Jessica’s last words

Re-blogged this.

Her mission is our mission

On March 10, 2015,  my daughter Jessica took out a piece of paper and wrote out one last letter to me. She used a pink marker (her favorite color) as she jotted down her last thoughts. It was her last attempt to explain to me that life had gotten to much for her. That all the bullying and pain that she had endured from the previous year and a half had finally taken over her mind. Helpless and hopeless she ended the pain that she fought so hard to be free of. I know she didn’t do this to hurt me. She was ending her pain and what she thought was a life that couldn’t get better.img_8924-2

I carried a copy of that note in my purse for  3 years. I thought  about what the words meant to me and I decided to have her last thoughts      …

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INFIDELITY AND INGENUITY

TRAVEL

Last time I left you all as we approached the military museum.

It seemed we had the place to ourselves, there were no other visitors. The displays were quite amazing, even for me who hates ‘war’ stuff. It included uniforms, equipment, battle scenes, maps, descriptions of conflicts and so much more.

Set out over two floors it covered just about the whole history of Austria – and it was interesting to compare what they showed us in their version to what I remembered from history lessons at school. History is always written by the victor!

HISTORY

Having divorced Blanche, a year later in 1455, Henry marries Joan of Portugal, sister to Alfonso V of Portugal. However, he soon gets bored with her too, and it’s not long before he takes another mistress, one of Joan’s ladies in waiting. (Now that is really sleazy).

Henry IV and Joan of Navarre

Here he is with ‘the other woman’  In turn, Joan is so incensed that she begins an affair with a handsome courtier named Beltran de la Cueva.  That’s practically unheard of in history on the female side!  While kings could play around, queens stayed pure and chaste didn’t they? They could get into all kinds of bother. – Remember the saying Momma’s baby, Poppa’s maybe?)

Beltran_de_la_Cueva

 

Henry? He doesn’t seem to mind in the slightest, you can almost take indolence to extremes can’t you?

And here is the lucky man, Beltran de la Cueva  (I think that = Bertran from the cave). Quite a dishy sort of guy I guess but awfully thin – take that armour away and there’d be nothing left of him. I do hope the Queen fed him up a little.

 

 

 

AFRICAN FACTS

This week a few more pictures of some of the rural schools we visited. At one, they had built a whole new assembly hall and gym, yes, from all those collected pennies. The previous one had been flooded out (uninsured of course) and the parents had working parties to dig ditches or whatever was needed to prevent it from flooding again.

If only communities would work together like this everywhere, just think of what we could achieve. There is so much hope and inspiration from these little ones, all so keen to get an education. If they hear there will be a day closure of the schools, say for example to use as a polling station, they all get very upset.

I’ve written 2 books dedicated to my media work it’s packed with dozens of humorous and inspirational stories, and a few shocking ones too, of the people we met and the various ways they were all trying to make a better life. This is the first one.

https://www.books2read.com/u/47kzYN 

The second link will take you to all marketplaces.

Till next time, take care

Lucinda

 

MEET TERRY TYLER

I have to admit I’ve not read all the books featured on my guest blogs. That had been my original intention so I could make some really intelligent comments about them and gush about how much I loved them. Of course, that never happened I’m not Superman or woman in my case.

This week is different, as I’ve read 3 books by this author and loved them – despite being in a genre I would never even consider – but they were recommended, so I bought the first, read it in a day and then immediately got the second …. What I loved about her Renova trilogy was the premise that it could, one day, come true.

Terry Tyler the stage is yours.1 New

First of all, I’d like to thank the lovely Lucinda (sorry if I’ve made you sound like a 1960s magician’s assistant) for inviting me to her blog!

I wasn’t quite sure what to write about for a while, but I imagine this might be of interest to other writers (and maybe come as a surprise to readers)―I’m talking about THE FEAR that lurks in so many writers’ minds all the way through the production of a novel.  What is it?  It’s the fear that you’re writing a load of rubbish.  If it’s a sequel or a series, and the previous one has been well received, you can add to that the worry that readers will find this one a disappointment.

After writing many, many novels (15 published, 9 or 10 unpublished), I’ve found that my process always follows more or less the same pattern:

Step 1: Get idea.  Mull it around for a while to see if it has legs.

Step 2: Develop plot in head.  Write basic plan.  Start writing.

5K words: Question my conviction that this idea had legs.  Feel unable to get into the heads of any of the characters.  Have to force self to write, every step of the way.

6K – 15K: Start to understand who the characters are but worry they are wishy-washy duplicates of those I’ve written before.  Realise plot isn’t going to work quite as I thought, and make various alterations.  Feel sure it’s banal rubbish.

16K – 30KWell, I’ve got this far, so I may as well carry on.

40K: Consider scrapping.

50K – 60K: Start thinking it might be okay.  Realise what wasn’t working and why, go back and make notes in mauve about where I have to change/add things, but it’s okay, it’s fine, they can all be dealt with in the first rewrite.

70K: Begin to love it!  Feel it’s really coming together!

71K: Me to husband: “I think I’ve lost any talent I’ve ever had.  It’s garbage.”

Husband: “You always say that.”

Me: “Yes, but this time I mean it.”

Husband: “You always say that.”

72K – 80K: See light at end of a tunnel.  Try to push to back of head what a huge task the first rewrite is going to be.

80K- 90K: Realise it’s going to be far too long.  Tell self that a story should be the length it needs to be, and as long as it’s well edited and your readers are enjoying it, it doesn’t matter if it’s 15K words longer than originally intended.

90K – 100K: Who cares about those who say that 70K is the ideal length for a popular fiction type novel, anyway?

105K – end: Thank God that’s over.  Type ‘the end’, feel a nanosecond of victory, go and stare at telly.

1st rewrite: Ahh.  This really is terrible.

2nd rewrite: No, but it seriously is.

3rd rewrite.  Hang on.  I think it might okay.

Subsequent rewrites: It’ll be okay.  It will, it will.

Send to proofreader, who is also first test reader, then spend every day I don’t hear from her thinking that she doesn’t know how to break the news to me about how bad it is.

Next, there is the second test reader, who is über-picky, which is good, but it’s very hard at the time!  Then there are all the final amendments, the realisation that I should have added a scene here and there, the massive plot hole, etc., but onwards I go to the end.

Then it’s up and ready to press ‘publish’ on the given day, and I feel a tiny moment of accomplishment and deep joy.  Next, the ARCs are sent out, and the whole panic process starts all over again.

I sometimes wonder why I do it!  Recently I read a tweet that said something like, ‘how come writing is the thing I want to do most in the world, all the time, but at the same time the thing I want to do least?’

That just about sums it up.  Now, I must go and carry on with the current WIP that is currently over 90K words long and nowhere near the end, a mess of mauve notes, with characters that have changed personality between chapters 14 and 15….

Thank you once again, Lucinda!

Thank you, Terry, what a relief to read that I’m not the only author who agonizes over the rubbish I scribble.  I realize now there are more books of yours for me to find.

Check them out on Terry’s Amazon page

Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/TerryTyler4

 

and her blog

http://terrytyler59.blogspot.com/2018/05/

Till next time, take care.

I’M ONE ARE YOU?

First week of the month, so it’s time for my usual rambling thoughts. A while ago I gave an after luncheon talk entitled ‘The Golden Age’ – when was it? Well from a British point of view it was the Baby Boomer generation into which I was born. I thought I would share it with you, and although it refers to Britain, I’d love to hear from people living in America if they see any parallels. I admit to being amazed by some of the information I dug up while researching.  (Taken from my notes, so not in full English sentences as I didn’t want to make this post too long).

Children of the Golden Generation

I asked the audience when they thought this was – a couple guessed it was the wrinkly generation. Before that:-

The Silent generation was born 1928 – 1945WW II BRITAIN

They mostly remembered WW2 and were the children of those who’d experienced two world wars.

Used to hardship, a simpler life, yet suffered in silence esp re PTSD neither understood nor recognized.

1945-6 dawned the brave new world.

Pop of UK    49,000,000

House £620 = in today’s money £24,000

Car £310 = £12,000 today

Wage £248 = £9,600 today

Bread was 5d a loaf.

Few high points of those times.

Ist international flight from LHR to Buenos Aires

1st UN General Assembly

Alistair Cooke’s 1st Letter from America

TV licences introduced

BREAD RATIONING 1946

Bread rationing introduced – many items still in short supply and coupons needed

Intro of Family Allowance

School Milk

Free 1/3 pint school milk

Have a Go with Wilfred Pickles + Women’s hour on the radio

Lifting of the prohibition of married women in the Civil Service

Intro of the Bush Bakelite radio

No National Health – 2 years later

Only 58% of dwellings had inside bathrooms.

So, Brave New World and untactfully this generation produced the bulge – population explosion – later not enough schools.

Determined to give their kids what they’d never had – but there was little personal and private communication with them

They gave birth to the Baby Boomers those born 1946 – 1964

Jump 10 years to 1956  BB’s still under parent’s thumb

Pop of UK    51,406,000 extra 2 ½ m

House £2,150 – £48,500 today almost 4 times as expensive

Car £720 – £16,216 today had doubled

Wage £526 – £11,850 today also doubled approximately

Bread was 9d a loaf.

Take stats as estimates as differed in research.

british shop 1950's

Leap further forward into the 60s and the BB are becoming more independent. We are probably a huge disappointment to the Silent Generation.

We had no conception of what our parents sacrificed, we remembered nothing of the horrors of war which deeply scarred our elders.

We were too busy forging a new world that must have seemed totally alien to them – we had money to spend and spend we did, on records, clothes, make-up. Many old rules went out the windows. Mini skirts showed knees and a whole lot more. Us BB’s had our own designers like Mary Quant and your mother wouldn’t be seen dead shopping in Carnaby Street and your Dad moaned about the winkle pickers and drainpipe trousers. (take a bath in new jeans to get them tighter?)

CARNABY ST

The teens and early 20s spent, spent, spent on clothing, entertainment, personal care, events and concerts, books, food, and furniture.

There was flower power, commune living (oh the shame of unmarried people co-habiting), Top of the Pops with groups like the Stones and Beatles scruffy ruffians who didn’t wear suits! Radio Caroline b’cast the top 10 hits illegally offshore.

beatles

The Mods and Rockers hit the news as another example of our decadent generation.

1964 saw the 1st Jackie magazine popular among girls, the first edition of the Sun – 1st undercover shopping centre – the last executions in Britain –

Crossroads premiered on TV for the 90% of the population that now had telly. It brought the world into the home for the first time.

EARLY TV

Items that were originally made to last became disposable – remember the 21st b’day watch or cigarette lighter? Plastic exploded onto the scene changing everything. It was the throwaway society. Washing machines and fridges were must-haves.

1966

Pop of UK    54,744,000 extra 3 m plus

House £3,620 – £61,000 today up 1 ½ times

Car £950 – £16,000 today come down a fraction

Wage £891 – £15,000 half as much again

Bread was 9d a loaf approximately the same.

 In the meantime, without us noticing it Generation X was born 1965 – 1980 but they were still under control.

But we were prospering. We benefitted from the free NHS, free tertiary education, often with bursaries, even if we had to (heaven forbid) pass exams. Most jobs were secure if you kept your hands to yourself and didn’t raid the till, you were ensconced until retirement, and your final salary index linked pensions. For entrepreneurs, although there was some red tape, it was less likely to strangle you.

Property prices were booming and if you bought and sold carefully you could make a killing. Council houses were put on sale.

The BB saw house ownership as a priority and were keen to leave home as soon as possible – to avoid ‘what time do you think this is coming in at all hours?’ after all it was the permissive generation with little fear of getting pregnant due to the pill.

But – probably the rot set in in 1966 when Barclays intro 1st credit card. To that date if we didn’t have the money, we couldn’t buy it – we did without! We learned how to save for what we wanted and we valued it all the more.

credit cards

Yes, we had to borrow to buy our homes but by the end of the 60s homeowners = #renters. But we didn’t take it as a right, it was something to strive and deposit save for and the grovelling to the bank manager or building society – those safe, solid, dependable institutions whose employees you respected. (wait for hysterical laughter to die down)

Barclays held the monopoly on CCs till 1972 – it was referred to as the card in a land fit for heroes.  Mind the BBs did precious little fighting unless they had joined the armed forces. There has not been one major war in Europe in 72 years – possibly the longest European peace?

The boom was still a thing of the future in 1960s but house prices doubled 1950-70 and in 1970-3 doubled again in 3 years.

(That’s when I left UK.)

BRITAIN 1970'S

The Golden Generation – the BBs

We re-defined what it means to be young, middle aged and old. We did not want to be like our parents – previously the 65+ were old – now we call it later life, or the 3rd age.

Generation X – 1965-1980 grew up to a very different life and the Millennials – the me, me me/Snowflake generation from 1981 – 2000 are generally pretty dissatisfied with life – mind the population has soared to 66,323,974 as of 11th November 2017 – last Sunday. There is less space, less money, fewer opportunities.

House £239,794 today

Car £10,635 – £12,715 today

Wage £26,500 pa today            

Bread is now 96 pence a loaf

So, what do we buy now we’re in our golden years?

3 holidays a year, 2 w/e away and 17 day trips.

We eat out – a lot, improve our houses, maybe buy a second pad in the sun.

We have fun, spend more on leisure than boring essentials. Some retired in debt the average stats for that was £34,000, but mostly from interest only mortgages and pension pay-outs settled those.

Many of us have become the bank of Gran and Grandad, where few of us had parents who were able to help us.

And most of us expect to leave something behind. A mad few, start a whole career, mine is …..  And at this point I just ‘happened’ to mention my books in a very casual way to anyone who was still awake – so I guess I should mention them here. 😊

ALL AMIE BOOKS OCT 2017

set 1 of books

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914/

Until next time, take care.

Lucinda