Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Yesterday, another oops...

Day fifteen: Well it should be day sixteen but I missed yesterday. Not from internet issues although that was not perfect, but because I was reading a book on how to get reviewers written by someone who would know – Gisela Hausmann, one of Amazon’s top reviewers. She has written several books, the one I bought is called Naked Truths About Getting Book Reviews. It’s exactly what the title suggests, a step by step guide to getting useful and relevant reviews for your books that will help attract readers.

As it happens, my little book The Story of a Street Cat Called Sabrina was reviewed by Gisela, and not through any request of mine but just by happenstance. I only found out a few days ago that she is a top reviewer on Amazon which leaves me astonished that one, she found my book and two, that she liked it so much. So, I shall be applying her advice as dispensed in her book to both Letters and the Sabrina book, which I admit I have done little to market and probably should have.

Today I have so many different things to do, all related to marketing the books, that I feel a bit like a jigsaw puzzle that needs to be put together. All the pieces are related to the whole but they are jumbled up and must be put into place one at a time, and most likely not in a way that makes the picture immediately obvious. This in turn has had the effect of me procrastinating as I try to decide which piece of my puzzle I should fit first.

This morning I woke from a dream, one of those dreams that is so realistic you can smell the antiseptic – I was in a hospital. The colours, sounds and even emotions were so vivid that I lay for a few seconds trying to decide whether the dream was the reality and waking was the dream or vice versa. Then I reached for my phone to jot down the basics of it before it evaporated from my mind. That dream, my friends, is my new book. It has to take a back seat for a while since I have Zora’s Light to finish first, but then I will be diving into another women’s fiction with a message. I do seem to have a bent for them.

Meantime, this blog post. So far I have waffled on for 411 words – in as disjointed a manner as that jigsaw puzzle when you tip it from the box - and I haven’t written what I came here to write. I saw the mornings writing prompt, which was to write about something you wrote as a child. Well, I do have a poem that I wrote as a child – not sure how old I was. I have a few actually, that my mother preserved. She said it was my poetry and I do kind of remember having a brief spurt of believing I was a starving poet living in an attic. As an Australian, where the house styles are different, I had no real idea of what an attic actually looked like and my imagination painted a very romantic picture that had zero resemblance to reality.

 I don’t know for sure that I wrote this poem except I wrote my name at the top so it must be mine! If it weren’t for that I would say it might have been one of my brothers since my brothers and I had practically identical scrappy handwriting. My sister has beautiful but indecipherable writing; we had messy almost indecipherable writing. Over time my handwriting became so illegible (as my thoughts flowed faster than my hand could write) that I should have been a doctor, and in the end I had to start writing in block letters so that people could read my notes. So I don’t have much memory of what my handwriting looks like.

My oldest son also has terrible handwriting. His year 10 English teacher gave him special dispensation to write his first drafts on the computer instead of by hand because it gave her a headache trying to read it. Another told him that his handwriting looked like a drunk spider had fallen into an inkwell and crawled all over the paper. My youngest also has similar handwriting, so I think it is a genetic trait and I should blame some ancestor somewhere.

When I was in primary school there was a yearly handwriting competition at the local show. Each year I would work laboriously at my handwriting. I would write draft after draft beforehand, slowly forming each letter, getting cramps in my hands from holding the pencil too tight. Meanwhile, the girl who always won would spend a couple of minutes writing hers and hand it in. I never won, never got a special mention even. The last time I tried my teacher came up to me in school the following week and had a chat to me. She said that not everyone can write exactly like the lesson book. She said that everyone is an individual and that the most individual of us had completely different handwriting to anyone else. And that was ok, it just meant we were special and should be proud of that. I don’t know if she believed it, or just felt sorry for me. But I took her words to heart and never again tried to make my handwriting look like the book.

So, here is my childhood poetry:
I looked in the mirror

I looked in the mirror
And what did I see
A funny little monkey
Looking back at me
I looked in the kitchen
And what do you think
I saw a swan swimming
In the kitchen sink
I looked in the ice box
And what do you know
Sitting on the cheese was a coal black crow
I looked in the bedroom
And under the bed
I saw a little beetle
Stark stone dead
I looked in the bathroom
And sitting in the tub
Was a big polar bear
And her little bear cub
I looked in the closet
And I had to laugh
When I saw a long necked
Spotty giraffe
Wherever I looked
I found something queer
A purple baboon
On a blue reindeer
A cat in the cupboard
A mouse in the tea
But I never did find
What I set out to see
No I never did find
What I set out to see
I looked everywhere
But I never found – ME

So that was my pre-teen poetry, hope you enjoyed that little piece of history. I think I was around ten or eleven. There’s more, I made a little booklet. I don’t think I ever wrote poetry again, guess I decided I didn’t have the talent for it.

The human mind is a magical thing, a creative tool that we all carry around inside our heads. I believe everyone has a need for creativity – for some it’s more obvious since it comes out in words, music, drawing or painting. But we all have a gift, a creative ability and whatever yours is, I urge you to use it, enjoy it and grow from and with it. Unless, as I often say, you’re a psychopathic serial killer in which case please don’t.

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