Inspiration for keeping the characters alive in the mind of the reader

Gaining inspiration is a key factor to my writing.
Inspiration is what drives me, fuels my desire to write.
Without it, writing becomes “tick tocking”, a term which I imagine to be somewhat like the robotic movements of some Victorian novelty: you’re just going through the motions of writing, not really living that deep idea.

But gaining true inspiration, for me, is difficult.
Well, inspiration, I have to admit, is hampered by the latent fictions that have deposited themselves in my mind after years and years of TV, film and books.
Such memories have formed a kind of “RAM” chip in my brain, which refuses to be over written!
All of those classic SF + horror tales reside in their special places, just waiting to be activated: self-made booby traps waiting to be sprung in the mine field of imagination.

The upshot of this is the fact that, having been saturated by many genres, it makes it very difficult for me to enjoy much of today’s so-called “science fiction” as much of is derived from writings of the 50s and 60s. Not wanting to put down any modern day films which are held in high esteem by people, but if you take into consideration the “Trueman show”, or “Looper” or “Take Shelter” or even the “Matrix”, I think many of these ground breaking and moving stories are the product of what we’ve already been exposed to, whether it be a short story or novel churned out many years ago.

Are we all subject to this?

“You’re ranting dude!

OK…, sorry… back to the ball game.

Inspiration, therefore, is not just for achieving the core idea(s) for your first book or short story, it also includes, as in my case, collecting extracts of life, little “copy pastes” from everything around me, which will hopefully help me to put words into the mouths of a mishmash of disembodied creatures that live in my imagination.
I want to bring them to life; give them a purpose; help you to sympathise with their plights, and also help you to get to know them, the same way I see the characters; ultimately giving you the yearning to envisage them in reality and feel their emotions.

I quickly realised that I was reading, not for the story, but for the characters.
As a “personal” example, I can give you Stephen King’s “IT”. His descriptions of the 1950s, which I assume are fragments of his own memories of that era, are so stunning, that I felt I was being drawn into the loser’s club world. King’s descriptions made me an addict, for that one book.
But, the exposition was secondary for me.
His characters were what got me hooked.
He would take a simple scene and bind you to the child’s longings, desires, fears, so much so that you were standing over his or her shoulder, looking down at a frozen canal in sub-zero temperatures of a Derry winter as a sinister clown walks towards you. God, I could see the snow flakes and the deep shadows of the day he describes in the book.
You are the fat kid, Ben Hascomb, library lover, romantic, target of bullies!

I’m not preaching King’s works, it is just one of those archived memories that has stuck with me. He creates characters that you can see.

I will end with a scene I really love.
Easy, this has the perfect colours.
I know its computer generated, but it has something.
It’s the final scene from Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch.
My private dream is that he, or someone else, will use this technique to remake “To kill a mockingbird”.
It looks so perfect for it…

Oppps! There’s a bit missing where she talks to the bus driver. SORRY!


Deirin De

Here is our violinist in action at the Folkerdey, open air festival in Ratingen, Germany.

If you want to see more of her incredible playing check out BANTABA X:

Rubber duck race!!!!

Not much writing to be done today. Sunday is family day. I can concentrate on Windbound later!

What a great day.
I took Liz, my daughter, to our local city forest today, where the biennial rubber duck race took place.
First we had to buy our ducks from the local Lions Club here in Krefeld, the main organisers.
Today, there were two competitions: the duck race and the best dressed duck.
So, ducks in pocket, we made our way over to the duck dressing zone where the organisers had laid on everything you needed to get your duck lucking cool.

Someone’s got her eye on the best dressed duck first prize!

Ducks finished, we set off for a walk to find out what was happening.
The city forest doesn’t have a river; it’s just a couple of lakes jammed together.
So the question is: how the hell do you get your rubber duck to move? Hydropower? Built in duck engines? No
The local fire brigade were responsible for this:

The first race of the day.

We also went on a little boat trip around the lakes.
I managed to snap a couple of shots of the summer visitors making camp on one of the islands dotted around the lake.
They’d obviously heard about the race and got front side seats to watch the action:

A family of Canada Geese enjoying a quick preening session before the race starts.

I also took a shot of one of my favourite monuments at Stadtwald: the Deuss Temple, which is not a stone’s throw away from the extremely inviting beer garden.

A room with a view (a bit drafty though)

Finally, it was our race. Liz and I got places close to the finish line.
The atmosphere was electric (sounds of snoring)… well…, you know what I mean: for a duck race it was good for the kids!

And the winner is…

We left empty handed
But who cares, it was all for charity.

All in all a pretty good Sunday!


After the revelation, several hours ago, that I had been tempted away from my biggest project yet, and my lack of understanding of why this deceitful act could have taken place, I’m now new man!

I may have stood at the edge of the metaphoric abyss (cue orchestral build up reminiscent of Ave Satani looping in the back ground) preparing my downfall, running away from this monster of a project, and seeking sanctuary in something new… but… looking down into that dark pit of bubbling lava, I got a bit of vertigo, and decided to delve back into well-known territory.

Cut a long story short: exposing my soul to this virtual journal got me back on track again.

Windbound part one is now on the way to being finished!

Weeeeeeee. Let’s celebrate with a song:

I love this song.
I just want to jump around and dance every time I hear it.

……..the first page… what’s it all about?

First blog… wow… better get things started then.

What do I want to achieve with this blog? Well…, after giving it some thought and spending several weeks travelling Twitter and DA and other places in this virtual universe, it occurred to me that, as a creative person and teacher, I needed my own virtual cubbyhole, a place where I could write a journal, rant and rave, and do other things; however, and more importantly, I wanted to create a place where people could exchange ideas, discuss things, offer their perspective, ask for help, and hopefully find support and a helping hand (if it has anything to do with writing and learning English that is).

It’s always a bit intimidating when you do something like this for the first time…
Visually, this place is a catastrophe for a first offering. But, I suppose its like everything in life, such as moving into your very first flat: you never have enough money to furnish the place on the first day.

Oh well…, here goes:
Today, being Tuesday, is the day of a new idea – a visual book.
After uploading an old image to DA, a horse which I’d painted many, many years ago, it struck me that I hadn’t created anything like this for a while. It had been very satisfying to create such images, so I thought about getting back into it.
So the visual book would form the basis for a new start.
I’m already in the midst of writing a book for children (Windbound) but, after messing around with some photos I took yesterday, I’ve decided to put together a quick illustrated story. I’ll be using manipulated photos as well as pen and ink all in black and white.

Sooty the cat
This is the inspiration from yesterday.
Yeah, its pretty basic, but its just the building block.

The story is one that I’ve been toying with for a long time, and is based around one simple idea: never follow a cat on his adventures when he leaves your house at night!
Let’s see what happens!