Friday 27 February 2015

Pic of the Week . . . Castle

I was just flicking through Google, looking for information on a post for next week when I come across this picture.  I haven't researched where it's from but I just loved it and so thought it deserved this week's spot.  The thing that drew me to it?  The way the dying light is playing across the actual castle.  And not forgetting the bright, autumn colours contrasting against the shadows.



Tuesday 24 February 2015

Inspiration: Creature Feature with a Difference...

I have a secret to share.  I actually love the TV show, River Monsters.  For those who have never seen this program it's about a marine biologist, Jeremy Wade, who scouts places like the Amazon in search for underwater predators that could explain particularly gruesome legends; people mysteriously dragged into the waters and never seen again; boats tipped and limbs bitten off; creatures rising to attack.  As with many cultures, monsters such as these become legendary and things to be feared, but at the end of the day explanations usually fall down to nature.

And in the uncharted Amazon, who knows what lurks out there.  

I'm not really into fishing, and this program features a lot of that, but I just love discovering some of the fish that he comes across, fish that I'd never heard of - and fish that will fit so well in any fantasy world.  Honestly, if you're world-building and have a river that you want to make dangerous, just give it life.  Give it catfish big enough to swallow a human, piranhas that hunt in packs and can clean a bone in seconds, 200lb Tarpons with solid bone heads that leap feet into the air and have been known to tip boats and kill people with a single, unfortunate blow, and, of course, Tiger Fish, also known as the demon fish with its mouth full of razor sharp teeth. 

And not forgetting the smaller creatures that skulk around in the bottom and finish off what others don't eat.  With the amount of flesh eating creatures in the Amazon it's no surprise that once someone goes in, you're lucky if you're ever found.

So with that in mind, why struggle to think of ways to make your world ferocious and dangerous?  Why always look to myth and legend to provide inspiration when all you have to do is look at the nature in our own world?  It can hold answers you never even dreamt of.

Friday 13 February 2015

Pic of the Week . . . Pastures New

What a week it's been.  First there was a dislocated jaw and an uncomfortable start to the week, next I've handed in my notice in my current job and am moving on to pastures new.

I'm hoping this is a good move creatively.  I'll be working at home again, and last time I was working at home my writing was soaring.  Since taking on a job in an office everything has suffered for some unknown reason; my writing, my art, reading, and even blogging (I'm sure many of you have noticed that).  I'm not blaming it on the job.  It's been a good job for the last two years, but I think it's stunted any creativity.  And so when I was offered this position to work at home again, I jumped at the chance, hoping it will give me more time to sink my teeth into the things I'm more passionate about and things I want to concentrate on going forward.  It's all about lifestyle change.

So, today's Pic of the Week has been inspired by Pastures New.  Unfortunately I don't know the artist, but the piece comes courtesy of

Enjoy and have an interesting weekend...

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Literally Taking On More Than I Can Chew...

Well, it’s been an interesting few days for me.

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  Life just takes me in different directions – and Monday was certainly of no exception.  What was supposed to be an innocent, standard trip to the dentist turned out to be a long visit to A&E.  What happened, I hear you ask?

A dislocated Jaw.  Ouch!!

I didn’t feel it go or pop out, but when the dentist finished her clean I couldn’t shut my mouth.  It was locked.  She tried to manipulate it to go back in but failed.  She then got a second dentist to have a try, but she failed too.  Then she got on the phone to a specialist and they were giving her tips on what to try, but to no avail.  In the end, she looked at me with big apologetic eyes and said “I think you need to go to A&E.”

Whheeerrt???!!! (well, it came out as an “Ugh??” ‘cause my mouth was locked open and I couldn’t speak).

So I got my friend to pick me up and take me down to the hospital, and after an agonising two hour wait, drooling everywhere and sitting with wads of tissue, the doctors finally managed to make it to me.  I was drifting off to sleep so was a little startled when they popped their heads round the curtain.  It was my first time in A&E as a patient and for the non-emergancy things they have lounger chairs instead of beds.  I was happy with this, and found the most comfortable position was right back with my head up to take some of the pressure off the jaw, and there I dosed, sleeping away the pain and the headache and the sore, dry throat.

But oh, my god!  It took two doctors to get my jaw back in.  They tried me in different positions (sounds like a re-enactment of 50 Shades) and eventually had me sitting in a small chair with him behind me, both hands pulling at my jaw until slipped back in.  The relief was instant.  A working jaw is sooo under-rated!

Funny this should happen though.  I’ve been back and forth to the doctors for a while now with an issue in my ear. I went for four weeks without hearing in it back in November, and they flushed it and gave me drops but it’s still not right.  It comes and goes.  But I’ve just discovered how close the jaw bone actually is to the ear canal.  And if I have an underlying issue with my jaw – which is what they suspect – this could be the reason why I’ve been having problems with my ear.  It’s an issue that, unbeknown to me, has been getting progressively worse and this trip to the dentist was just enough to tip it over the edge.

So, I’ve gone from someone who has never broken a bone to a women with a dislocated jaw.  I don’t recommend that to anyone.  So let's just say, on my next trip to the dentist, both my nurse and I will takes things a little more