You are never to old to dream:Writers Quote Wednesday

set a dream

You are never to old to set another goal or to dream
C.S. Lewis

I like this sentiment but find it increasingly difficult to abide by.

When I was younger than cutting edge I had dreams. Big dreams Larger than I was. I wanted to travel. Travel to India,I knew Mowgli didn’t actually live there but still. . . to the Balkans, that was due to Katie of the Balkans and other books. To the Far East and to Africa, I had read the books I needed to see them for myself.When I was ten an expedition to Antarctica being launched and we had to make a scrapbook of the event.

I added Antarctica to the list.

Then I grew more ambitious

I also wanted to fly a hot air balloon. Jules Verne, obviously, began that train of thought when I was young. Then Georgette Heyer reinforced it with Frederica. In a day when few civilians flew in aeroplanes I thought it would be a good dream . I was the first in the family to do so.

The cinema put the Americas on radar and they were duly added to the travel list.

As I progressed through my teens, I learnt how to ride horses and thought maybe trekking would be good ( a small ambition, first I managed to fulfil) I filled the boring hours at school with small dreams, stupid dreams such as going to University – I had been chucked out quite a few classes by then and had not a hope in hell of achieving it – still a dream is a dream.

Maybe I’d grow rich and have my own abode, a country cottage perhaps, with roses and a couple of cats, I’d be a scary old crone who terrified the local kids. Or I could be a half starved writer and hide in the gloom hunched over a typewriter. Maybe. . . .

All these dreams were ridiculous for the time. Girls didn’t often go to university back then, travel just after a world war wasn’t the norm especially for girls. Only scientists and explorers got Antarctica. Hot air balloons were for books.There was no way I’d be rich unless I married money and as I had decided very early in life that was not my path in life that was out as well. Ah well!:)

But they were my dreams and I was determined to make them come true.

I left school and began my travels. I went to the Balkans, to the Soviet Union, travelled over the Himalayas, didn’t see Mowgli in India but I never thought I would:) however it was a magical place. I visited the Far East and Africa – not all of it but quite a bit. Then one day when I was forty I went up in a hot air balloon. I spent a week learning how to fly it, to dismantle and put it up, the history of the sport and had an exciting hours flying or chasing it over muddy fields.

I thought I would try and write a book decided if I set it in USA I could travel over there (for research of course!:)

Empowered by travel and age I decided I must go to University – so I did. I was on a roll. I finished the book and tucked it away in a box in the attic – took my exams collected my degrees, half way through the courses my sister inherited some money and sent me off to Antarctica – Yay – the continent was open to visitors nothing, would have stopped me and I took in South America while I was about it.

I did think to be rich meant lots of money but I discovered over the years that there is far more to it than pounds, shillings and pence. I consider myself rich beyond any dream, just a little short on the cash!

Only the cottage, roses and cats left. It’s not a cottage but a bungalow, cats and roses of course. I had ticked everything off my list before I retired.

What to do?

New dreams were needed.

I wouldn’t just write a book I would publish one. By now it was possible to self publish. I had to learn a great deal about computers and the Internet. Okay, new dream ticked off, five times. Now what to do?

I need new dreams or is it time to smile sweetly and be content?

No wait!

I still need to be an old crone and terrify the neighbourhood children:)

This quote is part of Silver Threading’s  Writer’s Quote series. Writer’s who have helped inspire my writing and my life. Pop over and follow other quotes there are many inspiring posts

I do like the letter O: alberta’s words

o is a versatile letter

The letter O is a wonderfully versatile letter. Apart from the look of it; so clean, so eternal it is from a child’s point of view so easy to pen:) To my mind, the friendliest looking of all the alphabet.

Think of all the sounds that originate with O
Pot and No
Do and Son

Four simple words and four different pronunciations. Short O in the first, a long O in the second.

A double OO in the third and even a short U in the fourth.

We can have the different O sounds in boat, toe, neon, riot and youth depending on which letters surround this neat looking letter.

How about meow and Mao or Noel.

Try doubling it – coot and foot, one becomes longer, the other shorter and more of a u sound, only one letter different in this case. How clever we are to even remember a half of the variations in English.

O stands in for ‘the descendant of’ in names such as O’Driscoll and for ‘of the clock’ in time keeping

That is not the end of O, it stands on it’s own to spell sounds.

O

With or without the ‘h’ dogged my poetry lessons as a child – modern poets are not keen.

Many O’s as in Ooooo can be excitement or praise of looks,  add a letter or so and it can be ouch or ow both pain of some kind.

And of course do let us forget how satisfying a plain unadorned O can be to a child or a doodler, a face, body part of rabbits, dogs and cats. How satisfying it is to fill it in with pen or pencil when bored. To add ears and tails.

Doodlers love the double O, it can be decorated with lashes, a pupil and voila we have eyes.In ancient Egypt (ancient in like 4,000 years ago!) the O was a hieroglyph for ‘the eye’. Semites took it and then Phoenicians diminished it to a small outline of the eye and hey presto our O was formed still meaning eye. Then it changed and became a letter.  I still make eyes out of mine:)

I do like the letter O:)

words

with a great deal of help from David Crystal and Michael Rosen

A magical quality to names: Writer’s Quote Wednesday

Greene quote

There is a magical quality in names – to change the name is to change the character
Graham Greene 1904 – 1991

I like playing with names and have renamed myself a few times in my life – the first time when being fed up with the abbreviation of my name – it was my middle name (which I had not chosen, an unfairness I have forever felt:) I declared I was going to use a different variation of the name and would not answer to anything else. It took a while but in the end the family largely complied. My grandmothers couldn’t bring themselves too.

Well I let them off:)

When I travelled around the world I would often develop a new name or gather nicknames – I gloried in most of them. I was a different person in each place I travelled to, so why not have a new name? Names should be flexible, if one changes style, character etc, in my opinion anyway.

I am just as arbitrary with dates as well, you don’t like the month you were born into – too hot,too cold, change it to a month you would be happy to celebrate in. Festivities can be held at a different time if circumstances dictate, I have had Christmas in July and Febuary.

Multiple names though do make any card list a problem; I have to remember what name to sign each card with. A minor problem. Some friends have not made all the transitions and officialdom still calls me by my first name which I have never been called, not even by the family.

It’s fun:)

However names for my books have given me a constant headache since I began writing seriously. Names are a problem and I read that many authors have the same difficulty naming a cast of characters.

I am told, naming your children can be a minefield if one wishes to honour members of the family, or one has a fancy idea and the other hates it. Well multiply that by a cast of dozens.

The more people one has met in life and made judgements on the more names are rejected. One doesn’t want friends to walk away if you use their name for a character they don’t like, neither do you want to use a name of that skinny child in primary school who pulled your plaits.

This particular name may be in fashion now but in a few years time it will date the work, that name might be pretty, cute, sexy or whatever but it was the name of that liar, the creep, the hurtful, so the list of discards grow.

The names are important.

Sometimes a few of the characters still don’t have a name until the book is finished, I have to wait until I know what character the person has. It has to be a name which fits into the family, community. There is no background at the beginning to graft the name onto.

However occasionally there is no problem, the name just pops into my head. Ellen and Bix came so naturally they could never have been anything else.

I have another problem outstanding; in the present book I am writing, I have three characters beginning with ‘K.’ I like all the names equally but, one has to be changed. Two have appeared already in previous books; the trouble though, I know this third  character well, he is the name. How can I find another which will suit all the thousands of words already written about him?

Green was correct, change the name and you change the character,

A problem:)

This quote is part of Silver Threading’s  Writer’s Quote series. Writer’s who have helped inspire my writing and my life. Pop over and follow other quotes there are many inspiring posts