I have been missing from here for a long while but not been idle – promise you.
It was a mixed summer last year. While the draft editing and structuring of The Children’s Tale (the Fourth in The Sefuty Chronicles) gathered momentum the international news went from bad to worse. In Ellen’s Tale (the first of the Chronicles, published in 2009) an old man declares the northern part of the world committed genocide on a massive scale by refusing to help the flood of refugees from the effects of climate change on the southern half of the world, lack of land,famine and war driving them to the North. In this the fourth instalment of my dystopian world the refugees are home grown, as law and order has broken down. The refugees are chiefly women and children, fleeing from raiders and gangs, homeless, starving and ill.
It was difficult to write Ellen’s Tale even though I was imagining the scenario in the future, it has been even more difficult to write this last year knowing that over a million displaced people are actually on the move.
They are displaced by war primarily, however, the problems in many of these countries have food as an ever present strand in their problems. They flee war, famines, no hope, they are risking their lives on the sea, walking, walking thousands of miles, hoping for a life.
It has felt voyeuristic writing about this misery while it is unfolding on our doorstep.watching the comments on the news – the ill feeling toward these desperate people rising in volume as I foretold in Ellen’s Tale. Of course not as yet as violent as I had written back in 2009.
Can the politicians stop the crisis growing or will they yet again make things worse.
another instalment in my series on I love my Garden but. . .clearing an out of control wilderness.
Dobet,Dowel,Dobest – a writer’s quote
A comparison of Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey and The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer; two books I have read recently which made a deep impression of me
Those looking for ROW80 scroll down the Where Did the Esq Go
Way back, when I first penned Ellen’s Tale, I had a ‘humane dictator’ in charge of the City. He was and still is, in The Children’s Tale this the fourth part of The Sefuty Chronicles (WIP), a ‘good’ man, although my characters have conflicting views on that term ‘good’. I like the idea of a benevolent dictator even though those terms do not fit and never will.
Over the recent decades the knowledge of the lasting damage and pain caused by PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) has become more widely known among the public; research was ongoing to find the best way to treat it. Combined with a (almost) lifelong interest into the ways that the mind can be changed (brain washing, propaganda etc) this was one aspect of a soldier’s life I decided the science would move forward on, over the coming decades, to something worthwhile and real.
So in his care of the child soldiers under his command my dictator set up the mind manipulation rooms, where the horrors of war could be softened. Removal isn’t always the best option as the memory of stressful and dangerous events can help us deal with future events. This is a dictatorship so I had removal kept as a form of punishment!
I was told by some of my friends that this wouldn’t happen, I think they didn’t want to believe it! but they did not read the science journals, it was happening, I told them. As Ellen’s Tale was being written the brain was being examined in all its wonderful complexity.
This year nine years on I have been reading of the research on mice and memories and the hope for PTSD sufferers. Maybe my dictator was onto something:)
In the meantime you can catch up on my other thoughts on various matter on
Musing Monday where I prove I can often be a raging Luddite – Waterproof books indeed!
(the links are not working today so you will have to scroll down for this one – sorry:) Am reminded of the old days and typewriters on Writer’s Quote Wednesday
Smile on Three Things Thursday
and began a short series on how the King James version of the bible has influenced the English language. A Committee’s Sublime Creation
The next round of ROW80 begins this coming week so I need to re-evaluate my goals for the next few weeks
Juno is full steam ahead for this month and I am hoping to Finish The Children’s Tale up to editing status. Being a bit of a coward I have left some of the more difficult bits until last:) This, the fourth tale in The Sefuty Chronicles is, as the title suggests, about children. The children who have inherited the mess left by their forebears. The children who are asked to step up and try to take on tasks they have no experience or guidance to do. Well, very little anyway.
Children in times of trouble and adversity, have to grow up quickly and become adults before the the age that many of us in the West consider correct.
One scene I have been struggling with is one where they discuss what is wickedness or evil and why is it? As over many decades I have pondered this subject myself and never come up with a definite answer to the question, I find it a puzzle as to how to write it for these children. Products of such a dysfunctional world, almost devoid of any kind of security, law or moral framework, how do they puzzle their way through the maze that greater minds than myself have struggled with and failed. How can they avoid or arm themselves against it if they do not understand what it is or isn’t?
Is it a given in the DNA or a learnt reaction? Can it be nulified or changed? Is it inevitable? Are their degrees of grey from black to white Most of all is there a constant across all cultures as to what is wickedness?
I am re-reading Mary Midgly‘s book on the subject – Wickedness. I enjoy her books but they are slow going for me as I have no history in philosophy and there are so many references for me to read as I go along. Her style is easy and elegant and her teasing out of this question both fascinating and stimulating.
Whether or not it will help my children only time will tell.
In the meantime in between times I have finally posted my A-Z review/roundup - only a month late but as you know my machine was down. Also on Three Thing Thursday what made me smile/happy this last week.
Any who want ROW80 update, it is here a few hours late (I must do better or stop reading or gardening and get my posts written on time!:)
I have been missing for a month now, due to a crashed Internet connection. It is sorted, except for one e-mail address:(
It is not so much the inconvenience of not being connected – I am not a great Facebook fan, neither am I on Twitter constantly. However, during the course of years of being here in cyberspace one gathers commitments. I join things – challenges, networking connections. I say I will do things on a regular basis. These connections are only here in cyberspace, I cannot pick up a phone and say, sorry won’t be able to post such and such tomorrow.
I do not like letting people down like that .It is rude. But not so much my rudeness. A friend from down here managed to send a message to one site., and my local village library to another couple. Being without for a few hours or a day is not a problem, but it is scary how much we want (I say want rather then need!) the Internet.
Anyway I am back. I was going to post a couple of times last month on short story writing and I might still do so, a bit behind of May which was write A Story a Day month. This is the month each year that I work on my short stories, gathering together odd ideas, drafted scenarios and try and lick them into some kind of form and structure. They can be polished later; one a day does not for polished story make:)
As i mentioned last time, my friend from forever/editor had requested I produce another reworked fairy tale/nursery rhyme book of short stories this year, so ever obedient that is what I devoted most of the month too. However thirty one stories are not needed in that genre so I also worked on the ordinary shorts I had started last year. It was a good month of indulging in the darker side of my imagination! It does always amaze me how dark that can be. I spend hours dreaming up gloriously nasty but deserved fates for my characters. On the surface I appear to be a perfectly harmless, if untidy, overweight, old woman.
You just never can tell.
This month is JunoWrMo a writing challenge to write 50000 words in the month of June. I am hopeful that The Children’s Tale will be finished by the end of June. While I have been editing I have ripped out a big chunk from the middle, which needs replacing, and the end needs re-writing. So fingers crossed. The children have really taken this story between their hands and are determined to give their side of the events.They have dictated where to go and what to reveal. They keep their secrets.
So now I am back online, hopefully I will be blogging again this week, with all the usual. About books on Monday and maybe Friday, on Life, Tuesday, Writers Quote on Wednesday, something to smile about on Thursday, and a piece about words on Friday.
That’s the plan.
It’s good to have a plan.
Maybe I need a plan B as well:)