ColetteB….

not exactly work in progress…


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Back with flash fiction as backstory

#May-be-A-B (letter B post) and accepting Sarah C’s writing challenge using her Alphabetical Prompts (letter A prompt).

While caught up in tangling and untangling my story idea for Sarah’s prompts, I decided that both casting characters and creating a fully-developed world is going to take a heck of a long time for a novice fiction writer who barely gets round to writing any fiction hardly ever. That best describes me. So bite-size backstory flash-fiction offerings seem a bright idea to be bringing forth nothing as big as a book, but there are billions of those so why bother writing a book. But maybe I’ll build on this writing in the future, y’never know.

Anyway, back to the letter A and writing to Sarah C’s prompt (no spoiler, wanna know the prompt, gotta go visit, apols, but otherwise revealing it spoils my tale too…)

Part A (untitled)

Arianne had been keeping a dream diary since before she even knew what that meant. Her mother said she was doing it even before she knew how to write English. Every morning the very first thing she did before getting out of bed was to reach for her paper and pen from the bedside table and note down everything she remembered.

“So what’s this then? Shorthand?” Marcus snatched the paper away just as Arianne made a grab for it and his face twisted with confused expressions as he turned the paper every possible way trying to find a means to make sense of the markings.

“Marcus give it back now or you’re never staying over again!”

“Oh I don’t mind not staying over,” Marcus scoffed. “Shag and run’s more fun anyway – and less washing-up and…” He was silenced by a thwack in the face with a pillow. Arianne grabbed the page from his hand and screwed it into a ball.

“So what was it?” Marcus persisted as she walked away from him toward her bathroom cubicle. She threw the paper ball across the room to land in the waste basket in the corner near her desk.

“Litter. See!”

Arianne hoped he’d leave it alone and maybe she could retrieve it later. She’d have to be more careful. She couldn’t possibly tell Marcus about Alradlayik teachings. He’d never believe her, no-one had before. No way she was she going back on meds for the disbelief of others. While she was small Arianne’s talk of the Alradlayiks, even before she knew the word aliens, was humoured as the imaginative play of a child while practising Alradlayik alphabet and drawing pictures from their stories.

At the age of seven everything altered. Her parents sought no help, as although Arianne had some strange ways of saying things and seemed different to other children, she was otherwise healthy and intelligent and not appearing emotionally disturbed but other adults considered her ‘afflicted’. All kinds of awful names were attributed to her condition of being … asleep in her earth-life, while as if awake in another life – only dreaming her parents would say. Doctors disagreed.

Entering the Academy, attending as a boarder at such a young age was not in her best interests at all, but assertions from the authorities that she would be forcibly removed from her parent’s care if they resisted meant she herself agreed, to spare her parents the guilt of allowing such a thing.

All Marcus knew of all this was that she won an early scholarship for high attainment and while it wasn’t exactly true, it wasn’t entirely a lie either. Anyway, as long as she wasn’t leaving her writing where he might see, maybe he’d forget about seeing that letter he’d picked up earlier. She’d attended to her hygiene, donned her uniform and arranged her hair and all within the five minutes allotted time. She took a deep breath and re-entered her room…

[500 words. 2nd draft, original writing, copyright 05/05/2018]

 

 

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Monday’s Mundane post (less than 700 words)

I caught sight of a photo post challenge response from Indira’s Blog earlier today and thinking I’d maybe take part, hopped over to check the Mundane Monday Challenge rules. Just my luck that this week has been declared the last week of that challenge, unless volunteer(s) step up to host it. After a whopping 150 weeks hosting the challenge, it is understandable that someone might need to draw a closing line and take some rest from it.

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Time to rekindle my participation in milae’s Recycled Book Reading Challenge [1500words]

I’m way overdue for continuing this (and plenty of other previously planned blogging intentions). Never mind.

I’m still not managing linear reading well and struggle to retain what I’m reading as I journey longform, so dip in and out of stories rather than read from front to end. I’ve probably not finished reading any of the books I mentioned in any previous posts for this and definitely haven’t got as far as any writing on any of them.

The challenge host, milae has reviewed the book read during February and made an excellent post.

I’m beginning to think that writing book reviews is just way out of my league and so I’ll continue admiring in awe those more able and take part slightly differently. My efforts have always received warm welcome and I’ve missed doing this during absences.

Anyway, as I’m a scatty and sporadic reader, this month I hope to focus on four books pictured below).

arrangement of four books

Four books I hope to focus on this month

I’ll definitely be able to cope with starting and finishing the first book: ‘Our plane’ written by Beatrice Phillpotts and illustrated by Margaret Souza. It was first published in 1987 © Templar Publishing Ltd and first published in Great Britain by Macdonald and Co (Publishers) Ltd (also 1987).

This edition I bought in a bargain bookstore – for new surplus stock and cut-price books with plenty of print errors in some of them – so I probably bought this for my eldest child by about 1993 or thereabouts and it probably cost about 99p or £2 or less at the time. I’d guess for this kind of product in that type of shop (still trading today) the retail prices have probably remained quite similar even after all these years, but I haven’t been to town to recently to check that fact before writing this post.

back cover of the young children's book, 'Our plane' showing a boy and girl looking out of the window at a white bird, maybe a dove.

from the back cover of the young children’s book, ‘Our plane’

This edition (copyright 1987, as detailed in previous paragraph) was published in 1990 by Award Publications Ltd (London) and printed in Singapore. So boy did that book travel a long way and have a large carbon footprint. I don’t recall sight of any errors in the text though. I did however ponder upon how many times in the story I would feel a need to adjust my reading of the tale these days, if I were reading it to any of my grand-children. There seemed to be many sticking points along the way where I felt things needed rephrasing and were somehow less appropriate than i might have noticed as a young parent. It remains however a beautifully illustrated and well-told tale even if the characters are stereotypically: one boy, one girl, mum and dad, white family.

I have already re-read this story recently and have read it many, many times in the past with my children when they were young. I expect I must have added conversation about home safety with the reading of the story as two children play at making a plane by balancing a surf board across an ironing board to pretend it’s a plane and make an imaginary journey. Surf boards aren’t common household and leisure items owned by British families usually, so my guess is it’s an American story and I assume I realised that at the time I bought it. I can imagine myself leafing through to check the text for appropriate English spelling before buying. It has only universal English words where there would be no difference. What I didn’t notice at the time was the potential (small) racism contained in the story, in portraying desert people as ‘desert bandits’. I expect we talked about that while reading it too.

That’s not to say I won’t happily buy from American authors when I know it’s probably gonna be American English cos they can’t be bothered translating to proper English for their audience (or don’t know how and can’t afford translation costs) and as a reader I can just take a red pen and correct all the translation issues needed, explore meanings and make notes when I simply don’t understand what looks like the same language but sometimes isn’t. I suppose that’s what Americans do with our English, when they’re not trying to claim English as theirs (so ours is Anglisch is it? Well, if we’re descended from Angls, it could be…

As a paragraph previously track-pad-glitched to the-system, and I’m getting exhausted, I’m drawing a close here quite soon. Is what I was telling myself at that point.

Book number two, so far, is a fantastic book for children and an interesting easy-read for adults like me who just wanted to check for myself if it’s suitable reading before maybe passing it on or keeping it to read with grandchildren. First published in 1989, it’s cover price of £2.99 seems fair and it’s about what I’d expect to pay for a book of it’s small size (approx 130 pages, quite large print), even nowadays, although I sourced this from the fund-raising charity book sale quite a many moon ago now and I’d be happy if I paid £3.99 for it, as it seems very good quality writing. This is ‘Hippo Ghost’ by Lance Salway, ISBN: 0-590-13599-6 (I took the photo below of the front cover of the book and this shows my shadow over it. I like how that shadow fits with the subject matter of the story so far – I hope to manage reading this book through to the end during this month! – I also hope the author and publisher don’t object to my use of appropriative method, but my photo being low-resolution, illustrative, in context, and I assume Fair Use, as per all the images I’m using in this post. (As a personal, hobbyist blogger).

front cover of Lance Salway's Hippo Ghost, a book for younger readers - cover design overcast by my shadow as I took the photo

~~~~~~~~

The third book, Oliver Twist is from a collection of about eight retold classics, bought for my eldest, never read by him, nor my youngest nor any between. As I found when I unpacked them from their stuff from their childhoods being kept at my house, these books still appear mostly untouched. But even for me, trying to read and understand ‘Oliver Twist’, again it’s probably the same issue: American language. And it’s uncomfortable when the authentic English voice of the story is lost, although it’s ok in most parts, but it causes stumbling blocks and confusion. I’d seen these sets of books in the same bookstore as the first book, at knockdown price of £4.99, previous RRP £9.99, maybe during the mid-1990s; my eldest received these as a gift about twenty years ago. This adaptation is ©1969 and this edition quoting a 1988 copyright act; it states it was ‘Printed in India. Reproduced in the UK.’ I’m not quite sure what that means. Really? As there is a ‘no unauthorised act in relation to this publication or…’ stipulation and as I do not recommend this text for British children and have no due regard nor respect for this product whatsoever I am not giving any detail at all. Not for fear of that ridiculously unprofessional clause, but so as not to inflict those particular books upon any other British English reader. Does the Trade Descriptions Act not apply to publishing industries when generating such misleading sales to consumers in the UK?

I’ll be making  a separate post (elsewhere) sometime in the future, exploring the irony of this issue. If you are a Charles Dickens fan, you’re probably already aware of plenty of things I am yet finding to be interested in. The Gutenberg Project has many files pertaining to Charles Dickens and I assume most of them to be authentic texts but have already found one there that is so unlikely to be by THE Charles Dickens and has to simply be by an American author of the same name, so that was disappointing, but has to be expected really.

~~~~~~~

Finally, an old favourite, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Until I picked it up again recently I’d have swore the first chapter was ‘Shopping’ and had completely forgotten the gymnasium scene. I read this several times but want to delve into the detail of the story again, particularly the ‘PRAYVAGANZA’ scenes, as I don’t remember those featuring in the film, but could be wrong. I aim to check it against the film eventually as I should still have the VHS in a box here somewhere. Another thing for the evergrowing endless toDo list.

I thought I first read this book during A-level class as a teenager back in the mid-1980s, but my copy here is from 1993 when I tried A-level Literature evening class (completed the book, not the class – the teacher objected to teaching non-English authors in English literature class and wasn’t giving it the attention it deserved, rushing through and deriding it. At the time I thought that was daft as the exam title was ‘Literature’ and not ‘English Literature’. I wasn’t incentivised to resolve childcare and transport issues to continue the class and obtain my exam. Anyway, the language used is British English style in the main and I never had any stumbling over variant English differences with this text.

Detail from back cover of Margaret Atwood's novel, The Handmaid's Tale ISBN 0 86068 866 6 with a quote from Conor Cruise O'Brien stating 'moving, vivid nd terrifying. I only hope it is not prophetic.'

Detail from back cover of Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale ISBN 0 86068 866 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Is it time for the hoe? Oh no! (… post JUST 600 words …)

a screenshot of my own photo of a cheap import owl pendant

above: DISTORTED screenshot of my photo (no design infringements contained therein, but if I turned it over…)

It’s cold out there, innit…

Didn’t she make herself look like a silly hoe as if tilling her ground like that’d make good…

please don’t ask… but in case you’re wondering, that hoe pictured above is not staged and just happened to be there, behind my bathroom door. I photographed it during February just as it stood, wondering about a conversation with it, like when i wrote a conversation i had to have with my rake, for a university driven creative writing excercise (moocs! – one of the best writing outputs I ever made actually!) Reminding me I should get back to some creative writing. Seeing and snapping. Objects.

By the way, happy New Year for yesterday! And the one a couple of months ago!! Apols for not getting around to it before…!

YESTERDAY’s news…

Why would anyone ever hire ‘professional services’ from litigation hungry, capitalist cultured people who might turn out to be so inhuman as this bbc news story seems to demonstrate? N.B: I am not seeking work whilst so decrepid and am only trying and failing not to exhaust myself while I practise some skill-building/retention however shit you might think IT.is. Art is meant to be. And Rubbish. So be it.

I read and could have wept for the family who have now become victims of such apparent injustice in the face of what appears to be gross unprofessionalism and the closing quote said it all really:

“I want to prove to people that they have to face any consequences when they say something on the internet.” the human(?) as quoted by the BBC, after an overseas court decided they should be compensated* following the personal expressions by their British client of complaint and dissatisfaction upon personal social media at the service failures and assuming significant emotional distress at the time of posting whatever remarks, understandably.

Makes no sense to me that! *They made a choice to close their business! They’ve now been ‘awarded’ enough money by an overseas court decision for a start-up creative to have enough cashflow to take ten years earning little or no money restarting another one! (If they were in Britain).

I’d hope the TDA prevents them seeking clients as a ‘professional’ in the UK ever again because consumer protection rights are so critical and most families cannot afford such FINE. And while such unprofessionalism exists as shown in this news write-up… The TDA covers a wide-range of things. Taking that court action doesn’t appear professional standard of conflict resolution, it appears as if taking advantage of an opportunity for financial gain+!

It’s as if we may not be human in our interactions anymore! While others might make advantage of a ‘financial win:win’ situation. This is just stringing along varying twists and turns of how to interpret the words of Law.

I admit I am in ignorance of the full-facts so really am sparing my opinion for another day, elsewhere. But the apparent motivations of the litigator/appellant’s legal action being to erode a British** person’s right to personal freedom of speech+! and (a) in any appeal process it should be clear that the judgement issued should be overturned. If only courts could ever be relied on for fairness! and (b) I may profess (as a non-professional) that a lot of people use that word professional not really understanding our British English very well and we mustn’t forget the breadth and scope in the meaning of our words in an ever-complicated world and use them freely!

 

 


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Not in my wildest imagination…(part2 or continued #1)

colB-6bloc9-28022018-left-hand-shadow-of-lap-top-arrangement-give-and-take-a-mug-o-hot-coffee

This post hopefully touches on some of the issues that i’d originally intended when starting yesterday’s post – but I made all new photographic/screenshot images today. And not so bleak, topically… content warning: this post may contain errors / errors of judgement.

In mention or showing of any product or organisation during this post (or any previous/later post), I am not endorsing, nor endorsed by, nor implying any association therewith or thereby – other than I am a service-user or customer and happen to have these products at/to hand and hereby making creative use of such things in my amateur content creation attempts. i blog for my own pleasure. i make my (occasional) ‘art at my leisure’ while unable to do anything more meaningful with my time. i have no energy to get off my arse and do anything much else at all. So.

I’m breaking with convention again. By adding Bibliography/reading links to the front-end of my post in case you need or want to skip off. Hey, if you follow by email, you get this much without even visiting the whole rambling article…

🙂

I’m glad I took ‘short’ out of the title, but no way I intended so many words! Time to close? Thanks for reading. If you made it this far you deserve reward more than thanks 🙂 So. You might not wish to read fully here at my post. Honestly, i don’t mind. I write mainly for my own enjoyment and to challenge myself and practise some hopeful skill retention/extension and wind around my daft ideas. (You won’t miss much by not seeing other images: bathroom window sill; flush-button-selfie; blizzard; skywatching; not quite assemblage as just happens to be (post-buzz); getting-around-to-it (child-i) aka footsteps in the snow… y’see, or not… and apologies for using that phrase, realising not everyone will and the potential need to make posts more adaptive for the visually-impaired…)

Read around to find out more about complexities of image use and see if anything surprises you. I found plenty I needed to be aware of from http://wiki.gettyimages.com/locations-general/  and other numerous entries at that site;

also pixabay has a blog where i found this very informative article that deserves more prominence on their website: https://pixabay.com/en/blog/posts/public-domain-images-what-is-allowed-and-what-is-4/

you can also check out online occurences of image files at tineye.com (reverse image searching, i only very recently learnt of this resource, unaware of any other).

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silly text to input, forgetting the point


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Not in my wildest imagination…

Not in my wildest imagination would I ever have guessed that drinking less coffee for a few days trying to make the last jar last longer, then being deprived of coffee for three days until I could obtain groceries, would immediately result in my first insomniac phase of this last few weeks (while thoroughly physically exhausted and fairly incapable). Being ‘atypical’ / typically ME again…

a slightly abstract pencil drawing by Colette Bates in her 1995 art studies sketchbook, composed with angular lines depicting a hexagonal shaped head and upper body; the face has closed, eyes and a strange, weary expression.

drawing (mine) circa. 1995 – a page in my half-filled A6 sketchbook from art school days.

Not in my wildest imagination, back in 1995, would I ever have pictured my life as it is here and now, all these 23 years later! However, that is not the point of my making this post…

NB: potential trigger warning – if you are sensitive or in distress, you might not want to read some of my reflections and rants about the traumas of the world and persons. Nothing worse than you might see or hear in the news, perhaps – no image triggers but the text might remain highly-strung /over-wraught while i’m not well-practised editing my own writing yet and lacking somewhat in the field of objectivity, versus subjectivity that is. I have objects enough.

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Remembrance

SAM_0330.JPG

In Loving Memory of our wonderful Nans, RIP – I chose this photo from the few I’ve taken so far this morning to accompany my poem posted here today.

 

If rhyming couplets had their day

and free verse won the New World Order

I’d bet the Limericks sure gonna stay

the best remembered by the poetry hoarder.

A sonnet! A sonnet! I hear ye bequeath

but I have to confess I’ve not written one yet

as inherited form it somehow falls beneath

my aspiring limits, still I fear no regret!

Heck who says a haiku’s not poetry! Why?

It’s much more than maths, did you give one a try?

It’s only a literary game – write a motto –

It will soon multiply, makes – vice versa, then ditto…?

A pantoum’s not a pantun unless it’s in French

and a villanelle’s form in binary rhyming to be wrenched

is quite a far cry from the original verses –

the audacities of lit’rary High World, and so, curses!

A ballad is too sing-song? Too remind of native tongue?

Best to say it’s French derived, for all it’s said and done?

And please speak in iambic – don’t be so anapest!

When dactylls bring such terror, poetry sure needs a rest.

You said, ‘pick out a spondee’ – I went looking for a sponge

to set about pot-washing, ‘cos there’s plenty to be done!

Should I spend my days in dribs and drabs some hip-hop to try then scrawl?

Just to please MIssieurs Academia? I beg, I’d sooner crawl –

for that would be pretentious, quite obscene and frankly, lame

to jump on that cool bandwagon claiming all’s Poetry’s fine game!

© Colette Bates, August 2017 All Rights Reserved [usual Fair Use terms apply]

I wrote this poem with four line stanzas and the final stanza of six lines for practise extension freewriting during week 3 of UIowa’s IWP MOOC Power of the Pen (Poetry and Playwriting), unsubmitted and previously unpublished. We were learning about the pantoum in particular for poetry that week. I’d submitted a quite dire pantoum effort  and decided to play with the villanelle form and free forms… sadly I fizzled out and didn’t complete my MOOC work for that course, although I achieved the creative writing unit in July. I’m having dreadful difficulty obtaining my poetry certificates for neuro-burn-outs and failing my third try at ModPo so going with SloPo again and hoping to achieve that NEXT year now! If it even continues that far. Fingers crossed it will!

(NB: Be aware, (an)other person(s) has been gaining access illegally and unauthorised to my home and very recently stolen my current account debit card and recent utitlities documents. For some reason the card stolen from me last year has been actively used by someone else unknown to me (including abroad and in France last Autumn according to my bank and that card should have been cancelled by my bank once I was aware it had actually been stolen from under my bed by an unauthorised trespasser and not simply misplaced and had reported it and it should have been cancelled by my bank!) and this old previously cancelled card has been replaced to my purse in place of my actual debit card and it has been used locally as my own receipts have been removed from my purse after my last essential outing and replaced with another persons’ transactions for prepayment electricity to a nearby household. Either that or I’m having cognitive processing faults and hallucinating visible words and numbers on  personal effects and suffering extreme paranoia. My automatic/direct debit/bank transfer payments should still go through as my bank account so far still functions and I have not moved from my home address nor do I have any plans to. Hounds of hell and their bitches can take a running jump and have as nice a life as they like anywhere else in the world that they please, as they aren’t actually local residents and have their own homes to return to! I happen to live HERE at home! Air B&B should be made illegal and criminals should be prevented from entering our country and from travelling abroad when they stir up such vendettae against innocents. I’d bet 95% of criminal convictions are so circumstantial and SOC instigated that I don’t believe barely a word of most news reporting for a good many years now! And no, masons are not allowed their crimes scotfree nor for all the money in the world! Twots!