Writing Woes

Quiet historic Raymoth lane where I lived

Eunice today – age70

 

It grieves me that I do not have the discipline, or an agent in lieu, to be a succesful writer. I t writing. I hate editing. Actually I can no longer see to edit. 

The answer is to find an agent who appoints an editor… or some other excuse. Mills and Boon are still waIting for a second book they invited me to submit when they said my first submission, Island of Flowers, did not have enough coflict (they had a format). 

That book is a romance featuring Poinsettia Garland (known as Pansy – the reason is in the book) and the notorious (in the family) page 22; “A we bit lis” – Auntie Joan. The hero is a French flower importer, tall, and pretty cool. He is not a pansy by the way.

 It is even ‘fini’, with a happy ending and all. Are you on the scent? I need to get it at least on Kindle before cd disks are no longer legible. 

Or do I join up the two halves of my historical novel, loosely based on some family details given to me by my beloved Nev on his death bed? No joke. It is an Australian multicultural historical novel. Sort of topical now.

I have written are loads of memoirs, some printed and collated into a book. Or ‘Ruth’s Garden’ – .poems and photos that I printed and sold through the local nursery. Oh it goes on. 

My family inherits, unwillingly, a large plastic bin of various manuscripts, plus disks and.scraps of handwritten paper containing spontaneous ‘poyums’ that got no further. Plus a fat folder of published stories and poems, ten anthologies and several magazines containing my work. I am not a failure at writing, just at the business of writing, and publishing.

One has to have a life to become a writer, or be observant enough to write about other people’s, but the crucial point is to write it down, print it out, get it published, and hopefully make it pay; that being the only measure os success in this day and age.

I have had too much life in my life. No one argues that. Point is, I have worn myself out having that life, so need to sit my backache down at the laptop, block out the four lanes of hurtling expressway only a few metres from my window, and get on with it. But not right now.

On the other hand, I was beginning to make a name for myself as a freelance journalist (Eunice Hobson. Pre-Google). I racketed around the countryside in my Datsun Stanza taking rolls of black and white film for The Land to print and publish…oh lots of stuff in my scrapbook. I even had my byline and got paid! I will tell you about that next time

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All In The Attitude

Meeting up with oldest most inspirational friend in Hamilton as she is catching the train down to shop for a swimsuit in the trendy swimwear shop to wear for her swimming exercise at the local gym. My swimsuit hangs in the wardrobe having never seen daylight, let alone water. Gwen meets her health issues head on and keeps going. After two hours total sleep I am struggling to get ready and go worship at the feet of this geriatric goddess! Just battling my way into one swimsuit in Spandex would require a lie down for me but the walk along the shopping street and good coffee will loosen me up and Gwen is a tonic at any time. So much to talk about and will come back determined to step up my exercise – after a lie down! 

Children’s Story – Dragon Days

Dragon Days by Eunice C English


 

One day, when the sun was shining, all the baby dragons in Paula’s house decided to go and play in the woodland.

 

Mummy dragon, said they could go on their own this time, because she was waiting for the arrival of their new brother or sister – or both, or two boys or two girls. You never knew with dragons.

 

Before they set off Paula told them where to find food and drink in the woodland. Then they and Spot all set off together, but being dragons they soon wandered off in different directions.

 

Spot found the shady pool by the big rock first and the tree root with lots of yummy witchety grubs. He wasn’t greedy, and left plenty for his siblings.

 

One by one they shuffled into the clearing, tired but happy. They had a great picnic of fresh witchety grubs, green pond weed with slime, and water.

 

When they bigger, Spot told them, they would be able to throw flame from their tongues to have bbq’d witchety grubs! ‘Oooooh!’ they all said together.

 

For the rest of the afternoon the tiny dragons played together; running under the waterfall, sploshing in the mud on the edge of the pond then jumping ‘splat’ into the water, The best fun was swimming around pretending to be the Loch Ness Monster and making each other laugh so much!

When the shadows came over the pond they knew it was time to go home for tea. They went in a line, like elephants do, and followed Spot home through the trees.

They had a great surprise when they got home. The newest dragon had arrived and Grandma had come to visit and made them toasted crumpets with honey to celebrate.

Guess how Grandma toasted those crumpets?

Then they all curled up together in.their big bed of soft ferns and fell fast asleep.

 

The End….for now!

 

 

Poetry Reading

Michael Collins from Newcastle, New South Wales, is in the final stages of producing a cd of his poetry, and I was tickled to be invited to read and record two of his poems, until Michael said he needed ‘an older voice’! Cheek! But having read both The Grandmother’, and ‘Dementia’, both very intuitive and touching, I am honoured to be the old lady.

In addition to the reader Michael has added relevant sounds and music. This makes a very interesting listening. I am excited to listen to the whole production when it is released soon.

Determination

How I see with my left eye (minus the grid)


My youngest son’s Pre-school teacher knew me well enough to describe him s “a determined little toad”! And he still is, bless him.

Determination can be an assett, but it is not an attractive trait. I was also a very determined child. I blame the Norman and Viking genes. Nobody got in their way. Even now, my elder son sets his jaw in that determined way, says “Follow me, Mum”, and crowds part before him without pause. For a gentle soul he has a strong determined streak that has got him just where he wants to be.

This train of thought came about when I had finished converting a cushion into a neck pillow this afternoon. I nearly threw it in the ‘too hard basket’ (bin) the other day but hate to give up. My left eye sees like the graph above and my right eye can not see a straight line, so anyone sensible would simply not attempt the project. My left arm is also a problem but we wont go there.

I came across some tapestry needles and was able to thread with cotton. My stitching is rough. I used to do embroidery and cross-stitch, plus make my own clothes, jewellery etc. Today rough is ok. I will call it rustic, and it does the job. Result!


It needs plumping into shape, when I get my energy back. 

Fired with enthusiasm I rummaged in the bits box and pulled out the little rainbow cushion I had knitted. I needed to sew up the seams and the light was good…but the yarn was too thick and I remembered you cannot get a camel through the eye of a needle except with special visual effects.

So I divided the yarn into its strands, and tried threading that. After twenty determined minutes I remembered that somewhere just out of sight is a larger needle and also one of those needle-threading gizmos, so this project can go back in the box for now.

Determination on its own can be frustrating and detrimental. It matches well with devious, however. ‘Good organisational skills’ on the CV, and on resulting job references.

Nev reckoned I was manipulative, in a nice way. It went well with determination. But  being determined I would help make it go away did not stop his cancer.

Determination and friendship got me back on my feet, though feeling like one of those rolling punching toys. 

It is not always good to determine to do something. When Dad asked me to come home and help them, Mum’s dementia was taking hold and Dad had kidney failure, diabetes and blindness. In the two years since I was there things had really deteriorated. I did my best and was very gentle with them, but being the child up against two determined oldies made getting them to accept even basic care so difficult. It was soul-destroying and after four years I have still not found my former self. Any full-time family carer will understand.

My sister blamed me for everything. She who refused even to come and stay for two days too see the situation at close hand. The cruelty of she and her husband has greatly shattered my faith in myself. You don’t want to know.

She had been stubborn as a child, rather than determined. She combined it with sulkin. Shecould sulk for days, or until she got what she wanted, like skating and horse-riding lessons that my parents managed to afford. I always thought her the favourite until not long before Mum’s death, my Mother said “Pauline was always sulking.” Not how I want to be remembered.

It is taking all my determination to overcome health, emotional and physical issues in the year since I returned to be close to my family. I don’t like to get introspective so this afternoon has been a bit of an odd one.

So I will go lie down on my comfy newish neck pillow, remembering I have plans afoot for my upcoming birthday in September.

Tomorrow I have to go pick up my new replacement spectacles and I will be able to see the laptop again and continue writing ‘The Door Slams’.

I may be renewing my batteries on my new pillow but I am not taking what is left of my life lying dow.

I am determined about that!

Darfoulds Nursery

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This skyline always reminds me of the original Windows desktop picture but it was taken just outside Worksop and is a view from Darfoulds Garden Centre and plant nursery.
The geese and ducks form a welcoming committee as we alight from the car. They look so pretty against the green backdrop of the rolling hill.
Although Worksop is built on gentle undulations with a few steeper inclines, the surrounding countryside is fairly flat. The highest point in the town that was once the wooden castle or fort is now a car park, but from the mound to the side there is quite a view, though mainly of nearby streets and houses now.
The hospital is also on one of the highest points too, come to think of it, as early hospitals often were. Nearer to Heaven in case of failure, or above the pollution of many coal fires that I remember hanging over the town?
Meanwhile, back at Darfoulds the winter plants are being put away and preparations are being made for spring and summer plantings.
The cafe is doing a good trade in providing for the Seniors who have escaped lunch-making in favour of an outing into the fresh air followed by a scone with jam and thick cream and a pot of tea.
Doing likewise, we join them.
More info: http://www.darfoulds.commore info