Tag Archive | writers

Easy Life?

Who said life was easy?

My mother died when I was a teenager. Many years have passed but I’m still learning about her, not from family or friends. When she married my father she distanced herself from the only friend she had and there is no family.

My mother is still a mystery to me. I discovered many things about her after her death, through letters and legal documents. Photos revealed a woman who was a far cry from the old-fashioned, prim and proper mother I knew.

Writing has helped me sort out my feelings and offered perspective. Friends never understand how I’ve forgiven her for the miserable childhood  I had.

As a mother I’ve struggled to understand the hows and the whys. I also missed the special bond most mothers and daughters have when a grandchild is born. Knowing this would not have happened didn’t lessen the void. Seeing friends with their mothers sometimes hurt.

Life is a long path of recognition and learning. Not so long ago, it finally dawned on me that more than having just grown up in difficult circumstances, my mother was suffering from a mental illness.

It all came clear to me that morning. Why did I never even suspect it? I was raised not to question things, but I did. I kept it all to myself. But my mother, well, I was so afraid of her. She was so strong, indomitable.

All the crazy spells, smiling and screaming the next minute, throwing a basin full of water at me in public, trashing my room in the middle of night while raving.

Still, I didn’t click. Because for years I lived with guilt, like many children who have suffered abuse, I thought it all my fault. I was conditioned to believe everything that happened was somehow my fault. It’s not easy shaking those labels.

Her son from a previous marriage is schizophrenic. I wasn’t told this until after she had died. It was not something my mother wanted known, another secret under the carpet. I didn’t even find out he was my half-brother until I was 12. He terrorized me through my childhood. I remember my mother taking him to this centre, it was only years later that I learned what this centre was.

So here I am, all these years later, proud mummy to my gorgeous children. Who said life was easy? But one thing is for sure, you learn something every day, and with love you cannot go wrong.

A special notebook

I still remember getting my first Moleskine. It was given to me by a special friend many years ago. As I looked at it, words were dancing on the pages, stories evolving.

As a child I loved stationery, books and notebooks were almost on an equal par.

I scribble all day long, I have notebooks strewn all over the place. Now, I just need one I could use in the shower or in the pool. Ideas come to me all the time, but especially so when I’m submerged by water.

Read what Victoria Patterson has to say about her Moleskine Journal:

http://www.pw.org/content/victoria_patterson_4

Most useful hashtags when writing

All writers jot ideas on everything they can lay their hands on. When inspiration strikes, you’ve got to write it down. Incidentally, writing it down helps me remember those precious ideas.

So what do you do with all the bits of paper, notebooks…you have accumulated. How do you reconcile them with the stories you write?

I’m not the most organised writer, but I do try. Worse, I often go from one project to the other.

Firstly, I have plastic folders labelled with the title of the book the ideas are destined to. But, most importantly, every time I write something down I use a hashtag.

An idea crops up about a steamy sex scene, #sex.

Another idea about a coffee shop scene, #coffee.

Wedding? #wedding

And so on…

That way, when I come back to the scene in question, I can check my notes and find it all neatly under one hashtag.

So thanks Twitter, sometimes inspiration strikes from the most unlikely place.

Write or read?

Write, or read?

Could you give up one or the other? Can you ever be a good writer but not read?

‘Would you rather give up writing for the rest of your life but have all the time you wanted for reading… or give up reading for the rest of your life but have all the time you want for writing?’

This is the question Rachelle Gardner asks in a recent post. http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/

To me reading and writing go together, no doubt. I cannot see myself giving one up for the other. I’m an avid reader, always has been. I was the child coming home weighed down by my findings at whichever library we lived near at the time. I learned foreign languages through my need to read. I’d pick up whatever I could lay my hands on to satisfy this need.

My children are the same. I read to them the moment I was born. I got funny looks at a time when it was not yet trendy. The result is a house full of books, our cars too. The smallest of journeys is spent with a nose in a book. They read at the table while eating if we let them. My children are bilingual as a result, my daughter has better spelling than French children her age and even older ones. OK, OK, stop bragging, I hear you.

And writing? At school, I hated the constraints imposed by teachers. Write like this, don’t deviate. I went to schools where teachers did not encourage creativity. I was the child who would write and rewrite…changing details until the very last minute.

Then I went to university. I had fantastic teachers there, ones who recognised and encouraged creativity. Life has its ups and downs, some of them delaying me for a while, but deep down I never stopped. The stories are in my head. I used to think I was slightly mad, or worse. Was I normal? What is normal anyway?

These stories have to come out eventually. I still read as I write. I feel torn at times, wanting to finish a book but characters calling me to get on with the story I’m writing. Lucky for me I’m a fast reader and a furious writer. Once the story starts forming in my head, I’m compelled to write it, so hard to stop. So I do amidst the chaos in my life, little blonde heads demanding attention…

How it all began

 

A song, a flash from the past

 

She hears them and she doesn’t, locked in a private corner of her past. A painful memory she’s been unwilling to share. But for now she isn’t fearful or sad, she’s mystified, lost in the beauty, the magic atmosphere. She doesn’t understand what she sees. It has familiar connotations but it makes no sense.

 

Twenty odd years have passed, how could it be? He looks so young, so beautiful, but the exotic setting? What is this?

 

His voice wraps her up and transports her back. Memories emerge and float, and she remembers. She’s a fighter, always has been. The little girl she once was kicks her from the inside, the one who refused to give in.

 

She doesn’t know it yet, but the nightmare is shifting away. For the last few months she has merely survived, now it’s time to live again. She’s alive and fighting. A new energy jolts her, she doesn’t even realise she’s pirouetting around the conservatory.

 

Lost in your time, based in Paris, out now.

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Tick Tock | Two days left

It was on the cards, a novel based in Paris, inspired by a life-changing experience and a long love story with France.

Find out more in this brand new interview where Elle Amberley Author gets personal and reveals how France has played such an important part in her life.

Here’s the link An audience with author Elle Amberley> guesting on Sue Fortin’s blog

 

 

And you can also find her here guesting on Tony Riches’ blog Book Launch

Two days to go before the launch!

Stay tuned for the contest on Wednesday and share the love 🙂

Posted by Indio Press

LOST IN YOUR TIME  (28th March)

Blurb

Ah, the dangers of the internet! We’ve all been warned, but do we take notice?

When Natasha clicks on a link, her whole life is turned upside down. A flash from the past, a chance meeting with a gorgeous French rock star…

A chance to start over and forget the pain and misery from the last two years.

But can Natasha let go? Will she accept this new twist in her life?

Will she regain her “joie de vivre”? Or will the sparks fizzle out?

 

Cover blurb, courtesy of Jae De Wylde, author of The Thinking Tank.

Rock star or husband – which would you choose?

Elle’s chatty and engaging style invites us in to share Nat’s thoughts and feelings as she comes to terms with another of life’s twists. Will she choose happiness or duty? Or are they one and the same?

Links

Elle Amberley Author

Elle Amberley Facebook

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This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 6th week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Can you spot Mr Whinger in Lost in your time?

Mr Whinger and co

Yep, you know the type, always complaining and it never is their fault! I lived with  a whinger once, it exhausted me and slowly took my spirit away little by little.

If they do get to apologise, it is invariably followed by a “if” or a “but”. Well, what does that mean?

Either you’re sorry or you’re not ! Saying “I’m sorry if I hurt you” or  ”I’m sorry but …” doesn’t really say you’re sorry but implies somehow you’re the one to blame or  being difficult. It trivialises the issue.

I tend to be a giver, a carer and a worrier. I’m the shoulder people cry on but sometimes I need to offload too.

When I first met Mr Whinger, I was a bubbly person.

I’ve always been optimistic and he was Mr Pessimistic. After a while, it rubs off on you, you try and resist it but ultimately it wore me down, probably because I was going through a very difficult time and I was rather poorly. Where was my shoulder to cry on?

So after all the crises and the loneliness I had to make a choice but hey, life is full of them, isn’t it?!

One thing I also found is that living with a pessimistic ruins your social life, friends wanted to meet up with me but curiously they wer never too keen to visit us at home.

I’m really sorry for Mr Whinger by the way, sorry you thought the whole world was against you and you isolated yourself not letting anyone in. I wished you’d let me in,I had so much love to give and you knew it, only didn’t know how to respond to it.

☆ “It takes a genius to whine appealingly.” F.Scott Fitzgerald quote

So, let’s see if you can spot a whinger in my new novel, out on the 28th March, and based in Paris.

Don’t worry, it’s not all about whingeing, but more about love and finding yourself again.

Hope you enjoy reading it. Don’t forget to join my Facebook page, Elle Amberley Facebook , there’s a giveaway and more freebies to win.

Have a great weekend!

 

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