Day 22: Septimus and Gran

My Hero

Yesterday I shared that Septimus is the hero’s name in the fiction book I’m writing – Sep for short.  I also shared that the book’s working title is Septimus and Gran.

Originally it was called Septimus’s Gran – but that really did not trip off the tongue.

What’s the genre of your story?

Spiritual/metaphysical.

It’s based on real life – so, contemporary, fact-based fiction, with a metaphysical twist.

Who is the book for? – what readers are you aiming towards?

Do we ever really know? Exactly who will want to read it is a mystery, but I can feel them. Almost, as though I know my readers already, in my heart.

Initially I thought I was writing a children’s book. But I now realise it’s not that.  It’s more Adult/Young Adult. But not any old adult/young adult.

As Sep says in his letter to the reader:

“. . . another thing is, you probably won’t want to share this book with everyone you know. 

Mainly because everyone won’t understand.  If you do tell them, they may say you’re crazy, or weird.  Just like they told me. 

But I’m not.”

What’s the story about?

I’ve tried pretty hard to nail the back-cover blurb, in the same way you try to nail an elevator pitch.

I realise a brief summary, just a sentence or two is needed. And I have written a blurb – but is it right yet? I’m still not sure.

When I’m trying to explain the book – to anyone who asks me – I can tell if I haven’t got my elevator pitch quite right yet – when their eyes glaze over.

Septimus and Gran

But there is a tool I have used in the writing of this book.  I think it’s a tool I developed or learned through doing SoulCollage work using the ‘I am one who…’ process.

In the same way that I become, or speak from, the image in one of my SoulCollage cards, I can also ask my book’s hero questions and let him answer.

After all, Sep is the author of the book, the teller of the story.  So I thought I would let Sep himself tell me what his book is about.

So I made an audio, but I’m not ready to share it yet.  I was going to.  But asked a trusted friend’s advice who frankly thought it was too weird for most people.

My book is not aimed toward ‘most people.’

In the audio I ask Sep the question:  Septimus, what’s the book about?  I then answer from his point of view.

Of course, it’s all coming from my mouth with my voice, but I’m acting the role – I have to play the part. In this case, the part of Sep, the young boy.

Doing this kind of exercise is fun and often surprising.  Usually I do it through writing.  I ask Sep a question, pause, and then write the answer I get.

But sometimes I create an audio – and it’s a little weird to hear this process on audio.  Especially when I am more or less channelling this 12 or 13 year old boy!

Maybe I’ll share the audio in the future?  I hope I have the courage.

Sending much love to you today, and I’m so happy to have finally shared Septimus with you.

 

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Day 21: The Book – Time to Reveal

surprise reveal

Ta da!

A little audio today about the book I’m writing – where I reveal the name of my hero – the book’s protagonist.

It’s a fairly short audio and I also explain where I got the name from.

And now (at last!) I can use the book’s working title, instead of just saying The Book.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you a little bit more about the book itself.

And hopefully this is the last time I call the book – The Book.

Have a great rest of the day!

 

 

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Day 20: Two-four-six-eight who do we Appreciate

Day 20 of the 30-day Blog Anything project

I was thinking about going to a local café to work on this post.  Maybe try out several cafes in the area and then review them.

Day 20: who do we appreciate Perhaps I could make it a regular thing to blog about? I could take into account things like the café’s suitability as a writing space. Their coffee – and cake! Friendly staff etc.

But then I realised that how I find the places I visit, depends very much on my mood as I enter them.  My expectations and perceptions.  My own mood and the lens through which I view the world is key.  Everything I see is viewed through my own personal preferences.

A lively, busy café may have a Good Atmosphere for one person. That same person may also consider a quiet, underpopulated place as Deadsville. It depends what you’re wanting from the space.

So, I decided not to become a local café reviewer, except perhaps for myself.

I’ve watched too many MasterChef judges to know that tastes differ – wildly at times. What one critic considers delicious, another may find vile.

Plus, I’ve never much liked the name Critic.  Don’t Critics criticise?  And on MasterChef they most certainly do sometimes, don’t they?

I think the word Critic should be replaced with the word Appreciator.

AppreciateAs an Appreciator, we’re more likely to find what we like about things, people and places, instead of things we don’t like.

The good thing is, when we appreciate, we find more and more to appreciate (about whatever we’re appreciating.)

As Abraham-Hicks would say: “Whatever you focus on gets bigger.”

If you find one fault, before you know it, you’ll have found lots of things to find fault with (along the lines of “. . . AND another thing …”)

Okay, I know, some things are just yuk.  You don’t need to force yourself to like cabbage if you hate cabbage.  But maybe one day you’ll love cabbage?  It was that way for me with Brussel Sprouts …

The next paragraph is paraphrased from something I heard on an Abraham-Hicks audio:

Take someone who you are finding fault with, and find all the things you can admire or appreciate about them.  Then, take someone you love, and find all the things you can to criticise about them.  Then watch the person you love and the person you don’t love, change places, right before your eyes.

In other words, if you find things to criticise, even the person you’re madly in love with will become irritating in your eyes.  “Why have I never noticed that about you before?”

If you find things to appreciate about them, the person you don’t love will appear in a brighter light.  “Hey, they’re not so bad after all.  I guess I misjudged them.”

Personally, I would not try finding fault with someone you love, even to play this game. But by all means find everything you can, to love and appreciate about them.

And it might be fun to play with finding good stuff about the person you don’t like – or are finding fault with.  Just to see if things change.

But you have to play the game properly.  You have to play it like you mean it.  Or don’t play.

“So what do I do?  What do I do about this thing that’s in my face?!”

Take your face away.  That doesn’t mean walking away or leaving, but sometimes it helps.

It means take your focus away.  Stop talking about it.  Stop noticing it.  Stop ranting about it.  Get your ipod in your ears and dance.  Get down the plot and plant something.  Water it, nurture it, love it and watch it grow.

And if you don’t know what on earth I’m talking about today – don’t ask me.  It’s just something I don’t want, so I’m not going to talk about it.  Because if I do, it’ll get bigger.

So instead, I’m going to focus on what I love about the people I love and … maybe even those other ones too.  Why?  Because it feels so much better than hating them.

Sending you much Love and Appreciation.  I love you.

(Happy Dance – cue Pharrell.)

 

 

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Day 19: London vs Norfolk bus drivers

London vs Norfolk bus drivers

London vs Norfolk bus drivers

I needed a bit of shopping and decided to take a fifteen-minute walk to the small Tesco Local down by the river.  Why go all that way, Sainsbury’s is only three minutes away?  Well, it’s a lovely sunny day and I like the river.  They also have have a good organic range in that branch.

It was a pleasant stroll and I had a look at the river before popping into Tesco.  I only wanted a few bits, but came out with two heavy bags.

I saw a bus just pulling away from the bus stop.  That would have taken me all the way home.  I was going to walk, but the shopping was heavy.  Shall I wait for another bus?  I felt an immediate ‘Yes.’  It felt the right decision.

Before a minute was up, another bus approached.  I could see a woman running towards me. She was a fair way off but she was running hard.  It seemed like she was running for the bus.

I got on and said to the driver:

“There’s a woman running.  I don’t know if she’s running for the bus.”

He had not heard exactly what I said.  He seemed lost in thought.  Preoccupied.

In London the driver just drives, he doesn’t chit chat.  He has his mind on the traffic jams and getting to his destination on time.

I repeated myself, slightly louder as you do (ridiculously) when people don’t understand you.

Again he looked at me blankly. I shrugged and went and sat down.  But he must have understood, as he waited and the woman who had been running leapt on.  She laughed, out of breath, and said thank you to the driver.  She then greeted a friend who happened to be on the bus.

The friend indicated towards the back of the bus where I was sitting, explaining I’d got the driver to wait.

“Oh! BLESS her!” she exclaimed and scanned the bus trying to find me.  I just smiled from my seat, but almost wanted to stand up and take a bow!

Seeing her catch the bus brightened my day and she seemed pretty chuffed too.  Was she late for work or an appointment?  How lovely to meet her friend on the bus, unexpectedly.

I  felt like the Good Samaritan.  Perhaps the driver also felt like he’d done his good deed for the day.

It’s so nice when passengers thank the bus driver for waiting for them.  Many don’t.  I think because of that, few bus drivers wait for you – even if they see you running.  We all like to be appreciated and thanked for good deeds.  No wonder so many London bus drivers seem grumpy.

Yes, I know, we always get what we expect of people and I should not say this.  And I know that we attract to us how we think things are in the world and that everyone and everything always lives up to our expectations . . .  BUT!

Maybe it’s because of the pollution, the traffic jams, impolite, raucous or rude passengers, but London bus drivers are often miserable and silent.  They don’t seem to want to speak.

I guess it must be the pressure of driving in busy London.  Probably all they want to do is get from A to B with the least hassle.

norfolk road1When I visit my Mum in Norfolk it’s a different story.  Every single driver I meet there is the life and soul of the party.  Smiling and chatting to everyone who gets on or off.  And unlike London, everyone in Norfolk says hello and thank you to the driver.  In fact everyone talks to everyone.

In Norfolk the bus driver holds the baby whilst Mum gets the pushchair on.

He takes the coat button someone found on the bus (not the wallet or handbag – the button) and he stops the bus in between stops because another passenger spots the coat the button belongs to!  (You couldn’t make it up.)

The London bus driver would look at you like you had two heads if you handed him a lost button.  Probably chuck it in the bin.  Not in Norfolk!

The Norfolk bus driver rescues a bee that’s trapped inside the bus – “Ooh, it’s on the window, oh now it’s under the seat, oh now it’s flown over there.” But he persists, and finally catches it, carefully cradling it in his hands, then releases it safely outside. He gets back into his cab and drives on.  Just another day at the office.

The Norfolk bus driver allows five happy, lively, barky dogs to get on the bus at the same time (we’re in Norfolk remember, everyone has a dog).  No-one seems to mind.

In London you’re lucky if the driver allows one dog on – it’s at the drivers discretion.  Guide dogs are the exception of course.

I’d like to think that London bus drivers are friendly.  I’m sure they are when they finish their shift.  But driving a London bus is one job I don’t think I could do.  Norfolk – maybe.

Conclusion?  If you’re a London bus driver you might want to consider moving to Norfolk.  I think you could be a lot happier there.

Norfolk road

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