Dialogue of a reflection (Weekly photo Challenge)

I took this photo as we were watching the sun going down on our holiday. I love the reflection of the sun in the sea. They look as if they’re having their own dialogue.

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And here is another shot of the same sunset earlier. I know it’s not quite fulfilling the brief but hey what’s new!

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Who do we trust?

I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression “There’s 2 sides to every story”. In my experience there are often more sides to a story and the truth is usually a grey patch somewhere in the middle since what we acknowledge to be the truth is shaped by our own history and motivations.

In these times of social media when we are bombarded by stories on all sides how can we get to the truth behind them and discover what is really going on?

Yesterday, in good faith, my Mother forwarded a text to me concerning a very serious issue. Without going into the specific details it indicated that a particular group of Christians were at imminent threat and risk of beheading for their faith.

Subsequently I , in good faith posted a status on a couple of social media outlets regarding this situation and asking fellow Christians to pray for their persecuted brothers and sisters and highlighting the issue.

A short while later I discovered the text purporting to be from this company was actually a hoax and this urgent situation was false. Whilst I was happy the beheading story was untrue I was frustrated I’d been led astray by this false rumour. I also felt awful for giving people unnecessary worry by highlighting it in the first place.

When newspapers and politicians and governments twist the truth for their own reasons and individuals have their own agendas how can we keep up to date with current affairs and really know what is going on in the world? How do we have any hope of ascertaining realities when people are paid to give us false impressions?

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not a conspiracy theorist and I don’t see danger lurking behind every bush. I do however feel it is our duty to look beyond our own 4 walls and our own territories.

I think it’s probably best to take most things with a pinch of salt unless we are certain of truths, to show wisdom in who we listen to and read and to remember that we are all impartial and biased in some ways despite our desires to be otherwise.

She doesn’t have a problem with chins.

As a wanna be writer one of the hardest things to set down on paper when writing fiction is the dialogue between my protagonists.

I have an idea of where I want to take the story and the relationships therein but it is never as easy as simply typing them.

Often I am tempted to give my voice and my personality traits to characters but that could be wildly at odds with the events I wish to portray. To a certain extent most protagonists will be autobiographical. It’s very difficult to avoid that unless you are supremely talented and know yourself very well. My major difficulty is ensuring dialogue is authentic and rings true in the voices of my protagonists although I don’t find it hard, being female, to write for a man talking.

Once I’ve decided my dialogue I have to decide how I want to bookend the speakers such as he said, she said, he answered, she replied and so on. I find myself anxiously watching to make sure I don’t always use the same endings and beginnings.

Again it is the struggle with my imagination that gets me every time. How would this particular person speak? Would they be authoritarian or demure? Softly spoken or gruff. Pleasant or terse? Would they talk eloquently or with an impediment? How would the events of their lives have shaped their conversations and their geographical situations and cultures their accents and ideology?

Our chief objective as a writer or author is to draw the reader in, to capture their attention from our first sentence. To garner belief in our protagonists and a desire to know more. Readers want to fall in love with our tales, to inhabit them and escape reality for a time.

“She doesn’t have a problem with chins”

“Tell me I’ll never have to be out there again”

“I came here tonight because when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with someone you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”

“You had me at hello”

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you”

“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”

“I shall miss her as long as I live”

These quotations form a small part of lines of dialogue that I hug close to my chest in happiness. They inspire and move me in varied ways. They keep me reading to the very last word on the very last page, subsequently sighing with sadness that our mutual journey is finished.

Fray – Weekly photo Challenge.

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These photo’s for this week’s prompt are a collage made up of pictures showing my painted Lloyd Loom laundry basket. We bought it as it is and have done nothing to it as I think it’s pretty perfect already.
The pictures show a small glimpse of its entirety, the fabric covering the top and a close up of the Loom pattern which looks quite frayed to me! Tenuous link as always.

Happy Weekend.

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Who I am is not set in stone.

I sometimes dream of running away and starting afresh somewhere new. I imagine setting up home in a place nobody knows me or my family. A chance to be reborn. To meet strangers with no preconceptions of who I am. To reinvent myself.

Sometimes I voice these feelings. I look up new towns and cities on the map and check the prices of house rentals in those areas and look for schools for the children.

It’s all fantasy. I don’t really intend to give flight to these desires. I’m not unhappy or discontent with my life or my friends.

I just occasionally want an out. An escape from who I am.

It’s at times like these I remind myself my life is not fixed. I’m not set in stone or concrete like a tree planted in a gloomy orchard.

I can reinvent myself. I can to an extent recreate myself and the things I enjoy and those things that shape my personality.

After many years of bombarding myself with negative voices of all the things I can’t do I’ve decided to set myself some challenges. Some are longterm and ongoing and others are short term and closer to gratifying.

The problem with dreaming of escaping it all and starting over is you cannot leave yourself behind. As that’s the case you might as well do the best you can with what give been given.

If you’ve always dreamed of baking then bake, of writing then write. Whatever things inspire you and move you and challenge you just try. What have you got to lose other than the negative soundtrack?

Horror of the blank page.

What writer doesn’t wince when confronted with a blank page? Will the words and ideas come? Will they only encounter the dreaded writer’s block? That arch – nemesis that tangles with writers the way Moriarty tangled with Holmes, leaving them in a paroxysm of fear whilst an editor barks down the telephone about deadlines.

Surely the important thing is just to write something, to get anything down on paper? Albeit the alphabet or a shopping list. After all, a half written page is not as worrying as a sea of whiteness, a blanket of snow with no helpful landmarks or firm footprints to follow in.

To trot out that old adage “A writer writes” is merely to be formulaic. To reduce the art of writing to a meaningless exercise and to induce guilt into the mind of an already struggling writer.

The difficulty is we are not taught to cultivate our imaginations as adults. We are reprimanded for daydreaming or reminded to stay on task. We lose the faculty that comes so easily in childhood of storytelling and have to relearn it. Almost as if we have to give our minds fresh permission to wander and ponder. To give ourselves fresh inspiration we must immerse ourselves in reading and then try to explore the what ifs.
What would happen if Mr. Darcy had remained proud? What if Bilbo Baggins had never discovered Gollum’s ring? What if Atticus Finch had not defended Tom Robinson or Oliver Twist had not asked for more? Then we must create a way to either completely retell the story, to tell it from a fresh viewpoint and still arrive at the same conclusion or to rework the basic ingredients into a different tale.

Writing is a discipline requiring practice to improve, it is a hard and demanding and exacting taskmaster but is a craft worth pursuing because the rewards outweigh the sacrifices. Perhaps not celebrity, publishing deals or financial gain but the betterment of ourselves in the process.