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It’s been a month

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It’s been a month since I last wrote a short story for my son.

I’ve wanted to but I’ve found myself blocked.

While in part its cause I get an idea but can’t get it down on paper before I forget it, It’s mostly because I’ve had a lot of pain to cope with.

I Have been struggling with Sciatica and two teeth we’re doing everything we can to avoid root canal in.

Being in pain that strong pills don’t help with really isn’t conductive to writing. Today is the first day I’ve been able to sit and spend any time typing at the laptop.

After writing an earlier longer post today i had to go lie down for a while while the knee pain from the Sciatica eased before trying again.

So a brief bit about Sciatica.

Its Bloody horrible. No matter what you do when it’s at its worse you can’t get comfortable for sleeping or just resting. Forget walking. That just sends pain up and down your leg and spine.

Sciatica is caused by trauma to the sciatic nerve, could be a bump or a slip disc, or any number of things. In my case it was trying to do exercise. That’s right exercise causes bad things to happen.

I’m quite a bit over weight and want to lose it and get fit. So to that end since i can’t afford to join a gym or go swimming on a regular basis I’ve been using things around the flat as aids to exercise. I buggered the nerve jumping about to music, on a cushion so Mrs downstairs didn’t come up and complain again. Possibly not the wisest choice, but it was getting the heart rate up and i could feel it working muscles that don’t normally get much of a workout.

So treatment for sciatica. Well apart from getting the good painkillers there isn’t much you can do for it. Cold and hot packs don’t really do anything but make the area their applied to feel hot or cold.

Bandaging legs, like above doesn’t really do much. It doesn’t help with the pain, but if you feel weak at the knee it does help make you feel a little more stable while up and about.

Sleep, that’s for the weak and not in pain. I spent three days not sleeping before I got the really good pain killers, But as soon as they wore off I was awake again, hunting for where I’d dumped my specs so i can see where I’ve dumped the pills and bottle of water to wash them down with.

Thankfully things are looking up. I’ve been able to cut back on the pain killers and sleep is almost back to normal.

Here’s a couple of links about sciatica

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sciatica

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Sciatica/Pages/Introduction.aspx

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I hate dialogue

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I hate trying to write dialogue.

Trying to use it to get important points across and move the story forward.

I know its an important part of any story and helps pull the reader into the story and care about the main people in the story and the things that are happening to and around them. Going back to an earlier post on being dyslexic I think i should say that last sentence was changed as no matter how hard I tried i couldn’t spell the word i wanted right. Even the spell checker couldn’t get close to the word I wanted to us with the way i was trying to spell it.

The best writers out there manage to give the protagonists their own voice. one different to the one they use in the prose of the story. Different to the one they use in their normal every day to day dealings with people.

Tome reading back what I’ve written it sounds a lot like how I would say things and not the best way I could put information across at that.

I really admire writers who manage to write really good dialogue. Authors like Terry Practchett for instance. The dialogue he uses in his work is so spot on and truly helps to get the reader into the persons mind. Granny Weatherwax for instance is a very strong protagonist who when you read her lines you know its her saying it with out having to read she said it.

Or Sam Vimes. Another very strong protagonist that again you read his lines and know they could only be spoken by him and no one else.

Yes Pratchett has had thirty years practice at getting it right compared to my thirty days doing almost nothing but trying to do it right. so there is a huge gap in experience there.I always thought that dialogue would be the easy bit of writing as I talk a lot myself and like nothing more then listening to others talk. hearing the way they chose to put their sentences together and the words they chose to put their point across. Even people in the same family use different ways to say the same thing.

But writing it is much harder then I thought it would be. for all I enjoy listening to people talk I can’t seem to get my head around writing it.

It doesn’t really help that due to the Dyslexia Imp who likes messing with my brain when writing means i find myself changing the way I write as i can’t get the words i want to use spelt right.

Hopefully the family and friends I’m using to edit the stories I’ve drafted so far will help give the people their own voices in a better way then I can. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Trying to be an Author while Dyslexic.

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I’ll admit it took me a long time to learn how to spell dyslexia and i had to double check the spelling just now.

What a stupidly hard word to pick for a condition that in part means you have a tonne of trouble spelling.

Dyslexia affects different people in many different ways. I’m not going to go into all the ways as this post is an all about me post. Or more importantly how I’m finding trying to write stories while the dyslexia is on full “I’m gonna screw up your work mode”.

So a little bit about my form of dyslexia. I’m number blind. I have to work extra hard to do even the most simple of sums, often coming up with different answers to the same sum in a short period of time.My six year old son is better at maths then I am. And i can honestly say I couldn’t be happier for him. So far it looks like he has escaped the pain of any form of dyslexia. Fingers crossed it carries on to be the case.

I was in high school before i was told I had an unusual form of dyslexia. My reading age at the age of 12 was nineteen. I was reading at a Higher level then the school catered for. but being number blind and having very poor writing, spelling and grammar skills meant that i was dyslexic.

Cue lots of extra lessons at school to help me learn how to work around the problems I have. I had to go back to day one of school. Relearning how to make the shapes of letters, put them together to make words and learning how to take a deep breath before trying to spell things.

It was amazingly frustrating to be going back to the beginning, to a level lower then my six year old brother was working at at the time. But looking back now 17 years after i started the extra lessons I couldn’t be happier that i had the chance to do them.

I still have the problems but I’ve learnt ways to deal with it. And have the confidence to try to get past them to write stories and books for kids my sons age.

So spelling. Thank god for spell checker. Although there was more then once i totally broke it. To the point where my dad to break out his tools to fix it again. I can laugh about it now but at the time it was beyond anything i felt i could cope with.  How many people can say they broke spell checker to the point where the PC tower had to be taken apart to fix it?

Even now I get more red lines under wrongly spelt words then I care to admit too. If I didn’t have it on this blog then no one else would be able to read it with ease. But often i don’t know I’ve spelt the words wrong. To me it looks right and no matter how hard I look I can’t see where I went wrong.

But, I can tell when someone else has spelt something wrong. I may not be able to tell you how it’s spelt wrong or what the right spelling for that word is, but I know it’s wrong.

Grammar. What can I say?

Well to me I often don’t see it on the page. I often have no clue how to use it properly. How to structure a sentence so it reads better and makes more sense. Just where to put the punctuation in or which one I should be using.

Not a great problem for a budding author to have. But again there’s grammar check programmes out there. And like spell checker I have broken a few. So I often don’t use it. Instead relying on the editing skills of friends and family.

I have problems with getting the words out on the page. Often writing the same word two or three times. Not knowing that I’ve done it till either i read it back or someone else points it out. The notebook I’m using to write the stories in first before putting on the computer is full of useless repeated words crossed out.

For me it’s not worth giving into the dyslexia. I have all these ideas for stories that want to be told, So no matter how long it takes to get the words on paper, in the right order spelt and grammared properly I will overcome this bugger of a condition and get the stories out there. Hopefully they’ll help someone else with the condition see that despite it you can write for others to enjoy.

Every time I feel down about it and not getting very far writing I just remember that I have a little boy who’s waiting to hear the next story and tell me how I can make it better for him. Who gives me more ideas for stories, and asks for the ones i’ve finished the first drafts of to be read to him again. with or without the changes he doesn’t care. He’s just in love with the world I’ve created for him using his favourite mystical creatures. Dragons. In ways he’s never seen them before doing things he didn’t know they could do.

So if friends and family get fed up of editing for me I’ll just have to find new people to take up the mantel of helping me out.

Slowly getting there…

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It’s been a wee while since i last updated this blog.

During that time I’ve written four complete first drafts of short stories and struggling through the fifth.

The thing I’m struggling with most is dialogue. Its quite hard to make sure that every word of dialogue is moving the story forward and not wasting words.

As the stories are short stories aimed a children i have to be careful with how many words i use to get a point across. short stories need the pace to be fairly fast and simple, and lets be honest, children don’t have the best attention spans. so keeping to the KISS principle is a must.

Saying that the first story I’ve finished I trailed on my son. I can’t think of a harsher critic as if he doesn’t like something he just gets up and walks away. He’s done this while I’ve read him published stories with nice pictures.

So a little nervous of what the cruel six year old judge would say i started. no pictures for him to look at as i cant draw to save my life. just my messy badly spelt, even worse grammar handwriting for him to look at.

I finish the first A4 page and look at him, he’s sat with a smile on his face. I carry on, the only time he ¬†moved was to snuggle up to me as I read. with what i thought was a nice flourish i bring the story to an end.

“that was brilliant mummy, fantastic.” shouts my son. I’ve never heard him use those words before so with a tear in my eye, now there really is no pretending his a small child any more, (even though he’s the tallest in his class and missing two teeth in my head he’s still a baby) i dare to ask him if he thought there was anything missing.

“fart jokes!” no denying my son is a true boy with that remark. “fart jokes and things falling over”

yes in six year old heads slap stick is still the best go to comedy you can find. And some how not as easy as you might think to crow bar into a story about dragons while keeping an eye on the word count.

But nearly five stories in and while its not getting any easier the ideas keep coming and soon i hope to have a good handful of stories that can take the next step to having pictures drawn for them and be fully edited ready for other six year olds to enjoy. If there anything like my son i may need to have a few back up ones.

Its harder then it looks.

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Writing for kids is hard. Very hard.
OK I’ll admit I’ve only been trying to write a story about dragons for my six-year-old for about twelve hours now. Not long really, but long enough for me to want to pull my hair out.
There is the amount of words you want to use in your writing but your not sure if a six year old is able to read the word never mind understand the meaning of the word.
My son is learning to read and being the proud mother that I am I think he’s the best little reader in the world. even more so since he likes having stories with long words read to him. but I’m trying to write a book that kids will want to read to themselves or their younger siblings.
At the back of my mind I’ve go to remember that the words i write will need someone to put pictures to it and thinking about how its done in other books.
Never mind getting an artist on board to draw the pictures. someone who’s happy to draw lots of dragons and their world based on the words I put on the page.
So over all its a lot harder then i thought it would it would be.
If anyone knows someone who wouldn’t mind trying to put drawings to my words send them my way.

Things not allowed to write.

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In every aspect of life there are things that people are and aren’t allowed to write.

In the case of the press its for legal reasons, or because some one has taken out a court order. They have to be really careful about what they write. Although some of them push the boundaries and then fight the consequences in court.

Where as in the case of bloggers its a lot harder to know what yo are/n’t allowed to write about. The same legal rules dont apply to bloggers. The Levenson inquiry has shown us that.

When your blogging you have a lot more freedom to write about whatever you want. Putting it in your own words expressing your views on the subject. Often just taking the post down is enough to stop people trying to take legal action. Even though once something is on the internet its very very very hard to truely make them go away again.

In the case of a lot of bloggers its down to who they know and their wishes as to what they put on the internet.

In my own case there isn’t many people around who tell me what i can and cant put online. Most of the people i know use the blog as a way of finding out whats going on in my head.

I”m not the best at telling people my feelings most of the time. The best i can do it is by writing it down. But people get sick of getting letters or emails going over the same things.

Sometimes because they say things that they dont want to hear, or something that they have heard before, making a promise i intended to keep but failed to do so.

For someone who’s dyslexic its a bit of a bugger that teh only way i can truely tell someone whats going on or how i feel is by writing it.

I have used this blog to vent about things, saying things about someone i dont know, and refused point blank to take them down again.

Theres a couple of posts from last month that i have taken off public display as a shouw of good will and an olive branch towards the people mentioned in them. Thats not to say these posts are gone for ever. They say alot about my mental state at the time and the way i dealt with having everything i believed in torn to pieces.

I didnt cope will with that and vented on here. Now i didnt cross any legal lines with what i wrote, but i did cross lines of good will and faith. Mentioning things that i had been asked not to mention.

Do i regret it? Not really. Should i regret it? More then likely. Will i ever put them back up again? I dont know. Maybe i will when i need to get a point across again. Although with a few changes to make sure i dont come across as too mentally insane.

I know that i’m not the only peron to use their blog as a way of telling people wahts going on in their heads. Some like myself, as a way of getting things of their chests and letting people know how theya re doing doing. As a kind of thearpy. It makes for hard reading sometimes, but also reading for your sanity, letting you know that your not the only one out there going through the things your going through, feeling the things you feel.

Its not a case of trying to get as many people as possible reading their blog on a daily basis. More about getting your thoughts and feelings out of yourself somewhere where someone may read them and be able to offer a kind word.