Thursday, 24 December 2015
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE UPDATE 28.12.15
UPDATE: 28th December 2015
Tis that strange twilight time of the year when we are not altogether sure whether we should still be making merry. I am presently looking despairingly at the carcass of a turkey and a slightly greenish tinged leg of ham and wondering when I can put it in the bin without committing sacrilege. When I had my little dog, Barnabus Bubble, there was never any waste! I always gave him credit as co-chef and chief taster. He would faithfully guard the roasting turkey whilst I peeled sprouts and cried when ET went home. Fortunately for myself and family nothing burned, because he was quite insistent on the regular basting and tasting (by himself) of course.
But this is not a time for melancholy, it is time to wonder what next year will bring. A time to make those aims, dreams and ambitions come to fruition. I urge anyone with an hour to spare (and Netflix) to watch 'The Secret'. The 'Law of Attraction' is very real, you literally can have anything you want. The only person who can put a limit on your dreams, is you!
I want to get all those reluctant writers out of the closet! I want them to abandon their inhibitions and get pen to paper. Everything is valid, when I graduated as a mature student, I would sign my '2 extra pints please' notes to the milkman R.V. Hutton BA(Hons), lol. There are so many ways in which you can create your own journals, your own personal letters to your descendants, things that may seem so trivial and inconsequential now, but that will mean so much to those of your bloodline in centuries to come.
I want to tear down the snobbery that surrounds writing and journalism, we are ALL valid. Simply scrawling '2 extra pints' makes each and every one of us a 'writer'. Some writers are of course better than others. There is no secret to it, writing is a craft like any other and one that be improved every time you embark on a new project. Writers, like any other artist, weep buckets over their past works, because to them, it is never, ever, good enough. My own 'masterpiece' Constance, picked up by a former BBC producer, broadcast on Christmas Day and nominated for a Sony award, remains gathering dust on Amazon. Why? Because I am scared that if I go back to it, I will change everything, and I don't know if that's a good thing or not! There you go, an insight into the constantly troubled mind of a writer.
To write well, you must be well read and well informed. Reading feeds your vocabulary, every time you read a book or an article, parts of it will be stored in your brain, the way in which the author has articulated the sentence and expressed thoughts that are in harmony with your own, especially. If you want your work to be read, you must create empathy with your audience. When you put pen to paper, you must write stuff that you yourself like to read! I unashamedly pinch from (pay tribute to) writers I love. PG Wodehouse, Thorne Smith, Sue Townsend, Christopher Hitchens, heck, hundreds.
Unfortunately, our snobbish society lauds those writers who preach from a lofty tower and who use big words and cryptic clues rather than the vernacular of their intended audience. The same elitism applies to literature and academia as it does to art and music, the popular culture of the common people doesn't count.
I want to tear down those walls, I want to reach out to those who dream of writing their own books. I want to tell them that everything they write is valid and that grammar and their prowess (or lack thereof) with the English language will become charming with the years. And they will improve! Writing, like anything gets better and better the more you do it.
For those who have 'write book' on their New Year Resolutions List, I would urge them first of all to find their niche. What do they like reading? Whilst it is noble to admire the works of Chaucer, it is unlikely to rock the book shelves of Asda. If you like sci fi, thrillers, detectives stories or romance, then use those genres to turn fact into fiction. Actually, I might even write a book about how to write a book next year, who knows?
Anyway, I wish you all a very Happy New Year, enjoy the remains of your Christmas goodies (or restock, lol) and brush up on the words to auld lang sine and Flower of Scotland (if applicable). If you can start a conga line AND a revolution, I will raise a glass to you! Cheers!
Merry Christmas to all my readers and dare I say, friends, and a huge thank you for sticking with me through the good times and bad - aw shucks. Your contributions have been fantastic, so many thoughtful and insightful comments that have kept this blog, and my head, buzzing!
As for what will happen with the McCann case next year. Who knows? The Christmas message from the parents lacks the confidence of previous years, though it does remind us about further virtues the McCanns have acquired. Perhaps they are hoping for some recognition in the New Year's Honours List.
They are trying to get the message across that they are positive, though they have little to back it up. Their own little pat on the back for patience has more than a grain of truth. How on earth can two parents who believe their child is alive and out there, find anything positive in the police search for her being wound down? It defies reason and logic. Anyway, I do not wish to be unkind, they have to live this pretendy existence, and I cannot think of a greater hell.
As for the anti Christ and his little band of demons over the way, well, heck, I even hope they can stop poking the fires for a while and enjoy a bit of peace and goodwill. As one insightful reader pointed out, Mr. Bennett should embrace his family before he embraces his God. As for their fellow paranoid Gollum lookalikes in JATKY2, let's hope they have someone (anyone) around them close enough to trust with their names, lol.
I'm afraid I have little sympathy for the frightened little critters hiding beneath their rocks, even Robert de Niro goes for a walk in the park. The only reason for their paranoia can be some sort of shame for the evil words they have spouted this past 8 years. When they created their hideous online alter egos, they thought this case would quickly fizzle out and no-one would ever know about their despicable need to abuse strangers on social media. They never thought they would be held personally responsible for their cruel and ill chosen words. What would their family, friends and employers think of them if they knew about their thuggish, anti-social behaviour online? It was a fear that, arguably, drove Brenda Leyland to suicide.
The death of Brenda Leyland exposed the dark underside to the Madeleine McCann case, it became so much more than a publicity campaign, it had become a battlefield with real victims. The onslaught I received following the Martin Daubney (not Sonia Poulton) article in the Sun, went beyond sanity. Apparently, one woman's mother wept! I'm afraid I would have had an overwhelming urge to slap her and tell her to get a grip. And no, you horrible little vipers, still no shame or regret. (As if! lol, But I do hope the more severely affected have now recovered!)
For me the past year has been a huge learning curve. Sadly, I came to realise that the intentions of some antis were anything but honourable and now many are indistinguishable from the pros. It's like the final scene in Orwell's Animal Farm, the pigs are finely dressed, walking upright and sharing brandies and cigars with the humans. Ce la vie.
Anyway, again, many thanks to each and every one of you, old friends and new, and I hope you have the Christmas and New Year of your dreams. May your turkeys be succulent, your roast potatoes crisp, and your sprouts crunchy (or not, depending on who wins the fight) and your gravy flavourful. Enjoy your Christmas puds and chocolate cherry liquors (I will :) ) and good luck in your battles for the remote control! Remember girls, one superhero film, = 3+ hours of Gone with the Wind, a glass of Bailys and a mince pie. If there are any complaints remind them who was peeling sprouts at 2.00a.m. while they were singing 'It'll be lonely this Christmas'. Tell them it will be especially lonely, if you are forced to watch football. I jest of course, be nice to each other, things may not always go to plan, but they usually work out anyway! Merry Christmas. xxx