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All posts for the month November, 2012

The Living Dead 2

Published 27/11/2012 by julierkendrick

 

Just  a quickie. Today  had one of those “I wish I had written that” moments. I read a story in the book The Living Dead 2 called “Zombie Gigalo” by S G Browne.  Completely gross, totally absorbing, hugely funny and brilliantly written.

If gross horror is your thing, and this story is very tongue in cheek you must buy this book.

There are stories by some very prominent authors in this anthology, Kelley Armstrong, Max Brooks, Simon R Green and many others. You will definitely find something you love here.

Click here to be taken to the Waterstones website.

Gigalo

 

 

Points of Views, Yours, Mine, Whoever

Published 25/11/2012 by julierkendrick

 

Point of view or POV was something I never really gave much thought to when I started out writing. Practically everything I wrote was in the third person and I was always quite happy with that. It was only when I started to write seriously that I found there were two other main POV’s in which I could write.

So what is POV and how does it impact on writing style and stories?

Third Person

This is where you have what is called a God’s eye view. You tell the story as an onlooker so you can see what everyone in your story does and get inside everyone’s heads. This type of narration is most commonly used in fiction as it is the one that provides the most flexibility to the author. As the storyteller you are the narrator and never actually become part of the story.

First Person

First person POV is where you are telling the story from your perspective, you will be a part of the story although not necessarily the main character. You may be a side character that watches the story unfold from a distance but nevertheless it is your story to tell.  However this can be quite limiting because you can only tell the story as you see it. You will not be able to tell the reader what others are doing when they are not in the scene as you will not be able to see them or get inside their heads.  This kind of information usually comes to light when other characters are speaking. A significant benefit from writing in the first person is that you can tell the story with deeper feeling as you are the one who is conveying how things and situations actually feel to you and the effects that this may or may not have in the story.  The use of taste, touch, smell etc are a wonderful way of describing your surroundings.  Another aspect that is worth considering is the fact that you are speaking directly to the reader and in this regard you must have fully fleshed out your character if you want your reader to symapthise with you; remember they are along with you for the ride and want to be as fully invested in the story as you are.  I have friends that will only pick up a book if it is written in the first person because they find they can relate better to the story if they are with the narrator on their journey.

Second Person

This is perhaps the most limiting of POV’s but also the most interesting, I think. It is where the author refers to one of the characters as “you”, making the reader feel as if they are being addressed personally.  You will see that this style is almost always used in song lyrics and on children’s television shows where the presenters act as if they are actually speaking through the TV at the child watching. It is an immediate engagement and I have found a great style to use for shock factor. In my story “Obsession” which was published in the book “House of Terrors“, I used the second person POV to portray the mindset of a stalker. Addressing the reader directly helped me to scare them by making them think that someone was actually after them. Similarly in my story “That Sinking Feeling” from the book “Picnic Nightmares” I used this POV to write as a serial killer. Of course if you are not a horror writer like myself, then this would be a lovely POV to use in romantic fiction. Once again you cannot jump heads or scenes that don’t involve the storyteller but once mastered this style is very rewarding to use.

These are the main POV’s but there are others. Third person single vision, multiple vision, first person present, first person past, and you can also jump heads using first person to third person and so on. There are many places to find out more information of these POV’s if you want to experiment with your narration but I hope that this had shed a little light on the subject for you, a springboard if you will, to greater things.

Good luck and please share your experiences.

Julie 🙂

Publishers Hate Authors

Published 14/11/2012 by julierkendrick

I have just come across another very interesting article, this time from the publishers point of view. As authors we like to think that we are respected by publishers who, after all, we are doing our best to impress. But are we?

This article talks about some of the problems publishers encounter whilst dealing with the like of ‘us’. Let’s just hope none of ‘us’ are really like this.

Read the article here.

Remembering My Dad

Published 11/11/2012 by julierkendrick

Today is Remembrance Sunday 11/11/2012 and I thought it would be a good day to remember my Dad, Roy. Although he served in in the RAF in WW2 he survived and returned home to his family. If he hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been born because that didn’t happen until 1970 so of course I am grateful for that. He died in 1995 aged 78. I was only 24 and we had had no warning of his death. I spoke to him on the phone at midday and he collapsed and died at 5.15 pm. It was many many years until I came to terms with this death and I can now look back at my memories with fondness and lots of smiles.

It is my Dad that I really have to thank for my writing talent. When I was at school every weekend, on a Sunday evening he used to write 2 pages of spellings for me and I had to sit down and copy each word out ten times. Contrary to what you may think, this wasn’t a punishment but just his way of cementing words into my head, and it worked. He used to love giving me complicated words like ‘liaise’ or ‘toughen’ and testing me on them weeks later. He was a stickler for correct grammar and spelling and told me that my writing would be a direct reflection upon me. “You can lose or gain someone’s respect in the first line of a letter”, he once told me. I have never forgotten those words or those lessons.  He taught me how to address and write a proper formal letter using Dear Sir with Yours faithfully or Dear Mary with Yours sincerely and how to write a cheque (something we rarely need these days).

My love of books also helped a great deal with my use of language as from the age of about 5 I always had my head in a book. Usually something by Enid Blyton or, when I got older, Judy Blume.

However, in today’s world it means that I am often frustrated by the lack of importance placed on spelling and grammar. When I was a police officer I was frequently mortified by the terrible spelling in documents and evidential material. As professional witnesses we were expected to perform in all areas to the highest standards but over the years I saw those standards steadily decline and by the time I left entry levels were so low it was embarrassing.  I used to think of my Dad and wonder what he would have said if he had read the reports I was reading. He would have been very disappointed and his opinion of the police service would have dipped. I am glad he never saw that.

My Dad was a very shy man, he hated socialising and always felt awkward in company, not like me at all. I am very gregarious, outgoing and love the limelight as my friends and family will lay testament to. I don’t look like my Dad or have the same ambitions that he did. We were very different.  He probably thought that he hadn’t left me anything worthwhile but to me he has left a fabulous invaluable legacy. The love and respect of the English Language. I am passing it on to his grandsons and they, like me and him are language purists. I know he would be very proud of that and if I could speak to him today, on Remembrance Sunday I would tell him that his legacy is alive and well in us and 17 years after his death, so is he.

I love you Dad.

Julie 🙂

Published 07/11/2012 by julierkendrick

My thoughts exactly on the addiction of blogging. Who else is adicted and does it cause you problems?

Lantern Post

Is there such a thing as addiction to blogging? I am starting to think that there might be. If so what are the signs?

There are probably serious people who already have, or are going to as we speak, conduct a serious research into the matter, but from a newbie blogger’s perspective, it seems to me that the presence of the following signs might suggest that one has become seriously addicted to one’s blog -:)!

When unable to access one’s blog for a couple of days one is unable to sleep from worrying that:

  • Any comments and likes that might eventuate have not been attended to,
  • There has been some unidentified global IT disaster and all the posts have vanished,
  • Fellow bloggers have posted most amazing content and one has missed it,
  • All the original ideas that present themselves between 2 and 3 am will disappear before one can access one’s…

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Tales From Costa Rica – Part 8

Published 04/11/2012 by julierkendrick

Well here we are, the final installment of my trip to the beautiful land of Costa Rica. You have heard about my awful journey there, the wonderful times I have had and the amazing people I met and I hope that you would now consider it somewhere you might like to visit.  I would highly recommend it of course.

So the only other thing to cover now is my journey home. For me the journey back always seems to take twice as long as the journey there. Maybe it’s because by that time I’m longing to turn into Dorothy, click my heels together and wish myself home. Sadly this is not yet possible and I am stuck with a car ride, two planes, a bus and another car ride to get home.

On Sunday morning I packed my case and tried very hard to squeeze everything back in. I don’t know about you but it never fits in as well on the return journey and I have to fight with the zip for 10 minutes or so until my fingers turn purple and I’ve broken about 3 nails. Only then does it finally close completely. We had to leave at 9.15 so that we could drop the car off and get to the airport. Annie’s flight was 5 hours earlier than mine so I would have to sit and wait for a while. I didn’t mind that, I had a good book and could write some more blog while I’m hanging around.

Before all that though, I had woken up at about 5.30 and was really glad; I didn’t want to miss another minute. I could hear Monroe moving around downstairs and I knew he would have a big pot of coffee on. I went down and sure enough there he was in his shorts with his blue cap on busying himself in the kitchen.  We exchanged good mornings and with our coffee went and sat on the porch as usual. We sat for a while in silence, both enjoying the sight of the clouds playing on the tops of the mountains, listening to the morning calls of the exotic birds and catching the odd glimpse of a red squirrel climbing the tree to steal little pieces of the bananas. This would be something that I miss greatly and I told Monroe so. He is such an interesting guy and has led a life so different from my own that I am fascinated every time he talks to me. To my surprise he turned to me and said, “You know, I will miss you too. You are a lovely lady and a very talented writer. I could listen to your tales for ages.” I was quite choked up at that. Here was I thankful that I was meeting all these fabulous people and they had been thinking the same about me. Only last night Earl had told me that I am a beautiful spirit. What lovely things to say.

At about 9am just as I had finished packing, the door flew open and Lily came running upstairs. She thought she had missed me and when she saw the car still outside she was relieved.  We had a huge hug and yes, both of us cried. I will think about Lily often. She is stunningly beautiful with a big heart and a great sense of humour. I will miss our laughs. Randomly we swapped phone cases so that we would have something of each other. Photos were taken and before I knew it we were off. 24 hours later I would be home.

Monroe and Lily

We stopped at Denny’s for breakfast and I ordered a side of pancakes as I wasn’t overly hungry. Goodness knows what they would have brought me if I had asked for a full breakfast, see the size of the pancakes in the photo below. Ha ha.

A side of pancakes

After dropping off the car and being bused to the airport, Annie booked in and we went for a final coffee. We reminisced for a while about the fab week we had spent together and all too soon she had to go and I was left alone. I remembered that on the journey out I had felt like a grown up, really for the first time and I felt it again then. That may seem strange considering I’m 42 years old but there is a reason for this.

In 1995 my father died suddenly and a few months later I started to have anxiety attacks. Over the following years this became a full blown anxiety disorder from which I have suffered greatly. 3 years ago I was also diagnosed as having rapid cycling bipolar disorder (I won’t go into what that is here, if you want to know Google will tell you). I have had long periods where being too far away from my home was a huge fear in itself and I have struggled not to let this ruin my life. I have never stopped going outside although it would have been very easy to do that sometimes but I have found it very debilitating and also very hard on my family. On top of this I have a fear of flying (now you’re thinking I’m a wreck of a woman, I know, I’ve thought it myself for many years). However, this year I was medically retired from work as a police officer and I found I was much more able to cope without so much stress. So, not one for doing things by halves I decided that this would be the year that I conquer all my fears at once. Before I could change my mind I booked this trip to Costa Rica. Four and a half thousand miles from my safe place, travelling on four planes and all this on my own. So before you throw me a pity party let’s just get back to where I left off. I was alone in the airport feeling grown up, yes? Well it was because I was feeling so proud of myself. I had done it. Yes I still had two planes left to take but I had already conquered it all. I had not had to take one anxiety tablet during the whole week. Obviously I had them with me (Trevor says my bag is like a portable pharmacy), but I didn’t need to take them.

So with my new found confidence I boarded the first plane and as we took off I quietly thanked God, the land of wonder that is Costa Rica, the beautiful people who treated me so well and I said goodbye to the old flaky Julie and looked forward to sinking into my own bed next to my wonderful, supportive, long suffering husband who was waiting for me.

Me and my wonderful husband Trevor

I just wanted to thank you all for reading this blog and for giving me so many positive comments on here, on twitter and in person; it is great to have your support. I will of course continue blogging about writing and anything else I think may interest you and in February 2013 I am going on a cruise round the Caribbean, this time with Trevor and Sam so of course I will be blogging about the whole trip, warts and all. I hope you will share it with me.

See you soon.

Julie 🙂