Armor

You watch, a smile almost splitting your face in two as the child in front of you spins and spins, their joy squealing out to the world for every person within ear shot to hear.

It is the first time they have sat upon this piece of playground equipment, and the child, your child, is giddy and happy. Their abundant joy of just being is so evident.

They know joy.

They know love.

Unbeknownst to them, they are protected. By you.

They are happy to be in and of this world.

For them life for the most part, is filled with joy and happiness. It’s made up of soft teddies and full tummies, warm milk and cuddles.

As they grow, the only time they are truly sad is when their nappy needs changing, or their lollipop falls to the ground.

You’ve watched your child grow and develop. It’s been an amazing journey so far. As the child in front of you evolves, they make discoveries almost on a daily basis. Life is a happy place.

Through them, you perceive the joy that you too once had.

You wonder about your own joy. Where did it go?

You know you were just as joyful as a child too.

Like every adult before you, and everyone after… you grew armour and withdrew yourself from the world to a certain extent. How thick your armour, and how much you withdrew depends upon your life till this point.

Sometimes the armour wasn’t thick enough, so you laid more on creating layers.

If that wasn’t enough, you withdrew. Little by little until you felt safe.

It happened when someone died.

You were bullied.

Lied too.

Cut with words that hurt.

Ignored you.

Dishonoured you.

You were betrayed.

Each of these things and more are what built your armour so that you could continue to live in the world that you were born into.

There are few that you will remove your armour for.

Did you never wonder why people drink and get drunk? It’s so that they can take their armour off. Once again grabbing a piece of that joy that they lost and mourn so deeply for. The ones that do drugs? They too are trying desperately to attain that happy place once again.

I hide too.

There are things that you learn from your parents as you grow.

There are things that you don’t learn.

You don’t learn because they don’t happen in your world.

I only ever recall one party. I turned thirteen.

Holding parties for gatherings of people is my unhappy place. I just don’t know how to do them. I tried when I was younger. I wanted so badly for every one to enjoy themselves, but all I saw was failure as the last person left. So I stopped holding them for adults and laid more armour on.

We, each of us, have failings in ourselves. Things that we can or cannot do, things that make us uncomfortable. Fear and past hurts are what stops us from attaining so much. But only if we allow it.

Don’t be fearful. Be aware. Strive and overcome. And when you attain or overcome, then you will have lost a piece of that armour, and relive the happiness once more.

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The Beauty of Writing

Having the ability to vomit the written word at will is something that many of us can accomplish at the drop of a hat.

Actually having something to impart verbally without being verbose is something that I aspire too.

The beauty of writing for me is twofold. I can write as much crap as I like in my first pass, then I can go back and cut the crap out of my verbosity remove anything that isn’t required.

If it doesn’t add to story? Slash it. Cut it out and dump it. Who cares if I spend hours/days et cetera getting it down? Who cares? The point is to get it down, then make it readably enjoyable.

What it boils down to is If my reader is going to fall asleep halfway through my salutation to The Good Lord Schmuck then I’ve missed my mark. I want my reader to be sitting on the edge of his/her seat yet not be aware of it. In all honesty, what I actually want is my reader to fall on his/her ass on the floor because they didn’t realise that they were on the edge of said their seat in the first place!

Why not just pump out the words and slap a happy edit on it and push it out to market? Be done with it already and move onto the next one? I hear you ask.

Is it pride? Or is it shame you query.

Certainly there is some of that mixed in there, but for me it’s mainly giving joy. I want my readers to enjoy what they read, voraciously.

I will never forget the day I was heading home on the train, reading a novel by a new author (to me) on my iPad. It was a steamy read and I’d only just begun. What I didn’t known at the time was that the author was very witty.

I snorted out so loud followed by erupting laughter that it turned heads in the train… and I didn’t care! Be assured that I do not like being the centre of attention. Ever. Yet I continued to snort and laugh my way through that book to the point where I got up and left that train with my face immersed in my iPad.

I ended up reading everything ever written by that author, and I joined her mailing list.

Now THAT ladies and gentlemen is what I want for my readers. To be thoroughly and completely entertained.

In an aside, I’ve just put a sneak peak of my front cover up on my Facebook page.

A Kiss

The fire ran through me everywhere my lips brushed your skin.

Nothing I had felt in the past, it seemed, had ever come close to this.

My mind blown.

Later I would reflect upon it. Had I ever known love? Was that what this was?

I’d known passion.

This though, this was electric fire. Coursing through me from every point of touch.

I understood now, all those poets past and present.

Your voice alone was enough to raise the fine hair on the back of my neck, my skin would pebble, and my nipples become taught.

Lust and longing were mixed with a healthy dose of desire, all rolled into one messy ball that would then pulse back and forth through my body.

Finally, I understood why love sent people insane. For this surely is insanity.

How does one live like this, day in day out? Longing for that touch once again.

Parting is such sweet sorrow? Hell no. Parting was hell, there was nothing sweet about it.

Give that feeling back to me again. Let me truly live once more. Take my pain from me, take my shame, I don’t care. Give me love, give me life, for surely the two are one.

Memories? I want none of it. I want only to revel in love. Roll about in it’s sweaty juices, feel that scent of you upon my breath, that weight of you upon my body.

For there is nothing in this world that will ever make me feel truly alive like this again.

Everything else pales into insignificance.

I am lost to you for ever, if you’ll only take me, and give me back my true self once again.

I now know pity.

For those that have never loved.

Never known love.

Never given or accepted love.

Those, I mourn for – let me never be one of those again.

Writing – Day Five

What happened to Day Four? Is it missing in action? Was it stolen? Did someone forget to press ‘publish’?

Well, whatever happened, it’s been and gone. Writing Day Four is no more and we will just have to put it down to one of Life’s Little Mysteries.

The Art of Writing

I’m almost completely autodidactic; except for those years at primary and high-school where, for the most part I hid in the library reading or under the stairs with books, always with books. Fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, romance, comedy, drama, you name it, I’ve read it with passion and love.

Yet, now that I’m older and have the time, I really enjoy learning about writing. It’s the one thing I can say I’m truly passionate about. Any other non-fiction material, no matter how interested I am, puts me to sleep in nothing flat*. Learning about the craft of writing? I’m in.

People like Chris Fox, Joanna Penn, Jeff Goins, Mark Dawson and James Blatch. These masters of the quill and publishing are where I go to be sustained. They are the ones that keep me from drowning in a morass of blue funk and desperation. They not only help me hone my craft, they keep me going.

I also look at the works and advice of others though and the other day something popped up in my newsfeed, and as per usual, I read it hungrily. Always looking to pick up something new. Anything that will clarify something for me – that usually until that point I was completely oblivious too.

The piece I read was all about using brevity when writing, and I applaud this, even if I find it a little difficult to practice at times.

However, what has been niggling at the back of my brain since reading this nugget, was they also recommended the use of smaller words.

Hmmm. (Or should that be hmmmmmmmmm?) It made me frown, and I read it again, just to be sure.

I realised, that this bothered me greatly.

You see my belief is that if a word, any word, is used correctly in a sentence of any type, then it will be understood. Perhaps not wholly, but in general. People will get a gist of what you’re about.

Why should we dumb down our readers? Seriously, isn’t that what we’re doing if we practice this?

This is largely how words are lost in time. There are some marvellous words that are dropped from the dictionary every year – okay, it’s true that there are also many less than lovely words lost too, however… if words aren’t used, then they simply disappear into the annals of history.

Another reason for using the words that we have available to us is the eBook. Since the inception of the eBook readers around the world, at the touch of a finger, can now look up that elusive word. In doing so they gain knowledge.

Surely this ability to educate on the hop, as it were, is a boon that we should all be encouraging? Not clapping a lid on.

I’m not talking about the works written by sesquipedalian type authors. (See what I did there?) Personally, those books aren’t terribly enjoyable. Books filled with words that require decoding in every sentence certainly interrupts flow and I’m all for flow in the telling of stories.

Let me know your thoughts on this. Open a dialogue and lets see where it takes us.

On Writing Daily – and the real me.

I gave myself the task of writing in here each day to stir the conscious mind and get the juices flowing. Disregarding yesterdays faux pas, it seems to be working – although I have to admit, this morning things were a little back to front.

You see by the time I sat to write this, I’d already hit up one hundred and eighty-eight words of plot points on one of my non-fictions pieces. Andddd then I came in here. So yes, I have it backwards.

I also edited a short story. Just because.

One of the things that I’ve noticed about coming in here and doing this writing challenge though, is that it seems to sort my brain into a better writing mode. If you have a look at everything that I’ve written here in On Writing Daily – and the real me., you may notice that my writing is slightly scatty.

Yes, I’m being kind to myself here.

Okay, it’s very scatty. In short, it’s all over the place. Non-cohesive. It’s also written in the way that I talk. Which isn’t a good thing. I digress more often than a horse changes direction in a carousel.

So, lets settle down and write something a little more meaningful. After all, this is supposed to be prepping my brain for my real work.

*The Moon’s A Balloon, by David Niven would be the exception to that rule.

Thanks to the Universe

As the fire is puffing and growling its way through the wood, banked safely in its ring of stalwart rocks, the staccato voice of many frogs roll like waves in the background. The sound too-ing and fro-ing along the creek as the frogs each call out to their mates. Almost challenging the sound of the crackle and snap of the wood, as it slowly gives in to the flames.

The warmth of those flames heat my bare face, as the wind chill tickles the back of my neck – trying desperately to find a way in.

Yet still, it’s a peaceful night.

The glory of the milky-way above, shouts loudly into the silence of the dark night, daring all who look up, to deny if they can, that there is beauty to be had everywhere. You just need to look.

Peace steals through my heart and settles my soul, even as the chill of the autumn night bites at my ankles.

A car purrs down a road somewhere in the distance. It’s so far away that the sound it makes is negligible.

I take a deep breath.

In.

Holding it for five seconds and then release.

The crisp night air fills my lungs and as I release it, my mind becomes unburdened with all of life’s current concerns.

I send a grateful thanks out into the universe, for all the joy and companionship today has brought me.

Trixie Vardon

Continue reading

So, new beginnings…

Book one has been close to being finished so many times. Then the other day it hit me, if my two leads changed sexes, then it would be so much better!

It would, I know it would. The whole book would be so much better. Yet I’m not going to do it.

I’ve realised that if I keep amending and tweaking this book, then the rest of the series will never be written, let alone published. So, regardless of my latest brainwave, I’m going to hit that published button soon.

I’m in the process of doing preliminary edits. Then it’s off to the editor, and then the hunt for beta readers and building my mailing list will begin with a ferver.

So, wish me luck, and watch this space. I’ll be updating my process as I go, because, lets face it, you only release your first book once.

Hugs and kisses, Trixie.

New beginnings

So, Husbutt, darling man that he is, has been keeping secrets.

Even more exciting, he's been keeping secrets from me!

I know right? I'm all freaked out because this is something he never does. Well, he never does successfully. Husbutt has the ability to give everything away with a word or a look. He's kind of transparent when it comes to secrets.

So, imagine my surprise when he hands me enough cash to buy, not only an iPad Pro, but an Apple Pencil and the keyboard to go with.

Shut. Up.

I wish he'd taken a photo of my face at the time. I can well imagine the look on my dial. You can be pretty certain it would have been a cross between disbelief and shock. Apart from the standard 'thank you hunny', and the proverbial 'the words thank you just don't seem to be sufficient at this time' – and I assure you, those were the words I said verbatim. Followed pretty closely by, 'I don't know how to process this, I really don't. I also don't seem to be able to find words. Where have all my words gone?" Which was a purely rhetorical question, as I'm fairly sure I didn't expect an answer. Most probably because any answer would have been to much information for my poor, by now, well fried brain to process.

Suffice to say, I'm sitting here in bed, after having played on the iPad solidly for the last 48 hours – yes, okay. There was some sleep in there somewhere, just don't ask how long for or when, as it is another question that will go wanting. Yet this is the first thing that I can type.

I've played.

I've scrutinised.

The App Store has been well and truly plundered.

Colouring is now my new thing.

I still have to login to my two fave games for some playtime.

Yet, I don't care about any of it so long as I can do more stuffing around on my iPad Pro.

Did I mention that it's nearly thirteen inches? Yep. I'm one happy camper. Mwah ahaha ha. Oh, and by the way, the colouring thingy? I never said I was good at it, just that it's my new thang! LOL.