This is an excellent video tutorial from Dan Alatorre. He reads from his introductory story in the forthcoming anthology Spellbound and discusses the story processes that he employs to create mystery, ambiance, vitality and atmosphere.
What do you include when you write a short story? What does it mean to show and not tell? How much setting is appropriate, or description? These and other writing tips are here in this 53 minute vi…
How do writers, creatives, artists and bookish souls cope with isolation? Is their capacity to cope different from the rest of the population? It’s an interesting question and one that fascinates me.
How is Alice May coping with this enforced isolation?
This is her answer:
Opening the Door of ‘The House That Sat Down’
Many thanks to Marje for giving me the opportunity to open the door on The House That Sat Down and show what is happening to one author, in a remote cottage in the middle of nowhere, on the Dorset/Hampshire border during coronavirus lockdown.
Our cottage looks as idyllically chocolate-box perfect as it ever did – before it collapsed six years ago and needed rebuilding, that is – but that doesn’t mean that life is any easier inside for us than it is for anyone else at this challenging time. (A quick contextual update for those who have not read The House That Sat Down Trilogy, our house fell down out of the blue one day in 2014 and was painfully rebuilt over a traumatic period of time, which involved living in a tent in the garden; my husband, myself and four children. This period in my life led me to write my first award-winning novel.)
On a superficial level, the main change to my daily routine that I thought social lockdown would bring hasn’t materialised. I naively expected that ‘a bit more time at home’ would enable me to finish editing my latest book. The opposite has – in fact – proven to be the case and I am reminded that nothing is ever quite what we might expect.
Like many, I am attempting to nurture my family through their dramatically altered lives; a role which requires huge amounts of diplomacy which has never been one of my strong points. But, from a writing career perspective, I initially found myself paralysed by an overwhelming sense of loss.
My original – pre-Covid19 – schedule for April was chock full of exciting entries. There were multiple speaking events, radio interviews, literary festivals, book signings and even a trip to London to pitch my new book to publishers. It took months to set everything up, but only hours to come crashing down. My new, very empty April stretched before me and mental tumbleweed rolled around inside my brain as I found myself struggling to process the change without dissolving into tears.
With the world so very different, it seemed that the previous twelve months spent writing book 5 had been a colossal waste of time. How could that work still be relevant? I found myself unable to write at all and that worried me.
Instead, I started painting – no, not the walls, although they could do with it. I created big bright, colourful pieces of art to cheer myself up. I have always used painting as a way to express my emotions, it was a massively important part of my recovery from post-traumatic-stress after my house fell down. Recent weeks have seen a resurgence in my reliance on throwing paint around to make myself feel better.
My fabulous PR guru @jane_dean_pr suggested that I put a couple of free art tutorials on my YouTube channel (Alice May Artist https://youtu.be/p6bHYY4xPl0 ).
If I am completely honest, I think she was trying to get me to stop pestering her with questions about what I ought to do.
Nevertheless, it was a brilliant idea and has led to some exciting developments which proves that you never know when opportunity will come knocking. Uploading that first video was the start of a whole new dimension to my creative career. Three weeks and nearly twenty tutorials later, there has been a surge in the number of subscribers to my channel, countless visits to my website (www.alicemay.weebly.com) and an unanticipated increase in book sales. Plus, I’ve had some wonderful feedback via email, twitter and Facebook.
I was interviewed for an article in Good Housekeeping Magazine which was very exciting followed by a lovely chat with Louise Hanna on BBC Radio Solent, which in turn has led to me being invited to deliver paid presentations and art demonstrations on-line to social groups gathering on Zoom. Who knew that such a thing was even wanted, let alone possible?
There has even been a suggestion that I might like to start running proper art classes after lockdown is lifted, which is definitely something to think about.
My empty diary is now stuffed full of new activities; none of which I could have predicted before lockdown, but all of which I am thoroughly enjoying. Which only goes to show that you can never predict what is just around the corner.
Anything is possible.
Stay safe, stay well and stay positive.
Alice May Artist, Author, Speaker
You Tube: Alice May Artist
Thank you so much to Alice for being my guest. I never imagined that such a thing would happen. Poor Alice, can you imagine your house falling down with all its belongings, and memories reduced to rubble?
And now this COVID19. How resilient and inspiring she is. I am so glad I started this series. It has introduced me to so many amazing writers and creatives.
Stay safe and well everyone.
Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon Collaborative Group: https://www.facebook.com/pg/5SpiritualSisters/
This is for my eldest daughter – she’s a massive BTS fan! Who are BTS you might ask? Unless of course you’re already a fan – and believe me their popularity is not a matter of uncertainty. This band are super popular. A bit like a BLT! No they’re not a relation of the BLT, the bacon, lettuce and tomato sarnie, they’re a Korean pop group! They dance, and sing – pretty impressive, my daughter loves them! They even have a K-pop society at her University dedicated to learning their dances, and celebrating all things Korean pop style: ! Sussex Univ K-Pop Society
This article in The Daily Dot will interest BTS fans, take a look, : http://bit.ly/27aVt0k
I had a go at this fun quiz from Quibblo on my new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kyrosmagica/posts/926828083997927.
What Breed of Cat Are You? It came up with Scottish Fold, a cute breed with folded ears, silver fur and yellow eyes. The Scottish Fold’s little ears give it an owl like appearance. They are loving, good natured, and playful! Folds are also known for sitting with their legs stretched out and their paws on their belly in the “Buddha Position.”
Wikipedia Facts about The Scottish Fold:
- The Scottish Fold is featured in-depth in the short novel, The Cat Who Went to Paris by Peter Gethers. The book and its two sequels, A Cat Abroad and The Cat Who’ll Live Forever: The Final Adventures of Norton, the Perfect Cat and his imperfect human document the life of Gethers and his Fold, Norton, from their first meeting to Norton’s eventual death and Gethers’ experiences after the loss.
In the 2012 novel The Bone Bed, Kay Scarpetta rescues a Scottish Fold cat from a murder victim’s home. She brings her home to meet the greyhound rescued in an earlier novel. They apparently get along well.
In the Anime series Beyond The Boundary, the Youmu form of the Anime-exclusive character Ai Shindo is a two-tailed Scottish Fold cat.
In 2009, Maru, a Scottish Fold cat, became an Internet sensation due to his obsession with boxes. Due to his Internet popularity, several commercials have been produced featuring the cat.
Popular YouTube bloggers, Simon and Martina aka Eatyourkimchi acquired a Scottish Fold kitten, Dr. Meemersworth, in July 2012.
“Waffles” is the name of a Scottish Fold cat, featured on the Facebook page “Waffles The Cat”. The page has over 440,000 likes as of July 2014.
What sort of Cat best describes you? Do tell.
This morning I’ve been editing my manuscript and I came across an advice note to add more detail to a little comical fight scene between a cat and a dog in my story. I don’t own any pets so I thought I would watch a few videos on YouTube for inspiration. Glad I did, it was very cute and entertaining. Boy, those cats can stand up for themselves! Enjoy.
Either watch on the full screen icon option below or head over to Youtube.
Found this great video of Orkney via Moz @Mozford on twitter. So beautiful, tranquil, must visit, an idyll. No wonder the Italians were inspired to build the Italian Chapel in Orkney. It may be cold in Scotland but it sure is beautiful! Philip Paris’s book The Italian Chapel, my review, http://mjmallon.com/2014/07/04/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-the-italian-chapel-by-philip-paris/
Enjoying the Futurelearn Literature of the English Country Rose course. Thought I would share this Youtube video with you. Take a look, listen and enjoy 🙂