heart is a deep ocean, and although I am not especially secretive, I am very protective of my priceless treasure. I like it here on WordPress, because I am able to bring out these precious gems and allow them to sparkle and dazzle me. It brings me great delight. That is why I am hooked on writing.

The Bands That Inspired My Vision Of Mildew

Indie music is such a great theme for today’s Song Lyric Sunday. I have already published on post today featuring Ash – one of the primary sources of inspiration for Mildew – the fictional rock band that are a part of Annabelle Riley’s story. As promised, I am going to share some of the other bands that have given me so many ideas to shape my vision of the band.

Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

THE VERVE – two members went to my high school – and boy were we influenced by their music, their image, their scene. I am sure that Dean has penned tracks that have caught the US and other countries by storm.

THE CHARLATANS – It’s the incredible guitar presence – tracks like these are so hard to forget. I imagine Dean’s song-writing to feature anthem-like guitar riffs.

OCEAN COLOUR SCENE – The iconic opening to this track made it one of the best known songs from the era. I love the thought of Dean penning distinctive guitar riffs that make the band instantly recognizable.

OASIS – Full of swagger and attitude, which you sort of expect from a rock band. There are so many tracks I could have shared with you…but I have chosen one that I remember loving as a kiddo. The idea of Dean Mathers and Mildew is that he has become an phenomenally productive song writer and has been churning out albums packed full of songs that please the critics and the fans and have formed their distinctive “sound”.

THE LONGPIGS – I saw this band when I was fourteen. The crowd went crazy!! There was one particular track that provoked a roar of excitement from the audience. This was hugely popular. I imagine Mildew evoking that kind of reaction from their audiences when they start playing smaller gigs throughout the New York state.

BLUR – there is one particular track from Blur that provides inspiration for a scene where Mildew really make an impression on their audience at one of their early live gigs. Annabelle sees the band really finding their confidence as their audience revels in their perfomance.

I could go on…but I think perhaps you have the idea of how music, the music I used to listen to as a kiddo, has left me with masses of inspiration to develop the fictional band Mildew, the talented songwriter and guitarist Dean Mathers and other band members.

I have so many memories of hanging around at the record company and all the bands I met during my teens. It is fueling the flow of describing the clothes, language, attitudes of my characters, and it is fascinating for me to dive into the reservoir of real life experiences that are pooled within me…and recreate them on the page.

Indie Inspiration!

Jim Adams aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: INDIE ROCK OR INDIE POP SONGS

I was so excited when I saw Jim’s theme for this week that I completely messed up my blogging schedule. Last weekend (when I was doing masses of training for work) I realized I had actually schedule my choice of INDIE music for Motown week!

So why so excited about INDIE? Well, it was the explosion of incredible music released by Independent record labels that led me to frequenting pubs, clubs, student unions, and many other music venues all over Manchester and beyond as a teen. I was still at school when I began working for a record company operating two independent record labels.

Photo by Dustin Tray on Pexels.com

The memories, the experiences, the sights, sounds, emotions…it is all still in my mind…and it has all provided buckets of inspiration when it came to the characters in Annabelle Riley’s story – her ex songwriter and guitarist Dean Mathers and his fellow band members.

Right now I am developing the story of Annabelle’s first few years with Dean, which includes the journey of the band – from playing in the garage at Sandy’s home, to recording a demo tape in a small studio under Gary’s supervision, to playing on college campuses, to being snapped up by a record label,…and onwards and upwards. Around twelve years after Annabelle first meets Dean, he has made a fortune from the royalties to the albums the band have released, but he is still effected by stage fright and initially refuses to go on stage at Madison Square Gardens.

Aaaah – I do love developing these characters and their story!!! Well…which bands have inspired me when I wrote about Dean’s band Mildew? Well, the theme Jim has chosen today has given me the opportunity to share with you some of the music that shaped the vision of Mildew. This is one of the primary bands – with guitarist Tim Wheeler (also the songwriter) from the band. I read that Ash started out playing in a garage, and that when they played at Glastonbury – their bassist was only twenty at the time, making him the youngest performer to take the stage at the festival.

In this post I am sharing two of Ash’s posts “Goldfinger” and “Oh Yeah” – oh so many memories. I remember being Annabelle’s age (she is fourteen when she meets Dean) and being awed by the musicians I was meeting. I cannot tell you how easy it is for me to slip into Annabelle’s mindset and how powerfully influenced she is by Dean and the band. There are other bands, other tracks, that have contributed to the vision in my mind of Mildew and these characters – Nick (singer), Dean Mathers (main guitar and song writer), Rick (bass guitarist) and Liam (drummer) and later today, I will share more indie band that keep the ideas flowing as I write Annabelle’s story.

Move closer, set my mind on fire
Taking over, the world seems so alive
The world seems so alive

She slips into the night, and she is gone
Gone to settle the score, gone into the town
Rain shining in her eyes
Her brother started school
Again today, a thought to pass the time
To occupy my mind, while I'm waiting for her

Down in the basement, listening to the rain
Thinking things over. I think it over again
I think it over again

She slips into the night, and she was gone
Gone to settle the score, gone into the town
Rain shining in her eyes
Her brother started school
Again today, a thought to pass the time
To occupy my mind, while I'm waiting for her

I'm riding it down, listen to the rain
She'll be here soon, I lie back and drift away
I lie back and drift away.

She slips into the night, and she was gone
Gone to settle the score, gone into the town
Rain shining in her eyes
Her brother started school
Again today, a thought to pass the time
To occupy my mind, while I'm waiting for her

I'm feeling so alive, feeling so real
On a stormy night, the rain is coming down
Rain like never before
I've got some records on, some bottles of wine
On a stormy night, the rain is lashing down
And I'm waiting for her

Written by Tim Wheeler
Oh Yeah she was taking me over
Oh Yeah it was the start of the summer

On warm June evenings
She would come to my house
Still in her school skirt
And her summer blouse
Talking too long as the night came on
It was the best time of my life
Her bee stung lips,
Kisses sweeter than wine
The things she whispered
With breathless sighs
The summer air was soft and warm
Her eyes were making silent demands
And as her hair came undone in my hands

Oh Yeah she was taking me over
Oh Yeah it was the start of the summer

Driving her home after midnight
I felt so good everything was alright
Her thoughts seemed so lost in the night sky
I remember everything
I don't know why these things ever send
I sometimes wish it was that summer again
I still see her in my sleep
And hear the sighing of the summer wind
Still I don't regret one thing

Oh Yeah she was taking me over
Oh Yeah it was the start of the summer
It felt just like it was the start of forever
Oh Yeah it was the start of the summer

Written by Tim Wheeler

Enough With The Creepy Questions Already

I have been a little freaked out over the past couple of days by the creepy questions that appeared when I tried to open up a blank post and prepare something to be published.

Perhaps I am overly suspicious – but why does WordPress need to ask me about my clothing choices…or tech preferences? Creepy!!!

This chick is going to be maintaining her exclusivity and anonymity and sharing only what she is needs to. In my real life – I have to deter, deflect and dampen the curiosity of nosey-parkers, especially those asking me twenty questions about my wedding. Being asked random creepy questions on a blank post…it does not sit well with me.

OK…there is my grouchy gripe out there…sunglasses back on…let’s disappear back into the shadows.

Photo by Gabriela Moraes on Pexels.com

Wonderment

Recently, I met an NHS professional who impressed me within a very short space of time. Something quickly won my admiration and respect. I wish I had more time to observe this person in action. I also had this strong feeling that I would love to go for a coffee with them and just take in more about their character and manners. They had a certain presence – one that was such a pleasure to be around. I was in a state of wonderment – which impacted me deeply.

Photo by Rahul Pandit on Pexels.com

I other news… I have a large bruise on my hand – and it seems to have appeared rather randomly, without any injury. It does not hurt – but it looks terrible!!

The SARAH Act

What does SARAH mean? Before you say “Princess”, I ought to explain that I am referring to the context of whether to help a stranger (or anyone really) who is in distress.

You may perhaps have come across it if you have been on a First Aid Course in recent years. I found several websites that explain it. Here is the first that popped up:

https://www.communityheartbeat.org.uk/governance/sarah-act-2015-legal-issues

Photo by Puwadon Sang-ngern on Pexels.com

Well, after completing some training recently for work, SARAH will no longer make me think “princess”. No from now on, I will think “hero”!!

SOCIAL ACTION, RESPONSIBILITY AND HEROISM ACT 2015 (SARAH)

It is essentially legislation designed just to give you peace of mind should you be innocently wandering along and see someone in distress.

The Cold Creeps In

Fir the past two days I have noticed the cold has descended. I have been wearing my winter coat and I now have my winter duvet on the bed. If it were up to me, I would already be in hibernation.

Photo by Ana Arh on Pexels.com

When I reach this time of year, I start to feel a little optimistic – I just have to hold on tight while we get the filthy, dismal, commercial month of December out of the way…and then come January…we can start to look out for signs that spring is hovering. Searching for the first snowdrops, relishing the lengthening days.

Not long until spring ow – just a couple of miserable months and then we can plan to get out there and live a lot more!!

The Art Of Suggestion

I was reading another bloggers post recently, and it was full of advice I needed to pay attention to and heed. I have a real weakness with my style of writing. I am not very good at suggesting something to the reader, allowing them to fill in the gaps. Instead, I tend to waffle and supply way too many trivial details that don’t aid the flow of the story.

I don’t really know why I do that. I guess I am just such an amateur when it comes to crafting a story and captivating readers. I become immersed in my characters, and find that almost everything they think, feel, say, hold back from saying, do, regret they didn’t do – it all matters to me…and I sort of expect it to matter to others who read their stories.

But it does not always work that way. Ultimately, nobody will ever know or love my characters as much as I do. That is just a fact. So, if I go overboard with revolving the story around my characters alone, it can be like having dinner with a parent who wants to show you a host of photographs of their little ones, the pictures they drew at school, their first milk teeth that fell out, and share you with accounts of every memorable incident since birth. Yeah…there is only so much you can take of that!!!

Photo by Ali Drabo on Pexels.com

There is another issue I have…I realized I have in some cases been too explicit in my explanations. I don’t want to shy away from the fact my characters have complex issues they grapple with. But I think in some areas I have made the explanation of what is happening almost too clinical. They are difficult, provocative subjects, but I don’t need to handle them like a Doctor or a Social Worker. I need to get down on to the level of my characters and indicate just how uncomfortable they are with talking about their weaknesses. I need to learn the art of suggestion, and not be overly graphic or descriptive.

Hmm….writing is such an education in itself! It is truly fascinating to look back at your writing and analyse patterns in your style, seek improvements and enhancements, and learn how to see things from your Readers point of view always.

Scrambled Brains And Wine Stains

I have been on a course. It was a very very interesting course, packed full of important updates and entirely new information. I enjoyed it, I benefited from it, I saw many applications for the course content. It was a cracking course!

However….I have to admit, I am feeling rather overwhelmed with learning. I started a new job three weeks ago, and although I am loving it, I feel as if it has been somewhat a steep learning curve that has coincided with hours of mandatory training to complete. I am enjoying my job, I adore my new colleagues, and I do like that there will be continual opportunities to learn…but my brain!!! Oh my poor brain!!! I am not sure whether I can take in any more! My synapses are fried. My axons have barbequed. My brain is scrambled!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I just hope that all of the information I have taken in in recent weeks does actually stick.

In other news…Jack spilt wine all over the fresh bed linen I had just made the bed up with. He did it at midnight…and so we had half an hour of soaking the carpet with water, stripping the bed, submerging the linen and pillows in stain remover and then as I had not washed the other set yet, we had to make up the bed with fleecy blankets as under-sheets, and fortunately there was no wine on the duvet. I also have a couple of spare pillows for guests, so we were comfy enough. That meant lots of washing the next day. Oh Jack – I love you lots, and these memories I will treasure always. Life with you is never dull! Not for a minute!

Stellar Wonders

I have managed to dodge those weird conversations when a neighbour, or a colleague, or the cashier at the supermarket start telling you about their star sign. When I was a child it was a bit of a joke that some people seemed to actually make decisions based on that cringe-worthy column in the rags.

Even recently, I heard a woman who is paid a six figure salary talking about her star sign and who that makes her compatible with and how it dictates her attitudes and interactions and reactions. She admitted that she takes a person’s star sign into account when she is interviewing candidates. I was absolutely horrified when I heard her say that…to the extent that I am wondering if I should discreetly report it to one of her senior’s.

Anyway…at this time of year when the sky is dark not long after four o’clock, there is only one constellation that I look for in the sky. Orion. My first interest in astronomy was due to the fascinating Orion’s nebula.

The wonders of the stars and galaxies stir a different fascination in me. I see vast vast vast amounts of energy (you know that word that is constantly in the news) converted into matter on an extraordinary scale.

Speaking of energy…I ought to go to sleep so that I have enough energy for a very busy day tomorrow.

Learner at Love

%d bloggers like this: